Editorial: Can 40k Be Balanced?

TerminusEst
You probably already know the answer – no. Only GW can truly the balance the game – but it looks like they are starting to try.

Introduction

If you’ve been playing for several editions you probably realize the game has never been externally balanced – there has always been a top tier. So looking back we can see GW doesn’t intend there to be external balance between armies. Currently the top three armies in my opinion are Eldar, Space Marines and Tau… Tau being in the third position. Each of these races lost nothing with the exception of the nerf to the wave serpent and actually gained a lot with the release of their 7th edition codices and new supplements.

Note that external balance in a perfect world would mean every army is equal which is much the case for 30k… This is not only true because most of the armies in the Horus Heresy are Space Marine legions but also due to the time and effort put into creating these rules. For example Alan Bligh whom is the chief developer for 30k has an extremely detailed time line for the heresy era which is used as a reference and tool to create these rules. GW on the other hand often changes the background of 40k to support changes they make to their armies and rules for whatever reason. Never was this more evident than when Mat Ward was involved in development starting back in fifth edition. 30k also has a lot of internal balance which means each army has many good units to choose from and we don’t tend to see lots of spammed internet lists such is so often the case for 40k. What 40k needs is a major overhaul now.

faq_red

How to Achieve True Balance

I think most players really want external balance now more than ever before and only GW can really make it happen. The good news as you’ve probably heard is soon an official updated set of errata and FAQs will be released that will cover not only the rules but codices and supplements as well. Personally I like what I have seen so far even though they are only rough drafts that have been released. GW asked players which rules they have questions about and these are the main ones being addressed – I think that’s great too… Just think about it, this is exactly what we all wanted.

Outside of GW, TOs can and do create their own FAQs which is certainly a lofty goal requiring their own time and effort. Based upon what I’ve seen though the end result always shows some bias and if you think about it the three armies I mentioned in the opening paragraph are still the top dogs so the meta really hasn’t changed much at all. I understand it’s a tough job and we all have own bias whether we realize it or not. I’m not saying Lets stick it to the man! by any means and I truly appreciate all the effort. That’s why I’m very excited about GW finally taking the proverbial bull by the horns and making a real effort to properly address their own rules. I hope that TOs across the country will embrace the new errata and FAQs – let’s give it a real chance rather than quick reactions that may not be well thought out upon any new release. A lot of use want to be able to play the game as intended rather than resorting to some facsimile of the rules.

So there’s going to be some change that will impact the current meta… We want to know how this will affect us. From what I’ve seen so far GW is addressing some abuse of the current rules and providing guidelines how they are intended to actually be played. There is also some changes to how existing rules work – one good example is possibly battle brothers will no longer be able to share transports which is actually how 30k currently works. This change would impact Imperial armies such as Admech and assassins.

superfriends

In Closing

To me the game is currently dominated by Death Stars and super shooty alpha striking armies. True balance would lessen both of these types to a strong degree. No one wants to be assaulted the first turn but then again there’s never been any restrictions on shooting the first turn either. True balance would put assault and shooting on equal levels.

Can GW achieve this goal? To be honest I don’t really know but I’m going to give the new errata and FAQs a fair chance… Just maybe this will be a good thing too.

~You’ve seen the FAQs – Do you think GW can really balance the game this time?

  • MarcoT

    The FAQ also made grav stronger and grenades weaker, so I’m not sure if balance is the objective here.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      GW moves in mysterious ways its wonders to perform. I suspect the grav and grenades corrections are just how they always intended the rules to work, I don’t think they were intended as balancing moves. The ruling on jinking vehicles and their passengers was hardly a balancing one being a big nerf for one of the weakest codexes.

      If there are any attempts at balancing they’ll be in the individual codex FAQs, but somehow I doubt they’ll make any real effort. Its just not GW’s style to care very much about balance. If they change that, then I’ll be very happy, but also very surprised.

      • ILikeToColourRed

        the jink one made me sad, as its not even suggested to do that in the rules

        • Crevab

          Their FAQs always seem to have a bunch of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Errata” slathered on.

        • Malthrak

          It’s one of those things GW likes to leave out but probably intended all along, much like immobilized skimmers not having any rules against Jinking either. The 7E rules always felt extremely rushed and incomplete, and Jink was always one of those mechanics that never seemed like they were properly fleshed out.

      • Shawn

        Of course, could it be possible that balance is more inherent in the point level played? Considering a sampling of BoLS’s British players prefer around 1500pts and American’s 1850/2k, perhaps, 1500 pts or thereabouts is the ideal balance point of games. The disaparity occurs when you don’t have enough points and too many points where that “balanced range” if you will gets stretched too thin. Anyway, something to consider.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          I think 1500 is possibly most balanced. Below that its hard to build a general list and easy to spam something to defeat your opponent and at 1850 or 2000 unkillable Death Stars become easier to build and still have enough scoring. However at any points level the game is at the worst state of balance for years and years.

          Balancing is tough, but GW just make no effort. Odd when it is such an important aspect of pleasing players. I guess they must see it as a driver for sales. Until they change that attitude and see it for what it really is ( a driver away of players) their attitude won’t change.

          • Shawn

            I think they play test, they just don’t do any comprehensive testing, or think about abusing the rules, thus missing a lot of possible abuses. In other words, I think their testing is more like “hey, up for a game. Gonna try the new rules we come with. okay, sounds great.” Then they jot down in their notebook that it went well.
            It kind of reminds me of MtG when I played. The come out with a new set of x number of cards, each of them do something unique and/or some kind of synergy with another card. They play test them and don’t catch every possible nuance or combination because at the next tournament some teenage kid or 20 something wins with an unbeatable combination they didn’t see coming. Then as a reaction, they ban those cards from play. Three sets later any card from those sets aren’t allowed in standard tournaments. I think their play testing is more like magic, and they take a casual approach to play testing when they need to take a more serious one.

    • Secundum

      No, they just clarified the rules. Using only 1 Grenade was always a thing-people just didn’t interpret it correctly.

      • somewhatdamaged

        ^this
        Grenades didn’t get weaker, people just assumed they were stronger.

      • Malthrak

        I can honestly say that I don’t know of anyone who ever played it “correctly” or even considered that it was wrong, there’s a reason it’s a big shock. I can’t think of a single tournament that played it the “correct” way, nor a single playgroup in any of the six cities I’ve played 7E in.

        That’s a hell of a “clarification”.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          It’s strange since many versions of the rules earlier it was that way. To be fair though, the only edition that spelled it out for you was 3rd, maybe fourth, that you only made one attack with melta bombs or krak grenades.

          • Malthrak

            Each model only got one grenade attack, but the new FAQ spells it out as the entire *unit* only gets one grenade attack, which is the big kicker.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Yes, in older editions you just had the one for the unit, as it represented them all making the attack at once with their explosives.

          • Malthrak

            In older editions each model got to make a grenade attack, so 5 marines charging with krak grenades got 5 krak grenade attacks or 10 S4 attacks. Now they just get 1 Krak grenade attack and 8 S4 attacks, thats the big difference.

          • Viktor Julian

            It has always been like that. It says that very clearly in the 40K rulebook.

          • Malthrak

            Yes…so clear that *nobody* ever played it that way. Not at Adepticon, the LVO, or any other event I can think of, nor in any past edition.

            1 grenade attack per model, yes, one grenade attack for the entire unit? Thats new.

          • Brettila

            Throwing yes, close combat no. That is why there are squads that all have certain grenades. Haywire, melta, etc. are rare for a reason; and NOT so only 1 of 10 can use them. It is the inducement and reward for getting those units into close combat with a vehicle.

