What are the most internally balanced books? What are the least internally balanced books?

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  • What are the most internally balanced books? What are the least internally balanced books?

    There was a lot of discussion over in one of the other threads about internal and external balance. Rather than go back to the toxic sludge fest that is the "Are ogres OP?" thread, I thought it might be interesting to see what people thought of the internal balance of the different books.

    So, I'm looking for general ratings of the INTERNAL balance of books. What do you think are the most internally balanced books? What do you think are the least internally balanced books?

    And for the sake of preventing arguments, let's lay down some definitions and rules.

    External balance: general power level between all of the different armies. We aren't talking about this here. There are other threads for this.

    Internal balance: general power and desirability of all of the units and options within the same book. A book with good internal balance will have all units and options generally desirable. A unit with bad internal balance will have many units that do not see play (for any number of reasons, be it weak, expensive, badly designed, redundant, etc.). We are ONLY talking about this in this thread.

    Feel free to discuss why you think certain units in any particular army are unplayable, as that certainly aids in the discussion regarding internal balance of books.
  • Interesting topic.

    I finde that the DH book is well balanced, it has few entries, but I see most if not all of them being used in lists. I don't think the book is perfect, but I do see it as very internally balanced. The book dose have some redundancy because of the sheer amount of units, design options and warmachines, build to hunt monsters. Also the Organ gun is somewhat better than the other artillery entries because of its versatility with the +1 to wound.

    I finde that the EoS book has some internal balance issues. I think O&G and VS are in a similar position but I don't know enough about them to really comment. The EoS book is the least popular book at this moment in time, this may stem from the book being fragile and hard to play, having multiple rules set in opposition. I did a long post about this Here, back before I saw a post from El_rey.

    Regards

    Cort
  • If I had to spilt it into tiers of armies with internal balance I would do something along the lines of a tier system.

    Lots of choice:
    BH
    OK
    VS
    SA

    Fair:
    VC
    UD
    DH
    OnG

    Lacking:
    KoE
    ID
    WDG
    SE

    One Wonder:
    HBE
    DL
    DE
    EoS
    I type on mobile so my spelling mistakes can hide that English is my native tongue. :write: :HE: :KoE:

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  • You have to consider how large each book are before talking internal balance (it's much easier to balance small KoE than big WDG) :


    DL34
    ONG33
    WDG33
    VS31
    VC28
    DE27
    ID27
    DH26
    EOS26
    HBE25
    UD25
    SE24
    BH22
    SA22
    KOE20
    OK20




    At the top the armies have too much stuff to ever reach good internal balance (though WDG is not that bad in that context), looking at the bottom i can't see a army with a good internal balance, in the middle DH have a rather good internal balance but it's mostly due to it's lack of different troop type (they only have 1 unit with stomps and it's not played). So when you look at these variables i can't accept those saying we should aim for X or Y book if :
    a) it have a lot less entries than other book
    b) it's a specialized book that spam infantry (DH) or monstrous infantry (OK) and etc

    The aim regarding balance should always be a army with choices and variety such as VC, EoS, WDG and so on.
    " Des chercheurs qui cherchent, on en trouve. Des chercheurs qui trouvent, on en cherche " Charles de Gaulle
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  • Drakkar wrote:

    You have to consider how large each book are before talking internal balance (it's much easier to balance small KoE than big WDG) :
    ...
    I would strongly disagree with this statement. One of the reasons KoE is a nightmare to balance is because EVERY unit has to pull multiple duties.

    Armies with 34 unit choices can have one for tarpitting, one for grinding, one for chaffing, one for shock troops, one for anti chaff, one for anti monster, one for monster protection... the list goes on and on. Go to the other extreme, the knights have to shock AND anti-chaff, AND monster hunt, AND grind. So what happens? Because they CAN do all these things you end up with very expensive generalists as they have been costed due to what they could do. Now obviously they can't do it all every game so they end up paying for skills or roles they don't use.

    If there were another 5 or 7 slots opened up to bring the unit count closer to the average, you could see specialists that aren't all jack of all trades, allowing a lot more internal balance.

    I think dwarves are in that sweet spot where they don't have too many to balance fully but at least have enough so everyone isn't pulling double or tripple duty.

