Author Topic: Large Unit Buff  (Read 5083 times)

gornhorror

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Large Unit Buff
« on: January 31, 2016, 11:48:45 AM »
After playing some battleground this past Friday Marcus and I came up with a possible change to the Fearsome ability as it pertains to Large units.  (I know some units have fearsome/terrifying that are not large, and they would not figure in to this change).

What we discussed would be to have any units that attack large units on the charge turn get (+0) -1/+0.  No fearsome roll required.  Our reasoning for this is because of the shear reach of the large units.  Almost like the old Outreached rule.

Now that I think about it perhaps we could simplify it even further and just give large units a D:+1/+0 on the charge turn for the same reason. 

The fearsome ability is really good only when it works, which isn't that often.  Giving them an ability that they can always rely on I think is the way to go.  Obviously our suggestion is not as weakening to the opposition as when they get a (-1) -1/-1 with the current rules.   This way the large units get a little help.  I know that Large units get a discount with their pricing but it still doesn't seem balanced to me. 

We will try this out and see how it goes.  I'm sure it will be mentioned in further session report posts.
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Zelc

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2016, 12:23:06 PM »
Can I ask what the problem is with Large units? AFAIK large units are perfectly fine with the dice charge, it's just they're sometimes saddled with some overcosted abilities. Fearsome is a 25%-33% chance of cutting their charge turn damage in half. It's streaky, but that's not bad. The bigger problem is people forget about it :).

List of large units:
Skeleton Trolls (fine)
Zombie Trolls (great)
Giant Catapult (overcosted due to ranged attack)
Trolls (slightly overcosted due to Regeneration)
Treant (great)
Giant War Elephant (great)
Ancients (great)
T-Rex (great; rest of Lizardmen army isn't well-equipped to support it)
M&M large units (all have problems due to the faction and being defensive-focused)
Elephants (great)
Drake Riders (hard to evaluate because of the state of Flying rules)
Indian Elephant (great)
Jade Dragon (great)

gornhorror

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2016, 04:48:49 PM »
Can I ask what the problem is with Large units? AFAIK large units are perfectly fine with the dice charge, it's just they're sometimes saddled with some overcosted abilities. Fearsome is a 25%-33% chance of cutting their charge turn damage in half. It's streaky, but that's not bad. The bigger problem is people forget about it :).

List of large units:
Skeleton Trolls (fine)
Zombie Trolls (great)
Giant Catapult (overcosted due to ranged attack)
Trolls (slightly overcosted due to Regeneration)
Treant (great)
Giant War Elephant (great)
Ancients (great)
T-Rex (great; rest of Lizardmen army isn't well-equipped to support it)
M&M large units (all have problems due to the faction and being defensive-focused)
Elephants (great)
Drake Riders (hard to evaluate because of the state of Flying rules)
Indian Elephant (great)
Jade Dragon (great)

All I'm saying is I don't like Fearsome in it's current form.  It's should be something that large units always gain benefit from on the charge turn.  A 25-33% chance of it activating seems like a pretty bad deal if you ask me.  It should have more bite.  

BTW, while we're on the topic of Fearsome, I wish that they never gave the line units in the Dark Elf faction the fearsome ability.  It should of been something only given to large(colossal too) units.

Just like you say, "My goal is to take a faction(in this case certain units) and make both their theme and their gameplay more interesting."
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 05:05:36 PM by gornhorror »
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BubblePig

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2016, 05:14:31 PM »
I like fearsome in its current form as well, but I do think terrifying is a bit underwhelming. And IMO unfortunately that means that terrifying would either be brokenly good or even more underwhelming by comparison if you improve fearsome very much.

I wonder which units specifically do you think need the help, because I just don't think it is that big of an issue in most factions, but for Undead and M&M it hurts disproportionately because the opponent will know that chances are overwhelmingly good they will get better value out of spears (and maybe other units like dwarven ballista) than they are paying. So instead of giving large units help because the spear bonus is too good (which IMO unbalances other things in turn which would then need to be corrected etc.) maybe the way to go is to lower the spear bonus against those factions specifically.