  • Ratbasket

    True balance? Go play chess…

    • Parthis

      … and even chess has a first move advantage.

      • J Mad

        Hence in chess the better player goes 2nd.

    • vlad78

      Pls stop parroting stupid GW VRP answers. What gamers want is GW to do his best to achieve this.

    • zeno666

      They can at least try. Now they’re just lazy

    • Gridloc

      The black codex for chess is coming out, i hear it fixes the first move advantage. been almost 100 years since last codex but you never hear the black piece players complain, guess its a new thing.

  • benn grimm

    I think they could, they just choose not to.

    • Heinz Fiction

      They probably think it’s not worth the effort. People are buying their stuff anyways, so why bother?

      • benn grimm

        Because pride in your work. And that to be honest is about all I’ve got. Didn’t 40k used to make more in the old days?

        • euansmith

          Make more what? “Money”? “Sense”?

          One issue that I have with GW’s approach is that they seem to focus on cause rather than effect; so unit X has this really cool fluff so we are going to write some special rules for them without taking in to account how these will interact with anything else, rather than saying, unit X is fulfilling role Y in this Codex and so will be give the standard role Y rules. With less special snowflake dust scattered throughout the rules, they could concentrate on creating a solid basis for army creation.

          • benn grimm

            Either works for me.) Definitely; they just seem to get a bit carried away with whatever the latest super death dealer is and forget that this model needs to fit into a game that already exists.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, I don’t think they even think about this. haha.

          • NovaeVox

            I still can’t figure out why ccenturios exist.

          • euansmith

            Is the answer, “Because Marines REALLY NEEDED a relentless unit to carry Grav cannons?”

          • NovaeVox

            I’m just wondering who greenlighted ironclad overalls while conveniently ignoring that terminators existed.

          • euansmith

            “… ironclad overalls…” When I see Centurions from now on, I think I’ll be hearing Dueling Banjos.

  • Crevab

    GW’s got a long way to go for balance. Not just the rules, but how they’re implemented. Can they keep the same design philosophy long enough for everyone to work off the same playing field?

    • zeno666

      I agree. They would need to rework the whole mechanic of the game.
      There is only so much you can do with a d6

      • euansmith

        I wouldn’t mind “a D6”; its 120D6 I balk at 😉 There are so many more elegant ways to resolve combat than, “Roll to hit, re-roll “1s”, roll to wound, re-roll failed wounds, roll saves, re-roll 2+ invulnerable saves, roll for FNP…”

        • ZeeLobby

          rerolls man. Remember when rerolls used to not be as frequent. Now everything is twinlinked, or has some psychic power to let you roll again. Add that to the sheer number of special weapons available now (basically every guy instead of 1 in 10, or 1 in 3, etc.), and it’s just who slaps first.

        • zeno666

          I’m suprised GW hasn’t jumped at the opportunity to release a special super duper limited 40k dice bucket (that grants you a re-roll of course) 😉

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I have a lot of faith that GW could develop a balanced edition to start with but I have zero faith that they could continue the balance long term just look at how 7th was starting off as the more mundane, balanced game and then when sales slumped, gw went the the other extreme with free kit formations and powerhouse units/rules.

    • ZeeLobby

      Really it started with 6th edition, back when CADs and ADs were the only options. Things just got ridiculous from there. My prediction is that “points” for AoS will be the same. At first things will be peachy, but then GW will feel that “they did their job” and it’ll fall apart piece by piece.

  • Thorolf

    Interesting read. I’m of the belef that 40k needs a radical overhaul of the rules and the codices to reach a reasonable state of balance. I think it would be a real opportunity to up the fun factor too.

  • Parthis

    Meta this, tournament that, blah blah blah. A generation insistent on making everything about ranking.

    “To me the game is currently dominated by Death Stars and super shooty alpha striking armies. ”

    No, the overly COMPETITIVE game is dominated by those things.

    The game most of us play for fun, with friends and locals that is driven by a chat and a desire for an enjoyable evening is not.

    40K can’t be balanced, even by GW. It’s too big. Even games designed to be balanced from the ground up (KoW, DZC, etc etc) are not. Balance is an illusion in gaming.

    • Shiwan8

      Nope, it’s the whole game that is dominated by those things. It’s really not a problem in tournaments where the idea is not to have fun but to compete.

      It can be balanced. It’s very easy to make the basic rules balanced and after that it’s just codex level playtesting. Balance does not mean perfectly level field. It means close to level field. What we have now is vertical walls with one codex on the top and the other on the bottom of that wall.

      • Parthis

        It is not “easy” to make basic rules balanced unless you have unit to unit parity. I repeat, even games designed to be completely balanced are not. Balance is an illusion in games that need to offer variety. KoW isn’t balanced. 30K isn’t balanced. Even four faction games like DZC aren’t balanced.

        What is easy is to throw the responsibility for your fun back at the people who make your toys, as opposed to assessing how you’re actually playing with your toys.

        Secondly the whole game is not dominated by those things. Perhaps the people you associate with are, but in my world i’ve yet to see a Deathstar outside of a Tournament, and I play 40K weekly.

        • aspsnake

          It’s very hard to make true balance, yes, but you can address overly stupidly strong units and put them in line. 4 out of 5 finalists are Eldar? Maybe, we should look into the lists and nerf units that are the most played there. Yes, other things will come up once the most powerful units are nerfed. And they should be addressed next. This is how balancing is normally done. But they just don’t care.
          EDIT: in the end, there will be still ‘better’ factions and underdogs. But they will be slightly worse, not unplayable, as it stays now.

          • Parthis

            There’s absolutely scope to make things “more balanced” but there are very few singularly broken things in 40K. The Wraithknight is the poster boy for broken balance, but the real imbalance in 40K comes from the number of force-multiplying stuff in the game.

            Invisibility stacked with +1T for mounts stacked with buff invulns stacked with re-rolls, rocking up with faux-intercepting, etc etc etc.

            And you can’t balance that without applying huge restrictions on composition and severely limiting the scope of the game.

            40K is imbalanced because of it’s breadth and scale.

            Yes, targeting specific and clearly undercosted/over powered units would help, but until there’s a complete overhaul of special rules and how they interact, it’ll never improve, and even then, it’ll never reach a point where it could be considered truly balanced.

        • Shiwan8

          Well, I seem to have a different idea of what is easy than you.
          No game is designed to be completely balanced.
          I do not know about KoW or DZC, but 30k is a game of skill instead of faction picking like 40k. 30k is pretty damn balanced. Not perfect, but that’s not what we are after here, just good balance so that skill is the main factor and faction comes after luck in that list.

          I do not really play vanilla40k because house40k is way more balanced. I do not see myself as blaming GW for me not having fun. I’m blaming them for not making the fun available in pick up games.

          I get that in your area softhammer is the thing. Good for you.

          • Parthis

            “Softhammer” is one of many things in my local area, and for what it’s worth I play 30K more than 40K and I agree it is more balanced… but it’s still fairly imbalanced and getting worse all the time… despite that it remains tremendous fun.

            It still has the potential to be broken though – Word Bearers with buffed (and invisible) Lorgar, a load of Gal Vorbak and some allied in Daemons will pretty much wreck anything.

          • ZeeLobby

            And GW games have always been unbalanced, even back when they had their better game designers. It’s just getting worse though, and they don’t seem to care. They slap new units and rules on without really considering how they’ll play on the tabletop.