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  • Jurid wrote:

    Drakkar wrote:

    You have to consider how large each book are before talking internal balance (it's much easier to balance small KoE than big WDG) :
    ...
    I would strongly disagree with this statement. One of the reasons KoE is a nightmare to balance is because EVERY unit has to pull multiple duties.
    Armies with 34 unit choices can have one for tarpitting, one for grinding, one for chaffing, one for shock troops, one for anti chaff, one for anti monster, one for monster protection... the list goes on and on. Go to the other extreme, the knights have to shock AND anti-chaff, AND monster hunt, AND grind. So what happens? Because they CAN do all these things you end up with very expensive generalists as they have been costed due to what they could do. Now obviously they can't do it all every game so they end up paying for skills or roles they don't use.

    If there were another 5 or 7 slots opened up to bring the unit count closer to the average, you could see specialists that aren't all jack of all trades, allowing a lot more internal balance.

    I think dwarves are in that sweet spot where they don't have too many to balance fully but at least have enough so everyone isn't pulling double or tripple duty.

    That's true that big books have more units with different roles yes. But you go to far in assuming each of them is different of the others.
    For example since i got here Chosens and Once Chosens are a balance nightmare because both have the same exact role. This year at ETC :

    100% = Total = 44929pts (max 45000pts)
    19.0% = Lord of Chaos 8570pts
    11.0% = Chosen 4950pts
    ...
    1.2% = Once Chosen 550pts

    And it's not the only case, redundancy is a real problem in these books.
    I can't see that improving if each book is supposed to become more specialized in 2.0.
    " Des chercheurs qui cherchent, on en trouve. Des chercheurs qui trouvent, on en cherche " Charles de Gaulle
    " Si l'on bâtissait la maison du bonheur, la plus grande pièce en serait la salle d'attente " Jules Renard
    " Plus j'aime l'humanité en général, moins j'aime les gens en particulier " Fedor Dostoïevski
    " Only in the darkness can you see the stars " Martin Luther King Jr
  • I play OnG, BH, and HE.

    Of these BH is probably the most internally balanced against an unknown opposition. If you know what you are up against then there is a clear favourite for things to take. This is mainly because they have a tiny selection to chose from.

    HE are also pretty internally balanced, although I have played fewer games with them. Only character options are really poorly balanced. Mounts, honours and magic lores have clear favourites. If you know the match up there is a bit of a shift, but less than BH.

    OnG could use a bit of work to tighten up. There are a lot of things that make it into most lists. There is still a broad selection though so it isn't too bad.

    The two biggest internal balance issues I see in all armies are magic lore selection and unit size selection.

    For example if I were to name a unit (as played in a competitive list) I am pretty sure a lot of people could accurately guess the number of models in the United.
  • yrtomin wrote:

    Could we do a vote on this, would be intresting to see.
    I'm not sure I can set up polls, but that is the point of the thread. I want to see what people think of armies that they play and use regularly, as they have the most personal knowledge of the matter.

    For me, I play OK, SA, and ID. I would rank them as OK>SA>ID. I can find a place for any unit in an OK army (depending on the list type I want to play. I'm not bringing a kin eater in a rush list, but it would be awesome in a shooting heavy list, etc.) With ID, most of the units are useful, but there are some that are consistently outshined by everything else (blunderbuss, volcano cannon, and disciples, for example). With SA, I think a lot of units are useful in certain instances, though there are some that are less desirable (ramphodon riders and raptor riders for me).

    But I don't know about other armies. I hear that HBE has some problems with frost phoenixes and sea guard being undesirable, for instance. I am hoping to get more information from players as to what they feel about their army (because I feel there is a big difference between something being desirable and something being competitive. Just because something doesn't show up in the most competitive of lists doesn't mean that it is a bad design, it could just be that it doesn't fit the current meta
  • I play KoE and I cringe whenever someone starts talking about internal balance being off in the army. Personally I believe if you play the army right you can do SO many different things.
    Sure there are dominating army lists fully composed of either Only Peasantry or Only Knights, but there are a grand number of viable options for this army to make it great with a mix of all the units.
    I've been playing T9A for about 3 months now with KoE and I feel like it's rather well internally balanced.
    Depending on your play style you have options in the KoE army book.
    You like to hold your enemy and win by furious 3 rank grinding, go for full peasantry with a few Paladins to keep them LD8.
    You like the massive Shock cavalry charges, go for knight heavy lists.
    Looking at both of those "generic" options you stale the armies out with massively 50/50 chance play styles.
    In a game where strategy literally has a say in victory (RnG also playing it's part), it's not all about how many dudes you can kill. Out maneuvering your opponent is a big part of the game, and with a versatile choice of units as KoE has, I feel like the internal balance is well enough for it to work against many army books.
    Personally I find that nobody takes scouting units in KoE yet we have about 3 units that can be taken as Scouts.
    My most recent army list dominated with scouting heavy Infantry and scouting knights! It's how you play it and how your enemy plays it.
    Personal KoE Internal Power Rating: 8.5/10
    (There are a few things that can be changed with Lances and Lance Formation to make taking lances "the Pride of KoE" more viable)
  • BrykJagz wrote:

    I play KoE and I cringe whenever someone starts talking about internal balance being off in the army. Personally I believe if you play the army right you can do SO many different things.
    Yes but there are clear favourites for each role within the army - which suggests that the internal balance isn't great.

    For example, you rarely see crusaders played because they just don't fit into any role. They lose frenzy after combat round 1 (which they almost certainty lost), and after that they are just the same as peasant levy - except you can't give them a spear or a halberd. Throw on top of this that, due to steadfast, peasant levy are basically stubborn anyway (rarely see less than 45+ as a starting size). If you want a hammer in an infantry based list, you take forlorns or cavalry.

    The Green knight is another unit that isn't seen around much, because he dies to combat resolution (even if you flank an enemy). He is good for hunting war machines (Pegs are better) and killing monsters (What knights aren't in a KoE list?).

    The Scorpion is rarely used as well. It's main function is to support infantry only lists (which shouldn't really be viable for KoE - based on RT poll) by taking out monsters which the infantry can't deal with very well. The trebuchet is much, much better at this (higher strength, same to hit roll) AND it can threaten infantry blocks - this is more of an issue with the core rules for stone throwers though.

    The Castellan is so rarely used that people forget we have him. He is very expensive (mainly because he was used as cheap one man chaff in 1.0/1.1, and this was too effective) and he doesn't bring anything like the value required to justify his cost.

    Forlorns and Quests are not often seen in lists - and when they are usually upgraded to Hedge Knights. I'm yet to see a viable list that doesn't take the Hedge Knights upgrade for Forlorns but I have seen one or 2 which takes vanilla Quests.

    KoTR and Grails do the same job and Grails are just better at it. if you have space in the list and have the choice of a 700pt grail unit or a 700pt realm unit, people will take grails 9 times out of 10.

    Aspirants are usually seen in 5/6 man chaff/anti-chaff darts and rarely have more than 10 in a unit. I know @Jurid used to run these as 15 man blocks but not too many others have done this as far as I know.

    I don't think I've ever seen a list with more than 5 yeomen in a unit. I think someone tried it once to see if it was any good (had a castellan in each unit) but said that they die too easily to anything. But really, if someone said I have yeomen in my list you could respond "how many units of 5 are you running?"

    Character completion between dukes, paladins and Damsels is generally ok, but Virtues and Magic Items are quite badly internally balanced. There are 4-5 duke builds that crop up time and time again because they are just better than anything else.

    Overall, I think that I agree with @Trains_Get_Robbed in that we aren't the worst, but we are still below average on internal balance.

    When I think of Internal Balance, you are looking for diversity in lists, so I have a thought experiment in my head. What you'd do (theoretically) is ask 200 people, who knew nothing about the army but do understand the game (I did say theorectically), to build a KoE list (or whatever other army). If internal balance was perfect, you'd expect each entry to appear a similar number of times - or for there to be clear reasons why this didn't happen. Some will obviously appear more than others as for example the Damsel is the only caster option so if you want magic, you have to have one.

    Now for KoE at the moment 100-ish of those lists would be peasant only which implies that the internal balance of the book is fundamentally flawed. And of the other 100, I think that there are a few non-character entries in KoE that would appear in 80/90+ of those lists and some that wouldn't appear much at all. This suggests that the internal balance of the book isn't great.

