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 Post subject: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:26 pm 
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A lot of things has changed between editions but the rules for static combat resolution have mostly remained the same. Sure, Unit Strength was a thing briefly (a good thing I think) but other that that its: up to 3 points for ranks (only one unit counts!), 1 point for a banner (again, only one unit counts!), 1 for a BSB, 1 points for a flank, 2 points for a rear (once again, regardless of the number or, indeed, the size of units).

Its as if it were set in stone!

Have you tried changing things up a bit with your house rules? Counting ranks for more than 1 unit, for more than 3 ranks? On paper this would benefit cheaper rank-and-file troops, something that has been arguably underpowered in 8th (and 7th and 6th and 5th...).

Whats your opinion on this?

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:54 pm 
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In general in 8th, active res > static res because of the sheer killing power of many units. This seemed to reach a crescendo with stuff like Skullcrushers and the WoC book. Ironically perhaps, Core blocks made a bit of a comeback with the Errata to 50% Lords and 50% Heroes. Lots of powerful single models meant units that could bounce or hold them up were back on the agenda.

In my view Steadfast is a great rule and really helps to stop units getting swept away, as happened in 7th. I guess there is the Griffon Standard for the Empire, which doubles CR from ranks. You could indeed increase CR from ranks. This might be overkill for really cheap units like Skaven Slaves but you might remove Steadfast to compensate.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:16 pm 
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Yeah, static resolution was key when there was mostly 5-6 guys fighting (and half of those defending didn't even get to strike). With stuff like Khorne Warrior hordes boasting 50 attacks, the few points ranks get you don't mean that much. Whats worse, if you have 20 swordsmen fighting such a unit, there is literallly no point in charging with another 20 swordsmen - you won't be getting any points for the banner, the ranks (or casualties, to be honest), while the elite warriors will get to cause even more kills.

Do you think it would improve the game if CR from ranks/banner was unlimited (or had a higher limit)? Slaves would need a nerf perhaps, but they already do ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:24 am 
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You could wonder how aften changing those rules will have a real impact on the game. I think, with the increased killing power of units, that steadfast is more important then rank bonus for weaker infantry units. You will need an awful lot of ranks to really win a combat as a weak infantry unit vs a stronger unit. But as long as you're steadfast it doesn't matter, since the other guy can have all the combat resolution in the world, I still test on my generals LD (assuming he's nearby...).

So, any change to CR perhaps also mean changing the steadfast rules I think.

Rod

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Fair point. They'd still be able to contribute to fights in a more meaningful way I guess.

Back in 6/7th a unit of 20 was big - that was the standard size of core infantry (it was actually 16 back in 5th). Now its 30-35 more often (thats how I run spearmen these days) - a static combat resolution of 7 would really change things, you would not only hold up the elite unit, but also add more points when you (inevitably) counter-charge. As things are, I'm often afraid to charge into elites fighting with weak stuff because I have to make up 3+ points of CR, that the basic infantry costs me. In the case of the Undead, you might tie up something with 40 skeletons, but as soon as you try to help out with anything worthwhile, they crumble.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:48 pm 
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RE.Lee wrote:
Do you think it would improve the game if CR from ranks/banner was unlimited (or had a higher limit)? Slaves would need a nerf perhaps, but they already do

You could try giving +2 CR for each rank after the first?

Prince of Spires wrote:
You will need an awful lot of ranks to really win a combat as a weak infantry unit vs a stronger unit.

Plus Stubborn is much more of a factor in 8th than previously.

RE.Lee wrote:
Back in 6/7th a unit of 20 was big - that was the standard size of core infantry (it was actually 16 back in 5th). Now its 30-35 more often (thats how I run spearmen these days) - a static combat resolution of 7 would really change things, you would not only hold up the elite unit, but also add more points when you (inevitably) counter-charge. As things are, I'm often afraid to charge into elites fighting with weak stuff because I have to make up 3+ points of CR, that the basic infantry costs me. In the case of the Undead, you might tie up something with 40 skeletons, but as soon as you try to help out with anything worthwhile, they crumble.