          • Shiwan8

            I play WB and I can confirm that what you said about them there is absolutely not true.

            30k is not perfect, but it’s close enough to be a game of skill. 40k is a game of faction picking, like I said before. 40k can not be balanced with the current rules and codices.

        • Actually, my personal experience with our gaming group is everything you’ve said. Out of 15 or so people, we have 2 people who bring OP stuff. Everyone else is just fine to play with because we discuss the game ahead fo time and find out what eachother is playing and balance it ourselves. I play weekly as well.

        • Brettila

          Funny, because all I see (ANYWHERE) is the biggest, hardest lists possible with stupid formations ruining the game. “If I just buy 3 ghost keels then I can destroy all of your vehicles with no danger to myself.” Or, “If I but 3 riptides I get nearly 600 points of free firepower.” Marines are the only other army/ies with formations like these. Not exactly fair or fun.

    • Heinz Fiction

      Nowadays it’s quite difficult and requires a profund knowledge of 40k to have a friendly game which is fun for both players and not accidentaly field something stupidly broken.

      Balanced rules would be a blessing for competitive and casual players alike, but fanboys will always claim the game is fine as long as there is the theoretical possibility to setup a fair match…

      • Parthis

        Sorry but I respectfully disagree. I’m a fanboy because I think balance is impossible and is actually the responsibility of players to tailor their experiences? OK, sure. I think 40K is bloated and needs streamlining… but not because of balance.

        There’s no need for “profound knowledge”. Just a chat. I do it all the time with the people I play.

        Ironically Age of Sigmar is one of the most balanced games out there… ponder on that for a second.

        • zeno666

          You funny guy

          • Parthis

            It’s nice that you feel you can contribute.

          • zeno666

            Thank you.
            I brought 10 skaven slaves against 10 chaos knights. That wasn’t very balanced.

          • Parthis

            No, you didn’t. Because that would be stupid on your part, and no one, literally no one, does that. It’s just a crutch argument used by disappointingly dumb people to point and snigger.

            The deploy-counterdeploy mechanic in AoS makes it a remarkably balanced game, and a more balanced game than 40K will ever be. Really think about it.

          • zeno666

            I blame the system for beeing stupid for allowing such unbalance 😉

        • Heinz Fiction

          What usually happens in 40k casual play is that I bring a well rounded fluffy and friendly list and my opponent does as well.

          Then by turn 3 I table him because I play Eldar or I get tabeld because I took my tyranids with me.

          Of course if we’d play each other more frequently and knew each others codices better we could figure out what to bring and what to avoid to have a fun game, but as we are casuals we only meet every 3 month and don’t spend our free time on theory-hammer. To sum it up: the lack of balance totally ruins our casual and friendly gaming experience.

        • WellSpokenMan

          The balance problems with 40k can be compensated for, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t problems. I don’t want to waste time setting ground rules for a game with the most expensive rules set for a miniatures game. I also don’t want to waste a game session when I inevitably mess up and get the ground rules wrong.

          No the game will never be completely balanced, but plenty of systems get close enough that it isn’t considered a flaw in the game. In fact, when talk to people about Infinity, all the factions being pretty balanced and any model you want to use being effective is a major selling point. Balance is considered a flaw in 40k by many, many players. I can tell that you think your cleverer than the rest of us, but perhaps the opinions of so many people shouldn’t be cast away so easily.

          • Parthis

            “I can tell that you think your cleverer than the rest of us, but perhaps the opinions of so many people shouldn’t be cast away so easily.”

            Come again? My opinion is different to yours and the tone of this article, and that’s what you’re layering in?

            Get over yourself chap. My opinion is just as valid anyone’s here, and IMHO the balance problems are present as you approach competitive play. Casual, friendly games are as balanced as you choose to make them.

            Nothing more, nothing less.

          • WellSpokenMan

            “Meta this, tournament that, blah blah blah. A generation insistent on making everything about ranking.”

            “Perhaps the people you associate with are, but in my world i’ve yet to see a Deathstar outside of a Tournament, and I play 40K weekly.”

            “What is easy is to throw the responsibility for your fun back at the people who make your toys, as opposed to assessing how you’re actually playing with your toys.”

            Riiiight, no grand generalizations or denigrations there at all, is there. You speak as if you are blessed with some sort of gaming clarity that lets you see “the truth” that the rest of us just don’t get (because we are stupid), and then you get mad when called on it.
            Out of curiosity, how often do you play someone you don’t know? By your use of the term “chap,” you are either English or incredibly pretentious, so I’m guessing not that often. It’s different in the US. Gaming is a social activity here. That makes rules balance a lot more important.

          • Parthis

            Best not to talk about generalisations while also generalising people by country, eh?

            I’m in the UK therefore gaming is not a social activity? Rightio.

            In answer to your question – I play a new player atleast once a month. I play a game atleast once a week. I play all of my games at a social wargaming club that is supportive of many different games. Sometimes there are tournaments. Sometimes there are campaigns. Sometimes it’s casual.

            “It’s different in the US. Gaming is a social activity here. That makes rules balance a lot more important.”

            It’s really not all that different (i’ve spent a few months living and working in the states, if that helps to qualify what i’m saying, and preempt the inevitable question).

            Social implies a level of discussion, and a desire to have a fun few hours with someone you know, or someone you’re meeting for the first time, yes?

            My point remains; balance starts there. Yes, GW can do more, but this is our hobby first, not theirs.

          • WellSpokenMan

            From my understanding, gaming in the UK is a club activity, it’s not social in “blind date” sort of sense that you get in the US. This is what I have gathered from posts, so it might not be entirely accurate, but people who play in the UK usually confirm this.

            Here is what I do in my area, I post in a Facebook group that I will be available at this time and at this store. Someone who can match that schedule will meet me and we will have a game. Sometimes, if I know there will be enough people at the store’s “night for game x,” I will just show up and play whoever is available. I might know the person, or I might not. If I do know them, then I met them gaming. There are 3 million people who live within an hour’s drive of the metro center, but I didn’t grow up here, and I didn’t start gaming until my 30’s so there are still plenty of strangers to play. Either way, I don’t really want to be bothered with sorting out what rules we will use ahead of time. I don’t have to do this with any other game, and it just adds an unnecessary level of awkwardness.

            I’d like to play 40k more. I’ve spent a ton of money on the models. I like the general feel of the fluff. The gaming experience compared to other games however, I feel is subpar. This is an aspect they can improve, nothing more, nothing less.

            My wife is English and I’ve been to England a fair number of times. I’m not insulting your country, I’m commenting on a difference in gaming culture. A difference, that I think from my conversations online, that has a large impact on what we want from a game.

        • Shiwan8

          Just a side note. AOS is balanced in a way that he/she who has and is willing to spend alot more money to nice shaped plastic things than the opponent is the winner. Balance comes from the amount of throw away money and has nothing to do with skill or actual army balance.

        • Ratbasket

          Too right. Balance IS impossible, if they ‘balance’ one thing, someone will see it as a nerf, and nerd rage ensues. GW cannot win, that is why they don’t try as hard, people will give them grief regardless. Me? I like the minis, I like to play them onces in a while, as long as I have a chance to win (any amount, so basically, if I get lucky rolling) I don’t care. Its a fun game if you don’t take it so seriously. If you do, as I mentioned above, play chess at grand master level, and good luck to them.

      • ZeeLobby

        THIS. 100x. Every fluff-bunny casual and bloodthirsty WAACer should be pushing for better balance.

