The Core Questions of Core

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  • The Core Questions of Core

    Hi! So, I have seen people talk about how core units pay a core tax. I saw it recently mentioned in a thread discussing wasteland warriors, and these guys vs chosen prove it exists. However, I remember back in the HBE 0.12 sneak peak thread, someone mentioned how the goal was to make core not so bad and make it an OK decision to, say, take 35% in core. Was this second statement false? Or do the devs want people to feel OK with taking extra core while punishing them for doing it? If the answer is "oh well the tax isn't very much" a) going off of wasteland warriors vs chosen, it has to be at least 10%ish. 62.5 points is a thing b) then why tax. Heck, going off of b, why the tax? Please note I'm not trying to come off as ranting, I just have so many unanswered questions!
  • I'm sorry that your Core isn't as point efficient as special, but that may very well be a design choice. However, that doesn't qualify as a core-tax in any way. See, your book doesn't work in isolation. The other dude has to take 25% core as well. And then the question is, will you kill enough core to make points while not losing a lot? That is do you win out point for point in these match-ups? If you answer no to the last question in a lot of matchups, then you qualify for calling it a core tax! ;)
  • Hmm... This doesn't really answer my questions. 1) how is "core isn't as points efficient as special" not qualify as a core tax? Core being less points efficient than special means you pay more points for being core, which is what core tax is. 2) It is true that their other player has to take 25% core and pays tax. However, I never claimed core tax was unfair. I simply asked a) what is the purpose of this tax and b) Do the devs really want people to feel OK taking 35% core if they are punishing (taxing) the player for doing so? Or was this person misrepresenting the board?
  • PapaG wrote:

    Hmm... This doesn't really answer my questions. 1) how is "core isn't as points efficient as special" not qualify as a core tax? Core being less points efficient than special means you pay more points for being core, which is what core tax is. 2) It is true that their other player has to take 25% core and pays tax. However, I never claimed core tax was unfair. I simply asked a) what is the purpose of this tax and b) Do the devs really want people to feel OK taking 35% core if they are punishing (taxing) the player for doing so? Or was this person misrepresenting the board?
    Oh, then I got you on the wrong foot. Sorry, I only know the term "core tax" from the old vampire counts forums, where it was used because core was so bad that the only thing it could do was dying. And obviously, wdg core isn't THAT bad, hence my comment.

    Apologies from the house then!
  • Aaah, completely understandable. I didn't even think about how it had two definitions, the VC one being a 25% army tax wasted in core :p

    I would not consider WDG core bad. However, comparing 12 MoD halberd warriors to the same number of chosen, one pays 0.66 point per model for +1 WS, +1 init and immune to psych. init 4 vs 3 (and even 5 vs 4 without mark of disease) is very noticeable. I also recently saw it in Empire where comparing their special cav to core cav (with upgrade) the former gains +1 init +1 attack and bodyguard for pennies more.
  • There is a general design guideline to make core 10% overcosted over special, and special 10% overcosted over rare. So yes, there exists a clear tax.

    While I personally would absolutely love to see 35% or even 50% core armies viable, that is against the idea. The general intention is to be able to use all core efficiently, to which either it has a role on its own, or it is balanced to each other in their respective role so that (for example) picking core shooting + special close combat is just as viable as picking core close combat + special shooting.

    PapaG wrote:

    I remember back in the HBE 0.12 sneak peak thread, someone mentioned how the goal was to make core not so bad and make it an OK decision to, say, take 35% in core.
    Could you point to the argument were this was stated? I'd like to see the source, to be able to give you a more defined answer.
  • Holy crap, I found it! Had to dig through 18 pages of the HE sneak peak thread, but I did it!

    nicreap wrote:

    The belief being that you go to that point, and thing like spear and bow elves can actually have a purpose on the table. GW wrecked balance by selling models, there are soo many rules, and soo many things in special and rare that were soo broken core became irrelevant. Few armies took more than the bare minimum, ideally, armies should be able to take 35% core if they want and not have it all be dead weight.

