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Saint Vierzehn

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  1. What annoys me? Two fundamental things that are interrelated. 1) The product development model that Reaper uses. The game suffers because it is being developed piecemeal, rather than being produced as a complete & tested product before it is released. Essentially, the patrons of this game are beta-testers. Piecemeal development makes it impossible to playtest each element against the whole. 2) Playbalance. There are some significant flaws in the way Reaper assigns point costs to troops. I think Reaper is using a quantitative formula to calculate points for models. There are hints of that in the back of the main rulebook, in the "Generic Cards" section, and other indications when Reaper post 2-point modifications for a 200+ point model. A formula for point costs, in itself, is a good thing... or rather, would be, if the formula properly valued everything. But the final step of any complex calculation is to stop and ask if the answer is right, to check your work, and consider whether the answer is at least reasonbly useful. That is a critical step that Reaper is either missing or has abrogated to its customer beta-testers. Previous posters have cited examples of troops with inappropriate point costs, and I agree with those citations. The formula needs some fixing. When it doesn't generate reasonable results, when it's answer doesn't meet the common sense results of playtesting, it needs to be modified to produce a good outcome. The formula shouldn't make the game. The game should make the formula. Bottom line: Reaper needs better long-range planning, and a revision of the rules when sufficient time has been invested to get the product right. -StV.
  2. Hospitalers. If there's one advantage that the Crusaders do have, it's good, reliable, inexpensive healers. Hospitalers are the keystone of a strong Crusader army. Don't leave home without 'em. -StV.
  3. Fine, T. You've provoked me to answer your question. Enjoy this final exchange, because after this I'm putting you on ignore until you stand up on the other side of my game table for another buttwhooping. How do you reconcile that statement with the following? Equitable is not the same thing as generic. The Dwarven Griffon, IMO, is reasonably well playbalanced and is therefore equitable. Mercenary warriors, IMO, are reasonably well playbalanced and are therefore equitable. Darkspawn archers, IMO, are reasonably well playbalanced and are therefore equitable. The aforementioned units are diverse yet not generic. Heck, by the equivocation you've made, one might just as validly argue that Crusaders, Nefsokar, and Overlords are too darn similar because they've all got decent cavalry options. Now go be annoying at someone else. I'm done with you. -StV.
  4. As I've previously pointed out, those things could be said of troops in ANY army. Those limitations are not restricted to Mercs, and an equitably-minded person who wanted to see game mechanics for those things would ask to see them applied to all armies. Given that some of the other faction units in the game are so point-inefficient as to not be worth taking, I don't see why that would be a bad thing. I've no objection to fixing those particular faction units. But to hold to the notion that Mercs shouldn't have anything better than everbody else's worst unit is competely inequitable, both from a perspective of playbalance and fluff. -StV.
  5. I'm not talking about every type of trooper. I'm talking about a couple of basic types, of which I consider archers to be one. And I'm not even talking about "effective" troops, either... only point-efficient options, which IC archers and Nef rangers aren't. To object to +Mercs because you object to +Mercs is a circular argument. I have no inherent objection to that from a playbalance perspective, assuming it was equitably executed. But that's a pretty big assumption. That's really a fluff issue, but one that could get messy to implement. And I'm not sure I would agree with your fluff issues, either, but that's another debate entirely. -StV. How do you reconcile that statement with the following? If you playbalance things properly, it won't be a no-brainer addition. That's the whole point. -StV.
  6. I object to Mercs being called generic. I find Reaper's Mercs to be quite colorful, moreso than most of the other factions, in fact. Every fantasy dealer in the phonebook has elves armed with bows and beardy dwarves swinging bladed and/or pointy objects. But New York's Five Corners with shapeshifting gypsies thrown in the mix? That's something you don't see every day. That point aside, I like to face tough opponents because I like the challenge. I think the game I've enjoyed most was against one of those much-maligned "All-Shooter Freelance" lists. I knew my opponent wasn't holding back, and I never do. I think it's discourteous to do otherwise, actually. It cheapens the victory, regardless of who gets it. Some of the armies have rather glaring weaknesses, and I got tired of exploiting them by my second game. If nothing else, +Mercs means everyone gets more options in their army build, and that itself is more challenging. I don't see +Mercs making things more generic. I see it making things more diverse. Right now, whenever an opponent tells me he's playing a certain faction, I have a pretty good idea what to expect. There's relatively little surprise factor in the game. More werewolves are always an aesthetic improvement. And it would be nice to see models of tall, buxom women with bows the next time I face off against a dwarf army. I have simple tastes. That, and I consider increasing the complexity of all armies to be an attractive thing. Nope. You left at least one significant factor out. Playbalance. That is where I started this conversation, remember? And for all the good things I'll say about Reaper, there's fixing that needs to be done on the game's playbalance. +Mercs isn't the only way to do it, but it is an option that, by its very nature, is equitable to all armies. There isn't a more simple or expedient mechanism to globally balance the game in existence at this time. I'll assume you're an honest person. Welcome aboard. -StV. Out of how many points? 1000? 2000? 750? Two separate troops of archers in a low point game is going to make a much larger difference than in a high point game. I was referring to my standard 1500 point list. -StV.
  7. I'm glad you think so. My current Freelance roster contains 8 shooting models of two different adept types. Of those 8, only three have the marksman SA. I'm chucking a grand total of 11 shots per turn, far less than many pure faction armies. I compete just fine with the "all shooty" Freelance armies, the Elven archer corps armies, and the big range Darkspawn armies. When somebody calls me a powergamer, I take it as a compliment. It's true. I am a powergamer. And I appreciate the irony when my intelligence is insulted with incoherent, run-on sentences. Like it or not, Merc forces integrated into other faction armies are a part of the cannon fluff. Like it or not, viable shooter options in every army makes for better game play. I've played a no-shooter, no-magic army against another heavy-melee opponent who didn't have much more ranged combat than I had. I won (barely), but the game wasn't much fun. We spent quite a lot of time jockeying for a good engagement. Like it or not, decent Merc archers integrated into other factions are an effective way to level the playing field and fit the fluff. If you don't like Mercs, fine. That sentiment is irrational, and I'm tired of fighting against it. But for the good of the game, each faction needs to have an option for viable shooters if they don't have one already. Merc archers are an obvious and equitable solution. But if that solution is not going to be adopted, then an equivalent one needs to be developed within each faction. Otherwise, you'll keep seeing heavy-shooting armies dominating the game table... at least, until my Freelancers show up. -StV.
  8. If you don't want people going Freelance, improving the viability of faction armies is a logical step. On the one hand, you complain that the playing field between faction and Freelance isn't level, but on the other, you complain both against levelling the field and against those who choose not to intentionally handicap themselves. On the one hand, you're against alloying other factions with Mercs for the ostensible reason of preserving faction purity, and with the other, you push anyone who doesn't agree to play the ultimate mongrel Freelancers. You admit that the inequities exist and are obvious, but you don't want them fixed, and you don't want someone else to take advantage of them because you certainly don't. "All or nothing"? Fine, but "all" isn't an option, and it's really up to you to make your own satisfaction with the outcome. Maybe you'll get your way. But in any case, I already play Freelance. See you at the game table. -StV.
  9. Incorrect. Elf warriors, Darkspawn warriors, Crusader skirmishers, and Nefsokar awakened are all basic foot troops, and mechanically speaking are pretty much the same. In contrast, Elf archers and Darkspawn archers are far superior to both Nefsokar rangers and Crusader archers. It is that discrepancy in archers (a basic and fundamental troop type) that needs to be corrected, and good Merc auxilliaries would be a simple and equitable way to do it. -StV. I should think that if you were really interested in preserving the viability of faction armies that you wouldn't impose penalties that encourage people to play freelance instead. -StV.