RushAss

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2016, 05:50:08 PM »
The frustrating thing about Fearsome or Terrifying is that it's binary.  It either works or it doesn't.  If you have a few scary units out and your opponent rolls well and never fails a fear check, you've wasted points for absolutely zero benefit.  Conversely, if you have a bunch of scary guys in play (easy to do with Undead, Dark Elves, and M&M) and your opponent is unfortunate in their fear checks, they could be hosed.  Brook's proposition is that we mellow out the steep penalty for failing the check and make it work every time.  The effected units still only suffer the penalty when charged by scary units as the rule is currently written.  The initial idea was that the penalty would be (-1) -0/0 and that's also a viable option.  Yes, that's the old Shaken rule liberated from the Fearsome rule.  But the point is that Fearsome is either awesome or useless and that can be frustrating from both sides of the table.
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Zelc

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2016, 06:36:03 PM »
It's certainly an option. There are many binary effects in BGFW, most noticeably Rout checks. I feel like Fear's one of those things you can't really rely on, but can certainly play a big role in winning you the game when it triggers. To be fair, Fear's not very expensive either, and it's much cheaper than the Cavalry defense on charge. It's been a while since I've played with/against lots of Large units, but my impression has always been that outside of a few examples, they're perfectly viable units for their cost. If you'd rather have a more consistent option, -1 dice on the charge could work.

BubblePig

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2016, 07:55:30 PM »
The frustrating thing about Fearsome or Terrifying is that it's binary.  It either works or it doesn't.  If you have a few scary units out and your opponent rolls well and never fails a fear check, you've wasted points for absolutely zero benefit.  Conversely, if you have a bunch of scary guys in play (easy to do with Undead, Dark Elves, and M&M) and your opponent is unfortunate in their fear checks, they could be hosed.  Brook's proposition is that we mellow out the steep penalty for failing the check and make it work every time.  The effected units still only suffer the penalty when charged by scary units as the rule is currently written.  The initial idea was that the penalty would be (-1) -0/0 and that's also a viable option.  Yes, that's the old Shaken rule liberated from the Fearsome rule.  But the point is that Fearsome is either awesome or useless and that can be frustrating from both sides of the table.
I think it is worth noting that against a unit armed with spears, the defensive bonus Brook is proposing or a reduction in the spear bonus is virtually the same. Also my assumption was that "(I know some units have fearsome/terrifying that are not large, and they would not figure in to this change)." means that Dark Elves would not figure into the picture with the possible exception of Drake Riders. So I am having a bit of trouble understanding how that doesn't directly contradict the idea of "mellow out steep penalty for failing the check" for Dark Elves. I am not trying to be difficult here, but it seems to me that the issue with large units as stated initially in this thread is more directly addressed by the type of proposal I am putting forth (OK, I am not really putting that forward but it seemed appropriate given that M&M and Undead are at the bottom of most people's tier list and the reasons given for those rankings) and it also seems as if what you are talking about here is really a different issue.

As someone who plays M&M a lot, I can tell you that from my perspective that if you took the occasional frustration I feel because fear is binary and multiplied it by 100, it would still be less than the frustration of not being able to use all the army builds I wish were viable but can't rationalize because of spear bonuses etc. I also play Dark Elves a fair amount of the time, and have had many games where I did not get any fear bonuses at all, but given how little the Dark Elves need help in that regard my sympathy for somebody in that position still approaches zero.

gornhorror

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 01:51:43 AM »
How about another suggestion for the fearsome ability.  Every time I think of the fearsome ability I think of the scene in Lord of the Rings, Return of the King when the soldiers of Gondor are about to fight the trolls that have just entered the city.  Gandalf says, "Whatever comes through those doors you will stand your ground!!"  What happens is that the first lines of soldiers get swept away with the huge swings of the Trolls, then things normalize a bit after the initial charge.  This to me is an example of what would happen if a unit PASSES it's fearsome check.  Worse things should occur if you don't. 

