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I have heard and read many people's definitions and discussions about cheese in our games(I will use 40k and Fantasy as that is what I am familiar with) and have come to the conclusion that cheese does not really exist. I say this because I think that at the end of the day it just comes down to people taking a different approach to the game.
I have seen that "Cheese!" is called in one of two cases: 1) The player is just an immature, sore-loser who will scream "Cheese" anytime their army is defeated. I will not address this case as it is not actually cheese, just a whiny player. 2) One player sees something in the other players army(character, item, combo, etc.) that they feel is overpowered/underpriced/game-breaking, any or all of the listed. I propose that instead of thinking and calling out "Cheese" that you look at your and your opponents approach to the game and you will see that it is not cheesy, just a different thought process.
I believe there are two ways to approach the game and they deal with the level of competitiveness you have. One is WAAC(Win At All Costs). This player builds a list to win, no other considerations are taken, winning is all-important. On the other side of the spectrum is the FLOG approach(For Love Of the Game). This person puts together an army based on what they like, be it fluff, models, paint-job, etc. I think that the vast majority of players are in between these two extremes and where you and your opponent fall on the WAAC--FLOG spectrum dictates when "Cheese" is called. When your opponent is farther to the WAAC side than you are you see cheesy pieces in their army. How far apart on the spectrum you are will affect how cheesy you feel your opponents army is. If there is little difference in your philosophies you may just note one item or one upgrade that you feel is not in the spirit of the game. The farther apart you are on the spectrum the more your opponents army list will meet with your jeers of "Cheese" and "You would never find me using that in my army." Generally, the closer to the WAAC side your approach to the game falls, the more you will hear the "Cheese" cries.
I think that there is definitely a place in our games for the "Cheesey" (far to the WAAC side)player. It is not wrong, just a different style and approach to the game. First, they show the developers the potential flaws in the system. I know that people have complained about lack of play-testing in recent army books/codexes but there is no amount of play-testing that can prepare a book the general masses. An book could be tested for ten years(which is not feasible either financially or game mechanically anyway) and I can almost guarantee that in the first few weeks of release some kind of nasty trick or combo will be discovered that the designers did not anticipate. Now another complaint that goes along with that is that GW either takes forever to fix the flaw or does nothing about it at all. There is nothing WAAC players can do about that. It is up to them to find the flaws. Then it is GW's turn to address it.
Second, WAAC players push the boundaries of the game. They find all of the most powerful combos and use them. This forces the rest of the gaming community to rethink strategy and come up with ways to defend/counteract them. WAAC players help the entire community grow and become better players. That is if the players want to become better. The ones that don't want to take the time to adjust and learn are the ones that just scream "Cheese" and refuse to play those people anymore.
Third, WAAC players prepare others for the tournament setting, the ultimate bastion of WAACness. If I was preparing my list for a tourney I would want to put it up against a WAAC players list so I could see what needed to be changed to be competitive.
So, in conclusion, I do not feel that cheese exists in our games. It simply comes down to a difference in where on the WAAC--FLOG spectrum you and your opponent fall in terms of your gaming approach/philosophy. Army books/codexes are made to be used. All of the options are there to be utilized at the players discretion. It is not a players fault if something seems overpowered/broken It is in the book and a viable option. Most likely it is not and it will just take a little time for players to adjust to new things. I have not heard nearly as much complaining about HE lately. People have learned to adjust and adapt to ASF and Teclis/magic-crazy lists and now they are not a feared as when they first came out.
It comes down to 2 things: your approach to the game, and your willingness to learn/grow in the hobby you have chosen. If you understand and accept both things about yourself and you can figure out where your opponent stands I think you will see a lot less "Cheese" and be able to enjoy your hobby a lot more.
I, for one, appreciate the commentary, but I am not sure if I buy into the black-and-white nature of the commentary above.
I play "FLOG," in the sense that I actively enjoy the fluff and spirit of 40k the GAME. I repeat, I play floG (game is pretty important there). I don't put models down on a board b/c I enjoy envisioning the 40k universe wrought ... well, small ... upon a 6x4 playing surface in a buddy's home or a Games Workshop. Sacrilegous or not, I enjoy the game of 40k in the same way that I enjoy the game of beer pong, or poker, or Risk. It is a game, with its own set of rules and methods of playing.
