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Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 11:45   #1 (permalink)
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Default Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

As you can see from the title, this is a debate.* However, before we begin, can I just set down some guidelines first to ensure that this debate doesn't become a nasty argument:

1.* People are going to have different opinions than you.* Please respect them and keep your posts civil and polite at all times.
2.* Please keep your opinions based on facts and good, logical reasoning.* Nothing kills a debate more than 'I'm right because I know I'm right.'
3.* No labelling of other members as powergamers.* Even if there's a member who's really annoying you - keep your temper.* Throwing labels around is a perfect way to start a flame war.

[size=18pt]I will be enforcing this directly with the smite hammer. No warnings, posts will be edited with an "I warned you" and your karma levels will drop. This is universal, no exceptions. You have all been warned. -H
Ditto- S
[/size]

Thanks for reading.* Now, I'll start with my opinion:

I think that you can customise your lists a bit before it becomes powergaming.* For example:

Yesterday I played a 'nightfight' mission against Tau (the battle report for which is incidentally in the Eldar board)* We'd agreed before hand that it would be a nightfight (having rolled for it randomly.)* Now, in my previous game, I had used rangers and Dark Reapers.* As it was now a nightfight, I decided that for this game I would swap them for a nice squad of wraithguard, reasoning that the rangers and Dark Reapers would be rendered ineffective because they wouldn't be able to see very far.

He had the opportunity to suitably customise his lists as well - and that he did, bringing to the table top units which were equipped with 'black sun filters' which of course he hadn't used in the last game.* He also decided to use kroot, which he hadn't in the last game.

This customisation I think was reasonable - to suit the mission to get more out of our armies.* This was backed up by the fact that we both highly enjoyed the game, which ended up being really close...
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 12:24   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

I play with a list that tries to cover all eventualities in the first place without any need for tailoring. I think doing this actually make list building more of a challenge and a genuine aspect of the game, If I changed it for whatever I was facing or whatever mission I was doing, anybody can do that but not everyone can make a list that will perform well in all missions and against all foes. It is a challenge and adds an extra aspect to the gaming side of the hobby.

The most I ever do in terms of tailoring is swap one of my Bright Lances for a Starcannon (or the other way around).

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Old 23 Aug 2005, 12:35   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

I'd hold a similar belief to arguleon.

Any list i devise, even if themed, is, in my eyes capable of facing any opponent, and completing any mission. obviously, it will fare better against certain opponents but against those trickier ones, it should still hold its own.

As a tau player, in general it is extremely difficult for me to tailor my list to face anything. In that regard, i love my tau, for the simple reason, the same list and style of play is effective across the board. i could swap missile pods for plasmas against marines but i dont. i find missiel pods far more useful in my lists. I stick to 2 rail, 1 ion, as i find it works very well. Sure, i could take 2 ion, but i dont. 2 rails is again, far more effective across the board.

As a budding IG general, i have stuck to the same principle. though IG are better at shooting hell and sitting still, i have a very large mobile element in my list, with the paratrooper doctrine, infiltrating vets, armoured fist squads and so forth. again, it can sit still, and it can move. its balanced, and can take on most foes. at least, in my opinion it is.

With regard to swapping units, sure i do it. Not however, to tailor my list. rather, i do it to try new tactics, expand on a unit that performed well for me before. Like, my single mob of kroot always do really really well. I could try 2 in my next game. or 4 devilfish squads. again, when i do swap units, or change my list, its the gamer in me trying to master the army i play. and i can't do that with one basic list, all the time. and even with that said, i've never totally redesigned my list. I always keep a core of it in place, specifically 2 hammerheads, and 2 devilfish squads, and a shas'el.

i like to think my lists (not my IG yet, i have no experience to claim anything with regard to them) that they are very competitive, and viciously powerful. and with my style of play, they can be. but, being competitive, is not being a powergamer. i play to win, or at least to give my opponent a fine bloody nose and a black eye if im going to lose. that isn't powergaming.

