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Matched play description in the Core Rulebook


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#1
HCMistborn

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So, in an effort to actually learn the game and it's rules, I have been spending my inbetween time reading through the rulebook. Under the matched play description(page 212 of the English Core Rulebook) it says this:

"There are several ways to choose an army for matched play games. Typically, you and your opponent will build an army to an agreed points limit, but you could instead, for example, build armies that have a set number of units. Alternatively, you could use the Wounds characteristic or the Power Rating of each unit, either setting an upper limit for each unit or a fixed total for both armies."

While it seems that the most commonly accepted form of Matched play is points...it seems GW has left it open. Would you ever play a game or in a tournament based around one of these other forms, such as Wounds, or a set number of units in your army?

Edited by HCMistborn, 29 November 2017 - 11:59 AM.

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#2
the jeske

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no.


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#3
witchunter kraine

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no.

 

And your reasoning is?


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#4
Cpt_Reaper

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If I saw hard evidence that alternate forms of cost had been extensively playtested to be as fair as points limits across ALL armies with multiple builds tested then I see no reason why not.

 

However, points are THE standard. We know how it works, as it always has. It's a case of "not broken, don't fix it". Do points need balancing, well yeah. That's why we now have Chapter Approved. Are they working? More or less.

 

So I'm not opposed to it, but I need to see proof that it is viable.

 

Which means that, for the moment, it's a "Yeah nah mate" from me.



#5
Charlo

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Just using the two examples they gave would be horribly unbalanced:

 

  • Wounds - there is a big difference between a T3 5+ wound and a T6 2+ wound, so that doesn't work.
  • No. of Units - Some units are MASSIVE, others are a single model.


#6
the jeske

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no.

 

And your reasoning is?

 

points struggle to get the balance right betwen options/units/factions etc. The wound or unit stuff was tried in AoS, it did not work, always produced worse results the points, even when multi tier stuff was used[so like pre build list, wound limitations and unit number, used at the same time]. The fact that it was so bad that GW decided to bring points in to AoS means, that points are the best thing we can use for stuff like tournament gaming right now. The fact that we have stuff like command detachments, and soup stuff does not help either[and it works better then it does/did for AoS, not that in AoS soup chaos isn't one of the best armies right now].


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#7
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I think it's just GW trying to outline that you can play however you want if both side agree, not that I imagine those who would do so really need telling :P For matched play points is the standard for good reason, as it offers a better system of trying to keep things more level. Better doesn't mean perfect of course, but given the suggested alternatives I think it's the superior choice for a more competitive game.


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#8
HCMistborn

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How do you all feel Power Rating is? I imagine it isn't as precise as points, but I assume it is second best.

#9
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Power level is fine for quick pick up and play games. I sued it for my first few games of 8th just to learn the new rules.

 

The issue with it is that wargear isnt factored.

 

So my unit of 10 grey hunters with no ugprades is the same power level as my unit of 10 grey hunters with plasma guns, power fists and a banner added in etc

 

Now chances are that both you are your opponent will simply max out all your squads with shiny gear anyway...but it can lead to balance issues depending on what wargear options you actually have to choose from.


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#10
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How do you all feel Power Rating is? I imagine it isn't as precise as points, but I assume it is second best.

 

Allows you to quickly throw armies together to a rough limit without having to worry about the minutiae of points, but it is imprecise and can lead to severe imbalances; 

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Using points, the squad with the shields etc costs twice as much as the one with no upgrades. Using Power Ratings, they are the same price.


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#11
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How do you all feel Power Rating is? I imagine it isn't as precise as points, but I assume it is second best.

In my (limited) experience, power level has worked out just fine for me and my buddies.

 

But we're not tournament players, so we're basically just throwing our collections on the table and playing what we would in matched play, instead of maximizing our units' upgrade potential. Every time we've played with power level, it's been just as hotly contested as matched play.


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#12
Major_Gilbear

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Power Levels are okay, but can break down quickly when you factor in unit upgrades as these are basically "free".

 

So if you and your opponent both have 7E armies and want to play a game with together with your models and units as-is in 8E, then the chances of getting reasonable balance are decent. This is because under the previous system, you are both likely to have had some upgrades on your units, but points would stop you from going wild with them.

 

On the other hand, if one of you has a legacy army, and the other builds an army specifically to leverage PL in 8E, then you might well find the game is rather less well balanced if you use PL.

 

Think of the famous battle company formation that SM players had in 7E which gave everybody free transports, and how those 10+ free transports basically meant getting a free extra bonus of about 20-25% of your army total over what your opponent had. ...Not very balanced, was it? Well, PL can be the same if one player decides to abuse it deliberately.