Most people, when playing Risk, will not do something silly with their guys based on the fluff of world history. I.E. you almost never see anybody go "hey, you know I feel like being Napoleon today, so I'm going to embark on a land war in Asia, leaving all my borders unguarded except by the remaining single troop I am forced to leave there, and wee let's see if I get Waterlooed at some point later in the game!"
To wit, I don't build armies for pure competitiveness with no other consideration, but I do want to make a list that *can* win the game I play.
My general feel is that players who intentionally build super fluff lists with NO regard for competitiveness are in effect destroying the spirit of the game as much as or more than players who intentionally build incredibly overpowered lists with NO regard for fun or flair / composition.
Think of a simple game like Risk ... if you are playing it, and someone is totally effing off all game, doing silly things, speaking in the accent of Napoleon, or what-have-you, and in doing so renders the game no longer a game, but a simple exercise in watching his/her theatrics and tossing a few dice ... generally, that's not going to be fun for all unless everyone exists in that realm of thought. Similarly, if someone is mega tight-fisting their way through, being a general jerk about how they play and the way they follow the rules, etc. etc., you're not going to have fun unless EVERYONE thinks and acts that way (and even then, maybe not).
I watch things like reactions to BellofLostSouls goatboy 40k tactics posts, and can't help but be disgusted at the flaming, angry, nerdragey reactions of the "love of the game" types (I put taht in quotes for a reason, of course). At the same time, I can't stand people so intent on winning that they will be angry and ornery in their EXECUTION of the game. Their army comp is not really the relevant portion of play.
I play very competitive lists, with powerful unit choices and inherent redundancies in unit selection (b/c that is tactically wise in ANY strategy game). I (these days) take time to paint my models, enjoy converting some of them, and enjoy the spirit of the 40k game. I'm pleasant to play with, and if I have an opponent with a much weaker army, I tend to play back a little to keep things interesting. I've seen people decry my list as cheesy and bring really, really silly lists of their own to the board, and those types of people are unpleasant human beings ... what right does anyone have to decry the list build of another, anyway?
I'm rambling, because this subject gets my goat ... although I think it's a very healthy mindset you've posted in, the very fact that Winning has to be on a separate side of your spectrum from loving the game seems silly to me (no offense intended). It's a GAME ... it's meant to have a winner and a loser, and because it is not a paid-to-play high value sport, competitiveness is SUPPOSED to be couched in love of the game and having fun doing it. You *should* play a game to win ... that's the point ... but you should also have fun doing it. So build a competitive enough list, and have fun playing with it. Those types of players are the "perfect" in my book ... those who live in the grey pleasant area of "fun but competitive" instead of "MY LIST IS FLUFFY AND YOU COMPETITIVE PEOPLE ARE TERRIBLE" or "MY LIST IS UBER COMPETITIVE AND LET ME RULES LAWYER MY WAY TO GAME OVER /RABBLE RABBLE."
There's insane, intense nerdrage on both sides of this one. Heck, it even ties into the stereotyping thread going on in this forum ... how is it that all of us who play a nerdy game have gotten into stereotyping within our own stereotype? Jerks are jerks, whether it's the guy behind the counter at the fast food restaurant who just treated you like crap, the guy who just rules lawyered the last 2 hours away as he pounded someone with his Nidzilla, or the guy across the table from him who bitched and moaned like a 2 year old about how terrible it was.
People who build lists to win are perfectly within their right to do so. People who build lists b/c they think the units in their lists are cool are perfectly within their right to do so. People who do either while rubbing it in your face and acting like it's their way or the highway? Stay the hell away from me and my hobby, because you aren't worth anybody's time.