    • Pyrrhus of Epirus

      “Meta this, tournament that, blah blah blah. A generation insistent on making everything about ranking.”

      sounds like loser talk. Life is a competition, everything i do im competing with or against somebody at my job, in my personal life, why should my hobby be any different. Frankly its exactly why i like wargaming, the competition, and at my gaming club we feel the same way. If not for the competition, id have a different hobby.

      • euansmith

        If you are competing against people in your personal life, I think you might be doing it wrong, dude.

        • ZeeLobby

          Hahaha, sounds hardcore.

        • Pyrrhus of Epirus

          you have never competed with another guy over a girl? i mean this is a warhammer forum so its entirely possible. Im competative as hell in all aspects of my life, and its served me very well sofar.

          • euansmith

            “you have never competed with another guy over a girl? i mean this is a warhammer forum so its entirely possible.”

            I know what you mean dude, the ladies love WH; it hardly seems fair to the other guys. 😉

          • Shiwan8

            Why would anyone ever compete over a girl/guy. That’s likely the stupidest thing you can do. The fact is that if he/she hesitates he/she is not right for you. People who want others to compete over them are not trust worthy. If a “better” flavor of the month competitor comes in to “play” he/she will do something…not included in the social contract.

            Never compete over a person. It’s just an announcement that you are less worthy than the “jackpot” you are competing over.

          • Pyrrhus of Epirus

            thanks for that opinion. You have alot of growing up to do if your never had to fight to save a relationship, or your the luckiest man on earth and has had everything handed to him on a silver platter. Life is a competition from day one

          • Pyrrhus of Epirus

            thanks for that opinion. If you have never had to fight/compete over a girl, i question if you have dated girls, or perhaps your just the one in a million guy who has had everything in life handed to him on a silver platter. All i know is if a guy like BBF agrees with what im saying, i re-evaluate that opinion.

          • Shiwan8

            I’ve missed some. Just think for a minute what you are to a person who wants you to compete over them. I dare you.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          He sadly has a point Eu, like you are always competing to be hired, against your peers for a raise, competing for a mate, competing to buy goods first at the store, to have housing, etc. We just don’t think about it that way.

          • euansmith

            I play co-op as much as possible 😉

      • Parthis

        OK, cheers winner.

        “why should my hobby be any different.”

        It shouldn’t. Or it should. It’s a choice and that’s fine.

      • Ross Allan

        It’s precisely because I’m competitive in my professional circle that I want a hobby to just chill out with. Friendly game. With friends. Maybe a drink or two and a ciggie. Something to unwind with. Take the stress of feeling driven to constantly be the most productive member of my division away.

        • Shiwan8

          It’s a game. It’s a competition by default.

          • Brettila

            Yes, but you are not required to be a-holes about it. I want to win once the dice hit the table. However, it is not necessary to put the most ridiculous, hardcore list out there; and breathlessly watch for rules slips to capitalize upon. I want to de-stress from teaching 13 years old that I am not allowed to beat all week. It would be nice if armies had units that were basically the same with slight changes that were their particular ‘flavor’. Cut out the silly power additions for formations and people would get the balance and ‘player-choice-not-list’ that is always talked about.

          • Shiwan8

            While I disagree with your suggested method I agree that being “that guy is not mandatory or even a good idea.

        • Pyrrhus of Epirus

          i love this about the hobby, the number of beer and warhammer games ive hosted in my garage must be in the hundreds (over 20 years), while there are guys who dont care at all about the competition and when i play them i can still have fun, but i make it clear that my default stance on games with my clubmates is i want a challenging/competative game every time. In general, when guys bring a “B” list and i win, its not very satisfying and feels like i wasted my time.

    • Malthrak

      Thats the problem, the game is too big, its trying to be too many things and doing them all poorly.

      Its trying to be Epic, Necromunda, and 2E 40k all in one, and its failing miserably.

      Pickup gaming is also a big thing in the real world and this edition has practicality killed that off.

      Nobody expects perfect balance, but 40k is going out of its way to prevent even the pretense of balance, which is bad for everyone, pal gamers playing narrative games and tournament gamers and pickup gamers alike.

  • No-one Special

    I can’t agree with this notion that Shooting and Assault need to be on some kind of equal footing. There’s a reason why ranged weapons were invented and adopted by everyone who can access them, so I don’t care how fast you are, you are not going to cross a given distance quicker than someone can pull a trigger.
    Assaulting is not supposed to be the focus of a Sci-Fi game, the technology has moved beyond that being an efficient way to conduct war. It’s more of a tool to be used only in certain situations when it’s absolutely necessary – and will not be without casualties. And that is how it should be in 40k. Yes, by all means, have an Assault unit or two to use for certain things like counter charging or shifting a stubborn unit off an objective – but just don’t expect those units to emerge unscathed in a game of guns and lasers, because they won’t.
    All this clamouring for assault to be beefed up is mostly from people who are just wanting a return to the Rhino Rush days. If you want to chop people up with swords and Axes first and foremost then maybe Sci-Fi games aren’t what you should be playing.

    • Crevab

      I’ve always preferred Shooting armies, but THIS is 40k.
      If you don’t want aliens and supersoldiers chopping people up with swords and axes, then maybe it shouldn’t be what you are playing

      http://i.imgur.com/QczzDzE.jpg

      • No-one Special

        Except it’s not anymore – which is why those players who want to rush across the board and assault you turn one are complaining.
        Assaulting is high risk – as it should be – but some players want a return to the days of assault units eating their way way through whole armies unit after unit with little to stop them. The shift away from that and more towards shooting is exactly what was needed.

        • euansmith

          What 40k needs is Smoke Grenades; that would give some more tactical options and would establish some sort of parity between shooting and assault.

          In real life assaulting the enemy is still a viable option (as opposed to calling in an airstrike), though it usually follows suppressing the target with shooting while the assaulting unit flanks the target. So maybe a suppression mechanism is required in addition to smoke grenades.

      • aspsnake

        Yes, but there are factions like Blood Angels and Daemons which rely on assaults as their main strategy. What should you do if you’re a BA player, just lose every game or stop playing? 😀

        • No-one Special

          Last time I checked Daemons weren’t struggling for wins.
          BA’s codex is out of date so to use them as an example is a bit more difficult, and you can’t use an out of date codex to argue the entire game needs to be changed to help them.They still have assault transports as dedicated transports so if they want to utilise an assault strategy they can.
          In my opinion, the whole dedicated assault marine army argument is a bit convenient, they’re still space marines, they still use guns, they don’t always have to charge headlong into the enemy (except Death Company). I feel people get way too caught up in the idea of an assault army and forget that even they would use support units to help them actually get there.
          The BA codex should allow you to place more focus on assaulting, but that’s not all they can do and it’s not all they should do.

          • aspsnake

            You’re right, but this is not the point I was making. I was answering Crevab’s point that 40k is a shooting game and those with melee armies pls just silently leave 😀

        • Drpx

          Go to 30k with the Chaos Marines.

        • Crevab

          Did you mean to respond to No-one ?

          • aspsnake

            yes idd :p

    • benn grimm

      Tell that to ‘quins, nids, Orks and Daemons (who by the way, already do assault better than most armies do shooting), this is the grim dark of the far future and your guns won’t save you; as the Imps find out, both in game and in the fluff, again and again and again…

      • No-one Special

        Maybe I should have been a bit clearer. Assault has a part to play in the game – but it’s not the be all and end all of the game, and it shouldn’t be for almost every army with a few select exceptions.
        Daemons are one of those exceptions, they represent the feral side to the universe, and the fact they can appear right beside you means having a sword actually makes sense. Nid’s can shoot and used to a lot before certain editions – there’s no reason they shouldn’t now. Ork’s fluff wise are supposed to like shooting as much as CC as they love the noise and damage it causes – again there’s no reason why they can’t now.
        Quins are….just….weird, so whatever for them.
        The point i’m making is that the complaints of Assault needing to be boosted stems from a time when Assaulting was too strong – not because it actually needs to be changed. If certain Codex’s need changing to make under-powered armies more competitive then fine, but that’s not the same as making Assault a primary focus of the entire game again.

