Author Topic: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!  (Read 19394 times)

Kevin

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2011, 07:03:35 PM »
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My earlier point stands:  if they're priestesses who are messing with the opponent's head, then their chance of success shouldn't depend on the thickness of the enemy armor.

There's already precedent for that sort of thing with the Lashmistresses, which is just a game abstraction.  And since most stats in BGFW are non-linear abstractions to achieve the desired effect, I'm okay with it.

There's a time to follow precedent, and a time to discard it.  (As you know from Alexander vs. Persia, where the stats of all those phalanx units are nothing like those of Hawkshold Pikemen.)

The Lashmistress is drawn with an actual magic whip, and I imagine the theory with her spell was that they were literally getting pulled in by that magical whip, so if they took no damage it meant the whip was dodged.

(Of course, by that logic the whip should cause skirmishers to final rush, but at the moment that's neither here nor there.)

The priestesses are meant to be mind-affecting.

I see your point that there are fewer cards to defend against it.  On the other hand, there are no red cards to bolster its attack either.  So in that sense there's the precedent of the Elementalist's Lightning Bolt.
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Hannibal

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2011, 07:10:54 PM »
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The Lashmistress is drawn with an actual magic whip, and I imagine the theory with her spell was that they were literally getting pulled in by that magical whip, so if they took no damage it meant the whip was dodged.

You'd have a point if the spell wasn't called Siren Song.

I have no problem abstracting toughness to be a decent proxy for willpower, at least as good as Courage.  Crazed Goblins are fearless, but I doubt they'll strong willed.  Toughness is equal parts physical toughness and mental toughness to avoid going into shock or panicking.

But in the end it comes down to game play for me.  If we link it to Courage there's going to be units for which you may be able to suck out a CA per turn against your opponent with no recourse on their part, which is huge.  By making it an attack, you give them the option to take the least bad option and drop a card.

Kevin

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2011, 07:34:30 PM »
OK, time to go through Corey's suggested units one by one, from both a flavor and a game perspective.


K, here's my suggestions based on the "Homeric Amazons" theme.  I'll put my thoughts in italics.

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Faction Ability:  Arete.  Spend a CA to mark the unit's check-box.  You may erase before an attack it to give the unit O: (+0) +1/+0 or D: +1/+0.  This counts as playing a command card.

As noted before, if this counts as playing a command card then it is literally NEVER worth taking.  I'd have it not count as one if we're going this way.

That's an "If" I'd still like to see if Chad likes my "Mortally wounded fight on" thing, which gives the faction more flavor.





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

From a play standpiont they're fine.

From a design standpoint this makes them THE most vanilla unit in the entire game.  

4-3-3 is baseline hit points.  Literally every faction's regular unit (other than the undead) can have their regular infantry unit's hit points derived by starting at 4-3-3 and either adding a box, deleting a box, or changing the color of a box.

Seems underwhelming that, after so many other factions avoided the pure vanilla (apart from Carthaginian Levies...err...Halfblood Spearmen, and those guys have spears), that we'd get that here.

I'm now going to shut up about the hit points.

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

Looks good!  If spearmen have under 6 dice they shouldn't lose a die on the charge.  I think I'm agreeing with you here, as I don't see an * by their attack dice.


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Amazon Light Infantry - Core
O:(4)5/5  D:2*/1  R:L  M:SS  C:12
Hits: 4/2/2
Javelins.
*D: +1/+0 vs ranged.

5" move + javelins is an extremely scary combo, as the unit can scurry up a hill, then rain DEATH JAVELINS (6" range and +1 accuracy!) on their hapless opponent.

I like the light infantry thing, but would either remove the javelins altogether or, at least make them less scary.  Maybe give them 2 dice, then +2 dice when engaged?


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Amazon Archers - Core
O:(5)6/5  D:2/2  R:4L  M:L  C:12
Hits: 3/3/2
O (-1)-3/-2 when engaged.

A very strong archer unit, but should work OK.  Worth playtesting, at least.


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Amazon Horse Archers - Standard
O:(4)5/5  D:3*/1  R:3L  M:LL  C:12
Hits: 2/2/2
Cavalry, Ranged attack is LOS, no Move & Shoot Penalty.
*D: +1/+0 when charging.

