Empire: What Is and What Should Be

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  • Herminard wrote:

    I would not go that far. The asymmetric power of ranged warfare will still carry battles, and there are other single models than Cowboys.
    That's definitely fair. To be clear, I don't think that Empire armies will stop playing light arms units or war machines, but you can fit 4 solo models (3 Cowboys and a Steam Tank) in addition to multiple units of light arms and 1-2 war machines into a list. It's precisely what Abrasus did, isn't it?

    I more meant that the current core rules don't reward piling a bunch of buffs onto a Halberd HI blob (fragility, immobility, etc.) in the same way that they reward effective use of quick, durable, hard-hitting solo models. As demonstrated by Jeff Keeling's solid results at TSC, you can take giant blobs of guys with buffs and, shockingly, just play well to win games.

    Editing to avoid unnecessary double posting:

    Marcos24 wrote:

    @Optimistic C regarding the comment units being “trained peasants vs professional soldiers, per the background, the difference between off/def 3 and 4 is trained versus elite. And for humans, 4 is as high as a human can get without magical enhancements, therefore 4s represent the best of the best humans. So training peasants, basically makes them professionals or the equivalent skill, and no longer just peasants
    It seems like some fairly extreme scale compression and/or inconsistency is occurring at the bottom end, here. When malnourished, mistreated Shackled Slaves (which are presumably wearing literal chains) are OS/DS 2 and Res 4, it's very hard to take a 1 point improvement seriously as professional soldiery.

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

  • (still not commenting in staff role)

    Optimistic C wrote:

    The current EoS book doesn't do a lot to communicate the varied and fractious political entity which is referenced in the sparse bits of background material which we currently have available.
    ...

    My frustration stemmed entirely from my perception that my arguments or perspectives were being dismissed or not being acknowledged, as I cover above.
    ...

    But I would much prefer that the individuals who will likely determine the specific details of the LAB be open to more expansion of EoS options beyond the multi-decade old ideas of some British dudes about what a quasi-HRE fantasy army might contain.
    ...
    (Quote snipped for thread readability and relevance to my response)

    Hmmm... I don't think we're having two sides of the same conversations, and I think you are assuming context that isn't the case.

    For example, no-one who will be part of writing the EOS guidelines has responded in this thread (I suspect most, maybe all, haven't even read it) and I was just giving my view as another community member, because I saw this as just another community brain-storming thread.

    Moreover the slim book doesn't represent the t9a background. None of the slim books do. They weren't designed or intended to. That is why the LABs are being done. And there is much more internal background than has been released, and that is what will form the basis of the background outlines for the LAB, so you don't need to fear on that front: the whole point of the LABs is to replace the slim books with something that represents t9a background properly.

    Given the above, I just laid out my own personal views of what I think EoS is and isn't, should be and shouldn't be, during an idle moment in between some work and project tasks.
    So my apologies if you expected me to engage in more detailed argumentation, but luckily I can re-assure you that convincing me (or not) of the correctness or otherwise of your views is likely irrelevant to the EoS guidelines, so you needn't worry about that either. I was just laying out my own personal views of EoS, as requested.

    Since it seems we are not communicating fruitfully, I will leave you to your brainstorming. Have fun :)
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    The post was edited 1 time, last by DanT ().

  • I have seen very few lists with 3+ cowboys. Abrasus runs two cowboys (one silvershot and one blessed steel inquisitor). The trend I have seen is toward a single blessed steel Inquisitor cowboy. There may have been some lists with Great Griffon and the Inquisitor. The reason the single inquisitor is becoming popular is generally for the 20" march with the movement order. Whenever I've played 3+ cowboys in EoS I have felt that I have put myself at a distinct disadvantage. For a long while I was playing three great griffons when that was still allowed and it was barely passible.

    In the past the KC cowboy and Great Griffon have had sporadic popularity, but I don't think they have ever been considered crutches. Steam Tank is certainly auto-take single model for most.

    I think EoS infantry blocks are really strong right now. You don't have to pile tons of buffs onto them to be good. Getting a single perception of strength through is often more than enough to make spearmen, halberdiers, or IG go toe-to-toe with things. Flagellants are also very strong right now.

