Author Topic: one more unit, please  (Read 5355 times)

Gabbi

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one more unit, please
« on: December 26, 2014, 04:19:36 AM »
iirc Battleground is around since 2005, so the earlier releases are 10 years old now. What about injecting some new thrill giving each faction one new unit? You can use it to give something the army is missing, without bringing it out its playstyle, of course (i.e. a high skill unit to Undeads), or to release a unit created during development but left out the final release, or to add an idea that stroke you after the release, or to give earlier factions unit using rules/abilities developed afterwards (again, fitting in the intended playstyle), or to amend some weakness gained with the development/change of the rules or toward some specific new faction...

Maybe these could be all Elite units. Even better, you can make all these units mercenaries for other factions (yet still counting as faction units when used in the proper faction). So you can make a small deck including 2-4 each and everyone could use the full content even not owning all armies.

What do you think?

Kevin

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2014, 09:17:44 AM »
Disclaimer:  I'm not the person in charge, though I was a lead designer in the recent Wuxing faction.

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This has been requested and debated in the past.  The issue is that new units would be a double-edged sword.

Two aspects you may not have considered:

1)  Battleground always has been advertised as "Buy the starter box and the expansion box (or, for recent factions, the one box) and you'll have everything you'll ever need."  Putting out a new faction would poke that marketing point in the eye.

2) What factions don't have is every bit as much faction flavor as what they do have.  For example, Hawkshold lacks any good infantry unit that doesn't move glacially slow; Lizardmen lack cavalry, Dark Elves lack archers, and the Umenzi lack units that move over 3.5" (if your'e not willing to pay >500 points).  A real danger with adding units is that these new unis would "fill in those gaps" and end up reducing faction flavor and overall interest in the game.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

gull2112

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2014, 10:16:58 AM »
What Kevin said.

One is certainly free to create a proxy and play test it and put said playtests up in the session reports. I would even encourage it. If it is really popular some enthusiast may even create a decent proxy with art work and everything. This gives the best of both worlds as it doesn't alter the basic marketing promise, yet allows for a growing and expanding system.
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Gabbi

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2014, 10:38:38 AM »
I see... to me, I'll gladly ignore the claim at point 1 if this would mean new stuff ;)
On point 2, my English could be poor, but it was exactly what I intendend with the couple of statements about unaltering the faction playstyle.

The idea stroke me after yesterday game, where playing the Orcs against Rome felt somewhat dull, Looking to the amount of options given to Rome by their units' special rulings.

On making it unofficial, sure one could, but that wasn't the point of this post (left alone the fact I don't remotely have the experience with the game to create a balanced unit from scratch).

Anyway, I understand your concerns, it was just an idea. I would have liked to see the armies expand even if just by a single card :)

gull2112

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2014, 07:17:55 AM »
It is always great to have input! The exact same idea has crossed my mind before also. With the recent release of The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies, there was certainly some buzz about new units, with flames fanned by yours truly, that were commingled with comments by Kevin, who is always the source for well reasoned input. http://ymgforum.com/index.php/topic,10083.0.html

I wanted to add this reply so you didn't feel like you made a suggestion and just got trounced for even trying (which is the way I feel sometimes  :D ).
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Gabbi

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2014, 10:23:12 AM »
Hi, thanks for replying. No problem, but thanks for the further explanation, I really appreciate it.
I've seen the Dwarves, and many other custom stuff. The main problem, for me, is playing with slips of white paper... ^^ As a miniature player, I struggled enough to get used to the look of a battlefield covered in cards instead of lead soldiers, I fear I cannot go further :)
Don't get me wrong: I appreciate now the look of Battleground (and the practical benefits granted by the card format - if only there were players to meet to play), but it took its time.

elgin_j

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2014, 09:43:51 AM »
Disclaimer:  I'm not the person in charge, though I was a lead designer in the recent Wuxing faction.

-------
This has been requested and debated in the past.  The issue is that new units would be a double-edged sword.

Two aspects you may not have considered:

1)  Battleground always has been advertised as "Buy the starter box and the expansion box (or, for recent factions, the one box) and you'll have everything you'll ever need."  Putting out a new faction would poke that marketing point in the eye.

