Author Topic: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!  (Read 20060 times)

Chad_YMG

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New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« on: March 09, 2011, 09:21:39 AM »
Niko and I were talking about upcoming factions and the Battleground release schedule and we concluded that we should move forward quickly on developing a new fantasy faction.  Niko has a few in the can (e.g. Angels & Demons) but I wanted our next faction to be Amazons for a couple of reasons:

1. It was the top-polling faction in a poll we did (admittedly some time ago).
2. It's a faction that lends itself to some cool elements while dialing back from Dark Elves.  I want to re-emphasize that Battleground has plenty of scope for new armies that play and feel very different from each other without having to make Dark Elves look like Men of Hawkshold.
3. Richard will probably do the art for free.  (OK, I kid!  But we shouldn't have to buy many new weapons or items of clothing...)

It's been very exciting to me to see how interested people are in developing new factions for Battleground.  Ultimately I expect to have more and more Battleground factions where Niko and I play a very minor role, but I thought it would be useful and fun to do a "team" development project on this faction.  My idea is that every week I'll provide an updated unit list and command cards for playtesters.  (Next week I'll include printable proxies.)  During that week anyone is free to make comments, suggestions, etc., and we'll incorporate the general consensus into the next week's version.  Niko and I will veto if and only if we think there's a major problem with a suggestion -- but at this point I think it's very unlikely that the consensus would take us in a bad direction anyway.

Flavor & Story

The Amazon faction represents many interconnected all-female tribes and city-states united in shared worship of a powerful goddess.  They are not anti-male, and have close trading and political relationships with Hawkshold and with other human societies but tend to shun non-humans.  They inhabit a warm, temperate region and thus may wear a wide range of armor on the battlefield.

The Amazon goddess has a strong affinity for hunting and for horses, and they are known for their exceptional skill at both riding and archery.  Many female centaurs ride with them, and their is also a special order of warrior-priestesses that can keep pace with any but the fastest horses.

Amazons are very calculating in their selection of mates.  Exceptional warriors, wizards and leaders can prove themselves worthy of the chance to partner with an Amazon.  She will remain with him for three months; if she is not pregnant at that point she will depart and seek another worthy partner.  When an Amazon becomes pregnant she remains with her partner until the baby is born -- if it is a boy she remains another year to nurture the child.  If it is a girl, she returns to her home directly.  In either case, the same-sex parent has sole parental rights.

Amazons require strict adherence to this tradition from societies whose males wish to participate, and male offspring must be regarded as legitimate children by their fathers.  While some societies refuse to participate, many others (particularly those where healthy males are prized) are glad to honor the Amazon traditions.

While great heroes and mages can demonstrate their worth individually, some men attempt to prove their bravery by serving as mercenaries in the Amazonian army.  Amazon generals have learned that these warriors can be difficult to manage as each is comprised of fortune-seekers rather than disciplined troops.

Units

Amazon Sword - 186 points - Core
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  R:-  M:L  C:12
Hits: 4/3/3

Amazon Spear - 239 points - Core
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  R:L  M:L  C:12
Hits: 4/3/3
Spears.  Javelins.

Amazon Light Infantry - 136 points - Core
O:(5)5/4  D:2/1  R:-  M:SS  C:12
Hits: 3/3/4

Amazon Archers - 249 points - Core
O:(5)6/5  D:2/2  R:-  M:L  C:12
Hits: 3/3/2
O (-1)-3/-2 when engaged.  (Yes, they're deliberately the best "normal" archers.)

Amazon Horse Archers
Probably something very similar to Wildmen Horse Archers but a bit better.  Six skill seems a bit much on horseback.  Move LL?  12 Courage?

Mercenary Infantry - 177 points - Standard
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  R:-  M:L  C:12
Hits: 3/4/3

Mercenary.  Impulsive.  No Army Ability.

Niko and I have talked for a while about keywording Mercenary and having occasional mercs pop up in factions where they make sense.  This is one possible example.  (This would mean that anyone could use them if Mercenaries are allowed -- it would not make them part of the M&M faction.)

The 3/4/3 hit point profile is a bit unfortunate, but I wanted something that reflects the fact that these guys are good fighters individually (and probably professional soldiers) but that they aren't experienced and trained as a unit.  Impulsive does part of that, but not quite all.

Goddess Warriors - 424 points - Elite
O:(6)6/6  D:2/3  R:-  M:L  C:14
Hits: 5/3/3

Perfect for all you folks out there who wanted to be a bad guy in a Wonder Woman comic when you were a kid.  These women will be happy to beat the crap out of you -- the main difference is that instead of compelling you to tell the truth they will just kill you.