    If anything the increased popularity of Knightly Orders with a cheap Knight Commander general has been coupled with the increased use of halberdier infantry support units. This is because cavalry picks with halberdier counter charge support is just an effective package for controlling the board.

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  • Optimistic C wrote:

    Herminard wrote:

    I would not go that far. The asymmetric power of ranged warfare will still carry battles, and there are other single models than Cowboys.
    That's definitely fair. To be clear, I don't think that Empire armies will stop playing light arms units or war machines, but you can fit 4 solo models (3 Cowboys and a Steam Tank) in addition to multiple units of light arms and 1-2 war machines into a list. It's precisely what Abrasus did, isn't it?
    I more meant that the current core rules don't reward piling a bunch of buffs onto a Halberd HI blob (fragility, immobility, etc.) in the same way that they reward effective use of quick, durable, hard-hitting solo models. As demonstrated by Jeff Keeling's solid results at TSC, you can take giant blobs of guys with buffs and, shockingly, just play well to win games.

    I had two Marshals in their codpieces and a master pyrophiliac in his finest robes when I got best EoS general in ETC in Salamanca. I did have some shooting, but won my games on grindy infantry clashes. Every single element in that list got nerfs&restrictions that same fall, despite EoS overall doing supremely poor overall that season.

    So think not that it is by accident that the rank and file does poor - not only for EoS, but overall. For what is the point of playing a game of of superhero complexes - if your superheroes do not have any suitably shyte punching bags to rough up?
    Hermund Vigerust Endressòn Furu - Savage Sage of the Norse
    Faux-pro player and ETC vagabond.
    Enjoys the company of deluded nerds and women of unquestionably caracal morale.

    Give yer high fives where yer opponents dice have been blessed, and in equal give yer handshakes when dice fall in malicious ways.

    With plague at the pinecone throne - what else can one do but to roll dice and women around?
  • Nerocrossius wrote:

    I have seen very few lists with 3+ cowboys. Abrasus runs two cowboys (one silvershot and one blessed steel inquisitor). The trend I have seen is toward a single blessed steel Inquisitor cowboy. There may have been some lists with Great Griffon and the Inquisitor. The reason the single inquisitor is becoming popular is generally for the 20" march with the movement order. Whenever I've played 3+ cowboys in EoS I have felt that I have put myself at a distinct disadvantage. For a long while I was playing three great griffons when that was still allowed and it was barely passible.

    In the past the KC cowboy and Great Griffon have had sporadic popularity, but I don't think they have ever been considered crutches. Steam Tank is certainly auto-take single model for most.

    I think EoS infantry blocks are really strong right now. You don't have to pile tons of buffs onto them to be good. Getting a single perception of strength through is often more than enough to make spearmen, halberdiers, or IG go toe-to-toe with things. Flagellants are also very strong right now.

    If anything the increased popularity of Knightly Orders with a cheap Knight Commander general has been coupled with the increased use of halberdier infantry support units. This is because cavalry picks with halberdier counter charge support is just an effective package for controlling the board.

    I run 4. 5 if you count the horsemage with 2+ save as a cowboy. And a tank. Our team played the polish first team for 1st place in the last round of the last 8 man international tournament of Sergum. I wouldnt say its completely on the side of the metagame.
    Hermund Vigerust Endressòn Furu - Savage Sage of the Norse
    Faux-pro player and ETC vagabond.
    Enjoys the company of deluded nerds and women of unquestionably caracal morale.

    Give yer high fives where yer opponents dice have been blessed, and in equal give yer handshakes when dice fall in malicious ways.

    With plague at the pinecone throne - what else can one do but to roll dice and women around?
  • Herminard wrote:

    I run 4. 5 if you count the horsemage with 2+ save as a cowboy. And a tank. Our team played the polish first team for 1st place in the last round of the last 8 man international tournament of Sergum. I wouldnt say its completely on the side of the metagame.
    Oh, I agree that 3+ cowboys can be viable enough, perhaps utilizing them to their max was outside of my skill threshold. I just don’t see heavy cowboy as the dominant future of EoS. I think some people will use a bunch of cowboys, some will use a few and many lists will use none.

    It also depends on how you define “cowboy” I guess. I usually think of a cowboy as a single model mounted character that can win close combat fights on its own.