Nids & Guard
GMail = MVBrandt
It is not black & white at all, just at the extreme edges of the spectrum. One of the points of the commentary is that it is where you fall on the spectrum that will dictate what you feel is or is not "Cheesy".I am not sure if I buy into the black-and-white nature of the commentary above.Actually winning is not on the opposite side, winning at all costs is. The play to win aspect is a part of the overall philosophy of the gamer. When it overrides all other considerations is when it moves to the extreme WAAC end of the spectrum.the very fact that Winning has to be on a separate side of your spectrum from loving the game seems silly to me (no offense intended).It's a GAME ... it's meant to have a winner and a loser, and because it is not a paid-to-play high value sport, competitiveness is SUPPOSED to be couched in love of the game and having fun doing it. You *should* play a game to win ... that's the point ... but you should also have fun doing it. So build a competitive enough list, and have fun playing with it. Those types of players are the "perfect" in my book ... those who live in the grey pleasant area of "fun but competitive"
This is exactly my point. This player is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. The player will find people more on the WAAC side and feel the list is "Cheesy" and will find people more on the FLOG side that feel this players list is "Cheesy". Again, it depends on how far apart on the spectrum the two players philosophies are that impact the amount of cheese felt by the players involved.I whole-heartedly agree with you. People are free to make whatever lists they want and should not be criticizedfor the lists they make. That is where it comes down to a players willingness to learn and adapt/grow both as a gamer and a person that keeps the "Cheese" cries silent.People who build lists to win are perfectly within their right to do so. People who build lists b/c they think the units in their lists are cool are perfectly within their right to do so. People who do either while rubbing it in your face and acting like it's their way or the highway? Stay the hell away from me and my hobby, because you aren't worth anybody's time.
yes and no.
On the one hand, i agree with much that was said about the spectrum, and i am pleased to find myself squarley in the middle.
However, there are some cases where "cheese" is a perfectly justified cry. those rare lists that require expert tailoring and the right armies to even stand a chance against, where you're not sure how there can be any enjoyment in playing. Way back in fourth edition, there was this guard player who used imperial armour rules to feild a company of entirely tanks. His massive firepower would blow away any anti-tank weapons turn one. Then it would be a case of having your army mill around aimlessly, or suicide rush.
This goes to prove one of the points on why the WAAC player is good for the game. It shows the designer what may be flawed about their product. This is probably why those rules have not become a mainstream option in the new editions.Way back in fourth edition, there was this guard player who used imperial armour rulesI also find that many army lists incoporate, to varying degrees, elements of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Since you have a finite number of points/units to choose you will invariably stack up better against some lists and poorer against others. It is the nature of the game.those rare lists that require expert tailoring and the right armies to even stand a chance against,
Also that goes along with the finding out flaws in the system. Sadly, however, GW tends to be notoriously slow at dealing with the flaws when they are found. You will notice that in the new 40k Chaos Marine codex Iron Warriors Obliterator spam and Demon Bomb lists(two lists that were famous for hearing "Cheese" cries from across the table) are no longer available. GW just took its sweet time addressing the issue so we have to live with it until they decide to address it. In both of those cases I do not fault the player for making lists like that. They were using the codex as presented to make as rock hard of a list that they could. Those players fall firmly on the WAAC end of the spectrum. Just because it is not how I choose to play the game does not mean I should disparage the approach that they choose to take.
This goes back to a post that I made a long time ago, when someone was railing against GW for not playtesting it's games. You're right- the amount that a person falls into the WAAC category, really determines who will be crying CHEESE.
The other problem is that some people don't know the difference between the word 'Cheese' and 'Broken'. There are very few (if any) 'broken' things in the game. 'Broken' generally means that an item, unit, or combination, is so disgustingly overpowered/underpriced that you practically apologize to someone before you put it down on the table. Fortunately, I've never run into anything that's truly broken.
People sometimes cry cheese at things that they don't understand. When I tell someone that I have a caster who is going to cast the same spell 8 times, roll a 3 to cast it, and then have that 3 count as a 4 when it comes time to dispell it, and then make a unit within 12" strike with WS7, they usually cry cheese. I used that item/power combo on a Vampire lord in a tournament. My friend used it on my two nights ago, and I laughed and prepared to kill that vampire as quickly as possible, and did. There was nothing "cheesey" about it. In order to get that combo, he forewent any kind of armor or ward save.
