Change to steadfast

    • Change to steadfast

      I think steadfast is a bad rule, like 9th Age Rule Team thought about stubborn and lots of units or options to make a unit stubborn were erased.

      I would do the following change to this rule that would make it the first round 100% reliable but following rounds unreliable:

      A unit is steadfast if in its combat, it has more full ranks than the enemy units involved in the same combat. Steadfast units that lost combat and fail the break test (including combat resolution modifiers) instead of break from combat they become shocked but don't flee (put a marker near the unit), shocked units cannot benefit from steadfast. A shocked unit that wins combat or is not longer engaged lose shocked and could be steadfast again.

      This way, you could try to help your shocked units with countercharge or magic, but you couldn't trust to hold a killing machine with 50 - 60 slaves/goblins/humans too long.

      Or if you want the big unit to hold an aditional round, it would only lose steadfast if it get 2 shocked tokens
      1. General nearby giving me Ld9
      2. BsB nearby giving me a re-roll
      3. Fail a break test once every 36 tests I make
      4. If I fail I run and am getting a roughly 50/50 chance at being run down
      And you propose to solve this by doing the following:
      1. General nearby giving me Ld9
      2. BsB nearby giving me a re-roll
      3. Fail a break test once every 36 tests I make
      4. If I fail I do not run but instead get a shocked token and cannot be steadfast the following turn
      :huh: I'm not seeing how that helps, since it takes an average of 36 rounds to get the enemy to fail that first test


      Maybe if the unit was shocked on the first pass, not the first fail it would be a useful change.
    • Irondaemon wrote:

      "Including combat modifiers" Gorgobola wrote. Guessing he/she means that when passing the Breaktest for being steadfast (no modifiers) but failing it if counting the modifiers, the unit is schocked.

      Seems good for me. But not so much for the very big units.
      Aproximately, if you are steadfast and lose combat by 5, then yor L9 is reduced to 4, if you fail it you dont break but next round you wont be steadfast because your unit is shocked. If you pass it your unit will continue being steadfast

      A very big unit will be will have a static combat res of +4, but it wont kill a lot by themselves. A medium elite unit will break them in 2 rounds if its not aided by other units/characters

      A full example:

      Unit of 60 goblins vs 1 stardragon, L9 general inside 12 inches

      First round, dragon charge and does 8 casualties, goblins do 0, combat resolution 9 vs 4, goblins lose combat by 5.

      Goblins take a, breaktest with a -5 so L4

      If they roll 4 or less they hold and nothing more happens, if they roll 5 or more, they become shocked but don't flee. Lets supose they fail the breaktest.

      Second round:

      The orcs and goblins army don't help the unit, in the combat phase 7 casualties for the dragon and 0 wounds for the goblins so they lose by 3, and have to take a breaktest with -3, so L6. If goblins roll 6 or less they hold and nothing more happens, if they roll 7 or more they flee because they have aa shocked marker and can't benefit from steadfast. Lets supose they pass the breaktest this time, so they hold but continue being shocked because they didnt won the combaten.

      Third round:

      Dragon does 3 casualties, goblins 1 wound. So goblins win combat by 2, imediately the shocked token is removed and the dragon have to pass a breaktest with -2L...

      The post was edited 2 times, last by gorgobola ().

    • Okay, so I misread a little bit...

      However I don't like that steadfast would become an auto-stay result with your suggestion as this means units can be guaranteed to stick around, which in a you-go-I-go turn sequence is potentially abuse-able.
      ie.
      • You sit in the way of an enemy in your turn
      • They charge you in their turn and no matter the result, you stick around
      • In your turn you're free to send a new unit into them to hold them
        or not bother and see if you stick around
      • In their turn if you charged them, they're stuck again regardless of the first units situation
        In their turn if they're still fighting they can win the combat, but unless you break and they overrun into a new enemy they're stuck being charged or shot at in your next turn
      So since that chance to run off is gone, you can make no effort at all and split your tarpits into smaller units to abuse the ability.
      Sure gets more units on the board and makes players think more tactically but it feels a bit cheap, since you can do the same with the chance to fail but still retain that high chance to not run off I pointed out in my first reply.
    • You misunderstand again. I think.

      You have ld9. You lose combat by 4. Steadfast value 9; modified 5.

      Three examples:

      1. You roll 6.

      Which is under the steadfast value. But over the modified. Now you are "shocked", and can't benefit from steadfast next turn, or until you win a combat/no longer engaged.

