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Von Blonde Beer,

Welcome everyone to the hotfix notes for 02-09-2016 for the 9th Age.
During the previous design cycle of the 9th Age, we decided to release a hotfix in the period after the ETC to resolve any lingering problems before we would start up the next design cycle.
Before we discuss the hotfix itself in these notes, lets first explain what this hotfix exactly is:
  • This is not the result of a new design cycle.
    The members of the RT have combined the results from the Data Team, the ETC, the ABC members, playtesters, comments from the forum and their own experiences to pinpoint the worst offenders of balance in the version 1.0 release, and tried to correct them without massive changes to the core game. We are aware that not all the problem cases are handled by this hotfix, but changing those would need to include changes to the core rules of the main rulebook or massive changes to certain units. We have chosen to keep this hotfix as short and simple as possible, so people can continue playing their games until the next design cycle without changing their lists too much.
  • We are currently not buffing units, only nerfing the worst offenders. While we have enough data and feedback to indicate certain armies and units are under performing, we wanted to focus first on bringing a better external balance by removing the worst offenders. We don’t have enough time to have an in-depth look at what buffing certain armies would do to the overall meta, and therefore those changes need to be carefully considered before implementing. Therefore we decided to wait with this until the next design cycle where we will have the fully reorganized team behind the project to get the best result.
    While we understand this is frustrating for certain armies and their fans, we hope you realise that by weakening certain key units all armies become more balanced against each other, and the weaker books will go up in strength as a result.
  • In November all the books will get a significant update, and the RT is currently focusing their time and efforts for that update.
Onward to the changes themselves, but please keep in mind that we are mostly focusing on the auto includes of the top armies:

- The altar of battle goes up to 200 points
The Altar of battle has shown to be to much of an auto include in this army. Therefor we added a small price increase to balance this out.

-The skysloop mount will lose its shooting weapon and becomes 20 points cheaper.
The skysloop spam seen in the last few months is seen as detrimental to the game. To balance this we removed the shooting weapon from the mount, and gave it a 20 point reduction to compensate.

- The Kadim titan will go up with 25 points, and the Titan loses its 4+ wardsave.
The Kadim Titan is seen as too strong on the table. Therefore it loses its 4+ wardsave (still retaining its 5+ wardsave) and going up with 25 points.

- Tribesmen will lose their Heavy Armour
With the buffs to Tribesmen in the past we felt we went overboard, and we want to bring a bit more balance to the Ogre core selection, and make the choice between Tribesmen and Bruisers a bit more challenging.

- Entwined roots will have a maximum unit size of 6
The use of this enhancement will be capped to a maximum unit size of 6 to prevent certain Deathstar builds in the SE book.

- We will change ethereal to 3+ / 5+ and also make the green knight from KOE a bit cheaper)
The consensus is that ethereals enable the creation of very one-sided lists. While on average the list might still score an average of 10 points we don’t believe this is balanced (having a few extreme good matchups and a few very bad matchups does not make for a very interesting game).

- Plague Pendulum will go up to 215 points
It is properly no surprise to anyone that the Pendulum has shown to be very effective for its points cost. To balance this out a bit we have increased its point cost, instead of nerfing the option.

-There will be a lot of clarifications in the rules themselves (think FAQs etc.).
-Rule changes to prevent “character teleportation”.
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