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Commissar Vaughn
02-09-2009, 08:07
Was just reading a thread in the rules development forum and got thinking: Why is there a tendancy to give everything in warhammer a special rule? Aren't units already well represented by their statline?

But every week somone comes up with another long list of rules to remember to make one unit or another a bit harder

Rather than work out a way to add special rules in right left and centre why dont we get rid of some? Speed up our games and make them flow better. What can we reasonably get rid of? Especially stuff that doesnt work very well/causes arguments etc. Id personally like to impose a limit of maybe 1 or 2 of these army wide special rules per army, and at most one more per extraordinary unit. How do we keep the flavour of different armies/units? Well with their normal stats, models and painting!

Just off the top of my head I cant see why High Elves have ASF. Ok theyre fast...but they already have a very high I and M. Isnt that enough to represent their speed?
Empire detatchments should stay, theyve been around since the dawn of time, tone them down a bit maybe. But the Flaggellents can get rid of that martyr rule.

So what do you think we can do without?

~Aura~
02-09-2009, 08:17
I reckon ASF should be kept on Swordmasters and as an option that White Lions can gain using one of the modes on their axes, but otherwise it is a little unbelievable.

Leogun_91
02-09-2009, 08:23
I reckon ASF should be kept on Swordmasters and as an option that White Lions can gain using one of the modes on their axes, but otherwise it is a little unbelievable.It fits with spearmen I think, charging a spearwall should give a simmilar effect and elfs have the best spearwalls.

Rubicon
02-09-2009, 08:24
*FACEPALM*

It is all about game balance. The special rules are there to balance percieved weaknesses in previous editions of the book. High Elves used to be the most boring army in the world to play against because they would just sit back and shoot you, never getting into combat. Now people are more willing to come for you in combat because they have that reliability that ASF provides.

If you want a game without special rules, go play chess.

Condottiere
02-09-2009, 09:02
Chess has special rules.

Special rules allow units to differentiate themselves and create tactical situations not normally possible with the ones in the BRB.

Skywave
02-09-2009, 09:27
Just off the top of my head I cant see why High Elves have ASF. Ok theyre fast...but they already have a very high I and M. Isnt that enough to represent their speed?
Empire detatchments should stay, theyve been around since the dawn of time, tone them down a bit maybe. But the Flaggellents can get rid of that martyr rule.

So what do you think we can do without?

Their stats showed they where fast, but not LotR fast, so the got ASF for some movie feeling ;)

Seriously though, I think that's the kind of special rule that should be unit-specific, not army wide. Giving it to some elite warrior like swordmaster is cool, but every single elf being super ninja? Archer are so good they can stand and shoot and hit you in the face before you can even sneeze (correct me if I'm wrong I'm not very familiar with HE)!

Empire detachement is unit specific (only for core infantry + greatsword), and it's a very old rule so there's not much problem there.

Dark elf hatred, if I'm right, have basic hatred versus everyone but super hatred (every round) versus HE right? Why not just normal hatred versus HE? Sure they hate a lot, but is it enough to warrant an army-wide hatred all the time?

Freman Bloodglaive
02-09-2009, 10:13
Because giving them these special rules makes people want to play them (new fanboys) so they spend money to buy new models.

Yes, get rid of speed of asuryanwhatshisface and eternal hatred. I suppose the Lady's Blessing can stay, it's cool. Cold-blooded is fine for Lizardmen. Relentless is on Dwarves because otherwise they'd be march blocked by units 7 inches in front of them who are completely safe from retaliation.

To be honest I'd like to see animosity go. I don't like to see OnG players destroyed because their army decides to squabble rather than attack.

EDIT: Dwarves have a greater claim to eternal hatred than Dark Elves, their books of grudges must have entries for every race in Warhammer Earth. So hatred of every race, and super hatred of OnGs.

Anaris
02-09-2009, 10:17
...and while we're at it, lets get rid of ItP on all Undead units.

Dr Death
02-09-2009, 10:29
I very much agree with the idea of cutting down on the number of special rules present in warhammer. I'm actually dabbling with a 'new edition' of warhammer houserules and trying to cut down on special rules is a big part of that. The other two issues i do find annoying are 'roster hopping' (take x and x, y and z become core/special/rare) and reversing the rather horrifying alterations to the basic force organisation table in the high elf book.

My games design philosophy is always to avoid special rules where possible and place variation within (as you prefer) the basic established 'pathways' of the mechanics (such as the statline). It is the layering and juxtaposition of these minor modifications that ultimately build the character and the play-style of an army. Players register them subconciously and the army has more thematic cohesion than with 'novelty' armies- armies defined by their special rules (the Ulthwe Strike force or the Ogre Kingdoms are examples of what i consider to be 'novelty' armies).

Dr Death

hawo0313
02-09-2009, 11:35
OK I'll put down a list of special rules that are army wide or close to it and you say yay or nay

Speed of Asyryan (high elves)
Eternal Hetred (Dark elves)
Detachments (empire)
Demonic (deamons)
Immune to panic (for undead)
Lance formation (brettonians)
Cold blooded (lizardmen)
Army wide stubborn (for dwarves)
Peasants duty/knights vow (brettonians)
Unruly (beastmen)
Ancestral grudge (dwaves)
valour of ages (high elves)
Bull charge (ogre kingdoms)
Animosity (Orcs and Goblins)
Life is cheap (skaven)
Lead from the back (skaven)
Forest spirit (Wood elves)
Will of chaos (warriors of chaos)
Eye of the gods (warriors of chaos)

personally I dont have a problem with most of these just speed of asuryan, probably the demonic instability part (its easily the best test to take), and animosity but I'm not so sure about etrernal hatred. but the rest are good I think.

Edit: forgot warriors of chaos sorry :)

Tarax
02-09-2009, 12:06
The character of an army/race is defined by its stats. Some special rules are added to capture those things not possible in the stats.

eg. Dwarfs are slow, hence M3, but they get 'relentless' so they don't get bogged down and it represents another part of its character. There are no (other) rules to substitute this.

Elves have M5 and I5 (for the most) which represents their speed. Giving High Elves ASF does nothing to enhance this character trait.
(Maybe the basic rules do not let them be represented as such. Always striking in order of I would counter this lack.)

Dark Elves (now) have Eternal Hatred. Why? Where does that hate come from? Nobody knows. They are determined fighters, trying to get as many prisoners as possible. Is there something else in the rules to represent this? No. Are there any Special Rules? No. Do they need it? No!

ItP for Undead is part of the character of that army and can not be represented in the stats or otherwise, so it fits.

Commissar Vaughn
02-09-2009, 12:35
For Brets I like the blessing and the Virtues, they work and are fluffy.

The lance formation however? Well it encourages "point and click" playing and MSU (when did u last see 20 knights of the realm in one unit?) , it looks silly and its completely at odds with the way Heavy Cavalry historicaly fights and its "real" tactics etc. I cant stand it.

And I agree with the Eternal Hatred. As much as I love my Druchii I think rerolling to hit all the time is a bit much. DE are hard enough with out it! I cant help feeling they only got it to cancel out the ASF of the High elves (and vice versa)

Another rule I want to see the back of is the "hand weapon and Shield" rule: Not really special I know but its caused a ton of trouble since it was introduced. E.g Empire players used to have a choice: Swordsmen had +1ws, spearmen got +1A (standing still) and Halberdiers got +1S. When theyre all the same points this makes u think about your choice and their role. However as only the swordsmen get +1 to their save as well as their own inherant abilities they are suddenly better value for the same points when they shouldnt be! Theres a fair few balancing issues caused by this, mostly becouse it stupid when a weapon you pay for isnt as good as the one you got for free.

Take away the rule and you solve the problem.

Id like to have the old panic rules back though. :D

The SkaerKrow
02-09-2009, 12:36
Sounds like a thread for people who hate Elves.

Korhil-WLC
02-09-2009, 12:59
*FACEPALM*

It is all about game balance. The special rules are there to balance percieved weaknesses in previous editions of the book. High Elves used to be the most boring army in the world to play against because they would just sit back and shoot you, never getting into combat. Now people are more willing to come for you in combat because they have that reliability that ASF provides.

If you want a game without special rules, go play chess.

?? The new book has ruined my HE All Cav army.........

Von Wibble
02-09-2009, 13:43
Just off the top of my head I cant see why High Elves have ASF. Ok theyre fast...but they already have a very high I and M. Isnt that enough to represent their speed?


