Ethics in army lists and tactics
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Author:  Calisson [ Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:39 am ]
Post subject:  Ethics in army lists and tactics

I was curious about what you guys consider unfair or cheap, to the point of refusing to use it yourself?
It could be an exploitation of what is preceived as a loophole in the rules, or an abuse of something which is perceived as undercosted, or a "wrong" combo, or something against fluff...

I'm mostly interested in Druchii, but you could tell about other armies as well.

I summarized the many topics mentioned below as to be ethically questionable (whatever the answer to that question):

Unbalanced games (this covers most of the other complaints)
- WAAC/excessively cheesy lists
- Khainite army in the hands of FleshCollector, facing rookie players
- Named characters (special mention for powerful ones: Thorek, Teclis not to be forgotten)
- Magic tsunami
- Double hydra (or now, quadruple hydra at 4k), especially in smaller games
- Dragon (especially with dual hydra)
- Shade Star (in 7th edition)
- Gunlines

Supposedly unintended use of rules (aka "rule abuse" by those on the receiving end)
- BG/elite as sacrificial unit.
- Units narrower than 5 models (especially conga lines).
- Unkillable (/stubborn) dreadlord/champion.
- Turn one assassin charge via Shades (in 7th Ed)

Sheer psychological pressure for not taking something which is legal
(which means to refuse "rule abuse" calls)

- disregard for the opponent
- bad sportsmanship
- whining when they think they are losing
- RAW splitting hairs, rulelawyers
- obey rules or leave
- Cheating (cocked dice)

Unfair advantage
- DRAICH (I did not expect that one but I understand the rationale)
- help of your opponent during the game by a second, experienced player.

Painting & Modeling
- proxies or unpainted models.

Author:  Bitterman [ Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:25 am ]
Post subject: 

I won't do anything I consider to be significantly out of character, or an obvious loophole in the rules.

BG conga line? No. Stupid. Makes no sense and the "real" BG wouldn't do it.

Turn one assassin charge via Shades (in 7th Ed)? No. Stupid. Obviously exploiting a loophole in the rules.

However, obviously there are limits. Oftentimes in Warhammer it is tactically sound to use speedbumps or otherwise sacrifice cheap troops, when those same cheap troops, when asked to do it "in real life", wouldn't so much as dream of throwing their lives away like that. (Note, I am well aware of "forlorn hopes" and the many, many examples of the last stand of a brave few buying time for others to get away and reorganise; these actually tended to be better quality and braver troops, not cheap disposable ones like in Warhammer). I'm prepared to make that concession to the fact that Warhammer is, after all, a game and not "real life".

The difference may seem subtle at times. I would never do a Black Guard conga line but I would happily field Harpies in two ranks of three so they can hunt lone characters more effectively. What's the difference? Both involve reducing files, and both increase that unit's effectiveness! Well, I'm not even sure that I can explain it, but there is a difference in my head and that's that. I won't do something I consider to be wrong, unfair or wildly out of character - even if the lines for what exactly falls under those headings are blurred and indistinct.

(They're also changing over time. I used to take FC for basically every unit just because it looks better and I figured "real" armies would have commanders in every unit, regardless. Over time, fairly recently in fact, I came to realise that I was wasting points - I'd effectively have taken a 1900 point army plus "useless stuff" against my opponent's 2000 points, and given him 300 free victory points when he captured my standards, to boot. I still prefer to take FC when there's a chance it will make sense, but I eventually realised that a 400 point handicap just for the sake of a few extra banner models meant I was losing games far more often than I was winning, and there is after all some fun in winning occasionally, even if I'm not bothered about getting above, say, 60/40 in my favour).

So I don't think it's a clear cut issue and I can see why some people say to hell with it all and do what they want, seeking the nastiest, cheesiest list; but that's not how I play.

Author:  [llct]kain [ Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:34 am ]
Post subject: 

Interesting thing, especially the three examples provided by you:
- conga
- Dragon
- 2 Hydrae

For me the line is quite easy to draw.
Does it fit to the game and would I have chance and being able to be part of the game if I would have taken a list not especially customized for that specific opponent.

