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2 hours ago, Kadeton said:

This sounds like you have quite a specific definition of "viable". Could you expand on what you mean by that?

Viable, which performs on good enough level in all metrics. A below-viable army would be an army which has a limited competitive build, has a lot of bad match-ups, and has to fight much harder than the opponent to win. Hence why I brought up the how you win as being important + the additional factors I detailed because they cut through the noice of good/bad players using X or Y army. 

I've also seen low tier armies beat higher tier armies, it happens, but that does not mean there is balance. Sometimes the better player and/or luck wins out. That is also why I maintain that win ratios can be skewed when it comes to low tier armies since they have such low representation and, usually, are played with highly experienced players who's dedicated a lot of time and effort into that army. Meanwhile, when you see popular meta-lists racking up the wins a good deal of players will not be there because they happened to really love that army (in that case the army would *always* be that popular) but from players who want an easier time winning (which does not mean bad players). 

Note that I'm not throwing shade anyone in the tournament scene for using a powerful list. That's just how the scene is and everyone is expecting the toughest lists in the game. Fair play, game on.

 

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Tournament data is only somewhat applicable as a guide to balance We should be mindful of the fact that tournament data is not necessarily reflective of how the game is mostly played. Most player

Honestly.... I think it takes a good competitive player to be able to actually do this. If it's two people hard core into the beer and pretzels, but one is playing LRL and the other is playing sylvane

To include some of the tournament data (in-person) that were talking about:  According to AOShorts: There have been 8 GHB20 events with 5+ rounds and 50+ players. Looking at top 5 spots Sera

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On 4/18/2021 at 8:37 PM, NinthMusketeer said:

"Q: How does the Rend characteristic of attacks interact with the Bastiladon while it has a 1+ Save characteristic? A: An unmodified save roll of a 1 always fails. When a save roll is modified by the Rend characteristic of an attack, it can never be modified to less than 1. When a model has a Save characteristic of 1+, modified save rolls of 1 are successfully saved. This means, while the Bastiladon has a Save characteristic of 1+, only unmodified save rolls of 1 will inflict damage regardless of the Rend characteristic of the weapon used for the attack."

Can you articulate how, exactly, I am demonstrating an inability to read the rules properly?

Because before that faq, people were applying rend to the save characteristic rather than the save roll. The faq, is basically telling you the same thing the core rules always have - that rend modifies the save roll, not the characteristic, in the same way -1 to hit affects the hit roll not your To Hit characteristic (this is an important distinction because of rerolls and other abilities)

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7 hours ago, Kadeton said:

Well, that's what I'm asking. Which ones, and against which armies, and why? Let's talk about some specific examples.

People tend to talk about these things in terms of definitive absolutes, as though winning is literally impossible in some matchups. Since I've personally seen games where the "worst" armies (BoC, BoK) beat the "best" armies (Seraphon, Kharadrons) I know that's pure tosh. Yes, the odds are heavily stacked against them and they will lose far more often than they win - but that's not the same thing as not being able to win.

Stormcast vs any horde army for example (Skaven, Flesh-Eaters, Nighthaunt, Legions Of Nagash, Bonereapers, Seraphon, Gloomspite Gits, Beasts Of Chaos, Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch, Slaanesh, Slaves To Darkness, Cities Of Sigmar, Daughters Of Khaine - all of these armies, and that’s a pretty large chunk of available factions, can build a horde)

Stormcast vs Ogors (similar model count, but Ogors put out more damage-killing Stormcast faster than they can be killed, are more resistant than Stormcast, and have a special rule that doubles their model count for objectives)

Stormcast vs any Alpha Strike list (kills the Stormcast before they even have a chance to claim objectives)

these are just some examples 

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I would like to try to formulate my experience into helpful words :D

From what I see, there are a few factors, that will determine, who is winning a game:

1. Individual Matchup
2. Knowledge of the armies, that are on the table
3. Luck ( dice rolling )
4. Usage of the table in an adequate manner
5. correct usage of the tools, that an army gives the player

There might be more, but I wanna focus on these.

For my next points I would like to aknowledge you, that my local tournament players absolutely squeeze the best possible potential out of the armies.
I am not saying, that they are the best players around, but they are very good at what they do.

Within the actual circumstances of the book releases, how they are released, and what the content of the books is, some of the 5 points above are not valid.
What still is important is point 1, but different as we might think. Some armies just straight up can not compete with other armies. Just no. An example is BoK, where the army is not only very slow, but therefore has almost no bravery and melee damage to compensate on the speed. BoK versus any shooting: lost. Khorne is most likely to win a matchup vs BoC, maybe Nighthaunt.
And that's where a problem is: It became very important, versus wich army someone plays. But it should clearly not be like that. In an ideal balanced game, each army would have about 50% to win, NO MATTER versus wich army they would play.

Point 2 is mostly invalidated, toether with point 5. If I got a sword as my tool and I am an absolute sword master, I will not stand any chance against someone, who brings a gun. Yes, i could use terrain & Co. to compensate. But to be honest, I will still not have a chance, but the moment of surprise. But there is no moment of surprise in AoS, since everybody can see the opponent's army.

To use the table in an adequate manner is something, that might well make a difference. I managed to bring my little Khorne grunts into a position, where I could charge an enemy. I was so happy that that unit had 100% strength, it was the MIGHTY Blood Warriors versus those little Gobbos. I prepared to go for it, but didn't get the 7" charge. I was still happy, because my chance was still there...and then the moment came: DOUBLE TURN for my opponent and fanatics hidden in that unit. BAM. Bravery. Done.
That was just an example, where I hope to show, that the one army had luck on their side, and more and betters tools ( fanatics, buff mechanic of the spear gobbos ).

