Are commanders undercosted?

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Glarblar
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#55 » Oct 02 2017 02:11

I heard an interesting thing from BoLS today: in the new AM codex Plasma guns cost different if you are a BS3+ or 4+ model.

I could see that happening to Fusion Blasters for us. either cost goes up for COs, or cost goes down for everything else.

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Panzer
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#56 » Oct 02 2017 05:26

I'll stick with my opinion that giving weapons different costs instead of the model itself is extremely silly. It would mean we would get like 7 redundant weapon entries just for the Commander instead of the Commander simply being more expensive.

Ricordis
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#57 » Oct 02 2017 05:27

How? Are they different weapons? Do they get multiple entries in the weapons sheet?
If this happens to us it would blow our tables.
Oh God, I hate this idea so much.
It is like being taxed twice:
The model has a higher BS. Please pay more.
Oh, your model has a higher BS? Please pay more for the weapon.

AngryMook
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#58 » Oct 26 2017 06:50

Wouldn't the ideal solution be to make regular suits about as efficient ppw damage dealers as commanders are now, then give commanders a more significant unit buff ability and increase their point cost so that they are a bit less point efficient than regular suits at doing damage?

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relasine
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#59 » Oct 26 2017 07:53

AngryMook wrote:Wouldn't the ideal solution be to make regular suits about as efficient ppw damage dealers as commanders are now, then give commanders a more significant unit buff ability and increase their point cost so that they are a bit less point efficient than regular suits at doing damage?

That depends on whether or not you believe that Commanders are currently over-performing for their cost. If they are, then XV8 Teams should not be performing as well as Commanders are in their current form. If your opinion is that Commander performance is in-line with the current power level of the game, then your plan would be appropriate.

Personally, I'm all for splitting the cost of weapons based on whether or not Commanders or Crisis Suits, etc. are using them. It's the only way to properly balance the book if you want both Commanders and Crisis Suits to fill similar roles, and there's nothing silly about it as long as expected outputs are appropriate. Finding correct balance without different weapon costs is extremely difficult if not impossible. If you make the roles of Commanders and Crisis Teams more distinct, this becomes less of a necessity.

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Panzer
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#60 » Oct 27 2017 04:45

Yeah, no I disagree. If a model has better BS include it in that models cost instead of making a seperate group of weapons with increased cost just for that model. It's the most logical and the most practical way to handle things.

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Arka0415
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#61 » Oct 27 2017 05:36

Panzer wrote:Yeah, no I disagree. If a model has better BS include it in that models cost instead of making a seperate group of weapons with increased cost just for that model. It's the most logical and the most practical way to handle things.

I'm not going to do the mathhammer on this one, but the points increase (for the Commander) on a Burst Cannon vs the points increase needed for the Cyclic Ion Blaster are probably pretty similar. I think it's much cleaner than doing dual points-costs. This is more of a philosophical discussion though, since it's not like our talk here will increase or decrease the likelihood of getting dual-costed wargear :P

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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#62 » Oct 27 2017 07:00

I'm on Panzers side for this one a weapon should cost the same whoever picks it up and their competency with said weapon should be reflected in their cost.
Our main problem at the moment I can see if our weapons cost so much because of our ability to take lots of them, but that's also not true if a space marine player wanted to take 4 Lascannon they can take a predator or devastators easy enough.

Why a burst cannon costs the same as a heavy bolter is beyond me and that's the biggest change I'm hoping for in the new codex.

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relasine
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#63 » Oct 27 2017 08:53

Without boring anyone with the stats, some quick attempts at messing with numbers on platform and weapon cost adjustments turned up these results:

1. Simply adjusting the cost of Crisis Teams to match the performance of Commanders won't work. For a 3x Fusion Crisis Suit to have equal performance to a 4x Fusion Commander based on current Fusion Blaster pricing the Crisis Suit platform would need to cost 9 points. This would make cheaper load-outs extreme bargains. With a 9-point XV8, a 3x Burst Suit would cost 39 points. The only way to adjust for this would be to jack up the cost of weapons, which would also push up the cost of not only Commanders, but a wide variety of other platforms in the game that use Burst Cannons.