In 6th I often saw elites eschewed for cheaper troops because static CR meant more. But in 8th killing is king, things are reversed. I see more Ghouls than Skeletons these days (barring sneaky stuff with Wraiths heading a column) because given you have to spend on Core, Toughness 4 really helps to keep those kills down.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:27 pm 
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Purely from a monetary cost, I'm not a big fan of having more ranks providing more static res . I started to dislike really big units as I started seeing proxies or unpainted models stuck in the back ranks. I'm sure SA would agree about having the correct models properly painted before entering a tournament.

Ruleswise, I think steadfast was the more important factor. Charging dragon princes into skaven slaves was a bad idea in 7th, but at least you had a chance they might run off, giving you an overrun into the next unit, but in 8th there was no chance they would break.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:22 pm 
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@Spellarcher

Do you think stubborn is more important now? I think the value of that trait went downhill with the introduction of steadfast. Why take greatswords as an anvil, when you can take 40 halberdiers and hold just as well?

+2 CR for each rank could be too much perhaps, and its easily available to elites. Maybe bring back outnumber and award 2 CR for that?

@Chracian

How would you differentiate elites from common troops then? What would you give the grunts to make them more worth it?

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Chracian wrote:
Purely from a monetary cost, I'm not a big fan of having more ranks providing more static res . I started to dislike really big units as I started seeing proxies or unpainted models stuck in the back ranks. I'm sure SA would agree about having the correct models properly painted before entering a tournament.

Since I started playing Warhammer tournaments under 6th edition, I've seen a gradual dropping off of painting levels. My first event it was just great army after great army. I agree that under 8th especially, more models have been just-about painted or not painted. I still see great painting but less than before. Personally I'm OK with playing such armies (though a fully-painted foe improves the experience) but I think a modest boost (10%?) to a final score for showing your army some love, encourages people without being too draconian.

RE.Lee wrote:
Do you think stubborn is more important now? I think the value of that trait went downhill with the introduction of steadfast. Why take greatswords as an anvil, when you can take 40 halberdiers and hold just as well?

I guess I meant that it is more pervasive. More units are Stubborn by default, a Stubborn character makes the whole unit so (unlike previously), Crown of Command is widely available. A deep block will keep Steadfast for a decent time and is good at breaking it. But a Stubborn character or elite unit will likely pass the initial Break tests the block inflicts, grind it down and either break it or wipe it out, more often than not.

RE.Lee wrote:
+2 CR for each rank could be too much perhaps, and its easily available to elites. Maybe bring back outnumber and award 2 CR for that?

As inferred, I don't think +2 CR per rank is going to scare elite enemy but it might even things up a bit. I agree elites can get it too but they tend not to form up in such deep blocks because they want to maximise models fighting. Maybe your idea of allowing ranks beyond the fourth to count is an alternative? +2 for Outnumber is a decent shout too.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:06 am 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Chracian wrote:
Purely from a monetary cost, I'm not a big fan of having more ranks providing more static res . I started to dislike really big units as I started seeing proxies or unpainted models stuck in the back ranks. I'm sure SA would agree about having the correct models properly painted before entering a tournament.

Since I started playing Warhammer tournaments under 6th edition, I've seen a gradual dropping off of painting levels. My first event it was just great army after great army. I agree that under 8th especially, more models have been just-about painted or not painted. I still see great painting but less than before. Personally I'm OK with playing such armies (though a fully-painted foe improves the experience) but I think a modest boost (10%?) to a final score for showing your army some love, encourages people without being too draconian.

Part of it is perhaps that the model count of a lot of armies doubled between 6th ed. and now. Another thing is perhaps that the number of other things that demand peoples attention have increased between 5th edition (when many people started their 6th ed. armies) and now. Static res can also come from unit fillers, which if done right look great.

I don't mind not completely painted armies so much. Painting one takes a lot of time, and time is always at a premium. And forcing people to spend 2-3 years painting before they can start playing tournaments (if they wish) isn't the way forward in my mind.

Regarding static res there are 2 options. You can track the combat resolutions and ranks involved during 1 or 2 battles. This should give you some idea about how changes would affect battles. Of course, it wouldn't be completely fair, since any changes would change how people play. But at least it gives some idea about what's going on. The other option is to simply try something and see what happens. The two easiest changes I think are counting all ranks of the biggest unit or counting the ranks of all units involved using the current method.

