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Battleground: Fantasy and Historical Warfare => House Rules, Unofficial Variants and Proposals => Topic started by: gornhorror on March 05, 2015, 06:40:10 PM

Title: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on March 05, 2015, 06:40:10 PM
So the Jersey boys are going to get together and play some battleground this Friday.

We are going to try some new house rules that I've been tooling around in my head.

High Elves:

My first thought is to keep all of the prices on the unit cards for the High Elves.  I'm going to make these changes.

Precision: Acts as normal but lowers one die by one on the "to damage" roll also. 

Oathbound: Play before any courage phase. Each of your units gets +2 courage for the turn.  You may allow one unit to automatically pass it's rout check.  If you do, then each unit only gets +1 courage.


Ravenwood:

Aspect of Fox grants an additional -1 if the unit is charging.

If you have a Wolfkin or a Bearkin in play, you may play command cards on Wolf Packs and Bear Packs normally.  If you don't have them, then Wolf Packs and Bear Packs are a pitch and play.


Umenzi:

Hex cannot be cast on e ranged units.


Monsters and Mercs:

The Hill Giant can use it's ranged attack for one command action.  If you choose to direct control it still costs 2 command actions because of the Stupid modifier.  You may also give the Hill Giant the move and shoot modifier and it will move at 5" but will not suffer a move and shoot.

The Hydra, both Dragons,  the Hill Giant, and the Earth Elemental are all pitch 1 to play 1.  However, they only give you one command card at the beginning of the game, not two.

More to come:
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on March 05, 2015, 07:02:18 PM
Just a warning:  Bear Packs get obscenely overpowered if you allow normal cards.  Put it another way, their point cost would be 359 (as opposed to 307), or about 17% higher, minus whatever piddly discount they'd get for needing Bearkin on the map.

You heard it here first.  ;)
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on March 06, 2015, 12:36:14 PM
So the Jersey boys are going to get together and play some battleground this Friday.

We are going to try some new house rules that I've been tooling around in my head.

My standard caveat:  your game, your house rules, no matter what I say below.   ;D


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High Elves:

Precision: Acts as normal but lowers one die by one on the "to damage" roll also. 

Way too good.  Its now Follow Through with an impact hit.  IMO, I say just not have it count as a Command Card and that should be more than enough.


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Ravenwood:

Aspect of Fox grants an additional -1 if the unit is charging.

You know, I agree that something needs to be done about this dang card.  Its just lame as is.  Personally, I'd add some form of card block.  Like a Blue version of Sudden Strike:  the opponent can't play command cards during this attack (already played cards are unaffected).



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If you have a Wolfkin or a Bearkin in play, you may play command cards on Wolf Packs and Bear Packs normally.  If you don't have them, then Wolf Packs and Bear Packs are a pitch and play.

What Kevin said.


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Umenzi:

Hex cannot be cast on e ranged units.

Personally disagree.  Ranged attacks are basically the reason Hex was written.



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Monsters and Mercs:

The Hill Giant can use it's ranged attack for one command action.  If you choose to direct control it still costs 2 command actions because of the Stupid modifier.  You may also give the Hill Giant the move and shoot modifier and it will move at 5" but will not suffer a move and shoot.

I kind of agree that something should be done with this, because by my reckoning something like 100pts is tied down in this ability.  I wonder if it should be a thing where if the Hill Giant is on Ranged or Hold it makes a 21" range attack. 


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The Hydra, both Dragons,  the Hill Giant, and the Earth Elemental are all pitch 1 to play 1.  However, they only give you one command card at the beginning of the game, not two.

I have the same concern there that Kevin raised with Bear/Wolf Packs.  By my math that's handing out like a free 5% to those units, which adds up pretty quickly.  For Dragons that's like a free 100pts.


Some interesting ideas in there.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: BubblePig on March 06, 2015, 01:58:34 PM
I agree with most of Corey's points. Not sure about the math on that last one though.  Are you saying 100 points cumulatively for all dragons?

I would like to see Precision be less extremely situational, but making it not count as a command action is already a pretty nice upgrade. I would also like to see the Hill Giant be less extremely situational, but allowing ranged attack for one command action is ridiculously good IMO. Also, downgrading from 2 to 1 command card draw is too severe a penalty to someone for taking M&M as a faction as opposed to someone taking Hill Giant as a merc unit in another faction.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on March 06, 2015, 02:44:29 PM
I agree with most of Corey's points. Not sure about the math on that last one though.  Are you saying 100 points cumulatively for all dragons?

No it's 50.  I had the Hill Giant's ranged attack on the brain and typed 100 when I meant 50.  Still, 50 pts is fairly substantial.


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I would like to see Precision be less extremely situational, but making it not count as a command action is already a pretty nice upgrade.

I think it'd put it about right.  Most times I'd rather have the card (because the card is usually better and a card that can be played on any unit is more valuable than an extra hit that can only go on that unit), but there's times where I'd want it.  For example, if I needed to blow through a unit that turn, the extra potential damage is impressive.


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I would also like to see the Hill Giant be less extremely situational, but allowing ranged attack for one command action is ridiculously good IMO.

I have the same concerns with my idea.  Maybe it would be a thing where you could only do it with Ranged & Hold but no point objective (or even no objective at all--too dumb to pick targets).  So your option is to stand there with the Giant or to close with it.  I dunno.  It is a lot of dead points on the unit (like 20% of its cost, if I'm statting it up correctly in the formula).
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on March 06, 2015, 03:05:42 PM
To me, the thing about Precision is that in the beginning it was a mediocre ability that was transformed into a blah ability by the dice charge.  I know Maneuver Master is the real ace up the sleave for High Elves and Precession more of an afterthought, but it would be nice to have it be reasonably playable.  I mean, I played half a dozen games as the High Elves at Total Con 2 weeks ago and I never even used the ability.  In fact, I didn't even THINK about using the ability with the exception of 1 instance in my first game against Ron and Jaime.  And I used Knights and Chariots quite a bit.  Not having it count as playing a command card seems like a pretty nice fix even though that can get scary when combining a Knight charge with a Force or even a Might.

Concerning the Hill Giant, it is one of two 500 point units that I hardly ever play because I don't think they are worth the points the way they are and would only be truly worth it against a high toughness faction.  The other unit is the Giant Catapult.  IMO using 1 CA for the ranged attack isn't breaking it.  Let's look at it this way - Ron also played 6 games at Total Con as Monsters & Mercs.  How many times did Ron even use a Hill Giant all weekend?  Maybe once?
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on March 06, 2015, 03:19:49 PM
Not having it count as playing a command card seems like a pretty nice fix even though that can get scary when combining a Knight charge with a Force or even a Might.

Yeah it'd be almost as scary as getting a free +1 Pow if you used it on the first turn of combat! 

Oh wait . . .

 ;D

Look, the Pow charge had lots of ripple effects on the game, one of which is that it took a really crappy checkbox and made it sometimes okay.  I remember once having to be explain that a O:(0)+1/+0 that counted as a command card was literally worse than a card in almost every instance.  Precision is basically a free impact hit (which is essentially like getting a +1 on one stat).  Having it count as a card makes it worse than a card almost all of the time.

Not having it count as a card is a simpler solution, that might feel strong when paired with a Might, but that'll be the same effect on the extra hit as the Pow charge did.  And unlike the Pow charge, having to play the Might has a cost (i.e. its finite resource that costs a CA).  Same with Force.



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Concerning the Hill Giant, it is one of two 500 point units that I hardly ever play because I don't think they are worth the points the way they are and would only be truly worth it against a high toughness faction.  The other unit is the Giant Catapult.  IMO using 1 CA for the ranged attack isn't breaking it.  Let's look at it this way - Ron also played 6 games at Total Con as Monsters & Mercs.  How many times did Ron even use a Hill Giant all weekend?  Maybe once?

I actually tend to use the Hill Giant a fair number of times, because with the Dice charge and the no-flank-from-front, that T4 is truly nasty.  But before now I hadn't realized how F'ng expensive that ranged attack is (if I'm doing the math right).  This unit might be one of the few units that changing the pitch-to-play to 1 card might be the right thing.  The unit has so many dead points in that ranged attack that it might be okay to give the Hill Giant some free points back.



As an aside, Brook, one idea that might be worth exploring is changing the way Large & Colossal ranged modifiers work.  Rather than be a flat +X bonus, I think the simplest tweak might be to make them bonus but only to negate penalties.  So the (+0)+2/+0 to shoot at the T-Rex only allows you to negate movement penalties and ranged penalties (and cover, should the unit get it).  But if you shoot that the T-Rex at short range with that ballista, you don't get any further bonuses.


And at what point should this thread be split off into its own thread?
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: BubblePig on March 06, 2015, 03:35:40 PM
Immediately.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on March 06, 2015, 06:21:24 PM
"Stupid" gives a 5% discount.  If the Hill Giant had no ranged attack but you could play cards on it normally (but it was still stupid, like Ogres), it would cost 507, or slightly more than it does.

I really, really hate that whoever did these modification tables felt compelled to use 1-2 words to quasi-coherently describe each feature, rather than just spell the damn thing out.  So I can't tell if the Command Card restrictions are "Nothing (good)" or "No modification", which are a 12% discount or a 5% discount respectively.

Let's say it's a 12% discount.  That puts the puts the cost down to 446.  However, you get two free command cards when you take the Giant.  Technically that's 50 points but command cards are overpriced, so let's call it 30.

That would put the giant's price--if it had no shot at all--at 474.  In other words, you're paying about 26 points, or the cost of a Half Orc Swords-to-Spears upgrade, for that ability to throw a boulder.  Is it worth it if I'm fighting High Elves?  No way.  Is it worth it if I'm batting the Umenzi on a very narrow front and want the ability to murder any Giant War Elephant that gets fielded?  Absolutely!

By the way, at Championship my Umenzi battled two Monsters & Mercs. armies.  Both opponents took a Hill Giant.  Both games were very close.  So much for their lack of popularity.

