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Alright, we got off on a huge tangent in the "WoC Experiences in Battle" Thread, but I think it's a good discussion; what place DO special characters have in a competitive list? Personally, I don't like to use them at all. Enforce made a decent point about how some do bring something new to the game (i.e., Wulfrik and Festus). And of course, we all lamented how broken that snotty HE Teclis is. Also mentioned, of course, were Kairos, Tyrion and Thorek. From what I've seen, all of the lord level SCs don't bring anything really new to the game, they just end up being cheesy, unkillable or magic/anvil spammers that generally showcase a lack of creativity on the part of the player. In the case of WoC; Wulfrik and Throgg are suitable additions because they allow some new flexibility and strategy without being absolutely broken. Archaon, Valkiya, Galrauch, Festus, Sigvald, Kholek and Villich? Save 'em for friendly games if you want to try them out, there's no real use for any of them. That's my two cents. Anyone else?
While I'm not a WoC player (I'm in fact a Teclis-using HE-player!), this subject is one that interests me greatly. The thing about the special characters, at least for me, is their special rules. If there was a way to be able to purchase these rules for your 'normal' characters, I'd not be bothered by special characters. But you can't, which means imo the good characters are irreplacable.
Take the Space Marine special characters - Shrike for example. He replaces the standard marine rules with Fleet. He is the ONLY way to do this, so he gets overused.
Teclis can be 'remade' with a special item, but it's 100 points so uses ALL of the magic items limit for that Archmage. Hence Teclis gets spammed.
If they were to allow you to 'buy' special rules, people would find a way to break them (combined with certain weapons, etc) so I think GW have gone for the only really sensible answer. This way at least they have built in limitations (Teclic's T2 for example).
The point I made still stands - give them to both sides, and they're mostly fine, plus some characters are a good way, to get a new army up and running a little faster (and cheaper). But of course, if you allow them on a tournament, someone's gonna bring them, some people aren't so it's better to forbid them alltogether (for friendly campaigns, it's better to use self made characters, anyway
On another note though - what's wrong with Sigvald? For a 400+ lord on foot, I can't seem to find him too cheesy (though his fluff is just awesome)
Most special characters have a model created for them. I take this to mean that the folks at Games Workshop want you to purchase this expensive lord or hero and use them in your game. Of course just because you can use them does not mean that they have to. I have played against Teclis and I must admit that the game felt less than friendly. I also have 3 models of Grimgore Ironhide, but I never use him in a game because he is unfair. In tournaments I would suggest leaving the special characters at home, and designing your own champions. If you want to play a "themed" game where the force of fluff number 1 meet the forces of fluff number 2.
5000 pts of WoC, 5000 pts of Orcs and now 3000 pts of Ogres...What was I thinking ????
Sigvald; everything that he has or does can be accomplished by other (albeit more expensive) means. I don't see him bringing anything besides a reduced cost method of adding attributes to an army. Besides fluff, I don't see the point. Tyrion used to be the same way (prior to the removal of stacked saves). I'll admit I'm using HE as a primary example, though, just because I hate them so much. Take "Testiclis"; he's a level 4 with book of Hoeth - that would be the full kit for a lvl 4 mage. Now, for 75 points, add D3 PD and DD, Scroll of Hoeth, ignores first miscast every turn, and his sword always wounds on a 2+ with no armor saves. Oh, and he's a loremaster that can chose his lore prior to the game..... seriously?
To get anywhere near this without using special characters:
Lvl 4 Archmage
Book of Hoeth
Sword of Hoeth (does not "ignore" armor)...
Banner of Sorcery (but not D3 Dispel Dice)
Seer Staff (to choose spells, but not lore before game)
Silver Wand (5 spells, but still not all from a lore)
Total = 510, and you would still need someone to carry the banner.... 250 points of magic items on a single character.
Final total = 620
Official Ruling = BROKEN
If someone brings him on a list, they can take their crap back home.
Well the fluff is a big point for some (incidentally the reason I don't like using Teclis). We can all agree that SC's are vastly superior to what can be fielded otherwise, but what's wrong with fielding something cheesy, if both sides do it (or indeed, if one side has found some other way of getting an advantage bordering the broken).
I run Special Characters and you know what: I encourage everyone I play to do the same if they think it will help their list especially in tournaments. I stand by that "Friendly is how you play the game". I can take a list that you are almost guaranteed to win against, and then throw fits and whine and be a total pinhead. Not a friendly game then is it? But if I crush your army into splinters, while also keeping you in good spirits and providing you with tips on how to beat me or make your own army better, and casual conversation: then I'm friendly.
