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joshuaslater

Upcoming Generic Card Changes?

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Sorry, my intent was only to make a few counterpoints to the suggestion. I didn't mean to singlehandedly drag the argument or get anyone mad. I should know better.

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I'd say more spirited debate than mad, but okay, point taken. I care about Reaper and want them to be wildly successful. Sometimes that spills over into too much enthusiasm or strongly worded posts. I am also verbose, have a keen sense of the obvious, a gift for overtatement, redundancy and saying the same thing in multiple ways. :rolleyes: I also enjoy writing and playing with language. All of this leads to the impression I'm a snob and generally ticks people off. It's a known issue and I'm working on it. (But not in this post, as you are about to see.) If I offended or angered anyone previously or with the rest of this huge post, I apologize. :blush:

 

Now, as gently and respectfully as I know how to write this...I did not read anyone's post as saying they wish to toss officiality and/or balance. I don't want that, nor did I mean to imply it. My counterpoint is that I do not believe officiality and/or balance are compromised by publishing an open framework for customization and disallowing it in tournaments for the sake of standardization, fair play and enjoyment of all concerned. We can have both openness and balance. I don't believe it has to be all or nothing, one way or the other. The two states are not mutually exclusive if consistency is applied to where and how they exist, defining overlapping areas and filling gaps.

 

I did not read anyone's posts as saying they wanted everything, right now. I don't want that, either. At least, not if it means Reaper has to change focus from more important priorities. But then, I don't think that's up to us. Let's leave project prioritizing and product development schedules up to Reaper. It's their decision, where, when and how to spend their resources. It gets us nowhere to speculate on possible workflow & resource impacts Reaper can/could/should/would focus in one place or another. Let's trust them to make the right decisions.

 

I did not read the Warlord 2007 Updates thread of announcements and Q&A as saying Reaper's stance had changed from an open framework to a more structured environment primarily for the purpose of events and tournaments. Quite the opposite, actually, I read it as being geared to be more fun, open and enjoyable to a wider fan base including but not limited to tournaments. After all, where do most of the sales of miniatures and rulebooks come from? Existing, veteran players & tournament contenders, or the rest of the world?

 

I read Reaper as having an even more open stance than before. I get this from the answers to questions about the changes. One big one: "We want Warlord to be a fun game to play first and foremost. This means it needs to be easy to learn, easy to play, and have a lot of different options for players to choose from, without some options being far superior to others. It also means giving players a steady stream of new options without requiring players to have to dig through 6 separate books to keep track of them all."

 

To me, that last sentence is one of the big reasons to have generic cards in addition to the Chonicles and Journals. They can provide a fast, easy list and modification system that can go right along with the Fast Play rules to get people in the game quickly without having to dig through a lot of other resources. They were there before, and I have not read an announcement they are to be dropped. I'd rather not assume that what might be a simple omission of a direct statement indicates future plans, resource allocation, etc.

 

I am not arguing or disagreeing with the need to increases the structure and balance for official tournaments -- all 2 of them -- but I don't believe this can only come at the expense of a large portion of the Warlord player market, those not in the tournaments. I hope Reaper moves forward with their stated initiatives, and I will help in any way I can. I also hope they will leave some of the local demo/event/tournament decisions to the discretion of Black Lightning members so they have the tools to reach their target market -- new regional & local players. Further downstream, I'd still like to see Reaper keep the open feel, play and customization options. One way to do this is by giving easy, quick access to DIY tools. This allows imagination and friendly play of a fantasy wargame to expand. The two -- tournament structure and open play -- are not mutually exclusive. They can coexist within the same framework. That coexistence is the stated goal of Reaper, at least as I read and understand the Warlord 2007 Update announcements and Q&A. If that goal is met by 1.2, updates, Chronicles and Journals, then the game will grow and be successful.

 

Success in this sense includes, but is not limited to, greater participation in tournaments as a marketing tool. Increased tournament attendance increases sales of minis and rulebooks, which leads to even more sales to more players 'in the wild'. People will buy the rules, play with the models they have, buy the ones they don't because more viable options are accessible to them, buy and play some more just because old and new models look cool and play well. This is the definition of a successful game and a healthy bottom line. Minis gathering dust in the stores does no one any good, least of all Reaper. So, the bottom line is still...well, the bottom line.

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And if you don't care about officiality or game balance, I still don't know why Reaper needs to produce such stats when anyone is capable of slapping their own stats on a monster.

Yes, I also don't see the need for "official" sanction of "unofficial" data cards. Why would generic data cards made by Reaper be better than ones made up by someone else?

 

Rich

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They would be "better" because they would be made by the people with access to the card creation formulas.

The points system used for the generic cards is not the same as the one used for the real data cards.