------------------

General piece of advice for anyone running a tournament, a lesson which really should be well-known to any Star Fleet Battles veteran:  If you nerf a unit too much the only effect will be that players will avoid that unit/faction but the tournament itself goes just fine.  If you make a unit too good, you suck a lot of fun out of the event as players either play the unit/faction-on-steroids or get crushed.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on March 06, 2015, 07:28:04 PM
Well, it seems as though I started another interesting conversation.  It's good to see people talking.

Over the last tournament I made it a point to play Monsters and Mercs and played units that I thought needed help. (i.e. The Hill Giant and the Earth Elemental).  What I found was that those units with all of their restrictions are just not that much fun to play.  IMPO, I have no problem giving them help and keeping their costs exactly the same. 

Now, the High Elves fix. I just don't want to deal with re-costing all of the units because something got screwed up when the faction was made.  I say, just live with the costs of the units as they are and help the army ability that just plain sucks balls.  I think adding a follow through for one die on the damage roll is the perfect fix.  Remember your still using a command action to mark it and you can't play a command card if you use the ability.  With these restrictions it shouldn't be abused and overpowered.  Follow though is no way overpowered if it only affects one die. The card, if used alone, is marginal at best.

I like Corey's suggestion about the Aspect of Fox card.  Perhaps we could keep it the same if it stopped the opposing player from playing an offensive card.  Kinda like a reverse sudden strike.  I could roll with that.

In a perfect world, Hex would not be able to be used against ranged units but I could live with Hex if it had some restrictions.  Perhaps we could say that "if a unit is affected by Hex you cannot play defensive command cards against it for the turn.".....or something like that.  Taking my Hawks longbowmen and having them hexed and then using a defensive card  on my attack seems like way too much of a penalty.  Especially from a unit that only costs 100 points.  You shouldn't be able to pile it on.  Makes the game un-fun.  Oh, BTW, did I say that I hate the Umenzi faction?  Wasn't sure that I did......:)  I have always cried bullshit when it came to that faction.  From the Hex, to Faith armour(laugh), to the fact that you don't have to pitch to play on the awesome unit that is best known as Mukamil. Just never understood that. 

Anyways, more to come after tonight's rumble.




 
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on March 06, 2015, 08:15:21 PM
For what it's worth, I don't much care about Hexing ranged attacks.  I only recall doing that on a Dragon raining fire from above.  Generally it's a much better use of my Shamans to be furiously healing and surpercharging my first round attack.

As to the Giant War Elephant, the reason it's not pitch-to-play is because, like the Carthaginian & Persian elephants but unlike "monsters," it is being controlled by human riders.

True, at 529 points it's the most expensive unit in the game on which cards get played normally, but by definition some unit will claim that honor.  But it has a decent amount of company:  here are other units within 100 points of it on which cards get played normally:

Undead Death Knights (516)
Undead Giant Catapult (510)
High Elven Celestial Guard (503/491)
Wuxing Jade Dragon (474)
Dark Elf Dusk Lancers (444)
Ravenwood Treant  (444)
Dark Elf Lord of Dusk (430)

Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: BubblePig on March 07, 2015, 01:16:44 AM
Let's say it's a 12% discount.  That puts the puts the cost down to 446.  However, you get two free command cards when you take the Giant.  Technically that's 50 points but command cards are overpriced, so let's call it 30.
I disagree. Those command cards are drawn due to a faction ability (which they get because they have no spoils box, btw) so zero points. One might quibble and figure out exactly what command cards are 'worth' and then somehow figure out what having a spoils box is worth and take the difference, but lets just save ourselves the headache and call it a push. That said, the ability to throw boulders even at the cost of two command actions is pretty huge, so my gut feeling is that while some correction might be desirable, giving both [pitch one to play one] and [one command action per shot] is an over-correction. I know that when I build an M&M army, the vulnerability of Large or Colossal units factors into my thinking pretty heavily, but the penalty for playing command cards is almost a non-issue. Also, any fix which takes away a 'free' command card will probably result in my taking them less often unless it is just brokenly good.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: BubblePig on March 07, 2015, 01:53:33 AM
BTW, If you want to fix a stay-in-the-box M&M unit, how about Dragons and Elementalists. I never take those things. Maybe that makes me a miser but I would actually consider taking an Ancient Red before taking a Red or an Elementalist, because paying 53 points per hit box is about as high as I will go before I start getting twitchy. I mean, at 60 points per hit box, I have never once seen Elementalist deliver commensurate value on the field, although she can hide behind something smaller than a Hydra.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on March 07, 2015, 07:52:06 PM
"Stupid" gives a 5% discount.  If the Hill Giant had no ranged attack but you could play cards on it normally (but it was still stupid, like Ogres), it would cost 507, or slightly more than it does.

I don't get those numbers at all.  I get the ranged attack at costing 73 pts (I'd said 100pts before, but in recreating the Giant, that's how I make the numbers work).  By contrast, not playing command cards is a 5% or 10% discount (depending on whether you use NCC_Good or NCC_Crappy).  If you took away the Command Card restrictions and the ranged attack, my numbers come to 461pts.


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I really, really hate that whoever did these modification tables felt compelled to use 1-2 words to quasi-coherently describe each feature, rather than just spell the damn thing out.  So I can't tell if the Command Card restrictions are "Nothing (good)" or "No modification", which are a 12% discount or a 5% discount respectively.

My understanding is that No Modification is the triceratops herd thing where you can't modify their standing order.

"Nothing (Crappy/Good/Broken)" means the unit can't have command cards or the army ability and is either a chump unit, a decent unit, or something like a T-Rex.

I managed to recreate the Hill Giant at exactly 500pts by giving it all the stats in the relevant places, plus its ranged attack with 1 turn of shooting at Short range and 1 turn of shooting at Long range.  I then gave the modifier bar the following:  Fear*Large*Stupid_Good*Nothing_Good

If you let someone play cards on the unit, then you replace "Nothing_Good" with "No_Army_Ability" or "No_Army_Ability_Broken."  There's a good case for the latter, because spoils would be a huge benefit to the Hill Giant.

Of course, there's a couple of issues with all this because the ranged attack only goes to Pow 7 and I've never gotten a straight answer on how they costed "pitch 2 to play" in the formula.  So my numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt, because I'm trying to back construct.  But I feel confident that my numbers are pretty close.


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Let's say it's a 12% discount.  That puts the puts the cost down to 446.  However, you get two free command cards when you take the Giant.  Technically that's 50 points but command cards are overpriced, so let's call it 30.

I know for a fact the cost of those cards are not factored in to the cost of M&M units.  They're essentially army abilities like Lash and Determination.  They're added on after the fact to help balance the faction out.


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That would put the giant's price--if it had no shot at all--at 474.  In other words, you're paying about 26 points, or the cost of a Half Orc Swords-to-Spears upgrade, for that ability to throw a boulder.  Is it worth it if I'm fighting High Elves?  No way.  Is it worth it if I'm batting the Umenzi on a very narrow front and want the ability to murder any Giant War Elephant that gets fielded?  Absolutely!

By the way, at Championship my Umenzi battled two Monsters & Mercs. armies.  Both opponents took a Hill Giant.  Both games were very close.  So much for their lack of popularity.

While I do think the Hill Giant is really good, I disagree that the cost of the ranged ability is 26 pts.  I feel that its closer to the 60-80pt range, based on what I could pull from the formula.  You could say that the cost of the Hill Giant's pitch-to-play is 7%, because "Nothing_Good" is 12% and No_Army_Ability is 5%.  That'd put the cost between the 10% of NCC_Good  and the 5% of NCC_Crappy (No command cards and the unit is good/crappy).  Which could make sense since you can play a card on the unit, it's just really costly to do so.  That'd make it worth 34 pts, or about half the cost of the ranged ability.  So making the pitch to play 1 card would be giving the Hill Giant half of that 34 pts as a bonus.

That being said, I still think the Hill Giant is really good and might have concerns that a pitch 1 on the Hill Giant would make the guy nearly auto-include.


Over the last tournament I made it a point to play Monsters and Mercs and played units that I thought needed help. (i.e. The Hill Giant and the Earth Elemental). 

I massively disagree with you there.  I think the Hill Giant is a pretty good unit, although the faction in general is going to have a tough time against Def Skill 3.  The Earth Elemental went from a so-so unit to an awesome unit IMO with the dice charge.  12 boxes of Fearless?  You can just send that guy forward and have him control a flank all by himself, because even with a pinch bonus, he's still functionally T3.

Also remember that the flank-from-front rules of Kevin's tournament is going to place a higher value on speed so you're going to be rewarded by taking cheap, fast units to get the pinch.  In that format, units that are points intensive and/or have a difficulty with command & control are going to suffer.  Monsters & Mercs falls into both categories there.  M&M rank right up there with Dwarves as factions I wouldn't take under those conditions.


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Now, the High Elves fix. I just don't want to deal with re-costing all of the units because something got screwed up when the faction was made.  I say, just live with the costs of the units as they are and help the army ability that just plain sucks balls.  I think adding a follow through for one die on the damage roll is the perfect fix.  Remember your still using a command action to mark it and you can't play a command card if you use the ability.  With these restrictions it shouldn't be abused and overpowered.  Follow though is no way overpowered if it only affects one die. The card, if used alone, is marginal at best.

Yeah I disagree.   ;D  Used on the damage roll its basically an extra damage.  If you hit with 3 dice (out of 5), the odds of you rolling one specific number out of six with one of those dice is just under half (42%).  So if the extra hit is worth 1/2 a pt of damage (assume Pow 5), then the Follow Through is going to be worth .42 damage, you've got an ability that is worth almost an extra point of damage (on average).  And that's Pow 5.  When you factor in using this on Knights or Chariots or Elder Blades, the damage becomes pretty sick.


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In a perfect world, Hex would not be able to be used against ranged units but I could live with Hex if it had some restrictions.  Perhaps we could say that "if a unit is affected by Hex you cannot play defensive command cards against it for the turn.".....or something like that.  Taking my Hawks longbowmen and having them hexed and then using a defensive card  on my attack seems like way too much of a penalty.  Especially from a unit that only costs 100 points.  You shouldn't be able to pile it on.  Makes the game un-fun.  Oh, BTW, did I say that I hate the Umenzi faction? 