Yes, if you want to price the high elf spearman at, say, 6 pts per model, then go for no special rules.

But then, how on earth do you get across that high elves are a dying race and are supposed to be outnumbered when for balance purposes they have to be a horde?

Simple. Give them special rules.

I actually dislike ASF myself as it doesn't reward me for charging - I would prefer a different rule, or for core rules to reward troops with greater WS and I. Problem there being that dwarf elites also have good WS, and Chaos Warriors have both.

Special rules are needed for balance purposes. Could they be more streamlined - possibly. Are some just relics, eg goblins fear elves? Yes. But by and large, they should stay in.

And of course the high elf book has far less than it did back in their golden age of fifth edition. Remember ellyrian reavers that got a free move before the battle, could fire and flee? White Lions with D3 wounds, -1 to be hit, or -1 to enemy attacks? Dragon Princes that had to have magic standards at half price? -1 to be hit by missile fire swordmasters?

I think 7th isn't so bad considering this.

Condottiere
02-09-2009, 14:59
It's made Dragon Princes very attractive, not that they weren't attractive in the last edition.

It's just that with the new book, there doesn't seem that Silver Helms and Ellyrian Reavers have much to do.

High Loremaster
02-09-2009, 15:58
Hey, I still love my Reavers. They prove useful here and there.

Anyway; special rules help make the armies more distinct. If we're talking about army-wide special rules, then yes, recently they've been getting more over-the-top, with DE and HE especially. Minor army-wide special rules like Dwarves' -1 to flee and pursue, or rules that really add to the flavor of an army, like Detachments, are fine IMO.

PARTYCHICORITA
02-09-2009, 16:06
I like special rules, they make each unit more unique and open room for different strategies around different units.
One of the thing that killed 40K for me was how they suppress most special rules or made them "big book rules" instead of army specific.

If anything i would like units to have even more special rules than they do now.

Sarah S
02-09-2009, 16:15
Was just reading a thread in the rules development forum and got thinking: Why is there a tendancy to give everything in warhammer a special rule? Aren't units already well represented by their statline?

The D6 system, 1-10 statlines and the handful of very similar army books (how many types of Elves do we need??) conspire to ensure that it is impossible to have enough variation amongst the units without a significant number of special rules.

Special rules are great. It's just the ADD kids that can't seem to remember them. I quite enjoy having lots of them in games.

iaguz
02-09-2009, 16:44
There's nothing wrong with army wide Special rules or the concept of special rules themselves. It gives armies and units more character and makes them more unique. Special rules like Cold Blooded lizzies, Animosity Orks, immune to psych undead etc have been a staple part of armies for years and years, there's no real reason to cut them.

I mean, consider these two models:

Dude A
WS 4, BS 4, S 3, T3, I 5, A 1, LD 8
Spear, light armour, shield

Dude B
WS 4, BS 4, S 3, T 3, I 5, A 1, LD 8
Spear, light armour, shield

What's the difference? Well, Dude A is one of a dying race and has trained his martial prowess to a point few others can manage through thousands of years of training, practice and mental discipline, and he's just the citizen levy. Dude B is one of a thriving and malicious race, a race of murderers and warriors and pirates, trained to kill and inflict as much pain and suffering as he can. Comparatively, he is not as skilled or disciplined then Dude A, but his natural savagery makes up for it.

With the exact same statlines and equipment, how can you separate these two? Answer; special rules!

My qualm with special rules is that the Big Three seem to be spamming them quite ridiculously. For example, I can have Black Guard, who have Hatred, Stubborn, Immune to Psych and give them all Always Strikes First, including any characters that join in, who can do all sorts of silly things themselves. Or perhaps I've got me a Khorne Jugger Herald who is Daemonic (magical attacks, fear, 5+ ward, instability, immune to psych) who also gives himself hatred and killing blow, as well as wielding a flaming weapon. Or the Grave Guard with regeneration, undead (immune to psych, fear, crumble) ASF from either the cart or Vanhel's and hatred from a character/banner.

Special rules in themselves are fine, but throwing them around willy nilly is not.

Skywave
02-09-2009, 17:51
I personally am not against special rule designed to put some flavor in unit/army, to represent fluff if possible, or make units more distincts from each other. I just don't like when some "standard" rule like ASF and hatred are applied to the whole army 'just because' instead of being used on some select units within the army. Next we know we'll get army-wide regeneration or killing blow (ok maybe regeneration could be achieved now with a troll army:p)!

Also I'm with laguz on the too high number of rules some army/unit can get. Some special rule are way too accessible nowaday, and doesn't feel so special anymore. I play vampire and there's some silly stuff like regen on the corpse cart (why is it there anyway?), or the quite big accessibility to ASF from said cart and vanhel's.

Commissar Vaughn
02-09-2009, 18:36
I play vampire and there's some silly stuff like regen on the corpse cart (why is it there anyway?)


Becouse obviously people skilled in the dark arts and capable of binding deamons and spirits to their whim are also really good carpenters and wheelrights.

Enigmatik1
02-09-2009, 18:44
Becouse obviously people skilled in the dark arts and capable of binding deamons and spirits to their whim are also really good carpenters and wheelrights.

I'm not entirely sure why, but I found this post hilarious!

Now what's all this talk about spamming/stacking special rules? I must've missed that smorgasbord!

:skull::skull::skull::skull:

Emeraldw
02-09-2009, 20:02
I like Special rules as well. Some armies, like elves, use those rules to overcome their stats, wood elves being a much better example than high elves.

I should talk about ASF on High Elves in particular. I like this rule, it makes High Elven infantry more dangerous. I don't understand the hatred for it, other than it is annoying to fight against. If you play something that had M4 then ASF on Elves probably didn't change much other than you have to think before charging your cav or monster into the HE Infantry. That is just how I feel about it. I like using ASF to make my opponent to dance a little to my tune.

Personally, I find Unbreakable, fear causing, ItP armies more "annoying" than ASF elves.

Hrogoff the Destructor
02-09-2009, 20:27
At first I highly disliked ASF, particularly because of the other armies lacking army wide special rules. Now that the High Elves have really tough competition with the army books following theirs, I think they really really need it. The only time I think it's unfair is when I'm facing army books that came out before the High Elves (well, most of them) since HE's were ones to power creep recently.

I've always looked at the High Elves models and noticed they are all fairly static. To me it made them look like they all in tuned with one another and worked in perfect unison. It reminded me of a Spartan quote that was something along the lines of "One on one we are not much better than your average soldier, but put us together and we become far stronger". To me ASF embodied that idea, even though it's not the fluff reasons GW gave it to them.

Enigmatik1
02-09-2009, 21:00
I don't mind ASFElves all that much. I have yet to beat them with my Tomb Kings and I doubt I'll be able to until we get a new book. At least I have chariots and catapults to make HE players remove models, even if little else in my army has much of a chance to do so. :D

This is a circular argument. ItP/Unbreakable vs. ASF vs. Hatred, etc. I try to look at things very simply. High Elves are ASF because they're all T3. It's nigh impossible to hit them first save via impact hits or shooting so you ram chariots at them or shoot them as much as possible and pray that you have models left in close combat after they beat on you to strike back (which for generic undead isn't likely unless they're Ethereal Units or Blood Knights).

Just like Undead are usually pretty bad in combat, characters aside. Lower weaponskill and expensive (yet bad in combat) units tend to mean that they'll lose combat most of the time if all other factors are equal. If they were breakable and not ItP with leadership averaging 5-6, they'd be nigh unplayable.

I can't comment too much on Hatred as I haven't had to deal with it yet. I can see the reasoning behind it and am Ok with that reasoning even if it seems really powerful.

The grass always seems greener on the other side of the road, doesn't it?

Emeraldw
02-09-2009, 21:53
I can't comment too much on Hatred as I haven't had to deal with it yet. I can see the reasoning behind it and am Ok with that reasoning even if it seems really powerful.



Hatred isn't that bad, till you start including monsters and things with a vast number of attacks. Assassins wouldn't be as dangerous as they are without hatred as 6 attacks at WS10 is only 4 hits, but with Hatred you can easily get all 6.

I think hatred is a fine rule overall and works with them, but certain things in the army pushes the value of hatred from a fine rule, to a very powerful one.




The grass always seems greener on the other side of the road, doesn't it?

