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Saint Vierzehn

Playbalance & Mercenaries

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As to play balance, a combination of statistical points balance and playtesting should enable Reaper to construct a points system wherein each model is fairly well costed relative to its ability to kill enemy models. Then, thanks to the Magic of Datacards, all armies can have points costs adjusted.

 

Finally, play imbalance only exists if a faction has consistent trouble winning many games in the hands of many skilled players.

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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.

 

I agree, but once +Mercs becomes a no-brainer addition, it becomes a problem. I don't see instituting the +Mercs rule as the problem, I see allowing Mercs in without any checks and balances as the problem.

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Playbalance to my mind is a subset of "fun", but I do not at all think that every faction needs highly or even marginally effective troops of every type to be "fun" - provided of course that their points cost or position within the overall army structure makes them viable to field.

 

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.

 

 

By referring to +Mercs as "generic" I mean that in the 25% case, everyone would have acces to them.

 

To object to +Mercs because you object to +Mercs is a circular argument.

 

Another thought: what if there was a faction-by-faction-by-unit-type provision for Mercs? I mean I can't see human spearmen in Reven, Crypt Legion, or Darkspawn, possibly not Reptus (they want us to eat WHAT?) armies, but certainly in Overlord, Vampire-Necropolis, Crusader armies. I can't see Lupines necessarilly working with Overlords, but maybe with Reptus.

 

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?

Simple. I don't make fallacious equivocations. Just like I don't complain about Freelancers tossing 18 shots per round while I'm playing an elf army that tosses over 20.

 

-StV.

 

I agree, but once +Mercs becomes a no-brainer addition, it becomes a problem.

 

If you playbalance things properly, it won't be a no-brainer addition. That's the whole point.

 

-StV.

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No circular argument, V. To break the statement down for you:

 

+Mercs would be generic to the extent that every army could field one of exactly the same unit. I find that unnapealing.

 

See? One defines "generic" and one indicates my feeling regarding that definition. The word generic of itself should not be read to indicate an objection.

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Just like I don't complain about Freelancers tossing 18 shots per round while I'm playing an elf army that tosses over 20.

 

That's what the Elves do. Also consider the fact that an Elven army that can do that would have at least 500 points of archers, more if they're using Caerwynn. Conversely, a Freelance army that can do 18 shots per round could have as little as 250 points in archers with the Skeletal Archers if they place them all in one unit. Also, If they're willing to spend a little more, they could spread out those 18 shots to as many units as they want, attacking from multiple different angles to maximize damage both in units and victory points.

 

If you playbalance things properly, it won't be a no-brainer addition. That's the whole point.

 

No argument there, but I don't believe that allowing in Mercs without any checks does anything but serve to add to the "non-viable" unit list and open a door to min/maxing.

 

So the question becomes: What's an appropriate check? If you're trying to keep in with the fluff, then you have to consider that Mercenaries are paid soldiers for hire. This is worked into the Campaign rules as written in the rulebook, but not into this rule as it is written right now. Also, they can be a "grab-bag" of sorts. You might be hiring troops that are particularly unscrupulous and be working both sides so they betray you in mid-battle, they may have moral or religous objections to working with certain people, or they even may have fallen on hard times and their equipment isn't properly maintained.

 

Without something to check adding Mercs, I don't see how they wouldn't become a no-brainer addition over some of the other Faction units in the game.

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Simple. I don't make fallacious equivocations. Just like I don't complain about Freelancers tossing 18 shots per round while I'm playing an elf army that tosses over 20.

 

-StV.

 

You've been warned twice now (in this thread and a previous one) not to make personal attacks on this forum. To quote the mod:

You can argue a point, but attacking the poster is not acceptable. Please keep this a civil discussion or the discussion will be ended. There are some valid points being made and I would truly hate to have to lock this thread down. It's clear people feel strongly about their opinion. Please remember that although you may disagree, they have the right to their differing opinion.

 

Next time, answer the question, don't attack me.

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[MOD] Second and final warning. This thread is quickly outstripping its usefulness. Keep the discussion civil and based on the merits of the discussion, not the individual. If the thread continues as it going, it will be locked. Thank you to those who listened to the first warning.[/MOD]

 

Mod hat off. Personal comments because this has at times been a good thread with some good flow of ideas and discussion in between the other stuff.

 

It's been over a week now since EE popped in and asked for some playtest experience. Have folks had the opportunity to do some field testing with variations of the Merc rule to see how it pans out? Theoretical discussions are well and good. I too love a good thought experiment. What are we seeing on the table?