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  • The map distorsion isent due to lack of knowledge. people that have done the map know well the world at least the region around EoS.

    The distorsion is due to the map projection. we have map expert (I am not) that could speak about this during long thread ;) but I don’t want disturb them. (Except if it’s really important for you, then I will tag them) To have an idea of distorsion you can check ID map LAB and compare to the world map.
    ID map is also distorted, but from an other point of view as it is a tsunad map.

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    The post was edited 2 times, last by Casp ().

  • Optimistic C wrote:

    Marcos24 wrote:

    @Optimistic C regarding the comment units being “trained peasants vs professional soldiers, per the background, the difference between off/def 3 and 4 is trained versus elite. And for humans, 4 is as high as a human can get without magical enhancements, therefore 4s represent the best of the best humans. So training peasants, basically makes them professionals or the equivalent skill, and no longer just peasants
    It seems like some fairly extreme scale compression and/or inconsistency is occurring at the bottom end, here. When malnourished, mistreated Shackled Slaves (which are presumably wearing literal chains) are OS/DS 2 and Res 4, it's very hard to take a 1 point improvement seriously as professional soldiery.
    Maybe but that’s what it is officially, peasant levy and shackled malnourished slaves are at the same level of fighting effectiveness according to the game. We’re just too limited between stats of 1-10, and trying to make equipment, buffs, penalties and magic relevant without making stats too swingy. (Which in my opinion, in some cases it already is)
  • That's one of the reasons I suggested in KoE LAB they bump up the peasants base stats to match empire troops as I feel thats the baseline stats for a human. Peasants in their guidelines don't get any boosts so Empire troops represent all their training in the form of orders and parent/support rules.
  • But that would imply peasants are trained fighters. Which is fine if the background says “peasants train at fighting and when needed form their lo coal militias”, but I think the background specifically wants them to be untrained people randomly drafted in the army and shoved into battle. I THINK! Lol, that may have changed. I guess the base stat line for most basic human physique is s3 r3 1hp, agility3
  • Marcos24 wrote:

    But that would imply peasants are trained fighters. Which is fine if the background says “peasants train at fighting and when needed form their lo coal militias”, but I think the background specifically wants them to be untrained people randomly drafted in the army and shoved into battle. I THINK! Lol, that may have changed. I guess the base stat line for most basic human physique is s3 r3 1hp, agility3
    I'm talking about baseline stats for human. Ever human is a 3. If they train how to march, stay in formation, rotate ranks, follow precise orders, etc... If they train for years they get WS4 ,St, etc...

    Imagining the base stats as the only factor doesn't work across T9A due to the numbers used.
  • But that would push “elite” humans into 5s, and then you have other armies justifying reaching 6s and 7s more easily, which would require another look at characters. Literally power creep and bigger gap and impact between the lowest stats and highest which in my opinion would be the biggest problem

    Is the issue that you just want it to be a nice even 3 all across? Average for humans is already 3, and peasants for instance (and peasant archers and brigand) represent the few “below average” exceptions, for flavor. Yeomen are also non-nobles but represent the “experienced” fighting effectiveness with off/def 3, if not by training, by actually having fighting experience
  • Characters are in their own hero tier.

    The issue is NOT that I just want the WS 3. Where is that assumption coming from?

    The issue is that zombies, skeleton, slaves all have the same stats as a peasant.

    And I've already stated that I feel that orders/parent/support mechanics already make up for the "professionally" trained.

    A dude in the hill tribes can train his martial abilities to be a good fighter. It doesn't mean he knows how to fight in a unit or when and why to follow orders.

    A basic human who made it to adulthood in a medieval society will know how to do some basic fighting.
  • @Marcos24, I appreciate the explanation. It just seems like such an odd limitation that humans are stuck in the 2-4 range, where 2 is “literally no training and wearing chains, ” 3 is “a professional soldier,” and 4 is “elite human peak (or the average Barbarian).” It isn’t really using the full 1-10 range, because even the worst or best RnF models are so narrowly bound.

    It sort of runs my thoughts about the EoS book being somewhat narrow because it can’t have the variation seen in other books e.g. running from skill 3 (harpies) to 6 (obsidian guard) in DE or Str 2 (grotlings) to 5 (trolls) in OnG. I recognize that this might change later in the LAB cycle but it seems counterintuitive that humans particularly and RnF generally are so narrowly bound within the larger 1-10 scale.