Mercenary Knights - 386 points - Elite
O:(6)6/6  D:2/3  R:-  M: SS  C:12
Hits: 3/2/2
Mercenary.  No Army Ability.  Heavy Cavalry.  Impulsive.

Horse Spirits - 282 points - Standard
O:(6)6/5  D:3/1  R:-  M: LS  C:12
Hits: 3/3/2
These are NOT cavalry.  These are priestesses that can run as fast as horses.  Is that awful?

Priestesses

At the moment this is a placeholder.  My first vision for Amazons had them living in a much warmer climate (the Horse Spirits were Cheetah Spirits) and with one or two cleric units but this felt too much like all-female Umenzi.  I moved them northwards but now I'm ambivalent about whether they should have a real spellcaster at all or if their religion should only be reflected in uber-units like Goddess Warriors and Horse Spirits.

My thought had been to have a spellcaster with one blessing and one curse, each of which would represent a mental influence.  Possible candidates would be:

Stumble: -1MC next turn.  Curse token remains in place until another curse token is placed on the unit, when both are removed with the latter having no other effect.  (This would make it require two mages to slow a single unit down turn after turn.)
Engrage: Change an enemy unit's standing orders to Close with a unit objective.  (Unit must be from your army...)
Presence of the Goddess: Blessing.  Unit gets C+1.  Remove the blessing at the start of any courage phase to get C+2 for the turn.

I've been thinking for a while that it would be cool to have some "special" units whose coolness happened as a one-shot at the start of battle rather than during play, or at least that didn't add complexity to gameplay.  (I'm looking at you, Dark Elves!)

If the Amazons are supposed to have some special mental abilities, what about a shaman unit that gives Foresight?  Or an extra Command Action each turn?

Here's a possibility:

Priestesses - points unknown - Core or Standard
Crappy stats, probably like Umenzi Shamans
Before deployment, reveal all Priestesses in your army.  You gain Foresight: 1 for each revealed Priestess.  After deployment you gain Intelligence: 1 for each Priestess in your army.
Spells: Presence of the Goddess (range: SS), Stumble (range: 4L)

High Priestesses - points unknown - Elite
As with Priestesses but you also draw one Command Card for each High Priestess.
Spells: Presence of the Goddess (range: LL), Stumble (range: battlefield)

(It's worth noting that the inspiration for the original flavor was a short story, For a Daughter by F.M. Busby.  In Busby's world, the all-female tribeswomen had modest magical abilities.  The only tangible example I recall was a woman causing men looking for her not to see her, although she had to remain still to do so.)

Centaurs - 319 points - Standard or Elite
O:(6)6/4  D:3/1  R:L  C:13  M:LL
Hits: 3/2/2
Cavalry.  Javelins (a la centaurs).

My thought here was to assume a significant sex difference among centaurs, such that female centaurs would be very fast but significantly less powerful than males.  I'm not wedded to this idea at all.

(As it happens, my original idea for the faction was that their vanilla offensive stat profile would be (5)6/4, reflecting lower physical strength but compensating mix of dexterity and witchcraft.  I'm open to testing that if folks think it would be good but we'd have to be careful to avoid creating an RPS situation where they just lose to armies that can field 3-toughness core units.  One possibility would be to give the High Priestess a blessing that gave a unit (-1)+0/+1 on its next attack.)

Army Ability: None at the moment.  I'm very much open to suggestions, but I'd like it to be something that "fits" with the theme that drives the command cards.

Command Cards

Before putting together a list of Command Cards I wanted to get the community's reaction to possible approaches/themes.

1. Link CC's to priestess units.  In this approach, Goddess Warriors and Horse Spirits would have the Priestess keyword and command cards would have cookies if the target was nearby a Priestess (or a Priestess itself).  For example, a standard command card could give the target unit a Presence of the Goddess blessing.

(Niko has been itching to keyword "Nearby" to facilitate designing units that influence those around them.)

2. In the spirit of Ravenwood, Runeguard and the Umenzi, create a set of Goddess-inspired command cards.

3. Use the cards to tell a broader range of the Amazon story and to draw out their flavor.
David Humphrey está todavía en la Colina 217.
      - From Spanish translation of Hill 218 rules

Kevin

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 10:14:36 AM »
How cool to do a faction with community input!

Just gave it a very quick once-over.

Nice flavor!


-  I want to strenuously object to any faction that has javelins and a spell that gives the enemy a minus to move class!  You've just given your Centaurs & Javelineers an automatic second shot vs. any standard 3.5" mover, as you can move to range, put on the spell, and then the opponent can't reach you.

