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View Full Version : Creating a new Item Category = the way combat characters become useful again?



WarmbloodedLizard
30-09-2011, 11:00
It just came to me that the creation of a new item category could be introduced to make combat characters more useful again. Items of this category could only be used by non-wizard characters and would give boni like: -+2 to dispel for 15pts
-+4 to dispel for 35pts
(only the combat character would get this dispel bonus, of course he would also be able to dispel)
-As long as your enemy hast a higher total of wizard levels, you get +1DD for 20pts
-As long as you control no wizards, wizards never add their wizard level to their casting or dispel attempts for 25pts
-Before dispel attempts, the character may pay 1 wound to cancel irresistible force for 55pts.
-etc.

(of course, just removing the casting bonus would be easier, but I'm sure a lot of people would object becuase it removes some of the difference between high and low level casters)

or even other items that make them more useful and give boni that are not directly connected to the characters own combat strength, and show more how the veteran leader inspires his troops, such as:
-The unit the character is in gains swiftstride for 30pts.
-All friendly units within 6" of the character, but not the character himself, gain +1I for 15pts
-All friendly units in the same combat as the character, but not the character himself, gain +1 WS for 25pts.
-etc.

To address the Leadership issues, that make the combat lord's leadership less useful, the Standard of Discipline could be restricted by adding "this cannot increase the leadership of characters". In addition, the BSB should not allow re-rolls for all Ld tests but rather only for Break, Rally, Panic (but not fear/terror) and Stupidity tests.

This way, Wizards would probably still be preferred to combat characters but at least there would again be a reason to include combat characters in lists.


what do you think?

Urgat
30-09-2011, 11:33
You're just creating a new type of cheaper scroll caddies, imho.

enygma7
30-09-2011, 11:41
You don't seem to be talking about making combat characters useful, rather about making lists with no wizards in viable which is a different thing.

I don't accept the idea that combat characters currently aren't useful. Sure, people seem to feel that Wizards are essential right now but combat is still where the game is won and combat characters help a lot with that. Most lists I see include both wizards AND combat characters.

I do agree about the standard of disciplin though. I don't think its bonus should be transmitted by the generals inspiring presence.

TsukeFox
30-09-2011, 11:55
Why not just reduce the bonus to casting/dispelling?
Only +2 for lord mages ( of course tzeentch and high elves would add their racial to this) & +1 for hero mages.
That way one does not need a lvl 4 always to dispell.

theunwantedbeing
30-09-2011, 12:00
Warrior priests/tomb kings/princes are a good example of fighty character's that are worth having compared to casters.
Simply as they provide a useful bonus to those nearby.

Although warrior priests do generate an extra dice which is easily abused.
Fighty character's need to allow re-rolls for panic/rally tests for the unit they are with, perhaps even re-rolls to attempts at combat reforms and such.

This provides a useful bonus for taking them, rather than a little bit extra combat power or maybe a tricky to kill lump for the cost of a mage or most of one.

WarmbloodedLizard
30-09-2011, 12:13
You don't seem to be talking about making combat characters useful, rather about making lists with no wizards in viable which is a different thing.

I don't accept the idea that combat characters currently aren't useful. Sure, people seem to feel that Wizards are essential right now but combat is still where the game is won and combat characters help a lot with that. Most lists I see include both wizards AND combat characters.

I do agree about the standard of disciplin though. I don't think its bonus should be transmitted by the generals inspiring presence.

1. exactly 1 item is for lists without wizards.
2. this really isn't a point up for dabte I think. wizards are a lot better than combat characters. the only combat characters that get used offer something special. all other combat characters are horribly overpriced for what they do.

@urgat: not really scroll caddies as they still would have other tasks that standing around.

@tsukefox: the best thing would of course be to just remove the boni alltogether and introdunce another bonus for Lvl4 mages. but your idea might be better. maybe even give lords +1 and heroes +0.

@theunwantedbeing: that was kinds what the second part of the items would have been for. army specific rules would of course be better.

theunwantedbeing
30-09-2011, 12:25
@theunwantedbeing: that was kinds what the second part of the items would have been for. army specific rules would of course be better.

I think just having this as a general rule for all character's who are non-mage/non-additional would be just dandy.

ie.
Warrior priests
Dragon mages
Witch Elf hags
etc
don't get it
Just the normal boring standard heros/lords.

ewar
30-09-2011, 13:31
I like a lot of your suggestions, however I don't think an additional asset class of items is needed. Rather, that passive buffs given by combat characters should be fixed (like My Will Be Done) and not choosable by different races.

This will avoid any funny imbalances slipping through, as you need to be careful things don't swing too far the other way.

Something simple, so for example if LM were to take an Old Blood he could grant +1WS or +1I to a unit in the army to represent them being veteran troops.

