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Duality.


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#1
Brother Loring

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Well, in one of the threads going around there was a bit of discussion on duality...

here

But what does duality really mean? Why is that the way to go? Do we end up with a 'jack of all trades, master of none'?

So what are we aiming to take out... armour, MCs, infantry

But then within each category there are many variables...

Armour AV10 - 14 - Well bolters can take down AV10. Does that mean they provide 'duality'? Of course not. We want something that can reliably take down armour.

MCs T5-8 - Concentrated las fire can take down T5. Again, it does not do it reliably and cannot even touch T8, so of course it does not provide duality.

Infantry - This is the most variable category IMO. GEq (Guard Equivalent) - T3, 5+ to TEq (Terminator Equivalent) - T4, 2+,3++. Do whatever you want to guard and they'll die without any real problem. TH/SS on the otherhand just do not disappear.

So... now I want to think about how to perform each task.

The easiest way to consider this is math-hammer. Don't worry I'll just give an example in the infantry section.

Flamer vs guard
lets say 6 hits, probably a worst case scenario
6 hits, 4 wounds, 4 dead

Flamer vs termies
lets say 5 hits
5 hits, 2.5 wounds, 0.417 dead

Melta vs guard
.667 hits, 0.555 wounds, 0.555 dead

Melta vs termie
0.667 hits, 0.555 wounds, 0.185 dead

Plasma vs guard
1.333 hits, 1.111 wounds, 1.111 dead

Plasma vs termie
1.333 hits, 1.111 wounds, 0.370 dead

So, the one weapon that I would say is our staple - the meltagun - actually hampers us at anti-infantry. So how does this become beneficial? Does it's anti-tank abilities outwiegh this? A single Str 8 12" shot. Yes, at half range it gets 'melta', but how many opponents let regularly get-up that close? I'm not sure.

Before I continue on, I'll open it up...

Does duality mean 'jack of all, master of none'?

Is that a good or bad thing?

Does anybody take CC geared squads and anti-armour suicide squads as seperate entities?

Before anybody jumps in and says duality is great because it allows you to deal with every eventuality (which isn't wrong), just think of the IG vet chimelta. Great at taking down armour. Much else though? I'm not so sure. But do you know what. It does the anti-armour very well and that makes it worth while. Does that change anything?

Would people prefer lots of math-hammer or more chat?

Edited by Brother Loring, 16 March 2010 - 11:43 PM.


#2
Marshal Wilhelm

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Discussion! :D

I guess show which of our units can be built (or already are) for a single purpose, what they do and what that brings to your list.

Also show which of our units can be built (or already are) for multiple purposes, what they do and what that brings to your list.

Show what having 3 units that already are Rock-Scissors-Paper (though probably/possibly B grade at each) brings compared to 3 units, one rock, one scissors, one paper.

Then that you can run spam/redundancy on any of these units (or the duality unit) and what that brings to your army, etc.

#3
Brother Vader

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So, the one weapon that I would say is our staple - the meltagun - actually hampers us at anti-infantry. So how does this become beneficial? Does it's anti-tank abilities outwiegh this? A single Str 8 12" shot. Yes, at half range it gets 'melta', but how many opponents let regularly get-up that close? I'm not sure.


I am coming to the same conclusion. I can't remember the last time a meltagun popped a vehicle. Landspeeders, dreads, las/plas squads, yes. My crusader squad's meltaguns.....no. The flamer is certainly a better choice for racking up the infantry kills, which is a crusader squad's primary task, and you always have the fist to smack a vehicle with if you get the chance.

I think the choice of special weapons would be more important if we could take 2 in a squad, like Chaos marines. It's not such a crucial choice as fist vs power weapon and our most effective firepower is from vehicles anyway.

Does anybody take CC geared squads and anti-armour suicide squads as seperate entities?


I regularly take a squad with a flamer and a fist. I really like the auto-hit nature of the flamer (so much so that my termies have dual heavy flamers) beacuse the more saves you force your opponent to make, the more he'll fail.
I don't take anti-armour suicide squads (although I do sometimes use my plasmagun bikes that way, if the target is juicy enough), but I do take small disruption squads usually armed with a missile launcher. Their job is to be a pain in the backside, popping transports, fragging hordes, contesting objectives and generally making a nuisance of themselves.

Duality is built into quite a few of our units. Dreads, MM/HF speeders, LRs, LRCs and pretty much anything with an assault cannon, so I don't really worry about it with my crusader squads.

Edited by Brother Vader, 17 March 2010 - 12:24 AM.

I find your lack of faith disturbing.



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#4
Sven Bloodskull

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To me, it's not a question of wether Duality is handy. Because almost everything there is can be used for various things. Vendetta's, can be used to gun down Tanks and MC, so can All-lass Predators. Vindicators can take down Tanks and Infantry, as can LS with MM/HF. A crusader squad with a MG and PF can deal with infantry and MC by CC, and vehicles by CC and shooting. n assault terminator squad with 2 TH is going to be able to take on MC, Vehicles and infantry with CC. The list goes on.

