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Doommasters
17-08-2012, 21:41
There has been much discussion around characters on ridden monsters being far to vulnerable to cheap cannon fire. With the new rules making cannons more accurate and the shots hitting both the monster and rider a 700point investment can be wiped off the table from a single shot, if you factor in re-rolls to hit that a few armies can get the chances of survival become even less.

This is not to say a monster rider setup should be able to chew it's way through the field un challenged but between steadfast hordes and more accurate cannon fire that hit both rider and the monster do you think it is time GW revised the rules to even out the balance?

Interested to hear people thoughts on this issue and if it would be worth GW doing a special rules update



Summary of the other thread;

GotrekFan
I think 3 relatively simple things could make them viable/ "balanced".
1) Cannons randomise who that hit like the good old days.
2) Character ward saves transfer to the mount as well.
3)Models with the Large Target rule can disrupt ranks or negate steadfast, but not both.

Shimmergloom
Cannons need to go down to D3 wounds yes, but VPs need to be given when a character is dead or when the monster is dead, at that value, instead of needing both dead to get any vps.

Until the vp system is changed, I don't think cannon damage should be changed.

Gogs78
Agree with above posters about d3 wounds for cannons.
Im guessing most people dont want to go back to herohammer but this is "fantasy" its nice seeing big beasties all over the table but at the moment in any half decent list its very hard to justify them.


Logan054
Lets also not forget how many points a vampire on a dragon is in comparison to a cannon, as for how many shoots,well that depends on who goes first, if its the player with the cannons then its very likely get two turns of shooting at it, I would certainly question your idea of balanced, dragons can be a real pain in combat however they will always have the problem of being ridden by a lone character and being forced into challenges with unit champions and then still have to break through steadfast units. Cannons in general are poorly balanced.
The current VP system is a joke, I prefer the old system of VP's, that said I don't think the VP system is a reason to keep D6 wounds, it just kills the use of so many models which would otherwise be cool to use.


Theunwantedbeing
1. Cannons need to stop being templates and randomise vs multi-part models
2. Monsters ideally need more wounds or to be much cheaper
3. A ridden monster could do with being able to fight without being constrained by the challenge rules
4. Large monsters could do with counting as having a single rank to prevent it being held up by single rank opponents

Another thing I'de have liked to see is regeneration working after wound multiplication
Monsters being able to just leave combat as and when they wish to
Impact hits for larger creatures due to their bulk when charging into a fight

Askari
17-08-2012, 21:46
I have no issue with a Cannon occasionally felling a Dragon in one hit. That's the entire purpose of the Cannon, it really isn't that effective against infantry blocks.

However, the way it hits both rider and monster just as hard as each other makes no sense, and means it's a stupid idea to mount, say a Ghoul King on a Terrorgheist, or a Wizard Lord on a Luminark, when you get no points discount for doing so and are much better off taking both seperate. I'd be very happy to see that portion of the Cannon rules changed.

DaemonReign
17-08-2012, 21:50
+1 to what askari was just saying. And that's what I would change, no more, no less.
Hitting both mount and rider is just unserious.
Inf-sized riders on a monsters should basically have regular LookOutSir-rolls vs templates etcetera.
Ogres on a StoneHorn could get perhaps a 4+LoS or something.
It'd get a bit more complex, I guess, but in this case it would be Worth it.

Lord Inquisitor
17-08-2012, 21:58
The time to fix ridden monsters was in 8th. They're an anachronism based on outdated editions. I think they need to be brought in line with monstrous cav mounts. I was just saying this the other day in a different thread here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?349354-Most-boring-army-to-play-against&p=6377965&viewfull=1#post6377965).

theunwantedbeing
17-08-2012, 22:00
it really isn't that effective against infantry blocks.
It's not that effective at killing infantry compared to it's effectiveness at killing monsters.

Doommasters
17-08-2012, 22:02
The time to fix ridden monsters was in 8th. They're an anachronism based on outdated editions. I think they need to be brought in line with monstrous cav mounts. I was just saying this the other day in a different thread here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?349354-Most-boring-army-to-play-against&p=6377965&viewfull=1#post6377965).


Copied the post of yours in as it has some very valid points

"Actually the whole rider and mount separate thing feels like an anachronism since all other ridden monsters and chariots that don't have characters are just split profile.

The monstrous mount rules were a great improvement and I think that's the way to go.

When attacking the ridden monster/chariot, use the rider's characteristics EXCEPT Toughness and Wounds, where you use the Mount/Chariot's toughness and wounds. Rider and mount attack separately.

Essentially ridden monsters would mechanically be like monstrous cav mounts, except benefitting from the monster's toughness.

Now, ignoring some silly combinations like pendant dark elves on dragons and just looking at the 8th books, what you'll get is ridden monsters like griffons benefit from armour and ward of the rider, but five wounds total. In comparison with a bloodthirster, for example, quite similar in armour, ward, cost, damage output and manoeuvrability. Wizards on mounts would be more viable too (lord Inquisitor)"

logan054
18-08-2012, 00:05
The time to fix ridden monsters was in 8th. They're an anachronism based on outdated editions. I think they need to be brought in line with monstrous cav mounts.

Thats a really good idea! then just add in a better VP system and your on the right track!



Another thing I'de have liked to see is regeneration working after wound multiplication
Monsters being able to just leave combat as and when they wish to
Impact hits for larger creatures due to their bulk when charging into a fight

I like the old way Regenerate works, you roll after all wounds are done, if your alive then no real difference, if you dead then you only roll based on how many wounds the model started with, I think a interesting one would be that fliers should be able to leave combat, kind of like hit and run in 40k, makes perfect sense and have them auto rally in the following turn as well as act normally, after all, why would a dragon wouldn't just sit about fighting, it would fly over the unit breathing fire. Now thats a idea! maybe they should be able to make a flyby attack?

I think breath weapons need to be tweaked back to every turn, just not 2D6, like D6 hits

Gradek
18-08-2012, 00:19
I think they are fine as is (both ridden monsters and cannons). When playing a game by the rules (ie terrain and varying scenarios) both ridden monsters and cannons are well balanced. Let us also not forget that the vamp lord on dragon (for instance) flies and the cannons likely only get one shot to kill it before the monster wrecks havoc across your army. I think GW did a great job with balance here.