Yeah, that's pretty clear...and I think it's affecting your judgement in this case.  Hex is fine, IMO.  When you play Umenzi, you simply have to accept that you're going to be facing Hex and you have to adjust your strategy accordingly.  You can't play the same way against them and expect t win.  If you take shooters, you know that your best shooting is very likely to get hexed all game.


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From the Hex, to Faith armour(laugh),

On any other faction, Faith Armor would be broken.  On them, it's okay.


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to the fact that you don't have to pitch to play on the awesome unit that is best known as Mukamil. Just never understood that. 

Which is their only 5" mover*.  And mind you they pay for that ability.  They would be at least 50pts cheaper if they couldn't have cards played on them.  I don't see how the GWE having cards played on them is any more broken than Death Knights or the Treant.

*Yes, I know they have access to mercenaries, but once you allow mercenaries in a faction you fundamentally change its balance.  Each faction is more or less balanced by being able to take only their 12 units.  Adding extra units, like for example the Stone Monkeys, literally unbalances the army.  Part of what keeps the GWE from being broken is that its the only fast unit available to Umenzi.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on March 20, 2015, 12:32:38 PM
Well, the Jersey Boys are going to get together tonight to throw down again.  I fully plan on implementing my idea for Precision and for Oathbound.

The latest version is:  Use before any courage checks are made.  One of your units automatically passes it's courage/rout check.  Any units within 7" of this unit get +2 on their courage roll.

Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on March 20, 2015, 12:38:20 PM
Have fun!

Here's a thought:  Have someone else play High Elves, so you can see how the house rules feel from the other side of the table.  A different perspective is often helpful.


Also, I'll bet Kevin would be happy if during at least one of your games, somebody tried out the proposed Rat Swarm errata.  ;D

(I'd be happy too, because I think we're onto something with the Rat Swarm)   
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on March 23, 2015, 01:08:12 PM
In our last session.  Marcus did play the High Elves.  I think he used the "new" precision about 2-3 times, probably 2.  In the course of the game it ended up causing one more additional damage.  The game was a rout however.  I played Lizardmen and just rolled great.  It also didn't help that Marcus failed a couple of rout checks, one on the charge turn.  He wasn't winning the game anyways, due to luck.   So we decided to trash taking pictures and just have some fun.   I'm sure we will get to play again soon, God willing.  Marcus can give his thoughts after those games on whether or not it's too powerful.   

On a side note, I would like it to be known that we have played two games so far with the new "precision" rules and the Oathbound change.  Precision was used 5 times total and neither of us drew Oathbound once.   Well, I did draw it on my last turn, but it was never used.  So, even though supposedly there is good chance that one of the two cards will be drawn in the course of the game, it really hasn't happened yet.   I will keep track of this just out of curiosity.

What about if we treated Swarm of rats like a skirmisher unit and made it's attack a ranged attack, kinda like javelins?  8 dice at a 5/3.  I would imagine being swarmed by a bunch of rats, enough to actually do damage, would be pretty hard to avoid.   I guess if they came within 5" they could just do a ranged attack.  The move and shoot would effectively make their attack a 4/3 with 8 dice.  I don't know, just a thought....  I think the unit still sucks in it's current form.  I would not add it to any Undead armies I would make.  That's not saying much, because I hardly ever play the Undead, but still. :)
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on April 17, 2015, 11:42:29 AM
Just to keep the information flowing about this proposed change.  I checked 4 units the entire game and the enhancement netted me three extra damage.  

I believe one High Elf swordsman unit hit a bunch of times against one of Marcus' longbeards and when I rolled to damage I rolled 3 1's and a two and I used the new precision to change the two to a one, which forced a rout check.  Which he passed of course.

The other two points were done by the High Elf Knights charge on a unit of Dwarf militia and another was done to the hammermen by the High Elf swordsman on my left flank.



Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on April 22, 2015, 04:44:41 PM
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Yeah, and it should, because its broken powerful.  A High Elf charging a D:2/x unit will get 5.67 hits.  Meaning most of the time he'll be rolling 6 dice to wound, making it likely to roll at least one die where Precision can turn a miss into a wound.  My back of the envelope math says that a HE Swordsmen charging a Dwarf Axemen will do +1.33 damage with Precision (or, if you prefer, 4 wounds when used on 3 units).  That's better than playing a Might or a Cunning, and is almost as good as playing a Force.
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Is that right?  Against a 2/x defensive unit a 6/5 offensive profile will have 5.67 hits on average with 7 dice? I mean,  I'm surprised by that number.  I guess it is what it is. 

If this is the case, Precision gives the High Elves help right where they don't need it.  Perhaps combining Precision with a weak Follow through on the "to damage" roll is too powerful.  I was thinking that a choice between the two might be a more balanced choice. 

Precision:

Use a command action to check the Precision box.  During your attack you have to options.  You may erase the mark before the "to hit" roll to receive and extra hit, or you may erase the mark after the "to damage" roll to lower one die by one.  Choosing either option counts as playing a command card.

Also, I'm not sure if I agree that my idea for Oathbound is broken, but I don't like my change currently.  I just don't think what it currently does goes along with the name of the card.  Oathobound to me should make the unit stay in there now matter what.   Sorta like "I kill you meself" but I wouldn't want to copy that card.  I think something else would be in order.  I'll keep thinking up stuff until I find something I like.




Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: BubblePig on April 22, 2015, 06:44:48 PM
Yeah, and it should, because its broken powerful.  A High Elf charging a D:2/x unit will get 5.67 hits.  Meaning most of the time he'll be rolling 6 dice to wound, making it likely to roll at least one die where Precision can turn a miss into a wound.  My back of the envelope math says that a HE Swordsmen charging a Dwarf Axemen will do +1.33 damage with Precision (or, if you prefer, 4 wounds when used on 3 units).  That's better than playing a Might or a Cunning, and is almost as good as playing a Force.

Is that right?  Against a 2/x defensive unit a 6/5 offensive profile will have 5.67 hits on average with 7 dice? I mean,  I'm surprised by that number.  I guess it is what it is.  

7*(6-2)/6 is 4.667
but yeah that is still rolling 5 or 6 dice to wound a bunch of the time, so lowering one die by one on the damage roll is basically an extra damage. Just making Precision not count as a command card seems pretty potent for Knights and Chariots.
 
For that matter, given Mithril, I am not sure Oathbound needs to be as good as other command cards. It is situational like the Carthaginian card whose name escapes me at the moment which allows you to change 3 standing orders, so being able to pitch Oathbound and draw another command card, while a bit boring, seems to me to be a simple and effective fix if it needs one.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on April 22, 2015, 09:45:22 PM
Yeah, and it should, because its broken powerful.  A High Elf charging a D:2/x unit will get 5.67 hits.  Meaning most of the time he'll be rolling 6 dice to wound, making it likely to roll at least one die where Precision can turn a miss into a wound.  My back of the envelope math says that a HE Swordsmen charging a Dwarf Axemen will do +1.33 damage with Precision (or, if you prefer, 4 wounds when used on 3 units).  That's better than playing a Might or a Cunning, and is almost as good as playing a Force.

Is that right?  Against a 2/x defensive unit a 6/5 offensive profile will have 5.67 hits on average with 7 dice? I mean,  I'm surprised by that number.  I guess it is what it is. 

7*(6-2)/6 is 4.667

The house rule is modifying Precision so that it provides the normal benefit of an extra hit.  Thus: [7*(6-2)/6]+1 = 5.67 hits.


Quote
Use a command action to check the Precision box.  During your attack you have to options.  You may erase the mark before the "to hit" roll to receive and extra hit, or you may erase the mark after the "to damage" roll to lower one die by one.  Choosing either option counts as playing a command card.

I think at that point you might as well remove the first option, because it's so inferior to the second one that I highly doubt it'll get used.

That being said, I don't like giving High Elves a checkbox Follow Through.  The reason is because it allows you to turn HE Swordsmen into Elder Blade Swordsmen for a Command Action.  Math:

(vs a D:2/2)

Elder Blade Sword:  5 * 2/3 * 2/3 = 2.22 dmg

Sword w/checkbox:
5 * 2/3 = 3.33 hits
3.33 * 1/2 = 1.67 wounds
1.67 (failed to-wound dice) * 1/3 (odds of rolling a 4) = .56 wounds
1.67 (wounds) + .56 (failed wounds becoming a wound) = 2.22 dmg

The reason this bothers me is that it lets the High Elf player "have his cake and eat it too" because they can save the 50pts from not having Elder Blade Swordsmen, and yet still get the same damage output if they want it.  Yeah it's not free in the sense of it costs you a CA, but CAs are free in the sense that you don't have to buy them.  It just feels to me that if you want to damage Dwarves like you had Elder Blades, then you should have to buy Elder Blades.


My opinion is that, as a rule of thumb its always best to take the most minimal approach with erratas if possible.  I think that the idea of simply crossing out the sentence "this counts as a Command Card" from the Precision rule is worth trying out.  It makes Precision a situational ability, but I think one that has value and fits with them thematically.  If you really want to break through a weak enemy who is trying to sandbag you, then its invaluable, especially because you can pair it with a Command Card.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on April 24, 2015, 08:49:09 AM
Well,  my first suggestion for Precision was to do just that, have it not count as a command card.  That would be, in my mind the most simple and elegant fix.  I know that some people don't think the High Elves need fixing but I've played to many games against good opponents where I needed some kind of breakthough and didn't get it.  Either because I didn't draw a might or a force or even a cunning for that matter.  Perhaps loading on the hits will result in a few more damage against high toughness factions without going overboard.  I think that will be the change I make for DexCon.

On a different note, this is my other idea for Oathbound.  I just really need this card to be something other than a +2 courage.