 

So basically, if you and your group normally adhere to Wheaton's Law, then using PL to get a force together for a game is likely to be fine. Okay, if everyone has been fair and restrained, the difference in points between two armies with the same PL might still be in the 5-10% range, but that's much more manageable and balanced in practice than a difference of 20-25% is.

 

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#13
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To me, if you're not using points, it's not "Matched" Play.  Using power levels or wounds or whatever sounds like Open Play to me - as it requires an agreement between opponents to play that way.

Basically, it's far too arbitrary otherwise.


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#14
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To me, if you're not using points, it's not "Matched" Play.  Using power levels or wounds or whatever sounds like Open Play to me - as it requires an agreement between opponents to play that way.
Basically, it's far too arbitrary otherwise.


Even Matched Play requires an agreement between opponents to play that way.

You're also able to play Open Play with points, so it's not exactly exclusive.


For myself:

I've seen Power Level work if everyone is assumed to be taking the most powerful weapons on each unit. So, given something similar, I'd be open to that but skeptical. The other options? Wouldn't even consider it.

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#15
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Power level would probably work well with mirror armies (SM vs SM, 'crons vs 'crons, Eldar-sorry, Aeldari vs Aeldari, etc), or similar armies (SM vs BA, 'nids vs GC, Aeldari vs Dark El-sorry, Drukhari, IG vs MT, etc). Units and wargear are similar, and assuming Wheaton's law, I would assume that things would be relatively balanced (subject to available weaponry in the collection). 

 

I would consider wounds in a large armor and monster battle only (Apoc with nothing but titans, knights, Hierodules, etc). At that level, there are no squads to abuse, massive increases in power correlate to massive increases in wounds. This is about the only form I'd consider wounds as a valid matched play mechanism. ​(please don't eviscerate me)

 

​Beyond that, I don't really know. 'Number of units' has so many different ways to restrict it seems so horribly unbalanced as to be impossible. (think full battle company vs something like 15 baneblades). 

 

​Now of course I don't have the models for wounds, but I'm tossing that out there.


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#16
Bryan Blaire

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While it seems that the most commonly accepted form of Matched play is points...it seems GW has left it open.

Yes, because “Matched Play” as GW has defined it isn’t the sacred cow that people react to it and argue about it. Their definition of ‘Matched Play’ actually doesn’t require the use of points (as you already articulated), even though people act like it does. For the purposes of Matched Play, I wish they’d actually revise their Power Level ratings as well, if they are revising points, there’s no reason not to re-evaluate their ‘rough estimate’ value in accordance - if a big chunk of points for weapons the unit can take went up, then bump up the Power Level, if it went down, bump the PL down, same thing with the points cost of the unit members themselves.

Would you ever play a game ... based around one of these other forms, such as Wounds, or a set number of units in your army?

Sure, I’d play most any scenario one time for a game to see if I enjoy it enough to play again.

Would you ever play ... in a tournament based around one of these other forms, such as Wounds, or a set number of units in your army?

At this point, I would consider my life better off if I never played in a tournament again. I consider them and the mindset/attitudes they tend to lead to an overall detriment to the hobby.
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#17
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Even Matched Play requires an agreement between opponents to play that way.


You're also able to play Open Play with points, so it's not exactly exclusive.

 

Agreed - but Open Play with points can still be Open Play.  Matched Play with power levels, or wounds, or whatever isn't Matched at all.  It's close - but there's a reason that Power Levels don't equate directly to points.  Otherwise, wargear wouldn't have variable costs and it would be included in the units point cost.

 

Also, with Matched play, you have the expectation that a match with a given points level will be as equitable as possible - it's why it's generally used for tournament play.  There's nothing stopping organizers from running a tournament using open play rules (that could be fun, actually) or some other criteria for list building, but call it what it is - "matched play" connotes a pretty specific method.


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#18
Marshal Rohr

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I’ve been doing something in Total War Warhammer 2 I’d be interested in trying in 40k. Instead of taking high tier armies with Phoenix Guard or Chaos Chosen, build two identical armies of the lowest level infantry and support units and letting them fight it out. Turns out it makes the game incredibly tactical, in everything from how you organize your unit selections, to marching orders, to target priority with the ranged units.

