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House Rules, Unofficial Variants and Proposals / Re: On Dragon Fire
« Last post by RushAss on April 18, 2018, 10:49:41 AM »
I agree with Corey on this.  One thing you can try is to house rule it so that a flying dragon doesn't suffer a move and shoot penalty.  We've done that in the past and its a nice little upgrade without being off the charts good.
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House Rules, Unofficial Variants and Proposals / Re: On Dragon Fire
« Last post by Hannibal on April 17, 2018, 05:16:51 PM »
I was watching some Game of Thrones clips the other day, and they got me thinking. Dragon fire, as it exists in Battleground, kinda sucks. Think of Smaug or Drogon.

I'm leery of using movies or TV shows for game design, because they are trying to tell a story.  We are trying to create a balanced, tactical game.  And having something like Smaug or Drogon as portrayed is essentially an "I Win" button unless the other guy rolls three 1s in a row (in which case he kills the dragon with a shot to the weak spot and you lose).

Having an undefeatable monster makes for a good story, because it builds tension.  In a game the undefeatable monster is a really terrible design.


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An Ancient Red Dragon, if it uses both its flame attacks on a unit with a 2/2 defense, will do about 8 damage, probably less do to Command Cards. Not that much considering its cost.

Hold on there.   ;D  You're taking the whole cost of the unit and applying that to the output of dragonfire.  The dragon does other things than just shoot fire.  That ranged attack costs ~100pts of the Ancient Red Dragon's total cost.  The formula postulates that each point of damage (on a D:2/2 unit) is worth 20pts.  So 8pts of damage has a value of 160pts, at a cost of 100pts.  Now the dragon was designed before my time, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's because they took into account things like A) the dragon will take the M&S penalty and B) the enemy will use Command Cards.


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A Red Dragon will do less, about 5-6 damage, again probably less do to Blue Cards.

Just for the record, the Red Dragon pays ~85pts for that damage, which is a ~100-120pt value.


I agree Dragons are difficult to use, but I think it has to do with the fact that they eat up so much of an army's points.  I believe we talked about this sort of thing in the past and the idea that was floated was to have a Dragon fill some of the Core slots of a faction.  That'd free up a few points that could used to get units that are better able to support the dragon.

This is also why I wanted to allow flyers to charge from airborne, instead of having to land.  It'd make the flyers (especially dragons) less finicky for people to use, so they'd feel more right.  However that idea didn't find any traction (and even if I wanted to revisit it, we're way too close to a release to get enough playtesting).
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House Rules, Unofficial Variants and Proposals / Re: On Dragon Fire
« Last post by GoIndy on April 17, 2018, 02:26:55 PM »
I'm remembering using my ancient red on an Elephant, and if someone had suggested to Ron I got more dice, he might have throttled them on the spot. 

Of course, I do think Dragons cost too much, so suits me fine to give them more dice.
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General Battleground: Fantasy Warfare Discussion / Re: Faction Re-release Ideas
« Last post by Hannibal on April 17, 2018, 12:30:08 PM »
Yeah, I agree with Kevin.  They're still 170pts at 3-1-2, so even though the Slavetakers are still a bit min-maxed, they can easily be neutralized by a cheap spear unit.

I still think when it comes to Dark Elves there needs to be a more pronounced game effect of that caste system they have.  One thing I floated a while back was that they have a Command Card limitation on units of weaker blood, to show that the DE lords really don't care about their underlings.

Slaves would have no checkbox ability (like now) and you can't play any cards on them.

Lowbloods have no checkbox and pitch-to-play any Command Card on them.

Halfbloods have Pain Touch, and pitch-to-play Red or Blue Command Cards on them.  (Green is no penalty)

High Bloods have Pain Touch, and pitch-to-play Blue cards.  (Red & Green is no penalty)

Purebloods:  have Pain Touch & no CC restrictions.


(This isn't a concrete proposal, just an example)
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General Battleground: Fantasy Warfare Discussion / Re: Faction Re-release Ideas
« Last post by Kevin on April 17, 2018, 10:02:45 AM »
IMHO the single, clean fix is fine.  They'd still be the most expensive 4-die cavalry unit in the game (not counting HE chariots), so certainly wouldn't be overpowered for their cost.
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General Battleground: Fantasy Warfare Discussion / Re: Faction Re-release Ideas
« Last post by RushAss on April 16, 2018, 03:02:02 PM »
2-2-2:  Antonians, Hawk Scouts, HE Bowriders, Wildmen Horse Archers, Allied Greek Cavalry, Satrapal Cavalry, Saka Horse Archers

You made a typo here.  It should read:
2-2-2:  Awesome Death Rockets that thankfully allied themselves with the Dwarves, Hawk Scouts, HE Bowriders, Wildmen Horse Archers, Allied Greek Cavalry, Satrapal Cavalry, Saka Horse Archers

I'm a fan of knocking a yellow hit box off of the Slave Takers.  3-1-2 would work IMO.  The crummy part about that is that it would actually make the bastards cheaper and knock them below 170 points.  If we wanted to keep the unit at a higher cost perhaps we entertain the thought of adding an attack die to the profile to up it to (5) 5/5.  That would certainly give them a glass cannon feel.

