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39 Lord Celestant

About Sarouan

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  • Birthday 10/03/1979

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  1. I can't say I'm really cheated, since my Daughters of Khaine miniatures are thought as an ally force for my Cities of Sigmar and that I use them mostly in skirmish games like Warcry, but...yeah, I thought it was weird when they didn't put the new profiles in the Broken Realm: Morathi book. I suspected it was because a new battletome book was on the way with Hedonites of Slaanesh, according to the Shadow and Pain box. Now we see it was the case. What happened with Lumineth, I completely expected it. It was the same pattern than Adeptus Mechanicus at their time, with a book for skitarii and another for the priests, before they were reunited later in one whole book. It was obvious to me the army of light aelves has been cut in two waves. Sure, Covid-19 has messed GW's release plan more than one time, but this helps to remember there is no virtue buying according to the hype the day of the first pre-order. Collector edition, "exclusive" big boxes...these are just powder to the eyes. We can thank the leaker who announces the Soulblight Gravelords, since it's pretty clear it wasn't GW's intention to reveal them that soon. Just like Bloodbowl's new edition leak before the last Spike magazine for previous edition wasn't out already. Now we know they will come later this year, which can have an influence about what we may buy for Death Alliance in the coming months.
  2. It's especially true when we actually don't agree about what is really the problem. What some view as imbalance may not be the case to others. Sometimes it's something having consequences not being aknowledged elsewhere, other times it's a matter of perspective. Identifying the roots of the problem and understanding the other point of view is important, especially nowadays.
  3. I think there's an important point to keep in mind : not many players are actually able to buy a highly competitive top-meta army in an context where GW is far more reactive than in the days of WFB, when you could keep the same list for years. Having to invest hundred of dollars or euros in an army that may suck at the next errata / General Handbook isn't that appealing to a lot of players. And I think that's the point here : GW games need a lot of time and investment even not talking about the rules and practicing for tournaments. It's not Magic the Gathering where you buy the cards and there is nothing to do more with them, and it's easier to "throw them away" when they're not competitive enough anymore. Sure, I guess you can sell your less competitive army, but even so that's not what most players do. It makes sense the majority actually plays with what they have and want to play, rather than the ultimate optimized build talked in the forums. That, and the current pandemic shutting down most tournaments, forcing people to play with their close groups at best, may be more incentive not to use a dirty optimized list to lose your friends - and thus effectively not playing anymore. The risk is too high for wargames - it's not just dropping your deck of card and switch to another, it's an army of sometimes hundred of miniatures you built and painted for countless hours. Social contract in game still matters, thankfully. I believe that's the true reason the majority of players don't push such dirty lists too much. Those who do will soon enough learn the hard way there is no point if the said army is taking dust on your shelves because you have no one wanting to play with you. That's also why balance isn't that much important in GW games : the players actually do the balancing themselves, so that they still have an opponent to play against.
  4. I think it's just a cycle - when one main GW game gets a new edition, it always feels like the other is neglected for a while, until the time it also gets a new edition and it's the first one's turn to felt neglected. We'll definitely get a AoS v3 and GW will unavoidably add new things to it / change a few mechanisms. Because that's the way they work and keep selling their rules. Of course it's needed to do that. See how many players are lost when it's not written by GW designers in the official rules. Joke aside, I bet that double turn will stay in the next edition and GW will focus more on the battleplans' victory conditions giving more incentive to choose second player on the initiative roll.
  5. I think you're too focused on the double turn mechanism, NinthMusketeer. Fact is, there are plenty of situations in AoS where dice decide the results instead of your pure skills. Double turn is just one of them. Like Kramer said, there are plenty of more dice rolls actually deciding your loss or victory - it's just that blaming the double turn is easier. I don't think double turn in itself is a negative thing in AoS rules. I believe it should stay - I just wish like others to have more battleplans giving a real choice about having a double turn or not, giving advantages in the victory conditions to the second player. If all battleplans work like this, then going second when you win the roll will become a true strategic choice. I think that's what GW will do for the next edition, just like they did change victory conditions for 40k's missions to put less incentive on the destruction of the opponent's army alone. Besides, I guess this topic has become "Should Double Turn Exist At All ?" instead of talking about the power creep in AoS. I don't mind, but I feel it would be better suited to another topic dedicated to it.
