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

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

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

    I have spent a lot of my spare time recently thinking about T9A and what makes it fun. A lot of people have stated in some fashion or another "I really like this game, but it just isn't as much fun as it could be" (though not necessarily in such nice terms :P ). However, no one has really been able to quantify why they think that this version isn't as fun as other versions (or other games).

    I had originally thought that it was due to the reduction in random events. After all, many people have lamented the lack of stories that came from a random event leading to a complete reversal of the game (the lone goblin sticking due to insane courage, the unlucky catapult drift that wound up taking out your own unit, or the 2 dice miscast that caused your wizard to delete himself (grr..... X( )). But, after thinking long and hard about it, that isn't what makes the game fun. Those things certainly lead to memorable moments, but I can't honestly say they lead to FUN moments. Personally, I almost quit this game long ago due to the super random garbage.

    Recently, I've had an idea as to what really makes the game fun (and as a bonus, how it relates to ASAW! Everyone's favorite punching bag!) The idea is this: every army needs a "Wow!" factor. Something that only they can do, that makes you want to play that army. It doesn't need to be random, it doesn't need to be overpowered. What it needs to do is break the rules in its own special way. This factors into the strengths and weaknesses of the army, of course. DH shouldn't be breaking the rules by adding cavalry, and ID shouldn't be breaking the rules by adding swiftstride to everything. The wow! factor needs to be consistent with the identity of the army.

    Let me give you an example: Ogre Khans! I've made no secret of the fact that I find OK to be one of the most fun armies in the game (in all versions of the game, mind you. Not just because of current overperformance issues. Even when they were the weakest army in the game, I still found them to be one of the most fun). And there are two factors that really appeal to me about the army: 1) they are the only all monstrous army (scraplings don't count, and everyone knows it), and 2) they have access to initiative shenanigans through yetis and the frost mammoth.

    How do these two factors break the rules in their own special way? For starters, it is unique in being a monstrous army. No other army does this, breaking the rule of how armies are constructed. Second, they are a low initiative army that are able to break the fabric of the game by making fast units slow and slow units slower. No elf player ever expects that they are going to be hitting second, especially against something big like OK.


    Conversely, let's look at an army that has the wow! factor staring you in the face, yet still falls flat: KoE! By all rights, they should have one of the most obvious wow! factors in the game: the ability to be an all cavalry army. No other army is built to function as an all cavalry army, breaking those rules. And yet, as @Klexe has been more than willing to tell us (over and over and over :P ), there is something wrong in the fact that the all cavalry army does best by fielding infantry.


    Another example of an army that has the wow! factor hinted at, but fails to succeed with is SA. The cuatl should be one of the most amazing spell casters. Instead, it has some disciplines that make spell casting more powerful, but nothing that really breaks the rules of the game in any sort of interesting way.


    So, here is what I would like to explore. I want to do a brainstorming session to look at each army and figure out what kind of wow! factor they can add that breaks the rules in their own special way and makes the army more fun. Or, if you think that I'm missing the mark on what makes the game fun, let me know.


    I'll start:

    SA: The cuatl is hands down the biggest wow! factor for the army. However, it shouldn't just be "It's a magic caster, but stronger". It should be something completely unique. And I think the best way to do that is to change how disciplines work. If you take a discipline, it should fundamentally change an aspect of the magic phase.

    Some examples:
    - Doublecast: by doubling the casting value of a spell, you can cast the spell on two valid targets.
    - Countercasting: If you sacrifice 2 dispel dice and declare a spell before making your dispel roll, a successful dispel roll will let you also cast the selected spell so long as the dispel roll also meets the spells casting cost
    - Master of winds: a successful spellcast lets you move the target d3+1" in any direction.
    - Deja vu: once per magic phase, you can force either player to reroll their cast or dispel roll using the same number of dice.


    What wow! factors can you think of for the other armies?
  • For ID, the biggest wow! factor for the army is flaming synergy. It isn’t enough to just have a piece or two of the army that cares about fire. The army should be all about the fire.

    So, to really enhance the wow! factor for ID, I present the new Overlord ability: Fan the Flames!

    For the first round of combat, all units in base contact with the Overlord gain flaming attacks.

    Why is this so interesting? Because it effects allies and enemies. It gives ID units another chance to set off one of their flammable effects (like their new hereditary spell), and it provides an unexpected form of defense due to infernal armor. ID look at their enemies flaming swords and grin, knowing that their armor protects them specifically from flaming damage.

    Since it is a first turn guaranteed effect, smart opponents can play around it by buying a flame ward item. If I can’t turn off the flaming for that first round, I will have a VERY hard time damaging the character through their 2+ ward save. However, they will have a hard time hurting my citadel guard through their infernal armor. And once we get to the second round of combat, fury kicks in.

