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New Warlord Rules Book!

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You're just biased Gus with two players. You need to be tri-ing harder to consider 3 or more players :lol:

This close to publication, you've put Gus into quite a Quad-Dry.

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He must be sQuinting in pain from all these puns. If we're not careful he will Hex us so we fall into a Sept-ic tank.

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Another important rule of Warlord: you shouldn'T RISK A good model to beatdown a much weaker one.

 

Woohoo, I got 13! *does happy dance*

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So, has Warlord 2.0 been balanced enough to discourage risking a good model to beat down an average one? I think I head that risk once referred to as a laTE TRADE/CApture. :blink:

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I know it's way too late to discuss these things, but I can't help myself, and hell, discussing rules and game design is half the fun of gaming for me. And the flaws of the new edition will have to be pretty grave to keep from playing the game anyway. Also, I just wish for the game to be as good as possible, as I have and will put a lot of time any money into it.

 

One of the staples of the new Warlord thru out our playtesting has been how successful we have been at having games for the most part come down to only a few models on the table, no matter how lopsided the game feels early on. I cant count the number of games where I thought after turn 3 that all hope was lost and I was gonna get slaughtered, only to have fortunes turn and I come back to win the game, or vice versa. The great games coming down to that final stand to figure out who is the victor instead of having the game decided way before the true end of the match.

 

It's cool when a game is balanced and you have a system for working out exactly the right points cost for a miniature. But if all the games come down to to the last few miniatures, then either the players must all be of equal skill OR the system does not allow player tactics/experience to come to the fore. It's relatively easy to make a game balanced, but if the decisions of the players have little effect on the gameplay, players with a passion for not only the miniatures but also strategy and mechanics will quickly get bored. With Warlord, this can be probably be fixed with scenarios (official or homemade) with different goals and terms for the players though.

 

As for troop coherency and group wide DIS checks and such, those are ideas that come in to play much more on the epic scaled version of the game (hint hint) than the skirmish level.

 

Morale would and should still penetrate the action at skirmish level. Not because of realism alone, but because it adds dynamics that will keep the game from bogging down. A lot of people seem happy with just engaging and rolling dice to the bitter end. Personally I like to be able to make the enemy break ground, run away, regroup and come at me again. This makes fighting over an objective fun.

 

Morale doesn't always work well on on an individual miniature or squad level in skirmish games however. DIS checks could be made when a certain percentage of the army has been eliminated (50, 60, 75% - like in other skirmish games, Mordheim, Infinity etc.), again perhaps depending on the scenario.

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Simombo, I love the topic of game design and rules, as I'm sure most every here does. Let me throw in some of my observations. Yes, I've had games come down to a few models on each side. Those were great games. Also games where I get stomped on, also great games. Tactics have everything to do with it. While I enjoy blaming my dice, it's usually a bad decision or reaction on my part that leads to failure.

One of the last one-sided victories of mine was Vampires vs Goblin Horde. I managed to position troops where the terrain prevented the horde from swamping me. My enemy then decided to charge in blindly anyway. As parts of my line crumbled, I filled holes with reserves, then went on the offensive, driving forward into goblin pockets where he least expected it. My fliers tied up his leaders from helping out and that was game.

The last bad defeat was Overlord vs Elves. I foolishly thought I could ignore cover, place tough guys in the open, and have loads of force left when I hit the elves. I went first every card on turn 1. I put a dozen easy targets in the open. Yes, they got shot to ribbons, including a freaking Onyx Golem dead by arrows. What I should have done when the cards weren't treating me nice (something that can happen in any game and that a general should be able to adjust to) was to find cover, sacrifice a few models as pincushions, then hit the elves turn 2.

As for morale, I really hate when I lose a game to a single die roll. Warlord has such a ebb and flow, it seems to me that robbing one player of his ability for dramatic comeback isn't fair. Some factions and army builds are late game winners. They seem to take a serious beating, then hang on and hang on and suddenly they are winning. Crusaders, I'm looking at you. Morale plays a much bigger part in 2.0, but it's about one model's morale not the entire army. You're going to see a lot of Standards in the game, which is cool because I love a good Standard model. Don't leave home without one!

