Solving HBE character section mess

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  • Giladis wrote:

    1+/4++/2++ Def 9 with both 4++ & 2++ not coming magical allowance thus allowing for an extremely well rounded character in an army that should be about specialisation.

    :)
    We are supposed to have individually strong characters.. If the are not individually strong they are literally just a tax because they are not allowed under 9th age view of HBE to buff the armt.

    Are you suggesting each character needs to have one fatal flaw so it cant be widely good?

    If so currently hwotf implementation is a great success.

    Newsflash: a character that is not widely good is not good period. Hwotf princes womt be seen anymore in high level lists, i guarantee it. Similar to lion chariot princes.

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

  • So some thoughts on fixing HbE characters:

    The first thing to keep in mind is that the basic elven chassis is Simply Not Good Enough. This means that our characters need either an overall boost or extremely specialized and hardcore magic items. Right now the army book includes a bunch of bandaids (Sliver, Prince of Ryma, Sword Sworn, etc.) to counteract this.

    The first thing I'd look into is making elf princes A5 and elf heroes A4. Once we did that, we'd be able to remove some of the bandaids on magic weapons and honors. I know this would be something for the Full Rework, but I think that it's something that needs to happen for elf lords to actually feel like they can be elite. It would give more freedom with magic items (because they don't have to cover up as many deficiencies), and would make the entries more viable as fighters. It's ok if the cost for the base chassis goes up then because we would have more freedom to build magic items that are less powerful (and thus cheaper) to compensate. So the overall price should remain the same.


    Now then, on to characters:

    I'd make the MoCT into a separate character entry, and drop the honor entirely. This would allow us to craft the honor's statline from scratch, and make it more suited to the hybrid than the current "prince and commander and 2 prices and 2 statlines and builds for both). Something like:
    OS 6 DS 6 S4 T3 3W Ag6 A4 LD9
    - Sword Sworn
    - Prothean Magic with Witchcraft, Cosmology, Alchemy, Druidism, and Shamanism
    *****Alternately, give him a specific list of defensive spells (Word Of Iron, Healing Waters, etc.) to select from.
    - start w/ Heavy Armor, can upgrade to Dragonforged
    - Weapon options: PW (Offensive), Spear (Defensive), Great Weapon (Balanced)
    - Magic Item Allowance of up to 200 points
    - Cannot Take An Honor
    Cost should be slightly over commander level (A4 is a bigger boost than I6 is a nerf) at baseline, then go up with spell numbers.


    After that, we need to find specific uses for each of the other Honors. Personally, I would scrap the lot of them, and then start from scratch to have each honor fulfill a specific need in the army or a specific role/specialization.

    It's important to realize that Honors are, like bloodlines, something that will intrinsically be taken unless they are so ridiculously overcosted or dysfunctional that it makes no sense. They add uniqueness, customization, and flavor to a character. So trying to force Honorless characters to happen is a mistake. We should accept that even though honors are rare in the fluff, they will always be a super common thing on the table because of "rule of cool". If we boost the basic chassis, then we would have a better chance of having Honorless characters see play because the offensive/defensive bandaids of honors are not as necessary. After that we'd be competing with Rule of Cool, which sadly is unlikely to function well.


    Now, commenting on mounts:
    Elven Horse: works well enough.
    Great Eagle: SCRAP IT. Make some sort of "Eagle Knight" unit or something so that eagle riding models are still usable. But an actual Prince or commander on an Eagle? Will never see play because it's Just Not Good.
    Gryphon: Drop to T4, give Hard Target. Add combat prowess with the following rule: For every unsaved wound dealt by the gryphon, it may make an additional attack at the same initiative step with all applicable rules and modifiers. These must roll to hit and to wound as normally.
    Reaver Chariot: Interestingly, I think that the best role for these would be to become Res 3, 4 wounds. Makes them weaker, enforces our Toughness weakness, but provides some benefit to trade of with the Res and makes them slightly better for characters. :)

    Dragons:
    - Here I would scrap the Young/Standard/Ancient dragon for three "flavor" dragons. An example of these would be:
    1) Fire Dragon: T4, higher movement, boost to breath weapons, Fireborn. Able to reach 2+ (Perhaps even 1+ with T4???) save easily.
    2) Aether dragon: Standard Dragon, but functions as Wizard Adept with selection of spells from a few paths. Perhaps Pyromancy, Alchemy, and a unique spell focused on improving defense? Should consider having some sort of "casting" rule, as the theme is a dragon that is much more strongly attuned to and capable in magic.
    3) Firmament Dragon: Largest because space is unrestricted in the sky. Thematic rules evocative of the sky, sun, moon, and stars. This one would need the most work, but has the most freedom and potential.

