Author Topic: Amazons - Reborn!  (Read 9379 times)

RushAss

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2015, 11:07:58 AM »
"I'm not sure (8)/6/6 is enough.  This unit needs to be a serious threat of blowing up a decent unit in one attack round, even more than Death Knights and Dusk Lancers."

Dude, (10) 6/7 + impact hit on the charge is very likely enough - LOL  
ON AVERAGE with all command card play and die rolls being equal, a unit with these offensive stats will do 5 damage to units with a 2/3 or 3/2 defense.  A unit of High Elven Swordsmen/Elderblade Swordsmen/Spearmen will literally be half dead after the charge turn.  Dwarven and Orc Heavy units will certainly be rolling for yellow checks.  You have a reasonably good chance of blasting Half-Orcs clean into the red.
Or stick with the Knight template (base stats at (6) 6/6* ) with a Pila-type ranged attack like (3) 6/6.  That's 508 points.  You do the exact same that with 8 attack dice and you get 593 points.

If that's the case, then maybe we need to ditch the flying rules entirely?

The Flying rules are half baked and need work.  I think they should be second on the list of things to fix in the future right after the ranged fire rules for standard archery.  The biggest thing that stands out to me is the "dogfight" engaged rules for flying units vs. other flying units.  As it currently stands it doesn't matter what the facing of any unit is during these kinds of engagements and I think that's stupid.  And there should probably be some sort of swoop attack for flying units vs. grounded ones where both units get some sort of attack just for that turn.

So I'm thinking it's going to be a tough deal to achieve accurate balance with flying stuff until the flying rules are fleshed out.  Heck, I was really ambivalent about making the Valkyries a flying unit in my faction for this exact reason.

I'm trying to stay within the theme, and I like how the theme inspires some of these cards.  I think +1/-1 Move Class is not enough.  But you have me thinking about other changes.
I'm now thinking these options instead:
A friendly unit with the Cavalry keyword gets +2 Movement Class this turn.
OR
An enemy unit with the Cavalry keyword gets No movement this turn.
OR
An enemy unit with the Cavalry keyword gets -2 attack dice and -2 Courage this turn.

I don't know why we need an option to draw another card.  I have no problem with powerful cards being near-useless if you don't have a good play for them right now.
I'm going by the precedent set by cards of this type that already exist.  Ravenwood's Aspect of Wolf is a pretty close comparison.  In this case one of the options is just a flat +1 MC.  If a card has multiple options, none of them should be really good.  
Also, denying an enemy unit the ability to move at all on the opponent's turn may be opening a can of worms.  Especially if it's a cavalry unit that moves 5"+.  Slowing them down is one thing, stopping them completely for a turn is another thing entirely.  Now if it was an instance where this exact thing happens unless your opponent pays a CA to prevent it I think it's cool but then you must play the card on your opponent's Movement and Command phase before he does anything so he has a chance to use the CA.  Unless the card is played on your turn and you put a counter on the enemy unit, just like using a hex.  

An enemy unit with the Cavalry keyword gets -2 attack dice and -2 Courage this turn.

This is a terrible option.  Not because of balance but because it is 100% useless against Lizardmen and Umenzi since they don't have cavalry units.  And just marginally better against factions with just 1 cavalry unit like Orcs, Monsters & Mercs, and Dwarves.

On the Porcupine - 228 points for the D: 2/4 porcupine.  I personally prefer the 3/3 version because it reflects the heavy shields better.

The Power of Love
Green
Card count = 1
Play during Command & Control Phase.  All Male Amazon units get (+2)/+1/+1 this round.  This counts as playing a Red attack card.

....Maybe (+2)/+1/+1 is not enough?
Actually, this is miles past where it should be.  If you look at Orc Frenzy, the effected unit gets (+2)/+1/+1 but also has to pay the penalty of having it's defensive stats go down -1/-1 for the turn.  And Frenzy is considered to be a really good card.  Your card gives the (+2)/+1/+1 bonus for free potentially to multiple units.  Ay Caramba!

Plus you have the issue where there are only 2 types of Male units, so this card can either be other-worldly good or a total waste.

With all that being said, it's an interesting card thematically.  Maybe make it such that all Male units get (+2) attack dice and +1 courage for the turn?  Or just make it effect 1 Male unit and give it (+1) +1/+1 and +1 courage for the turn?  Either of those is still pretty strong IMO.  I'd also change the name so something like "Impressing the Ladies" or "Prove Yourselves"
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Dave-SWA

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2015, 10:29:26 PM »
Responding to Marcus' input...

I'm really feeling that the Royal Guard Unicorn Riders need to have at least 7 attack dice, to represent how the Unicorns fight too.  They have to have more base attacks than Knights and Death Knights.  So you're saying (8)/6/6* and a (3)/6/6 Pila attack is 593 points, right?  Hmmm...  Let me think on that.


Pegasus Leap card
See, I'm trying to work within the established system.  For example, I think it's crazy that units can't land and final rush in the same turn.  I originally thought that Pegasi should get this new ability, because they are more agile flyers than dragons and drakes.  And it would be balanced because Pegasus units don't fight as well as Drake Rider units.  But Kevin talked me out of that idea at Dexcon last year.

Assuming the flying rules are flawed, I don't think that means we should not have a card that allows one Amazon cavalry unit the ability to fly for one turn.  I don't see anyone showing me how the logic of spending the equivalent of 50 points for one turn of flight is way out of balance with other flying units.  So, what's the harm? 