In extension, I am a very competitive person. I HATE losing. When I was little and playing sports, I had an instinctual viciousness and mean spiritedness that often earned me more penalties and reprimands than anything else. I was the guy who would intentionally check/tackle/"accidentally"hit the other team's best player as hard as possible, to get them off the field so that my team could win. This carried into my Warhammer, and carried over to my friends. I was afraid to play in the tourney scene because I had rarely played anyone except my small group of friends. What I didn't realize, is that my small group of friends were the best practice that I could get for the tourney scene because we ALL play on the absolute edge of the WACC spectrum, without being total rules lawyers.
I play for the love of the game, but I also play the game to win. Back to that older post- who would cry if they brought a knife to a gunfight? You know that you are potentially getting into a gunfight. The other player might be playing a vampire counts list that came straight from a tourney and still smells like munster. Why then, would you waste your hard earned money, on a stupid unit like a Squig Herd, and then expect to win a game? Either you like the Squig models, find them cute, and wanna paint them- you're playing a scenario that REQUIRES you to take squigs, or you are a complete idiot! This isn't meant to be offensive, unless you are going to cry "Cheese" when you can't win because you're list isn't nearly as powerful as it could be. If you cry cheese in a situation like that, then I meant that to be as offensive as possible.
So no Mv- it's not a "paid to play" sport, but it's a "pay to play" game with a clear winner or loser. If there was a $300 buy-in to play a game of risk, I bet you'd be tight-fisting it the whole way through. If I'm going to spend $300 to collect an army, I'd better get my maximum enjoyment out of it. And to me, and most of us, that maximum enjoyment is winning games, and having fun doing it.
Yes. Most people, myself included, desire to win games and have fun doing it. The fact is, that's a healthy way to be. The extremes are the problem area, in my book. People who destroy the fun by playing angrily, rules lawyery and unpleasantly, or people who destroy the fun by playing with ultra-silly lists and simultaneously criticizing the "pewp" out of you for not doing the same. So I suppose I would say that for my own opinion, the people at the ends of Necronid's spectrum are not cheesey, simply often unpleasant to play a game with.Originally Posted by Sarathi
Nids & Guard
GMail = MVBrandt
I dont agree with people crying 'Cheese', in my opinion, if whatever they have done is legal in game terms then thats fine with me.
Personally I would tend to be on the fluff end of the spectrum for a number of reasons, principally because I generally collect to paint, and only game a couple of times a year. As a consequence my lists are probably a lot weaker than they might be. If I come up against a tourny style list, built to maximise its potential and used by a general who really knows how to use his/her list efficiently then odds on i'm going to get severely spanked. Now I don't mind this, but the other person may not get the challenge they want (or indeed deserve!)
Then again I don't enter into tourneys, and when i do play it tends to be against friends so it isn't really a problem.
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I don't really fit into that spectrum, because, like Theobold, I'm in it 'For the Love of the Paints' rather than for the actual game. I'll buy models I like and assemble them with the options I like whether they are effective or not. This might make me seem like a FLOG gamer when it comes to actually playing, but when I write lists I try to come up with something decent. I like to keep it reasonably fluffy and include a load of cool stuff that I like, out of the available models that I have painted, but I also tend to avoid useless options.
So, I suppose my lists are slightly towards the FLOG side. Even then, I barely actually play with the lists I write, and I don't mind if my army gets spanked. I still enjoy the game. For example the last time I played was with my High Elves, with a not particularly effective list, against my friend with his daemons, a list which he made to win. I lost, partially due to some bad leadership tests, but I still had great fun. Particularly in shooting bolt after bolt at his lord or change, waiting to see if the next one will be the one to finally kill it. In the end it survived, but I'll get it next time!
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Cheese is a cry by people who can't be bothered to improve their army or tactics and look for an excuse to losing. It leads to avoiding the "cheesy" army and one player getting ostracized because the others can't step up their game to compete. And the game suffers because people get so used to playing with training wheels on that when a real competitive army shows up they get stomped, cry cheese and the cycle begins again.
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