Monday, February 20, 2012

Time limit per turns

First, I would like to say that this is something that I love from PP tournaments.  In the SR2012 rules, players can only take 10 minutes per player turn in a 50pt game.  This is fantastic.  I have no problem with people wanting to play a beer and pretzels game, but when you take 10 minutes to move one freaking jack, then I think that's a problem.  Don't get me wrong, if we're playing friendly loo-dee-da games and we're not playing in a tournament, I have no problem with players taking their damn time.  I just think it's fantastic that PP is actually forcing players to play faster.  This is a skill filter:  Lesser players simply cannot handle the pressure of micromanaging their armies in a certain time frame.  This makes RTS players like me very happy.

I think every miniatures game involved in the tournament scene should integrate something like this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Serious Warmahordes talk

Alright guys, serious question time and I want you guys to speak up.  The question of the day is:  Is Warmhordes really balanced?  A lot of people say different things, but most people can agree on the following:

  • There are some bad match-ups in the warcaster/warlock department.
  • There are some units more cost effective than others.
  • There are some warcasters/warlocks that can play scenarios better than others.
  • I'm sure there's more out there, but these hit home the quickest.

So this leads me to ask myself:  Is the game more balanced at 35 or at 50 points?  A lot of people say 50 points and with good reason.  More units allow you to take more answers right?  That seems to be the most common answer I get from people.

Is it true?  Of course it is.  It applies to any and every minis game that I've encountered.  More points gives you more options and more options leads to less hard counters.  In 40K, you can play Dark Eldar vs. a GK army fielding 6x Psyfleman.  Aside from bending over and asking kindly, the odds are going to be against you no matter what.  This is known as a bad match-up.  Not to be confused with any form of skill.. but the composition of his army vs. your army is going to suck, period.  The same could be said about Terminus vs. Caine, or Karchev vs. Rahn.

So back to the more options, more answers thing:  Does this principle really exist?  And, is this a sign of bad game balance or possibly even design?

Let's go over some quick points really quick:
  • Bad match-ups because of certain warcaster pairings requires more options.
  • To get more options, you increase the points from 35 to 50 points.
  • However, in doing so, the better and more cost effective units will make the transition easier (another unit of Bane Thralls + UA why not!)
  • These units are often the ones that are self-reliant and don't need many warcaster buffs.  The reason why this is so is because they are flexible and can be taken with virtually any warcaster.
  • Points increasing works like 2 people climbing a mountain: Just because you can take some answers doesn't mean your opponent can't as well.
  • So as both players take more options to make their lists even more well-rounded, you still reach the top of the ladder with the same old bad match-up.

I'm just thinking outloud here, but what exactly does 50 points do that 35 points can't do?  It alleviates bad match-ups, yes, but who's one to say it's more balanced than 35?  If you're running into a bad match-up, just play another list.  Isn't that why most tournaments and events have multiple lists to begin with?

So that brings us back to the original question, rephrased and spit out:  If bad match-ups occur due to game design, possible balance issues within the army books themselves, and via scenario play, then why even bother increasing the points from 35 to 50 if the result is the same?

Let the discussion begin!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

WHFB: Player Tips and Advice

Player Tips and Advice

Knowing your Enemy

The first piece of advice I have for newer players is knowing your enemy.  There is nothing more important than this piece right here.  You look across the table and you see a bunch of units you don't know, you already know this game is going to head into disaster.  Very few players have the ability to asset threat, damage and power on the fly so its best you go into battles prepared.  Key units like the Skaven Doomwheel, the Bloodthirster or the horde unit of Khorne Marauders with Great Weapons, all of these are important pieces on the battlefield.  The best thing to do in these situations is to point across the table and ask.  If the player you're playing with is a gentleman, and it's a friendly game, I hope he can tell you what each unit does.  In a tournament setting, forget about it.  Fantasy already takes a day and a half to set up, so it's best you do your research ahead of time.

Think of it like this:  Every game of fantasy (the actual) game is a test of skill and generalship.  Any good general takes the time to learn about his enemy and so should you.  That's why I buy every army book GW prints.  Not only is it superb shitter material, but it's also valuable information on what kind of ridiculous combos, units or special characters that might show up on the battlefield.

Understanding Your Army

I almost think that knowing your enemy and understanding your army works hand in hand.  If you think about it, you spend all this time making up your army list and for what?  Each army list is designed to accomplish a certain thing on the battlefield.  Playing for fun is one thing, but you're also playing so your troops are victorious on the battlefield.  This is why army design is crucial and how you can make the best out of your army composition.

Keep in mind that this is not advice on how to min-max your army, it's about making your army work for you.  As a general of any given army, you must find a medium where you're comfortable with the units you've taken, and you understand fully how they work.  The best way to do this is by assigning battlefield roles.  Take Sword Masters for example, what do they do best?  They generate CR by ripping up lowly troops in combat but they die as fast as a swift breeze.  What's the job of Spearmen?  Or Skavenslaves?  To hold the line and await reinforcements, using their superior numbers and ranks to tie the enemy down.

To be a successful general, you must know your units like the back of your hand.  Understand each unit's functionality and purpose, but most importantly, understand why you put them in your army in the first place.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

More squeeky rat stuff

So after my friend kindly gifted me 4 Skaven IoB sets, I decided to place the order for the rest of the stuff.  Looks like I'll be quiet for the next couple of weeks or so since I'll be busy building all my rats.  I figured I'll do rats first and then Ogres.

Anyways, here's the army now.  I dropped the Stormvermin and took Plague Monks instead.  I like Clan Pestilens stuff more anyways.  The Doomwheels because I think they're funny and double Warp Lightning Cannons because I can.  I have no idea why I took the Bell other than it looks really cool, but I have no idea how they're going to preform on the battlefield.

Anyone know where to get cheap rats for Giant Rat bases?  There's no way I'm going to buy those ridiculous GW ones.  Here's the list:

12 drops

Lv.4 Grey Seer (Condenser) = 260
Lore of Ruin
+Screaming Bell = 200

Chieftain (BSB, Shield) = 72
Warlock Engineer (Brass Orb) = 65
Warlock Engineer (Doomrocket) = 45
Lv.1 Plague Priest (Flail, Scroll) = 129
+Plague Furnace = 150

40x Clanrats (FC) = 200
+Poison Wind Mortar = 65
36x Clanrats (FC) = 182
+Poison Wind Mortar = 65
50x Skavenslaves (Musician) = 102
50x Skavenslaves (Musician) = 102
6x Giant Rats (Handler) = 23
6x Giant Rats (Handler) = 23

40x Plague Monks (FC, Plague Banner) = 335

Doomwheel = 150
Doomwheel = 150
Warp Lightning Cannon = 90
Warp Lightning Cannon = 90