    No other effect in the game forces flaming attacks onto an opponent’s unit. What better army to break this rule than ID?
  • Undying Dynasties here.

    My wow factor has always been the constructs. I usually like to roll with a Pharaoh on Royal Sphinx, with sprinkles of characters on amuut's, sphinxes, shabti, reapers and scorpions. An army of walking statues depicting their deities was always something that just made me want to work on models. So many cool possibilities.
  • umm.. you said it shouldn't be OP, and in the next post you say one of the most important units in an ID army (general's bunker/deathstar) should get 2++ against anything I throw at it... fun..?

    In related news I totally understand what you're getting at, and this wow factor is a worthy idea for further explration :thumbup:
    I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
    Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
  • lawgnome wrote:



    SA: The cuatl is hands down the biggest wow! factor for the army. However, it shouldn't just be "It's a magic caster, but stronger". It should be something completely unique. And I think the best way to do that is to change how disciplines work. If you take a discipline, it should fundamentally change an aspect of the magic phase.

    Some examples:
    - Doublecast: by doubling the casting value of a spell, you can cast the spell on two valid targets.
    - Countercasting: If you sacrifice 2 dispel dice and declare a spell before making your dispel roll, a successful dispel roll will let you also cast the selected spell so long as the dispel roll also meets the spells casting cost
    - Master of winds: a successful spellcast lets you move the target d3+1" in any direction.
    - Deja vu: once per magic phase, you can force either player to reroll their cast or dispel roll using the same number of dice.


    What wow! factors can you think of for the other armies?
    i would go a step ahead.

    "Teacher of Magic" - No other discipline allowed to take , but the Cuatl can choose his lore out of every lore. Means access to every the9age lore.

    Head of Playtesting

    Lord of Chaos , Duke of Equitaine , Cuatl of the Golden City , Herold of the Empire , Summoner of Pestilence , Lord of the Sea WotdG,KoE,SA,EoS, and DL and new HE but with Dragon Empire Ordo Sanctae Mariae Teutonicorum
  • I find the synergy between Dinos and cuatl also Woaw.
    When he can cost through some certain monsters.

    How about a discipline which allows to cast through all monstrous beast and monster and perhaps even ignoring some effects like missile etc
    Too close to home; too lightly guarded!

    Translation Team DE

    Product-Search

  • For KoE.
    I found the 0.11 version quite Appling when we had impact hits.

    But imo it should be counter charge.

    If the enemy fails a charge you can roll an Ld test if succeeded you can charge the enemy as if it would be your own phase.
    The enemy still can flee hold and stand and shot


    Something like this
    Too close to home; too lightly guarded!

    Translation Team DE

    Product-Search

  • This is not something in the plans by any means, but if I designed Dwarven Holds from the grounds up and for my own pleasure, I'd really like to put a bigger emphasis on Runes and their use in every aspect of a Dwarf army.

    I'd give every Dwarf army a basic pool of Runic Power, and they can then use said pool to enhance various aspects of the army- weapons, armors, shields... like, letting a unit of Deep Watch suddenly shrug off 1AP less than usual. Or letting a unit of King's Guard reroll 1's To Hit. Maybe extending the Rune of Flight from 8" to 24", and so on. Runic Smiths could increase the pool, and bring other effects- exciting, new weird stuff!

    Of course, that's awfully similar to the magic! And just an idea stolen from Groefte :)

    In a more practical sense of 2.0 Wow!, factor I'd really like DH to embrace earth/mountains in the same way ID have embraced flaming/volcanic themes.

    It'd come in the shape of manipulating the battlefield by possibly creating temporary impassable terrain, great fissures suddenly appearing in the ground and having miners pop up where they shouldn't be. That's sort of what the Rune of Passage hints at- letting Dwarf units move through terrain others would treat as impassable (I mean, except for ethreals!).

    Maybe the Anvil of Power can rend the earth so enemy units take DTs when passing through, and Miner units may appear out of it? :)
  • Phaeoron wrote:

    umm.. you said it shouldn't be OP, and in the next post you say one of the most important units in an ID army (general's bunker/deathstar) should get 2++ against anything I throw at it... fun..?

    In related news I totally understand what you're getting at, and this wow factor is a worthy idea for further explration :thumbup:
    Sorry, what I meant was that you can buy a fire ward item when you are playing against ID. If the ID player takes an overlord, then for that first round of combat, there are guaranteed flaming weapons.

    So lets say you are playing KoE vs Id. Your big nasty lord takes a super cheap fire ward item alongside his normal kit. If your lords bus hits the ID, your lord is going to be immune to everything I throw at you that round. Meanwhile, your lord will be free to attack my rank and file, which will have a 5+ ward save to fire at best (due to infernal armor, which is a 5+ fire save, not a 2+ fire save).