What causes the problem is easy: GW releasing the books of an edition one after the other, rendering older armies kind of useless sometimes. If all armies would be released at the same time ( just an example ), and all of them would be on the average level as every other army, we wouldn't have the problem, since GW wouldn't even have the time to release totally new and broken mechanics at this point ( probably, but I trust GW to make bollocks anyway ). But technically it could fix the issue.

I do see the arguments, wich say, that not every army need the same tools like other armies, and that's correct! But their tools will have to be able to compensate on that, and that's what is not happening at the moment.

An example ( I would bring my BoK army again, sry for that ) would be, if BoK would be very fast, could make some tweaks on charges, would put out a ton of damage, when in combat. The bravery would have to be very solid for that. But then, the army would be very elite, and therefore have expensive units ( point cost...they are already very of expensive for what they actually can do ), so that could be the weak point maybe.

I hope you get my point, just trying to help.
 

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My opinion may be "the unpopular one", but I truly believe in that people should not try to focus too much on achieving balance and that giving too much attention to balance is very bad for your overall enjoyment in the long run.

I do not believe that Warhammer is a game that is designed around the ideaof competitive play. I alwas thought it was a game where people could use beautiful miniatures to tell stories (inspired by novels, movies or whatever). This was something that (at least for me) was true for both old WHFB and AoS. The rules itself were designed in a certain way, which is great for games with your friends/narrative games, but is far from optimal for competitive gaming. I played Warmachine competitively for many years (and won tournaments both big and small) and I think that WM is the perfect example of the game that was designed purely for the competitive play and that the AoS is far, far away from the balance that exists in WM (and even that balance is not ideal). Also, when I read Jervis' column in WD, I always get the impression that he is designing AoS to be fun and immersive, not to be competitive and perfectly balanced.

I can't shake off the feeling that too many people are trying to play competitively and/or are using competitive play (and lists that are good for such play style) as a basis for their thinking about the game itself. In my opinion, if players are focused only on competitive play, then they become more concerned with balance issues. This is only worsened by various YouTube channels, where you can see not only people playing in a certain way, but also people telling you that something is bad or good, like it's the universal truth. And then you end up with players saying that units A and B are unusable, or that the battletome X is bad, or has only 1 valid list. But the problem is - this may be true, but under certain circumstances, which are probably very different from what happens in your regular gaming session with your friends. So I really think that people who are proposing balancing based purely on torunament results are doing it wrong, because they are forgetting AoS was probably never designed with tournaments in mind. It's not a competitive game by design.

Also, when it comes to balance, there needs to be a difference between truly unforseen rules interactions and players lacking experience. If something locks you out of the playing completely (does not let you conduct the basic game actions, for example) - that is probably a negative playing experience. On the other hand, every army has some strong unit combination (or a few of them) that you may need to learn to play against. And usually, one of these combinations easily destroys a lot of other lists, but dies to another strong combinaton of units from a different army - and this is probably perfectly normal if the only instrument used for achieving balance are point values. Simply put, two players may both build 2000 point armes, but if one brings only heavily armoured troops and the other one brings only anti-armour units, there is no balance here. In this particular case, it is obvious that some other "balancing instruments" have to exist, besides the points themselves. But if you and your oponnent discuss what you want to play and how you want to play it, this can influence your choice of units, spells, artifacts and scenario rules for that particular game and contribute to making it more enjoybable and less predictable experience. And I really don't think that designers had only one or two lists in mind when they were writing the battletome (or saw competitive play as the only way of playing the game).

 

 

Edited by Painbringer
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The problem for me is the constant churn of books written in only a make army and fight approach.

It's been decades of "find likeminded people to make it work" which would be fine if this was some small outfit that quickly threw together some free framework to use their models. But it's not. It's a giant company who expects a constant churn of hardcover book sales.

I would love to have the more immersive, narrative experience they apparently view the game as but all I've been handed is a competitive ruleset with poorly thought out distributions of power both internally and externally.

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On 4/13/2021 at 10:25 PM, stratigo said:

And how exhaustive is this list?

 

Look, you aren't using datasets very well. I can use this graph to argue "Well seraphon isn't that overpowered really". And that'd be ridiculous.

 

Where are you sourcing your data? Honestly it's not looking like you have done your due diligence in statistics. Maybe to argue against needed nerfs for your faction? Indeed it looks like AoSshorts format, but, I can't find this dataset on their website at all. Their last one ends in September far as I can find. Did you do it yourself? I'd like to see some analysis behind this dataset if it exists.

 

Now, it does annoy me somewhat that THO doesn't regularly leave their stats in writing where I can find it, leaving them mostly in video format, and thus not easily linkable, but they do good stats.  Their most recent stats video is promising something big for stat in the future, so here's hoping. Ultimately though, going with their regular analysis, LRL are easily in the top 5 of armies. I place them number 3, after seraphon and IDK. 

 

 

It's all the 5 round+ tournaments he knows about. It should be all of them, but maybe a few are missing. You can find more information about this on his Twitter. He just updated the file again a few hours ago with the newest TTS data (below). If you combine the win-rate data and the tournament wins - sure you could try to argue that Seraphon aren't overpowered, which is fine by me. Definitely harder to do than with Lumineth though.  

