Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner

1 - 20 of 162 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,727 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When did this attitude start to take over in 40k? And why?

I'm not referring to just bringing Heldrakes but any strong unit used en masse. Why do we as a 40k community (myself included to be honest) automatically assume a list with mutiple strong units is 'cheesey' and the player is a dick?

I personally started to notice this phenomena when the Space Wolves codex came out. If you brought 3 squads of Long Fangs people tended to assume you were a win-at-all-costs jerk. Then Vendettas had their run, then Night Scythes, and currently Heldrakes and Wave Serpents. There may be more, feel free to post them, but those are the one's I could come up with.

Why are these players not considered strong list builders who've managed to build powerful armies with relative points efficiency? Why are the considered amateur dicks with no creativity or generalsmanship? Is it because it seems some how easier to win with those armies?

Even if it is easier to win, why do we tend to get so angry about it? I used to get angry at the power of Wave Serpents used en masse. However I've recently begun to think of it as a challenge to overcome and I think it's making me a better player for it.

What are your thoughts on this phenomena?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,697 Posts
I think it's more to do with the percieved balance issues between codex's, if a new codex has a powerful toy that has few countermeasures and your opponent spams them, then irritation towards the person that prefers to break a game before it's even started is inevitable.
 

·
Rattlehead
Joined
·
6,741 Posts
Why are these players not considered strong list builders who've managed to build powerful armies with relative points efficiency? Why are the considered amateur dicks with no creativity or generalsmanship?
It's a balance exploitation issue. So many armies cannot answer 3 Heldrakes that it makes the game less enjoyable. It forces everyone else bar Tau into 'Forge World, Allies, or go fuck yourself!' situations (Dark Angels, Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines are all 6th edition Codices that have essentially no native anti-flyer, let alone any 5th edition Codices). Bringing 2 Heldrakes and a unit of Spawn is still pretty brutal (probably as brutal as 3 Heldrakes if you play it right), but people don't frown on it so much as most people can bring an answer to it or create a new tactic to deal with it instead of just having to buy more stuff.

Flyers tend to make the game into an arms race - I don't really like the Stormraven model, or it's idea, and I didn't really fancy taking up a valuable Allied slot to take one. But I didn't really have much choice - it was the best, most effective thing to bring in a meta in which everyone else had a Flyer (I also converted a Mortis Dreadnought, which looks silly but I keep it since it's absolutely pivotal to protect my sorry ass from Heldrakes when I play DA).

3 Heldrakes is not actually that overpowered. Well, ok, yeah, against 90% of armies, it is. But an army with 9 Hydras or 6 Broadsides with attached characters to give them Skyfire and double FOC to give them 2 Aegis Lines with Quad-Guns will just laugh in your face. People don't like unbalanced lists - I probably gave a guy way too hard a time at an event I attended for bringing possible the shittiest list I've ever seen. It works both ways - people hate it when you bring an imbalanced list with 3 of the toughest, most powerful flyers in the game, people hate it when you bring 180 Boyz with 2 Big Meks, people hate it when you bring Footdar.

Is it because it seems some how easier to win with those armies?
It is. 3 Heldrakes is more powerful than any other combination of Fast Attack slots. You roll dice for them to enter play, then you point them at stuff you want to die. Stuff duly dies.

If you brought 3 squads of Long Fangs people tended to assume you were a win-at-all-costs jerk
You weren't? You were honestly bringing 3 units of Long Fangs for fluff reasons, or aesthetic? No, you were doing it to win. That's not a problem in itself, but you have to admit that if you're bringing 3 Heldrakes or 6 Night Scythes or 3x6 Long Fangs, you're trying to win at all costs.

Not sure what I'm trying to say here, because while I see where you're coming from, I would personally not enjoy a game against someone bringing 3 Heldrakes.

Midnight
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
Not to disagree Iron_Freak, but i think this whole mess start with the chaos codex back in 4th edition. The infamous lash prince oblit spam was considered by many to be a beardy list. I admire your perspective on facing such lists, as in an actual 40k battle, such "lists" are very possible. I think most peoples distaste for these lists stems from the fact that they are generally unfun to play against. Fighting against three helldrakes offers little to no counter play unless you are expecting it and have an exorbitant amount of flyers or flyer defense. If youre playing a balanced list, and have say an aegis defense line, the choas/necron player is going to focus that down until its dead and then rape the rest of your army because flyers are difficult to bring down without them. You could make the argument that helldrakes are ostly tooled for anti infantry and taking three will put holes in your list, but will it really? Three helldrakes is roughly six hundred points, and a player could easily fit a fair amount of anti tank into their list at the 2000 point level.