What the question should be imho, is what happens when we don't make use of it. Take a crusader squad without a MG or PF, and there lands a Dreadnought near it. What is it going to do? Most likely it's going to run the hell away from it, because if the Dreadnought catches up, that squad is dead. Or, if there lands a LRRedeemer near it (Don't know if the BA LRR can deep strike, but for now, let's asume it can). no MG, means no way to deal with it, so your only option is to rely on units that can kill it, who may not even be on the table anymore, and try and spread out. because even if the squad had a PF, it is still not going to make a dent in the LRR. And what if your dedicated units of anti-tank are not enought to take it down? Because by spreading your Anti-tank etc. around, you make sure that even if some units die, you still have some left that can deal with the remaining stuff.

Basicly, your going to have to expect that your units, wether they be vehicles, infantry, MC or whatever, are going to come across different situations each time you play. Sometimes you are not going to use that MG, and at other times it is going to save your squads lives. Sometimes your opponent has no tanks, other times your opponent has to much tanks. If your not kitted out enough to deal with both of those situations, than your not only likely to lose units over it, but also to lose games over it.

Duality is also not the same as Jack of all trades. Jack of all trades mean that you can do everything, does everything equally average. A crusader squad with an MG/PF for example, is quite good at dealing with infantry, but is worse with dealing with vehicles/walkers, also, it only does this by CC. An All-lass pred is quite good at taking out Tanks, but worse at taking out MC (Because it would take multiple rounds to kill it, while it can take down tanks in one go). The perfect example of a jack of all trades unit is a Tactical squad with a Flamer/Missile launcher/PF. It can take down both infantry, MC and vehicles in both CC and shooting, but is not good at all of them.

About the Chimelta, that is also a unit that can be used to take down multiple things. Anything with armour 12 or above, use the MG. Armour 10-11, for that you use a Multi-laser. Got an MC in front of you, use both the MG and the multi-laser, and when dealing with infantry, use the heavy flamer/lasguns.

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When in doubt, spam them!

#5
Brother Hadafix

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If given 3 units, I would arm them in 3 different ways. Plasma can deal with dreads and temies, Melta is good at AT and flamer for troops. I would probably go with 2 PFs and 1 PW.

Duality in a list is good, try to do it in a unit means sacrificing other skills and the best place for most our units is in CC.


#6
DasPanzerIstUber

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Ok well my reasoning is based on fun! :teehee:

In my experience a game is more fun if your units have a chance at destroying both infantry and vehicles. They always have a chance to be involved in a game which keeps it entertaining.

I used to make my units specialised but I found that it would lead to games being less fun because my AT units would die and the enemy tanks would run riot.

It always gives you options and can allow you to challenge your opponent throughout the game.

Also, since when are meltaguns a bad option for killing infantry? They guarantee a few melted faces wherever you point those things. :P

Marshal Recard of the Black Templars 18th Crusade.
"...This is vital in that when all else fails, it is faith that will carry him through to victory. Warriors of faith never shirk from combat but rush forward with heads down and shields up, allowing their glory to carry them into the thick of battle to deliver the first blow."


#7
Messanger of Death

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Since I'm already consider a YTTH zombie by some I'm going to post Stelek's article on it with some of my own input (be in italics).

Duality is being able to fulfill two roles with one unit. It is the opposite of specialisation. But it does not mean you become a Jack of all Trades, Master of None.

In 40k, that means anti-infantry and anti-tank (or anti-MC). Remember anti-tank can be either light tanks or heavy tanks and anti-infantry can be light infantry or heavy infantry.

Land Speeders are a great example.

They can be equipped with a Multi-melta, and a Heavy Flamer.

You usually won't fire both at one target, but you can if you want to. Gives you flexibility to deal with whatever your opponent throws at you without leaving any of your units useless because their specialised role isn't need against a certain list.

Point is, the heavy flamer hurts infantry and the multi-melta hurts tanks (or MCs).

Both are slightly effective against their non-chosen type, but they excel at their chosen tasks.

Almost all of the IG vehicles I inserted into this list here, have anti-tank (melta blasts) and anti-infantry (heavy flamers).

The blasts are also effective against heavy armored infantry--something heavy flamers don't really do well against. As another example:

A primary reason I run Missile Pod/Plasma Gun Suits in my Tau army is duality.

(And that there isn't anything that does their job in the army!)

I can take down light vehicles, infantry, and heavy armored infantry with these. Something no other suit config (or anything in the list excepting Hammerheads) can actually do.

In some cases, you can't get duality out of a unit (some units were designed to be specialised). Broadsides and Valkyries are excellent examples of this.