        • benn grimm

          There was definitely a time when assault was too strong, as it is in certain outlier cases now (TW, Wraiths, possibly some Daemon units, but I’m not admitting which ones…;))… For me the problem is in the lack of impact shooting has outside of straight up damage and death dealing. Its all a bit vulgar atm; too many dice, not enough meaningful happening(for me). Pinning is a joke, most units it would be useful against shrug it off like its nothing. Overwatch would be great if it was more like the old 2nd ed rule; far more tactical and representative of reality; stick your head out of cover and get blasted…Some kind of fire suppression mechanic that actually does something would be awesome (coupled with a general toning down of the raw power of shooting).

          I think a couple of super shooty armies; Tau, Guard, mixed with a whole bunch of hybrid shooty and assault armies; Dar, Marines, Chaos, Nids etc(?) with a couple of really good assaulty armies; Daemons, Orks, maybe nids, (I’m far from convinced that they are a shooty army in the fluff; yes they have guns, but its mostly the teeth and claws that get you…) makes for a fun mix. Imo, the game is won or lost in the movement phase anyway; just how you deal the damage is (should be) up to you.

          • No-one Special

            A fire suppression mechanic i’m all for as I agree that effect of fire is almost trivial beyond killing things. Some units may be fearless, but they’re not stupid, and will take evasive action if they’re being mowed down like grass. And the option to pin down dangerous units would make for interesting tactical decisions beyond X kills Y but not Z.
            Although to introduce something like this the rest of the game would need to be simplified (I would start with less less special rules and a return to the universal special rule list for most things).

            A mix of armies is best and there should still be armies that like to assault, but I still feel that shooting should remain the primary focus. You should have to work to get an assault unit into combat in an effective state – softening up their target with shooting, pinning them, or distracting them something else. Assault units should not be point and click murder units that can just attack at will and win, they should be scalpels that have to applied precisely to get the best out of them.
            This of course affects the pure assault armies most which is why the internal balance of their codex is key, and if they are a weaker codex then steps can be taken to improve them – cheaper units to let them absorb casualties etc. or clever use of the ‘endless horde’ rule (would be really interesting for Orks).

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Blew my mind when they took pinning away from barrage weapons!

        • The article doesn’t advocate melee to be the strongest phase.

        • Brettila

          Tyranids can still shoot your monkey face off. A friend of mine does very well with them. A simple example: Their drop pod comes down, 20 Gants hop out and lay down 60 S4 shots, followed by 15 S5 or 6 shots from the pod! 75 shots is nothing to sneer at from one reasonable troop unit.

    • Shiwan8

      Couple of points.

      1: It’s a game with armies that really can not compete with their guns that they might not even have in some cases. Keeping assault in it’s current or worse state means that those armies will not do anything in the future either.
      2: It’s not a simulation. If you want a simulation there are better suited games for that.

      PS: The fluff dictates that melee is a big part of this setting. It’s also supposed to be fun for both/all participants which means that people playing those melee armies have to have equal footing with those who play ranged combat focused armies. Otherwise it’s not what it’s supposed to be.

      All this leads to “but it’s not realistic”-argument being pretty void.

      • No-one Special

        Fluff changes. And will continue to change.
        The fact 40k isn’t a simulation doesn’t matter, it’s still a representation.
        If certain armies are struggling because of their assault focus then they can to be changed to help them compete – not change the whole game to suit those armies.
        It’s not about being ‘realistic’ it’s about making a game that focuses on what the majority of all the models are equipped with – guns.

        • Shiwan8

          Yes, fluff changes. Your point?
          Representation of a setting in which melee forces are every bit as terrifying opponents as the shooters are…if not more because of daemons and nids.
          One does not need to change the whole game to make assault armies reasonable, just a few things really. Shooting armies would not even get worse.
          The fact that most models have guns makes the game gun-centric. It does not mean that melee units have to inherently suck.

          • No-one Special

            Erm, the point is you used fluff as justification for assault units being stronger than they perhaps should? (“PS: The fluff dictates that melee is a big part of this setting”). I simply responded by saying that just because the fluff (currently) says so doesn’t means it translates into the game like that (marine fluff for example).
            I never said melee units aren’t/shouldn’t be as terrifying as shooters – they should run the risk of having to actually get there. They’re not entitled to just walk across a battlefield, assault whoever they choose without much thought, and emerge unscathed afterwards, ready to obliterate the next unit in their path. Getting units into assault effectively should be a challenge, not a right.
            Assault units don’t suck, just some of the codex’s that use rely on them suck, and that’s got nothing to do with the game itself discriminating against Assault units.

          • Shiwan8

            Everything you claim melee units should not be is what shooting units are. That is the problem. There is no downside for being a shooter. The balance of things is missing. This needs to change.

          • No-one Special

            No and no, you are clearly looking at this from the wrong perspective.
            Shooters are the core unit element in a sci-fi setting, whilst assault units are specialists. There isn’t supposed to be total parity between them except in a few codexs which require army special rules to make them usable – Nids and Daemons primarily.
            Assault units are supposed to be a tool to use when needed, not the go to units for everything just because you want it like that.
            Assault units have plenty of advantages:
            They get to attack at full effectiveness in both player turns. While shooters do get to attack back, any unit you are shooting rather than assaulting with is typically not going to be very good in assault anyway. And while Shooters get to overwatch hitting on crappy 6’s, Assault units can still shoot on the way in at full BS. They can also overwatch themselves as well if needed.
            Assault units are safe from being shot at once they’re doing what they’re good at – being in combat. Shooters are never ‘safe’ and can always be targeted.
            AP cc weapons aren’t mitigated by cover unlike how it is for ranged weapons.
            Assault units are generally fast and can re-roll for distance on an already significantly increased charge distance on the old 6″.
            Many assault units get hammer of wrath attacks.
            Etc etc etc.

            Your argument seems to stem from someone that liked the good old days when assault armies were King and resents shooting armies getting their turn in the sun – although that’s probably an incorrect way of putting it, as shooting in a sci-fi setting should always be King.

          • Shiwan8

            Again, it’s not a simulation. It’s a game. A game that is supposed to be fun for everyone playing it regardless of preferred style of harming the opponent in the game.

            The “wrong” perspective is that stagnant and narrow point of view that wants to define what is and is not viable in this game.

            Few corrections though. Most melee units are regular infantry, so not really that fast. Assault units get full effectiveness only when they charge and at times not even then. Shooters do not get sweeped by shots like melee units get sweeped by just losing the combat.

            My argument stems from the idea of varied play styles being fun. I get that you want to roflstomp armies that are not tau, but I want balance for the game.

        • Look how Orks and Nidz struggle to be effective in melee.

    • Heinz Fiction

      What you think a Sci-Fi game is supposed to, doesn’t really matter. You may have noticed, that 40k isn’t a totally realistic simulation of modern warfare and as long as there are armies wich are designed to win the game in close combat they need a chance to do so.