2. By reducing weapon cost and increasing the cost of the Commander platform to keep their output consistent, you can get more reasonable results, but it's impossible to get results where the numbers always are equal or favor the Crisis Suit, which is ideally what you're looking for as Commanders bring additional utility (Montka, Kauyon) that Crisis Suits do not. The numbers can either be equal or favor the Commander (except for Flamers). Again, this additionally creates the ripple effect I mentioned earlier.

3. By making a smaller adjustment in XV8 platform cost, pushing up the cost of the Commander platform, and reducing weapon cost, you get the same results as the previous approach, albeit with less granularity in the ability to reduce the cost of weapons. This seems like the most reasonable approach in my eyes, but it still doesn't offer the design space of split costs.

If you are working with two different cost sets for weapons, the ability to move the dials to get the outcomes that you are looking for becomes way more free and far more likely to acheive, and you are additionally suffering ripple effects less since the way in which the Commander's BS2+ affects your outcomes won't spill out to other models.

I frankly don't understand the reluctance with it. There's already precedent for it, and the need for it in the case of T'au is greater since the difference in BS is decidedly far more consequential than in the case of Astra Militarum. Taking that approach will give the developers way more design space to work in, which would give the community a larger chance of seeing a more balanced product.

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Panzer
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#64 » Oct 27 2017 09:28

relasine wrote:Without boring anyone with the stats, some quick attempts at messing with numbers on platform and weapon cost adjustments turned up these results:

1. Simply adjusting the cost of Crisis Teams to match the performance of Commanders won't work. For a 3x Fusion Crisis Suit to have equal performance to a 4x Fusion Commander based on current Fusion Blaster pricing the Crisis Suit platform would need to cost 9 points. This would make cheaper load-outs extreme bargains. With a 9-point XV8, a 3x Burst Suit would cost 39 points. The only way to adjust for this would be to jack up the cost of weapons, which would also push up the cost of not only Commanders, but a wide variety of other platforms in the game that use Burst Cannons.

This just tells me that the Commander has to be more expensive as well as Crisis becoming cheaper.
So lets say Crisis would cost only 32p (still twice as expensive as Terminators before weapons), the Commander would have to cost 127p (that's about 50p more than currently!).
With 22p the Commander would have to cost 105p. At this point I'd say it's a good fit. Maybe with Crisis becoming a bit too cheap even (only 6p above Terminators with superior movement, FLY, better Toughness and one more wound but worse armor and no inbuild invul, oh and not being infantry which could be extremely important depending on the board and the mission as well I guess).
Of course Drones would have to become more expensive in that case because we basically took away the points that most likely were added for the ability to benefit from Saviour protocols (and we all know how much better Drones compared to Firewarrior are currently). Increasing the Drone cost by 50% would be a good start to see where it leads I guess.

So my proposition would be: Commander +19p, Crisis -20p, Drones +50%p
For those interested, that would mean a Quad Fusion Commander would cost 189p, a 3xFusion Crisis Squad would cost 255p and with 6 added Shield Drones 327p.
Note that this factors in only the cost for the damage output, not for other stats, special abilities, being a character or stuff like being able to take more drones with it by being in a bigger squad instead of being solo!

relasine wrote:I frankly don't understand the reluctance with it. There's already precedent for it, and the need for it in the case of T'au is greater since the difference in BS is decidedly far more consequential than in the case of Astra Militarum. Taking that approach will give the developers way more design space to work in, which would give the community a larger chance of seeing a more balanced product.

Because it's awkward and not logical at all. The points should represent how good something is and that doesn't change if another person picks it up. It's the person that is better than the other, not the gear.
Just because there's precedent for it it doesn't automatically mean it's good. If I could, I'd change it for the precedent cases as well.