And the rest does just seems an ad-hominem attack without having looked at the statistics much yourself so far. Which are the 11 tournaments that Lumineth won that you mentioned in your previous post? Where is that data from? It's funny that you are accusing me of providing selective data while you yourself just state they are OP without providing any data at all. What's your "top 3" view based upon? 

From what I know, AOShorts, DKHM and the Listbot are the most exhaustive data sets that are available to us for in-person games. They are usually what people in the community are referencing. They are on Twitter, and will be happy to reply to any questions you have about their data. 

Here is the updated file set from AoShorts, including the newest results (mostly TTS, marked in black): 

EzW9TPiVcAAmLUJ.png.f24e510b30a10c1c2cfcd61dfdf3b1d4.png

Here is the DKHM file, they use tournament results since the GHB2020 has dropped. 

EzXQ0U_UYAc3yH0.png.221ed366325d909dd74267fafd160743.png

If with THO, you mean The Honest Wargamer, I also mentioned the results of their latest analysis, which focuses on TTS, and had Lumineth at at win rate of 48%. Not in the top 5 and certainly not top 3. 

Seraphon 62%, Idoneth 60%, Dok 58%, Fyreslayers 54%, DoT 53%, Ogor Mawtribes 52%, Nurgle 50%, and then LRL, Stormcast and OBR with 48% and whole other bunch with 47%. There are a few others up there which aren't played a lot and are outliers. 

Here is the link: https://thehonestwargamer.com/age-of-sigmar-tts-stats-15-2-21/ . 

As you can see, there are some discrepancies between all those data sets (especially between only TTS and the in-person and mixed results), but none of those point at the LRL being really OP right now. DKHM has a nifty new graph showing how each factions does comparing TTS to in-person. 

If you mean something else with THO, please point me to where I can have a look at it. 

Of course these results are all before the latest expansion of the LRL - and maybe the LRL will become too strong in the future, and need to be nerfed. That's a possibility with the range being extended to twice its size. But as of now, you'd have to look at several other factions first if your concern is only about balance. 

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6 hours ago, pnkdth said:

Viable, which performs on good enough level in all metrics. A below-viable army would be an army which has a limited competitive build, has a lot of bad match-ups, and has to fight much harder than the opponent to win. Hence why I brought up the how you win as being important + the additional factors I detailed because they cut through the noice of good/bad players using X or Y army.

If you'll continue to humour me, I think there's still a lot to unpack there. For instance:

Which armies would you currently see as not having a "limited competitive build"? The nature of competitive play rapidly distils complex army books down to one or two largely inflexible builds, and this affects the top armies just as much as the bottom ones (see Kroaknado, Teclis Castle etc, as examples already mentioned in the thread).

How many bad matchups is "a lot"? How "bad" does the matchup have to be before it's a "bad matchup"?

How much harder do you have to fight than your opponent before it becomes a problem? How do you even quantify the comparative difficulty of each player's fight?

6 hours ago, pnkdth said:

I've also seen low tier armies beat higher tier armies, it happens, but that does not mean there is balance. Sometimes the better player and/or luck wins out. That is also why I maintain that win ratios can be skewed when it comes to low tier armies since they have such low representation and, usually, are played with highly experienced players who's dedicated a lot of time and effort into that army. Meanwhile, when you see popular meta-lists racking up the wins a good deal of players will not be there because they happened to really love that army (in that case the army would *always* be that popular) but from players who want an easier time winning (which does not mean bad players). 

Yes, to be clear: I'm in no way arguing that AoS is tightly balanced. I'm saying that the imbalance which clearly exists isn't sufficiently unbalanced to produce the "unwinnable" matchups that people commonly decry online.

Skill and luck have so much sway over the outcome of games that the overall winrates of the "worst" and the "best" armies only vary from (roughly) 40% to 60% across the same field of opponents. Yes, maybe the players of the worst armies are working super extra hard to barely scrape out wins with their passion army, and maybe the players of the best armies are all netlisting tryhards or whatever, but nevertheless those are the outcomes which are actually being achieved in the real world.

Obviously balance could be better, and that would be great. But the level of imbalance we currently have does not make the game unplayable.

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7 hours ago, stratigo said:

I'm dead tired of people going "Ah, well I totally went to a tournament with my jank all dryads list and smashed everyone, thus the balance is fine". There's no point in this exchange unless Kade is just being contrary or earnestly thinks their ability to beat teclis that one time means balance is okay, and I have no patience for it.

I'm dead tired of people saying "Imagine playing Sylvaneth into Beastclaws, or Beastclaws into Teclis, you literally cannot win." It's tiresome, defeatist whinging which also happens to be demonstrably untrue, and I happened to have personal experience of those exact situations, so I thought I'd share.

Balance could be better. Some armies rely more heavily on luck to win certain matchups than they should ideally have to. But acting like that's the same situation as some armies being unbeatable really grinds my gears. Regardless of the matchup, good play and good luck can always carry you to victory against the odds.

7 hours ago, stratigo said:

It's based off one person's subjective experiences, ones that might not even be real. 

For what it's worth, here's the post I made about it at the time.

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Obviously it is always possible to win. You could roll nothing but 6s the entire game, and your opponent nothing but 1s. It's possible.

Of course that point adds nothing to the discussion since no one in their right mind means to say it is literally impossible to win a given matchup. The only reason to bring that point up at all is if the game is imbalanced to the point of it being a serious issue. Someone with a valid argument would not want to dilute it with such drivel.

Which gets to why I have not really been responding to the the imbalance-defenders, because I have had this discussion enough times to know they are perfectly capable of committing conversational seppuku on their own.

