Updated ID guidelines

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    • Updated ID guidelines

      Since people expressed interest, here are the updated guidelines for the ID LAB. Do keep in mind that this is more of a living document, so some changes may be made as the process continues.
      Feel free to discuss it at your leisure, but do keep in mind that any comments about it have less weight than when I first showed the original version.



      Infernal Dwarves Army Book Design Guideline




      Infernal Dwarves Army Book Design Guideline1
      General Information2
      A. Game Level Design Guidelines2
      A.1 Racial Background Description - Dwarves2
      A.2 Racial Design Notes - Dwarves2
      A.3 General Game Level Design Guidelines2
      B. Infernal Dwarves Army Level Design Guidelines3
      B.1 Army Composition3
      B.1.2 Common Equipment3
      B.1.3 Overall conveyed in-game feeling (including level of eliteness)3
      B.2 Special Deployment4
      B.3 Movement4
      B.4 Leadership4
      B.5 Magic4
      B.6 Shooting5
      B.6.1. Mechanical contraptions and creations5
      B.7 Close Combat5
      B.8 Defensive Capabilities6
      B.9 Chaff6
      B.10 Synergies6
      C. ID Intra Army Level 1 - Subfractions6
      C.1 Taurukhs7
      C.2 Kadim7
      C.3 Vassals (Hobgoblins)7
      C.4 Slaves7
      D. ID Intra Army Level 2 - Subthemes8
      D.1 Masters of Fire8
      D1.1 - General description8
      D1.2 - Usage as synergy8
      D.2 The Master/Vassal/Slave relationship8
      D2.1 - General description8
      D1.2 - Usage as synergy8




      General Information


      This guideline is meant to convey a common understanding of how the project envisions the Infernal Dwarves (ID) army book to be designed. The document is split into several parts below you find a short description about every layer:
      • Game Level: Racial aspects - what does it mean to be an elf / dwarf / undead / ... (these are shared between armies and create a background link between different factions of the same race without diluting the uniqueness of the specific armies); in this layer racial descriptions can be found which are shared among different books.
      • Army Level: Overarching army specific aspects shared by most units - these traits should actively be incorporated in as many units as possible. Furthermore basic equipment and weaponry are defined as well as play styles which should be actively supported by the army book designers.
      • Intra-Army Level 1: Defining important sub-themes / factions in the book which should be represented design wise and require different design profiles to be captured adequately.
      • Intra-Army Level 2: Defining important sub-themes / factions in the book which should be represented design wise but are already covered by higher level design layers (these themes are within the already existing Guidelines but make out an important part of the appeal and uniqueness of any given book and therefore deserve special attention. Note: This layer should be actively expanded during the conceptual phase of the book.


      Note: The design layers follow the principle of Lex specialis derogat legi generali meaning that in the case of contradicting guidelines the more specific takes precedence.



      A. Game Level Design Guidelines
      A.1 Racial Background Description - Dwarves


      Dwarves are known for their robust physique and are very resistant. Furthermore they have a short and sturdy nature and are generally very heavily muscled. Although dwarves are bad sprinters, they excel at long marching. Dwarven military units will generally be well trained and equipped with above average equipment (both quality as well as quantity). Dwarves are a tenacious race and won't be giving ground easily even if heavily outnumbered and suffering severe casualties.


      A.2 Racial Design Notes - Dwarves
      Their physical traits should be represented (on an army level) by stats and rules consistent with their DH counterparts Psychologically Dwarves are able to function well inside and outside the general / BSB bubble with a clearly above average discipline value. Even basic troops should have a variety of mundane equipment options and access to heavy armour.


      A.3 General Game Level Design Guidelines
      Besides army specific design instructions the general design philosophy of T9A for all publication has to be observed (game-wide Guidelines).



      B. Infernal Dwarves Army Level Design Guidelines


      Background overview: the-ninth-age.com/lexicon/inde…E2%80%8Binfernal-dwarves/


      B.1 Army Composition
      The core and main bulk of the army consists out of standard sized infantry which is supported by a wide variety of specialized combat and ranged units. While the majority of the army is centred around R&F standard sized infantry units, armies are usually supported by non-standard sized infantry elements. Pure standard sized infantry armies are be a niche build which sets ID apart from DH.