I've been ruminating on the Lashmistress.  Not so much on the mechanics of the unit itself, but what it actually represents.  I've always had a hard time swallowing the concept of a single (or handful of) sorcerous lady (or ladies) with an escort of soldiers performing the way it does on the battlefield.  What is it that causes an enemy unit to head straight for them?  The term "Siren's Song" implies a magical charming type of effect.  I can totally get behind that in a role playing situation but in a war game it just feels out of place.  Like a nice try at flavor that sort of fell flat.  I'm thinking it may be worth exploring a replacement unit.  That would be challenging because I'd like to keep some sort of sourcerous feel to them but they can't step on the toes of the Lords of Dusk or the Coven.  I'd like to preserve the line unit/special magic utility unit feel.One idea I had was that a target enemy line unit would become Impulsive once the range to the HE unit reached 7".  And maybe we'd give it something very similar to a Crossbow type ranged attack to preserve the feel that the sorcerous energies do more than just effect the movement of enemy troops, but they do some damage as well.  Any thoughts on that?
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General Battleground: Fantasy Warfare Discussion / Re: Faction Re-release Ideas
« Last post by Kevin on April 16, 2018, 02:59:41 PM »
Yeah, I like 3-1-2 as well.

Plus the flavor:  "Hey.  WE take the slaves!  These people are fighting back and we're probably going to lose--screw this!"   ;D
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General Battleground: Fantasy Warfare Discussion / Re: Faction Re-release Ideas
« Last post by Hannibal on April 16, 2018, 02:37:18 PM »
Not really here-or-there, but whichever box gets knocked off Slave Takers there's precedent.

A list I could come up with:

3-2-1:  Hawk Light cavalry (soon to be Lancers), Stag Cavalry, Spanish Cavalry, Gallic Cavalry, Thessalian Cavalry, Sarrisophoroi

3-1-2:  Roman cav (Equites, Italian Cav, Vet Equites), Jun Horse Archers

2-2-2:  Antonians, Hawk Scouts, HE Bowriders, Wildmen Horse Archers, Allied Greek Cavalry, Satrapal Cavalry, Saka Horse Archers

2-2-1:  Skeleton Cavalry, Wolf Riders

This is another reason I like the 3-1-2 stat boxes.  Not only does it dovetail pretty well with their attack dice & the theme of "bully Dark Elves," but it's design space that isn't crowded.
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General Battleground: Fantasy Warfare Discussion / Re: Faction Re-release Ideas
« Last post by Kevin on April 16, 2018, 01:58:38 PM »
Not really here-or-there, but whichever box gets knocked off Slave Takers there's precedent.

3-2-1:  Many!  Hawkshold, Stags, pretty sure Skeletons and Carthaginian cav.
3-1-2:  Roman cav.
2-2-2:  Antonians.
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General Battleground: Fantasy Warfare Discussion / Re: Faction Re-release Ideas
« Last post by Hannibal on April 16, 2018, 01:02:46 PM »
The Slavetakers unit always has been too optimized.  7" move, core, all cavalry bonuses(defense and offense), impact hit, 3 green box stat bar and good damage doing faction ability.  Also base 12 courage.  I would change their stat bar differently.  I would make it a 2/2/2.   Light fast cavalry shouldn't have 3 green boxes if that's the maximum medium and heavy cavalry get.

Alexander has a 3 green, 7" mover, so there is a precedent for it.

In fairness, we based them off of Slave Takers.  They are the ones to set precedent.


Naw, they should have the green box removed.   A unit that does not call itself heavy cavalry and can move speed 7" should not have 3 green boxes. 

I see no reason for such a rule of thumb to exist.  Hit boxes are purely about unit cohesion, nothing more.  You can have 3 Green box units that are "light cavalry" just like you can have light infantry units (i.e. D:2/1) with 4 Green boxes like heavy infantry units.


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I have always hated the lashmistress ability.  I think it's broken.  What about this for her ability?  What if it changed the units standing order to "close on lashmistress".   You could take direct control or change it's orders on your turn to stop it from moving into it's own death.  No more pulling a unit closer on it's turn. 

