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wildbill

Freelance Armies

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The best answer to shooters are units that are fast and tough. Griffons, for example, are awesome against shooters. Even if all you do is draw fire, it gives the rest of your army time to close.

 

Cavalry works nicely against shooters, and so do lupine ragers. Two wounds, good movement, and a high DV will run over archers. I think that once more cavalry and mercenary options become available, most of the playbalance problems regarding too much shooting will fix themselves.

Not to bust on you or anything, but I have to disagree with this - in the case of an all ranged freelance in a 1500 point 90 minute tourney.

I played against all of this and more, and didn't break a sweat.

My first game in the recent tourney, a griffin came at me. Got pretty close on it's first activation. My responses? 13 elven arrows & 12 reptus arrows. :devil:

Same thing with cavalry. They get REALLY close on 1 activation. Within inches...

Then they get 25+ arrows to the face, then mobbed by tomb guards and killed.

Remember that with cavalry, sure they may have 2 tracks, but have you looked at their MOV on the second track? After I hit em once, they aren't charging across the field at me anymore. :devil:

 

So... what are you saying? "Please Nerf Me I've Busted the Game Wide Open"? Did you win against all comers? Did any particular build give you a problem? Or are you saying "SW, don't go buying Warlord. The points/build system is broken"? 'Cause you know, broken build systems make me want to hurt people. I don't mean as in annoyed, I mean as in expending large quantities of emotional energy on not flipping the table and my lid simultaneously.

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Now now...Gus was the one playing the all shooty Freelance Army at the tournament, and he is admitting that something needs to be done. Gus said he did it to prove that it could work and win a tournament. Now, with that being said, if your dice aren't with you, you won't do squat. Of course, that can happen with any style of army. ^_^

 

While the Griffon is cool, it is a Dwarf model. So, unless everyone starts playing Dwarves, everyone would have to field a Freelance army to play with a Griffon. There are armies that have no flying capability (Reptus springs to mind), so that is not an option for them. I think the simple solution is to limit Freelance just like any other army: only one troop with a particular type of adept per 1,000 points. Cavalry is also part of this equation as well.

 

Wild Bill :blues:

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I think the simple solution is to limit Freelance just like any other army: only one troop with a particular type of adept per 1,000 points. Cavalry is also part of this equation as well.

 

Wild Bill :blues:

 

I don't know if I'd go that strict. Several factions already have two ranged adept types so can field two ranged troops; I believe following that trend would be better. To keep things simple I say use the 2000 point mark where there is already a rule concerning adepts. I still say no more than two ranged adept types per 2000 points.

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Realistically how often are we talking about facing a shooty freelance army? Is this a big problem as in "this is a loophole in the rules that is exploitable" or is this a big problem as in "we're seeing this more and more and it's really degrading the play experience of Warlord.?

 

If the only reason we're talking about this is because one guy did it to prove it could be done, and that's the end of it, then no big deal if you ask me. If the community generally likes playing faction pure armies, or likes playing balanced freelance, then, ok, point proven, shooty freelance is broken, but the strength of the community of players means it's one of those dark bad things that lurks in the corner but nobody interacts with.

 

But if people are having to face this frequently, then it's a problem that really does need to be dealt with. So I, for one, would like to hear from people. Have you been facing the shooty freelance army? Yes/no?

 

And I'll answer no, with the exception of a Razig army, but that doesn't count because a) it's not freelance and b) that's the point of Razig and c) there are limitations to that specific army that make it potent but not broken.

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I only have like a core 6 or maybe 8 players of Warlord in Tulsa. One of them plays Freelance when he isn't going straight Mercenary. He doesn't give a crap about shooting: he wants big solos baby!! :lol:

 

But, at the last tournament in Dallas, I remember seeing at least 2 different shooting-based Freelance armies. There could have been more, but I was kinda busy playing to notice. ^_^

 

Maybe one of the other guys that was there last week can comment about that...

 

Wild Bill :blues:

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I could have beaten Gus had I played him on a table that had any sort of cover terrain, oh and had my dice not decided to go ice cold in that particular game.

 

That combo in the negative side, doomed me before I started.

 

I think this has been a great discussion and one that has had me change my mind a couple of times and come back a full circle to whre we were before the discussion began....

 

I think in the end, it is very tough to put restrictions on the army builds themselves. I think it is just one item of a group of items working together that have made ranged armies a little more potent than others over recent months.

