Grey Knights are you out there?

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Koonitz
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Re: Grey Knights are you out there?

Post by Koonitz » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:47 am

The problem with balance with an army like the Grey Knights, who have a focus against certain armies is, which do you choose:

1) Balance them against all other factions, but give them special rules against the lore-appropriate nemesis faction, so they end up being OP against that faction.

2) Balance them against their lore-appropriate nemesis faction, thus making them weak against all other factions.

3) Give them no special rules or benefits against their lore-appropriate nemesis faction, thus allowing them to be balanced against all factions like any other army.

If you choose 1, then good luck getting any daemon player to give a rats arse about playing against Grey Knights. It'll consistently be a Gary-Stu, one-sided slaughterfest, and will be horrendously unfair to daemon players.

If you choose 2, then the army will be, as you now see, consistently weak against all other factions, thus largely ignored or never selected, unless narratively taken against daemon armies (which would be rare, as most people seem to prefer matched play/pick up games at their FLGS, so don't want to spend money on a largely unusable faction). Lore-wise, I feel this is the most appropriate. If you take a soldier, train him in arctic/tundra warfare, give him arctic/tundra wargear and camo, then drop him in a desert, he's going to get killed, or fall from dehydration/heat stroke. But if you drop him in the tundra, he's going to be fine.

If you choose 3, you shirk the rich lore and history of that faction, and run into the problem of "where do they fit into the pantheon of armies?"

A similar dilemma will be faced by Death Watch, which are your anti-Xenos faction in the same way Grey Knights are anti-daemon, though I suspect Death Watch can more easily fall into the third choice, where-as Grey Knights seem to have fallen into choice 2 (depending on how well they do against daemon armies).

The more the Imperium keeps getting their niche sub-factions released, the more this problem will arise, as they try to find a place for them all.
Armies:
40k: Knights Cynosure Iron Hands successor chapter, House Terryn Questor Imperialis, Thousand Sons/Tzeentch Daemons
30k: Thousand Sons
Age of Sigmar: Sylvaneth, Disciples of Tzeentch

mrazek22
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Re: Grey Knights are you out there?

Post by mrazek22 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:49 pm

Well, this is where my gripes concerning point cost come into play. If there was a reasonable baseline for point costs of just bodies, it would solve a LOT of these sorts of problems. Space Marines, all bodies (excluding primaris and custodes) cost X points. Their weapons are what define their high or low costs. That being said, a squad of Grey nights with no weapons shouldn't cost more than a squad of regular space marines. Then you give them storm bolters, force halbreds, and psychic abilities, and they begin to cost more. But those weapons also have baselines.

Anti Tank high damage, low wound should cost x. Anti Infantry high wound low damage should cost X. Either base-line the costs of things, or list reasons why they aren't normal. For obvious reasons Space marine units cost more than Guard units. But if you put the two together in a fight, its not always a clear win. As a matter of fact, it's closer to 50/50. Equal points, 2x squads of ten man guard squads will wipe the floor with a squad of Space marines. Makes no sense.

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Re: Grey Knights are you out there?

Post by Ronin » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:52 pm

Thing to remember is going first makes a huge difference and each unit type has a hard counter. Infantry Squads without any extra gear are the hard counter to other infantry like tactical squads, but you pit the same amount of points against a razorback and the razorback will win. This is why you play with line of sight blocking terrain and use movement and tactics to your advantage so that you don't get blown off the table. If your opponent is getting first blood because he shot you from across the table, you need more terrain. Long range vs long range, of course the tactical squad would lose, but say if they got stuck in zone mortalis where the line of sight is barely anything, I could charge in with the tacticals, negate overwatch by doing it from a corner where you don't have line of sight, and probably beat up some of the guardsmen and force them to fail morale check with their pathetic leadership.

mrazek22
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Re: Grey Knights are you out there?

Post by mrazek22 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:22 pm

So I just spent my lunch break looking over the GK stat lines, and as a Vanguard detatchment, loading up 3 paladin squads with halbreds and incinerators makes a pretty good gun line, especially with their close range smite abilities that target all units within 3", although I may have read that one incorrectly. Purifying flames? I think? They are basically psychic bullgryns with storm bolters and 2+ ws/bs. In Terminator armor. Around 1k in points, depending on the HQ.