    :)

    Thoughts?
    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

  • @Aenarion43

    You hit the nail on the head here, the character section needs to rebuilt from the ground up with an intentional approach to what role each character plays.

    Could be fairly easy to build the framework, we need a fighter and a caster that supports/enables infantry cavalry and monster builds. So that’s 6 honors, we currently have 8, might be able to argue that the MoCT is a hybrid, so maybe we need 7.

    I would be willing to sacrifice an honor in exchange for more design space to clean up the character section.

    -Vesp
  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    The first thing to keep in mind is that the basic elven chassis is Simply Not Good Enough.
    I often read that but have never personally felt that myself and I often hear from opponents that Elf character stats are too good. This statement is not intended to dismiss your claim simply present a different point of view :)


    Aenarion43 wrote:

    I'd make the MoCT into a separate character entry, and drop the honor entirely.
    This would not be advisable. Though warrior wizards are rather common fantasy tropes, the exact kind of warrior wizard would be dangerously close in totality of its conceptual expression to the IP with do not want to be associated with.


    Aenarion43 wrote:

    have each honor fulfill a .... specific role/specialization.
    :thumbup:


    Aenarion43 wrote:

    Great Eagle: SCRAP IT. Make some sort of "Eagle Knight" unit or something so that eagle riding models are still usable. But an actual Prince or commander on an Eagle? Will never see play because it's Just Not Good.
    Eagle riding unit is unlikely to be added to the HE as SE already have a very similar type of unit and such a unit would benefit avoidance far better than aggressive lists due to zoning unless their cost came from the same category as ranged threats.


    Aenarion43 wrote:

    1) Fire Dragon: T4, higher movement, boost to breath weapons, Fireborn. Able to reach 2+ (Perhaps even 1+ with T4???) save easily.
    2) Aether dragon: Standard Dragon, but functions as Wizard Adept with selection of spells from a few paths. Perhaps Pyromancy, Alchemy, and a unique spell focused on improving defense? Should consider having some sort of "casting" rule, as the theme is a dragon that is much more strongly attuned to and capable in magic.
    3) Firmament Dragon: Largest because space is unrestricted in the sky. Thematic rules evocative of the sky, sun, moon, and stars. This one would need the most work, but has the most freedom and potential.
    Interesting take but that is not how dragons work in the 9th Age. I believe one of the future Scrolls will have an article on them.



    The immediate issue I see with this proposal is that it would increase the Eliteness of the HE combat characters into the tier they are not meant to occupy alongside Vampires, Chosen Lords and such. Just think about it, a A5 Prince suddenly opens a possibility for 7A S5 Ap3 while the army still has access to multiple ways of Increasing S or S+Ap or reducing enemy AP...

    As a HE players just thinking about potential combinations made go "hell yeah, so cool, being able to mow down an entire rank of troops with my Prince" but soon after RTA in me went "$hit, that would not be health for the game as it would start clamouring for an arms race from other factions".


    So I am not saying this is impossible to happen but it is unlikely. :)

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  • Vespacian wrote:

    @Aenarion43

    You hit the nail on the head here, the character section needs to rebuilt from the ground up with an intentional approach to what role each character plays.

    Could be fairly easy to build the framework, we need a fighter and a caster that supports/enables infantry cavalry and monster builds. So that’s 6 honors, we currently have 8, might be able to argue that the MoCT is a hybrid, so maybe we need 7.

    I would be willing to sacrifice an honor in exchange for more design space to clean up the character section.

    -Vesp
    Yes - looking forward to the discussion about the full rework of the army book. In .. 2020?
    But you can never start early enough.

    What that 's concerned a mixed warrior/mage class would be perfect. Something like a mix between a MoCT and a OotFH. But with fightier skills than a Wizard while keeping enough spellcrafting bonusses.

    Also as the honours are supposed to lose their unit bonusses it may be handy to take a fresh look at our magic items. Do we need all those? May it be handy to do away with a few of the under/unused ones and get an extra banner or two to compensate for the loss of Queen's Companion (QtF) and design a QtF + MR (1) banner, for example?

    And it may be a good idea to rethink the magical items for wizards/mages. As you can only have 2 artefacts and 1 dominant it may be a smart idea to make some more heavyweight, combined items. Like a talisman that grants Dispel +1 and Channel (1) for like ~100 points. That way you can still fully utlize a backline mage with 200 pts of useful magical stuff.

