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In 8th, Are marines the wrong baseline?


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#26
SpecialIssue

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For much of 40k, firepower has trumped durability due to the prevalence and access to high AP weaponry. Any of the AP systems and possible stat-lines could have fostered a more lore-friendly 'elite' Marine, where their durability is a significant differentiation factor to their play, but that will only happen if high-powered weapons are made much more cost/list-prohibitive to bring.

 

Bring the number of them down in a game so that on average a player is only actually able to fit a few in a list, with the majority of affordable weapons being small-arms and/or short range, and watch the battles become more about maneuver, cover and protection of those few high-powered weapons, rather than stand and shoot to the death actions where basic troops are useless, and the virtue of durability is an afterthought.

 

Take the high powered toys away, and 40k becomes a much better wargame. Some restraint is needed in the number of 'special' on the battlefield.

 

But as GW likes to say, they are a model company first, and such a design-ethos would go completely against selling more models and large LoW kits, not to mention might upset those who like the more fantastical larger-than-life model aspect of the game, or the idea of powerful weapons everywhere.


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#27
Captain Idaho

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All of this is true, but baselines are needed to determine balanced points cost. You can argue what variations to that baseline should cost, for sure, but you still need a baseline for -any- model.


I wasn't clear I feel. When I said baseline I was referring to the context of the conversation regarding a specific race or unit as being the central base for the whole game.

Regarding fair and balanced points - it's more finely worked out than the worth of each stat. After all, what use is an Assault Marine BS compared to a Devastator Marine?

The use and intent of any particular unit makes baseline points values unworkable as anything but a loose guide at best.

Don't get me wrong; I'm sure the starting point was a Tactical Marine and once GW knew how much they were charging for 1 they went from there, but once the game is out there are no base lines. Or at least there shouldnt be.

Balance should then be determined by reviewing the external and internal balance of a Codex and units therein.
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#28
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I'm just going to throw this into the mix buy I feel like there shouldnt be a baseline.

GW said at the birth of the edition that stats weren't limited to 10, so really there's no excuse why the revamp didn't see Marines at Strength and Toughness 6, Orks at Strength and Toughness 5, Guardsmen at Strength and Toughness 3, lasguns at Strength 4, Dreadnoughts at toughness 10 etc.

Holding onto "baselines" has created a system that resists change. A broader stat based system would have meant (even if we don't change the wounding system at all) that Marines could be made elites without making their stats higher than most weapons in the game.

 

Also moving away from the d6-only system.


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#29
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Let's do a thought experiment

 

A guardsman is the base profile to get a -MODEL- onto the board, and costs 4 pnts.

It gives me a model, WS/BS of 4+ S/T of 3, 1W a 5+ save.

Let's assume that altering the WS/BS component costs or refunds 1 point.

Let us assume that S is .5 of a point (as it is only used half the time) 

Let us assume that T is 1 point as it is always used

‚ÄčLet us assume that Saves are worth .5 of a point

 

That gives a marine a base cost of  9.5 points, assume having +1 S on it's ranged profile is worth .5 and a marine should cost 10 points

 

It does not sound like much, but it is a huge difference.
 


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#30
Claws and Effect

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You're all looking at the problem backwards.

The problem isn't the Marine statline being the baseline. The problem is the overabundance of weapons that trivialize said statline.

I refer, of course, to plasma and its equivalents being so easy to spam. S7, -3 AP, and rapid fire or variable shots. A Marine is fairly tough with T4 and a 3+ save. But when everyone and their grandmother can turn that 3+ into a 6+ they wilt pretty quickly. A Guard Veteran squad with plasma guns will hit on 50% of their shots on average and 2/3rds of those shots will wound. That in itself isn't a big deal. But when they only get a 6+ save on those shots you end up with (on average) 10 hits out of 20 shots, and 6 of them will wound. With a 1 in 6 chance of saving you will kill 5 Marines with 20 shots. They simply can't withstand that kind of firepower with the small squad sizes their points cost encourages.

I've also noticed that elite armies in general crumple versus hordes. When an 80 point unit is taking 30 S4 shots at 18" and a similar costed unit of Marines only gets to return fire with 6 shots at the same strength, that's a significant problem.

Allowing Marines to fire their bolters twice if they don't move and reroll failed armor saves would go a long way toward alleviating both of those issues.

Edited by Claws and Effect, 29 April 2018 - 01:04 PM.