In general, I don't really like the -1 MC thing.  It's fine with the Dark Elves, but once is enough.  So can we get rid of "Stumble?"

How about this, if you want to mess with their movement a little bit:  (Hopefully someone can come up with a better name.)
Quote
- Intimidate:  The opponent unit must make a courage check at -2.  If it fails, its orders are immediately switched to Hold and the unit is Shaken on its next attack.

(The opponent can switch the orders back on his turn, but that will cost him a command action.)


-----------


Amazon Sword - I think the point cost is off on this unit.  They're equal to Hawkshold Swordsmen, except that they have 1 less green and 1 more yellow.  We know that a similar trade-down with a sightly pricier unit (Hawk Spearmen to Carthaginian Spearmen) results in a 6 point discount.  So the price of Amazon swords should be 192 or 193, yes?

I can't eyeball the other units, but it's possible that this formula error spills into other units and makes them similarly sightly too cheap.

Amazon Archers - These units are staying in the box.  They're still going to be worthless once engaged, and hit no better than 225-point High Elf archers.  I'm not saying that they're a bad unit, just that this makes them sort of like Lizardmen archers, where you have to pay a premium for that worthless Blood Frenzy.


Mercenary Infantry.  Not a bad unit, but seems sightly overpriced.  Look at High Elf Cygnets, identical piont cost and stata, but Cygnets hit point bar goes 4-2-3 and they aren't impulsive.

Horse spirits.  Yeah, it's awful.  Cut them to 5".  That makes them like Ravenwood Wolfkin.


Centaurs:  If Centaurs are going to happen, the most obvious way to make them less "RPS" is to cut their skill to 5, making them (6) 5/5.  You know, being out of the forest makes them lazy and they don't practice as much or something.

Quote

2. In the spirit of Ravenwood, Runeguard and the Umenzi, create a set of Goddess-inspired command cards.

I like this a lot!


Army ability.

Probably important to get an idea of the faction flavor before coming up with something good, but a throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks response is a variant of the Umenzi "Devotion of Transference."

Something like:
Quote
Damage Transfer:  Pay a command action to mark both boxes.  While your unit has one or more boxes marked, if your unit takes damage from an attack while a friendly unit has a center point less than 3.5" from the center point of your unit, you may erase one box.  Doing so reduces the damage your unit takes from this attack by one; this friendly unit takes a point of damage.


If people like the Damage Transfer, then I'd suggest that the faction be redesigned to make it in integral part of the faction:  get away from the flavorless, generic 4-3-3 for hit points and make it 3-4-3 or even 3-3-3..  Now the units become brittle if they're on their own or have no cheap "hit point sponges" to transfer damage to, but they become very hard to break when combined with their ability.

If the damage transfer thing is slightly too weak you could always have it mark 3 boxes rather than 2, but I think 2 would work.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 11:41:19 AM by Kevin »
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Chad_YMG

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 11:51:16 AM »
-  I want to strenuously object to any faction that has javelins and a spell that gives the enemy a minus to move class!  You've just given your Centaurs & Javelineers an automatic second shot vs. any standard 3.5" mover, as you can move to range, put on the spell, and then the opponent can't reach you.

In general, I don't really like the -1 MC thing.  It's fine with the Dark Elves, but once is enough.  So can we get rid of "Stumble?"

I tend to agree on -1MC stuff...it's really cool but very hard to balance and can be frustrating to play against.  I like to let people play their game -- no (Magic equivalent) Blue decks in Battleground!

Quote
Amazon Sword - I think the point cost is off on this unit.  They're equal to Hawkshold Swordsmen, except that they have 1 less green and 1 more yellow.  We know that a similar trade-down with a sightly pricier unit (Hawk Spearmen to Carthaginian Spearmen) results in a 6 point discount.  So the price of Amazon swords should be 192 or 193, yes?

You're correct.  I first templated them on the "light armor" form which gives them a modifier I forgot to remove.  The correct costs are:
Amazon Sword: 192
Amazon Spears: 245

Quote
Amazon Archers - These units are staying in the box.  They're still going to be worthless once engaged, and hit no better than 225-point High Elf archers.  I'm not saying that they're a bad unit, just that this makes them sort of like Lizardmen archers, where you have to pay a premium for that worthless Blood Frenzy.

They have five attacks at range, so they actually hit 25% better than High Elf archers but cost about 10% more.

Quote
Mercenary Infantry.  Not a bad unit, but seems sightly overpriced.  Look at High Elf Cygnets, identical piont cost and stata, but Cygnets hit point bar goes 4-2-3 and they aren't impulsive.

