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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Is Invisibility Really All that Bad ?

So it's looking like the nerf season is coming up soon and it happens from time to time. Messing with core rules can really draw people's ire. We all know what Invisibility does - enemy units can only snap shoot (no blasts or templates) and they only hit on 6s versus the buffed unit in melee. Back in sixth edition I remember watching more than one game where an invisible unit was completely wiped off the table in one turn by things like Thunderfire cannons. I have seen games in seventh edition where an invisible unit was wiped off the table in one turn just by sheer volume of firepower such as Tesla heavy Necron armies or Tau pulse bomb armies.

Deathstars have taken a big hit from the nerf bat in seventh edition - BeaStar and Jetseer Council are both a thing of the past. Is there some Deathstar still present that can take out an entire enemy army when buffed by Invisibility? Sure an invisible unit is tough to handle but so is Admantium Lance and Wave Serpents. If we change a core rule to nerf something we don't like it because we don't like playing against it this has a fundamental impact on the game. It's better to design missions to create balance rather than change rules - this requires much more time and effort but in the end everyone is better for it.

Aircentric Armies
I have noticed a recent trend towards flyer and certain types of FMC heavy armies. They are hard to deal with for many other armies under the current meta since most people are not building lists any more that have a sizable chunk of anti air units. These types of armies have all the same benefits as one invisible unit - your ground units can only snap fire versus them and no placing blasts or templates plus they inherently negate the assault phase... You can't even hit them in m─Ślee much less hope to roll some sixes. If you're not prepared to face such an army it's not going to be a fun time but then again if you're playing in a competitive tournament that can and does happen for a whole host of reasons - it's just the way it is. Think of it this way... No one can tell their opponent in a pickup game they have to use the sixth edition rules for Invisibility... You just have to deal with it. Eliminating the things you don't like doesn't make you a better player or more tactical - it simply removes the threat of something you'd rather not have to deal with during a game. To say it's not fair is an understatement.

Murphy's Law
Invisibility is hard to cast since it requires two warp charges so it's unreliable plus you have to roll it. I would never build an army around Invisibility just for those two reasons. Murphy's Law says that when you really need something it won't be there for you - you're setting yourself to lose because you're so dependent on it.

The Real Nerf is to Chaos Players
The real losers are Chaos players banking on Be'lakor to buff their huge pack of Flesh Hounds or Screamers... It's just not going to work anymore - especially versus say a battery of Wyverns so it's back to the drawing board for these players and they have my sympathy. Invisibility was one of the great things for Be'lakor and it just seems like it was intentionally designed to work that way. It's not like the assault phase is all that now nor was it in sixth edition.

CentStar is another unit that can heavily rely upon Invisibility but seeing this particular DeathStar is focused on shooting it's not as big of a loss for them.

As someone who has played with and against Invisibility my strategy is to focus on the rest of the opponent's army until they finally fail to successfully cast it then I hit them with everything including the proverbial kitchen sink - looks like I won't be needing that sink anymore now.

I've always been greatly opposed to any changes to core rules - it doesn't fly right by me. One danger is that one change can give ground to other not well thought changes. I'm sure a lot of people who love to see a core change to the basic principles of the notorious Wave Serpent such as the Serpent Shield - the Wave Serpent can produce a staggering amount of ranged fire power plus it can jink for a 3++ cover save and it's highly mobile to boot. Sure there is a part of me that abhors what the Wave Serpent can do but I'd rather just deal it with rather than nerf the current premier transport but I know that's not the right thing to do... Better to lose rather trying than skew the game by imposing restriction to make things easier for yourself.

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