Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,648 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Tabletop Gamesmanship 101 – The Truth About Cheese

Many players (most, I would say) will cry ‘CHEESE!’ when they encounter something they do not like on the competitive side of our hobby. This may be a particular combination of units, the use of more than one of the same unit, or even a single unit itself. It may be the formation or overall army theme that is disliked. Still, no matter the reason, it is a rare day when the cries of ‘CHEESE’ are not heard.

Arguments have been made for both sides of the coin. Some ‘cheesy’ combinations are considered unfair, or too tough, powerful, or difficult to surmount. Some are simply units that have special abilities that make the unit what it is, and define the unit’s role on the tabletop. Some defenders will tell the cheese-crier to take a better, more objective, look at the army in the hopes that the will see a broader truth. Quite simply, that comparing one unit from one list to another unit from another list is imbalanced in itself, as the units are designed to complement the units within the parent list, not with units of a similar nature in other lists. Thus far, the logic is on the side of those who would say that ‘cheese’ does not exist.

What does logic tell us then? Let us say that GW has it right, and considering that GW has been in the business longer than any of us, we must assume that GW has a better grasp of the issue than do we. Games of 40K are designed around a 1500 point average, according to the game designers, so we’ll start there.

These same designers also stipulate a particular number of units that must be present in order to field a legal force, as well as a maximum number of units from several categories that may be fielded to better define and expand the initial force. If you, dear reader, have not noticed that the army ‘comp’ is controlled by the Force Organization Chart by now, then you are most likely in the wrong hobby. Further defining the FOC or ‘army composition’ is perfectly permissible, provided all parties agree beforehand. Further defining what is or is not good army composition is purely subjective and not within the spirit of the game. By further defining, or limiting, army comp beyond the FOC, an individual, or a group, is then determining what a hobbyist can and cannot do with their own army, basically saying to the players, “I/We don’t like that setup, so you are not permitted to play it.” I have seen this in action at official events, as well as local tournaments and pick-up games. Where in the rule book does it state that one person has any control over another’s army? How does doing such a thing uphold the most important rule? Is limiting one person’s army, but not another’s really fair? Does it create a ‘fun’ game for both opponents? The logical answer is simply, No, it does not. But, there are those who would cry ‘Cheese’ and present their complaints to willing listeners and eventually such unfair practices would continue and actually become the norm. Why? Well, this is where logic leads to greater understanding.

What do you expect to come up against when designing your army? Most people have a very firm idea of what their army will look like. Many people, and this can be seen all over the internet and heard in the ‘metagame’ discussions at local shoppes, actually believe that to tool their army to better handle and defeat Space Marine equivalent armies is the way to go. Often the owners of these armies will have very little else in mind when designing their list, especially when entering a tournament. How logical is this? How many times do you expect to face that mythical MEq army you are so confident against? Are those the only armies you’ll encounter? Are you kidding?

Most armies will provide some or all of the following obstacles:

 Horde Infantry
 Massed Static Firepower
 Mobil or Static Tank Company
 Anti-tank Heavy Firepower
 Anti-infantry Heavy Firepower
 Counter-Assault Specialists
 Massed Assault Specialists
 Unrivaled Speed
 Army/Unit Special Rules
 Point Denial Units

Is your army designed to handle these obstacles, or a MEq army? How did you design your army? Did you take such things as Massed Tanks into your battle plan for your army? Do you expect to deal with a very Fast army, or an army that can lay down massive amounts of firepower? Basically, did you take all of these into consideration when designing your force? Each of these obstacles is not only present in tourneys, but will very likely face you down from across the table in pick-up games as well. Many armies will have more than one such obstacle for yours to overcome. Some few may even be able to present all of them in one tight little package. The truth is obvious here. You must expect to see many different obstacles during your games. None of those listed is in any way illegal or very tough on its own, and by combining and using more than one of these obstacles (or tactics) within your own army, it then becomes that much stronger and more capable of dealing with enemy forces.