I'll have to look into how they differ in the formula.  Thanks.

Quote
Horse spirits.  Yeah, it's awful.  Cut them to 5".  That makes them like Ravenwood Wolfkin.

I may just ditch the unit and replace it with something else.  (Maybe something suggested by the community???)  :)

Quote
Centaurs:  I'm very leery of this unit.  One in Ravenwood feels like a cool, unique thing, but more...I dunno.  If Centaurs are going to happen, the most obvious way to make them less "RPS" is to cut their skill to 5, making them (6) 5/5.  You know, being out of the forest makes them lazy and they don't practice as much or something.

How about skill of five but a move of LL?

Quote

2. In the spirit of Ravenwood, Runeguard and the Umenzi, create a set of Goddess-inspired command cards.

I like this a lot!


Army ability.

Probably important to get an idea of the faction flavor before coming up with something good, but a throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks response is a variant of the Umenzi "Devotion of Transference."

Something like:
Quote
Damage Transfer:  Pay a command action to mark both boxes.  While your unit has one or more boxes marked, if your unit takes damage from an attack while a friendly unit has a center point less than 3.5" from the center point of your unit, you may erase one box.  Doing so reduces the damage your unit takes from this attack by one; this friendly unit takes a point of damage.
[/quote]

This is certainly a very interesting ability!  I think I'd like to see it used on either a faction with a sacrificial theme or some insect-like race with more of a hive mind.  I'm also worried that this sort of ability would get really messy in practice, since you'd suddenly care a lot about the order you resolved combat so damage could get transferred to the "right" unit (e.g. one that is either already taking a rout check or that won't take one with the extra point).  That might be solvable by requiring that the "receiving" unit be unengaged but then that again seems to fit better with a different faction.

Since Tom Vasel (of The Dice Tower) has specifically requested that we create an insect army I think this could be really good for that...
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Hannibal

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 12:52:40 PM »
Neat idea.  It'll be interesting to see how this works being fully open.  Alexander vs Persia got pretty chaotic and that was just with half a dozen contributors.  In the end, it improved the product though.

There's going to be some spoiling for Alexander vs Persia here because there are similar concepts on some of the units.


Quote
Flavor & Story

Can I ask what the art theme is going to be?  Because that can help with the design.  Are these going to be jungle-tribal (a la Brazil) or more true to the traditional amazons and be more "Homeric Greek"?  I personally like the Homeric Greek, as thematically it'd let you have a 'society of heroes,' which is not something that could be done historically but fits so well once you introduce fantasy elements.  Plus bronze breast plates and horse-hair plumed helmets & other Greco-Roman simply seems kinda cool.

I'll base my suggestions on this theme, pick and choose what you like.

As for background, the Amazons are a heroic society.  They aspire to be the best, to be heroes at their role:  the best warriors, the greatest poets, the smartest mathematicians, the cleverest merchants, heck the best farmer.  They are driven thus because the greatest of their number are ascended to become demigods, and live forever in the halls of the Goddess, becoming muses to their descendants and semi-divine patrons of their society.

The Amazon worship two gods, the Goddess and the Oath-Breaker.  The Goddess rules over the hunt, the wild, and the centaurs, and is the patron of the Amazon.  Her centaurs taught the first Amazons how to shoot and fight, and they still act as counselors to the Amazon people today.

The Oath-Breaker is a male god of drink, lawlessness, and madness.  Every year, the women of non-Amazon society participate in a 5-day ritual of music, drink, and ecstatic dance, led by the priests of the Oath-Breaker.  Most women take part in the ritual and then return to their lives, but a few find themselves filled with the ecstatic fervor of the Oath-Breaker.  They do not return home, forsaking their bonds to the community to become an Amazon.  In this way, the Amazon nation gains new members to supplement the less common births by Amazon women.

(the Oath-Breaker is based on the ancient Greek cult of Dionysus, which basically did have an ecstatic ritual for women; he was also the god of madness, not the 'jolly drunk' we know him as)

So based on this, I can see a couple of different units:

1)  Priests of the two gods:  one unit for each.  The Priests of the Goddess could be Standard and cast spells that help the Amazon units.  Bonuses to courage, stats, dice, etc.  The Priests of the Oath-Breaker would cast spells that either hinder the enemy (like -1 to stats, change an order to hold, etc) or help Amazons but at a penalty (so maybe +2 dice but -1 Def).

2)  Newly arrived Amazons.  They're still filled with the ecstatic fury from the ritual of the Oathbreaker.  So maybe a Fearless, always on close unit.