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4 minutes ago, NinthMusketeer said:

Obviously it is always possible to win. You could roll nothing but 6s the entire game, and your opponent nothing but 1s. It's possible.

Of course that point adds nothing to the discussion since no one in their right mind means to say it is literally impossible to win a given matchup. The only reason to bring that point up at all is if the game is imbalanced to the point of it being a serious issue. Someone with a valid argument would not want to dilute it with such drivel.

10 hours ago, Cronotekk said:

There are three tiers in AoS

-Shelf tier

-Playable tier

-Broken tier

Armies cannot play against an army in a higher tier what so ever unless the higher tier army tries to lose. Imagine trying to play Sylvaneth (shelf) vs Beastclaw (playable). It would be a one sided slaughter unless the ogor player made an all grot list. However the gap is even wider between playable and broken. It is impossible for an army that isn't broken to fight

-Kroak-nado

-Teclis castle

-Tzeentch

Just simply isn't possible unless the players make huge mistakes and forget their laundry list of special rules

I mean, I don't particularly want to call you out or anything, but when the person I was responding to literally and specifically said the exact thing you claim "no one in their right mind" is saying, I can't tell whether you're accusing Cronotekk of being genuinely insane or if you're just practising selective reading.

Anyway, speaking of posts that add nothing to the discussion, have a nice day.

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11 minutes ago, NinthMusketeer said:

Obviously it is always possible to win. You could roll nothing but 6s the entire game, and your opponent nothing but 1s. It's possible.

Of course that point adds nothing to the discussion since no one in their right mind means to say it is literally impossible to win a given matchup. The only reason to bring that point up at all is if the game is imbalanced to the point of it being a serious issue. Someone with a valid argument would not want to dilute it with such drivel.

Which gets to why I have not really been responding to the the imbalance-defenders, because I have had this discussion enough times to know they are perfectly capable of committing conversational seppuku on their own.

Perhaps if people generally were less hyperbolic the conversation would make some progress. A couple months ago we got pretty close to a real discussion identifying real things and making abstract concepts a bit more solid. 

Either way, the number one determinate of the outcomes of tournament games is player skill, a combination of player knowledge, experience and x-factor mental durability. Day 2 we are talking about 5-10% difference in skill. Which is where build strength comes in, build strength is only somewhat influenced by factions. Most factions have at least 2 competitive builds that would let a skilled player compete against another skilled player regardless of faction. 

The obvious question is what happens at the unskilled level. Where faction strength in the internet age probably plays a bigger role. But the obvious solution here is good mentoring and solid community to grow in. 

On power creep, before the new DoK book 4 of the top 6 books were released before or at the start of AoS2 DoK, Nurgle, Fyreslayers and IDK. So let's move on from the meme please.

Lastly a lot of books are way better than the community gives them credit for. They just don't have the PR or history that other factions have. OM are a really solid Johnny army with Timmy builds, but lack the obvious Spike builds that gets factions the competitive thumbs up. Nurgle was always 10% more bodies away from being a fantastic book.

Imo there are really only two factions that have serious fundamental mechanical (which is different from what WHW calls design) problems right now,SCE and Sylvaneth.

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MODERATOR NOTICE

Ok people lets all just keep our cool a bit. No one has stepped out of line yet, but a few are getting close with frustration bleeding into a few posts. Balance discussions often hit hurdles of getting your point across and can be challenging when trying to shift things from theory to practice and from local to larger data pools. Let's all respect different viewpoints and at least engage debate and discussion around the point and topic not around each other.

MODERATOR NOTICE

 

 

In other news I would highlight that one issue with balance discussion online is that tactical discussion and development is very limited online and in the community in general. As a community we have a lot of information and free exchange on building and painting and heaps on how to design an army list. However actually playing the game and actual tactical ideas are very limited. We have a lot of underdeveloped community aspects there which means we lack the vocabulary to convey points effectively and a lack of general common understandings in a practical sense. Bulletpoint simple concepts are often thrown around "play for the objectives" "screen your units" but often these are not presented in a way that people can easily comprehend and put into practice on the tabletop. 

In short there's a vast variety of player skill both in members taking part in the discussion and in players they play against. It's thus fully possible that two people of equal skill in different areas can have very different experiences even playing the same army; even if they were playing against the same opponent lists and forces. This can complicate balance discussions because it ends up with different people having different practical experiences of the game and this is before we even touch on things like board setup. Again a huge factor; some play on boards choked with too much scenery where big models might be useless; others play onboards so open that any army with a ranged focus is near an auto win. 

These (and more) are factors we have to consider which muddy the waters in terms of practical army play experiences. 

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I'd like to take on the approach to see the balance point from the other side, as people in discussions should change the point of view to other aspects, to see what those might think.

For me that means to lookat it from the narrative sight. In this case I could see, what people mean, when they say the game should not be 100% balanced, as they just wanna have a beer and bretzel experience by rolling some dice and have a talk beside the game. But for me it gets already different, if there is like a narrative campaign, wich should create a story to be told, or written. Because in this case we run into the same issue, as with the competetive sight.

If those players would like to have this narrative story kind of diverse, they would absolutely need to have a bigger collection of armies. Because then they could agree on the usage of armies vs another, the usage of wich units and so on. But let's me more realistic here. Most players will have like 1 or 2 armies. And those armies would be built in either 2 ways: Rule of cool, or wich units are effective via the rules. As GW promotes the rule of cool aspect, let's suggest these armies are just built by this way.
What is the result then? Same matchups will likely create the same results. Imagine a player, who likes to build a BoC army,, because they look so savage and nifty. The other one built a LRL army, because he liked the original High Elves appeal.

