Monday, June 3, 2013

The joys of a new codex

Unless you are living under a rock by now you know the Eldar have a new codex.  This is their first new codex in 7 years and at first glance it looks solid.  Nothing seems like an auto-include except jetbikes and I have no clue if they will be large or small units of bikes.  Likewise there are few units that look outclassed in the codex (banshees and storm guardians).  What this means is that the eldar codex will require a lot of playtesting.  My question is how to do this.  Do I test it like I was an actual playtester looking for the most broken combos or test it from a more balanced point of view.  Trying all the units, mixing them up, learning what they can and can't do and wait to try to assemble a force. 

The second option fits my playstyle more, however the first option is what I am drawn to because when I was actual playtester for card games back in the day that was how I would test them.  Also I'm curious just how damaging 10 wraithguard with distortion flamers infiltrating 1 inch away from the enemy will be (Far and away the most broken combo in the codex- if it survives FAQ).  Seems like a solid use of just under 500 points.  But I could take six month just perfecting this.  A lot of the games wouldn't be fun until the opponent learned to deal with them and I wouldn't learn much about the rest of codex except how it compliments that unit.  However as you work away from the crutch you do learn things you don't if never try it out.  On an odd note, playing the codex around a theme actually fits this style of testing more as you are locking into something and try to build around it, you just run a greater risk that what you are trying to lock into isn't viable.

The other option is to skip the crutch and just learn about the army as a whole.  The advantage here is that regardless of the current army crazy, I am familiar enough the army to adapt.  This is why I was able to continue to win with the eldar to some degree despite the age of the codex.  Knowing your army, its weaknesses and strengths, helps a lot even if the codex itself is weak.  The downside is that the initial games are tough, you have a lot of rules to learn, you make a lot of mistakes and you potentially end up with something like my Environmental Science degree from MSU.  The classes were so varied that you forgot what you had learned the previous semester because you never needed it again.

In the end I'll probably do both.  Playtest the stupid list with the competitive players in the area and playtest the normal lists with the regular (but still quality) players.

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