Thursday, March 10, 2011
The sky is falling!
As expected, noobs from around the world are crying OP already at the new GK codex. This happened for every single codex release that I've seen in the last 10 years. Yes, I know, this thread comes from whineseer, but threads like this has appeared all over the net. Guess what? It's not going to stop.
Let me describe what's happening: Bad players playing other bad players automatically result in a codex being overpowered. When a veteran player analyzes a codex, several things take place inside his head that's completely alien to lesser players. For example, I'll analyze myself; not because I think I'm the greatest player to have ever lived, but I have seen the rise and fall of army books since 3rd and have played in thousands of matches both competitively and casually.
Ignoring all the bad fluff, I looked straight at the army composition. Does it make sense? Can I take the choices I want in the FOC requirement? Can I take optimized units in the FOC? Do I have choices? Most importantly, do I have viable choices in the codex? If yes, I proceed.
With these viable units, how cost effective are they? Viability is determined by effectiveness vs. cost. Is a Grey Knight that has a typical Ld.8 (9 with Sarge), a Force Weapon, Storm Bolter and options to boot effective for 20 points? Yes. Now let's move on: I examine the Terminators, the Paladins, the Dreadknight, the HQs, and everything else in the book in the same manner. I look at weapon layout, upgrade choices, the FOC placement (troops or not), and the stats of the units to get a gauge on how good they are.
Once I get this, I theorycraft army lists in degrees of hardness. By "hardness", I'm talking about how powerful the book can be. I build 3 levels; WAAC, competitive and casual. WAAC lists are the min-maxed RB spam lamer lists that I hate so much, but I only build them to see if a codex is capable of shifting the metagame and dominating everything in the game. Competitive is a solid army built from the best choices in the book. Then there's casual, which is a little bit of everything fun.
After that's done, I re-examine the scores of lists that I invented and pitch it against the hundreds of lists I fought against. Can this GK list (one of my lists) beat this X army list (one of the many lists I've seen). I think about this for quite a long time since there's a lot of matchups once you draw it all out. I use my battle experience, my advance theorycraft and my knowledge of the game to predict the outcome. Once I have good idea how the battle is going to go, I start playing games.
What's the difference between someone like me and X noob on the forum? I don't jump to the last step and immediately start playing games. I'm not going to pit a competitive or even WAAC type of list against a casual or fluffy player's regular list, win horribly and then claim the book is overpowered. That's just ridiculous. What I do is analyze the book, understand its mechanics and their strengths and weaknesses, then pit myself against opponents who designed their army the same way. A competitive player with a competitively built list should not be mowing down fluffy players with fluffy lists. Not only is it shameful, but it's an inaccurate display of the book's power.
The other difference between the veteran player and X noob is the experience. Without countless games logged against all the different armies out there, a player is incapable of accurately theorycrafting new army books. How does the list fair vs. Mech Guard? How would the same list fair against an older, but terribly strong army like Castle Eldar? Without experiencing these armies in battle, your assessment of the outcome will be poor, thus your analysis of the army's overall power will be poor.
You see the same type of shit on RTS forums in relation to game balance. God knows I've been on many of those..