Age of Sigmar vs 40K: Points? We Don’t Need No Stinking Points!

points 5

Seriously, all the AoS griping about no points for balance.  Let me tell you about another GW game that has points and is not balanced…

So I have played 3 games of Sigmar.  A friend has (in the “ancient tongue”) Dwarves and Goblins, and we had a beer and pretzel, and more beer, afternoon trying this thing out.  Guess what happened?  We had fun!  And guess what else?  Our models had no point values!  There is another game system, it’s called 40K.   All you hear, especially since the advent of Decurion and newer formations, is how unbalanced the game is now.  Wait…but don’t 40K models have point values…did I already say that?  A point system does not guarantee balance, any more than a system without points guarantees that there is no balance.  Power codices and meth-powered release schedules are on GW.  In the end, though, people break the rule set; the rule set is not created broken.

points 1

Here a few examples of how meaningless points can be in 40K right now…

– Formations that grant free points.  Yes, it’s true.  Such a thing does exist.  How about that Admech formation that grants all the free kit and upgrades?  How about the Space Marine build that grants hundreds of points of free transports?  So in a 2000 point game, if I play against their armies, I could very well be facing an opponent that has 20-30% more points that I do out the gate.  Yeah, that’s going to be lots of fun.  Thank goodness there is beer involved.

– The Eldar Factor.  Sure, my 2000 point Tyranid list is going to do really well against the new Eldar codex…not.  Sure I can take Flyrants galore, but my opponent can take Crimson Hunter formations.  Add to that all the D-goodness (barrage, grenades, flamers, e.g.), and things are looking even better.  Tell me how that Lictor-Mawloc list that did so well last year in a tournament last year will fair against the new Eldar.  But wait…doesn’t my opponent have the same amount of points that I do?  Now I feel better, knowing how balanced the game will be.

points 6

– Decurion, Decurion.  Those Necrons with all the rerollable Protocols and other cool toys should be no problem for my Nids, or any other 40K army.  I mean, so what if I simply can’t kill those OpSec Warriors sitting on that objective?  Both armies start with the same number of points, right?

– Formations/Tactics that grant/improve Invul saves, FNP to the point of “why bother?”  My army has lots of ways to improve its invul saves.  Oh wait, only one of my units has those.  I have lots of ways to get FNP, and several of my units come with that.  Oh wait, I can only get that if I get the right psychic power, my FNP will be 5+, and I have no way to spam it.  Those enemy units with 2++ and 3+ FNP should be not problem to shoot off the board.  I keep forgetting, the game is balanced because both players have the same army point totals.  That should mean we will both have a great time playing, and the game should be close since we are both experienced players who know the game and our opponent.

points 4

GW wrote the rules for 40K, but we are the ones that use, and often, break them.  There are so many in 40K that look for ways to spam the latest BRB or Codex the minute they get their hands on them.  There is no reading the backstory, creating a narrative, or any other consideration of what really makes the Grim Dark great.  It is, perhaps unconsciously, an effort to create a hyper-competitive list that will wreck all opponents.  So what if the game is ruined for someone else…there is rarely that consideration. Nothing like making someone who actual enjoys the game feel helpless and hopeless.

Boy (3-5) pushing against semi truck, rear view

Conversely, despite having a point system in place, there are those who are extremely frustrated with 40K right now because so much is overpowered and abuse is so rampant.  I recently listened to, sadly, the last episode (#223) of 11th Company.  I have been listening to this podcast for 2 years now.  If you have not already, I would strongly suggest you do so.  I was really sad to hear how discouraged/frustrated the creator of 11th Company, Neil, has become.  He has devoted thousands of hours to put this podcast together.  I no longer hear the passion and enjoyment.  All this in a hobby that has a point system to help balance the game.

The simplicity and sophomoric attitude of AoS was refreshing.  I would recommend giving it a go.  One other thing my friend and I did was that we got a bit narrative and created some fun scenarios to give each of our three battles some context.   Open your mind, relax, pop open a cold one and just roll some bloody dice!

points 3

How effective is a point system in the current 40K meta?

  • LordAK

    Exactly how I feel about it. Thank you for putting it all into words.

    • Orodruin

      I share your sentiments. The positivity in the responses are very encouraging today.

    • Purple-Stater

      There are way too many potential analogies to be able to chose just one trying to explain why having one poorly designed product is NOT justification for designing a second one poorly as well.

  • Jason McFarland

    One of the best AoS articles I’ve seen lately and exactly how I’ve felt about the points thing

    • wibbling

      Thank you! Personally we tend to keep run and charge rules fairly static as otherwise it’s just dice for dice’s sake.

      • benn grimm

        Did you write this article?

      • vlad78

        First, Kirby, we know it’s you.

        Second, tell me how comparing AOS oversimplistic kiddy friendly system with 40k bloated ruleset designed only to sale miniatures is fair?

        Both are the failed results of GW flawed business decisions.

        Please compare to other system like KOW, infinity, dropone commander to name a few. Systems which designers might still claimed they tried to provide a better game.

      • TimW

        So points aren’t necessary because 40k has points and 40k is unbalanced. What about infinity? That game has points and they make it very balanced. Im sorry but you’re taking a single game with points, showing how unbalanced it is, and then drawing the conclusion that points in any game will not make it balanced. So…your sample size is too small and your conclusions aren’t well supported.

        • DM

          Why would he need a list. He proved his point that with or without points a system may or may not be balanced.

          • Jordon Arthur Lewis

            With or without point GW games are unbalanced. Maybe people should stop supporting them and play games from people that care.

    • DM

      I was thinking one of the best BOLS articles in general lately lol

  • Thomas Dawes

    Awesome read, I was put off by a lot of naysayers, I have preordered the age of sigmar, the models look amazing to me personally pretty pumped to paint them up.

    Now I just need to find some like minded people!

    • Shawn

      Move to Pensacola, FL Thomas. There are a bunch of us here that are going to play!

      • Thomas Dawes

        Hehe, if only!! 😀

        • Shawn

          Well, hopefully you’ll find some folks to play then.

      • Xodis

        Too far but I have a lot of friends in florida….might be time to move lol.

      • Jeff Biery

        Where do you guys play there? I have a friend that lives there and will be visiting him in a couple weeks.

        • Shawn

          In Pensacola it’s TBS Comics. In Fort Walton Beach it’s TBS Comics. In Crestview Florida it’s the Game Master’s Guild. I hope that helps.

    • Firefly

      According to my bud, the Titan Games & Hobbies in Towson was swarming with AoS players the other day. Come on down! 😀

    • Matthew

      I am with ya… this game is like christmas.

    • oliver izzard

      Good for you … i would follow if the world they had created in the aftermath was to my liking. It just isn’t …

      • Xodis

        What were you expecting? It might actually be a little pocket world someday.

    • Manxol Adria

      I trully disliked the article… the whole point to say something is good should never be “look, that isn’t good either”. We can’t defend America killings in middle east just because Hitler killed more people before.

      40k might not be the perfect balance, but that can just be achieved in the most simply games, like scissors, stone and paper.

      X points of Eldars might not be the same overall value than X poins of Tyranids, but I’m pretty sure it is more balance than “that amount” of Eldar vs “that amount” of Tyranid.

      I’ve tried indeed AoS, and it felt just like some childish and simple game it doesn’t atract me. And the pregame was so long, with me and my friend triing to figure out if my amount of Daemons are equal his amount of Lizardman.

      • Frank Krifka

        now that we’ve gotten the obligatory comparison to Hitler out of the way….

        • Kenneth Eubanks

          Then you were doing it wrong. Just .. let go .. of equal amounts and play the game. If he places archers, place scouts. If he places a monster, place a warmachine. When you think you have enough, decline more drops and if he pushes things you have Sudden Death rules to help you.

          • Jordon Arthur Lewis

            Just give up on actually playing a game. Sweet.

  • Sean Snezek

    Couldn’t agree more. People have been taking 40K way to serious lately. Just a heads-up 40K was originally a tabletop/role-playing game that had a DM and was much more story driven. The “narrative” aspect to the game has been ingrained since day one. It’s a shame that we’ve lost our way to spammy, min/max, math-hammered lists. We need to get back to creating our own backstories and special characters!

    • Shawn

      Agreed! I did just that, but no one at all seems interested. As much as they gripe about the rules being broken, if you even suggest house rules the player base has a sudden coronary.

    • Malthrak

      The game isn’t set up that way anymore. GW’s trying to bring that back with a rulset that still fundamentally tries to play like a pickup/competitive ready game in terms of game setup, table setup, and victory conditions. It’s all just handled very badly.

      If GW wants narrative missions and RPG style play, they’re going to need to go back to a core ruleset more like RT’s and less like 3E and even 2E’s rules. Hamfisting it into the 5th or 6th iteration of a ruleset designed for pickup and competitive play, doesn’t work, leaving us with a steaming pile that suits nobody.

      • Robert Duke Newnham

        last I checked the game is set up how you both agree on… if you set it up as competitive effectiveness play then it will become such but if you do it narrative then it will be narrative GW have given us guidelines and some core rules to play a game of warhammer they have always been there to choose how you wish to play of course agreed by both sides.

        • Charon

          The problem is not the game mode (although it really can be time consuming negotiating different views of “power level”). The problem (for me) is that the game is just boring. I have played 5 games so far (and I wont play any more) and it just isn’t fun to play. I can understand why the emphasis in this article is “we drank some beer and then drank some more” because the game is too boring to play sober.

          • Xodis

            I think the scenarios that are coming out will be what adds the unique flavor. That keeps you coming back for more. A singular goal of “kill the enemy as much as you can” is bound to become old eventually.

          • wibbling

            Why isn’t it ‘fun’?

          • Charon

            Im sure it is “Fun” to some people. There are quie a few that enjoy “Mensch-ärgere-dich-nicht”.

          • AircoolUK

            But I thought the game was aimed at kids?

            So it’s actually aimed at drunk kids?

          • benn grimm

            Haha, yeah..

          • Robert Duke Newnham

            or maybe your one person and they are another person the like things you don’t and you like things they don’t if you don’t like the game that’s fine but don’t make excuse’s with too boring to play sober that just makes you come off as pitiful.

          • Charon

            Using my personal opinion, which was easily to recognize as such (the “for me” might give it away) to start a useless fight doesn’t really make you come off as an hero either.
            In fact it makes you look stupid. That beeing said, I guess the game is probably aimed at people like you with a limited attention span and and an inability to grasp the content of only 4 sentences.

          • Robert Duke Newnham

            ironically your the one starting the useless fight here with that comment… talk about hypocritical eh I accept this game is not for everyone it has its faults that the same with every game welcome to the real world now stay a wile and listen.

            To answer your response to who the game is for the game is aimed at everyone not just a select bunch of special snowflakes just like most games but the 4 rules is more for people that would rather play the game then read a 120+ page book to understand the game… the only time I wish to read 120+ page involving a game is reading its background lore not how to play a game of toy soldiers…

            GW is trying to help you also by bringing more players into the fold from 40k and new to war hammer all together the entry cost and understanding of the current 8th edition game was the fault that pushed people away I am pretty sure they did survey’s and research on this by asking people YES asking the general public forums and most likely the mass of emails they get from people to see with there product appeals too and not because of attention spans and also people would rather do something more productive with there time then learn a game with 120+ pages worth of rules and guidelines…

          • Charon

            I see… reading is not for everyone.

            The game is NOT aimed at “everyone”. It is NOT aimed at people who want to play a wargame. It is aimed at people who go “lets meet up in the middle and roll a few dice!” and brag about how their dice results were somehow tactical genious decisions.

            GW is NOT trying to help me with bringing people into AOS. How exactly is getting more people into a boring game helping? Getting bored with more differnt people?
            I would rather watch 50 shades of grey than playing another snoozefest of AOS.

          • Robert Duke Newnham

            Not for everyone… okay typing is clearly not for you the new rules are more understandable then the last edition that a child could understand this edition over the last one that clearly states they designed it in the mind set that it is simple for them to understand. Its also for everyone because anyone who is 100% new to the hobby reading a huge book of rules would bore and lose there interest or simply confuse them so 4 page’s is desirable.

            There is tactics in everything regardless if there in plain sight or not for instance you can now put 1 line wrapped around a unit of range units to protect them from being charged wile they are free to shoot those who charged that defending unit the tactic there is using a units designed as the role of defence to shield a unit that is designed for damage output they will widdle down the attacking unit also battleshock will do its damage if your general is inspiring presence the shielding unit they will never run and the enemy unit that is trying to brake them will have to suffer battle shock test because of the archers this is called a tower formation.

            Justifying your bored with it is your personal optional you don’t speak for everyone else and you clearly don’t speak for my interest’s so please be open minded and not like the rest of the negative bunch.

          • Charon

            Again. Maybe i have to spell it letter by letter for you to understand.
            The game beeing boring IS MY PERSONAL OPINION and I even marked it as such. I even told you in my LAST POST AGAIN that this is my personal opinion.
            So how should I voice it that a person that is only able to understand 4 pages of rules is able to comprehend it without osing interest in reading in half a sentences.
            Personal Opinion.
            Personal Opinion
            Personal Opinion
            TO ME the game is boring. It is basically just shoving things around and rolling some dice. Most of the stuff you do is complete meaningless. The only action that requires you somewhat to think is the order you do your attacks.
            Personal Opinion end.

            Personal Opinion end.

            Personal Opinion end.

            You are a prime example of an apologist just looking to pick up a fight. Im so sorry that I have the wrong kind of fun. I will gladly ask you and your lot in the future if I may have fun doing things I enjoy. I hope for your approvement.