3)  Different types of centaurs.  Not the wild ones of Ravenwood, so not as good with combat.  Maybe lighter and faster?  Or better defense?  Maybe multiple types of centaurs?


Army ability:  I'm thinking something that'd represent them striving to be heroes.  Maybe call it "Heroes shall Rise."  Spend a Command Action on the unit.  For that turn it gains one of the following:  (+0) +1/+0 or (+0) +0/+1. Perhaps no playing CCs on the unit that turn?  This is just spitballing and letting Kevin put up his hands and going "whoa, whoa, whoa!"


Quote
Amazon Sword - 192 points - Core
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  R:-  M:L  C:12
Hits: 4/3/3

Amazon Spear - 245 points - Core
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  R:L  M:L  C:12
Hits: 4/3/3
Spears.  Javelins.

Seems fine.



Quote
Amazon Light Infantry - 136 points - Core
O:(5)5/4  D:2/1  R:-  M:SS  C:12
Hits: 3/3/4

What about using the Light Infantry template we developed for Persia & Alexander?  So the unit would look like:

O:(4)5/5  D:2*/1  R:-  M:SS  C:12
Hits: 4/2/2
* +1/+0 vs ranged.


Quote
Amazon Archers - 249 points - Core
O:(5)6/5  D:2/2  R:-  M:L  C:12
Hits: 3/3/2
O (-1)-3/-2 when engaged.  (Yes, they're deliberately the best "normal" archers.)

Interesting.  I dunno if I'd want to pay for that Def 2/2, but like I said, interesting.


Quote
Amazon Horse Archers
Probably something very similar to Wildmen Horse Archers but a bit better.  Six skill seems a bit much on horseback.  Move LL?  12 Courage?

My thought is go one of two ways:

1)  make them skirmishers:
O:(3)5*/4*  D:0*/0  R:10.5"  M:LS  C:11
Hits: 2/2/1
Cavalry, Skirmisher, does not cause impact hits.
Ranged attack is LOS, no Move & Shoot penalty
O (-0)-2/-1 when engaged.
D +2/+0 vs ranged

Note the Def zero is intentional because they will be functionally a 3 when the ranged modifiers for shooting at cavalry skirmishers is taken into account.  Could up to Def 1 if you really wanted, but this'd make it very hard to kill them.

2)  borrow from Alexander vs Persia:
O:(4)5/5  D:1/1  R:10.5"  M:LL  C:11
Hits: 2/2/2
Cavalry, Ranged attack is LOS, no Move & Shoot penalty.
When Direct Controlled, treat rear arc as front arc for ranged attack.

(This is close to a copy from Alexander vs Persia, so we'd need some way to make it slightly different).



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Mercenary Infantry - 177 points - Standard
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  R:-  M:L  C:12
Hits: 3/4/3

Mercenary.  Impulsive.  No Army Ability.

What about giving them more Yellow boxes.  Make them 3/5/2.  That way they're mediocre in that they're taking that first check early and losing an attack, but once they pass that one it's going to be a lot of boxes before they take the red check.


Quote
Goddess Warriors - 424 points - Elite
O:(6)6/6  D:2/3  R:-  M:L  C:14
Hits: 5/3/3

M'eh.  Standard 'better guys.'  Or girls in this case.  What about making them demigoddess who've come back to fight beside their descendants?  Make them fearless.

O:(5)6/6  D:3/2  R:-  M:L  C:-
Hits: 4/3/3

Or maybe do both:  have a unit of heroes about to ascend and a unit of demigoddess.  Or instead of a whole unit of demigoddess, a unit led by a demigoddess.  The big thing is that unit becomes fearless.


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Mercenary Knights - 386 points - Elite
O:(6)6/6  D:2/3  R:-  M: SS  C:12
Hits: 3/2/2
Mercenary.  No Army Ability.  Heavy Cavalry.  Impulsive.

M'eh.  Okay I guess.  I'll be honest the more I think about it, the more I don't know if I like units in a deck that can be taken by other armies.  Kinda cheapens that deck.  Maybe if the unit gets something when with the Amazons that they don't when with other armies.  Maybe a courage bump when within 3.5" of an Amazon unit?


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Horse Spirits - 282 points - Standard
O:(6)6/5  D:3/1  R:-  M: LS  C:12
Hits: 3/3/2
These are NOT cavalry.  These are priestesses that can run as fast as horses.  Is that awful?

Yeah I'd ditch them.



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Priestesses

Before deployment, reveal all Priestesses in your army.  You gain Foresight: 1 for each revealed Priestess.  After deployment you gain Intelligence: 1 for each Priestess in your army.

