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swarmofseals

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swarmofseals last won the day on June 19

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  1. I'm not sure I have much advice for the Nighthaunt player, although it's possible that switching over to Legion of Grief would be helpful. Nevertheless, I'm aware that Nighthaunt are very much struggling and they have a lot of very questionable warscrolls, especially if paired up against an army that tend to have a lot of high bravery units like Nurgle. As far as advice against Legions of Nagash goes, I think it depends a lot on the build you are facing off against. That said, a couple of things that jump out at me: Most Nurgle units have relatively bad offense and relatively good defense. This is a problem against LoN because you really need to be able to destroy their units and zone out their gravesites to stop them from returning those units. Your lack of ranged firepower means that it will be difficult to kill their general. If you are getting out-dropped by your opponent you will be in a really bad place as you likely won't be able to get to the objectives first, which is an extremely difficult position to start from when you lack offense. So if you aren't already going under your opponent's drop number, you should really try to. Beyond that, Nurgle actually has access to some incredibly good offensive units, but they require branching outside the "traditional" Maggotkin framework. You have access to Plague Monks, which are by far the most offensively efficient unit in the game. A couple of big blocks of these guys will really help you burn through your opponent's units entirely while also giving you bodies to block his gravesites. Plague Furnaces are also great as they keep your monks battleshock immune, are quite good in combat in their own right and might keep a VLoZD away given that they can do a lot of mortal wounds. Another option is the Pestilent Throng, which gives you access to Bestigors and Centigors, both of which can be great against LoN. Bestigors hit hard, particularly against large units, and Centigors hit reasonably hard and are extremely fast (great for punishing mistakes and zoning out gravesites). Ungors and Ungor raiders are great too. I'm not sure if you are using Rotigus or not, but he seems very bad to me against LoN. You want concentrated damage, not spread out damage and Rotigus is too reliant on his spell which is a liability against LoN. Oddly, I think this matchup is a real opportunity for the Glottkin to shine as long as you keep him buried behind plenty of chaff. He will supercharge your offense even if you never manage to get his spell off. Particularly nasty with Plague Monks or Pestilent Throng stuff, and if you ever manage to resolve Blades of Putrefaction your opponent is going to get wiped out. Certainly, this reasoning is absolutely fair. I think you just have to try to understand the player's context when giving them advice instead of information. "That faction is generally considered to be underpowered right now and you may struggle to win games with them" is very different from "Don't play that faction, they suck". The first statement gives the person information and they can decide for themselves how important it is to them. The second makes assumptions and pushes the player based on those assumptions. A statement like the one you suggested is great because it doesn't make those assumptions. It also matters what context the person is playing in. If most of the locals are running old factions without battletomes or are playing largely softer lists, then taking a "weak" faction might actually lead to better games, but if the locals are running mostly recent armies with an eye toward tournament level competition then buying into a "weak" faction might be a huge exercise in frustration for everyone.
  2. Back in AOS1.0 matched play there was a rule against increasing a unit beyond its original size. I seem to recall this being scrapped along with reinforcement points for summoning, but want to make sure that I'm recalling that correctly. Is there any limitation to adding models to an existing unit in matched play now? And has this changed in the new GHB? Haven't had a chance to pick it up yet.
  3. I thought I was clear about this but perhaps I wasn't -- I was specifically talking about armies that have received a modern battletome. Non-battletome armies are a completely different story, and I fully agree that their outlook is dire until they get updated. I'll say this again: I completely agree that GW should have done more to give these factions a boost, but I don't think GW could possibly have boosted them enough to make them competitive. I can definitely agree on mobility vs. speed, and I agree that it's important to the success of DoK. That said, I think IJ does have some decent mobility too and their buff game is arguably better than DoK's. A Gorefist is easily counterable now because their predictable charge down the table isn't that efficient. If Goregruntas were efficient at the level of eels or Witch Aelves, then opponents would have a MUCH harder time countering it and the lack of mobility would be less of an issue. The point you make about armies vs. factions is a good one, but I think it is largely most relevant for people who are chasing the very top of the meta. If you buy into a broken army with a 60+% win rate, you are likely going to end up having to shelve a bunch of your stuff or buy new things after the next balance pass. Anyone buying into something like Changehost with the expectation that it'd go unscathed was fooling themself. Personally, I've been avoiding working on DoK for exactly this reason. I think the points changes to DoK are just fine and the faction will end up in a decent place, but if the FAQ crushes some of DoK's mechanics then it'll be a whole different story. So I wait until the FAQ hits before deciding to pursue or not to pursue. Re: people living with the whiplash, I think that when it's moderate that's totally fine. When an enfranchised player buys into a faction, they can realistically expect that over the next year or two they may need to supplement with some additional purchases and there's always a chance that the faction will go through a dark age if they get over-nerfed or something unexpectedly broken shows up in the meta. If you are only happy being in the top tier, then this is a risk you know you have to take. I think this sort of player is generally OK with the churn (like you said), although there are some who still hate it. What I am more worried about is a new player buying into an army, looking at the points values and finding that they need to spend, say, $600 to fill out a viable army. Then 3 months later the battletome drops and they find that they could have had