Broadsides will never really do well at killing infantry, but massacre tanks.

Valkyries (the Carriers) will never do well at killing tanks, but massacre infantry.

Does not mean they can't, but they are far away from each other in the spectrum of what they can do versus the right type for them.

Another great example of a unit that can't get duality is the Eldar Fire Dragons which are specialised to take out heavy vehicles like Land Raiders and Leman Russes. However, like the ISTs in Stelek's IG army their transportation can be configured to perform an anti-infantry role if desired. When ISTs are taken in a Templar list they are unlikely to be given a Chimera with its multi-laser and heavy bolter but instead a plain old Rhino. This will put them into a single role of hunting heavy targets like LRCs and MCs

Some people will get this, and run effective armies. Some won't, and will run ineffective armies. Not all armies need to have duality built into every unit. However, Space Marine are an army where it can easily be done. Our superior stat lines and bolt weapons means we can kill infantry leaving most heavy and special weapons to be used for anti-tank role.

Duality is key to balanced armies. Keeping Duality in mind when building your lists will make your lists perform better.

Look through that Guard list again. Note how virtually everything in the army is capable of Duality? That's what makes great lists, having multiple layers of threat built into each unit.

Taken from Yes The Truth Hurts by Stelek in Duality.

Messanger

Edit - also Sven Bloodskull is correct about his breakdown of Chimelta... they are not specialised because their transport gives them duality.

Edited by Messanger of Death, 17 March 2010 - 11:27 AM.


#8
Brother Hadafix

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While thats good in theory, it doesnt take into account the special rules that a BT player has to take into account. Taking long range anti-tank is risky in our infantry, and there is good chance you'll never get to use it, or use it against what you brought it for.


#9
Messanger of Death

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While thats good in theory, it doesnt take into account the special rules that a BT player has to take into account. Taking long range anti-tank is risky in our infantry, and there is good chance you'll never get to use it, or use it against what you brought it for.

Who said anything about giving Crusaders long range anti-tank weapons? A risky thing to do if your opponent knows how to get themselves a pseudo-cover save... for example bubble wrap unit like IG platoon or Kroot to protect the tanks behind. Unless you have a Marshal you will only be allowed to target the 'not closest thing' about 58% of the time. Marshal increases this to about 75% of the time.

Messanger

#10
BigDunc

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Duality is the sweet spot between Specialization and Versatility. It's relatively cheap and easy to achieve with most units and so it makes sense to place a majority of units in a list into this category. Units with Duality usually maintain a good degree of effectiveness in each Role.

Specialized units are good to take because they are very effective in one role. Taking too many, though, risks not being adaptable enough to face all threats.

Versatile units start to look beyond just how to destroy your opponent's units and begin to consider different battlefield Roles. Versatile units are good to have, but like having too many Specialized units, fielding too many Versatile units risks not having the punch necessary to take down some opponents.


The idea of transports creating Duality is important and a good thing to remember. The other thing to think about is.... what does my army look like if I lose my transports? How does my army play if I've taken heavy first turn casualties? How much Duality remains and how does that effect my battle plan?

#11
Brother Hadafix

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Who said anything about giving Crusaders long range anti-tank weapons?


I was going from the line about Space Marines.

"However, Space Marine are an army where it can easily be done. Our superior stat lines and bolt weapons means we can kill infantry leaving most heavy and special weapons to be used for anti-tank role."


While this is true for vanilla, and some other non-codex chapters, it is not really that well suited to our infantry squads (Including anything thats not a vehicle). Thats why I prefer unit specialisation and army duality.


#12
Sven Bloodskull

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Brother Hadafix, Duality can be applied effectivly to Crusader squads by giving them a MG/PF. By doing so, you ensure that whatever is on the table, your Crusader squad can deal with it. Yes, a PF in cc is going to hurt tanks, but on the other hand it will only be 1/2 attacks, hitting on 4's or 6's with no re-roll to hit if it's not a walker. When you come across vehicles like that, a MG will be able to do the job, with needing a 3 or higher to hit, and str 8 +2d6 armour penetration, and a +1 on damage roll. Hell, even if you do come across something like a Dread, you are still going to want to shoot it with an MG (Because most likely you will otherwise be stuck in CC with it for a while).

Besides, i dont like giving people a chance to flee from my crusader squads by killing to much of them with flamers. And plasma does not allow me to shoot and assault. So it is a no-brainer to me.

Marshal Hellmund
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When in doubt, spam them!

#13
Brother Loring

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Some good points, and don't worry Messanger, I don't see you as a YTTH zombie!

I probably wan't clear enough in my first post, and probably later confused things...

I wanted to try and discuss duality specific to BT, but then I gave examples of IG and confused things. Well anyway, let me try to build on what I was saying earlier in a more structured manor.