 

This all begs the question: Why do you need points for generic data cards? If it is a scenario or dungeon crawl, just make an appropriate data card. Why does it need to have an (unofficial) points value?

 

Rich

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For me I'm not mad nor do I wish to make anyone else mad, just trying to better explain my point. Unfortunately sometimes a forum is a poor medium to do so because you can see the words but not the posters emotional state. I too think that you don't have to compromise to have an open system on one hand for local friendly games but close it down for official tournament play. Let me explain what I mean by cut throat, it's were everyone is so competitive that you have to choose certain troops for a particular army and min-max everything, no fluffiness allowed if you want to survive. I certainly don't want Warlord to go the same route that 40K did, at one time when 40K first started it was much like Warlord is now, you could design your own vehicles and other such things. But because they wanted to be more and more competitive the cut first one then the other thing out, got rid of rules and what not to dumb it down and make it easier for tournaments to the point that 40K has lost much of its flavor. Now they have to resort to changing this, obsolescing that, and adding new things to get the players to buy their minis. At least that’s how I've seen it over the years I've played the game. I've got more obsolete minis of 40K than I do Dwarves, which is a lot, but if 40K had a generic building system then I could a least use those minis in my local games with less hassle or throw in some other things to spice up the some old scenarios from time to time. Ok see, I'm not mad ::):::):::):::):::):::):::D:

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And if you don't care about officiality or game balance, I still don't know why Reaper needs to produce such stats when anyone is capable of slapping their own stats on a monster.

Yes, I also don't see the need for "official" sanction of "unofficial" data cards. Why would generic data cards made by Reaper be better than ones made up by someone else?

 

Rich

 

Points is an approximation of how strong or weak a unit is, and while the generic system is not perfect is does help guide one so that it is easier not to throw out something that is too strong or too weak without having to play test it over and over which by the time you get it right it's no surprise nor is it something new for your players. And like someone else said Reaper has the formula already so their system would be more accurate. Ok, still not mad ::):::):::):::):::P:

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Points is an approximation of how strong or weak a unit is, and while the generic system is not perfect is does help guide one so that it is easier not to throw out something that is too strong or too weak without having to play test it over and over which by the time you get it right it's no surprise nor is it something new for your players. And like someone else said Reaper has the formula already so their system would be more accurate. Ok, still not mad ::):::):::):::):::P:

 

Devil in me says I must respond, and if you're not mad, I'm not mad :devil:

 

If what you are looking for is a guide or a starting point, there are 200+ models with stats you can start at. Every warlord model out there is eligible to be member of a freelance army. As such, the models are balanced against each other, and not necessarily by faction, or by faction specific abilities. So, essentially, every model can be a generic, and as long as you stay close to the stats of one you're interested in, you should be in good shape.

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They would be "better" because they would be made by the people with access to the card creation formulas.

The points system used for the generic cards is not the same as the one used for the real data cards.

I disagree. I think they are the same base systems, or at least the generics and modifier chart started as part of (or an offshoot of) the basic system. Generics were just not updated and expanded for 1.2, or the chart given more SAs & such from faction books, etc. They're not shot dead, just sitting quietly in a corner, neglected. Besides, last night I sat down and compared the point values of some generics -- warriors, archers, crossbowmen and a few others. With some digging in the core book, I found almost point-for-point equivalencies between those generics and some mercs. As others have suggested, given enough time, devotion and faction books as resources, I could probably find more. That means they are based on the same system.

 

But that also makes a big part of my point -- fast, easy generic data in one place without all the faction fluff & add-ons remove the need to dig around in all that other stuff.

This all begs the question: Why do you need points for generic data cards? If it is a scenario or dungeon crawl, just make an appropriate data card. Why does it need to have an (unofficial) points value?

 

Rich

I've explained my position for why I think they would be useful, but I'll say it again: speed, consistency, balance, all achieved with a centralized place to look so non-game-designers can customize without digging around or reinventing the wheel. Let's explore the other side of the coin for a while. Why do we not need them? I'm not convinced of the need to drop them or ignore them, whether in the next updates or further down the road. So to me, it begs the question, why should they be dropped and never updated from the previous format? What's the harm in having them? Why shift the task of cross-referencing and creating data cards to the players, leaving things open to interpretation thousands of times over, instead of what could probably be a one-time update of a few cards and a chart by crunching them through the new formulae?

 

Maybe I'm just being dense or stubborn. They seem like a good idea to me. Without a compelling reason to drop them, why not update them?

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Amen. Let's look at this again.

1. New stuff is cool.

2. It adds FUN to the game.

3. Reaper's mission statement about people being able to use (and I'm paraphrasing here) some scratch built, converted army from other companies lends itself to people doing just that. The players that want to support Reaper, and that's everyone on this forum, will buy more DHL product and prolly more Warlord product with some sort of generic card updates, or free, online, special cards for some REAPER DHL models. Why not push their own product, and give us a little more FUN?