being a powergamer is tweaking your lists to a stupid extent to face a specific opponent, in a specific scenario, with no belief in the core tenets of the game (have fun!) and utterly devoid of any real tactics, or strategy.
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 12:52   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

I believe anything meant to harass the opponent or make it nearly impossible to defeat, like O'Shovah in a 400 point army or tons of Carnifexes or Wraithlords at some other point value. And I also believe using intimidation, taunts, harassment, and trickery in your games are also powergaming, like slightly moving the scatter dice to favor you, or using tricked dice that always hit on a 5 or 6. Cheating and powergaming are different things, but powergamers and cheaters go in the same class together, and often borrow each others tactics. The one thing abiut powergaming is this statement, win at all costs. They don't care about fluff or fun. As soon as you make your army fluffless, no fun to play, and extremely cheap, you are a powergamer.
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 12:54   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

Powergaming is as much an ideal as it is a process.

Translation: being a Powergamer doesn't always mean you have a good list. For example, an IG army that consists entirely of Heavy Bolters in the squads, and three triple Heavy-Bolter Exterminators is powergaming... yet most Marine players won't fear the list. This, however, does not change the fact it is powergaming.

Generally speaking, the "Power" part explains it well; min/maxed units are Powergaming. Maxed out Monstrous creatures are powergaming. Having stupidly large amounts of AP 3 weaponry is powergaming.

However, everybody powergames to a small degree. If nobody powergamed, nobody would ever bring anything other than bog-standard troops and the weakest possible HQ. It is the extent to which the Powergaming is taken that determines it.

Thus I like the Powergaming Test (see my sig). This is a good indication as to whether you are Powergaming (although I think it is too lenient in many places... for example, 6 5-man Iron Warrior squads with Lascannons earns Powergaming points, but 5 5-man Iron Warrior squads with Lascannons *and 1 5-man squad with Missile Launcher does not...).


With regards to Night Fighting specifically, I would say the only acceptable "tailoring" is to include Night Fight gear where available. However, as only certain armies have it, it is equally valid just to tell your opponent "tough", and make him live with the same disadvantage you do...
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 13:16   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

I agree in general. i think that another way of powergaming (and quite a common one) is to not take enough troops. I'm ashamed to say that when I was young and ignorant in the ways of Warhammer I did that. I only have one 16 man guardian squads and 1 8 man Dire avenger squad (along with rangers.) I think that a very common sign of a powergamer is that they only use the two obligitory units of troops and then try to max out on elites and especially heavy support. However I'm planning to get another 16 man guardian squad and play craftworld Ulthwe, which I think is very difficult to powergame with (short of having tiny guardian squads with weapon platforms.)

Looking back at the replies so far, I'd have to say that I probably tailor my lists a bit more than you do. I suppose that's because I tend to know what army I'll be facing next (Tau/Marines/chaos etc.) and usually what mission. Therefore when making out my list I tend to tailor it subconciously without really thinking about it. I don't do it to an extreme, for example I would never (if I knew I was playing Marines) take as many starcannons as I can and get heavy weapon platforms on small guardian squads with starcannons etc, as I think that that is pathetic and is in my opinion powergaming.
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 23:22   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

I think it depends on the fluff behind your battle, i.e. if you were playing a mission where your IG were sent in just to fight off a Tyranid incursion, sure I could see it being completely likely for you to take lots of heavy bolters. However both you and your opponent should agree on fluffy scenarios before hand, rather than you just showing up and saying, "Oh but my Guard have been forwarned as to what your army consists of."

Of course many people do not play fluffy games, and in these situations tailoring of your list could be powergaming, i.e. if you went completely overboard on the heavy bolters rather than changing one or two units around.
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Old 23 Aug 2005, 23:48   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shas'O Shir'Rin
I think it depends on the fluff behind your battle, i.e. if you were playing a mission where your IG were sent in just to fight off a Tyranid incursion, sure I could see it being completely likely for you to take lots of heavy bolters.* However both you and your opponent should agree on fluffy scenarios before hand, rather than you just showing up and saying, "Oh but my Guard have been forwarned as to what your army consists of."