- conga -> definitly (IMO) not in the intend of the game. But I would consider this not as cheese. It is rule abuse.
- Dragon -> no cheese at all. First it is quite normal to face a dragon, so be prepared. Apart from this they are a big investment in points. Here it would only start to smell if you would bring the dragon for specific list (e.g. with no cannons) but not for the ones with warmachine
- 2 Hydrae. In the 7th the were cheesy because if the limitaion to get flaming attacks (e.g. OnG had no access to fire). But in the 8th I would consider regeneration a more normal thing, so it is something to consider when building armies - and everybody can have flaming attacks now. Lots of armies also en mass with Sword of Rhuin.

In the end talking too much about cheese also limits your self, instead of looking for a solution/tactic to overcome that "cheese" and therefore to evolve your playing skill - you just exclude things that does not match your skill or current army combo.

The difference may seem subtle at times. I would never do a Black Guard conga line but I would happily field Harpies in two ranks of three so they can hunt lone characters more effectively. What's the difference? Both involve reducing files, and both increase that unit's effectiveness! Well, I'm not even sure that I can explain it, but there is a difference in my head and that's that. I won't do something I consider to be wrong, unfair or wildly out of character - even if the lines for what exactly falls under those headings are blurred and indistinct.
100% !

Author:  Calisson [ Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, I realize that I quote others, while I don't indicate my own position...

I am very tolerant to my opponent's "cheese".
If it is in the rules, I will not complain that my opponent selects this unit or performs that trick.
I accept that my opponent was creative in exploiting some non obvious possibilities, and it is up to me to adjust next time to that.
After all, not everyone shares the same ethics.

For myself, I have some specifics ethics:

Painting & Modeling
- never proxy more than once a unit; after I tried it, if I want it, I buy it.
- never play more than once with an unpainted model. If I want to field it repeatedly, I got to paint it. Now, I accept going to battle with roughly painted models with little detail.

- I very rarely play named character, because I like my own fluff and I don't want to disturb a world known hero for my modest battles - however, I played Lokhir twice, since he is a corsair (and I placed him in a unit of BG!). I am prepared to hire Shadowblade if necessary, but I've never done it so far.
- I don't play any Exec nor WE nor DH nor Manti, because they are Khainite butchers, and my corsair business requires slaves to be in working condition (is this ethics, really? Bah!). OK, nevertheless I often take an assassin, to KB the most dangerous opponents. The COB is not meant to charge itself so it is a welcome Khainite addition.

Powerful units/items.
- powergaming is fun only once. I have a lot of trouble dealing with dragons, so I tried mine (converted model from D&D) only once.
- I tried once superheavy magic evasive line against dwarfs (3 level2 at 1k in 7th ed). That was fun. Once.
- I own 1 hydra and don't intend to get a 2nd any soon. I don't play it in small games (<1k).
- I've fielded once the RoH, to try it. My opponent did not show up with the magic heavy list I supposed, but with dwarves. I never tried it again.
- on the other hand, I play very often the "unkillable" mounted PoK BSB (who got killed more than once).

Unbalanced games.
- often, I arrange games with self limitations: no magic or little magic, no shooting or little shooting.
- when I know I'll play goblins, this is the time to get fluffy/weak/experimental lists.

Rules abuse.
- When I played 7th ed Empire, my cannon never aimed at the direction of a character they could not see, in case the estimation went wrong. :roll:

Author:  Bitterman [ Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Oh yeah, since you mentioned it - I never-plus-Epsilon use special (named) characters. I have used the Witch King once, in an 8000 point game, and I nearly used Shadowblade in a 6000 point game but changed my mind at the last minute.

I have models for both of the above and Morathi and Malus Darkblade, and it is possible that (in a sufficiently large game that justifies their inclusion) I may use them at some point in the future, but only on a very special occasion.

Special characters are uninspired (make up your own background!) and all too often, game-breaking (Chaqax and Thorek have each completely ruined games that I've played against them). Without a large game to dilute their effect, and/or prearrangement, they are all too likely to be over-dominant and simply unfair. (Usually awesome models though).

So for example, the daemon list in the latest WD batrep made me sick - four special characters! - how utterly tiresome.

I play very often the "unkillable" mounted PoK BSB (who got killed more than once).

Heh - my "unkillable" PoK Dreadlord has never survived a round of combat. Literally - not one round.

Author:  Meteor [ Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

Bitterman wrote:

How I hate that name with a passion. I have nothing against a pure dwarven gunline, but putting Thorek into the mix in a 2400pt game is just crossing the line.

I think ethics is more to do with your reason for taking the said unit(s) or committing the acts.