I really like this ability.  How about the two different priestesses units I suggested:

Priestesses of the Goddess (Standard)
(insert crappy stats here)

You gain Foresight: 1 for each Priestesses of the Goddess.  After deployment you gain Intelligence: 1 for each Priestess in your army.

Spells: 
Defensive bump:  +1/+0 this turn.
Toughness bump:  +0/+1 this turn
Blessing of the Goddess:  ignores modifiers for being in the Yellow/Red this turn.


Priestesses of the Oath Breaker (Elite)
(insert crappy stats here)
Draw one Command Card for each Priestess of the Oath Breaker.

Spells: 
Madness:  ranged attack, 10.5" (2) 6/6.  If causes a wound, enemy's standing order becomes Hold
Ecstasy:  (+2) +0/+0, Def -1/-0 this turn
Mania:  reroll failed rout checks this turn



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Centaurs - 319 points - Standard or Elite

K, I'm out of ideas for them to be the old advisers. 

BubblePig

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 01:26:37 PM »
Quote
Amazon Archers - These units are staying in the box.  They're still going to be worthless once engaged, and hit no better than 225-point High Elf archers.  I'm not saying that they're a bad unit, just that this makes them sort of like Lizardmen archers, where you have to pay a premium for that worthless Blood Frenzy.

They have five attacks at range, so they actually hit 25% better than High Elf archers but cost about 10% more.
I have to agree with Kevin that these stay in the box unless there is a hill or something. IIRC the archer is prominent in the mythology of the Amazon, so I would like to see some way to make this unit more attractive without pushing them into S&S, maybe give them better melee and some other way to penalize them/bring down the point cost?

Horse Spirits - 282 points - Standard
O:(6)6/5  D:3/1  R:-  M: LS  C:12
Hits: 3/3/2
These are NOT cavalry.  These are priestesses that can run as fast as horses.  Is that awful?
I would think that a unit that could move this fast would necessitate a looser formation, so maybe less dice and better morale?

I agree with Corey, the mercs should get some bonus for being used in the faction they come with.

Also I like the flavor of having a different hit progression than the standard 4-3-3, but a faction ability should mitigate this the same way Spoils mitigates the lousy morale that M&M units have

Chad_YMG

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 01:54:10 PM »
Quick comment -- I agree 100% on mercs getting some sort of in-faction bonus.  +1 courage if they are nearby an Amazon unit would make sense from a flavor perspective.  Other thoughts?
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Hannibal

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 02:32:39 PM »
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Amazon Archers - These units are staying in the box.  They're still going to be worthless once engaged, and hit no better than 225-point High Elf archers.  I'm not saying that they're a bad unit, just that this makes them sort of like Lizardmen archers, where you have to pay a premium for that worthless Blood Frenzy.

They have five attacks at range, so they actually hit 25% better than High Elf archers but cost about 10% more.
I have to agree with Kevin that these stay in the box unless there is a hill or something. IIRC the archer is prominent in the mythology of the Amazon, so I would like to see some way to make this unit more attractive without pushing them into S&S, maybe give them better melee and some other way to penalize them/bring down the point cost?


What if we do something wacky where they're archers with great weapons as well?  So once engaged they could drop the bows and pick up the heavy weapons?

Amazon Archers - Core
O:(4)5/5*  D:2/2  R:-  M:L  C:12
Hits: 3/3/2
O (-1)+0/+1 when engaged.

That'd be different than what most factions do without having people wondering why these amazons have the same skill and more dice than High Elves & Wood Elves (who have centuries of practice).
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 02:44:52 PM by Hannibal »

Kevin

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 05:04:12 PM »
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Amazon Archers - These units are staying in the box. (snip)

They have five attacks at range, so they actually hit 25% better than High Elf archers but cost about 10% more.

Oops, I hadn't spotted that they have 5 dice.  That makes them an excellent unit (maybe even sightly too good, but probably OK).  Sorry 'bout that.

Which is not to say that a variant couldn't also work.

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 07:41:01 PM »
Merc Knights - Hm, is anyone else here compelled to say 386 points for an impulsive unit is a bit too big of an investment? Most other factions have good heavy cav or something equivalent.

Is there any other way to represent that?

Niko White

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2011, 07:55:40 PM »
I like Chad's archers a lot.  I don't mind Amazon archers being as skilled as elves; they were always reputed to be good and so are say, Hawk Archers.  They're not as good as Ravenwood Bowmasters (well, not as skilled, anyway) which are the real Elven masters of the bow.

