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Tried to find a good section of the forum to put this one in - its not a rules question - more fluff than anything. I catch alot of flak from folks at my hobby store for "cheesy" armies - basically accused of only power gaming. Some examples of "cheesiness" - using named characters, taking all casters in an army list, taking lots of shooty units and slaves in a Skaven list, etc. etc. Lately its been Vampire Counts - in a 3500 pts game, taking Mannfred, a Vampire Lord designed for casting, and 4 vampires all lvl 2 casters. Ends up being 20 power dice (okay may be excessive).
My response is that WHF has been changing with the advent of the new army lists - with High Elves, Vampire Counts, (probably Demons) - lists are becoming stronger and stronger, with better units. The flip side is that the units are designed to fit in with the theme of the army - basically breaking down army strengths into combat, magic and shootiness. Some armies, like VC, can excell in magic and combat, but are lacking in shootiness. These weaknesses are made up through one of the other strengths; with VC, Vanhel's Dense Macabre makes up for no shooting, but still lacks a preponderence of combat units. High Elves on the other hand, can easily dominate all 3 strengths, but have a drawback of toughness. Dwarves, in my opinion, are another army which can dominate all 3, with magic being replaced by their inherit anti-magic abilities.
The second point I make is that units are becoming so "good" in the new army lists, that it is almost foolhardy not to take them. A comment I received was "well taking those good units means that you are only playing to win and not playing to have fun". I interpret that as "a unit you are taking has an advantage over one of my units, so you shouldn't take it because I can't easily beat it". Take for instance, swordmasters in a High Elf army or Book of Hoerth for an archmage. Swordmasters are going to tear up regular infantry or make casting spells easier for my archmage. Why would I replace taking swordmasters with more blocks of spearmen when, in my opinion, they are better at dealing with enemy infantry? In my mind, thats where the difference in points is addressed - yes my elite infantry will probably kill your Empire swordsmen, but are twice the cost.
Overrall, I just think that folks need to stop calling the "cheesy" factor so much when faced with a strong army - any army can beat any other. If players are more focused on why you have some good units in your army, than tactics and ways to overcome them, then they are missing the strategy of the game. WHF isn't exactly a cheap hobby and intentionally taking more units of lesser troops to make it easier for the other guy to wipe them out must have more cash than they know what to do with.
Any feedback would be appreciated - I'm probably venting, but it just seems like its becoming unfair in the judging department on who is being cheesy or not.
Although this is a never-ending argument, I think one thing that can go some way to dealing with this is to ask "Why?"
Look at your opponent's army. Look at their units, and if you think they're being cheesy, ask them "Why is that unit in there?"
There could, of course, be any number of answers, but if they start telling you about how they love the look of the models, or their army is following a certain theme and they have to include that unit, just because it fits the theme so well, I don't think it's cheesy.
If their answer is something along the lines of 'this unit is the best our army has in terms of points efficiency,' or they start talking about the profile or rules for the unit... It would seem that their focus is more on winning than simply on the enjoyment of the game or hobby.
But is this really wrong? Who can honestly say they would enjoy this hobby if they lost every single game that they played? Some (probably most) people enjoy winning, and so if they're constructing their army to win, and they are winning, then clearly they will be enjoying themselves. It may not be all that fun for their opponents, but if they are playing fairly, if they are being sporting, encouraging their opponents if needed and generally not being a massive pain in the backside while they're winning, then really, I can't see that they're doing anything wrong.
Some people are in this hobby for the modelling, some for the painting, some for the gaming, and some are here to win. It's unavoidable, not cheese.
Your example with the magic-heavy Vampire Counts is a good one. Yes, some armies are going to find this very difficult to be competitive against. But then there are others that will cope better, and may even be the very antithesis to this army.
I don't think the Warhammer world is entirely balanced. There will be armies that, when set up in a particular way, can't effectively deal with a particular opponent, set up in a particular way. There is so much variety that I think it's impossible to completely balance everything.
I think I've gone on long enough. But all this reminds me of someone's signature I saw on this forum;Dear Games Designer,
Rock is Cheese. Paper is just fine.
This is done for an easier understanding of the whole book. the undead rule across the book makes it all easier to understand, but strays from the fluff of the counts.
As for defining cheesy?
Thats down to the player. Me, i see any army that lacks any reasonable balance between offensive and defensive ie. four casters and a bucket full of guns cheesy, as there is no balance there. All cavalry Brets for another. etc etc. the list could go on.
There is no overall cheesy army, as all armies have weaknesses, but it means a generic list in a game cant really stand a hope in hell of doing anything. This then means that lists have to be tailored to fight a particular army, and i think tailoring lists is a bit crap really. It makes the game no fun as you are up against it from the git-go.
Last edited by thewaspboy; April 25th, 2008 at 22:37.
I dont see an army with all the characters as casters cheesy or a dwarf gunline cheesy. These armies are just based around one key strength of an army and using it to win. They may be difficult to beat but thats because there different to the usual balanced army we normaly play. Also by putting lots of points into a style of play ur create additional weaknesses. a vampire army making all of its characters magic based means there weaker at hand to hand combat and have spent less points on troops.