a functional 2k force with only $300 spent, and furthermore they need to drop another $100 or so on the battletome, terrain, and endless spells. That's the kind of whiplash that concerns me. Even some enfranchised players would feel really burned by that. Let's say you have 2k of Army X, and the GHB comes out and now you only have 1K of army X. You're happy because now your army is actually good, but you still have to go drop a chunk of change to fill out your forces and get back to 2K. Then 3 months later the battletome hits and you no longer need all those extra boxes to field 2K. Yes you might have more options now (although not if you just bought more of the same stuff that you already had), but it sure would feel like GW tricked you into buying all that new stuff when they knew full well that you'd only be able to use it for a brief window. That kind of move by GW would be stone-cold premeditated shenanigans and a profound breach of consumer trust. Overall though I do agree with you that I'd have preferred to see bolder points reductions in some cases. I just think that a lot of factions need less of a reduction than people think, and that the factions that really need the reductions are basically not going to be functional until they get a battletome anyway and that sufficient points reductions to make them functional would not be realistically doable for the reason I cited above. Should GW have thrown a bigger bone to those players? Yeah, probably. But they just can't realistically throw a big enough bone. I'm not sure how your Idoneth example fits with my point at all. I'm not even really referring to Idoneth players. I'm referring to players who have factions that are sitting in that 45%-55% window and complain that their faction is unplayable. I suppose I could broaden the argument to cover Idoneth as well though. I don't know how the points changes will affect Idoneth overall, but I would be shocked if the faction didn't manage to post a win rate of at least 45%. I totally agree with you that 4 units and one or two builds don't fully define a faction, but there are only 12 warscrolls in the deepkin lineup. If you completely ignore the top 4 warscrolls in your faction your expected win rate is going to be lower, yeah. I'd bet though that even a sub-optimal Idoneth build will still put up respectable numbers, particularly when you factor in the fact that most if not all of the top lists that it is competing with are getting taken down a peg. Also, I claimed that a lot of players misrepresent how good or bad their faction is. That doesn't mean that there aren't cases of justified complaints. The two things are not mutually exclusive. So true. It also irks me that a lot of the people giving this advice don't actually know what they are talking about. When you look at the rhetoric of the armchair champion brigade it's often so much more extreme than what the actual top players are saying. I'll cite @ianob's podcast as a great example. They will call out some options as trash, but when they do they usually have a nuanced reason for it and they are usually calling out the worst of the worst. They will also identify what they think are the best and most competitive options, again with a nuanced argument. Everything else typically falls into the range of viable or at least interesting even if it's not overtly the best option. They recognize that a skilled player can take a pretty wide range of options to a tournament and do well with it. But if you listen to the armchair champion brigade you'd think that only the absolute exact top netlist build can win a game under any circumstances ever. This is getting way harsher than I intended, but I just wish that more people would listen to the folks that really do know what they are talking about like @ianob and the Facehammer guys and not to some random panoply of facebook strangers. This is so sad, especially given that Bonesplitterz are actually decent despite having a D- battletome. Honest answer to the question? Don't worry so much about what models you get. What you really need to invest in is a lot of paint and a lot of patience 😄 I don't know what to say to this. I think the percentage of faction vs. faction matchups that are truly predetermined is so far smaller than what people say. While I'm sure you can build a Nurgle list that will nearly always lose to LON and you can build a Nighthaunt list that will always lose to Nurgle, it's just a gross exaggeration to say that, given two players of equal skill, Nurgle will always lose to LON and always beat Nighthaunt. It's simply not true, and if it was there is absolutely no way we'd see the faction win rates that we do. I think you only need to engage in social engineering if you don't want to chase the meta and your opponents do. If nobody is chasing the meta then what is the issue? If your opponent is bringing tournament lists and you aren't, then that's a conversation that is going to need to happen. I doubt we will ever see a level of combined internal and external balance that will make any conceivable kitchen table list suitable to play against a tournament list. I don't know if I've ever heard of a game that involve significant player choice/design that has achieved let alone maintained this level of balance. This is a very good point -- the win rates are a starting point for discussion about balance, not an end point. I cite them mostly as evidence that the situation is not as dire as many people let on. There are lots of folks who talk like their faction win rate is in the single digits, and I think pointing to an actual win rate near 50% is enough evidence to confidently refute that framing. Such a good point. It's amazing how quickly people forget that people have different motivations other than simply maximizing their win rate. There definitely are some examples where players do need to be warned about what they are getting into. For example, if a Stormcast player wants to use Liberators over Sequitors that's fine, but they should really know the consequences of that decision. But if you want to use Gors over Ungors? Yeah you might be giving up a tiny amount of expected win rate but it's going to be small enough that it's not worth stressing over. I just posted in the Sylvaneth thread about how greatsword Kurnoths are now mathematically better than scythe Kurnoths in the vast majority of situations. Does that mean you should never build your Kurnoths with scythes? Of course not! I think we are at our best as a community when we recognize that people have a wide range of reasons for playing this game and a wide range of things about the game that they derive satisfaction from. I have no problem when people present information about the tradeoffs that players are making, but it goes too far when we start assuming that other players have the same motivations as we do.