Drasanil
18-08-2012, 00:24
Re Regeneration: It might help monsters (and characters) more if Regeneration actually regenerated wounds as opposed to simply being a sub-par ward save equivalent, kind of like it does the 40k nid dex.

logan054
18-08-2012, 00:48
Re Regeneration: It might help monsters (and characters) more if Regeneration actually regenerated wounds as opposed to simply being a sub-par ward save equivalent, kind of like it does the 40k nid dex.

thats what the old one did, you rolled at the end of the phase, you didn't roll for every wound caused (like a cannon doing 6 wounds for a troll), you simply rolled your wounds, 4+ gave you a wound back, it was highly amusing on exalted heroes in challenges, you would have some ubber lord beat the crap out of you hero, do like 6 wounds, you then roll 2D6, if you get a single 4+ all the overkill is gone and your back up! man I miss that :(

innerwolf
18-08-2012, 01:00
Copied the post of yours in as it has some very valid points

"Actually the whole rider and mount separate thing feels like an anachronism since all other ridden monsters and chariots that don't have characters are just split profile.

The monstrous mount rules were a great improvement and I think that's the way to go.

When attacking the ridden monster/chariot, use the rider's characteristics EXCEPT Toughness and Wounds, where you use the Mount/Chariot's toughness and wounds. Rider and mount attack separately.

Essentially ridden monsters would mechanically be like monstrous cav mounts, except benefitting from the monster's toughness.

Now, ignoring some silly combinations like pendant dark elves on dragons and just looking at the 8th books, what you'll get is ridden monsters like griffons benefit from armour and ward of the rider, but five wounds total. In comparison with a bloodthirster, for example, quite similar in armour, ward, cost, damage output and manoeuvrability. Wizards on mounts would be more viable too (lord Inquisitor)"

The only problem I see is: what happens with Scaly Skin? Does it becomes obsolete? Or does it becomes some kind of bonus to the rider's armour save (in the same way barding/tough hide/brass skin work for horses/boars/juggernauts)?

DaemonReign
18-08-2012, 02:12
I think they are fine as is (both ridden monsters and cannons). When playing a game by the rules (ie terrain and varying scenarios) both ridden monsters and cannons are well balanced. Let us also not forget that the vamp lord on dragon (for instance) flies and the cannons likely only get one shot to kill it before the monster wrecks havoc across your army. I think GW did a great job with balance here.

Good Point Gradek and my experience has been the same.
However, since 'all comers' games are seldom played 'by the book' or - indeed - by even the 'actual rules' it's almost a moot Point.
The poll-question doesn't seem to be focusing on games using random-scenarios, well-balanced list, and opponants adhering to the Most Important Rule.
Rather, it's premise is more like "Can You beat a black powder Gunline at 2,4k charging across an open field with a hill and a forest in each deplyment zone?"

And my gripe, personally, with hitting both cannon and rider isn't primarily about balance (overall balance is fine in 8th if you play by the rules) - but rather that it seems unassociated, counter-intuitive, well heck simply 'unrealistic' to me.

Having the separation at all is perhaps a bit anachronistic, as discussed upthread - but for example 'Killing Blow' or certain spells would impact a 'combined' profile rather differently.
"Make the rider immune to KB if mounted on a Dragon, you say?" - Nah, then we're stuck at replacing one unassociated rule with Another one if you ask me. :p

Lord Inquisitor
18-08-2012, 04:20
Re Regeneration: It might help monsters (and characters) more if Regeneration actually regenerated wounds as opposed to simply being a sub-par ward save equivalent, kind of like it does the 40k nid dex.
That would be really cool. Regen just being another type of Ward save is rather flat.


The only problem I see is: what happens with Scaly Skin? Does it becomes obsolete? Or does it becomes some kind of bonus to the rider's armour save (in the same way barding/tough hide/brass skin work for horses/boars/juggernauts)?
Yeah, I was thinking the latter. A dragon's scaly hide could be represented by +2 rather than +1 for being mounted.


Having the separation at all is perhaps a bit anachronistic, as discussed upthread - but for example 'Killing Blow' or certain spells would impact a 'combined' profile rather differently.
"Make the rider immune to KB if mounted on a Dragon, you say?" - Nah, then we're stuck at replacing one unassociated rule with Another one if you ask me. :p
That's a small issue really. This can be resolved in the same way as monstrous cav mounts... by why not immune to killing blow anyway? If demigryphs knights are immune to killing blow is it that strange that a general on a griffon wouldn't be? Is it logical that a tomb king chariot can't be killing blowed but a prince on a chariot can be? I'm not very clear on exactly how bloodletters get all the way up to hack a dragon-rider's head off anyway. Part of the reason people don't use ridden monsters is that they're ridiculously vulnerable to the rider just getting offed like that. Far from being an issue, it's a positive.

DaemonReign
18-08-2012, 09:27
by why not immune to killing blow anyway? If demigryphs knights are immune to killing blow is it that strange that a general on a griffon wouldn't be? Is it logical that a tomb king chariot can't be killing blowed but a prince on a chariot can be? I'm not very clear on exactly how bloodletters get all the way up to hack a dragon-rider's head off anyway. Part of the reason people don't use ridden monsters is that they're ridiculously vulnerable to the rider just getting offed like that. Far from being an issue, it's a positive.

Stuff that's infantry (when not mounted) should be susceptible to Killing Blow at all times. GW just botched that one. Of course DemiGrypth Knights shouldn't be immune to KB, (TK chariots though have more than one crew-man right?) This is Another 'lost topic' of dissassociated rules that needs fixing just as much as those ping-ponging cannon-balls - or simply houserules, for the time being.

And if them Bloodletters(?) can't reach the rider then arguably the rider wouldn't be able to reach them either, right? Nobody gets to hit anyone.. Fine.

Urgat
18-08-2012, 09:42
While combined profiles are a seducing idea, man, talk about a new way to VP denial-ize. In melee at least, they should be separate, because a lord or a dragon do have an enormous impact on their own, compared to your demigriph knight and his mount, Lord Inquisitor. And wouldn't that push wizard lords forward even more. Lvl4 dragon wizard? Lvl 4 arachnarok shaman? Heck yeah?

Askari
18-08-2012, 09:43
And if them Bloodletters(?) can't reach the rider then arguably the rider wouldn't be able to reach them either, right? Nobody gets to hit anyone.. Fine.

My Griffon General has a Lance that appears, by scale, to be about 10ft long. So sure he can poke the Bloodletters while they can't reach over the Griffon's leg :p

Miredorf
18-08-2012, 11:48
Copied the post of yours in as it has some very valid points

"Actually the whole rider and mount separate thing feels like an anachronism since all other ridden monsters and chariots that don't have characters are just split profile.