I only bring this up, because for the longest time people complained about ‘checkers’ of identical armies and now I think that has real merit as a way to balance out pick up games. Essentially use the Power Level mechanism with zero upgrades per squad and max out unit sizes. 10 intercessors vs a full platoon of guardsmen becomes far more intense.
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#19
Tyberos the Red Wake

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Age of Sigmar failed specifically because they chose to use something arbitrary and inaccurate like wounds or model count to balance instead of points. It was saved by the General's Handbook which fixed the game by introducing...points.


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#20
Ishagu

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Counting wounds is utterly terrible.

You think 100 Guardsmen and 100 Marines carrying Grav Cannons are the same because the wound count is identical?

How about 24 Grots and an Imperial Knight?
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#21
Wayniac

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Not in a tournament, but I am a big fan of Power Rating.  I think it can work fine so long as you don't treat it like a powergamer would and immediately look at it and say "Woo hoo everything is free I'm taking every upgrade possible" which, I think, is entirely missing what Power Rating is.

 

Really, matched play just means "symmetrical forces" now, it's not points vs. not points (like it was in AOS).  You can do open or, especially, narrative play with points (you aren't limited to power level, although Open tends to be even more freeform than that) the key difference between matched and narrative is that in narrative, you may have asymmetrical forces (and GW themselves often have a discrepancy of a few power rating in White Dwarf; I've compiled a list of all the battle reports they've had for 40k since 8th edition, and all of them have used Power Rating, not points, the lowest they've ever been was 122 power vs. 126 power, and there's always been a difference of a few between the two armies except for once when there was a whopping 14 power rating difference between the forces), and each force might have a different objective (e.g. Attacker/Defender).  Matched Play just ensures that both forces are equal (whether points or power) and that you're using a mission where both players have the same objectives or the chance at the same objectives (if using Maelstrom).

 

Apart from the matched play only restrictions (e.g. 50% reserve, objective secured, the flyer rule) hat's really the only difference now to make something "Matched Play" as opposed to any other style.


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#22
Wayniac

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Age of Sigmar failed specifically because they chose to use something arbitrary and inaccurate like wounds or model count to balance instead of points. It was saved by the General's Handbook which fixed the game by introducing...points.

 

Actually, the problem with AOS is it had nothing except relying on you not being a jerk and talking to your opponent.  The wounds/model count were fan-made things, because people were vehemently against policing themselves and the competitive crowd screamed the loudest due to having nothing to rely on to ensure their illusion of "balance" and, perhaps more importantly, nothing resembling list building which they hold up as being such an integral part of the game.


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#23
TheEyeOfNight

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So, in an effort to actually learn the game and it's rules, I have been spending my inbetween time reading through the rulebook. Under the matched play description(page 212 of the English Core Rulebook) it says this:

"There are several ways to choose an army for matched play games. Typically, you and your opponent will build an army to an agreed points limit, but you could instead, for example, build armies that have a set number of units. Alternatively, you could use the Wounds characteristic or the Power Rating of each unit, either setting an upper limit for each unit or a fixed total for both armies."

While it seems that the most commonly accepted form of Matched play is points...it seems GW has left it open. Would you ever play a game or in a tournament based around one of these other forms, such as Wounds, or a set number of units in your army?

 

Probably. Maybe as a narrative thing, or some gaming club night shenanigans. It'd certainly change how we build our lists, I imagine, and might be fun periodically. Tournaments, though, probably best not.



#24
Lexington

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I like Power Levels as a good way to introduce people to the game, and also as a way to just play the damned thing without having to worry about representing every special weapon choice and banner according to the granular restriction of a specific points value. If it's on the model, they've got it, great.

What this tends to mean is that every squad will end up with its maximumally effective equipment load-out, which tends to be fine enough at a certain game size, assuming that it's true of all the players involved.

Obviously, there's problems with some units. Typically, this is for units like Nobz and the Death Company that don't natively come with much in the way of wargear, but can pile every squad member with Thunder Hammers and Power Klawz and whatever. I think anyone wanting to use Power Levels should probably put a sub-system in place to account for these, maybe doubling the unit's PV after it teachers a certain threshold of points value. These units aren't extremely common, so it's easy enough to work around them, I think.

Actually, the problem with AOS is it had nothing except relying on you not being a jerk and talking to your opponent.

Talking to your opponent requires a common understanding of game mechanics and the relative value of units. Purely for the sake of efficiency, if you were to systematize that understanding and translate it into something easily communicated, the result you'd get would be...well, points. Points aren't some pacifier for the blindly competitive, or some shield for them to hide behind in order to justify bad behavior. Points are a way to play a game of this variety without having to come up with a deconstruction of the game and it's components every single time you play.

Edited by Lexington, 30 November 2017 - 06:18 AM.

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#25
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