Horse Whisperer card
Yes, I totally get that these effects are more powerful than on other cards.  I have compiled a big list of all the special cards for all the factions in the game, and I'm basing these card ideas on how they compare to other cards.  I am going for some Bigger Bonus/Bigger Liability cards.
A.  I'm totally clear that most factions have only 1-3 cavalry, and two factions have none at all.  This is part of what justifies the card effects to be more powerful; you can only play these cards on a small subset of units.
B.  You can play Aspect of Wolf on any Ravenswood unit.
B1.  You can only play Horse Whisperer for a positive effect on 7 out of the 13 current Amazon units, or
B2.  You can only play Horse Whisperer for a negative effect on only about 15-20% of potential enemy units.
This is a huge difference, and why the bonuses/penalties should be bigger.

Power of Love card
Once again, the card effect is so powerful because it can only affect 2 of the 13 Amazon units. 
One of them (Suitors) is Elite, and not a powerhouse unit.  Only base 4 attack dice.  And no other special Amazon cards can be played on Suitors.
The other (Rowdy Gang) is designed the weakest, cheapest scrub unit in the game.  It is deliberately a unit so bad that it's a joke. 

Yes, the Orc Frenzy card is really strong, and it has a big negative.  But it can be played on any Orc unit, at your discretion, to maximize your gain.  And you can Lash that unit to add another attack die.  Neither Male Amazon unit has access to the Amazon special ability.

Are you worried that someone will take 4-5 Rowdy Gangs, and hope they draw this one card?  Anyone playing against the Amazons should welcome that strategy!  How often will you draw this one card early in the game?  How many of your Rowdy Gangs will already be dead by the time you draw and play it?

"The Power of Love" has some subtle word play... Power, and how the card adds to attack power.  Get it?
That being said, I do like the name "Prove Yourself" better.  So let's go with that.

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Dave-SWA

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2015, 11:12:50 PM »
OK, I think I am relatively happy with the 10 unique command cards as they now stand.  One less thing for Kevin to ridicule...   ;D

Toned down "Horse Whisperer" a little:

Horse Whisperer
Command Card - Green
Card count: 2
Play during a Command & Control Phase
Choose One:
A friendly unit with the Cavalry keyword gets +2 Movement Class this turn.
OR
An enemy unit with the Cavalry keyword gets -3 Movement Class this turn.
OR
An enemy unit with the Cavalry keyword gets -2 attack dice and -2 Courage this turn.


Added a LoS requirement to "Prove Yourself" and toned down the bonus as per Marcus' suggestion.

Prove Yourself
Command Card – Green/Red
Card count: 1
Play during any Command & Control Phase.  All Male Amazon units within line of sight of a Female Amazon unit get (+2) attack dice and +1 Courage this turn.  This counts as playing a Red attack card on all the affected attacks.

New cards to complete the set of 10.

Fight with the sun at your back
Command Card – Blue
Card count: 1
Play before an enemy unit rolls to hit.  That unit suffers (-1) attack die and loses any anti-cavalry Spear or Pike bonuses it may be entitled to this attack.  If the Spear/Pike unit is Charging, it still loses its inherent (-1/-2) attack dice.


Battle Song
Command Card – Green
Card count: 2
Play after a failed courage check.  Get +1 courage and re-roll. 
(Clone of Lizardman Cold Blooded)

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RushAss

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2015, 09:34:51 AM »
These are all just knee-jerk reactions

OK, I think I am relatively happy with the 10 unique command cards as they now stand.  One less thing for Kevin to ridicule...   ;D

Toned down "Horse Whisperer" a little:

Horse Whisperer
Command Card - Green
Card count: 2
Play during a Command & Control Phase
Choose One:
A friendly unit with the Cavalry keyword gets +2 Movement Class this turn.
OR
An enemy unit with the Cavalry keyword gets -3 Movement Class this turn.
OR
An enemy unit with the Cavalry keyword gets -2 attack dice and -2 Courage this turn.
I still think +2 MC may be too much because all of your cavalry units move at a 6" or faster anyways.  You may even waste some of that movement playing the card.  How about your cavalry unit gets +1 MC and +1 courage for the turn for that option?  And I'd go with a -2 MC for an enemy cavalry unit.  You'll still limit Knight units to a MC of 2.5".  Here's a hidden strength of that option - You play it on a unit that you suspect is close to a route check.  If that unit fails the check, the -2 MC will probably keep it from escaping final rush range of an Amazon line unit and if your turn is next you can final rush and destroy that unit.  It won't happen often, but it can be gloriously sneaky.

With all that said, I'm still not a fan of the card because 2 of the 3 options are absolutely useless against Umenzi and Lizardmen due to lack of cavalry units and not much better against Orcs, Dwarves, and Monsters & Mercs.  If it was just a single card in the deck that would be better, but you have 2 of them.  What if you never need a movement class boost during a game against one of the factions mentioned above?  It's a totally dead card in that case.

Added a LoS requirement to "Prove Yourself" and toned down the bonus as per Marcus' suggestion.

Prove Yourself
Command Card – Green/Red
Card count: 1
Play during any Command & Control Phase.  All Male Amazon units within line of sight of a Female Amazon unit get (+2) attack dice and +1 Courage this turn.  This counts as playing a Red attack card on all the affected attacks.
You may not even need the line of sight thing, I think it's just fine as a straight up +2 dice and +1 courage for the male units.

New cards to complete the set of 10.

Fight with the sun at your back
Command Card – Blue
Card count: 1
Play before an enemy unit rolls to hit.  That unit suffers (-1) attack die and loses any anti-cavalry Spear or Pike bonuses it may be entitled to this attack.  If the Spear/Pike unit is Charging, it still loses its inherent (-1/-2) attack dice.
This is pretty interesting.  Flat out awful for just about any other faction, but perfect for the Amazons.  IMO this is a really good example of a factions specific card that fully represents the flavor of the faction.  Maybe change the name to "Sun in their eyes" just to shorten it?

