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Freelance Armies


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A thought on terrain: put roads on every table. Doubling movement across the board takes a lot of the appeal out of shooty armies.

 

I'll also be tweaking my tournaments so that losers get first choice of tables.

 

PS

 

 

Putting roads on a table seems like a decent idea. However, in my tournaments, the terrain is all laid out before it begins. I write down what every table the player has been on and make an attempt to make sure no one plays on the same table twice. The players have no control over what table they play on. And, I make them init off to determine who gets what side if they can't come to a mutual agreement. Plus, it's a power matching arrangement. Meaning, winners play winners and losers play losers.

 

As to Qwyk's statement about his experience against the Freelance, now, you said that the archers didn't do much. Were they not in a position to shoot you, or was he just rolling horrible? That would make a huge difference as well.

 

Wild Bill :blues:

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I didn't let them do much. I marchd my whole army en masse at them, gunned down as many as I could with my own archers ASAP and tied up others with my sacrificial cavalry.

 

His archers were in excellent position to shoot at me.

 

He did hit a few of my models, but Bandages, Life Transfers and Tough checks negated most of the damage. Needing 8, 9, and 10's for almost all of my models also meant the dice had to roll particularly well. He was not rolling bad, he was just not rolling well.

 

Again, his Piercers and Bull Orcs caused more damage when I went b2b with them to kill them than they did shooting me. His Elves barely survived my first activation. His Reptus Archers I nibbled away at over time, and their RAV 2 meant he needed at least 8's to hit virtually all my models.

 

@Tannhauser - Yes I am. I said play it a few times before griping. I played it, once and I am not griping. There is nothing I find more frustrating than people complaining about something being horribly broken without ever experiencing it on the table. Everyone is declaring how horribly broken this army is because of all the ranged models in it. After playing it once, it's pretty clear to me, all those ranged troops are effective, but what is more dangerous are the two troops of melee models, which all have DV 11 + Deflect, Dis 9 and MAV 2+. He has essentially built an army to give himself "Sure Shot" without needing to field all Elves, and with better melee models. It's not broken, it's a damn good build. And it can be beaten. I'd be willing to bet if Vince and I played with our exact same lists, a dozen times, it would probably be a 50/50 split for victory.

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I played it, once and I am not griping. There is nothing I find more frustrating than people complaining about something being horribly broken without ever experiencing it on the table.

 

And you're doing the exact opposite of what you're complaining about: you've played it once, you beat it that one time you played it, and now you're making a sweeping judgment on the army because you played it once. My fears regarding the all-shooty Freelance army are not as baseless or unsupported as you might think. I personally witnessed these armies make a clean sweep at no less than three tournaments, and there were a wide variety of players, armies, and terrain at these events. These events also used the Swiss-format, so the Freelance players were fighting other good players as well. These were not flukes.

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I think the problem with using Freelancers to create an all archer army is that Reaper has already taken measures to prevent that from happening in all other armies after they found out that the original army lists would allow it. It's basically turned the Freelancer army idea into a loophole.

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I partially watched the game Vince and Qwyk were playing against each other. Qwyk had some good luck early on, Vince had some bad luck. Later on, Vince started having good luck in melee. What does this prove? Luck plays a role on how well you do. We already knew that.

 

I won't call the all archer army broken, since I don't like the word. But even with an unskilled player, it can win more than half the time. First shoot enemy archers, mages, and cav. Then kill everything else. Will work about 80% of the time (and I'm probably underestimating that percentage). An army will have to be geared to win against it. It's certainly possible, but slower armies will not stand a chance against it. You have to traverse over 3 feet of board to get to them. Depending on activation order, that might be 4 turns, with some of those archers being able to volley on turn 1. Once you've killed a certain percentage of the opposing army, even archers can mob and kill things in melee.

 

Back in early playtesting days, these are the kind of scenarios we playtested, trying to prove masses of cheap models were better than having expensive leaders, equipment, spells, and archers. Rules and costs got tweaked to counter this imbalance. Models now have a higher point cost for simply being on the table, than they initially did. I still think there is something to be said about a 100 goblin army.

 

If there will be future tournaments and if there will be prizes for those tournaments, and if people play to win, then yes, something needs to be done about an all archer list. Winning 80+% of the time (the list's current track record is 100%), does not a fair list make. Doesn't matter if the list is beatable or not, it shouldn't require the planets to be in the right alignment.