      B.1.2 Common Equipment
      The technological advancement of the ID combined with rich metal ores in the surrounding areas, results in it being easy to produce high quality armour for a large fraction of their soldiers. Furthermore the dwarfs have the physique and body strength to wear heavy suits of armour for extended periods of time. Thus troops are well equipped (non-dwarves are an exception here) and due to the high level of industrialisation and technology even basic Infernal Dwarves troops (which only serve their mandatory 30 years of military service) have access to high quality and high quantity mundane equipment. As common mundane equipment can be considered: heavy and plate armour and shields defensively as well as great weapons and various shooting weapons with close combat applications offensively.


      B.1.3 Overall conveyed in-game feeling (including level of eliteness)
      The army should convey an aggressive/offensive and relentless feeling: "the enemy can run, but they can't hide"; the ID will get them eventually, it is inevitable.


      The dwarf part of the book should have a similar eliteness level as their DH counterparts. Hobgoblins should be more elite than they currently are (to better differentiated with slaves and to make wolf rider less ideal redirectors). Note that this does not have to mean better at killing stuff and harder to kill. Eliteness can mean they have other uses different from being strong in combat.


      The Army should not feel overly static with manoeuvrability being limited by the R&F nature of the army. The army has a high eliteness level (with exceptions) and is thus limited in numbers. As such, the army should never be able to play in an avoidance/harrassment style and, although the slave elements are less elite, they should always be a supporting element; a horde army built around slaves should (if possible at all) be a niche suboptimal build.


      Combat and shooting can both be important primary sources of damage; both gunlines and highly aggressive/offensive combat armies should be possible. The former will be short ranged and a touch more mobile (but not able to quickly redeploy to other areas of the table) than a traditional gunline and the latter is likely to have a strong presence of taurukhs/kadims/monsters in order to have sufficient tactical movement options. The army is JOAT, and has a quality tool for every occasion, but will never have every tool in every list due to the eliteness.


      Flying units can be part of a more aggressive ID army, but the amount of flyers should not approach that required for a flying circus playstyle (defined as an army centered around flying and high-mobility units, e.g. ~40% flyers and 75% of army above average mobility); the flying elements should primarily be support for non-flying elements.


      B.2 Special Deployment
      Special deployment should be strongly limited, and cannot be present at all on mainline combat units or play an important role in a list's strategy.


      B.3 Movement
      The ID army does not perform lightning strikes and raids; instead it grinds relentlessly forward. Speed is not a goal for ID; Victory is inevitable as the masses of plate clad bodies break any resistance they face. While some units are fast in the army's context, each individual unit should not be fast for its type. Manoeuvrability or lateral movement is limited.


      Furthermore, the perceived inevitably of the ID victory and straightforward approach leaves little room in their strategy for movement tricks. They rely on supporting elements and ranged damage to control the battlefield and not on speedy highly manoeuvrable units.


      B.4 Leadership
      Infernal dwarf armies are brave and resolute, stoically facing the terrors of the world while rarely showing fear or a lack of resolve. They should not break or panic easily. The dwarfs respect/fear their leaders and follow orders. Even when leaders are not nearby.
      Aim for the dwarven part of this army to have discipline abilities near the game's top tier, both when alone and when inside discipline bubble.


      Bubble discipline should be of less (but not zero) importance to this army, with the clear and obvious exception of vassals and slaves. Slaves do not only benefit from the presence of dwarfs or dedicated slave-drivers, but may even actively require it.


      Non-dwarfs are much more unruly in nature. They follow orders when leaders are nearby as disobedience results in harsh punishment. On the other hand when leader are not nearby, these units have a tendency to follow their more primal emotions instead of a strategic approach. These non-dwarf units need external overseers to operate exactly as the players wants them to.


