Kirb your enthusiasm!


"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Friday, November 12, 2010

Point & Click - The Myth

This has been catalysed by Keeper's comments in reply to VT2's post about Tyranids but has been mentioned before in the balanced armies post. It's not an attack or response to Keeper but rather looking at the concept in general because it's an annoying fallacy.

Armies being 'point and click' is a simple myth; no matter how easy an army seems to win with. That's as simple as it comes really ^^ but I'll expand. No you don't have to be a tactical genius to win at 40k or Fantasy, but you do have to understand tactics beyond basic concepts like target priority (which a lot of people don't and yet point and click labels are handed out like candy to little kids). If you're trying to tell me concepts like bubble-wrap and blocking are point and click tactics, well very well, ya 40k is point and click for every race, not just IG and SW. Again, the amount of tactical concepts and analysis that goes into 40k/Fantasy is outstanding, even into armies like IG and SW and those tactics are implemented on the battlefield. You don't have to be a tactical genius to implement these but you do have to understanding when they need to be used, why they are being used (costs/benefits) and how it will impact your opponent and their response and how that will effect you, etc. Like any turn based game, it's a follow-on affect and running around with a 'point and click' mentality will make you lose.

Ya some armies are easier to operate than others and taking lists from sites like 3++ are often better than trying to build your own if you don't have a good grasp of the gaming system. This doesn't make them point and click but the lists the authors put up here generally have a good grasp of 40k concepts and when used properly may appear 'point and click.' They aren't, it's an attribute of the list that it may appear so but there is a lot of thinking that goes behind to actually make that list work on the table. One of the biggest 'point and click' armies for me is Tau and yet that is one of the hardest armies to play. Why is it point and click? If everything works properly all you have to do is manage your target priority. You have the firepower and defenses to basically accept your opponent and shoot him off the board. Why is it hard then? Because if you screw up, make a mistake or your opponent breaks through your lines (through no fault of your own), you have to work very hard to recover.

This is what armies like IG, Tyranids, SM/SW/BA, Witchunters, etc. all have that may make them appear point and click. They can recover from mistakes (or dice skewing) and still maintain momentum. Eldar, Tau, Chaos and Orks are examples of armies who cannot recover well if they lose the momentum, even if they are good lists. Whether lost by poor dice rolls, great dice rolls by your opponent or mistakes, these armies need to work very hard if they get on the back foot due to army design or codex faults, whilst the aforementioned armies do not have to work as hard. Does this make the armies point and click? No, it means you can make more mistakes and keep rolling and having a forgiving army isn't 'point and click.' Again, even the 'easy to operate armies' are still using advanced tactics beyond simple target priority and movement such as blocking, delaying, bubble-wrap, etc. to ensure their army can operate easily. Have an IG army setup their bubble-wrap incorrectly so it can be get assaulted on T1 and they'll have a much harder time. Space Wolves who push too far into midfield with their Rhinos rather than allowing their ranged fire to support them won't do as well. Etc. These aren't basic concepts as you actually have to think and analyse what is happening, particularly taking into account what your opponent does because you need to be able to predict what they are doing and react as needed.

A point and click army isn't going to really care what your opponent does and is going to operate under the same battle-plan most games. This is generally a recipe for disaster, not winning. Again, I think Tau are the most similar to this understanding because of how their codex works. They generally setup behind their bubble-wrap and attempt to block and delay their opponents in midfield whilst focusing on de-meching their opponent whilst minimising their ability to shoot. They also have to make a decision on when to target Troops as well to ensure their opponent can't win through objectives. They need to know when to fire their railheads as anti-infantry or anti-tank, etc. Even then it's still a complex exercise and you aren't always going to play similarly. You may operate under a similar battle-plan each game yet you need to have a very in-depth understanding of the army and tactics used to actually make it work. That's not point and click.

In the end, two good 5th edition armies have too many puzzle pieces to view an army as a simple point and click exercise. Your opponent can disrupt your battle-plan more often than not and not being able to be flexible in your battle-plan is asking for a good spanking. Good 5th edition armies can adapt to what your opponent does and evolve as the game goes on. This is anathema to point and click as you as a general have to be able to adapt your mindset and display this with your army on the table-top. All 5th edition books can do this which may make them seem point and click but there is a lot going on the background and trying to say otherwise is insulting to the players' of those armies intelligence.

Follow us on Facebook!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...