      2. You roll 3.

      Under the steadfast value, and also under the modified value. You stick around, and can use steadfast next turn.

      3. You roll 10.

      Over the steadfast value, as well as the modified. You flee.
    • Irondaemon wrote:

      You misunderstand again. I think.

      You have ld9. You lose combat by 4. Steadfast value 9; modified 5.

      Three examples:

      1. You roll 6.

      Which is under the steadfast value. But over the modified. Now you are "shocked", and can't benefit from steadfast next turn, or until you win a combat/no longer engaged.

      2. You roll 3.

      Under the steadfast value, and also under the modified value. You stick around, and can use steadfast next turn.

      3. You roll 10.

      Over the steadfast value, as well as the modified. You flee.
      This time @theunwantedbeing understood correctly what I mean, but I think that the way you say to use steadfast is better to prevent the abusable things that @theunwantedbeing is saying.
    • .

      Eldan wrote:

      JimMorr wrote:

      Make break test failed by number of full ranks or more - break. Test failed by less: accumulate fail margin for next round of combat.
      PRobably too much bookkeeping for the rules team. How about:Lose by full rank number or more: break
      Lose by less than full rank number: gain fear
      Lose while suffering from fear: break

      JimMorr wrote:

      Drop steadfast. Stubborn remains as it is.

      Fail break test by less than full rank number: become disrupted. Capped at 3 for all armies and 6 for VS (instead of SiN)

      Disrupted units units break when fail break test.

      We will break on second turn most often... Which is fine from Background POV but calls for better combat synergy of big blocks.
    • We need to be very careful with removing or weakening a rule like steadfast unless significant other changes are included as well. This game already heavily favors small elite units, and the current edition of the rules especially favors powerful single model units like chariot lords and ridden monster lords even more with the reduction of power of cannons.

      Large blocks of infantry are typically unwieldy and difficult to position as compared to single models which can reform as often as they like, and are not restricted to advances, wheels, and reforms. Add to the superior hitting power of these elite units, generally superior defenses, and the fact that these units very seldom lose combat against the steadfast infantry formations.

      Steadfast is actually one of the only rules working to keep the 9th age as what its presumed design goal is- which is a company sized fantasy game. A company being 80-250 troops organized into platoons. Alternately, it can be seen as a regimental sized conflict if the individual models are representative of tens or hundreds of men. This means that we *want* to see big blocks of organized troops and battle lines meeting each other, jockying for position and planning ahead.

      Steadfast as a rule, is designed to give ranked infantry formations an ability to hold against a band of murder models. Unfortunately there is so much killing power in these murder models currently, and so much damage comes from non attack based auto hits (thunder stomp, impact hits, breath weapons) that a murder gang can still basically mulch an entire infantry formation in a matter of turns. Weakening steadfast to allow a single highly mobile murder model or two- like an ancient dragon- to clean up large infantry formations in an almost guaranteed 2 turns would destroy this game.

      If anything Steadfast should stay, Stomp and Thunderstomp should be removed, and deathstars should be tweaked to be non viable. 9th age at its core should be about ranked infantry clashing and being supported by the monsters and chariots, as opposed to the other way around. Yes, it should be possible to build a list focusing on monsters and chariots- but that list should have an up hill battle against a more infantry centric army as opposed to being the dominant meta game force.

      Remember, Infantry blocks and high tactics are what make the ninth age memorable and what kept many of us in the hobby as long as we have been. Advances, wheeling, and restricted combat block movement is what gives the real tactical depth, and movement centric battles that we love were every inch and angle is important. Monsters are fun but if the game becomes a bunch of 360 free movement single model units, its basically a skrimish game. At which point I'd recommend Malifaux, its a far better skrimish game than the 9th age will ever be.
      I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by akaean ().

    • Steadfast is about the only reason to play big blocks now.
      You also don't see that many big blocks now, so if you replace steadfast with something worse it will become even less likely that anyone plays with big blocks. All armies will become even more MSU-oriented, which they already are too much.
      I don't think big blocks need another nerf so if steadfast is replaced it should not be worse then the current rule.

      Steadfast has already got one nerf with flank and rear charges being able to remove it.
    • akaean wrote:

      Remember, Infantry blocks and high tactics are what make the ninth age memorable and what kept many of us in the hobby as long as we have been. Advances, wheeling, and restricted combat block movement is what gives the real tactical depth, (...)
      If you call tactical depth the way you remove your casualties to redirect pursuit, the way you place your multiple chargers against enemy or the way you align chaff along the 1" border of enemy blocks to prevent them from wheeling... then yes. But for me the blocks of infantry are too big to allow any tactical depth, game does not allow units from second line to support first one and is generally grinding competition reducing deadliest units like heavy, lanced armed knights to the role of flankers and chaff.