    Talking about: we have some shifts in ASAW I think. More emphasis on medium fire strength (I hope) - and magical defence and magical resistance. Hopefully for an affordable price. And a shift towards special saves and more hard target/distracting stuff.

    Griffin T4 and hard target still doesn't seem a good idea - as it gets extremely vulnerable to magic (and other autohit stuff).
    Playing/painting: SA, DE & HbE ..
  • Teowulff wrote:

    Griffin T4 and hard target still doesn't seem a good idea - as it gets extremely vulnerable to magic (and other autohit stuff).
    yeah not the best idea.

    against the majority of shooting -1T but hard target results in the same or almost the same durability. it would only matter against high S shooting like cannons where the T doesnt matter anyway. against magic, autohits and return attacks it definately is a nerf.
  • Teowulff wrote:

    Like a talisman that grants Dispel +1 and Channel (1) for like ~100 points.
    You would be severely disappointed if you would expect a price of around 100 pts. Dispel is cca 70, Channel is cca 45 and then add on top of that opportunity cost of only taking a single Artefact slot I doubt something like that would be less than 130-150 pts because it would then open space for other Artefacts to be combined with on top like Talisman of the Void or Crystal Ball for total Channel 3 or Dispel +2.

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  • @Giladis 5A alone is nowhere near making HBE prince close to WotDG or Vampire Lord. They still have 2R 1S and 1 or 2 OWS + plethora of blood powers, marks and gifts that further boost their power, not to mention access to mundane 1+ save. I am wondering how exactly 4A S4 character that is not allowed to have synergies with units is supposed to be viable and elite at the same time. Either we will have to use bandaids such as spear to artificially boost their viability or we simply have entries in the book that are never or almost never used. I mean it is small wonder why RH on chariot was used for example: easy 1+/4++, more than 4 quality attacks higher res. The same goes for 2.00-2.03 HwoF - multiple quality attacks 1+/4++. MoCT is quite cost efficient so is also used. Others are nice shelf ornaments because 4AS4 are nowhere close to being viable combat lord stats especially when you have to spend half or more of your item allowance on making him at least somewhat survivable.

    Also how will they be different from DE and SE lords who can have unit synergies and share the same combat profile (actually SE kindreds boost their offensive power quite significantly)
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  • @Giladis

    Perhaps a miscommunication, my statement of "The basic elf is not good enough" refers to the baseline from which the character starts. The building blocks from which elves add upgrades, equipment, and items is MUCH worse than a lot of the truly combat elite lords (S5, A5, and T5). So our characters have a lot more to compensate (T3, S4, A4, all of which are far below the true "elite tier" of combat lords).

    That's why there are so many bandaids, at least for HbE characters. The Spear of the Blazing Dawn is one example. The Nova Lance and Cavalier honor are others. All of them add attacks (on top of other bonuses) because our characters simply cannot make the cut otherwise. The problem here is that this leads to items being priced exorbitantly, and thus becoming unusable outside of a few corner cases because we also have to compensate our poor innate defenses.

    That's why the Nova Lance didn't see play (and is unlikely to see play moving forward). By the time you've added it, a mount, mundane equipment. . . you're at about 500 points for a dude that is, at best, 2+/6++. Then you have to figure out how to protect him, which becomes very difficult because it's not just his target that he needs protecting against, but the unit swinging back. Res3 is a HUGE drawback compared to Re4 or 5. I believe that @Aegon did a comparison at one time, and found that statistically speaking, the difference between Res5 and Res3 was equivalent to carrying a 4++ in terms of wounds taken against anything short of S6.

    I'd like you to bear in mind that the "buff attacks by 1" doesn't have to be a flat buff. I would be okay with trading Lightning Reflexes for Distracting and then adding in the +1A. Obviously, this would come with a price increase because even though offensively the model would Be slightly worse, overall it should get slightly stronger. Furthermore, this would allow us to drop some of the "Bandaids" from items like the Spear, and thus bring us more build variety by opening the amount of magic item space available. For example, the spear could become "add an extra hit for each unsaved wound". The Nova Lance and Prince of Ryma could drop their Devastating Charge +1A. Items that may not be possible or viable now could be considered because elves would have a better starting position from which to build upon.