Fantasy archers have been indirect fire until now (which have generally made them overpriced, IMHO).  This is a very good unit; 4/1 vs. ranged attacks.

Hm...

I'd be tempted to cut their defense to 2/1, making them a bit more vulnerable.


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Paragon Warriors - Standard
O:(5)6/5  D:3/2  R:-  M:L  C:14
Hits: 4/4/2

These are the "best of the best" among Amazons.  They're Standard to show that since it is a heroic society, they progress much quicker.  This unit would be an Elite choice in most armies.

Looks fine.  If it were me I'd do something whackier with their hit points, but that's probably just me.


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Priestesses of the Goddess - Standard
O:(3)6/5  D:3/2  R:4L  M:L  C:13
Hits: 3/2/2
Spells:  I honestly don't know, but I think they should be blessings of some sort.  I'll just rattle off ideas:
-Auto-rally spell?
-Bonus toughness?

Can't brainstorm spells at the moment...and sort of want to see how Chad like this before wasting a whole bunch of time.

Offense looks good assuming they have a bow.  I'd give them a minus in hand-to-hand.



Elder Centaurs - Standard
O:(4)6/5  D:3*/1  R:L  M:LS  C:13
Hits: 2/2/2
Cavalry, Centaur Javelins, Skirmisher (!), does not cause Impact hits.  No Arete checkbox.
*D: +2/+0 vs ranged attacks.
For every Elder Centaurs unit, the player gains 1 Foresight and 1 Intelligence.

These are the wise old centaurs who act as council to the Amazon priest-queens, hence they grant Foresight/Intelligence, not the priestesses.  The Skirmisher label reflects that they're really clever and wily and so evade before you get to grips more than they're just uber-quick.  Hence their otherwise mediocre attacks/Pow/Toughness/Damage Boxes (they're old!).

I once suggested skirmishers for fantasy factions and was basically told no way.  Perhaps there should remain a firewall there.  So the unit would need a redesign.  Or either Chad or Niko should confirm that fantasy skirmishers are OK.



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Younger Centaurs - Standard
O:(6)5/5*  D:2*/2  R:L  M:LL  C:12
Hits: 3/2/2
Cavalry, Centaur Javelins, Impulsive, No Arete checkbox.
O:  (+0) +0/+1 when Charging.
D:  +1/+0 when charging.

The younger centaurs are full of piss 'n wind, hence they're impulsive.  Their use is a fast shock cavalry, instead of the hit & run style of the elders.

I like making them impulsive.


Choragos - Elite
O:(7)4/5  D:1/3  R:-  M:L  C:-
Hits: 3/2/3
Fearless.  Always on Close.

These are the 'ecstatic warriors' still in the thralls of the Oathbreaker's frenzy.

Seems a bit too "swingy" with a 4 skill and a 3 toughness.  I'd either up the one or cut the other.

But I like the flavor--a variant on Umenzi berserkers.

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Demi-Goddess Retinue
O:(5)6/6  D:3/3  R:-  M:L  C:-
Hits: 4/4/2
Fearless.  No Arete box.  Any unit within 3.5" gets +2 Cge.

This is Demigoddess who's descended to fight with a chosen band of even-more-elite Paragons.  They don't have a checkbox because they're viewed as already as excellent as they can be.

Like the flavor a lot!  Including the absolute courage.

This unit is going to be the 2nd most powerful infantry after the Celestial Guard.  A bit skeptical as to how often it'll be used.  It's going to be a LOT of points to invest in one unit...and a unit that will not no harder than many units that are 100 points cheaper.


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Priestesses of the Oath Breaker
O:(3)4/4  D:1/2  R:-  M:L  C:13
Hits: 3/2/2

As noted before, give them a bow and up their accuracy & power to 6/5.  (but them a good engaged penalty)

We've already gone back-and-forth on spells.
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Hannibal

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2011, 12:48:35 AM »
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Faction Ability:  Arete.  Spend a CA to mark the unit's check-box.  You may erase before an attack it to give the unit O: (+0) +1/+0 or D: +1/+0.  This counts as playing a command card.

As noted before, if this counts as playing a command card then it is literally NEVER worth taking.