Setting up the table could mean a slight difference, but we know, what will happen. BoC will vastly be kicked into the bucket.

Maybe those players have more than this army. One of them plays BoK, because those mighty looking berzerkers look so cool. The other one has a Nighthaunt army, because who doesn't like that design of models? Within this matchup it will certainly be a little different than before. There might actually be some more or less diverse outcomes.

But what will be absolutely certain is, that LRL ( just an example here, could also be Seraphon, Slaanesh or Tzeentch ) will dominate all of those amries.
So the narratiive story would be very very one sided.

There was a point, where someone told, that people would need to agree on the units used. But IMO that would completely dump the rule of cool aspect. Players could also go together to the shop and kind of agree on wich armies to buy. but that would need an experienced player, who can help them with that choice, and this player will more likely be a competetive players, who knows the tweaks of armies and the power level of them. Even then, the rule of cool is not present, because technically there is no free choice for the narrative to happen.

That's what I am talking about. In the present situation, it doesn't matter if one plays narrative, or competetive anymore. The outcome is kind of the same.
If people would now argue, that not every army has those insane power level units, I would like to ask: Really?
And even if it is like that, would an agreement change that?

Because, what this agreement on usage specified units would make is:

Unit choice over rule of cool = Rules over Personal Preference = Chance over Choice

And this is the exact issue we have in AoS.


What could be done to avoid this? Make some restrictions within the OFFICIAL rules, that would restrict the usage of unit types.
I am not saying, that this might fix the issue, but it will give a frame for people to decide on what to buy beforehand. The rule of cool can apply then, but in a certain frame. But this would also only work, if the tools an army has, would be fixed before that, because otherwise, those restrictions will 170% backfire, as a player could possibly not compensate, since he can not take the amount he / she would need to.

 

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4 hours ago, Kadeton said:

If you'll continue to humour me, I think there's still a lot to unpack there. For instance:

Which armies would you currently see as not having a "limited competitive build"? The nature of competitive play rapidly distils complex army books down to one or two largely inflexible builds, and this affects the top armies just as much as the bottom ones (see Kroaknado, Teclis Castle etc, as examples already mentioned in the thread).

How many bad matchups is "a lot"? How "bad" does the matchup have to be before it's a "bad matchup"?

How much harder do you have to fight than your opponent before it becomes a problem? How do you even quantify the comparative difficulty of each player's fight?

Yes, to be clear: I'm in no way arguing that AoS is tightly balanced. I'm saying that the imbalance which clearly exists isn't sufficiently unbalanced to produce the "unwinnable" matchups that people commonly decry online.

Skill and luck have so much sway over the outcome of games that the overall winrates of the "worst" and the "best" armies only vary from (roughly) 40% to 60% across the same field of opponents. Yes, maybe the players of the worst armies are working super extra hard to barely scrape out wins with their passion army, and maybe the players of the best armies are all netlisting tryhards or whatever, but nevertheless those are the outcomes which are actually being achieved in the real world.

Obviously balance could be better, and that would be great. But the level of imbalance we currently have does not make the game unplayable.

Mechanical advantage over lots of armies = high consistency and high tier army. Competitive builds therefore do not limit the army and can happily and reliably compete against the vast majority of other armies and builds.

Mechanical disadvantage over lots of armies = low consistency and low tier army. Competitive builds rely on the right army to show up and has a very low probability of going 5-0 during a tournament. 

This goes neatly into the equation I posted earlier. Popularity, win/loss ratio, consistency in wins (going 3-0 or 5-0) which tells us what bad match ups are and how an army wins, or if an army sinks or floats when facing diverse list of opponents.

Then there is the much harder to define "fun" and "anti-fun"-mechanics. For instance, if key abilities go off on 4+ (or even 5+) is that good/fun design? Shutting down abilities, auto-casts, or generally removing agency and control. I think that is why LRL has gotten such a bad rep, not because they're the best of the best but because some of their abilities lead to a frustrating experience even when you win against them. 

-

I don't think when people say unwinnable or similar they mean it literally. Literally is just overused and misused. However, I still think you can fairly easily discern which armies have sunk too close to the bottom of the lake and who are enjoying their time in the sun.

Things can very easily turn hyperbolic online though and quite antagonistic, i.e. if you believe that then you must also believe this! Outrageous!

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11 minutes ago, pnkdth said:

Then there is the much harder to define "fun" and "anti-fun"-mechanics. For instance, if key abilities go off on 4+ (or even 5+) is that good/fun design? Shutting down abilities, auto-casts, or generally removing agency and control. I think that is why LRL has gotten such a bad rep, not because they're the best of the best but because some of their abilities lead to a frustrating

An example for this outside of LRL would be BoK vs Stormcatst. Both have priests, that can "cast" abilities. The Stormcast one does it successfully on a 3+.

The BoK Slaughterpriest does that on a 4+ and if he rolls a 1, he damages himself... . That's already a little strange and not relatable IMO. He deals himself D3 MW then, and has 6W in total. Basically he will eradicate himself with his 100 points value from the boards in potentially 2 times trying to bring absolutely IMPORTANT buffs to his army.

Cool design, isn't it?


Also, I had a chat with my local GW store manager about growing the community. For about 3 years we only had 2 new players here.
The manager told me, that a lot of people come in, buy something they like and don't show up again.
I asked, what the last bought. It has been 2 friends, who wanted to play together. One bought FEC with the new Battletome ( pre errata ) , the other bought Nighthaunt.

