Make Weapon Skill great again!

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  • New

    Ney wrote:

    Just so we don't go over the same old discussions again, I'd like to point people here How do we make Weaponskill a more important stat? Change the to Hit chart

    and to here Split Weapon Skill in Offense-WS and Defense-WS
    Just wanted to post exactly the same, when I found this. ;)

    So, if somebody posted a suggestion that has not been mentioned in one of the two threads in the suggestions forum, then please copy it to there.
    I won't read through this thread.

    Rules Support

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  • New

    Peacemaker wrote:

    i gotta say its nice to have these discussions. But us veteran game designers already know why the WS chart is the way it is.
    We know this because we've seen or can visualize the outcomes.


    to help those who are newer to game design or have spent their years contributing to society instead of thinking about game design(lol, a joke).
    when you want to institute a change, obviously you think of the cool parts - "ooo my elf elite at WS 6 can only be hit on 6's!!!! Ya awesome!"
    ya it is awesome. But now you have to visualize that you have the WS 3 guys and going against enemy WS 6. You roll 20 dice and get 2, maybe 3 hits. Maybe 1 wound goes through.
    now your opponent swinfs back with 10 dice. Needs 2+. Hits with everything, needs 2's to wound, you peel of 9 guys auto break from combat.
    .....will you ever take those WS 3 unit again?. No. If its not WS 5 you dont even consider it.

    to balance this out would require a huge rework.
    and that rework would be:
    zombies get WS1
    trash troops get WS 2
    mostly everything has WS 3.
    Some elites have WS 4.
    almost nothing has WS 5.

    a big reason you need that 5+ max to hit is because you got 3 other dice rolls.
    Believe me, I've thought more about game design than is good for anyone's sanity, even done game design successfully.

    I think you're overestimating the extent to which elite elves (a relevant archetypical example for this discussion, since they're high-skill but squishy) would become untouchable. Let's run some concrete numbers, using the proposal I put out there for discussion at thread start, i.e.

    You have 1 WS more: You hit on 3+ and are hit back on 4+
    You have 2 WS more: You hit on 3+ and are hit back on 5+
    You have 3 WS more: You hit on 2+ and are hit back on 5+
    You have 4+ WS more: You hit on 2+ and are hit back on 6+

    Let's take the elitiest of the elite elf, the Sword Masters. They're WS 6, i.e. even one point higher in WS than other elite elves. They have racial Lightning Reflexes, but since that ends up being spent to make their greatswords not strike last, they have another special rule that gives them yet another +1 to hit.

    Under the current rules, they hit everything that's up to WS 5 (i.e. 99% of all non-character models in the game) on 2+. Low-grade WS2 garbage hit them on 5+, while everything from WS3 to WS5 hits them on 4+. The difference in skill between a regular human soldier (WS3), an elite human such as a knight or a regular soldier of an elite race such as a dwarf warrior (WS4), or an elite member of an elite race such as a dwarf royal bodyguard (WS5) makes absolutely no difference.

    Under the suggestion I made, which includes trashing all "special" bandaid beyond-WS rules that are supposed to represent fighting skill, the swordmaster would be hit on 6+ only by WS2 garbage. Yeah, it'd take the lowest of the low of garbage troops, essentially untrained rabble whose understanding of fighting is pretty much limited to "pointy end goes in enemy", fighting against the elitest of the elite elf, for hitting on 6+ to happen. So, not common enough to be problematic. From there, each point of WS the combatant on the other end of the swordmaster has would either reduce the hit chance of the swordmaster by 1, or increase the hit chance of the other guy by 1. Now, every point of WS actually matters.

    For the swordmaster in this example, he'd only hit on 2+ against WS 2 or 3, contrary to always hitting on 2+ as under the old rules. However, he'd be hit back on only 5+ up until an enemy WS of 4. So he isn't necessarily more powerful than before overall, he'd be a bit more so against low-WS troops but less so against high-WS troops.

