Author Topic: Price difference  (Read 1050 times)

gornhorror

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Price difference
« on: January 24, 2016, 03:49:09 PM »
Just for my own clarification, do faction abilities count when determining a units cost?

Also, what occurs when a faction has more than one faction ability? If there is a charge, do they get charged extra?

Compare these two units:

Dark Elf Highblood Blades(5 6/5 3/1) Death touch, Fearsome

High Elf Swordsmen(5 6/5 3/2) Precision, MM, and Sprint

Both have at least one faction ability.  The only difference in the stats is that the high elf unit has a 2 defensive toughness and the dark elf unit has a 1.

However, there is a 44 point difference in price.  Is the difference in defensive toughness of one point make the price that much higher?  
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 11:18:55 PM by Kevin »
I’d agree with you but then we’d both be wrong.

Zelc

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2016, 04:17:40 PM »
From what I've seen, there's a discount for "no faction ability". Many High Elf units also have a small surcharge, ostensibly for "unsexy target". I choose to interpret it as a charge for Maneuver Mastery.

Hannibal

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2016, 04:48:22 PM »
There are no charges for faction abilities, just like there's no charges for a Command deck (and let's be real:  some decks are better than others) and no charge for what units are Core/Standard/Elite.  Things like Nets, Fearsome, and Blood Frenzy are factored into the cost.  But things like Maneuver Mastery are not.

The idea is that this combo of faction abilites, command cards, and Core/Standard/Elite should holistically balance out.  This is why the formula has always been a place to start when it comes to factions, not a definitive end point.  Because certain things have a 'greater than sum' effect.  For example, take Wuxing.  It's one of the few factions that has a very similar set of Core choices, which gives the opposing player knowledge that if he takes Pow 6 units, there's a good chance he'll get a good matchup.  Similarly, High Elves have the "unsexy target" modifier because they spam Def Skill 3, making shooting less effective across the board.  That makes each Skill 3 slightly more valuable than the formula says it is (that's the idea anyway).


However, there is a 44 point difference in price.  Is the difference in defensive toughness of one point make the price that much higher? 

While the DE's get charged for Fearsome, yes the lion's share of that points differential is that one point of Toughness.  If you plug things into the formula you'll see pretty big swings for 1 pt.


Kevin

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2016, 11:26:39 PM »
I'm still on record as thinking "unsexy target" for High Elf Swordsmen was either a typo or a brain fart.  (The problem with saying it was a charge for MM is that only 4 High Elf units got charged.)   They'd be 290 without.  But yeah, as a general rule, a single point can swing the price pretty far, especially as the numbers get higher.  (As an aside, when developing the Jade Dragon I really tried to give it better defensive stats than 1/4 but its price went through the stratosphere.)

Oh, and to answer the original question, in theory faction ability doesn't affect price.  In practice a bit of holistic balance can be needed sometimes. 

P.S.  I used my moderator privileges to fix the top post, which originally had the High Elf faction abilities listed next to the Dark Elf unit and vice-versa.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Hannibal

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2016, 11:42:50 PM »
I'm still on record as thinking "unsexy target" for High Elf Swordsmen was either a typo or a brain fart. 

Well I think it's fair to debate whether it was a good intentional choice, but I don't think you can question whether it was intentional or not.  I guess that could be under the category of "brain fart" but its very clear that it's not a typo.

RushAss

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2016, 11:24:47 AM »
Similarly, High Elves have the "unsexy target" modifier because they spam Def Skill 3, making shooting less effective across the board.  That makes each Skill 3 slightly more valuable than the formula says it is (that's the idea anyway).

I'm still on record as thinking "unsexy target" for High Elf Swordsmen was either a typo or a brain fart. 