Duality - the ability to perform both anti-tank and anti-infantry reliably. I think it's so important to be able to both well otherwise it is a half-hearted attempt and you'll land yourself in trouble.

Duality or not? So why do we need duality? We need it to cover us for all eventualities. But why?

I would like us to think a bit about this. Why would we put ourselves in the situation in which we need 'duality'? Would it not be better to use tactics to avoid such scenarios?

Let me use an examples - a squad of 7 initiates, 3 neophytes, PF/MG in a rhino. According to some, this unit would have 'duality'. Really? One melta and one PF. I personally think it is one of the most 'dual' selections we can take, but in all honesty I think it just confuses things.

So we've trundled across the field, not using the melta because of range and not using the fist because it's a CC weapon. On your opponents turn he moves his unit of whatever inside whatever transport within 12 inches. What you do next is where my point lies!

Stay satationary, remain embarked and shoot the melta - probably not really an option.

Move the transport 6 inches, stay embarked, shoot the melta - reasonable, but not what I'd go for.

Move the transport 6 inches, disembark, shoot the melta - again, not a great choice.

Disembark, remain stationary, shoot the melta - probably the worst idea.

Disembark, move 6 inches (within 'melta' range), shoot the transport - probably the most likely choice.

So... you're now probably about 4 inches away from your enemies transport, out in the open and ready to shoot with the one ranged weapon that provides 'duality'.

Okay, some more hammer...

lets take a rhino for argument's sake.

0.6667 hits, (0.6111 penetrate, 0.3056 destroy) + (0.037 glance, 0.006 destroy). So, there is a 31% chance you will force the passengers to disembark. 69% of the time - even within 'melta' range - you're opponents will remain in their transport. Even if you get them outside, you're either going to have to asasult around (may not make distance) or through (could be assualting into cover) the wreck. Booooo!

So for the 69% of the time, when your melta doesn't do its job....

Let's be nice and say it only moved 6"

2 attacks, 1.333 hits, 0.889 pens, 0.296 destroyed.

So our squad which has apparent 'duality' has an overall chance of about 60% of destroying an AV11 transport. Over half of those will mean the squad cannot then assault the unit inside, leaving you in the open for the following turn. And this is our best choice of load-out?

For the 40% of the time when you do nothing, plus the times when you destroy the transport and cannot assault - perhaps another 40% (and I'm being nice) - what happens. Your opponent disembarks (if is still in his transport), hails you with bullets and then charges you, getting the assault bonus - sweet!

Okay... I'm trying to be play a ' :D 's advocate' in all of this and make us question what we are doing (as per suggestions here).

I would like to make a comparison now. With C:SM. Why are we different? Gear! It changes everything! 'Normal' marines have krak grenades, more attacks with their fist and can take 3 meltas in a single squad (MM, melta, combi-melta). That is a huge difference when achieving 'duaity'. Having bolters and bolt pistols, also changes a lot.

Brother Hadafix mentioned something that is very important... duality is good in theory, but doesn't take into consideration some BT special rules.

For me, this means the way we play is different to the way 'they' (C:SM) play. What works for them - melta and fist for example - won't necessarily work for us.

I'll stop there again. I have a bit more to say on what other options we have - and just for Messanger I'm going to discuss the MM bunker - but don't want to make the post too long.

So, the post maybe shouldn't be called Duality is it all its cracked up to be, but more... Duality can we achieve it to a god enough standard for it to be worthwhile?

Thoughts?

Edit: I like quite a few of the points and I'll touch on them in the next post.

Edit: - Adjusted figure for PF penetration

Edited by Brother Loring, 17 March 2010 - 11:02 PM.


#14
Captain Juan Juarez

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Amusingly, only in the BT Forum have I noticed that regular discussions and debates occur... ;)


In my opinion, if we take a tournament army as the starting point, duality is a must as you never know what you might be facing.. it doesn't hurt that your "Whatever" Squad is equipped for multiple specialities because when, for example, all of the transports are gone, what do you do with your Lascannon et al.

*Note: That makes sens in my head, apologies if no one understands it!
" They made you to be untouched by God or mortal. As I cannot kill you, so I curse you, not with death but with life.

I curse you - with the pain of ten thousand days in the Dark Place, with the life's blood of a mage's sacrifice, with Death's authority held in my hands.

I curse you, and I strike your name from history, stripped of arrogance and pride, empty of the self you once knew, gutted of all you are. I take your name and all you have won by the strength of your hand. I curse you for eternity, to find only darkness where once you knew your own face.

And I dub you the Ragged Man."

#15
Brother Hadafix

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In my opinion, if we take a tournament army as the starting point, duality is a must as you never know what you might be facing.. it doesn't hurt that your "Whatever" Squad is equipped for multiple specialities because when, for example, all of the transports are gone, what do you do with your Lascannon et al.