The monstrous mount rules were a great improvement and I think that's the way to go.

When attacking the ridden monster/chariot, use the rider's characteristics EXCEPT Toughness and Wounds, where you use the Mount/Chariot's toughness and wounds. Rider and mount attack separately.

Essentially ridden monsters would mechanically be like monstrous cav mounts, except benefitting from the monster's toughness.

Now, ignoring some silly combinations like pendant dark elves on dragons and just looking at the 8th books, what you'll get is ridden monsters like griffons benefit from armour and ward of the rider, but five wounds total. In comparison with a bloodthirster, for example, quite similar in armour, ward, cost, damage output and manoeuvrability. Wizards on mounts would be more viable too (lord Inquisitor)"

When creating our gaming group HE army book i came with this solution for the dragon mage. Weve been using him for a long time with a single profile with 2 different attacks and indeed works very well and balanced. Now i never thought in extrapolating this to every character/mount in game... Maybe because we use the old cannon rules and they only do D3+1W...

I also hate with passion nice models and ideas (like the dragon mages) get wasted cause of the simplistic standard rules.

logan054
18-08-2012, 11:53
Good Point Gradek and my experience has been the same.
However, since 'all comers' games are seldom played 'by the book' or - indeed - by even the 'actual rules' it's almost a moot Point.
The poll-question doesn't seem to be focusing on games using random-scenarios, well-balanced list, and opponants adhering to the Most Important Rule.

You can tell which people play dwarfs



While combined profiles are a seducing idea, man, talk about a new way to VP denial-ize. In melee at least, they should be separate, because a lord or a dragon do have an enormous impact on their own, compared to your demigriph knight and his mount, Lord Inquisitor. And wouldn't that push wizard lords forward even more. Lvl4 dragon wizard? Lvl 4 arachnarok shaman? Heck yeah?


It already is VP denial thing in melee as you have to kill both the rider and the mount to get anything which can be easier said than done, I would be happy to take on a lvl4 mage on a dragon, just means he isn't in a unit so I can snipe him, it wont effect lore of death, cannons, rock lobbers, etc.

Urgat
18-08-2012, 12:09
You can tell which people play dwarfs





It already is VP denial thing in melee as you have to kill both the rider and the mount to get anything which can be easier said than done, I would be happy to take on a lvl4 mage on a dragon, just means he isn't in a unit so I can snipe him, it wont effect lore of death, cannons, rock lobbers, etc.

It's much easier to kill a monster then its rider than some super combo character+monsters+magic items. Your cannons etc would have to deal with all the ward saves and stuff applied to the dragon etc as well, you know. It's completely different than just "well now they're one set of wounds".

logan054
18-08-2012, 12:13
My cannons? I collect VC and WoC mate, I have no canons :P I know its completely different, I would actually consider taking one, at the moment you have no point what so ever to even pick up a dragon unless you know your opponent doesn't have any cannons, its funny however because this would make everyone else's big centrepieces on par with greater daemons, well almost...

snottlebocket
18-08-2012, 12:47
I think they're just fine. Once super lords reach combat they can often rampage around with impunity. Add to that their speed, terrain and the many ways to thwart warmachines and you don't really get that much opportunity to destroy super lords before they reach the relative safety of combat with their favorite targets.

They're fine as they are. In small games where they don't belong your opponent doesn't get that many chances to destroy them. In large games where they do belong you can play the target saturation game.

logan054
18-08-2012, 12:55
super lords bar the vampire lord don't exist, if your investing that many points into a character then you wont have much in the way of magic defense which means they will get into combat and get nerfed to high heaven by the lore of shadow, dwarfs have the lord that can't be attacked with a S higher than 5 and a rerollable armoursave with a 4+ wardsave.

Dreyer
18-08-2012, 14:16
Cannons are what made me stop even trying to bring a Carnosaur (other than he is vulnerable to everything!) and my Stegadons don't see a lot of action because of cannons as well. The whole pinball effect that happens when you hit them is just stupid.

Ramius4
18-08-2012, 14:23
Just fine as is.

logan054
18-08-2012, 15:18
The people who say its fine as it is, would you take a character on monster if you faced Dwarfs, Empire, etc?

Urgat
18-08-2012, 15:28
It's the cannons the problem though, so why try and fix the monsters?

Ramius4
18-08-2012, 15:51
The people who say its fine as it is, would you take a character on monster if you faced Dwarfs, Empire, etc?

I'm one of those who think they're fine. That's not a fair question. You could use the same logic and ask the same question for several choices in any army depending on which army you're facing. Zombies for example are just fine against Empire, but there's no force on earth that will convince me to bring them against Dark Elves. That doesn't mean the rules are somehow flawed, it's just not a great matchup for them.

theunwantedbeing
18-08-2012, 16:28
It's the cannons the problem though, so why try and fix the monsters?

Cannons aren't the only problem.

innerwolf
18-08-2012, 16:29
I would trade any unit in the Lizardmen book to be able to field a combined profile Engine of the Gods Ancient Stegadon. The priest is so extremely easy to kill in close combat that you can't use the Ancient Stegadon's close combat potential at all (or risk losing the wizard and the effects of the engine in the first turn of CC). Such a waste of an interesting, characterful unit.

PD. Making the awesome Dragon Mages (and griffon riders while we are at it) viable would be equally desirable.

Ramius4
18-08-2012, 16:54
I would trade any unit in the Lizardmen book to be able to field a combined profile Engine of the Gods Ancient Stegadon. The priest is so extremely easy to kill in close combat that you can't use the Ancient Stegadon's close combat potential at all (or risk losing the wizard and the effects of the engine in the first turn of CC). Such a waste of an interesting, characterful unit.

I know this is OT, but I can't resist commenting. Priests on Stegadons are hardly what I'd call 'easy to kill' as you say. Easy to hit and wound with dice rolls, sure. But that's no different than most wizards in the game. You get a whopping 2+ armor save up there, and can easily get a solid ward save, or just buy a Dawnstone.

IcedCrow
18-08-2012, 16:54
I've been using ridden monsters the entire edition. I have had many games where my lord riding monster tears my opponent apart despite him having multiple cannons and internetz wizdomz saying I should have died. Thing is, cannons are not 100% going to off your lord and monster. There are ways to mitigate the issue as well... mainly in using terrain that stops cannonballs and having your monster utilize it.

I'd say against opponents with a single cannon, my monster and lord make it into contact 4/5 of the time. Dual cannons drop that to about 3/5 of the time. Three cannons and I'm looking at halfers depending on where I deploy my beast (if he has three cannons I typically deploy on a wing to deny one or two of the cannons the ability to shoot at me).

