In this case, the balance of the game (how powerful armies are) is not really the main reason for reducing options. It's a nice bonus, but the main reason has more to do with game being too complex, and speeding up the game.Just read the announcement of rulebook 1.2 in november.
i REALLY dont hope they are going to cut down on unit options. Having invested heavily on pistol militia and hw shield imperial guard for my empire army and then loosing those options would break it for me.
I migrated from 40k to 9th in the belife that armybooks would be updated regularly and would be full of flair, maybe even reintroducing old models like the war wagon for EoS.
I'm not a rules designer, but I do know that the more variables that you add, the harder it is to balance a game. But I do appreciate the comments about investing money in models. On the question of complexity I defer commenting to @fjugin @arthain and @el rey. They could answer this much better than I ever could. Also, add @SmithF.So stuff like skeletons with halberds and other stuff might get removed again?
I could easily see a community getting quite upset about that. First been giving cool new options, investing time and money in them, and then loosing them.
Its been seen over and over in the past of 40k codexes. Options and complexsity comming and going (GW releases a cool new miniature and making the rules for its old counterparts obsolete). It leaves the fans frustrated and honestly one of the reasons i joined the 9th age community. I hopped this whouldnt be the case with 9th age.
Upgrades that are difficult to keep track of because there are no way you can represent the option in a clear and unambiguous way slows down the game. Keeping track of them for your opponent is not easy when there are multiple units involved. Consider a situation where a KoE player has 3 pegasus knight units, one with devastating charge, one with vanguard and one with nothing. You'll constantly have to ask your opponent which unit has what upgrade, and this slows down the game.
Speeding up the game is something we are working hard towards, anyone should be able to play a game in under 3 hours without rushing through the last turns. Which currently is not the case.
These are the type of upgrades we are eliminating (usually through making them included in the default configuration of the unit). Weapon options are different. If you have several units of skeletons, some with halberds, some with hand weapons and some with shields, I can just look at your models and instantly know which units is which.
The other reason for dropping optional (non-representable) upgrades is to make it easier for new players to get an idea of what the unit's purpose within the army is. With several different unique upgrades that makes the unit fill slightly different roles it becomes difficult to get a feel for the unit. The current situation is manageable for experienced players, but newer players seems to be struggling more with this. We need to stop this trend we had during the beta phase with more and more options for all units.
This also makes it easier to give each unit a more distinct role, and to fit into the theme of the army and its strengths and weaknesses, if we don't also have to take into consideration all the possible options the unit has.
- Assistant Head of Rules clarity -