      B.5 Magic
      The ID use of magic is flexible, but not overtly special: buffs and damage are all part of the arsenal. Their magic casting and dispelling abilities are average in a game wide comparison.


      The army has access to three main paths: Alchemy, Pyromancy and Occultism.
      In addition, they can have very limited access to Witchcraft in non-dwarven casters (e.g. lamassu).


      Alchemy and Pyromancy tie into the flaming sub-theme, whereas Occultism is tied into the slave sub-theme. Magical attacks/abilities are present through the contraptions/creations and often linked to technology, more than raw supernatural ability.


      B.6 Shooting
      Infernal dwarf shooting should mainly be short ranged*, highly damaging, and able to move and fire**.
      This doesn't exclude possibility of static war machines.


      The ID favour large and powerful items, believing in quality over quantity with their shooting while still being able to equip even basic warriors with specialised shooting equipment due to the level of industrialisation. War machines should be powerful but be limited in range. The artilleryshould have a magical/daemonic/un-conventional feel to it. The majority of shooty units (dwarfs, some contraptions/creations) should not be afraid of entering melee.


      Hobgoblins are not armed with ID weapons, instead they are armed with low tech weapons from the BRB such as bows/throwing weapons, or something similar. They have less damaging shooting (quality / eliteness), and less focus on mobility and short range. Unlike dwarven shooting units Hobgoblins don't desire to enter close combat. Hobgoblin shooting should not be impressive by any means, and it should not be possible to have it as the primary backbone of a gunline list. Hobgoblin shooting should not allow ID builds with significant long range shooting (overcoming the intended short ranged but powerful shooting theme).


      Slaves are not trusted with shooting weapons.


      * When considering range for a weapon, place it towards the lower range of similar weapons in other armies (e.g. had held personal weapons 8-18", catapults: 36-68", bolt throwers: 36-48", and so on). The shooting of the army should have a clear feeling of being short ranged.
      Naturally short ranged weapons (e.g. throwing weapons, flame throwers, pistols) can have ranged around the average for its weapon type.


      ** This doesn't have to mean all weapons are quick to fire. There could still be some incentives for not moving. Note that this is mobile shooting by dwarven standards, not elven. When combined with the army's limited lateral movement, this shouldn't be seen as access to avoidance shooting. Moving forward towards the enemy and shooting him in his face should be what ID does. Moving sideways, backwards, or into enemy blind zones and shooting him in his back/side is not be what ID does very well.
      If Taurukhs are given shooting, than it should not enable very mobile shooting builds - the same feeling as handheld dwarf shooting should be conveyed.


      B.6.1. Mechanical contraptions and creations
      Dwarf-created machines (war machines, Gunnery Teams, Infernal Engine etc) are a common sight in the ID army. In the context of the guideline, these should be considered dwarven units. These machines can potentially include bound kadims, in which case they should use aspects from Kadim subtheme.


      B.7 Close Combat
      The ID army forms an unyielding hard and resolute battleline. Their main combat units do not break easily or die quickly, and ID armies are generally comfortable in prolonged combats. The main combat units relentlessly and continuously whittle down their foes. Enemies are slowly choked to death - victory is inevitable. The supporting close combat elements which are more specialised (e.g. Kadims, Lugars) are tools for flanking and hammers to support the main combat units which function as anvils and upon which the enemy lines break like waves on a cliff. These supporting elements, although comfortable in prolonged combats, trade in defensive capabilities (compared to the main fighting units) for higher movement rates ("fast" in the context of the army, not the game) and damage output without reaching glass hammer territory. Melee survivability is based on the fact that units are hard to rout (therefore staying reliably in combat) and on high quality mundane equipment (armour / shields).


      B.8 Defensive Capabilities
      The survivability of dwarfs should come from a combination of basic physiology and mundane equipment (armour and shields). Average armour is high but peeks are rare (e.g. plate armour on most dwarfs, but few options with armour 5 and 6).


      The primary form of defence for Hobgoblins and Slaves are their high numbers. These units don't have much armour or good stats compared to the rest of the ID force (with Hobgoblins being semi-elite).