I have a 3rd point of view to introduce.  Let's say that the unsexy target surcharge was applied to the High Elven line units intentionally due to the ability to spam 3 defensive skill.  What units do High Elves spam the most?  That would be Battle Squads.  What units did NOT get whacked with the unsexy target surcharge?  You guessed it, Battle Squads.  IMO the Battle Squads should have received the surcharge while the rest of the HE line units should have been left alone.  This would raise the cost of the Battle Squads to 193 while lowering the cost of the HE Swordsmen, Spearmen, Elder Blade Swordsmen, and Celestial Guard.  Meaning you would be more likely to upgrade a Battle Squad to something else and we'd have a greater variety of viable High Elven builds.  Would I still pay 193 points for a Battle Squad provided the surcharge was removed from the other units I listed?  Hell yes I would. 

But getting back to this:

High Elves have the "unsexy target" modifier because they spam Def Skill 3, making shooting less effective across the board. 

If that was the case, wouldn't Ravenwood or the Dark Elves have the exact same thing going on with the surcharge?  And other units also have that surcharge applied to them.  Namely Dwarven Axemen + Spearmen as well as Half-Orc Swordsmen + Spearmen.  No 3 defensive skill for those cats.  Strangely, Orc units with a 2/3 defense did not get tagged with the surcharge.
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Hannibal

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 12:09:14 PM »
I have a 3rd point of view to introduce.  Let's say that the unsexy target surcharge was applied to the High Elven line units intentionally due to the ability to spam 3 defensive skill.  What units do High Elves spam the most?  That would be Battle Squads.  What units did NOT get whacked with the unsexy target surcharge?  You guessed it, Battle Squads.  IMO the Battle Squads should have received the surcharge while the rest of the HE line units should have been left alone.

I can see why they didn't hit them with the surcharge:  low hit boxes.  All things equal, you're probably going to try to break through the 8 box Battle Squads rather than the 10 box Swordsmen.


Quote
High Elves have the "unsexy target" modifier because they spam Def Skill 3, making shooting less effective across the board.  

If that was the case, wouldn't Ravenwood or the Dark Elves have the exact same thing going on with the surcharge?  And other units also have that surcharge applied to them.  Namely Dwarven Axemen + Spearmen as well as Half-Orc Swordsmen + Spearmen.  No 3 defensive skill for those cats.  Strangely, Orc units with a 2/3 defense did not get tagged with the surcharge.

If you look in the original Tables tab, Dwarf Spearmen/Axemen/Longbeards do get tagged with the Unsexy target modifier.  So it would seem that the idea was that D:2/3 or D:3/2 was hit with it there.  As to why the Orcs weren't...beats me.  Normally I would say that it's an issue of easily being able to spam those profiles because of Core/Standard/Elite but the first factions you see designed with those in mind are the Dwarves, so maybe its an issue that if the Orcs were printed with what they knew at the time, they would have the surcharge.

Mind you, I'm not saying it was a good decision, just an intentional one.  Heck it might have been a good decision at the time but now its not, because of how different the shooting rules are.  Personally, I find it silly that we're still even having this conversation seeing as how Chad said to me over the phone that it was an intentional decision.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 12:15:34 PM by Hannibal »

Zelc

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 12:12:57 PM »
My personal thought is "Unsexy Target" should be applied to units who are skewed towards defense, and "Sexy Target" should be applied to units who are skewed towards offense. I think it's been applied inconsistently in the past. OTOH, I think it's reasonable to apply some type of surcharge to some High Elf units for Maneuver Mastery, so I'm not too worked up over the inconsistent application of those modifiers.

RushAss

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 12:40:51 PM »
Just for my own clarification, do faction abilities count when determining a units cost?