Author:  Ebonyphoenix [ Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

Regarding the ethics of warhammer games, lists, and tactics my lines get blurred rapidly. The simple fact is that I am pretty much known as the player who tends to experiment with various things brought up in this site.
I'll try just about anything once, and will use what I like in order to make the game as intense as I can without intentionally denying a fun game to my opponent.

I will warn my opponent if I plan to bring a framework that I consider over the top for standard play, and keep an alternate list at hand if they would prefer not to attempt to play against the initial list. For instance, I wanted to try Morathi out on Monday with 2 Hydrae to provide CC punch, warned my opponent, let them view my list, and accepted their permission to use it. Likewise, I expect the same courtesy from my opponents. If you are bringing Thorek, the Daemon's LD Bomb list, or a Skaven multi-Tower list, I expect equal notification. I would fully intend to play you, but I may need to upgrade to a stronger list to give you the challenge you wanted when you made your own list.

Regarding tactics:

I haven't and won't use the conga line, but I see no problem with arranging my units to different widths based upon roles. 2-3 wide for mage hunters, 3-5 wide for flankers, or 7-wide for front or rear all seems valid tactics to me.

I don't always bring 2 hydrae (hydras/hydrai?) but tbh, I have little compulsion against it since I love the concept of giant critters stomping through spearmen until they meet an equal match against determined elite troops. Although I imagine the entertainment value of running them side by side, I always put one on each board edge to hold off flankers while my spears/crossbowmen and mages work the center. I took 1-2 using our 6th edition book with the website upgrades to Veteran or Royal status, and see no reason to refuse to use something that fits my vision of DE army composition. I sure didn't start this army for the spearmen!

So far I've been fairly benign with my mages normally just a scroll and the Tome of Furion/Pendant, usually on a Lv2 shadow and Lv4 death respectively. I'm not a big fan of the Power Scroll option, but I figure I'm going to have to try it at some point. My "concession" will be to make it a equal risk/return decision by putting it on my lv4 though so at least my opponent can see at least I'm willing to risk equal to what I'm intending to kill. Optimising for supreme Dark Magic will probably happen soon though, since the 8 book lores are hard to get off more than 1 spell/turn and the Feedback threat is worrying me lately. As people get familiar with how magic works, my inhibitions will fade accordingly. As it is, I winced the game where a unit of warriors had Occam cast on them and ate a unit of greatswords to the front and a unit of swordsmen to the flank.

Personally, I hate that people attempt to "ban" lists based upon personal dislikes. I agree that certain builds are way over the top, and may choose not to either use or play against a certain list. However, I do not appreciate how people say that certain players are using crutches or are only powergamers because they use certain things. Even when I take 2 hydrae, I leave them unsupported barring a Cauldron blessing on occaision. My opponents usually either draw me, or make it through bottom of 6 with their army still on the board even if I won a massacre through points. The games where I left my rare choices, blackguard, and RoH at home to prove my point, I had my opponent wiped off the board by bottom of turn 5 since I linked every unit up for synergy and they couldn't break my remaining units, not even my harpies, at that point.

I've made my own complaints/moans regarding extremely strong builds, but I also applaud the player for determining a combination that works for them, since it usually just compensates for an equal weakness inherent in their army or constructed list. It becomes my job to find a counter for that combination, and tbh that got easier with 8th edition magic.

If somebody truly has an issue with a component of my army I don't mind dropping it on occaision to make it more fun for them (especially for beginners or somebody trying an experimental build), similar to how I normally run only 1 hydra and 2 RBTs, but I should not be forced to restrict myself to solely the options in my list that my opponents have no difficulty destroying either. I don't expect an empire player to refuse to bring a rocket battery or hellblaster, nor do I intend to refuse to bring dark riders and harpies just because they eat cannon crew for breakfast on turn 2.

I respect those who play with wildly different builds compated to those that are considered "standard" or "competitive", but I expect the same respect in return.

Common courtesy and sportsmanship applies, but since it is a wargame the often quoted "All is fair in love and war" also applies.

*sigh* I had a little more of a rant on this than I though I did. Sorry about the length. :)

Author:  Meteor [ Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Someone's passionate about ethics ;)

Author:  Blaznak [ Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

I really don't think Ethics has to do with bringing any particular army list or with bringing any particular components of the army list. I don't think Ethics has to do with using any particular formation in the game. I don't think Ethics has to do with using any particular terrain set up.