      Kadims, being supernal beings of primordial fire and intense passions contractually and voluntarily bound into metal constructs, feel no pain when struck and suffer only temporary discorporation when struck down. Their lack of concern for their metallic shell results in a generally offensively focused unit, trading in protection for improved offensive capabilities.


      B.9 Chaff
      Redirecting and avoiding enemies isn't the way of the Infernal Dwarfs. If they need to stop something, they are more likely to feed it large amounts of slaves than to try to lure it away (= using chaff as redirectors). Redirector-focused chaff units should be sub-optimal as pure chaff. Note however that this doesn’t mean such units should be overall a bad ineffective overpriced unit. This can be achieved by increasing the eliteness and therefore overall quality of the chaff unit.


      Redirector-chaff in core should be completely impossible.


      Tarpits should be readily available (e.g. Slaves, unbreakable machines).


      B.10 Synergies
      Synergy is not an important or ubiquitous quality in ID armies due to the self centred and condescending nature of ID. After all, they are already better than their enemy, so units with the primary role of improving other ID units are unneeded.


      Synergies should therefore be heavily limited to the two main sub-themes (see D. Intra Army Level 2 - Subthemes for further information). Synergies outside these should be few in numbers and low in game impact. Synergies in the mentioned themes should be average game impact (i.e. it should not approach the game impact levels that we see in the heavily synergy dependent armies). Note that these synergies must not be required for constructing good army lists.


      C. ID Intra Army Level 1 - Subfractions
      While the army book is mainly centred around the dwarven elements there are noteworthy exceptions: Taurukhs, Kadmins, Disciple of Lugar, Hobgoblins, and Slaves.


      C.1 Taurukhs
      A particularly important sub-faction of ID are the Tauruks. Being a magical symbiosis of Dwarf and Bull their movement is compared to the army standard high but still not exceeding average in their unit type class in a game wide comparison. They are similarly well equipped as dwarven units and therefore the regular ID dwarf guidelines apply in this regard. Taurukh units should convey a feeling of being physically strong and being bred fighters with a strong connection to the Shamut clergy. Being used as police (and rioting police) hand held ranged weaponry could be made accessible - in this case the unit should convey the same feeling as the R&F dwarven shooting units (short distance, damaging, mobile by dwarf standards but not very manoeuvrable).


      C.2 Kadim
      Kadim and Disciples of Lugar should convey a strong fire based theme. They sacrifice protection for offensive capabilities and are among the faster units in the book while still not reaching upper level movement speeds in their respective unit class in a game wide comparison. While these units are offensively focused they do not reach glass cannon territory - prolonged fights should still be manageable for the units. The protection of Disciples of Lugar is not based on armour but on cunning and the attributes gained by the symbiosis with the fire elemental bound into them. Kadims being bound to a contractual agreement should express itself in being more reliable near the ones who are holding / enforcing their contract. The generally unstable nature of Kadim-binding should be expressed in the units design, setting it apart in playstyle and feeling from the (very) reliable dwarven units.


      C.3 Vassals (Hobgoblins)
      Hobgoblins are goblin-like creatures in appearance and physique, differentiating them starkly from the bulk of the heavily armoured and physically strong ID army. Being entrusted to join the ID armies as free soldiers they are semi elite (within army context; below dwarfs, above slaves) troops fulfilling special roles in the ID army. Hobgoblins should have something that makes them clearly different from dwarves and clearly different from slaves (current hobgoblin rules and stats are too similar to how slaves are envisioned (cheap per HP, used as chaff and tarpits). Hobgoblins should provide something to the army that neither slaves not dwarves can. Roles that slaves aren’t trusted to do and that the goblins are naturally good at.
      For example,
      • they could provide a decent quantity of ranged bow fire support for soft targets complementing the higher quality low quantity ID shooting - contrary to ID shooting units Hobgoblin shooting units are easy prey in combat. Design wise bow shooting should only be a supplementary tool and never a strategy on its own.
      • They could provide wolfriders which would be among the fastest elements in the book. Although wolfriders may be among the cheaper and faster units in the book, they still have to adhere to the chaff-guidelines.
      • And more. Be creative and create hobgoblins with roles that doesn’t overlap with other types of units.