I like the idea of grabbing Classical heroic flavor for these ladies.  I think it fits well with a faction called Amazons while also allowing them to be x/2 and x/3 rather than the more obvious 2/1's and 3/1's which I think we have too many of these days.

I don't like the idea of making the women warriors weaker.  It's true that female humans are on average less strong than men, but I'm pretty sure not to that extent, and especially in a fantastic setting I have to admit I find it pretty distasteful.  Ditto with the Centaurs; I like the 5/5 variant, or maybe even rolling them in with the horse archers, or making them an elite horse archer type?  I dunno.  Another option is, if the Amazons have a horse-god/horse-spirit, making them somehow sacred or clerical units.  Centaur Priestesses, perhaps?

I'm just checking quickly from work at the moment but will give some more detailed unit suggestions after.

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2011, 09:28:13 PM »
Im not in favor of the Female Centaurs or Horse Spirits.

How about some Amazon Chariots?

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2011, 10:10:11 PM »
I like the idea of centaurs armed with bows rather than javelin, not to say there couldn't be both.

Forevernyt

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 02:23:57 PM »
I want more monsters in the faction.

You know me kid, I'm down with the ladies!



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Kevin

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 05:48:05 PM »
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I like the idea of centaurs armed with bows rather than javelin

What makes Centaurs Centaurs in Battleground is the javelins.  If they have a bow they're regular horse archers.  (I suppose in theory you could give them a bow and javelins, but IMHO that would be a mistake--they'd go even further.

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Hm, is anyone else here compelled to say 386 points for an impulsive unit is a bit too big of an investment?

Not really.  Remember that impulsive changes their orders at the beginning of the turn, but you can always spend a command action to change them back.  And if you're talking about knights, being impulsive isn't much a liability, as they're nearly always going to be charging forward.   Impulsive only sucks when it's on a weak unit that you'd ideally like to keep on hold.


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Amazon Light Infantry - 136 points - Core
O:(5)5/4  D:2/1  R:-  M:SS  C:12
Hits: 3/3/4

What about using the Light Infantry template we developed for Persia & Alexander?  So the unit would look like:

O:(4)5/5  D:2*/1  R:-  M:SS  C:12
Hits: 4/2/2
* +1/+0 vs ranged.

I'll second this.  IMHO we did a good job codifying a light infantry template, which can be easily used in further factions.  (The one tweak I could see is that sucky light infantry could have hit points go 3-3-2 rather than 4-2-2, but if they're real Amazons they can probably go 4-2-2...assuming Amazons all have 4+ green boxes, of course.)


I'll also add that, in general, I REALLY like Corey's write up on the faction flavor!!!  The Goddess and the Oathbreaker...how cool is that?

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So based on this, I can see a couple of different units:

1)  Priests of the two gods:  one unit for each.  The Priests of the Goddess could be Standard and cast spells that help the Amazon units.  Bonuses to courage, stats, dice, etc.  The Priests of the Oath-Breaker would cast spells that either hinder the enemy (like -1 to stats, change an order to hold, etc) or help Amazons but at a penalty (so maybe +2 dice but -1 Def).

2)  Newly arrived Amazons.  They're still filled with the ecstatic fury from the ritual of the Oathbreaker.  So maybe a Fearless, always on close unit.

3)  Different types of centaurs.  Not the wild ones of Ravenwood, so not as good with combat.  Maybe lighter and faster?  Or better defense?  Maybe multiple types of centaurs?

Totally agreed on point #1.  Give them two "priest" units, but make them really different from each other (more different than Umenzi Shamans & High Priests)...though this will be a careful balancing act to ensure that one isn't always left in the box in favor of the other.

Point 2 is also good.

Skeptical on point 3.  I like the idea of giving them Centaurs, and still feel like (6) 5/5 Centaurs would work fine.  But my feeling is that one unit of Centaurs is enough...Centaurfest 2012 could wear kind of thin.



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Goddess Warriors - 424 points - Elite
O:(6)6/6  D:2/3  R:-  M:L  C:14
Hits: 5/3/3

M'eh.  Standard 'better guys.'  Or girls in this case.  What about making them demigoddess who've come back to fight beside their descendants?  Make them fearless.

O:(5)6/6  D:3/2  R:-  M:L  C:-
Hits: 4/3/3

I like the flavor that Corey is suggesting, but the units he proposes is too similar to the Umenzi Chosen, IMHO.



---------------


As to army ability...
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Spend a Command Action on the unit.  For that turn it gains one of the following:  (+0) +1/+0 or (+0) +0/+1.