Does this mean I have never lost a lord riding monster to a cannon? No I have several times. Also realize being hit by one cannonball is also not certain death. Throw wards into the mix on top of a lot of wounds and the opponent has to roll very high to one shot kill. Coupled with denying him shots and deploying him in a way that does not allow all of the cannons clear access to him plus using cannonball stopping terrain however and I find lord ridden monsters to work just fine. I find most of the issues people have are that:

* they don't want to use the terrain / it's not given that they will have the terrain, and if its not something they can optimize or control, they don't like it
* they don't want to deploy the lord monster away from the army as they lose the leadership bonus and feel that this is unoptimal so they don't like it
* there is still risk involved and people don't like that

The only thing I'd consider changing is that both character and monster get hit. That's just a logical thing with me though. I have used my lord/monster combos to great effect and will continue to do so and that's against several empire and dwarf players. A monster riding lord character slamming into the flanks or chewing on lone characters / war machines is a powerful asset. It also takes cannonfire off of the rest of my army.

innerwolf
18-08-2012, 17:27
I know this is OT, but I can't resist commenting. Priests on Stegadons are hardly what I'd call 'easy to kill' as you say. Easy to hit and wound with dice rolls, sure. But that's no different than most wizards in the game. You get a whopping 2+ armor save up there, and can easily get a solid ward save, or just buy a Dawnstone.

Sorry for keeping it OP: A skink priest is the less resilient wizard in the game with ws 3, toughness 2 and 2 wounds. He really is easier to kill than any other mage. The only wizards you usually see mounted on monsters are well armoured, close combat capable wizards (Chaos sorcerers, Vampire Lords) or have access to ridiculous ward saves (Dark Elf sorceress).
Maybe the 2+ save is enough to fend off strength 3 bog-standard infantry, but heavy infantry (the kind you would like to use the stegadon's heavy offence against) murder him.


I've been using ridden monsters the entire edition. I have had many games where my lord riding monster tears my opponent apart despite him having multiple cannons and internetz wizdomz saying I should have died. Thing is, cannons are not 100% going to off your lord and monster. There are ways to mitigate the issue as well... mainly in using terrain that stops cannonballs and having your monster utilize it.

I'd say against opponents with a single cannon, my monster and lord make it into contact 4/5 of the time. Dual cannons drop that to about 3/5 of the time. Three cannons and I'm looking at halfers depending on where I deploy my beast (if he has three cannons I typically deploy on a wing to deny one or two of the cannons the ability to shoot at me).

Does this mean I have never lost a lord riding monster to a cannon? No I have several times. Also realize being hit by one cannonball is also not certain death. Throw wards into the mix on top of a lot of wounds and the opponent has to roll very high to one shot kill. Coupled with denying him shots and deploying him in a way that does not allow all of the cannons clear access to him plus using cannonball stopping terrain however and I find lord ridden monsters to work just fine. I find most of the issues people have are that:

* they don't want to use the terrain / it's not given that they will have the terrain, and if its not something they can optimize or control, they don't like it
* they don't want to deploy the lord monster away from the army as they lose the leadership bonus and feel that this is unoptimal so they don't like it
* there is still risk involved and people don't like that

The only thing I'd consider changing is that both character and monster get hit. That's just a logical thing with me though. I have used my lord/monster combos to great effect and will continue to do so and that's

The problem is in 7th edition you could do a frontal charge in, let's say, two turns, and hope to defeat/mangle a unit. In 8th, thanks to steadfast, you need to wait for an infantry block to charge in the front and be positioned to flank the unit in order to do any significant impact. That means one or two more turns of fire against the monster rider.

Lord Inquisitor
18-08-2012, 17:31
Stuff that's infantry (when not mounted) should be susceptible to Killing Blow at all times. GW just botched that one. Of course DemiGrypth Knights shouldn't be immune to KB, (TK chariots though have more than one crew-man right?) This is Another 'lost topic' of dissassociated rules that needs fixing just as much as those ping-ponging cannon-balls - or simply houserules, for the time being.
This is an issue for the Killing Blow rules, which are already a mess (a bloodletter hero on a jugger can be killing blowed but a bloodletter on a jugger cannot?). There either needs to be a system for identifying which monstrous cav riders (or monster riders) can be killing blowed, or there needs to be an abstraction (once you ride a monstrous cav or monster mount you are immune to killing blow full stop). Neither is really an issue with split-profile monster mounts.


And if them Bloodletters(?) can't reach the rider then arguably the rider wouldn't be able to reach them either, right? Nobody gets to hit anyone.. Fine.
Even with a sword, someone high up can reach down to bonk people on the head while they will have difficulty reaching back up, let alone lopping his head off.


While combined profiles are a seducing idea, man, talk about a new way to VP denial-ize. In melee at least, they should be separate, because a lord or a dragon do have an enormous impact on their own, compared to your demigriph knight and his mount, Lord Inquisitor. And wouldn't that push wizard lords forward even more. Lvl4 dragon wizard? Lvl 4 arachnarok shaman? Heck yeah?
I think "wizard on a griffon - heck yeah!" is a lot better than "yeah, that beast wizard on a griffon is a nice model. Shame I'd never use it."

But remember the comparison is a greater daemon. A level 4 on a dragon costs around the same as a lord of change. With a ward save on the dragon/rider, fairly similar combat capabilities and magic capabilities. Both fly. Yet Lord of Change isn't often considered the best of the GDs and many competitive daemon players have been running with no greater daemon at all because they're a single big terribly expensive target.

I think it's fairly viable - I think ridden monsters would be good enough to take - but I don't think it'll result in any really broken effects, just looking at the 8th ed books. A vampire lord on a zombie dragon is more viable, but still vulnerable to cannons, etc. Just not straight up suicide.

logan054
18-08-2012, 17:40
I'm one of those who think they're fine. That's not a fair question. You could use the same logic and ask the same question for several choices in any army depending on which army you're facing. Zombies for example are just fine against Empire, but there's no force on earth that will convince me to bring them against Dark Elves. That doesn't mean the rules are somehow flawed, it's just not a great matchup for them.

Seems to me your trying to avoid the question, you've done a very poor job in doing so, so basically you saying monsters and riders are fine unless you use them against someone with a cannon, in which case its a very poor matchup and infact you wouldn't use them? well then how are the rules fine? we are not talking about a 3pts model, we are talking about a 600pts+ model.