We can already see, why they didn't come back.

Edited by Battlefury
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On 4/13/2021 at 9:40 PM, AnarchMage said:

This is me. I picked up Lumineth, specifically Vanari, because I love the pike and archer formation supported by cav, wizard heavy armies, and the look of the models. Then I find out everyone hates them, and specifically the units I enjoy most. Not great. So I stick to my Legions of Nagash unless someone is ok with me doing my LRL

I am sorry @AnarchMage, didn't mean to overread this.

But this is a thing. We miss out on a lot of friendly players, who would berich our hobby communities, becasue of the balance niveau.

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18 minutes ago, Battlefury said:

Also, I had a chat with my local GW store manager about growing the community. For about 3 years we only had 2 new players here.
The manager told me, that a lot of people come in, buy something they like and don't show up again.
I asked, what the last bought. It has been 2 friends, who wanted to play together. One bought FEC with the new Battletome ( pre errata ) , the other bought Nighthaunt.

We can already see, why they didn't come back

I think this is the most important aspect of inbalance; if new players stop playing because they picked the "wrong" army, then it's a loss for the community as a whole. 

Personally, I think what happens on the top tables isn't particularly important. But if factions/units dominate the casual scene (e.g. the 6mw thundertusk that was rubbish in tournaments but oppressive in casuals) they should be looked at closely, and the same if there's a faction that is rubbish in a casual scene (even if it has some really strong competitive plays that are just counter intuitive). While some may say casual balances itself, from experience this isn't true and it usually just puts someone off the army or game.

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12 hours ago, Painbringer said:

My opinion may be "the unpopular one", but I truly believe in that people should not try to focus too much on achieving balance and that giving too much attention to balance is very bad for your overall enjoyment in the long run.

I do not believe that Warhammer is a game that is designed around the ideaof competitive play. I alwas thought it was a game where people could use beautiful miniatures to tell stories (inspired by novels, movies or whatever). This was something that (at least for me) was true for both old WHFB and AoS. The rules itself were designed in a certain way, which is great for games with your friends/narrative games, but is far from optimal for competitive gaming. I played Warmachine competitively for many years (and won tournaments both big and small) and I think that WM is the perfect example of the game that was designed purely for the competitive play and that the AoS is far, far away from the balance that exists in WM (and even that balance is not ideal). Also, when I read Jervis' column in WD, I always get the impression that he is designing AoS to be fun and immersive, not to be competitive and perfectly balanced.

I can't shake off the feeling that too many people are trying to play competitively and/or are using competitive play (and lists that are good for such play style) as a basis for their thinking about the game itself. In my opinion, if players are focused only on competitive play, then they become more concerned with balance issues. This is only worsened by various YouTube channels, where you can see not only people playing in a certain way, but also people telling you that something is bad or good, like it's the universal truth. And then you end up with players saying that units A and B are unusable, or that the battletome X is bad, or has only 1 valid list. But the problem is - this may be true, but under certain circumstances, which are probably very different from what happens in your regular gaming session with your friends. So I really think that people who are proposing balancing based purely on torunament results are doing it wrong, because they are forgetting AoS was probably never designed with tournaments in mind. It's not a competitive game by design.

Also, when it comes to balance, there needs to be a difference between truly unforseen rules interactions and players lacking experience. If something locks you out of the playing completely (does not let you conduct the basic game actions, for example) - that is probably a negative playing experience. On the other hand, every army has some strong unit combination (or a few of them) that you may need to learn to play against. And usually, one of these combinations easily destroys a lot of other lists, but dies to another strong combinaton of units from a different army - and this is probably perfectly normal if the only instrument used for achieving balance are point values. Simply put, two players may both build 2000 point armes, but if one brings only heavily armoured troops and the other one brings only anti-armour units, there is no balance here. In this particular case, it is obvious that some other "balancing instruments" have to exist, besides the points themselves. But if you and your oponnent discuss what you want to play and how you want to play it, this can influence your choice of units, spells, artifacts and scenario rules for that particular game and contribute to making it more enjoybable and less predictable experience. And I really don't think that designers had only one or two lists in mind when they were writing the battletome (or saw competitive play as the only way of playing the game).

 

 

balance isn't only for competitive play, as has been exhaustively pointed out in this thread. I am tired going over the same points ad nauseam.

 

Again, how many stories of two people just getting into the game to play against each other, but one incidentally bought the OP army while another bought the UP army have you heard? I have heard it a lot. It is bad for the game, and has nothing to do with competition, if a small friend group has one person who just by accident chose seraphon is now creaming all his friends at the game. It's a huge bummer. The only way to take a top table army and not beat the snot out of people not taking a top army is to have competitive level knowledge of your army and theirs so you know how and where to reduce the power level of your army. 

 

Balance isn't only for tournaments and I wish people would stop writing posts thinking it is and without the tourney players everything would just be sunshine and daffodils.

 

11 hours ago, LuminethMage said:

It's all the 5 round+ tournaments he knows about. It should be all of them, but maybe a few are missing. You can find more information about this on his Twitter. He just updated the file again a few hours ago with the newest TTS data (below). If you combine the win-rate data and the tournament wins - sure you could try to argue that Seraphon aren't overpowered, which is fine by me. Definitely harder to do than with Lumineth though.  

And the rest does just seems an ad-hominem attack without having looked at the statistics much yourself so far. Which are the 11 tournaments that Lumineth won that you mentioned in your previous post? Where is that data from? It's funny that you are accusing me of providing selective data while you yourself just state they are OP without providing any data at all. What's your "top 3" view based upon? 