Corey's suggestion works fine, I think, from a balance perspective, at least if you consider a sucky ability balanced in that the player can always just draw a card.  It's an ability which will end up going on your strongest units only, and I'm actually wondering if it's slightly weak.  (Having it count as playing a card is a non-starter.  That would make it s weak that nobody in their right mind would ever take it.)  I'm not sure if just a +1 on skill or power will ever average you a point of damage if you play it on something other than charging cavalry.


And I still like the idea of giving them different hit points than the vanilla 4-3-3, but giving them a faction ability which helps with that.

Let's go for a non-sacrifice-your-buddy rout.

So here's another thing I'm throwing up against the wall.  Sort of a gambler's faith armor/hit point battery.

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Fight On!

Amazons will continue to fight, even when mortally wounded, until their foe is vanquished.

Spend 1 command action to mark all 3 boxes on the unit that is not currently in the red.   All wounds that the Amazon unit takes do not damage the amazon unit, but instead remove the checks from the boxes.


If the last box is ever unmarked, the amazon unit immediately takes 3 damage.

At the end of your turn, if the unit has 1 or 2 boxes marked and the unit is unengaged, remark all boxes and do one damage to the unit for each box remarked.

While the unit is engaged, you may spend a command action to remark all boxes.

-------------

To balance this ability, give Amazon units only 3 green boxes.  I'm agnostic o 3-3-4, 3-4-3, or 3-3-3.

Let's call this "Gambler's Faith Armor" on units with 3 check boxes.  If you apply it once, it effectively makes the 3 yellow boxes all green.  If you apply it at just the right moments, it is super-efficient faith armor, as if you refresh the boxes when you have 1 check box unmarked, you effectively heal 2 damage....but it can be very risky to time that right!  It can also make the final amazon unit very hard to kill, as they'll constantly be refreshing this box.

Note how it doesn't defend them from ranged attacks (Unless they engage that turn), and if the Amazons rout or kill a unit they immediately take the damage.  The mortally wounded Amazons fall over dead at that moment, their mission complete.  Finally, it doesnt' protect amazons from the BIG HAMMER, as if they take 3 damage in one attack it blows through the boxes and they take the damage.


Comments?

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« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 11:54:31 PM by Kevin »
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Kevin

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 06:03:03 PM »
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I really like this ability.  How about the two different priestesses units I suggested:

Priestesses of the Goddess (Standard)
(insert crappy stats here)

You gain Foresight: 1 for each Priestesses of the Goddess.  After deployment you gain Intelligence: 1 for each Priestess in your army.

Spells:
Defensive bump:  +1/+0 this turn.
Toughness bump:  +0/+1 this turn
Blessing of the Goddess:  ignores modifiers for being in the Yellow/Red this turn.

Definitely a good start.  I like the foresight + intelligence thing a lot. 

I'd say that if their faction ability gives them a defensive bump (and both of ours do), then their spells probably should not.  (Yeah I know the Umenzi get both faith armor and defensive stuff, but notice how (a) faith armor and healing (their most powerful defensive spell) can't both be done in the same turn and (b) how the Umenzi units are paper thin.


If we go with the faction ability I proposed, "Blessing of the Goddess" should probably be swapped for something less redundant.  But if not, this could stay.

It's also tempting just to give the priestess 2 spells and a bow, which she could fire in lieu of a spell.


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Priestesses of the Oath Breaker (Elite)
(insert crappy stats here)
Draw one Command Card for each Priestess of the Oath Breaker.

Spells:
Madness:  ranged attack, 10.5" (2) 6/6.  If causes a wound, enemy's standing order becomes Hold
Ecstasy:  (+2) +0/+0, Def -1/-0 this turn
Mania:  reroll failed rout checks this turn


Not sure I like the "free" command card thing.  You're basically adding 25 to the unit's cost by effectively forcing them to buy 1 card. 

Madness is pretty good in theory, but in practice, I've heard from players playing the Lashmistress how they really dislike a powerful ability which is triggered by doing damage, as you can never rely on it, so you can't afford to make it part of your plan.

What about...

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Madness:  the enemy unit makes a courage check at -1.  If it fails, its orders are immediately changed to Hold and it takes 1 point of damage.  (This damage can cause a rout check.)

Ecastacy:  seems a bit weak.  Maybe

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Blood lust.  Your unit get (+2) +0/+0 on its next engaged attack; all units it is engaged with get (+1) +0/+0

Mania:  Not liking this one.  Too powerful under the right circumstances.

Again, how about they just get 2 spells and a bow?

« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 06:37:31 PM by Kevin »
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill