Author Topic: On Dragon Fire  (Read 345 times)

Fingolfin

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On Dragon Fire
« on: April 14, 2018, 03:18:29 AM »
I was watching some Game of Thrones clips the other day, and they got me thinking. Dragon fire, as it exists in Battleground, kinda sucks. Think of Smaug or Drogon. They can level entire units in a single blast of fire. An Ancient Red Dragon, if it uses both its flame attacks on a unit with a 2/2 defense, will do about 8 damage, probably less do to Command Cards. Not that much considering its cost. A Red Dragon will do less, about 5-6 damage, again probably less do to Blue Cards. So, my proposal is simple. Give Dragons 1 or 2 extra dice on their flame attacks. I think +2 dice would be good, maybe too good, so I could definitely see +1 die. This would be a minor buff to Dragons, but I tend to think that is fine, given how hard it is to use them efficiently.
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GoIndy

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Re: On Dragon Fire
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 02:26:55 PM »
I'm remembering using my ancient red on an Elephant, and if someone had suggested to Ron I got more dice, he might have throttled them on the spot. 

Of course, I do think Dragons cost too much, so suits me fine to give them more dice.

Hannibal

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Re: On Dragon Fire
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 05:16:51 PM »
I was watching some Game of Thrones clips the other day, and they got me thinking. Dragon fire, as it exists in Battleground, kinda sucks. Think of Smaug or Drogon.

I'm leery of using movies or TV shows for game design, because they are trying to tell a story.  We are trying to create a balanced, tactical game.  And having something like Smaug or Drogon as portrayed is essentially an "I Win" button unless the other guy rolls three 1s in a row (in which case he kills the dragon with a shot to the weak spot and you lose).

Having an undefeatable monster makes for a good story, because it builds tension.  In a game the undefeatable monster is a really terrible design.


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An Ancient Red Dragon, if it uses both its flame attacks on a unit with a 2/2 defense, will do about 8 damage, probably less do to Command Cards. Not that much considering its cost.

Hold on there.   ;D  You're taking the whole cost of the unit and applying that to the output of dragonfire.  The dragon does other things than just shoot fire.  That ranged attack costs ~100pts of the Ancient Red Dragon's total cost.  The formula postulates that each point of damage (on a D:2/2 unit) is worth 20pts.  So 8pts of damage has a value of 160pts, at a cost of 100pts.  Now the dragon was designed before my time, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's because they took into account things like A) the dragon will take the M&S penalty and B) the enemy will use Command Cards.


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A Red Dragon will do less, about 5-6 damage, again probably less do to Blue Cards.

Just for the record, the Red Dragon pays ~85pts for that damage, which is a ~100-120pt value.


I agree Dragons are difficult to use, but I think it has to do with the fact that they eat up so much of an army's points.  I believe we talked about this sort of thing in the past and the idea that was floated was to have a Dragon fill some of the Core slots of a faction.  That'd free up a few points that could used to get units that are better able to support the dragon.

This is also why I wanted to allow flyers to charge from airborne, instead of having to land.  It'd make the flyers (especially dragons) less finicky for people to use, so they'd feel more right.  However that idea didn't find any traction (and even if I wanted to revisit it, we're way too close to a release to get enough playtesting).

RushAss

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Re: On Dragon Fire
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 10:49:41 AM »
I agree with Corey on this.  One thing you can try is to house rule it so that a flying dragon doesn't suffer a move and shoot penalty.  We've done that in the past and its a nice little upgrade without being off the charts good.
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Fingolfin

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Re: On Dragon Fire
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 12:52:00 AM »
Eh, fair enough, bad idea. I do like the ideas of letting Dragons fulfill core slots and not suffering the Move and Shoot Penalty. Do we plan to let Dragons reload like other ranged units? That in and of itself would be a buff.
'Utúlie'n aurë! Aiya Eldalië ar Atanatári, utúlie'n aurë! The day has come! Behold, people of the Eldar and Fathers of Men, the day has come!'

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Kevin

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Re: On Dragon Fire
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2018, 09:14:14 AM »
Giving infinite shots to a unit that flies would be a bad idea.

"None of your units shoot or fly.  I win you lose."
"You took 2 archers but my dragon cooked them both and is still alive.  I win you lose."
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Hannibal

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Re: On Dragon Fire
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 12:23:33 PM »
Do we plan to let Dragons reload like other ranged units?

I'm torn on this one.  Because on the one hand I don't know that we have enough playtest to say for sure it wouldn't be unbalanced.

On the other hand, the flying rules will state:  "While flying a unit counts as destroyed for the purposes of scenario victory conditions."

Combine that with the Sack the Camp rule that is going into the default Breaking Point mission (which would work its way into any competitive play document we do), and you could run the Dragon player off pretty quickly if he wants to run around & fly.


Luckily we have wiggle room because the dragon fire uses a different icon and it says you get to breath fire twice in a game.  And the BGFW states that specific beats generic when it comes to rules.