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Special abilities


abngi
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In several threads, new players have asked why some SAs don't work like the name indicates they should.  The point is, the ability has to be called something, and some of the SA names are placeholders for future versions.  Spy has upgraded to Strategist, Yeoman to Volley...

 

The Pike SA doesn't necessarily mean you are armed with a pike - it is just a catchword to mean "you cancel the Lance SA".  Likewise, Lance translates to "first strike", not that you are actually carrying a lance (though you might be).

 

This is done to avoid having multiple different rules to describe the same effect.  If the point is to allow, on the charge, a model to avoid a defensive strike, you give it the Lance SA.  This may actually be a lance, it might be an axe thrown on the move, it might just be special training - doesn't matter; the point is in the effect, not the fluff that describes why you get the effect.

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Fair enough, but I have a hard time seeing how your "cancel the lance SA" doesn't mean "I have a longer strike distance than most figures do." Right now, you can get Pike, and cancel the Lance SA, but unless your opponent has Lance you get no other benefit.

 

I can see that from a simplicity point of view, but it does seem like you are giving long weapons somewhat short shrift in a game that could easily represent their pros and cons well...

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And if what you say is true. then why not simply call each of the Special Abilities something descriptive? Because it does relate to the fluff... it has too otherwise it's meaningless.

 

You could rename Lanse to be 'First Strike' or 'Distance Strike' but then it'd have less meaning and be an abstract. Games with the level of simplification of Warlord and CAV have enough abstracts in them, without adding more in this manner.

 

And I agree with TKD, Pike should really be 'Even greater Distance Strike, but have to be on foot to use it' in this naming system as well.

 

The special ability names are fine, it's what some of them do which is the problem.

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Well, I'm not Frank, nor do I play him on TV, but...

 

One of the problems with the SA Pike is that it doesn't quite act like a real pike would (to summarize previous conversations).  Point being (no pun intended) that we (as gamers) get wrapped around the axle about the name.  If we call Lance "offensive first strike" and Pike "defensive first strike", then state that offensive and defensive cancel each other, it would be clear what is going on, and we wouldn't need clarifications.

 

The other problem with using "fluffy" names rather than descriptive, is that it forces us to invent a new SA name to fit the model, even though it has the same game effect (if a creature causes horses to shy away, it could have the same effect as a pike would.  But do you want to give a critter the Pike SA?  It would just get us wrapped around the axle again, as discussed above.

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If we call Lance "offensive first strike" and Pike "defensive first strike", then state that offensive and defensive cancel each other, it would be clear what is going on, and we wouldn't need clarifications.

That would make sense. Of course, I would still argue that pike-armed infantry should get a type that has both the Offensive First Strike and Defensive First Strike abilities. :)

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Sorry Distance Strike, I misspelt Lance in the sentence in question. I keep doing it actually, but normally I pick up on it and correct myself :o)

 

As for which SA's, read my 'reflections on Warlord' thread.... but basically Tough and Lance and Pike and Polearm.

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