Game length and design

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  • Digger614 wrote:

    omalley69 wrote:

    Just read the announcement of rulebook 1.2 in november.

    i REALLY dont hope they are going to cut down on unit options. Having invested heavily on pistol militia and hw shield imperial guard for my empire army and then loosing those options would break it for me.

    I migrated from 40k to 9th in the belife that armybooks would be updated regularly and would be full of flair, maybe even reintroducing old models like the war wagon for EoS.

    Omalley69 wrote:

    So stuff like skeletons with halberds and other stuff might get removed again?

    I could easily see a community getting quite upset about that. First been giving cool new options, investing time and money in them, and then loosing them.

    Its been seen over and over in the past of 40k codexes. Options and complexsity comming and going (GW releases a cool new miniature and making the rules for its old counterparts obsolete). It leaves the fans frustrated and honestly one of the reasons i joined the 9th age community. I hopped this whouldnt be the case with 9th age.
    I'm not a rules designer, but I do know that the more variables that you add, the harder it is to balance a game. But I do appreciate the comments about investing money in models. On the question of complexity I defer commenting to @fjugin @arthain and @el rey. They could answer this much better than I ever could. Also, add @SmithF.
    In this case, the balance of the game (how powerful armies are) is not really the main reason for reducing options. It's a nice bonus, but the main reason has more to do with game being too complex, and speeding up the game.

    Upgrades that are difficult to keep track of because there are no way you can represent the option in a clear and unambiguous way slows down the game. Keeping track of them for your opponent is not easy when there are multiple units involved. Consider a situation where a KoE player has 3 pegasus knight units, one with devastating charge, one with vanguard and one with nothing. You'll constantly have to ask your opponent which unit has what upgrade, and this slows down the game.
    Speeding up the game is something we are working hard towards, anyone should be able to play a game in under 3 hours without rushing through the last turns. Which currently is not the case.

    These are the type of upgrades we are eliminating (usually through making them included in the default configuration of the unit). Weapon options are different. If you have several units of skeletons, some with halberds, some with hand weapons and some with shields, I can just look at your models and instantly know which units is which.

    The other reason for dropping optional (non-representable) upgrades is to make it easier for new players to get an idea of what the unit's purpose within the army is. With several different unique upgrades that makes the unit fill slightly different roles it becomes difficult to get a feel for the unit. The current situation is manageable for experienced players, but newer players seems to be struggling more with this. We need to stop this trend we had during the beta phase with more and more options for all units.
    This also makes it easier to give each unit a more distinct role, and to fit into the theme of the army and its strengths and weaknesses, if we don't also have to take into consideration all the possible options the unit has.
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  • Game length and design

    @Vazalaar

    I think we have discovered the core misunderstanding here.


    Vazalaar wrote:

    I indeed see external / internal balance as personal viewpoint. I.e It seems that WotDG is considered to be very internal balanced, for me it's the most boring version of Chaos I have ever seen.

    The only reason for me not playing an army was because I disliked the miniatures, I have never been bothered by uber or non uber units. It's a game with dice, I mean balance is one thing, but it is certainly not the most important thing that makes a game good.
    I think the biggest misunderstanding you are having about the goal of balance is this: balance does not equal fun. Rather, balance is the structure that fun is supported on.

    A game can be fun without being balanced. Warhammer 8th Ed. was a prime example of this. But the more balanced a game is, the more likely it is that both players will have fun. On the same point, a game can be balanced without being fun. We could both guess the results of flipping coins. It would be a balanced game, but you would not want to play more than a few rounds.

    Consider WoC in 8th Ed.: You could take a Nurgle demon prince that was a level 4 death wizard with fly(10), glittering scales, a charmed shield, and a sword of striking. It can march 20, has a 1+ 5++. is only hit on 6+ against the vast majority of units, hits the vast majority of units on a 2+, and can easily get into combat on turn 2 and start throwing 6 dice at purple sun. This was a very cool unit, and I am sure that you would have fun if you brought it. But would your opponent have fun? From personal experience: no. I almost quit the game because of that kind of garbage.

    And if you say "Well, I would never bring a unit like that", then congratulations, you are attempting to balance the game. After all, if you refuse to take a perfectly legal model on the basis that it would be unfun for your opponent, then you are doing the EXACT same thing that the rules team is doing when they are balancing the game.

    This is why everyone says 8th Ed. was unbalanced: because you had to put limitations on what you would bring (even in a casual environment like the ones that both you and I play in) in order to get people to want to play with you again.

