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The never-ending argument.
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Old 16 Sep 2005, 15:19   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default The never-ending argument.

Given equal player skill and luck...

Do you beleive?

a) Any army list has an equal chance of beating any other army.

b) It's more of a rock/paper/scissors deal, and while Army A can't beat armies B and C, it can beat the same number or armies that B and C can and is equally better in certain situations.

c) There are clearly some army lists that have a better shot at beating more armies than other lists.

d) Everyone who plays an army different from mine is clearly a cheesy beardmonger and not worthy of eating waffles in my presence.


This argument comes up whenever someone whines that "Your army can sneeze lava with unlimited range, whilst mine is only good at charity events involving foam rubber pillows."

Granted- I tend to believe answer c), but the people I hear whining like that tend to be playing armies that I believe have been given the better end of the deal. In fact, when I talk to folks who regularly play such under-cut lists like Kroot Mercenaries, they're the least likely to whine because they know going in how bad a list that is- and they are looking forward to a really rough challenge.

It's not that Kroot Mercs can't beat an armored company, it's just that they aren't gonna win a best out of 5. Just don't forget to have that crafty kroot with the eviscerator bronzed if he does manage to win you one game.

So- I'm a firm believer in c), but I also understand that something like that should be acknowledged, not martyred. Choosing an army is simply that- a choice- and if you're only looking to win, then play what you think will win. And if you are looking for a challenge, then try an army that you think will provide you with one.

Thoughts?
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Old 16 Sep 2005, 15:50   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The never-ending argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yriel of Iyanden
Given equal player skill and luck...
I assume there you mean that, where both players to have the same army, the battle would be a draw.

Quote:
a) Any army list has an equal chance of beating any other army.
Almost. In some cases it's more 60/40 than 50/50.

Quote:
b) It's more of a rock/paper/scissors deal, and while Army A can't beat armies B and C, it can beat the same number or armies that B and C can and is equally better in certain situations.
Only if you're a powergamer.

Quote:
c) There are clearly some army lists that have a better shot at beating more armies than other lists.
Not sure what you mean here... some lists are inherantly better against some foes than others (eg: Guard vs slow-moving Orks).

Quote:
d) Everyone who plays an army different from mine is clearly a cheesy beardmonger and not worthy of eating waffles in my presence.
More often than I would like...
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Old 16 Sep 2005, 16:25   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The never-ending argument.

I'd tend to agree with answer C as well.* Some armies are simply better slightly better at killing other armies, simply because of the type of army they are.

For example, Eldar have a slight advantage over marines - with the best anti power armour weapon in the game - the oh so contraversial starcannon, and the best anti power armour squad in the game - Fire dragons.
In the same way - Tau have a slight advantage over Eldar.* Even their basic gun (because of their high strength) can rip through legions of aspect warriors and guardians with relative ease - and the Tau have the best hugely long ranged weapons for taking out Eldar tanks.

However having said that, it largely comes down to skill in the end.* A good Marine player will beat a mediocre Eldar player and a good Eldar player will beat a mediocre Tau player.
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Old 16 Sep 2005, 16:39   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The never-ending argument.

Here's what I meant by c)

The Space Marine Army list gives them a decent shot at beating any other list.

The Kroot Mercenary list...does not.

It's one of the more extreme examples, but I believe that there is a broad spectrum in between, and not all lists are created "equally" as some suggest.

But the irony of it is... you're likely hear more bitching and whining from that Space Marine player than the Kroot player. Maybe it's because the SM player is newer, maybe because the Kroot player has a different objective to playing, etc.

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Old 16 Sep 2005, 17:02   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The never-ending argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yriel of Iyanden
The Space Marine Army list gives them a decent shot at beating any other list.
Ah, I get it.

Now this one is tricky... yes, some armies (Kroot Mercs, Arbites and Harlequins to name but a few) are tricky to play. However, the people who do play them tend to be very good at it, so much so that the army actually seems stronger than it is.
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Old 16 Sep 2005, 17:21   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The never-ending argument.

I'm actually planning on getting a Kroot Mercenary army in the near future as well...

I believe in option C. While some armies have natural advantages that are hard not to take advantage of (Space Marine's Power Armour is a prime example), it's the skill of the player that dictates the outcome of the battle.

And the dice, of course.

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Old 16 Sep 2005, 17:45   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The never-ending argument.

When I used to play regularly at the GW, I ran into a player who played Kroot Mercs as his main army.

I rooted for him in between and after my own games. The coolest part was- he was a newer player, and even then he understood how difficult it was going to be when he chose the army. Sadly, with the skill level of the league players (moderate-high) I never saw him win a game, but he always managed to keep every game close.

We talked a lot about tactics, list changes, etc. And even though he'd get really down or frustrated at times, I pointed out that the guy is really one of the most skilled players I'd seen. He took a balanced force (as balanced as you can get on that list), deployed well, and didn't make many mistakes in movement at all. I told him that his record doesn't show it- but he's easily the most skilled "newbie" I've ever seen.

Flat out- the list is underpowered. Rightly so- because GW clearly has more standard armies that they would rather have the majority of people playing, and they include lists like this and the Harlequins for depth and very themed play.

But the neverending argument isn't so much about those drastic examples- it's mainly with the more standard army lists.
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Old 16 Sep 2005, 17:53   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The never-ending argument.

I think, that some armies are obviously better agaisnt certain foes. Necrons for example are great against Tau. But overall they pretty much balance out for the most part.

There are some exceptions and those have been mentioned. I myself play Harlequins and Arbites and know these to be very underpowered.

Some forces can easily be power-gamed with, but that isn't to say that they are a better army overall.

So, that pretty much equals answer B I guess [If we take out the odd armies].

Some armies also work differently at certain levels of player skill. For example, two poor players are facing each other, Marines vs Eldar. I'd say the Marines would win. Two good players face each other, Marines vs Eldar. I'd say the Eldar would win.

Marines are easy enough to use at a moderate level, but are hard to truely master. Where as Eldar are meant to be hard to use unless your a skilled player but when they are used by a decent player are very lethal.


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Old 16 Sep 2005, 18:55   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The never-ending argument.

I believe that GW designs races to be B, matching up strongly against some races, and weaker against others. (Eldar are strong against small elite armies, weak against hordes, etc.)

In practice, however, because there is not an even distribution of armies being played, it is C. Some armies are clearly stronger, because they encounter more often armies that they are strong against then they do armies they are weak against.
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Old 16 Sep 2005, 20:18   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The never-ending argument.

So what you're saying is- there tends to be a larger incidence of common armies facing opponents they naturally do better against.

Maybe it's also the influx of newer players gravitate to certain armies like Space Marines, of which a portion move on to try other types of armies.

Hypothetical numbers:

So if we looked at 20 brand new 40k players, 13 would play Space Marines.

Not counting those who simply switched to a different chapter, 6 or 7 will try a different army.

You still have 13 more Space Marine armies sold, and 13 more players who will 'don power armor' if at only part time.

Those Space Marine players are fighting a disproportionate number of other Space Marine players. The players who more regularly field different armies like to gear them up to be "anti-marine", because odds are you'll run into more of them.

And then an even smaller group of players field armies to counter the other armies, but are in turn vulnerable to space marines.

If the rock/paper/scissors argument is correct, then we're looking at some sort of "food chain" for army choice and distribution.


Or something like that. I like waffles.

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