.21 Designer Patch Notes

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  • .21 Designer Patch Notes

    This comes out a bit late, but...Welcome to the latest version of Warriors of the Dark Gods! In this update, you'll find that the Discipline system of the Warriors has been reworked to something quite unique within the framework of the game. Relying very little on banners and generals, the army can largely function in a very independent manner while still keeping true to its roots as a brutal, savage combat force in the weakness of not being all that good in performing combat maneuvers when push comes to shove, unless a friendly character is punching the dissidents in their dumb faces. I foresee many failed march checks in the future.

    So, an opening statement on Discipline from the leader of the designer team, @Krokz:

    Krokz wrote:

    One of most common complains about WDG was its discipline feel. We designers also agreed that Leadership Independence was not correctly implemented, as well as Bubble Ld weakness - army had 3 BSB entries and 3 Dis9 Inspiring Presence options. So our primary goal was to strengthen Independence and Bubble Ld weakness. Second goal was to not recreate tribalism (tribalism as in discouraging mixing different sub-factions, e.g. barbarians and warriors in the same list), to lessen it even more.

    WDG army by flavor doesn't excel in tactically brilliance, instead their independence should reflect bravery. So we went with better Panic and Break tests and worse redirect and March tests. We wanted to have "reverse Martial Discipline" feeling like you see in the case of new Battle Fever and Hellforged Armour Fearless + reroll break tests. Feldraks have their own solution, which we are eager to see how it works in practice.
    Consequence is a very unique army. Barbarians can function more cohesive within the army and they can be independent by themselves, this is a big plus.

    In addition to this big army wide discipline independence change, we have also looked at tweaking a few dysfunctional entries. Things where we didn't see price changes as a viable way to make these entries usable, or to make them better fit army list building or character building.
    Of course we have also made a bunch of updates to pricing. These are based* on the internal balance evaluation survey we ran. For this update we have only looked at the extreme outliers. Things that without a shadow of a doubt are too strong or too weak. In the future we want to do a lot more with this type of data. But for this update we wanted something released as soon as possible so that we can gather feedback and data on the redesigns. This time constraint limited how much we could do with the data. But we are investigating more complex data analysis tools to be able to deliver more and better pricing updates in the future.
    *Redesigned entries of course had additional changes on top.

    We all know that we are exploring an uncharted territory with this and are completely aware of potential balance problems that will come with it. Those will be short term and we hope to have a small patch (mainly points) during the spring, so please give us as much feedback as possible.
    And, moving on to the other meat of the update: Design changes. Here, you'll find some tidbits about the why, how and what for of the many design changes found within the book.

    Favor of Envy:
    Envy has had a long and arduous journey, with the most re-designs of all the Favors...This is perhaps thematically fitting. While its focus in getting the Charge is fine, there was a bit too large focus in reaching combat, and not enough focus on actually being able to handle the combat, as well as a clear preference towards units that already had Swiftstride. We wished to re-balance Envy a bit with this in mind, to make the Favored of Envy both more capable of reaching combat and actually doing something with their Charge, than the other Favored, and to make it less obviously powerful on Swiftstride models. Though it's still clear that it's stronger when you throw more dice into a charge, we feel that the gap between Swiftstride and non-Swiftstride is no longer quite as drastic as before.

    Exalted Herald
    The Herald has received some rather notable changes in this update, based on both the Discipline changes of the army, as well as on how the unit has been functioning for a while now. With Discipline 9, it was noted that Stubborn and easy access to Minimized tests meant that the Heralds stability was on a level that even Saurians could not achieve. On the other hand, the Heralds combat capabilities have been lacking for a while now, and it has been mainly used as a very big Sorcerer, and just removing Stubborn would further push the model towards this niche. Thus, the goal of the Herald was to make all the Manifestations a bit more viable in different configurations, so that one is not ALWAYS clearly better than the others.

    The solutions that we chose, were to make the Emissary, previously a manifestation with a leadership role, a combat stability focused one, as the main enforcers of Father Chaos, with access to all the tools a Herald that wants to get stuck in a fight and STAY there needs, at the price of being harder to hide from the opponent, and Stubborn not being a base effect on the Herald.

    The spell selection was similarly reworked, to allow Heralds to more easily be built for combat, without sacrificing large amounts of magic potential, while still hopefully keeping magic-focused Heralds useful, just no longer dominating the Manifestations with their presence.