Good point, but its not often you'll see a Lascannon carried by a no vehicle, the "kill them all!" rule makes picking a target that you want, that is not the closest a risk, and one that makes a PF or PW a better option vs MEQ.
In a footslogging list, you may find a MM or LC, but that is a big maybe and probably in a small unit or 2.

I would definitely say that unit duality is not our strong point, our rules push us in the direction of specialising units, and even then we are more pushed into getting into close combat as fast as possible by those same rules. Our vehicles give our lists a degree of duality that is hard to replicate with our infantry. The BT duality is not to be found at a unit level, but is at an army level where everything, if a list is well thought out, allows the army to do just about everything.


#16
saadeath

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I am definitely confused. Brother Loring could you give us a situation in which it would be a bad idea to use duality in a infantry squad, A.K.A crusader squad with MG/PF. I see duality as an advantage as Black Templars, though not as big of a advantage as if we were C:SM.

Duality or not?-What would be your alternative to not taking duality. Specialization in our squads? To me that seems a even worse idea, because for a small amount of points per crusader squad u can make them viable in all situations, maybe not the best though. Specialization creates weak points in your army, yes it creates strong points, but duality creates strong points and "viable" points, if you get what i mean. Duality doesn't insure that the crusader squad with PF/MG will pull through in the end, just that it has a chance to.

So why do we need duality?-in other words why do we need to be prepared to be able to handle several situations. Because unless you know who and what your facing its pointless to specialize, because what if you specialize towards strong anti-tank and you play against tyranid swarm.

We need it to cover us for all eventualities. But why?-We simply need it to cover us for all eventualities because we don't always know what we are going to face, and its logical to have a decent chance again an army than no chance at all.

Sorry if i didn't get the jist of what you were saying, that's just my opinion to your questions about duality.

Edit: i did some of my own mathhammer, i don't know if i am that good at it though :woot: I found that for the squad you mentioned earlier(jumping out of a rhino and shooting a melta at a AV11 transport) has a 25% of destroying the transport with a melta(67% to hit, 75% to penetrate, 50% chance of getting a killing blow on pen chart), now if i remember correctly a MG is a pretty low number point wise, just about breaking double digits(i forget the rules of saying points so i wolnt mention them). and our specialized anti-tank in my opinion would be a tri-las pred, which is very high in price, has a 36% chance of destroying the same vehicle(shooting all three lascannons, 67% to hit(with the reroll i came out to get 88%) 50% to penetrate and 33% chance to deal a killing blow). this is a significant upgrade in percentage, but is it worth spending the 120+ points to specialize were as you could spend the very very low cost of a MG? Dont get mad at me if i did some wrong math here, but i tried hehe.

Edited by saadeath, 18 March 2010 - 01:55 AM.

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#17
BigDunc

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Brother Loring, the Crusader Squad is a perfect example for this discussion. This situation happens frequently and I think everyone can identify with it. Also, I recognize you're playing devil's advocate.

Duality is a reaction to the chaos of conflict. Not only does Duality allow for the "game-ism" of preparing for any opponent, Duality also allows a unit (and an army, as Brother Hadafix has pointed out) to get the job done when things go sour. Sometimes the situation in no way resembles your original plan. When this happens, getting the job done any way possible is all that matters. It may not be ideal for a Crusader Squad to take up an anti-tank role, but what if no one else can do it? What if all your other anti-tank weapons are out of range or destroyed? A low percentage chance is better than no percentage chance when the going gets tough.

But there's another reason for Duality (in this example defined as equipping a Crusader Squad with a meltagun). A meltagun allows for the possibility of releasing other heavy weaponry to attack other targets. The meltagun in this situation has no other targets, but a Tri-Las Predator may have several. If the meltagun can destroy/explode the transport, this releases the Tri-Las to engage another possibly more worthy, a more threatening target, or a target that might not be a viable target for any other unit. This is where Duality really finds strength: the interaction of the army, not just individual units. Without the meltagun, in this example, the Crusader Squad requires another unit to support it. This only adds complexity (which increases room for player error) and creates weak links in an army.

Personally though, I feel like Duality is limiting, both in terms of the word and the concept. Most of the time Duality only refers to the ability to kill both infantry and armor, but what about the ability to hold objectives? What about leadership support? What about causing diversionary fire? There are other roles that units can play and that's why I prefer Versatility to Duality. In the least, Versatility allows for more "outside the box" thinking. For example, a MM/HF Landspeeder. If you only consider Duality, you only see the ability to kill infantry and armor. But if you view the Landspeeder from the point of view of Versatility, you start to see an Objective Contester and a "kill me before I kill you" Fire Magnet. Thinking in terms of Versatility adds more to the player's toolbox. (At first glance this idea of Versatility being greater than Duality might contradict my previous post, but it doesn't, I swear. :D )

Edited by bigdunc, 18 March 2010 - 02:23 AM.