          • Robert Duke Newnham

            “The game is NOT aimed at “everyone”. It is NOT aimed at people who want to play a wargame. It is aimed at people who go “lets meet up in the middle and roll a few dice!” and brag about how their dice results were somehow tactical genious decisions.”

            Is a prime example of justifying your the word of the community I don’t see anything mentioning your personal view in that paragraph if it was a personal viewpoint it would have started out as I don’t think this game is aimed for everyone…

          • Charon

            Oh I forgot. The duke speaks for EVERYONE. Because “the game is aimed at EVERYONE” is so much better. I can clearly say that it is NOT aimed at EVERYONE because it is not aimed at my gaming group and not aimed at me. Per definition it can’t be aimed at EVERYONE if even a single person says “this is not aimed at me”.
            So please elaborate how this is aimed at me when I clearly tell you “I think it is boring and I do not want to play another game of it”

            So, if it excludes people. How dare you to claim it is aimed at EVERYONE. How do yu even dare to speak up for everyone? Did you get elected or are you just another sad basement dweller who jumps at everyone who doesnt like the same things as him?

    • Dave

      Yeah, when I think overpowered I think of Rogue Trader. Stack-able power fields,virus grenades, loading an Eldar dread’s (or spirit something..) grenade launcher with multiple vortex grenades – I think it could be a level 4 psycher as well! Not to mention orbital strikes :-). It was hard to play without a GM – but we did, and we argued a lot while managing to have a good time.
      Personally, I prefer some sort of point system. The fact that 40k is messed up now is because they’ve created a monster to sell more and more models. The newest trend seems to be free points, which require more models. That’s a slippery slope and basically ups the standard game size in a backhanded way. Ever increasing army sizes raises the startup cost, which played a big part in killing WFB.
      Right now I’m passing on AoS, but if the warscroll system evolves into something I can comfortably create pick up lists for I’ll give it a shot. I’m intrigued at the concept, just not the execution.
      Would love to see something like that for a kill team 40k game.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        well said.

        This post is dumb. The fact that GW keep breaking the 40K points system to sell models isn’t an argument against points systems in principle. The fact that sales continue to decline as the points system gets less accurate might show how important points balance is.

        No points system can be perfect, lets face it, few things in life are perfect, but striving for improvement is better than just giving up and losing the utility of a points system entirely.

        • Xodis

          Maybe its not giving up, but a different approach at balance. I mean its been how many years and the point system hasn’t gotten that much better, how long should they wait until trying things a different way?

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I really hope it is a different approach, but if it is, why doesn’t GW communicate about it? Why wasn’t it ready for the release? They should have known how people would respond to the absence of points values.

          • Xodis

            True, some communication is better than none…I think. Last time they tried though their Facebook page was destroyed lol. Seriously GW fans are very….passionate online lol

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            well we all love the IP but the company has treated its customers like sh1t for years, so any avenue for two way communication will be filled with the venting of spleens for a long time.

            Even one way communication would be a start though- ie tell us what you are going to do and why GW!

            I do believe though that if GW made a statement about how it wanted to change, laid out some ethical principles it was going to follow (communication being the main one, not squatting people’s collections the second) and explained why it acts as it does, everyone would give them a fair chance.

          • Xodis

            I totally agree, and hoped it was in the last White Dwarf, but there is still a chance it could be in this weeks WD though.

          • benn grimm

            I dunno, they had a facebook page for black library and hired this guy to actually communicate with with the posters, this was last year i think. Then one day it all went dark; there hadn’t been much ‘passionate’ talk on there and people were actually really respectful. I think the policy was decided upon quite apart from being a response to ‘passion’.)

          • CoffeeGrunt

            Oh yeah, GW Digital ran by a guy called Eddy. By all accounts it was really cool.

            IIRC, they didn’t want to pay a full-time guy to do the job, though, and ultimately Eddy had other work that was getting in the way.

          • benn grimm

            Fair enough, a shame though, that guy single handedly built more good will in that short time than gw had in a long time before or since tbh.

          • ZeeLobby

            like… er… what? In the end, unless both armies are identical, there will be no sure-fire way completely balance forces. Points help balance that, like unit costs in Starcraft 2. It’s already been proven that Wounds, warscrolls, etc. are not a good way to balance AoS, and now people are basically reinventing the points system to try and do so…

          • Xodis

            There ARE games however that are balanced without points, they do exist despite everything that people believe. Nothing has also been proven since we barely know the new rules, AND the old army rules are stated as being “a nice goodbye” and will be removed along with all the current model line.

          • ZeeLobby

            Ture, there ARE games that are balanced without points, but GW made a ruleset that would benefit from them, and then threw them out the window… Either way, they just did a piss-poor job of creating a system behind the models.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            yes, you can always ignore points and play something story based, but you can’t easily invent points or another system of balance if the game wasn’t designed with that in mind.

          • Tech2Rush

            It’s got nothing to do with using points, it’s GW who refuses to do running adjustments to the points to balance things out. A simple points errata every, say, half year would do wonders for 40K.

            They’re simply too set in their old ways and whatever is released in a codex seems set in stone. Moving to War Scrolls instead solves nothing.

          • Xodis

            Thats my point exactly! GW doesn’t do well with points already, not with new codices, not when they tranform the game, or even change an edition and reprint all the same codices we got the year prior. So WHY NOT change to a system where units seem equal, there are no points, and we play a scenario thats already balanced so all the fun is just focused on playing?

          • Tech2Rush

            We might agree on the problem, ie. GW simply not doing a good job, but we don’t agree on the solution.

            I think point systems are good for tabletop wargames but they require more a lot more effort than GW has been willing to put into it. In fact I wish GW would take an active part in organizing tournaments, certifying judges of different levels, and doing at least quarterly point updates and erratas for all armies. In short I wish they treated the game like WotC treats Magic:the Gathering. Do you think M:tG would be as successful as it has been if they insisted on being a collectible card manufacturer only, and letting the players figure out the rules themselves? Most likely not, and that’s why I think GW is underselling themselves (literally) by only putting the barest minimum of effort into their rules writing and balancing.

            The reason I don’t want pre-made scenarios is because to me listbuilding is fun. Tweaking my Necron list and pondering tactics so I can beat my friends Eldar is to me one of the most enjoyable solo aspects of the game. Scenarios with pre-made lists belong in starter sets where they certainly serve a very good purpose, but please don’t deny me the listbuilding aspect of the game. Have scenarios included if you will, but that doesn’t mean points have to be removed, we can have both.

            I do respect your opinion though, and think there is room for all kinds of players of 40K 🙂

          • Xodis

            I think you are right on all accounts, I think we just have different “hopes” about how GW will react.
            Points systems CAN work, and probably work better than non-point systems. Unfortunately we haven’t seen GW put together a point system that does work lol. A competition format would improve the balance of the game dramatically.
            I enjoy listbuilding as well, and unfortunately kept getting the shaft as a CSM player. I love my Black Legion, but when it comes to points cost (which I visualize as resource cost) those damn Noise Marines are too expensive for what they should be able to do lol. They can either attack fast, or sit back and rain death…..somehow they can’t do both anymore though. I think the scenarios are too model specific, and hope that its just the format for the box and not the style of play AoS will see.
            With a pointless system all the units have to be good at what they do, and balanced with other units. Hopefully we will see that, yes we all know GW doesn’t have the best track record with this type of thing. The recent change in fluff, which is a pretty big deal considering the time honored tradition of “never moving forward even for a second because everything is about to change”, has me thinking this game could lead to something brutally fun and what people want, balanced gameplay with customizable armies.

    • benn grimm

      Just out of interest have you ever played 40k with a gm? We used to play with one back at school, and whilst it was kind of fun, it was also a right palaver and mainly an excuse for this kid to show how much smarter he was than the rest of us.

      We soon started playing regularly in my mates loft at weekends as a group, but kind of forgot to invite the gm, and it turned out none of us missed him at all and that in fact he was quite surplus to requirements. Sorry Steve if you’re reading this, you were just too pompous… 😉

      • vonevilstein

        Some the worst, most badly though out, utter rubbish games were when we used a GM. Although it has be said some the best games I’ve ever had were also with a GM. It was usually miss much more often than hit, but the hit’s were really good.

        Can’t say I miss a GM either though.

        • benn grimm

          Yeah, same, we’ve had some cool apoc/big fantasy seige games, where you really benefit from a good GM, its the requirement I don’t miss.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            GMing is a real skill, it makes you in effect a game designer. I’ve GMed a few games and if you are doing it right its great fun.

            I like to introduce new objectives, weather/meteorites/natural disasters, civilians driving cars along roads, and randomly acting third forces (like genestealers hiding on an objective, or a some mercenaries who turn up in an Arvus Lighter to try to steal.the relic). You can’t do that sort of thing easily with just two players, and if you did it wouldn’t be a surprise.

      • Charon

        Can happen with any game that needs a GM. My RPG history has seen quite a few.
        That beeing said, the game itself can greatly benefit from a competent GM (who does not play himself) in campains or bigger battles.
        Would not recommend it for general play.

  • Firefly

    +1.

  • Tmullen

    Finally positivity regarding AofS. Great read.

  • Daniel McCarty

    I’m not sure whether I agree with the points on 40k or not. I play Necrons, and yes, it is hard to lose at my local club (no one plays Eldar, it’s mostly marines). I have heard that the new CEO is redoing a lot of 40k codices to take the game in a new direction. This means a power bump rather than a power creep. I really hope the other codices catch up in terms of power. I love my new toys, but of course I want a challenge and a fair game. My glass is half full for now. I’m hoping the new Marines and Dark Angels give me trouble. I also want to try the Khorne Daemons. They look super fun.

    • Daniel McCarty

      Also looking forward to AoS. My Beastmen monsters aren’t a total joke anymore, woo!

    • AbbeyTemplar

      Bloodletters and Heralds are all kinds of crazy fun. I ran 2 units of 15 and they die pretty easy but they don’t lose many from battleshock. The decapitating strikes on 6’s are what makes them brutal – mortal wounds are great against big monsters and heroes. Khorne was most pleased with that slaughter.

      • Firefly

        Anything to make killing Stonehorns easier.. @_@

        … and that’s coming from a Lizardmen player! 😉

  • AbbeyTemplar

    I’m hearing this from more and more people as the days roll closer to the official release. I’ve played a few games of AoS and it’s fun for both me and my friends who have got interested in the new system. Friends have started sorting out models, painting, rebasing and coming up with cinematic style scenarios to play out and just see what happens.

  • I agree. Very much.

  • OrksIsMadeFerRockin

    Played a few games it was fun in the way I enjoy every other miniatures game I’ve played not in my top five. Seems to me that the only thing keeping this from going stale quick would be constant campaign books like the rumor monsters have been spewin. But then again they will be charging for those. Lucky for me I have 3 big fantasy armies already so I can change it up. I like that I can field whatever i want so my big monsters can see the field. Though from my experience it seems the games should be kept on the small side 3-5 units is kinda quick and hides the fact that you are basically just throwing threes and fours for 30-45 minutes. Much bigger and IMO the game starts to drag. No points does indeed seem to work for friendly narrative games I wouldn’t play this game with “that guy.” Seems ok happy for those who are excited. Sad for WFB.

    • Firefly

      “Throwing threes and fours,”

      I don’t mean any offense, but this is pretty much how I remember 8th… except not throwing many dice at all, just moving things and saying, “Ha! I’m one degree out of your front arc,” or, “Oh, lookit that! I… double-fleed, again.” “Ha-ha! Six-diced Dwellers! I am accomplishing things! Six-diced a bound spell with no penalty! Huzzah!”

      The same tactics over and over, constantly wondering why I put down so many models when I only use 1/5 of them.. I dunno. It got old for me, personally.

      • OrksIsMadeFerRockin

        Then you will probably tire of this too. The tactical depth just isn’t there for this. Like I said it’s fun just don’t think it has the replay value even 8th did with the different spells/ magic items/ ways you can build your heroes limited as they were.

        • Firefly

          I agree that I’ll tire of it eventually, because that’s human nature… but as of right now it appeals to me more than 8th did at the onset. It appeals to me in the way that 40k did when I first got in (played Deff Skullz, actually).

          Besides, the tactical depth *is* there. I’m just now learning the fun to be had by manipulating retreating + the 3″ pile in requirement… I think that a lot of strategy will be coming from there, specifically. Plus, the game is so new that the tactical depths have yet to be explored… and the ocean will only get deeper with new releases in this extremely dynamic ruleset.

          We’ve had the rules for.. 3, 4 days? Of course people are just throwing everything in the middle and duking it out for now. I doubt that people were double-fleeing, overrunning into new combats, understanding tarpits, etc. within a week of 6th, 7th, 8th’s release, etc.

          Even without that, the fluff potential is amazing for this. *shrug* I like it. I mean, yeah, building heroes in 8th was fun… but 8th just wasn’t that much fun. Way too expensive, way too competitive (despite its horrible imbalances), and only two ranks of my Saurus (supposedly some of the most unstoppable warriors in history) could fight? My Stegadon was prone to flee from Empire swordsman? What?! Ugh, no thanks.

          • OrksIsMadeFerRockin

            I get it you didn’t enjoy being the general of a large medieval fantasy army other people did. I also like 40k but AOS deals in a lot of constants and bravery hasn’t really come up that much in the 7 games I’ve played. I understand that doesn’t make me an expert but from that experience it seems this is far more repetitive than even 8th. Time will tell if this gets better. But I think it’s a little early to call this a dynamic system. But mostly like I said happy for people who are excited. Sad for WFB.