I have played the other side, Daemons and Vampire Counts with all their rules can be rather frustrating :P

R Man
02-09-2009, 23:26
The lance formation however? Well it encourages "point and click" playing and MSU (when did u last see 20 knights of the realm in one unit?) , it looks silly and its completely at odds with the way Heavy Cavalry historicaly fights and its "real" tactics etc. I cant stand it.

1stly, you never see 20+ knights in a unit anyway. For anyone. Secondly the lance represents the wedge formation, the classic one was dropped for being physically awkward. P.S: Its a real formation. Knight did use it to great effect.


And I agree with the Eternal Hatred. As much as I love my Druchii I think rerolling to hit all the time is a bit much. DE are hard enough with out it! I cant help feeling they only got it to cancel out the ASF of the High elves (and vice versa)

Sure it was. But is that a problem? Would you rather the list be unbalanced? Then we'd have 5 000 000 Dark Elf Players coming on here whining about how GW messed up, and then some of them suggesting exactly this solution for the problem.

Special Rules are not bad. Too many special rules are. But we must distinguish between the two. Ideally, Special Rules should be used for things that the base system cannot account for and be kept as army wide as possible. Eternal Hatred, SOA and Dwarvern Relentless are actually good examples of this. Simple, effective and clear.

Some armies wouldn't feel right without their special rules. Can you imagine trying to justify why a Skeleton feels fear?

Freman Bloodglaive
03-09-2009, 00:13
How do you distinguish between them? By the armies that they're in.

High Elves, bright, light masters of magic.
Dark Elves, shunned slave takers, masters of murder and mayhem.

High Elves against Dark Elves always re-roll their psychology tests representing their dedication to stopping their evil kin.

Dark Elves hate their bright brothers and re-roll missed attacks against them in the first round of combat...

Oh wait, wasn't that how they used to be? Special rules against each other, but not against every other army in the whole flaming game.

Also Elven combat skill is pure propaganda. I know several Dwarves who are convinced that Elves are softer and squishier than they used to be.

Silver Helms and Reavers back into the core section. Silver Helms are mini-knights starting without all the armour, just light armour and unbarded horses with lances to make them fast and cheap... call them fast cavalry. As they armour up with heavy armour, shield and barding they lose fast cavalry but become more resilient. Reavers have bows and shoot from the saddle.

Dark Elves just need their points tweaked, Black Guard nerfed (1 attack), and that stupid reverse save pendent deleted.

Recasting Necromantic spells has to go.

Deamons should go back to a save negated by magic, and probably a loss of one attack across the board (to a minimum of one). Chaos magic probably needs a bash with the nerf bat, probably raising their casting value by one and reducing random damage spells by D6 to a minimum of one (ie if it does 3D6 hits now it does 2D6). If they need more we'll start dropping their leadership until they really fear those instability tests.

EDIT: Justifying ASF because the army is toughness 3 is kind of messed up. Apart from Chaos, Dwarves, Orcs, Ogres, and Saurus warriors most armies are majority toughness 3. Skinks are toughness 2 IIRC, does that mean they should strike first against anyone toughness 3+?

Enigmatik1
03-09-2009, 00:51
Hatred isn't that bad, till you start including monsters and things with a vast number of attacks. Assassins wouldn't be as dangerous as they are without hatred as 6 attacks at WS10 is only 4 hits, but with Hatred you can easily get all 6.

I think hatred is a fine rule overall and works with them, but certain things in the army pushes the value of hatred from a fine rule, to a very powerful one.

I have played the other side, Daemons and Vampire Counts with all their rules can be rather frustrating :P

Fair enough, Emerald :) Just remember, I'm a Tomb King player...;)

Edit: @Freman-

I'm not entirely sure it does completely justify an army wide rule for ASF. All I'm saying is that because they're T3 across the board, I can live with them having the rule even though I'm not overly fond of it.

I just sometimes feel that some of these special rules are akin to auto-win vs. certain armies. There should be no "IWIN" button in Warhammer. I've seen enough of those in the myriad of MMOs I've played. Let's leave them there, shall we?

Briohmar
03-09-2009, 05:38
Certainly some of the ways to distinguish the two types of elves:

The part time fighters can fight from three ranks while the professional soldiers cannot.

The Part time fighters Don't need as many units as the full time soldiers do. (2 core required vs 3)

I'll think up some more, but those are the big two, besides ASF

Freman Bloodglaive
03-09-2009, 06:40
Certainly some of the ways to distinguish the two types of elves:

The part time fighters can fight from three ranks while the professional soldiers cannot.

The Part time fighters Don't need as many units as the full time soldiers do. (2 core required vs 3)

I'll think up some more, but those are the big two, besides ASF

Citizen levy have always had that rule IIRC, I think back in the day archers could always fire in an extra rank too. It does seem strange that Dark Elves don't get it, but then they get Corsairs and Repeater Crossbows which are much better.

The revised force organization list should get the chop while we're at it. Having cavalry in core again means that they don't need the extra special slots (not that anyone ever used it for Silver Helms). I think a guy I knew who posted on another board under the name fasterhooves would like these changes. He liked his all cavalry high elf army.

Shadowfax
03-09-2009, 07:54
On the subject of "speeding u pthe game" I find that for all the special rules WFB games still go by significantly faster than games of 40k. I can play a 2000 point game of WFB faster than a 1500 point game of 40K (mostly thanks to movement trays)



I should talk about ASF on High Elves in particular. I like this rule, it makes High Elven infantry more dangerous. I don't understand the hatred for it, other than it is annoying to fight against.
I don't like it for the same reason someone described earlier; it takes the reward out of setting up the charge. It allows the HE player to play a rather braindead, un-Elvish style because it doesn't matter at all whether he gets to the enemy first or vice versa.

It's not insurmountably powerful or anything like that, but it represents an across-the-board rule that forgives sloppy play, so I don't like it.

At the very least I think it should require something to kick in at the start of every combat, like an I or Ld test.

Scallat
03-09-2009, 10:10
Just as an aside to anyone who dislikes ASF High Elves. See if you can convince your local elf player to try a game against you with ASF removed from all units. They really are pretty terrible without it.

Freman Bloodglaive
03-09-2009, 10:17
I recall that Swordmasters used to have the rule that they ignored the always strikes last part of great weapons. (They also used to be -1 to hit with ranged weapons through blocking arrows with their swords)

Swordmasters (and Executioners imnsho) should strike at initiative with great weapons.

How can a unit that has all the advantages of High Elves (good WS BS M I and Ld plus magic) be rubbish without ASF? Is it just because infantry is pretty pathetic now? Admittedly Elves have expensive troops without much in the way of armour, but that's neither here nor there. Giving them more armour is an option. (Making cavalry core is another)

R Man
03-09-2009, 10:33
How do you distinguish between them? By the armies that they're in.

Was this directed at me? I cannot recall anyone else using the term distinguish before so you must be talking to me. If you'd bothered to actually note the content of my post you would know that I was talking about distinguishing between the nature of special rules! Not between High elves and Dark Elves.


How can a unit that has all the advantages of High Elves (good WS BS M I and Ld plus magic) be rubbish without ASF? Is it just because infantry is pretty pathetic now? Admittedly Elves have expensive troops without much in the way of armour, but that's neither here nor there. Giving them more armour is an option. (Making cavalry core is another)

Part of the reason is that while elves have good offensive stats, defensively they are very vulnerable to being shot as (for exaple) a swordmaster is no tougher than a common goblin. There are several things that could change this. Better armour for the elites would be one. I don't understand why Elves wouldn't have full plate. Perhaps better support units would help like a version of the Roman Scorpion.

But perhaps the biggest problem might be difficulty in collecting accurate data.

Freman Bloodglaive
03-09-2009, 11:12
Of course ASF doesn't help the survivability against shooting either. :)

The old "Swordmasters are -1 to hit" rule would help them against shooting. It would also be rather cool, especially when I see no reason to limit it to bows. Blocking bolt thrower shots with their swords? I think so. They have full length armour which I feel could represent a 4+ save. -1 to hit at range and a 4+ save would protect them a bit.

White Lions should have heavy armour and their Lion cloaks (which I recall being +2 save against shooting and maybe +1 in combat like a sea dragon cloak) giving a 3+ save against being shot? I think that makes them more survivable too especially given that they can hide in woods and charge out without penalty.