      • No-one Special

        Then what you think doesn’t matter either then does it? The article is an opinion piece, so i’m giving mine.
        No, 40k is not a simulation, but it’s still a representation – but you’re issue is separate to what the article is advocating and what i’m arguing against. If certain armies are struggling or are too overpowered then they need to be changed within their Codex’s (Codicies?) – not change the entire game to make Assault more of a focus. That’s a different thing entirely.

        • Heinz Fiction

          Well, I back up my opinion with arguments of game design. You’re just saying: in the future guns shall rule supreme because I think they will. You might or might not be right, taking force fields teleporters and so on into account but this is completely irrelevant.

          Of course GW could change 40k in a way that makes shooting the only valid strategy for everyone with close combat being a rather situational thing. I doubt this would be for the better of the game though.

          • No-one Special

            Well if you want to look at game design, go back a few 40k editions to when Assault was so overpowered that you could just leave your guns at home and still win comfortably. Because that was fun and fair for everyone, and totally conceivable.
            The basic crux is this, Fantasy (WFB, AOS etc.) focuses more on close combat, and so Sci-Fi/40k focuses more on shooting – it’s a natural evolution of technology. But that’s not saying that they can’t be present in both settings and still be a major part of both games.
            Weaker codex’s can be fixed to make them better, but I think those that complain about the game as a whole being too shooting focused are doing so because they want a return to the times of Rhino Rush I mentioned earlier.

          • Djbz

            I agree that the way the old Rhino rush worked was a bit silly.
            But now they’ve thrown too many speed bumps in the way for most armies
            I get that a unit can’t get out of and charge from a fast moving vehicle- but why do they have to wait a turn to charge if they get out while it’s stationary (where assault vehicles can both move AND have a unit get out and charge in the same turn)
            Why does a Flying monstrous creature need to wait a turn after switching flight modes before it can charge? (Thus losing the entire point of flying into a position to get a charge off without being shot to death by everthing the opponent has in the first place)
            Why can’t a unit that has walked on from reserve (normal reserve and/or outflank) not allowed to charge but a unit that was effectivly 6″ further forward at the start of the turn allowed to?

          • No-one Special

            Because, in game mechanic terms, it gives the opponent the chance to shoot you before you attack. Assaulting directly from any position where you were ‘safe’ from harm is just too overpowered. Everyone conveniently forgets Assault units get to attack twice per turn once you get there whereas shooting only gets to attack once – which is why overwatch and charging limitations were applied in the first place. The unit being assaulted MUST be given the opportunity to soften the Assault unit before it attacks, otherwise everyone would just run assault armies because they can get into combat easily and dish out double the damage – and we return to a variant of Rhino Rush.
            Assault transports overcome the disembarking issue, but to balance them they are expensive and not everyone has them.
            Flyers/FMC are a separate issue not just limited to their assault ability, it all needs work.

          • Djbz

            Assault units also have to survive overwatch on the turn they charge and return attacks (which if they have a higher iniative happen first).
            Assult is already a double-edged sword for most armies (as if it goes wrong your assault unit can suddenly get swept, or even fail a 3″ charge and be stood in the open ready to be shot to death.) it doesn’t need as many speed bumps as it has

          • No-one Special

            C’mon, you’re grasping a bit there.
            Overwatch on the whole isn’t that damaging, hitting on 6’s is nothing to be scared of. There are exceptions of course, but the units that can be scary are going to be scary full stop – on the whole Overwatch is not a problem.
            And return attacks? In practice the units that will be shooting you instead of assaulting you aren’t going to be doing much damage back either (again as ever with 40k there are exceptions etc.)
            The rolling of a 3″ is uncommon to say the least, but failed charges did still happen before. The random charge distance is more than balanced by the drastically increased potential charge distance combined with many (most?) assault units be able to re-roll for their distance.

          • Bubble wrap is a good counter to meleecentric armies.

          • Heinz Fiction

            To get things clear: I don’t think that first turn charges are a good thing, given how bloody close combat still is. I also don’t think that assault units should be the one and only thing you need to win this game.

            But i DO think that shooting and close combat should be on equal footing as long as different factions are designed the way they are. It’s not healty for the game when even armies which have good assault units ditch them because shooting is just plain better.

          • No-one Special

            You get to attack twice in assault, you only get to shoot once (and maybe overwatch at reduced effectiveness). This is why getting into combat has to be made difficult, otherwise everyone does the opposite of what you said and plays assault units only – and we have seen this.
            Very few armies rely solely on assault units, and those that do can be assisted within their codex – for everyone else an assault unit should be a tool for a specific job, just like everything else.
            The 40k rulebook does not need to shift back towards assault.

          • Heinz Fiction

            I don’t really know how point costs are adjusted in 7th edition but in 6th edition 75% of the assault units across all codices completely lost their right to exist (a few were still good, usually those with good armor and good transport options). So if it hasn’t happen since then I DO think the rulebook needs to shift back to assault quite a bit!

            You might know better though, as i’m not really an active player anymore. If the situation is different today feel free to call me a fool 😉

          • Forward not backwards

          • I have seen Marines with Fulmination wiped out by Tau fire support.

    • Viktor Julian

      Tyranids as an example lack some punching power in their current state. Their assault is not what it used to be and their shooting is just below mediocre. Orks just die too fast and when they don`t have the numbers, they really struggle in close combat. Today a Riptide can easily go into combat and save a flank with orks. Dark Eldar, unless you play the only formation that works for them, aka The Corpsethief Formation, they simply don`t work. They get steamrolled by everyone. Not to forget the Adepta Soritas, but they barely have a codex. So the question is, how do we get the bottom 3 codexes back on their feet? Change assault rules, or just buff their codexes? Tyranid and Ork players playing horde armies already feel like they have way too many models to push each turn, so lowering the points cost is not an option that can easily be applied to fix imbalances.

    • raysmuckles

      weird, i specifically like 40k because of its melee elements in a sci-fi setting AND i think melee should be the stronger option in the game because its cooler. look at 40k art, look at the primarchs for 30k: the most prominent, awesome looking things are melee weapons. everyone wears massive armor that ignores puny firearms and promotes smashing each other to pieces. if the setting were trying to be a hard sci-fi setting we’d just be playing “blast them from orbit/open a portal across the galaxy and push a bomb through it.”

      instead we’re playing knights and elves in space. many people would say its not even sci-fi at all, and really sci-fantasy wherein a fantasy setting (like the one you say we should got to get our melee on) is merely transported into the future. think of guns like bows and slings and catapults, not as they are in the 21st century. heck, there’s by design almost no actual science in the whole setting. its much more “magic” and “lost knowledge of the ancients;” you know, typical fantasy type things

      anyway, since we are both entitled to our opinion, let’s just cancel each other out! you say guns should be stronger (lame), i say melee should be stronger (awesome). so let’s make them equally viable and we can both be happy!

    • Delta team – Seals ?

  • vlad78

    “No one wants to be assaulted the first turn but then again there’s never
    been any restrictions on shooting the first turn either.”

    I’m sorry but this does not coincide with my experience of the game.

    first turn shooting has far less consequences.

    Shooting does not prevent your unit from moving or shooting or charging into combat. Hth does. Furthermore dedicated Hth units are far more deadly than shooting units once they reached close combat because they strike twice each turn.

    Assaulting turn one stops one player from being able to apply his strategy. you might say it’s the point, but in a wargame that’s very bad, that means even average deployment can end in defeat on turn one not because of the smart moves of your opponent but because of his list. Point and click. This is far more detrimental to the game.