          • Firefly

            No, I’m with you. It’s a bummer that it upsets people. At the same time, I’m part of the crowd that has really enjoyed it thus far. I hope you find what you’re looking for.

          • OrksIsMadeFerRockin

            you seem confused I have the game I’m looking for and it’s not AOS.

          • AircoolUK

            There’s also the fact that, even though we have the rules, we don’t yet have the units that were specifically designed for those rules, nor the scenario’s etc…

  • BlackKnight

    I’ve seen soooo much negative…and 99% from people who are in the game to completely crush their opponents as opposed to playing a fun game that tells a story. Sad.

    Picking up my starter box this weekend!

    • Tmullen

      Yeah most of the people i see whining about this game sure seem like the kind of folks id tell no thanks too. If you want to take advantage of no points and power game someone so hard they get whiplash….do it. Once. You will get one game with them because youre a bad sport.

      Or you know…have fun with your toys…

      • Xodis

        Problem is, that those people threatening to lay out their entire army must have missed the “Sudden Death Victory” section that will totally bone them over lol.
        “I out number you 5-1 HAHAHA”
        “Cool, I’m targeting this group of 5 warriors on your frontline as my Sudden Death target, and since its my turn my entire army attacks….I win :D”

        • Tom Black

          Yeah, you don’t pick the target for sudden death – your opponent does.
          It’s amazing how many people are getting this wrong. It’s only four pages of rules people, read them closer!

          • Xodis

            Only if you pick Assassination or Blunt, the other two are YOUR choice….its amazing how many people forget THAT in only 4 pages of rules….

          • Autumnlotus

            what Choice are you speaking of? the other 2 are in the Oversized armies favor. taking the enemies deployement zone is niegh impossible, and keeping your own is hard when theres 150+ chaos warriors trolololing through your army like a knife through butter.

          • Xodis

            Depends on how its played, 150+ Chaos Warriors rolling around might be slow, could be terrain in the way, could be a lot of factors…
            Maybe they are all fast, that would suck, maybe there is a defensible position, that would rock, maybe, maybe, maybe…
            Tons of factors that could change the game, plus were still talking about older rules for older armies that are all going bye bye later, so its kind of moot.

          • Autumnlotus

            since they are 90% of the rules we have now, discreditting them sort of makes the remaining two choices into just a board game with 2 sides. and since terrain does little on the average game board unless u roll bad, its super easy to avoid them. That plus dozens of ways to exploit movement and summoning, there is no reason logically to not take a huge army if you are in it to win. Am I? No, but i have 2 armies on both sides of the spectrum (Night goblins and Nurgle Chaos) that worry me about making a “Fair” army

          • Xodis

            Many groups of small enemies can be easily targeted with assassinate, and large groups of units can be avoided with many small units. There is always a way.

          • Autumnlotus

            Many groups of small enemies are also easy to murder with battleshock against a massive force. There is very little screening and false charging in this game to begin with because of how the charge rules work now

          • Frank Krifka

            charge blocking is way easier now with chaff. Put a small unit of fast but expendable models 3″ from an enemy unit, and they’re forced to charge it (wasting their charge that round) or retreat (wasting a charge that round) with enough small expendable units blocking movement in a 3″ radius on ALL sides, means all those killy troops are going nowhere; thus I win turn 6 with my model still alive.

          • Tom Black

            I was replying to your comment about assassinate… Which was wrong. I see that lower down you’ve actually read the rules and changed your tack towards endure and seize. Grats!

          • Xodis

            You are correct I changed it since the joke was taken literally and not you know….as a JOKE. Should prevent any further confusion.

    • Sh4d0wProph3t

      You’re making a bit of a sweeping statement there. I for one, think if a game has a premise that involves you competing against someone, it needs to have a semblance of balance so that neither party feels cheated. It doesn’t make everyone who wants the balance to be objectively (it’s far from perfect but the implication of authority prevents most complaints) determined a WAAC power gamer.

      One of the guys I play with has some form of low level autism and while I love him, he’ll be a frickin’ nightmare with this system.

      Anyway, not to rag on you, but just to say that most people criticise the game because they want to love it. The fact that GW has managed to alienate a large amount of the player base that quite frankly would have previously picked up the game without second thought is quite scary for me because I don’t want to see the company fail.

      • Xodis

        ” ..but just to say that most people criticise the game because they want to love it”
        Normally I would agree, but not here. Its kind of toxic here, people complain over someone writing an “unboxing” and reminding people that they sell the box btw. Its like really?!?! Someone took the time to show you everything and you complain because they are also trying to run a business?

        • Autumnlotus

          Thats a brash assumption to make. You might not like the whining and complaining, and trust me there is a metric ton or two, but its unlikely that even half of those whiners are whining for no real reason. Most are people invested in 8th or earlier, and want the game to get better rather then fall apart at the starting yardline

          • Xodis

            My example clearly states that if people will complain about someone doing the community a favor, and the community complaining about said favor because he’s also trying to make profit…that its pretty toxic. If this wasn’t a fact I could see your stance, but sadly this is all too true.

          • Autumnlotus

            your “facts”, are in fact opinions. many dont see it as a favor, and complain about it because of the smugness some feel tied to the actions, And please dont put words into my mouth: the difference between whining and “toxicity” is massive. People can whine without being unproductive and force detractions in progress. Making light of their worries is as insulting as people mocking others for being excited about AoS

          • Xodis

            No my fact is a fact, my opinion was based on facts, there is a difference.

            How can one not see it as a favor, you literally get to see inside the box without having to purchase or even leave your home. People feel “smugness” tied to the actions? Please elaborate, as I never considered a business owner, trying to make a sale as being smug, would probably be counter productive to their intended goal and shortly stopped if true. Ill also note that you think that a “metric ton or two” of “whining” is in no way toxic.

          • ronin_cse

            Smugness of unboxing a product? Really?

          • Autumnlotus

            Comments made throughout the various articles, not so much the unboxing itself.

          • ronin_cse

            Ah ok, fair enough then

          • Xodis

            I also didn’t say everyone here was toxic, but even your comment about “… like the whining and complaining, and trust me there is a metric ton or two…” goes to show that even YOU understand there is some toxicity here.

        • ZeeLobby

          That’s me exactly. I was pumped for AoS. I liked the warmachine-like interactions. But as soon as it dropped with no points, I was out…

  • Shawn

    Well said Dan.

  • Jason McFarland

    Damn you, evil GW! You’re making players *gasp!* TALK to their opponent, find out what the opponent wants to get out of the game. We’re not going to be automatically bent on the complete and utter destruction of my opponent and making every newb within 20 feet cry. What’s the point? (<— see what I did there?). Our entire ultra competitive urges have all been a sham. I'm off to use my 80 win-on-turn-two 40k army lists to cry my Eldar tears into….

    • hamilton geyser

      yeah but how do you actually figure out how to have a fair and fun game? From what I can tell, it comes down to sheer trial and error.

      • Jason McFarland

        You say that like its a bad thing

        • hamilton geyser

          If time is limited, it is.

          • Tmullen

            If time is limited why are you playing a new game you dont like?

          • hamilton geyser

            i’m not.

          • Xodis

            Then you have nothing to worry about.

          • DanielBeaver

            That’s the crux of the issue. I only play WHFB a handful of times a year, so I don’t have the time to grind through games and figure out the relative power levels of units.

      • Xodis

        Actually putting your giant large force on the table is an easy way to lose the game, so there is a self balancing measure already in place.

        • Autumnlotus

          how so? every sudden death advantage can be exploited by the enemy since th one with the mot models gets to choose what the objective targets. That, nothing stops someone from just placing 4-8 big monster wizards and summoning 4-8 new units every turn

          • Xodis

            ” If one army has
            a third more models than the other, the
            outnumbered player can choose one
            objective from the sudden death table
            aŽ er generals are nominated.” How does the one with the most models get to chose when I just copied/pasted this straight from the PDF?

          • Xodis

            Ah sure if I (the lower model count player) choose Assassinate or Blunt, the enemy player gets to chose, but I guess that would be a tactical choice determined by model placement, army, etc…. Otherwise I would get to pick Endure or Seize ground instead.

          • Autumnlotus

            Read the Assassinate and Blunt Rules, and get back to me. the other two are worse, since being outnumbered means reaching the other side of the board or keeping control of your own is a losing battle

          • Xodis

            Its really not though, just goes back to tactics (that this game seems to lack I hear). Gives players choices, and lets them choose which is better for his goal or army.

          • Autumnlotus

            what “tactics” stop a army of 35+ ogres from killing all of your 30 empire models? as a random example of vast overpowering force? cant fly past them, and they now are chasing you off the board. it could be made worse even, have the whole field be nothing but ogres, 60-70 of them with their guns and great melee power. or go 100+ in warriors and keep spawning more with chaos lords. So many ways to deny you any chance at Tactics. So tell me your tactics, because i have heard that catch-all term since 3rd edition 40k, to give players an excuse to make angry people look stupid

          • Xodis

            Dont know, since never played WHFB, so off the top of my head I cant be sure. Honestly though if he has say 40 and I have say 20. I would know (since its literally the first step of the game) how his army will be set up (how many groups of how many ogre). Multiple large groups of ogres mean I seperate into many many many small numbers of people, few large groups mean the same thing probably. He cant chase everyone. But lets say he decides 1 model in every group, guess its time to do assassinate since any unit he picks is a single model unit….see tactics.

          • Autumnlotus

            I place that one model in the back, in the middle of a ring of 10 ogres. Now u have no tactics unless u somehow reach my table edge. And it’s not very surprising that u haven’t played fantasy before, it seems a lot of people into AoS haven’t had the concept of what is being lost in this update worked through their head properly

          • Xodis

            Well then this would be my fault for not bringing ranged, I should have been more “tactical” in my choices instead of thinking a single infantry type would work.
            No I have a concept of what was lost, I just think it’s better as a skirmish game (with all the success of skirmish games), and trying to balance 9+ armies with 20+ “different” sets of rules that allow customization is a daunting task and its no wonder that GW failed with WHFB and with 40K.

          • Autumnlotus

            It sucks as a skirmish game though, look at ogres/chaos warriors/vampire counts versus goblins/peasant bretonians/beastmen. Equal models mean the former will win, and if u make a “fair” list then the former army gets sudden death and can win even faster. Trust me, I’ve played the game abooout 15ish times now? I’ve been on both sides of this, and can say the game is seriously boring and easy to become one sided if you aren’t an optimizer for both sides

          • Xodis

            Again you’re still trying to prove points using rules for armies that have already been said were going away and were made as a farewell to the old armies/rules. You’re still playing the base rules which only include 1 scenario (kill as many of the enemy as you can), OF COURSE that would get boring, it gets boring in 40K with “balanced” armies. Its the base rules + farewell rules to the old armies. Those rules are there for people who have giant armies they can throw together, and have been playing WHFB for awhile. The leak of the starter set shows that the game is going a different route, scenarios that mix things up, add flavor, and keep things relatively equal, while making it a much more interesting skirmish game rather than “lets kill each other.”

          • Autumnlotus

            Well my opinion is based off what we have, not what we are being promised by hearsay comments from GW reps I have never seen it heard from myself nor my store manager. I form my opinions off available facts, and now all that this game can do is murder objectives and be unbalanced. Maybe it will get better, but honestly I see the games getting worse once they start removing the old models and pretending like this broken game is fun for kids. We have kids in our store, hell we showed them the game and made no negative comments about it. They immediately began complaining on how stupid it was that they had to work out how to set up for themselves rather then have guidelines (they played x-wing which has points), and that there was zero customization to personalize the armies. After about 2 games they asked what the starter kit was like compared to the x wing box, and laughed at the high price and “gold hammer men”

          • Xodis

            Yeah, no way to defend the prices of GW, its been crazy since I started wargaming with them.
            As for past armies getting the boot, thats just like GW. They do it every new edition of every game sometimes worse than others, so its completely believable to me.

          • Autumnlotus

            Rarely is it whole ranges though. I’m just hoping that the end times stuff get equivalents in the new game. I have 3 maggoth lords, and want to use them xD

          • Xodis

            I think it would be pretty silly for their not to be. It might not be a Maggoth Lord specifically, but I’m sure there will be something that is an equivalent.

          • Xodis

            Also I looked though the Ogre Kingdoms PDF, and couldnt find a single unit that qualified as Hero, Monster, Priest, or Wizard for Assassinate that wasn’t a single model Warscroll. I might have just missed it, but it could be intentional.
            Brings up a bigger question, in your scenario of 40 Ogres, with no character that qualifies as an Assassinate target, if I chose Assassinate, do I win since you cant pick a target for me, or do you have to separate an Ogre and call him a Hero for the rule?

          • Autumnlotus

            Realistically? I would say its something u can’t choose for that game, or u have to choose my acting general. If I had a player that went “well u don’t have a hero, I guess I win”, I wouldn’t ever play that person again

          • Xodis

            Yeah, but if you set down 30+ ogres against his 20 Spearmen force chances are he already felt the same way about you lol

          • Autumnlotus

            It’s an exaggeration obviously, but I see your point. I just worry for how these rules work, since having equal model counts doesn’t automatically balance it, and if u are lopsided in model count there is zero reason not to just jam more models into the army as fodder

          • Xodis

            I feel that is how Scenarios will come into play. Giving the limitations for an equal battle.

          • Autumnlotus

            I’m wary about that tidbit, since relying on scenarios for balance is a bit worrisome when GW has a bad track record with balancing rules for them

          • Xodis

            Im sure one side or the other will have an edge, otherwise its not much of a scenario. The current route of making every unit useful and equal (this is what I gathered from the box set) shouldn’t make things unwinnable though.

