Author Topic: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units  (Read 24282 times)

Hannibal

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2011, 01:28:57 AM »
Going from 2.5" to 3.5" is a huuuge points discount.  During our playtest for Alexander & Persia we found there'd be giant swings in cost when you go from 2.5->3.5" and 3.5->5".  That's as you'd expect because the game is really built around 3.5" infantry, so being one step up or down is going to be a pretty big swing.  By contrast, going from 5" to 6" isn't as big a jump as you'd expect.

Personally, I like Knights for what they do and I also feel that Greatswordsmen worked fine.  But any increase from a stat 2 to 3 (on the Knights) or Mve 2.5" to 3.5" is like a 40-60 pt increase.


gornhorror

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2011, 10:44:07 AM »
So let's do a comparison of the Hawk Knights and the Dark Lances from the Dark Elf faction.

Hawk Knights (6) 6/6*  2*/3  13  5"  cavalry and Bravery (413 points)

Dark Lances (6) 6/6* 3*/2  13  5" cavalry, Fearsome, and pain touch (444)


If, (and it's a big if) you think that a 2*/3 defense (3/3 on the charge) and a 3*/2 defense (4/2 on the charge) is a wash and that Bravery and Pain touch is a wash.  Then the only difference between these two units is Fearsome.  The difference in cost between these two units is 31 points.  I think losing an attack die(shaken) and the possible loss of and offensive skill and an offensive power on the charge turn(frightened) is pretty big when you consider that the Hawk Knights will only hit on ones with no command cards in a straight up fight.  Seems like a big advantage to me for a 31 point difference.   If you add in the ability of pain touch(which does sure damage every turn and the fact that the Knights will probably take damage on the way in, this match up is not fair.  Either the hawk Knights need to come down in points cost or the Dark Lances need to go up. 

This is just one example that I've been thinking of lately.  I like the Hawks army, but it's hard to consider them in competitive play considering the power(and the fun abilities) of the new factions.   Give the Hawks a tweak or two and you may see people playing them more often.  This would be a good thing for balance.


 

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ajax98

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2011, 05:29:56 PM »
IMO, Design is a tricky ability, especially when it comes to a game with connections to history & a rational to "reality".
This becomes more apparent when the 'designer' of 'module' are different people and or time/experience makes a difference.

It is always nice to be within a small margin of error when nailing down the 'relative' cost of a unit in this game system. But what may be 'good' at one point isn't so later when other factors have changed.

What has Changed is in the application of 'Fearsome'.
During the design & development of DE, the application of 'Fearsome' was a variable die roll. Within the known design parameters for 'cost' application. I think the designs reflected this.

During playtest that Changed. I noticed a significant impact that a sure (-1) 0, 0 causes. Small, but significant, when considering the 'Charge' turn.
To me, as I have written elsewhere here, the subtraction of die, a possible damage, is the same as taking away a real damage.
Anytime I can remove a damage it is good for me.

Since things have changed in this respect, also in the regard to accumulated data concerning interaction and refinement of units over the larger number of 'types' & costs of units, I would regard the consideration of Reevaluation of unit costs/details (Skellies come to mind) as a necessary (though obviously undesired/neglected) part of this kind of game 'system' wherein 'cost points' are central to an enjoyable game.

On a different thread some time ago, there was a number of us that thought about these concerns. I think that a 'tested' by players' experience reevaluation of units is an important evolution of this game. Criteria should be agreed upon and certain standards should be applied. With relevant data, a petition would then be submitted to YMG and the forum.

Much the same has occurred with the review of Undead Skellies.
gornhorror's review of Hawk Knights is a good point of reference.
Under that particular reference, I am wondering whether it is the possible over cost of Hawk Knights or the under cost of DE units with Fearsome? Or just the DE Dark Lances.

Or make the DE's Fearsome totally Variable again (as it was when they were designed).

There are a number of variables that can be carefully considered.
And Yes, it does mean that to make it 'official' certain acknowledgments from YMG will be required.

gornhorror

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2011, 05:56:50 PM »
I would appreciate anything that Your Move Games can do to remedy this, so the older factions don't become more and more obsolete.  I just used the Hawk Knights and the Dark Elf Dark Lances comparison because it was the first one that caught my attention. 
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Kevin

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2011, 06:05:54 PM »
Your point about fearsome being worth more than 31 may be valid.

The real reason for that is that, when fearsome was factored into the cost of the Dark Elves, it was under the old version of Fearsome, where making your fear check resulted in no penalty.  Fearsome was upgraded, but the cost of the Dark Elves was not in turn raised.