Cruising right past the fact that the next army ability you like will be the first, let's address the value.   ;D

Most army abilities are worth about 1/2 a pt when it comes to inflicting damage, this puts it about on par.  If you have an O:(5) 5/5, D: 2/2 unit fighting its mirror (say Amazon Sword vs Hawk Sword), then this ability is worth 5/12 of a point, either inflicted or negated.  Slightly less than 1/2 a point, but you also have the flexibility of playing it as offensive or defensive, which makes it more adaptable to your situation.

It might be argued that its a touch weaker because many "1/2 pt abilities" come with a cookie, usually in the form of +1 Cge.  Certainly we could do that, but its seems a bit repetitive at this point.


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Amazon Sword - Core
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  R:-  M:L  C:12
Hits: 4/3/3
From a play standpiont they're fine.

From a design standpoint this makes them THE most vanilla unit in the entire game. 

4-3-3 is baseline hit points.  Literally every faction's regular unit (other than the undead) can have their regular infantry unit's hit points derived by starting at 4-3-3 and either adding a box, deleting a box, or changing the color of a box.

Well yeah, but I don't feel that every single army has to muck with hit boxes.  If a unit is pretty standard, normal humans, I see no reason to deviate from that.  At least not starting out.


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

Looks good!  If spearmen have under 6 dice they shouldn't lose a die on the charge.  I think I'm agreeing with you here, as I don't see an * by their attack dice.

Actually that was a goof on my part.  They should be (6*)5*/5*.  The "weaker javelins" was a neat idea but I think it'd be just as simple to give them the Pila and call it a day.  Visually they could be represented by a skirmisher groups in front of the unit, but rules wise the pila works fine.


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Amazon Light Infantry - Core
O:(4)5/5  D:2*/1  R:L  M:SS  C:12
Hits: 4/2/2
Javelins.
*D: +1/+0 vs ranged.

5" move + javelins is an extremely scary combo, as the unit can scurry up a hill, then rain DEATH JAVELINS (6" range and +1 accuracy!) on their hapless opponent.

I like the light infantry thing, but would either remove the javelins altogether or, at least make them less scary.  Maybe give them 2 dice, then +2 dice when engaged?

Or fix the Death Javelin problem in the main rules.  Probably the better way to go.


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Amazon Horse Archers - Standard
O:(4)5/5  D:3*/1  R:3L  M:LL  C:12
Hits: 2/2/2
Cavalry, Ranged attack is LOS, no Move & Shoot Penalty.
*D: +1/+0 when charging.

Fantasy archers have been indirect fire until now (which have generally made them overpriced, IMHO). 

Something I agree with you about.  You were saying. . . precedents can be ignored . . .   ;D


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This is a very good unit; 4/1 vs. ranged attacks.

Hm...

I'd be tempted to cut their defense to 2/1, making them a bit more vulnerable.

I tried to make them different than the M&M horse archers.  The hunting theme of their background made me think they'd be really good at being fast & dodgy.


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Priestesses of the Goddess - Standard
O:(3)6/5  D:3/2  R:4L  M:L  C:13
Hits: 3/2/2
Spells:  I honestly don't know, but I think they should be blessings of some sort.  I'll just rattle off ideas:
-Auto-rally spell?
-Bonus toughness?

Can't brainstorm spells at the moment...and sort of want to see how Chad like this before wasting a whole bunch of time.

Offense looks good assuming they have a bow.  I'd give them a minus in hand-to-hand.

I was sort of envisioning they'd have a praetorian guard around the priestess made up of the best fighters & archers.  So in addition to being a spellcaster unit and a decent archer unit, they could fight as well.  Make them the ultimate well-rounded unit, able to plug gaps if you absolutely had to.


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Elder Centaurs - Standard
O:(4)6/5  D:3*/1  R:L  M:LS  C:13
Hits: 2/2/2
Cavalry, Centaur Javelins, Skirmisher (!), does not cause Impact hits.  No Arete checkbox.
*D: +2/+0 vs ranged attacks.
For every Elder Centaurs unit, the player gains 1 Foresight and 1 Intelligence.

I once suggested skirmishers for fantasy factions and was basically told no way.  Perhaps there should remain a firewall there.  So the unit would need a redesign.

