Author Topic: Alternate Ranged Idea  (Read 10511 times)

Hannibal

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2015, 02:02:12 AM »
You get the drift.  My longbowman and going to wreck freaking havok before the enemy arrives.  At least that's how I see it.

Yeah, and the very first thing we tried was the 2 Longbowmen build (admittedly not with 2 weak archers).  We didn't find it broken because concentrating fire is painful at (-0)-1/-0 for Unit Objectives.  Yeah two of the units end up getting beat up, but the Hawk line eventually gets flanked, because you have 700pts behind the line.

Also, those reloads become costly very quickly.  Each reload costs 1 CA.  So if you reloaded both Longbowmen every turn, you're drawing 2 less cards per turn.  Playing a lot of Persia has show us that being down 2 CAs every turn really hurts when it comes to command cards.

Karasu

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2015, 09:46:34 AM »
A long time ago I had the Ancients ruleset from the Wargames Research Group.  I don't remember much about it, but there is something I've just been reminded of.

Doing anything exceptional with a unit gave it Fatigue.  Fatigue was basically the unit's health and they would flee if they got too much.  Force March: get Fatigue.  Fight: get Fatigue.  Lose a Fight: get more Fatigue.  Be shot at: get Fatigue.  And the important one: Fire bows: gain Shooting Fatigue.

Shooting Fatigue only counted when calculating ranged combat and it represented exactly the archers running out of ammunition.  It never affected close combat.

So, where does this rambling actually lead?  If you are wanting an easy way to track ammunition and reduce effectiveness on existing cards without having to modify them, here is an idea.
Each time a unit makes a ranged attack, mark the leftmost empty box on their damage track with a dot.  When marking normal damage, simply overwrite them.  This dot is only counted when determining whether the a ranged attack suffers the dice penalties for being in the yellow or red.  A unit that has no unmarked boxes cannot make ranged attacks at all.

I haven't worked out all of the knock-on effects of this, but my initial thoughts appear supportive.
H/w Bowmen have a total of 25 dice-worth of archery in them, Dwarf Bowmen have 27, but crossbows 24.
Damaging archers early could be quite effective, since it reduces their ammo as well.
Healing appears to re-supply archers, but I think I'm okay with that.

Of course, you'd need to include this as part of a package of tweaks, so as not to nerf archery entirely.

GoIndy

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2015, 12:14:41 PM »
Hannibal:
I doubt I'd specifically target anyone, just let them fire pell mell at whatever.  I mean, even if they only got 6 shots, they'd at least be getting six freaking shots. 

The way I'd be looking at that CA is this...is it worth to fire a (4) 6/6 unit an extra time?  Holy smokes, that's a yeah.  Would I spend 2 CA's to fire a (4) 6/6 2 extra times?  Oh yeah.  Hard to believe any CA I save is gonna be worth a (4) 6/6 blast. 

Regardless, while I don't think the idea is horrible, I do think you are making stand and shoot better, which if I understand the premise, is not what you're trying to do. 

Hannibal

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2015, 11:39:49 AM »
Hannibal:
I doubt I'd specifically target anyone, just let them fire pell mell at whatever.  I mean, even if they only got 6 shots, they'd at least be getting six freaking shots. 

When I playtested it, I came to the same conclusion about targeting.  I just let the longbowmen shoot.  However, remember it's not like they're getting 6 extra shots.  A S&S build will get 5 shots before the line engages, and then you'll get way more than 1 additional shot on the following turns.  So in point of fact the number of shots a S&S will get for free is cut down, which is balanced by the fact that they get all 6 of those shots early in the game instead of spread out.


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The way I'd be looking at that CA is this...is it worth to fire a (4) 6/6 unit an extra time?  Holy smokes, that's a yeah.  Would I spend 2 CA's to fire a (4) 6/6 2 extra times?  Oh yeah.  Hard to believe any CA I save is gonna be worth a (4) 6/6 blast. 

Depends.  There are many games where I'll take a Cge bailout over a blast.   ;D


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Regardless, while I don't think the idea is horrible, I do think you are making stand and shoot better, which if I understand the premise, is not what you're trying to do. 

Well, this was basically what we started testing specifically for this reason.  What we found is that the Longbow S&S didn't feel powerful on the whole (because, remember, this was a package of changes that would include nerfs for the bonuses we give S&S).    If there's interest, I can post up the session reports along with the full package of rules we hashed out so you can examine it.  I wasn't eager to do this because I feel like this idea is DOA because when Marcus & Brook tried it out they found it clunky and they kept forgetting to take shots in the enemy's turn.

BubblePig

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2015, 07:13:55 PM »
I am wondering not about longbowmen but about crossbowmen (and to a lesser extent WHA) because they are getting a lot of extra value and they certainly are not going to mind having to shoot whatever is in front of them.

Hannibal

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2015, 09:39:29 PM »
Yeah, we never got to test LOS shooters because we stopped playtesting before it got that far.  At the outset though, we tried to address that very issue by giving LOS fewer shots.  Crossbowmen get 4 shots, which is what they'd get now with a S&S.  And like now, it'd all happen before combat.