I'm increasingly thinking that the new Fearsome rules should be filed under "It seemed like a good idea at the time," and discarded in favor of the old rules.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

gornhorror

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2011, 06:37:45 PM »
Well, when I looked at these two units and squared them off.  The first engagement it was a big advantage for the Dark Lances.....a little bit two big.   At least in my opinion... ;D
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gull2112

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2011, 07:17:36 PM »
Fearsome was considered a minor annoyance at best, and the whole move to change it was to make it worth having in the first place, then the Dark Elves come along and everybody is fearsome, suddenly the uptweaked ability is seen as too powerful. :P

One way to tune down the Fear thing is to go back to the original fear rules, except for fearsome placed on a unit by the Undead player spending a command action, which causes shaken and is handled under the new rules. The advantage is it addresses the skellie imbalance without fiddling with the other balances.

One match up is hardly a well play-tested sampling. The real proof comes in when people stop taking Hawkshold. I don't see that as happening yet. Since it is the basic vanilla fantasy army, some aren't interested (me), but for its quasi-historical edge some are (Lazyj).

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gornhorror

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2011, 07:33:50 PM »
Well, I already think that people have stopped playing the Hawks.  I know it's not everybody.  I play them and Kevin plays them.  They don't get the love that they used to.  That's for sure.   Why should they? Maybe they should get another reinforcement deck with spell casters of their own.  Or some new units, just to give them some flavor.  Where's their Merlin or Gandalf?  Perhaps a balista?  Would be cool.  The world of men needs to come back.
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gull2112

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2011, 08:39:24 PM »
I agree, there is some variety with M&M, but I think there needs to be an M&M2 with the specific goal of bringing some of the older decks up to speed. They could be designed to specifically fill in some of the holes in the older decks. This deck would be different in that it contained units that were from some previous faction (so you could have Hawkshold Balistae, voodoo orcs, dwarven Griffon riders, e.g.). Any faction could use them, just like with M&M, but in addition, If you had MM2 units in your army that matched your faction, then they would gain your faction abilities and could use your faction specific cards as well, in effect, becoming additions to that factions repertoire.
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gornhorror

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2011, 09:30:11 PM »
Excellent idea!!!!    ;D ;D ;D ;D
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Hannibal

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2011, 01:24:26 AM »
So let's do a comparison of the Hawk Knights and the Dark Lances from the Dark Elf faction.

Hawk Knights (6) 6/6*  2*/3  13  5"  cavalry and Bravery (413 points)

Dark Lances (6) 6/6* 3*/2  13  5" cavalry, Fearsome, and pain touch (444)


If, (and it's a big if) you think that a 2*/3 defense (3/3 on the charge) and a 3*/2 defense (4/2 on the charge) is a wash and that Bravery and Pain touch is a wash.  Then the only difference between these two units is Fearsome.  The difference in cost between these two units is 31 points. 

31 pts is not nothing, though.  Those Dark Lances cost ~7% more than the Knights.  Usually 31 pts is more than enough to upgrade a unit from Swordsmen to Spearmen.

I don't think Fearsome is worth the 31 pts but I think the difference also comes from the Dusk Lances being 3/2 instead of the Knight's 2/3.  On the charge, against your average 5/5 unit the Dusk Lances will suffer almost a point less.  (Although this is a bit artificial because most heavy cav will probably be facing someone with Off Skill 6 or elite in some other way).


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I think losing an attack die(shaken) and the possible loss of and offensive skill and an offensive power on the charge turn(frightened) is pretty big when you consider that the Hawk Knights will only hit on ones with no command cards in a straight up fight. 

Well if you're going to incorporate the Pain Touch offensively and say it's better you have to incorporate Bravery when the Fearsome check comes into play.  The Knights are a 16 on the Fearsome check, so they're going to fail it 1.85% of the time.  So its as sure a bet as it can be when you use random number cubes that they'll pass.  So functionally the Fearsome for them means -1 die on the charge.

If you give them a heads up fight where both get 1 Command Action (Pain Touch and Bravery), the Dusk Lances win but with 1-2 Red boxes left.  However, its a coin flip as to whether the Dusk Lances pass their Rout check (probably failing on the Red, after they've killed the Knights).  That seems fair to me considering the Dusk Lances cost 7% more.  The more expensive unit wins in a head to head match up.  If that didn't happen, there'd be a problem.  The fact that the Dusk Lances are now down to 1-2 Red boxes means to me that things are working out close enough to worthwhile.




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Seems like a big advantage to me for a 31 point difference.   If you add in the ability of pain touch(which does sure damage every turn and the fact that the Knights will probably take damage on the way in, this match up is not fair.  Either the hawk Knights need to come down in points cost or the Dark Lances need to go up. 