          • Autumnlotus

            Scenarios tend to make one side have an advantage, with the other side having more models or an objective/rule that lets them win easier. I’m just hoping the Nurgle warriors don’t look as stupid as the khorne ones. “Hey, WE’RE KHORNE CANT YOU TELL?”

          • Xodis

            Lol, yeah but isn’t that just like Khorne though? I always saw Nurgle as more subtle in his ways since disease and decay is playing the long game.

          • Autumnlotus

            Oh they totally are, always found warriors wearing helmets that are essentially billboards for their god to be super stupid. The Nurgle end times models at least made the three connected dots into simple armor symbols or large cyst mutations.

          • Paul Dovey

            The sudden death rules exclude summoned units. Starting with a few different units and some big shot wizards to summon more units could see you getting sudden death bonuses and a way to go toe to toe with a larger force.

  • People can play whatever way they want. Shouldnt hold it against people who have invested time to feel put off at such a large change. If people thought for themselves more and the Internet less it wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

  • theirkin

    not gonna lie, while this article has a good point (even if it is written in an inflammatory way), i disagree with its conclusions. while 40k is definitely not balanced in its current iteration, i do not believe that abandoning the points system is the correct move. 40k is imbalanced not by the point system, but by the fact that data slates, formations, and codexes are going way too crazy and not creating a sense of balance.

    more care should be taken to curate 40k and the points values of units, because players need a system provided by the game designers which informs their choices in army composition. yes, balance can be achieved without a points system as is currently used by 40k, but age of sigmar is screaming out for some kind of system which allows players to have some confidence that their game will be relatively balanced.

    how is limiting your game to a certain number of wounds, or a certain number of battle scrolls, any different from using points? you are still quantifying the relative worth of units in the game, but using a statistic of the model such as wounds makes it more difficult to balance the game. instead, if you use points (or any other system that doesn’t have inherent effect on the game except to quantify the value of a model/unit), that system allows for a valuation that is the summation of all the units statistics/rules.

    and yes, i understand that there is an argument in favor of allowing players to organically determine their forces to play in a game, but this only works well consistently when the players know each other, or are else part of a group that self-limits. pick-up games become much more difficult, and more likely to result in negative experiences. additionally, without a balancing system, competitive gaming cannot be balanced and therefore cannot expect to remain relevant to the ecosystem of players and (for lack of a better term) the meta, which many players enjoy and find to be an essential part of their hobby.

    i agree that drastic changes were necessary to revitalize fantasy, and i have not played enough age of sigmar to say whether its rules changes will do that, but i strongly believe that without a balancing mechanic which is not directly tied to a single in-game statistic fantasy is in danger of becoming a set of toys, whose game is tangential at best. that may be games workshop’s goal, but i believe it is mis-guided at best, and will overall prove detrimental to the game and the hobby.

    • Kisdra

      Besides, the whole “points does not really balance the game” in the article is based on specific recent elements introduced in 40k : formations. And those are, like trying to find balance out of the blue in AoS, optionnal.

      When you play 30k, in which Forge World did not use any formation stuff, these arguments are quite meaningless.

      • Shawn Pero

        So you’re saying we can’t complain because the way to get balance in 40K is to play 30K, a separate game?

        • Mikael

          No he is saying that the article is wrong in the statement that points are unbalanced, just because of one system using points are a bit unbalanced.

          And as an example he uses 30k, where points are fairly balanced and works.

        • highwind

          Nope, hes saying the solution to “bad reglemantation” is not “no reglementation” but “better/good reglementation”…

  • AKOF

    I agree on the freedom from points when building armies, especially when battalions are in play to give the force some thematic cohesion.

    I do think the rules need a bit more depth.

    • Firefly

      I love your icon, dude. And I agree. 😀

  • KRQuinn

    I am not sure on AoS but the rest of this article as pertains to 40K is complete BS. 7th Edition is really balanced as far as tournaments go from everything I have seen (and I play 1-2 ITC tournaments a month) personally. Even Eldar are not sweeping the tables from what we are seeing, plenty of builds and armies can win.
    Yeah, you bring a soft list to a tournament and you’re going to get your head bashed in, way it has always been in every system out there. I’ve run all sorts of lists and had a blast even when I get smashed. Played plenty of casual (hate to use the word ‘fun’ because fun is something you should get out of all games..other wise there is no sense playing) games also and you have the ability to build whatever you want in this edition WITH points.
    Points are not balanced and never will be or were, but they give you the illusion that you are on an equal footing..and illusion is important. Games are all about illusion, competition and fun.

    • Cromtrio Hunter

      I politely disagree with that notion. Games are about fun, and socializing in my mind. Tournaments are nice for that. But can also cause those with a bit too much competition in them, to feel the need to curb stomp players. As happened in my first 40k tournament, may that Tau player R.I.P.

      • KRQuinn

        It’s a tournament, you want a participation ribbon then do something else. The idea is to score max points after all. We are not talking about pick up games here.

        • Firefly

          I don’t understand… what’s stopping this from being heavily comped, the way that tournament scenes heavily comp everything else?

          Your tournies comp it, casuals have fun, people socialize, everyone wins. I don’t see why that should change.

          • Cromtrio Hunter

            It’s why in general I tend to dissuade new players from the tournament scene in my area. Or at least warn them it’s a very different form of playing 40k then just the friendly games they tend to have.

          • KRQuinn

            Depends on the player, you may get stomped but I guarantee you learn more about the game in one tournament than you will in 20 pick-up games. You just need to not care about winning and learn from losing when you start. Kind of like life, you want the easy road?..good luck succeeding if you can’t take a few knock downs on the way. Maybe I come from a different age or viewpoint but losing always got me more motivated to figure stuff out.

          • Firefly

            It seems like a lot of the tournament players I encountered *only* cared about winning, which was usually evident in their list composition and comments about the game. I don’t mean that that’s a ‘bad thing,’ but I don’t think that the environment is particularly encouraging for a lot of players, either… especially newer ones.

          • Firefly

            I tried the tournament scene once. This guy made a snarky comment that my entire Core wasn’t made up of ten-man Skink Skirmisher squads, and that I “actually fielded Skrox.”

            May he find peace some day. o_o

          • Tom Black

            You got unlucky, or you went to much more serious tournaments than I have. I’ve been playing in WHFB events for the last 8years as its the only way I can guarantee myself games in a year (no local clubs that run around my schedule), and I’ve met “That Guy” only twice.

            I’m mourning the loss of points, because I actively enjoy the logistics of crafting a list, AoS is literally a test to see how,any models I can carry in my bag to a game, and I’m not in this hobby because I enjoy weight lifting…

          • theirkin

            but the problem with coming up with a player-generated comp system is that it will be more difficult to accept on a large scale, and the smaller scale the acceptance, the less it will do to foster the growth of the game’s community. yes, many people do not enjoy tournaments (i don’t like them myself), but i also believe that a system-wide tournament scene fosters growth in a system, and allows a wider variety of players to enjoy the game and encourage its growth.

          • Firefly

            If you can forgive my ignorance (I avoid tournaments like the plague), how are ETC./Swedish/whatever generated? Weren’t these player-generated at some point? Surely someone tested it, and then had to spread the word. What’s stopping players from doing the same for AoS?

          • theirkin

            i would argue that those systems you named are not the same as the requirements placed upon tournament organizers who wish to use age of sigmar. it is true that players can create a system which balances their game, but the problem becomes one of standardization. narrative/casual gameplay does not require this, and that is where games workshop seems to be aiming their games. but competition, in my opinion, is what drives games workshop’s products to be played in large groups, which is the cause of growth. without a standardized system i believe the entire community would fragment or stagnate, and either case is a negative outcome. in the case of ETC, adepticon, and really all other tournaments, the first thing that must be understood is that the players will limit their forces to a specific set of points. that is the basic assumption which implies a certain amount of balance (whether true or not). the main function beyond that, in my opinion, is the clerical needs as well as scoring mechanics. comp systems, in my opinion, are much less desirable and less defensible, but to a certain extent are a necessary evil unless games workshop does more to curate their own games and provide the additional balance that those systems strive to create. look at other games systems. i’m given to understand that warmahordes does a lot more than games workshop to balance itself for tournaments and competitive play, although i do not have a lot of personal experience. infinity needs very little change in its rules to create a competitive scene, and in that system i do have experience and i believe that they’ve done a very good job. yes, infinity is much smaller in scope, but it is also a much smaller company. i believe that games workshop should be concerned with creating a framework for both competitive and casual gaming, and that requires a balancing system.

          • Firefly

            I hear ya. I really don’t get why they wouldn’t insert, “Here’s how you build an army,” in their first release of the rules only to do it later, but… *shrug* GW, man. Iunno.

            It does look like there’s a way to balance this game that works for most players — the framework that you speak of, I mean. If the rumors are true, it allows for & encourages house rules for casuals, and (if implemented as the rumors say) may not cater to the tournament scene… but, simply by virtue of existing, will be malleable by that scene, as any standardized system would be.

            With that out of the way, hopefully that balancing mechanism doesn’t suck! xD Fingers crossed, ’cause I’m loving AoS so far.

          • theirkin

            i’m right there with you. i hope they provide a well thought out system that allows for further growth

          • KRQuinn

            No idea what they will do with AoS in any Tournament, if it even happens. I will say that most 40K tournaments are not heavily comped in my opinion, some tweaks but unless you play ETC it doesn’t effect builds much.
            I just disagree that 40K isn’t ‘balanced’..at the point where I even hate the word because it is so hard to quantify.

          • Vom Kriege

            Most game systems don’t have a heavy “comp” element to their competitive play.

            Warmachine, X-wing, Malifuex, DBM, Flames of war, it’s mostly “play as written” with company errata/faq when required.

            Every system with points has flaws, but that doesn’t mean getting rid of points is a cure-all either.

            Point-free play will be fine between old friends, but I dunno how this will work with strangers or unsupervised youngsters.

            And if you check my blog, you’ll see i’m running a massive “points free” campaign right now, so i’m not entirely talking with from a competitive players perspective

            http://vom-krieg.blogspot.co.nz/2015/05/combat-missions-round-1-battle-for.html

  • hamilton geyser

    it probably speaks more to the fact that Games Workshop isn’t very good at balance with or without points, but plenty of games achieve balance through a points system or similar system all the time. GW’s problem is they have to sell you more minis to feed the machine, and that competes with its need to balance its game.

    • Michael Gerardi

      GW cares for game balance like Khorne cares whence the blood flows: NOT AT ALL.

      For those who don’t get it yet, GW writes unbalanced rules INTENTIONALLY, in order to instill a keep-up-with-the-Joneses mentality in their short-attention-span, easily bored fanboys. The plan: to get more of said fanboys to spend more $$$ on more and more of the latest broken units, and then to switch armies and repeat, and then to switch editions and repeat, over and over and over. Sadly, that plan is not ineffective–until it ends up killing a game. Like WHF.

      Until that changes, balance will only come through player action. There is no prophecy a la Star Wars about some chosen-by-GW-one who will “bring balance to the game.”

  • dinodoc

    This article appears to be an argument against formations wrt balance rather than an argument against the use of points as a balancing mechanism. I actually agree with you on your point regarding formations. They are a detriment to the balance of 40k.

  • hamilton geyser

    Sounds like the best way to play AoS will be through the scenarios. IMO they probably shouldn’t have bothered updating all the old armies on day 1 if they don’t have scenarios. Or at least they should be sure to mention that they are just rough guidelines for a type of game that the system isn’t designed for.

  • ThorOdinson

    What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • I agree, 40K is also a bad game right now.

    • Aaron

      3++ av 13 dreadnaughts….

  • hamilton geyser

    Forget tournaments; its clearly not designed for that and that’s fine. I just want some semblance of balance in a friendly game. With these “rules” (and I use the term lightly), the potential to accidentally put together a completely broken and one sided match is too likely.

    Even friendly games have boundaries.

  • Aaron

    I think your actual point is that GW is really bad at writing rules and AOS is just yet another example of this

  • Michael Gerardi

    GW deliberately chose to write rules for WHF that lowered points, and otherwise rewarded the use of huge numbers of infantry, solely to get plastic crack addicts to buy, buy, buy. And raised prices in the process. WHF is now dead. Killed by GW stupidity and cupidity.

    GW deliberately chose to write rules for 40K that similarly rewarded plastic crack addicts, and for the same reason. And raised prices in the process. 40K has now been afflicted with ridiculously broken formations, as well as other nonsense like allies.

    Points are worthless if they are manipulated for SALES reasons, rather than established for BALANCE reasons.

    • ZeeLobby

      THIS. THIS THIS THIS THIS. Ugh it’s annoying how blind people are sometimes. Points transformed from a balancing factor to a sales promoter. Oh, you’re used to playing 1850 pt games now, well everything just dropped a point, so you better go buy more stuff to fill that gap…

  • Orangecoke

    I like this article but I’m just not sure how to put a balanced match together :/

    • Firefly

      As nice as it would have been for them to list a system of balance (and I really don’t understand why they didn’t), try this:

      Between ‘x’ and ‘x’ battalions (min. x), up to x warscrolls, x wounds per unit max, x wounds per army max.

      Or…

      1-3 battalions (min. 1), up to 6 warscrolls, 40 wounds per unit max, 255 wounds per army max.

      That’s roughly a 3-3.5k battle. So much happened in my last one that, a day later, I’m still writing up the battle report for it.