Is it a fair question? certainly, if I create a all comers list I consider all the things I might encounter, cannons are in 4 armies, as such its something I will always consider when making a army, I will think of ways to counter them and how risky a choice will be against and weight up against how good it will be against a army without access to them.


I've been using ridden monsters the entire edition. I have had many games where my lord riding monster tears my opponent apart despite him having multiple cannons and internetz wizdomz saying I should have died. Thing is, cannons are not 100% going to off your lord and monster. There are ways to mitigate the issue as well... mainly in using terrain that stops cannonballs and having your monster utilize it.

Thats abit like me saying I have no problem dealing with dragon riders because my exalted on jugger kills them in a challenge, it means really little, I actually use the exalted on jugger in a unit of knights and yes he has survived many games, however people do tend to shoot the big bad thing first which is why he survives. While its true you can use terrain what if you go 2nd and you have none he can use in you deployment zone? what if you go first and the only terrain would put you in charge range of a nasty unit? it really isn't as simply as you make out unless you place all the terrain in your favour. It also depends if you play with your mates, a gaming club or a tournament, if its the later of the two you will be restricted by what terrain is available, I have played on plenty of boards with no walls to absorb cannon balls.

DaemonReign
18-08-2012, 17:45
This is an issue for the Killing Blow rules, which are already a mess (a bloodletter hero on a jugger can be killing blowed but a bloodletter on a jugger cannot?). There either needs to be a system for identifying which monstrous cav riders (or monster riders) can be killing blowed, or there needs to be an abstraction (once you ride a monstrous cav or monster mount you are immune to killing blow full stop). Neither is really an issue with split-profile monster mounts.

I agree with you the Errata/FAQ wasn't satisfactory. Personally though I'd definately be in the camp of Bloodcrushers, DemiGryphs, TK Stalkers (etcetera) all being susceptible to Killing Blow. Including Archaon. haha


Even with a sword, someone high up can reach down to bonk people on the head while they will have difficulty reaching back up, let alone lopping his head off.

Right. So then monster-riders gets to attack but nobody gets to hit them back.. (?)
Sounds a Little too good, to be honest, but sure - I'll concede that fighting from 'up high' (or other favorable positions) isn't really represented well by WHFB mechanics.

But the cannon-ball ping-ponging must certainly be seen as both 'wierder' and a bigger problem for all-comers competativeness, no?

logan054
18-08-2012, 17:53
I agree with you the Errata/FAQ wasn't satisfactory. Personally though I'd definately be in the camp of Bloodcrushers, DemiGryphs, TK Stalkers (etcetera) all being susceptible to Killing Blow. Including Archaon. haha

If it has made them immune to killing blow it would have made juggers a decent upgrade for Chaos heroes., now its simply a "it looks cool" upgrade

Lord Inquisitor
18-08-2012, 17:54
Make ridden monsters split profile units and the ping-pong issue goes away ;)

I'm not particularly invested in killing blow either way but I think it's simpler to just say all Monstrous Cav, chariots and monsters are immune from killing blow even if they have man-sized rider(s). But whichever way it works it ought to be consistent.

Ramius4
18-08-2012, 18:08
Seems to me your trying to avoid the question, you've done a very poor job in doing so, so basically you saying monsters and riders are fine unless you use them against someone with a cannon, in which case its a very poor matchup and infact you wouldn't use them? well then how are the rules fine? we are not talking about a 3pts model, we are talking about a 600pts+ model.

Is it a fair question? certainly, if I create a all comers list I consider all the things I might encounter, cannons are in 4 armies, as such its something I will always consider when making a army, I will think of ways to counter them and how risky a choice will be against and weight up against how good it will be against a army without access to them.

Thats abit like me saying I have no problem dealing with dragon riders because my exalted on jugger kills them in a challenge, it means really little, I actually use the exalted on jugger in a unit of knights and yes he has survived many games, however people do tend to shoot the big bad thing first which is why he survives. While its true you can use terrain what if you go 2nd and you have none he can use in you deployment zone? what if you go first and the only terrain would put you in charge range of a nasty unit? it really isn't as simply as you make out unless you place all the terrain in your favour. It also depends if you play with your mates, a gaming club or a tournament, if its the later of the two you will be restricted by what terrain is available, I have played on plenty of boards with no walls to absorb cannon balls.

I answered your question with one of my own, that's hardly avoiding it. I just find your particular question inherently flawed. A few sub-optimal matchups out of 15 possible armies you might face. We can both sit here and present situation after situation in which you would or wouldn't use XYZ unit, but knowing there are times where it's good and times when it's bad still doesn't mean the rules are flawed.

That's like making a statement that "my Goblins always get killed when they face troops with lots of attacks and decent armor". Well duh... Choices within army books really don't have to always be effective or even survive past turn 2 to be viable. And that's exactly the kind of argument you seem to be making.

Like most things, ridden monsters are either going to be awesome, average, or possibly even worthless during any given game. But overall? Pretty much average.

IcedCrow
18-08-2012, 18:26
Well Logan after a couple of years of using said ridden monsters vs a myriad of opponents in a myriad of environments from casual to ball crushing competitive and having had good experiences with them, i cant agree that they are horribly broken and weak.

They just arent a sure thing and something that can be optimized. They involve a sizeable risk.

Lord Inquisitor
18-08-2012, 18:36
Like most things, ridden monsters are either going to be awesome, average, or possibly even worthless during any given game. But overall? Pretty much average.

If that were the case, you'd see a lot more ridden monsters. Unfortunately the ridden monsters are going to be average, worth little or a total liability during any given game. Overall? Pretty poor.

Cannons are a big part of the problem but not the only thing making them poor. If you took cannons out of the game altogether, would ridden monsters rule the game? Very doubtful. A character on a mount is pretty vulnerable since he can get picked out, and ridden monsters have all the vulnerabilities of regular monsters. Even with the points drop for griffons and the improved combat stats - they're pretty poor. It's not just cannons - empire can bring enough cannons of their own to effect counter-battery fire - griffons are still poor anyway. Because you put your general/level 4 in such a precarious place.

decker_cky
18-08-2012, 19:18
I was trying to think....would it even be an issue saying "Characters riding monsters cannot be hit by shooting, attacks may be allocated on them in combat." Solves the real cannon issue, and makes it so people might consider unprotected (or low protection) characters on monsters.

Urgat
18-08-2012, 20:00
Cannons aren't the only problem.

