Balance


Ron Swanson Game Design: Adeptus Titanicus Edition

A lot of people have very fond memories of Epic. For some it was their gateway game into the wider hobby. For others, it had a scale and majesty that made more sense to them, especially in the smaller-scale days of editions past. And for some, it was actually being able to regularly field the heavy hitters of the setting – Baneblades, Titans, Thunderhawks and whatnot. So when Adeptus Titanicus came out, with little bits of future proofing, a fair number of people immediately began pushing for the game to morph into nuEpic, with rules for squadrons of Leman Russ tanks and Space Marine squads running amok between the feet of giants. I think that’s a bad idea. I’ll let Ron Swanson explain why.   In my mind, there needs to be room for a game to focus on doing one thing, and doing it well. In the case of Adeptus Titanicus, this is titan combat. If you read Titanicus, or Titandeath, tanks and infantry aren’t units on equal footing. They are abstract threats, background noise. You don&

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A Solidly Reasonable FAQ

So, the new FAQ is out and… …well it’s fine. Genuinely fine. The studio team has gotten good at putting in their justification for things, and for the most part, these are reasonable, and well though out responses. We’ll touch on each in turn, though note we’re not going to talk about the Ynnari today, because in my view that’s separate from the FAQ, and I still need time to digest it. Changes to Fly Basically, you can move over units again, so long as that unit isn’t a building. I think this is a solid change – way too many things were hit by that particular nerf, and in pursuit of making things straightforward, the rule change did too much damage to immersion. Personally, there’s a lot of things in 8th edition that don’t make a good trade there, but this one was especially troublesome, and I’m glad to see them walk it back a little bit. The Return of Aircraft Poor flyers. Games Workshop really doesn’t know what to do with them. There w

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My (Belated) Takeaways from the LVO Warhammer Panel

The Las Vegas Open was awhile ago, and the Warhammer Preview panel that was held the first night has been detailed in depth, as has the tournament itself. The results have been discussed ad infinitum. The models have been (rightly) drooled over by everyone. Innumerable blogs and podcasts and YouTube channels have had their go at it. So lets talk about it some more, eh? Mostly, because I don’t want to talk about those things. But I was there, and I have some things that have been brewing in the back of my mind.   Let’s be clear: The models are spectacular. But I’ve really got nothing to add there. It’s awesome that the Primaris line is getting fleshed out, and Chaos is getting some much needed sculpt attention. The Dark Mechanicum Nightmare Spider Thing in particular is amazing and I love everything about it. And while the vast majority of the panel was previewing amazing new models and people rightfully drooling over them, there was also an extended Q&A session. Now I didn&#

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Command Points are 8th Edition’s Psychic Dice

TL;DR: They’re good at injecting flavor into the game, are fun in small quantities, but when deployed en masse break the game. This started as what was just going to be a flippant post to the Variance Hammer Facebook page, but on the drive home things…took a turn. So here we are, talking about how Command Points, and the problems with them, run pretty parallel to the problems 7th edition had with the Psychic phase. But What About Formations? “Wait!” You say. “Command Points and Stratagems replaced formations, everyone knows this!” From a gameplay and source of mechanics perspective, this is correct. Command Points and Stratagems replaced Formations as “The expandable way to inject army-specific feel and special rules into the game”. But it’s not the intent of a mechanic, or what role it fills, that is often problematic. Sometimes, it’s the mechanic itself – and that’s where we hit the 7th edition psychic phase. Looking back on my 7th ed

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Good Decisions Build on Bad Logic

I’m not going to break down the Big FAQ 2 – other people have done it better than I have, and if you’re looking for a source I’d suggest Nick Nanavati’s take over at Nights at the Game Table because you could do a hell of a lot worse than just listening to Nick and doing what he says. My own thoughts on it are mixed, but primarily favorable. What I do want to talk about is what it means to arrive at the right decision for the wrong reasons. Everyone is familiar with this. The student who gets the right answer via a tortured chain of logic. The court case that gets decided in a way you like, but based on reasoning that’s some combination of wrong, problematic, or just plain stupid. A broken clock is still right twice a day, and you can accident yourself into the right answer. It appears in the 40K FAQs, there’s going to be at least one of these every go around. The first time it was about Boots on the Ground. My take at the time was that the rule itself was probably f

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