Well obviously if there's no fantasy skirmishers that . . . changes things.  I would . . . disagree with that concept, but its not my call.


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Choragos - Elite
O:(7)4/5  D:1/3  R:-  M:L  C:-
Hits: 3/2/3
Fearless.  Always on Close.

Seems a bit too "swingy" with a 4 skill and a 3 toughness.  I'd either up the one or cut the other.

Well, it kind of came out of several themes.  The extra dice are because I'm thinking the Oathbreaker's theme is that he provides extra attacks.  But 7 dice makes cards really, really powerful.  So I decreased their Off Skill, meaning you almost have to play a card on them to get the most out of those 7 dice.  I also wanted them to be easy to hit, because they're all crazy.  Originally I went with 2/1, but that didn't seem right and 1/2 is just terrible.  So I went with the other theme of the Oathbreaker's frenzy:  makes you easier to hit but you're so hepped up you don't notice the pain.  Hence 1/3.

I see this unit getting used either as a tar-pit (since its fearless) or beating up on someone else's tar-pit.  For example the 7 dice means it'll probably claw through a Militia unit pretty quickly.


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Demi-Goddess Retinue
O:(5)6/6  D:3/3  R:-  M:L  C:-
Hits: 4/4/2
Fearless.  No Arete box.  Any unit within 3.5" gets +2 Cge.

Like the flavor a lot!  Including the absolute courage.

This unit is going to be the 2nd most powerful infantry after the Celestial Guard.  A bit skeptical as to how often it'll be used.  It's going to be a LOT of points to invest in one unit...and a unit that will not no harder than many units that are 100 points cheaper.

Yeah, it's gonna to be quite an expensive unit.  The catch is its fearless, so it may actually run off that Celestial Guard.  I would love to make them O: (5)7/6, D: 4/3 unit but then it would be the most expensive infantry in the game, by like 100 pts.


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Priestesses of the Oath Breaker
O:(3)4/4  D:1/2  R:-  M:L  C:13
Hits: 3/2/2

As noted before, give them a bow and up their accuracy & power to 6/5.  (but them a good engaged penalty)

I was trying to draw a difference between the two units.  Priestesses of the Goddess would be the shooty ones & the back up fighters.  Priestesses of the Oathbreaker would be just a support spell caster.  They have to get all chanty and hallucinogenic to work their spells.

Kevin

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2011, 08:59:25 AM »
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Most army abilities are worth about 1/2 a pt when it comes to inflicting damage, this puts it about on par.  If you have an O:(5) 5/5, D: 2/2 unit fighting its mirror (say Amazon Sword vs Hawk Sword), then this ability is worth 5/12 of a point, either inflicted or negated.  Slightly less than 1/2 a point, but you also have the flexibility of playing it as offensive or defensive, which makes it more adaptable to your situation.

OK let me explain sightly more why it's pathetically weak.

Mot faction abilities are worth sightly less than a command card, but there are usually very specific situations where they're the better play.

For example, Ravenwood's ability to change 1 number to a 2 is usually worse than a command card, but is undeniably better than your 4-die archer is shooting at something with toughness 3.  Even the normally lame High Elf Precision is the better play when your wounded Battlesquad (attacking with 1 or 2 dice...or e even 0 dice if it's flanked) desperately needs to do one point of damage.

Giving a unit a single +1 skill, or +1 dodge, however, is literally ALWAYS eclipsed by most command cards (The exceptions being ones that affect morale or give a reroll).  So unless you're in a really weird situation where +1 to something is paramount and you only have 1 action left and simply can't afford to risk drawing the wrong card, it's not worth it.

Now, if you made it not count as playing a command card, it would be worth considering: normally worse than a card, letting it add to a card to temporarily boost a unit's skill or dodge by 2 makes it a good deal more powerful.  (Not sure at the moment if that would even be too powerful or if it would be OK.)
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Hannibal

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2011, 10:55:51 AM »
Hmmm, interesting.  When designing faction abilities, I tend not to do it with the "over/under" in mind like that.  I figure that availability of that ability is the counter-balance to the randomized drawing of cards and their limited resource. 

