Thoughts from a long-time player

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Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby Renufus » Tue May 12, 2009 10:21 pm

Just a fair warning, I'm going to be going through almost everything bit by bit here so you might want to make yourself some tea or cocoa or something before sitting down to read.

Special Rules

Not sure how I feel about getting 4DD like Dwarfs... But I will be going over magic a bit later so I'll leave it for now. I like the cleaned up rules for Blunderbusses, spot on. I always felt it was a bit odd that the Dwarfs would refuse to fire at an enemy unit just because they would also clip a Hobgoblin or two in the process or something.

Characters

First off, I'll admit that I'm not big on the idea of special characters and I didn't give them much more than a cursory glance. As long as they're not obviously too cheap for what they do I don't think most people will really give thought to their inclusion except in large games, which is the way it should be.

Lord: No complaints here, besides the Juggernaut option. More on that later.

High Priest: I won't lie, I don't think I'd ever use one. Ever. Having 2 spells at bound 7 is just way too easy to stop, and this is compounded on by the fact that he has a good chance of killing himself while accomplishing nothing. Anything more than a single scroll caddy will be able to shut this guy down for the entire game no problem and just wait for him to turn into stone, yielding a ton of points. To be honest, I liked the way Sorcerers and Sorcerer Lords work in Ravening Hordes. They're cheap-ish and have an effective set of lores to choose from. The only thing they really needed was a good selection of Arcane Items to help them out... They don't really even need their own lore, as I feel giving everyone and their dog a unique magic lore kind of ruins the idea of having BRB lores in the first place. A return to the more traditional Sorc Lord/Sorc setup with Daemonsmith bound spells in tow would go a long way to making the CD magic phase fun and unique without getting bogged down in too many special rules.

Centaur Lord: No problems.

Hobgoblin Chieftain: Very cool option, and gives the army a totally different way of playing. Like him a lot.

Slavemaster: No more Ld10 heroes, but it had to be done. No problems.

Daemonsmith: Very cool idea. I like the concept and where you've gone with it. No complaints from me.

Centaur Hero: Again, no complaints here.

Big Boss: Solid.

Magic Items

First off, I love the idea of Daemonsmiths and Daemon Weapons. It makes the army somewhat unique without going over the top. I'll go over a few of the items that I think need a bit of tweaking. In general, it might be more helpful if all the Daemonsmith swords had the same Bound Spell power, I think giving all the Daemon spells power level 4 would help streamline things quite a bit.

Soul Eater - probably a bit expensive for what it does. Maybe 45pts would be more appropriate.

Parasite Blade - Somewhat undermined by the fact that the guy carrying it only has 2 wounds. If there were a 3W Master Daemonsmith sort of option, it might be more attractive.

Mindflayer - Not really that attractive compared to other options.

Axe of Genocide - I can see this being the source of quite a few arguments. There aren't really any definite rules about what 'race' each model belongs to which I could see a lot of people taking advantage of. For example, is a Daemon Prince in the WoC book really a Daemon? People are already having this argument and this just opens up that can of worms to everyone. I'd come up with something else in its place.

Chalice of Fire - Same as it is now, which is to say not that great. I can see why it might be more attractive now that you've made CD casting bound-spell based, but it still doesn't really jump out at me as something I'd use very often.

If it were up to me, I would bring Sorcerers and Sorcerer Lords back just as they are in Ravening Hordes and give them some useful Arcane Items such as +1 spell, +1PD for the caster, things like that to bring them up to par with the current metagame without making things too confusing.

Hexacon - Interesting, but I'd like to see it have some kind of backlash for failing just for fluff reasons, and maybe make it 15pts.

Banner of Daemonic Tides - This is a must-have item, which I don't really agree with. This will be in every army. Maybe make it a +D6" to your first charge banner.

Core

Chaos Dwarfs: The Chaos Dwarf Warriors seem to suffer from the same problems as their Dwarf cousins... Namely, they're just not very good anymore. Warhammer has evolved and the humble 9 point Dwarf is no longer able to keep up. They're slow, they will almost never kill anything, and with the massive increase in killiness of units in the most recent few books, they're really not very good at being anvils either. I typically only use one unit in my army because I have to. It just feels like they need something... else in order to compete in today's environment. Chaos Armour maybe, or perhaps all Chaos Dwarfs should just be Stubborn in the first round of combat (but prevent Chaos Dwarf characters from joining Hobs and Rabble to prevent abuse).

