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 A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game

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tegs
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PostSubject: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Mon Aug 15 2016, 20:43

There are primarily two types of games I've been playing; balanced games with diverse units playing off one another, and power games which are largely a grind between armies as cheesy as possible. The former have been a lot of fun, while the latter have been a grind with fun moments.

So I've been thinking about how to make games more fun in general, and I stumbled across this: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game

What do you folks think? What makes for a fun game as opposed to a more competitive one?

Of the things I find makes a big difference is unit variety. Playing with and against armies which are lacking variety is boring, while armies with many different types of units have more potential for the other player to use synergy and seems to be more skill based.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Tue Aug 16 2016, 02:41

What I think of as important steps in having a fun game?
Both players knowing their rules (seriously important IMHO), and both players agreeing on general list strength, full fluff, full cheese, or anything in between.
If both of those are met, and both people are being friendly I think any game can be great.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Tue Aug 16 2016, 06:45

@stevethedestroyeofworlds wrote:

Both players knowing their rules (seriously important IMHO), and both players agreeing on general list strength, full fluff, full cheese, or anything in between.

Fully agreed. Playing "unfriendly" lists with a good friend or playing fluff lists against a newer player for fun and to help teach the game are both enjoyable as long as your opponent is on the same page.
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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Tue Aug 16 2016, 07:01

I have said this a lot - all games (40k included) rely on the social contract between players.

When 1 player steps outside this contract is when people get upset.

Set the boundaries with your opponent (ie the contract) and most people I find fine to play.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Wed Aug 17 2016, 16:39

I think it you want to have a horde it should be a close combat horde, if it's a shooty one too much time will go before the other player really does anything. Also, against an army with no pyskers don't play a pysker heavy army, for the same problem.
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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Thu Aug 18 2016, 03:57

@The goat - that's not really fair for some armies. Guard or Tau naturally go lots of shooting while necrons and tau (tau a theme?) both lack psykers

Just because they lack the ability doesn't mean I should not field a full seer council or a tzeentch daemons army against crons or tau.

Its about the social interaction - if I bring an LVO crushing list to a narrative game I am breaking the social contract assuming we talked about it being narrative prior. If I told you I am brining the LVO list and want practice for the event and you bring a fluff bunny list and then get upset its not my fault but yours since you did not meet the contract we discussed.

TALK to your opponent and agree on the game prior. Its really that simple.

When attending events - its the TO responsibility to provide the contract between players to set expectations. A good pack should highlight how its scored, limits on army building and so on - which sets the standard for the players.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Thu Aug 18 2016, 06:53

@Massaen wrote:
I have said this a lot - all games (40k included) rely on the social contract between players.

When 1 player steps outside this contract is when people get upset.

Set the boundaries with your opponent (ie the contract) and most people I find fine to play.

Very definitely.

What questions would you ask all other players in order to establish that social contract?

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Thu Aug 18 2016, 09:27

@Massaen
True. I guess the important thing is to understand your bonus powers well when doing so.
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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Sat Aug 20 2016, 06:18

Mostly stated above but i think

1) Comparative lists: full fluff, cheesy or friendly vs competitive (warning about knights and the like or not) - all players should be on the same page.
2) Friends or foe: is this a fun game where rules can slide, opponents remind you of missed rules, shots and saves or is it a very rule based by the book game where if you forget it too bad. (The social aspect.)
3) Terrain: agree on the amount of terrain so both players can field their army and play it as they want.
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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Sat Aug 20 2016, 15:37

@tegs wrote:
A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game

What do you folks think?


I actually don't really agree with the premise. List-building is a big part of the fun for me, and honestly unless I build my opponent's list, I can't expect them to be "evenly matched" most of the time.

Further, he talks about phase distribution and how it's no fun for people when a player takes more time in a single phase than other players do, but what is a Tau player supposed to do? They have no psykers and not a single dedicated assault unit in their codex. Movement and shooting are basically the only 2 phases they have. And Eldar are all about the psykers. Denying them the ability to have a longer psyker phase than half the armies in 40k that don't have psykers at all is silly.