    I'm fully aware how powerful being only hitable on 6+ is, and how steep a change it is from 5+. A halving of incoming damage. Whereas on the other end of the spectrum, going from hitting on 3+ to hitting on 2+ is just a 25% increase in damage output. That's why, in my proposal, I saved the effect of getting hit on 6+ to the very last, to an extreme WS difference of 4. Still, if being hit only on 6+ is to be considered an absolute no-no (which I'm open to believing it might be), the table I proposed could work without that last step, i.e.

    You have 1 WS more: You hit on 3+ and are hit back on 4+
    You have 2 WS more: You hit on 3+ and are hit back on 5+
    You have 3+ WS more: You hit on 2+ and are hit back on 5+

    Then the game could make use of the whole range from 2+ to 5+. Only using 3+ to 5+, of which 5+ is exceptionally rare, is a waste of a usable range of differentiation.
  • New

    If one wants the game to frequently use situational modifiers that give +1 or -1 to hit, and those are meant to be situational and unrelated to the fighting prowess of the model (i.e. not "spezhul +1 to hit cuz I'm an über 1337 3lf"), it would indeed make sense to let the weapon skill chart go from 3+ to 5+. Currently it does that, but with 5+ being almost rare to the point of irrelevancy.

    Heck, maybe it'd be enough if the to-hit table was as is for 3+ and 4+, but 5+ would happen already if you're attacking something with 2 points more WS than you? Then, there'd be a unique outcome for each of the WS differences of 0, 1 and 2, which together should cover about 95% of all situations where rank and file models strike at rank and file models.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Konrad von Richtmark ().

  • New

    TheNakedChef wrote:

    DarkSky wrote:

    TheNakedChef wrote:

    If your WS is more than twice that of your opponent, 2+ to hit. If your opponent's WS is more than three times your WS, 6+ to hit.
    That will solve absolutely nothing, as these cases almost never occur.
    They occur quite often for HbE.Also, your exaggerations are universally apocalyptic.
    You kidding me? More than twice doesn't happen even if you field Swordmasters unless your opponent is WS2 (very rare) or you used some augments or hexes (in which case a -1 to hit is perfectly justified, as you could also cast scrying). More than three times: Aside from a failed fear test, when will you ever see that? (It's obvious to me, that the fear rule needs changing is WS table is changed, just in case you didn't see that)
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    #freekillerinstinct
  • New

    Nathan.a. wrote:

    @DarkSky you really should try and sound more respectful in your posts, you're part of the team and from your posts in this thread my opinion of you is not that high. You're throwing people under the bus, and whether or not you agree with someone should not change how you phrase your response. It's easy to be respectful, a person just needs to choose to do it.
    @Nathan.a. Thanks for your feedback. I re-read my post and agree that it can be seen that way. I should have worded it more carefully to avoid being misunderstood. I also admit, that I was a little bit red-headed when writing here, as some people deliberately seem to ignore the reasons and arguments of the "pro-change" camp. I will take your feedback and will try to improve my style in further posts.

    About "being part of the team" → being a Content-Team member does not mean that I have any say in rules, balancing or anything imprtant in T9A whatsoever. It merely means, that my blog is featured here and on Lord Tremendous Content reports.
    My blog with battle reports and painting gallery: bleaklegion.wordpress.com/

    #freekillerinstinct
  • New

    Adam wrote:

    WhammeWhamme wrote:

    That said, pin down some numbers. What kind of stats should:

    Chosen (WDG)
    Greybeards (DH)
    Swordmasters (HBE)
    Swordsmen (EoS)
    Temple Guard (SA)
    Tribesmen (OK)
    Zombies (VC)

    have? (Mention *every* change. If you don't mention it, you can't claim it later in the conversation.)

    Because that's where the rubber meets the road: can this system be used to make actual units work.