Problem is, at that point, the ability is pretty garbage and just a gimmick. Simpler to just remove the unit.

I can see both sides.  The current Lashmistresses are an unholy mess that fights the system too much.  That said, I think if they were kept, some permutation of what Brook suggests is the right way to go.  However we'd have to try & find a way to make sure it's not just a useless gimmick.


Siren's call would not be garbage if you had to spend a command action to stop it.  Yes most people would probably use that command action to make it not happen, but it would still hurt because of the command action drain. 

Yeah but that doesn't add anything to the play experience.  I think that's what he means by "gimmicky."  It becomes an annoying little tic-tac-toe game where you attack, then I spend a CA to change the order.

And to get any real value out of it, you'd almost have to either do a S&S or put the Lashmistresses out on an edge where people are playing the "curl back" game.  Otherwise "oh boy that unit is running towards your Lashmistresses, something they were gonna do anyway...."  And if the DE player tries to pull a unit to block others, the opponent can use order of operations to funnel the unit where he wants it to go, just like an Auto-Close unit.


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Given the Lashmistress' stats and cost, I would still very much consider playing the unit if I chose to play Dark Elves.  Her ranged attack is still good, her engaged attack is still good and she can mess up your day if you don't spend that command action to stop her ability.  Having no way to stop it, makes the ability broken.


I think "broken" isn't the right term.  You just have to remember that there will be out-of-order movement, so you plan to spend CAs during your turn to account for it or during your next turn to "fix" the damage.  I don't think that's broken in a power sense.  Just annoying as hell.  And that's really my problem with it:  the Lashmistresses are annoying to play against, until you figure it out.  Then they're borderline useless.  Take Dusklblades and get better ROI.


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I agree that like 3/4 of the units need to be adjusted but I don't think these guys need the wholesale rethink that the Dark Elves do.  A lot of things are minor changes that have ripple effects.  For example, something needs to be done about Skeletons but once we find that fix that's 2-3 units that get changed.  Zombies are too cheap for what they do, Ghouls need something like Wolfkin's rout defenses, I'm not sure we need two flavors of undead Troll, and so on.

Not sure I agree. They would still have no infantry breakthrough unit and be stupidly vulnerable to spears. However, if you are suggesting adding units to compensate for that kind of weakness, I would argue that that is already somewhat reworking the faction.

You could be right.  We make enough tweaks and it's a wholesale change.  One idea I had was to give the Ghouls Off Skill 6.

The thing we have to avoid though is that factions start getting very samey.  We don't want it to be "this is the Undead version of Orc Axemen and this is the Dark Elf version of Orc Axemen" and so on.  Maybe the Undead shouldn't have a dedicated beatstick unit but the necromancer (i.e. the player) should boost the stats of units using CAs (i.e. spells).  Just tossing out ideas.


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We're working on toning down spears and if we give the Trolls a price reduction that'd help.  But this is another place for a "fun" rule.  I'd like to do some kind of "gobble them up" or "acid vomit" kind of attack that the Troll makes instead of it's regular attack.  It'd be fewer attacks but maybe they'd be automatic hits (like impact hits) that you can only use once or twice in a game.  That'd prevent a battle squad from tying them down and introduce a little bit of flavor into the unit.

I would have some concerns about special attacks, as they strike me more as gimmicks than anything else; however, I can maybe see some sort of special attack making trolls worth taking over Axemen.

I agree that special attacks are kind of gimmicky, but honestly one of the things people have asked for is more special rules.  People like seeing the "moving parts" of a system over the symmetry of it.  For example, giving Hawkshold +1 Green box has a huge effect and it's beautifully elegant in representing their improved cohesion.  But your average casual gamer won't appreciate it.  They want to see Hawkshold erase a damage box when they pass a Yellow rout check to show them standing fast against an enemy.

So while I'm not saying we slap special rules on everything, but we should have a few more moving parts in some of the early factions because people find them fun.


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Trolls are freakin' awesome.  They just need regeneration fixed.  I think that they should regenerate a hit box EVERY m&c phase when engaged, and every other turn when not.

They would still have the problem of being a 1/3, 5/5/7 large unit in a power faction. Maybe fixing regeneration wound make them worthwhile, but I am still unsure.

Not just a Pow 7 unit in a Pow faction, but an MC 5" mover in a faction with Lash.  Pretty much everything Trolls do can be mostly done by another unit for much cheaper.  The Trolls are a perfect example of a unit that (minus regeneration) is balanced in a vacuum but in the context of it's faction is underpowered.  So the answer may in fact be that they could use a boost/cost decrease, acknowledging that they are "too good" in a vacuum but in context they are fine.
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