Author Topic: Elves, Hill Giants, and more  (Read 12035 times)

Hannibal

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #15 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)   

gornhorror

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #16 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. :)
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gornhorror

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #17 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.



« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 01:20:06 PM by gornhorror »
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gornhorror

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2015, 04:44:41 PM »
Quote
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.
Quote

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.




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BubblePig

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #19 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.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 07:03:11 PM by BubblePig »

Hannibal

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #20 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.

gornhorror

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #21 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.
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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #22 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.
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BubblePig

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #23 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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 11:23:27 AM by BubblePig »

Hannibal

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #24 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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 12:09:44 PM by Hannibal »

opimius

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #25 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).

Hannibal

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #26 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.

RushAss

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #27 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.

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gornhorror

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #28 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.
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Hannibal

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Re: Elves, Hill Giants, and more
« Reply #29 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).