Battle Song
Command Card – Green
Card count: 2
Play after a failed courage check.  Get +1 courage and re-roll. 
(Clone of Lizardman Cold Blooded)
Why don't you flip flop the courage bonus for the rolls?  Give the unit a +1 courage on the first roll and no bonus on the second if they fail the first?  That would at least set it apart from Cold Blooded.  I mean, either way is balanced.  I'm just offering an alternative.
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Hannibal

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2015, 09:50:02 AM »
Quote
Quote
Fight with the sun at your back
Command Card – Blue
Card count: 1
Play before an enemy unit rolls to hit.  That unit suffers (-1) attack die and loses any anti-cavalry Spear or Pike bonuses it may be entitled to this attack.  If the Spear/Pike unit is Charging, it still loses its inherent (-1/-2) attack dice.
This is pretty interesting.  Flat out awful for just about any other faction, but perfect for the Amazons.  IMO this is a really good example of a factions specific card that fully represents the flavor of the faction.  Maybe change the name to "Sun in their eyes" just to shorten it?

I've mostly stayed out of this thread because this faction is so over-the-top, but I have to comment about just what bad design this card is.  If you design a faction to have a certain theme, then you accept the good with the bad.  I've often stated that a faction is defined as much by its weaknesses as by its strengths, not just in terms of balance but also of theme and fun.

This card violates all three.  If you design a cavalry faction, then you should live with the fact that its going to be vulnerable to spears.  Giving this faction a "no spears for you!" card is a deliberate attempt to remove that vulnerability.  If the faction is so vulnerable to spears such that it is a weak faction, then the message here is that its time for you to revisit your original design decisions.

Furthermore, its just not fun.  I'll tell you right now that I am strongly disinclined to play against this faction, because it would be no fun.  Between the "teleport" card of Pegasus Leap and this card, there's severe balance issues.  My opponent can simply negate me outmaneuvering him and getting good matchup with these two cards.  Instead of being about maneuver, the game becomes about "if I get XYZ cards I win; otherwise I lose."  At which point we can save on the army design and dice rolling and play a game of draw-the-card.  If you get X or Y card in the first 8 command card draws (about 46%), then you win.


I think you have a neat idea for a home brew faction, but I also think in general in needs to be toned down.  Marcus has been providing some great feedback and I'd strongly suggest you take his advice in most cases.

Dave-SWA

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2015, 02:02:10 AM »
Here's how I see it...

Kevin and Corey are probably the two leading voices in how this game is developing these days.  A year ago at Dexcon, I had v1 of the lots-of-cavalry-of-different-flavors Amazon faction.  But no command card ideas.  But I did have what I thought were good concepts for most of the units.  I played 1-2 playtest games.  I then had a good discussion with Kevin, and I think the main theme of his comments was "it will be very hard for this faction to win, because cavalry are innately so brittle."

So I keep the ideas percolating.  I am thinking that the faction-specific cards have to the potential to be more powerful than average, to give some balance to the faction; to give them a chance.  I post v2, complete with cards this time.  Kevin is still making cracks that the folks at Dexcon this year should count on my army evaporating within 3 turns.

So, Kevin thinks the faction has no chance, and Corey thinks it's grossly overpowered.  The two leading voices of game development are in wild disagreement (what a surprise!).  What are we to think?  I personally think it's a reasonable, viable, work-in-progress faction, and let's see how it does versus good opponents at Dexcon.


Corey:
Quote
I've mostly stayed out of this thread because this faction is so over-the-top, but I have to comment about just what bad design this card is.  If you design a faction to have a certain theme, then you accept the good with the bad.  I've often stated that a faction is defined as much by its weaknesses as by its strengths, not just in terms of balance but also of theme and fun.

This card violates all three.  If you design a cavalry faction, then you should live with the fact that its going to be vulnerable to spears.  Giving this faction a "no spears for you!" card is a deliberate attempt to remove that vulnerability.  If the faction is so vulnerable to spears such that it is a weak faction, then the message here is that its time for you to revisit your original design decisions.

I think this is a pretty big over-reaction.

1.  It is one card in a deck of 30.
1a.  It does not negate the spear bonus of all Spear units on the board.  It negates the spear bonus of one unit, for one round of combat.  And then the card goes into the discard pile.

2.  If I was trying to "remove the vulnerability [of this faction]", I would have proposed that the faction ability be "Spend 1 CA, mark the sunrise box, all Spear/Pike units engaged with this unit lose their Spear/Pike bonuses."  Please note the faction ability is not even in the ballpark of this idea.  Please also note I deliberately did not design some kind of "special anti-spear unit".


More Corey:
Quote
Furthermore, its just not fun.  I'll tell you right now that I am strongly disinclined to play against this faction, because it would be no fun.  Between the "teleport" card of Pegasus Leap and this card, there's severe balance issues.  My opponent can simply negate me outmaneuvering him and getting good matchup with these two cards.  Instead of being about maneuver, the game becomes about "if I get XYZ cards I win; otherwise I lose."  At which point we can save on the army design and dice rolling and play a game of draw-the-card.  If you get X or Y card in the first 8 command card draws (about 46%), then you win.

Corey, don't you see, you could make this same argument even if the Amazon faction concept disappears tomorrow.  You could make it with practically any faction, and their heavy-hitter units.