    And if you can't make 7 units work, then how on earth do you expect anyone to be able to make 16 *armies* worth of units work?
    To start first I had a proposal about weapons somewhere on the forums (as I think that mostly GWs are ridiculous so please do not analyze my proposals based on the fact that units here wield GWs) and str not tied to AP, but AP granted by weapon mostly (so save values even 5+ is somewhat meaningful form of defense)
    Lets start with what i mean by value of ows and dws (also it maps to T and S tables)
    1 - terrible (only the very worst units in something should have a stat of this value)
    2 - not talented or untrained
    3 - low norm
    4 - high norm
    5 - elite
    6 - stellar
    7+ - extra rare (as we do not have units with S7 T7 commonly either)

    I would also reuse I as dws as I is really weird stat on its own.
    so WS to I table would be the same as S to T table

    Ill start with the racial norm and some justifications on why from fluff reasons I chose said values:
    human ws3 i3 s3 t3 5+save
    dwarf: ws4 i2 s3 t4 4+save (i mostly is the ability to dodge and dwarfs are not nimble enough to do that)
    elf: ws4 i5 s3 t3 6+ save (even the elites should have lower save) this also leads to elves being better in cc but worse at being shot at and represents cautious nimble warriors
    orc: ws4 i1 s3 t4 6+ save (orcs in my eyes are totally reckless and while proficient at hitting take a lot of hits back)
    chaos warrior: ws4 i3 s4 t4 4+save (the best warrior here, but not amazing in dodging due to heavy armor, still can take a punch)

    now to your examples:
    Chosen ws5 i3 s4 t4 3+ save (more elite warriors and more armoured)
    Greybeards ws5 i2 s4 t4 4+ save (hit harder but are equal at being hit back)
    Swordmasters ws5 i6 s3 t3 6+ save (best swordsmen of all, but very fragile when shot at, also not that hitty due to low s (gw rework needed)) also this adds the ability to differentiate them from WL and FW so wl has ws5 i5 and FW ws4 i6 being more defensive unit
    Swordsmen ws3 I4 s3 t3 5+ save (better defensively than normal vanilla human)
    Temple Guard ws3 i1 s4 t5 5+ save (this is a guesswork as I do not have a good feel about SA since I played against them only handfull of times, but they should be really strong genetically engineered warriors that are not that bright)
    Tribesmen ws4 I1 s4 t5 6+ save (big reach so it is easier to hit enemy, but they are big so it is easy to hit them, very tough not really armoured)
    Zombies ws1 i1 s4 t4 no save (based on my fantasy feel: they feel no pain and are abnormally strong but slow and stupid - so they rarely hit you but if they do it hurts

    Dragon ws5 i1/2 S6 T6 3+ save (it is really hard to dodge swipes from a monster, but it is huge so it is easy to hit it back)

    My samples are based on my fluff feel of the units which I tried to state here, nonetheless I think it shows that you can represent a lot of feel with just stats.

    A rather crucial part of this all has been left undefined (namely, weapons). I will analyze first assuming no weapons and then again assuming current weapons.

    NO WEAPON BONII:

    So, right off the bat, all three Elf infantry units are wounding dragons on 6's but only hitting it as well as they were before or maybe +1 (Lightning Reflexes having gone away). So a dragon can rampage through an Elf army, ignoring Swordmasters more easily than it could ignore Spearmen. They also have virtually no chance against Temple Guard or Tribesmen for much the same reason. Zombies have been dramatically re-envisioned which is cool but less than helpful. Dragon in general is now able to ignore infantry categorically, actually... easy hitting does not make up for inability to wound. Dwarves are easier to hit but without weapon bonuses they're harder to wound.

    CURRENT WEAPON BONII:

    Elves have less to complain about, although with initiative as a defense stat Great Weapons get confusing. Dwarves become very much less special as they are now easy to hit but no more durable (and nothing has been reduced in strength). Chosen gained a pip of save (assuming Halberds or the like but still 3+ save) in exchange for being easier to hit, which isn't tooo bad. Assuming Shieldwall goes along with Parry, Shield-using Greybeards are basically pointless.