    Finally, to address the S5 7A attacks at AP3, isn't it important to keep in mind that:
    1) The other armies start off at S5 AP2, so they can choose to match the S5 7A AP3, but gain less benefit from it than elves would.
    2) These armies come with an inbuilt Res5, which is mathematically like having a 4++ on top of other defenses against anything short of S6.
    3) The elf sacrifices the ability to gain a 1+ save by doing this, which at least Warriors, Saurians, and Vampires can all still achieve with (though vampires can only do it through Blood Dragon bloodline)
    4) By starting at S5 A5 Res5, those armies have a LOT more options for viable builds and creating characters than an army that is starting from S4 A4 Res3

    I'm not saying that some adjustment may not be needed, but it's important to keep in mind that the other combat lords are still far away superior in terms of their ability to survive counterattacks from units and enemy characters. In short, the basic elven chassis is overcosted, and uses bandaids to make up for it that reduce list building and design possibilities. My goal by adding +1A and then making adjustments as needed (e.g. Drop LR for Distracting, reduce the potential of magic weapons in the army) would be to eliminate the need for those bandaids and allow greater freedom of design to take place. Am I wrong in that goal, or is it the method being used that is problematic in this case?

    :)

    As to the MoCT, I'd be interested to hear from someone with a legal background (like @lawgnome or @Squirrelloid) about why adding the honor as an intermediate step makes such a big difference legally. It wouldn't seem like it's that big a difference to me, but the devil is in the details (and I'd be interested in hearing about them). If it's not viable legally, then work could be directed elsewhere.

    Regarding dragons, it's quite sad that that is the case. I don't know that we can have "Young, Grown Up, and Crochety" Dragons in the army book without adding some very unique things to each one to differentiate them. This is especially true because we have Gryphon mounts that also compete in this area. Three types of Dragons seem like something that will not be able to have a place in the army book unless extreme effort is taken to make them different from each other, rather than a progression (since one will always be more cost efficient than the rest, and that one will get selected).


    As to Eagle Riders, do you believe that they could be made to work as character mounts? Because I honestly don't see a way it can happen without essentially having them be either undercosted monsters or overcosted abominations. :(
    With regards to needing to adjust categories, I think that Highborn Elves need to swap out one of their categories for one that combines shooting and chaff. Remove the ability to get a glut of chaff ON TOP of lots of shooting, and you'll likely take the protect the castle lists down a peg or two.

    Given that Eagle Riding characters simply cannot work (auto-die to most pieces of artillery in the game, after all), it's important to look into ways that models can be kept usable but our army book functions in a logical and effective fashion. I have said before, my opinion is that an army should be designed for those who play it, and balanced for those who play against it.
    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

  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    As to the MoCT, I'd be interested to hear from someone with a legal background (like @lawgnome or @Squirrelloid) about why adding the honor as an intermediate step makes such a big difference legally. It wouldn't seem like it's that big a difference to me, but the devil is in the details (and I'd be interested in hearing about them). If it's not viable legally, then work could be directed elsewhere.
    Can you be a little more clear as to what you would like me to answer?

    I'm happy to answer anything I can, I just need to know what the exact question is :)
  • Basically,

    I suggested eliminating the MoCT honor and making him a character entry on his own.
    Giladis then stated that due to IP/legal reasons, the current set up needing an honor was safe, but having the MoCT be a character entry was not. My question is why that was the case.

    :)
    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

  • New

    Aenarion43 wrote:

    Basically,

    I suggested eliminating the MoCT honor and making him a character entry on his own.
    Giladis then stated that due to IP/legal reasons, the current set up needing an honor was safe, but having the MoCT be a character entry was not. My question is why that was the case.

    :)
    I gotcha.

    The answer is actually pretty simple. There is a legal concept called "the totality of the expression" Boiled down to its barest essentials, then so far as we are concerned, it means that while game mechanics cannot be protected, if the entirety of the expression of the game is identical to another game, then it can be shown that one game was copied from another. If there are unique elements that only one game has that has been inserted into the new game (and that are NOT obvious interpretations of rules, such as flying), then it becomes easier for one party to claim that another party copied them.

    Is the MoCT something that is really dangerous under this principle? At this point, no, not really. It isn't super unique, as the concept of a battle mage has been around forever. But is it safer as an honor than as a full fledged character? Yes, because that makes it completely unique to us.

    Does that make sense to you?
  • New

    @lawgnome

    Giladis wrote:

    This would not be advisable. Though warrior wizards are rather common fantasy tropes, the exact kind of warrior wizard would be dangerously close in totality of its conceptual expression to the IP with do not want to be associated with.

    Aenarion43 wrote:

    Basically,

    I suggested eliminating the MoCT honor and making him a character entry on his own.
    Giladis then stated that due to IP/legal reasons, the current set up needing an honor was safe, but having the MoCT be a character entry was not. My question is why that was the case.

    :)

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    THE THRONG OF NEVAZ RIG - ARMY BLOG; UPRISING 2018 - 26/27 May - Singles Tournament