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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:07 pm 
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MarbitChow wrote:
I'm not especially concerned with correctly modelling real-world warfare at all. I'm deeply concerned with making sure every unit contributes and can be fun.

I understand. But I also know from personal experience that modelling off of the real world as much as possible results in systems that are easy to balance.

The real generals spent many thousandfold the amount of time we could ever pour into this game ensuring that they had units and tactics that could counter those of the enemy. They themselves were essentially continuously balancing the system. So when in doubt, look at what the guys upon who's decisions lives actually mattered did.

Not to mention, many elements of strategy transcend the medium. Tactics (with a capitol 'T') are going to apply to the game no matter what you do to balance it. The only choice you have is which tactics apply...

Generally speaking, systems which favor combined-arms tactics have the most variety, and therefore tend to be the most fun. But currently, there is no counter for the tactic of pinning the enemy in melee with tanks while archers rain death upon them. This removes variety from the system and (more importantly) limits the capability for clever maneuvering to bring success even with an inferior force, thus lessening the fun.


MarbitChow wrote:
The problem I see with forbidding shots is that you end up discouraging hand-to-hand. I want to make the melee units feel more useful, not less, and if closing for HTH means blocking your archers, they're going to stay back.

Only if your archery is more powerful than your enemy's. If it isn't, you'll be wanting to get into close quarters as fast as possible. And if it is, the enemy will be trying to do the same to you, instead.

This is a good thing. You're discouraging hand-to-hand in one situation, but you're also encouraging it in another. This encourages players to maneuver their forces cunningly, in order to take advantage of their own strengths and their enemy's weaknesses.

I don't know about you, but for me that's what makes games fun.

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     Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:09 pm 
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    MarbitChow wrote:
    The problem I see with forbidding shots is that you end up discouraging hand-to-hand. I want to make the melee units feel more useful, not less, and if closing for HTH means blocking your archers, they're going to stay back.

    I'm not especially concerned with correctly modelling real-world warfare at all. I'm deeply concerned with making sure every unit contributes and can be fun.

    ----

    Throwing out an idea here... since Casters are Players only - you can't choose to pop one as an NPC - and all casters are command units, what does everyone think about PC-only Military units getting basic Leadership for free? Any units that have already spent for would get those 3 AP back, so they could customize their combat build however they want, but that would enable all players to be more actively involved. (They'd still have to pay for advanced leadership ranks.)

    My reasoning here is that casters automatically get to be 'special'; they're unique units. Military units were chosen initially because they were necessary - NPC grunts weren't available in the first scenario. Units that took leadership early on have been rewarded - Tod's CW now, and no rules adjustments would change that. Units that joined later are now forced to be military to limit the number of casters. Military PC units should also be special. The Paragon rules are an attempt to establish that, but those aren't available to new players yet, due to level restrictions.

    From a game balance perspective, enemies have as much power as I choose to give them, so I'm not really worried about an ability escalation; I'll continue to keep tailoring the scenarios to the players.

    Thoughts?


    I like this a lot - both from a "fun" perspective and from a canon one. From the comic, it seems that Leadership seems to grant some greater amount of free will; it's always seemed a bit odd that we have units that have free will but no Leadership.

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     Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:14 pm 
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    CroverusRaven wrote:
    OR, give the enemy a small defense boost in that situation, and maybe make critical failures hit the ally instead of doing minimal damage?

    More like only a crit will hit your intended target...


    CroverusRaven wrote:
    Certainly would make me feel like I'm contributing more if Donovan is leading a group of heavies into battle and ACTUALLY leading them.

    Take Paragon then. It's only 1 AP, but it makes you a Command unit and gives units of the same build as you a boost.

    And, I know the perfect use for a Squad of tanks...

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    Last edited by Nnelg on Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:17 pm 
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    MarbitChow wrote:
    what does everyone think about PC-only Military units getting basic Leadership for free? Any units that have already spent for would get those 3 AP back, so they could customize their combat build however they want, but that would enable all players to be more actively involved.

    Leadership, definitely not; but Paragon, possibly. (Leadership is just too powerful an ability to hand out for free, whereas the less powerful Paragon does what you want just as well.) [Note: I also think we should make the two mutually exclusive, although Paragon can be "upgraded" to Leadership for 2 AP.]

    But before we give out free skills, how about we start by just making all Free-Willed units (as in, all the PCs) Command Units? Then everyone can lead a Squad, but they still have to pay for the bonuses.

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     Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:03 pm 
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    You know, something else that bugs me is Dance-Fighting. The way it's implemented makes it tactically mandatory to take, when its usefulness needs to vary based upon the tactical situation. (Changing the bonus will not accomplish this, although a movement restriction, fragile end condition, or resource to manage would...)


