Fun, ASAW, and the "wow!" factor: a brainstorming thread

Wondering how the new magic phase feels like? Try it yourself! The Behind The Scenes blog gives you enough to playtest it, including spells of four paths of magic, all hereditary spells and the Dwarven runes!

  • SA is an army that is not only the defenders of a temple city walk into war (our normal SA army), there should be armies around that don't come from a slann led city, but from the jungle around those cities:
    If your general is a skink captain, jungle guerillas allowance is raised to 50%
    If your general is a skink priest, your thunder lizard allowance is raised to 50%
  • Ok, I have some time at a real computer, so let's do some responses!


    The Beninator wrote:

    Ability to become terrain, think of like a Gargoyle (in the general term). So you could not be hurt/charged, but at the same time, you could not move or attack. Perhaps a full turn of "thawing", or greatly restricted charging on the "thawing" turn. Would give you mobile terrain control. Perhaps abusive for points denial.

    Immunity to magic, or most kinds of magic, as they are not of the essence of life or magic which flows through things with consciousness.
    This would definitely make the constructs unique. I'm sure there are ways of balancing around the ability, so don't worry too much about that. Very cool, though.

    That said, I do think that UD has a really good wow! factor already: underground ambush. No other army in the game gets to have their units pop up out of the sand beneath their opponent's feet. That in and of itself is already really cool.


    Calisson wrote:

    "Dread" Elves.
    I want them to mean their names. What is specifically dreaded about them at the moment?...
    This is the party of pirates from overseas and assassins from nowhere.
    This is an excellent jumping off point. Good thinking.

    What can they do to break the rules in their own way?

    If we really want to focus on the "dread" part of the dread elves, what about an ability that reduces flee distances by half? Traps, bolos, snares, or even just their overwhelming malevolent presence cause people to trip as they run. A whole army that you can't run from: you need to face your fears or face the executioner's block. Could be interesting.

    I think your idea for beastmasters is another good place to start. Beastmasters are unique among all of the armies: Sure, there are units like mammoth hunters that try for the "master of beasts" feel, but DE beastmasters are supposed to be the kings of this. Having them be "monster removers' is a really interesting idea.

    I like the idea of making engineers more unique. What else could they provide that is not just a stat buff?


    The Beninator wrote:

    I like the specific stuff, but I would have to agree with you that principles are what we should be striving for.
    My fear is that if we just give 1 or 2 units in each army a WOW factor, then we are back to the auto-include days. After a short time, the WOW factor will wear off, and we will all be grumpy about one-dimensional competitive list building.
    Keep in mind that we aren't looking for power, we are looking for amazing ways to make each army different and unique from the other armies. We already have a really good track record of making wow! factor units (at least, in the few armies that actually have a wow! factor present...) that are fun, but not required.

    For example, the OK frost mammoth. I like taking it because I like the initiative shenanigans. However, you can make a perfectly viable list (and most do, actually) without it. That's why the frost mammoth was on the short list for getting buffed with this update: its fun, its awesome if you build around it, but you don't need to have it (and in fact, other options are probably more powerful).

    Another example is the UD underground ambush. Amazing ability that is completely unheard of in other armies. Do you need to take all of the underground ambush units to win a game? Definitely not. Is it fun when you pop up right behind a deathstar and scare them into making a bad play? Absolutely it is :)


    Throgg wrote:

    I think that for true "wow" units it will be hard to fit in more than 2 per army without breaking the game. Not that we shouldn't desire it, but just that I think it would be tough to implement. That said there can still be a few units that are rare, but not unique - not steam tanks, but still cannons, not phoenixes but still eagles and so on.
    Remember, you can have an amazing unit that changes up how the game is played without that unit being a game breaker. For example, the ID overlord ability I thought up: you can do most of the same stuff with a flaming banner. I still wouldn't take an overlord in every game, but it is a flavorful ability that you can build around.

    We're looking at finding fun ways for armies to break the rules in their own ways, not just looking for the most powerful unit we can field.


