The FAQ has Dropped

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The FAQ has Dropped

Postby Connman234 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:24 pm

Well Guys... It's that time. The September FAQ has been released. I would like to remind everyone that this is a healthy discussion where we can voice opinions and thoughts.



Honestly, while the salt is mighty, I do not really mind these changes. IMO, While I do like how they attacked the CP farm, I feel as though it's just a smidge too much of a hit. My personal thought would be "Regen 1CP per Turn", but again, I like everything about the nerf and how they attacked the problem.

My personal biggest complaint would actually be the tactical reserves beta(2). It's good that they changed the PL/PTS requirement, but stopping units coming down T1 really hurts. It was already bad enough to limit T1 to your deployment, but now not having the asset available T1 is absolutely ridiculous.

However, the new 2CP Shroudpsalm is a very unexpected and helpful boon to many armies. It's definitely an asset for melee heavy armies to get into melee and stay protected.. If you know that the enemy will fall back, 2CP and you are giving your melee units extra protections.
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Re: The FAQ has Dropped

Postby MrScotty » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:36 pm

I think there's some good stuff here. It's got a bit of the usual "little bunny foo foo, walking through the forest, picking up the meta lists and bopping them on the head" that we've seen from previous FAQs, and while I don't think it'll shake things up too much, there are a few additions that seem like they'll be pretty helpful for regular casual play.

In particular, Prepared Positions, which I would definitely point to as the "feels good" change of the whole FAQ. Nothing has felt worse in this edition than failing that "go first" roll against an army you know has a really large amount of shooting or a heavy turn 1 alpha strike ready to come dunk on you.

I see the expansion of the Tactical Reserves rule to just "nothing comes in turn 1 guys" to be a nerf to a few currently really strong shooting units who just use their ability to deep strike as "turn 1 insurance". Obliterators and Dark Reapers (who can use a stratagem for 1cp) come to mind.

The biggest letdowns mostly come from the fact that they haven't brought in any points adjustments for units that need them. A lot of the changes kind of kick the crutches out of armies that just need major rebalances (Space Marines losing a lot of the power of the Raven Guard strat and GSC losing their turn 1 charge gimmick, while if anything the Guard are going to be becoming even more dominant as armies that rely on heavy CP generation need even MORE guard soup allies to supply that). While they have promised rebalancing in Chapter Approved, that is 2-3 months away.
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Re: The FAQ has Dropped

Postby Connman234 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:52 pm

MrScotty wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:36 pm
The biggest letdowns mostly come from the fact that they haven't brought in any points adjustments for units that need them. A lot of the changes kind of kick the crutches out of armies that just need major rebalances (Space Marines losing a lot of the power of the Raven Guard strat and GSC losing their turn 1 charge gimmick, while if anything the Guard are going to be becoming even more dominant as armies that rely on heavy CP generation need even MORE guard soup allies to supply that). While they have promised rebalancing in Chapter Approved, that is 2-3 months away.
If I remember correctly Scott, GW's plan is to do the rules during the year, and all of the points changes at the Chapter Approved each year. Unless there were truly dominant units, I didn't expect points changes for this FAQ. I definitely understand the sentiment that the weaker armies need rebalancing. I just expected it to be during December we would get that rebalance.
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Re: The FAQ has Dropped

Postby Indy » Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:33 pm

My biggest fear: that they play whackamole to specific units people complain about, has only been partially realized, so I've kind of got the "well, at least the hurricane didn't knock out the power" kind of reaction going on.

Said biggest fear is that they look at the SUPER SOUP lists and start swinging the nerf bat indiscriminately without breaking down and analyzing why those SUPER SOUP lists were so effective; aka it's the intersection of certain abilities and traits that make them powerful, while the individual armies/Factions on their own are middle-tier. Aka Blood Angels and Imperial Knights have some pretty cool abilities, but drink CP like Barney Gumble down at Moe's....part of the design of those armies is that they can't generate enough juice to keep using those abilities over and over. But just add Guard! and voila, the CP problem is solved. And with Guard, the Faction is not necessarily god-tier on its own, but suddenly you add BIG SCARY KNIGHT and BIG SCARY CAPTAIN SMASH and suddenly you have a Captain Planet of combined powers. The short version being that any nerf to the individual components disproportionately effects the mono-faction flavors more so than the soup. As some have pointed out, with the increased CP cost of the BA On Wings of Fire Strategem, WAAC'ers may now simply substitute Custodes instead of BA with minimal loss of effectiveness. Meanwhile, someone who strives to ONLY use BA is stuck with a more expensive key Strategem....

It seems that they definitely WANT soup armies, as the simplest "fix" to the CP farming would be to put in guardrails on who gets to use what CP.