These are all valid parts of the game. If any of these are unethical, then DRAICH is unethical as its sole purpose appears to be to digest the various rules so Dark Elf Players can win games. How unfair! (not really)

So what is unethical?

Doing anything outside or marginal to the rules. Reading a cocked die one way during the game and another later. Whining on every bad (or in some cases even good) move in the game. Critiquing your opponent's moves other than in a light hearted manner. Critiquing any player's moves in a game you are not participating in. The list goes on and on.

I think its a bit interesting of a discussion that people would feel it somehow unfair to field xyz character, etc. However, under the new rules, the special characters will probably be showing up more and more.

Well just my quick thoughts!


Author:  Rabidnid [ Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

As long as only your opponent thinks your being a complete B*****d, its fine.

I have a converted giant with a flame thrower as my hydra, so I only use the one. I have never thought that 2 hydras was particularly good, as peaple who have the means to kill one can easily enough kill 2.

Conga lines? why not? I have used 5 witches with a manbane hag to assassinate characters. Nobody thought it unreasonable at the time, and actually seems quite fluffy for the sort of psychotic behaviour you might expect from a hag.

Unkillable characters? who cares really? I never combined PoK with an armoured character as I thought the combination too powerful, but I would have no problem with others doing it because it just is my personal rule. There are many dubious character builds around. DE characters don't have the strength or attacks to equal WoC or O&G, so having multiple saves as their party trick is fine.

Attitude is the only criteria I notice in playing a person, not their tactics or army comp. The people who go out of their way to create dubious lists usually have the annoying attitude to go with it and tend to be rules lawyers. I just avoid playing those people and leave it at that.

Author:  Blaznak [ Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

Rabidnid wrote:
Attitude is the only criteria I notice in playing a person, not their tactics or army comp. The people who go out of their way to create dubious lists usually have the annoying attitude to go with it and tend to be rules lawyers. I just avoid playing those people and leave it at that.

Well said.

Author:  Blaqkheart [ Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:36 pm ]
Post subject: 

I play evil races. I do evil things. If I can win with it and dominate some High Elves, I'm all for it. I am currently a Dark Elf player, and I don't have any dirty tactics in my army(because I dont have the money for a second Hydra), but I am soon switching to Warriors of Chaos, and yes, I will be relentless. The point of the game is to have fun, I understand, but while I sound like I only play things that will win, it's how it goes around here. So, when I make a list that is going to win, so does my opponent, and that makes for a very interesting game.

Author:  Il maestro [ Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:37 am ]
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Personally, I think sometimes people use the 'cheap', 'powergamer' and 'cheese' nametags to justify to themselves why it is that they were not able to win. If we are all really honest with ourselves for a second, we would admit that nobody goes out there to lose. Don't get me wrong, I think that having fun is the MOST IMPORTANT PART of playing, however I have never played a game and thought 'Wow, I hope I get my a$$ kicked today!'. Having said that, if I intend on using a list that is considered 'harder' by others, I inform my opponent first and have a back up as well, similar to what EbonyPhoenix already described, but not because I think it's only fair that I do it, rather that I want a challenge and it's no fun demolishing an ill-prepared army (ok, maybe it's a little fun... :twisted: )

I think the best way to approach anyone who plays hard lists or uses loopholes in the rules is to consider it as a challenge to overcome, and nothing sinister, because then it's that much sweeter when you win :D

Author:  Fleshcollector [ Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:35 am ]
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When it comes to the interpretation of ethics in warhammer I'm fairly liberal and don't mind facing whatever concoctions my opponents bring.

I've never played a duel hydra, unkillable lord or BSB, more than 2 wizards, never heard of a conga line not played one, never used Shadowblade or the 7th ed assassin trick, and I played a Dragon only once. I am particular about honest movement. However, I seem to have the reputation for making lists which are considered too difficult due to the synergy aspects that I try to maximize.

As an example from 7th, (ain't played DE in 8th) I ran a Khaine list less than 600pts in characters, without any caddies or magic, no doubles of anything except 2 harpies and 2 DR and was considered the roughest player at the store, to the point of much smack talking behind my back. During our tournament I faced double Steg characters with carnasour, Bloodknights w/ 3 characters inside and all the bells and whisles, hoards of skink skirmishers, 14+ PD lists, others with 1400pts in characters and many other deathstars. After having ammassed 24 massacres without a single loss, the group-think echo chamber dubbed my list the cheesiest after I had scoured the forums to create something which explicitly excluded all the known power set-ups (although I did have the RoH).