    Looking at it, I can see how I could have misinterpreted the post. I can see how he may have been saying "You should be able to take an extra 10% and not have it be completely useless" as he never actually uses the word viable.

    Out of curiosity, could you elaborate more on the decision to tax core compared to special and special to rare. Assuming its not a 5,000 word essay of complicatedness. For example, why not toss the tax and go by the general philosophy that core brings large numbers of generalists, special brings smaller numbers of more elite specialists and rare is all the goodies that define your army? I mean, this is already pretty much being done. If someone just brings lots of cheap core bodies vs a generalist army, they will never win combat and will either be paired against another core infantry block breaking their steadfast or flanked and lose steadfast. At least, that is what my experience tells me, but your team has members that tower over my skill in this game.
  • Angrymiguel wrote:

    I have not noticed Rare being more cost effective vs. Special. Empire is a good example of this. The special section of the EoS v.99 has the most cost effective units.

    For example cannons have moved back and forth from Special to Rare and stayed 100 points.
    You forget to say that the last update saw the global power level of the game goes down.
    If it was an usual update EoS Canon should have got a cost increase ?(

    @Shadeseraph

    Yest the general guideline is 10%.
    But in the reality it can be much worst than that (Core Tax up to 30-40%).
    The better example of this is the WDG T4 Chariot : costing 95pts for being Core it would have costed 60-70pts max for being Special with T4.
    I don't remember where the post is but i think it was @Kathal who say that.
    " 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
  • Theorox wrote:

    So what purpose does this 10% tax actually accomplish? Shouldn't armies with 75% core be as viable as minimum-core armies? Isn't that what internal balance is?

    Theo
    I agree. You said it exactly as I was thinking it. What does this actually accomplish?

    This whole thing has the feeling of juggling core around like a hot potato because nobody really wants to deal with them, but are forced to.

    Core, no matter what the rules mechanics are, should be the biggest percentage of an army's models and the biggest percentage of an army's points, no matter what the size of the points list. I don't expect that to ever become a reality with 9th Age, to my disappointment. From a model perspective, units shouldn't have to be gigantic to effective, but only moderately big.

    I have always said that armies should be able to be any percentage the player wants, and the army should still be viable and able to win a battle. Then I could stop hearing hour-long rants from Sustainable Center about how much core irritates him, its lack of "applicability", and constantly gets in the way of his master battle plans...just saying.

    Our gaming group has run seriously heavy core-heavy armies for years and we also have our own comp. rules where we severely restrict the number of characters, specials, and rares. I have to say it's great fun and when you do alliance armies you'd be surprised how well the games can be balanced when you have two large alliance forces of core going at it. It IS possible to achieve balance with core, but again it can really only be done when playing privately with friends and you can make your own comp. This kind of thing will never happen at tournaments, and yet it's one of the best elements of Warhammer that you just don't see often, practically never in fact. And again, the fact that it can't be done at tournaments is NOT a flaw in Warhammer or with GW's design of the game, but rather an issue that tournaments themselves create because the game is put on competitive rails.
    There are many magic rings in the world Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly!

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Baranovich ().

  • Drakkar du Chaos wrote:

    But in the reality it can be much worst than that (Core Tax up to 30-40%).
    The better example of this is the WDG T4 Chariot : costing 95pts for being Core it would have costed 60-70pts max for being Special with T4.
    I don't remember where the post is but i think it was @Kathal who say that.
    @Krokz said this, but we all agree to it.

    The reason on why there are different core taxes should be pretty obvious. Reasons are:
    • Great and necessary effects/units (most of the times chaff)
    • Important tools for the army (Chariots in Core for WDG)
    • Fixing fundamental problems of the army (e.g. lack of speed, ability to clear chaff,...)
    • ...
    When a single units fulfils more than one of those criteria (there are way more than those three I mentioned) the tax for it will rise. Furthermore, if the unit is in the Core section, the tax for it will be even higher since you have basically a tax on the tax.

    I hope, you can understand me ^^

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    "When four Kings abdicate their thrones, do you really have a Kingdom anymore?"