The RG/AL adjustments are overkill, IMO. Why not just limit it to 1 unit/1 use (like, you know, every other Stratagem?) It seems like a bit of a heavy-handed response, especially considering their previous commentary was that those armies had been specifically designed to do that sort of thing.

I do LOVE the Prepared Positions thing, and many of my recent opponents at the club heard my ideas on the matter. This is a "pretty good" idea overall, although I would go one step further in saying that it should just be an auto-rule with no CP expenditure needed.

Overall it's not as bad as I feared it might be, with some positive steps forward, but I still worry that the designers are not analyzing or understanding their own product enough.
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Re: The FAQ has Dropped

Postby Sandtiger » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:41 pm

If GW cared enough to use real playtesters who actually tested in, say, video games, to test their product extensively, their product would be much better. Alas they don't.
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Re: The FAQ has Dropped

Postby Sandtiger » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:49 pm

I'm not much of a fan of the way they play whack-a-mole; I think they should have made a better balanced game from the outset even considering that nothing can be 100% balanced all the time even in well done games like StarCraft. Their rules writings leave much to be desired imo even in the baby stages since if they hired me, I am certain I would find a lot of dps centric things to do right off the bat to exploit that they could decide "do we really want to do this?"
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Re: The FAQ has Dropped

Postby MrScotty » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:02 pm

Sandtiger wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:49 pm
I'm not much of a fan of the way they play whack-a-mole; I think they should have made a better balanced game from the outset even considering that nothing can be 100% balanced all the time even in well done games like StarCraft. Their rules writings leave much to be desired imo even in the baby stages since if they hired me, I am certain I would find a lot of dps centric things to do right off the bat to exploit that they could decide "do we really want to do this?"
I'm of the opinion that "video game style game balancing" is exactly what people are asking for and exactly what they're doing.

For perspective, I play League of Legends relatively competitively. I follow professional play pretty regularly and keep up with the balance patches and while they're certainly not balancing anywhere as frequently as league, they're definitely aiming to do the same style of balance that scratches the same itch.

In League, balance is largely done based on performance at a professional level, with players using the various champions (of which there are about 150) to their maximum potential power. For that reason, you might have a champion who to the rest of the millions of players in the world, has a very low overall win ratio, but who professional players consider the best in class because if you play them absolutely perfectly they're incredibly powerful. The best analog I can think of in 40k is balancing based on super-competitive soup lists and generally ignoring "normal play". Because, to be honest, the same phenomenon of the internet occurs for 40k, where professional players become little mini-celebrities in the community and people both imitate the things those professionals play, and complain about the things they complain about.

Very, very often you have a champion who stats say NOBODY is good enough to play correctly sitting at a sub-45% winrate being one of the most popular picks and one of the most complained about as a "balance problem", purely because people are watching these top level tournament players and seeing them picking and playing well with this champion.

Balance around super-duper-soup in 40k is pretty much identical. The assumption that you are willing to ebay your current competitive list and buy what's new and strong immediately to capitalize on meta changes is pretty much 100% required for top-tables play, and pretty much guaranteed to not be a thing if you're not in that .001% of the playerbase that wants to do that. What you do get is regular players who look at whatever the current meta hotness is when considering what they want to buy and add to their collection, and it's those guys who will be disproportionately affected when the next round of tournament whack-a-mole comes around.

As harsh as it sounds, I think the net effect of that style of balance might be positive. Better than anything anyone can say, balancing like that teaches people not to invest their money heavily in models just to get a particular combo that wins. I just hope that an equivalent effort is put in to reward people for sticking by things that are not currently strong later on down the line.

TL;DR: Balancing around the tippy-top tier of competitive tournament play and whacking whatever is strong in that context is video game style balancing.
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Big FAQ 2 Reaction

Postby Draaen » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:04 pm

Just wondering what peoples thoughts were on the new Big FAQ.

Two things really stood out to me. I love the prepared positions stratagem. A bonus for going second to help offset going first adds a lot of depth and I could see more people may want to go second. My white scars bikers love this strat. I focus more on shooting and speed. If I can have 2+/3++ vanguard vets in the open or 2+ bikes if I go second that will be a really big deal to keeping them alive and functioning. It also adds more value to ignore cover mechanisms. Probably for me the biggest change. Any player could try to set up a CP farm, or theoretically could faction willing, but by definition only one player can go first. I think it will have a massive impact on making the game be determined by the players vs one really important dice roll.

Command point farms can only get one command point per turn is the second huge change IMO. I still think the loyal 32 make a darn good showing because they still bring a lot of value. The command point generation doesn't bring so much more value now though over say another command point generator. So I expect a bit more diversity. It is a huge hit to command point generation. Which I think is probably a good thing for the game. As a side bonus I like it a lot since it should speed the game up as every stratagem was followed by a couple dice rolls to check if you or your opponent got a point or not.

