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AoS Metawatch Warhammer Age of Sigmar – 1 (GHB 2020 results)

Discussion in 'Seraphon Discussion' started by LordBaconBane, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Putzfrau
    Skink Chief

    Putzfrau Well-Known Member

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    I disagree entirely, but thats fine. Seems like if you value those things in a game you should play a game that has those things and not try to turn a game that isn't, and has value based on its own merit, into something that does.

    I think its deeply unfair to all the people that excel at this game to call age of sigmar a glorified game of rock paper scissor.
     
  2. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    I think that AoS is complex enough to let personal skills shine.
    HOWEVER
    There are single units or units with certain abilities that can trumple certain games and let even inept players turn lost games into victories.
    There is the tendency in certain AoS games to become rock-paper-scissors. GW is consantly trying to force the game into that direction because very powerful new abilities that are stronger than the old ones or (even better) break the rules, mean money.
     
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  3. Putzfrau
    Skink Chief

    Putzfrau Well-Known Member

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    It's a game of dice, there are hundreds of ways a loss can turn into a win that have nothing to do with certain abilities or units. They can also do that, but that's not inherently a negative statement about the game, nor should it be. I definitely agree that some specific units or rules need to be retuned, but I don't think i've ever argued otherwise. I just don't think drastic rule changes like a 40k LOS system or a hard limit on shooting units is necessarily the best course of action. It solves a problem while creating others. A problem that I think is slightly overexaggerated (at least within a competitive, tournament mindset) at the moment due to the factors i've already listed.

    GW "forces" a game that's balanced around an event, not 1v1 play. If you prefer to call that "rock-paper-scissors" then by all means, but there is a very, very distinctive reason that the same players do well, year after year regardless of what armies or units are "letting inept players turn lost games into victories."

    GW is clearly intentional about not giving every army an answer to everything, and creating this element of "bad and good matchups" is a perfectly fine design choice. That doesn't excuse all of their ridiculous decisions, but it should be the lens we look at them through. If people have a problem with that style of game design, they should probably find a system that is more inline with what they look for in a game.

    Lastly, i'll say that i totally agree on some of their balancing decisions being inspired by their business objectives. But, I don't think it's the fundamental driver of why they choose this balancing/design choice. I think it has far more to do with the sheer difficulty of maintaining the type of balance @Canas talks about without making every army just different shades of the same flavor. A problem I think other fantasy tabletop games suffer from.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  4. Canas
    Slann

    Canas Ninth Spawning

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    Ah sorry if I wasn't clear, AoS isn't at that point yet. There are enough limitations to keep things complex and most strategies relevant. Fortunatly some parts of the core in AoS are quite stable; like the rules surrounding objectives. However if they continue to bend and break the core rules they'l eventually get there.

    Good and bad matchups are fine, trivial and hopeless matchups are not.

    Imho, this has more to do with GW's insistance on having 20+ super distinct armies than it does with it being difficult to balance. There's only so many variations you can make. Obviously the more armies you get the more difficult it becomes to keep them distinct while adhering to a set of core rules.

    It's also noticeable how the armies that consist of entire new model ranges tend to come with exceptions to the core rules, whereas simple battletome updates like ours tend to largely follow the core rules, or at least don't bend it any further (e.g. we only got a kroak with +4 to cast long after casting with modifiers had become the norm.)

    Hopefully once they finally stop releasing new factions we might see things stabilize again. Maybe the issue is just the constant releasing of new stuff that keeps jerking the game around from one extreme to another and once they're done with that they can finally spend some time stabilizing the core.
     
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  5. Putzfrau
    Skink Chief

    Putzfrau Well-Known Member

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    I think the amount of trivial or hopeless matchups is incredibly small. I think people get too hung up on this stark, black and white "with X list you'll never beat Y list" or "a list with X will never be as good as a list with Y" and for the most part it's just not true.

    I also think tournament results will show you that "armies that consist of entire new model ranges" aren't overperforming. I'd also argue, quite strongly, against our battletome being an example of one that "largely follows the core rules."

    Our book is one of the biggest offenders of breaking core rules. From dispell ranges, to endless spell movement, to free buffs, to number of threats that can be put on the table, to availability of command points, the seraphon book breaks tons of commonly assumed core rules principles. I dont think it's necessarily a bad thing, but I strongly disagree that its evidence towards seraphon following this trend you outlined.

    I think we'll see the meta start to calm down as people start to get a feel for what works against shooting. And I think the December FAQ is probably going to gut a few of the most problematic units and we'll end up just fine. If it doesn't than I guess some more drastic measure will need to be taken.

    Either way, loved the discussion dude. I guess we will have to see how it all shakes out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  6. Canas
    Slann

    Canas Ninth Spawning

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    Never said they were overperforming, just that they're bending and breaking the rules bit by bit. They can still be mediocre or even terrible while doing that.