And finally, I also disagree with him promoting the idea of keeping it random. He disparages the idea of "taking the dice out of the equation", but I'm not sure that 1. He understands the expression, and 2. That he appreciates competition.

Some people want a medal/ribbon whether they do well or not. I find this ludicrous. I come from an era where we didn't get participation awards, and winning meant something. As far as "taking dice out of the equation", it normally means putting a lot of thought and redundancy into your list building so that of the X number of goals your list has, it would take an amazing streak of awful luck in order for you to fail to accomplish one of them. As an example, my psyker lists are often built around 1 or 2 specific powers, and so I set them up with enough redundancy to make sure my chance of failing to get the powers I need is only around 5%. That keeps my "losses due to luck" at slightly less than that(because I COULD still win without it), so I will typically only lose around 1 in 25 games due to bad luck. Any other losses are just me getting outplayed/outbuilt, and that's precisely how I like it. That is what it means to "take the dice out of the equation". It's a result of skill, strategy, and critical thinking.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By the time you're swapping lists with your opponent and rolling for sides, I consider 50% of the game over already. Some people might not like listbuilding, and so they prefer to netlist or whatever. I don't hold that against them, as my personal lists I build are generally at the higher end of "netlists". But that doesn't mean that we should attempt to take that part of the game away from the people who DO enjoy listbuilding and design, which overall is what I feel like this guy is promoting.

Also, the idea that he is promoting people just "not wanting to play against Eldar" as being understandable is irksome. I'm always willing to swap armies with my opponent outside of a tournament setting in order to play a game, without swapping lists(so they have to make their own instead of using mine), but expecting your opponent to sell off his current army and/or buy a different one in order to play with you is silly. To be honest, however, I've never had a single person take me up on swapping armies, and most people seem to find the proposal condescending, but it DOES quickly end the debate about whether or not it's OP, and I've never had an opponent refuse to play after making the offer to swap armies. I think it's likely that they refuse the army swap idea out of a fear that they'd lose with the army after they just threw a fit about it being OP. Eldar can be beaten by every other competitive faction, and if you're playing a non-competitive faction, you should be complaining about more than just Eldar.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Sat Aug 20 2016, 20:37


I would say all the players having a general idea of what game they will be playing and agreeing on what may be going too far for a friendly game. super heavy vehicles? formations? flyers? such things may have to be discussed beforehand way before anyone even starts building lists. that way you won't get, say, a warhound scout titan and imperial knights vs a horde of close combat orks on a long board...(worst case scenario I could think of but you get the idea). And if it can be agreed whether lists will be friendly or competitive beforehand then everyone knows what they are getting in to =D

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Sat Aug 20 2016, 23:42

@Dodo_Night wrote:

I would say all the players having a general idea of what game they will be playing and agreeing on what may be going too far for a friendly game.  super heavy vehicles?  formations?  flyers?  such things may have to be discussed beforehand way before anyone even starts building lists.  that way you won't get, say, a warhound scout titan and imperial knights vs a horde of close combat orks on a long board...(worst case scenario I could think of but you get the idea).  And if it can be agreed whether lists will be friendly or competitive beforehand then everyone knows what they are getting in to =D

I think it's sort of a forgone conclusion that you'd be playing using an agreed-upon set of rules, such as ITC standard or something. The rules straight out of the book are a broken mess, so I just sort of assumed most people play with some major tournament or other house rules, which tends to cover all those questions except for "friendly" vs "competitive" list types.

