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Army design: Power or fluff
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Old 22 Apr 2006, 13:25   #1 (permalink)
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Default Army design: Power or fluff

In a number of threads over the last few months people continue to propose there is a division between fluff and power based armies.

I think it is time we outgrow this false division since power and fluff usually coencide in every list I see here and on other sites. Fluff is fluff, and few write fluff for their armies that deny them the ability to win on the table. If they do, I doubt it would be much of a game. Fluff is fantasy, not gaming. Most who bother with fluff do so as a means of explaining how their army differs from all others. They differ in organization, uniform, etc. Mostly the organizational difference is toward what we've been calling powergaming, as the inclusion of powerful weapons or systems rather than more conscripts, for example, is a key motivator for fluff.

Here is a typical insite using me as an example:

According to the mythical powergamer test, I am a blatant cheater; mainly because my IG army is based upon a fluff theory of armored grenadiers (3 LR tanks, 2 Hellhounds, troops as grenadiers, elites as hardened veterans). No regular infantry at all in my army. So what? According to the doctrines, I am perfectly able to do this and still remain within the realm of IG based fluff realities. My fluff denotes why this army differs, but the fact remains it is a legitamate army list.

The notion that somehow powergaming is a form of cheating is a seriously flawed concept. If it is allowed by codex, then it is not cheating. Sure there are a few gray areas and loopholes, but of these how many really give an undo advantage? None I content. Lets look at the fabaled 20 man seer council. Such a beast first seen would be devistating, but once encountered it is quickly countered. First 20 warlocks can't fit in any transport, so they are foot slogging. 20 infantry take up a huge footprint on the table, so they will be a priority target for many units shooting. No amount of fortune, conceal or guide can save such a beast in the open. Meanwhile the rest of such an army will be seriously weak.

Overall, the notion that power is a false basis for army list construction is no different than a fluff based army list.

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Old 22 Apr 2006, 13:49   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Army design: Power or fluff

The way you it uses cheater isnt exactly saying that you are cheating. It is saying that you are making an army that will, theoretically always do well. Often these armies will be completely unlike a lot of the fluff. Think of the 3 whirlwind 500 point army for marines, 9 war walker 1000 point eldar army. People who use this army and even think of the fluff usually think of it as rules to get around, not ideals to base an army on. Taking the 3 whirlwind army as an example, ive heard people say that 'It could happen', or my army was personally glorified by the emporer and given super mega uber powers of persuasion, and allowance to use as many whirlwinds as they like. When opponents play against this army they can easily lose a lot in the first turn, not have enough left to mount any resistance, and by turn 4 be wiped out for next to no damage caused in return. Who got fun out of that game? The player who lost without causing any damage, no, they just got a boring game. Did the other player, the powergamer, who didnt have a challenge at all to the tactical skills, no he just killed stuff.

In short there isnt really a game. A player who makes his army what he thinks makes sense in the 'fluff' will have better fun than those who find ways to break the, not rules, but guidelines from the fluff.
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Old 22 Apr 2006, 14:03   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Army design: Power or fluff

I think it's the difference between the tactical genius of the person commanding his troops, and the genius of making your list.
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Old 22 Apr 2006, 15:45   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Army design: Power or fluff

Do we really need two topics on what the heck people think power gaming is? I think not.
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