  4. Swords are pretty clearly better when you are charging as you can't use the thicket buff in that situation anyway. If you run the numbers, you'll find that the break even point where scythes become equivalent to swords is about +58% against targets with saves of - or 6+, and between 36-39% against all other saves. That's assuming you are rerolling 1's to hit. If you aren't then it's a bit smaller but still over 50% for saves of - or 6+ and around 33% for all other saves. The gap widens if you are getting full rerolls to hit. So in practice that basically means that for a 12 model unit, scythes only get better than swords if only 7 of the swords could attack while all 12 scythes can attack vs saves of - or 6+, and 8 vs. 12 for all other saves (although swords are only a tiny bit better in the 9 vs. 12 scenario). For a 9 model unit, the break ahead point for scythes is 9 attackers vs. 5 attackers for swords or 9 vs. 6 scenario vs saves of 5+ or better. For a 6 model unit, it's 3 vs. 6 attackers or 4 vs. 6 attackers depending on save. For a 3 model unit it's 1 vs 3 attackers or 2 vs. 3 attackers depending on save. TL;DR - depending on the size of the unit and the save of the opponent, scythes are only better than swords if the extra 1" reach allows you to hit with the whole unit instead of somewhere between a half to two thirds of the unit. I suspect that means that in practice swords are going to be better the vast majority of the time.
  5. I think you could probably create some sort of mathematical model for quantifying the effect of disrupting combat, but it would be a variable model and not a fixed value. Quantifying something like the Hurricanum buff is a bit easier -- while it does vary quite a bit depending on what it is covering and how many units it is covering, the buff itself at least is just a direct improvement to the expected value of the buffed unit. A +1 to hit is probably going to increase your overall damage output by something like 25-50% depending on things like base to hit value, rerolls etc. A combat disrupting ablity, on the other hand, doesn't map very easily to expected value. I can, kinda, but it requires you to know the offensive output of both your units and the affected enemy unit as well as the relative defensive values of both units. It also makes a big difference what the default combat sequencing would be. You get a much bigger benefit if the order would have been ENEMY-YOU-YOU than you would get if the order would have been YOU-ENEMY-YOU. So it's not that this can't be quantified, it's just very difficult to boil it down to a generic number in an all-comers situation. I think you could write an equation that looks something like this: Defensive Value of Sequence Disruption in a given Combat Order = (Expected Offensive Output of Enemy Unit Striking In Sequence) - (Expected Offensive Output of Enemy Unit Striking Out of Sequence) Offensive Value of Sequence Disruption in a given Combat Order = (Expected Offensive Output of Friendly Units Striking Out of Sequence) - (Expected Offensive Output of Friendly Units Striking In Sequence) In each case you would calculate the expected values by calculating how much damage a unit would be expected to do after suffering the expected amount of damage they would receive in a given sequence. So to give an example, let's say you have a unit in combat with an enemy unit. Both units have 20 1 wound models that can strike, and the expected offensive output at full strength is 10 wounds of unsaved damage. In the case of the enemy striking first in normal sequencing, the defensive value of disrupting the sequencing would be 5 (it would normally deal 10 damage, but if you disrupt sequencing you can expect to deal 10 wounds on average first, which will decrease their expected offensive output to 5). The expected offensive value of disrupting the sequencing would also be 5 (as you would be dealing 10 damage instead of the 5 that you would expect to deal having taken 10 wounds first). In the case of you striking first in normal sequencing, the value of disrupting the sequence in this case would be 0, because the cases are identical. So you could come up with some very rough valuations of the ability by making some assumptions about the average values of the many different variables in question, but I'm not sure how useful it would be. I agree that these abilities are going to play a big role, but accurately estimating the value of the ability in each case is really quite fraught. _____________________ I totally agree that the comparison between the AGKoT and the TL is not a fair one at all, which was very much my point. The lens people tend to evaluate combat disruption through is experience with the AGKoT and maybe the Keeper of Secrets, because these are the dominant examples we have of sequencing disruption. The point that I'm trying to make is that the value of the ability in that context is very different from the value of the ability on a Treelord for exactly the reasons you mentioned. That doesn't mean it won't be useful on a Treelord, I just think anyone expecting it to be as dominating on a Treelord as it is on AGKoT/KoS is going to be disappointed. ____________________ Regarding speed, I agree that Sylvaneth can be deceptively fast, and it really does hinge on the teleportation shenanigans. My concern is that many of our teleportation abilities rely on Wyldwoods that may become very difficult to place. I know you are arguing that the new terrain rules could make it easier on us, but I'm having a hard time seeing how that is. There was a kerfluffle on this board not long ago where people were arguing about the amount of terrain that should be on the board. I forget who it was (it might have been you?), but the most vocal participant in that discussion was arguing that Sylvaneth players shouldn't tolerate any more than the minimum standard that GW suggested at the time (which was 1+ piece per 2x2 square). That person was advocating for 6 pieces of terrain on the board. The new GW standards specify a minimum of 10. While the new rules may limit other armies' terrain placement, I don't think this outweighs the addition of at least 4 more pieces of terrain to the table. There are also people arguing that the new terrain placement rules apply to terrain added during games too, so the more restrictive requirements about distance from models, objectives, and other terrain features etc. would also apply to summoned Wyldwoods. Personally I think this interpretation is incorrect, but I could be proven wrong. All that being said, I think an even bigger factor is the problem of turn order. When we could nearly guarantee the ability to take the first turn, we were able to ensure that