    I propose that we start by getting rid of the current Dance-Fighting skill. Any Squad led by a Dancing commander is considered to be Dancing.

    Dancing units have their move limited to half the move (rounded up) of the slowest unit in the stack. They must move in formation: any unit that leaves the formation (including via forceful means, like Bull Rush) must leave the Squad (needless to say, this means they must all move in the same Phase as well). If the Squad Commander must leave the Squad this way, all remaining units stop Dancing.

    A Squad whose Commander has the "Lead Dancer" special may start (or stop) dancing during a regroup action. (Note: Rhyme-o-Mancy can make any Squad start or stop Dancing... Possibly even against their will!)


    By limiting movement so strictly, the decision to Dance or not becomes an important choice depending on the tactical situation, rather than a no-brainer. By forcing units that leave formation to drop out of the Squad, we introduce a way to tactically force your opponent to stop dancing (which has its own trade-offs, seeing as Bull Rush doesn't deal damage). By requiring a regroup action, we insure that Dance-Fighting will be an integral part of the battleplan, rather than something that was tacked on just because (unless you have a Rhyme-o-Mancer, of course).

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     Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:27 pm 
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    Seems reasonable to give out leadership, as in the comic, most of the non warlords have very minor roles. Off the top of my head I can think of the troll lackey that worked for parson, and that is about it.

    As for dance fighting... yeah, making it not require everything know how to dance, but make it a semi leadership ability. With detriments that keep it semi specialized.

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     Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:58 pm 
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    bob the 6th wrote:
    Seems reasonable to give out leadership

    I agree that giving the ability to lead units out for free is fine.

    What I don't agree on is that we should be giving out the full bonuses of a rightfully 3AP skill. That's why I suggested Paragon instead: it too allows the player to "contribute" in a leadership (little 'l') position, but they'll still have to pay to get the full bonuses of Leadership (big 'L').

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     Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:21 pm 
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    I'm with Nnelg here. Give Paragon for free. Make Paragon and Leadership mutually exclusive, but allow the opportunity to gain Leadership for 2 AP (with the addendum that if you have learned any specials that require Paragon you cannot upgrade to Leadership, and if you upgrade to Leadership you cannot take the paragon specials).

    I like the changes to Dance Fighting. Also, There should be a different version I would like to propose.

    Rocking Out: A Command unit with Rocking Out can lead his squad in a Jam Session. All units in the squad gain +1 Combat and +1 Move for every level of the Command unit. While Rocking out, the squad must stay adjacent to one another but can otherwise move about in any shaped formation they wish. A member of the Jam session that attempts to Bull rush a target gains +1 bonus for every other member in the Jam session, and the group will attempt to move as a whole in the same direction. The squad can maintain their Jam Session for as many rounds as the Command unit's Level +1. If the Command unit is separated the Jam session ends, however, if the Command unit is incapacitated or Croaked, his squad members Moshpit for 1 round, receiving +3 Combat and -2 Defense.

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     Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:49 pm 
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    CroverusRaven wrote:
    Rocking Out

    The problem with that is that there's no downside. If there's no downside, and no way to limit its usage, it'll fall into the same pit that Dance-Fighting originally did: becoming something that everyone has to take to achieve maximum effectiveness.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:34 am 
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    Hmm... Downside: After Rocking out is finished. all units in the squad have -4 Combat and Defense and -2 Move.

    There, it's pretty much something you either wait to use until a critical moment because after that your squad is going to get croaked hard.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:41 am 
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    Hm... Maybe if you limited it to a couple of rounds that would work. Otherwise, you'd simply not stop until the end of the battle.

    The concept's good, but I feel like it's somehow misplaced... It sounds like it'd belong more as a separate "Berserk" special that only certain units would possess.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:01 am 
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    I thought I added that it lasts a number of rounds equal to the Commanding unit's Level +1.

    I'm just putting it out there since we have instances of people rocking out in the comic, and it apparently being as good, possibly better than dance fighting, but it always seems to be a short lived boost.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:16 am 
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    I think that was just another form of Dance-Fighting (although, it could be more powerful simply because it's fueled by the Arkenhammer).

    And as for time, it's rather difficult to convert from still panels to abstract phases. Just from the shear amount of stuff going on, I've seen single pages that would take over half a dozen rounds for us to replicate.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:27 am 
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    I'm talking about Hagar and his men. They were quite clearly Rocking Out when they attacked GK forces to stall.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:06 am 
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    Nnelg wrote:
    MarbitChow wrote:
    what does everyone think about PC-only Military units getting basic Leadership for free? Any units that have already spent for would get those 3 AP back, so they could customize their combat build however they want, but that would enable all players to be more actively involved.

    Leadership, definitely not; but Paragon, possibly. (Leadership is just too powerful an ability to hand out for free, whereas the less powerful Paragon does what you want just as well.) [Note: I also think we should make the two mutually exclusive, although Paragon can be "upgraded" to Leadership for 2 AP.]