    As to the current WoDG book being balanced but boring, I would agree, but the fault is NOT on the balance. There is some factor to the army that is currently making it boring, and that is the reason that it is first on the docket for a rework. Balancing an army is to ensure that the army is fun to play AGAINST.

    And as for this statement:

    Vazalaar wrote:

    I can't disagree with your post. But i.e 8th Edition had balance, imo the most balanced version of all Warhammer versions, the only difference was that for some it wasn't balanced enough. As I said I play in a friendly / casaul enviremont, ofcourse we all play to win, but we don't min-max our armylists and etc.. . The internet is full of broken and WAAC lists and imo people that play like that just missed the intention of the game.
    It may have been the most balanced version of Warhammer, but that does not mean it was balanced. For people playing TK, they had to take the most powerful units they had available to have a fighting chance. I play completely casually. I have never been to a tournament. But even my most fluffy ogre army was a tough fight for a competitive TK list. You did not have to play with a WAAC list in order to beat them, which is more evidence for the game being unbalanced.

    T9A is working toward balance so that you can play a similar army like UD or BH and not be completely blown away just because you are facing elves or WoDG.
  • fjugin wrote:


    Speeding up the game is something we are working hard towards, anyone should be able to play a game in under 3 hours without rushing through the last turns. Which currently is not the case.

    I'm curious about this statement. Isn't game length a function of points limit as well as complexity? Is the target specifically a 2500 point game in 3 hours?

    Another silly question, where did 3 hours come from? Is that driven by tournament play?
  • Ozariig wrote:

    Is that driven by tournament play?
    Among other things, yes.

    Ideally a standard game size should not last more then 2.5 hours from deployment to the end of the 6th turn.

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  • And from a casual perspective, have you ever been in a five hour game (even at 2500 points)? I have things to do. I want to be able to have fun with friends, but not have to spend the entire day out in order to do it (as that leads to a VERY angry wife).

    2.5 to 3 hours is a good time frame to shoot for to ensure that you get to have fun without getting fatigued or yelled at.
  • Toomuchmodels wrote:

    Does the "remove upgrades for units that are confusing / not clearly distinguishable" statement carry that magic items would be deleted from the game?

    Sometimes i think it would make for a bettsr game. (Veiled suggestion there, i know)
    I doubt it. It just means units will be simpler. The pegasus knights example above, may simply become all pegasus knights have thunderous charge and vanguard, instead of being able to selectively pick some of those options.
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  • Pellegrim wrote:

    On game length..These are aspects you could really consult the community about, imo. The development is reasonable, and I think generally desired - but a community consult will give you more backing while making such calls.
    Do you want to play a five hour game on average? I'm not really sure I understand what your complaint is about.
  • Ozariig wrote:

    fjugin wrote:

    Speeding up the game is something we are working hard towards, anyone should be able to play a game in under 3 hours without rushing through the last turns. Which currently is not the case.
    I'm curious about this statement. Isn't game length a function of points limit as well as complexity? Is the target specifically a 2500 point game in 3 hours?

    Another silly question, where did 3 hours come from? Is that driven by tournament play?
    Well, to be honest "3 hours" isn't an actual number RT has agreed on. We have an aim "faster gameplay", but not as detailed as a specific time limit.
    3 hours just happen to be the standard game time for tournament games in my part of the world, and it is far from rare that games are not finished on time.

    Regarding army size that is certainly true. But when balancing the game we must have a specific army size in mind. If this army size means game play is longer that what most people want, then we should do something about it. Faster game play, focus on balancing the game at smaller sizes, or a mix of both.

    Toomuchmodels wrote:

    Does the "remove upgrades for units that are confusing / not clearly distinguishable" statement carry that magic items would be deleted from the game?
    I should have been clearer on this, the exceptions are characters (they kind of need to be customizable to be interesting) and magical banners for units. Removing all magical items would be a very radical move, I'm sure many would not like that. :)

    Pellegrim wrote:

    On game length..These are aspects you could really consult the community about, imo. The development is reasonable, and I think generally desired - but a community consult will give you more backing while making such calls.
    We are, in a way.
    Maybe not through official RT-sanctioned polls, but through reading discussion on these issues and talking about it with community members. There seems to be a general feeling in the community that the game takes too long to play.
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  • Pellegrim wrote:

    Thats part of the problem then
    No, really. I don't get your complaint. It helps a lot if you explain what your issue is so that it can be addressed. Just saying "that's part of the problem, then" doesn't do anything.

    So, the point that was made was that the game can be overly complex, leading to long games as a result of people needing to look up rules on a regular basis. With the latest update, they are hoping to make the rules less complex (not less deep, not less strategic: just less complex) with the ultimate goal of shortening the average amount of time it takes to play the game.