      However the propositions here are not really to drop steadfast but to replace it with something similar yet better. With current steadfast I see two main problems:
      1. Difference of a single rank decides on steadfast. It is somehow flawed that 35 gobbos will stand against 30 deep watch dwarfs but will break and run if bitten by 40 giant rats
      2. Steadfast keeps working despite the fact that unit gets annihilated. Those 35 goblind will keep a dragon in combat without breaking untill there are only 9 or less left ignoring the fact that dragon takes out a quarter of unit each turn...
    • JimMorr wrote:

      1. Difference of a single rank decides on steadfast. It is somehow flawed that 35 gobbos will stand against 30 deep watch dwarfs but will break and run if bitten by 40 giant rats
      I agree that this is an unfair situation. Perhaps Steadfast should also be given to a unit if it has a specified number of full ranks.
      Maybe if you have at least 5 or 6 full ranks you get Steadfast. The normal having most full ranks also gives Steadfast.
    • JimMorr wrote:

      If you call tactical depth the way you remove your casualties to redirect pursuit, the way you place your multiple chargers against enemy or the way you align chaff along the 1" border of enemy blocks to prevent them from wheeling... then yes. But for me the blocks of infantry are too big to allow any tactical depth, game does not allow units from second line to support first one and is generally grinding competition reducing deadliest units like heavy, lanced armed knights to the role of flankers and chaff.
      However the propositions here are not really to drop steadfast but to replace it with something similar yet better. With current steadfast I see two main problems:
      1. Difference of a single rank decides on steadfast. It is somehow flawed that 35 gobbos will stand against 30 deep watch dwarfs but will break and run if bitten by 40 giant rats
      2. Steadfast keeps working despite the fact that unit gets annihilated. Those 35 goblind will keep a dragon in combat without breaking untill there are only 9 or less left ignoring the fact that dragon takes out a quarter of unit each turn...

      This may be a problem with frame work. Is 9th age supposed to represent a clash of armies? Or a monster melee. If you view it as a clash of armies, than the infantry and regular rank and file need to be the focal point of the game. If the game is meant to be a monster melee with limited infantry support, then sure.

      I agree that there is an issue with reserves in the ninth age, and lines of battle. However that is not an insurmountable challenge. T9A is not run by GW and is free to adopt rules to facilitate using high damage mobile units to support your infantry line and address a break through. There are systems out there that do this- like the historical Pike and Shotte. There are definitely opportunities to borrow from other systems as the game develops. That said, the tactical depth comes from the fact it takes several turns to get an infantry unit into a position. A unit like fast cavalry or a monster does not need to think about wheeling or reforms, it just goes where you want, zigzaging along. with complete freedom. Once you understand what you want to be doing, it is very easy to get your units into the right place or adjust a minor mistake in positioning. For an infantry block, that same mistake could potentially have far larger consequences, and leave them out of position for several turns or be exceptionally difficult to correct.

      regarding point number 2, is a perfect example of a situation we don't want. Dragons have a lot of advantages over infantry. They are faster, benefit from fly rules, they even have narrower bases than an infantry formation so can hide in places the infantry cannot go. Dragons are inherently able to pick and choose their battles and a good player should very rarely have his dragon in an unfavorable engagement with infantry. If you combine superior killing power, and superior movement, and allow a Dragon to shatter the formation in two turns, its incredibly unbalanced in favor of the dragon. Eventually it gets to a point where the game is determined by who is best at moving and positioning monsters and the infantry are non issues.

      Fluffwise sure, a single dragon can change the course of a war, and scorch entire armies- they are epic and destructive beasts. It is understandable that players want their dragons to do epic things when fielded. However, game wise there is a problem. That dragon needs to be able to be countered within the framework of an infantry centric game. 8th edition and earlier editions of T9A used the inelegant solution of the threat of laser guided cannons in many match ups, but as we are seeing now- that cannons have lost their unerring accuracy- Dragons, Chariot Lords, and Ridden Monster Lords are becoming a near auto include for the armies that can field them. I agree they should be taken because they are cool, but they shouldn't be auto includes in an army.