Yes they are. Magic can be dispelled, and general shooting, well, you know, they're not supposed to be immortal, you know, these monsters. Every time I read that kind of topic, it just feels like people want their monsters to be able to just ignore everything until they get in melee. "they're useless because they can be killed before getting there". Well yeah?


I think "wizard on a griffon - heck yeah!" is a lot better than "yeah, that beast wizard on a griffon is a nice model. Shame I'd never use it."

Now that can be argued. Do I want to see wizards riding monsters? I already see enough wizards as it is. Combat lords, on the other hand...

Lord Inquisitor
18-08-2012, 20:18
No one wants them to be invulnerable to shooting. Who said anything of the sort? You just made that up. The leaving-cannons-aside problem is much more that if they get into combat, they still get murdered. If the monster is the weak point (e.g. a griffon), then the monster gets killed out from under the rider. If the rider is the weak point (e.g. a wizard) the rider gets killed quickly by enemy attacks and a 4+ ward only goes so far.

Ridden monsters need to be viable. Not necessarily great, but good enough to be taken. Sure, there's a risk of it dying to ranged attacks, spells or combat attacks. That's not unreasonable! But if you make it through the barrage of enemy spells, war machines, BS shooting, other weirdness like fanatics or whatnot, they just don't do all that when they get there. Why would I spend 300 odd points to put my Vampire Lord on a zombie dragon when I could pay 300 points on black knights to put him in? They put out more damage than a dragon, not much less mobile and vastly more survivable for both the Lord and the unit - even if you disregard cannons, and they don't eat into valuable Lord points.

The only Lord-level big monster wizard lords that actually work are the greater daemons. There are a number of reasons these are viable and dragon-riding wizards aren't. They are less vulnerable to cannons (no rider to also get hit), they have a ward that protects the whole model. In combat, again, they have no squishy wizard sitting on top, excellent stats and a wide access of defensive abilities that protect the whole model, can't be killing blowed, etc.


Now that can be argued. Do I want to see wizards riding monsters? I already see enough wizards as it is. Combat lords, on the other hand...
This isn't a thread about combat lords vs wizard lords. The point is to make monsters viable. If a change means that instead of taking a wizard lord on foot, players might consider a wizard lord on a monstrous or chariot mount, well, that's a success for mounts.

But for many armies it may still work. I would take an Empire general on a griffon, for example, if the rules made it vaguely viable in the way a pegasus is. With a 1+ armour and a 4+ ward, split profile unit, it would be a valuable ranging unit for both mounted and defensive Empire builds. Still not invulnerable, not immune to enemy cannons, combat units or whatever, but a solid, dangerous Lord choice.

Askari
18-08-2012, 20:47
But for many armies it may still work. I would take an Empire general on a griffon, for example, if the rules made it vaguely viable in the way a pegasus is. With a 1+ armour and a 4+ ward, split profile unit, it would be a valuable ranging unit for both mounted and defensive Empire builds. Still not invulnerable, not immune to enemy cannons, combat units or whatever, but a solid, dangerous Lord choice.

I do use an Empire General on a Griffon quite often, yet still I sigh whenever I remember that against S4 attacks, a Demigryph is harder to kill than a fully-fledged Imperial Griffon.

logan054
18-08-2012, 21:22
I answered your question with one of my own, that's hardly avoiding it. I just find your particular question inherently flawed.

Its a simple yes or no question, you feel cannons are balanced against characters on monsters, so if thats the case you should have no problem fielding one in a all comers army, the fact you are unable to simply say "yes I would" suggests that you are happy with the way things are because cannons make such models very easy to deal with which isn't balanced.



Well Logan after a couple of years of using said ridden monsters vs a myriad of opponents in a myriad of environments from casual to ball crushing competitive and having had good experiences with them, i cant agree that they are horribly broken and weak.

They just arent a sure thing and something that can be optimized. They involve a sizeable risk.

Who said anything about them being horribly broken? like I was suggesting, while what you said is true how practical is it? why are you ignoring what I said about terrain? come on, you know what your saying relies on having a decent selection of terrain, I know one of the clubs I use to go unless you turned up early you wouldn't get bugger all terrain. The thing with characters on flying monsters is the risk is to high, it comes down to how effective cannons are at killing monsters, I still use my shaggoth and hero on jugger and do well with them, I don't think its a cost effective choice, I just managed to find a role for them in my army, a role that works very well, I don't however go round telling people that they are best thing since sliced bread. I happily admit that I mainly use them because I like the models, I also admit I am very lucky with them, such as people always seem to fail to wound my jugger rider (he doesn't even have a wardsave!)

Now we have all these rumours about a chaos dragon coming in plastic, damn I want one but what are the chances of me every using it in a game? I have to admit I might give it ago if the model is nice enough and just stubbornly refuse to stop using it regardless of how it well or badly it does, who knows.

Adelie
18-08-2012, 21:41
Yes, the magic bullet ability of the cannon ball to bounce and hit every part of the unit is annoying to play against. However, in previous editions, every time my cannon hit a stegadon and got randomized to one skink crew, with no other effect, I wanted to flip the table over. I think they are perfectly fine in the more killy environment of 8th edition, both cannons and ridden monsters. I play cannons, ridden monsters, and regular monsters in my all comers lists, I do just fine. I win some games, I lose some games. Sometimes my monster wrecks my opponent. Sometimes the monster dies before reaching combat. Sometimes my cannons wreck an opponent, sometimes they do precisely nothing before my opponent crushes them, and then my army in detail. Its part of the game. The real issue as I see it is that people are so risk adverse in their list creating, that they are unwilling to try out units the internet tells them are bad. Or maybe they try it once, it gets cannoned to death and they never try again. Experiment a little bit, you may be surprised at what you find.

But, since this is about proposed rule changes, here is mine: When a cannon hits a ridden monster or multi-part unit, the shot is resolved against the monster/ridden thing only. Now your character isn't getting bounced to death immediately, its somewhat safer to mount a character, its more "realistic", and the cannon still serves a purpose.

DaemonReign
19-08-2012, 04:31
Yes, the magic bullet ability of the cannon ball to bounce and hit every part of the unit is annoying to play against. However, in previous editions, every time my cannon hit a stegadon and got randomized to one skink crew, with no other effect, I wanted to flip the table over.