    Chosen Lord:
    Master of Destruction, thematically, provided a base to build a true Juggernaut of a Lord, which we later realized caused a harmful overlap with Doomlord, which also had been thematically designed as a Juggernaut-type character, much more so even. As such, instead of having the two overlap and neither being a perfect example of the archetype, we decided to move this role entirely to the Doomlord, and removed Master of Destruction.

    In exchange, a new Gift was created - Dark Prelate. There have been many comments towards having a Magic focused Gift along the years, but we hadn't been able to find a way for it to work that we were all happy about. In this update, having a good window to look into this again, the right mechanical base was found, an Augment-focused Gift to allow a CL to do more for its unit than just kill opposing models, and when deciding on what spells to use, the right thematic base soon followed.

    A priest of the dark gods, much like the Prelates of EoS. The Gift is patterned after said Prelates, as both the name and spell selection hint towards. The spells of the Dark Prelate are more powerful than its EoS cousin, as befitting an army that has much stronger ties to their gods, but at the same time the static benefits of a Prelate are lost, as the relationship of the Gods and their faithful are very different.

    Hopefully this Gift will help players who don't want to play Sorcerers an option to do so, as well as giving a hand to players who like big deathstars but feel they're a bit of a waste in this book.

    As mentioned above, there was a bit too much overlap between a Master of Destruction CL and the Doomlord, and the Doomlord in general has not been quite as impressive as people would have hoped for it to be. To help both of these issues, it was decided that the Doomlord should be the true juggernaut character of the army, and Master of Destruction was moved over to it - With this and its new Discipline 9 and Trophy Rack making being a General much more of a viable choice for DL, perhaps we'll start seeing more of the Lord of the Exiles on tabletops.

    Warband Standard:
    The BSB replacement of the book, the Warband Standard started its development as Trophy Rack, a combat-focused upgrade for our Lords to make them better at beating faces. Overtime, it morphed into a purely Discipline-based effect over worries about large units becoming suboptimal due to the potential of easily failing important Discipline tests. As WDG is generally based upon the idea of multiple Warbands converging together, instead of a single uniform army, the name ultimately became Warband Standard, to point towards these being the symbols of individual Warbands, reflecting how they can only affect a single unit at a time and how there can be multiples of them within an army.

    Wasteland Torch:
    A common complaint was that the Torch doesn't have anything to do with fire...Well, now it does. We went through multiple options, such as breath attack or bound spells, but in the end settled on a simple combat bonus. We didn't want to create too much overlap with the BRB banner though, with its endless Flaming Attacks for a single combat, and thus went with a sort of opposite effect: Flaming Attacks always on the first round of combat, of every combat.

    Wyrd Stone:
    Return of the Lucky Shield, except it's not a Shield. Originally this item was created to fulfill a similar role, except not being a direct port...Well, now it's a direct port. The previous version had far too many clauses for a far too small effect to be of use in its intended role of cannonprotection, so now we went for the exact opposite in terms of text. Simple item, simple effect.

    Wasteland Warriors:
    People are going to eat my head for the max size change. This change was made because we felt that Warriors were stepping too hard on the Barbarians toes as the Core unit that comes in big sizes, basically being better than Barbarians in their own little niche. So steps were taken to curtail this a bit while still allowing Warriors to bring sizeable units on the table. I notice that units with a Champion are also curtailed to 20 models, but I think this was an oversight on our part. Whoops.

    With the changes to Discipline, we felt that having all units in Discipline 8 was no longer mandatory, and thus decided to lower Barbarians to basic human competency, as their new rules with Discipline 8 made them feel a bit TOO elite. That's all there is to it, really - These guys should need a bit more oversight than the other human units in the book, thematically. Notably, this also makes the Giant a bit better in them due to its Discipline 8.

    Proven to be too soft after the previous patch, as well as too flimsy to really ever consider taking into any combats. We felt that making them a bit less soft and bit less flimsy was required, so some additional defense against small arms fire and fireballs was added, as well as the option to give them a bit more punch in CC. Baby steps, baby steps.

    A possibly controversial change, we figured that the Shrine should be able to do more than buff units, and wanted to open more possibilities for what the unit can bring to the table. However, having all the Rulebook items accessible was seen as too drastic, so as a compromise it was decided that it could only use WDG items. Perhaps a bit too drastic, but we figured that losing access to BRB banners wouldn't be a huge deal, as the unit it's hanging around in would be able to buy those instead.