Getting back to Brook's original question here which was already answered by others.  Faction abilities cost nothing on a unit.  Rather, a unit receives a 5% discount if it does not have one.  So guys like Bear Packs and Antonians get a 5% discount since they lack their faction's respective abilities.  And has also been mentioned, some factions have more than 1 ability that they get for free.  There is no firm methodology to determine whether or not to charge units for additional faction abilities though things seem to have worked out alright so far.  Some factions like Umenzi and Orcs have a single awesome ability and that's all they need.  Some factions like Dwarves and Ravenwood have a really nice ability and an additional cookie ability in the form of a break moving through certain terrain features.  The Lizardmen have a (now) good faction ability and a secondary ability in Blood Frenzy that is so good that they need to be charged for that sucker.  High Elves have 3 abilities.  None of those 3 abilities is great on it's own, but the combination of Sprint and Maneuver Mastery adds up to something so special that the relative suckiness of Precision doesn't bother me much.

To further get into the variance of faction abilities, the rule is that the better the unit, the better that ability is for that particular unit.  Here's a few examples.

Faith Armor on Umenzi Warriors is handy.  They have a 2/1 defense so they are going to take damage anyways.  Assuming that the faction ability is 5% of the unit's cost, Umenzi Warriors (153 points) pay about 8 points for that ability.  Not bad.  Now let's look at the Chosen.  Faith Armor is a totally different animal on them, effectively adding a hit box to a unit with a 3/2 defense.  And furthermore, this unit already has 5 green hit boxes.  That's incredible.  But Chosen cost 381 points, so they are paying 19 points for the ability.  The value skews as the unit cost rises, but remember that the cost is also increased. 

Rune of Uruz on Shortbeards is normally crap.  So what if your 4/5 unit get's an extra attack die?  That only has worth when facing units with terrible defensive stats or your unit is pinching somebody.  But spend that command action to mark the rune on Longbeards and it's a winner.  It's so good that I will make sure that I mark the rune on Longbeards within the first 3 turns about 95% of the time.  But remember, Shortbeards only cost 107 points, so 5% of that is 5 points that they pay for the Rune.  At 394 points the Longbeards pay 20 points.  It's massively better on Longbeards but they also pay 4 times as much for it.

Spirit Guidance will cost a Brownie 4 points and you will virtually never use it on them anyways because their offensive stats are so bad.  The same ability costs Ravenwood Archers 12 points.  But we will mark that ability like crazy on them because it's just so good against most targets because of the 6/5 stat.

Lash isn't quite as clear in a combat sense.  But in theory being able to move a unit of Orc Axemen in far more valuable than moving a unit of Goblin Raiders.

There is an exception to this rule in the Men of Hawkshold.  Bravery is actually more effective on units with a lower courage rating than it is on units with a higher courage.  A Peasant Mob is ~62% likely to blow it's yellow check without Bravery.  Those odds drop to ~26% when Bravery is marked.  That's a 36% swing.  Where as Greatswordsmen are 26% likely to blow the yellow check without Bravery and only 5% likely to blow the check with Bravery.  Only a 19% swing.  So Bravery is clearly better on the cheaper units.
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gornhorror

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 03:29:26 PM »
So what would be the difference in price of the two units I posted based solely on the stats?    What part of the 44 points is just because of the difference between the defensive toughness rating?


I’d agree with you but then we’d both be wrong.

RushAss

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 03:37:00 PM »
High Elven Swordsmen  (no unsexy target surcharge) - 290 points
High Blood Blades (no fearsome) - 245 points

So yeah, 45 points increase for 3/2 defense instead of 3/1 defense.
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gornhorror

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 04:40:48 PM »
Just for my own clarification, do faction abilities count when determining a units cost?

Getting back to Brook's original question here which was already answered by others.  Faction abilities cost nothing on a unit.  Rather, a unit receives a 5% discount if it does not have one.  So guys like Bear Packs and Antonians get a 5% discount since they lack their faction's respective abilities.  And has also been mentioned, some factions have more than 1 ability that they get for free.  There is no firm methodology to determine whether or not to charge units for additional faction abilities though things seem to have worked out alright so far.  Some factions like Umenzi and Orcs have a single awesome ability and that's all they need.  Some factions like Dwarves and Ravenwood have a really nice ability and an additional cookie ability in the form of a break moving through certain terrain features.  The Lizardmen have a (now) good faction ability and a secondary ability in Blood Frenzy that is so good that they need to be charged for that sucker.  High Elves have 3 abilities.  None of those 3 abilities is great on it's own, but the combination of Sprint and Maneuver Mastery adds up to something so special that the relative suckiness of Precision doesn't bother me much.