From what I know, AOShorts, DKHM and the Listbot are the most exhaustive data sets that are available to us for in-person games. They are usually what people in the community are referencing. They are on Twitter, and will be happy to reply to any questions you have about their data. 

Here is the updated file set from AoShorts, including the newest results (mostly TTS, marked in black): 

EzW9TPiVcAAmLUJ.png.f24e510b30a10c1c2cfcd61dfdf3b1d4.png

Here is the DKHM file, they use tournament results since the GHB2020 has dropped. 

EzXQ0U_UYAc3yH0.png.221ed366325d909dd74267fafd160743.png

If with THO, you mean The Honest Wargamer, I also mentioned the results of their latest analysis, which focuses on TTS, and had Lumineth at at win rate of 48%. Not in the top 5 and certainly not top 3. 

Seraphon 62%, Idoneth 60%, Dok 58%, Fyreslayers 54%, DoT 53%, Ogor Mawtribes 52%, Nurgle 50%, and then LRL, Stormcast and OBR with 48% and whole other bunch with 47%. There are a few others up there which aren't played a lot and are outliers. 

Here is the link: https://thehonestwargamer.com/age-of-sigmar-tts-stats-15-2-21/ . 

As you can see, there are some discrepancies between all those data sets (especially between only TTS and the in-person and mixed results), but none of those point at the LRL being really OP right now. DKHM has a nifty new graph showing how each factions does comparing TTS to in-person. 

If you mean something else with THO, please point me to where I can have a look at it. 

Of course these results are all before the latest expansion of the LRL - and maybe the LRL will become too strong in the future, and need to be nerfed. That's a possibility with the range being extended to twice its size. But as of now, you'd have to look at several other factions first if your concern is only about balance. 

Who is he? You mean AoSshorts. He's using twitter to update his graphs?

 

*Checks*

 

So he is... wow. So, yeah, iunno, but twitter is NOT a good place to store information. It is incredibly ephemeral and prevents any form of long form information. Like, I wanted to see where he, essentially, showed his work and gave an explanation of his process, but you can't really do that on twitter. If there anywhere else he posts this that includes analysis? 

I'm really craving some analysis to these graphs. And, like, I know this isn't an exhaustive list of TTS tournaments. It just makes me feel like there's this lack of organization among TOs and commentators/analyts in getting good date collection in a way that 40k has nailed down much better. 

 

Wait, this DKHM graph is labeled april 2020? What does that mean? I mean is that a type and they mean april 2021? Or is this all data SINCE april 2020? XD also there's a lot of spanish and I don't read that. There's actually a lot of weirdness going back to the original source of the dataset, so I don't know what to make of this and can't follow the explanations well.

 

I did mean the honest wargamer. Dunno why I keep abbreviating it as THO, I've done it a lot. Is weird. But THW does show tournament wins after the winrates.  But this dataset is getting increasingly dated now. There are some newer ones via their streams/youtube with their reoccurring Age of Sigmar stats segment, which come with analysis, but aren't written down (that I can find). Which does frustrate trying to link it for easy consumption.

 

7 hours ago, Kadeton said:

I mean, I don't particularly want to call you out or anything, but when the person I was responding to literally and specifically said the exact thing you claim "no one in their right mind" is saying, I can't tell whether you're accusing Cronotekk of being genuinely insane or if you're just practising selective reading.

Anyway, speaking of posts that add nothing to the discussion, have a nice day.

Only if you read it as uncharitable as possible and want to be contrary.

 

But like, have you read this thread? And all the other about balance over the years? I want to assume you have at least read THIS thread. Okay. People are and have regularly posted specific and more general examples of where balance is an issue. So you sliding in and going "I demand you post more examples" feels like bad faith in a way that feels familiar to people trolling politics discussions. It's a way to damage the discourse by continuously demanding people spend time providing and citing sources that have already been provided and cited. And then you can wait a few weeks and do it again. If you had read the thread, or any of the dozen other threads on the topic, you really shouldn't have felt the need to demand more examples, because those examples are already there. This really bothers me because it is really so insidious, and like it doesn't even always register to the person doing it just how insidious and damaging to the discourse doing this really is.

 

I want to be charitable and say you aren't intentionally doing this, but intentional or not, you are hurting the discussion using fallacies, and in a way that has been done repeatedly before. 

 

7 hours ago, whispersofblood said:

Perhaps if people generally were less hyperbolic the conversation would make some progress. A couple months ago we got pretty close to a real discussion identifying real things and making abstract concepts a bit more solid. 

Either way, the number one determinate of the outcomes of tournament games is player skill, a combination of player knowledge, experience and x-factor mental durability. Day 2 we are talking about 5-10% difference in skill. Which is where build strength comes in, build strength is only somewhat influenced by factions. Most factions have at least 2 competitive builds that would let a skilled player compete against another skilled player regardless of faction. 

The obvious question is what happens at the unskilled level. Where faction strength in the internet age probably plays a bigger role. But the obvious solution here is good mentoring and solid community to grow in. 

On power creep, before the new DoK book 4 of the top 6 books were released before or at the start of AoS2 DoK, Nurgle, Fyreslayers and IDK. So let's move on from the meme please.

Lastly a lot of books are way better than the community gives them credit for. They just don't have the PR or history that other factions have. OM are a really solid Johnny army with Timmy builds, but lack the obvious Spike builds that gets factions the competitive thumbs up. Nurgle was always 10% more bodies away from being a fantastic book.