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relasine
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#65 » Oct 27 2017 09:37

Panzer wrote:
relasine wrote:Without boring anyone with the stats, some quick attempts at messing with numbers on platform and weapon cost adjustments turned up these results:

1. Simply adjusting the cost of Crisis Teams to match the performance of Commanders won't work. For a 3x Fusion Crisis Suit to have equal performance to a 4x Fusion Commander based on current Fusion Blaster pricing the Crisis Suit platform would need to cost 9 points. This would make cheaper load-outs extreme bargains. With a 9-point XV8, a 3x Burst Suit would cost 39 points. The only way to adjust for this would be to jack up the cost of weapons, which would also push up the cost of not only Commanders, but a wide variety of other platforms in the game that use Burst Cannons.

This just tells me that the Commander has to be more expensive as well as Crisis becoming cheaper.
So lets say Crisis would cost only 32p (still twice as expensive as Terminators before weapons), the Commander would have to cost 127p (that's about 50p more than currently!).
With 22p the Commander would have to cost 105p. At this point I'd say it's a good fit. Maybe with Crisis becoming a bit too cheap even (only 6p above Terminators with superior movement, FLY, better Toughness and one more wound but worse armor and no inbuilt invul).
Of course Drones would have to become more expensive in that case because we basically took away the points that most likely were added for the ability to benefit from Saviour protocols (and we all know how much better Drones compared to Firewarrior are currently). Increasing the Drone cost by 50% would be a good start to see where it leads I guess.

So my proposition would be: Commander +19p, Crisis -20p, Drones +50%p
For those interested, that would mean a Quad Fusion Commander would cost 189p, a 3xFusion Crisis Squad would cost 255p and with 6 added Shield Drones 327p.

relasine wrote:I frankly don't understand the reluctance with it. There's already precedent for it, and the need for it in the case of T'au is greater since the difference in BS is decidedly far more consequential than in the case of Astra Militarum. Taking that approach will give the developers way more design space to work in, which would give the community a larger chance of seeing a more balanced product.

Because it's awkward and not logical at all. The points should represent how good something is and that doesn't change if another person picks it up. It's the person that is better than the other, not the gear.
Just because there's precedent for it it doesn't automatically mean it's good. If I could, I'd change it for the precedent cases as well.


1. Those point adjustments would still put Commanders at a higher rate of return than Crisis Suits.
2. Your statement on "the person being better, not the gear" couldn't be more wrong since platforms act as force multipliers, in this case exacerbated both by the better BS of the Commander and their ability to take four weapons instead of just three. If we were talking about Crisis Suits and Commanders only being able to take a single weapon, you'd have a point, but the fact that we're working in asymmetric multiples means that the ability to take both more weapons and fire them with higher accuracy has a multiplicative effect that makes performance of both weapon and platform consequential.
3. There's nothing awkward about it. Having weapon cost dictated by the individual platform was how it worked for over a decade of 40k. It wasn't awkward then, and it's not awkward now. Since most people are building their armies digitally, it shouldn't even matter to begin with. Forgive me for saying, but the fact that you think it's awkward at all speaks to your bias against it. I don't care one way or the other. I just want the best balanced result possible. If that was more of a possibility without split cost, I'd concede the point and take up that banner, but it's not.

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Panzer
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#66 » Oct 27 2017 09:54

relasine wrote:
Panzer wrote:
relasine wrote:Without boring anyone with the stats, some quick attempts at messing with numbers on platform and weapon cost adjustments turned up these results:

1. Simply adjusting the cost of Crisis Teams to match the performance of Commanders won't work. For a 3x Fusion Crisis Suit to have equal performance to a 4x Fusion Commander based on current Fusion Blaster pricing the Crisis Suit platform would need to cost 9 points. This would make cheaper load-outs extreme bargains. With a 9-point XV8, a 3x Burst Suit would cost 39 points. The only way to adjust for this would be to jack up the cost of weapons, which would also push up the cost of not only Commanders, but a wide variety of other platforms in the game that use Burst Cannons.