To me ethics are entirely relevant in that I have not pulled any shenanigan builds (I did try 15 Shades once and felt dirty) but I don't place much merit in what other folks consider cheese. It's just too easy and common to default to calling cheese when folks just get plain beat.

The moral of the story is that ones personal ethics and sportsmanship are vital but you just can't worry too much about your opponents feelings if you honestly believe you've tried to build a competitive list that does not abuse any loop-holes in design or rules.

Author:  Calisson [ Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:52 am ]
Post subject: 

Interesting discussion.
Quotes from other threads (that I initially placed in the first post):

Double hydra (or now, quadruple hydra at 4k).
r3flexx wrote:
IMO 2 Hydra's is okay, but the Dragon is overkill for a game against a friend.
It's fine for tournaments and when you tell your friend you're bringing a brutal list to see how well your tournament list works. Other than that, suprise dragon r*** isn't very fun for the other guy.
Tethlis wrote:
I personally don't field two in any list I use, either friendly or tournament. Dual hydras is a way to instantly cripple your composition and sportsmanship scores.
viggo3000 wrote:
Dual hydras is still cheesy but not as cheesy as in 7th.

Units narrower than 5 models.
Mr. Anderson wrote:
The conga line I find slightly... odd, to be honest. Can you picture five black guards holding against a horde of 100 goblins? that'd be a sight to behold. It is a bit of a silly tactic, to be honest. On top of that, assuming they're stopping hordes (which are rather often equipped with spears - like gobbos, nightgobbos etc.), they'll face 13 attacks back, and that'll kill them off much too quickly to be any use - and this is disregarding the possibility of characters in the unit.
The Virgin Forest wrote:
"The conga line I find slightly... odd, to be honest. Can you picture five black guards holding against a horde of 100 goblins? that'd be a sight to behold"
Should I encounter this, I'd lift my eyebrows, shake my head for a bit and then start to pack up :roll:
Lord Tsunami wrote:
I really think GW should have made one more rule in this edition. "a unit can not have a second rank unless the first rank has at least 5 models in it". Lets face it, these types of "line" deployments are only used to exploit a flaw in the rules. it is fully legal i know, but to me it doesnt feel very right that it is advantageous to deploy your BG in a single file if you want to use them as a tar-pit only. its against the "spirit of the game" as far as im concerned.
I'm just saying that ->I<- Will never use those deployments. I felt guilty fro writing about those 3x2 suicide formations even :D
Red... wrote:
Gah, the single file conga thing was discussed on a different post some time ago and I was derisive of it then, am still derisive of it now. It represents putting rules above fun, and that's never a good thing in my book.

BG/elite as sacrificial unit.
Mr. Anderson wrote:
Sending the witch king's own to die just because you feel like it isn't going to do your career as a general much good...
Honestly, BG models are far too good looking for me to waste them on suicide missions... I spent so much time painting them, and when they die every five minutes, thats a bit of a waste of time...
L1qw1d wrote:
"Watch out, some people might resent this trick as a cheap exploitation of a loophole in the rules. "
... I believe that is what we call "your average dwarven player" :D lol
I think the point of Elites are just over tarpit status unless you know how to throw them at things.

Unkillable (/stubborn) dreadlord/champion.
Red... wrote:
A particularly nasty variant, IIRC (and I should, as I came up with it!), is to give the champ the armour of darkness. With a 1+ save, its even more silly.

Sheer psychological pressure
Dalamar wrote:
Worst way to abuse cheese is make others use their less powerful choices. Meaning you get an upper hand before even starting a list.
Mr. Anderson wrote:
in general, all tactics have to be somewhat in line with sportsmanship, after all we're playing a game here to have fun, not fighting for our lives (if we were, that'd be another thing entirely ;) ). I just wouldn't want to pull it off in a game against a friend, and usually not even in a tournament (there are some players who make that principle waver quite strongly - usually those who try to exploit loopholes and then in the best manner of double standards start telling you off for doing the same - they're just asking for it and had it coming).