Hannibal

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2015, 12:18:53 PM »
Marcus suggested I post the whole idea, so that folks can get a clearer picture of it.  Mind you, it's a rough draft at this point, so there might be some obvious unintended consequence that we never noticed.  Consequently I'll break this down into the changes we were Pretty Sure of, the changes were Somewhat Sure of, and the changes that Flat Out Unsure of.

Pretty Sure:  These changes are in essence the core of the idea.  Not to say we were 100% settled, but these were the major ones that if you tweaked alter the dynamic of this package.

1)  Ammo:  Units get a fixed number of shots for the game, depending on if they were Indirect Fire or Direct Fire.   See the below chart:



This works out to a LOS unit gets 1 shot per 3.5" of max range.  An IF shooters gets 1 per 3.5" + 2.

After every shot you mark the unit, once the unit has expended all their shots, you can erase 1 mark on 1 unit by spending 1 CA.


2)  Shooting:  Ranged units shoot on both turns as per their standing order.


3)  M+S Standing Order Modifier:  Deleted from the rules.  This modifier is an unholy creation of the last time there was a serious attempt to boost Support Shooting.  In addition to being complex it gives a bigger boost to S&S by allowing those builds to scoot sideways to a position where they can castle in the corner (using the board edge to protect a flank) at no penalty.


4)  Unit Objective Modifier:  Having this causes a penalty to shooting.  If you have a Unit Objective Modifier, the unit suffers (-0)-1/-0 for shooting.  We thought about making it that they suffer it only if they're not shooting at the closest enemy, but this way was simpler for game play.  



Somewhat Sure:  These rules are pretty much byproducts of the above changes affecting some other part of the game in what we considered a negative way.  Its something that we figured we'd work out if it was really an issue during playtesting.

A)  [Ranged] Standing Orders:  Units will only shoot when they reach the range band specified by their standing order.  Otherwise they will hold their fire.  That would like this:
  • Ranged:  the unit will advance to its maximum range, then stop and shoot.
  • Long:  the unit will advance until there's an enemy in Long range, then stop and shoot.  It will not fire at an enemy at Extreme range.
  • Short:  the unit will advance until there's an enemy in Short range, then stop and shoot.  It will not fire at an enemy at Long/Extreme range.
  • Hold:  the unit will not move, but will shoot at any enemy unit within its maximum range.

The idea behind this is to not force shooters to waste shots.  It gives the player some control over how to use the finite Ammo.  It also provides a little decision tension:  do you hold your fire to get the good shots or do you go for the early damage with the penalty?


B)  Point Objective Modifier: A unit with a Point Objective Modifier will hold its fire until it reaches that objective.  Then it will fire according to its standing order.

Again the idea here is to not force ranged units to shoot and waste Ammo if the player doesn't want to.  I'm really on the fence about this once (and it should probably be moved down to the Note Sure category), because I could see people wanting to shoot as a unit advanced.


C)  Skirmisher Ammo:  Skirmishers have unlimited Ammo.  This isn't a change so much as extending the unlimited javelin ammo to all Skirmishers.  We felt that bow/sling skirmishers are such pants that the little boost would be okay.



Flat Out Unsure:  These were the ideas that were consequences of the main idea, but I'm less confident of the solutions we had.  Over time I'm sure we would've found the better answer with help from the forum.

I)  Spells:  Because spells are sort-of ranged attacks and sort-of not, and sometimes they're both (looking at you, Dark Elves), we decided on a simple distinction.

Attack Spells:  If the spell had the Attack keyword (any nothing else) or was just a ranged attack, then it had Ammo and followed the above ranged rules (or it's own rules, if it was the freaking Siren Song).  Pure Vancian magic.

Bless/Heal/Curse Spells:  If the spell had the Bless, Heal, and/or Curse keyword, it had unlimited ammo but could only be cast in the owning player's turn.  In essence we'd preserve the current rules on these.  Spells that had the Attack and another keyword (e.g. Curse) followed these rules, not the Vancian Ammo rules.


II)  Umenzi Death Curse:  this spell gets errata'd have the Curse keyword.  That sucker is waaaay too powerful to give it 4 shots over 2 turns.  (Then again, part of the reason it was here was because that might not be the case)


III) Pila/Javelin:  Javelins/Pilas basically get a carve-out to keep them functioning like the status quo:  they only shoot on your turn (unless charged from further than their range), you throw them when you charge, and they have 2 Ammo.

Originally I wanted to fold the Javelin/Pila into the regular Ammo rules.  It simply became a LOS attack that happened on both player's turns.  De facto that would preserve the number of shots as the lines closed:  you move into charge range on your turn and throw the pila.  On his turn he charges, and you don't get a shot.  Or he moves into final rush range on his turn, at which point you got a shot.  Then on your turn you charged in.  But you don't get the pila shot on the charge.  So it works out to 1 shot by the time round 1 of combat happens.  The historical guy (who plays Romans) didn't like the feel of this and so we came up with this carve out.  At the time we did our last playtest I was unsure of this carve out and felt we should consider trying out Javelins/Pila using the above rules.  As few carve-outs as possible was my idea.