Hobgoblins: I'll miss my 20 point slave screens but there's no denying that they're currently pretty easy to abuse. I'm not really comfortable with them being 4 points with LA though because it pretty much puts them in the same camp as Goblins... Not terribly overpriced, but not attractive enough to be worth using compared to other units, since you'll almost never want to use them without shields at which point the cost per model starts to undermine their use as fodder. The bow option also makes them 6 points apiece with armour they will almost never have any use for, which is a bit much for a bunch of BS3 S3 bows that have Animosity attached. What I would do is make them 4 points with LA and shields mandatory, and a 'replace shields with bows for free' option. I've used large units of 4pt 'ardHobbos in my lists and they're pretty appropriately priced for what they do, it's the 20pt slave spam that makes them broken. This also helps with the fact that the current Hobgoblin models still have that little 'nubbin' on their shield hand and that combined with the awkward pose make them look pretty ridiculous without shields. I would personally leave out the Chaos Dwarf slaver option as it sort of makes the idea of keeping anything in the army near the general somewhat superfluous.

Wolf Riders: I'd make shields mandatory rather than the LA as, again, the nubbin thing kind of bothers me. Otherwise perfect.

Rabble: I can't help but feel they would be better off as a 'giant rat pack' sort of unit, with 1 Hobgoblin Slavemaster and 5 rabble to a pack, 20pts/pack (minimum size of 3 packs). However, I like the idea and it's certainly an interesting unit with a lot of potential.

Special

Sneaky Gits: I really would like for these guys to skirmish with the possibility for a 0-1 scouting option to represent their assassin-like nature. Without any kind of flexible skirmishing unit it's pretty easy to fall into the same trap as Dwarfs/WoC are currently in. Plus, being skirmishers/scouts would allow them to make better use of their backstabbing rule and gives them a definite role in the army. It just makes more sense for them to skirmish as well, as I don't see sneaky gits marching to war in nice, tight formations.

Obsidian Guard: Nice, no problems here as long as the 'stubborn in 1st round' rule I proposed above makes it here. As is, they're somewhat too expensive to be used as a true anvil and are outclassed as hammers by the Centaurs.

Daemoneaters: Modern day Whirlwind/Tenderizer. I'm not sure this needs to be in the list as there's quite a bit of new stuff being added to what was already a pretty solid and fleshed-out army that just needed to be touched up here and there. I don't think I'd ever use it as Centaurs pretty much fulfill the same role and there are currently a lot of other choices competing for those special slots that I would look at first. Not really a fan, but I can see where you're coming from.

Swivel Cannon: I'm not really a fan, but if you're really set on the idea I would either make it roll to hit like Blunderbusses (ie no penalties except for cover) or make it autohit like a S4 Organ Gun so it has a definite role in the army.

Death Rocket: I like the change, but can't help but feel like it should fire like a Mortar. After all, that's pretty much what it is.

Bolt Throwers: I'll admit, 30pts is a bit cheap right now, but no real problem with them. Just a typical bolt thrower.

Bull Centaurs: They're okay, but nothing special. Exactly the same as they are now. They give the army some fast-moving hitting power which is what they should do, but I can't help but think that they should cause Fear or have something special about them. My opponents are always surprised to find out that Centaurs don't cause fear and it would make them good as flanking units, especially in conjunction with Obsidian Guard. It might actually give Chaos Dwarfs that 1-2 punch they need to compete in today's environment as you could stick the enemy in place with the Guard, flank & autobreak with fear and run him down with the Centaurs.

Rare

Juggernaut: I just feel this thing has too many rules and is far too complicated to work in a normal game of Warhammer. I just don't see a need for it to be in the game, to be perfectly honest. It might be better left as something for large siege games like the War Mammoth. Not a big fan, sorry.

Hellcannon: I'd leave this to WoC. With all the other unique war machines in the list, I just don't see a need for it.

Earthshaker: Toned down, but it sort of needed to be. I might be tempted to make it a bit cheaper to compensate, but it's fine as is.

Golems: Nice unit, but I don't think the unique weapon options are really necessary. As long as we have a unit that has magical, flaming attacks (both of which are pretty much a must-have in today's metagame) I think we'll see plenty of these. I might be tempted to make them WS4 though, as you pay a premium for these guys who really aren't all that different from Treekin.

