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..


Unknown said...

I'm tempted to buy the "It's Not My Fault If You Suck" T-shirt from Penny Arcade :)

Sure, some armies are stronger than others. But tactics will always win out...unless you're playing Tau.

As for my Space Wolves, I'm just going to shoot them lots. They're marines and they'll die like marines.

Close combat seems out of the question though.

HERO said...

I would definitely shoot them lots. 3+ PA marines and 5+ invul Termies with no Storm Shields means a lot of shooting will go their way. High priority targets are any MEQ out of cover because the Librarian w/ Shrouding + Cover can make 3++ cover saves a pain.

A lot of people don't realize that 40K is a game of numbers and that forced possibility is how you kill everything. Everything in the game dies as long as enough wounds go into it. There's no such thing as overkill.

And yes, a superior general is always going to win, unless he has shit luck, which happens to everyone every now and then.

Dingareth said...

It's articles like this here that make this blog on of the best ones on the net. Keep this up, and spread the word. The Warseer link was pretty funny, because I browsed that thread earlier today and had to hold the rage in. Although, it is always funny to see people like VonManstein trying to talk sense into the chicken littles of the world.

Dalinair said...

Good article and I compeltely agree though I have to admit, you cant blame people for screaming cheese when that dreadknight was leaked to be like 130 points. It was like the omgwtf valk with 3 twin lascannons for 130??? all over again.

Unknown said...

I still feel sorry for Chaos Daemon players though...

Dalinair said...

Amen to that Adam :(

HERO said...

Since I knew GW was going to fail in that regard, I already prepared some extra rules for Daemon players:

Unknown said...

I think overall the GK codex is going to be a nice addition to the game as a whole. Sure there are a few things that seem over powered, but that's just at a glance. Most of the GK armies are going to suffer from the "Hammer Unit O-Death" syndrome and be overly expensive. The same can be said for the last 2 marine codex releases, ( I'm looking at you Death Company and Th/SS Wolf Guard), and neither of those broke the game. All in all I'm looking forward to this release and trying my luck at toppling the(insert sarcasm here)OMFG-WTF-Overpowered GK armies..

xxvaderxx said...

"As expected, noobs from around the world are crying OP already at the new GK codex."

"Since I knew GW was going to fail in that regard, I already prepared some extra rules for Daemon"

Bipolar much?

HERO said...

Not really, you're just bad.

RotatingPanda said...

So, now that we've all agreed to be reasonable, I post this question to you HERO: what impact do you think GK will have on the "meta"?

With so many force weapons on the field, I could see my beloved tyranids running a few less MCs but I'm not really familiar enough with any army to comment on impact. Hence why I'm asking my Warhammer better :)

Dezzo said...

if people are planning to play the 25 model GKT list (aka Graywing) they will be disappointed because they do not get the weapon-loadout flexiblity like Logan-wing or the cyclone spam like Death-wing.

Gray wing is all about crossing your fingers when you footslog across the table and hope that you pass your 2+ and 4+ invul/cover saves. The limited amount of anti-tank you can pack in a Gray wing list is a joke tbh.

HERO said...

Just to clarify, there's no such thing as 4+ invuls. There's only cover saves cause everyone's running around with 5+ Terminator stock invuls.

GK will change the meta in 1 way and 1 way only: Force Weapons will wreck multi-wound models in CC. Why? Because Brotherhood of Psykers for Nemesis Force Weapon states that you take 1 psychic test for all models with a NFW. If you pass, ALL wounds caused by the unit count as Instant Death. Originally it was thought that you only get to blow up 1 guy, but now you can blow up an entire unit of Nob Bikers.

@Dezzo, Mordrak just got a big boost.
I will make a post about him soon.

Duke of Earl said...

Hero, did you notice when Ward broke 7th edition Warhammer with his Daemon armybook?

Certainly my Wolves will just run more plasma, but Wolves are a strong codex.

Codex Daemons is a weak codex, and Grey Knights are made to kerb stomp them.

Multiwound units like Thunderwolves and Nobz are going to be hurt, encouraging people not to take them and just take more plasma. That leads us back to the good old days of third edition.

Plasma Hunters (twin plasma guns, pistol) plus bolters at short range will decimate power armoured Grey Knights, and do the job on terminators too.

A free upgrade to initiative 6 is slightly over the top though.

Back to the craziness of 2nd edition. That's not a bad thing I suppose.

HERO said...

I think the GK codex will change the metagame for the better. More plasma over melta, less deathstar units, more creative builds.

Sea Dragon said...

I got my first look at the Grey Knight codex today. It's not the end of the world... I am seriously looking forward to finishing my BA DOA army so that I can move onto these beasts however there is nothing in the codex I don't think I couldn't handle if it was placed against me.

Sure they are pretty brutal in CC and they definitely have some serious flexibility. Even AT can be done due to rending Psycannons. That said model count is going to be low, they are also more expensive than normal Marine equivalent but without any more resilience.

Plasma spam of all types will tear them a new one. This will alter the metagame in the respect that spamming meltaguns won't always work. Having some squads with plasma to react to nid MC, Grey knight and the likes will balance the game.

Additionally most transports have weak rear armour, with the prevelance of seriously mobile troops from deep strike, flyers and the like they become more vulnerable.

I'm rambling but my point is everything has a counter. Depending on how well you construct your list most army books can handle most oponents. The real question is how much variance they can have while doing so. Imperial Guard are a very good book because they have so many different ways of building very effective and competitive armies. This means you aren't shoehorned into having the same army list as others...

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