Well, here it is:

Oathbound: Each of your units gets +2 courage for the turn.  If one of your units fails a rout check, you may choose to have that unit pass instead.  Put a counter on this unit.  This unit makes no more rout checks this engagement.  Remove the counter at the end of this engagement and remove this unit from play.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on April 24, 2015, 09:49:28 AM
Well,  my first suggestion for Precision was to do just that, have it not count as a command card. 
I like this best.  My biggest source of frustration with Precision and why I don't use it often is that I'm always worried that I'd cross off the box and then my opponent would simply drop a Mettle, Hardened, or some faction-specific card like Aspect of Bear and totally nullify it.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: BubblePig on April 24, 2015, 11:08:56 AM
On Oathbound: IMO you need to dial it back a bit. Something between [not as good as a dwarven Rune if you are unlucky enough to only have one unit checking morale] and [almost always significantly better than IKYM.] A courage bailout you can use both before and after the rout check just seems like it would be too frustrating for the other guy who has been coughing up blood trying to get that first failed rout check.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on April 24, 2015, 11:28:25 AM
Well,  my first suggestion for Precision was to do just that, have it not count as a command card.  That would be, in my mind the most simple and elegant fix.  I know that some people don't think the High Elves need fixing but I've played to many games against good opponents where I needed some kind of breakthough and didn't get it. 

I agree with you that it's a pretty weak ability and, while I've been very m'eh to the idea of an official errata in the past I'm very m'eh in any any opposition to changing it.  And if you were going to make a change, then I'd probably go with this one for starters.


Quote
On a different note, this is my other idea for Oathbound.  I just really need this card to be something other than a +2 courage.

Well, here it is:

Oathbound: Each of your units gets +2 courage for the turn.  If one of your units fails a rout check, you may choose to have that unit pass instead.  Put a counter on this unit.  This unit makes no more rout checks this engagement.  Remove the counter at the end of this engagement and remove this unit from play.

Pardon my hysterics, but this is stronger than the previous idea, which was already too strong.  First, each unit getting +2 Cge is as good as the Hawkshold Uncommon Valor card.  Then it lets you auto-pass a failed rout check on one unit, and then have that unit pass all further rout checks.  Yeah you remove the unit, but if I'm holding out with a Battle Squad, I'm okay with that.  Sorry, but this card is broken strong.

I agree with you that Oathbound is a lame card.  But this is a case of individually weak cards not rising to the level of needing a change because the rest of the faction is strong.  For example, I think Wave of Terror and Saurian Strength and Inspired Strike are all lame cards, but I don't think we need to change them because those factions are really strong.  I think High Elves are one of the top tier factions (if not the top faction) in the game.  So I'm really loathe to give them some kind of boost that addresses their one weakness:  their reliability on the fragile Battle Squads.  If you could reliably pass two rout checks per game with High Elves, I'd say that the faction goes from one of the best to pre-rules changes Dark Elves level of brokenness.

That being said, if you're going to house rule the card, I'd keep in mind the math as a guide.  If we take Cold Blooded (post-roll card that gives a reroll w/+1 Cge) as the baseline for any courage rerolls and Cge 12 as the baseline Courage, then a Cge reroll grants +28% success rate to a Cge check.

If we take Dwarf Rune cards (pre-roll card that gives +3 Cge and the equivalent of +1 stat bump) as our baseline for Courage boosts, then a Courage boosting card grants . . .  +28% to the success rate.

So however we go, we want something that gets about a +28% success rate on a Cge 12 unit.  If it's pre-roll, then it should have a cookie equivalent to +1 stat on the unit.  If it has less than +28% success rate, then it needs some other cookie (like being used on multiple units). 

In the case of Uncommon Valor, it's less effective (+21%) but affects every unit. 

In the case of Loyalty (Carthage), it provides the same +28% but that is pre-roll with no other cookie, so it gets to be used on two units.

In the case of Devotion of Courage, it provides a pre-roll auto-pass (+38%) but also provides +2 Cge (+21%) to nearby units in leadership range (realistically 2 at the most).  This one is interesting because it provides a huge bonus and potentially to multiple units, but requires a lot of timing to get the maximum benefit.  And while it has the pre-roll drawback of the Rune card, it's only 2 cards vs 10.  Still, a pretty powerful card in what was (pre-dice charge) a very powerful faction (they took a pretty big hit from the dice charge).

I cite Devotion of Courage to compare it with your idea, which would grant the same auto-pass (but would be post-roll), and would grant future auto-passes, and would grant the same Cge boost to all units.  To help keep your idea balanced, I think we should keep the card within the realm of that +28%. 

One idea is to make Oathbound an either/or type card: 
Quote
Play during a Courage Phase before making Courage checks.  Choose one of the following:
All of your units get +2 Cge this turn.
OR
One of your units may reroll any failed Courage checks this turn.

So it's a weaker reroll ("only" +23%) but you have to play it before the roll.  To counter this, you have the option of the +2 cge for all units.  However, if you take the reroll it's for the whole turn.  So you can play it when you get pinched to pass the pinch check and then if you have to take a check in the post combat phase (which you likely would), you could reroll failed checks there. 

I'll be honest, I still have concerns this would make the faction too strong and would have real reservations about this one ever becoming official.  You've still got Battle Squads passing their check 93% of the time.  Of course, they pass their rout check 91% of the time with Oathbound as is so maybe it'd be okay.


Another idea is to work around what is, to me, the most frustrating part of Oathbound:  it's a "give all units a bonus" card in a faction where you're not actually going to be taking multiple checks in the same turn.  With Loyalty or Uncommon Valor, you'll often be taking checks on 2 (or more) units a turn.  With High Elves you'll be taking 1 check this turn, then 1 check the turn, etc.  So rather than a reroll, what about a card that permanently modifies a unit's Courage:

Quote
Oathbound
Play during a Courage Phase, before taking any Courage Checks.  Two of your units get +2 Cge for the rest of the game (mark their card to note this).  A unit may not be affected by more than one Oathbound.
 

That's only +21% for the unit (on the Yellow check, it's slightly better on the Red check) and it's pre-roll, but it also affects two units and gives them a bonus for multiple checks.  That means if you blow that rout check and aren't destroyed by Free Swings, you have a pretty good shot of passing the second rout check.  So if he moves to pinch, you'll have a unit ready to flank him right back.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: opimius on April 25, 2015, 01:36:36 AM
Precision:  Not having Precision count as a card is not a problem, until it gets used on charging Knights (or chariots).  Perhaps having it count as one of the unit's impact hits keeps it from become broken in that situation?

Oathbound:  Most of the changes I've seen are too strong.  If it must be changed (and I don't really think it ought to be), perhaps something along the lines of Ordered Retreat is the way to go - it keeps a bad roll from completely hosing the better units, but doesn't give the battle squads a poor man's fearless.  Any boost to high elf courage needs to have some cost, though - and if anyone has a right to complain about high elf courage, it is me (ask Hannibal about that campaign sometime - over the course of several weeks, I managed to fail more than half my courage checks with them).
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on May 14, 2015, 10:55:14 AM
Hill Giant Ranged attack:  Working on the Midgard Frost Giant has made me realize just how many dead points the Hill Giant has in that ranged attack (73pts, btw) and I think its enough to consider a (house rule) tweak to get a little bit more value out of it.  What if we made the ranged attack something of a cross between the Dragon's flame attack and javelins?

The Hill Giant gets one shot for free (no CA to use).  You choose whether or not make the ranged attack every turn.  After that, you must spend 2 CAs per additional shot. 

So, like the Dragon flame, you can choose to attack but only have a finite number (in this case one).  Like Javelins you can "reload" at the cost of essentially changing his order (representing the general jumping up and down while screaming and waiving his arms for Dum-Dum to pick up that boulder he's standing next to).

The Hill Giant's ranged attack is costed as having 1 turn at Short Range (i.e. no penalty) and 1 turn at Long/Move & Shoot (i.e. a single -1 to hit).  The free shot should correspond with getting a shot at Short (because with the Hill Giant's speed, you can easily put him on M+S and then throw the rock right before you engage).  Technically if you reload, you're very likely to be at Short and not suffer a penalty, but it'll also cost you 2 CAs (and if you're on Close, it'll very likely cost you 4 CAs because you'll have to Direct Control him not to charge).  The shot at short range is worth 43pts and the shot at long range is worth 30pts, so whatever the cost of 2-4 CAs is, I think it's at least 13 pts.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on May 14, 2015, 11:03:14 AM
Hill Giant Ranged attack:  Working on the Midgard Frost Giant has made me realize just how many dead points the Hill Giant has in that ranged attack (73pts, btw) and I think its enough to consider a (house rule) tweak to get a little bit more value out of it.  What if we made the ranged attack something of a cross between the Dragon's flame attack and javelins?

The Hill Giant gets one shot for free (no CA to use).  You choose whether or not make the ranged attack every turn.  After that, you must spend 2 CAs per additional shot. 

So, like the Dragon flame, you can choose to attack but only have a finite number (in this case one).  Like Javelins you can "reload" at the cost of essentially changing his order (representing the general jumping up and down while screaming and waiving his arms for Dum-Dum to pick up that boulder he's standing next to).
Pretty interesting idea right here.  Basically, the big dummy shows up to the party already carrying a rock.  You have to yell at him to get him to root around for next one.

HODOR!
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on May 14, 2015, 04:06:25 PM
I think Corey is on to something.  However, I still think its a bit weak.

What about giving the guy 2 free shots?  and, if he damages the unit, it rolls a disruption check.  Now, THAT would be what a big boulder would do.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on May 14, 2015, 06:28:48 PM
I think Corey is on to something.  However, I still think its a bit weak.

What about giving the guy 2 free shots? 

Getting 1 free shot is 2.5 damage to a D:2/2 unit.  He'll do 2.77 dmg to a T-Rex.  Yeah, that's right:  the Hill Giant will do more damage to a T-Rex than to a unit of Hawkshold Spearmen.  Against the Umenzi Elephant you'll do 3.33 damage.  Giving the Hill Giant an extra turn of shooting on top of that (for free) almost certainly would be too much. 


Quote
and, if he damages the unit, it rolls a disruption check.  Now, THAT would be what a big boulder would do.