Author:  Mr. anderson [ Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:39 am ]
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It would seem that the "ethics" as it were, greatly depend on the environment you play in. Some people enjoy a good competetive game (I do, as long as I know what's coming - I don't want to meet up with a friend to play for some fun, and he then pulls out the list he won the 'Ard boyz tournament with yesterday).

Attitude is the only criteria I notice in playing a person, not their tactics or army comp. The people who go out of their way to create dubious lists usually have the annoying attitude to go with it and tend to be rules lawyers. I just avoid playing those people and leave it at that.

What he said.

A rules lawyer has too much time on their hands, thus cannot possibly be doing something worthwhile with their lives, and hence has a rather questionable character in most cases - don't want to generalize too much here :lol: ). But as I said before (I'm sure I have... somewhere) if you have to spend forever and a day finding loopholes in GW rules you
1) need glasses
2) need a life

I'm terribly busy, so when I take up my army book or a rule book it is either because I'm playing and forgot a rule, or because I need some inspiration to paint (or because I want to read some fluff), but the rules I usually read once and then play them the way I thought they were meant the time I read them.

If I play a game where we just want to have a good time, attitude doesn't come in to it (I don't give my friends attitude... its part of the definition of that word) - if we play competetive, same rules. I avoid games with strangers for the most part because of the bad experiences, but on the occasion that I do play, attitude and whether their army is painted play a huge role in how I judge their tactics.

This of course goes in addition to what I've said in other topics about army lists. If I cntradicted myself somewhere... go figure :P

Author:  Dangerous Beans [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:06 am ]
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Wow - what a thread! Impressed Calisson that you've brought this up and in fact was pondering about ethics earlier.

My group of mates that I suppose could be called a gaming group in some senses, have been playing together now for about a decade or so. What I've noticed is a very very gradual change over time from cheese playing to somewhat more balanced and decent games. However - there are still occasions and points when things 'cross the line' for me personally.

One of our players will optimise his list, and use loopholes in the most extreme possible way that he can. He plays the game in a very literal way - the rulebook is to be obeyed strictly in a Read As Written manner. He will pull you up for not obeying redudent/obviously pointless rules and force you to play them (otherwise he ends the game and leaves! :P). As a result of his interpretation and combined with a 2nd player of ours mantra to take the biggest/nastiest combintations possible had seriously degraded our group to become power gamers; for the other 3 or 4 of us who were perhaps what you might call 'lighter' gamers - we had to tailour our lists accordinly just to avoid a pummeling.
With hindsight, we should have made a stand and point blankly refused to play those 2 power gamers but when you're young the importance of friendship and wanting to play overrides ethical and moral judgement.

It is still somewhat similar today - Steve still plays uber lists (though Tom/Tim/Ben/I have discovered ways of out playing him at his own game) although he has somewhat tamed them now though to become more balanced lists. Adam however remains to take the best of the best with LOTS of characters (the kind of player that took 3 units of 10 maruaders in 7th edition with no other CORE units... :roll:) - luckily the new percentage systems helped nerf this somewhat.
I would have personally preffered to have seen the new %ages be more in line of: 25% characters, 35+% core, up to 25% special, 15% Rare.

Which leads me onto how I (and ben/tim/tom) play: for the fun of it - fluff, background, theme and narrative are much more important than merely using the game as a challenge of intellect (I attend tournaments for that ;)). In terms of rule interpretation and obeyed the book - we use many many house rules (including pre game options and eve of battle ideas - attempts to assinate characters, conjuring storms and spiking warmachines) and enjoy creating new models, characters and situations (eg. 'for hire' mercenaries turning up to the battlefield and having specific triggers for them).
For us, warhammer is game to have fun and laughs about, tense situations with some interesting tactics/strategis but overall it should be played in a relaxed informal atmosphere and manner.

For me, when that relaxed atmosphere and manner disappears and arguments over rules start occuring or army lists are made with the sole purpose of annihilating your personal opponet, thats when my moral and ethical ego starts to hurt a bit and I start to not enjoy the game as much.

And now onto the sub-topics:

Dual-Hydra in smaller lists: very very cheesy unless you're playing a scenario (eg. a kharond khar based game/invasion party) - i personally believe more so now with the changes to breath weapons. As pointed out however rules changes to hydra regen has nerfed them somewhat dramatically but they do still remain a very strong threat. Only in tournaments would I use dual hydras in a 'must win' manner.