#18
Marshal Wilhelm

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Amusingly, only in the BT Forum have I noticed that regular discussions and debates occur... :wacko:


It's because we are the Emperor's favourite Chapter. He recognises black is the toughest and coolest colour. We didn't start making sand castles like most other Chapters, we kept doing the job He gave to us.
So naturally the BT forum reflects this by being the cutting edge of all Marine forums. Cool, tough, crusading gamers will naturally be attracted to the Emperor's favourite Chapter.

It's the only logical conclusion anyone arrive at. ^_^

+++

I'm with the yays for Duality. :D

Say you have two squads.
Squad one has 2 anti-infantry guns and squad two has 2 anti-infantry guns.
That works well in the laboratory of theory hammer.
When the dice start rebelling and Joe Badguy refuses to follow the plan, it tends to get exposed.
Having two squads with an AI and AT gun in each is a safer way to play, and will get more wins, even if option A seems (and probably would be) more killy.

Only the cursed Eldar have squads that are so specialised that they can do one job super-well. But then again, they don't have the choice of combo squads like Marines do, which serves them right for being treacherous Xeno scum.

So even if specialist could be better than generalists, it is much harder to pull off than the much more forgiving all-rounder approach.

Whaddoya think?

#19
Messanger of Death

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Duality vs Specilisation is a concept. It is not a golden rule that has to be applied to every single unit. It is something to help players build lists. It is an attempt to generalise a concept that some gamers use. Since it is a generalisation it has limitations.

You can build a list filled with duality but still have a poorly balanced list. Need to look at the whole picture.

bigdunc is trying to encourage that sort of understanding. Duality is only part of the picture when it comes to building a list and playing the game. There are so many other variables that influence a game. This doesn't mean we need to involve it with this discussion but every single one of us should keep it in the back of our minds.

Versatility is a concept that is more involved then duality or specialisation. It tries to explain even more variables. It involves even more of the picture but just like any concept or theory it has limitations. Hopefully an increase in these sort of discussions will help exposes more and more gamers to the whole picture.

@ Brother Hadafix - I was thinking more about the MM bunker as an example of Crusader squad armed with a heavy weapon that still has duality (flamer, bolt weapons and superior stats in combat against most infantry). However, there are other members of the forum who advocate the las/plas squad even though it is risky with the Kill Them All rule.

@ Brother Loring - I know you don't think I'm a YTTH zombie ^_^ And I know your also trying to encourage the understanding that concepts like duality do have their limitations. I think you said one of the key words when it comes to duality... reliability. However, I don't think we need to discuss everything in this thread. For example the MM bunker isn't something that needs to be focused on. Also I'm not sure what your trying to achieve by including the post-5th Edition codices like SM and SW. Duality as a concept doesn't work very well when comparing different codices and it will fail when comparing codices across different editions. It is just to simplified and generalised. What I think your trying to talk about is versatility.

Messanger

N.B. a real question of duality vs specialisation is what to pick when it comes to the dakka Pred or the tri-las Pred. One has the ability to kill light tanks AND infantry reliably while the other can only handle tanks reliably.

Edit - decided to use the word variable instead of factor :blink:

Edited by Messanger of Death, 18 March 2010 - 08:42 AM.


#20
Messanger of Death

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It's because we are the Emperor's favourite Chapter. He recognises black is the toughest and coolest colour. We didn't start making sand castles like most other Chapters, we kept doing the job He gave to us.
So naturally the BT forum reflects this by being the cutting edge of all Marine forums. Cool, tough, crusading gamers will naturally be attracted to the Emperor's favourite Chapter.

It's the only logical conclusion anyone arrive at.

Amen Brother... black and white are just to cool.

Messanger

*cough* black isn't a colour *cough*

#21
Brother Loring

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Just a quick post.

I'm not sure people are understanding what I'm trying to put across - that's my fault not yours.

Duality is great. But only when done properly. This is all about whether we can achieve duality within a single unit or is it something that needs to be made through 2+ units (i.e. crusader squad + transport).

I don't disagree that PF/Melta brings some duality and gives us an opportunity in many troublesome situation, but my concern is it's not enough and leads us to make incorrect tactical decisions, that puts our units at risk.

Anyway, a bit more later....

Edit @ Messanger - Missed your first post initially - It's not so much that duality has it's limitations (although I agree it does), it's more that we think that something provides duality, but does it provide enough of either anti-infanry and anti-horde. I'm trying to show that PF/melta although does give some duality, I think the nature of the weapons force us to make bad tactical decisions. Don't worry, I'm not going to discuss the MM bunker as an entitiy, more of an example on how it would/could alter the way in which the above scenario played out. I used to think heavy weapons were the anti-christ in BT list, but the world is changing.