Anyway, there's the full bevy of rules as we had when we last discussed it.  Maybe this will be of use to somebody some day.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 12:23:07 PM by Hannibal »

RushAss

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2015, 01:11:31 PM »
Thanks for posting this.  2 Questions below:

After every shot you mark the unit, once the unit has expended all their shots, you can erase 1 mark on 1 unit by spending 1 CA.

After all shots are expended can you spend multiple command actions during a single turn to remove multiple marks so that the unit could still fire on both player's attack turns?

A)  [Ranged] Standing Orders:  Units will only shoot when they reach the range band specified by their standing order.  Otherwise they will hold their fire....

The idea behind this is to not force shooters to waste shots.  It gives the player some control over how to use the finite Ammo.  It also provides a little decision tension:  do you hold your fire to get the good shots or do you go for the early damage with the penalty?
It should be noted that if you choose to, you can always direct control a unit to have it fire on a turn where it's standing order would otherwise render it unable to do so.  I'm thinking you would only get the shot on your attack turn, though.  Am I right in this?
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Hannibal

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2015, 01:42:15 PM »
After every shot you mark the unit, once the unit has expended all their shots, you can erase 1 mark on 1 unit by spending 1 CA.

After all shots are expended can you spend multiple command actions during a single turn to remove multiple marks so that the unit could still fire on both player's attack turns?

That was the idea.  You could spend all 4 CAs erasing Ammo marks if you wanted.  And of course, you don't have to wait until all shots are expended to reload.


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A)  [Ranged] Standing Orders: Units will only shoot when they reach the range band specified by their standing order.  Otherwise they will hold their fire....

The idea behind this is to not force shooters to waste shots.  It gives the player some control over how to use the finite Ammo.  It also provides a little decision tension:  do you hold your fire to get the good shots or do you go for the early damage with the penalty?
It should be noted that if you choose to, you can always direct control a unit to have it fire on a turn where it's standing order would otherwise render it unable to do so.  I'm thinking you would only get the shot on your attack turn, though.  Am I right in this?

Yeah, 1 CA for direct control lets you shoot on your turn. 

GoIndy

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2015, 02:16:35 PM »
So the elementalist gets 5 fireballs, or 7 lightning bolts?  7 shots total, but two have to be lightning?

The lash gets used on both?  The person is pulled in 7?  That would be humorous, actually. 

Can the dragon elect not to shoot?  I assume dragonfire is grandfathered, but just asking.


Hannibal

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2015, 03:12:36 PM »
So the elementalist gets 5 fireballs, or 7 lightning bolts?  7 shots total, but two have to be lightning?

We never got that far to have a definitive answer.  I think we went with the unit have 7 total shots or something like that.


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The lash gets used on both?  The person is pulled in 7?  That would be humorous, actually. 

I believe we let the specific wording on the card have precedence. 


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Can the dragon elect not to shoot?  I assume dragonfire is grandfathered, but just asking.

Yeah, that was our thought as well.  Like I said, the idea was still in the early stages and so there was a fair bit of "what about this case" that still needed to be worked out.  We never really made it past a generic special rule like Javelins.

btw, we do have a couple of session reports if you're interested.



elgin_j

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2015, 03:56:03 AM »
Yeah, 1 CA for direct control lets you shoot on your turn. 

Does that not negate any purpose to removing marks through CA expenditure?  You can direct control each shooter to get the same benefit with the additional advantage of moving them precisely where you wish.

Has there been any consideration to allowing the removal of two marks per CA expenditure?
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Hannibal

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2015, 11:45:20 AM »
Yeah, 1 CA for direct control lets you shoot on your turn. 

Does that not negate any purpose to removing marks through CA expenditure?  You can direct control each shooter to get the same benefit with the additional advantage of moving them precisely where you wish.


Perhaps I misspoke:  direct control lets you move the unit and shoot at any target you wish.  However the shot still counts against the unit's Ammo.  (and if you moved you'd suffer the penalty for move and shoot).  Direct control lets you target not-the-closest unit at no penalty, and move if you wish  There's a context where that is worth doing, but usually its not a great expenditure of CAs.


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Has there been any consideration to allowing the removal of two marks per CA expenditure?

Yeah, we gave it some thought.  Never ruled for or against it definitively.  We started with 1 CA = erase 1 mark because it gave a lesser ROI for S&S builds.

elgin_j

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2015, 10:19:00 PM »
That makes more sense. I wonder if it is underpowered at 1 CA for 1 reload but I don't speak from any experience.
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gornhorror

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Re: Alternate Ranged Idea
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2016, 10:18:33 PM »
What about if we gave an offensive bonus (like an extra two hit dice) to ranged units that can fire line of site against units that are within short range.  It would reward moving archers more than archers that just sit behind a stand and shoot line.

Just a thought.
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