    The overlord on the bull probably needs to be prevented from using this (or the bull needs to lose the 2+ fire ward), but it does provide a really unique way to boost the army's defense while stating definitively that this is the fire army, and don't you forget it!
  • Jonnyman wrote:

    Undying Dynasties here.

    My wow factor has always been the constructs. I usually like to roll with a Pharaoh on Royal Sphinx, with sprinkles of characters on amuut's, sphinxes, shabti, reapers and scorpions. An army of walking statues depicting their deities was always something that just made me want to work on models. So many cool possibilities.
    What can we do to make constructs unique? Something so that they are breaking the rules in their own way, rather than just being more monsters? Lots of armies have monsters, after all.

    Is there something unique to constructs that would make them stand out from other monsters?
  • Klexe wrote:

    For KoE.
    I found the 0.11 version quite Appling when we had impact hits.

    But imo it should be counter charge.

    If the enemy fails a charge you can roll an Ld test if succeeded you can charge the enemy as if it would be your own phase.
    The enemy still can flee hold and stand and shot


    Something like this
    Counter charge is a great idea! No other army does it, and it really emphasizes one of the key aspects of a cavalry army. I love it!
  • Squigkikka wrote:

    This is not something in the plans by any means, but if I designed Dwarven Holds from the grounds up and for my own pleasure, I'd really like to put a bigger emphasis on Runes and their use in every aspect of a Dwarf army.

    I'd give every Dwarf army a basic pool of Runic Power, and they can then use said pool to enhance various aspects of the army- weapons, armors, shields... like, letting a unit of Deep Watch suddenly shrug off 1AP less than usual. Or letting a unit of King's Guard reroll 1's To Hit. Maybe extending the Rune of Flight from 8" to 24", and so on. Runic Smiths could increase the pool, and bring other effects- exciting, new weird stuff!

    Of course, that's awfully similar to the magic! And just an idea stolen from Groefte :)

    In a more practical sense of 2.0 Wow!, factor I'd really like DH to embrace earth/mountains in the same way ID have embraced flaming/volcanic themes.

    It'd come in the shape of manipulating the battlefield by possibly creating temporary impassable terrain, great fissures suddenly appearing in the ground and having miners pop up where they shouldn't be. That's sort of what the Rune of Passage hints at- letting Dwarf units move through terrain others would treat as impassable (I mean, except for ethreals!).

    Maybe the Anvil of Power can rend the earth so enemy units take DTs when passing through, and Miner units may appear out of it? :)
    These are awesome! I could see both ideas being a good wow! factor. Of the two (and as a non-DH player. DH players may disagree with me), I really like the earth/mountain idea. Passing through impassible terrain is a neat trick, and stonemelding your way through something that no one else can get through is a really cool idea.

    All of these are really good ideas, and I'd love to play against a DH that fully embraces these.
  • lawgnome wrote:

    Is there something unique to constructs that would make them stand out from other monsters
    Well Sphinxes are T8 which is pretty unique. We have a character that grants regen 5+ to constructs withing 18". Some of our constructs can ambush. And all constructs get to ignore one point for combat resolution which does actually help more than you think. I think that UD is already a very unique army and really doesn't need much more to achieve that. If we could run just constructs like a SE forest spirit army THAT would be my big wish. I had tried to design a construct type infantry similar to how dryads would fit into a forest spirit army a long time ago but maybe someday we could revisit that. A shabti character would be neat as well.
  • Yeah, but it's range is a little low, and it is just the one unit with the rune that has the rule. I was thinking more of an army wide effect.

    Another cool idea would be a weapon that destroys impassible terrain and causes damage to units next to it.

    Or maybe it can create impassible terrain, and then later destroy it like a landmine (or more accurately, and exploding rock spire.)
  • I think the Cuatl example is a bit extreme... you get one fancy thing that makes you the best in a whole phase of the game? No, that is too much and there are other factions also with a claim to be good at magic. However in principle this is fine; and a principle I have been talking about for sometime.

    This is why I think some armies need a lot more work than others. Some armies have lined up cannons, steam tanks, 1+ armour saves, buffs, special fun army wide special rules... other armies have the best stats of any unit in the game, others still have troops that come back from the dead and so on.

    If we could fix this I would be happy - the issue is that then the army may end up revolving round ONE unit in most lists - hardly the kind of diversity we would hope to see. I think each army would need at least two of these features.
  • I like this thread and 100% support anything that aims to make T9A more fun.

    Having said that, I'm not really suggesting anything new for Vampire Covenant, just a change in something we already have.

    Vampires are really our wow factor, there is another undead faction, but the vamps set us apart and give us our gothic flavour.
    To make them really seem like the sociopathic undead monsters that they are, a tweak is required to the Undead rule.