    So: Units have been distinguished, but chiefly by the nerfs handed out to them. Hitting pretty much anything other than an Elf is super-easy (Swordsmen are literally the only thing with I4 or higher on your list that isn't an elf), with many units getting hit on 2's by virtually everything, even though they were generally elite units previously only hit on 4's by virtually everything. This is either swings and roundabouts (if weapon based S mods go away) or a massive nerf (if they don't).

    Correction: Chosen are slightly harder to hit, and are now only hit on a 3+ by virtually everything.

    This tendency towards high WS/low I for virtually everything means by default, you hit on a 2+, occasionally on a 3+, with Elves being a massive exception. Which is nice for Elves if isn't paired with them being nerfed down to the hitting power of a pool noodle, but otherwise basically removes any distinction between units other than S and T and "is it an elf?".
  • New

    DarkSky wrote:

    TheNakedChef wrote:

    DarkSky wrote:

    TheNakedChef wrote:

    If your WS is more than twice that of your opponent, 2+ to hit. If your opponent's WS is more than three times your WS, 6+ to hit.
    That will solve absolutely nothing, as these cases almost never occur.
    They occur quite often for HbE.Also, your exaggerations are universally apocalyptic.
    You kidding me? More than twice doesn't happen even if you field Swordmasters unless your opponent is WS2 (very rare) or you used some augments or hexes (in which case a -1 to hit is perfectly justified, as you could also cast scrying). More than three times: Aside from a failed fear test, when will you ever see that? (It's obvious to me, that the fear rule needs changing is WS table is changed, just in case you didn't see that)

    Units that are WS2: Skeletons, KoE Peasants, Goblins. UD tends to not field fighting Skeletons, but VC, well, thanks to rolling and prolonged nerfs, Skeletons are currently the *best* core combat infantry VC has to offer. They're not the best combatants but they can be made serviceable. They really don't need nerfing tho'. And KoE Peasants get fielded a lot. Goblins aren't unusual either.

    And WS5 is dime-a-dozen. Also, heroes are often double the enemy. Triple enemy WS isn't that hard to arrange, either; Fencer's Blades'll do it for WS3 enemies, and there's a few characters who get up into those digits naturally.

    (Also, VC has a *lot* of tricks relating to manipulating WS, including the ability to field WS5 troops while reducing the enemy down by -1 WS without casting spells, and I'm not even counting Fear here.)

    (Scenarios for more than x3: Well, WS4 or less can be dropped to WS1 by a) fighting bats (-1) and b) getting hexed by a spammable debuff.)
    (Precisely x3 is easier; Commandment+Throne = WS6, and bats provide the -1 to turn WS3 into WS2)
  • New

    WhammeWhamme wrote:

    Fencer's Blades'll do it for WS3 enemies
    It's really getting tiresome to mention in every post, that if you make a significant change to how WS works, you would also needs to re-balance things relating to WS. That counts for WS tricks of the VC as well as for Fear.

    All I am seeing are posts that say: "Well if you change the to hit table this and that troop/magic item/spell are now better/worse than before, which is bad why the unit already is horrible/overpowered". Can nobody of the posters who think that the current to hit table should stay as it is, bring forth a valid argument? (Ok, one could be "it's already so and changing is a lot of work, which is viable)
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  • New

    @DarkSky Oh you want a reason? Well its been effectively used since 1992, 4th edition. It comes from the WFB golden age.

    The WS table going from 1 to 7+ was used in 1st to 3rd edition but also coupled with multiple WS bonus options. Like the S/T table we know today. The prime reason it was abandoned is design space. Unlike some seem to understand a rescaling removes effective ws 1-2, it removes ws 1-2 from your design space. In addition ws 7-10 are allready rare.
  • New

    So after following this convo from the start I figured I'd add my two cents:

    I wouldn't say that I'm a fan of the current system, but I also don't feel that it is necessarily broken. I think it works well with the modifiers and I personally like the flavor of all the extra special rules. I feel rules like Lightning Reflexes and Distracting really add to the game (although I'm not a huge fan of Parry). I think the way the system works now does a good job of giving elite units a striking advantage while not totally overwhelming weak core units and making them irrelevant. Obviously Parry does a lot to undermine this, but I think that is more easily fixed by separating Strength from Armor Piercing and therefore making the +1 AS of the shield more attractive.

