A hot topic for me recently has been game balance. It’s the main issue why I’ve left 40K (not permanently as I’m about to take part in a narrative campaign) and found Infinity. I’ve also seen a fair number of other gamers involved in conversations on this subject. Seeing as GW is the big player in tabletop gaming they usually revolve around the warhammer systems, and as 40K is my flavour that’s the way it rolls for me.
So what about 40K game balance. Well for me there just isn’t any. When the top few army builds are all but unbeatable there is a serious issue. Now I don’t think the core rules for 40K have much of a problem, for me it’s down to the army rules. This is because I see a lot of army units either have multiple combinations of special rule or are able to break multiple combinations of rules. A rule break in itself is fine. It’s a good way of setting apart a unit. But when a unit can have a weapon that has no save available against it and said unit has multiple rules protecting it it starts to become a bit like Superman. Only in this case the Kryptonite is another Superman.
Now, finding Infinity so far I have been very pleased with game balance. Sure there are things that are powerful but they all have ways of countering them, and even the mighty T.A.G.s can be critted by a lowly line infantry. The resounding chorus of everything is viable seems to be true as I am still looking at units I would like to try and look forward to doing so. Whereas with 40K I want to use all the units in my books but know it will be hard work doing so.
This led me to thinking about business models. Now I’m no economic expert, but I’m sure we’ve all talking about the ‘next best thing’ strategy where if the next release is better than the last it will drive sales of the new line. As I said I’m no expert I wont say this is what GW are doing, but it sure feels that way. So I started to worry about this new great game I had found. If they are giving away the rules and there system is balanced how are they going to drive sales? Well the balance does that itself. Sure it’s cheap to start and you don’t have to buy many models, but everything is usable and will give you different uses and experiences with the game. Also if you do stick with same list as everything has a counter you may find your regular opponents can find a way to beat you. Either way I’ve certainly bought more CB minis than I ought to have.
That’s my bit for today. I hope it inspired some thought in you, or at least amused you for a minute.