One example of many that we could conjure...  Let's say I've got Hawkshold Knights (413 points).  I have 4 chances out of 30 to pull a Strike or an Attack Formation.  This makes me effectively (9+an impact hit)/7/7  on the charge.  If my opponent is unlucky enough to not have something to help counter this, his unit probably gets rocked.

And we could tweak this scenario to the circumstances as necessary.  If I'm charging a high defensive skill target, I want the Accuracy card.  If I'm charging a really tough target, I want the Might card, etc.

Let me remind you, I was the guy who's been saying for awhile that it seems like cards are too important, that the focus of the game is shifting a little too much toward "how many/what cards do you have in your hand", and a little too much away from the units fighting on the board.  Once you guys voted the change of charge bonus = +2 dice, I started saying it more broadly and publicly.  And you were the guy who said something like 'that's the way Chad designed the game, and I've got to accept that.'

Here is the discussion, from a bit over a year ago, if anyone wants to review it:
http://ymgforum.com/index.php/topic,9815.msg41510.html#msg41510

And Corey, as I re-read this, I'm reminded that you never did answer my question about your math...
Quote
More Corey
Quote
Quote
I disagree.  The charge turn doesn't result in an appreciable difference between evenly matched units (+.08 dmg per charge if you need 3s and 3s).  Where the real discrepancy comes is when you need more than 3s and 3s.  A unit that needs 4s and 4s, for example, is doing +.33 dmg on the charge.

Yes, I should have shown more quantitative evidence to support my hunch.

Hmmm...  Am I doing the math right?  My numbers don't seem to match your "(+.08 dmg per charge if you need 3s and 3s)".

Example: Fight between two totally average (5)5/5, 2/2 units, no cards or special abilities.

Non-charge:  5 dice needing 3s & 3s = 1.25 damage
Charge turn:  7 dice needing 3s & 3s = 1.75 damage

I still think it would improve the game to change the rules to say "Playing your faction ability costs 1 CA. Drawing a card costs 2 CAs".  


Let's get back to the "teleport" card again...

If flying is so game-unbalancing, where is the call from the community to ban flying units, and keep all the published ones in the box, until the rules are totally re-written?  We had a flying rule kerfluffle, and some rules were re-written.  But the flying rules are still in the latest edition of the rules.

So I was catching-up on some unread forum threads.  Here's one from just two months ago.
http://ymgforum.com/index.php/topic,10186.0.html

Corey, if flying units are so broken, why are you fielding one in your army?  Why not just keep it in the box?

Yes, flying units are a pain in the butt.  That is their special role, and why they cost so damn much.

If you know I have a flying unit, you might keep someone in the back of your line for guard duty.  Or maybe you see that as futile, like if you're playing Umenzi or something.  There are many factions/builds where experience has shown that if you don't have lots of speed, it is tough to guard against a flyer landing behind your line.

Similarly, if you are fighting the Amazons, there is a chance, just a chance, that they will pull the Pegasus Leap card.  Maybe you needing to account for that helps balance what Kevin says is a hopeless faction.  Let's playtest it and see.

How about this as a concession...
Let's playtest it as "Spend 2 CAs to play this card..."
That's now spending the game equivalent of 75 army build points to grant one of the Amazon Cavalry units the ability to fly for one turn.


Marcus' gentlemanly comments on command cards...

Quote
I still think +2 MC may be too much because all of your cavalry units move at a 6" or faster anyways.  You may even waste some of that movement playing the card.

You know, I was just looking at the chart last night after playing Doug.  It seems to me +2 MC is not all that much.  6" goes to 8.5".  I honestly don't see that as excessive.  I'm a little tempted to go to +3 MC (6" to 9.5"), because I think the cavalry/movement faction needs magical movement boosts.  Kick in the afterburners, baby!  Let's keep it at +2 MC for now and see how playtesting goes.

Quote
With all that said, I'm still not a fan of the card because 2 of the 3 options are absolutely useless against Umenzi and Lizardmen due to lack of cavalry units and not much better against Orcs, Dwarves, and Monsters & Mercs.  If it was just a single card in the deck that would be better, but you have 2 of them.  What if you never need a movement class boost during a game against one of the factions mentioned above?  It's a totally dead card in that case.

Once again, I think part of what makes the card more reasonable is the risk of it being less useful.  It can still give me a +2 MC boost, as long as all my Cavalry aren't dead.  And there is no such thing as a totally dead card; you can always keep it in your hand to potentially boost a Follow Through or a Roll with the Blow.

On the Courage re-roll card
Quote
Why don't you flip flop the courage bonus for the rolls?  Give the unit a +1 courage on the first roll and no bonus on the second if they fail the first?

But wouldn't this change the card from a re-roll card to a 'play before you roll' card?  
Or are you proposing "Play on a courage check you just failed.  If you missed by one, you pass instead.  If you missed by more than one, re-roll the check."?
That seems like more than a cosmetic change.


Let's go back to the beginning...  I just want to say something.  

It is not my goal to have a munchkin faction that is totally overpowered.
My goal is to have a viable, cavalry-heavy faction.

Let's face it.  The more factions that get published, the harder it is to come up with novel ideas and concepts.  Look at all the disagreement we had about how to get to "a faction with a standard of defensive toughness of 3".  The idea started with Amazons, and ~finally~ got published as Wuxing.

There nothing in the game like this Amazon faction.  
(Shhhhh...  Don't tell anyone, but you can do about 60% of what the Amazons do if you play Hawkshold.  But that other 40% is what makes them seem so vastly different.  That, and the platemail bustiers.)