TL;DR
Spam lists are generally unfun to play against, with the general of said army usually just try to WAAC for the sake of it.

My 2 cents

EDIT: ninja'd :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,003 Posts
Yeah I think's basically the difference between casually enjoying the game and playing it seriously. I for one rarely have the same unit repeated and despite knowing some units are worse than others I'll still go for them for a bit of variety, such as having shooty terminators over thunder hammer ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,755 Posts
too me, its a case of enjoyment..i like to play fluffy lists for the fun..like my ravenwing...but when some turns up with 3 heldrakes i wont even unbox my models i just declare him the win...not to be a baby or anything its just why wast 2 hours on a game where im being beaten by a book and a person with no imagination.

i prefer to play people who are VERY creative with there lists and really think about their tactics, so when you play it is a battle of wits..not codexes...thats my point of view.
 

·
Critique for da CriticGod
Joined
·
3,351 Posts
It is all a problem of game "math." And its been the same basic algorithm with every edition of the game.

MidnightSun said it very well. Some armies have units that tend to be more points and/or damage efficient than others. When I bring that every game or bring as many of them per game then I'm not writing an army so much as choosing the army optimized by the author of the army book.

For example, under the much maligned 3.5 Chaos codex in addition to iron warriors being a by-word for cheese, Bloodletters were ridiculously powerful and would easily sweep and enemies flank. They could charge the same turn they were summoned (i.e. you couldn't shoot them first), were strength 5, had 3+/5+ saves, had power weapons, and were basically fearless. While I had enough to bring 3 units of 8, that was pretty excessive. They were effectively a troops choice, who point for point were only a hairs breadth less effective than assault terminators.

The same is essentially true with Heldrakes. The same was true of nobz on cyboars in 2nd ed. Or vindicators in 3rd ed.

Again to paraphrase MidnightSun, if you wouldn't have fun fighting against your own army then it's probably cheesy.

Another quick test, if an army which is min-maxed in such a way steamrolls most "balanced" all-comers lists then it might be abusive. Legal within the rules, sure, but abusive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,848 Posts
Don't forget the part where Black Legion can now run FOUR Heldrakes. Personally, as a fan of giant walker mechs, I was trying to find ways of putting Farsight + Tau to make Four (or five) Riptide forces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,509 Posts
Riptides are also pretty cheesy- the only wounds the enemy's been around long enough to cause on me was two from a vindicars turbo round a couple nova wounds
 

·
Rattlehead
Joined
·
6,741 Posts
Don't forget the part where Black Legion can now run FOUR Heldrakes.
Double force organization chart.

The other main reason you hear bitching about 3 Heldrakes is that whilst many, many codices can make a list that's just as nasty or nastier, nobody in the world will ever buy the models (2 Haemonculi, 12 units of Warriors with Blasters in Venoms, 3 Ravagers and a token squad of Wracks or 8 Tervigons and 60 Termagants). 3 Heldrakes? Sure, that's expensive, but no more so than many of the alternatives you'd buy for the army. It's affordable and thus will be commonplace. Triple Drake actually happens to people, and people actually lose to it, which is why everyone complains about it.

Midnight
 

·
Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
Joined
·
8,082 Posts
Why are these players not considered strong list builders who've managed to build powerful armies with relative points efficiency? Why are the considered amateur dicks with no creativity or generalsmanship? Is it because it seems some how easier to win with those armies?
Because a lot of the time they haven't come up with it. It's fairly general knowledge that Helldrakes are powerful and hard to kill, more so when you take mulitples of them. You play Chaos and you want to win easily, what do you do? Take 3 Helldrakes, not much in the way creativity or tactics there. A lot of these lists are net lists. That's why.