we could place Wyldwoods near or on top of mid-table objectives. Typically there would be an 18-24" gap in the middle of the table with no enemy models to block our placement. If you don't get the first turn though, many enemy armies will be prepared to zone us out of that space and prevent the summoning of new Wyldwoods in the middle or back of the board. Getting the first turn is now a lot trickier, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's a significant % of games where we have to struggle on without being able to place more trees. In that case, Tree-revenants or Dreadwood teleport become extremely important. ___________________ I totally agree about the faction as a whole. I think there are a lot of potential tricks and powerful combinations in the new tome. I wouldn't be surprised if Sylvaneth ended up high tier, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it didn't work out. The power is there, it just depends on what happens with the other tomes (like you said), FAQs, and how things actually play out in practice. If nothing else, I think we have a lot of tools to do some very legitimate alpha strikes. I can't think of any unit in the game that can hit as hard as a unit of 12 Kurnoths, and we should be able to hit with that unit at will (although it's a huge investment!).
  6. I'm going to break my response down into three main parts: the changes necessary to achieve competitive viability, some thoughts about Ironjawz specifically, and the question of obsolescence and churn. I think you are underestimating what would be needed to make some of these armies viable. Simply dropping Gordrakk by 100 points would not be enough to make Ironjawz good, although Ironjawz are a weird case that I will discuss further below. There are many factions out there that would need massive points drops to become viable. It wouldn't be a question of buying an extra 10 'Ardboys. You are absolutely right though that enfranchised players would likely not be bothered by picking up a few more boxes to fill out their arm only to find out that they don't need those boxes when the battletome hits. I'm more concerned about new players just buying into the army. Some factions might be able to support the idea of "OK, well now that the points have gone up I have options" but other factions are non-competitive in part because they are currently really narrow. In those cases you might just end up with twice as many models of the same type as you need, and half end up rotting on the shelf without really providing any versatility. Ironjawz in particular are a weird example. There are definitely some armies out there that you could push very far and not really need to worry about them becoming overpowered, but Ironjawz are not one of them. I think if you push Ironjawz too far you risk them becoming DoK. DoK is a real anomaly in the metagame. Most factions that are good are fast and/or have a lot of reach. DoK isn't. DoK is good because it's very, very efficient. Ironjawz are pretty much like that too. They have a great buff game, a little magic, and not that much else. They aren't slow, but aren't really fast either (just like DoK). The problem is that the frame that the buffs go on isn't that efficient. A mediocre base with great buffs ends up somewhat less mediocre, while a great base with great buffs ends up insane. Figuring out where the sweet spot is for Ironjawz is really hard. Lastly, I disagree with you a bit on the question of obsolescence and churn. There definitely are examples of armies that GW has abandoned to actual obsolescence, at least at a tournament competitive level... but there are fewer than you think. Of all of the armies with modern battletomes, only BCR, KO, and Gloomspite are currently below 45% win rate, and Gloomspite is just barely below that mark. I'd also argue that Gloomspite is a weird case in that it's actually quite a difficult army to build and play for tournament success and it's numbers are likely dragged down by that. BCR and KO, however, are clearly not functional. And all of this is from a metagame that has featured several armies that have win rates well above the generally acceptable range. There are three factions with win rates over 60% and and four more between 55% and 60% (not counting factions that have a really tiny sample size). Nerfs to the overperforming factions should help everyone else out significantly. I think that a big part of the problem is that many players aren't just looking for their faction to be competitive. They are looking for their faction to be dominant. It shocks me how many people claim that their faction is "terrible" or "unplayable" when their faction has a win rate that is close to 50%. If you feel the need to abandon your army and chase a different one every time there is a faction posting a win rate over 55-60%, then yeah you are going to have a lot of churn and feel pretty unhappy. No matter how good GW gets at balancing the game, there are going to be times where factions push into that range. I hate to see this, but I also see a lot of mediocre artists blaming their tools. I see so many posts around the internet that take the form of "How can I ever beat Faction X?" citing an example of a game they lost where typically several of the following were true: Their own build was poorly thought out They made major play errors Their opponents rolled well above average The actual score was extremely close but they feel bad because they lost most of their army over the course of the battle And yet the single example blows up into a rant about how their own faction is unplayable and this other faction is grossly overpowered. I think people chronically under-estimate the amount of skill in AoS. Yes there is a lot of luck in the game, but that is true in a lot of games that are also very skill intensive. There are so many decisions in each game of AoS. Precise movements and correct analysis of risk can and will pay huge dividends over time. It takes practice to get really proficient with a faction, and if you are constantly switching armies to chase the best win % you are never going to reach that necessary level of practice. I'd see this all the time in Magic: The Gathering -- people chasing the best deck without ever spending enough time with their current deck to maximize it. That got a bit longer that I was anticipating, but suffice to say that I think if a person feels compelled to abandon their army to pick up a new one because the new one is getting more buzz, that is really the player's problem (in most cases) and not GW's. KO and BCR are obvious exceptions, but I think both of those are kindof "perfect storm" situations (I'd be happy to expand on that if people are interested).