    The range is definitly an outlier and the only rule where we truly start bending the core. Though imho, a fairly minor one that's still acceptable, especially with how basic magic is in AoS. It's also kept in check somewhat by things like objectives and the shorter ranges on our other abilities requiring us to stay in a reasonable range. It's not like it's even remotely worthwhile to sit our slann in a corner and only ever use him for unbinding.

    - Predatory endless spells that can't be controlled by your opponent already existed; for example Khorne & fyreslayer predatory prayers, Ossiarch endless spells.
    - It comes at the cost of having faction specific endless spells, and given that most faction specific can't hurt their own faction to begin with, imho this is a reasonable spin on the concept of faction specfic endless spell; trading in immunity for more control over their movement.

    Not sure what exactly you mean with those two, especially the first one.

    - Ossiarchs already had their fake CP system for which they get a boatload of fake command points.
    - Imho, not a breach of the core-rules regardless but kind of the logical consequence of having an army that uses loads of command abilities. If we'd want to function with less CP then the buffs our command abilities give would need to be moved to say prayers, which ultimatly achieves the exact same thing with more or less the same succes rate (prayers tend to be on a 4+, bonus CP is on a 4+ or worse).
     
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  7. Putzfrau
    Skink Chief

    Putzfrau Well-Known Member

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    Edit: I gave it some more thought, and I hear you dude. I think we just look at the game from a fundamentally different view point, but I can definitely envision the game you describe. Out of curiosity, have you tried KoW? I personally haven't played it, but based on what i've read and what people said to me when fantasy died and a lot went to KoW, it sounds like it has a philosophy more similar to yours.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
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  8. Canas
    Slann

    Canas Ninth Spawning

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    Nope haven't played it. I might look into it as I keep hearing good things about it.
     
  9. Putzfrau
    Skink Chief

    Putzfrau Well-Known Member

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    The impression I got was there's just a narrower band that all units operate within. There's not a ton of this crazy outlier stuff you sometimes see in AoS.
     
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  10. Grotpunter
    Troglodon

    Grotpunter Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I think the meta will "correct" itself with time, or rather, change. Right now shooting is incredible, but IDK looks to be really filthy. Eels having 2+ save in turn 1 seems absurd against alot of shooting armies. Obviously it will do nothing against the MWs output, but it will wreck a lot of stuff. Flamers will be eaten up by the Eels for sure.

    I dont think that is true. I think there is a perfectly fine line. You can have rules that are unique or break the core rules, but it doesnt have to be so incredible overpowered that there is no way of combating it. If every single army was "honest" and played strictly according to the core rules, it would be very boring IMO and it would be hard to make a difference between all the armies.

    Sentinels breaking core rules by not requiring LoS in itself is okay IMO. It becomes kinda annoying when you combine it with 36" range plus incredible MW output. On the flipside, what is really the point of introducing new mechanics/rules that break the core rules if they arent impactful? I think it is a really delicate thing to balance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  11. Canas
    Slann

    Canas Ninth Spawning

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    The "exceptions" that are still okay should simply be codified in the core (design) rules.

    If for example we take the sentinels (or more generally ranged units) as an example you might get the following core rules as a start:
    A basic ranged unit needs LoS.
    A special ranged unit may not both ignore LoS and deal mortal wounds, it can only have one of these two special abilities.
    A unit with long range (say more than 30") needs to have relativly low damage output to make up for the range advantage.

    You can now differentiate between ranged units while at the same time ensuring they all still stay within that given ruleset. Which makes balancing a hell of a lot easier as you know within which extremes you are working.

    And yeah, this is difficult to get right; there's no clear-cut anwser what should be in that core of (design) rules. And even if you got a good core you're probably still going to run into issues on occasion as you'l miss certain exceptions. But you're going to need that solid core to minimize the amount of broken stuff, be it cuz it's OP, UP, or just plain annoying to deal with, you'l introduce.
     
  12. Putzfrau
    Skink Chief

    Putzfrau Well-Known Member

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    I'd argue that the "core" is pretty solid and that the problems aren't in what is or isn't included in that core. Basically, I don't think the core shooting rules are problematic, I think the practical nature of releasing 4 strong shooting armies back to back to back to back (tzeentch, KO, seraphon, lumineth) created a situation that the game hasn't seen for a while. People had geared their armies towards a different meta and suddenly there's this huge influx of shooting dominate lists that people just weren't prepared for. There are definitely a small handful of units scattered throughout those 4 books that might be overly problematic, but I honestly think it'll start becoming less problematic as people start to adjust their lists to this new frontier where this level of damage (whether its from shooting or otherwise) needs to be taken into consideration.

    Even your given example of sentinels isn't necessarily a problem with the core rules. It's a problem with that unit. You could easily give that unit 24'' range or require it to need LOS and its totally fine. It's already borderline fine, but it definitely qualifies as a "plain annoying to deal with" unit. And i'd argue that's not necessarily a bad thing either. There's tons of stuff in all competitive games that have that distinction.

