The High Horse, a quick reflection on competitive gaming. - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    skate to live. double.bind's Avatar
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    The High Horse, a quick reflection on competitive gaming.

    Since the new codex I have started to pay a slight more attention to the way this community plays the game.

    Many people seem to agonize over the affects of certain items, gear, and characters in game. We crunch numbers to maximize efficiency, take builds that create the extremest mobility, and consider every possible way a 'gets hot' roll can change a game. Hundreds of players game with safe, balanced, redundant, and thought out army compositions.

    Does this stifle innovation? Does it encourage tactical thinking, or text book thinking?

    The Lash of Submission is an easy example. Many veteran and new players can acknowledge its power, or overpower, but whats the next step? We argue that meta-gaming against the lash proves that it is broken, but what about meta-gaming a Lash out of a list. Lots of us are concerned that telling a person to move his model so many inches in such a formation is an abuse, but is it any less abusive than telling someone to remove models completely from a game because of a death?

    Why do players feel it necessary to play nice, if all players are invested into the same rules system? None of us wrote out that power, so why do some players feel shamed to include a psychic power in a army list?

    I'm thinking thats its the relative newness of a powerful psychic ability to Chaos, but I can't put a finger on it.

    Obviously I am asking a lot of questions, but its coming from a pretty simple place: I'm not shy to use a shotgun at close range in Halo knowing full well it will kill someone.

    So why am I starting to feel guilty about Lash? It's a gift. As much a gift as knowing that taking squads of ten in my Rhinos is smarter than squads of eight, cause then I can cap out special weapons, and get more to the fight cheaper. That makes me a smart player; that efficiency is game winning. No one will complain. But using a game winning psychic power makes me a power gamer? Where is the threshold? I am absolutely certain my opponents don't care if I was nice, they are only upset if I'm winning. The high visibility of the Lash shouldn't ruin it for a gamer, or generate more grief.

    How do these ideas manifest for all of you?

    Air Calv Guard: 3 - 2 - 1
    Word Bearers: 23 - 9 - 4
    (WDL)

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  3. #2
    Dark Apostle 10th Lyran's Avatar
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    I guess I'm still stuck on the fence on this one, though I'm leaning more towards using lash. On the one hand, it is very powerful, but on the other hand, a good gamer who has a mobile list (which GW is moving towards) will easily be able to block LOS and counter the lash. Also, as someone pointed out on another thread, there are many abilities/units in other armies that are tremendously overpowered (those damned Necrons), but that doesn't stop my opponent from using them.


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  4. #3
    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    The only reason I am upset that the lash is so good is because I don't play Slaaneshi Chaos. If I did I would be jumping for subjective joy.

    I've got nothing against it. Hell, Eldrad can redeploy half his army (which are all in Wave Serpents) and link Fire Prisms to deliver an AP3 large blast marker at 60'' with re-rolls to hit. Compared to Mech Eldar effectively snipping the top half of your army list off before you've had your first turn, the Lash is gentle, like being whipped to death with scented silk bootlaces.

    What I find offensive is that Games Workshop develops a game and then punishes its players for playing it "not as we intended" by creating the piece of utter abjection that was the 4th edition BA update, which, notably, is impossible to powergame because even its most cheesy Lord of Cheese, King Mephiston the I'vegot5'sineverything, lacks an invulnerable save.

    I simply find it annoying when the response to powergamers like ron Warriors is to cripple their army list, only to create new options for more powergaming. It is incredibly counterproductive. And I get increasing annoyed by Tau players complaining that my Chaplain is broken because he's a Chaplain, and I have to answer "Well why the hell did you infiltrate your stealth suits 12'' away when I have an 18'' threat range?"
    The above poster = Totally a member of the Fluff Masters Clan. Click here for fluff pwnage.

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  5. #4
    Member JitM's Avatar
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    I agree with double.bind, in competitive gaming it's a game that should be played to win. In friendly games it's more about having fun and playing interesting games (although I find winning quite fun).

    We play a game after all, with a strong hobby side to it, but still it's a game and as such is always at least partly comptitive. And if playing to win is abuse then we have something else and shouldn't bother about Tacticas and list compositions.

    I only play friendly games but I still fight to win and if my opponent doesen't do his best I do feel cheated.