  10. Get therapy. And now for something completely different. In a wargame like this one, there are a few basic functions that no army should have to do without, because an absence of that capability actually unbalances the game. Basic footsoldiers are one of those things. This game has a lot of footsoldier models that vary widely in appearance but that have underlying stats that aren't significantly different. The fact that everyone can take a basic footsoldier of some sort doesn't ruin the game, despite the fact that they're all pretty similar in terms of game mechanics. On the contrary, an army that didn't have access to a basic footsoldier would probably be radically unbalanced and likely wouldn't be competitive. Cost-effective shooters also fill a basic role that every army should have access to. Without a viable ranged attack, one must either take the fight to a location of the opponent's choosing or be battered to death by the ranged attacks the opponent is dishing out. Magic can sometimes partially compensate for a lack of cost-effective archers, but fielding a wizard with spells requires a larger outlay of points and lacks sustained firepower. In short, not having good archers available to a list cripples one's basic tactical options, which isn't really a good thing in a tactical wargame. Nobody's choices ought to be limited to close and charge. A number of people have complained that Nef rangers and Ivy Crown Archers will no longer be played if mercs have a good shooting unit that can be incorporated into any list. I doubt that most of those complainers use Nefsokar or Crusaders. Those of us who do play Nefsokar or Crusaders already don't miss Rangers and Ivy Crown Archers. It's not like they can be a lynchpin of the army. The fact is, as things stand now, Rangers and IC Archers could be struck from the game entirely and hardly be missed. They don't really add anything to the game. In fact, they rarely show up at the game table at all because they're so bad. That Rangers and IC Archers exist is hardly a valid argument for not allowing mercs something better or for allowing merc units to be taken on other lists. In my not-so-humble opinion, a good sportsman wishes his opponent to have a competitive list, and an option for viable shooters is a vital component of an even playing field. Let's hope that the mercs do get some decent shooters. And for those who hold Nef Rangers and Ivy Crown Archers so dear, let's hope they get modified to be worth playing, so that you'll see more of your favorite models on the other side of the game table. -StV.
  11. The Merc rules give little incentive to play a pure Merc faction instead of Freelance. -StV.
  12. If Reaper modified the Nef Rangers to look like the archer template I proposed, I doubt anyone would be screaming about the game being destroyed. The same goes for the Ivy Crown Archers. It's not the game mechanic to which people are objecting. It's the fact that the troops I proposed are mercs. Such is the nature of the Factionalist Puristas. Let's examine your example. The main difference between clerics and wizards is healing spells. Clerics get good healing spells, wizards pretty much don't. If the absence of clerics from the Necro and Darkspawn lists is an important playbalance issue, then by your argument paincages, vampiric feeding, chattel, life transfer, and any other healing effects on the Necro and Darkspawn lists should be done away with immediately. After all, those things are just a backdoor fix to an intentional weakness put in place by the designers. As a practical playbalance matter, the absence of clerics from the Necro and Darkspawn lists is not a weakness at all, intentional or otherwise. They've actually got stuff that is *better* than clerics. If you're going to hold that the absence of Necro and Darkspawn clerics is a matter of fluff, fine. I won't argue against that point. But let's also take a look at the Crusader, Nefsokar, and Merc fluff. By the fluff, rangers are "accomplished marksmen, and are skilled archers to a man". Clearly, the game mechanics do not support that. By the fluff, Ivy Crown Archers hone their skills "until they become some of the finest marksmen in human lands." Also by the fluff, Crusaders eagerly make use of war machines. Clearly, the game mechanics do not support those things, either. By the fluff, Mercs will hire themselves out to anyone. But if you propose that armies should be able to sport a contingent of Mercs on an equitable basis (or, in many cases, even an inequitable one), the Puristas start wailing and moaning. The fluff argument doesn't support your position, either. Bottom line: There is no valid argument against the things I've proposed. -StV.