      Hopefully the days of, “Yeah, and then I ate a six-diced Dwellers on turn 3 and forfeitted because why bother” are gone! Anyway, as long as you and your opponent agree to roughly the same thing and set decent wound caps (make sure that you stagger them, like above), it goes well.

  • hamilton geyser

    I wish GW would go private again. I think that’s their biggest problem. Either that or stop relying on the Warhammer brand to support their bloated corporation. Branch out.

  • Michael Gerardi

    And just to show I’m not a naysayer about all things GW, I offer the following modest proposal for improving AoS balance: instead of setting a fixed number of wounds per side, set a fixed product:

    wounds x ARMY AVERAGE SAVE.

    Merely counting wounds is worthless if there is a serious difference in survivability. Armies with less robust models need more wounds to have a more reasonable chance. Hence, the product. A little extra math is worth it.

    • Firefly

      Wounds per side does work as part of several guidelines so long as there is some pressure to take different types of units, it seems. I don’t mean to tell you how to determine balance with your opponent, merely stating my experience.

      • Stormcaller

        This is something I enjoyed while playing…hordes of Gobbos taking down a Dwarf Lord, for example. The wound per side “balancing” mechanic seems to work pretty well, especially when combined with missions/scenarios.

  • Jordon Arthur Lewis

    Just because GW can’t balance points (aka writing good rules) doesn’t mean having no points is a good idea. How much did GW pay for this puff piece. Was it a lot? Maybe that is why their new primer costs $28 a friggin can.

    • AircoolUK

      Yeah… how do they justify the price of that. Is it real gold or something?

    • Stormcaller

      As much as you received for posting your response. You missed the point, did you not? I was pointing out, to those who are ranting about no points = broken rules, that just because a game has a point system, it may still be broken. I used the 40K example to prove my point. There are other gaming systems, Infinity for example, that use points effectively to provide balance. Their system actually has a “backup” point system that limits the number of special weapons a team can take as well as total points.

      • Jordon Arthur Lewis

        Your point and my point are not exclusive. I did not miss the point. Your case for why having no points is a good thing is essentially that they can’t balance a game with points. That just means they have bad game designers. Instead of buying a new statue in front of their building maybe they should have paid to playtest their game? But instead of questioning their logic behind such dumb decisions, the fan boys lap it up and take the abuse. Seriously, who much did you make to write this? Did you have a red shirt on when you did?

      • Jordon Arthur Lewis

        Oh, did you not want to answer my follow up comment so you deleted it? I’ll assume the answer is yes then, this article was paid for.

        • Stormcaller

          It is gutless wonders like yourself that use the anonymity of the internet to make baseless accusations against people you don’t know. You, and a few others in these comments, have crossed the line when you attack my personal integrity instead of giving feedback about the article.

  • Blah Blah, waste of space….

  • Gridloc

    This article though positive just proves both systems are not balanced and GW has no clue how to fix. Please feel free to rewrite using a better example instead of what many consider to be the worst in balance system currently out there. Compare points and balance in DZC, infinity, Or WM/H. For the latter u even have a few free model themes, yet balance is still somewhat maintained. Points aren’t needed for fun, but eventually the desire to play a game where u don’t have a fair fight becomes boring or loses its fun. I’m hoping campaigns and eventual release of models for AoS (not just the generous warscrolls for us vets) brings a balance or system to make games both challenging and closer to fair.

  • Cannibalbob

    So because 40k is horribly unbalanced they should not even try with fantasy?

    This makes no sense at all.

    • A Legalist

      Since when did GW do anything that makes sense?

    • Xodis

      It is balanced. No points == no balance.

      • benn grimm

        But that’s simply not true. You may not think balance is important, but thats not the same thing.

        • Xodis

          I do think balance is important, how did you jump to the opposite conclusion? And no points not being equal to no balance is very true. Balance can be achieved without points.

          • benn grimm

            No points does not automatically equal no balance, I agree on that. AOS being balanced, I don’t agree on. If i mistook your comment and that isn’t what you were saying then sorry for the misunderstanding.

          • ZeeLobby

            That’s the way his comment reads. It def seems like he’s saying AoS is balanced, which it totally isn’t…

          • benn grimm

            Glad it wasnt just me…:)

  • oliver izzard

    I suppose without points and ‘balance’ then the only reason to play IS for fun (I include story telling and campaigns, role playing inside that awesome bottomless bag of ‘fun’). So since we’re playing for fun and not to win there’s no point in optimizing forces or looking for ‘bug abuse’ to gain a ‘tactical’ advantage.

    I actually totally agree with that …

    They’re going to loose a lot of customers though … competitive players spend tons of cash

    • Jason McFarland

      So do non competitive players and collectors

      • Firefly

        Yep. *raises hand*

        • oliver izzard

          I’m neutral … I haven’t bought anything since the plastic clanrat and stormvermin box came ( so I do buy stuff when something good comes out 😉 ). I never fancied Khorne for myself and find those almost half godlike humanoid giant savior things not to my liking either.

          If they keep attaching 40k weapons to the rat ogres … i’m definitely out of this miniature range.

          I don’t mind the rules per say as a skirmish game with some added house rules … with a reasonable playing partner (and frankly an unreasonable playing partner is not worth having as a friend) anything can work. Again though in that case there are VERY interesting free options out there … if GW makes miniatures I like i’ll buy them if I can.

      • oliver izzard

        so I guess the question is will they gain more then they loose?

        • Cannibalbob

          I am not sure. Because that assumes that they did not have non-competitive players or collectors. What about this set of rules will attract MORE collectors? What about it is going to attract MORE “for fun” players?

          So basically they had a game that was declining in size, and their idea to prop it up is to target a subset of the wargamer market (which is already a small market) and forsake an awful lot of their existing customer base.

          That just does not sound like a recipe for great sales to me.

  • Striker8

    So what did GW offer Bell of Lost Souls for all these oh so positive articles for this new abomination they call a game game?

    I have a feeling some sort of payoff was made going by said contributors past performance.

    • Jordon Arthur Lewis

      I just posted the same thing. This article seems paid for. I assume the primer is so expensive because they are making up for the expenditure of bride money.

      • A Legalist

        Yep there seems to be allot of Sun Shine blowers in Bells of Lost Souls.

    • A Legalist

      +1

    • Xodis

      Yeah, no possible way people might disagree with your opinion of a game so they must be paid.

    • Stormcaller

      How many times do I have to say that I DID NOT receive a payoff? Sorry, that’s a rhetorical question, because we know that no matter how often I say it, folks will not believe it. Well, then, bugger off mate. The other point…as a contributor to this website, I learned long ago that NO MATTER whether you post positive or negative commentary, the trolls will attempt to spray their caustic vomit on what you think. As a writer here, you will always be a fanboy or hater to some people. Nuff said (with all due respect to Stan Lee).

      • Striker8

        Ah, so then why if you learned long ago it doesn’t matter what how often you say it did you feel to say it again? Thou protest to much, so maybe you should be the one to bugger off.

        • Stormcaller

          When you question someone’s integrity instead of commenting on the article they wrote, it makes you a gutless wonder hiding behind the safety of the internet.

          • Striker8

            And yet you reside behind anonymity as well. so you must be a gutless wonder par excellence.

            Your integrity is in question since you are the one writing the article in association with BoLS with no other evidence other than your saying how pure you are. News flash bucko, your word means crap to everyone but yourself. Give some actual evidence of your not being paid off then we can talk. Until then you better either get a thicker skin or just stay off the internet since people are going to question your integrity and far more rudely and offensively than I am.
            I do really like how you think everyone is hiding behind the internet. News flash skippy, I’m direct, blunt, and far from PC in real life and would gladly have this discussion face to face with you.

  • Stan

    AoS doesn’t have points because there will be scenario books and models that will be made to work with each other and balance for the scenario book in an appropriate way.
    I recall some of the rumors said both books and models will be only offered as limited editions in same (all?) cases.
    I’m sure GW would like legacy models and fluff to disappear asap.

    • Robert Duke Newnham

      there is no balance from a outside source as people will find loop holes to bend the rules to there favour making the see-saw tip in there favor as the OP of the article said regardless of points value the only balance is the one you and the other people your playing with makes.

      • Stormcaller

        Well said. You are right…it is the people you play with, that in the end, determine how broken the rules are and how balanced the game is.

        • Robert Duke Newnham

          just like signing a contract if you failed to read it you cant say this contract is unfair can you after all it does say at the bottom you accept all the terms and agreements provided on this document so why is agreeing to a balance of the game your playing any different eh 😀

  • djoyce

    Points in any system were only ever a ballpark.

  • Robert Duke Newnham

    Great article 😀 also the feel of a formation being more then a simple block of rank and file feels more realistic when there in battle.

  • Matthew Wilkinson

    Bam! Perfect! Get gaming back to fun!

  • Jice

    I haven’t played WHFB in a long long time. I just grew out of love with mass battle games I guess, I like a smaller tactical table of miniatures rather than blocks of many of them.

    So I was pretty excited about AoS. It looked like there would be a good balance of large models and units, each filling a niche role that would only get you so far if you were to fill the board with them. That was exciting. Then I finally got a look at the Warscrolls. I don’t need points. What I do need is some form of structure.

    I thought the warscrolls were going to be a great opportunity to link the box and the product together. Balance units around how many are in a single warscroll. One warscroll of Skaven slaves would be 25 models and you’d get 25 in the box, while Harganeth Executioners would have a unit size of 10 and you get 10 in the box, Darkshards unit size of 15, and you get 15 in the box etc… You know, some kinda structure.

    Instead what we got was mayhem. Darkspears, no where near as useful as Black Guard but equal footing when it comes to how many you put on the table? Why would I buy the spears then as a new player?

    There was opportunity here for Perfect Sales and Game Play balancing where what you buy from a box is all you need for that unit, but instead it’s a system in which I can put down 300 cold one knights on the table as one unit and activate the entire thing on my turn.

    I don’t understand why they didn’t have at least that kinda structure as that’s what most Young players with limited budgets would end up doing anyway. If they can only Afford one box a month, they’re only going to buy one box at a time. And if the Boxes aren’t balanced and there are no limits to the amount you can use in a single unit, it becomes a game of he who has the most money wins.

    And while I agree the goal of any game in to have fun, and it’s possible to have fun doing any old thing you and your mates agree on. Rules and Structure mean you can play with anyone without having to have a 2 hour conversation before you both come to an agreement on what’s fair. That’s the play testers jobs, not ours.

    What if Fantasy Flight designed a card game where you can take any cards you want, make decks as big or small as you want, there’s no limit on the cards you take, and a good card is just as expensive as a bad card. And when asked why, they retort that you’re just supposed to have fun and not worry about balance between cards. How many would be defending them? or the low BBG ranking they’d have.

    No, Points don’t matter. But loosey goosey free form do what ever you want ins’t good for a game either.

    • Aezeal

      Agree.

  • TweetleBeetle

    Nobody talks about imbalance in 40k since the Decurion style started. In fact, each codex since has had loads of powerful options, and an incentve to stay within one codex instead of cherry picking. But that option, as well as the original CAD, are still available for people who want them.

    The last major tournament results have seen incredibly diverse top 8’s,some even requiring a top 16 before you see similar lists.

    40k is getting stronger and more balanced. Internally and externally.

    That said, Age of Sigmar is a blast, and provides GW’s base (as well as potential new customers) with something it hasn’t had before: a fun, aesthetically beautiful and inexpensive entry into the world of tabletop gaming and hobby.

    The only people claiming imbalance are of two kinds:
    1. Those who haven’t played it.
    2. Those assuming every opponent will always seek to exploit any and everything at all times, while somehow being able to force you to play against them that way.

    • Aezeal

      I find it hard to determine what to bring to an age of sigmar game to get a fun game. I prefer to win, I admit. So I liked to min max a bit and bring my best army in 8th (and being WE that was never someething really OP always had to fight) I do not want to restrict myself and end up loosing ( I can’t play much so every win is worth a lot to me). I liked the points WFB had so there was a good guideline to what I could bring. Nothing to guide me in AoS.

      • archied

        in my experience so far, the summoning is utterly mental.
        the problem is, unless youre starting from the position where youre the sudden death player and thus have a game ending objective to aim for, youre going to lose if you summon unless you can completely wipe out your opponent.
        First game i played of AoS i started with 25 models on the table, and summoned another 26 during the game.
        by the time we called it i’d lost nearly 200% of my starting models compared to my opponents 60 odd %.

      • Stormcaller

        This. And to your question about what to bring, if you create a short narrative around a game with your opponent, you can still get that “I want to win” fix satisfied while still having a good time rolling dice.

  • Yup, totally right, GW cares not for any balance and their games are only good for beer and pretzels games. Any semblence of balance is only up to us players. And if you want to compete in a strategy game, you should be off looking for a different title right now.

    Off, looking for a different titles now.

    • Vom Kriege

      It’s a fair point. I play X-wing/Armada as a casual game with beer and pretzels. Necromunda was my groups all time favorite “lets just play something” game ever and that had points.

      Just because something has a points system doesn’t mean it’s always played like a knife fight in a dark alley.

  • An_Enemy

    I’ll accept the flawed logic in this article if you can beat me in a staring contest…

    • Robert Duke Newnham

      welcome to fantasy island An_Enemy here have a seat

  • Vomkrieg

    In other words, we know GW can’t get anywhere near game balance, so them not trying is an improvement?

    Makes sense, as their track record with game balance is horrific. But here’s something. Having a points system is a game does not mean you HAVE to use it. If you are more interested in narrative battles, which I do more often than pointed battles, you don’t have to use it.

    I posted this below, but I run a big narrative campaign using X-wing/armada/Imperial Assault/age of rebellion and home grown campaign rules.