The original stream-of-consciousness thought process went like this:
1.  Chad wants Amazons.
2.  The idea of toughness 3 women warriors just gives me too much cognitive dissonance.
3.  It is obvious to me that Amazons should be women warriors who ride horses.  Lots of horses.  This is what will make them special.
4.  What will make them fantasy special is they have affinities with magical horses, like Pegasi and Unicorns.
5.  I have game experience with the all-female Unicorn tribe in Glorantha, so that material has been in my head for years.
6.  Unicorns are just superior to normal horses.  They are magical horses that can fight with their magical horns.
7.  Pegasi are especially fast and agile flyers, but frail.  
8.  The Amazons need some kind of infantry - 100% cavalry is probably not workable.  You need infantry to hold ground - you cannot win wars with just air power.
9.  It is obvious most kingdoms will field lots of spears vs the Amazons.  And probably bows behind the spears.  What kind of infantry might counter that?  I actually thought about this a lot.
9.  There are some men who will fight for the Amazons to try to impress them.  (Chad wrote this for BFW before I did, but it is a fantasy literature staple).
10.  Let's make one unit pathetically bad, because there are always losers and chumps who have delusions of attracting female attention that they will never really get.
11.  Let's make the other unit pretty good, but small & rare.
12.  Cowboys ride horses too.  And cowboys causing their herds to stampede as a weapon is a staple in Western movies.  Let's try to work in a unit to do that, just cuz it's a cool idea.
13.  And there is still the "game before the game"; the secret army build phase.  There needs to be enough unit variability that I have the option of not bringing that much Cavalry.  What kinds of builds can I bring to dissuade my opponent from bringing lots of Spears?  

I have been slowly, very slowly, percolating on these ideas for over two years now.  The coffee is not quite perfect yet, but it's drinkable.  We just need to tweak how much milk & sugar to add to get it just right.

Thank you all for your assistance and input.

-DC
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 02:29:23 AM by Dave-SWA »
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Dave-SWA

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2015, 02:41:21 AM »
I am still thinking about the whole faction concept.
A couple of random questions to throw out to the community.


Should Maiden Spears be Core?
Or, should the only Core units be Cavalry?
Does having Maiden Spears as Core jive with the idea that this is "the cavalry faction"?


Should Maiden Bows even be a unit?
Would the Amazons even have such units?
Or would they rely solely on Horse Archers for this role?


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Hannibal

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2015, 11:04:06 AM »
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I've mostly stayed out of this thread because this faction is so over-the-top, but I have to comment about just what bad design this card is.  If you design a faction to have a certain theme, then you accept the good with the bad.  I've often stated that a faction is defined as much by its weaknesses as by its strengths, not just in terms of balance but also of theme and fun.

This card violates all three.  If you design a cavalry faction, then you should live with the fact that its going to be vulnerable to spears.  Giving this faction a "no spears for you!" card is a deliberate attempt to remove that vulnerability.  If the faction is so vulnerable to spears such that it is a weak faction, then the message here is that its time for you to revisit your original design decisions.

I think this is a pretty big over-reaction.

1.  It is one card in a deck of 30.

If that one card lets you blow through an enemy and then start pinching, then that one card has massive game balance issues.


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1a.  It does not negate the spear bonus of all Spear units on the board.  It negates the spear bonus of one unit, for one round of combat.  And then the card goes into the discard pile.

On that one round the card provides -1 attack, negates the +1 skill bonus for spears, and since you're very likely to play it against Holding spear, it's also going to negate the +2 Pow he gets.  That means the total modifier the card provides is (-1)-1/-2.

That's Parry and Mettle, in the same card.  Having a card that is Parry+Mettle is broken.  It takes away the one (major) weakness to your faction: your vulnerability to spears.  You can now play it on your Unicorn Cavalry and charge them into Holding Spearmen with no fear.  Once you do so much damage with them, you can start pinching at which point the game really does come down to drawing 1 or 2 cards.



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More Corey:
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Furthermore, its just not fun.  I'll tell you right now that I am strongly disinclined to play against this faction, because it would be no fun.  Between the "teleport" card of Pegasus Leap and this card, there's severe balance issues.  My opponent can simply negate me outmaneuvering him and getting good matchup with these two cards.  Instead of being about maneuver, the game becomes about "if I get XYZ cards I win; otherwise I lose."  At which point we can save on the army design and dice rolling and play a game of draw-the-card.  If you get X or Y card in the first 8 command card draws (about 46%), then you win.

Corey, don't you see, you could make this same argument even if the Amazon faction concept disappears tomorrow.  You could make it with practically any faction, and their heavy-hitter units.

One example of many that we could conjure...  Let's say I've got Hawkshold Knights (413 points).  I have 4 chances out of 30 to pull a Strike or an Attack Formation.  This makes me effectively (9+an impact hit)/7/7  on the charge.  If my opponent is unlucky enough to not have something to help counter this, his unit probably gets rocked.

The difference is that Hawkshold doesn't have a card that is Strike + Force.  Your example is apples and oranges.


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Let me remind you, I was the guy who's been saying for awhile that it seems like cards are too important, that the focus of the game is shifting a little too much toward "how many/what cards do you have in your hand", and a little too much away from the units fighting on the board.  Once you guys voted the change of charge bonus = +2 dice, I started saying it more broadly and publicly.  And you were the guy who said something like 'that's the way Chad designed the game, and I've got to accept that.'

Yes, but exacerbating the problem by designing broken cards is not the answer.


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Let's get back to the "teleport" card again...

If flying is so game-unbalancing, where is the call from the community to ban flying units, and keep all the published ones in the box, until the rules are totally re-written?  