This just happened to me in a tournament: the guy ran the cheesiest Daemon list I've ever seen and he tabled my army. But I have no complaints about him- he was actually a really nice guy.
I wish people would stop whining because I have a special character or brought a superior list, when they brought something that they put together after a 2-day caffeine binge. I don't want to hear that from anyone. If they bring a "fluffy" list, or bring units just because they look neat, that's fine. In fact, I respect people for that. However, people shouldn't start demonizing me because I'm using a list that's set up for efficiency. If they want to win games, they should bring efficient lists. If winning means so much to them, they are welcome to go buy their own Thorek Gunline or Teclis Elf List. If they don't care about winning, then why are they at a tournament in the first place? They could just go play 3 friendly games, or put that time and money towards a campaign.
I play lists that are geared for winning games. Festus appears in most of my armies, and I have no qualms about including an unmarked general, Festus, an unmarked regiment, and a Khorne regiment in my otherwise Mono-Tzeentch army. I don't do it because Tzeentch is my favorite Chaos God, but rather, because Tzeentch is the most useful mark. I'm not a Win-at-all-costs gamer though. I don't cheat, I don't laugh at you when you fail tests, and I have no problems with you going back and redoing something because you forgot it. I want you to have fun and be a better gamer. I also want to win my game. Why are they mutually exclusive in so many people's minds?
I've played against the Teclis army (I run one myself), I played against the 7th edition Grave-Guard Deathstars (also ran one), I've played against my share of Gunlines, multi-steggy Lizardmen lists, dual-hydra Dark Elf lists, and I've won or lost and been okay with that. I just come back here, ask questions about what I can do better, ask them if they can tell me some strategies that have worked against them in the past, and then go about my day.
I've always ranted about the whole idea of "Cheese", especially in a tournament setting. If you're hardcore enough to be dropping money on entry fees on a regular basis, and you're truly in it for the prize support, you're willing to travel extra distance to a tournament, then how is this any different to you than a sport?
I've always treated competitive gaming just like I would treat any competitive event. If they release something new, better, faster, tougher, than what I currently have- then I either need to find out how to deal with it, or I need to collect and play it. It goes along with the territory. I don't believe in Comp. Scores, because they are biased and don't exactly balance the game. They only target known combos, and we can get around that. I don't believe in Soft-Scores either, because you will get vindictive people who will give you a '1' in every category unless they win their game. Then they give you a 2.
You're at a tournament. You paid money to be there. The store is going to give you a prize if you win, not if you bring a friendly army.
I wish this whole "for fun" mentality would go away from the rules, even in friendly games. GW uses it, and that's why some of the armies are so broken. They look at the book and say "Nobody would ever run a Thorek Gunline, it's just not fun". Well guess what GW: people run it because it wins, and winning is fun. Yeah it's a game that we play for enjoyment, but other than Naked Twister or Beer Pong, I've never seen a game where you are encouraged to give less than 100% in the name of "fun".
Plus LD10 is rather cool.
Anyway, personally I don't run special characters. I make my own characters up and run with them. However if a Special character has rules which match one of my own characters i've made up then hell, I'll use the rules to represent them.
I don't see the problem with people using special Characters. If someone wants to use a Teclis list then why not. The player would be stupid not too, he's amazing. It's like us not using chaos warriors. We don't have too but we all do. Because they're good.
I dont use special characters mostly because theyre not used by anyone locally. I also dont like losing to a character instead of someones strategy though. If one uses a SC, it's not an even playingfield, untill both use SC
On one side theyre not really needed, for there are plenty armychoices to keep the armies versatile, but GW spent time on creating extra choices, Just think next O&G will have over half a dozen Special characters,
what a waste not to use it !
Warchief Diggah o da Bloodmoon Squiggahs
Here is just an idea. What if there were 3 levels of SC. Level 1's are mostly Hero style SC. Level 2 and 3 are Lords the latter being the most powerful SC's. Now the trick is they don't cost any points to play, but depending on the game you have agreed to play upon they might or might not even be available.
I tell a buddy lets play a game tomorrow at 2500pts. Lets allow two level 1's, and one level 2 each. Or tournaments were set up specifically stating what levels were allowed to be played. I think this would be a little more balanced as well as thematic.
Just my two cents.