I don't mind High Elves having interesting and cool stuff, but SoA isn't cool.

Enigmatik1
03-09-2009, 13:39
Just as an aside to anyone who dislikes ASF High Elves. See if you can convince your local elf player to try a game against you with ASF removed from all units. They really are pretty terrible without it.

I've heard this before and I'm inclined to believe it, but that then becomes an issue of how much you pay for each model/unit. You would have to adjust the point cost per model of all units to balance it out. I estimate High Elves pay about 3-4 points per model across the board for ASF whether it's really helpful or not (High Elf Archers, I'm talking to you).

I can empathize, I pay the same point difference per model on every skeleton I field because they cause fear despite being completely awful in every other aspect of the game (except shooting...I love skeleton archers, but my love stops there).

GodSlayer
03-09-2009, 14:19
I like the special rules. But I find that it should be more 'exceptions' rather than 'gained ability'.

The Relentless rule for dwarfs is just that: no block march.
The DE Sorcery rule: no dice cap for spells (five dices for a Lv1?)
The TK are not affected by shooting modifiers.

So I would prefer for HE (since it's always given as example) something in the way of: Always strike in initiative order, even if charged or equiped with HW.

As for eternal hatred... I prefer the term 'Eternal Rage'. And even if it was fluffy, I do think it's against my definition of special rule (as stated above).

Alathir
03-09-2009, 14:25
I don't find them a big deal really, they help out alot with units who struggle to act as they should on the tabletop within the confines of stats. I've never found they slow down the game either.

Von Wibble
03-09-2009, 14:41
How can a unit that has all the advantages of High Elves (good WS BS M I and Ld plus magic) be rubbish without ASF? Is it just because infantry is pretty pathetic now? Admittedly Elves have expensive troops without much in the way of armour, but that's neither here nor there. Giving them more armour is an option. (Making cavalry core is another)

Obviously not an elven player. I can't really agree with much posted here at all.

Lets get the supposed advantages right

WS average not good. Lots of stuff has WS4. And the weaker WS 3 stuff still hits on 4s -WS is certainly inferior to S or T.

BS, good but backed by S3. BS3 S4 beats this because of the armour save modifier, and is available on much cheaper troops (crossbowmen and handguns). Good I, only relevant from the 2nd round onwards. Not that many combats go to round 2. High Elves are one of the worst armies in the shooting phase, outclassed by bretonnians, Orcs and Goblins, Tomb Kings and Tzeentch deamons as well as the more obvious wood elves, dark elves, empire, dwarfs.

Good Ld - again I'd say average. Most things test on Ld 8-9 in the game.

Good magic I'll agree with.

Now the disadvantages - poor S, T and armour on expensive models. Its certainly important. Against 4+ save infantry (that's pretty much everything in the game) my spearmen can expect only half their hits to wound, and half their wounds to kill. So my spearmen inflict aobut 2 casualties on charge. Thanks to poor T and armour, they easily take that much damage in return.

ASF doesn't really help that much, but it does at least balance out the spearman so he can take a charge. With the extra rank fighting it becomes 3 casualties for 1 loss. A small difference but an important one.

Armour is not an option. High elves are supposed to favour speed and agility, and not get hit, rather than take a punch. The rules should reflect this.

Core cavalry is not an option (unless conditionas are applied) - it doesn't get around the problem that the core infantry without some special rule is underpowered. If silver helms were core than many high elf players would take these to fill mandatory choices and then take specials and rares.

So a rule is needed that reflects the fact that high elves always get the first strike. Always strikes first achieves this.

That's not to say I like it. I already said it gives no benefit for charging - there is also the problem that many enemy units now don't come forward to engage me, and armies now load up on shooting to hurt me instead. This is compounded by my smaller army, due to paying more points. Also it gives a reason to charge more for archers, who can beat wardancers, but are point for point the worst in the game at shooting.

Eternal hatred - imo mounts shouldn't get it. And black guard are a special rule too far (I'd remove ITP and add a point. Don't remove the attack as with S4 they'd be terrible for the cost).

In an ideal game you wouldn't need as many special rules because the core rules wouldn't favour certain statlines the way they currently do. Wuith core rules as they are, special rules are a necessity.

Emeraldw
03-09-2009, 15:26
Von Wibble is correct in his analysis.

I disagree only with how to fix BG as the true sticker with them is the ASF banner and Stubborn ld 9 on top of ItP and low point cost. But other than that, I pretty much agree with everything he said.

Enigmatik1
03-09-2009, 16:02
I had no idea Brettonia even had a shooting phase. I thought they just rammed their endless supply of knights down their opponents throats. Maybe I should revisit and consider them for my next army.

:eek:

The SkaerKrow
03-09-2009, 17:21
If Black Guard had to be nerfed, I'd actually be more inclined to pull off Warrior Elite and leave Immune to Psychology. Their special rules should reflect their defensive prowess (which for Elves translates to "Still die in droves, but remain apathetic about the situation."). Honestly, the sticking point for people largely seems to be the Banner of Hag Graef, not the Black Guard themselves.

TheDarkDuke
03-09-2009, 17:47
Was just reading a thread in the rules development forum and got thinking: Why is there a tendancy to give everything in warhammer a special rule? Aren't units already well represented by their statline?

But every week somone comes up with another long list of rules to remember to make one unit or another a bit harder

Rather than work out a way to add special rules in right left and centre why dont we get rid of some? Speed up our games and make them flow better. What can we reasonably get rid of? Especially stuff that doesnt work very well/causes arguments etc. Id personally like to impose a limit of maybe 1 or 2 of these army wide special rules per army, and at most one more per extraordinary unit. How do we keep the flavour of different armies/units? Well with their normal stats, models and painting!

Just off the top of my head I cant see why High Elves have ASF. Ok theyre fast...but they already have a very high I and M. Isnt that enough to represent their speed?
Empire detatchments should stay, theyve been around since the dawn of time, tone them down a bit maybe. But the Flaggellents can get rid of that martyr rule.

So what do you think we can do without?

The problem with D6 system is the stats do NOT represent the units well.

Every week when someone creates said new harder special rules they are quickly shot down.

I didn't realize any army had more then 1 or 2 army wide special rule... Actually many armies do not even have 1 as the rule does not apply to the entire army.

HE have ASF because of the amount of ASF already in the game, and the fact the minor difference in I never made up for the lesser armor and T3 of High Elves. It was put in for game balance, and last I checked HE were NOT an army anyone seems to be complaining about facing.

Why should one armies special rule stay while another armies is removed? I will take the same line as a member that always posts this in regards to Chaos Legion Codex. All or none. Either every army gets some form of special rule or none of them do.

Certain special rules need to be tweeked, but certainly not removed. O&G need a bit more reliable Animosity table to help them out. Ogres need something more then Bull Charge and Ogre Club. Daemons need a tone down of their Daemonic rule. Most armies are also paying proper points costs for the army wide special rules, which is another factor you have completely left out. If HE lost ASF and Empire got to keep Detachments, are you prepared for HE to have cheaper or equally costed basic troops? No then you would scream how there better stat line should require them to be more points.

I just have this feeling that rather then "reading the rules development forum" translates to "I got beat by High Elf the other day, I think ASF was to blame, and I say this because I beat an Empire player with detachments... must be the army wide special rule that is wrong".

I will finish by saying that Fantasy and 40K are games of special rules. Think about everything, having different basic weapons/armor each have there own special rules. There are special rules left right and centre in the core of the system, let alone the army books, and it is what makes GW games different from Chess and Checkers.

lcfr
03-09-2009, 18:38
Their stats showed they where fast, but not LotR fast, so the got ASF for some movie feeling ;)

Yes!/I] The moment I read this rule when the new HE book was released I joked with my friends that the people responsible for developing that army book had probably watched far too much LotR and then pushed the idea while vigorously citing the films to convince any skeptics. I'm glad somebody else saw some coincidence...

Unless, knock on wood, this is [I]actually the stated explanation for army ASF...

Freman Bloodglaive
03-09-2009, 22:56
Armour is not an option. High elves are supposed to favour speed and agility, and not get hit, rather than take a punch. The rules should reflect this.

Core cavalry is not an option (unless conditionas are applied) - it doesn't get around the problem that the core infantry without some special rule is underpowered. If silver helms were core than many high elf players would take these to fill mandatory choices and then take specials and rares.