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#31
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You're never going to use IG as a baseline (even if the "average human" is what the game was really supposed to be designed to be balanced to per almost 30 year old discussions from the designers back in Rogue Trader/2nd Edition) when the (post-)human army with "coolest fluff" that most everyone wants to play with and GW uses as their poster child is supposed to be the pretty much the most elite of humanity's army (again, this has changed lately).

If the basic Guardsman would have had some limited genetic modifications, power armor, and weapons that weren't termed "flashlights", and GW would highlight how inhuman Marines likely would be, made the rules so you didn't need 250ish models for a basic Guard army without it being dominated by vehicles, and they had actually invested in producing enough different model sets that people wanted to be various types of Guard with unique models, then the basic Guardsman might have been able to be the actual baseline.

No one wants to play the throw-away faction that is expected to die each and every conflict. Even for grim-dark, that's not cool or fun.
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#32
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The heart of your second paragraph's argument is premised on fluff. But what unit ought to be the balancing "baseline" of the game is intrinsically a "crunch" issue.

 

Now I agree that the difference between a guardsman and a space marine is incredibly underwhelming; and I also agree that it would be best to have the guardsman's statline designed first, and THEN the Space Marine's so that the Marines really have their full force-of-presence. But in terms of balance, the Space Marines need to have that baseline position, where *they* are the central point of balance for 40k the game, not the Guardsman, because the Guardsman is nowhere near central enough in the crunch to make a good point of balance; so (if we develop this way) from that point onward, the REST of the factions at least need to be built relative to the Space Marine statline, not the Guardsman's.

 

Your comparison of the speed of an eldar, a guardsmen, and a space marine is actually a perfect example of what I mean when I refer to gameplay balance sensitivity. One could describe Guardsmen as normal speed; Space Marines as fast; but then one must classify Eldar as "very fast" or something of that type. The fact that you have to work through two layers of relations, the Guardsman relative to Space Marines which are then related to Eldar, just to figure out how fast an Eldar *should* be is much like geocentrism: the Eldar statline relative to Guard, much like the path of Jupiter relative to the earth, is made more complex because you've picked a point of reference which simply isn't central to the system. How much faster an Eldar is than a human means little until we pull the superhumans into the picture and see that even THEY are slow in comparison.

 

The Space Marines are far more central, both in the popularity (which does matter in practice, since we *are* trying to build a good game, not just a fluffy one) as well as in the statline distribution (which matters in both theory and practice).

 

With Guard as the baseline:

  • Guard are normal speed.
  • Space Marines are faster.
  • Eldar are faster.
  • Tyranids are faster.
  • Non-Nurgle daemons are faster.
  • Nurgle daemons are normal speed.
  • Tau are normal speed.
  • Orks are normal speed.

This isn't especially descriptive, since practically anything is faster than a Guardsman. So now you have the complex matter of trying to figure out *how* much faster each should be, and since you've picked a baseline which is an extreme value (the very slowest), you have to balance everything by throwing the word "very" several times onto each of these "fast"s. This is trickier than it is with a Space Marine baseline:

  • Imperial Guard are slow.
  • Nurgle Daemons are slow.
  • Orks are slow.
  • Tau are slow.
  • Space Marines are normal speed.
  • Eldar are fast.
  • Tyranids are fast.
  • Slaanesh Daemons are fast.

Here the primary "delta" that matters -- the difference between a space marine and another faction -- is much more clear.

 

As for your fourth paragraph, it seems to me that your concern is that most of the universe is on par with Space Marines, rather than the fact that the Guardsmen itself isn't that far behind. While the latter comparison is certainly a problem and a discrepancy between fluff and crunch, the former depicts 40k's universe -- understanding just how inferior humanity is to every single other species in the galaxy, such that we can only even attempt to compete one-on-one by excruciating bio-modification into a superhuman abomination, is central to realizing just how screwed humanity is in the 41st millennium.


Hadn't checked this thread (on account of work) for a bit after I saw the initial slough of "guard as baseline" comments - This was better expressed than I could have managed- and speaks to my concerns about guard as a base. It appeared that much was fluff centered rather than game design centered. 

Idaho also brought up brilliant points.  

 


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#33
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I'm sharing something from 1st ed 40k: Rogue Trader very relevant, to show the original designer's thoughts on the subject.