    I kind have a "blog" now: From Beer and Bretzle vol 2

    ETC 2016 - ID
    ETC 2017 - WDG
  • Theorox wrote:

    I don't. Why aren't they costed the same way and restricted by the number of duplicates you can take, and their individual cost? Why should one unit in core cost more than the exact same unit if it was in special? It only gimps fluff players, and doesn't seem to accomplish anything else.

    Theo

    The idea behind Core Tax is that some people among the Team believe that : if the Core units are too good for what they cost nobody will take Special/Rare units. I disagree completely with this... IMO the effectiveness, special rules and specific roles (like WM and WM hunters for example) of Special/Rare units is all they need to make them a better choice than Core. Core Units more subpar with a Core Tax on top of this is unnecessary, a good design is already enough.
    " 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
  • Theorox wrote:

    I don't. Why aren't they costed the same way and restricted by the number of duplicates you can take, and their individual cost? Why should one unit in core cost more than the exact same unit if it was in special? It only gimps fluff players, and doesn't seem to accomplish anything else.

    Theo
    This really is the question I was hoping to be answered with the thread. The answers given were that core is in fact taxed, that tax is generally 10% but can become higher if the core unit in question fills a weakness in the army (Chariots in WoDG gave them good charge range with a strong CC unit)... But no one has said WHY the tax exists (the chariots in core having higher tax because blah blah blah only explains why the tax is higher).

    Here's my (and I think other's) confusion. If core units were point for point balanced with special, then wouldn't it be just that? Balanced?

    Common sense would say that core units should be less elite units that define the army. Special consists of elite specialists. And again, this is generally done. And if there is a core unit that breaks the balance of core choices for the 25% minimum, assuming the other choices aren't just extremely sub-par, it should be moved (read: WoDG chariots).

    I think that, due to the generally high experience level amongst the devs, it is more likely that there is a good reason for this than not. That lifting the tax would create a less balanced game than not. But the problem is the tax makes so sense (see underlined bolded part of this post), and I think many among the player base are very confused.
  • Drakkar du Chaos wrote:

    Theorox wrote:

    I don't. Why aren't they costed the same way and restricted by the number of duplicates you can take, and their individual cost? Why should one unit in core cost more than the exact same unit if it was in special? It only gimps fluff players, and doesn't seem to accomplish anything else.

    Theo
    The idea behind Core Tax is that some people among the Team believe that : if the Core units are too good for what they cost nobody will take Special/Rare units. I disagree completely with this... IMO the effectiveness, special rules and specific roles (like WM and WM hunters for example) of Special/Rare units is all they need to make them a better choice than Core. Core Units more subpar with a Core Tax on top of this is unnecessary, a good design is already enough.
    This exactly! What you said nails it. The unique rules and unique abilities of special and rare units is what makes them worth taking. Core should be good, but not great units i.e. ordinary soldiers that can fight but don't do anything specifically spectacular, it's Empire soldiers, Orc soldiers, etc etc.

    As you said, good design takes care of that, a core tax isn't necessary. The only reason I see a need for core tax (and this drives me totally insane), is that it's really needed to keep competitive tournament players in check and regulating the constant hyper-obsessive taking the optimal choice for everything and leaving no gaps and no weaknesses anywhere in the army. I am wholeheartedly tired of discussion about army lists based on competitive play instead of immersive play. Just tired of it.

    A Warhammer or 9th Age army should have a majority of core, with special and rare being just that - special and rare i.e., much less of them and smaller in number. I am worn out over having to see discussions about tweaking and changing and adjusting rules based on preventing what competitive players would do to exploit it rather than what would best serve the game as a whole. It's like having to design a game around the concept of having to keep players' behavior in check and forcing them to play in a reasonable manner, and a ruleset should NEVER be designed around that in my opinion.
    There are many magic rings in the world Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly!
  • Baranovich wrote:


    As you said, good design takes care of that, a core tax isn't necessary. The only reason I see a need for core tax (and this drives me totally insane), is that it's really needed to keep competitive tournament players in check and regulating the constant hyper-obsessive taking the optimal choice for everything and leaving no gaps and no weaknesses anywhere in the army. I am wholeheartedly tired of discussion about army lists based on competitive play instead of immersive play. Just tired of it.