    On the flip side I also want to see this game progress and am not in any way opposed to progress, even with all the dangers that come from messing with what some (sometimes even myself) view as a "tried and true" systems. I like a lot of the thoughts that have been given. I like the idea of making WS more important, although not really to the point where units are needing unmodified 6's to hit. Personally I'm not a big fan of having an attacking and defending stat because I don't think we need bigger stat lines, although I do see the extra detail it would provide. The other obvious concern that has been raised multiple times is that a change to the WS stat requires an entire rework of not just every single unit and character, but also of many special rules. That would be a massive undertaking, but if it truly would improve the game than definitely a worthwhile venture (which is easy for me to say as I'm not involved in game design).

    All-in-all I have really enjoyed this conversation and think these are the sort of discussions that do improve our game. I think our goal should be to always make the game better and that is done by disagreement between players, although we need to be careful not to pick sides so firmly that we are not willing to listen or acknowledge valid arguments.
  • New

    It is nigh-impossible to argue against "change!". Proponents of change will always go "well we will fix that". Still, this proposed system only works if we narrow the bands of WS (reducing how varied units can be), and it requires stripping away mechanics and special rules from many places. This reduces options for differentiation twice over. Bad rules.
  • New

    Absolutely. Again iys possible to make a different system but the gain is minimal.

    Players might wonder as to why WS ranges from 1 to 10 and the prime reason is that Warhammer in first edition used more as D6 and D3. It was however kept at this because it portrays characters as more unique statistically while in reality it doesnt mean there is a world of difference.

    WS doesnt really range from 1 to 10 per faction either. You have them very clearly in brackets:
    1-2
    3-4
    5-6
    (7+)

    Its because of that that 3 types of modifiers are ideal because 1 to 6 is actually the most common WS, with 6 allready being very special. Same applies to S, T, W, I etc. While there often is a hero at WS 7+, if you want that to be the guy that gets hit on a 6+ you automatically enter HeroHammer.
  • New

    WhammeWhamme wrote:

    It is nigh-impossible to argue against "change!". Proponents of change will always go "well we will fix that". Still, this proposed system only works if we narrow the bands of WS (reducing how varied units can be), and it requires stripping away mechanics and special rules from many places. This reduces options for differentiation twice over. Bad rules.
    Indeed.

    I am also chuckling at the proposal, when we then get to dwarves and Chaos Warriors examples, and suddenly see a massive drop in defensive weapon skill.

    It just goes a very long way to show, that this is a wish from elves only. Dwarves have always been hard to hit - not just damage. If you want to arbitrarily reduce their defensive weapon skill for "balancing reason", remember that they are currently alright with WS5 on their elites.

    If you want to come with a proposal, make it a proposal that isn't just strictly "I want elves to become better", because that it what it currently feels like. Dwarves equal elves in weapon skill - that is the Base assumption. Make a table that takes that into account.

    I am mostly against the change, because as has been said many times, even by people who want the change, everything has to change to facilitate this change. That is an insane amount of work. And the gain would be so small, and the losses, the special rules, will be far greater. We risk losing fluff, and risk having to see a ton of rebalancing patches in the wake of a new system, trying to keep everything the way it used to be.
    We are starting to see a fairly balanced game here, so making the Dev team start all over again, isn't exactly a smart idea.
  • New

    Adam wrote:

    @JDAntoine to keep constantly proving that you do not understand that rework changes stats of the units too, it is undeniable that ws table change will give a lot of extra design space, the only question is how to use it.
    You are proving that you have no knowledge of the depth of WFB and how the WS grid came to be.

    In addition you are unwilling to understand that balanced design rarely leads to devoids of 50/50 or 60/40/60 chances.

    There is no suggestion your change improves it. Thus far there has only be a very sketchy suggestion to the return of HeroHammer, your 'suggestion' included.