    You then made the statement that this goal should have been put up to a community vote to see if they want to make the game take less time, which is what I don't understand. The only reason that you would want this to be put up for a vote is if you feel that the game does not take up enough time.

    So, please, explain what your complaint is about. Do you feel that the game does not take enough time to play? Do you think there is a large part of the community that wants their game to take longer? What is it that inspired you to post that statement? I really do want to know. Vague statements do not help anything.
  • Time does depend a lot on factions and playstyles, I find.

    For some reasons my games against ID/VS go a lot faster than against DH/BH even though they all have a ton of special rules. Moreover, when I brought in a chess-clock to some games, I was stunned at just how much time I wasted on the movement phase (far more than my opponents) which tended to compensate for not having ranged elements.

    The game does need to get faster though, otherwise every game night will also be sleep on the sofa night...
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  • Most of the actual gameplay time is spent on the movement phase, measuring distances, wheels, pivots, spaces, facings, and so on and so on. It is just cumbersome and easily exploitable by WAAC players due to its complexity.

    That's a part of the game that needs improvement.
  • Heh, maybe I oversold the "speeding up the game" part. :)
    We're not really looking at redesigning the entire movement phase in order to cut off 30 minutes of game play. We're more looking for the easy wins, where we can cut away unneeded complexity or time-wasting with minimal effect on strategical depth of the game.
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  • Adicto wrote:

    Most of the actual gameplay time is spent on the movement phase, measuring distances, wheels, pivots, spaces, facings, and so on and so on. It is just cumbersome and easily exploitable by WAAC players due to its complexity.

    That's a part of the game that needs improvement.
    completely agree.

    I think that a movement phase more in between Kings of War( too simple and uninteractive) and 8th warhammer ( too complex and abusable) would be the better for this game
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  • except there is gadamme method to the current movement - we can't just change "a little". I heard AoS games with equal amount of models take the same amount of time as T9A does!

    This is a big part of the game, and breaking away will surely cause a splinter movement that will just keep using 1.0.

    No, movement is not that bad. It's shooting, magic and combat really, and the insanely long list of non-regular close combat attacks.

    I agree we can streamline, buy cutting insane light troops rules (ok this is movement. shoot me please, but just do it quick!), simplifing magic to chosen spells that are cast on a X+ and do not require dispelleing (good ridence insane modifiers), limmit multiple units fighting one combat (messy stuff), changing the current shooting rules (and modifier madness; each model uses it's own los? Shoot me please, quickly; different BS in one unit? Shoot me please), challenges are very tedious and are often abused (I say cut those as well), do not grant champions +1 WS (horrible horrible idea).

    The interesting question is, is T9A taking on the current close combat system?
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  • Pellegrim wrote:

    I agree we can streamline, buy cutting insane light troops rules (ok this is movement. shoot me please, but just do it quick!), simplifing magic to chosen spells that are cast on a X+ and do not require dispelleing (good ridence insane modifiers), limmit multiple units fighting one combat (messy stuff), changing the current shooting rules (and modifier madness; each model uses it's own los? Shoot me please, quickly; different BS in one unit? Shoot me please), challenges are very tedious and are often abused (I say cut those as well), do not grant champions +1 WS (horrible horrible idea).
    What do you have against light troops? They're the easiest units to move in teh game. 99% of the time you can measure from the center of the unit to the end (farthest model) of where you want it to be, pick the unit up, and place it at the new spot (with some quick checks to make sure no model has moved too far). No futzing with wheels, figuring out how much you need to wheel to clear another unit or impassable terrain, or anything else. I find it takes much longer to move other units unless they're just barreling straight forward.

    I would not oppose a more consistent magic phase. There are some stand-out spells which are too powerful, but most probably only need tweaks. In general its hard to score a wizard's value in points between miscast and dispel at present.

    I agree unit champion modifiers could probably be streamlined. I'd honestly like to see champ/mus/standard just come automatically with all units that can have them, at which point reducing champ to +1A only is fine.

    Checking each model's LoS is only mildly annoying, it doesn't take that much time - check the least likely one first, and then slide until you have one in LoS. Only really complicated terrain/unit interference makes it at all difficult.

    Challenges are essential to balance, and could not be removed without significant consequences. (Without challenges, herohammer would dominate the game to a large degree - challenges impose limits on character power against ranked units).
    Just because I'm on the Legal Team doesn't mean I know anything about rules or background in development, and if/when I do, I won't be posting about it. All opinions and speculation are my own - treat them as such.

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