Because your card hands out those abilities for free.  Flyers have to pay points for what is a fairly hard to use ability.  Most times, flying movement is no different than normal movement.  The one time it has value is early in the game where you can fly over his lines and land behind them to set up a pinch.  And its something they pay for.

Your card gives it away for free.  The flight move alone has a value of over 10% on Lancers.  On the Royal Unicorns, you're talking about giving them an ability that is worth 15% (80pts) if you bought it for them.  But granting the same functionality, for free, seems a bit strong.  Because again, even if its only one card, if that one card lets me hop over enemy units and then get a rear/pinch/charge next turn, then that card by itself can blow open the game.

Put it this way:  cards that grant +1 MC are considered very powerful because they can let a unit get a pinch where they wouldn't.  So you have to play at all times like the person has the card, because if you don't and he springs it on you, the game is over.  With a flying card, you have to play like the guy can zip a unit behind your line at all times, because if you don't the game is over once he plays it.  Simply by having that card in the deck it makes me have to put a 200pt (minimum) unit behind my line.  That's taking 10% of my points value out of the game on the chance that you play that card.  And if you don't think that's a big deal, look at the scenarios:  being able to set up the terrain however is valued at 100pts (i.e. the other guy gets 100pts more than you in that scenario). 

Dave-SWA

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2015, 12:59:21 PM »
In the message above, Corey still insists the Fight with the Sun at your Back card is way broken.

I will restate, this is just one card.  And several of us believe that the Amazons will need some kind of way to make up for the fragility of their units.  There is no way for them to win if they are not better-than-average at forcing rout checks and creating breakthroughs.

And, yes, the example of the Royal Guard Unicorns is ugly for the unfortunate spear unit that happens to be in their way.  But let's not forget there is the rest of the battle raging around them.  If I'm spending 500-something points on that one unit, and it's fighting a 220-pt spear unit, where else are you strong and I'm weaker?  What is happening there? 

What happens when it's your turn and you engage the Royal Guard Unicorns on their flank, because my regular Lancers next to the Unicorns routed vs the Spears they had to crash, and I didn't have that card to play here, because there is only one in the deck?

I'm sure you'll say "well, you will obviously spend 1 CA and hold them back from that fight".  Well, OK, maybe I will.  But then that's one less card I'm drawing, and one less chance to get one of the other overpowered cards that I need to win.


With the Fight with the Sun at your Back  card, I added the (-1) die because without it, it becomes a dead card if I'm not fighting spears, and I am listening to Marcus' concern about dead cards. 

I still don't think this one card unbalances the game, but if the community thinks it's better, I'm willing to concede a bit and say the card no longer incurs the (-1) penalty.  Its sole benefit is to remove the Spear bonus from one fight, making it potentially a (0)/-1/-2 card.  And so now it is a dead card for 40% of the Amazon units, AND any time any of my Cav units is not fighting a spear/pike unit.


More Corey on Flight:
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Your card gives it away for free.  The flight move alone has a value of over 10% on Lancers.  On the Royal Unicorns, you're talking about giving them an ability that is worth 15% (80pts) if you bought it for them.  But granting the same functionality, for free, seems a bit strong.  Because again, even if its only one card, if that one card lets me hop over enemy units and then get a rear/pinch/charge next turn, then that card by itself can blow open the game.

Yes, absolutely, the ability to pick a non-flying unit in the right situation and give it a 7.5" hop is powerful. 
Three defenses:
1.  The card has no value for 40% of my units.
2.  The faction probably needs this for a chance to win, with their fragile units.
2a.  Yes, absolutely, forcing you to account for the chance I will draw this card, even if I never do, is a big part of the value.
3.  It fits the "horses and magical horses" theme of the faction - it is not bolted-on in a crude way.

And, it is not free.  It is 1 CA to draw the card, and 2 more CAs to play the card.  That's three other cards I'm not drawing.  Three fewer chances to get the one Fight with the Sun at your Back card that will allegedly automatically win me the game.

You are such a big proponent of the importance of drawing cards, and having the right card for the right situation.  This is three other cards I'm not drawing.  It is not free, it's expensive, just like flying units are expensive.

Let's playtest it and see how it goes.  Maybe Kevin is right and all my armies will evaporate in 3-4 turns.

-DC
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Kevin

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2015, 02:33:11 PM »
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Kevin and Corey are probably the two leading voices in how this game is developing these days.  A year ago at Dexcon, I had v1 of the lots-of-cavalry-of-different-flavors Amazon faction.  But no command card ideas.  But I did have what I thought were good concepts for most of the units.  I played 1-2 playtest games.  I then had a good discussion with Kevin, and I think the main theme of his comments was "it will be very hard for this faction to win, because cavalry are innately so brittle."

[snip]

So, Kevin thinks the faction has no chance, and Corey thinks it's grossly overpowered.

Well, yeah I thought the faction was brittle/underpowered before it got cards that negated vulnerabilities, etc. Doesn't mean I still think that.  Sort of like how I'd put money on the one-legged guy to lose a fight before he's handed a tommy gun.  :P .

That said,  I have a thought for a possible way to avoid the cavalry vulnerability thing without the randomness inherent in a command card:

Faction ability:  

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Dismount.  During the M&C phase of any turn, you may mark the Dismounted box on any cavalry unit.  Marking the box does not cost any command actions.  While this box is marked, the unit loses all special bonuses when Charging (though still gets the standard bonus of extra dice), it's MC drops to 3.5", and it is not considered cavalry.  The box may be erased during a later M&C phase, but doing so costs 2 Command Actions.


