Author Topic: Units that modify the battlefield  (Read 1923 times)

Gabbi

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Units that modify the battlefield
« on: August 29, 2016, 11:12:13 AM »
Got an idea, don't know if someone already suggested something similar... However, what about units that modify the battlefield?
Say, Ravenwood elves mages that conjure a wall/bush of brambles, or a lizardman shaman or creature that can dampen the soil transforming a small area in a swamp?
Of course, the terrain effect could be cards, with a proper illustration, that's put on the table and left there for the remainder of the game (or a given number of turns, or until removed in some ways: for example the wall of brambles could have defense stats and a number of damage squares).
It's just an idea that stuck me, don't have thought very much on how implement it... maybe a special action usable at the cost of 1 command? Maybe an ability activated by a card (in case of a new faction)? I don't know... What do you think anyway?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 11:14:17 AM by Gabbi »

Kevin

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2016, 04:27:49 PM »
The closest Battleground comes is the Coven, which can slow down the opponent for one round.  (I suppose that's almost equivalent to creating a small patch of low brush underneath the unit.)  Also the "Chosen Ground" scenario lets one player place the terrain piece of their choice at the location of their choice, though to compensate their opponent gets 5% more points.

It's a nice thought, but I'm not sure that creating terrain would be as interesting in practice as it sounds in theory.  Most likely there would be a small number of strategies which would allow you to crush your opponent (pop a forest up around their good Large unit; put a hill underneath your Longbowmen/Ballista.)  Also, the harder you make it for the opponent to go forward and engage, the more you encourage the opponent just to stand and shoot.  (See Elves, Dark.)

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Karasu

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 03:51:15 AM »
When I first wrote what ended up becoming Wuxing, one of the command cards was 'depowering' a unit of terracotta warriors, turning that card into a small bit of terrain (I now forget which kind).

Very quickly, I was persuaded that it wasn't a good idea, for all sorts of reasons.

Gabbi

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 04:01:10 AM »
Uhm, I see... on paper, your idea looks great, Karasu :)

Karasu

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 06:09:34 AM »
On paper, yes.  But IIRC, folk did some calculations and worked out that using it on a chump blocker just before it ought to die basically gave another turn or two of blocking/slowing.  And since the ability was on a command card, not a unit, there was no way to cost it fairly for its utility.  Then we came up with the idea of naming each card after an Art of War quote and it really didn't fit so well.  I'd suggest going to look at the thread, but it was on the old forum and now no longer exists.

It is quite a powerful ability and really hard to balance.


NegativeZer0

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 08:04:42 AM »
I would like to add that I too was experimenting with a unit that creates terrain in my Egyptian army.
Basically a unit that created a sand storm, acted as terrain, had some cool effects.

The only fair way I could work it out was that when you place the unit in the Deployment phase it creates the piece of terrain at that point.  Surprise terrain during the game is way too powerful.

I had some special rules that required the unit to be deployed in the first 1/3 of your army when you deploy so the opponent could react to the terrain placement.
It worked but was also cumbersome and you still need to figure out how to handle hidden deployment.

TLDR: I eventually scrapped the entire idea just like everyone else that's tried anything like this.  To make it work requires a lot of rules that ultimately just isn't worth the payoff.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 12:21:29 PM by NegativeZer0 »
Quote from: Chad_YMG
Cards are definitely good to have, but I like punching my opponent in the face, too!

GoIndy

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 08:32:13 AM »
So a Tholian webcaster is out?

Hannibal

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2016, 08:55:23 AM »
When I was tinkering with the Catalan Company, I drafted up a faction specific rule for allowing them to control the terrain on the table:

Quote
Forced March:  If playing Catalan Company as a stand alone faction, you may spend up to 80 pts during army selection to purchase terrain.  Each small (5”x4”) terrain piece costs 40 pts and a medium (10”x11”) terrain piece costs 80 pts.  You choose the type of terrain (i.e. forest, hills, marsh). Place terrain before deployment, replacing existing small/medium terrain of your choice with purchased terrain.  If there is no terrain or more purchased pieces than existing ones, purchased terrain is not placed.

The faction is never going to go anywhere, but I wonder if the rule has promise.  Maybe if the spell was on a reminder card and was something you cast before deployment it could work.

Kevin

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 09:36:22 AM »
Quote
Quote
Forced March:  If playing Catalan Company as a stand alone faction, you may spend up to 80 pts during army selection to purchase terrain.  Each small (5”x4”) terrain piece costs 40 pts and a medium (10”x11”) terrain piece costs 80 pts.  You choose the type of terrain (i.e. forest, hills, marsh). Place terrain before deployment, replacing existing small/medium terrain of your choice with purchased terrain.  If there is no terrain or more purchased pieces than existing ones, purchased terrain is not placed.

The faction is never going to go anywhere, but I wonder if the rule has promise.  Maybe if the spell was on a reminder card and was something you cast before deployment it could work.

That's basically a lesser version of the Chosen Ground scenario, except that by tying it to a faction rather than a scenario it can be used with things other than Total Warfare.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Hannibal

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 10:10:45 AM »
The other difference is that it doesn't add terrain, it replaces terrain.  So if you were playing on the map with 3 small hills, you couldn't suddenly choke off the board by adding 2 forests.  All you could do is replace 2 of the hills with, say, 2 swamps.  (Which is still pretty good, of course!)

And of course if you're playing on a open field, you couldn't use this at all.

BubblePig

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Re: Units that modify the battlefield
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2016, 09:42:28 AM »
I like this for a faction ability or a scenario, but I would probably tweak it slightly. Maybe allow the addition of terrain pieces as long as that doesn't bring the total number of terrain pieces above 2.