I do like your 'lose a wound to cancel IF' idea though, that's a good one.

Gooner
30-09-2011, 16:35
When it comes down to it. None of this is needed to make them more viable. Just lower the cost and people will take them. I would live to take a dreadlord or a tyrant but they are just too expesive. Neither if them will be able to make their points back. Also a level 4 doesn't really need much to be good where most characters need at least 75 points extra of magic items to do anything and many need 100.

CrystalSphere
30-09-2011, 18:44
I donīt like the idea of creating a new item category, they simply need to make mages have basic leadership, they are not leaders after all (exception of vampires, slann etc.) then remove the ridiculous +1ld banner and the reroll tests of BSBs (they could instead reroll the tests of the unit they are with, or add 1d6 to combat resolution). With those changes you have leadership being valuable again and a player who picks a mage lord is more vulnerable to psychology, as it should be.

pointyteeth
30-09-2011, 20:11
Or shrink the range of inspiring presence & hold your ground to 6" if your general is a wizard to represent troops not having an inspiring leader.

Enigmatik1
30-09-2011, 20:56
Or shrink the range of inspiring presence & hold your ground to 6" if your general is a wizard to represent troops not having an inspiring leader.

I really like this idea!

/thumbsup

AmaroK
30-09-2011, 20:58
I donīt like the idea of creating a new item category, they simply need to make mages have basic leadership, they are not leaders after all (exception of vampires, slann etc.) then remove the ridiculous +1ld banner and the reroll tests of BSBs (they could instead reroll the tests of the unit they are with, or add 1d6 to combat resolution). With those changes you have leadership being valuable again and a player who picks a mage lord is more vulnerable to psychology, as it should be.

The +1 leadership banner bonus should work only for the unit carrying it, but not modifying the inspiring presence, no need to remove it. And about creating new item category, isnīt really needed. What the thread opener suggested could be done just as a character upgrade (like gift of chaos, vampiric powers, big names etc) that would reduce the magic items allowance. So more magic defense with the sacrifice of offensive/defensive capacity.

MOMUS
30-09-2011, 21:46
Hmm how about this as a new item category:

Really big hitty sticks (non-wizard lords only)

Wizardbane staff:
Every successful hit with this weapon also causes a hit on a random enemy wizard.

Sword of halving:
Each hit of this weapon hits half of the enemy unit, roll each hit then determine the wounds caused to half the unit. Then roll for the next half wounded (rolling up) and so on.

Spell eating axe:
+2 S. Each turn the owner may forgo each one of his attacks to negate a enemy spell (like a dispell scroll).

Bow of obsidian hail:
Owner gets small cannon shots equal to his attack profile.

Throwing dagger of genghis khan:
Auto hits any nominated character, has AP equal to enemy wizard level.

Haravikk
30-09-2011, 21:51
It's a nice idea, but I don't like any of the item ideas; they're supposed to be combat characters after all :)

Direct magic defence (like Magic Resistance but more useful) would be fine, but really they need more things for getting into… combat! Think of things like one-use Swiftstride for charging or pursuing, one-use free-reform (unit can still move or march normally but not charge). Or even direct bonuses to the bearer, such as poisoned attacks, killing blow or always strikes first as innate abilities.

Put them under a category like Icons of Command or such, and only a few very particular wizards can get them, specifically ones that are army generals in a fluff-sense (like Slaans, for whom it may actually not be a bonus anyway).

snottlebocket
30-09-2011, 21:58
There's absolutely nothing wrong with combat characters. They kill stuff just fine.

When mages become so powerful they can wipe out entire units with the flick of a wrist, you don't fix it by trying to bring combat characters up to par.

sulla
30-09-2011, 22:19
I don't accept the idea that combat characters currently aren't useful. Sure, people seem to feel that Wizards are essential right now but combat is still where the game is won and combat characters help a lot with that. Most lists I see include both wizards AND combat characters.

.It's not so much that combat characters aren't useful, it's that they are not cost efficient when a point lower ld mage lord and BSB combined can give the same or better benefits (or as good as the general when combined with the Ld banner). They just don't kill enough to pay for themselves as a killer or provide enough Ld to justify themselves as a leader.

Then there is the problem that for many races, they are just not survivable enough as front line fighters. Take Elves for example, although even races like vampires and humans and TK have similar problems, especially in the case of support characters for the latter two.

