Balance for Idiots

Surprisingly, the most common complaint I hear in the gaming community tends to not actually be Games Workshop's fault: Faction balance.

For some bizarre reason, people seem to think it's possible that two completely different factions should also have mirroring rules, stats, and points costs. This would never happen. If that's the kind of balance you're going for, then go play Ultramarines vs Ultramarines.

Oh, so...
  • Your Chaos Marines don't get And They Shall Know No Fear? That's because they get close combat weapons standard.
  • They don't get Chapter Tactics? They have Chaos Marks instead.
  • No Drop Pods? They get access to Helldrakes and Defilers.
  • No Whirlwinds or Thunderfire Cannons? They get Mutilators and Obliterators.
  • The combi-bolter is more expensive than a stormbolter? That's because it's arguably better than a stormbolter!
There's an old trick question, which weighs more: 5lb of rocks or 5lb of feathers? The correct answer is they're the same weight.

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only gamer that understands that this is how balance works. Of course there's been times I've looked at an Eldar or Tau codex and said to myself, "I wish my army had something like that", but this is due to a sudden "the grass is always greener on the other side" mentality which obstructs the bigger picture of balance between unique factions.

Honestly, it seems like the people who complain about these things are just bad at the game. From a tactical/strategic standpoint, I mean. They might know every rule by heart, but they might just be making stupid decisions on the battlefield or in their army lists that's swaying the tide of battle in favor of their opponent. It's similar to the classic case of intelligence vs wisdom.

But I'm just so tired of hearing about how people can't win games because they don't have access to the exact same units and options as their opponents. You're supposed to adapt - both in army roster and playstyle. Anticipate your enemy's moves. Take chances.

If you still lose, then maybe the dice gods were on vacation. Who knows. But do not blame losses on Games Workshop because they don't allow Chaos Marines to have Drop Pods. You and I both know that's not true.