      C.4 Slaves
      Slaves fuel magical rituals, are cannon fodder, and used to tarpit opponents. Due to the Slave import the racial heritage is not uniform but all IDslaves fielded in battle are considered highly expendable, not trained and not entrusted with ranged weaponry. Slaves should suffer severe drawbacks if no dwarven units are nearby. Their primary role should be as tarpits, and they should therefore be fielded primarily in large units. Slaves should not offer significant damage output or be used for important strategic roles (e.g. scoring).


      Note that slaves should not be restricted to only slave orcs. ID uses a variety of races as slaves. (and orcs are among the more common ones).


      D. ID Intra Army Level 2 - Subthemes
      D.1 Masters of Fire
      D1.1 - General description
      The art of manipulating fire and using fire to your advantage. This theme should be heavily featured in the dwarven and kadim part of the army. It should be a key pillar of the faction identity, heavily featured in dwarven magic (both spell casting (pyro/alch) and magical items), technology (e.g. war machines, weapons). Kadims are beings of primordial fire and should naturally be heavily themed towards fire and flames.


      D1.2 - Usage as synergy
      This theme should also be featured as one of the main sources of synergy in this army.


      The core of this synergy should be about using the combination of flaming and flammable. Giving friends flaming attacks and making enemies flammable. It doesn’t have to be limited to only this. Be creative. But avoid using this as a way to implement typical "basic" synergies (e.g. "The model’s unit gains hatred if it has flaming attacks").


      D.2 The Master/Vassal/Slave relationship
      D2.1 - General description
      ID is a hierarchical society. The structure of who is above/below who should be an important theme throughout the army.


      D1.2 - Usage as synergy
      This theme should also be featured as one of the main sources of synergy in this army, primarily thought dwarfs controlling “lesser” beings. E.g. Leaders using fear to make slaves, vassals, supernals etc submit to their rule. Herding slaves, controlling kadims, ordering hobgoblins. This could potentially be applied to dwarfs following strong leaders as well.


      This synergy should focus on discipline, movement, and spending slave-lives for the benefit of their dwarven masters. It should never be used to directly make slaves more effective at killing enemy units.

      Lord of the Hobby

      The Great Horde of Chaos <-My hobby blog Tyranno's Ride into the Steppes <-My Makhar hobby/army-list blog
    • thx for uploading it Tyranno,

      One interesting aspect that may not come out that clearly in the above is that vassals may be more than hobgoblins and in general representing the races living in the area. Although hobgoblins are still one of the main races, they are one of several.

      Just wanted to point it out as the above indicate that vassals = hobgoblins.

      Product Owner - ID LAB

      Alone you may go faster but together we go further ;)
    • Tyranno wrote:

      A.3 General Game Level Design Guidelines
      Besides army specific design instructions the general design philosophy of T9A for all publication has to be observed (game-wide Guidelines).

      Any idea where those Guidelines are ?
      This might surely interest our readers, too ^^
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • They are still internal as they are still being worked on. Some details are being sorted.

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      Team Croatia ETC 2019 Captain ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ HEROES AND VILLEINS OF THE 9TH AGE
    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      Tyranno wrote:

      A.3 General Game Level Design Guidelines
      Besides army specific design instructions the general design philosophy of T9A for all publication has to be observed (game-wide Guidelines).
      Any idea where those Guidelines are ?
      This might surely interest our readers, too ^^
      @fjugin :)

      Product Owner - ID LAB

      Alone you may go faster but together we go further ;)
    • No, GGLDG didn't replace ASAW.
      ASAW are army specific and superseded by the ID specific guidelines at the top of this thread.

      There have always been game wide guidelines of some sort, formalised to different degrees at different times.
      Being supportive & giving useful criticism aren't mutually exclusive.
      Are you supportive of the project? Do your posts reflect that?

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