As for the "Friendly" vs "Competitive" list types, it's really unfair to strategically minded people to tell them not to make a competitive list. I personally feel like every time someone asks me to make a "friendly" list, they're asking me to design a list to lose. I feel this way because the line between "friendly" and "competitive" is completely subjective. Where do you draw the line between too much cheese and just enough cheese to still be friendly? If my sole objective is to ensure my opponent doesn't think my list was cheesy, the easiest way to do that is to create the weakest list possible, which runs completely contrary to the spirit of a game in which someone always wins and someone always loses.

People, including GW, have this idea that you can take all of the mechanics of a game and design them to be competitive(ie, clear winner and loser), but then expect their players to completely ignore that this is the core dynamic of their game. GW does it to appeal to a wider audience, to sell more models, as there are plenty of people who aren't particularly strategically minded or competitive, but who still would enjoy the social aspect of playing a game and rolling some dice. So GW has an excuse. Players who think this way have no excuse, really, except not understanding game theory.

I personally find the entire idea of creating "friendly" lists to be more conducive to arguments and bitterness, because one guy's fluff is another guy's cheddar. Someone always thinks the other guy cheesed. When both people go in specifically trying to make lists to be competitive and win, there is no need for the pretense of fluffiness or "friendly" lists, and both people are just trying to create the best list they can using the faction/s they're playing while playing their best. Nothing to be bitter towards your opponent about in that case: You both bring your "A Game", and someone wins.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Essentially, what GW has done is create a game that they HOPE will bring together Chess Players to play against "Sorry" or "Monopoly" players. In theory, it's fine to create a product that appeals to both of these groups, but you'll always have the Chess Players approaching the game from a strategic angle, and the "Sorry" players approaching the game as if it's mostly a game of luck, except that some "that guy" types ruin their fun by bringing lists that make it NOT about luck. Both sides will resent each other because they're trying to play different games. I think an easy way to resolve this inherent issue is to give 40k a mini-AoS treatment. Hear me out:

Produce a full, normal version of 8th Edition 40k, but in the front of the book, have much simpler, shorter rules that cover 1 page front/back like the rules for AoS did. Make these the "casual 40k rules", and let the competitive players keep to their longer, more complicated ruleset. Then, when someone wants to play "friendly/casual 40k", there are specific, clear rules for it that make it more luck dependent and friendly instead of skill dependent and competitive.

Then everyone has clear language to indicate what kind of game they want to play, and no one has to be bitter about competitive lists playing against casual lists.

Of course, the language explaining it would have to word it differently, as casual players often don't really want to accept that the simpler rules are more prone to luck and less skill-dependent.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Sun Aug 21 2016, 15:55

[/quote]

As for the "Friendly" vs "Competitive" list types, it's really unfair to strategically minded people to tell them not to make a competitive list. I personally feel like every time someone asks me to make a "friendly" list, they're asking me to design a list to lose. I feel this way because the line between "friendly" and "competitive" is completely subjective. Where do you draw the line between too much cheese and just enough cheese to still be friendly? If my sole objective is to ensure my opponent doesn't think my list was cheesy, the easiest way to do that is to create the weakest list possible, which runs completely contrary to the spirit of a game in which someone always wins and someone always loses.

[/quote]

Fair points. One person's "friendly" could be another person's "competitive". I suppose the golden rule really is just to have fun ^^ Everyone plays on different levels from beginner, amateur to competitive crazyness deathstars and such xD My niece is getting in to the game and so far I've taught her squad vs squad (each of us with tactical marines) to get used to the rules. next up is more units and different ones with very similar lists again to help teach her some more rules and let her get used to it. Later will be army list building with her orks and I'll do my dark eldar vs her orks when she is ready =D i want to try and keep the spirit of fun in the game for her sake =)

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Sun Aug 21 2016, 16:00

Personally as long as you dont spam (majority of your points) your factions cheese unit(s), bring superheavys without asking, or bring broken formations your free to do as you wish. This is what common decency i expect in a pickup game, but when you bring 4 riptides to a 2000 point game, bring those knights and expect anyone to not need to tailor against you, or bring Dark Angels with a flipping 2+ REROLLABLE JINK SAVE you arent playing a friendly game, you may love those units, but you are bringing to the table a fight that MOST armys cannot hope to win against. the key to a friendly pickup game is moderation ask yourself "can my list blow the enemy away before they can take a turn" if yes thats not a friendly game (unless your playing against a saint).