I agree, but wouldn't go as far as you to 'fix' this:

The monster-mount should Always be hit, to be sure, and the rider (optimally dependning on its size relative to the mount) should maybe be hit.
Example:
Dragon with Rider is hit by a Cannon:
For the Dragon you simply roll to wound as normal.
The rider gets a 2+ 'Puny Guy Ontop of Huge Monster'-Save

Because, as the shooting of JFK supposedly proved, the mechanic of ping-ponging isn't completely unrealistic - it's the bit about happening 'every time' that is annoying. ;)

Lord Inquisitor
19-08-2012, 04:54
Huh, if we're talking about realism, the odds of hitting a flying target with a blackpowder cannon should be pretty much nil, let alone with the bounce.

Urgat
19-08-2012, 10:05
Lord Inquisitor: I'd written a big answer yesterday, but it was counterproductive so I deleted it.
To sum up and focus on the parts that are worth replying to, I completely disagree that complaining that turning monsters into glorified sorcerer protections is OT, and that's not how I want to see monsters become viable. Ignoring obvious defects in a rule suggestion gets a big red no stamp from me, always. There's fixing, and then there's making a mess of stuff. Mixed profiles only benefit those monsters whose rider taut a ward save, all the others will still die to two or three cannons, and that would mess melee atrociously. So monsters would just replace flying carpets and stuff for making more resilient purple sun flankers (with the additionnal bonus your caster would actually become something like a greater demon in melee, as you pointed out yourself.), and, well, this idea is bad.
Anyway, what triggered me to post again, though, is this new post, because I also wrote a suggestion, based on just what you're saying, that went with the whole post.

1) riders should just never be hit by ranged fire. The monster is big, it's far, it's pretty much always moving very fast, and, most of the time, there's giganormous wings flapping besides him.
2) I don't know if it's still the case, but when I was playing 40K (I think that was two editions ago, it's the edition where Tau were introduced), there was a rule that meant that if a tank had moved fast for that turn, it was very hard to hit (or damage, don't remember). Monsters with the flying or fast rules should benefit from a rule like that, if they've marched or flew full distance, they should have a "moving fast" ward.
Well, to be honest, for a change, I hope GW will get some inspiration from 40K with the new flyers for a way to handle monsters in 9th ed, make flying monsters actual flyers instead of "hoppers", add AA stuff to lists, etc.

DaemonReign
19-08-2012, 10:18
Huh, if we're talking about realism, the odds of hitting a flying target with a blackpowder cannon should be pretty much nil, let alone with the bounce.

Sure, adding a mechanic to cannons that made them 'scatter' D3" to either side is an idea I've seen brought up Before that would make hitting lots of monsters a lot harder, and above all it would virtually make character-sniping impossible.
... but then COSTs would have to be recalibrated.

Urgat
19-08-2012, 10:30
I think I'm the one who brings it up the most, and I get boo-ed every time :p (yet with me it's regular scatter, not just left-right, so it's not as mean). As for costs, new cannon rules mean new edition, so costs would be no real problem. Empire players have been very happy to have mortars with no partials for a couple years w/o costs adjustments, didn't they ;) (especially when reality came back to bite them in the ***, of course)?

theunwantedbeing
19-08-2012, 11:04
Sure, adding a mechanic to cannons that made them 'scatter' D3" to either side is an idea I've seen brought up Before that would make hitting lots of monsters a lot harder, and above all it would virtually make character-sniping impossible.
... but then COSTs would have to be recalibrated.

Give how GW is favouring larger and larger monsters, a D3" scatter will make little if any difference in hitting them.
Similarly it makes little if any difference when shooting at units.

No more character sniping?
Allow me to play the worlds smallest violin.

Costs wouldn't even have to change.

Gradek
19-08-2012, 12:00
It sure seems as though some people's definition of balance means "being guaranteed to get my big monster/ridden monster into close combat every single game". Cannons simply are not as effective as some make them out. They are rarely going to kill something big with one shot (or even 2 most times). With flying, 1d6+4 terrain, random scenarios, etc (you know the rules as the game is supposed to be played and what units costs/abilities are based on), monsters work perfectly fine.

logan054
19-08-2012, 12:58
It sure seems as though some people's definition of balance means "being guaranteed to get my big monster/ridden monster into close combat every single game". Cannons simply are not as effective as some make them out. They are rarely going to kill something big with one shot (or even 2 most times). With flying, 1d6+4 terrain, random scenarios, etc (you know the rules as the game is supposed to be played and what units costs/abilities are based on), monsters work perfectly fine.

OK, if you using the standard amount of cannons, how often does a big flying creature make it across the table and get into combat?


Give how GW is favouring larger and larger monsters, a D3" scatter will make little if any difference in hitting them.

I remember ages ago saying something like before you did the bounce the cannonball should scatter in a similar way to how templates do in 40k, 2D6 -BS and then work out the bounces from that.


Allow me to play the worlds smallest violin.

I've never heard it called that before.....

Vipoid
19-08-2012, 13:01
It sure seems as though some people's definition of balance means "being guaranteed to get my big monster/ridden monster into close combat every single game".

Well, to be fair, I could easily turn this around and say that some dwarf and empire players think that a monster is overpowered if it actually gets through their cannons and reaches combat.

Gradek
19-08-2012, 14:31
OK, if you using the standard amount of cannons, how often does a big flying creature make it across the table and get into combat?



About half the time. Which in my mind is about right, since when those monsters do get there they bring havoc, as Empire has very few ways to deal with a combat lord on a monster outside of cannons.

theunwantedbeing
19-08-2012, 14:36
About half the time. Which in my mind is about right, since when those monsters do get there they bring havoc, as Empire has very few ways to deal with a combat lord on a monster outside of cannons.

And magic
And trapping it in a challenge and winning on combat resolution
And killing it with horde infantry
And non-cannon based shooting
And magical weapons

So outside of cannons and those other things I just listed empire really has very few ways to deal with a character on a monster.

Or by "deal with" do you actually mean kill in a single shot?
Because aside from magic and cannons empire really does have very few ways to "deal with" a character on a monster.

yabbadabba
19-08-2012, 15:04
Cannons really are a distraction here, a red herring. To an experienced gamer, typical to Warseer, guessing distances is also an irrelevance

The two rules that have really made the difference are both rider and mount being hit and TLOS. The latter can be solved easily with some common sense and a quick chat with your opponent. The former is the rule that, if anything needs changing, should get changed.

logan054
19-08-2012, 15:07
About half the time. Which in my mind is about right, since when those monsters do get there they bring havoc, as Empire has very few ways to deal with a combat lord on a monster outside of cannons.

