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Traits, the moral rights and wrongs
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 03:57   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

Found a facinating article on Traits. It can be found here http://www.thewarp.net/war/tigersofveda/5things805.html, but I'll quote the relevant part:

Quote:
I’ve been bored with Marines lately. Part of it is that I’ve owned Marines since 1987 and even with the new codex, there’s only so many things you can do with them. But part of it is also because that every time I visit an online forum, I see heaps of people posting army lists and concepts built around exploiting the Chapter Traits from Codex: Jarhead.

Sure, I use the Chapter Traits for my 'Fighting Tigers of Veda' Space Marines: Cleanse and Purify and Die Standing. I chose C&P because I have lots of Tactical Marine figures with special weapons (flamers, melta guns, plasma guns) and few with heavy weapons. In addition, I think that Tac Squads shouldn’t stand still so one guy can fire a big gun: Tac squads should move and shoot, move and shoot.

I chose Die Standing as a Drawback because according to my army’s fluff, the last time they did a big drop-pod attack, they got their stripy butts kicked. And because I don’t want to buy/convert drop pod models for my excessively large (7000+ points) Marine army.

I took an existing army and applied what I thought were an appropriate Trait Advantage and Drawback to make my guys a little more distinctive. But most of the lists I see on the forums seem to pick the Trait Advantages first, to secure some perceived tactical edge on the table top, then build the army around them (“I want to have an army that uses Suffer Not the Works of Heretics and Trust Your Battle-Brothers”). Which to me (and probably, the game designers) is wrong.

Not “wrong” in the sense of tying your mother to a chair and beating her with sock full of quarters is wrong. But “wrong” in the same way that it’s wrong to use “big boobs” as the base criterion for choosing a girlfriend (“I don’t care what she’s like so long as she has tremendous cans”). That might be exciting at first, but eventually the novelty of that will wear off, and then what will you have left? Better, I think, to view the Trait Advantages and Drawbacks as bonuses to an already-interesting army, in the same way that a nice figure is a bonus to a girlfriend who’s kind, loving, and intelligent.

Regular Jungle visitors will likely know that I don’t have a huge problem with playing to win: you paid your money, Jacques, and if that’s how you want to build your army, go ahead. But I find it dull.

I think he has a good point, but I also think there's nothing wrong with picking Traits because of a desired style of play, and I mean that in terms of army 'feel' than pure winning power. Like if you really want an Infiltrating army, or one with loads of bikes, what's wrong with picking Traits first and fitting fluff second?

Y'all thoughts?
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 04:14   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

Ultimatly I think it's a theme thing. Traits really were ment to allow for variaton in the existing army and tweak thier armies to fit how they want thier marines to be. It's a system that works great if you want to take a theme and run for it, or if there is something small that you want to tweak about them. If you want to go farther than what is in the list you're probably looking to play an entirly diffrent army in which case you might want to start browsing codex untill you find something that suits you better than the marines.
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 06:43   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

i think traits are great if you want a unique army, but none of the space marine chapters with codexes suits you. i wanted a very closecombat army, but my friend already collects black templars, and in such a small group i feel like id be stealing 'his thing' and blood angles where to unpredictable for my likeing. so i just choose the 'bring the fight to them' trait, its free, it fits my them, and since half the marines in my army can take bolt pistols and CCWs anyways its not over powered. then for drawback, well that was a no brainer, i chose 'have faith in suspicion' since ive hated pyskers(magic in general) since i started with LOTR and ive never, ever, fielded a pysker or magician. dont know, they just seem like im taking the midevil equivalent of a computer nerd into battle.
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 11:19   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiritbw
Ultimatly I think it's a theme thing. Traits really were ment to allow for variaton in the existing army and tweak thier armies to fit how they want thier marines to be. It's a system that works great if you want to take a theme and run for it, or if there is something small that you want to tweak about them. If you want to go farther than what is in the list you're probably looking to play an entirly diffrent army in which case you might want to start browsing codex untill you find something that suits you better than the marines.
He's right, I wanted an assault army but didn't fancy starting Blood Angels, so I took Take the Fight to Them and Cleanse and Purify, giving me lots of close range/combat weapons. My drawback now is that I have to get close to stand a chance of doing anything. For drawbacks I chose Eye To Eye and Death Before Dishonour. Reason being that I'm now at a disadvantage in scenarios with specific objectives and/or random game length, and because I can only take 1 land speeder squadron which means that I have to dedicate them to anti-tank OR anti-personnel which is a problem because it removes some of my options and versatility.

but overall the Traits are fairly well balanced and regardless of what anyone says they all hold a drawback of some sort. you can't gear them to be completely advantageous to you.
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 11:21   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

as with most stuff in the hobby, some people will look at army options and think, "ooh, fluff and character!", whilst others will just look to exploit it in the name of powergaming.