  7. Unfortunately this can't really be factored into offensive efficiency in that it's completely dependent on unpredictable factors like the damage output of the target unit and the total damage you can deal to that unit with whatever gets to strike first. Basically the value of the ability is directly proportional to the offense that you can bring to bear early and the offense of the enemy unit that is delayed and gets reduced by casualties. I'm not really convinced about the Treelord yet mostly because of the speed problem. The AGKoTG and keepers are as good as they are largely because they are really fast in addition to striking first, so you can often pick combats where the ability is most advantageous more easily. Treelords are both unreliable and relatively slow, so it's going to be much harder to manufacture a situation where you really get to crush your opponent by disrupting sequencing. The Treelord itself is not very efficient, so in order for the striking first to matter you really need to pair it with a high offense unit which further complicates matters. It definitely has the potential to be good, but I'm not sold on it yet and would really like to see how it plays out in actual games. As far as Wargroves go, I find it a little amusing that you're such a proponent of Harvestboon. You might well be correct, but Harvestboon definitely strikes me as the "combat efficiency first" choice which isn't the way you usually approach things. I'm wary mostly because Sylvaneth has been able to get by despite it's relatively slow speed by leaning on several factors: the ability to nearly guarantee the first turn and drop right onto objectives, supplementing with fast units like the Frostheart Phoenix, and Alarielle who is quite fast. Now I'm not so sure we will be able to drop onto objectives nearly so reliably, which makes slow speed much more of a liability (particularly given the potential complications posed by the new terrain rules). We no longer get to take the frostie (and might not want to anyway given the points increase), and Alarielle is significantly more expensive. She might still be good enough, but it's at least less clear now. That makes me think that the more mobility focused wargroves (like Dreadwod in particular) might be necessary to compensate for these difficulties.
  8. Thanks for the kind words! It's been a long journey for me from WHFB 5th edition until now. Back then we just played kill points pitched battles, and my Khorne Lord on Juggernaut with a Chaos Knight unit would just obliterate anything that it touched. Getting there faster was nice, but ultimately it was that insane combat efficiency that seemed to matter the most. Now we play objectives, and even in casual level play it's clear how much mobility matters. I find a very simple game illustrative. I was playing a small casual game with my Legions of Nagash against his Khorne. His only "fast" units were a lord on Juggernaut and a Khorgorath or two, while I had some Dire Wolves and a unit of Morghasts. The entire game came down to a very basic maneuver that any chess player will recognize. I had bottled up his faster units, and was able to threaten both his center objective and his right flank objective with my Morghasts. He had a unit Wrathmongers that I really didn't want to face with my Morghasts, but he could only cover one of the two objectives with it. My superior mobility allowed me to "fork" him and take whichever objective his Wrathmongers weren't covering. He cheated his Wrathmongers toward center, so I charged right flank, crushed the Blood Warriors there and took the objective for long enough that he couldn't catch up. I love that example because it shows how in a battle between two close combat armies, the only thing that really mattered was speed. Anyway, I'm very much aware of the biases present in my mathhammer approach, so I really try to keep up with as much tournament level analysis (lots of great podcasts out there!) as I can to keep up my understanding of how the game actually plays, not just on paper.