    Wstanley wrote:

    I think that the Empire is getting close to having it's own WoW factor:

    1) Only army in the game with Orders and Parent / Support Units. These could be tweaked a bit so that they'd see more use in competitive play. And currently these only seem useful when playing defensively
    2) Weak humans but strong synergy - The Empire (at least in my opinion) has been about the ugly, pox ridden humans somehow taking on the rest of the world through superior technology and pure grit. Borrowing the best bits from their allies (Elves and Dwarfs) and developing their own technologies.
    3) Jack of all trade - this has been disappearing, but Empire used to have a wide variety of list options. Having an adaptable / flexible army is one of the main reasons that Empire has been my army of choice for the last decade.
    I agree: orders are really close to being the EoS wow! factor (if not there already). It is unique, and it does something that other armies have no ability to replicate. I don't play EoS, so I don't have an answer to this question, but are orders fun? If so, great! That's another army we can add to the list :) If they aren't fun, how would you change them to make them more fun?


    2Cats1Tuna wrote:

    My thoughts (generally based on my own perspective of how the fluff should be for each army):


    A whole bunch of ideas
    You have a lot of good ideas in here, but I feel that most of them are general buffs that the armies would certainly appreciate, but not something that breaks the rules of the game.

    Keep in mind, when I say "break the rules of the game" I don't mean that it is cheating or super powerful or anything like that. I just mean that it is a unique deviation from the generally accepted army baselines and rule interactions.

    @Klexes KoE countercharge ability is a great example of this. Standard rules state that you can only charge during your charge phase. The counter charge breaks that rule to provide a flavorful deviation from the norm that would make the KoE army unique among armies. Ditto with my ID ability: it would be the only rule in the game that lets you force your opponent to have flaming attacks. Most people don't even know that ID only have a 5+ fire save, since it comes up so rarely. This is a great rule for them to deviate from.


    Serwyn wrote:

    SE has their Wow strategy back in time. Running in all directions, being uncatchable and shooting everywhere is pretty damn fun, but some rabat-joie think it is too toxic of a playstyle xD.
    I agree. That was my friend's favorite part of the army. I don't think it is so toxic that it needed to be excised as hard as it was. I'd be perfectly ok with that returning.

    If you have other ideas for the army on top of this, I'd be happy to hear it :)
  • youngseward wrote:

    Id say BH have had the wow factor for all of T9A. And their wow is ambush capability. Losing the ambushing giant hurts this a lot (I didn't know I needed it until I got it, now Im not sure how I can live without it), but still.
    Absolutely. Having an army that interacts primarily through the ambush rule is really cool. No other army ambushes as much as they do. Good catch :)


    JimMorr wrote:

    VS - for VS wow factor is versatility. Rats are race of scavengers who can copy everything and 'upgrade' each design, be it machine, tactic or creature... Their solutions are scratch built, unreliable, often lack understanding of the original idea and are patched with darkstone to function at all... but they have them. That is why with ASAW you cannot correctly describe VS.
    Is that really a wow! factor, or more a cool background design? It's more describing how they are, rather than describing how they break the rules.

    I'd say the wildly variable power is more of the wow! factor for the army. Taking that cannon shot and not knowing if it was going to be strength 10 or strength 2 was really exciting and unique. Having an entire army that is more about wild, erratic luck swings is really cool and unique. All the rest of the armies are more reliable, but VS is likely to hurt itself as much as it hurts you (and it won't care when it does it, either. Why do you think they have the callous rule?)
  • Vamp87 wrote:

    Regardless i think this is a pretty good idea, but we need to be careful not to make these too rock-paper-scissory. For example one proposal for ID was to get them a lot more flaming and another proposal for VC was to give them 6+ regen saves. I realise this is just an example and could easily be changed but it does illustrate the point. The game already has enough really bad matchups if this idea was implemented it would probably be best not to create more.
    Forgot to respond to this one:

    ID is the flaming army. Most of their units care about fire in one way or another. Regen is countered by fire, so if an army with a regen save goes against ID, they know that it is likely that their regen won't work.

    But you know what else counters regen? Every army in the game that purchases a flaming banner.


    It is just like saying "we should get rid of the frost mammoth because it gets rid of the elves' advantage of hitting first". That is kind of the whole point of the unit...

    We shouldn't worry too much about this kind of thing. As long as it isn't targetted specifically at countering a single army (this ability autowounds against VS, for example), then I don't think it is anything to be concerned about.
  • Throgg wrote:

    I think there is a difference between one unit to avoid and an entire army that counters your special thing.
    If your special thing is just a 6+ regen save, I'd be asking for a new special thing :P

    Fortunately, VC does have a special thing: mass resurrection! Worst experience (and also the coolest) that I've ever had playing against VC was grinding down a barrow guard unit to the very last man. 1 guy left. The next turn, I was facing down another 20 from the exact same unit!