 

Here's how the original 40k: Rogue Trader book explains how points costs of the different races were determined:

 

gallery_57329_13636_53196.jpg

 

Please note there has been a gradual points deflation over 3 decades (as Games Workshop tried to get us by more models).  The points value doesn't include gear, as there was another chart for that, it's just everything costed less and less points over time.  What it does show is the founding concepts of 40k.

 

And that concept was that the Guardman/normal human was "average" for all races.  A Squat was like a more melee-oriented and tougher version of a human.  A Gretchen was subhuman.  Orks, Eldar, the other races were better or worse than a normal human in some way.  A Space Marine was a superhuman across the board.

 

 

+++++

 

 

Now an important point - a normal human may have been the "middle 50%" of the bell curve in 1st ed, but even back then, the Space Marine was the "poster child".  Even though the standard Guardsman represented the average guy, they weren't the best-seller that defined early 40k - the Space Marine was supposed to be.

 

The original 40k designer was a good sales guy, he worked at the store, knew how to do a retail pitch, and I reckon he would go up to a prospect customer and introduce the game, "Yeah, you can play a human with laser weapons in our sci-fi game...or you COULD play a superhuman in power armour, like a space knight!"

 

I think most new players, if given those options, would choose to play the superhuman option.  I know my friends and I did.  That seemed By Design.

 

A comparison that comes to mind is when I go buy a smartphone after I break my old one.  Every time, there's a standard model, but there's always a marginally-more-expensive-but-far-superior version that is clearly the better deal.  It's like the cheaper standard phone only exists to make the better one a more attractive buy.

 

Reading this thread, I think where disagreements arise is just the definition of the word "baseline".  If you meant baseline like a zero-level that everything else is compared to, that'd be a Guardsman.  But if you mean baseline like the exemplar, the showroom model, that has long been the Space Marine.

 

Now that there's Primaris...well, that might be a different topic.


Edited by N1SB, 30 April 2018 - 12:59 AM.

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#34
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I'm just going to throw this into the mix buy I feel like there shouldnt be a baseline.
GW said at the birth of the edition that stats weren't limited to 10, so really there's no excuse why the revamp didn't see Marines at Strength and Toughness 6, Orks at Strength and Toughness 5, Guardsmen at Strength and Toughness 3, lasguns at Strength 4, Dreadnoughts at toughness 10 etc.
Holding onto "baselines" has created a system that resists change. A broader stat based system would have meant (even if we don't change the wounding system at all) that Marines could be made elites without making their stats higher than most weapons in the game.

 
Also moving away from the d6-only system.
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#35
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You're all looking at the problem backwards.

The problem isn't the Marine statline being the baseline. The problem is the overabundance of weapons that trivialize said statline.

I refer, of course, to plasma and its equivalents being so easy to spam. S7, -3 AP, and rapid fire or variable shots. A Marine is fairly tough with T4 and a 3+ save. But when everyone and their grandmother can turn that 3+ into a 6+ they wilt pretty quickly. A Guard Veteran squad with plasma guns will hit on 50% of their shots on average and 2/3rds of those shots will wound. That in itself isn't a big deal. But when they only get a 6+ save on those shots you end up with (on average) 10 hits out of 20 shots, and 6 of them will wound. With a 1 in 6 chance of saving you will kill 5 Marines with 20 shots. They simply can't withstand that kind of firepower with the small squad sizes their points cost encourages.

I've also noticed that elite armies in general crumple versus hordes. When an 80 point unit is taking 30 S4 shots at 18" and a similar costed unit of Marines only gets to return fire with 6 shots at the same strength, that's a significant problem.

Allowing Marines to fire their bolters twice if they don't move and reroll failed armor saves would go a long way toward alleviating both of those issues.

Oh, I just haven't -got- to weapons yet :P

Start at the bottom and work your way up.



#36
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You're all looking at the problem backwards.

The problem isn't the Marine statline being the baseline. The problem is the overabundance of weapons that trivialize said statline.

I refer, of course, to plasma and its equivalents being so easy to spam. S7, -3 AP, and rapid fire or variable shots. A Marine is fairly tough with T4 and a 3+ save. But when everyone and their grandmother can turn that 3+ into a 6+ they wilt pretty quickly. A Guard Veteran squad with plasma guns will hit on 50% of their shots on average and 2/3rds of those shots will wound. That in itself isn't a big deal. But when they only get a 6+ save on those shots you end up with (on average) 10 hits out of 20 shots, and 6 of them will wound. With a 1 in 6 chance of saving you will kill 5 Marines with 20 shots. They simply can't withstand that kind of firepower with the small squad sizes their points cost encourages.