    The points are still pretty good for building a rough guide of fairness, even though I only really use them as a guide when designing narrative missions. Creating that balance without the points system would take a lot more figuring out, not saying it’s impossible, but it would require a lot more playtesting and experience.

    http://vom-krieg.blogspot.co.nz/2015/05/combat-missions-round-1-battle-for.html

  • Xodis

    This is awesome lol

  • Garrett Sorensen

    Sure you can “break” warhammer 40k and take an army that is crazy nasty. But you know your doing it. And your opponent should know it too. How well can we judge how broken one of our lists is when there’s not any way to compare the armies and synergies to each other. At least we used to have a way of comparing things before now we have no idea. No one likes that. No one.

    • Xodis

      Its easy, the Sudden Death rule essentially breaks down to “dont be a dick” and works against that guy trying to break the game.

      • dinodoc

        So no horde factions need apply?

        • Xodis

          Horde factions should apply, just be tactical and know that a small elite force has a smaller easier goal in mind than total destruction.

          • Aezeal

            So you are not playing horde anymore.

          • Xodis

            Huh? A Horde army is totally viable, there is just a rule to keep you on your toes if you Horde against a small elite force. So its not the awesome auto-win people seem to think.

      • Stormcaller

        Well said…and the crazy thing is, it actually works!

  • A Legalist

    LOL you want to complain about Eldar. Try facing down a Necron army and tell me who’s broke. Every army got a stupid power formation. Besides it still takes allot of points to pull of some of those formations.

    • Aezeal

      Well if every army has a power formation that should even things out for those new armies 😀

    • Aaron

      I have managed to smack down crons well with my guard who can kill a whole unit in a turn, but I do not know how marines are supposed to do it

    • Stormcaller

      I played against the “never-dead” Necrons earlier this year. It was frustrating as hell. I think I killed 6 of his models in as many turns…

  • Spacefrisian

    40k is totally balanced, how could you even dare say its not. And my cheap command squad with auto invisible, Khan and Chaptermaster wrecking over half my opponents army without a sweat proves that…oh wait…nvm.

    End sarcasm mode.

  • Robert Duke Newnham

    its like people don’t know what balance is nowadays and justify the game they are playing is balance because yeah balance is how you choose the balance of the game and the person your playing vs agrees or not that there is the true balance of a game not a set of rules or guidelines outside the game you and your friend plays…

    For example sake if you set a bunch of guidelines and you both agree without going against the guidelines then by that definition you agreed that the game your playing is 100% balance and any complaining within or at the end does not justify unbalance but the one complaining is just a sore looser who cant take a lost

  • Aezeal

    The thing is.. WFB had a reasonable balance that made for games where you didn’t autowin. Now if some guy with a former 50000 point army and 10 monsters plays against a new guy with what used to be a 1000 point army there guy with the biggest army can:
    place his 10 monster (about 2000 points at least before) and win.. probably having sudden death advantage. OR he can place his whole army.. and GL with sudden death if the army is 50 times as large.
    Sure friends won’t do that, nice guys won’t do that and it will probably never happen this extreme.. but even a few monsters make a difference.
    I mean… most people PROBABLY prefer winning to loosing… so placing just one extra monster is tempting but can make a huge difference in how much chance your opponent has…. and when you start placing monsters and your opponent doesnt’you do not KNOW he will not be placing them later.
    In my opening game I placed 2 monsters.. I’d not played with them a lot in 8th so I thought it would be fun to bring them.. but my opponent (didn’t know him) had only brought an army he had borrowed and didnt’have monsters at all. So after I placed Durthu and a Lord on Dragon (WE) (and a BSB) and he only placed 5 dryads and 5 wild riders I asked if he had anything high strength. I then had mercy and didn’t place my 4 other treeman and Orion.. nor any of my 4-5 shadowdancers. I did place a mage since I wanted to use some magic. and I only placed a few waywatchers…

    It ended up being 19 to 27 models…. I was outnumbered… my sudden death was killing his mage. I can tell you … it wasn’t a fun game for me or him.

    • There is no Strength Characteristic so i don’t understand what you were asking him.

  • Master Avoghai

    It’s like saying “Sure people are starving in Mid-Africa but it’s not because they are poor because Europe is rich and there are people starving in Paris London or Berlin”…

    Sure 40k is unbalanced some time and you have to deal with your opponent to know exactly what you will play. But having a point system is already a base to kno the size of the army from which point you start to tone down or tone up your list.

    Here you don’t have that reference to sart from and you are totally in the fog to know how to propose your opponen a good fun game with beer and bretzel.

  • benn grimm

    The logic on display here is quite brainless; you don’t improve something by just getting rid of it. Ok, so 40k isn’t perfect, (this is real news to anyone?), but do you honestly think the answer is, to instead of trying to do the job properly, to just give up and say, eh, I can’t be bothered, you guys balance it?

    40k is far from perfect, but its a million times better than this AOS rubbish, and points is just one of the most obvious reasons why. This army may be OP, that unit may; do you know a good easy way of being to spot this? How many points does it cost? If I’m writing a scenario (for fun?!), it is incredibly useful to have a value ascribed to each unit/terrain feature.

    Anyway, I keep hearing only powergamers like rules that make sense, the rest of you like to just have fun with your toys. Thats fine, enjoy all your zaniness, wackiness and a million house rules just to play the darn thing. And when you want to play a real game with decent comparative mechanics and a modicum of depth, I’ll see you back at 40k.

    • Xodis

      Another way is to determine this is also just playing the game. Many games achieve balance without point costs. Cheat codes in a video game seem fun to, until you find out there isn’t a challenge, then you try to do better with less. There is also suppose to be “tournament scenarios” to balance everything, probably some type of wounds limit, key word limit, etc…

      Bottom line is points dont make a game, nor do they break it.

      ” you don’t improve something by just getting rid of it.” Many would also argue that D&D is no better having removed alignment restrictions….so there is that. Sometimes restrictions of any kind can be a total downer to fun and even balance. Your glorious 40K came up with that idea when they threw the Force Org chart away, and then changed it, made it optional, etc…

      • benn grimm

        Cheats arent fun in any genre or in anywalk of life for that matter. I agree entirely points are not required for a ‘game’. Assassins creed works fine without as does chess. AOS is neither of these things; its a collectible wargame, designed to let you use you lovingly painted gw models. I’ve played it without points; or any other particularly good method for balancing forces; to my mind its a bit of a mess, but thats fine; if it works for you. And if you really want to play 40k without points thats fine too, whatever floats thy wargaming boat, but don’t assume just because its better for you that it would be for the majority of people who play this game. (and by you i mean the universal you)

        • Xodis

          I understand, but a collectible wargame is still a game. So it can totally work without points. This might not, we still need to see the scenarios and new army rules not the throw away tribute rules for the old classic armies to really judge.
          Also you cant assume because it doesnt work for you that it wont for the majority of people who play this game.

          40K without points would be great, but half of almost every army would have to go. A pointless system can only work when all units are balanced against each other, yet still maintain a unique flavor.

          • bogger3k

            The most fun games though tend to be those where you at least feel like you have a decent chance of winning. I think if you were to just play with the AoS specific models right now you may get that.

          • Xodis

            Thats my plan! lol Always hated playing with older edition armies that got thrown a FaQ, just never fit in right IMO.

          • bogger3k

            Basically like trying to play Sister’s right now.

          • benn grimm

            Firstly, I just want to say I absolutely don’t assume anything of the kind, you’re right 100 per cent, just because it doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for you, or the majority of people playing AOS. And thats fine, I’m not criticising anyone for liking what they like. And yes lots of games work without points.

            And yes I really wish this one did too, I’d much rather be on board than one of the discontented masses, but it doesn’t so far and to me that’s a real shame.

    • markdawg

      And when you want to play a real game with decent comparative mechanics and a modicum of depth, I’ll see you back at 40k.

      Surley you mean Bolt Action not 40k…tee hee hee

      • benn grimm

        Lol, Bolt action is awesome, I think if there was a proper sci-fi version of it, supported with releases like 40k, I don’t think I’d play much else tbh.

    • Stormcaller

      The “depth” you speak of is not in the gaming mechanics of 40k. It is the backstory and narrative. It is in NOT creating Death Stars and “stomp my opponents privates” off the table. BTW, when I want a real game with decent comparative mechanics and modicum of depth, I will play Infinity.

      • benn grimm

        Well tbf, both mechanics and back story wise 40k is miles deeper than AOS. Not sure where I mentioned deathstars, but thanks for letting me know where you stand with them. Glad you’re enjoying Infinity, looks like a pretty rad game.

        • Stormcaller

          Compared to AOS, I would agree whole-heartedly. Yeah, Infinity has been a welcome change of pace. That being said, I am still a hound for Grim Dark novels and audio books.

  • Morten Strårup

    While I do agree that a pointsystem in itself doesn’t assure a balanced game, I do think that something is needed to grade the power of the different units. If only they had kept the different unit categories (troops, elite, hq etc.)

    • Xodis

      From the look of the new units made for AoS, I think all future units will be the same grade…useful lol. No more crappy archer or elite archers, only archers.

      • bogger3k

        Alright, but does that mean there will be a point where GW says “Okay now stop using your old models”

        • Xodis

          Actually yes, but I see no reason why your crappy archers and elite archers couldnt be in the same unit as long as they count the same. Probably look pretty cool with Vets and Novice working together….kinda like Black Templars.

          • bogger3k

            I’d be fine with that as long as they moved away from some of the… more silly rules. Those are kind of a turn off.

          • Xodis

            Supposedly those are there as a farewell to the old armies, since as they update new units they will be removing those rules from play.

          • bogger3k

            I hope so. If that was the direction they were intending to go I honestly couldn’t see this game taking off.

          • Xodis

            Me too, I had hoped for units that were good at what they do long ago…then I saw the CSM Raptors update and it broke my heart lol.

          • bogger3k

            Actually I wouldn’t mind if they slowly phased out the old armies at least and built a better game going forwards. I could switch to KoW with my old GW models and get into AoS and be able to actually stomach it.

          • Xodis

            Yeah I can totally see KoW being the new Giant Fantasy Battle System. If fans are still buying GW models to play it, its a win/win lol.

          • bogger3k

            the KOW models are nice enough you can mix and match too.

  • Hannoveraner

    The more I see an read, the more I think AoS is huge and good step forward. I was never appealed to fantasy, but somehow AoS has an appeal. And no, I wouldnt play “Fantasy Marines”.

    • bogger3k

      I think the appeal is in the possibility of what this will become. Though until we reach that its hard to say what it will become and if it will be good.

  • Frank O’Donnell

    While I agree with you 100% about 40K GW are not blameless in all of this after all their the one’s who come up with the formations & the rules for them & why just to sell use models.

    How do you get a vet to buy more stuff when his army gets a new dex ? formations in the hope that I only need say one more drop pod or razorback to build that formation.

    GW released a new libi, look there’s a formation that lets you take 5 of them, while there might be a certain freedom in AoS at this stage how long before it goes down the same path ?

    • bogger3k

      There actually are some “formation” type things among the stuff released for the older armies.

    • Stormcaller

      I agree with YOU Frank. There is no denying the capitalistic aspect of the way GW writes rule sets.

  • Niraco

    That is so nicely worded untill your opponent will say: I did not liked the look on your face today so versus your army that has 3 units of Elf Spearmen 1 bolt thrower and tyrion i will put 3 Bone Dragons, 2 Mortachs and Nagash. And Ill play for the next 3 hours running around you and frustrating you as much as i can…At least in 40k You know what can enemy brings on table. And dont start on the people that will say: Ah i saw you made a half smile, you cannot use Phoenix guard formation bonuses…… AoS like 40k is depending on players to use balanced armies. The only difference is that in AoS you are forced to play with friends as chances to get frustrated against a random guy are very very high (or to frustrate that random guy)

    • Xodis

      Yeah, luckily all those models are going away when the armies are upgraded and made current and get brought into the fold lol

      • Niraco

        My models in which i invested countless hours of painting will not go away 😛 as the level is above tabletop standard. i either play having fun with my opponent or display them proudly in my cabinet. And to buy AoS models only if the models of Aelfs are really good which i doubt they will make them worthy…

        • Xodis

          Well true, GW will not be stealing your models back lol! Hopefully we get a “shard of Nagash” or something so his model can at least be used…its brilliant IMO.

          • bogger3k

            You can always fine another use for them too. Nagash would make a great Giant Lich in D&D if you were playing with minis

          • Xodis

            Totally…but I would be so scared to face that lol

        • Aaron

          I am in the process of converting most of my fantasy stuff into 40k…

          • Niraco

            That would be a nice project. But i have 10k points of Eldars and 4k of Space Wolves…Dont have to convert high elves into eldars…

    • Stormcaller

      Someone who does what you spoke of would not be a friend for very long. That is not breaking the Social Contract, that is tearing it up in front of you and spitting on it.

      • Niraco

        I was talking about playing with strangers at flgs. My friends will put their 40k or FOW or Infinity or Star wars armies.

  • archied

    ‘AoS is fine without points as 40ks points value balancing is terrible’

    So GW have basically pulled the ol’ teenage trick ‘if i do these chores SO bad, eventually i’ll stop getting asked to do them’

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      haha

  • AircoolUK

    You don’t even need beer or pretzels.

    • WHAT THE HELLS GOING ON?!

      absinthe and pringles, its the way forward 🙂

  • NagaBaboon

    I don’t play 40k much anymore because it’s become so unbalanced but you know you can play that for fun too right? The points are at least a guideline.