Now, consider the following…

You may have an army that comprises Marines, and lots of Marines, but not many heavy weapons, and no vehicles, but as most of these Marines are Assault Marines, not only do you have a high level of resiliency due to your numbers and armor save, but you also have speed. Such an army will rely upon cover to make it through most games involving massed anti-infantry shooting, or even tank heavy armies. But, such an army would do very well against other assault armies, fast armies, or even point denial armies (as these often rely on distance to work properly). So, you now have a very cool assault heavy fast army, but you do lack a few things…. First of all, you lack range. The first and maybe even second turn of the game will be an uphill struggle for you against most other armies, while they pick apart your units with ranged firepower. Also, you lack vehicles. This means that you will likely have trouble dealing with other vehicles, as you have no long ranged firepower either. You lack variety. Your enemy may have units specifically designed to cut through your Marines in combat. Would the owner of such an army call an Eldar force with Banshees, Harlies, and Fire Prisms ‘Cheesy’? Of course they would, and very often that is exactly the case. But, why is the Eldar force ‘Cheesy’? The Eldar force is strictly within the guidelines set by the FOC, and most likely also conforms to the local restrictions as well. The Eldar force mentioned combines Speed, Assault, and Firepower, as well as Unique Unit Rules, as well as whatever may be presented by the other units in the Eldar force. The Eldar force was not ‘Cheesy’, it was simply more prepared than the Marine force. The Eldar force owner considered more obstacles to overcome when designing her force, than did the Marine owner.

This is the most common scenario for cries of ‘Cheese’ in my experience. The Marine player has simply not considered all that must be considered in designing a well balanced force. The lack of ranged or anti-tank weaponry, alternate ways of dealing with vehicles or other combat specialists, or planning for the likelihood that terrain would not be in favor of the Marine army combined to provide a very hard hitting force, but only against the ‘right’ opponents. Paper/Scissors/Rock strategy at its best. Generally, players who have ‘perfected’ their list and refuse to stray from it are guilty of crying ‘Cheese’ when confronted with lists that are not over the top or unsportsmanlike, but are rather not what they designed their army to fight. Saying that the opposing army is over the top or unfair is the same as crying ‘Cheese’. The problem lies not with the opposing army, but with the inability or refusal to provide a competitive game. Don’t expect another to change their legal army if you are not willing to change yours. Don’t down others for playing to the strengths of their army if you are not even willing to do the same with yours. Those who cry ‘Cheese’ are the epitome of what the Most Important Rule warns against.

Personally, I have armies that never change. One Eldar, one Witch Hunters, and a budding Necron force. I design them to be able to handle most any situation, and then challenge myself to overcome all of the obstacles presented with the same list. The armies do not always win, and I am often at a disadvantage. I am guilty of making lists that are immutable and often outclassed by my opponent’s army. I have never cried ‘Cheese!’ There is no cheese; there are only those who wish to play at a truly competitive level, and those who maliciously envy those who do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,588 Posts
WOW thats a lot of reading, took me a while.

you make many very valid points in you post heph> ecspecially like the part about the assault heavy marine amry and the balanced eldar amry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
I agree with what you say for the most part, however, if a particular person was to adhere to your list of opponent obstacles every single time their army of choice hit the field, well I ask you, where is the fun in that? I understand a good solid army should be ready for all things considered, but in friendly pick-up games or just a regular league game why can't someone stray from the norm? I see no reason why an army that is geared towards one specialty or one that plays to a certain set of rules in their favor, can't win. Or for that matter if someone did build an army with one objective in mind (for the sake of argument lets say close combat) would the opponent, who maybe overwhelmed with oncoming slaughter, cry out Cheese. Personally I would think so, and I don't think its because either person has a balanced army (obviously the CC army isn't), I think its because the slaughteree, the one facing the close combat army, already think he/she is doomed before the dice even hit the table.