I've also noticed that elite armies in general crumple versus hordes. When an 80 point unit is taking 30 S4 shots at 18" and a similar costed unit of Marines only gets to return fire with 6 shots at the same strength, that's a significant problem.

Allowing Marines to fire their bolters twice if they don't move and reroll failed armor saves would go a long way toward alleviating both of those issues.

Oh, I just haven't -got- to weapons yet :P
Start at the bottom and work your way up.

I was just pointing out that the baseline being Marines would be much less relevant to game balance if there weren't so many weapons around that make s mockery of them.

A Marine being hit by a plasma gun is exactly like a Guardsman being hit by a bolter. Except the Guardsman's 5+ save is better than the 6+ the Marine gets againstplasma.
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#37
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Reading this thread, I think where disagreements arise is just the definition of the word "baseline".  If you meant baseline like a zero-level that everything else is compared to, that'd be a Guardsman.  But if you mean baseline like the exemplar, the showroom model, that has long been the Space Marine.

 

I definitely get this impression as well. I think I can identify at least three different interpretations floating around in this thread:

  • Balance interpretation of a "baseline", which is to say the unit, army, or generally an object which is designed to be the most balanced unit/army/object in the game; all other units/armies/objects are designed specifically to be balanced in the gameplay relative to this baseline, usually by modifying this baseline upward and downward in various ways--adding to or reducing unit statlines, or adding army abilities, units, and rules. To ensure this a "balance baseline" should be centrally distributed within the game and should, if demographic information is already known for the game, preferably represent a common matchup (if possible) to ensure the quality of most matches of the game. This is the baseline that I argue should be Space Marines.
  • A Gamefeel/fluff baseline, a unit in the game whose narrative experience is designed to optimally draw the player into the game; the way an individual guardsman fights a Tyranid, after all, needs to be most "familiar" to a player to promote suspension of disbelief and whatever passes for "realism" in a fictional game. A player, drawn into a game, might be able to ignore a superhuman punching out a huge daemon, because a lack of experience with both superhumans and daemons provides little basis on which to dispute this event. On the other hand, a normal human punching out a giant alien will register (on some level) as quite unrealistic. In this sense, I would agree that it is most important that a "fluff baseline" be the standard Imperial Guardsman, since these are the same eyes through which the player views the 40k universe.
  • And a very literal fluff-based interpretation of "baseline", meaning a minimum onto which additional things are placed: Tyranids are "humans with giant scything limbs and a hivemind", Eldar are "long-lived humans with sleek technology", Tau are "blue humans with communism and cool technology", and Space Marines are "humans with twelve tons more muscle and a sweet suit of armor". This is less a game design concept and more of a worldbuilding concept, however.

I think a happy medium between the Balance and Gamefeel baselines could be achieved by first designing Guard; then designing Space Marines to be both balanced in gameplay with AND narratively balanced; and then designing the rest of the armies in the game primarily from their balance versus Space Marines as a balance baseline. The relation between Guard and Space Marines is, after all, one of the most important relations in the game: not only is it one of the most common crunch matchups, it also carries one of the most important gamefeel/fluff matchups in the game, since it involves the two most relatably human forces in the entire setting; if that matchup doesn't "feel right", essentially nothing else in the game will either.

 

I also think from the fluff side there's some disagreement on where exactly the Imperial Guardsman and the Space Marine lie in the grand scheme of things: some seem to argue that most of the things in the 40k universe are actually pretty well-balanced against a standard Guardsman, but the Space Marines themselves are extremely elite, not just in the context of the Imperium but in the galaxy at large. This seems to cohere with Rogue Trader fluff, as N1SB notes. But in the modern narrative, it seems hard to me to argue that a guardsman with a flashlight stands an even chance against even the baseline Tyranid, or Ork, or Bloodletter; rather, the standard Space Marine is a more fair match against a single Ork or an ordinary Daemon, making them elite relative to the rest of humanity's infantry but very much average in terms of the grand scope of the 40k universe. And I think some are put off that the game's rules do a better job representing the modern grimdark "average marine/puny, doomed human" fluff than the Rogue Trader "amazing marine/average human" fluff.