This strikes me as needlessly complex.  I mean, a Dragon lighting a unit on fire should have a continuing effect as the fire spreads, but the game isn't littered with special rules like that (thank god).
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: BubblePig on May 14, 2015, 09:44:16 PM
What about giving the guy 2 free shots? 

I gotta go with Corey. One free shot would probably be plenty. Also, giving just one free shot would put some decision tension into how soon to take the shot, whereas I would just about want to start firing right away with even as few as two free shots.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gull2112 on May 16, 2015, 07:51:43 PM
I like one free shot. You could start by circling the range stat and erase it for a free shot. You could even add that it costs two CAs to circle the stat and then you can fire immediately or just hold on to the rock for a few turns.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Zelc on August 02, 2015, 04:30:32 PM
*spends two command actions to cast Reanimate*

I know it's been a long time since I've played, but back in the days I was pretty sure the High Elves need a better Courage bail-out before they'd ever have a shot at winning a tournament (Kevin, you're free to prove me wrong at the next Championship :) ).  Their baseline high courage had been cited as a reason against giving them a better courage bail-out, but actually I think this is a reason why they should have a better courage bailout:

1) Suppose you have a unit which routs 50% of the time.  It'd be costed appropriately, and you'd most likely be able to afford a Plan B for when it happens.  This could be a back-up unit or having a bunch of other strong units on the line so a single rout and pinch doesn't cost your win condition.  On the other hand, suppose you have a unit which routs 25% of the time.  They'd be much more expensive and you have a much harder time affording that backup unit or third/fourth/fifth potential win condition.

In the case of High Elves, it's even worse.  They have no cheap units to backstop their line, they don't have access to common ways of stalling enemy win conditions (e.g. charge-soaking chumps, Skirmishers, a long line to arcane geometry), their own win conditions have high defense so they're really expensive (which again means higher variance), and their high evade defensive profile is especially weak against flanks.  Maybe this is a bold statement for someone who hasn't played in forever :), but my opinion while I was playing this game was that there are very few ways for High Elves to deal with an early unlucky rout -- if it happens, they lose.  In a 7-game tournament, this will probably happen at least twice, which either means they don't qualify for playoffs or knocks them out of the playoffs.  I think the High Elves might be one of the most RNG factions in the game*.

2) Pre-emptive flat Courage bonuses are weaker on high Courage units than on low Courage units.  In order for a pre-emptive Courage bonus to have an effect, the unit must a) fail the check without the bonus, and b) fail the check by no more than the bonus.  High Courage units are less likely to fail the check without the bonus.

A pre-emptive +2 bonus has a 24% chance of turning a failed Courage check into a successful Courage check for 10 Courage (e.g. base 11 in the yellow), but only a 17% chance for 12 Courage (e.g. base 13 in the yellow).  Compare to a reactive reroll, which has a 50% chance of being useful for 10 Courage and a 74% chance for 12 Courage.  The pre-emptive +2 bonus is half as good as the reactive reroll for 10 courage, but less than 1/4 as good for 12 courage.


I don't have a great solution to this problem, but I think Courage and RNG is definitely a problem with the High Elves.


*The Battlesquad's attack profile contributes to this -- an early unlucky 3 damage cuts their damage output by 1/3 even if they don't rout.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on August 02, 2015, 08:17:41 PM
Agreed that preemptive courage is less powerful on high-courage units, but on the other hand reactive courage is more powerful.  I played one tournament (Dexcon 2013) where Oathbound could be used for a re-roll and everybody (including Elder Blade Battlesquads) got +2 dice on the charge and I rightly predicted that with High Elves wouldn't lose a single game.  All but one game was a complete steamroll.

For the last few Championship Tournaments I've let Oathbound be used either to give +2 courage to all units, or auto-pass (before rolling) to one unit, and I'm satisfied that that (plus a few price tweaks) makes the High Elves perfectly competitive.


Quote
(Kevin, you're free to prove me wrong at the next Championship  :) )

I'm guessing that just means you want me to play High Elves as printed.  Sorry no, though if folks want me to I'd play them with the same package of tweaks as last year.  (= Oathbound modified as above.  5-attack-die units slightly cheaper; Scorpions more-than-slightly more expensive.)  But if that's a hint that you'll be there I'm tickled pink!   ;)

Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 03, 2015, 06:42:55 AM
I've been saying for years that the Oathbound card is a decent card, but in the context of the High Elven army it's not very good.  Oathbound needs to be improved.

Also, I think the Cygnets are a fine unit but there is no need for them as long as the battle squads exist.  I wish the high elves had a chump unit that wasn't core.  Something like brownies.   I suggested elven dogs (Cooshie pack) in the past.

Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on August 03, 2015, 02:33:09 PM
For the benefit of Zelc, here's the link (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BY6C-rpw-5lB8xfDodOce_GXiM9MyDuiSOPhLtjUahI/edit) to the special rules-and-prices used at the last Championship Tournament.  Many of these rules-and-prices have been in use for years, and I expect that they'll be used again in 2016.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 03, 2015, 04:00:01 PM
Agreed that preemptive courage is less powerful on high-courage units, but on the other hand reactive courage is more powerful.  I played one tournament (Dexcon 2013) where Oathbound could be used for a re-roll and everybody (including Elder Blade Battlesquads) got +2 dice on the charge and I rightly predicted that with High Elves wouldn't lose a single game.  All but one game was a complete steamroll.

For the last few Championship Tournaments I've let Oathbound be used either to give +2 courage to all units, or auto-pass (before rolling) to one unit, and I'm satisfied that that (plus a few price tweaks) makes the High Elves perfectly competitive.


Quote
(Kevin, you're free to prove me wrong at the next Championship  :) )

I'm guessing that just means you want me to play High Elves as printed.  Sorry no, though if folks want me to I'd play them with the same package of tweaks as last year.  (= Oathbound modified as above.  5-attack-die units slightly cheaper; Scorpions more-than-slightly more expensive.)  But if that's a hint that you'll be there I'm tickled pink!   ;)



Well, I do agree with Kevin that reactive courage is better than pre-emptive courage.  In the context of the High Elven army I think that having two courage cards that are pre-emptive is just not good enough.  If there ever was an army that could use a courage fail bail out card, it's the high elves.  I think Kevin's change for the tournament to Oathbound is an improvement obviously, but still not what the doctor ordered.

I know you owned that tournament with the high elves Kevin, but couldn't you say it was just player ability also.  You are obviously one of the most successful Battleground tournament players ever.  I'm not going to read too much into it if you took the High Elves and dominated.  I don't think, even with the +2 dice charge that Elder Blade Battle Squads/Battlesquads are broken.  The +2 dice should of just been assigned to all units for simplicity.   

I didn't mind having the cheaper costs for the High Elven units when I played at Championship in the past.  That being said, I haven't been using your new point costs with the High Elves lately.  I think it's just simpler to make Precision not count as a command card and improve Oathbound somehow.  I've changed Oathbound in this way.  You can use it as printed...OR....You can use it to put a counter on any High Elf unit you choose during any M&C phase.  For the rest of the game, when and if that unit fails a rout check, it passes the check and the counter is removed.  This way if there is a unit that absolutely must hold it's ground, casting OATHBOUND on it is the obvious choice. 
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Zelc on August 03, 2015, 05:09:09 PM
Quote
I've changed Oathbound in this way.  You can use it as printed...OR....You can use it to put a counter on any High Elf unit you choose during any M&C phase.  For the rest of the game, when and if that unit fails a rout check, it passes the check and the counter is removed.  This way if there is a unit that absolutely must hold it's ground, casting OATHBOUND on it is the obvious choice.
I'm pretty sure this is worse than Kevin's Oathbound change :).

I definitely agree that Kevin's undefeated record is a poor argument for whether a faction is too powerful :P.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on August 03, 2015, 05:16:21 PM
Thanks, Brook (update: and Bohan)--flattery never goes out of style.  :)   That said, I'd argue that a large part of being "good" is the ability to sniff out a too-good-for-its-cost unit and put it to maximum use.  Being "good" in and of itself doesn't somehow make my Dwarves move faster or my Large units less vulnerable to spears.

Regarding point costs, any general rule change to help High Elves has the (IMHO) drawback that you end up helping Battlesquads, cavalry, and shooters in addition to the costlier infantry units.  The costlier infantry guys (HESw, HESp, EBSw, CG) got whacked with a 3% "unsexy target" surcharge [1]; the other units did not (apart from the Rangers & EB Rangers, who got the surcharge but also get +1/+0 vs. ranged attacks).  If your riposte is "Yeah but Battlesquads, Chariots, and Scorpions are overpriced" then...we'll just have to agree to disagree.  

Which is not to say I really object to Precision not counting as a card.  To the extent that it makes it a bit uneasy, it's that the High Elves already are offense-heavy:  6 of their 10 faction cards are offensive, 2 defensive, 2 courage.  And every unit has offensive stats at least as good as its defense.  (In other words (skill + power) - (defensive skill + toughness) > 5)  Making them even more powerful on the offense unbalances then a bit more than they currently are (though still less unbalanced toward the offense than Dark Elves or Carthage).




[1] I'm convinced this surcharge was a copy-and-paste spreadsheet error as was done with Rome.  Others think whoever was pricing the units had accurate fingers but a few too many beers.  Still others think the surcharge remains justified.  Not looking to rehash that all here.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on August 04, 2015, 09:51:37 AM
Regarding point costs, any general rule change to help High Elves has the (IMHO) drawback that you end up helping Battlesquads, cavalry, and shooters in addition to the costlier infantry units.  The costlier infantry guys (HESw, HESp, EBSw, CG) got whacked with a 3% "unsexy target" surcharge [1]; the other units did not (apart from the Rangers & EB Rangers, who got the surcharge but also get +1/+0 vs. ranged attacks)...

...[1] I'm convinced this surcharge was a copy-and-paste spreadsheet error as was done with Rome.  Others think whoever was pricing the units had accurate fingers but a few too many beers.  Still others think the surcharge remains justified.  Not looking to rehash that all here.

