Articles by arthain 2

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

  • Hi all and welcome again to the Rules Team blog

    Today we will release a bit more of sneak peeks of the upcoming 0.10 Rulebook of The 9th Age, and the topic of today are the mundane close combat weapons found in the Rulebook. Many of you have already tested the two weapons that have suffered the biggest changes: Spears, and Parry. While technically Parry (Hand Weapon + Shield) is not a CC weapon, we will include Parry as just another CC weapon for simplicity's sake, as in reality most often the choice is between taking a Shield alongisde your basic Hand Weapon to benefit from Parry, or to get a Spear (alongisde a shield or not) or a heavier Halberd or Great Weapon. Flails, Lances and Light Lances have sensible differences so they will not change for the moment and will therefore not be discussed in this entry

    As you have already tested, the boost to spears while interesting, is not enough to make them an interesting alternative to weapons such as Halberds or Parry. One of its disadvantages is that it is very specialized, while you usually have at your disposal other weapons which are more flexible and universal. In addition to this, its overall power is not so big, not even in its best matchup (in the end, we want some level of Rock-Paper-Scissor, but we don't want to throw it all out on this mechanic). For this reason, the change decided for spears has been to add to its current rules an universal Armour Piercing (1) that can be used against all enemies. This is quite a boost that we hope can make spears attractive, since even with the current anti-cavalry rules, spears were still not attractive enough. This universal buff will help spears have something to add in almost all scenarios (contrary to the current very specialiced and limited effect), and reinforces the spear's role as an anti-armour weapon. But since we know that this spears are also becoming quite powerful, we also will address the points cost of this weapon, specially when it comes with a free shield

    Next one in line is the Parry mechanism (Hand Weapon and Shield). The change introduced to Parry has had a lot of enthusiastic followers, and has made Core units and Shield units very interesting again, where previously they were only used if nothing better was available. However, it has also given rise to some mixed and negative reviews from certain players, and what's more worrysome, some overperforming units and builds. While technically it has certain disadvantages, the truth is that in many occasions the Shield has become the best weapon available, matching and even surpassing sometimes the migthy Great Weapon. At first we tried to address this problem by increasing the points cost of the Shield, but we have come to the agreement that that path has already been strolled to the end. We were reachin a position where a Shield would cost up to 4pts on a 12pt infantry model. Which doesn't strike us as the kind of basic equipment that a Shield should represent.

    On the other hand, we also have seen many units previously considered seriously underperforming, to now have a role in battle, and we had to act with care when addressing the shield to only hit those units that were overperforming but try to keep the lowly units with their needed advantage. To this effect we considered several optiosn and debated long and forth, but came to the following conclusion: Close Combat Attacks from opponents in the front can never score successful hits on to-hit rolls of better than 4+, before applying to-hit modifiers. This can only be used by models on foot and against Close Combat Attacks from the front.

    The rationale behind this change is that the units with lower Weapon Skill, such as WS2 skeletons and WS3 Empire Heavy Infantry, have now a role with their shield as tarpits, and are pretty balanced and bring an interesting tool to the table. However it was high Weapon Skill units, specially WS5 and above, that were giving us the worse problems balance-wise, because on this units the change from being hit on 4+ to being hit on 5+ was much more noticeable (33% damage reduction compared to 25% damage reducion on WS2 units). While high WS units might seem at a loss here, we need to akcnowledge that this units were overperforming according to the data available. We have also addressed the point cost of the shield on this units and returned it back to 1pt/model. Even if they only benefit from the Parry when being hit by characters (and certain super-elites with WS6), we agreed that a Warrior of the Dark Gods paying 8% of its base cost just to improve its Armour Save by 33% was a fair price.

    In addition, this change makes Parry not always the best option, as it will be most useful againt the enemy elites, but not so good against the enemy tarpits, so makes it more rewarding to have in your army a mix of Parry, Spears, and Halberd/Great Weapon, and have each unit matched against is relevant preferred opponent from the enemy army. In such a way, we encourage… [Read More]
  • Hi all

    As you all probably know, the Rules Team, all the ABC, and the newly created Balance Board, has been working hard the last weeks to tweak the 0.9 releases into a better shape. We are all aware that this beta version had some balance issues, and have been playtesting, discussing, reviewing feedback and compiling data to fine tune our project. We have also included some additional design approaches that were not possible to include in the previous version, mainly due to time constrains.

    As such, on 8th of December, the new version will be released, tagged 0.10, which will see many small details tweaked and some big problems addressed. We are still working out certain specifics, but we are able to release some changes as sneak peeks in a similar way to what we did previously.

    Today, we will show you the redesign of the Beast-Bane Halberd, a popular Magic Item in the Common Magic Items section of the rulebook, along with some insight on the change. Here is what the new Beast-Bane Halberd looks like
    Beast-Bane Halberd. 30pts
    Magic Weapon. Halberd. Attacks made with this weapon are resolved at Strength 5 and have the Special Rule Multiple Wounds (2, Monstrous Cavalry, Monstrous Infantry, Monstrous Beasts, Chariots, Monsters, Ridden Monsters)

    What exactly means this change and why was this change done?
    The weapon is now a bit more expensive, this in itself is a measure that we consider for things that are correctly designed and more or less balanced, but not perfectly. Small points adjustment sometimes is enough. On items with bigger problems, points adjustments often can't solve the problem on their own, but they can be a part of the solution. This is one of those cases

    In addition, we addressed one of the problems that this item had: Models with a good base Strength or with access to Strength-boosting abilities could benefit much more from this weapon and wreck through entire armies unopposed. For this reason, we fixed the weapon's Strength to 5. In this way, models with Strength 4 can still get the same benefit from the Beast-Bane Halberd (with a slight pts increase), but models with Strength 5 or higher, which were the main offenders, now don't get such a good boost and must chose between increasing their Strength with other weapons (Magic or mundane) or using the Multiple-Wound weapon

    The change was done as a first step towards balancing the Multiple-Wound weapons. We have seen this weapon been quite a success in tournaments and armylists, and furthermore, this weapon has also been used as a benchmark and a reason to create and improve many army-specific Multi-Wound weapons, many of which are also very popular. While we want to shift the meta towards something more infantry-friendly, as opposed to the Monstrous Infantry and Monstrous Cavalry of old, we felt that we have gone a step too far. As mentioned above, we identified the main problem being models with access to high base Strength or Strength-enhancing abilities, for which other weapons such as Giant's Blade or Great Weapon is a bit overkill and therefore they don't need it that much, but with this weapon they could access still a very good Strength value and double their damage output against many of the units out there and in some cases even entire armies, which didn't create a very balanced game

    What do you think of this change? Let us know in the comments or on the forums, and stay tuned, for tomorrow more will come :)

    Kind regards
    Rules Team [Read More]