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Discussion Starter #1
I was talking to some of the lads lately about alpha level how much i like
playing that level a lot of them told me they dont like it. It kind of annoys me how some players dont go for the ojective and make no attempt to do so they would rather pound their opponent into the ground and rely on victory
points for the win. I know some armys are geared for shooting but every
army can be made more flexable.

If you look at codex's that have come out over the last year and a half you
can see that they are becoming more open to different styles of lists,
hopefully they all will. Well that my own personal moan over, what do you
all think, love it or hate it alpha level can be a good laugh.
 

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I like it to a point... but consider this...

Alpha level restricts many USRs.... like Infiltrate and Deepstrike. Some armies are built around these abilities (IG Drop Troopers) and playing an Alpha Level mission puts them at a huge disadvantage before the game even begins.

Personally, I like to keep it random, but I design my lists to be able to handle every scenario. Some are more specialized and are not so happy with all levels.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you know about the disadvantage at the start of the game then a player should be able to think about and come up with a solution. Yea im the same you have to have a flexable force and its more fun to at the end of the day.
 

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Agreed.

Actually, I prefer Omega and the Escalation rules. Most players hate Omega because their army is not geared toward it, or even flexible enough to make it work anyway.

The current Vassal Tourney game is Omega Recon, which really punishes those armies who showed up at a tourney without any speed.
 

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If you know about the disadvantage at the start of the game then a player should be able to think about and come up with a solution.

Unless you're giving them a half hour or so to painstakingly retool their list, and then some time to buy, assemble and paint the new models they'll be getting to replace the units whose main ability has been taken away, it still doesn't seem fair :wink:

Meanwhile, if it's fair to make them play at a disadvantage and rethink their entire tactic, why isn't it fair to make you rethink and retool for the more advanced levels of play? :grin:


Remember, there's two sides to everything. The other guy is supposed to be having fun as well.

Agreed.

Actually, I prefer Omega and the Escalation rules. Most players hate Omega because their army is not geared toward it, or even flexible enough to make it work anyway.

The current Vassal Tourney game is Omega Recon, which really punishes those armies who showed up at a tourney without any speed.
I'm not a fan of Escalation, but that's because certain lists (Namely DA and BA) get very badly screwed over by it thanks to the quirks of Combat Squads rules.

That said, I'll still play it if that's how the die comes up, but I prefer Gamma level myself.
 

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That's how balance in a lot of codexes might be found - in the 'unpopular' missions.

Searchlights might suck anyway. But if all fights were assumed to be night fighting, more people might take them.
 

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They give them to us BAs for free ;-)

Doesn't make up for being screwed out of your combat squads because you brought a transport though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
:

Meanwhile, if it's fair to make them play at a disadvantage and rethink their entire tactic, why isn't it fair to make you rethink and retool for the more advanced levels of play? :grin:

I,ll put it this way, i play my BA or speed freaks in tournaments most of the
time its escalation i know its a roll of the dice but most of the time i play
escalation and i get shafted for it. its not about some one getting a disadvantage because in reality most players have a disadvantage no matter
what level is played. Alpha level is about the mission alone taking objectives.









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Alpha level is but one-third of the missions most people play. Capturing objectives is not always the goal of combat. Sometimes, slaughtering the enemy actually is that goal.

I like all the levels for different reasons. But I must say that the more advanced levels, which still contain the same goals as the alpha level missions, are more fun for me and my opponent.

When I run tourneys, I make sure to have at least one game at each level. We miss out on the fun if we don't give them all a shot.
 

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As I said, I'm no fan of Escalation either, but at least you still get to use most of your army's special rules. This isn't the case with Alpha level games. Alpha level games are too restrictive and simple to really allow for any amount of tactics. If you're not good at tactics, then cutting off your enemy's ability to deploy properly, and allowing you to win the game with a handful of surviving units is certainly an advantage. But if you're the type of player who likes to think more about situations and make full use of your army's tactical capabilities, alpha is like playing with blinders on.

Gama level games better represent how the game was designed to be played, IMO. You get full access to all of your army's abilities without being hampered by arbitrary mission rules.

Plus the points values for objectives are usually enough that, unless he absolutely destroyed your army, the player with the most objectives is still going to win. I've never lost a game on points when I had the most objectives.

I think the VP system also encourages players to think about their moves and their lists before making them. If you know that losing that tooled up IC could win your enemy a huge chunk of VP then you'll be more careful about how you arm and use him. After all, in alpha games losing an IC is no big deal, since he isn't a scoring unit.

It makes you conservative in your tactics, unwilling to throw units into the meatgrinder in the hopes of distracting the enemy from your scorers. It makes you think more like a real general, in other words.