This just tells me that the Commander has to be more expensive as well as Crisis becoming cheaper.
So lets say Crisis would cost only 32p (still twice as expensive as Terminators before weapons), the Commander would have to cost 127p (that's about 50p more than currently!).
With 22p the Commander would have to cost 105p. At this point I'd say it's a good fit. Maybe with Crisis becoming a bit too cheap even (only 6p above Terminators with superior movement, FLY, better Toughness and one more wound but worse armor and no inbuilt invul).
Of course Drones would have to become more expensive in that case because we basically took away the points that most likely were added for the ability to benefit from Saviour protocols (and we all know how much better Drones compared to Firewarrior are currently). Increasing the Drone cost by 50% would be a good start to see where it leads I guess.

So my proposition would be: Commander +19p, Crisis -20p, Drones +50%p
For those interested, that would mean a Quad Fusion Commander would cost 189p, a 3xFusion Crisis Squad would cost 255p and with 6 added Shield Drones 327p.

relasine wrote:I frankly don't understand the reluctance with it. There's already precedent for it, and the need for it in the case of T'au is greater since the difference in BS is decidedly far more consequential than in the case of Astra Militarum. Taking that approach will give the developers way more design space to work in, which would give the community a larger chance of seeing a more balanced product.

Because it's awkward and not logical at all. The points should represent how good something is and that doesn't change if another person picks it up. It's the person that is better than the other, not the gear.
Just because there's precedent for it it doesn't automatically mean it's good. If I could, I'd change it for the precedent cases as well.


1. Those point adjustments would still put Commanders at a higher rate of return than Crisis Suits.
2. Your statement on "the person being better, not the gear" couldn't be more wrong since platforms act as force multipliers, in this case exacerbated both by the better BS of the Commander and their ability to take four weapons instead of just three. If we were talking about Crisis Suits and Commanders only being able to take a single weapon, you'd have a point, but the fact that we're working in asymmetric multiples means that the ability to take both more weapons and fire them with higher accuracy has a multiplicative effect that makes performance of both weapon and platform consequential.
3. There's nothing awkward about it. Having weapon cost dictated by the individual platform was how it worked for over a decade of 40k. It wasn't awkward then, and it's not awkward now. Since most people are building their armies digitally, it shouldn't even matter to begin with. Forgive me for saying, but the fact that you think it's awkward at all speaks to your bias against it. I don't care one way or the other. I just want the best balanced result possible. If that was more of a possibility without split cost, I'd concede the point and take up that banner, but it's not.

1. Uhm no it wouldn't? With the Commander costing 105p and Crisis 22p, it would be 56.7 points per hit vs 56.67 points per hit with the Fusion Blaster.
2. Let's agree to disagree.
3. Again, just because that's how it was used to be done has literally ZERO meaning. And it speaks to my bias against it? Hell what bias? It's LITERALLY my reason for being against it. You see the connection but draw the wrong conclusion here. Obviously you care or else you wouldn't reply. So again, let's agree to disagree here.

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relasine
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#67 » Oct 27 2017 10:09

Panzer wrote:1. Uhm no it wouldn't? With the Commander costing 105p and Crisis 22p, it would be 56.7 points per hit vs 56.67 points per hit with the Fusion Blaster.

Commanders are 76 points for the platform. Increasing their cost by 19 points would make them 95 points, not 105. Costing them at 105 would bring them into line on Fusion performance, but would require a 29 point increase, not 19, but I'll assume that's a typo and look at 105 point platforms.

The issue that you'll run into with this type of cost structuring is that Crisis Suits will start out-performing Commanders by wide margins with other loadouts, the most prominent of which will being low-cost weapons like Burst Cannons. Against MEQs, Commanders will pay 48.9 points per-wound where Crisis Suits will pay 39 points per-wound. You've balanced one aspect (Fusion), but you've left other weapon options a hot mess in terms of point-for-point returns. In this case, the cheaper cost of the Crisis Suit is having a force multiplicative effect on cheaper weapons. This is precisely why split cost is logical, as it provides you with easy avenues around the problem.