    I guess that's just a lot of words to say, I don't think we necessarily need to throw the baby out with the bathwater here. Let's give the meta a little time to develop and target some of the most egregious examples with small, pointed nerfs, before shifting to drastic changes in the game that'll cause massive rippling effects across everything, not just shooting.

    Also, I think people need to look at list building and the "meta" in a more fluid manner. Things are rarely as black and white as they seem on the internet where if you're not running the latest netlist you're running garbage. That's just not how the game works. This post was a tiny snapshot of the meta during an extremely unique time period without a ton of context surrounding it.

    IMO let's talk about that context and how seraphon fits in, how our lists can evolve, etc, rather than wishlisting core rules changes because shooting has been good for the first time since AoS came out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  13. Canas
    Slann

    Canas Ninth Spawning

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    My point is that with good core (design) rules the sentinels wouldn't have been a problem to begin with because during the design phase GW would've seen "O, this unit clashes with the core rules because it has both mortal wounds & doesn't need LoS, I should remove one of these special abilities cuz it can't have both."

    Basicly with a good core, instead of releasing something broken and then slowly dragging it back to a more acceptable state with targeted nerfs/buffs they'd just immeadiatly start within an acceptable range because we (roughly) know beforehand what the limits are that the system can take. Thus minimizing the changes needed after release.

    It doesn't need to come in the form of large sweeping changes. We can start by simply establishing core (design) rules based on existing stuff and keeping any future release within the bandwidths that establishes. That'd already be an improvement, instead of every new army pushing their things to a new extreme. Once we've established this, rather imperfect, core we can look at which bits are problematic and reign those in in a targeted manner while updating the core (design) rules accordingly so we avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
     
  14. Putzfrau
    Skink Chief

    Putzfrau Well-Known Member

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    Yeah... but that's impossible (and probably exactly what they at least attempt to do). You're basically saying if the core rules are strong enough nothing broken would ever be released and that's just so wildly unrealistic it (to me at least) is almost a non starter. I'm positive that GW has an internal system that outlines the limits of unit construction, but sometimes shit gets out of hand because that's what happens when you're designing 800+ warscrolls... that's just the nature of the creative process.

    It's simply impossible to create a core band of rules and design choices that is so strong that it simultaneously allows for perfectly varied army design while also consistent, perfectly balanced releases. You're always going to have outliers, and then you're basically in the same position we are now.

    With that said, feel free to respond but I'd love to pivot the conversation back to my actual on topic points around the meta if that's cool with you. This was an OP about the meta, and design wishlists simply don't do anything practical to help people understand or work within the current meta and ruleset. And to be honest, it's just something I enjoy talking about more and a deeper conversation around it isn't something that pops up all that often on these forums.
     
  15. Canas
    Slann

    Canas Ninth Spawning

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    Perfect is impossible, better than now is definitly doable though imho.

    As for how they actually work internally. Based on the white dwarf articles they occasionally publish about how they work when designing stuff they are imho surprisingly disorganised for a giant international company that's been doing this for decades. Would've expected a far better established process at this point. Though they seem to have improved massivly since the first article. If they continue like this they might eventually reach it :p

    O sure go ahead, we're probably done at this point anyway :p
     
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  16. Kilvakar
    Terradon

    Kilvakar Well-Known Member

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    So, with the current meta being what it is, how do you guys think we deal with all of the top-tier armies like KO, Lumineth, Tzeentch, etc.?

    I know that Tzeentch at least is doable, though a bit tough, especially if they're running the Flamer spam or Pink Horror spam lists.

    But to be completely transparent, I haven't played against KO or Lumineth yet, but I'm quite honestly hoping I don't have to very often. Lumineth seem to hard-counter everything about Seraphon, and KO now have our old teleporting and shooting shenanigans but cranked up to 11.
     
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  17. Grotpunter
    Troglodon

    Grotpunter Well-Known Member

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    I think Thunderlizard is a great answer. I havent played much vs KO or Lumineth, but double Bastiladon wrecks Tzeentch real hard. Coalesced ignores the Bravery debuffs that some Lumineth lists rely on. Scaly Skin seems great against D3 damage shots from KO.
     
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  18. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    pretty much. Simple and solid answers.
     
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  19. Kilvakar
    Terradon

    Kilvakar Well-Known Member

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    Music to my ears, lol! Thunder Lizard is my favorite list type to play :D
     
  20. Nart
    Carnasaur

    Nart Well-Known Member

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    Lumineth has too many answers too thunder lizard, unfortunately. They have a spell, that requires bravery check to do anything in the turn and another one which doubles cost of command abiltiies, which you never have enough. Lots of MWs make bastiladons very easy to deal with. I'd bet on stegadons in this MA, since they are faster and don't rely on command points.

    I agree on KO and tzeentch though. Thunderquake is hard counter to them.
     

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