That's a very viable theory.  Another theory was that the 3% unsexy target surcharge was slapped on those units because you could easily spam your build with D: 3/2 units and knowing this, your oppoent would decline to bring standard archery*.  So the charge was applied for purposes of the metagame.  If this is true then they got it backwards IMO.  What unit in the HE faction is spammed far more than any other?  That would be the Battle Squad.  So my thought is that both Battle Squad units should have gotten the surcharge while all of the others (except for Rangers) shouldn't have.  If this had happened the end result would be that a HE player would still wind up paying about the same amount of points for the same amount of units, but there would be more variety in HE builds since the higher cost Core units would be a bit more affordable.  Now in the long run this "fixes" nothing, I'm just having a thought excercise out loud here.

The bottom line is that for such a functionally simple card, Oathboud is really weird.  If it's played when 1 of your units has a check, it's lame.   If played when 2 of your units have a check, it's balanced.  And in the rare occasion where more than 2 of your units have a check, it's awesome.  And while that scenario doesn't happen often, it DOES happen.  Just ask Brook, Chris, Tim, or Rob.  Heck, I had one of those instances occur at Championship this year.   

So you have this courage card that varies wildly depending upon when it's played.  Unlike Cold Blooded which is always good because no matter what, it will only be played on a single unit after it fails its courage check.  A ton of ideas have already been put forward as a fix but I'll go ahead and muddy the waters further with this idea:

The card works the same but give a +3 courage bonus if played on a single unit.

* To back this theory up, the D: 2/3 Dwarven line units (Axemen, Spears) where also charged with the same surcharge!
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on August 04, 2015, 10:02:00 AM
Quote
Quote
...[1] I'm convinced this surcharge was a copy-and-paste spreadsheet error as was done with Rome.  Others think whoever was pricing the units had accurate fingers but a few too many beers.  Still others think the surcharge remains justified.  Not looking to rehash that all here.
That's a very viable theory.  Another theory was that the 3% unsexy target surcharge was slapped on those units because you could easily spam your build with D: 3/2 units and knowing this, your oppoent would decline to bring standard archery*.  So the charge was applied for purposes of the metagame.  If this is true then they got it backwards IMO.

In other words, you're in the "too many beers" school of thought.  :)



Quote
To back this theory up, the D: 2/3 Dwarven line units (Axemen, Spears) where also charged with the same surcharge!

I did play with the Formula, and I'm getting that the Dwarf Swordsmen & Spearmen are a bit pricier than other units (e.g. Battleaxemen), so there was a surcharge slapped on, though the surcharge was less than 3%.  Not positive if the surcharge was due to ranged attack resistance, or maybe because with 10 courage-boosters these units would be likely to hang in there for a very, very long time.

If it indeed was an "unsexy target" surchage, I'm going with "spreadsheet error or too many beers" there, as if I'm facing a stand-and-shoot army I'll gleefully trade 2 red boxes for MC 3.5", but the equally-spammable Orc Swordsmen/Spearmen don't pay any surcharge.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on August 04, 2015, 11:24:04 AM
What you do is go to the "tables" tab in the formula and keep scrolling to the right until you see the Dwarven faction.  I believe this was the original tab used for costing.  You'll see that the Axemen, Spearmen, and yes the Longbeards(!) where specifically charged for "Unsexy_Target".  I don't know if that has anything to do with how the High Elves got costed, but there ya go.

Back to the topic at hand, I like having Precision not count as a command card because you still aren't going to use it all of the time anyways.  It's understood that Precision isn't the sole HE faction ability as Maneuver Mastery is where it's at.  But it would be nice to have their check box ability at least be semi-useful.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on August 04, 2015, 12:46:27 PM
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What you do is go to the "tables" tab in the formula and keep scrolling to the right until you see the Dwarven faction.
???

 :o

 :'(

 :P

You know, it would have been really, really nice if several years ago when I was trying to price Wuxing and asked Chad if I could see more than Hawkshold as a model, he had replied "Scroll to the right on the tables tab and you'll see every faction through the Umenzi," rather than "<crickets>", forcing me to reverse-engineer Every. Damn. Thing.

Ah well.  At least now I know why the Dwarf Battleaxemen and Crossbowmen are so cheap!  And you convinced me that it was beers over typos for Dwarf Axemen & Spearmen.  You'll excuse me now while I go beat my head against a wall.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on August 04, 2015, 01:16:51 PM
LOL - Dude, don't feel so bad because I didn't even realize that until a couple of months ago myself.  The copy of the formula I got only had like 4-5 Ravenwood units and I had to do fun stuff like recreate Stags and Centaurs from scratch.  Then I found the faction in the tables tab and I was like "DOH!"

Edit:  I neglected to mention that the Half Orc units in Monsters and Mercenaries also got tagged with the Unsexy_Target surcharge. 
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 05, 2015, 07:34:55 AM
I thought the unsexy target modifier adds points to a unit.  If the Dwarven units got charged then why is Kevin saying that they are cheaper than they should be?
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on August 05, 2015, 09:27:49 AM
They did get charged.  In the formula Kevin has Axemen are 228 points.  The surcharge adds 7 points to them, but not enough to bring them up to 240.  So there is a mystery 5 points that where added in addition to that.  A similar thing happened to Longbeards, which really should be in the neighborhood of 385 points.  I mean, they're all kinds of kickass, so to me they are worth the 394 points.  I'm just speaking in terms of what the formula said they should be.

For the record the surcharge adds 3% to the total points cost so when you see Kevin's modified High Elven points costs, they have that 3% removed.  Hence HE Swordsmen go down from 299 to 290.  Etc...
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 05, 2015, 02:59:21 PM
That's what the little bastards get for being so damn short and slow.  LOL.  The High Elves got a charge they shouldn't of got and you don't see them bitchin'.   Actually, I'm bitching for them. :)  Shut up Dave.... ::)

I think the Dwarves are just freakin' fine the way they are right now.  The only time they really suck is when Mark plays them against my Lizardmen and can't hit the broad side of a barn if his life depended on it. 

Oh yes......I will send Marcus the pictures so he can post THAT game......It shall be done.......It shall be done......

(just kidding Marcus)
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on August 05, 2015, 04:17:23 PM
Brook, I was saying that the Crossbowmen and Battleaxemen (= the guys who did not get the surcharge) were so damn cheap.  No contradiction there.  Particularly since the speed discount was pretty arbitrary.  (i.e. An excessively large speed discount + a modest surcharge may well put you at exactly the right price.)

I'm OK with the Longbeards getting surcharged, but IMHO it should've been called the "OMG Rune of Uruz KICKS ASS on a (5) 6/6 unit!!!" surcharge rather than "unsexy target" (which is rather silly on a 1/x).

Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 06, 2015, 12:17:41 PM
Ah, IC, so some units got charged, some didn't.....understood. 
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on August 07, 2015, 04:27:36 PM
In the case of High Elves, it's even worse.  They have no cheap units to backstop their line,

I think this is incorrect.  The Battle Squad is (IMO) probably the 2nd best tank unit in the game.  In terms of effectiveness vs points spent, only the Zombies are better.  I can comfortable get to 8 units in my army with these guys, and with flank-from-front rightfully banished, my experience is that a you'll seldom need more than 7 units wide even on an open board.

IMO, High Elves are in the top 3 of power factions (with a very good argument for being #1) because they have a pair of abilities that are simply phenomenal and are, in fact, more than the sum of their parts.  Both Sprint and Maneuver Mastery are great individually, but together they are simply nasty.  The only thing that keeps them from being broken (again IMO) is that they don't have a reactive Courage card.  If they had a reroll (or worse, an autopass), I think they'd be broken.  Given that you're almost never going to out maneuver them, a lot of times the only way to beat the HEs is to engage those Battlesquads and force as many checks as you can.  Which only increases the potential value of Oathbound, as it effects multiple units.

The other thing is that with their ability to keep the enemy in front of them, a HE player can often shorten his line and have a reserve.  Normally this is not something encouraged in this game, but again, a Battle Squad kept behind your line can functionally teleport 5" in any direction for 2 CAs.  Without terrain, I'm comfortable with 5 Battle Squads, 1 EB Sword, 1 EB Ranger (or HE Sword), and 1 Knight.  I can go 7 wide with a reserve.  Give me a piece of terrain and I'm comfortable turning 2 of those Battle Squads into another EB Sword.


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2) Pre-emptive flat Courage bonuses are weaker on high Courage units than on low Courage units.  In order for a pre-emptive Courage bonus to have an effect, the unit must a) fail the check without the bonus, and b) fail the check by no more than the bonus.  High Courage units are less likely to fail the check without the bonus.

A pre-emptive +2 bonus has a 24% chance of turning a failed Courage check into a successful Courage check for 10 Courage (e.g. base 11 in the yellow), but only a 17% chance for 12 Courage (e.g. base 13 in the yellow).  Compare to a reactive reroll, which has a 50% chance of being useful for 10 Courage and a 74% chance for 12 Courage.  The pre-emptive +2 bonus is half as good as the reactive reroll for 10 courage, but less than 1/4 as good for 12 courage.

Let me start by saying that I agree that Oathbound is a weak card, for the High Elves.  That dependent clause is important, because context matters with these things.  Its why, for example, the Dwarf Rune cards are perfectly fine despite being pre-roll cards:  there's 10 of them.  Having lots of them increases their value.  If Oathbound wasn't card, but was an army ability where every unit got +2 Cge for the turn for a single CA, then it'd be probably too good at that point.  However, since Oathbound is only 2 cards out of 30 and it's unlikely you'll get more than 1 Courage check benefit at a time, it's a weak card for them.

All that being said, I go back to my original point of holistic balance.  Oathbound, when used on a single Courage check, only provides a +17% chance of passing that Courage check (vs a +22% of a Cold Blooded-type reroll).  However, both Oathbound and Cold Blooded (or a Rune) on a Cge 12 unit achieves the same result:  90% chance the unit will still be there once the dice have stopped rolling.  I think this was an intentional (and well done) design decision by Chad & co to make the faction with all the advantages of HEs be no better than anyone else when it came to passing a check with their Courage card.  One of their "weaknesses" is that in any one spot, they have same max chance of passing a crucial check ("only" 90%) as any other faction.