2) What factions don't have is every bit as much faction flavor as what they do have.  For example, Hawkshold lacks any good infantry unit that doesn't move glacially slow; Lizardmen lack cavalry, Dark Elves lack archers, and the Umenzi lack units that move over 3.5" (if your'e not willing to pay >500 points).  A real danger with adding units is that these new unis would "fill in those gaps" and end up reducing faction flavor and overall interest in the game.

Given that Battleground marketing is non-existent I contend that point 1 is irrelevant. At the very least you will need to clearly demonstrate that any harm would outweigh any benefit. I don't believe you can. Point 2 is reasonable but I stated many years ago that the older factions would benefit from an injection of a new unit. Holistic concerns about factions would be negated by intelligent unit design and injection of old & new player interest.
toodle pip

gull2112

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 03:53:26 PM »
Let's talk about point 2, adding a unit(s). Kevin definitely brings up a valid point about the unique character of specific factions. Adding specific units could upset that balance. However, I do think that adding a unit that possesses a special ability that didn't exist for earlier factions (i.e. Skirmishers) could have a role. The only caveat is deciding whether or not such a unit adds to the faction flavor or merely "vanilla-izes" it by patching in some blank spots.

Example: Goblin rocket teams (picture hand held oversize bottle rockets that sort of work like a blend of organ gun and mortar. Range of 5". The goblins are classed as skirmishers with a stat of (3)5/5 and standard missile troop engaged penalties.

I just made this unit up, so I don't want to argue the particklers, but if this unit was proposed it would have to pass the sniff test. Does it have a flavorful feel? Does it add value to the faction? Is it adding something new, or just filling in a hole?

In the above example it would be a bad addition if all it did was add an effective archer unit at a reasonable cost. This it does not do. If I made it  (4)5/5 with a 14" range it would fail by that test.
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Gabbi

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2014, 12:02:15 PM »
I can understand the concerns about unbalancing the game, even more the one about giving forces options they should not have to keep flavor and dinstinct playstyle, and trust me, the latter is a point I strongly support. I don't know how widely open is your gaming habit, so if you'll know what I'm talking about, but I feel that one of my best ever loved games, Warmachine/Hordes, is going that route, I feel, giving everything to every force (i. lesser warbeast eren't an exclusive of Legion anymore, everyone is getting a 120mm based caster/warlock, etc... it's just time that Khador will get arc nodes, I fear...).

Anyway, taking in account the two pitfalls above (balance and keeping playstyle) why this should stop the development of another card for each faction? Every new faction coult potentially break game balance, nonetheless, new factions are slowly but constantly developed. Also, if balance issues would arise, we (you) could always fix it (I look at changed command cards, or yellow boxes added to a couple undead cards). So YMG itself has proved to not fearing to correct something if needed (be it by a somehow faulty design or due to changes in the rules over time).

Also, the new card(s) could be just a special release for 10th Anniversary, so to not raise fears of Battleground becoming something different (i.e. a game with constant releases).

gull2112

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2014, 12:40:39 PM »
My Khador army would so rock an arc node! Well, it would if I still had it. Living, as I do, in the twin cities just a few short miles from Privateer Press and their amazing gaming facility, Warmachine was the closest I ever came to being distracted from BG.

But I just don't like spending all my time painting figures, especially as I get older and my vision is going and my hand is not as steady... :P
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Hannibal

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Re: one more unit, please
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2014, 05:13:45 PM »
One thing I mentioned awhile back was to do a "Vassals" expansion with 1 unit for every Fantasy faction.  The Vassals would be Mercenaries and so usable by anyone, but if taken by their native faction they'd be just another unit for that faction.

So for example, a unit of Wood Elf Hippogrif Cavalry would be a flying cavalry unit who are Vassals of Ravenwood.  For Ravenwood they're just a normal unit, but they could be taken as Mercenaries for any other unit.

The trick would be, as Kevin said, to integrate a new unit type that is unique, still in the theme of the faction, but doesn't cover a weakness that was intended to be built in to that faction.