    • benn grimm

      Its just so obvious to anyone who’s ever been mass assaulted turn 2 without any solid way of avoiding it that the same thing happening turn 1 would be less than fun. For both parties.

    • Shiwan8

      You have not played against Tau then?

      • vlad78

        I have and I won by sending drop pods right in front of his line without taking into account the risk of landing on him to keep him from dropping too many pies on my marines. I kept the pressure long enough to let my hth units obliterate him. It doesn’t always work but its better that way.

        Had I been able to charge turn one, there wouldn’t have been a game at all.

        • euansmith

          But that is top tier vs top tier, Marines vs Tau. Not all Codices have a means of dropping infantry accurately on the far side of the table.

        • Shiwan8

          Yes…marines…. Try CSM.

          • vlad78

            So you want to justify assaulting turn 1 because CSM codicies have been left behind? That’s illogical, the first smart move would be to restore CSM effectiveness.

    • I remember the days of Blood Angels rhino rush charging on turn 1.

      I will never play that game again.

      • Ross Allan

        Yup. Charge in turn 1, flatten your target, sweeping advance into next. Rinse and repeat with your super-assault-dudes who were either fightier or tougher than their opponents (often both), and watch as your opponents turn basically just jumped to the assault phase. *yaaaaaaawwwwwn*
        As others have said, Assault does a lot more than just kill models. It ties up your unit, which unless an assault oriented unit itself, is neatly removed from your turn until the combat is properly finished, whilst protecting my own unit from your shooting.
        Assault remains the best way to shove enemy units off of objectives – typically holding units are much smaller, and thus can’t stand up to a protracted kicking. And if you’re camping your own best assault unit on an objective? Have it mate, I’ll go beat up everyone else, and be back in time to contest for the last turn.

        • I like how assault works now – as a support piece, not as the primary method of engagement.

      • That was not fun but doesn’t mean assault in general is a bad thing .

  • Heinz Fiction

    “Only GW can truly the balance the game – but it looks like they are starting to try.”

    They started to try it 20 years ago but then they said: “screw it, we are not a game company”.

  • ninjalawyer

    The problem with external balance is that it would require simultaneous revision of all the army books at once, which breaks from GW’s business model. Our best hope is that GW makes an AoS-level mess of 40k and inspires the gaming community to come together and write up a truly balanced set of rules from scratch like the ninth age rules for fantasy.

    • The rules could nerf stronger units in the game… It’s happened before.

  • Ross Allan

    Difficulty here of course is that my balanced isn’t your balanced. There’s no orthodoxy to it. To some, it means they just want a single ‘kill switch’ list. Something which requires absolutely no thought and is guaranteed the win every single time.
    To others, they’d just like to see every unit in their force as being equally viable in any list – but again, definitions of viable vary wildly.
    Others still (and I fit this one best meself) see it as being a necessary tactical compromise, that balance shouldn’t mean I can perform in all phases and combat zones – just that no one area should be utterly dominant (see close combat 3rd Ed…..)
    An extreme version, which I have seen espoused – victory should ALWAYS go to the more experienced gamer.
    All four of these are very broad, but also largely mutually exclusive. Is anyone right? No. We all have our ideal in our head, and rightfully so.
    Given the mind boggling variables in 40k, it’s amazing the game has anything even dimly resembling fairness at all. Seriously. Different missions, different objectives, the amount and variety of scenery on hand (very dense and assault has a distinct edge. Planet Bowling Ball the opposite). How big is my collection compared to your collection? Because whoever has the larger collection has an advantage in that they can field a variety of forces at different points levels – not only can the unsporting deliberately create something to knack your own Achilles’ Heel, but they’re likely to have a broader experience in different phases.
    AoS? Completely different, because they’ve reduced down the variables (fixed to hit, fixed to wound, occasional modifiers) – I’m interested to see how the points stack up there.

    • euansmith

      Don’t forget the importance of rolling well 😉

      “I know he’s a good general, but is he lucky?”

      ― Napoléon Bonaparte

      • Ross Allan

        True that. One of the worst things I’ve had said to me post battle was following a game of my Ogres against Tournament McTournyface’s ‘optimal’ Dark Elves in 8th Ed Warhammer.
        In short, I utterly flattened him. Not a foot put wrong, not a flank unexploited. I crushed my enemies, saw them driven before, and would’ve stopped to hear the lamentation of his wimmin, but they were all dead too, I’d so soundly trounced him.
        Did I get a Bruciebonus ‘Good game, good gim, ib dib dib dib dib dib’. Nope.
        I got ‘well, you diced me. You just diced me. I would’ve won, but you diced me’…..
        I wasn’t even rolling all that well. Hellheart did nowt, none of my charges got the big bonus to Impact Hits.

      • CatachanCommissar

        I love this quote, he really did pick the luckiest guys, and it showed fairly well. I think we all have that one person we know who is always winning things.

    • The point system seems antithesis to AoS.

  • HiveFleet Charybdis

    You can have a balanced game – release one full set of well constructed rules and lists … Then NEVER change it. No new models, no new codices, no updates of any kind except story.
    Those who saw the Wulfen models and said “hey, sweet – can’t wait to use them” – you’ll never see that again.
    Those who wept with joy to see the Genestealer Cult get released- sorry that’ll never happen in a balanced game.

    Like the sound of that? Personally I’d pick up the game play it for less than 6 months then never touch it again. Boring. 40k is fun because it keeps changing and keeps engaging my imagination. I accept that true balance will not happen in a way that will sustain my enjoyment of the hobby.

    • Ross Allan

      Yup. X-Wing started out alright. But thanks to the nefarious way they dish out new cards, quickly boiled down to ‘victory to he with the deepest pockets’. The sort that can afford to shell out £20 for a ship they won’t use to get a card they will use, just because it makes a good fleet great? Oh, and those ships we released that were a bit poop? GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! Just give us £45 to buy this Epic Ship which you won’t use all that often, and we’ll give you new cards to make that original ship you’ve already paid £10 a bit more useful! LOLOLOLOLOL!
      Expanding games – they’re a sod to keep balanced, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    • Shiwan8

      I like the sound of designers knowing what they do and playtesting things properly after which releasing only balanced product. It’s the same pros you talked about there with none of the cons.

  • Malthrak

    Nobody expects perfect balance.

    But there’s a difference between having a few muckups or some slight issues and the full blown clusterfuck that 40k is today where they actively avoid balance and use broken rules as a sales mechanism, particularly Formations that give free stuff (in some cases many hundreds of points worth) for no cost and no meaningful drawbacks.

    So 40k could do a whole lot better with a minimum of effort, GW just doesn’t care to.

  • Knight

    For the rules to be “closer” to balanced they would need to write all the codex at the same time and then play test them multiple times. If they keep writing rules independently without testing them vs other codex they will never be “close” to balanced.

    • Parthis

      This is a really great point. Some of the balance issues are simply a result of time delay between releases?

    • ZeeLobby

      I’d say playtest each faction against each other faction maybe 100 times, and gather results. It would definitely require effort, and it’s something GW wouldn’t pay to do, but it’s what would be needed. Or make rules free, gather tournament results, rebalance and update frequently.

  • MightyOrang

    The game could be balanced if they were willing to make the game the focus — and not the miniatures sales

    But they’re just not interested in that. Especially now that there a public company.

  • ZeeLobby

    With a complete ground-up rewrite, pruning, and simultaneous rules release… Sure!