 

Namely:

  • short time spans with which to work
  • covering terrain and/or flat tables in general
  • scenario or lack there of

So, again, in general this would not be a problem as people would usually play longer, and get more out of a typical game than what the recent trend in tournaments has resulted.

 

So, I guess my attention would turn away from this issue and focus more on the other thread related to tourney structures...

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Before anything should be declared 'broken' a lot more consideration has to be given.

 

Too many gamers scream broken as soon as they face an army they have a problem figuring out, or thAt other players can use well.

Lack of success against an army does not mean it is 'broken.'

Success by certain players does not mean 'broken.'

Powerful ability within a unit's primary parameters does not mean 'broken.' (Are Lupine Ragers 'broken' because they are good in close combat? They will hit much more often than archers.)

 

As I noted, open fields of fire everywhere make ranged combat more effective. Fighting only at close range would severely limit ranged combat.

 

40K, WHFB, and several other games encourage people to simply charge against ranged units, and stack the rules to allow a good chance of success. They can be fun games for some, but other games do not have to follow the same unrealistic trend to be successful. Talk to the Fench at Agincourt, or the Light Brigade in the Crimea, or anyone at Gettysburg; ranged combat is nasty. It should be.

 

Hordes can sometimes break through, but not every army uses hordes, so the others have to try other tactics.

 

Warlord already limits ranged combat quite a bit. The chance to score a ranged hit is far less than many unit's chances in close combat, especially when bonuses and penalties are considered. The range of weapons and the number of shots they could make against an advancing enemy before they are engaged is severely curtailed. Even greater restrictions by further limiting the number of ranged attacks available are not needed.

 

What makes ranged combat appear broken to some?

 

How were the ranged units so effective, and what could have been done differently?

How much terrain was there, and could it have been used better?

What tactics were used to close, and how could they have been adapted?

 

In every game I've played that accepted ranged combat as a potent force, players had a harder time learning how to adapt to it. Several were well balanced games, but players could be devastated by ranged attacks if they didn't think.

 

Games that use massed troops have to be played like massed troops were used, and use more open fields for manuver, even if it means their troops become pincushions. That happened under those tactics. Terrain can still matter.

 

Games that use skirmishing troops should allow for more use of cover, because skirmishing troops are forces that are designed to use cover.

 

You don't fight with tanks in confined towns if you can help it. You don't fight with skirmishing foot soldiers walking across large open fields if you can help it. Both options take the unit out of its primary element, and cause much greater losses.

 

I would not fight a Warlord battle on a table set up for WHFB, or vice versa. No commander would choose the same terrain for the different forces deployed if at all possible. If people setting up events don't think of that, players need to be proactive and talk about it, or the game will be skewed in favor of ranged armies.

 

The game isn't broken. People just need to play it using the armies as they are designed to be used, in the kind of places they would choose to fight.

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Thank you for those last comments Gimp. It was well said and I agree with your assessment.

 

That being said however, I still think the Freelance Army should have a limit on the number of ranged adapt types it can field just as every other faction is limited.

 

If I remember correctly the first edition rules listed archers as grunts and the rules were similar to what the Freelance Army is able to do now in a round about way. Then when the 2nd printing came out all archers became adepts and thus limits were placed on their use but I don't remember anything like that being done to the freelance to limit their use of ranged units. So... when the factions were neutered the freelancer were not. Was this an oversight or because of incomplete playtesting? I don't know. The game has also expanded and evolved quite a bit in the last couple years and what may have been a non-issue back then may have beomce one now.

 

The bottom line for me is that the changes made to the faction armies in the 2nd printing should have something comparable applied to Freelance, nothing more. The flexibility and creativity of the freelance will still be there but it should even the playing field.

 

And if Reaper doesn't change any of the freelance rules then guess what, I will learn to deal with it, evolving my game and style of play should I ever be faced with such an opponent so I can beat it.

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40K, WHFB, and several other games encourage people to simply charge against ranged units, and stack the rules to allow a good chance of success. They can be fun games for some, but other games do not have to follow the same unrealistic trend to be successful. Talk to the Fench at Agincourt, or the Light Brigade in the Crimea, or anyone at Gettysburg; ranged combat is nasty. It should be.