Since when was that the case? Ilthilmar armour is supposed to represent the ability of High Elves to make heavy armour that doesn't affect their ability to move at speed. High Elves, of all the Elves, are the ones most likely to make use of heavy armour.

I've already suggested a couple of ways of making Elves less vulnerable to shooting, more armour (heavy for infantry) and -1 to hit for Swordsmen. After all Phoenix Guard get a 4+ ward with very little justification. If you want archers to be better then we can go back to the old citizen levy rules which would allow two ranks of archers to fire on a flat. Whilst they still wouldn't have the firepower of Dark Elf repeater crossbows they would get more shots across a smaller frontage than other armies.

Core cavalry would bring them in line with most other armies. If people really do want to use cavalry instead of infantry that'd mean a difference of two units of archers in a normal Elf list. Silver Helms aren't used when they're competing for special choices, there are just better options. Remember that Empire have cavalry core, and lackluster infantry, but people still use the infantry.

You claim to want Elf infantry to be worth it, but when I actually suggest a method that doesn't leave them equally vulnerable to shooting you want to stick with SoA, an ability you acknowledge just results in people wanting to shoot them more.

If we accept that "always strikes first" is worth 25 points on a character (that's what most armies pay for a magic item) losing it would drop a High Elf Prince to 125 points. A Templar Grand Master is 145 but comes fully equipped so I'd say that's pretty close to the Prince's actual value. The Prince would be 170 with comparable equipment.

If we see a proportionate drop in points across the army, Spearelves (with heavy armour) would be about 8 points. Archers (with citizen levy rules) would be about 9. Your army would be bigger, many troops would have greater survivability and people would actually try to charge you rather than sit back and gun you down. I think that would make for a better game for everyone.

Bauknefer
03-09-2009, 23:39
But thats not the point. Elves have a low population because they are a dying race... having more people makes no sense.... I find ASF to not be a problem at str3 and with them being T3 It makes me giggle when I rip out their spine and slap them with it. The -1 to hit was to SWORDMASTERS only you said... why would he want to get rid of ASF for his whole army to get that on one unit....I think you just dont know how to play your army enough to balance it with the HE players you have faced. I am not saying you are a bad player mind you but maybe you have not been seeing what your army is truly capable of. What army do you play?

Emeraldw
04-09-2009, 00:12
ASF only makes you think before charging elven units. Swordmasters with ASF ignore the penalties for GW's so they are a threat every round. I have ground done a full Temple guard unit using them, without ASF (or ignore GW rule) they wouldn't have been able to do that.

ASF also emphasizes the more defensive nature of the High Elf list. If they had something, like hatred, they would be a more offensive army and be more similar to Dark Elves. I love abusing ASF with my White Lions. A line of 7x2 White Lions will cause most cavalry to think twice before charging them and lets me dictate my opponents movement more.

The funniest thing about the HE book is that its cavalry and mounts are the real power winners and yet people complain more about ASF.

WhiteKnight
04-09-2009, 06:43
ASF for high elves is to counterbalance the low armor saves that they have. I think they should only strike at initiative order though. So like how in 40k, whoever has the highest initiative goes first or else they roll off. Phoenix guard should ASF since their back story says they can see or read the future. Swordmasters should have I6 and strike at initiative order, even with great weapons. This shows how they can swing their blades with ease but not so they go full on ninja.

Brother J
04-09-2009, 06:52
Their stats showed they where fast, but not LotR fast, so the got ASF for some movie feeling ;)

Seriously though, I think that's the kind of special rule that should be unit-specific, not army wide. Giving it to some elite warrior like swordmaster is cool, but every single elf being super ninja? Archer are so good they can stand and shoot and hit you in the face before you can even sneeze (correct me if I'm wrong I'm not very familiar with HE)!

Empire detachement is unit specific (only for core infantry + greatsword), and it's a very old rule so there's not much problem there.

Dark elf hatred, if I'm right, have basic hatred versus everyone but super hatred (every round) versus HE right? Why not just normal hatred versus HE? Sure they hate a lot, but is it enough to warrant an army-wide hatred all the time?


That is my problem with getting rid of High Elf ASF. The Dark Elves have Hatred all around, yet their counterparts would have...Nothing? If you switch it to certain units, like Swordmasters, Spearmen, and perhaps White Lions & Phoenix Guard, you'd have to get another special rule just to even it out.

Is it needed to be even? No. Does it seem relatively fair? Sure why not. Dark Elves will hit more often against high elves, while high elves will hit first, in an attempt to try and balance them out if you stick them next to each other...What happens with ASF Black Guard, god only knows...lol

Sarah S
04-09-2009, 06:54
You want to get rid of special rules?

I nominate Animosity and Eye of the Gods.

These two annoy me far more than Speed of Asuryan, Daemonic or Undead.

sulla
04-09-2009, 07:37
I'd get rid of the 'vulnerable to psychology' rule that humans, O&G, beasts and elves are plagued by... ;)

Sarah S
04-09-2009, 07:40
And Skaven and Dwarfs and Brets and Ogres and Lizardmen?

Condottiere
04-09-2009, 07:42
It does seem that the newer Special Rules seem to be based on the last film that the designer was watching, before he wrote it down.

gorenut
04-09-2009, 16:47
In a nutshell.. I definitely think special rules need to be around. It makes each army feel more unique.. though admittedly.. I think the game could do with a lot less special rules if they ditched the D6 system and go for D10 or perhaps change around the stat system. A lot of special rules seem to be there to patch up the shortcomings of the system.

Enigmatik1
04-09-2009, 17:52
I'd get rid of the 'vulnerable to psychology' rule that humans, O&G, beasts and elves are plagued by... ;)

It can go as soon as a skeleton has a realistic chance beat someone in combat who isn't a zombie without rolling a game's worth of sixes in one close combat round. ;)

I can see how special rules are viewed as overpowered or seemingly unfair if you have little to no viable means of countering them. I have ways around ASF. Several, in fact. It forces me to play shooty lists that I generally avoid, but if I don't I get slaughtered in close combat. So I shoot. I'm not happy about it, but I shoot anyway. :D

Just like psychology, I faced a Skaven army (of all things) last night that was basically ItP (everything was frenzied/ItP and/or caused fear itself except one unit) and I got slaughtered (relatively speaking). It happens. Was I mad about that? Not really, it just exposed just how bad my common units are for everyone to see (except my Tomb Guard who is the best unit I can put on the board outside of warmachines and characters) :D

Commissar Vaughn
04-09-2009, 18:49
I feel that I aught to mention at this point that I never intended to single out the elves for any hate rants...they were just the first one that popped in to my head while I was sat in work.
Last game I saw involving elves was months ago during a campaign I was running for my club, and my druchii certainly didnt suffer from the high elves going first! My opponent (who goes by the name of darkhorse on warhorse) still cringes when reminded how one sided it was. If that battle was the basis for this thread I'd have said to remove all druchii special rules and give the High elves a few more...but it wasnt ;)

It was just a comment on the tendancy to try and represent everything about a race or unit with lists of special rules: there was a good example I read in WD when someone wrote asking if Imperial Guardsmen could have bayonets, IIRC correctly the writer wanted +1s, +1a, and ASF, which as the WD chap pointed out was a bit much for attatching a knife to the end of your gun! (he suggested a more practical +1I instead)


People just go overboard with them. My favourite lists were the ravening hordes lists with 2 pages per army....if you were lucky. I vaguely remember the original ones from the dawn of time too....maybe I just want to much simplicity in a complex world.

Sarah S
04-09-2009, 20:03
maybe I just want to much simplicity in a complex world.

I think you do.

As I, and others, have already pointed out there simply is not enough room in the D6 based 1-10 stat lines for enough distinction to have 25 unit types across 14 different armies without lots and lots of special rules.

Don Zeko
04-09-2009, 21:22
There's a lot of discussion here about the problematic High Elf and Dark Elf special rules, and I think there is a good reason for that, but it point to deeper problems with the game. The problem is that, according to fluff, elves should have small, maneuverable elite armies. However, the the accepted rules for elves are chock full of the following:

high weapon skill
high initiative
spears
halberds

and very light on the following:

high strength
high toughness
heavy armor

Anyone else see the problem? these are all of the aspects of the core game mechanics that are relatively undervalued. Given the choice, who would give their troops halberds and spears instead of sword and shield or great weapons? Who would take 2 points of weapon skill over a point of strength, or three points of initiative over a point of toughness? The core rules are set up in a way that makes it very difficult for elf infantry to actually be elite. This is why, in 6th edition, High Elves and Dark Elves were commonly considered underpowered and unsatisfying, at which point they had very little variation from the core ruleset.

