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neorage

Army building

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I am just starting my first two armies. When checking various army lists on this forum, I have found that there seems to be a great mix of model types in each single army. Often you only see 3-4 instances of a single model in an army.

 

You could have expected that after deciding on a strategy, you would like to tune the army as much as possible to achieve this. If you compare with for instance Magic The Gathering, a wide range of different cards are available, but after selecting a deck type (Swarm, Combo, Counter etc) you try to maximize the number of cards supporting that strategy (having 4 of each of those cards). In Warlord there are only a few rules governing the number of max models of a single type, so this could be even more articulated in this game. But it is not.

 

Is this wide mix of different types something inherent to the game, perhaps the environment is not that competitive (a good thing if you ask me), or are people just liking to through in extra everything and be on the safe side?

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In the original two verstions, there were certain troop types that had limits. That was removed, and it hasn't hurt the game any. The lack of limits allows each player freedom to develop his own style. If you want an army with one archer in each troop, that's fine. If you want just one troop of archers, that's fine too. Finding a balance that works for you becomes the issue rather than complying with lots of build rules. The trick becomes creating an army that can survive against your opponent, or knowing what your opponent is likely to bring to the table and building a list to counter it. I've commented many times the description I heard early in the game, "Warlord is easy to learn, but hard to master." If I play the same army all the time, my opponents (Outek especially) will soon have an opposing force that will clean my clock. I've found that an army which is heavily concentrated with one troop type will have an inherant weakness just screaming for the opponent to exploit. If you bring out an all archer army, I'll design a fast moving army so I can hit you before you get enough shots off. Dust Devils work great here. If you go with all vampires, I'll come with as many constructs or undead as I can fit into my army so the Vamps can't feed. Once you start playing you will be able to see how this works.

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This is a good question. I think there are a few competing "requirements" that guide me as I design an army. I put requirements in quotes because it has nothing to do with rules and everything to do with play experience and what I have found to work and not work.

 

As Castlebuilder noted, a diverse army is difficult to completely counter. By including several types of soldiers, it becomes impossible to deal with all of them with a single gimmick. Thus you protect your chances of winning by forcing the enemy to effectively counter your layered approach.

 

Numbers count. Numbers as in model count, but also troop count. Typically a low-model count army is also a low troop count army. They are not necessarily inferior to an army with higher numbers, but you must understand that by designing an army with only one or two troops, you are willingly giving initiative to your opponent. They can and will outflank you, outmaneuver you, and so forth.

 

Quality counts. It is a very real possibility that in a given game you will face something with high defenses and/or damage reduction. A swarm of weaker models will be fodder to such an enemy, so even if high numbers is your strategy you still must have something, or several somethings, that can deal with a "tough nut."

 

Layered attacks are important. At least one troop in your army ought to be capable of attacking in two ways, if not all 3. There is melee, range, and magic. A melee-only troop may find it very difficult to rip apart an enemy without taking equal losses - but if you can blast the enemy troop as a whole with an area effect magic attack, then pick off the wounded with two or three archers, then your four or five melee models can charge in and finish the fight and only take minimal losses.

 

Synergy matters. The lamest thing in the world is to play a game that is a straight dice-fest. Recently I bought into a game that looked really awesome, had extra sweet looking miniatures, and appealed to my geek-ly senses. After a half dozen plays, though, I realized that the game had no real way to effectively "play tactically." The models were there on the table and your choice was "attack this one or attack that one." As the dice fell, so your battle went. It was fun while it lasted, but six plays hardly warranted the investment. In Warlord, the special abilities, both for an army as a whole and for models in specific, as well as the spells available, are what bring this game beyond a straight dice fest. These special abilities and spells allow you to leverage the strength of your army in different ways at different times. You have actual choices that will affect the game. For example, the special ability Frenzy. You can reduce the strength of your attacks in favor of a higher quantity of attacks. Models with this SA are often pretty good at taking down a tough opponent, but because of the SA they can also go after many weaker opponents. Furthermore, you can use a spellcaster to improve the attack qualities. An army with only one or two types of models in it has very few ways to adapt to the current battle. An army with multiple layers of synergy can handle both the elite guard unit formed into a square and the raucous goblin horde that swarms the table.

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Hey Neorage,

 

I have about 6 different responses to give, but dont want to write a book. Something hard for me even when i only have one answer.

 

1. Warlord 2.0 has only been "live" for about 6 months now. So, many lists you see posted here in the forums are players still learning and asking similar questions as you are.

 

2. I personally build lists all the time that "maximize" or "optimize" things. The question at hand is, what is it that I am trying to maximize? There are so many different things that can be the focul point here. And having dozens of the same model is not always the best way to maximize the focus point either. Then again, I have created plenty of lists that were rather one tracked as well and been successful with them. Like my 12 model all Overlord Onyx Chevalier trampling cavalry army build. Or the 45 model all goblin skeeter archer squad.

 

3. Part of it is just the fun of coming up with new synergetic combinations. The developers (which I am happy to be a part of that team) have over 10,000 combined hours over the past year and a half spent in trying to create a game that lets you, as JDR put it, Layer your army in all kinds of ways. We have models with their Special Abilities. We have Factional Doctrines. We have Warlord Bonuses. We have offensive spells, and defensive, boosting, and draining. We have special equipment. We have abilities that require teamwork, and ones that dont. We have 5 point hordlings, and 250 point Behemoths. And each one of those could be used for the basis of being the focul point on creating the army. Then switch factions and start over again.

 

4. Type of game... Next is type of game played. If you play a scenario game then you will have a much different build than if you play a straight up fight.

 

5. Opponents... Where I game, with the other developers, we can average anywhere from 10 to 25 players on any given Friday night. And most of us are play testing 3-4 different factions on top of our regular factions that we like to play. The only point here is that each player can come to the table with something completely different and unknown. Very rarely do we get in a rut of playing against the same player or same army very often. So, that also forces you to make sure you are prepared for what they might have this go round.

 

6. Lastly, many of the lists you see here in the forums, people for the most part have posted based on the models they own. So, that also influences what you see.

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I want to give an example of an SA synergy that makes it very much worth it to bring multiple types of models in a single troop. Take these two models - the Dwarf Warrior and the Dwarf Berzerker

 

=204&chkID[]=199&ViewWhat=View+Datacards+%26+Images"]Warrior and Berzerker Stats

 

The Warrior is obviously more defensively oriented - better defenses all around, and fewer attacks. The Berzerker of course can do more damage due to its melee stats, but it's easy pickings when its time for Defensive Strikes. Also note the Provoke SA on the Warrior. Provoke means if that model hits an enemy model, the enemy model cannot use defensive strikes on anything other than a Provoke model that activation. So by teaming up Warriors and Berserkers, you can help to make sure that those Berzerkers survive Turn 2 and can fight on Turn 3, maybe turn 4 as well.

 

Now factor in Logan Battlefury's Warlord Ability. His ability lets a model trade DV for #MA, instead of MAV for #MA. Very risky - but if you have Provoke models around, you can feel more confident that your now low DV Berzerkers won't get slaughtered on defensive strikes.

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Is this wide mix of different types something inherent to the game, perhaps the environment is not that competitive (a good thing if you ask me), or are people just liking to through in extra everything and be on the safe side?

 

I think you answered yourself. The wide mix is kind of inherent, but not really. Some people feel the need to have a little bit of everything to be on the safe side. But, others, like myself do not. No, the environment in most places is not competitive, but if it were you'd probably see even more diverse lists. I think another reason for the diversity in builds is the number of models each faction had to choose from. The core factions all have 40-50 models, the ability to change things up I thing makes the game more fun.

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