Historically, anyone with a simple wooden shield was pretty much invulnerable to missile fire until the advent of effective gunpowder weapons. As horses could not hold shields, they were the usual victims of bow fire unless expensive horse armor was used. The English archers at Agincourt were most effective when used in hand-to-hand combat with dismounted French knights stuck in deep mud where agility with knives and hatchets was the key, not ranged combat. (The threat of the bows did force them to advance on foot rather than on horse.) Perhaps you are thinking of Crecy where the English archers outshot the Genoese crossbowmen who had left their pavises back with the baggage and the mounted French knights had their horses shot out from under them in droves.

 

Leaving history aside, if ranged combat is too powerful, there will be no close combat. Since the vast majority of Models do not have a ranged attack, that will lead to a gaping hole in the game. That said, I think the game is currently well balanced with perhaps a few exceptions. Long range blowthrough is probably the most unbalanced. If Fireball costs 50 points for a one-shot attack that can affect an area equal to 15 standard size models, then an attack that can affect the length of 24 standard size models should cost at least that much if not more. A model that can perform this attack over and over should be priced accordingly. This is also the sort of attack that gets rapdily more and more effective with each shooting platform added. It is easy to avoid a linear attack coming from one source, but multiple sources with overlapping fields of fire makes it nearly impossible not to "line up".

 

Rich

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an attack that can affect the length of 24 standard size models should cost at least that much if not more

 

dont forget there is a degrading scale on the blow thru and it has to hit the target in front of it to keep going. Assuming here that you are talking about the cannon since you mentioned 24 inches,

 

First target at RAV5, 2nd target at RAV 4, 3rd at 3, 4th at 2, 5th at 1, 6th at RAV 0.

 

So, its not quite the same thing as a fireball, but agreed that it can be very potent if used right.

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But, at the last tournament in Dallas, I remember seeing at least 2 different shooting-based Freelance armies. There could have been more, but I was kinda busy playing to notice. ^_^

 

Maybe one of the other guys that was there last week can comment about that...

 

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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Against a shooty army I don't even think I'd make use of flight - at least not right away - since it grants LOS to all archers in range. I'd keep him on the ground and tucked behind some terrain until it was time to activate him, then I'd charge across the ground into combat.

 

That would be difficult to pull off, given that a Flyer on the ground only has a base movement of three.

 

Realistically how often are we talking about facing a shooty freelance army? Is this a big problem as in "this is a loophole in the rules that is exploitable" or is this a big problem as in "we're seeing this more and more and it's really degrading the play experience of Warlord.?

 

If it wins tournaments, then you are guaranteed to see it more often. That's the nature of competitive gaming: you will find players who care more about winning the prize than they do about anything else, and they will pay whatever it costs to field that winning army, be it ten soulcannons or over half their army in archers.

 

For me, I simply dislike the Freelance concept entirely. Crusading Justicars marching alongside vengeful Mummies marching alongside barbarous Orcs marching alongside flesheating Reptus? No thanks. With the upcoming Mercenary book, and all of the new models it will receive, I see no need for Freelance to exist. Mercenaries already have the ability to take any one unit from another faction, and I think that, combined with what they will get in the new book, that will be enough.

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I agree with Tannhauser holy men with mummies??? As far as ranged goes it is one of the foremost things on my mind "How am I going to deal with the archers", a whole entire army tho all the neat tricks in the world statistically are not going to work. Maybe freelance is an outdated rule that's seen it's last days with the coming of the merc book.

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SV,

 

I also was freelance with original intent on taking a bit of shooty, but had to tone it down a bit after I discovered a roster error I made (thinking something was non unique when it wasnt).

 

I had a mix of Reptus, Razig, Lupine, and Overlord. But, just as you, I didn't have nearly the ranged that Gus had.

 

Either way, it was a fun tourney.

 

And I agree with sentiments that things change monthly and people (including myself) will find something new to complain about soon enough.

I think I am already working on my anti-Wind people delay tactic in a timed tourney argument now... lol

 

Don't you just love this game...

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The Nefsokar Desert Wind list is going to be the bane of elven archer lists and most other heavy shooter lists.

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 would much rather have an army that is great against everything except X than have an army that is great against Y but sucks against everything else. Limited use counter troops (or armies!) are not cost-effective.

Mercenaries already have the ability to take any one unit from another faction, and I think that, combined with what they will get in the new book, that will be enough.

Almost nobody plays the "Merc faction" since that requires taking Orba, so the vast majority of Merc armies are freelance. We'll have to see what is in the new faction book when it comes out.

 

Rich

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