    There’s not even that much in AoS, we’ve tried to balance the games we’ve played a bit, just by showing each other what we’re taking and agreeing it seems reasonable but it never is, the game’s friendly but pretty boring, the fun bit is just chatting and drinking and we can do that without the game.

    There are so many better games which I can not only eat a pretzel, drink a beer and have a laugh while playing but are also lots of fun in there own right becasue at the end of the day, that’s what games with mates are supposed to be like. It’s a bit of a shame you needed a free-for-all of a game and some GW marketing to realise that.

  • WHAT THE HELLS GOING ON?!

    spot on article, im hoping that 40k eventually goes the same way, i for one would play it far more often, and i know a few old time gamers that have restarted because of the narrative aspect of AoS army building and play. my inner cynic knows the main reason for this approach is that print has a much lower profit margin compared to models, which without restrictions will likely up model sales a lot (im looking at kits ive never been able to justify before as they didnt fit in conventional force org), but truth is the way the legacy lists are set up i dont have to buy anything, as countless of my shelved units and models are now far more usable. i hated endtimes for what it seemed to be bringing, 9th- im tired of the constant rehash and not getting enough games in to learn the current edition before a new one came out, but a week after trying AoS i can now just use time to have fun getting more games in than ever and paint models i want to paint.

  • Ben_S

    A points system is no guarantee of balance, but surely absence of a points system (or anything even vaguely like it) practically guarantees imbalance.

  • Matt Craufurd

    Interesting that you complain about the hyper competitive min-maxing, waac list breaking of 40k and then in the same breath lament the end of the 11th company. Those guys are the epitome of exactly what you are complaining about. The 11th company was a decent podcast and they knew the rules inside out, but their attitude was all wrong. Every one of their codex reviews was – “this unit is bad, this unit is bad, theres only one good unit in this book but its only good because its broken, 40k is terrible!” It was relentlessly negative.

  • Shardak

    I think I’ll skip playing the terrible and expensive game and go for the comparatively cheaper beer.

  • Adam Upson

    I think you hit the nail on the head at the start of the article then went a bit off track. You and your friend had a beer pretzel fun gaming afternoon. Points or no points, or formations, bound unbound… it doesn’t matter if you go out to have fun.

    I’d still like to have had a metric to guage the power of units or a way of constructing an army to give me more structure. There’s a lot of fun to be had to making lists and fitting in units that you like and not neccessarily exploiting overpowered units.

    I’m never going to be a tournament or power gamer but to open a system could get boring quite quickly. Also it will probably cut down on what I’d spend on additional products that I have no guage of how to balance against one another.

    Just my two cents

  • arsedoctor

    Sorry but I don’t buy into this. 40k is certainly potentially broken but that can be dealt with because a framework for army selection exists. If you arent a power playing group you can agree not to use the decurion or to limit wraithknight numbers. When you do this, you can still use the points system to make comparable lists. This game has no balance mechanic whatsover and the people who have already played it say as much. Just because a game has a points system it doesn’t mean it can’t be a pick up and play fun game. In fact I can’t think of any game that doesn’t balance the opponents in some way whether in sports or tabletop gaming or whatever. Also, just because a game is simple, it doesn’t mean it is easy to pick up and play and more fun. For a start you and your opponent are going to have to try and balance the game in some way yourselves. Personally i find this annoying and a waste of my time. Also if you enjoy the army building/design aspect of the game, having no structure like this is frustrating. This game has less rules than monopoly, and its not just the lack of balance, there is no guidance on game length, proper objectives, it is not a complete game. Your comparison is superficial and simplistic.

  • Mikael

    The problem is’nt only the omitting of points, when you take away points and army composition you will have no balancing factors at all.

    It wouldn’t have been to hard to have Core, Elites and Hero’s or what not. And have some form of limit on numbers in units when you take warscrolls.

  • fakesSnakes

    You are correct! Both 40k and Age of Sigmar are garbage games!

  • Tesq

    So basically resolve the power creep by make ppl decide power creep so that they cannot encourage their own behaviour on points?
    What if 2 ppl cannot agree on something or they would just don’t want loose times discuss about balance play?
    Point system is required to be even efficient on a time factor not only relevant on the balance factor of the game.
    If 40k point system is not working it’s due to more authors make different codex not per se.

  • D_Ork

    The fact that 40K is unbalanced has nothing to do with AoS. Something done badly once is not proof that it’s impossible, especially in the absence of an alternative. GW is always trying to make this “scenario-based play” thing work, when the playerbase has repeatedly indicated that what they want is -balance-.

    If I buy the game I would be playing against strangers (my old gaming group is all over the country now), so I can’t rely on homebrew rules to keep things fair. And I’m a little worried that the whole “sudden death if you have fewer models” rule is really their whole plan for even games.

  • Nomic

    Problem is that points or no, AoS is still ridiculously borked. Like, let’s say your opponent has a goblin army with 50 models, mostly basic goblins. You deploy 15 bloodthirsters. You’re outnumbered, so you get sudden death and can instantly win by killing the enemy commander. Balanced?
    Or you can take 2 Archaons (characters are no longer unique) and a chaos lord. Archaon’s command ability lets you use the command ability of eveyr other hero model you have. Chaos lord’s command ability lets you summon more chaos warriors. You activate Archaon 1’s ability, activating the lord’s ability and Archaon 2’s ability, allowing you to activate the lord’s ability and Archaon 1’s ability; repeat ad nauseum. You’re literally stopping the game to roll inifinite amount of dice to summon an infinite amount of chaos warriors. Fun?

    • benn grimm

      No, but none of that matters anymore because we can just shame people who want to bring powerful lists into leaving wargaming forever… Such a simple solution really… 😉 (edit*- not lists, sorry, collections, I’m still stuck in the pre AOS mind set)

  • Marky

    Fine if you are playing people you know

  • Razer Free

    “Seriously, all the AoS griping about no points for balance. Let me tell you about another GW game that has points and is not balanced…”

    Dear Dan, not having points doesn’t exactly solve the balance issue either. 40K is broken right now not BECAUSE it has points, but because GWs marketing team came to the idea that the more overpowered a models rules are, the more models they are going to sell. This, and the fact detachments are being used as another unbalancing way to sell plastic marines by the pound is now 40Ks problem.

    AoS has balancing issues, and that’s a fact neither you nor any other happy-go-lucky fan will ever be able to deny until those issues are solved. Other game companies are making games with basic solid rules, but GW refuses to do the same in favour of squeezing money out of the fans of their franchise.

    The basic reasoning why AoS doesn’t have a set point or model limit for a “standard” game is so that people can’t have a grasp of how many models they should collect to have “enough”. For example, usually a 40K player will take a 1500 to 2000 point army to play with his mates at their FLGS, and they know others will do more or less the same. With AoS, one dude could bring 10 models, another 50, some guy brings 150, and suddenly the guy with 10 thinks “it looks like I should have more models”. It’s nothing more than marketing strategy, and the scary thing is it’s bound to work.

    • archied

      except having loads of models in this game seems like a massive pain in the bum.
      honestly, try playing out a couple of turns with 2 30 man units getting into combat against each other.

      • Razer Free

        You’re absolutely right, although there are people who like to see lots of bodies on the table, even if it’s highly unpractical.

  • anon32654987

    Just because 40k is unbalanced, doesn’t mean AoS should get a free pass.
    “Pick whatever you want” is a lazy excuse for skipping half the development of the game.

    Also, Tyranids are coming from 2 codexes one more nerfed than the other and they’re playing in an extremely shooty edition. They’re sitting at the bottom of the power-scale, waiting for a rework, alongside Orks and CSM.

    2k points necron vs 2k points eldar isn’t too much of a one-sided battle, but whatever works to help prove your point, right?

    • jazeroth

      yeah, but none of the eldar, necron, space marine codex’s needed an update as they where all fine as they where

      • anon32654987

        I think the update had more to do with them getting their 7th edition codex rather than “fixing” the rules. But since Newcrons, the way the codexes are designed has changed and the powercreep is stonger than ever. AFAIK the only 7th ed codexes that didn’t get the decurion treatment are Orks, BA and SW.
        By the time every army has their 7th edition codes, with their decurions, formations, lords of war and so on the game will still be unbalanced, but slightly less so.

  • Just makes me wonder by seeing how BOLS is defending the AoS… Are they getting pays by GW for this marketing operations ? Clearly the game sucks due to total lack in any balance … But hey here is … It’s the new black…. Really?

  • Painjunky

    Yeah just drink till the game is fun! Nice argument fanboy.

  • markdawg

    This Just in good Balance and points never hurt any wargame ever!

  • Pointed Stick

    rather childishly written.

    the relative balance of 40k is entirely subjective. Regardless of opinion, points as a system are the best method I have seen of ensuring a relatively balanced game. Age of Sigmar is about two players going head to head, wanting the game to be as equal as possible does not make anybody a ‘win at all costs’ type. my opponents and I always have fun, and that will be harder to do in the new Age of Sigmar rules.

    it is all very well saying ‘just talk about it’ but talking doesn’t necessarily get you anywhere. with so many radical changes, it is going to be a long time before people have any clue as to what balances, Undead have gotten a major boost now that they don’t lose extra wounds on combat resolution and have a bravery higher than anything else. who can say how many skeletons are equivalent to state troops, chaos warriors, ogres, or anything else?

    • vonevilstein

      “Age of Sigmar is about two players going head to head, wanting the game to be as equal as possible”

      Where does it say that?

  • Shiwan8

    So, your argument was that because something can be out of balance it’s bad, but something that can not be balanced is good or at least as good as the game that can be balanced. Yes, that makes perfect sense in the context of balance is the key to a good game.

  • NeuroNiky

    So, if you make games with badly made point systems, the solution is removing point systems, or fix the badly made point system?
    Cause having played A LOT of different miniature games, I can tell you there are a lot of better made and even almost perfect point system based games out there.
    But hey, this is a GAME and the only thing that truly counts is that you need to have fun playing it. If this floats your boat, cool, enjoy it. After reading the rules and having checked the weird rules found in the scrolls I feel like I’m not the kind of player they are targeting with this release. Expecially cause while I love to shout things while charging, I don’t like rules to tell me what I have to shout.
    Hey, my chaos hero was once named Hogan the Hulking, and did a lot of wrestling moves all over the place. It was awesome.

  • jhjhjhjh

    Seems like a stealth whinge about 40k eldar and necrons

  • Astmeister

    This article does not make much sense to me: You are a competitive 40k player and do not see balancing there. But if you play a beer & pretzels games of AoS than you think it is cool? Let me tell you: Every single wargame is balanced if you play a b&p game with your friend. That is not an excuse for the company to avoid any balancing mechanism at all! See unbound in 40k!

  • Manxol Adria

    I can’t understand the whole point. 40k points may be wrong, it may be unbalanced… but that has nothing to do with the whole argument. You can’t just say “hey, that dude has killed his woman, so if I just hit she it is fine”.

    Do you want to play a game without points? Actually you can do it in 8th edition. Let’s figure out how many of the 200 goblins + 5 trolls + 1 giant your enemy has can be killed when you only got 5 Grial Knights, 20 peasemant archers and 1 duke in pegasus. You got the tools, you can use it.

    Besides that, points are needed for the people who enjoy a diferent aproach at the game. And that aproach isn’t provided at the moment. I can’t understand how someone could be happy because the other players lose options.

    And, in addition to my whole point… it just feels like the lore is unpleasing. I’ve got no interest in this lore.

  • Graeme Donaldson

    See I’m optimistic about the no points aspect and I think it can be done well, it’s just not there yet for the armies for AoS (we’re still working out what balance there can be for a necromancer holding back out of shooting/unbind range and summoning 10/20 zombies a turn – without changing GWs rules dramatically).
    The main point you seem to be making is that points don’t work when they’re not set sensibly (the Eldar Wraithknight for example). 40k would work wonderfully with points if they were amended per army to be a bit more sensible or if GW tried to balance rules for one army in regards to the other armies out there.
    That’s not a problem with points, it’s a problem with playtesting and not knowing how players think and play.

  • aaron

    This article is one of the best for a while.

    Notice the only people saying they don’t agree are the ones who coincidentally play 40k and don’t like AOS, the two systems being compared. (I play both as well as 8th edition fantasy)

    The no points system is great if you just want to have a fun game with friends, that less competitive edge is what needs to be brought back to gaming.

    100% agree with this article.

    However if anyone is interested in play testing it you could try this for a “balance”;

    (attacks x bravery) + wounds = Points per model.

    war machines, heroes, characters and monsters double their final value as they usually come with some impressive rules.

    I know its contradictory what I’ve just said but its to appeal to both ‘types’ of gamers. All the rules don’t need to be spoon fed to you, use your iniative and imagination and just have some fun.

    After all, its a game of toy soldiers

    peace

    • Shardak

      I haven’t played 40k for over a decade and I… really strongly disagree with the spirit of this article.

  • If anyone is interested in a comp system that is being playtested, this one is simple (there are no real formulas) and is based on games like warmachine and saga.

    http://www.louisvillewargaming.com/Files/AzyrComp.pdf

    We’ve been having good results with it so far.

    • aaron

      (attacks x bravery) + wounds = points per model
      Double for heroes, characters, war machine and monsters.
      this seems to work out well too and can instantly be worked out
      But I shall give this a go too.

      • I tried that formula, but I found issues with it (as well as variations of that formula such as (attacks + wounds) * bravery and other much more complicated ones that I cannot even remember lol.

        The 1000 point based system we are used to requires a lot of tuning and then there are abilities which you can’t put a formula on but need tested and played around with.