  9. I think GW prefers to take a conservative approach in general, although this is one case where I disagree with them. I do think they need to be more aggressive in changing points for non-competitive warscrolls that aren't likely to get updated soon (but then again, I really have no idea what will or will not get updated. I wouldn't have predicted another Blades of Khorne book, so another Maggotkin book doesn't seem out of the question). Plaguebearers have a really poor WDR (.032) but their defensive efficiency is quite good. I do think they could stand to see a small drop, perhaps down to 100/270. That would push their defensive efficiency beyond the current top end, but their offensive efficiency is low enough that this is likely fine. The way the warscroll is designed they will never have efficient offense because they are a defense first unit. Plague Drones have a respectable .0783 WDR as long as they have locus active. They also scale really well with extra attacks. Their defensive efficiency is fine but unspectacular. They could likely stand to drop down to the 150-180 range IMO. I don't think Blightlords are worth it at 200 and they could likely be dropped down quite a bit further as well. All that being said, I don't think Nurgle is in a terrible place as a faction. Nurgle's winning % is currently at 47.7%, which is a tad low but definitely within reasonable tolerances. And that's before all of the top dogs get nerfed. I can't speak to the changes to the newest battletomes but we know that almost all of the warscrolls that were really over-represented at the top tables have gotten trimmed down. I'd be surprised if the same didn't hold true for the supplementary points changes as well. I would expect Nurgle to improve some just by virtue of the top dogs getting worse. Maggotkin are currently sitting at 47.7% match win rate, Nighthaunt at 45.6%, and Gloomspite at 43.3%. All of these numbers could stand improvement, but they aren't really that bad. Maggotkin and Nighthaunt are within tolerances, while Gloomspite is a bit below. Like I said above though, with the top contenders getting nerfs that alone should bring up these factions a bit. I also think that Gloomspite are a bit of a weird case. They have some really powerful options, but I think that their best options and their most popular options are basically opposite. There have been plenty of examples of people doing well with grot focused lists, but I see a lot more people trying to play trolls or squigs. Trolls are a bit undertuned imo, while squigs are just not the kind of thing that are going to be great in a tournament setting because of their random moves. I get this. I really do. I played Wood Elves in Warhammer Fantasy. I went NINE YEARS without an update, and when my book finally came out the End Times started within three months and the entire setting was over in less than a year. If you look at all faction updates for WHFB from 6th edition on, the average time between army books was about six years. I'm certainly not suggesting that players should be satisfied with their army being non-competitive right now, and I'm not saying that GW couldn't have done a better job with points modifications for some of these factions. My argument is that the drastic points changes that would be needed to make these factions viable right now are simply not a viable option right now. Enfranchised players who already own thousands of points of these factions would be happier, no doubt. Any new customers buying in though would be in for a huge shock and would feel massively betrayed when the points values inevitably increase. So while I empathize with those players that are frustrated with the current state of affairs, I can also understand why GW made the decision that they did and I really can't disagree with it. That said, a more modest slate of buffs would likely have been doable and I'm honestly not sure why GW didn't.
  10. I want to be absolutely clear that the idea of there being a floor when it comes to sensible point cost is my personal opinion. I can't speak for GW and I don't work for GW.
  11. You picked a really annoying warscroll for WDR! The Dankhold Troggboss has two abilities that don't translate cleanly to WDR because they rely on the characteristics of the target (in this case wounds and unit size) and thus we can't count on a specific probability of them working. We can be a bit messy and say that the Crushing Grip attack will do 1 mortal wound on average, which isn't far from the truth. The squig attack though is much less reliable, so I'm just going to calculate two situations: one where the squig attack hits and one where it doesn't. Without the squig attack or the command ability the WDR is .0416 With the squig attack but without the command ability the WDR is .0488 Without the squig attack but with the command ability the WDR is .0479 With both the squig attack and command ability the WDR is .0546 These numbers are a little low, and given that the Troggboss doesn't have any amazing support abilities I'd think it could stand to come down a bit on points cost. Unfortunately I'm not really up for sharing the full evaluations. Suffice to say I looked at how each faction was performing in terms of win % (tempering that with a grain of salt) and then evaluated it in terms of internal balance as well. I think the goal should be to make as many factions perform within acceptable parameters of win rate as possible with as diverse internal balance as possible. I can't comment at all on what GW thinks, but I will add that players themselves don't value warscrolls in a consistent way. When I first started in wargaming, I was fully obsessed with combat efficiency. If you look at most tournament players though they really don't think this way. Combat efficiency is important, but mobility is king. Most players, in my experience, still overly focus on the combat stats. If combat efficiency were everything then this game would be all Plague Monks all the time. When I calculated that warscroll my jaw hit the floor -- it's so messed up. And yet you aren't seeing Plague Monk spam dominating the tournament scene. WDR can take into account whatever buffs you want it to. It's basically just the expected value of the damage output with a weight assigned to different levels of rend. That weight was determined by evaluating the relative effectiveness of each rend level against the full range of armor saves with each save level given a weight based on its prevalence in the game overall (EG: performance vs 2+ save has a lower weight than vs 4+ save because 4+ saves are MUCH more common than 2+ saves). In my analysis I usually focused on first evaluating the individual warscroll in a vacuum and then considering in the allegiance package. Note that the allegiance package in my mind does not consider just the raw buffs that the battle traits give -- it also considers the faction's access to different tools, access to good battalions, etc.