Then the developers tried to solve the problem for 7th edition, and they did this through special rules (ASF, Hatred, etc.) changes to the force organization chart (High Elves in general, Assassins) and powerful magic items (and the hydra). Unfortunately, the result wasn't to make core elf infantry useful. it was to make monsters, characters and elite troops sufficiently beefy to carry the army, and to do violence to the core ruleset of the game with ASF. This problem is particularly bad for High Elves, where the most efficient army build involves two 10-strong archer units purely to satisfy force organization. When players find all of the lists core troops completely worthless and only take minimum units, the developers have screwed up.

A much better solution, which I think would do a lot to rehabilitate most of the currently underpowered lists, would be to fiddle with the core mechanics to make blocks of spearmen and halberdiers more effective. I think you could make this happen by replacing the current charge mechanic with an initiative modifier system, giving spears and halberd a big initiative bonus and maybe a strength bonus when taking a charge, and giving blocks of infantry some kind of recourse for catching fast cavalry and skirmishers (making it more difficult to marchblock might work quite well here). Changing the weapon skill table might also improve things, although you'd have to be careful not to make chaos warriors too powerful compared to more normal troops. I'd also recommend changing the outnumbering mechanic to give core infantry a chance to overwhelm elite infantry.

Freman Bloodglaive
04-09-2009, 21:32
But thats not the point. Elves have a low population because they are a dying race... having more people makes no sense.... I find ASF to not be a problem at str3 and with them being T3 It makes me giggle when I rip out their spine and slap them with it. The -1 to hit was to SWORDMASTERS only you said... why would he want to get rid of ASF for his whole army to get that on one unit....I think you just dont know how to play your army enough to balance it with the HE players you have faced. I am not saying you are a bad player mind you but maybe you have not been seeing what your army is truly capable of. What army do you play?

I just love the amateur psychoanalysists on the web. I've always found it much easier to dialogue with people if I don't assume that I understand their motivations better than they do.

I've never played against High Elves, and I have an Empire army which is one of the ones most likely to simply shoot High Elves to pieces without ever having to worry about their ASF. Handgunners and crossbowmen make short work of toughness 3 5+ save units. Making them 4+ save (heavy armour and shield on spearelves) might keep them alive longer.

EC15
04-09-2009, 21:51
The result of the HE org chart change underlines the growing uselessness of many of the core choice options. The combination of the 5 wide front rule and power creep in the rare/special choices has resulted in many rank and file core choices being too expensive to be worth fielding. Thus resulting in situations like how many HE players just take 2 units of 10 archers just to meet quota. (I play dwarves and do a similar things just to meet quota, though longbeards do ease the situation)

With a max of 5SCR (the only real way for them to win) for core choices, most special/rare choices just plow right through them easily killing the 3-5 needed to beat and break them in combat (also made easier by the high number of fear causers out there).

Freman Bloodglaive
04-09-2009, 21:54
There's a lot of discussion here about the problematic High Elf and Dark Elf special rules, and I think there is a good reason for that, but it point to deeper problems with the game. The problem is that, according to fluff, elves should have small, maneuverable elite armies. However, the the accepted rules for elves are chock full of the following:

high weapon skill
high initiative
spears
halberds

and very light on the following:

high strength
high toughness
heavy armor

Anyone else see the problem? these are all of the aspects of the core game mechanics that are relatively undervalued. Given the choice, who would give their troops halberds and spears instead of sword and shield or great weapons? Who would take 2 points of weapon skill over a point of strength, or three points of initiative over a point of toughness? The core rules are set up in a way that makes it very difficult for elf infantry to actually be elite. This is why, in 6th edition, High Elves and Dark Elves were commonly considered underpowered and unsatisfying, at which point they had very little variation from the core ruleset.

Then the developers tried to solve the problem for 7th edition, and they did this through special rules (ASF, Hatred, etc.) changes to the force organization chart (High Elves in general, Assassins) and powerful magic items (and the hydra). Unfortunately, the result wasn't to make core elf infantry useful. it was to make monsters, characters and elite troops sufficiently beefy to carry the army, and to do violence to the core ruleset of the game with ASF. This problem is particularly bad for High Elves, where the most efficient army build involves two 10-strong archer units purely to satisfy force organization. When players find all of the lists core troops completely worthless and only take minimum units, the developers have screwed up.

A much better solution, which I think would do a lot to rehabilitate most of the currently underpowered lists, would be to fiddle with the core mechanics to make blocks of spearmen and halberdiers more effective. I think you could make this happen by replacing the current charge mechanic with an initiative modifier system, giving spears and halberd a big initiative bonus and maybe a strength bonus when taking a charge, and giving blocks of infantry some kind of recourse for catching fast cavalry and skirmishers (making it more difficult to marchblock might work quite well here). Changing the weapon skill table might also improve things, although you'd have to be careful not to make chaos warriors too powerful compared to more normal troops. I'd also recommend changing the outnumbering mechanic to give core infantry a chance to overwhelm elite infantry.

Bingo.

I think the number one game mechanic that messed up Elves was the hand-weapon/shield save bonus. Elves are only strength 3 therefore they give no save modifier. Empire swordsmen are equal in WS (they are Empire elites) equal in strength and toughness and get a better save in combat. Swords are also much cheaper. For every 2 spears I get 3 swords. You need serious killing power to beat that advantage, but they don't have it.

A unit of spears attacking an equivalent value of swords (20 versus 30) will have 15 attacks (if the Empire player charged) 7-8 average hits, 3-4 wounds of which 1-2 will save. The Empire striking back will have 3-4 attacks, 1-2 hits, maybe 1 wound which the Elf will save on 5+. Neither is doing much killing, but the Empire will keep their rank bonus longer, and outnumber for quite a while. It shows, I suppose, that the units are fairly balanced. :)

In the second round and onwards the Elves would strike first anyway (higher initiative) and the results would be more or less the same.

What could get nasty is if the Empire player splits up his swordsmen into a block of 21 and a detachment of 9. Countercharging the detachment would negate the Elf rank bonus and the Empire would win on combat resolution. We're probably looking at a -4 (no ranks and a flank charge) if everything else balances out. Elves on leadership 4... bye bye.

Oh what the heck, let them have the rule.

Freman Bloodglaive
04-09-2009, 22:02
The result of the HE org chart change underlines the growing uselessness of many of the core choice options. The combination of the 5 wide front rule and power creep in the rare/special choices has resulted in many rank and file core choices being too expensive to be worth fielding. Thus resulting in situations like how many HE players just take 2 units of 10 archers just to meet quota. (I play dwarves and do a similar things just to meet quota, though longbeards do ease the situation)

With a max of 5SCR (the only real way for them to win) for core choices, most special/rare choices just plow right through them easily killing the 3-5 needed to beat and break them in combat (also made easier by the high number of fear causers out there).

Of course Elves only wish they could field core units with toughness 4 and the heavy armour/shield save.

Multiple attacks do provide elites with superb killing power. Swordmasters may be vicious, but Black Orcs with two choppas are nearly as bad and (if you take shields) far more likely to get across the battlefield. Normal Orc boyz with two choppas are very nearly as dangerous and they're only 7 points each.

I revise my stated opinion. High Elves can keep their rule. It won't make much difference at all in the long run.

R Man
05-09-2009, 00:01
The question of couse, is was it like this before, and if it was, what has happened in the later editions to change this?

And the next question is what could be done to fix it? Get rid of the HW+S rule? Possibly, but lets check to see if units need it first (to be viable).

M@A? Probably not. Their main advantage is numbers and dying.
Empire Swordsmen: Well they do have extra WS and I. They could probably go without it.
Dwarvern Warriors, Iron Breakers, Longbeards etc.: Aren't these guys tough enough?
Orcs: Invividually the orc boy is great. Its getting them to work together that's the problem.
Lizardmen: HW+S and 2 attacks at S4? Then again, they are costly and slow. Maybe, but a 1 pt drop would solve it. Not exactly gamebreaking.
Chaos Warriors: Doesn't help against getting shot, and High I should protect against too much extra damage.
Skaven: Aren't these guys' supposed to die quickly?
and so on and so on.