I agree, we shouldn't make comparisons with C:SM, but when people say things like "space marines can do duality well because of their stat lines", what do they mean? C:SM, C:SW, C:BT, C:DA, C:BA? There are a lot of 'space marines' out there and because we have this 4th/5th divide, I think such a statement is far too general. Yes, C:SM can do duality very well. C:BT, I'm not so sure!

Sorry I have read all of the other posts and some more good points, keep them coming guys.

Edited by Brother Loring, 18 March 2010 - 09:44 AM.


#22
Brother Hadafix

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I dont think that the PF/Melta is the best option for duality in a BT unit, though it offers one of the best combos. A unit with a PW/Melta would offer more as it has both options, Like a Predator Destrutor with las sponsons or vicea versa.

Its my personal veiw, that the best way to achive duality in a with the C:BT is through two units working together.

(not sure if the PW/Melta vs PF/Melta is a good example)


#23
Messanger of Death

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it's more that we think that something provides duality, but does it provide enough of either anti-infanry and anti-horde. I'm trying to show that PF/melta although does give some duality, I think the nature of the weapons force us to make bad tactical decisions.

I completely agree with you. Are those combinations reliable? But then is it a case of the unit or the general? Is it that the unit fails at what it is intended to do or that the general doesn't understand his unit? Does the general understand how the unit fits into his list? For example is the melta-gun supposed to fire at the rhino or the land raider? Is it supposed to be fired by itself or should two or more melta-guns be fired together? Regarding the power first... what is it's role? Is it an anti-tank weapon or is it an anti-infantry weapon? Does the squad it is apart of influence its role (Crusader squad vs Terminator squad). Is it supposed to be used against dangerous threats like a Dreadnought and Monstrous Creatures? Or is it supposed to threaten heavy infantry and independent characters? This article by Pasch challenges the merit of Power Fists on tactical squads but it may be something worth reading. Note: our Crusader squads do not have Combat Tactics so we can not flee from combat with a Dreadnought or MC and then auto-rally. In fact we are fearless in combat meaning we should consider power fists even more.

Even more important to ask is are these weapon load outs a result of duality or is it because of other factors? Do we take the power fist for duality? Or is it an insurance for those times we get charged by a high toughness threat like MCs (or Dreadnoughts with Armour of 12)?

I agree, we shouldn't make comparisons with C:SM, but when people say things like "space marines can do duality well because of their stat lines", what do they mean? C:SM, C:SW, C:BT, C:DA, C:BA? There are a lot of 'space marines' out there and because we have this 4th/5th divide, I think such a statement is far too general. Yes, C:SM can do duality very well. C:BT, I'm not so sure!

Against basic infantry like Imperial Guardsmen the equipment of all Space Marines and their above-average stats means they have the ability to handle infantry reliably. As you said the equipment of Tactical squads makes them different to our Crusader squads. Without a doubt Tactical squads have an edge against Crusader squads when it comes to being flexible (which plays its part with concepts like duality, specialisation and versatility). But then Crusader squads have the freedom to play around with squad numbers and load-out giving them flexibility that Tactical squads lack. Does this mean that Templars* can't be equipped to perform two roles or does it mean they will perform these roles differently? Our rules push** us towards the mid-field and close combat which discourages equipment like Lascannons and Missile Launchers. Our rules actually enhance our ability to kill infantry. Does this mean we can't (or shouldn't) equip our Crusader squads to also handle an anti-tank role? Personally I don't think it does.

Its my personal veiw, that the best way to achive duality in a with the C:BT is through two units working together.

What you describe is specialisation but then the squads in your example have duality. I don't believe that power fists are taken solely for duality but rather because of a number of reasons... tradition is one of them. We used them in 4th Edition and they worked so they should work fine in 5th Edition. Others include lack of combat tactics, fearless in combat, insurance against high Toughness and Accept Any Challenge giving us re-rolls to hit (compensates to a degree the lack of an extra attack).

Messanger

*specifically Crusader squads
** however, our rules don't force us into the mid-field or close combat

Edited by Messanger of Death, 18 March 2010 - 10:42 AM.


#24
Smirnov

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Being one of the contributors to the start of the thread, I feel obliged to join the discussion :Troops:

My concept of duality (well, not that I invented it, but I follow it) came to be from playing small format games. By the way, I don't really like 'duality' - it suggest two uses, but we are speaking at least about three, so maybe it's better to call this 'versatility'.