    A Warhammer or 9th Age army should have a majority of core, with special and rare being just that - special and rare i.e., much less of them and smaller in number. I am worn out over having to see discussions about tweaking and changing and adjusting rules based on preventing what competitive players would do to exploit it rather than what would best serve the game as a whole. It's like having to design a game around the concept of having to keep players' behavior in check and forcing them to play in a reasonable manner, and a ruleset should NEVER be designed around that in my opinion.
    I agree with a lot of your points, but I think that one can even lift the tax and (keeping 25% minimum), and have a balanced, competitive and thematically integral game. Let me explain.

    A core min of 25% forces you to spend 25% of your points in core, the units that define the army and are fluffy to have. Thing is, 25% of points is not 25% of your army. Personally, I often spend 500-600 points in Characters. Sometimes I go really cheap and spend closer to 300, sometimes I splurge and can hit 800 or more. But the average and most common range is 500-600 points. That is almost 25% of your army, invested in a handful of models. So REALLY your "army" ends up being 75% of your points total, 25% of which is core which brings it to 1/3 of your army. BUT core models are (generally) cheaper than special models, so on a model by model basis core will be even higher than that. I think this is sufficient to make the army make sense "fluff" wise.

    I do think that prioritizing balance over fluff is correct in this stage of the game. Because IDEALLY in the end we would have a balanced competitive and fluffy/flavorful game. It is easier to strip things down and make them competitive then later adding flavor, than giving every unit crazy special rules and then try to balance the whole thing. The other thing is that fluff and flavor ARE present, just more subtle than before (no more crazy variance like the old animosity from Orcs in 8th, no more 2 pages of rules for steam tanks). Could some armies be more defined? Sure! But I think that this will come, especially since I've seen lot of of advocation for it.

    If your idea of flavor and fun is the old Orc animosity rule and 2 pages of rules for one unit and such, then there is already a game for you. It's called Warhammer 8th edition. And I mean that with zero sarcasm and criticism.
  • Here's Sustainable Center's take on what should be done with core in 9th. He's advocating the removal of the core requirement itself, so that players can take armies that are composed 100% of special and rare. With the usual and expected "it's all GW's fault that core exists" of course, as if they invented the concept of core itself just to make money. Absolute over the top nonsense, but this is what Anthony tends to do, his rants become more and more intense until his adrenaline is gone and then he leaves the game for a time....every time I see Anthony do this I imagine him trying to play an historical game - it simply wouldn't compute.

    There are many magic rings in the world Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly!

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Baranovich ().

  • Baranovich wrote:

    Here's Sustainable Center's take on what should be done with core in 9th.
    I saw the video, he basically has two reason why

    1. Other games don't have this restriction

    They do

    2. Core is sh*tty

    Wouldn't say core is "sh*tty", but it is taxed, making it inherently "sh*ttier". This is (IMHO) valid, hence this thread
    If you would like elaboration on these points, I commented on the video

    Now, I have been thinking as to what reasons this tax could exist, and I have come up with only two

    1. GW did it.

    Clearly, if this was 9th age's philosophy, 9th age wouldn't exist, we would just play 8th edition

    2. Because similar options to core exist in special

    Take the Warriors vs Chosen example. If Warriors and Chosen were balanced point for point to each other, people would just take Warriors because Warriors can fill the 25% min Core requirement. Taxing the Warriors simply avoids this problem, it doesn't solve it. It's lazy design. Not saying that the 9th age team is lazy (at all!), but if this is the reason for the tax, it is simply lazy and bad design.

    How to fix it? Give the units different roles

    In the Warriors vs Chosen example, remove the marks from the Chosen and change the Chosen of Wrath and Pestilence (they are too similar to the Marks) and make them more like the Chosen of Change and Lust marks. Take Change Warriors vs Change Chosen. Change Warriors are a super reliable combat block that can handle regen, ethereal and ward save units. Change Chosen (with the champion upgrade) are a unit that supports a magical nuke style of play that still have their superior statline and equipment to support your army when CC rolls around.