  6. Players can do whatever they want once they agree with each other - including changing the rules. That's pretty much how the social contract in games works.
  7. To be honest, while the discussion on the Double Turn mechanism being relevant or not is interesting, I don't believe it actually has direct ties with the power creep in AoS. Either it ends the game earlier like Kramer said, or it allows the disadvantaged player to make a comeback. On that matter, I'd say it helps more against an army deemed "overpowered" than a classic I Go You Go system, because it still gives the opportunity to the underdog to go back in the game. I do understand the overpowered player may not find it "fun" to lose in such a way, as much as the underdog player may not as well in a classic I Go You Go system. Either way, it's more a matter of perspective rather than the mechanism being actually good or bad. It's always easy to blame the Double Turn for the cause of your loss, in the end, and that indeed shows in some famous Youtubers videos.
  8. It makes me remember the rules I used for alternating turns in phases in WFB. It did work well indeed for multiplayer games. I'm just not a fan of your Second Combat Phase rule...I'd just make a single combat phase for everyone just like the battleshock phase. I do agree it sounds it makes it "less deadly" than in a normal game, but honestly I don't mind it. Never was a fan of melee units fighting twice in a turn (once on your turn, second on your opponent's turn) while shooting units only do so once (only on your turn). Furthermore, in a multiplayer game, having just a Second Combat Phase feels unfair in comparison to normal games when you have...well, one per player effectively. Even more deadly indeed ! The only thing that may be a bit weird is the charge phase. Technically, it will imply a lot of "countercharges", especially for melee armies who will certainly enjoy having enemies charging in their front lines so that everyone can charge into the fray ! I also found that playing second on such alternating by phase games is really, REALLY interesting in more than one occazion - effectively denying charges from the first player by moving your units backwards and still shooting their ass. In WFB, you had penalties when shooting after moving, so it wasn't a full win-win situation (also, the charges had to be declared first, so it was much more difficult to dodge them). In AoS...that's totally not the same situation. Maybe it would be a good idea to try the 40k rule for charges in that system : alternating units that charged first to pick in combat phase, then alternate the units that didn't charge.
  9. Yet what have these people proposed as solutions when they ask for that ? Mostly nothing. They also usually don't want to think too much about the real causes and consequences of what they're asking. While I agree I'm getting a bit too much in details on that point, I think it's important to understand the roots of the problem and what it may imply if we go further that road. What bothers me about the people advocating for balance is that they usually want it applied to everyone playing, not just the competitive scene. Like Overread said himself : he thinks balance is good for everyone. I don't agree with that. I don't want to play scenarios that are always symetrical and give the exact same chances to both sides all the time (because balance doesn't stop at just the battletomes...if you don't have scenarios and victory conditions that are balanced as well, then your work is meaningless). I don't want all rule mechanisms deemed "unabalanced" disappearing because a small minority of players wanting balance at all costs is making their voice louder. The same way I don't like competitive players wanting to apply all their ideas to the core rules because they don't care about the other players. I don't think balance is good for everything in the game. The best games I remember are games where I was in a tough situation from the start, against an opponent being clearly superior to me in terms of points or having a scenario that isn't symetrical. Some I won, others I lose, but you can feel a different intensity when playing against the odds. In WFB, I still remember my siege battles, when I play half the points of my opponents while having the advantage of holding a fortress. It was totally unbalanced as well, yet how fun it was to see that horde walking with siege towers and battering rams and trying to take the walls while I was defending them dearly ! I'm not even talking about the campaign mode - Warcry is a good example of what happens when you put too much balance in the evolution of the warbands ; it gets blank and nothing really matters. Mordheim was unbalanced as hell, sure, but the atmosphere while playing at that game was very unique and deadly feeling. That's not what you will be able to play in a perfectly balanced game system at all times, and I believe that's a mistake. And if you're talking about AoS' current "siege battles" rules where walls are so trivial that they hardly matter...well, when I see what I was able to play in WFB, I can't help but think balance isn't worth it when it puts its nose everywhere with no discernment.