What about this?  How about any unit attacking/charging unit gets an automatic (-1) +0/+0 if up against a large/fearsome unit.  Then they roll the fear check.  If they fail, they lose an additional (-1) +0/+0, essentially loosing their charge bonus of +2 dice. 

 
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BubblePig

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 05:59:28 AM »
Well, here again I feel as if I am just plain misunderstanding some fundamental part of what you are talking about. It seems to me that "the first lines of soldiers get swept away with the huge swings of the Trolls" has everything to do with Trolls being large and nothing to do with Trolls being fearsome. So on those terms I disagree that thematically there is a link to the fearsome keyword at all. Also, my initial assumption going in when somebody suggests buffing a unit (or group of units) is that somehow that somebody thinks that is a game balance issue. But the more I read what you have to say, Brook, the more it starts to seem like an issue of the units don't feel right in terms of what they are supposed to represent. So I am still wondering if Marcus is talking about a gameplay issue that has to do with Fearsome and you are talking about a thematic issue that has to do with Large? To me those are not only two distinct issues, but also the issues are distinct in two very important ways.

Zelc

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2016, 10:46:56 AM »
Actually, if it's just about Fear, I'd be much more open to this type of houserule. Fear is really binary for no great reason, and doesn't really change the way people play those units or against those units. A(-1)-0/-0, roll courage to prevent another A(-1)-0/-0 sounds reasonable to me.

And yea, I'd give it to the Dark Elves as well.

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 12:16:58 PM »
To me it was mostly about Fear.  I'm thinking this really should have been titled "Fearsome tweak" or something like that.  It wasn't like we where trying to specifically buff up Large units.  It stemmed from a couple of games we played Friday (reports forthcoming later this week) where we both looked at each other and said "You know, this whole Fearsome thing is sort of silly..."
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gornhorror

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2016, 02:18:02 PM »
To me, the Large/Fearsome key words, as far as I'm concerned should be one and the same.  The fact that they are large makes them fearsome in my book.

I think giving line units fearsome, that aren't large, was a mistake.  (i.e. Dark Elves)  The faction is good enough on it's own and didn't need it.  Also, way back when Shaken was still in effect, the ability was just ridiculous.  I wouldn't even want Large units to get that much of a bonus whether it happened automatically or only once in a while.
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BubblePig

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2016, 06:15:22 PM »
Well, I can see how the people designing Undead just sort of naturally wanted to link Fearsome with courage. The automatic thing bothers me though. Personally I think it would be better from a thematic perspective if the penalty were smaller but it wasn't stepped as two levels, for example just spitballing but say you lose a number of attack dice equal to charge bonus period and the morale check were made at -2 for fearsome and -4 for terrifying or something along those lines. It seems silly to me that Triarii for example lose hard no matter what under the latest proposal, but linking it to the charge bonus dice corrects for that automatically. The point being that an ordinary 12 courage you should fail fearsome at least 50ish or even 60ish percent of the time and terrifying significantly more of the time than that. I really feel strongly that there needs to be a significant bump for terrifying over fearsome, even more than there is now. It seems as if I have the same problem with terrifying that you guys have with fearsome, i.e. it just seems silly and almost flavorless.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 06:22:44 PM by BubblePig »

BubblePig

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2016, 06:25:27 PM »
Also I don't feel there is a need to nerf units that never need to take a fear check.

Zelc

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Re: Large Unit Buff
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2016, 06:45:12 PM »
In the perfect world, Fear would be 4 Courage Checks, A(-1)-0/-0 for each failed one. Makes it more reliable. It might work on VASSAL, but that's too much dice rolling in real life :).

Even if A(-1)-0/-0 was automatic, we could just say that infinite Courage units are unaffected by it.