    Concerning the Lash I find it great but I've still to find that it renders my opponent without a chance. I might be a worse player than you all, but broken is all too strong.
    JitM

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  6. #5
    Painting Machine! Tekore's Avatar
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    The "if you can do it, why feel bad about it" argument is alway intriguing. However, the real reason I won't create lists or use things that I consider unfair is that it honestly does bother me, not intellectually, but at a baser level. I play to have fun, and if I use an item or a list that I know will upset or antagonize my opponent unnecessarily, I generally will not. I want to win, but I also want my opponent to have as much fun playing as I do, and this spirit of gaming is the most important factor to me.

    I'll give you an example. When I played soccer in high school, I became quite adept at my coach's request at applying a level of physical game that was not illegal in matches, but certainly was in the gray area of play, and was in my view, unsportsmanlike. Was that play style there and allowed? Yes. Did it take away unnecessarily from the enjoyment of my opponents and the fans watching the game? Yes. And it ended up draining a lot of my enjoyment as well. It also led me to my current standards of fair play and gamesmanship.

    Honestly, the lash is there. Using it would not upset me, as there are certainly counters to it. Abusing it in ways that make the game less fun for others might. A lot of the matter is in intent and attitude and forum of use.

    This came out a bit longer-winded than I had hoped, the idea just intrigued me.

    Tekore

    Quote Originally Posted by ze_poodle View Post
    And I get increasing annoyed by Tau players complaining that my Chaplain is broken because he's a Chaplain, and I have to answer "Well why the hell did you infiltrate your stealth suits 12'' away when I have an 18'' threat range?"
    Oh man. Been there, done that, have the stealth suit heads to prove it.

    Tekore

  7. #6
    Member JitM's Avatar
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    Sure but I comes down to local culture, I feel frustration when my friends fully tooled Harlies who can't be targeted outside of their charge range steamrolls over my berzerkers. But even though I'd like to it's hard to say that he's abusing the rules. It quickly becomes tricky if you should design a list that is fun to play against, I find it better if everyone is designing lists that they find fun to field.

    Strong options belong in the game the same as physical soccer does and there are ways to counter the effects and render the apperant strength a weakness. Finding those counter measures without metagaming is a major part of the game. The ultimate is to design a true allcomers list that is flexible enough to counter or avoid all "power gamers", it's hardly doable but it's a nice vision.

    If in soccer you consider physical play a integral part of the game (as your coach apperantly did) you are simply changing play style (say from Eldar to Orc) but can still play good and interesting soccer.
    JitM

    Disciple of Khorne
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  8. #7
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    Personally, I will not be taking the lash.

    Mostly because I don't like the Slaneesh Fluff.

    Really though, I would have no problem putting a single lash on a single sorceror. That isn't too bad.

    But when you start talking about fielding 2 Lash Princes backed up by nothing but Template weaponry?

    You will be making more move turns with your opponents models then they do!

    In general, taking a single powerful ability is not a problem. The problem is when there is a power that is so good, you can build an entire army around it and expect to win against most forces.

    Just like a serious Nidzilla army is very difficult to fight against without planning for it, or Mech Eldar, Lash - Template armies have the potential to virtually require specialized lists to deal with.

    Anything that makes the game more about the list and less about the play should be avoided, in my opinion. A well built list is key, but the battle should ALWAYS be decided on the field.

  9. #8
    Member MunkyFunk's Avatar
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    Am with Tekore on this one. Id like to win some games, but given the choice I'd much rather have my ass kicked and have fun. Which causes me problems when Im writing my list. I really appreciate all the (constructive) criticism I get from the community and it helps me to see what I need. But some of the advice Im hesitant to follow because its just not as much fun.
    I wont stretch this post unneccesarily (fairly sure thats spelt wrong) with examples but I guess the lash is a similar thing, when making your list you have to draw a line somewhere between a fun army thats still a force to be reckoned with, and a win-at-all-costs uber power gamer army. The latter will rack up more wins, but might cost you a few friends.

  10. #9
    The Love Muffin [Black] Katalyst's Avatar
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    Lash or not, I play fluffy armies. Since I'm starting 1K Sons, the Lash will not be in it. If I ever play Slaanesh, then I'll use it.


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  11. #10
    Member inlukasha's Avatar
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    Idk.... vs. eldar I'm usually up against dual fire prisms with both of those annoying stones and eldrad.

    Tyranids... I'm seeing a lot of annoying big synapse creatures like zoanthropes, fexes, and lictors.

    IG... lots of ordinance wpns... and OMG is this kid lucky with landing ordinances.

    I'm too used to seeing irritating units or models, but anything that screws you up is irritating.
    So I think of this as a nice way of returning the favor.

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