  10. I think there is a misunderstanding here. Balance in itself doesn't make things boring, but if you really want to seek balance as your first priority in game design, you'll tend to make the armies work similar speaking in terms of rules. Anything that makes something stand out or work uniquely is way harder to balance, since it increases the number of parameters to take into account. If your game is leaning to also have a high number of different factions and you want to make them play differently, there are not many choices : either you accept unbalance for the sake of variety in game rules, or either you make them work in a similar way, meaning that they're effectively just cosmetic changes with different miniatures / names (that was the way of old Kings of War, for example...and that was the reason why this system was felt as being very balanced). So, when you say that balance encourages variety, I assume you're talking about an ideal world where everything is already balanced. But if it is at the cost of everything playing the same, so that every faction has exactly the same chances, it's not variety here...it's just people using different miniatures, but playing exactly the same things. I don't think anyone really wants that...and if they did, they would just play historical games. Why do you think these games are balanced as hell ? Because the base is essentially similar - a human will be played mostly the same, no matter the army it's in it. Special rules and equipments may change a bit, but the core doesn't change. You're being reductive, here. While I don't think one-sided battles are fun in themselves, trying to solve that by putting balance above all else is the wrong solution to me. Because the risk is to make everything play the same, and thus we'll end up with no variety in terms of rules. The truth is, an unbalanced game is the real way to have unique armies play differently. The key is to control that unbalance so that it keeps being fun. Some try to put that in the core rules...other use the social contract between players to make sure games keep being interesting. That means acting on the list building itself, but I have found it's a very sensitive subject for the competitive scene when you're touching their freedom to build their lists as they want, with all the spam and abuse it implies.
  11. And this is more a matter of the community and the way Privateer Press has always encouraged more towards "hard competitivity". It shows how you can write rules in a way that put more emphasis on an attitude rather than another (the famous "page 5" that really forged the Warmahorde community's mindset in the first place). Even though PP tried to correct the situation in the following editions, it was too late already. Same for Guildball (which unfortunately died because of that). On the other hand, GW isn't in the same situation, since it encourages the three ways of playing and constantly show others ways to play (like the narrative battles) on their different medias. So the competitive scene isn't the only one seen as the True Way to Play (even if its advocates try really hard to make it look so). This is why balance isn't as important for GW games than in others that put so much emphasis on the competitive scene they really have no other choice. To me, the experience with others games ultimately failing by putting all their eggs in the same box is a proof that focusing only on balance and the competitive scene isn't working on long term. Because let's face it : armies build for the competitive never last as much as a collection built for the narrative or just the pleasure to collect miniatures. Competitive armies only last the time the build is working in the meta - they are changed whenever it shifts or the player wants to try something new. You can't play the same tricks over and over on the competitive scene - not just a question of it working, but also because the competitive scene needs a renewing meta to make the game interesting for them as well. Balance is constantly worked and reviewed for that purpose - a perfectly balanced set of rules that would never change means actually the stagnation of the competitive scene. It's a chimera to believe than achieving that will actually satisfy the players enjoying that way to play.