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Overall, I feel the list is good in principle, it just falls into the trap that a lot of fan-made army books suffer from... Specifically, it has way more special rules and new options than is necessary. Maybe I'm just being overly anal, I just don't think the army needed a big overhaul from Ravening Hordes, just a few areas that could stand to be brought up to the current game and maybe a new unit here or there to give them a bit of a unique flavor, which I feel you did perfectly with the Daemonsmith and to a lesser extent the Golems.
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Re: Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby mattbird » Wed May 13, 2009 9:56 am

Renufus wrote: it just falls into the trap that a lot of fan-made army books suffer from... Specifically, it has way more special rules and new options than is necessary. Maybe I'm just being overly anal, I just don't think the army needed a big overhaul from Ravening Hordes, just a few areas that could stand to be brought up to the current game and maybe a new unit here or there to give them a bit of a unique flavor, which I feel you did perfectly with the Daemonsmith and to a lesser extent the Golems.


Thanks for the rundown. I agree with the above sentiment for the most part. Keeping things as simple as possible is a necessity.
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Re: Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby Larro » Wed May 13, 2009 10:45 am

If it were up to me, I would bring Sorcerers and Sorcerer Lords back just as they are in Ravening Hordes and give them some useful Arcane Items such as +1 spell, +1PD for the caster, things like that to bring them up to par with the current metagame without making things too confusing.


Agreed. The phase as it is now is SO dependent on 'not rolling a 1' with your Big Guy each turn, it's even less reliable than a legitimate dice-phase. If you roll a single 1, you're down to a Bound 7 and 2-3 Bound 3-5s. Seems a bit weak to me considering you're investing all this into some fake Hero-level character and giving up your Lord slot as well. The old character setup let you take a 4 and 2 level 2s, and still grab a BSB, like pretty much EVERY list around can do at the moment - except now CDs lose that? If you want the BSB you have to forfeit a Mage, but the Mages you're getting don't equal straight up dice-mages, as they can't take Arcane Items to augment their powers and always have to settle for an essentially lower casting cost than the 2-dice they generate would allow them to get. And if this isn't enough, the massive drawbacks of rolling that 1 are awful. When you consider the Big Guy is throwing 12 dice per game unless he's dead, you'll statistically roll 2 1s as it is - meaning 1 extra "1" and your Lord is done. I appreciate the idea, but this seems a little ridiculous to me.

Hobgoblins: I'll miss my 20 point slave screens but there's no denying that they're currently pretty easy to abuse. I'm not really comfortable with them being 4 points with LA though because it pretty much puts them in the same camp as Goblins... Not terribly overpriced, but not attractive enough to be worth using compared to other units, since you'll almost never want to use them without shields at which point the cost per model starts to undermine their use as fodder. The bow option also makes them 6 points apiece with armour they will almost never have any use for, which is a bit much for a bunch of BS3 S3 bows that have Animosity attached. What I would do is make them 4 points with LA and shields mandatory, and a 'replace shields with bows for free' option. I've used large units of 4pt 'ardHobbos in my lists and they're pretty appropriately priced for what they do, it's the 20pt slave spam that makes them broken.


100% spot on. How do these guys still have a roll if they're going be so much more expensive they no longer qualify as fodder? The 20 pt. spam is broken obviously, but 40 pts. base before you throw in the shield is a swing the other direction. 4 pts. with Shield works, or just 3 points w/o the Shield. I like the above suggestion though, including the part about the Bows. How do you go from 50-pt. 10-man Bow units, which were already probably a point overcosted, to an increase in Bow point costs AND an increase in minimum size of the units??

Earthshaker: Toned down, but it sort of needed to be. I might be tempted to make it a bit cheaper to compensate, but it's fine as is.


I think this is the only assessment of yours which I vehemently disagree with. The ES is awful at the moment. It's a stone thrower with the ability to maybe stop 1 non-flying unit. Awful. A SSC is as expensive WITH Skulls of the Foe, and without it, causes Auto-Panic, is Flaming, and Magical. This is just a total neuter-job. Bring back the old one and up the points to 130-140, don't take away all its teeth but keep the name.

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Re: Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby WickerNipple » Wed May 13, 2009 11:24 am

Larro wrote:Agreed. The phase as it is now is SO dependent on 'not rolling a 1' with your Big Guy each turn, it's even less reliable than a legitimate dice-phase. If you roll a single 1, you're down to a Bound 7 and 2-3 Bound 3-5s. Seems a bit weak to me considering you're investing all this into some fake Hero-level character and giving up your Lord slot as well.


If you're really investing in the bound magic phase it's 2 bound 7-9 and then 4-6 more bound 4-8s. All the bound 3s can safely be ignored while you concentrate on just the good high value ones that can't be ignored.

I agree the "don't roll a 1!" is a pretty lame mechanic, and I haven't actually seen the full magic phase in action, but I don't think it's weak so long as you don't roll 1s.
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Re: Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby Larro » Wed May 13, 2009 11:40 am

I suppose. I just don't like that not only does the 1 make your spell fail, but it ultimately kills you. Isn't it bad enough your Spells and likely your phase, are largely wasted? Why do you need to die also?