In conclusion I agree people call out cheese when they face a tough challenge. Whether the opposing force is well balanced to deal with all possible situations or not. Where I really do not agree with you, is that no matter what, your army should be tailored to a defined set of standards (I'm not saying that its a bad thing, I just don't agree). As a long time player I like to try new and creative things (they don't always work), but, it does keep things interesting. Plus I guess I don't have a hardcore competitive streak. Please do not take this as criticism, I respect your observation.

Finally, "to put the cherry on top", if you are trying something different or simply not perpared for the battle, just roll with, you can always play again, don't say CHEESE!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,648 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
That's just it.... if you are not trying to cover all the bases, then you know you are deliberately leaving openings for others to exploit. Don't cry when they do.

If you are trying something fun or off-the-wall, then where the hell do you get off calling another player's army cheesy if they don't do the same? If you both decide to try something unique, then you must expect mismatches to happen. Cheese does not exist, in friendly or in tourney games.

If you check out the end of my initial post, you'll see where I specifically mention how inflexible my army is. While I try to make armies that can take any situation, there will be times when I simply cannot overcome an obstacle. This is not the fault of my opponent, no matter the army they chose to bring. If I lose, it was simply a matter of my army that did not cover the 'right' bases, or more than likely, my own failings as a commander... I simply got out-played. No where in this scenario does cheese exist.

Fun games are fun, and I really like to bring lists that are off the wall. In every game I play, I expect to win. Still, when I get my arse handed to me, I look for the true issues that cost me the game.

Don't get me wrong, though... If my opponent is an arse, he'll know pretty quickly. But I'll not let my ego be soothed by blaiming my failure as a commander or in list design on my opponnet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,539 Posts
By further defining, or limiting, army comp beyond the FOC, an individual, or a group, is then determining what a hobbyist can and cannot do with their own army, basically saying to the players, “I/We don’t like that setup, so you are not permitted to play it.” I have seen this in action at official events, as well as local tournaments and pick-up games. Where in the rule book does it state that one person has any control over another’s army? How does doing such a thing uphold the most important rule? Is limiting one person’s army, but not another’s really fair? Does it create a ‘fun’ game for both opponents? The logical answer is simply, No, it does not
In a competitive environment people should be able to take whatever the rules allow them to take. In pick-up games however, if one person has a problem with what another person is playing, then they just shouldn't play. Period.

Different people enjoy the game in different ways. I'm of the opinion that people should seek out others that enjoy the game in the same way that they do.

For example, there are the players who play to win at all costs. These highly competitive individuals should be free to play against one another and enjoy themselves.

There are the fluff gamers who prefer to build armies and scenarios that are geared more toward telling an interesting story than just crushing one another.

Then there are the laid back gamers, those that play in whichever manner will give them the most fun at the moment in time. These players sometimes use silly or ineffective units or combinations purely for a laugh or for the sake of doing so and no more.

The trouble starts when people start trying to force their playstyle upon other people. If, for example, a fluff gamer and a tournament player decide to get together and play without any prior knowledge of how the other enjoys the game it will quite likely end with the fluff gamer being ground into the dust and the tournament player feeling rather robbed of a decently challenging experience.

Therefore, all I can say is that the best way to enjoy this hobby is to find people that you can relate with. If you don't like playing to win at all costs, avoid people that do. It's really that simple.

Katie D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
<snip>
Different people enjoy the game in different ways. I'm of the opinion that people should seek out others that enjoy the game in the same way that they do.<snip>
Therefore, all I can say is that the best way to enjoy this hobby is to find people that you can relate with. If you don't like playing to win at all costs, avoid people that do. It's really that simple.

Katie D
Welcome to the concept of Social Contract!
As far as I'm concerned, no style of play is inherently right or wrong, from outright cheesery to simply goofing off...being competitive or not...it's all good as long as nobody tries to push their playstyle on someone else and sticks to playing folks who are interested in the same thing in a game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
There is only 1 type of cheese. That is making a list to counter your opponents list AFTER you know exactly what your opponent has in his list.

Otherwise it's just the cry of a poor loser.