Now, that said, if you're playing tourneys then you should build a list that functions well in *all* levels of play, because chances are you'll be playing at all levels. But in friendly games, I think it's unfair to expect all of your opponents to play with their hands tied. As I said, you;re both supposed to be having fun, so forcing your enemy to give up so many special rules just because you can;t handle VP is just as unfair as him demanding that you always play with Escalation.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
its not about restrictions or disadvantages its about enjoying the level you are playing,
i like all the levels cos there is different challanges with each one. But saying that
most of the gamers i play dont like it cos there is no speical rules it doesnt bother
me what level i play as long as i get to play
 

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I personally do not like alpha lvl. Too straight up boring for me. The possibility of nightfighting,escalation,etc.. enhances the mission to me.
When my opp and I roll for lvl, we practically always go gamma if we rolled alpha lvl.
 

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... the points values for objectives are usually enough that, unless he absolutely destroyed your army, the player with the most objectives is still going to win. I've never lost a game on points when I had the most objectives.

I think the VP system also encourages players to think about their moves and their lists before making them. If you know that losing that tooled up IC could win your enemy a huge chunk of VP then you'll be more careful about how you arm and use him. After all, in alpha games losing an IC is no big deal, since he isn't a scoring unit.

It makes you conservative in your tactics, unwilling to throw units into the meatgrinder in the hopes of distracting the enemy from your scorers. It makes you think more like a real general, in other words.
....
Not sure about this; in the 40k universe (we'll let General Haig and his brilliant WWI battle-plans lie I think) generals do throw away lives in the pursuit of objectives; hold this position to the last man; take that position at all costs; these are hardly empty phrases when applied to the 40k universe.

I like Killer Sheep's point; that reliance on VPs can distract from objectives. Generally prefer to play objective-orientated games myself, as many of you will know already, since I mention it about every 9th post. On the other hand, like Galahad, I can't actually think of a time I've held (all) the objective(s) but lost on VPs, or vice versa.

So is it a real problem? Are Gal and I just great generals (or really lucky)? I've not worked out the maths - it it feasable to hold 4 objectives (say) but lose on VPs?

 

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Objectives are worth the points limit of the game divided by the number of objectives. So if you had all the objectives yet somehow managed to destroy you utterly (impossible since you need scoring units to hold objectives) it would still be a tie.

Meanwhile, while 40k generals do throw lives away, smart generals don't do it needlessly.

Plus, of course, in a realistic sense, throwing away the bulk of your army to grab objectives or quarters doesn't really make since IRL since those Orks aren't going to stop just because you said "Ok, that's it, game's over!"

I think that's reflected in VP/margin of victory. If you win but sell yourself dearly to do so, it isn;t really a true victory in the long run
 

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Oh, yeah, I'm more or less agreeing with you Gal; it's hard to see how you could hold objectives with scoring units, while your scoring units were destroyed. May be possible to complete some of the 'take and hold'-type missions even if you've taken a pasting, in certain circumstances; not very likely though. I suppose it's more likely the other way round - preserving your forces through over-caution, but not fulfilling the objective.

On 'needless' losses... hmm, I think you're placing to much faith in generalship. What are 'needless' as opposed to 'acceptable' losses? That just comes down to what the objective is 'worth', surely?

As to 'what happens after' I'm afraid we're gonna have to disagree. As far as I'm concerned, if you've taken the objective but lost most of your troops, you can say "well, I may be down to my last 5 guys, but at the beginning of 'turn 7' the Imperium brings up 24 Thunderhawks, the whole of the BA 3rd Company, 9 titans and 12 regiments of Imperial Guard, so yah boo sucks, Orky boy!" and if your last 5 guys, holed up in the ruins of the Imperial Chapel on the hill, have held off my slugga boyz, trukkaz, lootaz and mega-nobz, then good luck to you. That's what objectives are for, I reckon.

I like objective-based games. Sometimes the 'objective' is just total slaughter, and that's fine; sometimes it's a portion of the board, terrain feature, counters or markers, even a particular enemy to kill; but I think Killer Sheep's point is that not every game should just be 'economic calculation of my dead' against 'economic calculation of your dead'; it's a shame if the wider 'point', the rationale, the narrative if you like, is always lost.

 

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You bring up some good points, Orky.

But yeah, missions where you have to grab objectives, the objective values are a percentage of the points limit, so even if you only have three he would still have to have destroyed most of your army to make up for it. It's possible for you to have, say, two, and he has one and you could lose, but you'd still have to have sustained heavy losses.

And don't forget, you get VP for kills too, so unless you're just throwing huge amounts of points into the meatgrinder and not killing anything in return, I honestly can't see how you can really lost if you have the most objectives. Same goes for Table Quarters.
 

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Yup, pretty much the only time I see it being more than 'increadibly unlikely' is 'take and hold' - the one with the single, central objective anyway - hence my example about a BA combat squad holding out at the objective to turn 6, even though the rest of their force has been wiped out and they're outnumbered by the surviving orks.

And I have to say, if I was ever in a game where it happened, where I'd won on victory points through being cautious, while my opponent got creamed but held the objective in such dramatic style, I would concede bragging rights. Coz suicidal charges, heroic last stands, grim determination in the face of inevitable defeat, last minute daring rescues etc - they're what make the whole thing exciting as far as I'm concerned.

 
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