    Having said all of that, the internal balance has been getting better for us recently. Quests and Forlorns are starting to see play and the Green Knight is going in the right direction.
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • Drakkar wrote:

    Jurid wrote:

    Drakkar wrote:

    You have to consider how large each book are before talking internal balance (it's much easier to balance small KoE than big WDG) :
    ...
    I would strongly disagree with this statement. One of the reasons KoE is a nightmare to balance is because EVERY unit has to pull multiple duties.Armies with 34 unit choices can have one for tarpitting, one for grinding, one for chaffing, one for shock troops, one for anti chaff, one for anti monster, one for monster protection... the list goes on and on. Go to the other extreme, the knights have to shock AND anti-chaff, AND monster hunt, AND grind. So what happens? Because they CAN do all these things you end up with very expensive generalists as they have been costed due to what they could do. Now obviously they can't do it all every game so they end up paying for skills or roles they don't use.

    If there were another 5 or 7 slots opened up to bring the unit count closer to the average, you could see specialists that aren't all jack of all trades, allowing a lot more internal balance.

    I think dwarves are in that sweet spot where they don't have too many to balance fully but at least have enough so everyone isn't pulling double or tripple duty.
    That's true that big books have more units with different roles yes. But you go to far in assuming each of them is different of the others.
    For example since i got here Chosens and Once Chosens are a balance nightmare because both have the same exact role. This year at ETC :

    100% = Total = 44929pts (max 45000pts)
    19.0% = Lord of Chaos 8570pts
    11.0% = Chosen 4950pts
    ...
    1.2% = Once Chosen 550pts

    And it's not the only case, redundancy is a real problem in these books.
    I can't see that improving if each book is supposed to become more specialized in 2.0.
    I hear what you're saying Drakkar and I agree that there is a certain amount of redundancy for WotDG. That doesn't necessarily make it harder to balance than KoE though, although it may need more creative solutions.

    I think that at the moment the middle ground (with 27ish options) gives a book the opportunity to specialise without needing to replicate unit roles. 2.0 could completely change this though with all the attribute splitting.
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • I am actually really excited with attribute splitting coming into the game. Makes for a much more diverse game and many new options can be opened up by the core rules team.

    I've posted a suggestions thread about suggestions one of the rules I would personally love to see changed or improved upon. Specifically the anti Chaff incentives.
    Make scoring unit size minimums a listing in the unit entry. So that a min suggestionsomeeeize unit of 15 has to be up graded to 20 to gain scoring. I feel like giving these types of changes can also help with internally balancing army books. Implementing that and possibly cost changes into pyramids can really make taking certain units more viable than others, but it can also diversify the choices you have.

    Personally I love the units I use to play the game, I've tried many builds, and I must admit that I haven't used only 1 unit and that is the green knight but it's only because I haven't finished painting him lol.

    Peasant Crusaders are a rather powerful Infantry force on the charge with a Castellan if put into a 28 man block.
  • Trains_Get_Robbed wrote:

    Lots of choice:
    (...)
    VS
    Competitive VS players play just one unit. Plague disciples. It is one wonder army now. Doom bell is hardly ever used. Noone uses vermin hulks or giant rats. Out of the three weapon teams only rotary gun sees some action. Vermin guard lost any purpose... And nerfing the disciples will result in VS falling of any competitive roosters because external balance is kept by that unit...
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  • lawgnome wrote:

    Rather than go back to the toxic sludge fest that is the "Are ogres OP?" thread
    This is just because people is telling you (not you personally, but the 9th age staff) things that many dont want to hear, even if they are true and evident, and you prefer to look another way?

    So "toxic sludge fest" its your definition of that thread just because you dont agree with most things said there or what?

    Thats YOUR calification of that thread, which by the way is treating seriously a very important issue. So try no to be rude and disrespect those who express there their opinion and facts just because you dont like what you read.

    And this said with all respect.
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  • Zamo wrote:

    lawgnome wrote:

    Rather than go back to the toxic sludge fest that is the "Are ogres OP?" thread
    This is just because people is telling you (not you personally, but the 9th age staff) things that many dont want to hear, even if they are true and evident, and you prefer to look another way?
    So "toxic sludge fest" its your definition of that thread just because you dont agree with most things said there or what?

    Thats YOUR calification of that thread, which by the way is treating seriously a very important issue. So try no to be rude and disrespect those who express there their opinion and facts just because you dont like what you read.

    And this said with all respect.
    Sigh.. This is not the purpose of this thread. If you want to keep talking about it, go back to that thread.

    This thread is ONLY about internal balance.