While Arete is a weak Accuracy/Strike or Parry, it is always available.  For a player who doesn't have his entire hand in his deck, that increases its use by quite a bit.  However, even for a player with his deck in his hand, I see it as having value:  you only get so many Accuracy/Strike cards per turn.  So this lets you save the cards for just the spot you need them while still getting some benefit at the right place.

I view it much like Pain Touch/Fury:  by itself not a great ability.  However the utility to me is that it frees me up from having to play cards on that unit, allowing me to play them elsewhere.

Chad, what do you think?  We're sort of at a standstill on a couple of issues and could use some 'elder statesmanship' on areas of disagreement but also sign off or veto on the units, etc.

BubblePig

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2011, 12:47:55 PM »
I'm with Kevin in that Corey's faction ability is so weak that I will literally punt in favor of drawing a command card 99% of the time.
For a player who doesn't have his entire hand in his deck, that increases its use by quite a bit.
This argument makes my brain hurt - if you don't use the faction ability then you HAVE MORE CARDS.

On the other hand, I am with Corey on the whole 'keep the vanilla swords they are just fine' thing.

Hannibal

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2011, 01:16:14 PM »
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This argument makes my brain hurt - if you don't use the faction ability then you HAVE MORE CARDS.

I made a dumb move by flipping words from what I meant: for a player who doesn't have his entire deck in his hand.   :P

If you engage on turn 4, then you have at most 14 cards in your hand.  Less than half the deck.  I've had games against Elves (pick your type) where I have nothing but Might and Force in my hand.  I've had games where I can't seem to buy a blue card.  This ability would let you always have the option to get a weak Strike or Parry.  It's insurance.

BubblePig

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2011, 01:49:23 PM »
If you are halfway into your deck and you don't have the card you need, then the cards that are left in the deck are rich in the type of card you need. Therefore, I would need to be ABSOLUTELY DESPERATE to use the faction ability. I stand by my previous assessment.

Hannibal

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2011, 01:59:19 PM »
Well, by your definition then nearly all faction abilities are a waste of Command Actions.

Kevin

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2011, 02:30:12 PM »
Faction abilities should be on average less good, but situationally superior--and part of the strategy should be to recognize when you are in one of those situations.

The ability you suggested above is on average less good, and is virtually never situationally superior to a card.

Don't get me wrong: having an ability which is a whimpering pile of suck doesn't break a faction--the player can always just draw command cards--but it makes things less interesting.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

BubblePig

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2011, 03:57:29 PM »
Well, by your definition then nearly all faction abilities are a waste of Command Actions.
8 or 9 times out of 10 they are, and thats OK, but 99 times out of 100 is not.
To put it another way, making a faction ability not as good as a card, but that is good enough to use sometimes is a delicate balance. To then make a faction ability even less good but more flexible puts it in the realm of not good enough to waste a CA regardless of how flexible it is.

Don't get me wrong: having an ability which is a whimpering pile of suck doesn't break a faction--the player can always just draw command cards--but it makes things less interesting.
I agree with this in terms of balance, but in terms of flavor, the last clause in that sentence is the more important consideration. I think it is far preferable to have a faction ability that get used sometimes and distinguishes that faction from others.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 04:08:47 PM by BubblePig »

Hannibal

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2011, 05:45:41 PM »
Well, clearly we're not going to agree here, so why don't we let Chad weigh in.

gull2112

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2011, 07:30:08 PM »
My personal view is that factional abilities should be less about power and more about flavor. I also would like to see factional abilities standardized in the sense that they should each have one major and one minor ability. A major ability is something that costs a command action, and a minor ability is something that is always on, but of a minor effect (like Ravenwood's forest move ability).
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Chad_YMG

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Re: New Faction for Community Development: Amazons!
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2011, 02:30:51 PM »
Going back to what Niko said...if I was starting from scratch, I'd have all Hawk infantry move L.  It's not just that it's unfortunate not to be able to final rush L but having frontline guys that move slower than the rest of the army makes them very hard to use in a non-stand-and-shoot build.  If you have a line of mostly Swords and Spears but with one Great Swordsmen then the whole line ends up moving slower than what you paid for.  With the Dwarves every unit gets a cost discount to reflect their slower movement, so if you have a slow-moving line advancing then at least your guys are better fighters point-for-point than the other guy's.
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