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#38
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Fluff has no bearing on games design, in fact, it should work the other way around, if anything.



#39
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Fluff has no bearing on games design, in fact, it should work the other way around, if anything.

 

God, I would hope not. I can suspend my disbelief when playing the came, coming to terms that some things can't be accurately represented on the table top in the name of having a game that can actually be played in several hours. But I cannot and will not put up with gutting the fluff in the name of gameplay.


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#40
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All of this is true, but baselines are needed to determine balanced points cost. You can argue what variations to that baseline should cost, for sure, but you still need a baseline for -any- model.


I wasn't clear I feel. When I said baseline I was referring to the context of the conversation regarding a specific race or unit as being the central base for the whole game.

Regarding fair and balanced points - it's more finely worked out than the worth of each stat. After all, what use is an Assault Marine BS compared to a Devastator Marine?

The use and intent of any particular unit makes baseline points values unworkable as anything but a loose guide at best.

Don't get me wrong; I'm sure the starting point was a Tactical Marine and once GW knew how much they were charging for 1 they went from there, but once the game is out there are no base lines. Or at least there shouldnt be.

Balance should then be determined by reviewing the external and internal balance of a Codex and units therein.

 

Ehh, can't say I agree here Cap. Marines (or even most troops really,barring vets and sarges) all have the same statline, what they have are different loadouts or options and then they pay for those on top. What a -player chooses to do with that stat line is outside of game design, as it should be.



#41
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Fluff has no bearing on games design, in fact, it should work the other way around, if anything.


God, I would hope not. I can suspend my disbelief when playing the came, coming to terms that some things can't be accurately represented on the table top in the name of having a game that can actually be played in several hours. But I cannot and will not put up with gutting the fluff in the name of gameplay.

Don't ever go into game design, then. That can and does frequently happen.
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#42
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Fluff has no bearing on games design, in fact, it should work the other way around, if anything.


God, I would hope not. I can suspend my disbelief when playing the came, coming to terms that some things can't be accurately represented on the table top in the name of having a game that can actually be played in several hours. But I cannot and will not put up with gutting the fluff in the name of gameplay.

Don't ever go into game design, then. That can and does frequently happen.

 

 

I'll stick with trades, thank you. And that's all well and good, but I meant for *this* game. They do change fluff because of sculpts, but I'd find it hard to be convinced they've let the game dictate the fluff.


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#43
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Fluff has no bearing on games design, in fact, it should work the other way around, if anything.


God, I would hope not. I can suspend my disbelief when playing the came, coming to terms that some things can't be accurately represented on the table top in the name of having a game that can actually be played in several hours. But I cannot and will not put up with gutting the fluff in the name of gameplay.

Don't ever go into game design, then. That can and does frequently happen.

 

Except making the game fluffy and balanced would be pathetically easy if GW wasn't so concerned about model sales over the value of the game itself. It's easy as pie to balance armies with durable, few elite units against cheap fodder spam like the guard or orks. 


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#44
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Given that marines sell best, making them cheaper would only help them in that regard. :P


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#45
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You're all looking at the problem backwards.

The problem isn't the Marine statline being the baseline. The problem is the overabundance of weapons that trivialize said statline.

I refer, of course, to plasma and its equivalents being so easy to spam. S7, -3 AP, and rapid fire or variable shots. A Marine is fairly tough with T4 and a 3+ save. But when everyone and their grandmother can turn that 3+ into a 6+ they wilt pretty quickly. A Guard Veteran squad with plasma guns will hit on 50% of their shots on average and 2/3rds of those shots will wound. That in itself isn't a big deal. But when they only get a 6+ save on those shots you end up with (on average) 10 hits out of 20 shots, and 6 of them will wound. With a 1 in 6 chance of saving you will kill 5 Marines with 20 shots. They simply can't withstand that kind of firepower with the small squad sizes their points cost encourages.

I've also noticed that elite armies in general crumple versus hordes. When an 80 point unit is taking 30 S4 shots at 18" and a similar costed unit of Marines only gets to return fire with 6 shots at the same strength, that's a significant problem.

Allowing Marines to fire their bolters twice if they don't move and reroll failed armor saves would go a long way toward alleviating both of those issues.

Oh, I just haven't -got- to weapons yet tongue.png
Start at the bottom and work your way up.