Sorry for the paragraph (TLDR): dont bring your cheesy rubbish and the game is already friendly.

Post edited. Can we keep the swearing down please. Thanks - Count Adhemar

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Sun Aug 21 2016, 20:09

@Grimcrimm wrote:
Personally as long as you dont spam (majority of your points) your factions cheese unit(s), bring superheavys without asking, or bring broken formations your free to do as you wish.

See, the problem here is that everything except the superheavies point is subjective. It's not a yes/no fact check. It's based on your opinion. But my opinion may differ from yours, so such a position requires a mind reader in order to make the other guy happy. You might think Howling Banshees are cheesy, while I do not. I find it better to just use a common set of house rules(like ITC), and that resolves the superheavy/gargantuan question(only 1 max), among others. Then everyone just builds their lists as best as they can. Then, if a guy brings a list built within the rules that was really powerful, your perception of the situation can be "Wow man, that's an awesome powerful list! Did you make it on your own, or did you find it somewhere?" instead of "Eww, cheese!"

There are some formations that are pretty powerful, I'll give you that. But there aren't any that I specifically think are "broken" to the point where they shouldn't be played. DE just don't have any formations, really, so they can't compete with many of the factions that do without going extreme MSU, which normally results in a loss in KP games.

As for most of your complaints, I find that I can deal with pretty much everything you mentioned as "cheese" with one of my typical tournament lists, which you'd no doubt think was also cheese, despite me playing Eldar with no wraithknights, no scatterbikes, and no D-weapons.

CHEESE! Is the mating call of the loser, in my opinion. No offense. Not directed at you or anyone in particular. I just think people that cry cheese are the types of people who would rather complain than legitimately work and problem-solve in order to come up with a solution to what seems like an overly powerful build.

Some codices have problems, certainly, but I've basically proven to the locals here that, given time to come up with a list, I'm capable of making an all comers list out of just about any army(ie orks/tyranids/DE) that can face and defeat top competitive armies with things like wraithknights, which means it's possible for them and others to do the same. It just requires time, effort, and thinking outside the box.

Basically, your job in making a list is to ensure your list has an answer for MEQ, TEQ, tanks, hordes, gargantuan creatures, massed MCs(like daemon princes or riptides), psychic/nonpsychic deathstars, cover saves, and flyers. Your failure to have an answer for every one of these things in your all comers list is your failure in list design, not the other guy bringing cheese for including something you didn't have a contingency for. This doesn't apply to things like 5 wraithknight lists that are banned in almost all house rules and tournaments.

Next time you or anyone who reads this designs a list, take the highlighted orange section and compare it to your army. Ask yourself if you have a clear answer for each one of them. If you don't, you may need to tweak your idea. This is what I do when I design lists, pretty much every time. For the record, your "answer" to one of those items doesn't have to be a way to kill them. It CAN be to ignore them, or simply tie them up with a big, cheap unit. For instance, flyers can sometimes be planned to be ignored in favor of eliminating all ground targets, thereby stopping your opponent from scoring, while large scary MCs can be tied up with large groups of chaff like fearless conscripts.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Mon Aug 22 2016, 22:55

No offence taken i dislike overly powerful formations as i feel it invalidates taking the units outside of it. i too believe in all comers lists my issue is with armys that can bring objectively superior and cheap units especially in a formation that can buff them, i don't shout cheese at everything but bringing 3 riptides in a 2000 point game still isn't cool by any stretch of the imagination.