Rod

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:22 pm 
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I've yet to complete painting even a single one of my armies (even the Tomb Kings have some skeletons that just got assembled) - I just like to collect models too much! :lol:

Some good points there Prince of Spires - we need some testing. Right now I'm leaning towards keeping the 3 ranks cap, but allowing the bonus (+ banners?) from all unit involved in a fight. This should promote the MMU approach, as opposed to units of 100 skaven slaves. This should also mean people are more willing to arrange multiple charges, and encourage tactical play in general.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:29 pm 
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By increasing static CR with unit size, Elven core might just lose out in the meta. At our point per model, cheaper units can do the "same" job more easily. The alternative is bringing such an excess in killing power, that you take down units outright. With our defensive capabilities, that's probably going to be a challenge to counter.

At least now, there is the odd balance where you need to beat your opponent in combat by a few kills only to stay in the fight, without completely overrunning them.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:29 pm 
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Thats one of the problems of being medium strength infantry in this game...

Something to consider: increasing the importance of static CR might proliferate those cheap troops, against whom our Spearmen are actually quite decent, at the cost of other stuff.

Another take on steadfast - what would you think if an advantage in Rank Bonus (capped at 3 as usual) was needed to be Steadfast? This would mean that a unit of 40 slaves is not steadfast against 20 spearmen deployed 5x4, but is against a horde of 30 chaos warriors.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:05 pm 
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Prince of Spires wrote:
And forcing people to spend 2-3 years painting before they can start playing tournaments (if they wish) isn't the way forward in my mind.

I agree, this is an issue for us in Britain now we have fewer players on the 8th tourney scene. As said, I feel the way forward is to offer a small TP incentive. Get players in but give them some encouragement to paint too. It does make for a more immersive game.

RE.Lee wrote:
but is against a horde of 30 chaos warriors.

Just not for very long.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:54 am 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Just not for very long.

:)


Just long enough to smash that double A-bomb into their flank :twisted:

Anyway - for Marienburg (and any battle before that) we're going for Rank Bonus and Banners from more than 1 unit and Steadfast working when you have a higher Rank Bonus (not ranks) than enemy. We'll see how it goes and if it affects the game in any important way.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:46 pm 
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RE.Lee wrote:
Just long enough to smash that double A-bomb into their flank

I suspect the Slaves might need traditional Steadfast here because the Warriors could go in 6 wide (and four or five deep).

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:10 pm 
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At least that would require some tactical thought a turn in advance. It would also make them vulnerable to a counter charge - slam Queek and a 40 of his Stormvermin in there and the Warriors might start to get worried!

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:49 pm 
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RE.Lee wrote:

Anyway - for Marienburg (and any battle before that) we're going for Rank Bonus and Banners from more than 1 unit and Steadfast working when you have a higher Rank Bonus (not ranks) than enemy. We'll see how it goes and if it affects the game in any important way.


Let us know how it goes, it sounds a reasonable direction to take.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:02 pm 
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Yeah, that unit of Khorne Warriors should be a good test of the changes.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:03 pm 
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I am entering a bit late the discussion but since I haven't played neither 7ed nor 8ed I was informing myself about Steadfast, supporting attacks, step-up rule and all the new stuff.

As far as I have read, the amount of attacks in 8ed looks silly to me. Even if you actually win the combat and break steadfast and break the unit, you take massive casualties, which means that your unit has a largely decreased combat effectiveness for the rest of the game (unless you Raise Wounds I guess).
I figure that people avoid this by bringing 30+ models, but that looks quite cumbersome to me.

The suggestions to count the ranks and standard CR from all units involved sounds reasonable to offset kill power.

However I would simply decrease kill power and keep CR the same (so essentially going back to 6ed :roll: ).
This benefits cheap infantry since they can stack CR cheaply.
In order to differentiate elite infantry from cheap infantry, I propose a mix between 6 and 7 rules to obtain rank bonus: cheap infantry need 5 models per rank to get rank bonus, elite infantry needs 4. This requires a special rule to clarify which units are elite and which ones are not.
This makes the cost of getting a rank bonus per model cheaper for elite infantry.