Points for points everything balances out. It's all a matter of odds, and strategy.
Use a unit poorly and oh that unit sucks. Use a unit properly and oh thats the nastiest thing ever.

People would just rather blame their opponents army, or their own, than themselves. When what it comes down too is 9 times out of 10 they will lose to that opponent. They will continue to do so until they get a better mental grasp on the game.
It's no different than chess. Only in chess everybody has the same army. Same thing you fall for all the dirty tricks about once, and then after that it's your knowledge versus his knowledge.

Sun Tzu quotes come to mind.

The fact is some people need to adapt their units to their tactics. Other devise tactics based off the units. For example you have people who only play shooty armies. For some reason they naturally understand shooty tactics better. Some like Assault armies. Some can grab any army and run with it, but even those people still have a preference. I prefer assault armies myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
that'S all good and fine as long as the rules don't allow for obviously overpowered units, which in themselves are some kind of cheese. i'm not talking about use this against this and it rocks/sucks or some people whining when they got thrashed. i'm talking about mistakes made by the designers, like the 3,5 edition chaos first printing obliterators (toughness 5 2 wounds 2+/5+ save, pretty much every weapon and a powerfist for 70 points). i'd say that such things are cheese, no matter how much anyone says they aren't. you still don't have the right to tell someone what to do with their own army but someone exploiting such mistakes to the point where playing isn't funny for anyone any more deserves to get called a cheesy player. i'm not talking about anyone thet wins by tactics and a good strategy and understanding of their army, i'm talking about people who win by picking an army full of units that do what they are there for ridiculously good for their cost and winning by sheer unit superiority (chaos marines codex 3.5 iron warriors pieplate of doom 9 oblits lists come to mind).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
I played against the 3.5 Oblits pie plate of doom Iron warriors and stomped it silly. It's like when people get mad about seeing a lot of genestealers, or carnifex's. Both have weaknesses.
Heck I had someone get all freaked out because of Gift of chaos with 1000 sons.
At least I think thats what it was. At a tournament in Texas he had 9 oblits, and a defiler at 2000pts, and it was definitely Iron warriors.
 

·
Porn King!!!
Joined
·
8,137 Posts
In a competitive environment people should be able to take whatever the rules allow them to take. In pick-up games however, if one person has a problem with what another person is playing, then they just shouldn't play. Period.

Different people enjoy the game in different ways. I'm of the opinion that people should seek out others that enjoy the game in the same way that they do.

For example, there are the players who play to win at all costs. These highly competitive individuals should be free to play against one another and enjoy themselves.

There are the fluff gamers who prefer to build armies and scenarios that are geared more toward telling an interesting story than just crushing one another.

Then there are the laid back gamers, those that play in whichever manner will give them the most fun at the moment in time. These players sometimes use silly or ineffective units or combinations purely for a laugh or for the sake of doing so and no more.

The trouble starts when people start trying to force their playstyle upon other people. If, for example, a fluff gamer and a tournament player decide to get together and play without any prior knowledge of how the other enjoys the game it will quite likely end with the fluff gamer being ground into the dust and the tournament player feeling rather robbed of a decently challenging experience.

Therefore, all I can say is that the best way to enjoy this hobby is to find people that you can relate with. If you don't like playing to win at all costs, avoid people that do. It's really that simple.

Katie D

That summed it up perfectly Katie. I happen to be all 3 at the same time, highly competative, go for sheer fun, and laid back and see what happens. I always play in the style that will suit the game I am about to have best which always depends on the opponent. Some guys like to have a laid back game and I dig that just as well but on the other hand, a friend of mine is a GT winner and really like to 'bring it' once in awhile and I am more than happy to oblige that. In fact, I have to say that hard fought games like that are my favourite but I won't bring that type of game against someone new, learning, or just in for the social aspect of the game. It isn't very sporting and will lead to such folks claiming cheese at some point for sure.


All that said, I will state for the record: Lootas are cheese. :fuck:
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top