Things i hate more than anything right now are the dark angels as a whole (getting more special rules than vanilla for no added points cost), the riptide, and free transport spacemarines. the dark angels arent cheesy themselves just a couple of formations but still just a less enjoyable fight.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Tue Aug 23 2016, 04:45

@BetrayTheWorld wrote:

See, the problem here is that everything except the superheavies point is subjective. It's not a yes/no fact check. It's based on your opinion. But my opinion may differ from yours, so such a position requires a mind reader in order to make the other guy happy.
These opinions are also likely to change over time.  When wraithknights were first a thing - bringing one was considered pretty serious cheese in my (admittedly small) meta.  After a few months, and effective counters developed, they really just became another unit.  A year or so later and it's to the point where I don't even mind if there's more than one.
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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Tue Aug 23 2016, 06:07

@Grimcrimm wrote:
bringing 3 riptides in a 2000 point game  still isn't cool by any stretch of the imagination.

I don't think 3 riptides in a 2k point game is a big deal these days. People are packing D-weapons, psychic shrieks and grav cannons, all of which kill riptides in short order. Pretty much every competitive army should have one of these, or an equivalently powerful method of dealing with high toughness, low AP creatures with multiple wounds(wraithknights, riptides, certain named DPs, stormsurges, etc). If you come prepared to deal with wraithknights and stormsurges, which have really DEFINED the meta for 7th edition, you're probably prepared to deal with multiple riptides.

Unfortunately for armies like DE, dark lances aren't the answer because of the low number of shots, and splinter fire isn't the answer because of the lack of AP. Our mid-tier option(dissies) is actually our best bet against them, despite only wounding on 5s. The problem there is that dissies actually have a very small range of optimal targets in which they outperform venoms with splinter cannons, point for point(only vs MEQ and TEQ armour saves, including MEQ and TEQ MCs with toughness values 6 or lower.) And you're trading away dark lance slots to get them, so lowering your AT capacity, which you COULD make up using a scourges or something.

Due to the small range of optimal targets, I typically prefer to ally in some Destroyer, or psychic shenanigans to have a greater amount of flexibility, like being able to kill both a wraithknight and/or riptides. But for a DE purist, dissie ravagers are a fair answer to multiple riptides.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Tue Aug 23 2016, 09:24

I actually find myself agreeing with betray. The problem is that we don't have anything to reliably kill such things. If my meta would be filled with such things I'd ally Wraith constructs. If you convert them they make great Castigators from the path of the Archon book series.

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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Tue Aug 23 2016, 10:23

My local meta isn't really packed with super heavys etc. We all play at a local store and matchup via WhatsApp. Typically it's like this:

Me: "I want to play some 40K this weekend. Anyone in the mood for a [insert points here] on Saturday?"

Guy: "Me! What'cha bringing?"

Me: "I want to take the Clowns for a walk, so probably Deldar plus some Harlequins. What do you want to play?"

Guy: "I'm gonna bring my Ad Mech. I've bought one of those Renegade boxes, so I'll probably bring two Knights. Just a heads up."

Me: "Alright, sounds good. I'll be there around 10 am"

And so on. We don't always communicate if we bring a superheavy or some deathstar, but after a while you know what every player likes to bring to the table. Our Daemon player is pretty cutthroat and likes to take strong lists.
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PostSubject: Re: A Recipe for the Perfect 40k Game   Tue Aug 23 2016, 12:09

The perfect game answer needs two sides who are suitably evenly matched in quality of list and strategy, and a game where the result goes to the wire.

The way Betray is describing of bringing your best is a good way to get a match up with the right level of player. It would be a terrible way to introducing a new player to the game, and having a good feeling of how much you should tone things down, or when to take the pretty but less game effective models, is sometimes a good idea.

Although there are balance issues with the game, with the options for allies these days, it is possible to create a competitive army without a full on army switch, with Dark Eldar or any other (except perhaps Tyranids). It is certainly a positive goal to be aiming to be able to go toe to toe with pretty much any matchup, and if you can, you should get some good games along the way.

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