Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Facts of (Warhammer) Life

Recently a Khorne Chaos player complained that his army has a hard time playing against Eldar due to skimmers that can't be taken down in HtH combat and lots of shootiness. Tau players complain that playing against Khorne is hard because they get chopped up in close combat.


Well, DUH!!!

Am I the only one who thinks that when you choose to play an army with an extreme style, whether it be all close combat or all shooting, you leave yourself vulnerable to an army able to negate that style? That's not a big secret, you know. Its called playing to your strengths and to your enemy's weaknesses.

Personally I think balanced armies are the key to solid gaming and all round fun, and I scorn extreme armies of either shooting or close combat. Fortunately, I've learned how to operate my army well enough that when faced with an extreme style army I can try and exploit its weaknesses. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I do not. But at least I don't complain about it.


  1. The magic of 40k is that you have diversity among the various armies. If you want diversity then you have to have difference. If all armies carried 24" range guns, had an armor save of 3+ and so on then we'd have symmetrical balance, but where's the fun in that? The challenge of game design and the mastery thereof is creating asymmetrical balance, and that's what 40k is all about. Ideally, any army can fill up 1000 points (or whatever) and be balanced with every other army that does the same, though their forces would be entirely different from one another.

    So I guess what I'm asking is: What do people want, exactly? Do they want armies that, together, make up a vista of highs and lows, strengths and weaknesses, aptitudes and vulnerabilities? Or do they want all playing fields to be even, like a chess game where everyone gets X number of pawns, X number of rooks, etc?

    If you wanna play the army to the hilt then you have to sit down and do some strategic thinking; not about how you'll deal with the foe you have the biggest advantage over, but how you'll deal with the one who has the biggest advantage over you.

    That's supposed to be the *fun* part. Honest!

  2. I can't disagree with what you say, so perhaps I should clarify my comments.

    When I said "Balanced armies", I don't mean all armies with the same rules and same weapons. What I mean is that the army is not a one-trick-pony, dependent on exploiting one ability to an unlikely extreme. Some armies like Khorne and Tau are built by the designers that way and I have no issue with that. My preference for Balanced armies is for my playing, not everyone else.

    My frustration lies with the players of extreme armies who complain when their weakness (which tends to be more significant due to the extreme nature) is exploited by capable opponents.

  3. Agreed, Bill. As i said, i sometimes wonder what it is that certain people want, exactly? Now, I don't actually think Carca was complaining (in the bad way)... but you do see it sometimes. Like with a Khorne army; am I supposed to not shoot it? Does my opponent hope that I will take no vehicles move all of my infantry forward, smear them with Alpo and wait for the chainaxe-weilding nutcases to dismember them in alphabetical order? Like, as they charge, I should have my Farseers say to the Dark Reapers, Weapons Platforms and Rangers "No, hang on. Let them get closer so they have a chance to chop our heads off and eat them"? It's like saying "Let's not charge those Tau Fire Warriors; if we do, there won't be any left, and then who will shoot the crap out of our tanks and infantry??"