Imo there are really only two factions that have serious fundamental mechanical (which is different from what WHW calls design) problems right now,SCE and Sylvaneth.

 

You can't math player skill. Well I guess you could moneyball it, but no one is going to.

 

You can math army lists. 

 

But, like, the best players take the mathematically best armies the vast majority of the time because they are the best players and know (often before anyone else does) what the best armies are through theorizing and practice.

 

3 hours ago, Enoby said:

I think this is the most important aspect of inbalance; if new players stop playing because they picked the "wrong" army, then it's a loss for the community as a whole. 

Personally, I think what happens on the top tables isn't particularly important. But if factions/units dominate the casual scene (e.g. the 6mw thundertusk that was rubbish in tournaments but oppressive in casuals) they should be looked at closely, and the same if there's a faction that is rubbish in a casual scene (even if it has some really strong competitive plays that are just counter intuitive). While some may say casual balances itself, from experience this isn't true and it usually just puts someone off the army or game.

I know we have been talking the incidental "oops I bought seraphon and my friend sylvaneth" examples. But the darkside of this are the players that google the army that a tourney player used to win and then terrorize his local community with it. And better balance on the top would help to this.

 

But just even a proven competitive list is an extremely useful tool for people just starting to collect in the game because it helps to avoid the bad feels of accidently bringing the knife to a gun fight (to mix metaphors), and a more diverse set of competitive lists is a better pool to draw from to allow for creativity without the bad feeling of playing a bad army. 

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@stratigoYou post was on point, thank you for this!

I have some of those plaers in my community, that will play those armies, because they are strong. It became a very weird mix, of what they do. One time they use the OP army to win, and they know, that they will be within Top 3. If they won though, some palyers say with all honesty, that they will take another army next time, so others will have a chance to place well. Then, after they "generously" gave the others a slight chance they go back to the OP army, because they wanna maintain their place in the Ranking, so they gotta win again.
essentially that means, that several players are dependent on the grace of others, if they want to place good, just because they have that one or two armies.

Also, sometimes, there are players who wanna buy into a new army. Sometimes I ask them why, and the andswer is: "Did you see what they can do to all those other armies? They will beat the sh*t out of them.". That's the approach, that not a single miniature hobby community wants to see.

As a TO, my analysis is pretty monotone, since I can see the Top 3 of each event. I was right in 9 out of 10 predictions. Sometimes even players bet with each other, the bet itself is a meal sometimes.

I organize tournaments since the first army books came out, that where not the Battle Tomes with the special abilities. The players played by their Grand Alliance rules and possibilities. I don't want to say, that it was absolutely balanced then, because it wasn't. But is better than it is now. Those days, when someone had a good combo it was still possible for others to tweak and win somehow. The mix of winners and Top 3 was very different then, at least in my local community.

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9 hours ago, whispersofblood said:

Perhaps if people generally were less hyperbolic the conversation would make some progress. A couple months ago we got pretty close to a real discussion identifying real things and making abstract concepts a bit more solid. 

By responding to the hyperbole as if it is a real argument one legitimizes it to some extent. If someone posts hyperbolic nonsense just call it out as hyperbolic nonsense and leave it be. Meanwhile, one who counters it as a means of making an argument is basically just a straw man.

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6 hours ago, Overread said:

MODERATOR NOTICE

Ok people lets all just keep our cool a bit. No one has stepped out of line yet, but a few are getting close with frustration bleeding into a few posts. Balance discussions often hit hurdles of getting your point across and can be challenging when trying to shift things from theory to practice and from local to larger data pools. Let's all respect different viewpoints and at least engage debate and discussion around the point and topic not around each other.

MODERATOR NOTICE

You're right. From my perspective I have seen what is essentially the same discussion complete with the same fallacious points-counterpoints play out countless times and it grates on me to see it again and again. But they are in reality different people in different discussions and I need to keep that in mind. I was letting a personal peeve affect my tone and I apologize. 

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@stratigo just because something isn't measured doesn't mean it's not impacting your life. 

Separately from that though we are really talking about margins here. And, that discussion is almost impossible to have when people have outlandish beliefs about certain segments of the game. 

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Balance in AOS seems to be in a pretty great place to me, in comparison with 40k and 8th edition fantasy.

The majority of armies seem to be in the fat middle of win rates.

And that seems like a good place to be. 

Looking at the data that users like @LuminethMage posted, and has been collected elsewhere over the last year, there is a great variety of armies and subfactions scoring in the top 5 of events. And if there were some major problem with current game balance, I don't think that would be the case. 

All told, I'm excited for some small tweaks to the core rules in AOS 3 to improve this system even further. 

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1 hour ago, whispersofblood said:

@stratigo just because something isn't measured doesn't mean it's not impacting your life. 

Separately from that though we are really talking about margins here. And, that discussion is almost impossible to have when people have outlandish beliefs about certain segments of the game. 

What outlandish beliefs?

 

Also, if you don't measure the effects of player skill, why are you so certain it is skill that is the primary factor in who wins a match? Perhaps it isn't, perhaps this conceit is only because it makes you feel like you have more agency than you actually do in a game. This isn't an uncommon sentiment. The best real measure for financial success is how much money your parents had, but people consistently feel that working hard can compensate for that (with the dark converse that the people who don't see success are lazy). 

 

Perhaps the real measure of "Skill" is the ability to recognize what is the most busted list and having the means to buy and play it? 

Edited by stratigo
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