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[Warpath] List building and balance

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  • [Warpath] List building and balance

    Ever since the early beta's its bothered me that many units simply can't hurt defence 7+ units. Its mostly an issue because I've got a plague army with terrible accuracy and lots of tough targets are faster than the big plague beasties. If lists are fairly well balanced between infantry and tough units its not so much of an issue because you can make a dent and still play for objectives. But what if someone puts down 8 Iron ancestors? Or plays with 3+ bombers? Plague can do next to nothing against these lists.

    This isn't a problem just for plague, but I think they get the worst of it. Anyway, I suggested lots of possible fixes before the rules release, but it generally wasn't seen as a problem. More recently I thought up a slightly more elegant solution, which I've hit on above. I was planning on just keeping it to myself for house rules, but I saw a similar thing discussed on Facebook for the tournament seen. What if the lists are more balanced, and you play for objectives? If you force players to take more infantry, then you can avoid the tough stuff and play the objective game, which in my experience is how most tabletop games should play.

    Anyway. Onto the meaty bit:


    I propose that all units which have a defence of 7 or greater require a team from a 'core unit' to unlock (much like KoW where you take standard units to unlock heros/monsters/warmachines).

    So, I propose core units are:
    Asterians: Marrionettes, Cyphers and Kalyshi
    Enforcers: Enforcers, Pathfinders
    Forge Fathers: Steel Warriors, Militia, Brokkrs
    GCPS: Marines, Veterans, Recruits, Goran Auxiliaries, Goran Stalkers, Orc Commandos
    Plague: 3rd Gens, Zombies
    Veer-myn: Nightcrawlers.


    I'm tempted to add Peacekeepers, Forge guard and Leaper's to this list, so you can still run mechanised elite lists, but unsure. Originally I considered that you would need a team for every point of defence over 6, but I feel this is a little more complicated and restrictive than I would like. (i.e. an Iron ancestor with def 8 would need two teams or steel warriors to unlock, but a strider would only need one team of zombies).

    This system also balances out stormrage veterans quite nicely - they are so much better than steel warriors for their price, but now they don't unlock anything!

    Each army includes a cheap unlock unit for players who want to go heavy on tanks, but it still forces a more realistic force - tanks are great for destroying stuff, and stopping the enemy from getting to an objective, but every force needs infantry to clear buildings and interact with those important objectives.

    Finally, I would add an exception to the rule (every good rule needs an exception) - transports don't require a unit to unlock. This means you should easily be able to build a list where all your compulsory units can sit inside a transport for those that want a fully mechanised army. Additionally, I think orbital commanders would require 10 teams to unlock. This primarily is there to restrict them to larger games, but also from a fluff point, orbital commanders should only be present if you have lots of units to command!

    Many of the more powerful infantry units don't unlock anything, but don't require an unlock, which keeps list building flexible. HVAs can stay in place to limit those really tough units. In most lists I imagine that players have already taken enough infantry to unlock all the tough stuff they want, but this limits those outliers which would dominate tournaments, or make friendly matches less friendly.

    What do you think?

    TLDR: add the requirement to list building that vehicles require one team of infantry to unlock the unit choice.
    Last edited by MrPieChee; 05-01-2018, 05:30 PM.

  • #2
    I like the idea in general but I my problem with "core" units as this always feels more like taking ballast to get the good stuff and not all factions have an equal source.
    And KoW is different as you need large units to unlook Monsters/Heros/WM no matter if the are core or elite

    Just adding this rule: Vehicles require one team of infantry to unlock the unit choice. Units with a defence of 7+ require three (or a full unit?) teams to unlock.

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    • #3
      Yeah, perhaps that is a better idea. Originally I was trying to fix steel warriors and stormrage veterans at the same time, but it probably better to actually fix that rather than patch it elsewhere. The idea of the core units is that these are the core units that fluffy army's would largly consist of...

      You're suggestion means you can unlock plague Lord's with murder birds. Would you include large infantry in that? Then you could unlock bombers with bikes... Not sure if either are a Bad thing or not...
      Last edited by MrPieChee; 07-01-2018, 07:02 PM.

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      • #4
        I would keep it simple for the general rule and make exception for some units if the combination is a problem.
        eg if Jetbikes unlocking bombers is overpowered, Jetbikes are marked as "do not unlock other units" instead of changing the initial rule

        there it would be possible to add: "Stormrage Veterans never unlock Defence 7+" as an FF specific rule

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        • #5
          I like the idea of infantry teams unlocking extra choices, but there's an implication I would like you to consider regading your initial proposal.

          Several units with the transport rule are Def 7+, including though vehicles like the Enforcer flyers, the Tunnelers and the FF Brandr tank bring a lot to the table.
          If we exclude some of the "better choices" of each list, some themed forces (e.g. a Plague beast list heavy on St 2s & Murderbirds, or an Enforcer Peacekeeper list,...) might have difficulties with some basic unlocks.

          And, honestly, Steelwarriors need another fix other than becoming a requirement, we have been discussing this a while ago. I 'm also thinking that St3 infantry might need a little overhaul in WP, but that's just me.

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          • #6
            Those themed lists where why I was considering adding leaper and peacekeepers to the unlock list.

            The difference with the transports from other def 7 stuff is that they don't have much power - the Drakkar APCs only have 2 dice ap 1, and the hornet is a little better but still terrible. Enforcer interceptors should have been left out of that list though, since they pack alot of power! TBH I would probably leave hornets out, since mules are still available to both GCPS and Plague...

            Anyway, Kodos condensed it to a nicer form. Might be worth adding the transport exception into that, but probably just needs some list building to play with options to decide what would work.

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