    @Casp Do you know where that map is? Is it in the ID forum proper or somewhere on the wiki?
  • Optimistic C wrote:

    @Marcos24, I appreciate the explanation. It just seems like such an odd limitation that humans are stuck in the 2-4 range, where 2 is “literally no training and wearing chains, ” 3 is “a professional soldier,” and 4 is “elite human peak (or the average Barbarian).” It isn’t really using the full 1-10 range, because even the worst or best RnF models are so narrowly bound.

    It sort of runs my thoughts about the EoS book being somewhat narrow because it can’t have the variation seen in other books e.g. running from skill 3 (harpies) to 6 (obsidian guard) in DE or Str 2 (grotlings) to 5 (trolls) in OnG. I recognize that this might change later in the LAB cycle but it seems counterintuitive that humans particularly and RnF generally are so narrowly bound within the larger 1-10 scale.

    @Casp Do you know where that map is? Is it in the ID forum proper or somewhere on the wiki?

    T9A could generally be a bit braver with exploring the range of stats. Especially with the separation of strenght and armor penetration. Since trying to not die is a fairly common trait with warriors and that it is generally easier to close a gap with a shield than to find an opening with the sword - it is especially the offensive skill that could be seeing some higher fluctuations.

    Peasants and Militia could both perfectly well have offensive skill 1 for instance.
    Hermund Vigerust Endressòn Furu - Savage Sage of the Norse
    Faux-pro player and ETC vagabond.
    Enjoys the company of deluded nerds and women of unquestionably caracal morale.

    Give yer high fives where yer opponents dice have been blessed, and in equal give yer handshakes when dice fall in malicious ways.

    With plague at the pinecone throne - what else can one do but to roll dice and women around?
  • Peacemaker wrote:

    Characters are in their own hero tier. Lol yeah but if all units bump up a few off/def and characters stay the same, you can’t tell me the majority of people won’t have a problem with that

    The issue is NOT that I just want the WS 3. Where is that assumption coming from? It was just a consideration

    The issue is that zombies, skeleton, slaves all have the same stats as a peasant. Yeah I think that makes sense, it represents their effectiveness in battle, not what kind of specific moves they can do with a weapon

    And I've already stated that I feel that orders/parent/support mechanics already make up for the "professionally" trained.

    A dude in the hill tribes can train his martial abilities to be a good fighter. It doesn't mean he knows how to fight in a unit or when and why to follow orders.
    Sure but I don’t think “fighting in a unit” has anything to do with the off/def stats.



    A basic human who made it to adulthood in a medieval society will know how to do some basic fighting.


    Maybe but the purpose is to tell the audience “peasants aren’t as good as trained fighters”, and I get what you’re saying but I think we see it differently. There is no “professionally” trained versus “just trained” in the game. It’s more broad than that. It’s literally just untrained, trained, elite we’re talking. And the categories change name in other armies I’m sure, maybe the terms used are probably misleading. But the point is the world of the ninth age is telling us that an untrained peasant is as effective in attacking and defending as a zombie or slave. And both of which are less effective than a trained human. I think that’s believable
  • To simplify what I’m trying to say regarding zombies/untrained peasants. It’s like, a toddler can technically fight better than a stuffed animal toy because at least the toddler can kick and scream, but if both were units in the game, both would have 0 effectiveness in actual combat, and would both be off/def 0. That’s how I see it
  • Marcos24 wrote:

    To simplify what I’m trying to say regarding zombies/untrained peasants. It’s like, a toddler can technically fight better than a stuffed animal toy because at least the toddler can kick and scream, but if both were units in the game, both would have 0 effectiveness in actual combat, and would both be off/def 0. That’s how I see it
    Yep I agree, the 1-10 spectrum isn’t granular enough to represent much variation, especially when 5-10 is often reserved for rare and elite models.

    I get what Peace is saying though, my personal taste would be to get rid of the concept of serfs being pushed into the meat grinder altogether, these guys grow all your food getting large swathes of them slaughtered is stupid. At least set up a fyrd like system where they get trained up, or just hire men-at-arms like IRL.
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