I was just pointing out that the baseline being Marines would be much less relevant to game balance if there weren't so many weapons around that make s mockery of them.

A Marine being hit by a plasma gun is exactly like a Guardsman being hit by a bolter. Except the Guardsman's 5+ save is better than the 6+ the Marine gets againstplasma.

 

 

That's basically what I understand under the 'baseline' problem. Most weapons should be really strong against a Guardsman model but at least struggle a bit to punch through the T4 Sv3+ of a Space Marine. Hence why the Guardsman should be the baseline and not the Space Marine. However if every second weapon comes with S5+ and AP-2 or better then the baseline is obviously the Space Marine and not the Guardsman.


Disclaimer:

If my posts appear rude to you, I apologize. It's not meant to be rude in any way, it's just the way folks are in my country. It's really more about being direct than being rude. I know how it's perceived in the english speaking community and I already try to tone it down but I barely notice when it's too much since it's normal for me.


So yeah, I'm really not rude it's basically just cultural differences that act against me here. Again, I apologize.

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#46
Captain Idaho

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Ehh, can't say I agree here Cap. Marines (or even most troops really,barring vets and sarges) all have the same statline, what they have are different loadouts or options and then they pay for those on top. What a -player chooses to do with that stat line is outside of game design, as it should be.


The problem with this logic is what would you charge a Genestealer for having BS2+? It's a worthless stat when you have no weapons so what would you charge?

The logic applies to Space Marines. A Centurion Devastator squad is going to get much more mileage out of a BS3+ than an Assault Marine. What about the 3+ save? It's worth more on a Devastator Marine than an Assault Marine by the simple virtue that more people will hit the latter with armour ignoring weapons.

It's not just stats that shouldn't be done on this principle but also weapons and equipment.

The current rules makes no distinction of who is getting the weapons, so a Devastator Sergeant with a power power fist pays the same points for his weapon as a Captain with jump pack or a Terminator.

GW won't look to address this directly since that requires a lot of micro management which arguably boys the game down at the army creation stage.

Incidentally the fixes would be like a weapons list for units rather than army wide, points increases incrementally as you take more of a certain unit/weapon (1 weapon or unit is usually not game breaking. 5 of those things might be) and points costs designed for specific missions or stylised of army build.

Too much of course since all of that would increase page count if nothing else.
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#47
taikishi

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I'm just going to throw this into the mix buy I feel like there shouldnt be a baseline.
GW said at the birth of the edition that stats weren't limited to 10, so really there's no excuse why the revamp didn't see Marines at Strength and Toughness 6, Orks at Strength and Toughness 5, Guardsmen at Strength and Toughness 3, lasguns at Strength 4, Dreadnoughts at toughness 10 etc.
Holding onto "baselines" has created a system that resists change. A broader stat based system would have meant (even if we don't change the wounding system at all) that Marines could be made elites without making their stats higher than most weapons in the game.

 
Also moving away from the d6-only system.
The Emperor agrees smile.png
D10 would offer easy math for balancing and variability of unit abilities.

 

 

d6s are used because they're cheaper to produce, readily available from soooo many board games and larger dice provide more variance of results, especially when rolled in multiples:

 

4d6: 1296 results

4d8: 4096 results

4d10: 10,000 results

4d12: 20,736 results

4d20: 160,000 results


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#48
sfPanzer

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Variance in results is pretty much the reason why we'd like a d10 system over a d6 system. ^^


Disclaimer:

If my posts appear rude to you, I apologize. It's not meant to be rude in any way, it's just the way folks are in my country. It's really more about being direct than being rude. I know how it's perceived in the english speaking community and I already try to tone it down but I barely notice when it's too much since it's normal for me.


So yeah, I'm really not rude it's basically just cultural differences that act against me here. Again, I apologize.

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#49
Brother Casman

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A d12 system is better as it's easily divisible into sixths, fourths, thirds, and halves. msn-wink.gif

Now that we've all been thoroughly distracted, let's come back to the original question, shall we? Unfortunately, my own thoughts on Marines being the wrong baseline lie somewhere between "yes, they are" and "no, they aren't". Helpful, I know. tongue.png
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#50
Wargamer

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I still don't understand what people mean when they talk about "baseline". The problem isn't the unit we compare everything else to - the problem is Marines come up short. If they're the baseline, it means everything else is "baseline + bonus". If Guard are the baseline, Marines are overcosted due to false-value bloat.


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