Narrower units? I think having a unit thats 4 models wide is still fine. In 6th edition this was common place - I have no issue with that. Conga lines are reserved for cheesy tournament play in the extreme. How anyone can go about justifying a black guard congo line with any kind of rational thinking needs to be shot. End of.

Taking dragons is cool - just don't abuse it too much: nothing wrong with a large black flappy thing flying round the battlefield belching out his multipack of cigarrete breath all over your troops. He just misses the arrival of the smoking ban in pubs thats the only trouble with taking one!

Unkillable/stubborn character? I can kinda appreciate this - it does fit with the old arrogance thing of the druchii ("hah! I know I'm invincible so I'll flaunt it by hacking down your best troops!") but at the same time it is a little lame from your opponents perspective as theres VERY little he can do to prevent it (doom and darkness???). I think if the scenario was working around him and if the character was on his own then it could be ok (pepper him with shots before combat occurs).

Sheer psychological pressure

Now this is an interesting point of discussion - as it somewhat explains my reasoning for the difference in enjoyability of our games that I've mentioned earlier.

I think that there is a VERY fine line to tread between having a nice tense atmosphere that makes you both super keen to try and overcome the other (ie. a close game!) with some gambles made that could pay off or prove disastrous if they fail - and this 'psychological pressure' and atmosphere is great - whats NOT is deliberately pressuring your opponent and socially baiting them into arguments (note. NOT disucssions), using this to your advantage to then misdirect their attention in the game and beat them through forcing errors and mistakes. I've met a few tournament players like this who are well and truly ONLY in it to win and do not give a damn about your feelings as a player. Thats just revolting in my opinion and again, such players deserve to be flogged or abandoned by all others. We're all in this to have fun. Being socially berated and psychologically upset/inferior is NOT the aim of the game.

Bullying is not to be taken lightly and must not be tolerated. Unfortunately playing warhammer can allow these environments/situations to occur - what your roles as players is to maturely overcome these difficulties in an agreeable, fair and fun manner that does not detract from the overall game.

Those are a few of my thoughts. I commend many of the new rules for 8th edition that take steps to prevent these, but alas there are still some other rules loopholes that appear to still be open to differing levels of abuse (template weapons, guess ranges and breath attacks spring to mind).

- Beanz

Author:  Meteor [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:18 am ]
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Ethics isn't really a black and white topic, it really just comes down to each individual and their intentions that deems a ploy as ethical or unethical. Anything and everything can be used in an abusive unethical way, and the same backwards. A power gamer will use the discussions and tactics here to further fuel their power gaming. A balanced army can still be played abusively if for example we reform our twenty BG into a single congo line. A player with a Dragon and two Hydras isn't necessarily cheesy, they could take spearmen for the rest of their army, and just rely on these three monsters to break the enemy in the flanks. A thin line of 200spearmen wide across the board with unbreakable banner whilst RXB and RBT pepper enemies isn't lame if it's there for fun.

If you don't feel right in doing something then it's probably bordering on acceptable. There'll be exceptions, some times the act can be deemed unacceptable, at other times the same act can be quite ok. Cocked die comes to mind. I had developed the habit of picking up any dice that gets stopped suddenly on a raised angle ,to reroll it whether it was a result I wanted or not. I played a person I met for the first time in my local GW store who apparently is known by others there. I had instance of cocked die twice, both times I picked them up to reroll out of habit and my opponent was like "you wouldn't had if it wasn't a 1 (or whatever the result)". I was taken aback and had to adjust the way I play with this said person. I probably was seen as trying to cheat and being unethical in their eyes, but that wasn't the case in mine, luckily I had other regulars watching who told the person that's how I do things. There was another instance where I rolled two batches of dice at the same time that required different values to hit, I forgot to state which was which before I rolled. It was the difference between three hits and one hit, I told my opponent I forgot to state which was which and was going to reroll them, then someone else was commented on that so I just rolled the one definite hit to wound I got and that was that.

So yea, I reckon it's just a matter of intentions when it comes to topics like these.

Author:  L1qw1d [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:33 pm ]
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most of the Druchii players I've met have been entirely above board with talking about things, and not worrying about ethos or mores- but since many perceive the army as sneaky, and therefore the PERSON to be sneaky, I think they start kinda... "kicking under the table" or "fudging" things. So they panic and become unethical just because we explain that we can score 3D6 Close Combat wounds AND can target all characters and command with a spell. It makes them flip out and just... REACT. Often emotionally.