  13. No, I'm not. Yes, it is. If it weren't, there wouldn't be so much talk of penalties to be applied to merc models. As I've already pointed out, if the idea was to hand out pentalites for taking mercs, it would make more sense (both fluff-wise and mechanically) to apply the penalty to the 75% non-merc troops. But nobody wants to seriously consider that because it's absurd. The problem is, applying the penalty ONLY TO THE MERCS is just as ridiculous. If a model with X abilities is worth Y points, then it should have X abilities and cost Y points. Or, to put it another way, identical troops should have the same cost regardless of what list they're on. That's playbalance. That those weaknesses in the assorted lists are intentional is only your own assumption. Or do you also consider it intentional that dwarves typically have the fastest infantry in the game? Personally, I think it's kind of silly that the short guys with the long beards run the fastest, and I think it likely that was an oversight on the part of the game designers rather than an "intentional design" of the faction. And even if the things that you assume are "intentional weaknesses" are exactly what you suppose, they're not necessarily a good idea. That's especially true for something as basic and fundamental as shooting. Every army has a basic melee scrub, every army has somehting like a basic breaker footman, and every army has a basic trooper that fills the role of a spearman. But nobody is crying that the lists are too generic, or that particular troop types on one faction's list should be penalized, or that certain of those basic troops should be excluded from particular armies. Shooters are no less valid. And while perhaps not everybody should have exactly the same, everybody should have something that is equally viable for the point cost. Right now, that is not the case, and I do not assume that is either intentional or good for the game. Oddly enough, it is the faction players that object to the upgrade. On the other hand, I am primarily a freelance player, and I think a modicum of optional flexibility added to the faction lists would be a good thing. If the 25% rule is not to be implemented, and merc troops are only to appear in merc faction armies, then certainly nobody should object to the addition of archers to the merc list. I certainly hope you'll try to do that. -StV.
  14. That same line of thinking could also be applied to most of the faction troops out there, with the possible exception of the ones with the Fearless SA. If you're going to apply that sort of morale penalty to any particular subset of troops, it ought to be applied to all. Playbalance, folks. Ditch the anti-merc prejudice. -StV.
  15. If you really wanted to hand out penalties for taking mercs, it would make more sense to apply the negative penalty to the non-merc portion of the army. After all, contract work is everyday fare for mercs, but the regulars could easily suffer morale penalties due to the implicit statement that their leader thought the regular army was inadequate for the coming fight. And besides, if you want to apply sufficient penalty to discourage the use of mercs, it makes more sense to apply the penalty to the 75% regular army rather than to the 25% mercs. End facetious mode. I'm quite tired of the assertion that mercs should be inferior to the troops of other factions. That idea, in all its variations, is unsportsmanlike. The notion that a given model should cost more for one player but not another flies in the face of playbalance. The idea that the 25% merc rule should be tossed out entirely is at least internally consistent in its logic, though I don't agree with it. -StV.
  16. Maybe not. A Merc model is going to do the same thing whether you plunk it down next to skinny guys with pointy ears, short guys with beards, or other Mercs. And the notion that Merc troops shouldn't be as point-efficient as anybody else's is just plain silly. It is its own faction, and it ought to be playbalanced as anybody else's, even if it's name does start with "M". -StV.
  17. The Freelance special army ability is that you can take pretty much whatever troops you like. That flexibility is what drew me to Freelance in the first place, and I don't see myself giving up Freelance when the Merc rulebook rolls out. The 25% mercs rule extends a small portion of that flexibility to the other factions, and it helps most those factions that are otherwise pretty weak. Like dwarves, for instance. Those factors add a playbalancing influence to the game, and at the same time it avoids penalizing the purists. The merc longbowmen that I proposed above would make a fine complement for armies that otherwise have a very hard time dealing with heavy-rangepower opponents, while at the same time not making ranged firepower of elf-like proportions a standard feature of every list. There's another consideration, as well. Mercs are their own faction, and poor ranged combat is not an inherent part of their concept. (Not that it is for any faction, IMO, but that's another discussion entirely. My Crusaders want the trebuche that's pictured on p35 of their splat book, and the ballista that are described in the fluff.) Bowmen fit the Merc fluff very nicely, and it's really kind of silly that they're entirely missing from the list. -StV.