  12. @Doom & Darkness thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it! I have no idea how many people write rules for Age of Sigmar, but I have a feeling that they could use more (GW, you have my email address XD). I appreciate your perspective, but I think we fundamentally disagree on a pretty basic point. I think that overall the rules writing has been improving dramatically over time. Overall, my impression of the old warscrolls is that very few of them are interesting. There are so many abilities that are incredibly low impact and effectively just wasted space. As a Gutbusters player I'd imagine you'd feel this quite keenly -- so many of those warscrolls have abilities that are super narrow and don't really do anything. Down to the Ironguts is a fantastic example. It's a once per battle ability that can only be triggered if you've had an Ogor flee from your army... and all it does is give you rr1s. I mean, rr1s to hit and wound and save are nice and all but that ability by itself is in no way shape or form adequate to make the Ironguts an interesting unit at all. I love that GW is being brave with their rules writing. I disagree that there are loads of abilities that are unique or extreme enough that pointing them is "seemingly impossible." Right now abilities that break combat sequencing are taking a very strong place in the meta but even the much maligned FEC are only winning like 65% of their games. Skaven is only winning 58.4%. A 65% game win rate is too high, clearly, but it's not like this army is impossible to beat. Bumping up the points on a few key things could easily bring it down to a reasonable level. I'd argue that FEC would barely be a problem if there was a bit more shooting in the meta. If GW wants to maintain the longevity of the game, then they really do need to be brave like this in their rules writing. They need to open up new design space and innovate even if it means that there are some mistakes along the way. The problem right now, in my view, is that there are still these old armies out there that just aren't on that level at all -- and the way to address that is to update them, not to reign things in and keep pumping out boring warscrolls that ask you to jump through some hoops so that they can reroll 1's. Again, I think your frustration as a Gutbusters player is absolutely justified. But I think the way Gutbusters are designed is the mistake far more than any of the new tomes. That line from warhammer-community was a slap in the face though, I'll give you that. When I read that "Gutbusters are just as deadly as they have always been!" my immediate thought was, "Wow, that is going to make some people really mad." Clearly whomever was writing that was taking a marketing perspective, but I think it would have been much better to be honest and say that balance changes were focused on modern factions and the few overpowered old faction builds that still remain, and that the relatively untouched factions will get more attention when they get updated. Also, please do be careful about assuming that the subset of people that interact with your videos is representative of the "majority of the people in the community." The people who take the time to watch an AOS rant on youtube and then comment on it are a very specific subset of the overall playerbase. I don't know your work well enough to know who your viewers are, but I do know that there are still a lot of very vocal people out there who still aren't over the End Times and absolutely hate AOS. There's also a smaller but still vocal community of people who loved early AOS and hate anything with even a whiff of competitiveness to it and won't forgive GW for even introducing Matched Play at all. Neither of these groups is representative of the community as a whole. If anything, the market seems to be suggesting that GW is moving in a popular direction. GW as a company is doing extremely well of late, and AOS is a part of that. I can't ever remember a time when I had to worry about limited releases selling out on the first day of preorders, which is now a regular thing (and it sucks, I hope GW corrects it -- but still, it does show that the demand is there). GW has had difficulty keeping many kits in stock. GW has provided us with a bunch of different ways to enjoy Age of Sigmar. I know that the matched play content is getting like 90% of the focus online, but there is a ton of great content there for Open and Narrative play. One of the things that frustrates me about the community is the number of people who are dissatisfied with matched play and yet refuse to consider playing the game any other way. There is simply no substitute for talking to your opponents and finding people who want to enjoy the game the way you do.
  13. Maybe it does where you are, but I don't think that is even close to universally true. In my area I've only managed to find one person who really wants to practice tournament level lists. Most people bring really untuned lists. I really disagree with your second point. I mean yes, if you want to take four Cygors you are going to struggle a lot. But if you want to take Gors instead of Ungors the impact should be absolutely minimal. Yes it may hinder your ability to win games by a tiny amount, but again this speaks to my point about inflexibility. If you are only willing to play the list with the absolute maximum win % possible AND you only want to play a very specific set of warscrolls and battle traits for narrative/aesthetic reasons you are likely going to have a hard time in AOS no matter what tome you play. Most of the second tier units in Beasts of Chaos are just a tad behind the top tier units. In most battletomes, the gap is much wider. Hear hear though about the whining thing. Constructive criticism is useful, and I hate to see it labeled as whining. @Ekrund Oath Splitters I am very sad that I missed that kickstarter! Those minotaurs are amazing sculpts. I'm glade they're now officially released, although they are certainly not cheap. How do the normal minotaurs compare with the GW ones size-wise?
  14. The frostie was showing up a lot in highly competitive Sylvaneth and mixed Order lists that did very well last year. Personally I don't think the nerf was necessary particularly given that the Sylvaneth list in question is now dead, but I can understand why they did it given the information available at the time. Dragonlord Host alpha strike builds were not super popular but they were still quite powerful, particularly before FeC came out. I'd argue this nerf probably wasn't super necessary either, but I can understand wanting to tune down that list slightly given the state of the game at the time. I was always surprised more people weren't running 3 dragon Order Draconis lists. In AOS 2.1 (which covers the period being evaluated for the GHB2019, I think) Order Draconis lists were putting up a 64.1% match win rate, which is high enough to warrant a nerf.