 

Some things to consider and maybe explore as possibilities:

  • Tweaking the percentage. 25% has been a starting point. Have people experiemented with this? Have they tried various values to see how much of a difference there really is for the standard 750-1501 games. What about the impact on larger games? Remember, one of the nice things about Warlord is that it scales up very well.
  • What about limits on Mercenary sublists? Bladesisters only to Elves, Dwarves, Crusaders. Hanged Men to Necropolis, Darkspawn, Overlords. Sinhan to Nefsokar, Reptus, Reven. Lupine to any. As an example.
  • Have people played out the Mercenary Surcharge? Does adding 10-20% point increase to field a Mercenary Model in an otherwise Faction pure army have an impact?
  • A personal favorite I have been thinking about: Will the ability to hire Mercenaries, especially with the wide variety that is becoming available, mean that Freelance may go by the wayside and be replaced by purchased Mercs?
  • What kind of limits should be put in place for purchased Mercenaries. Adept limitations? Elite limitations? If so how much? Percentage of percentages? If you can field up to 25% of Mercs, can you possibly only field say 10% of your total build with Mercenary Adepts? What other options would there be along this line.
  • Obviously there are going to be some large strengths with the addition of Mercenary Models. It will allow you to fill some of those gaps in the Army Design, improving the Faction. A Strength in Warlord always has been coupled with a Weakness in another area. That is fairly clear. How will the purchase of Mercenaries be offset? We've seen some discussion on Cohesion and an increased dependency on Discipline. What else?

Food for thought. Let's try and focus on some specific Game Mechanic stuff. Arguing about the benefits or penalties, and whether it should happen or not is getting us nowhere but closer to having this thread locked. It's fairly clear there is going to be some mechanic of purchased Mercenaries implemented. Rather than arguing about whether it should or shouldn't happen, let's try and focus on what can be done to make it a viable feature of the game.

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I want to jump in with a few questions:

 

How many of those curretnly in the "+Mercs rule is Bad for the game" camp have tested this rule with at least 3 games - one in which they did take +Mercs but their opponent didn't, one in which they didn't but their oppenet did, and one in which both did (assuming very similar orsters, except for the +Mercs)?

 

To those in the "+Mercs rule is good"camp: Same Question.

 

Follow up question: Your thoughts on the rule, from all 3 angles? Was it more fun/bland/challenging? Was army generation an exercise in creativity/Math/foregon conclusions? Was the final outcome similar/dissimilar to without the Mercs thrown in?

 

Debate is wonderful, exhcnage of ideas opens our eyes to deficiencies, both percieved and actual, that we might not have noticed ourselves. But the proof is in the pudding. I am far more interested, now that the debate has produced concrete battle lines on both sides, in hearing if battlefield experiences support the arguments.

 

**Edit - I must have been typing while Qwyksilver was. Sorry, Qwyk.

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**Edit - I must have been typing while Qwyksilver was. Sorry, Qwyk.

 

Clearly great minds think alike :lol: No need for apologies.

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The only real playtesting of the 25% rule in my area has been with the Lupines. My Crusader player didn't care about archery. All he wanted was speed, so he designed his whole army around it. Obviously, a unique case. Warwick and I have decided that we will start working up some army lists and playtest the "broken-ness" of the 25% Merc rule. Personally, I am thinking that it is not broken. A good general will overcome the odds against him. Look at Robert E. Lee. :poke:

 

However, it will obviously take time to do this testing. Maybe I should post a brand new thread when we get some definitive results?

 

Wild Bill :blues:

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Posting them in here for now is sufficient. It's still appropriate to the topic. Even if it's two weeks from now.

 

If enough people get involved and provide feedback/testing results that it's sufficient to start it's own thread, I can always split it into seperate threads in the future with my Wand of Moderation :poke:

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You might be hiring troops that are particularly unscrupulous and be working both sides so they betray you in mid-battle, they may have moral or religous objections to working with certain people, or they even may have fallen on hard times and their equipment isn't properly maintained.

 

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.

 

Without something to check adding Mercs, I don't see how they wouldn't become a no-brainer addition over some of the other Faction units in the game.

 

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.

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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.

 

I don't see +Mercs making things more generic. I see it making things more diverse.

 

How do you reconcile that statement with the following?

 

+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.

 

 

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.

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[MOD] And thus a thread dies. Sorry for those that wanted to participate in civil discussion. If people wish to discuss this subject with some respect for your fellow posters, please feel free to start another thread. Just be aware there will be far less tolerance for irresponsible behavior.[/MOD]

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