Or would special rules be effective? What are elves good at? Perhaps allowing one unit per Lord be re-deployed (elves are good at feints right?) I believe that the Eldar (or was it Eldrad) can do something similar. Or perhaps infantry units triple move in their first turn? Or maybe not. This is in danger of going off topic, but it is interesting to look at the origins of where they might have come from.

Freman Bloodglaive
05-09-2009, 00:11
I don't have a problem with dropping the handweapon/shield bonus. It might make people consider spearmen or even halberds when swordsmen aren't quite the no-brainer that they are now.

Shadowsinner
05-09-2009, 00:43
I think the armywide rules are cool in that they do add a unique sense to each force. I think however that maybe it would be more appropriate to make these options as well as special rules, units upgrades instead of automatically assigned... for example a unit of black guard can be stubborn for 15 points, have eternal hatred for 10 points etc... where as each high elf unit would have to pay for ASF or each chaos warrior would have to pay for Eye of the Gods

things such as unbreakable, stubborn, hatred, frenzy etc. would all cost points... as a result units with super power turn up rare and it becomes more of a battle of mundane units than a tornado of clashing gods

BattleofLund
05-09-2009, 01:47
I think the armywide rules are cool in that they do add a unique sense to each force. I think however that maybe it would be more appropriate to make these options as well as special rules, units upgrades instead of automatically assigned... for example a unit of black guard can be stubborn for 15 points, have eternal hatred for 10 points etc... where as each high elf unit would have to pay for ASF or each chaos warrior would have to pay for Eye of the Gods

things such as unbreakable, stubborn, hatred, frenzy etc. would all cost points... as a result units with super power turn up rare and it becomes more of a battle of mundane units than a tornado of clashing gods

Disagree. People would suss out the most advantageous combinations of rules+stats, and use only (okay, mostly) them. After all, nothing currently prohibits you from using the less-than-optimal choices of the relevant army book. Still, less-than-optimal is currently less-than-well-used.

As for hand weapon+shield, I would like the rule to be modified; for example, you may not claim it if you need 5+ or more to hit your enemy. Would influence models fighting vastly more skilled enemies, but also affect those scared feces-less by fear-causers. Afraid (failed-test) of that not-outnumbering Skeletons unit? Good luck fending them off while you're shaking in your boots.


Yes! The moment I read this rule when the new HE book was released I joked with my friends that the people responsible for developing that army book had probably watched far too much LotR and then pushed the idea while vigorously citing the films to convince any skeptics. I'm glad somebody else saw some coincidence...

Unless, knock on wood, this is actually the stated explanation for army ASF...

AB: Skaven is coming. Has anyone seen the trailer for G-Force? :-) I smell a rat. Or guinea-pig, as it were.

Enigmatik1
05-09-2009, 03:10
With a max of 5SCR (the only real way for them to win) for core choices, most special/rare choices just plow right through them easily killing the 3-5 needed to beat and break them in combat (also made easier by the high number of fear causers out there).

I'm noticing that myself, but...

This trend affects some fear causers as well. Most other armies special choices can plow through mine easily (Tomb Guard are the lone exception to this rule). Ogres have similar issues as well. I really wish people would recognize that not all fear causing armies are DoC or VC and recognize that some of us have to work for our wins like everyone else.

;)

Freman Bloodglaive
05-09-2009, 03:34
I can't help thinking that the ability to take two hand weapons is very powerful. Two attacks are twice as good as one.

kdh88
05-09-2009, 04:08
IMO, the main problem with ASF is its effect on the metagame. The armies everyone hates to play- gunlines, 2Stank+Waltar, LM stegadon spam, magic heavy anything- are also the ones that are best at dealing with ASF. Even something as simple as only working against attacks to the front would help. On the specific subject of HE, changing SOA to "always strike in I order" for everyone but SM might be appropriate depending on what else happened to the army (I'm pretty in favor of spearelves with HA and core SH among other things)


I'm noticing that myself, but...

This trend affects some fear causers as well. Most other armies special choices can plow through mine easily (Tomb Guard are the lone exception to this rule). Ogres have similar issues as well. I really wish people would recognize that not all fear causing armies are DoC or VC and recognize that some of us have to work for our wins like everyone else.

;)

TK and OK really suffer from the large numbers of ItP troops in the new books (TK also get to deal with the ramped up magic defense everyone takes now), but I think fear is just the most obvious contributor to the wierdness of the psychology rules. Stubborn, as another example, manages to be underpriced against normal troops while also being completely useless against fear-causers. The common suggestion of changing fear to double CR penalty along with the not-so-suggested change to stubborn to "reduce CR penalty by half" would help. That would also justify dropping the price of basic undead massively, instead of having skeletons that cost more points than the original humans (OK are so messed up that they need a complete rewrite anyway). A weaker stubborn might even let GW use it as the dwarf army special rule, since Relentless is kinda underwhelming. Though that still leaves panic, frenzy, animosity, and unruly as "stuff that will be complained about forever". So yeah. Psych is wierd.

R Man
05-09-2009, 04:15
I can't help thinking that the ability to take two hand weapons is very powerful. Two attacks are twice as good as one.

But then you cannot use a shield in combat, meaning your troops need to be very quick, get the charge, or be tough.

Also:

The common suggestion of changing fear to double CR penalty along with the not-so-suggested change to stubborn to "reduce CR penalty by half" would help. That would also justify dropping the price of basic undead massively, instead of having skeletons that cost more points than the original humans (OK are so messed up that they need a complete rewrite anyway).

I think the issue is that there is no gradient here. Its either one or the other. The same thing goes for magic. Though this would have to be changed by edits to the main system, not a special rule. Perhaps a system with more gradients would eliminate alot of special rules?

kdh88
05-09-2009, 04:27
But then you cannot use a shield in combat, meaning your troops need to be very quick, get the charge, or be tough.

Also:


I think the issue is that there is no gradient here. Its either one or the other. The same thing goes for magic. Though this would have to be changed by edits to the main system, not a special rule. Perhaps a system with more gradients would eliminate alot of special rules?

It does tend to be the "all or nothing" special rules that cause the most problems, mostly because they bypass the stats that would normally handle that sort of thing (i.e., fear makes a high Ld irrelevant for break tests, ASF makes you not care about initiative). Whether you build the gradiants into the special rules or the main system is IMO six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Either way, you could at least consolidate some of the special rules. The stubborn change I mentioned above could potentially replace cold-blooded, and there's really no reason to have unruly when impetuous does the same thing while also fixing a major problem with BoC armies. Maybe a general "Expendable" rule to replace all the "X does not cause panic in Y" that show up all over the place.

Tarax
05-09-2009, 10:48
In a nutshell.. I definitely think special rules need to be around. It makes each army feel more unique..

It's not only the stats that determines an army/race, it is also its options in the army list.

Empire and Bretonnia are both human, with similar stats, but have different fighting styles/units. There are even 3 Elven armies, each with a different fighting style, whil still having the same core stats.

GW should go back to the beginning and say: Humans are the average and all other races are compared to them. So we give humans an allmost overall stat 3 (WS, BS, S, T, I) [A1, W1 mean basic troops and Ld7 is average on 2D6]. Elves and Dwarfs fight better so get WS4, Orcs and Dwarfs are tougher so get T4, etc.

This defines each race without adding special rules.

As some said, the core rules don't express the different stats enough (WS2 and 3 still hit WS4 at 4+), that doesn't mean you need special rules to make it more resemble the fluff as to who is better. Remember it is still a game where the mechanics should even things out.

I admit, some rules do not work as they should be (HW+Sh, WS6 hitting WS2 at 3+), but these can be amended. No Special rules are needed to fix something that is broken, but can't be fixed by itself, ie changing the core rules.

Freman Bloodglaive
05-09-2009, 11:00
But then you cannot use a shield in combat, meaning your troops need to be very quick, get the charge, or be tough.

I give you the Savage Orc Boy, toughness 4 and a 6+ ward save and with two choppas they have 3 strength 4 attacks. Only 10 points a model too.

R Man
05-09-2009, 12:47
Either way, you could at least consolidate some of the special rules. The stubborn change I mentioned above could potentially replace cold-blooded, and there's really no reason to have unruly when impetuous does the same thing while also fixing a major problem with BoC armies. Maybe a general "Expendable" rule to replace all the "X does not cause panic in Y" that show up all over the place.