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...

It's cool when a game is balanced and you have a system for working out exactly the right points cost for a miniature. But if all the games come down to to the last few miniatures, then either the players must all be of equal skill OR the system does not allow player tactics/experience to come to the fore. It's relatively easy to make a game balanced, but if the decisions of the players have little effect on the gameplay, players with a passion for not only the miniatures but also strategy and mechanics will quickly get bored. With Warlord, this can be probably be fixed with scenarios (official or homemade) with different goals and terms for the players though.

...

I want to address this thought because I think it's important.

 

I've played several wargames thoroughly. By thoroughly I mean, played to the point where I have a very good grasp on the rules, strategies, approaches to playing, what have you. In most of the wargames that I have played, it is very much possible to have one player or the other have early success in a game which puts that player at an advantage. The other player is then in a situation where they cannot rally and overcome the advantage the other player has, and try as they might the game cannot be won. In essence, the game was decided in that early moment when one player prevailed and the other player suffered loss. I call this the effect of First Strike and it is very evident in games where the turn order is "first I go with everything, then you go with everything." Examples would be Warhammer, Warmachine and Hordes, any of the Wizkids games, and the list goes on.

 

That works, more or less, because it appeals to a sense of realistic common sense. If one army gets the jump on the other army and tosses a grenade into the middle of the other formation, in the blink of an eye they have halved their enemy. There are that many less guns firing back, yatta yatta. It sucks to be on the recieving end, but it "makes sense" so most people don't get too awfully grumpy.

 

But the problem with that is that you're playing a game, and if your game lasts an hour and is decided in the first ten minutes after setting things up, why in the world bother playing out the other 50 minutes?? Lame! But you earn the reputation of being a poor sport if you pack up early, and you probably enjoy the (futile) challenge of trying to squeeze out a victory. Against a lesser or careless opponent you may even be able to pull out that victory.

 

In my experience, Warlord is built to change the first strike paradigm. They do that via defensive strikes and the troop-based initiative draw deck. I'll assume we all know how those work and won't describe it all. The end effect is that the guy who gets to attack first does get an advantage, but he also suffers risk. It's uncommon in Warlord for any player to have an insurmountable edge early in the game. The vast majority of battles in Warlord are gripping the entire way through. Since you haven't won or lost in the first ten minutes, there is a valid reason to play out the other 50 minutes. Your decisions all along the way matter, because the game is still up in the air.

 

 

THE OTHER SIDE

 

Of course, it happens that one player gets demolished. I will note several reasons for this:

 

--One player plays sloppy. He makes silly decisions about what models to put in the list, or what to attack with what models, forgets to cast spells, etc.

--statistically aberrant dice rolls - if you roll hot and he rolls cold all game long, it can mess with the balance. It happens from time to time.

--Terrain gets in the way. This is a huge factor and one that I think is extremely important. The more barren your landscape, the more likely that your battles will come down to two wounded models beating on each other in the middle of a corpse strewn field. When you add more terrain, and (gasp!) cram your battlefield with hills, rock outcroppings, rivers, towers, forests, and so forth, you create a huge amount of tactical options. It becomes possible to allocate your army in more meaningful ways, and if you outsmart your opponent, or outmaneuver them, it is likely that you can come out on top by a decent margin through the use of clever maneuvers and trickery. This is where the game shines. But understand that if the game itself weren't balanced so precisely, this aspect would fall flat on itself.

 

 

Hopefully my ideas crystallized enough to be useful.

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The balance of Warlord goes to every extreeme. I've seen games where it really did come down to wounded minis beating each other and the initiative card decided the game. I've also seen games where one player was thoroughly wiped out while the other player barely suffered any casualties. I've seen rookie players whip experienced players. Experience and skill are very important, but the dice and the initiative deck can cancel out all the experience and skill. I also love it when a game starts off well for one player, and then the tables turn and the underdog wins. I've seen that happen many times. It keeps the games exciting to the end.

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It keeps the games exciting to the end.

That line there summarizes just what I was trying to drive at in my previous post. The continuous excitement is what hooks me on Warlord.

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