18 Jul 2012

Teef are not points

Filed under: Design Notes

I’ve read many different rules for GoMo over the years, some good, some bad, some just plain strange. I’ve talked about Doom Fortress Syndrome before and this post is a sort of follow up to that.

First off, most new Gorkamorka players will be encountering the game coming from 40K. This isn’t universally true of course, but it’s fairly common. Warhammer 40,000 and Gorkamorka are obviously very different games but there are also more subtle contrasts that really affect how one views the game systems.

In 40K one sets a point limit and builds an army list to that – 1500 points, 2000 points, etc..
Theoretically any two armies of the same point values should have approximately equal “value”, assuming one makes sensible choices. If one wanted to design a new unit one would draft some rules, set a point value, then see whether the value was about right in the context of similarly costed units from other armies.

Essentially it’s a matter of opportunity cost – if one chooses to field that unit what is one forgoing. There’s also the matter of how many points an enemy would have to expend to counter it.

In Gorkamorka people often try to use the same method and there’s the issue. Teef are not analogous to points. Mob rating is closer to it, but even then it’s not a perfect concept. Point values are set, teef values are fluid. At the start of a campaign everyone does receive 100 teef to spend but after that income mechanics come into play. Buying a new trukk isn’t just a matter of scraping together teef over a series of games, it’s making the choices to do that.

When playing it’s not a matter of “in three games time I will have enough”, it’s a case of “should I risk pushing forward or should I bottle out now?”. Models that go Out of Action don’t generally earn income, for example. Also for many mobs there are potential risks associated with earning income. Should you spend D6 teef to get one of your boyz patched up? Maybe he’ll end up with a powerklaw or a cybork body, or maybe he’ll just waste 5 teef and get a pegleg. If he ends up rather burly he could well turn the tide of the next game.

Teef cost contributes directly to mob rating and mob rating is used for balance. So if a new addition costs less than it should it will break the balancing mechanics mob rating exists for. This is why special characters add a certain number to mob rating when they’re hired (Da Krusher adds 35 for example).

Plenty of writers bear this in mind when writing rules but others don’t. I just wanted to mention it because I feel it’s something interesting to think about when trying to pick a number out of the air for a potential things.


Hand waving helps, I find.

One Response to “Teef are not points”

  1. Noel Says:

    Thank you!!!!!!
    You have explained GM completely in this one blog post. This is the reason why GM is such a great game. The players who drop the game are true point gamers.

    The point it you do not know what the out come will be, and it my not be good.

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