Fly has returned, or been clarified pending your point of view, to movement phase only removing the silly much smaller charge roll required when going up buildings. The tiny assault distance if charging up or down makes sense but I don't see why my vanguard vets will be stumbling through craters and climbing up walls as opposed to flying. Comically the tau JSJ stratagem doesn't specify to make a 6" move as though in the movement phase. So any suit that hops off a building or over a hill will be like "We've gone too far to go back now" Harold and Kumar style.

Not sure on the warp surge change for tzeentch daemons. It says it improves the saves by 1 to a maximum of 4++. Daemons start with a daemon save of 5++. The ephemeral form (the tzeentch demon bonus) "Adds 1 to any invulnerable saving throws made for this unit". I saw one person claim the save is 5++ for tzeentch but that you add 1 to the roll so get an effective 4++ save. Meaning the warp surge would improve my unit of screamers to 4++ to which I add 1 to the roll and need a 3 to save. It seems like that is cutting hairs and potentially against the intent of the rules. Was there an issue with the impossible robe, warp surge and the tzeentch trait giving a lord of change or demon prince an effective 2++ save that could be re-rolled? Basically can I use warp surge on my screamers and get 3++? I'm inclined to think no but I'd rather get someones opinion who is more familiar with those rules.

Also very happy that deep strike reserves went from power level to points. Not sure if the blanket restriction is good for the 2nd player. Hopefully the gene stealer cult gets their codex soon. It does seem odd though that a main element of a codex is designed around a non-finalized beta rule.

Anyways what do you guys think?
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Re: Big FAQ 2 Reaction

Postby MrScotty » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:13 pm

Draaen wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:04 pm
Just wondering what peoples thoughts were on the new Big FAQ.

Two things really stood out to me. I love the prepared positions stratagem. A bonus for going second to help offset going first adds a lot of depth and I could see more people may want to go second. My white scars bikers love this strat. I focus more on shooting and speed. If I can have 2+/3++ vanguard vets in the open or 2+ bikes if I go second that will be a really big deal to keeping them alive and functioning. It also adds more value to ignore cover mechanisms. Probably for me the biggest change. Any player could try to set up a CP farm, or theoretically could faction willing, but by definition only one player can go first. I think it will have a massive impact on making the game be determined by the players vs one really important dice roll.

Command point farms can only get one command point per turn is the second huge change IMO. I still think the loyal 32 make a darn good showing because they still bring a lot of value. The command point generation doesn't bring so much more value now though over say another command point generator. So I expect a bit more diversity. It is a huge hit to command point generation. Which I think is probably a good thing for the game. As a side bonus I like it a lot since it should speed the game up as every stratagem was followed by a couple dice rolls to check if you or your opponent got a point or not.

Fly has returned, or been clarified pending your point of view, to movement phase only removing the silly much smaller charge roll required when going up buildings. The tiny assault distance if charging up or down makes sense but I don't see why my vanguard vets will be stumbling through craters and climbing up walls as opposed to flying. Comically the tau JSJ stratagem doesn't specify to make a 6" move as though in the movement phase. So any suit that hops off a building or over a hill will be like "We've gone too far to go back now" Harold and Kumar style.

Not sure on the warp surge change for tzeentch daemons. It says it improves the saves by 1 to a maximum of 4++. Daemons start with a daemon save of 5++. The ephemeral form (the tzeentch demon bonus) "Adds 1 to any invulnerable saving throws made for this unit". I saw one person claim the save is 5++ for tzeentch but that you add 1 to the roll so get an effective 4++ save. Meaning the warp surge would improve my unit of screamers to 4++ to which I add 1 to the roll and need a 3 to save. It seems like that is cutting hairs and potentially against the intent of the rules. Was there an issue with the impossible robe, warp surge and the tzeentch trait giving a lord of change or demon prince an effective 2++ save that could be re-rolled? Basically can I use warp surge on my screamers and get 3++? I'm inclined to think no but I'd rather get someones opinion who is more familiar with those rules.

Also very happy that deep strike reserves went from power level to points. Not sure if the blanket restriction is good for the 2nd player. Hopefully the gene stealer cult gets their codex soon. It does seem odd though that a main element of a codex is designed around a non-finalized beta rule.

Anyways what do you guys think?
moved your thoughts over to the existing thread just to keep it all in one spot dont'cha know. Gotta keep all these faqing thoughts in one faqing place!