    It was amazing. Frustrating (I lost horrifically), but amazing.
  • lawgnome wrote:

    I'd say the wildly variable power is more of the wow! factor for the army. Taking that cannon shot and not knowing if it was going to be strength 10 or strength 2 was really exciting and unique. Having an entire army that is more about wild, erratic luck swings is really cool and unique. All the rest of the armies are more reliable, but VS is likely to hurt itself as much as it hurts you (and it won't care when it does it, either. Why do you think they have the callous rule?)
    Random is gone and I am afraid for good. Also special misfire tables with shooting your own troops are gone. We need a new identity one which does not turn game balance upside-down with a single roll.

    I would like to see vermin machines and creatures 'burning' veil tokens to overpower themselves with some risk involved. So VS would have wide access to all types of machines and monsters which would have on average a bit lower power then their counter-partners in other armies. But spending veil tokens VS players would be able to amplify some of them (non-related to Plaguebringer). Machnists gear, Lighting cannon, Dreadmill, Abomination, Thunderhulks - those seem perfect subjects to amplification.
    Check Android APP: T9A Magic Flux by JimMorr

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

  • I guess if that's the kind of game you like...

    My concern is that most of the ideas here are not fun for both players. Is mass resurrection fun or frustrating? A bit of both - I like resurrection but I can see it being really annoying as well.

    Some flaming attacks are fine... Universally it means you don't get to use the thing that makes your trolls special at all.

    In principle it is a good step. We just need to think through ideas very carefully.
  • lawgnome wrote:





    Wstanley wrote:

    I think that the Empire is getting close to having it's own WoW factor:

    1) Only army in the game with Orders and Parent / Support Units. These could be tweaked a bit so that they'd see more use in competitive play. And currently these only seem useful when playing defensively
    2) Weak humans but strong synergy - The Empire (at least in my opinion) has been about the ugly, pox ridden humans somehow taking on the rest of the world through superior technology and pure grit. Borrowing the best bits from their allies (Elves and Dwarfs) and developing their own technologies.
    3) Jack of all trade - this has been disappearing, but Empire used to have a wide variety of list options. Having an adaptable / flexible army is one of the main reasons that Empire has been my army of choice for the last decade.
    I agree: orders are really close to being the EoS wow! factor (if not there already). It is unique, and it does something that other armies have no ability to replicate. I don't play EoS, so I don't have an answer to this question, but are orders fun? If so, great! That's another army we can add to the list :) If they aren't fun, how would you change them to make them more fun?
    I think that the current system for orders is fun. Since it's at the start of the turn it makes it very tactical; I have to think of everything in advance. I have these little tokens (I forget where I got them) so keeping track is not an issue. It also seems reasonable for my opponent. Once I've explained it to them it's pretty simple to understand.

    I guess maybe allowing Knight Commanders to give an order? Maybe just to their own unit? I know that Orders are supposed to be strictly for Marshals, but now that Cavalry can become a Parent Unit I think it would be appropriate. Maybe allow the KC to just give one of the orders, like the Engineer can give "Ready, Aim, Fire" to light infantry that he's joined.
  • Sorry for the delay in responses. I have 2 sick kids at home, so my time has been taken up by that.

    Anyway, onto the responses!



    JimMorr wrote:

    Random is gone and I am afraid for good. Also special misfire tables with shooting your own troops are gone. We need a new identity one which does not turn game balance upside-down with a single roll.

    I would like to see vermin machines and creatures 'burning' veil tokens to overpower themselves with some risk involved. So VS would have wide access to all types of machines and monsters which would have on average a bit lower power then their counter-partners in other armies. But spending veil tokens VS players would be able to amplify some of them (non-related to Plaguebringer). Machnists gear, Lighting cannon, Dreadmill, Abomination, Thunderhulks - those seem perfect subjects to amplification.
    Yeah, I know that random is gone. For VS, that is a little unfortunate, because it did at least really make the army standout.

    So, what else could the VS do that would feel awesome and rule-breaky?

    I like the idea of veil tokens amplifying their stuff. That's pretty cool.