Ronin
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Re: Grey Knights are you out there?

Post by Ronin » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:43 pm

From my experience, it's been hard to justify the incinerator offensively since it's an 8" range and your deep strike puts you more than 9" away so if you dropped them in, they wouldn't be able to shoot at all for a turn. if if they did, it rarely makes up what it's worth. However, I can see it being useful as a deterrent against charging units, but it seems pretty situational for that. If your local group tends to try to come at your face, it might be worth it though. My group tends to be chicken and hide in their deployment zone, lol.

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Koonitz
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Re: Grey Knights are you out there?

Post by Koonitz » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:28 pm

mrazek22 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:49 pm
Well, this is where my gripes concerning point cost come into play. If there was a reasonable baseline for point costs of just bodies, it would solve a LOT of these sorts of problems. Space Marines, all bodies (excluding primaris and custodes) cost X points. Their weapons are what define their high or low costs. That being said, a squad of Grey nights with no weapons shouldn't cost more than a squad of regular space marines. Then you give them storm bolters, force halbreds, and psychic abilities, and they begin to cost more. But those weapons also have baselines.

Anti Tank high damage, low wound should cost x. Anti Infantry high wound low damage should cost X. Either base-line the costs of things, or list reasons why they aren't normal. For obvious reasons Space marine units cost more than Guard units. But if you put the two together in a fight, its not always a clear win. As a matter of fact, it's closer to 50/50. Equal points, 2x squads of ten man guard squads will wipe the floor with a squad of Space marines. Makes no sense.
The problem with 'base-line' points across all armies is that not all armies value the same stat-line equally, nor should points be based solely on effectiveness, but also in availability. If a bolter costs 0 points, and a storm bolter 1 point (I don't recall if it's 1 or 2, so bear with me), would you pay 1 point to equip all tactical marines with storm bolters? I would. In a fraction of a second, I would. But the codex doesn't let you. They're not readily available for massed use. If you could, they'd likely cost more, because they become "better than the base option" and "widely available".

The same thing with guardsmen. Would you pay 0 or even 1 point to equip every Guardsman with a bolter?

Back in the day, when Necron troops had gauss weapons that could reliably damage vehicles, Necron armies didn't value heavy anti-tank weapons as much as an army like Guard whose base-line weapon couldn't even glance the lowest armour value in the game.

It's not as simple as "this has X statline, therefore should be Y cost". You have to balance the usefulness and cost within the context of the army it is for, which means very well that something with a similar, or even identical, statline may have varied costs across different armies.
Armies:
40k: Knights Cynosure Iron Hands successor chapter, House Terryn Questor Imperialis, Thousand Sons/Tzeentch Daemons
30k: Thousand Sons
Age of Sigmar: Sylvaneth, Disciples of Tzeentch

mrazek22
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Re: Grey Knights are you out there?

Post by mrazek22 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:35 pm

Koonitz, I respect your points. However, I worry that in attempting to make everything unique, we have missed the point of the game. You know why poker is the most beloved game of chance (over the short term)? Because a jack is a jack, and a 5 is a five. In the short term, cards are completely fair and equal. Same with most board games. When you start giving different advantages to different players, it lessens the ability to provide a common ground that both players can enjoy with an equal amount of work and skill. As it is right now, a Ork player is having a significantly less fun time than say, a Eldar player. Because there is no common ground, EXCEPT for points.

In that regard, if points are the only common ground, then an equal amount of points should create an equally strong army. This is just my personal opinion. :)

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Re: Grey Knights are you out there?

Post by Gamer-Guy » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:57 pm

I still play grey knights, because I have fun with the army.
Am I ever going to field them in a tournament? Probably not. They’re just not as competitive as other armies.


(Kinda sucks for me that my other army is Tau, they’re not that great either)

Ronin
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Re: Grey Knights are you out there?

Post by Ronin » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:15 am

I've been playing campaign games where alliances get bonuses and the points are asymmetrical so balance is thrown out the window, lol.

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