      Finally, regular infantry blocks are seldom a grind fest when they clash. It is just a common accusation from players who take armies which are required to grind them down to defeat them. This is because a unit is only steadfast as long as it has more ranks than its opponent, and infantry blocks often have enough ranks to strip steadfast after one or two rounds of combat. If you have an issue with grinding, the issue should be with stubborn, or unbreakable (without the undead rules). This is because those units don't suffer leadership penalties for losing- so the only way to defeat them is to grind them to dust. Conversely when an infantry block is engaged by a super elite unit, winning the war of attrition is often the Infantry's best hope.
      I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by akaean ().

    • interesting idea. But i think steadfast is absolutely fine since all you need is to get a unit with 2ranks in the flank to negate steadfast.

      ....the fact that people dont seem to take units with many ranks is up to the players. Might be a slight problem with some army books not having enough viable units to take to fill this roll as cavalry is the goto option but difficult to get 2 ranks worth.
    • the problem is that those units who have the best chance to get to the flank or rear cannot disrupt the formation because they are light troops AND in most cases dont even have two ranks.

      Two changes would tone down steadfast a bit:
      1.) Light troops can disrupt formations but they cant be steadfast themselves. Which means replace the 0 Full Ranks rule with "cannot be steadfast".
      2.) Replace needing 2 ranks to disrupt a formation by "enemy needs more than double ranks to the flank and more than tripple ranks to the rear.
      This would mean that a unit with just one rank can disrupt units with 2 ranks when charging in the flank and units with 3 ranks when charging to the rear. In fact the enemy unit can even have one more rank if the charging unit probably would do enough damage to reduce one rank without losing the own one rank.

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    • akaean wrote:

      regarding point number 2, is a perfect example of a situation we don't want.
      Replace the dragon with 10 wasteland warriors with recently revealed 'followers' rule. They will kill 8-10 gobbos a turn. and gobbos will remain steadfast until there are less then 10 left which means they will break only when there are only a last few left. It is quite possible they will be slaughtered to the last one without breaking.

      I agree that infantry blocks should be able to hold against charge of a powerful enemy. But if the enemy keeps slaughtering them in the next turn and the next and the next and they get no support but are left there to die they should not stay there without breaking until last one is killed.

      With no champions to bring magical monster-killers unsupported infantry blocks should break when faced with such enemy. Ideas quoted above were invented on VS forum. The game changed with introduction of scoring and here comes really the reason for MSU shift. Also in the point costs... it is cheaper to have two small units then a single twice as big one. Change the costs and blocks will come back.
    • New

      I'd start from the base idea that a unit's leadership (or discipline IIRC) represents just how well it holds their own command on the battlefield. Some are blessed with higher values, others aren't. I am personally convinced that said value should mean more, and not be band-aided by steadfast across the board. The current rules however don't support this, and with a change to the current CR approach that could be solved.

      Across the board, as a base, I'd propose that units may test on their unmodified leadership after having lost a battle.
      Additionally, start introducing LD penalties only if a certain casualty threshold has been reached (say 25 or 33 % of their previous wound count).
      Keep the current ideas of adding static/situational CR points. (I know I'm not making myself very popular with this statement)

      My idea is to make the amount of wounds inflicted be the main source of CR. Only well-disciplined troops should hold their ground against overwhelming forces, which can be reflected in special rules such as steadfast, stubborn or unbreakable even. Basing the outcome of the battle on the amount of casualties also ignores the issues rising with unusual formations.

      Steadfast was introduced as a way to encourage bigger units, while now it is being used as a gimmick that allows you to hold your ground way more often than you should. To compensate for that, more bodies means more casualties are needed to start tearing a unit's morale. In extreme cases a special rule 'insignificant' for example could be introduced to delay the critical point even more, in order to make certain units (think zombies, goblins, rats etc.) functional in this system.

      This is only a crude proposal, but I agree that if we want to change how/when steadfast works we need to find another way to make those big blocks shine.


      Peacemaker wrote:

      interesting idea. But i think steadfast is absolutely fine since all you need is to get a unit with 2ranks in the flank to negate steadfast.

      ....the fact that people dont seem to take units with many ranks is up to the players. Might be a slight problem with some army books not having enough viable units to take to fill this roll as cavalry is the goto option but difficult to get 2 ranks worth.
      I understand that it seems like an easy fix, however I think that the number of ranks should be inferior to the casualties inflicted. Why would it matter if you get slaughtered by 10 as opposed to getting equally slaughtered by 5 guys? Counting ranks feels like a very mechanical solution to me. However I might be a bit biased :p