    Other things that might be neat would be enhancing the army's scoring potential based on the number of guys in a unit. Really makes you want to take big busses of slaves if they count as scoring (or even as double scoring) if they are above a certain number of bodies. Really makes the army dependent on having masses of guys.


    Throgg wrote:

    I guess if that's the kind of game you like...

    My concern is that most of the ideas here are not fun for both players. Is mass resurrection fun or frustrating? A bit of both - I like resurrection but I can see it being really annoying as well.

    Some flaming attacks are fine... Universally it means you don't get to use the thing that makes your trolls special at all.

    In principle it is a good step. We just need to think through ideas very carefully.
    I think there is a difference between "everything is frustrating" and "it is a shame I lost, but that was cool".

    With the example of the resurrecting barrow guard, it was frustrating because of how close I was to winning the game. Unfortunately, the very next magic phase was a 12-6 phase, and there were 4-5 necromancers just itching to use those dice on that unit. It was really cool, and it was great that the VC player was able to do that. Honestly, I blame the randomness of the magic phase for the frustration more than anything else. One or two casts of evocation would have been just fine. The new magic phase should stop that outlier event pretty well.

    Regarding the flaming attacks: are you talking about the proliferation of flaming attacks in general, or about the ID in specific? Yes, regen gets countered by fire. Ward saves get countered by divine attacks, armor gets countered by AP. Some stuff just doesn't work as well against one army as it does against another.

    I don't see this as a balancing issue, so much as I see it as a cost of uniqueness. The OK frost mammoth makes fast units slow. This hurts elves, as they are built to go first and suffer greatly if they go second. It doesn't make it unfair or broken, it makes that scenario unique, and the elf player needs to adjust their play styles.

    The ID flaming synergy is the same thing. 99% of the time, people don't care if you bring flaming attacks or not. They either don't have regen, or they know that the flaming attacks are not going to that big of a deal. But for one army, ID, flaming attacks are their schtick, just like army wide ward saves are the DL schtick and army wide impact hits are the OK schtick. ID makes full use of flaming by having spells, items, and abilities that make people care that there are fire attacks coming their way. Indeed, they are unique in this matter. It is a fun ability, and while it is unfortunate that it counters regen saves, it isn't enough that it breaks the game.

    Remember, regen saves are useful against the majority of attacks in the game, just like ward saves are. You can't be mad that there is something that counters your saves. Everything has a counter (everything except divine attacks.... hmm...) Fire beats regen, fire ward beats fire, divine attacks beats ward saves, ward saves beat non-divine attacks, armor beats low power attacks, high power attacks beat armor. I don't feel bad that an army that focuses on fire has access to a lot of fire (thus making regen saves worse), any more than my opponent should feel bad for bringing a lot of units with high armor piercing.
  • @lawgnome - the problem with numbers increasing unit potential in any way is unit pricing. BLT will either insist on pricing units as if they had full power or on increasing cost of each addional model. As a result instead if wow! factor we either get forced to field big units (small get overpriced) or swarm army with nice rules for big units is used as msu (current vs state).
    Check Android APP: T9A Magic Flux by JimMorr
  • For Highborn Elves *grts shouted at by every other forum user simultaneously*

    “Ow!! Fine, I’ll do others.”
    XD


    KoE: countercharging mechanic sounds awesome. Knights should be a big selling point here. I would also say that heroes should be a BIG wow factor, and be able tk do anything in the game (but not all at once).

    DH: i like the idea of terrain manipulation and using magic dice for specific effects from units rather than for spellcasting.

    Anyway, for HbE:
    The army’s 3 big concepts are: defensive, dragons, magic

    Defensive could be used by giving HbE grinding ability and making them the grindy elves! DE and SE kill their enemies to survive. HBE survive to kill their enemies. So decrease damage output and “first turn boost” rules but boost defensiveness and increase our grinding ability.

    HbE magic should be through subtle effects that boost magic (eg, Asfad boosting spell range or OotFH casting into combat), rather than other factions’ raw magic power (though the army shouldn’t lag behind in terms of pure power necessarily). To be honest, this eill be REALLY well represented in 2.0, I believe.