  • Shawn

    I was wondering. Is 30k played competitively? It makes me wonder if tournament play effects how 40k is developed. I’m not saying tournament players are monsters and shouldn’t have their tournaments, but I do wonder if their competitive spirit drives sales more than the casual players. A good many of veteran players I’ve talked to claim that the newest codex was always the strongest, so people would go out and get it and start a new army to have an edge in tournaments and their friends. They have also said that GW will nerf some units while making other units better just to drive model sales. It made me wonder if GW had a quite ear to the unofficial tournament scene and figured such competition drove sales which is why each codex had the power creep. If there is no such competitive community in 30k, it would be no surprise then why it’s more balanced. That and other factors such as Forge World being able to take their time working out rules and going by their own productions schedules. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    As far as balancing what exists? Instead of completely reworking the system from the ground up, tweaking the prevalence of high strength, high ap weapons and sheer volume of said shooting would help if done right. Also, tweaking the rules in such a manner that their might be more than one counter to a unit or ability. It would be tricky, perhaps, but maybe possible. And nerfing the outright OP craziness or limit spamming vehicles and warp charges might help too.

    • You don’t see many if any at all 30k tournies… Which is a good thing IMO.

      It can be competitive but not cut throat.

      • Shawn

        Thanks Black Blow Fly. I’ve never seen them either, and only because a friend of mine has pushed 30k has it popped up to be played at all. I’m guessing 30k is a really small fraction of GW’s overall sales, so FW is allowed to take all the time in the world to set up rules, etc.

        • I think 30k is on the rise.

          • Shiwan8

            Definately. It’s like 30k but lacks most of the stupidity of 40k while having a story line unlike 40k.

          • Shawn

            That could be. I prefer 40k though. While I love FW’s models, I think 40k is much more interesting. The Horus Heresy has been beaten to death and should have ended 20 novels ago.

  • Keaton

    Don’t agree with much of this. Assault should be more difficult to do, but more powerful (which it is). Shooting should be easier, but less powerful than assault (which it usually is). Assault is inherintly more oppressive because of the way it ties up the unit, so it needs to be more difficult to do.

    Also, Tau did lose something with 7th relative to other armies. Psychic phase being it’s own phase was a nerf, as it added another phase Tau can’t participate in.

    • Tirelion

      Assault is already difficult to do as assault units very often don’t survive getting into assault. That’s why deathstars exist, because assault is already difficult to achieve. Assault armies are still mostly dead in 40k, but you want it harder…..just…wow.

      • Keaton

        I didn’t say I wanted it harder. I said it should be harder than shooting. And it should be. The weapons are easier to get high strength on for less points (x2), you can kill entire units just by forcing moral saves, and the unit you assault is unable to do anything else.

        “Assault armies” as a mentality are the problem. The vast majority of armies aren’t forced to pick “shooting or assault”, yet that’s what most people seem to think they have to do. They’re just 2 different ways of killing people to be used in concert. There is no onus on them being equally “strong”. Why does that argument not exist for the psychic phase?

      • Keaton

        Also, that’s not why death stars exist. They existed long before 6th or 7th. They exist because they’re a cheesy way to make a near unkillable unit. Has nothing to do with the relative strength of shooting or assault.

    • Assault should be easy hence Fulmination .

      • Keaton

        Assault shouldn’t be easy. Its much easier to get high strength weapons in assault for lower point costs (mostly through x2), the unit you assault is stuck in assault, and you have a good chance of destroying the unit completely without actually taking out any model. Rare for a failed moral save to kill a unit from range.

        Assault IS more powerful. Yeah, shooting is more reliable and easier to do consistently, but on a strength to points ratio, the weapons are weaker. Also, because assault units are often so devastating, people devote a ton of shooting to kill them before they reach. So when that assault unit dies, sure you could say “it did nothing, assault is dead”. But saving the rest of your army from an entire round of shooting is worth something.

    • Shiwan8

      You are trolling, right?

      • Keaton

        I’m not, but I see you’re still on here regularly doing exactly that. Tell me what part of what I said is false.

        • Shiwan8

          Thanks for defining my motives as what they are not.

          Instead of me pointing out the obvious I’d rather read your arguments proving your claims to be true. I’m pretty sure that your experience is sinqular.

          • Keaton

            Reaching melee is near impossible? Come on. Half the game can do it rather easily with drop pod spam. Shooting is easy, as I said it ought to be. But it isn’t more powerful, at least not in the way I was defining power. Strength on a Melee weapon is cheaper points wise than on a gun. 3 thunderwolf cavalry charge and get 15 strength 10 attacks. That unit is what, 150 points? You’ll never find that great a S to points ratio with any gun. Which, again, is how it should be.

            I think the game would be well served by dropping the strength of every weapon by 1. But thats a whole ‘nother discussion.

            Assault and shooting aren’t these two vastly different ways of fighting, for the vast majority of armies they’re two ways of killing units that are supposed to be used in concert. I’m not sure why people keep assuming they should be balanced through each other. People don’t use that argument with pysching, but it has its own phase. What shouldn’t it be as powerful as assault or shooting following your logic?

            My guess is that its an argument consistently made by people who had the most fun in 5th edition when two armies just met in the middle and punched it out. Which is fine. But things are different now.

          • Shiwan8

            Ok, so, because broken things can reach melee on their own and reasonable things can reach melee against bad gamers you claim that melee is “too good”. Are monsters too good because WK is? When did melee nids win a tournament, how about melee orcs? Or any other melee army that had no deathstars?

            I have no idea what is “vastly different” to you if hitting something on initiative 1 after everything else miraculously failed to kill you is not vastly different compared to battle cannons that ignore cover, for example.

            Psychics are way more powerful than assault or even shooting. I’m going to just assume that that is the reason why people do not want more power to psychics.

            You may assume what ever you want. The fact remains that melee is ridiculously underpowered outside rule abusing. This is a game in which currently it is easier to aim a heavy weapon when standing in an exploding transport than it is to run towards the enemy…and you say the later is too easy.

          • Keaton

            I never said melee was too good. I never even implied it. I’m not sure why that was in quotes. I don’t think assault is “too good”. All i stipulated is once youre in assault, it is stronger than once you hit with a shooting attack. And that isn’t even an opinion, its just math.

            Also don’t know what “melee orks” is. I suspect it’s you assuming an army must do one or the other regarding shooting and assault.

            But either way you seem emotional so I’m gonna drop it.

          • Shiwan8

            Well, you claimed, though not directly, that you do not want balance for different play styles and armies which would be better (compared to present situation) if melee was as good as shooting.

            I’m not emotional. I’m pointing out widely known facts that you disagree with. I get that I seem emotional to you though because while there is no way you can know wether or not I am emotional it is easier for you to dismis what I’ve said if you think I am.

            You are naturally free to do what ever you want, but that does not change the fact that melee is immensely underpowered compared to shooting when you look at non-deathstar units.

  • Randy Randalman

    No rules system has true balance, and it will never happen as long as there are different styles of play and list building methods. The more watered down and boring you make a game, the closer we will get to external balance; but that’s not fun.

    Often times rules will be largely balanced, but players will toil through every resource to find the loopholes and exploit them.

    The core 40k rulebook wasn’t really imbalanced. The codex, supplement, campaign, and other snowflake rules made the pool of available resources too wide for things like Allies. This is how crazy death-star combos get put together. The recent round of FAQ’s did a decent job of cutting down on stacked/shared rules where characters join units and formations, but players are stubborn and will continue to find ways to exploit them.

    • Shiwan8

      On the rulebook balance, look ar how shooters and hitters function when transports explode. Look at how walkers and monsters work. Look at grav weapons and plasma weapons.