That would certainly be a good idea. After all this would make the nature of rules clear to everyone (no mistakes or misunderstandings), and hopefully weaken Power Creep.


I give you the Savage Orc Boy, toughness 4 and a 6+ ward save and with two choppas they have 3 strength 4 attacks. Only 10 points a model too.

Almost no save, low I and animosity. Hardly gamebreaking. Besides, look at other models of similar points. Dwarvern Warriors perhaps? The Dwarf is actually better set to kill the Orc than the orc is to kill him! Not to say that SOB are useless, just I would hardly call them broken because of two hand weapons.

Freman Bloodglaive
05-09-2009, 13:34
I'm not saying that the Savage Orc is game breaking, only that it's a reasonably good combination. Frenzy is a double edged sword of course, immune to psychology but have to charge.

Also the Orc will almost always charge and has three attempts to kill the dwarf, while the dwarf has one attempt to kill the Orc. 4+ 4+ and 4+ is a 0.125 probability of death on each attack. 0.875^3 gives us a 0.67 probability of not killing anything. The Dwarf has a 0.33 probability of death. Against the Orc the Dwarf has 3+ 5+ and 6+ giving 0.184 probability of killing the Orc. You could argue that the Dwarf drops to about 0.12 because of the chance that the Orc will kill him before he can strike.

Effectively the orc is three times as likely to kill the dwarf as the dwarf is to kill the orc.

EC15
05-09-2009, 17:03
One thing I've realized after reading this debate is how weapon skill doesn't do justice to its importance as a defensive stat. The WS chart is very forgiving to those who don't have high WS. This problem is greatest for the elves in that a WS6 swordmaster can still be hit 1/2 the time by a WS3 bumbling orc. The ASF and hatred of the elves are there as a crutch in a system in which the high ws of the elves doesn't help them defensively as much as it should (and so the rules make it easier to the elves to kill their opponents before they can attack back allowing for more elves to survive the counterattack).

Admittedly if they made the WS chart the same as the wound chart it would result in swarm armies sucking a whole lot as they would never be able to hit the high WS elites.

Condottiere
05-09-2009, 17:03
Hatred is fairly useful too, since you get to re-roll missed hits. That makes Dark Elves rather good in combat as well.

EC15
05-09-2009, 17:11
Ya, with elves being an army more likely to charge then be charged, hatred is working just like ASF to allow them to kill more.

Darth Alec
05-09-2009, 20:17
One thing I've realized after reading this debate is how weapon skill doesn't do justice to its importance as a defensive stat. The WS chart is very forgiving to those who don't have high WS. This problem is greatest for the elves in that a WS6 swordmaster can still be hit 1/2 the time by a WS3 bumbling orc. The ASF and hatred of the elves are there as a crutch in a system in which the high ws of the elves doesn't help them defensively as much as it should (and so the rules make it easier to the elves to kill their opponents before they can attack back allowing for more elves to survive the counterattack).

Admittedly if they made the WS chart the same as the wound chart it would result in swarm armies sucking a whole lot as they would never be able to hit the high WS elites.

How about that, I-based combat rounds (charge is +X I), and more ranks/outnumber bonus?

Condottiere
05-09-2009, 20:20
How about Spear formations only need 4 models to qualify for a rank bonus.

Darth Alec
05-09-2009, 20:48
How does that help anything?

Condottiere
05-09-2009, 20:54
It will make them more viable, since you could create phalanxes with less points. You could also increase their maximum CR rank bonus to four.

Darth Alec
05-09-2009, 21:02
So you don't intend to fix the weapon itself, just heap a bunch of illogical special rules unto it?

Four wide ranks makes no sense, neither does four CR for ranks, just for spears.

Sarah S
05-09-2009, 21:50
I agree with Darth Alec.

Chiron
05-09-2009, 22:57
So you don't intend to fix the weapon itself, just heap a bunch of illogical special rules unto it?

Four wide ranks makes no sense, neither does four CR for ranks, just for spears.

No no, add more special rules, dont fix the core issues :rolleyes:

Needs to be more variety between weapons and no special rules like ASF, combats should ideally decieded by I with the side charging gaining bonuses to that

R Man
05-09-2009, 23:39
I'm not saying that the Savage Orc is game breaking, only that it's a reasonably good combination.

Then whats the problem?


Effectively the orc is three times as likely to kill the dwarf as the dwarf is to kill the orc.

Ahhh! But Dwarves have hatred of Greenskins. That does help.


Ya, with elves being an army more likely to charge then be charged, hatred is working just like ASF to allow them to kill more.

I think a problem with this was that the soft elves would end up getting spanked by cavalry, where their High I and WS didn't count for much. Though, there may be other reasons. They are faster than normal infantry, but not that much faster (I mean movement).

EC15
06-09-2009, 00:05
By changing the charge bonus to something other than strike first it would help balance the elves as their high I would start counting for more than it does now and lower the need for the glut of special rules. Though special rules, done well, can add a great amount of flavor to an army. Brettonians have one of my favorites. It gives them a nice army wide bonus but at the same time they loose it for not acting knightly. In addition they have items that nicely play off the rule too.

Condottiere
06-09-2009, 06:49
So you don't intend to fix the weapon itself, just heap a bunch of illogical special rules unto it?

Four wide ranks makes no sense, neither does four CR for ranks, just for spears.It's a fix to a specific weapon and tactic.

Pointy sticks work well when they are in a tight formation, applying forward pressure. Cutting the required number of models for rank bonus and placing the cap at four allows that pressure to be applied more efficiently.

Freman Bloodglaive
06-09-2009, 07:56
Then whats the problem?



Ahhh! But Dwarves have hatred of Greenskins. That does help.

Sorry I forgot about hatred.

So the Dwarf has a 8/9 probability of hitting the Orc. So 8/9 x 1/3 (no GW) x 5/6 = 40/162 probability of killing. Reduced by 1/3 because the Orc might kill him first. 40/162 x 2/3 = 80/486 = 0.165

The Orc has 0.333 probability of killing the Dwarf and the Dwarf has 0.165 probability of killing the Orc. Orc has twice the chance... which is about what you'd expect given he has three times the attacks.

R Man
06-09-2009, 08:49
But then there are things like animosity and getting shot, killed by fanatics (accidental), killed by fanatics (deliberate) etc.

Freman Bloodglaive
06-09-2009, 11:05
I'm not going to calculate those odds.

Don Zeko
06-09-2009, 22:55
this is a touch counterintuitive, but i think that you might be able to fix a lot of these issues by doubling the combat resolution bonus gained from ranks, so that 2 ranks = +2 combat resolution, 3 ranks = +4, 4 ranks = +6, and then maybe give credit for an additional rank, so that a 5x5 block starts combat with a rank bonus of +8, which could be +10 SCR with outnumbering and a standard. This would mean that a big formation of core infantry actually have a chance of beating elite troops on the charge and forcing a protracted combat. but would still break easily if flanked.

This would mean that a lot more armies would bring large numbers of core troops, and that flankers and units that are good at killing large numbers of weak dudes are re-emphasized in the meta-game.

Condottiere
07-09-2009, 06:33
It's a fine balance, but in no way would I advocate simply doubling rank bonus, but would raise the cap to a maximum of 5-6 and tinker with some of the other aspects.

R Man
07-09-2009, 12:36
It's a fine balance, but in no way would I advocate simply doubling rank bonus, but would raise the cap to a maximum of 5-6 and tinker with some of the other aspects.

Only if its infantry vs. Infantry. Units like monsters, combat skirmishers and even some cavalry (in other words, guys who don't get rank bonuses) are badly hurt by such changes. Not all of these units really deserve it. A slight increase would be better as you suggest, but I would make it simply 1 bonus for outnumbering more than 2-1.

Condottiere
07-09-2009, 12:39
Okay, since I find that US100 feeling itself outnumbered by US101 illogical.

Maybe has to be outnumbered by 25% before the +1 kicks in.

R Man
07-09-2009, 12:43
We do have to be careful with such rulings though. Remember, as good as it sounds (and it sounds good, logical and not hard to understand) we need to understand what effect it would have on the game.

Of course, if we were just wiping the slate clean with a re-boot we could do what we want.

Condottiere
07-09-2009, 12:46
It's like Windows, too much legacy software.