  12. Exactly. Which is why I tend to believe balance isn't really that improving sales, since it only matters to the competitive minority who really wants balance at all costs. The results dont have to be the ones you're looking for, just the ones that will satisfy the majority of players who enjoy the Hobby in its whole. And it doesn't even have to be about balance at all. Just having a rule mechanism that is cool and feels unique enough may also be an incentive... ...actually, I think unbalance sells more than balance itself. Because a new army that performs well certainly looks attractive to the one wanting to win. I agree. Just to note that the nature of our Hobby isn't the same as building a card deck, since it doesn't revolve about rules alone. Collecting an army and painting it is an important part of the community as well, and that impacts the sales as well. I don't think the picture you're drawing here is as grim as you think it is in reality. These two factions are also...very distinctive with their background, visuals and ways to play. Not everyone enjoys playing a sadistic villain who fights without honor and is litterally a glass cannon, nor a fanatical woman not as tough as a Space Marine who tend to fight in close combats. Also the prices, but that's another whole matter here. Why Space Marines are so popular no matter the versions, after all, even at the time they were less than effective on the competitive scene ? Because they're emblematic, have a very distinctive elite feeling and well, they can do pretty much everything. Balance was never the deciding factor here, to me.
  13. I don't think balance truly improves sales. An active competitive scene does help though, especially about selling new rules and extensions rather than just miniatures. Having a team of rule designers being reactive to the feedback does inspire trust on the well-being of the game. It's more about the attitude and showing the game is alive and faring well, I believe. The forced break with the pandemic would be interesting to analyze when it's done to see what's the real impact about, let's say, the 9th version of 40k. We can then see if it really hurts not having competitive tournaments around. About the "power creep"...To be honest, you can see the options in the battletomes tend to be having similar effects in some shape. The very unique ones are becoming less common than before. That tends towards balance, because it's easier to balance things when both sides have access to the same options in terms of rules. What is really upsetting the balance is when you introduce unique mechanisms never showed before - see what happened when the Ossiarch Bonerepears came with their "not command abilities" rules. In other words, when you try to make a faction really different from the others in their rules. Balance always comes with a sacrifice. It's not a hazard we get less weapon options on the heroes than at the beginning - sure, it's fitting the new kits, but also it's easier to balance / put the points right when you only have a couple of different weapon combos rather than ten. To me, what we have to lose for the sake of perfect balance from the start isn't worth it. Especially if it's just to cater for people who will always complain about how unbalanced -insert new battletome here- is when it's released. Better to take some time, send feedback and let GW correct the situation if it's really problematic for the competitive scene like they're doing currently. It doesn't work so bad in the end.
  14. Kislev is just the first they showed. The map we saw last article clearly put the emphasis that other known factions will be back, just not at the same timeline when the End Times came. And that will certainly be the opportunity to revisit some concepts with higher fantasy than before, like Kislev with their female warriors wielding magical ice weapons.
  15. I think it's more an issue due to the way GW designs games and the tight schedule imposed to rule designers. The fact is, you have to make a battletome / set of game rules ready for a set date so that the other sections can do their work (not even talking about the release calendar). So all the playtest the game designers can do are always limited to that tight time schedule. And we don't even speak about the other projects they may have to handle at the same time. The way the feedback is handled by GW is also another way they handle the living rules. The FAQ and erratas are much more reactive than before (even it's still not fast enough for the players nowadays ). The real trouble here is the fact that everything has to be released faster. See the numbers of books released in AoS V2 in comparison to the months following the release of AoS V1 (or even WFB, for that matter). The difference is very clear, but the strain put on the game designers is also certainly higher. It's easy to miss "obvious combos" when the time is running out and you're focused on a very specific part of the rules you're making. Of course, AoS game designers are certainly also aware of the changes they're making in the future way faster than players will ever do, so sometimes a horrible combo that seem terribly unbalanced in the current meta may be seen differently once the other pieces it was taken into account at the time of its design are released as well. Also, it's a dead horse beating, but...fact is, there is no perfect balance in a game with so many factions with so many special rules trying to make them feel unique. It's a Graal you may never achieve, no matter how hard you're trying. The real way to balance the games is the players agreeing on building lists that makes the game interesting...something hardcore competitive players putting the list builds above anything else will never understand.
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