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Panzer
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#68 » Oct 27 2017 10:20

relasine wrote:
Panzer wrote:1. Uhm no it wouldn't? With the Commander costing 105p and Crisis 22p, it would be 56.7 points per hit vs 56.67 points per hit with the Fusion Blaster.

Commanders are 76 points for the platform. Increasing their cost by 19 points would make them 95 points, not 105. Costing them at 105 would bring them into line on Fusion performance, but would require a 29 point increase, not 19, but I'll assume that's a typo and look at 105 point platforms.

The issue that you'll run into with this type of cost structuring is that Crisis Suits will start out-performing Commanders by wide margins with other loadouts, the most prominent of which will being low-cost weapons like Burst Cannons. Against MEQs, Commanders will pay 48.9 points per-wound where Crisis Suits will pay 39 points per-wound. You've balanced one aspect (Fusion), but you've left other weapon options a hot mess in terms of point-for-point returns.

Again, split cost would give you easier avenues around this.

Eh yeah +29p there. My bad.
Actually I didn't balance around wounds at all. I balanced around hits since that's the only thing that depends on the models BS and the equipped weapon.
But yeah the lower the point cost of weapons the better it is to have on a body that costs less. Honestly there are so many factors that influence the outcome, I don't think there is the perfect solution to that problem. The difference between your numbers looks so big because you are looking at wounds after saves. If we look just at the point per hits it would be 10.875p vs 8.67p.
I doubt that even with seperate point costs for weapons for each and any unit we would ever get to a point where every unit with every loadout has the same point efficiency against every kind of target. So why not, instead of adding to the bloat we just got rid of with the edition switch, we just adjust the units point cost of the unit where the BS is the biggest factor.

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Arka0415
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#69 » Oct 27 2017 10:45

Panzer wrote:I doubt that even with seperate point costs for weapons for each and any unit we would ever get to a point where every unit with every loadout has the same point efficiency against every kind of target. So why not, instead of adding to the bloat we just got rid of with the edition switch, we just adjust the units point cost of the unit where the BS is the biggest factor.

Just to throw in my two cents, I don't think units are supposed to be mathematically equal. Rather, units have various stats and perks, the weapons have various points costs, and it's up to the players to figure out which is the best against what targets.

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relasine
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#70 » Oct 27 2017 12:24

Panzer wrote:Honestly there are so many factors that influence the outcome, I don't think there is the perfect solution to that problem. The difference between your numbers looks so big because you are looking at wounds after saves. If we look just at the point per hits it would be 10.875p vs 8.67p.


Alright. Let's put that statement to the test using the percentage difference so the expected hit/wound values don't really matter. Here's the current spread between Crisis Suits and Commanders:
Image

Here's your suggested route, of simply increasing Commander cost, reducing Crisis, and leaving Weapon cost static:
Image

And here's a quick sketch of split cost using a 15 point bump to the cost of Commanders and a 10 point decrease in Crisis Suits:
Image

With the exception of Flamers, with some playing around with the numbers, you can get respectable results from every category that come within less than 1% difference by using split weapon cost. It's not perfect, but it might as well be.

By keeping weapon cost static, Crisis Suits begin to see sizeable advantages in performance as the cost of the weapon decreases.

Arka0415 wrote:Just to throw in my two cents, I don't think units are supposed to be mathematically equal. Rather, units have various stats and perks, the weapons have various points costs, and it's up to the players to figure out which is the best against what targets.

This is a fair point, but having this decision be based on how static weapon costs just happen to fall on any one platform feels like a lack of effort rather than the development team making conscious decisions about how different platforms should expect certain outcomes with different weapons.

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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#71 » Oct 29 2017 07:01

Just to comment as well, I wouldn't back splitting weapon costs.