The first thing I would do is find out what they think is friendly and what is "cheesy" by whomever you are playing against standards. Use the friendly list in all your friendly games and use a competitive list for any tournament games. A majority of the time your friends or opponants will want to play the competitive list out of tourny so they don't get stomped come tourny time.
As far as cheesy goes, I think of it as a balance thing. 1000points I don't think there is a place for a dragon,or cairne wraiths. 2000points I don't think there is a place for 2 steam tanks and karl franz or any of the "uber special characters" (Archaon, Karl Franz, etc. etc.) 3000+ points though I would just go No holds barred, that is what makes 3000+ fun IMO. Generally I would just think about "can my opponant reasonably handle this?" if you are caring about being "cheesy" or not.
The following post is inspired heavily by one of the most quoted proponents of competative gaming, Dave Sirlin (Link to his website)
There'll allways be people whose aim is to win and at the opposite end of the scale are the people who just play for the sake of the hobby. Most of the time they're happy playing no matter what. The people playing for the sake of playing just enjoy the experience, while the players playing to win take joy from either winning, a hard fought equal game or a valuable learning experience showing what they need to improve.
The annoying players are those that lie around the half way mark that want to win, but will call any tactic they don't like 'cheap', 'cheasy', 'beardy' or whatever word they want to use. They'll moan and whine about how they only lost because the opponent was cheap and how they didn't play to the spirit of their army, but what they can't accept is that, more often than not, the player that plays to win is often the better player.
Warhammer is a game. It knows no defination of fair or unfair, cheesy or uncheesy, beyond the one simple black or white boundary:
Obeying the rules or breaking the Rules.
As long as the rules are obeyed then anything goes. The person playing to win will use any means necessary as long as it falls within the rules of the game. The person who cries cheesy builds his own set of rules on top of that and limits what he can do.
Chances are a few months later a tactic that was once called cheesy will be easy to beat, but the player who declared it cheesy will still lose to it because rather than try and think of a way to counter it he just called it 'cheap' and tried to take some percieved morale high ground. Meanwhile the players playing to win have probably found more strategies that take the game to a higher level, beyond the old tactic, and which will no doubt still elicit calls of 'cheesy' from the so called 'non-beardy' players.
One group of players are constantly learning and improving, another is stagnent and makes excuses for why it loses.
Which are really the better players?
If you want to play just to have fun then you're going to have to do one of 2 things:
- Find other people like yourself and play them.
- Accept that if you play someone who plays to win then you'll probably lose. Don't whine about beardyness, just try and have fun, even if you're getting massacred.
2000AD's answer to all "How do VC deal with ..." questions: Forbidden Lore + 2 Power Stones.
Further answers will require more vodka.
cheesy? never had it put to me my army is cheesy. main reason is i field so many fanatics and shamans that i end up killing myself as much as them. one wrong move and the game turns into a laughing stock. love it though. never won a match above 1k points with my goblins. great fun.
i love to lose. it lets me see how many different mistakes i made and how i can make them a lot funnier. never let a win get in the way of having fun.
In my book cheesy is more of an intent rather than any particular unit or composition. If the list you or your opponent is playing is the list you would use to play any opponent, then as long as it is within the rules it isn't cheesy. If you or your opponent makes a list that is tailored just to defeat "X" persons "X" army and no other, then yes you or they are being cheesy...or meta-gaming actually. Any sod can beat an opponent if they know exactly what their enemy is fielding...its not skill, it's math-hammer.
Thus a magic heavy VC list may or may not be cheesy. If your opponent usually plays a CC heavy VC list but tailors a magic heavy list just to beat your army because you are weak against magic...then yes, that is cheesy and that person is an @##%*&! to boot. Conversely, if what they play as an allround list is magic heavy VC then it isn't cheesy...it is their choice. It boils down mostly to intent for me. I don't mind people who want to win...I mind people who tailor lists. At that point you're not a skilled player, you're a math-hammer noob. ('course it is always fun when you stomp a list that was tailored to beat you, that's a double humiliation for your opponent.
The only honorable options left to we combatants is seppuku or semantics...which amount to the same thing really.
My opinion on the matter... It's a war game... what do you do in wars? win...or loose, if your constantley loosing to an opponent then change your list...its not that difficult, if i take 2 warlock engineers and lots of jezzails and Warp lightning cannons, take units that can deal with this... every army can deal with it. cheesy dosnt excist, its just an excuse.
It is nice to play a friendly game every now and then though, so its up to the people involved to decide wether or not it is going to be a friendly. I usually field a competetive list, when i thought, what the heck i'll play a rarley used and quite friendley list, my opponnent took 3 High elf mages decked out....
Vefador's Bloody fist
i play a highelf player who takes infantry and archers. the infantry will murder me if they get to me, and i rarely have enough shooting troops to remove half of his models. i change my army to make it more fun, not to win. it is a game, the objective is to have fun and most people forget this.