I don't play the game often (read at all) but if I wanted to play and my opponent poped 3 helldrakes down on the table I'd start packing my minis away straight away, you want to run those lists? Go play in a tournie where it's WAC or play against another player who is also WAC, for a casual game against me, who just wants to play for laughs I don't want to play a game where I've got no chance due to:

A) My lack of experiance
B) My list which generally be themed and therefore not the strongest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,323 Posts
I play casually against 2 Heldrakes and it's cool. They fuck my shit up, but yeah...I still win the games. Plus I figure if I ever get my lazy ass out to the store to play a game or two I'll be right and ready for any flier force I take on just because I'm used to so much worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,848 Posts
Actually Midnight, just like Farsight with 4 Riptides, Chaos/BL can do 4 Heldrakes without a second detachment. Many tournaments will run 1999+1 just to avoid that, but no one can stop allies (at least not that I've ever seen). So Chaos allying with Black Legion will allow 4 Heldrakes, for a whole new level of redundancy.

Personally, I'm a believer in 'if it's good enough to run, run two'. If the Heldrake is that good, which it is, I believe in running 2 because one's going to die. If I'm only running one of something, the creative side of my brain immediately decides it has to be something special, character-worthy, etc. Tanks are the same way for me; any tank that's good enough to take is good enough to be shot at, so I better have two. Three is usually overkill, unless I'm writing a themed list... for instance, a giant Walker list where I'm running Farsight, and there's nothing smaller than a Bulky Crisis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
If they take 3 heldrakes, take 3 land raiders and then laugh at their cute str7 vector strikes...:)

I don't have an issue with it per se. Well actually, I do, because spamming any unit repeatedly usually shows a lack of creativity. Not always (sometimes it's reasonable to spam units due to fluff reasons, which is fine in my book), but usually this is the case. And I do not like the massive drop off in creativity in 40k, it's bad for the hobby...I like winning and all and would be lying if I said I didn't, but if you are going for competitive gaming or even fun gaming with an eye to win, at least do it creatively rather than going on the internet and just copy/pasting the latest 'in' list...Zero respect for people that do this. And I just don't encounter players who do this anyway. Unfortunately, my friend who lives in another town only has one gaming club he can go to and is stuck with power gamers or idiots who just bring the latest internet 'in' lists...So he has responded with the 3 Land Raiders (and a techmarine biker for 4++ on them!) because it makes Heldrakes pretty much useless, purely to fuck them over :) Fighting cheese with cheese.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,689 Posts
IMO with the introduction of "Flyers" into the game did I start to find that some things are "unfun" because it is practically impossible to shoot the shit without an ADL or something else.
 

·
Critique for da CriticGod
Joined
·
3,351 Posts
I think there have been units or builds that have been "un fun" in every edition.

In 3rd or 4th ed, I had a friend with a marine army and some min-maxed number of missile launchers, and as mix of terminators, veterans, and characters that was pretty obscene. He could out shoot just about anything, and then handily assault anything that survived. But other than the preponderance of missile launchers it wasn't abusive - just really good.

Playing against my friend's Eldar harlequins in 2nd ed was pretty awful. Based on the shooting rules almost nothing could hit them. And they killed pretty much everything in close combat. I saw them kill greater daemons, space marine captains, vehicles, chaos lords, give tyrants, genestealers . . . Just about everything.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,719 Posts
Because GW insist on writing army lists with a single shining good unit in a particular FOC section that outstrips the holy living FUCK out of every other choice available.

If they wrote codices where every entry was at least viable and none were obvious must-haves this Rock/Paper/Scissors game would go away.
 

·
Critique for da CriticGod
Joined
·
3,351 Posts
Klokk, I'm not sure why they do that. Whether it is intentional to sell new units (e.g. heldrakes) or whether it is a by product of the 'organic'/non-systemic way that codices are written/re-written. It still boggle my mind that for all intents and purposes, and as fat as GW will admit - there is no system to allocate points values to skills, abilities, and equipment.

The lack of a systematic basis for points allocation just seems blatantly wrong headed to me. They could do the statistical analysis, on unit by unit interactions, establish a benchmark, theory-craft how they expect the game to work on paper, and check that with practical play testing.

A friend and I once tried to create a rating system that would interpret units and provide a sort of 'realpolitik' evaluation of their points-worthiness, but we never got past marines before calling it quits.

Either they are lying and have such a system, or they have a deliberate reason for not developing one, but I can't imagine what it would be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
If GW was a game company first and a model company second maybe this would be possible Dethklok. But nothing says good business like selling 3 $75 kits to anyone who wants to run 3 helldrakes
 
1 - 20 of 162 Posts
Top