Now probably this is not enough for elite infantry, and something that has bothered me about Warhammer is the binary result from combat. You either hold or break.
I would give infantry the option to retreat orderly. This means that if an infantry unit breaks, they can attempt to retreat instead of fleeing. To do this, make a Leadership test. Cheap infantry takes this test with their Ld minus the combat result (so same as the break test), while elite infantry takes this test on their Leadership unmodified.
If they fail, they flee following the usual Warhammer rules.
If they pass the test, they retreat a distance (I don't know a reasonable value right now but it should be small) but they keep their formation and direction.
If the unit is reduced to less than 25% of their initial number of models, they can't attempt to retreat.
The winning unit can decide if they want to push to keep being engaged in combat, or if they want to stay. In order to stay they need to pass a Ld test, this is the same as taking a Ld test to avoid pursuing.

I do realize that this would change the game a lot, but by giving infantry some specific tactical rules you give the general some reason to field them rather than "stack CR". There should be some tactical advantages in a ranked formation.
With this rules, elite infantry can also be differentiated from cheap infantry, and they have more chances to not being run down if they lose a combat compared to cheap infantry.

I also realize that I am pretty biased towards 6ed :oops: , but to me Steadfast is a good idea executed poorly.

What do you think about this?

SpellArcher wrote:
Prince of Spires wrote:
And forcing people to spend 2-3 years painting before they can start playing tournaments (if they wish) isn't the way forward in my mind.

I agree, this is an issue for us in Britain now we have fewer players on the 8th tourney scene. As said, I feel the way forward is to offer a small TP incentive. Get players in but give them some encouragement to paint too. It does make for a more immersive game.

I think escalation leagues/campaigns are the way to go to get new people, you start at 500 or 750 points, go to 1000/1250, then 1500/1750, eventually 2000 and 2500. This allows people to paint and play at the same time.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:15 pm 
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elendor_f wrote:
As far as I have read, the amount of attacks in 8ed looks silly to me. Even if you actually win the combat and break steadfast and break the unit, you take massive casualties, which means that your unit has a largely decreased combat effectiveness for the rest of the game (unless you Raise Wounds I guess).
I figure that people avoid this by bringing 30+ models, but that looks quite cumbersome to me.

Many of us were sceptical before we'd played much of 8th. But it just works pretty well and while I enjoyed previous editions, 8th is my favourite. Sheer elf killing power (and often the ability to strike first) frequently obliterates an enemy before they can do serious damage back. Even if you do get chewed up, removing the enemy unit makes a gap which causes problems for foes to the flanks. 8th also usually allows a victorious unit to Reform, essentially permitting a charge in any direction next turn, so long as you destroy the enemy in his turn. There's a very good explanation of how to quickly break big units here:

http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic. ... 61#p707061

elendor_f wrote:
I would give infantry the option to retreat orderly.

I originally came to Warhammer from the old WRG Ancients rules. Those had a Recoil mechanism and the lack of this in GW's game surprised me. There is such a thing in the 8th edition rules for Buildings.

elendor_f wrote:
I also realize that I am pretty biased towards 6ed , but to me Steadfast is a good idea executed poorly.

As discussed, 6th was very much a reset to improve the performance of basic troops. In particular there was little justification to take High Elf elite infantry. So we got the 7th edition book which made HE elites more attractive and this was mostly done by ensuring they got to kill things before getting chopped up. We then saw an army book arms race which ended up with powerful, killy units simply sweeping Core blocks aside. Cue 8th edition and Steadfast. This worked really well and for a while ordinary infantry blocks were very solid. Eventually even more killy units (Skullcrushers etc.) appeared and simply overwhelmed Steadfast. But counters to these emerged and Steadfast was back on the table. I'm interested as to why you feel it's execution is poor elendor?