Imagine we are playing 750 points game. We are really short on slots and choices. Actually all we can take is mandatory troop choices, HQ and elite/heavy support/fast attack choice. Every unit taken must be worth the points spent. And - that is a bit of my conclusion - we can't afford to take ultra specialised units. Yes, playing 2000+ points I can take a squad whose sole purpose would be standing on the far counter, shooting occasional enemies and just scoring or a squad that is made only to take down that carnifex. In small game I don't have these kind of luxuries. I have two crusader squads and that's all. So I have to consider what I'm going to face - troop choices for sure. Some armour - maybe. Rhinos are cheap by themselves, you can put a predator or dreadnought into the list. I've faced against 750 guard lists with Leman Russ and Necrons with monolith. And we can expect occasional monster - my eldar friend is fond of fielding Avatar of Khaine for example... Well, it's pretty much everything you can imagine. Ys, you won't see hordes of these monsters, but you sertainly will see hordes - green tide (how do you like 100 orks for 750 points? Seen that), horde units like fenrissian wolves and so on.

In such environment it becomes a priority that our units are versatile. Out crusader squad may have to crack a transport, assault it's troops and then face against some monstrous creature. So we need to have tools against all these threats. Thats why probably Melta Gun and Power Fist are the troop choices for such formats - we can expect close quarters fighting where melta's would do additional damage (and they can easily crack AV10-11 vehicles from 12"), fists and meltas good against high-T enemies and CCW against troops.

Of course, I'm speaking about small games. Larger formats bring new tactics, but the tendency still applies. If our mega-claw terminator squad charges into Wraithlord without Thunder Hammer, it's going to be a sad fight. Enemy could just leave the Lord asleep and forget about our clawing death for good. Here comes the main thought behind versatility: it's more forgiving to mistakes and less demanding in play. Imagine we have one anti-troop unit and one anti-tank unit. For example the above mentioned claw-terminators and Multi-melta/plasma crusader squad. As long as we have our melee maniacs charging troops and meltaboys cracking tanks, everything is alright. But what if we make a mistake in deployment or movement and our meltaboys face off against large troop squad? Trouble. And this can as well happen not only by our own mistake, but by the opponent outmanoeuvring us. And the more specified our units become, the easier it is to counter them (the mentioned paper-rock-scissors).

It brings in one more pooint into the light of discussion, which is survivability. It is one of the paramount, but often forgotten parts of unit versatility. We have to extremes - glass cannons and inoffensive armors. Yes, glass cannon would probably do more damage, but it won't survive even the round of counterattack... Terminators are kind of glass cannon, as are Vindicators. They are terrible in their destructive might, but Vindicator gets useless on 4 out of 6 penetration rolls, while every wound suffered to the terminator squad makes them less useful (two casaulties for a five-men terminator squad would make the squad almost ineffective)

All that said, we have a lot of versalite units. Assault Terminators, for example. They lack in shooting, but adding one or two Thunder Hammers makes them excellent not only against troops, but also against vehicles and monsters. Putting them into LRC gives them the firepower, speed and durability they otherwise lack. Probably, LRC with 4 LC + 2 TH/SS Terminators are our most versalite unit. Vindicators on the other hand are abovementioned glass cannons. They are good against vehicles, girdes and monsters, they lack stability (which is made up by taking two of these cars) and survivability, which is a much bigger problem...

And here I come to the conclusion (hopefully). You can't make an army of units that would do everything equally good. There are units better at something and units weaker at something. Assault Termies are made for charging out of LR into enemy troops, their Hammer are supplimentary in case they have to take down armour. But still making unit able to threaten the wide range of enemy units is paramount to making fearsome army. This is probably what makes up target priority in your army. The enemy would certainly shoot at 1) the unit he is more afraid of 2) the unit he can easier destroy. If he has an option of shooting at one of two units, one of which could possibly kill any of his units and the other could kill only part of his army, he would go for the first one. Well, I would :Elite:

One more thing that comes close with versatility is synergy. As you can't have ideal units, some of them would be lacking something. For example, Vindicators are rather easily destroyed. This is a minus to their versatility and even taking smokes and extra armor, they can't probably make up for all that fire magneting they get. So they need some outer help to survive. One example are Rhinos. These transprots are great at screening valuable units from the enemy. Yes, the can be penetrated virtually by anything, but they are fast, solid and even if the enemy immobilises or wrecks your Rhino on the right spot, it still serves it's purpose (so only 1 of 6 results on penetration roll is bad for us. Four times better compared to Vindicator). Or you can make the enemy forget about those Vindicators, as was the case with my army list posted in the neighbouring thread. My opponent was shooting at LRC with assault terminators, rather then at Vindicators, because they posed more threat, and Vindicators were left to do their job - that's one of the examples of good synergy, which leads to versatility. And of course Assault Termies on LRc are another example.
Pain is an Illusion of Senses. Despair is an Illusion of the Mind.



#25
Messanger of Death

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@ Smirnov - You have taken alot of what has been brought up in the discussion and woven it into a post that presents your opinion clearly and logically. Pleasure reading your post and hoping you stay in the discussion.

Messanger

Edit - don't think I have read someone mentioning glass-cannons on BnC in a long long time.

Edited by Messanger of Death, 18 March 2010 - 11:52 AM.