4. They've got the points cost rubric/system, so they can adjust those bits that people can't or won't do themselves, and if something's broken, it can be fixed. How many changes in Warlord have we seen since its release? The game is pretty solid, but with the medium of the internet, it can and will respond quickly to change. Some people won't be happy, but the game will continue to be refined via the internet. That's just the way it is.

5. 'Nuff said.

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I've designed a scenario called "The valley of the Spider Demon". It's a four player + one game master game where the players are out to achieve different objectives and face the minions of the Spider demon. I based the various sizes of spiders on what I considered to be the approiate threat level I wanted to make them. Goblins for large spiders, Braug the ogre for Large spiders, etc. I then added any SA's I thought would make sense and removed any that didn't. I always kept in mind that I wanted my players to defeat the beasties and kept thier power levels to a managable degree. Then I play tested the heck out of them. So far it's worked out well and i've had to make very few changes.

 

My point is that I didn't use any generic cards and I did ok. So it can be done.

 

Spider stats are available upon request.

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4. They've got the points cost rubric/system, so they can adjust those bits that people can't or won't do themselves, and if something's broken, it can be fixed. How many changes in Warlord have we seen since its release? The game is pretty solid, but with the medium of the internet, it can and will respond quickly to change. Some people won't be happy, but the game will continue to be refined via the internet. That's just the way it is.

This is what it all boils down to, so it might as well be said this way:

 

Reaper, please release "The Formula".

 

Unfortunately, they have been unwilling to do this in the past, so I would not expect it in the future. Instead we have a bogus "generic" point cost system that does not match "The Formula". I don't see any reason to waste additional time messing with this pseudo-official points system when they already don't have enough time to release real faction stuff on a timely schedule.

 

Rich

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If what you are looking for is a guide or a starting point, there are 200+ models with stats you can start at. Every warlord model out there is eligible to be member of a freelance army. As such, the models are balanced against each other, and not necessarily by faction, or by faction specific abilities. So, essentially, every model can be a generic, and as long as you stay close to the stats of one you're interested in, you should be in good shape.

Good points. But again, I don't think these options are immediately obvious or quick to use for an inexperienced player. It's not so easy to go digging around through multiple sources to find what you're looking for in those 200 models. I'd rather have a quick list at my fingertips.

I've designed a scenario called "The valley of the Spider Demon". It's a four player + one game master game where the players are out to achieve different objectives and face the minions of the Spider demon. I based the various sizes of spiders on what I considered to be the approiate threat level I wanted to make them. Goblins for large spiders, Braug the ogre for Large spiders, etc. I then added any SA's I thought would make sense and removed any that didn't. I always kept in mind that I wanted my players to defeat the beasties and kept thier power levels to a managable degree. Then I play tested the heck out of them. So far it's worked out well and i've had to make very few changes.

 

My point is that I didn't use any generic cards and I did ok. So it can be done.

 

Spider stats are available upon request.

Good job, and sure, again it can be done, but again, the same point: there is a gap that you had to fill to complete the scenario you wanted. I might not have been able to accomplish such a task, or given up before going that far. Until just now I never would have known to ask you for spider stats. And still, there is the time spent playtesting before deploying it. Why go through all that time & effort if the gap could be filled by Reaper publishing an update to the cards already published? Would it have been helpful to you, instead of figuring out if Braug's stats made for a good large spider, if you could have turned a page and looked up spiders? How much time would it have saved you to look up Large Spider and Small Spider, or even more generic, Large Creature and Small Creature, tack on a few points from a DIY modification chart for appropriate SAs, and roll with it knowing it had already passed muster as the result of playtested formulae? Sure, Braug may be the best choice, but you paid a price in time & effort to find that out and test it. The price for picking a faster option might have been a slightly weaker generic card, but a couple of quick mods and you're off & running.

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Besides, last night I sat down and compared the point values of some generics -- warriors, archers, crossbowmen and a few others. With some digging in the core book, I found almost point-for-point equivalencies between those generics and some mercs.

Yes, the Merc warrior is exactly the same points cost as the generic warrior. However, the Skeletal Warrior is 17 points but the generic version is 23 points. An Overlord Warrior is 21 points, but the generic version is 25 points. It is not the same by any means.

 

Rich

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That disparity seems to indicate the non-generics were developed with a non-standard formula, and/or were adjusted based on their use and faction, race, etc. Are absolutely all the stats for the Overlord warrior exactly the same as the generic warrrior? If not, there are likely small variances in DV, DIS, MOV and other things that correlate to the modifier chart. If that's the case, it doesn't disprove the theory that generics and the modifiers matched the formula originally, nor does it mean it can't be updated going forward.

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