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Re: Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby ZiggyQubert » Wed May 13, 2009 2:14 pm

Um, dosen't that happen to regular wizaeds as well?

Granted the chance of miscasting is not a big on a regular wizard, however the penalty is usualy worse, lets face it losing a point of I is realy not a big deal, it's prouably the wort stat in the game, also regular wizards can fail to cast the spell, lets face it if you throw 2 dice at a casting value 5 or 6 spell and it fails to go off it seariously hurts your magic phase (no different then the CD rolling a one, except the regular wizard has a chance to die if he miscasts)
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Re: Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby mattbird » Wed May 13, 2009 2:32 pm

while I have deep reservations about the bound magic phase / daemonsmith item setup, I do really like the -1 initiative / turn to stone mechanic. It's characterful, fluffy, and adds a lot of suspense to the magic phase. Even if we go back to a normal miscast table type setup, I would like to see this idea incorporated in some way.
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Re: Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby Larro » Wed May 13, 2009 3:05 pm

ZiggyQubert wrote:Um, dosen't that happen to regular wizaeds as well?

Granted the chance of miscasting is not a big on a regular wizard, however the penalty is usualy worse, lets face it losing a point of I is realy not a big deal, it's prouably the wort stat in the game, also regular wizards can fail to cast the spell, lets face it if you throw 2 dice at a casting value 5 or 6 spell and it fails to go off it seariously hurts your magic phase (no different then the CD rolling a one, except the regular wizard has a chance to die if he miscasts)


There is a very simple bottom line here - the current CD magic phase is worse than the standard 'dice' magic phase. Not only do you lose the option to take handy Lores like Metal, Death or Fire and are stuck with only a few decent spells which are relatively low cast and thus easier to concentrate dispel dice on, you need to dedicate ALL 4 character spots to have an effective phase, which means you lose out on a BSB as well.

What about the little-discussed fact that ALL of the Bound Spells exhaust on a 1, AND do a Wound to the user??? Tell me any mage you know who has a 1 in 6 chance of suffering a wound and ALSO losing his ability to "cast" - if you want to call it that.

The Big Mage? Run the numbers on him throwing 3 1s on 12 dice compared to miscasting and THEN rolling double 1s once again. Not even close.

Add all these complications to the fact that you've got ONE character who can take Arcane Items (i.e. Dispel Scrolls), and you've made the big caster a necessity, not an option. Don't tell me that 4 dice and 1 dispel scroll (enchanted item) is supposed to be remotely sufficient. I get the desire to be different with the phase, but personally, there's no need - don't try to reinvent the wheel or to be different for different's sake.

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Re: Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby Renufus » Wed May 13, 2009 3:15 pm

If you really want to incorporate the turning to stone thing, why not have him cast in the normal way but give him -1I for every miscast? Maybe have some kind of Arcane Item like an obsidian wand that allows you to ignore your first miscast, including the I loss. Also bring back Sorcs who would have the same rules. You could call it the Curse of Stone or something like that.

That way you still get the characterful turning to stone thing, and you have to make a choice when designing your list whether to give your big wizzy the wand and play it safe, or go for the aforementioned +1 spell, +1PD type items and throw caution to the wind, but not so much that it's crippling or makes the wand look like a must-have.
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Re: Thoughts from a long-time player

Postby elrodogg » Wed May 13, 2009 3:20 pm

Larry, why don't you tell us what you really think? :lol:

My only problem with the current magic phase, is that it's completely different from a normal one. I think that if you kit it out to be effective, it really can have the capacity to do so. If for example you don't roll a 1 for those critical couple of turns (e.g. turns 3 and 4), then this magic phase can be OTT. That isn't the same as saying if you roll all total powers, then it's OTT, because they are different. The fact that you can get 6-7 effective spells off in a single turn makes it incredibly good.

While I know with TK's you can get up to 6-7 as well, in that army the magic phase is the principle focus of the list. They also only have skeletons for their main troops and this army has dwarfs, that's a big difference in basic trooper.

For a house-rule list, I dunno if deviating from the standard power dice phase is the way to go. A Lore of Hashut with basically spells similar to these might be a better option, even if it's less fun.

Last but not least, running a skaven style magic phase might also be an option. You make a level 4 High priest of Hashut that functions as a normal wizard. Then in the hero slot, add only the option for level 1's that have access to 2 or 3 magical demonweapons that determine what spell and power dice they can cast, but cast as normal.
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