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout Sergeant Mkoll
He's right, I wanted an assault army but didn't fancy starting Blood Angels, so I took Take the Fight to Them and Cleanse and Purify, giving me lots of close range/combat weapons. My drawback now is that I have to get close to stand a chance of doing anything. For drawbacks I chose Eye To Eye and Death Before Dishonour. Reason being that I'm now at a disadvantage in scenarios with specific objectives and/or random game length, and because I can only take 1 land speeder squadron which means that I have to dedicate them to anti-tank OR anti-personnel which is a problem because it removes some of my options and versatility.
funnily enough, I have the same traits for my Righteous Crusaders (although I'm still undecided between Eye to Eye and Aspire to Glory). I always wanted two special weapons, and to make a crusade chapter somewhere between pure codex and BT. I can still field them as a pure codex army with the drawbacks.
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 11:26   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

My main complaint with the Traits is that they have two Drawbacks that, frankly, aren't Drawbacks.

Oh, my army can't take Drop Pods... Mkoll, when did you last see my army Deep Strike? I don't think I've ever used Drop Pods, in any form.

Oh no! No allies... Mkoll, when did I last have allies in my army? Sure, my Harlequins do, but when did my Marines last go running forwards with an Assassin in their ranks, or accomanied by Grey Knights? It was long before Witchhunters, probably before Daemonhunters as well...

So there are two Traits that I can easily take, knowing they will never alter my tactics or abilities. How exactly is this a drawback?


My force uses Trust your Battle Brothers, solely because I have always loved Space Wolves and Deathwatch... largely because of True Grit. I decided at least one Company in my Chapter would use these skills (so I could justify using them as Space Wolves), and when the Codex came out, I reverted the Company back to Codex-standard, with a minor alteration.
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 11:28   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainwhizz
as with most stuff in the hobby, some people will look at army options and think, "ooh, fluff and character!", whilst others will just look to exploit it in the name of powergaming.
You're right. However as I said, every trait holds a drawback, even if it isn't obvious awhen you choose it. Odds are the weakness will be revealed in battle and as the powergamer hasn't seen it he will be unable to stop his opponent exploiting it.

then if he changes his traits he'll fail to notice another disadvantage and so the cycle continues. Because 1 thing I've learnt about powergamers is that when it comes to individuality and making things work for them they aren't exactly very good at it.

Edit: OK so for most armies every trait holds a drawback of some kind.

EDIT: Wargamer after careful reflection I can't recall you ever using deep strike or allies. Except when you used deepstrike to clump up your scourges next to my 2 flamers the other week.
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 15:30   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wargamer
My main complaint with the Traits is that they have two Drawbacks that, frankly, aren't Drawbacks.
in my opinion death before dishonour and faithfull until death are the only real drawbacks, maybe have pride in your colours if you like scouts. have faith in suspicion is just a matter of wether you like pyskers or not. i personally hate them, i detest pyskers in 40K, wizards in LOTR, mages in Fantasy and warcasters in Warmachine. i dont know its just this thing i have, so ill never be using them anyway. so its not really a drawback.
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 19:25   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

I have always held that most of the drawbacks aren't really drawbacks at all. I agree with Wargamer here...barring yourself from taking drop pods (if that's something you wouldn't take anyway) or librarians (if you have a chaplain fetish anyway) or allies (since when do space marines need allies? In 6 years, I've never seen a marine player bring any) is not a drawback at all...and with just the three I've put forth here to choose from, it's all too easy to get advantage traits for free. This is unbalanced. But what should we expect from GW? Makes as much sense as the strategy dice system does...

BTW...has anyone seen anyone take death before dishonor or faithful until death? I haven't...why would anyone? Those are...well, drawbacks. You'd have to be completely nuts to take them when there are freebies like have fairth in suspicion...I mean, kudos to those very few, like Mkoll, who do take real drawbacks, but this traits system is like GW set up a table offering beer flavored mammaries to space marine players...for free!
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Old 09 Jan 2006, 21:15   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Traits, the moral rights and wrongs

I play Crimsonfists and i use there traits. Basically I get a big Disadvantage, because i have never faced orks, so i don't use the specialist enemy against Orks, big waste of points. I like to play fluffy.
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