I think you're dramatically underselling the advantage of Bravery.  It means the Knights simply won't run (barring absolutely absurd dice) and unlike Pain Touch the Knights can combine it with a Command Card, not something the Dark Elves can do with Pain Touch.


Quote
This is just one example that I've been thinking of lately.  I like the Hawks army, but it's hard to consider them in competitive play considering the power(and the fun abilities) of the new factions.   Give the Hawks a tweak or two and you may see people playing them more often.  This would be a good thing for balance.

I think Hawkshold just appears unsexy.  It's the "normal human" list, and yeah its an earlier list.  But I stand right beside Chad:  “I'll play the Hawks against anyone, anytime, anywhere.”  They are a rock solid list, full of a lot of subtly.  That extra Green box may not seem like much but after extensive playtesting of Alexander and Persia, I can say that if you shift around a box here and there, you get big results.

Hannibal

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2011, 01:28:25 AM »
The real reason for that is that, when fearsome was factored into the cost of the Dark Elves, it was under the old version of Fearsome, where making your fear check resulted in no penalty.  Fearsome was upgraded, but the cost of the Dark Elves was not in turn raised.

Huh, I thought it was.  I thought the Fearsome change was talked about behind the scenes far enough back that it was incorporated.  Maybe I'm wrong.


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I'm increasingly thinking that the new Fearsome rules should be filed under "It seemed like a good idea at the time," and discarded in favor of the old rules.

Hey what a strange turn of events, Kevin, we disagree!   ;D

I like it.  And I think you're just a Dark Elf hater.  Probably because the Lash Mistresses didn't think you were cute enough to enslave.   

8)

(Don't feel bad...they didn't pick me either...  :'().

ajax98

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2011, 01:51:17 AM »
So let's do a comparison of the Hawk Knights and the Dark Lances from the Dark Elf faction.
...

31 pts is not nothing, though.  Those Dark Lances cost ~7% more than the Knights.  Usually 31 pts is more than enough to upgrade a unit from Swordsmen to Spearmen.
...
The more expensive unit wins in a head to head match up.  If that didn't happen, there'd be a problem.  The fact that the Dusk Lances are now down to 1-2 Red boxes means to me that things are working out close enough to worthwhile.
...

A very good rational analysis reply.

Niko White

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2011, 02:37:44 AM »

Yeah, I'm with Hannibal on this one (mostly): I think the 3/2 to 2/3 difference is huge, especially with +1/+0 on the charge, and IMO that's one reason the Dusk Lances compare well to the Hawk Knights.  But while it's tempting to pick the newer faction as the comparison, I think the HE Knights are actually a more telling comparison; they're cheaper than Hawk Knights (because they're 6/5 attackers after the charge turn, even though they're still 6/8 on the charge) and still IMO are probably overall better; they're certainly not significantly worse.  One issue with historical Battleground costs is that toughness costs as much as defense skill.  In a pure vacuum it is, insofar as if you're just doing the basic math it doesn't matter where the good numbers are.  Unfortunately in the actual game a whole lot of penalties and bonuses (missile penalties and charge bonus primarily) add up to mean it basically isn't quite.  While this isn't all that important in most cases, cavalry really exacerbate it because they get an additional +1 skill on charges and they have a miscellaneous bonus against missile fire, so being able to team those up with an already good number can leave the opponent routinely facing 1's, which is pretty amazing.

As for the Fear: we changed fear about halfway through the Dark Elf playtesting, which means they were more tested with the new rules than any older faction  ;D  That's not to say it might not be right to change it back, though; I'm honestly more or less indifferent.  I'm pretty sure the current version is more balanced insofar as the old one was slightly overpriced, but it might also be less fun; dice choke can be really annoying since everyone likes picking up a big bunch of dice and throwing them (figuratively!) at an enemy unit.

elgin_j

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Re: Hold the Line! Hawk Tactics and Units
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2011, 05:29:32 AM »
I wrote a retrospective on BG:FW for BGG a while back where I called for a living Bestiary to be created.  I stand by that demand - the game requires something to finesse individual units` cost to ensure balance is maintained.  This requires an official seal of approval but the actual work can easily be fan-driven.

For example, on the basis of cost, pound-for-pound I`d take HE Knights over Hawks.  Hawk Knights are awesome, and I`ve used them to great effect, but HE Knights, Centaurs, Anatolian Horsemen and DE Knights piss in their face in regards cost (the latter I base on what is posted here as I`ve not seen or used them myself).
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