Even if your army does have a combo or two that can actually survive in combat, it will inevetably be called cheesy because the expectation is that combat characters should be easily killed in 8th.

nurgle5
01-10-2011, 00:51
I don't think that combat characters are not useful, I often leave the lvl4 at home and take my hippogryph mounted lord because he can more dependably devastate units by his lonesome. Combat characters could probably do with being either cheaper, more resilient or capable of doing more damage. Having said that, we're not playing herohammer anymore! :p

A system of passive buffs and anti-magic is really taking combat characters in a whole new direction. I don't think making every CC character like a bargain basement daemonic herald is really the way to help the issue.

castlesmadeofsand
01-10-2011, 11:25
better off moving casters into their own category of character and enforcing the option to take a "commander" category character. something like 25% 'non caster character' (suitable names on a postcard), with a minimum 1 lord choice, and 25% caster limits. i think that's a better option than trying to shoe horn in and balance more items etc, which is just a bit gimmicky.

could probably do with a reduction in points for some armies (non-caster) options as well.

Haravikk
01-10-2011, 11:55
I suppose just nerfing magic to make it less random, and more of a support feature for armies (rather than the current semi-unreliable swiss-army knife of doom that it is) would put combat characters right back to the top of the pile.

It kind of irks me that magic can make such a big impact on the game, while the far bigger investment in troops, and the tactics associated with them, are largely meaningless if your opponent has too many good magic phases. Fair enough, for armies that need magic to counteract weaknesses elsewhere, their magic should be able to do a bit more, but for most armies it should be a supporting ability more than anything, so we can focus on army tactics. I don't know if anyone else has played a game where there is no magic at all, or only very minor magic, but it's actually really fun!

Currently the main way for combat characters to justify their points is to either ensure an enemy unit is run-down, or to kill monsters and other characters as cheaply as possible. Still, I like having combat characters, but I do agree that they don't always return their points compared to just having more models, but diversity is fun!

cool-kid-on-the-block
02-10-2011, 13:02
i always thought that a 'general' style character would be good.

have the characters basically class defined.

wissards - low leadership and combat stats but use magic(obviously)

champions - mid leadership and very strong combat potential. there to kill enemy champions and monsters etc.

generals - high leadership and mid combat potential and can add non-magical buffs to units within their leadership range. eg +1 ws or bs to all units in their inspiring presence.

10_minute_pie
02-10-2011, 19:23
I really like the idea of adding a category of items/skillz that help combat heroes. The Problem with Combat heroes is not an issue of cost effectiveness. It's that combat heroes don't do ANYTHING.

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but I don't care if a chaos exalted costed 50 points base. The most he can do is score my side 4 points of combat resolution. Sure, I might win the combat, but it doesn't change the fact that the 80 skaven slaves his unit is fighting is still steadfast.

Two issues need to be addressed to make combat heroes viable. They need to provide support to your army. That's why Wizards and BSB's are the only characters you really see. You could do this by giving them access to abilities to make your troop's attacks flaming or armour piercing etc. Give them tool box abilities. Think about it, would you rather have the Warbanner or Banner of Eternal Flame on a unit?

But The ultimate answer would be to give them a way to mitigate enemy steadfast. Combat heroes went the way of the warbanner when we realized that winning the combat alone isn't enough in 8th edition...

10_minute_pie
02-10-2011, 19:31
Alternatively, you could just let rank disruption remove steadfast. Then winning combat by a few points would mean something :)

nurgle5
02-10-2011, 20:50
But The ultimate answer would be to give them a way to mitigate enemy steadfast.

Oh boy, then we'd be back to herohammer so fast you'd open a wormhole to 1996. All this would lead to is hero spam, leaving units as scenic fodder whilst the chaps who've been eating the protein bars decide the game.


Alternatively, you could just let rank disruption remove steadfast. Then winning combat by a few points would mean something :)

Then we'd just be back to the MSU/calvaryhammer of 7th ed. Steadfast was designed to encourage the widespread use of infantry in armies. It's useful, but it's not an autowin button, it only applies if you're already losing.

10_minute_pie
02-10-2011, 21:29
[COLOR="lime"]Then we'd just be back to the MSU/calvaryhammer of 7th ed. Steadfast was designed to encourage the widespread use of infantry in armies. It's useful, but it's not an autowin button, it only applies if you're already losing.

I strongly disagree. You still need ranked units to Disrupt, which are much more likely to be infantry.

nurgle5
02-10-2011, 21:40
I strongly disagree. You still need ranked units to Disrupt, which are much more likely to be infantry.

You could still use MSU tactics despite needing the rank. All you need do is spam units of 10-15 troopers. If they're elite units, or paired with fodder for static combat res, they'd be able to floor units many times their size with the potential to break hordes in one turn.

I've already seen the self-healing, damage dealing Bloodknight deathstar, give that the ability to break steadfast and see what happens.

Freman Bloodglaive
02-10-2011, 22:27
You could still use MSU tactics despite needing the rank. All you need do is spam units of 10-15 troopers. If they're elite units, or paired with fodder for static combat res, they'd be able to floor units many times their size with the potential to break hordes in one turn.

I've already seen the self-healing, damage dealing Bloodknight deathstar, give that the ability to break steadfast and see what happens.