    If you have something you would like to say that is on topic, please provide it.
  • JimMorr wrote:

    Trains_Get_Robbed wrote:

    Lots of choice:
    (...)
    VS
    Competitive VS players play just one unit. Plague disciples. It is one wonder army now. Doom bell is hardly ever used. Noone uses vermin hulks or giant rats. Out of the three weapon teams only rotary gun sees some action. Vermin guard lost any purpose... And nerfing the disciples will result in VS falling of any competitive roosters because external balance is kept by that unit...
    Getting back on topic:

    Do the plague disciples provide a unique role to the army? Something that could not be provided elsewhere if there were strategic buffs/nerfs to other units?

    Is the plague disciple central to a key VS play style? Does their current status as being the most desirable unit in the book prevent other play styles from being used?
  • I play DH, HE, and KoE. As far as internal balance goes, I would rate them in the following order:

    DH>HE>KoE.

    As far as external balance goes, it's a bit harder to accurately judge, since I am far more confident with my DH and KoE, my HE being a very new army to me with very few games under my belt with them. I definitely feel more confident with my DH army--regardless of configuration--than I feel with my KoE--again, regardless of configuration. When I think of my HE, I feel slightly more capable (if not confident) than I do with my KoE, so just speaking from my gut, I would rate my armies' external balance in the following order:

    DH, HE, KoE.

    All that said, I've contended for a long time that DH can be shown to have historically become the standard of balance in the entire system. It may be, as someone else mentioned, due to the fact that they have a rather limited selection of similar-capable tactical elements available to the army. In other words, they're mostly infantry and war machines. Again, I am speaking historically. However, despite having two other armies, my instinct is to measure my other armies against DH to evaluate balance (both internal balance and external balance). I feel I've been well-served in doing so. I think in many ways, DH seems to seek the via media, as it were, resisting extremes (for the most part) to which every other faction in the game is infinitely more susceptible. Instinctually, I think many of us give this place to the human armies--KoE and especially EoS. There might be something to moving our standard of evaluation... ?

    EDIT: DH have few real internal balance issues that I can see, certainly not on the level of my other armies! The Grudgebuster and Hold Guardians seem to need some balancing, and I do feel that the Organ Cannon is slightly better than the other war machines. Magic is still weak, though there seems to be limited consensus on this last point within the DH discussions of which I've been a part.

    HE seem to have some real issues. The core options feel very weak, and with the limited number of shooting models, possibly among other issues, Sea Guard are less attractive to me. My Spearelves cost me what my core battleline costs in other armies, yet they perform like support elements in my other armies. Magic is just a headache with this army, since while I usually do well with anything, Pyromancy seems so far more desirable. I love the MoCT option, even if it results in my character being rather squishy. I don't like that a Lion Chariot Prince seems so obviously superior to other options, and I just can't imagine bringing a dragon in a list and making it actually work...

    KoE, well, there it is. They're the most frustrating for me. I have one list build that I can use consistently, all knights and archers and trebuchets--with the minor tweak from game to game. Everything else just seems underwhelming unless I go with all peasants, which I do very rarely (mostly because of my model availability--I always have to proxy my buff carts). But I don't even know where to begin with KoE. The knights don't do what they're supposed to do, but nothing else seems to do what they knights are supposed to do, either. My heavy-hitters tend to be my buffed peasants with halberds, while my knights are used to grind. Magic seems pretty good, though it's a little undependable and the selection feels limited.
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  • lawgnome wrote:

    Zamo wrote:

    lawgnome wrote:

    Rather than go back to the toxic sludge fest that is the "Are ogres OP?" thread
    This is just because people is telling you (not you personally, but the 9th age staff) things that many dont want to hear, even if they are true and evident, and you prefer to look another way?So "toxic sludge fest" its your definition of that thread just because you dont agree with most things said there or what?

    Thats YOUR calification of that thread, which by the way is treating seriously a very important issue. So try no to be rude and disrespect those who express there their opinion and facts just because you dont like what you read.

    And this said with all respect.
    Sigh.. This is not the purpose of this thread. If you want to keep talking about it, go back to that thread.
    This thread is ONLY about internal balance.

    If you have something you would like to say that is on topic, please provide it.
    Then dont be disrespectful please.

    And the first offtopic thing in the thread is your disrespectful personal opinion about the other thread, not my post asking for you to have some respect.
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