To further get into the variance of faction abilities, the rule is that the better the unit, the better that ability is for that particular unit.  Here's a few examples.

Faith Armor on Umenzi Warriors is handy.  They have a 2/1 defense so they are going to take damage anyways.  Assuming that the faction ability is 5% of the unit's cost, Umenzi Warriors (153 points) pay about 8 points for that ability.  Not bad.  Now let's look at the Chosen.  Faith Armor is a totally different animal on them, effectively adding a hit box to a unit with a 3/2 defense.  And furthermore, this unit already has 5 green hit boxes.  That's incredible.  But Chosen cost 381 points, so they are paying 19 points for the ability.  The value skews as the unit cost rises, but remember that the cost is also increased. 

Rune of Uruz on Shortbeards is normally crap.  So what if your 4/5 unit get's an extra attack die?  That only has worth when facing units with terrible defensive stats or your unit is pinching somebody.  But spend that command action to mark the rune on Longbeards and it's a winner.  It's so good that I will make sure that I mark the rune on Longbeards within the first 3 turns about 95% of the time.  But remember, Shortbeards only cost 107 points, so 5% of that is 5 points that they pay for the Rune.  At 394 points the Longbeards pay 20 points.  It's massively better on Longbeards but they also pay 4 times as much for it.

Spirit Guidance will cost a Brownie 4 points and you will virtually never use it on them anyways because their offensive stats are so bad.  The same ability costs Ravenwood Archers 12 points.  But we will mark that ability like crazy on them because it's just so good against most targets because of the 6/5 stat.

Lash isn't quite as clear in a combat sense.  But in theory being able to move a unit of Orc Axemen in far more valuable than moving a unit of Goblin Raiders.

There is an exception to this rule in the Men of Hawkshold.  Bravery is actually more effective on units with a lower courage rating than it is on units with a higher courage.  A Peasant Mob is ~62% likely to blow it's yellow check without Bravery.  Those odds drop to ~26% when Bravery is marked.  That's a 36% swing.  Where as Greatswordsmen are 26% likely to blow the yellow check without Bravery and only 5% likely to blow the check with Bravery.  Only a 19% swing.  So Bravery is clearly better on the cheaper units.

I understand your points about using faction abilities on good units.  Believe me, I know that you always put Rune of Uruz on your longbeards.  I've been on the receiving end of that combo for years now.  What upsets me is when there is a faction ability that is almost never used, such as Precision.  I guess you could say putting it on Knights or even Chariots would be good but I almost always will draw a command card instead.  You really don't have to think twice about using Rune of Uruz or Faith Armour or Spirit Guidance to name a few.   I've never seen anybody play either of those factions without playing the faction ability at least a few times.  Have you or I played the High Elves and never played Precision? Yup, I would say most of our games with those factions have been Precision-less.  

  
I’d agree with you but then we’d both be wrong.

RushAss

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2016, 04:53:54 PM »
But have they ever been Maneuver-Masteryless?    :P
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Kevin

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2016, 08:28:56 PM »
Yeah, Elves get Sprint + Maneuver Mastery + Precision.  If Precision becomes as good as, say, Bravery or Fury then the High Elves get 2 freebies to most other factions' zero.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

gornhorror

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Re: Price difference
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 09:55:38 PM »
My suggestions for the high elves are so you can keep the prices on the cards and not worry about re-costing most of the faction.     The fix to oath bound and to precision give the faction a small boost right where they need it.  It gives them a reactive courage card which they need more than any other faction and makes the units slightly more effective in combat with the ability to play command cards and precision simultaneously.  Not overpowering by any means, but allows them to fight through pinches a little better.
I’d agree with you but then we’d both be wrong.