1. Elegance: leaving aside how the maths work out, to me it feels far simpler, more instinctive and a 'nicer' solution to not have to change the cost of a weapon depending on who is using it.
2. There is a problem with commanders being more efficient with more expensive weapon and vice-versa for the cheaper ones, but for a lot of the lower points weapons (Burst Cannon, AFP), both choices are bad against most other options (gun drones, fire warriors...) - have we really seen BC or AFP battlesuits?
This leaves flamers, which are already better on crisis suits (and relasine, your model for flamers actually makes them cheaper on the commander) and plasma suits.
Plasma is a more troublesome one to justify, yes, but there are also other factors that affect the outcome (manta-striking at 12", the size of the unit and whether it's a character so the drones in front of it have to be shot first) become pretty important so I wouldn't really worry about the difference.

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relasine
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Re: Are commanders undercosted?

Post#72 » Oct 29 2017 09:16

Watcher on the wall wrote:Just to comment as well, I wouldn't back splitting weapon costs.

1. Elegance: leaving aside how the maths work out, to me it feels far simpler, more instinctive and a 'nicer' solution to not have to change the cost of a weapon depending on who is using it.
2. There is a problem with commanders being more efficient with more expensive weapon and vice-versa for the cheaper ones, but for a lot of the lower points weapons (Burst Cannon, AFP), both choices are bad against most other options (gun drones, fire warriors...) - have we really seen BC or AFP battlesuits?
This leaves flamers, which are already better on crisis suits (and relasine, your model for flamers actually makes them cheaper on the commander) and plasma suits.
Plasma is a more troublesome one to justify, yes, but there are also other factors that affect the outcome (manta-striking at 12", the size of the unit and whether it's a character so the drones in front of it have to be shot first) become pretty important so I wouldn't really worry about the difference.

1. Static weapon costing makes for awful game design from a balance perspective if you have two models that are ultimately fulfilling the same exact role that have wildly different Ballistic Skill values. There is ultimately another solution here that'd work to keep static weapon costing intact, but that involves severely reducing the firing power of Commanders and relegating them back into a supportive role like back in 7th. I'd be fine with that. Rip off the fourth weapon hard point and change it to support-/signature-only, jack up their cost, bring back supportive signature systems, and increase the value of Montka/Kauyon. That works for me.

However, if you want Commanders mostly as weapons platforms, static weapon costing is and will continue to be an unavoidable issue when trying to balance them with Crisis provided that their raison d'etre continues to be that of deep-striking combatants. If this wasn't the case, and there wasn't an arms race between the two categories, the development team wouldn't need to worry about it, since those kinds of deep comparisons wouldn't be made. Commanders would be judged mostly based on their ability to buff those around them (see Space Marine Captains), not their ability to dish out punishment, and Crisis Teams would mostly be judged based on their individual offensive potential.

There is a "have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too" method here that is important, that you can have Commanders as weapon platforms that are non-spammable (ultimately the problem that needs addressing). Introduce relics that make Commanders into high-performing offensive monsters.

Also, and I mentioned this earlier, does elegance or awkwardness really matter where this is concerned? It's 2017. Most people are building their armies digitally. If you aren't doing that and handling two sets of point values for Crisis Weapons is too much, go play with Power Level; that's what it's there for.

2. Gun Drones are superbly under-priced, and I wouldn't be surprised to see their output go down at least 25% via a points nerf in Chapter Approved, so the competition for the Burst Cannon category will become less fierce. This can be further improved by reducing the points-per-wound results by dropping the cost of things like AFP or BC. Make up for the ripple effect onto things like Stealth Suits by increasing their platform cost to match and not drive up their output unduly.

Flamers are cheaper on Commanders because Crisis get a better return on them. There's a lot of lost opportunity cost in running an auto-hitting weapon on a BS2+ model. They could honestly be free on a Commander suit and Crisis Suits would still out-perform with Flamers.

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