    But before we give out free skills, how about we start by just making all Free-Willed units (as in, all the PCs) Command Units? Then everyone can lead a Squad, but they still have to pay for the bonuses.



    Jeez...seems like every time I pick a skill boost it either gets nerfed, changed, or handed out for free :lol: Usually it takes a level..or at least a scenario but it seems the pace is accelerating :o :lol: .. I feel like I'm becoming the "try-before-you -buy" man :twisted:

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:21 am 
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    Werebiscuit wrote:
    Jeez...seems like every time I pick a skill boost it either gets nerfed, changed, or handed out for free :lol: Usually it takes a level..or at least a scenario but it seems the pace is accelerating :o :lol: .. I feel like I'm becoming the "try-before-you -buy" man :twisted:
    I think the final result of this discussion is leaning heavily towards all PCs being considered 'Command Units', but still paying for Paragon and Leadership. From a RP perspective, NPC units will feel that there's an aura of leadership around the Free-Willed, even though they can't explain why.

    Also, I think I'm going to make it so that, except for unusual circumstances (which will most likely be that you're a caster or paragon), you can't target an individual within a squad - you can only target the squad. And squads that are adjacent to enemy units can't be targeted by Fire actions at all. Erfworld's 'screen' order has been something that I know we've been missing since the start, and this seems like an easy way to implement the idea without making up more complex special rules.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:26 am 
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    And as for Rocking Out : Stanley has stated that it is the highest form of music, and better than Dance Fighting, so it would most likely behave as an advanced ability that requires Dance Fighting. But it's not going into the current rule set at all; there's a lot of new stuff going in already, and I'd like to let the current rule set be tested in a large scenario or two first.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:31 am 
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    MarbitChow wrote:
    [Also, I think I'm going to make it so that, except for unusual circumstances (which will most likely be that you're a caster or paragon), you can't target an individual within a squad - you can only target the squad. And squads that are adjacent to enemy units can't be targeted by Fire actions at all. Erfworld's 'screen' order has been something that I know we've been missing since the start, and this seems like an easy way to implement the idea without making up more complex special rules.

    Is this extended to warriors in respect to facings ? it would certainly make manouvering more battlefield-like by trying to get on the flanks of units so you can target them without a replying strike... or mabe even a cover bonus against attacks made against a unit on your flank if you don't want to rule them outright.. it gives an extra edge to the agility ability as it enables a unit to penetrate a line and get some flanking cover bonus...or even attack from the rear.

    Manouvering and defensive positions on the battlefield then come into play...as opposed to charge the archers...or the gates.

    it would reduce the use "skirmish line" tactics to hamper movement. They'd now need to to be squad-like instead of single units to cut down on being taken from the flank.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:45 am 
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    I really don't want to implement a facing rule. Since melee units CAN target individual units within a stack, I think it's sufficient that getting to the flanks of a squad will allow you to get to the leader more easily.

    Skirmish-line tactics would allow archers to concentrate fire and create a small breach, whereas a squad spreads the damage out, so I'm not sure any additional rules are required to capture that in the current rule set.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:54 pm 
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    Werebiscuit wrote:
    it would reduce the use "skirmish line" tactics to hamper movement. They'd now need to to be squad-like instead of single units to cut down on being taken from the flank.

    MarbitChow wrote:
    I really don't want to implement a facing rule. Since melee units CAN target individual units within a stack, I think it's sufficient that getting to the flanks of a squad will allow you to get to the leader more easily.

    Skirmish-line tactics would allow archers to concentrate fire and create a small breach, whereas a squad spreads the damage out, so I'm not sure any additional rules are required to capture that in the current rule set.

    Yeah, just the fact that you hit the enemy's formation from that angle is enough to give you an advantage (or at least rob the enemy of any advantage his formation gives him).

    I'm not sure what you mean by skirmish-line here. You seem to be assuming the existence of several one-unit Squads with orders to hold at different positions. I would have thought it'd be good enough to have them all in one squad, but simply tell them to leave gaps in their lines.

    You also seem to assume that using skirmish lines to delay the enemy is a bad thing. To the contrary, it's the entire point of skirmishing. There doesn't need to be any special rules for skirmishers, either... Skirmish formation already has enough downsides inherent to it.

    (For starters, skirmishers will take heavy casualties from massed infantry, so skirmishing is simply a way to trade lives for time. Second, cavalry is the bane of skirmishers, whom they can run down with ease. Third, Bull Rushing units can break through skirmish lines no problem, often pinning and encircling the skirmishers in the process. Finally, skirmishing remains ineffective against flyers, or simply maneuvering around the skirmish line now that hexes are larger.)

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