Author:  Playa23 [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:18 pm ]
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I think this was said up above somewhere but the only aspect of the game where ethics and morality should be concerned is how players conduct their behavior around one another. I don't mind getting slaughtered as long as the guy doesn't rub it in too much in a sort of immature way... thats why I carry my own sacrificial dagger underneath my shirt... seriously i'm not kidding ;) and of course cheating (don't worry I have something special lined up in store for cheaters mwahahaha). It goes without saying that intentional cheating is immoral so I won't dwell on the subject but another thing i can't stand is bad sportsmanship (don't think its unethical... but its annoying) however it can lead to some unethical predicaments... seriously a lot of people think its "unethical" to stab someone with a sacrificial blade... I know its ridiculous huh? But forcing the person in question to clean the blood up afterwards is definitely unethical in my eyes its like they grew up in a place where its wrong to go to a foreign county and kidnap their men, woman and children (wait that was unintentionally ironic). To get back to the serious side I don't mind facing any army or building any army as long as its within points restrictions and criteria and I feel that most of my opponents...well, they feel the same way... I think... to tell you the truth there aren't too many of them left but the ones that are still alive tend to agree with me. Thanks ;)

Author:  Afeinman [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:27 pm ]
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If we're getting "in character" wouldn't it make sense to act nice and smile sweetly at our opponent, answering their every question? That way their defenses are down when the assassin pops out of the shadows... :)

That being said I hate games against people who act poorly, whether it is cheating, excessively cheesy lists, or whining when they think they are losing. Be a good sport, and save your backstabbing for on the battlefield.

Author:  Oldschoolmonk [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:59 am ]
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I'd like to think the ethics of army composition revolve around the group you play in. You should develop a sense of what you like to see in games, and if you can't reach consensus then it makes sense to adopt two power levels. Make lists for each level and just make it clear what you want to play.

That being said, we love to play competative. Everything is allowed, gross combinations and brutal thrashings are encouraged. We're all vetern players that sat out 7th edition and are drawn back by 8th, so we're playing a lot of theory games before converting the entire army. I've already purchased a large dark elf army with every monster I like, and there was no complaining or feeling bad about running a Dragon Lord with two Hydra and a CoB for support. Maybe people look past these things when you get a really cool conversion...

I think the really gamey factors that go into the hobby are how you interperate certain rules - with RAW being the most hardcore, and sometimes unfair or against the spirit of the game. One such example is a Dread Lord with a Black Dragon Egg in a challenge affected by the CoB's Killing Blow - can he breathe fire in a challenge that has killing blow? We say he can, and of the three armies we play there is a dark elf lord with that load out, a Bret lord with Heroism and the Wyrm Lance, and a Khorne lord on jugger with an axe and gift for his killing blow.

We're vicious players that enjoy the game and are excited about modeling. We dont cheat, know rules well, and have a beer after the game. Not worrying about whats fair and who's being beardy allows us to play it like a game and move on afterwards.

Author:  Nemesis1020 [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:37 pm ]
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My group's policy has always been... if it is in the book, it is legal. I have never understood comp scores or people whining about having to face "hard" builds.

Author:  L1qw1d [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:58 pm ]
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well, that and everyone is trying to get as CLOSE to the point value and percentage of the setup without going over. If you had a HUGE gaping hole of points, ESPECIALLY in rare- is a second hydra "unfair"?

I think Aef and playa are pretty well on.

The situation w/ KB has never come up... I thought the blessing was only on the standard attacks, and since the BDE was special in it's own right, they didn't combine effects. I now have something to look up! :D Going along with your point, I had someone fight AWAY from RAW for one of our Dark spells and took virtually NO damage. I hate splitting hairs, and let him get him do what he liked with whatever he liked and was TORQUED when he pulled that.

Also that having been said- There are hose who build specifically TO raise queries and those that build specifically TO play to their one strong interpretations (dwarven gunline, anyone?). I think THOSE rob the game of fun WAY more than something you aren't prepared for.

If you're not prepared for it, learn from that and bring it next Tourney. This time is going to be exciting because you have to figure out how to LIVE, not just win.

Author:  Dalamar [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:36 pm ]
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Breath Weapons whether used in shooting or close combat are *never* affected by other Special Rules.

So no KB Gases.

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