And that unit costs how much?

If 500+ points of unit hits 200 points of Skaven Slaves I don't expect the slaves to still be there when the dust clears... except they are.

If someone puts 800 points into a character, mounting it on a massive monster and giving it a sword of mucho bashiness then throws it into an enemy unit I expect something to happen. What happens now is generally that the unit maintains steadfast, reforms, breaks with ranks and then runs the character down. Sure, changing it may make big monsters and heroes powerful, but then we're playing Warhammer Fantasy not Warhammer Ancients. One of the things that defines fantasy is that battles are won, not by hordes of plebs, but by mighty heroes performing mighty deeds. Balancing the rules so that plebs have a chance (but not a good one) against a character costing three to four times that of the unit of plebs is the mark of good game design.

As 8th stands, plebs beat heroes, heroes beat unit champions, and wizards beat everybody.

nurgle5
03-10-2011, 01:05
If 500+ points of unit hits 200 points of Skaven Slaves I don't expect the slaves to still be there when the dust clears... except they are.

Skaven slaves are an armybook problem leftover from 7th ed. Evidentially, the game designers were not prepared to abandon the steadfast mechanic for the sake of that one army and now it's the one example that's flung around everywhere like feces in the monkey house at the zoo.



If someone puts 800 points into a character, mounting it on a massive monster and giving it a sword of mucho bashiness then throws it into an enemy unit I expect something to happen. What happens now is generally that the unit maintains steadfast, reforms, breaks with ranks and then runs the character down.
There a few things going on here that need to be addressed. First up, a character with that much investment is usually capable of dishing out a world of hurt whilst being tough to kill. This does give him a good chance of winning combat rounds. Secondly, if you're going to send a character to fight a unit that will maintain steadfast after the causalities you inflict, you ought to give him something like the crown of command to reduce the odds he's gonna be fleeing anywhere. In range of the BSB and he'll practically never flee.

Steadfast is not autowin/autokill, you need to be losing in specific circumstances to benefit from it. If you're winning combats, you going to be stripping steadfast away from the unit sharpish enough, especially if your own infantry are in support.

Harwammer
03-10-2011, 05:56
If someone puts 800 points into a character, mounting it on a massive monster and giving it a sword of mucho bashiness then throws it into an enemy unit I expect something to happen. What happens now is generally that the unit maintains steadfast, reforms, breaks with ranks and then runs the character down.

In my experiences the situation described above is caused by the champion's challenge rule coupled with iniative step monster/rider overkill rules than steadfast. Without these factors a 800 point combat lord riding a monster should be winning combat every turn, even when fighting to the front.

AlphariusOmegon20
03-10-2011, 17:52
It seems to me that the easiest way to fix the mage/lord issue is to go to a hybrid system of 7th and 8th ed.

Go back to generating dice and how many dice can be thrown at a spell based on wizard level like 7th, but keep 8th's cap of 12 dice.

That seems like it would tone down the magic phase greatly, and make combat lords viable again at the same time.

a18no
03-10-2011, 21:27
For me the problem about fighter character is in the point cost. I always prefer to spend those points on troop than on character. Let face it: more than 100pts for 2-3 wounds, and 2-3 "goods" attacks well protected, is not worth as much as 10+ wounds, 10+ average attacks.

The character need to bring something you can't have with anything else. Like hatred, re/roll on missfire chart, good Ld (if you really need it).

To make fighter character "better", I think that mage should have very low LD, or a rule that say they can't give it to the army. But that won't make it better, it would only make wizards weaker.

Freman Bloodglaive
03-10-2011, 23:08
For me the problem about fighter character is in the point cost. I always prefer to spend those points on troop than on character. Let face it: more than 100pts for 2-3 wounds, and 2-3 "goods" attacks well protected, is not worth as much as 10+ wounds, 10+ average attacks.

The character need to bring something you can't have with anything else. Like hatred, re/roll on missfire chart, good Ld (if you really need it).

To make fighter character "better", I think that mage should have very low LD, or a rule that say they can't give it to the army. But that won't make it better, it would only make wizards weaker.

Which is why the Arch Lector seems to find its way into every Empire army... at least mine doesn't ride the Empire's one and only war alter (or one of the many Cathay made replicas available cheaply on the market) and he's the Ar Ulric rather than a Lector of Sigmar. A horde of halberds with hatred is... rather savage actually.

Doommasters
04-10-2011, 05:45
GW just needs a realize that Combat lords need a huge buff in terms of synergy with the army. It is early days into 8th edition and I pray they get the message.

Rake
06-10-2011, 11:43
A very quick simple and elegant rule we added was any model with the Wizard rule except for Undead doesn't give the LD bubble effect. It's in theme with the mistrust and aloofness of mages and gives you a REAL reason to include your combat lord. Works a charm.