        With the system above I can make a list in literally one minute or less and is much more about generally being in the same ballpark as opposed to trying to find a precise value which is much more difficult.

        (this is after the result of about 18 playtest games now)

    • Ben_S

      All these various formulae are rather complicated.

      The best option I’ve heard – taken from another forum and not my own – is the ‘Space Hulk’ approach. Play with whatever armies you like, then have a re-match swapping armies.

      If you win both games, then you win. If the same army wins each time, it’s a tie.

      • Gridloc

        This sounds like good approach,

      • izmerul

        bring your armies, roll a dice to decide who playes which side

  • nurglitch

    Unless you have players of exactly equal skill, where they will both act rationally and fight to a tie, then you can’t really judge the balance of a game. To paraphrase the guy that wrote Cosmic Encounter: Balance is a crock.

  • Karrasa

    Just because some elements of a game may not be fully balanced by points values, that does not mean that points values lend nothing towards balance. Nor does it mean that using points values automatically makes the game less fun. Even Apocalypse, with its chuck everything on the table and/or play a narrative philosophy, provides points values. If nothing else, it serves as a general guide as to the relative value of units.

    It also provides a simple way of setting an approximate game size limit. “Bring 1.5k points worth” now gives way to a potentially more detailed discussion about how many and which types of units to bring. Added to which, without play testing, nobody really knows the relative values of units under the new rules. I’m all for an alternative to points values, if one is possible. But the game would benefit from some sort of guidelines for force selection, at the very least as a straightforward way of setting the expectations of players before they turn up.

    • TimW

      Exactly. Well put.

    • Grand_Master_Raziel

      Or to put it another way, just because GW badly implemented 40K’s points system, doesn’t mean future games shouldn’t have one at all.

    • Shardak

      You hit the nail on your head here – much easier to say “bring about 1500 points” than it is to say “bring your entire collection and then we’ll discuss what you’re allowed to use for an hour before playing”.

      • WHAT THE HELLS GOING ON?!

        except that armies are effectively chosen during deployment, which is a game in itself now; not before the game.

        • Shardak

          I hope you have a gigantic crate.

  • BrotherGlacius

    I’m sorry, so your defense of AoS not having points, is to show how unbalanced another GW game is becoming? All that proves is GW doesn’t know jack sh!t about balance.

    How about the other mini games out there that are decently balanced and do have point values?

    And somehow having fun with a few games makes the game an okay replacement for WFB?? Hell no. Lets see if people are still playing it three months from now, let alone 20+ years.

    If some other game company had released this, everyone would be laughing at them for how horrible it is. But because its GW, you all stand in line to kiss their @ss and spin it like it is something good.

    From a game perspective, AoS is horrid. In the context that it is replacing WFB, it is unforgivable.

    Sure, you can have fun playing it, you can have fun playing candyland, doesn’t mean it is good.

  • Koszka

    Restraint. AoS requires this.

    In 40k, the same rule applies. The only difference is that AoS is a clean slate and hasn’t been pecked to death and tossed under the microscope for intense list builds.

    The problem with this 40k is that people think armies are broken, but in actuality are fine when people use restraint when building an army. BoLS and other tourney meta sites are lousy when grasping perspective on armies. They get right to the brass tax of new codexes about what is powerful/competitive and what isn’t.

    If games such as Warmahordes, infinity, malifaux, and firestorm armada, the same could be said if sites such as these gave them the same treatment. A loud minority shouldn’t sway the opinions of a game for other players.

    AoS is refreshing in a way; it allows players to create an engaging game where they both restrain themselves so both parties have good time. This approach of zero point values make AoS a pariah to TO’s and competitive institutions. Saying that points don’t matter is only relative to the type of players involved.

    Casual play: Hell yeah! do what you want. Create those awesome last stands and movie marine games!

    Competitive Play:
    Restrictions are the only thing (IE: points) keeping the insanity at bay. Order is needed.

    • izmerul

      regarding casual play, I’m seeing messages pop up with lots of gamers saying things like “I can field this spetial character and this special character and this special character toguether in the same game! awesome!!” and I don’t like it …

      I love Nagash in the fluff … on the table i whish he didn’t exist

  • changer

    “less bad” != “good”

    • changer

      ” In the end, though, people break the rule set; the rule set is not created broken.”

      There is a two-warscroll build that literally makes me win the game in the first phase, without the opponent having a change to react. If that isn’t ‘created broken’, what would be?

  • Andrew Thomas

    I’m… getting some popcorn, because this discussion is bananas. Yes, a system for balancing engagements would be nice to have in the ruleset (Auticus has a robust, nigh unbreakable one). People should be allowed to opt out of fluff rules, with the understanding that no one is gaining any fluff if one player opts out. Lastly, people should expect some sportsmanship out of each other, such that problem units (Nagash, et al) aren’t taken every time against every opponent, and that list builds aren’t unfairly taking advantage of the loose nature of the game we were given thus far.

  • Timothy Roller

    Uh…doesn’t it just make more sense then, if both systems are from the same company, that they are absolutely awful at assigning points to things and have just given up on being balanced at all? If this were a comparison to some other system that doesn’t do it well, I could buy it, but telling me that a blind man can’t write any better than he can paint isn’t really telling me anything.

    • izmerul

      now a blind mind who paints with his feet, that’s worth milllions

  • Andrew Thomas

    Can we get a working definition of “balance?”

    • John Felger

      Sure. I nominate “not Games Workshop.”

      • Andrew Thomas

        That’s not a definition.

        • John Felger

          It is a definition; it just isn’t a good definition. You can define something by saying what it isn’t. It happens all the time. But if you want a serious definition: Game Balance is best defined by having a set of rules which provides all participating sides approximately equal footing. Winning or losing the game is based primarily on the tactical choices of the players rather than fate, or min/max logistical building which exploits flaws in the aforementioned system. Perfect equality is never possible, but it is quite possible to get into the ball park and remains something to which all should aspire.

          • Robert Duke Newnham

            First of all you need to know what game balance is to begin with…

            In game design, balance is the concept and the practice of tuning a game’s rules, usually with the goal of preventing any of its component systems from being ineffective or otherwise undesirable when compared to their peers.

            so adding a restriction to the game would be undesirable to some but a benefit to others just like a game with points values now remove the points value and everyone does not have that undesirable framework that restricts them.

            Ever had that cool miniature you spent time to paint and customize but wait its points value is way to high and all your friends play low point games restricting that model from play makes your low point games undesirable thus going against balance hope this helps 😀

  • Zuur

    Played AoS multiple times now. Completely agree. Games have been fun. For our last game, we decided to balance based on wounds – 100 points for each of us. Tomb Kings vs. Glottkin. Game lasted about 3 hours. Felt completely fair. And we had a blast.

    • Robert Duke Newnham

      what was both your mentality’s when you was playing for example did you play to win via the competitive mind set or did you play for the sake of fun or maybe the narrative of how the units react with a sort of make shift campaign I wish people to know and understand so they can find out what fun is 😀

      • Zuur

        Of course we were playing to win, and felt that the wounds system gave us the best sense of relatively matched armies. I think there is a lot of micro obsession on game balance, when in reality, there is no perfect balancing system. We had a fun and competitive game.

        • Robert Duke Newnham

          that is true a game involving +10 army’s balance could be near impossible also unit vs. unit with two different stats if I was design to beat that unit people could consider that as unbalance 😀

  • Ben_There_Twice

    Sigh I wish I could share your optimism but my fantasy group is dead. (Hence I wish it didn’t replace fantasy). Oh well my KoW, 40 k, and x wing communities are alive and well.. ;(.

    RIP Warhammer Fantasy..

    🙁

  • Whoever poured those beers in the last photo should be shot. And it sounds like you didn’t drink enough beer whilst playing 40k to have fun. AoS is literally just out and you are comparing it to a system that has been around for more than 20 years. Yes, it is going to be different, it is going to have some unbalanced elements. There will be plenty of time for the AoS to cop unbalanced armies in the coming years. If you don’t like the way 40k plays, do what I do and go back to 1st or 2nd edition for some mayhem of random dice rolls and random equipment lists. Yes, you could purchase a random roll on an equipment chart for your character. I still enjoy the original book and the space marines being a point lower in toughness back then… Ahhh the good old days of T3 marines… 😉 balance doesn’t always equate to enjoyment when playing against friends. And no tournament I have been to has allowed beer drinking whilst gaming.

  • Bill Garrett

    So you are forgiving GW for making a terribly unbalanced game because they cannot balance anything else since they fired everyone with a brain? Go forge a narrative.

  • SomeoneElseTookDude

    Good to see the naive cheerleading at Bols hasn’t faltered

  • Scott Adams

    I suggest that people.. many of whom are going mental about the idea of no points… try a game with a friend. Set limitations. For example (and by all means tweak it to liking):

    40 wounds max
    1-3 Heroes
    0-2 wizards respecting hero max
    0-2 monsters
    0-2 warmachines
    Ignore sudden death and fight!

    You might be surprised at how fun and balanced (this is relative because it will never be balanced AND YOU ARE ROLLING DICE) it can be. Yes, one skeleton does not equal one dwarf hammerer. But that one skeleton usually has friends… and one of those friends is usually a necromancer buddy that is summoning/buffing away!

    Age of Sigmar is a breath of fresh air… rules are clean with very little to dispute. Old warhammer was cumbersome, clunky feeling, and my models never felt special (fancy wounds counters)!

    I know people are upset and change is hard. But take a step back, bust out your super epic awesome other worldly models ,roll some dice, and have some good laughs/cries as your opponent burns you alive with warpfire!

    • Aaron

      the people going mental are people that play against strangers because all their friends are currently ensnared by the opposite sex and have lost their manhood….

  • sjap98

    Excellent article!
    Any BOLSers out there already WarScrolling their 40k game?
    Tonight my buddy and I will play a Khorne daemons vs Nurgle daemons AoS game (pretending it’s 40k, why not?).
    Enjoy the game and relax folks, have a good time!

  • Asmondai

    40k is unbalanced because GW sells, by their words;
    “high quality, collectible models, not the game”
    and this is clearly showned with unbalanced mecahnics and armybuilds,
    as well with formations.
    Heck, with the current DA codex, you can say GW has gone it’s
    way by making BRB`s Battleforge and Unbound army builds
    obsolete and pointless, because in dark angels case,
    they can build an army with nothing but formations
    and get all the goody bonuses to boot,
    creating essentially a “GW’s Sanctioned Illegal Armylist”.

    To me, Formations should be similar if not the same like
    Tier-lists in WarmaHorde,
    tied to specifig units available to build an army to gain bonuses.
    Unfortunally, GW being adament to sell models and not a game,
    decided in itś wisdom to make formations have certain units
    with no restrictions, some cases gain tons of new special rules
    and few cases get more units/vehicles for free,
    with a points-tag that is 3-5 times less then that formation SHOULD cost.

    Problem is not that Points system doesn’t work,
    it’s GW disregarding the true value and meaning of the points
    systems,
    aswell the entire game system as a whole,
    just to justify their adament of model selling.

    *sigh* But I digress…
    So far the AoS seems interesting and fun,
    atleast more streamlined for perhaps a faster gameplay.
    But I’ll reserve my judgement untill the rulebook comes out,
    having a 4 page “demo-play” rulebook, isn’t the most accurate
    way of showing how the game is really played. ^.^”

  • Shiwan8

    This is pretty sad, honestly. None of us know anything more about the actual game than what any starter box without a rule book would tell us about 40k/WHFB. Would you think either of those games would be awesome just by looking at the heavily biased starter armies and scenarios? I would not.

    Objectively though, AoS starter rules are not comparable to either of the GWs bigger games. AoS has no balance what so ever at the moment. Both of the old giants at least can be objectively balanced. This makes the present editions of 40k and WHFB, as a fact, better games. The concept of any game is the conflict of 2 or more sides and the general consensus is that a game is capable of being good only if it’s balanced. Failing at that it’s either not a game or it’s inherently bad. Neither 40k or WHFB is balanced by default, but they can be balanced. AoS at the moment can not be balanced. Therefore AoS is objectively either not a game or just a very bad one, even compared to 40k and WHFB. Since Aos is a game, it’s a very bad one at the moment.

  • Andrea

    This is Becouse formations are another stupid thing added to WH40k, our group have stopped playing 40k since codex space marine,i explain you have N formationos available BUT only few viable with 1 truly making difference SKYHAMMER so everybody played skyhammer we ended up with 3 almost equale list; Maybe it’s time to move forward from GW.

  • Catowar

    Are points perfect? No. Can I legally take 100 space marines in one unit while my friend takes 10 ig in 40k? No. The point system is not perfect but AoS is a broken “game” (if you can call it that) I understand people WANT to like this, but please don’t lie to yourself about how bad this system really is. Or they wont fix it.

  • Shiwan8

    Somehow I missed the last question, though I almost answered it already. In 40k the point system is very effective. It’s just done by people who have next to no understanding of the game. The balance-situation is not bad because of the points but rather because the issued cost is wrong for most units and items. Lets make few comparisons. A single genestealer costs what a single marine costs, yet in a balanced field the genestealer will die almost 100/100 cases before it reaches the marine. Therefore the GS costs too much for what it could realistically do. Imperial knight is about 30% higher cost in points than a WK, yet a WK will pretty much always win it in shooting and in melee. It’s not that the knight is too costly, because compared to an average unit it is not, but that the WK is a lot cheaper than it should be.

    All this is because people at GW do not understand power differences between units and how that should be seen in their cost. It’s not a failure in the point system but it is a failure in it’s implementation to the game.