    The Undead rule is actually entirely negative in effect: no marching except within Commanding Presence and the only Hold reaction to charges
    However it also grants Unstable, which places us somewhat outside the normal rules of the game in a partially positive manner: Automatically passing break tests and being Fearless.

    The downside of course is crumbling.

    All familiar so far, yep, UD have all that too. What VC should have is a condition to that rule that portrays vampires as the puppetmasters of shambling, disposable hordes.



    Crumbling is understandable for r&f, a required balance to the auto-passing of break tests however the combined combat issue has never sat right with the background and is a big immersion breaker when it comes to vampires, e.g., when you see a unit of elite vampires or a varkolak somehow disappearing because the enemy killed a lot of zombies. (I know no-one would make this play now, but only because of this rule - it makes no sense in regards to the background or context that an elite unit would avoid a combat with the enemy because a weaker ally unit was already engaged with it)

    Vampires should not be in any way affected by the destruction of raised, mindless minions:


    Cut them down, cut them all down, see if I care! There are always more... and you will join their ranks in time.



    I think that if the way models with Vampiric take losses due to unstable (which are now covered under the Undead special rule so we don't need to mess with the unstable rule at all) were amended, that would actually suffice as our WOW! factor: powerful, callous vampires raising hordes of undead to fight and fall at their whim.
    Some change to the Undead special rule indicating that models with vampiric and/or autonomous do not suffer loss of health points from combined combats where said loss was generated by models without vampiric/autonomous.
    I'm not a rules aficionado by any stretch so someone more rules-happy than me would be required to work out how they would take losses due to unstable that only they generated.


    That is I think, our WOW! factor. We already have it, it just needs a rather glaring crease ironed out of it.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    "You see only what the Tuatha De' allow you to see" - Queen Maeb
    Albiann - The Misted Isles, Homebrew Celtic Faction for T9A
    Full Army Book
  • Throgg wrote:

    I think the Cuatl example is a bit extreme... you get one fancy thing that makes you the best in a whole phase of the game? No, that is too much and there are other factions also with a claim to be good at magic. However in principle this is fine; and a principle I have been talking about for sometime.

    This is why I think some armies need a lot more work than others. Some armies have lined up cannons, steam tanks, 1+ armour saves, buffs, special fun army wide special rules... other armies have the best stats of any unit in the game, others still have troops that come back from the dead and so on.

    If we could fix this I would be happy - the issue is that then the army may end up revolving round ONE unit in most lists - hardly the kind of diversity we would hope to see. I think each army would need at least two of these features.
    I disagree about the cuatl, and here is why: None of the disciplines suggested make the cuatl BETTER at magic (well, maybe deja vu). It just makes it UNIQUE at magic.


    lawgnome wrote:

    - Doublecast: by doubling the casting value of a spell, you can cast the spell on two valid targets.

    The casting value is doubled, so that means you are using twice as many dice, and thus risking a miscast. This isn't "better" at magic, it is just breaking a rule about the number of times a spell can be cast. The magic is still the same, and if you dispel it, both casts are dispelled at once.


    lawgnome wrote:

    - Countercasting: If you sacrifice 2 dispel dice and declare a spell before making your dispel roll, a successful dispel roll will let you also cast the selected spell so long as the dispel roll also meets the spells casting cost

    Again, not really "better" at magic. Instead, it gives you an interesting change to the dispel phase. I am using way more dice than usual to have a chance at casting a spell during my opponent's turn. Meaning that my opponent now gets far more spells off due to me blowing through all of my dispel dice to stop one spell and to cast my own. If it is a 7-5 magic phase, I could use 3 dice to cast a spell, and the cuatl player could spend 5 (2 for the effect, and 3 to have an even chance of stopping it. You now have 4 dice left that are completely unopposed.


    lawgnome wrote:

    - Master of winds: a successful spellcast lets you move the target d3+1" in any direction.
    This one doesn't make me a better caster, it just makes magic mess around with the battlefield a bit more. Maybe this one counts as "better", but mostly it is just changing things up a bit.


    Also, you will notice with all of the ideas I've suggested so far that they are all optional. You don't need to bring them for the army to work, but they do make things interesting if you decide to make use of them.

    OK functions just fine without the frost mammoth, but if I do bring it, I can do all sorts of wild things with initiative shenanigans.
    SA functions just fine without the cuatl, but if I do bring it (using one of the suggested disciplines), it makes my magic phase new and unique.
    ID functions just fine without the overlord, but if I do bring it, I can do a lot of fun things involving flame synergy. The army functions without the flame synergy, but it is really fun to use it when you want to.

    That's the kind of thing I'm hoping to develop here: something that you bring because you love the wow! factor of it, but not something that is an utter necessity to the function of the army.