Their other weakness is something that you mentioned earlier:  their vulnerability to early bad luck.  Because in point of fact, if you crash your Death Knights into something, we both know the Courage cards are going into the target, be it a HW Swordsmen or Tyrant Swordsmen.  We both know the fight is there.  If Oathbound gave a reroll instead of a +2 Cge pre-roll, the HE unit would go from 90% pass rate to 93%.  I don't think that +3% makes enough difference that people even notice, much less rise to level of justifying an errata.

I think the reason people want the reroll is to mitigate that early variability.  The problem is that I see that as a built-in weakness of the faction.  HEs are more fragile (i.e. swingy) than most factions.  That is IMO a deliberate design decision to capture their 'rage against the dying of the light' theme of the faction.  And, again, its a weakness built in to counteract their great stats, customization of units, large number of Core choices, spectacular tank unit, and the best combo of army abilities in the game.

Now, people have said in the past "yeah, but it sucks to have a faction where you just lose because of a blown roll."  My three responses to that are:  1)  losing because of a blown roll describes like 90% of the games.  The fact that early failed checks can be disastrous for them means its worth playing cards 'sub-optimally' because the context makes it worth playing the card.  2)  every faction has built-in weaknesses.  It hard to deal with the fact that Dwarves don't have affordable Skill 6 or that Hawkshold Greatswords are MC 2.5" or that Rome doesn't have an answer for T4.  Part of the challenge of playing factions is working around their weaknesses.  3) if it really bothers you that the game might be over before it starts because of a poorly timed rout, then HE's do have an answer in form of having a Battle Squad behind your line.

If we were still playing with Flank-from-Front, I'd mostly agree that the early variability severely hinders HEs.  Flank-from-front rewarded (and borderline required) people who flooded the board with cheap, fast units and so the HEs couldn't afford to have that reserve.  And I think that the still relatively new removal of flank-from-front means that people are still playing with that impression.  (Not a knock on anyone there, just saying that it takes time to acclimate to a new change).  But now that all has been made right with the BGFW universe, I think that even with the sub-par Oathbound that HEs are weak.  I think that HEs play differently than a lot of factions:  you either play with a reserve or you live dangerously.  Once you adjust for that, they're an incredibly strong faction that doesn't need any further help.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Dave-SWA on August 11, 2015, 09:40:09 PM
I agree 1000% with Corey's argument here.  The High Elves do not need any kind of upgrade for their courage cards.

Since so many folks here are old Star Fleet Battles grognards...

A few years back Paul Scott posted an assessment of the Federation TCC, and how he did not see a good way to make it more balanced.  The gist of his argument was, to paraphrase:

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The Fed's reliance on the four Photons makes the ship the most dependent on that one first volley.  Hit will all four and you probably win.  Hit with three and you're probably in good shape.  Hit with only one and you have a very high hill to climb.  Miss with all four and you almost certainly lose.  There is just no getting away from this variability.

He also went on to point out that over the course of a tournament, especially the single-elimination phase, the Fed needs to have three (good games/lucky initial volleys) in a row to win the tournament.  This is why so few Feds win tournaments these days; probability says you won't have three lucky games in a row, and skill probably won't bail you out against other top players (since only the Sharks make the finals).

What Corey says here reminds me of this Fed analysis, but with fewer variables.

If a key High Elf unit gets an unlucky roll early and fails his first rout check, you're in deep doo-doo.  But the odds are he won't, because his courage is above-average already.


And, I especially agree with this:
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Now, people have said in the past "yeah, but it sucks to have a faction where you just lose because of a blown roll."  My three responses to that are:  1)  losing because of a blown roll describes like 90% of the games.

Giant War Elephant unlucky enough to blow his first rout check?  Deep doo-doo.
Hawkshold Knights unlucky enough to blow their first rout check?  Deep doo-doo.
T-Rex unlucky enough to blow his first rout check?  Deep doo-doo.

If one of your high-price units fails an early rout check, that is often like a Fed hitting with just one Photon - you've got a tough climb to pull out a win on that game.

-DC
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on August 12, 2015, 09:53:30 AM
Dave's fascination with doo-doo appeals to the German in me.

A few years back Paul Scott posted an assessment of the Federation TCC, and how he did not see a good way to make it more balanced.  The gist of his argument was, to paraphrase:

...He also went on to point out that over the course of a tournament, especially the single-elimination phase, the Fed needs to have three (good games/lucky initial volleys) in a row to win the tournament. 
I always disagreed with him on that one.  My thought was that if you play well enough you simply need to have 3 average initial volleys in a row.  If they are above average that certainly helps.  But that's a different conversation for a different forum concerning a different game... :P


And, I especially agree with this:
Quote
Now, people have said in the past "yeah, but it sucks to have a faction where you just lose because of a blown roll."  My three responses to that are:  1)  losing because of a blown roll describes like 90% of the games.

Giant War Elephant unlucky enough to blow his first rout check?  Deep doo-doo.
Hawkshold Knights unlucky enough to blow their first rout check?  Deep doo-doo.
T-Rex unlucky enough to blow his first rout check?  Deep doo-doo.

Well put.  And don't forget Death Knights!  I can honestly say that the single worst thing that can happen to an Undead player is to have a unit of Death Knights blow a rout check.  It's just plain awful.

Generally speaking, Ravenwood is in a similar boat here as well except they get no courage help outside of Aspect of Wolverine which only helps when a unit is pinched (due to errata).  If a Ravenwood unit is forced to roll for a route check the old fashioned way, you're on your own.  And like the High Elves, the faction itself has above average courage.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Zelc on August 12, 2015, 10:47:16 AM
I wonder if it might be better (in BGFW 2.0 which will never happen) to convert some of the more expensive units to infinite Courage, say all units with 14 Courage and all units with 13 Courage above ~350 points.  Or maybe let them auto-pass their rout check for going into the yellow.  At least with the GWE and the T-Rex, there's a decent chance they'll never even need to make that first Rout check.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on August 12, 2015, 11:50:11 AM

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Well put.  And don't forget Death Knights!  I can honestly say that the single worst thing that can happen to an Undead player is to have a unit of Death Knights blow a rout check.  It's just plain awful.

I think the Death Knights are especially bad because usually you've built your list around them.  My experience with a T-Rex or Hawk Knights or the GWE is that there's usually something else in the list that gives you a chance to win.  The Death Knight Express, by contrast, you're putting all your eggs in 2 baskets.


Quote
Generally speaking, Ravenwood is in a similar boat here as well except they get no courage help outside of Aspect of Wolverine which only helps when a unit is pinched (due to errata).

Aspect of the Wolf?  It gives you +3/+0 vs those Free Attacks and rallies the unit automatically.  Certainly its (much) less good than a Cge reroll, but it can get the unit back in the fight pretty quickly.


I wonder if it might be better (in BGFW 2.0 which will never happen) to convert some of the more expensive units to infinite Courage, say all units with 14 Courage and all units with 13 Courage above ~350 points.  Or maybe let them auto-pass their rout check for going into the yellow.  At least with the GWE and the T-Rex, there's a decent chance they'll never even need to make that first Rout check.

If you did that, the costs of those units would go up by like 20% each.  I think those units work just fine at their current cost, and that you need to make your peace with the fact that sometimes the dice hose you.  That's literally part of the game.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 12, 2015, 03:45:35 PM
I'm sorry but I just can't get around the fact that there are no good courage reroll cards in a faction that has expensive units and usually has less units than most(maybe all) other factions in any particular fight.  To me it would've made more sense to give a card like Oathbound to a faction that has many cheaper units than few expensive ones.  But instead, we give factions like Rome, Carthage and Dark Elves (to name just a few) who can field many cheap units, good courage abilities and bail outs.

Thematically, it's a stretch too.  High Elves, who have been fighting for centuries run and rout with no chance at a reprieve,  whereas Mr. Clownpants (Gallic Warriors) gets a reroll if he fails.....and holds up my Battlesquad for another 5 turns.




Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Zelc on August 12, 2015, 03:58:13 PM
To be fair, Carthage doesn't have a reroll Courage card (it has plenty of other Courage cards).  Slave Warriors, on the other hand...
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on August 12, 2015, 04:24:30 PM
I have every intention of continuing to let Oathbound be a single courage pass or its current function.  Reserving the right to revisit that if High Elves ever make the top 2 at Championship.

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Giant War Elephant unlucky enough to blow his first rout check?  Deep doo-doo.

Agreed.  That's why you have two Devotion of Courage cards.  If you pull half your deck, don't draw either, then blow the roll you've earned the right to sulk, but I'm putting that at under 10%

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Hawkshold Knights unlucky enough to blow their first rout check?  Deep doo-doo.

Agreed.  That's why you give them Bravery.  If you roll over a 15 you've earned the right to at least threaten to flip the table, but I'm putting that at under 5%.

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T-Rex unlucky enough to blow his first rout check?  Deep doo-doo.

When I've used the T-Rex successfully the beast stayed in the green all game.  With 8 green boxes and a 2/4 defense it goes for quite a while before needing to make a check (assuming the opponent doesn't have artillery).  This is in serious contrast to Battlesquads who with only 3 green boxes are all-but-impossible to keep from having to make a check in the first couple of turns.

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The Battle Squad is (IMO) probably the 2nd best tank unit in the game.  In terms of effectiveness vs points spent, only the Zombies are better.

The Abomination is awesome, as are the Zombie Trolls.  For non-Undead, under printed rules the Triarii beat the Battlesquads hands down:  you pay 4 points for the ability to heal two boxes!  A skirmisher-chump combo makes for an excellent tank as well.  But yeah the Battlesquads are definitely good tanks for their cost.

Quote
losing because of a blown roll describes like 90% of the games.