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My fears regarding the all-shooty Freelance army are not as baseless or unsupported as you might think.

 

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.

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If massed archers were not a problem, then Reaper would not have changed every faction's archers from Grunt to Adept.

 

This to me seems to be at the heart of half of the argument regarding the Shooty Freelance Army issue - a sense of fairness.

 

The arguments regarding game balance are compelling, and until someone does some serious game theory computation, it would be hard to say if the FL shooty army is really fair. For the sake of this post, toss all that discussion out the window.

 

The other argument is whether the FL army should be more heavily shooty army that the shootiest. There are arguments that the FL army should be able to take what they want. It doesn't seem to hold. Why can't the elves (regardless on whether they should or not) just take a bunch of archers and call it good?

 

My solution is simple - for tourney play, Freelance armies can take one archer unit per 750 points. Or 1,000. Or 1,500. It doesn't matter as long as the limit is put out there for all to see in the beginning by the Sponsor. I think that one per 1,000 is not an unreasonable amount. Freelancers would still be able to take more archers than the elves (which makes me say "huh?", but couldn't completely run around the limitations on which other armies are built.

 

For non-tourney play - whatever works between players. I'd fight a gunline with a undead horde.

 

To me this is no more limiting than the 750 point, 2 activation card, version of Warlord that was played previously.

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I managed to beat you, but not because I was out-shooting you.

 

And yet, somehow, I still lost that game by a significant margin against your Freelance army with its multiple troops of archers. Just because you weren't shooting at my archers doesn't mean you weren't outshooting me when, and where, it mattered. If you're going to try to comment on the Elves being overpowered, at least don't use an example where you beat them.

 

Quite simply, the Freelance army is not balanced. It is not subject to any of the limitations imposed on every other army in the game.

 

My solution is simple - for tourney play, Freelance armies can take one archer unit per 750 points. Or 1,000. Or 1,500. It doesn't matter as long as the limit is put out there for all to see in the beginning by the Sponsor. I think that one per 1,000 is not an unreasonable amount. Freelancers would still be able to take more archers than the elves (which makes me say "huh?", but couldn't completely run around the limitations on which other armies are built.

 

A good suggestion. However, it only applies to the tournament organizers that actually care about it. It's not something that can be widely implemented unless it's put in a rulebook. Considering the trial version of the Mercenary Company rules, other armies are capable of taking a second unit of archers to match it (they are stuck with only the one choice, though upcoming Mercenary releases may make it more viable).

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And yet, somehow, I still lost that game by a significant margin against your Freelance army with its multiple troops of archers. Just because you weren't shooting at my archers doesn't mean you weren't outshooting me when, and where, it mattered.

 

 

It was my melee troops that beat you, T. You got most of my shooters.

 

 

If you're going to try to comment on the Elves being overpowered, at least don't use an example where you beat them.

 

 

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.

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Sadly he could do only 1 bear rider since they are unique in non-dwaren armies. Other than that I would love to see a broken melee army. Have to have a river troll of course, and Uru. T'kay and Halbarad for your clerics so people could while about getting beat up by healers in melee. ::D:

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Just to restate my opinion - I don't think Freelance is broke all the time. Just in a 'standard' 1500 point 90 minute game.

The results of Origins gave further evidence. My brother Vince piloted the army, and never lost a game. In the timed games, it was never even close. His second game, he didn't lose a single model!

 

The ONLY game that gave him any trouble was the one against Qwyk, and that one was 'to the death', NOT a timed game.

 

As for infantry, I just don't see how you could break them in a 'standard' 1500 point 90 minute game. There just aren't enough turns in 90 minutes to get more than 1-2 rounds of melee in against most opponents. Origins once again proved this. Every game my brother and I played in (we never played against each other btw), the game lasted either 3 or 4 turns. The 90 minute games never saw a 3rd turn of melee against the freelance archers.

 

And don't get me started on Cavalry! In a dozen+ games playing with and against cavalry units, I've really only seen one of the 2 happen:

1) Cavalry double-move charges across the board into b2b, then gets swarmed and dies.

2) Cavalry moves most of the way across the board, stopping short of b2b (so as to be able to charge and attack on turn 2). Cavalry gets decimated by ranged attacks & spells before they get to attack.

 

I have yet to see Cavalry make much of a showing. I would LOVE to play against someone who has figured out how to best utilize cavalry! I'm not saying they are useless, I'm just saying I have yet to see them used well. ::(:

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