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:45 am 
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The link provided indeed gives a great view on how to deal with steadfast, bigger units and return attacks. The interesting thing about steadfast and taking return attacks is that the points elendor raises are all true in 1-on-1 matchups. Running a unit straight at an enemy unit indeed results in large casualties on both sides. It can work for some armies. But in general it's a good idea to apply as much force on a single point as possible. Indeed, especially with HE you can wipe out large chunks of units before taking many hits back. It does take planning and outmanoeuvring your opponent though. And making all your army work together. So not just your combat units, but also magic and shooting. Removing a couple of models from your target with shooting and getting a T buff on your unit came give a big swing in results.

Still, I do like steadfast. It means that charging a monster into a ranked infantry unit is not always a good idea. I've once had a phoenix (2 actually) stuck in combat with a big unit of clanrats for several turns. Do a handful of wounds, take non in return and either wait for the ranks to disappear or hope for an unlucky LD roll. (it was a worthwhile tradeoff in this case for me by the way. It tied up a large part of my opponents army with relatively few resources, letting me deal with the rest of his army first, but that's a different story).

For me the best time was mid 8th ed. The meta had adjusted to deal with deathstar units hordes, but the over the top killy units like skullcrushers were not yet on the scene.

Rod

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:51 am 
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The good thing about the loads of attack in 8th is that it lowers the randomness. When rolling 20 dice you can assume the amount that will hit, when rolling 5 (like the attacker in 5/6/7th) - not so much, when rolling 2 (like the defender in 5/6/7th) - not at all.

After playtesting the new rules a couple of times we've found that not much has changed. We haven't played with an army that is much dependent on steadfast though (bring back the Skaven!)

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:42 pm 
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Prince of Spires wrote:
For me the best time was mid 8th ed. The meta had adjusted to deal with deathstar units hordes, but the over the top killy units like skullcrushers were not yet on the scene.

The three tournaments I played last year (and the one I'm playing next month) were all 25% Lords, 25% Heroes, no End Times. My Plaguebearers performed solidly but then they are very tough for a Core unit. The old HE army book had issues with Skullcrushers but the 8th edition book deals with them.

RE.Lee wrote:
After playtesting the new rules a couple of times we've found that not much has changed. We haven't played with an army that is much dependent on steadfast though (bring back the Skaven!)

I'm probably running a High Elf Spear block in March so I'll let report back how that does in the current meta.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:42 am 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Prince of Spires wrote:
For me the best time was mid 8th ed. The meta had adjusted to deal with deathstar units hordes, but the over the top killy units like skullcrushers were not yet on the scene.

The three tournaments I played last year (and the one I'm playing next month) were all 25% Lords, 25% Heroes, no End Times. My Plaguebearers performed solidly but then they are very tough for a Core unit. The old HE army book had issues with Skullcrushers but the 8th edition book deals with them.

The impression I'm getting is that after AOS dropped, the meta shifted again. There's a bit more a friendly atmosphere among those who remain and it's less cutthroat then before AOS. Could also be that the main competitive players shifted to T9A instead of sticking with 8th. But in general it means a bit more fun lists. Which means most books stand a fighting chance against most things that appear on the table. Especially when not playing End Times and 25% lords / hero's.

Rod

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:32 am 
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I think you're right, the guys who keep playing 8th are not the most competitive bunch right now. It pretty much the way Oldhammer tournaments/gatherings work.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Generally I agree. Some lists I play are quite strong but none are maxed out so far I can't touch them.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:27 am 
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The link from Seredain's blog was really interesting (the whole blog is, I am already in page 7 and I have read every entry).
I see his point in that combined charges and proper calculation of average casualties dealt by your units will allow you to break Steadfast blocks in one turn without needing big 30 model blocks.
And that is fine to me, actual planning on how to get your units to work together is what makes the game interesting and challenging.

However it is things like this
Quote:
Here's the crucial point: against typical horde infantry (Weapon Skill 3 or 4, Toughness 3, Armour Save 5+), your 9 Silver Helms+ BSB (2x5) and 14 swordmasters inc. bladelord (2x7) will, on average, kill 28 enemy rank & file in one round of combat.

28 average casualties sounds like the game got killier for the sake of it, and the side effect is that you require more models to play, which from a pure rules perspective is not necessary, it is needed from a sales perspective to force people to buy more stuff.
I am aware that many players have large collections and they don't mind fielding more models, but I feel like it was the final straw in the back of the donkey since it made the entry barrier even higher, essentially giving GW more profits in the short term instead of making the game sustainable in the long term (Just As Planned).