Of course many people do not play fluffy games, and in these situations tailoring of your list could be powergaming, i.e. if you went completely overboard on the heavy bolters rather than changing one or two units around.
That's not a fluffy game, that's raping fluff to excuse powergaming.

A fluffy game is something like as follows:

Scenario: Relief Force (Cityfight).
Forces: Arbites (defender) vs Marines (attacker).
Fluff: The planet has rebelled, and the Marines have come to cleanse the world of taint. However, the Marine Commander blames the Arbites for failing to contain the insurrection, and sees it as his duty to punish them for their failure. Suddenly, the supposed allies are thrown into conflict, as a Precinct House comes under siege, fighting desperately to hold until reinforcements can arrive to drive back the Astartes.

That is a fluffy scenario. Neither side is geared, but both sides have an acceptable reason for fighting each other.
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Old 24 Aug 2005, 08:26   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

Since no one else has done it yet, which I find amazing, I'll break this down into what I see as being the spectrum of list tailoring:

High End
Alter weapons and wargear for everything in army
Swap Out Units for Opponant codex and scenario
Swap Out Units for scenario
Alter List for Scenario
Take-all-comers list that never changes
Low End

I think that the line for most players lies somewhere in between swapping out units for the scenario being played (I'll need some snipers and searchlights for a night-fight raid scenario), and altering the entire list and every single weapon and piece of wargear.

For me, however, there is no line, although I do try to determine what my opponant's preferences are when I am playing someone new, and work out a compromise if we have vastly differernt tastes. If a player has taken the time and money to model all of the different weapons and wargear combinations he might want to take, I think he should be able to alter his list to use them all when they would best benefit him. I am, admittedly, less tolerant about it when the player wants to break WYSIWYG when tailoring his list, because you are supposed to make your list from the models and upgrades you have, not make the list and then see what models you have are close enough to use to fit your list.

The concept of powergaming, in my opinion, comes from the different ways that players react when they encounter a list that they cannot presently beat. Some players redouble their efforts and learn how to beat it, inventing new tactics and unit combinations, and improving their own abilities, until they can best this new challenge, while other players try to ensure that they will not have to face the list they cannot beat by using social pressure and name-calling to discourage the list from being fielded.

Both systems can be considered valid, depending on your definition of sportsmanship. But, for my definition of sportsmanship, requireing that your opponant compete with less than his full abilities is not satisfying enough to be fun. The fun comes when you improve your own abilities and rise to meet a new challenge. Asking that the bar be lowered to meet your current skill level just sucks all of the fun out of it, for me.

I recognize that other players have fun in different ways then me, and I believe that they should be allowed to play the game the way they enjoy playing it. All I ask is that I be allowed to do the same without being called names or looked down upon.

We are all Geeks here. We all know what it feels like to be looked down upon. Let's not do it to each other. We need to stand together, unified, not divide ourselves into little groups that attack each other.

Just my opinion.
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Old 24 Aug 2005, 08:31   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Debate: How far can you tailor your lists before it becomes powergaming

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Thunder
I am, admittedly, less tolerant about it when the player wants to break WYSIWYG when tailoring his list, because you are supposed to make your list from the models and upgrades you have, not make the list and then see what models you have are close enough to use to fit your list.
That's always the problem... most Powergamers have plenty of spare models, because they need to gear their list against hoards and Marines. Most balanced players that are playing on a budget have their force and nothing else.

So I assume you agree here that the Powergamer should change their list when their opponent cannot "build up" to their level?

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We are all Geeks here.* We all know what it feels like to be looked down upon.* Let's not do it to each other.* We need to stand together, unified, not divide ourselves into little groups that attack each other.
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