As to the "stampede," if I were to do them I'd make them a weaker version of the Triceratops Herd:

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Stampede:  (4) 4/6  1/3 c11 m6"
5g3y3r

2 impact hits.  Orders can be modified, but speed may not be capped.

Pitch a card to play a card.

Large but not fearsome.  (Animals just aren't as scary as magical Dark Elves or rampaging Ogres.  Plus IMHO a herd would be quite likely to get spooked and be less effective if it hits something genuinely scary.)

I'll half-ass their price at 200 even.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 05:01:47 PM by Kevin »
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gornhorror

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2015, 02:52:44 PM »
I'll weigh in on a couple of things. 

I'm against any card that gives a -3 movement class to somebody else's cavalry.  Even -2 is pushing it but workable.

Regardless of whether it's one card or not, taking away a spear unit's entire bonus doesn't seem fair to me.  Take away some hit dice (max of 2) or lower the offensive power or offensive skill by one or something to that effect. I agree that a -1/-1/-2 is way too good. I don't usually agree with Corey so you know I'm not saying this to pile it on.

I also think the flying rules are very flawed.  I have some good ideas that I thought about since our last discussion on the topic.  I'm going to go over them with Marcus and if he approves they will be used in the tournament.  I too think that flying units should be able to "swoop" down and attack a ground unit on the same turn.  However to do this, certain rules must be in place not to make it broken against certain types of builds. 

Looking forward to seeing you all next week.
Where's this shade, that you got it made?

Dave-SWA

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2015, 05:37:26 PM »
Kevin suggests changing the nature of the units from Cavalry to Dragoons (troops that ride to battle, then dismount to fight).

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Dismount.  During the M&C phase of any turn, you may mark the Dismounted box on any cavalry unit.  Marking the box does not cost any command actions.  While this box is marked, the unit loses all special bonuses when Charging (though still gets the standard bonus of extra dice), it's MC drops to 3.5", and it is not considered cavalry.  The box may be erased during a later M&C phase, but doing so costs 2 Command Actions.


I have in my notes that you had the same suggestion in our discussion last year.  I just don't see it.

First off, this strips them of any sense of dramatic cinema, or character.  Cavalry charges are exciting and cinematic.  Think of the Riders of Rohan in the LotR movies.  Clearly, the inspiration for the Fight with the Sun at your back card is when the Rohan reinforcements arrive at dawn on the third day of the battle at Helm's Deep.  The orcs are blinded by the rising sun and their spear wall falters against the cavalry charge.  That's cinema!

And then there's the game terms.  Let's look at the bread-and-butter Amazon unit - Lancers.
261 points
(6)/5/5
2/2
and only seven hit boxes (3g, 3y, 1r).

With the Dragoon special ability, are you suggesting that a 261 point unit with 7 hit boxes and a totally average 2/2 defense profile has any chance of fighting equal to its point cost?  Not in a million years.

Even if we reduce the point costs of the unit, its just not worth considering.  Robbing them of the excitement and cinema of the cavalry charge strips the faction of too much flavor.

And, I'm wondering why a player would ever even want to invoke this ability?...  Because they are fighting a spear unit, and they want to not suffer the 'charging into spears' penalty?  OK, maybe I can grasp that...  Maybe...   

But this still doesn't answer the question of how a 261 point unit with (6)/5/5, 2/2 and seven hit boxes can have any hope versus a 220 point spear unit with (6)/5/5, 2/2 and ten hit boxes.






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Hannibal

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2015, 01:21:47 AM »
In the message above, Corey still insists the Fight with the Sun at your Back card is way broken.

I will restate, this is just one card.  And several of us believe that the Amazons will need some kind of way to make up for the fragility of their units.  There is no way for them to win if they are not better-than-average at forcing rout checks and creating breakthroughs.

And that's the problem.  If your faction is so fragile that you need these overpowered cards to have a chance to win, then (IMO) its time to revisit the initial design assumptions.  Having an all cavalry faction or a faction with nothing but cavalry as Core is a real issue.


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And, yes, the example of the Royal Guard Unicorns is ugly for the unfortunate spear unit that happens to be in their way.  But let's not forget there is the rest of the battle raging around them.  If I'm spending 500-something points on that one unit, and it's fighting a 220-pt spear unit, where else are you strong and I'm weaker?  What is happening there? 

What happens when it's your turn and you engage the Royal Guard Unicorns on their flank, because my regular Lancers next to the Unicorns routed vs the Spears they had to crash, and I didn't have that card to play here, because there is only one in the deck?

I'm sure you'll say "well, you will obviously spend 1 CA and hold them back from that fight".  Well, OK, maybe I will.  But then that's one less card I'm drawing, and one less chance to get one of the other overpowered cards that I need to win.

Or you'll take a bunch of cheap units to hold the enemy down while your Unicorns either jump behind his line or crash right into Holding spearmen.


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And so now it is a dead card for 40% of the Amazon units, AND any time any of my Cav units is not fighting a spear/pike unit.

The issue is not the -1 die.  Its that its broken against spearmen, which is the trump to the faction that Kevin correctly diagnosed.  Creating a card that is broken sometimes and useless other times doesn't make the card balanced.  It makes the card incredibly swingy, but when it is played it's almost an "I win the game" card.


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Yes, absolutely, the ability to pick a non-flying unit in the right situation and give it a 7.5" hop is powerful. 
Three defenses:
1.  The card has no value for 40% of my units.

Again, that only bolsters my point:  its useless until its broken, at which its a game-winner.


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2.  The faction probably needs this for a chance to win, with their fragile units.

And again, if the faction needs this to have a chance to win, that's a sign that its time to revisit your initial design decisions.