  18. Managing ranged combat is a vital element of Warlord. Allowing all armies to include mercenary forces helps playbalance the various factions. I would like to see mercenary longbowmen added to the game. I'm thinking range 30, RAV 2, no marksman SA, and about 27 points/model. -StV.
  19. I like the idea, but I think it would be difficult to playbalance. As the wave player, I would be trying to disengage/delay as much as possilbe until hour 3, when my second batch of reinforcements showed up. Not that I would play slow, but I would have my troops running for the corners of the tables and avoiding combat. My first few units would probably consist of inexpensive sergeants and a horde of inexpensive foot troops, which should discourage aggression. As the 1500 point player, I would be looking to engage as quickly as possilbe. I would select fast troops and/or shooters, and back it up with a few healers. -St.V.
  20. Round 1: I take nine elven archers and annihilate any opponent who doesn't have 30" shooters. Round 2: I take nine elven archers and annihilate any opponent who doesn't have 30" shooters. Round 3: I take nine elven archers and annihilate any opponent who doen'st have 30" shooters. Round 4: I take nine elven archers... Round 5: ditto. Round 6: Now my opponent might actually have enough points to make a game of it. -St.V.
  21. It was my melee troops that beat you, T. You got most of my shooters. Nice straw man argument. I don't think the elves are overpowered. But somehow it doesn't surprise me that you missed the real point. You had more shooting that I did, both in terms of quality and quantity. You decry the shooting power of freelancers, but didn't hesitate to pick the shootiest faction in the game, and then kitted it out with as many archers as you could. You had more firepower than I did, and that not by a small margin. If my shooting was "unbalanced", then yours was an entire order of magnitude worse. But in the end, shooting wasn't the deciding factor. You might want to think about that the next time you start bellowing for an entire faction to be removed from the game. -St.V.
  22. The first time that I played you, you dropped the classic "elves with lots of archers" army on the table. You were tossing about 20 shots a turn at range 30, and since you deployed back, my crossbowmen weren't able to shoot on the first turn. By the time my crossbowmen were in range, I didn't have many left. I managed to beat you, but not because I was out-shooting you. Frankly, T, I don't hold your opinion on shooters in very high regard. -St.V.
  23. I could. But when I look over at your signature block, I see you self-described as "Godlike", and there's a nifty little picture of a halo. My concept of the dynamic really only applies to how I build and play my army, which really isn't all that significant. If your concept of the dynamic has farther reaching consequences than that, then you should be the one doing the explaining. And if it doesn't, then there's not much point in exchanging arguments over something so theoretical. What effects do you think the new Merc book will have on the game? -St.V.
  24. Yes, I do. But I don't particularly like the project development model that Reaper is using. I don't like having to constantly adapt to an ever-changing game dynamic. But playing freelance does mitigate that considerably, because adaptability is the primary advantage of freelancers. And, of course, Reaper is doing better with the incremental expansion model than another game company that I know of. -St.V. Which won't amount to much if it is crap against everything else, at least not in a tourney format where they need to be prepared to face all comers. I don't think that will be the case. The Desert Wind list looks very well-rounded. Whether or not it's well play-balanced I'm not yet ready to say, but it's definitely not a one-trick pony. -St.V.
  25. I only saw two freelance armies there, Gus's and mine. And I don't consider mine to be shooting heavy. My army is primarily melee, with a small corp of healers to back it up. I do have three units of shooters, but they're small, and two of them are non-marksmen armed with crossbows. And I pay for all that stuff by not taking any spells or spellchuckers, which only serves to reduce my ranged combat effectiveness. I faced one army during the tourney that probably had more points invested in a single spellcasting warlord model than I had in all my shooting adepts. And that's the one army that beat me at the tourney, too. Kudos to my opponent on that, he had a hard list and he played it right. Those pure faction armies are such a dirty screw. Any army list that can challenge mine should be eliminated. Anyway, I think we should wait a bit to see how the game balance changes before making any radical rule alterations. The Nefsokar Desert Wind list is going to be the bane of elven archer lists and most other heavy shooter lists. And allowing every list to take up to 25% mercs will level the playing field quite a bit. -St.V.
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