Author Topic: Elves, Hill Giants, and more  (Read 13905 times)

BubblePig

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #30 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.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 09:51:55 PM by BubblePig »

gull2112

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #31 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.
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Zelc

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #32 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.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 04:37:51 PM by Zelc »

Kevin

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #33 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!   ;)

« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 08:17:57 AM by Kevin »
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gornhorror

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #34 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.

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Kevin

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2015, 02:33:09 PM »
For the benefit of Zelc, here's the link 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.
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gornhorror

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #36 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. 
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Zelc

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #37 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.

Kevin

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #38 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.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 06:57:40 PM by Kevin »
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RushAss

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #39 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!
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Kevin

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #40 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.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 10:29:56 AM by Kevin »
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RushAss

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #41 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.
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Kevin

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2015, 12:46:27 PM »
Quote
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.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 02:34:44 PM by Kevin »
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RushAss

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #43 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. 
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 04:22:14 PM by RushAss »
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gornhorror

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #44 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?
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