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2a.  Yes, absolutely, forcing you to account for the chance I will draw this card, even if I never do, is a big part of the value.

Correct.  In this we agree.  And that value is too high.  Again, because I have to play like you have that card, I have to put 150-200pts behind my line.  The card is literally worth 7-10% of the value of my army.  Having a card that forces me to take 200pts off the line is too good.


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3.  It fits the "horses and magical horses" theme of the faction - it is not bolted-on in a crude way.

No offense, but that doesn't make it okay.  "Because it fits the theme" is not a good enough reason to include overpowered cards.


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And, it is not free

Yes it is.  CAs don't cost points.  They're a free resource that is doled out in finite quantities at fixed intervals.  The rules prevent me from showing up with 6 Dragons in a 2000pt game.  However, every turn I can get 4 chances to add 30-80 free pts of value onto one of my units at the cost of zero army points.


Based on your replies I don't think you're receptive to what I'm saying, and all that I'm accomplishing here is wasting my time and your time.  I was only speaking up because I like the precedent that has been set of fan factions eventually becoming published factions, hence my input that this faction is probably headed in the wrong direction.  As the faction stands right now, I would be strongly opposed to it being considered for that (the words "over my dead body" come to mind).  But as a fan faction that you guys can play as a lark, go for it.  And with that, I'm going to bow out of this conversation.

Dave-SWA

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2015, 10:42:09 AM »
Corey:
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And that's the problem.  If your faction is so fragile that you need these overpowered cards to have a chance to win, then (IMO) its time to revisit the initial design assumptions.  Having an all cavalry faction or a faction with nothing but cavalry as Core is a real issue.

Well, maybe this is the bottom line issue.  
We'll see how the series of games go next weekend.


And, since it is causing such consternation, I'll retire the Pegasus Leap card too, for now at least.

In it's place, let's go with this:

Nimble of Hoof
Command Card – Green
Card count: 1
Play on an Amazon Cavalry unit during your C&C phase.  That unit gets the benefit of Maneuver Mastery for this turn's movement.


And, let's try putting the (-1) die back into the Fight with the Sun at your back card.  This way it is not a dead card if the opponent brings no Spears, or if all my Cav is already eliminated when I draw the card.

-DC

« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 10:50:05 AM by Dave-SWA »
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RushAss

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Re: Amazons - Reborn!
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2015, 02:04:01 PM »
First fo all, damn all of you for punnishing me for taking a weekend off from the YMG forum and coming back to read all of this on Monday.  I'll pinch your nipples next time I see every single one of you....

I still don't think this one card unbalances the game, but if the community thinks it's better, I'm willing to concede a bit and say the card no longer incurs the (-1) penalty.  Its sole benefit is to remove the Spear bonus from one fight, making it potentially a (0)/-1/-2 card.  And so now it is a dead card for 40% of the Amazon units, AND any time any of my Cav units is not fighting a spear/pike unit.

I'd switch it up a bit.  Keep the (-1) attack die thing and make it -1/-1 vs. Spears.  That way the card isn't completely dead.  If this seems too weak then basically make it a Hardened at (-1) -0/-1 and have it give an additional -1/-0 vs. Spears.  So all together Spears face a (-1) -1/-1 penalty.  Still a very good defensive card in this case but probably not broken.


In it's place, let's go with this:

Nimble of Hoof
Command Card – Green
Card count: 1
Play on an Amazon Cavalry unit during your C&C phase.  That unit gets the benefit of Maneuver Mastery for this turn's movement.

Much better.  In fact, I'd say you could give the unit +1 MC in addition to the Maneuver Mastery.  I'd just say that the unit can't final rush on that turn if BOTH of those abilities are used.

...The faction probably needs this for a chance to win, with their fragile units.

The fragility thing is an issue for sure.  My thought is that there are a few ways to address this without changing the units themselves.

1 - Make most of your command cards green and blue and get your defensive capability through your command deck
2 - Make your faction ability a defensive one as opposed to an offensive one.
3 - A combination of both


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I still think +2 MC may be too much because all of your cavalry units move at a 6" or faster anyways.  You may even waste some of that movement playing the card.

You know, I was just looking at the chart last night after playing Doug.  It seems to me +2 MC is not all that much.  6" goes to 8.5".  I honestly don't see that as excessive.  I'm a little tempted to go to +3 MC (6" to 9.5"), because I think the cavalry/movement faction needs magical movement boosts.  Kick in the afterburners, baby!  Let's keep it at +2 MC for now and see how playtesting goes.

I'm with Corey when it comes to +1 MC cards being pretty good.  I still believe +2 MC is a bit much.  However, perhaps you could make it +1 MC for Cavalry if they can final rush this turn and +2 MC if they won't final rush this turn.  The wording would be like this:

Horse Whisperer
Play during your Movement & Command Phase
Choose One:
Your unit with the Cavalry keyword gets +1 Movement Class this turn.
OR
Your unit with the Cavalry keyword gets +2 Movement Class this turn but cannot final rush this turn.
OR
Discard this card to mark an ability box on one of your units.

Option 3 because I'm totally being a dick  :P

On the Courage re-roll card
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Why don't you flip flop the courage bonus for the rolls?  Give the unit a +1 courage on the first roll and no bonus on the second if they fail the first?

But wouldn't this change the card from a re-roll card to a 'play before you roll' card? 
Or are you proposing "Play on a courage check you just failed.  If you missed by one, you pass instead.  If you missed by more than one, re-roll the check."?
That seems like more than a cosmetic change.
Yeah, I caught that.  My bad.  Stick with the Cold Blooded for now unless we can cook up something different.
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