  15. I think there are two issues at play with this kind of unit. One is an easy fix (at least in theory), while the other is not so easy. Dual melee/shooting units are generally in a difficult place right now, but I think that is mostly due to shooting in general being in a difficult place. Shooting units tend to be expensive, so it stands to reason that the shooting part of these dual purpose warscrolls is expensive. If shooting in general were more aggressively costed, then these warscrolls would likely look better. Shooting definitely has place waiting for it in the meta, but usually you need to hit a critical mass for it to work. You either need enough shooting to clear screens or pick off support units, or you need enough shooting to deal most of your damage that way. These hybrid units aren't going to hit either threshold by themselves very easily. That said, they can help push other units over the top while still providing useful abilities in other parts of the game. If that's viable, then these kinds of units can be viable if they are pointed at the right level. The other problem goes way beyond these kinds of units, affecting basically any small combat unit that isn't chaff. So things like combat heroes on foot, smaller monsters, etc. The problem is activation+drop economy. If you have ever played a game like Magic: The Gathering, you are probably familiar with this basic idea. In Magic, the idea of card economy is fundamental to the game, but players didn't really "discover" this for quite a while after the game began. Without getting into too much detail, cards have to have at least a certain amount of impact in order to be worth playing unless they somehow replace themselves. For example, a card that says "deal one damage to target player" is almost never going to be playable, but "deal one damage to target player, draw a card" actually has a chance. The same thing is true in Age of Sigmar, albeit for slightly different reasons. In Magic, cards are a limited resource. In AoS, drops/activations are not a limited resource, but each one that you add carries a significant penalty. Choosing the first turn order is very important, so every drop you add to your list better do something worthwhile. This is why certain battalions can be great even if their actual abilities are terrible. In melee combat, the IGOUGO system means that it's almost always better to have your power concentrated in fewer activations. I'll illustrate this with a simple example. Imagine two sides each with 10 "power" worth of combatants. When a unit attacks, it reduces the target's power by an amount equal to its power. One side has a single unit of 10 power. The other side has three units of 3 power and one unit of 1 power. The latter side goes first. It picks one of its 3's to fight, reducing the 10 to a 7. The 7 then fights and kills the other two 3's and the 1. That ends the combat. Now one side has 7 left and the other has only 3 remaining, despite the fact that the 7 went second. This is a simplification of AoS combat, but it's not all that far off from the way things work. So a unit like a medium sized non-hero monster or a combat hero on foot can be perfectly competitively costed but still not be worth taking simply because its only ever going to be a 3. This is doubly true with a big part of the game being command abilities and other targeted buffs. You want to use your force multiplier on the biggest force you can exert. Using it on a small thing is just inefficient. This problem is definitely solvable but will require some rules changes. Just like in Magic "deal one damage to target player" can be fixed by adding "draw a card" (a gross oversimplification, I know), these cheap combat units can be fixed in AoS by adding something like this: SUPPORT: Certain units excel at fighting alongside other units in close combat. Whenever you select a unit with this ability to fight in the combat phase, after you resolve all of its attacks you may immediately pick another unit that doesn't have this ability from your army within 3" and activate that unit as well. The chosen unit cannot be activated again in the combat phase unless an ability allows you to. Furthermore, during deployment whenever you set up a unit with this ability that is not part of a battalion, you may immediately set up one unit from your army that does not have this ability within 1" of this unit. I'm sure the templating is off, but you get the idea. Basically, you can activate the unit for free in the combat phase and drop it for free in the deployment phase. Adding this ability would instantly make a bunch of warscrolls viable that aren't currently very useful. I don't really have enough time to go into full detail, but I largely compared expected damage dealt and expected damage that the unit can take. I calculated this for every permutation of abilities and equipment on a given warscroll. Other abilities, speed etc. were obviously factored in, but separately from the offense and defense efficiency. I can't speak to the Skaven or Gloomspite tomes because I didn't work on them at all -- I only provided feedback for the GHB2019. An example of something that could be reduced in half in order to make it efficient enough to use is the Ironblaster or Scraplauncher. They currently cost 120 points each and have a ranged WDR of .02-.03 and .006-.0194 respectively, a melee WDR of .025-.0289 and .0139-.0176 respectively, and a defensive efficiency of .15. So halving the points cost would raise the ranged WDR to .04-.06 and .012-.0388 respectively, melee WDR to .05-.0578 and .0278-.0352 respectively and defensive efficiency to .3. Defensive efficiency of .3 is really good. It's about as good as things get for unbuffed units. Ranged WDR of .04-.06 would be good enough to see play at least in theory, although .012-.0388 would not. The melee WDRs are still both bad, but these are primarily ranged units, and their score would be fine in that context. So the Ironblaster is an example of a warscroll that could be made efficient enough by halving the cost (albeit it still might not be worth a "drop"), whereas the Scraplauncher is an example of a warscroll where improving it enough to make it offensively viable would also make it too good defensively -- it would likely need to be somewhere around 40 points to work offensively. Now do 40-60 points make "sense" for these warscrolls? Absolutely not. Its a single model kit of a big beast pulling an artillery piece. That doesn't fit with a 40-60 point tag. I really don't mean to be rude or combative, but I don't think you read my post very carefully as I spend a huge part of it addressing this exact point.
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