Definitely can't agree here.  I'd say dice determine the winner maybe 1 time in 5--and some fraction of those are damage alone--where "determines the winner" means things would've gone differently had both sides had equivalent dice.  So I'd put "blown rout check determines game" at around 10-15%

I mean, maybe you concede the moment your unit routs, but if your army was going down anyway then I don't consider that decisive.  And yes I do think the High Elves are dicier than other factions.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gull2112 on August 12, 2015, 08:19:56 PM
If someone really has an issue with die rolls then just take a deck (ideally 2or3) and remove all but the ace through 6 cards. shuffle the deck and draw for die results. It is much harder to blame it on the random that way.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on August 13, 2015, 11:51:06 AM
To be fair, Carthage doesn't have a reroll Courage card (it has plenty of other Courage cards).  Slave Warriors, on the other hand...

No, but Carthage has an auto-pass Courage card that dressed up as a Red card for Halloween and never took off the costume.   ;D
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Zelc on August 19, 2015, 11:21:12 AM
Random thought: what if the surcharge High Elf units get is because of their excellent faction ability?
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gull2112 on August 19, 2015, 11:31:52 AM
Which one?  ;)
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on August 19, 2015, 12:03:19 PM
Random thought: what if the surcharge High Elf units get is because of their excellent faction ability?

Probably not.  In the formula, there's tons of units that get the surcharge (or discount) vs shooting.  Most the Umenzi, for example, get a 3% discount for their vulnerability to shooting.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 19, 2015, 03:41:39 PM
Random thought: what if the surcharge High Elf units get is because of their excellent faction ability?

Probably not.  In the formula, there's tons of units that get the surcharge (or discount) vs shooting.  Most the Umenzi, for example, get a 3% discount for their vulnerability to shooting.

I really don't know how vulnerable they are to shooting with the faction ability faith armor.  And so what if you shoot and kill one of those units, there are like 10 more where that came from.........possibly with faith armor too.

 
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on August 19, 2015, 04:28:24 PM
Well whether you agree or disagree with the design decision, the point is that certain units got a discount/surcharge based on the designer team opinion of the effectiveness of ranged attacks against those units. 
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 19, 2015, 08:05:08 PM
Understood,  I just think, based on my experience, that perhaps it was a mistake to give cheap units like the ones in the Umenzi army a discount.  Just like I think it was a mistake give units with a 3/2 defense the ugly target modifier 3% charge. 

I know units in the umenzi army are a bit more vulnerable to ranged fire because of their defense, but that's it really.  When you combine faith armor and the fact that the units are so cheap it seems to still be in their favor.  Ranged units just can't do enough damage to the opposing army because they don't fire every turn and killing one unit on the way in just isn't enough to justify the discount. IMHO. The umenzi units would still be cheap even if they were 3% more expensive.

But hey, the powers that be deemed it necessary.  Who cares if I spend 450 points to have two High Elf Archers that can't even kill a unit of 150 point umenzi warriors on the way in.  Then once the lines engage I'm out numbered 10-7.  It's a joke really.  Oh, and I forgot, while I'm trying to chop though the weenie stack I'm doing it with one less hit die every attack because of the curse spells.  I have said over and over again that the combination of curse and faith armor is too good of a combination.  At the very least, umenzi curse should not be allowed against ranged attacks.  Or the number should never be allowed to go below 4 attack dice, or something to that effect. 

I really would like to play the Umenzi, but they are so damn cheezy.  Perhaps if the units routed more easily, the faction would be more balanced.  However, the leadership zone and the devotion of courage card throws any chances of that in the crapper.



Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on August 20, 2015, 01:38:04 AM
Remember, ranged combat is the single most changed thing since the game was released (and the formula written).  Back then, shooting units could rout enemy units, could target any unit (such as Shamans hiding behind your line), and had no fixed range bands (Longbows had Short Range out to 10.5").  Now I'm not saying that any one of those changes were wrong, just that we have to accept that when they decided units had a surcharge or discount due to how vulnerable (or not) they were to shooting, they were doing it in a very different rules paradigm.

In short, those modifiers may not make sense now, but once upon a time they almost certainly did.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 20, 2015, 02:29:22 AM
So, with that being said, does ranged fire need to be improved/changed now?  Is there anything that can be done?  I know I wouldn't mind because I usually have have at least one ranged unit in all of my armies.  Not because it's a winning combo, but because I want it to be.

I did read about Zelc's proposal about shooting every turn with shortened ranges.  I like the idea of shooting every turn. Not so much with the decreased range though.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on August 20, 2015, 09:58:53 AM
I really would like to play the Umenzi, but they are so damn cheezy.  Perhaps if the units routed more easily, the faction would be more balanced.  However, the leadership zone and the devotion of courage card throws any chances of that in the crapper.

?
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Hannibal on August 20, 2015, 10:40:29 AM
+1 to Marcus.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gull2112 on August 20, 2015, 08:51:17 PM
I really would like to play the Umenzi, but they are so damn cheezy.  Perhaps if the units routed more easily, the faction would be more balanced.  However, the leadership zone and the devotion of courage card throws any chances of that in the crapper.

Sounds like somebody got a thumpin'!  8)
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 21, 2015, 12:38:58 PM
Naw, it's been a while since Marcus has played the Umenzi against me.  I'm just speaking in general terms.  It's just annoying playing against the Umenzi with bless this, curse that and a big fat super unit that has no drawbacks whatsoever.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gull2112 on August 21, 2015, 03:42:44 PM
It's just annoying playing against the Umenzi with bless this, curse that and a big fat super unit that has no drawbacks whatsoever.
Unless your opponent brings a Goblin Bomb Chucker!!! Hell, bring two and pray it rains pachyderms! 8)

The Orcs have a solution for everthing.  ;D
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Zelc on August 21, 2015, 03:49:29 PM
a big fat super unit that has no drawbacks whatsoever.
If you can remove its charge with a chump-backup, your opponent paid 523 points for a tankier Zombie Troll and a bad Atlatlmen.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 21, 2015, 04:55:01 PM
a big fat super unit that has no drawbacks whatsoever.
If you can remove its charge with a chump-backup, your opponent paid 523 points for a tankier Zombie Troll and a bad Atlatlmen.

Couldn't you also screw up other large creatures charges with weenie units.  Plus any units that flank the GWE are gonna get cursed and flank pinched for sure.  The Umenzi just have too many units because they are a faction with many decent cheap units.  Just seems to me that the unit is good enough that it should get a pitch and play. 
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Zelc on August 21, 2015, 07:13:44 PM
a big fat super unit that has no drawbacks whatsoever.
If you can remove its charge with a chump-backup, your opponent paid 523 points for a tankier Zombie Troll and a bad Atlatlmen.

Couldn't you also screw up other large creatures charges with weenie units.  Plus any units that flank the GWE are gonna get cursed and flank pinched for sure.  The Umenzi just have too many units because they are a faction with many decent cheap units.  Just seems to me that the unit is good enough that it should get a pitch and play. 
Many other large creatures have good sustained damage. The T-Rex for example has (+1) +1/+1 over the GWE and deals twice as much damage against a 2/2 defense outside the charge turn.

I think I played a game in Championship one year when someone took 2x GWE and I saw it coming.  I tanked them with a Numidian Cavalry backed up by Scutarii each, and I don't think the Numidian Cavalry even died (maybe one did).  That's how bad the base GWE attack is.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 22, 2015, 12:08:08 AM
Well, numidian cavalry are made for soaking up impact hits.  Yeah, that's a good plan against the GWE base attacks.  Now if everybody had a unit like numidian cavalry.........the GWE wouldn't be so bad ass...but alas.....they don't.  Carthage is also one of those factions that has all the answers AND cheap units.  It can mitigate what the GWE can do better than most.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Zelc on August 22, 2015, 12:21:02 AM
Any cheap unit is made for soaking up impact hits assuming it's backed up :).
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: RushAss on August 22, 2015, 09:19:17 AM
I think I played a game in Championship one year when someone took 2x GWE and I saw it coming.  I tanked them with a Numidian Cavalry backed up by Scutarii each, and I don't think the Numidian Cavalry even died (maybe one did).  That's how bad the base GWE attack is.
I'm thinking that was probably pre-dice charge.  And you where taking at least damage per turn from the Colossal guys, yes?

My take on the GWE is that there is no other unit in the game you want to avoid being charged by than that one (Hydras and Smaug aside) but once that charge turn is over it turns into a big, dumb tank.  It's basically a Triceratops Herd mutated to the Nth degree.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Zelc on August 22, 2015, 10:10:23 AM
Yes to both :). Dice charge probably means 1 extra damage. Regardless, I was not in any danger of losing that fight quickly.  Dice charge also isn't going to help against the chump stack.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on August 23, 2015, 08:34:21 AM
Yeah, that's another thing that needs to be fixed.  If a unit is using the back up rule it should suffer a final rush from the opposing unit(or some other kind of bonus)  I think it would help the game if you could speed up being able to chop through a chump stack.  The unit that is rushing in seems to get too good of a deal.

Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on July 25, 2016, 11:34:15 AM
Marcus and I played a session of battleground this past Friday and I took the Monsters and Mercs faction.  I noticed that the explaination of the ranged attack on the hill giant is not well worded. 

I think it should read:

Spend two command actions to take direct control of this unit.  While direct controlled it may make a ranged attack at 21".
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: Kevin on July 25, 2016, 11:41:04 AM
That's a minor upgrade, but not unreasonable at all.  If you're making the giant pay enough attention to you to check a boulder it seems fine that it'll also go where you tell it to go and throw at the target you select.
Title: Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
Post by: gornhorror on July 25, 2016, 04:48:02 PM
That's the way we played it.  It seems ok.  What came up was me trying to use it's ranged attack.  The way it's written is I had to spend two command actions to make it a ranged unit, then spend two to direct control it.  One to direct control and one because it has a stupid keyword.  I was like, holy crap, 4 of my command actions just to have this thing throw and not move where I didn't want it to go?  Seemed a bit much.  Marcus and I though that 2 command actions was sufficient to take direct control and use the ranged attack.  Anything more than that it becomes too restrictive and very un-fun to play.