    Dragons should be from having more and cooler dragon options. Rather than having a power spectrum of dragons, have three different types of Dragons. Have a draconic monstrous cav (it’s not like monstrous units aren’t a thing for HbE, they just stink like a big bag of donkey feces), dragon themed infantry and cavalry. Make the army live and breathe DRAGONS!
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • I would prefer hbe dragons can you breath weapon each round once (no shooting and stand and shoot and cc)

    Like breath weapon s4 small dragon s5 medium and s6 big one with Ap1 each
    Take breath: at the beginning of your own phase recharge the weapon.



    Same for steamtank EoS but he should have low s high ap.

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”
    Benjamin Franklin


  • Vampire Covenant could probably do with being given some ability to get models back to their unit by killing enemies in close combat. ie roll a D6 per slain enemy and on a 5+ you get a model added to your own unit (up to the starting size).
    This could be a generic Undead type rule so the Undying Legion can access it as well, it would offset the whole aspect of raising the dead in the magic phase and forcing players down that particular avenue and punishing them for not taking it.

    Vampires might be given some ability to convert opposing enemies they defeat in Challenges, although they'de probably have to be stuck on only a single wound at most and have a risk of crumbling each turn.


    Ogre Khans, being Gluttons might be given a similar wound regaining rule.
    Enemies might be eaten to regain lost wounds form the unit, not bringing models back though just regaining the handful of lost wounds they might have, or perhaps getting some beneficial buff effect from doing so like an increased move rate, leadership or perhaps +1 attack in the following turn.


    Highborn Elves could be given a rule where they decide who amongst them gets to be the honorary General and thus nets the enemy the additional VP from killing them, the Inspiring Presence rule would stay the same. A similar idea could be applied to the Battle Standard Bearer, one of the units Standards could be the one that nets the enemy the extra VP, not the model with the Hold Your Ground special rule.
  • JimMorr wrote:

    @lawgnome - the problem with numbers increasing unit potential in any way is unit pricing. BLT will either insist on pricing units as if they had full power or on increasing cost of each addional model. As a result instead if wow! factor we either get forced to field big units (small get overpriced) or swarm army with nice rules for big units is used as msu (current vs state).
    These ideas are all made with the assumption that they will be priced in such a way that they will be usable.

    Whether or not that ends up happening is for another thread. :)


    Aenarion43 wrote:

    KoE: countercharging mechanic sounds awesome. Knights should be a big selling point here. I would also say that heroes should be a BIG wow factor, and be able tk do anything in the game (but not all at once).
    Hmm. The ability to make super focused characters might be interesting, though I'm not sure it would be as big a draw as the counter charge would be. After all, building a character to do a certain task, such as kill monsters, kill infantry, or to be super tanky, is all something that can be done now with magic items in almost any item. Not exactly rule breaking, but certainly something that can be more heavily focused on in one army through special abilities.


    Aenarion43 wrote:

    Anyway, for HbE:
    The army’s 3 big concepts are: defensive, dragons, magic

    Defensive could be used by giving HbE grinding ability and making them the grindy elves! DE and SE kill their enemies to survive. HBE survive to kill their enemies. So decrease damage output and “first turn boost” rules but boost defensiveness and increase our grinding ability.

    HbE magic should be through subtle effects that boost magic (eg, Asfad boosting spell range or OotFH casting into combat), rather than other factions’ raw magic power (though the army shouldn’t lag behind in terms of pure power necessarily). To be honest, this eill be REALLY well represented in 2.0, I believe.

    Dragons should be from having more and cooler dragon options. Rather than having a power spectrum of dragons, have three different types of Dragons. Have a draconic monstrous cav (it’s not like monstrous units aren’t a thing for HbE, they just stink like a big bag of donkey feces), dragon themed infantry and cavalry. Make the army live and breathe DRAGONS!
    My favorite idea for an HBE wow factor was @Shadeseraphs "spellbound mail" idea. Basically, whenever you cast a spell, you can forego casting the attribute spell to instead give a unit within X" a 5++ ward save or to increase their ward save by 1 (to a maximum of 4++). Ties into both magic and defense (though not dragons).


    Klexe wrote:

    I would prefer hbe dragons can you breath weapon each round once (no shooting and stand and shoot and cc)

    Like breath weapon s4 small dragon s5 medium and s6 big one with Ap1 each
    Take breath: at the beginning of your own phase recharge the weapon.



    Same for steamtank EoS but he should have low s high ap.
    Wouldn't this just be a differently labeled grinding attacks?