    Take note, this is important - NO ACCESS TO RE-ROLLS. This really bears pressing, Feldraks, Chimeras and Warhounds are now the only units in the book with NO access to re-rolling Discipline checks. The Feldraks ignore basically everything that might cause them to panic in exchange, but we are still quite nervous of how this will work out...We saw that Feldrak lists very rarely bring a BSB, and thought that this sort of high-risk playing style was very interesting, and thematically we wanted to keep humans as the most stable elements in the army, while the Feldraks would rely on their rawpower to carry the day, but would be in greater risk of folding when things go bad.

    No access to re-rolls, anywhere. This is real important to note as well - The risks inherent to these models is quite a bit more larger.

    And, finally, point cost changes in a simple format, courtesy of @There Is No Spoon

    There Is No Spoon wrote:

    Balance update
    • Zealot’s Banner 50↗55
    • Wasteland Torch 25↗30
    • Wyrd Stone 35↘15

    Chosen Lord: – Base cost 300↘295
    – Warband Standard (old BSB) 50↘30
    – Favour of Pride 30↗40
    – Dark Prelate (new) 60
    – War Dais 125↘60
    Chimera 180↘170
    Wasteland Dragon 420↘400
    Wasteland Dragon of Sloth 510↘485

    • Doomlord: – Warband Standard (old BSB) 50↘30
    Great Weapon 25↗40
    Halberd 15↗30
    – Wasteland Behemoth 260↘245

    Sorcerer, Ward Dais (new) 50

    Barbarian Chief:
    – Base cost 135↘115
    – Warband Standard (old BSB) 50↘30
    – War Dais 125↘50
    Chimera 175↘165

    • Feldrak Ancestor:
    – Base cost 720↘685
    Paired Weapons 65↗90

    Chimera (mount), Wings 50↘40

    • Wasteland Behemoth, Additional Limbs50↘35

    • Warriors: – Maximum size 25↘20
    – Base cost 230↘210
    Champion 20↗30
    – Favour of Envy 3/model↗4/model
    Great Weapon 4/model↗5/model

    • Fallen: – Maximum size 10↗15
    – Base cost 160↘150
    – Additional models 23/model↘19/model

    • Barbarians: – Base cost 135↘130
    –Additional models 9/model↘7/model
    Throwing Weapons 3/model↘2/model

    • Warrior Knights: – Base cost 240↗245
    Champion 20↗35
    – Favour of Envy 8/model↘5/model

    • Warrior Chariot 220↗22

    Chosen: – Base cost 270↘265
    – Additional models 64/model↘60/model
    Champion 20↗30
    – Favour of Envy 5/model↗7/model
    – Favour of Wrath 15/model↗17/model

    Chosen Knights:
    – Additional models 127/model↘125/model
    Champion 20↗25
    – Favour of Envy 7/model↘6/model

    Chosen Chariot: – Base cost 340↗345
    – Favour of Envy 20/model↘15/model

    • Forsworn: – Paired Weapons 3/model↘1/model
    – Damnation 25/model↘10/model

    • Wretched One, base cost 110↘105

    • Battleshrine 315↘290• Flayers: – Base cost 140↗145
    –Additional models 22/model↘19/model
    Light Lance (new) 2/model

    • Barbarian Horsemen: – Base cost 130↗135
    –Additional models 25/model↘20/model

    • War Hounds, base cost 100↘90

    Chimera: – Base cost 220↗200
    – Wings 60↘45

    • Feldraks: – Base cost 360↘340
    – Additional models 115/model↘105/model

    • Forsaken One 390↗400

    • Marauding Giant: – Base cost 270↘260
    – Tribal Warspear 65↘40

    • Feldrak Elder 460↘43

    Veil Walker, small rewording.
    • Ledger of Souls, rewording.
    Chosen Lord, small rewording for the Favour option.
    • Feldrak Ancestor, typo corrected (Point Cost).
    • Black Steed, small rewording.
    • Wasteland Behemoth, small rewording.
    Chosen, small rewording ofthe Favour option.
    • Forsworn, small rewording.
    • Hellmaw, Gateway, you may only close friendly Gateways, dot list changed into numbered list. Clarification of who distribute the hits when a unit enters the Gateway.
    • Summary, small rewordings.

    Hopefully this update will please you, and I wish everyone good luck in their future games! All comments should go to the proper discussion topic.
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