I an digressing a bit, but I think I realize that what I don't like isn't Steadfast as a rule, but the fact that it came with an absurd level of kill power which lead to higher model count required to field an army, increasing the entry barrier and making the game simply die.
There are ways to implement a sensible Steadfast rule (or any rule that gives more power to infantry ranked units to stand charges) without increasing the minimum model count of every army.

Btw the only reason I see in terms of rules for the kill power to increase that much is what RE.Lee mentioned, that by throwing many dice you make the results more predictable. However that leads to the very topic of this thread, that static combat resolution becomes a non-factor.

I guess whenever I get to play The 9th Age I will experience a ruleset close to 8ed and have a better perspective, in any case this thread is quite interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:13 pm 
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elendor_f wrote:
28 average casualties sounds like the game got killier for the sake of it, and the side effect is that you require more models to play, which from a pure rules perspective is not necessary, it is needed from a sales perspective to force people to buy more stuff.
I am aware that many players have large collections and they don't mind fielding more models, but I feel like it was the final straw in the back of the donkey since it made the entry barrier even higher, essentially giving GW more profits in the short term instead of making the game sustainable in the long term (Just As Planned).

At the time Seredain wrote, the Speed of Asuryan rule rendered High Elves probably the most destructive troops the game has ever seen and his tactics were designed to focus that awesome killing power with devastating results. The release of the 8th edition HE army book pared this back, though it gave great resilience in return. In early 8th huge blocks of infantry were everywhere. Time and good tactics (Seredain's thread began with almost the entire point of proving that more did not equal better) showed though, the power of other troop types, with the result that the huge figure counts decreased markedly. Even after this armies remained larger than previous editions but only incrementally so. Some armies and builds (notably Warriors of Chaos) are pointedly model-light and all the more effective for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Static Res in 8th
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:20 am 
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There's a few things here I think:

power creep: it's a sort of natural progression that is very hard to counter. Any armybook you release, you want to be of average power (or slightly above it perhaps). After all, you don't want to create an overpowered army, but at the same time everything in the book should be usable. This is not just the aim when trying to sell more models, but also a games designer wanting to make a usable game / army. Of course, a games designer is probably not going to make a whole book worse then it was, unless it was really silly overpowered (since doing so would create a whole lot of unhappy customers). The thing here is though that this creates a moving target. Above average army books stay the same power level. But below average army books move up in power. As a result the average moves up with half the army book releases (since half will be below average). Creating more and more powerful books as things move along. All with the simple aim of creating a balanced game.

Somehow the consensus in the community about what was an average game size moved up from 2000 to 2500 when going from 7th to 8th. Nothing in GW rule books indicated that this was needed or even intended. It sort of just happened. I think the main reason was going from number of units in a slot to the % based system. In 7th you could run a fully kitted out star dragon prince (or equivalent) at 2000pts. And there wasn't any difference in that regard between 2000 and 2500 points. With the % system, this changed around. 2400 was the minimum for the more elite armies to run fully kitted out lords on monsters. And since few people can resist big, fire breathing lizards, the community adapted I think.

The interesting thing (at least when looking at myself) is that psychologically there is little difference between having to build / paint a 2000 or 2500 pts army. It's all a lot of models. And when starting out I have no idea how long it will take me. And by taking a few bigger models I can actually get there reasonably fast (even if it's not super competitive). The problem more lies with how the game functions at 500pts. Which hasn't really changed between editions. It perhaps got easier to play at that size, since troops overall got a bit cheaper, which gives more of an army feel to a 500pts army.

I agree with SA that as 8th progressed people adapted and things changed around. Right at the start everyone thought the big units were needed and tried to take as much advantage of the horde rules and steadfast as possible. As things progressed slowly armies reverted back to fairly similar to earlier editions, with the exception that now a unit of 7 DP's could no longer run through most units on the table without any wounds in return, as long as they got the charge. Which I think created a more satisfying game for both sides.

Rod

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