On the Tzeentch daemon point, grabbing my codex you are indeed correct. The Ephemeral Form rule does not add one to your invulnerable save ala warp surge, it makes you add 1 to the ROLL for your invulnerable save - meaning Tzeentch daemons still have a 5++ base, they just add 1 to it making it 'effectively' a 4++.

The crazy combo you mentioned was indeed with the Impossible Robe, though it wasn't a rerollable 2++, just a regular 2++. Warp Surge has always stipulated that no saves can be re-rolled with it. And since the Impossible Robe specifically grants you a 4+ invuln, it's not all of Tzeentch Daemons that can't use warp surge, just the impossible robe guy.

That is a much more scalpel-like application of rules changing than I had initially given GW credit for, I thought they'd just up and taken one of the most important stratagems away from generally underperforming Tzeentch Daemons to punish one edge case (Daemon Prince with one particular relic). I'm happy to see that I'm wrong!
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Re: The FAQ has Dropped

Postby Indy » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:20 pm

MrScotty wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:02 pm
Sandtiger wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:49 pm
I'm not much of a fan of the way they play whack-a-mole; I think they should have made a better balanced game from the outset even considering that nothing can be 100% balanced all the time even in well done games like StarCraft. Their rules writings leave much to be desired imo even in the baby stages since if they hired me, I am certain I would find a lot of dps centric things to do right off the bat to exploit that they could decide "do we really want to do this?"
I'm of the opinion that "video game style game balancing" is exactly what people are asking for and exactly what they're doing.

For perspective, I play League of Legends relatively competitively. I follow professional play pretty regularly and keep up with the balance patches and while they're certainly not balancing anywhere as frequently as league, they're definitely aiming to do the same style of balance that scratches the same itch.

In League, balance is largely done based on performance at a professional level, with players using the various champions (of which there are about 150) to their maximum potential power. For that reason, you might have a champion who to the rest of the millions of players in the world, has a very low overall win ratio, but who professional players consider the best in class because if you play them absolutely perfectly they're incredibly powerful. The best analog I can think of in 40k is balancing based on super-competitive soup lists and generally ignoring "normal play". Because, to be honest, the same phenomenon of the internet occurs for 40k, where professional players become little mini-celebrities in the community and people both imitate the things those professionals play, and complain about the things they complain about.

Very, very often you have a champion who stats say NOBODY is good enough to play correctly sitting at a sub-45% winrate being one of the most popular picks and one of the most complained about as a "balance problem", purely because people are watching these top level tournament players and seeing them picking and playing well with this champion.

Balance around super-duper-soup in 40k is pretty much identical. The assumption that you are willing to ebay your current competitive list and buy what's new and strong immediately to capitalize on meta changes is pretty much 100% required for top-tables play, and pretty much guaranteed to not be a thing if you're not in that .001% of the playerbase that wants to do that. What you do get is regular players who look at whatever the current meta hotness is when considering what they want to buy and add to their collection, and it's those guys who will be disproportionately affected when the next round of tournament whack-a-mole comes around.

As harsh as it sounds, I think the net effect of that style of balance might be positive. Better than anything anyone can say, balancing like that teaches people not to invest their money heavily in models just to get a particular combo that wins. I just hope that an equivalent effort is put in to reward people for sticking by things that are not currently strong later on down the line.

TL;DR: Balancing around the tippy-top tier of competitive tournament play and whacking whatever is strong in that context is video game style balancing.
I definitely get the video game model. I and some others here play Rainbow Six Siege and--especially with R6's focus on eSports these days--it also has become a case of "what the 'pros' do." That being said, what I like about how the R6 team balances things is the fact that they elaborate on their intentions and how certain game facets are supposed to work. I.e. "this person's gun is supposed to be really powerful b/c their other equipment is not that strong" or vice versa. And they are also quite open about the fact that no single character is supposed to be able to "do it all."

...and I think that's where soup, especially at competitive levels, annoys me. Each Faction is designed with certain strengths and weaknesses. How you play to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses is gaming 101. But soup offers an artificial* way to increase your dudes' effectiveness above and beyond the "fault tested limits" of a single book. There are fluff reasons for going soup, which I have no problem with, but it worries me that GW seems to be encouraging the reliance on soup so much, to the detriment of mono-faction builds. I would have no problem if single-faction armies had some kind of benefit to running that way (a "secondary chapter tactic" or such), but as it stands right now, there is no reason not to go soup.

Things are improving overall, though, since I do have to say that one year into 8th ed and the game overall feels FAR more balanced than 7th ever did, even against a wide variety of opponents and army builds.




*by artificial I mean using more pieces than "come in the box." Kinda like with a Pinewood Derby kit... http://southpark.cc.com/clips/kkzd7a/su ... hat-hollis
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