That is complete nonsense, your best way of defeating it is through challenges with unit champions, as you standard unit will have +4 (with up to +6 with a warbanner and BSB) and then you can always use a detachment to counter charge in the flank, so assuming its a standard unit that +5. The only character that will be able to easily get 6 wounds is a vampire lord with red fury, most other lord only have 4 attacks, they will kill the champion before the dragon gets to attacks, so with charging he loses by one, in most cases he will still lose because you will win on a draw. next turn you simply repeat this by counter charging with a another unit with a unit champion however you now have the bonus of charge, he's lost his, so its looking like +6 combat res with up to +8 with the BSB and warbanner.

That also is not taking into account magic, you have shadow to debuff him, pendulum and shades are good at killing most monsters, then you have the lore attribute to jump your characters about, this can be very handy if he has charged the unit with your lvl4 wizard in, you could swap him for your BSB or a character designed to kill things in a challenge. Then you have lore of death which is good at killing either the lord or the dragon depending on the spell and can also debuff them both, you have life to bring back unit champions which will basically mean you can keep in locked in combat for far longer waiting for him to fluff his rolls, metal is good against both the dragon and the rider because of the high armoursave they will both have. What about lore of beasts? the speat would be nice causing a S10 hit which does D6 wounds on both, +3 toughness for your unit champion to reduce the wounds his lord does, -1 to hit in combat or make a challenge character +3S and +3 attack.

Van horstman speculum seems like a good one to have here which you can then get into position with with the shadow attribute, kill the dragon and see how much damage you can do to either the dragon on rider depending on the situation.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy dragons do not run round destroying armies, I've seen it happen once, that was a 4 player game and when it got involved my army was pretty buggered anyways, they are good in combat, but they are 600pts, 600pts that more often than not, the risk out weighs the reward, losing that many points in a turn so early on is a game change, losing a 200pts unit of swordsman is not.

yabbadabba
19-08-2012, 15:15
I think that quite clearly between Gradek and Logan what we have is a debate of your maybe= my definitely.

logan054
19-08-2012, 15:28
I'm just pointing out you have other ways to deal with characters on monsters other than cannons, a unit champion being the most obvious as its unlikely a lord will hit and wound every every attack.

yabbadabba
19-08-2012, 15:43
I'm just pointing out you have other ways to deal with characters on monsters other than cannons, a unit champion being the most obvious as its unlikely a lord will hit and wound every every attack. I know what you are pointing out, but as with all things, nothing is definite. A Unit Champion does not deal with a character on a monster, it merely attempts to postpone or redirect the potential damage for a turn - at a push it has the hope the character fails a Ld test and runs. But that is if the character on monster charges a big unit to the front.

What this is, in essence, is an anti-cannon thread. Yet the cannons have changed relatively little in real terms what has changed is the change in scenery rules, and the change in hitting rules. The former is a matter for discussion among players, GW need do nothing here (other than remind people it is their game to play, not GWs). The latter I can agree causes issues for experienced gamers but fits right into GWs design ethos. I, for one, would happily see either a split in the targeting or a combined statline. The former makes cannons work harder, the latter makes the game smoother.

Kalandros
19-08-2012, 16:21
Maybe we need a trample mechanic like in war machine:
Monster stuck in combat? Attempt a Trample to charge through infantry, haha. Causing a Thunderstomp and if succesful (not sure what sort of test for failure would be appropriate) disengages after stepping all over models and placed behind or in contact with anoth

That would be chaotic at best.

:D

The cannons, I've said it in another thread:

-Bounce should only hit mount
-Direct Hit should randomize
-Multiple Wounds D3 vs anything smaller than monstrous infantry/beast/cav
-Multiple Wounds D6 vs anything monstrous infantry/beast/cav and larger

That alone would help a lot bring cannons in line with everything.

logan054
19-08-2012, 16:37
I know what you are pointing out, but as with all things, nothing is definite. A Unit Champion does not deal with a character on a monster, it merely attempts to postpone or redirect the potential damage for a turn - at a push it has the hope the character fails a Ld test and runs. But that is if the character on monster charges a big unit to the front.

Of course, its a delaying tactic until your magic phase or until you can counter charge with something that can hurt it, then again, it involves more than just point a cannons at model and repeating until it dies.



What this is, in essence, is an anti-cannon thread. Yet the cannons have changed relatively little in real terms what has changed is the change in scenery rules, and the change in hitting rules. The former is a matter for discussion among players, GW need do nothing here (other than remind people it is their game to play, not GWs). The latter I can agree causes issues for experienced gamers but fits right into GWs design ethos. I, for one, would happily see either a split in the targeting or a combined statline. The former makes cannons work harder, the latter makes the game smoother.

Its not just the scenery rules that have changes, monsters and characters have been toned down a lot in the time I have played, yet cannons have not, infact they have only got better as the game has matured, while it was fine in the days of hero hammer when a character on a dragon could wipe out a army with ease that isn't the case now, you don't have the T8 monsters that can't be hurt by basic troops (or when I played daemons in 5th, a Bloodthirster with daenomic robes). Your right, this has turned into a anti-cannon thread, then again are they not the main problem when looking at why people are reluctant to use very cool centre piece models, that doesn't even mean dragon, shaggoths, giants, hell even exalted heroes on juggers. The thing is because we have a few over powered monsters (like the hydra) people feel its the only way to deal with them, regardless of the fact those problem units will no doubt get nerfed and how it removes the use of cool models from the table.

Gradek
19-08-2012, 16:39
What this is, in essence, is an anti-cannon thread. Yet the cannons have changed relatively little in real terms what has changed is the change in scenery rules, and the change in hitting rules. The former is a matter for discussion among players, GW need do nothing here (other than remind people it is their game to play, not GWs). The latter I can agree causes issues for experienced gamers but fits right into GWs design ethos. I, for one, would happily see either a split in the targeting or a combined statline. The former makes cannons work harder, the latter makes the game smoother.

True, there are some here who just want cannons effectively out of the game so it can become monster hammer. A little common sense would go along way with scenery (or just model your scenery to be of the correct scale, as GW's is a bit small). Also, can we please stop with the absurd examples of assuming you are charging your monster-character into a huge main block. Only noobs do that, and experienced gamers utilize the ridden monsters to their fullest by routing specialist troops/warmachines/other monsters and thus the example of being beaten by massed ranks and what not simply doesn't apply. Ridden monsters are fine as is, as against most armies they will reach combat and against the few with cannons, they still do so at least half of the time (and when they do, they have a brutal impact on the game). The only army that they really don't work well against is Ogres, and that is the GW design flaw of giving a great close combat army the best cannon in the game that is also a good chariot.

Lord Inquisitor
19-08-2012, 16:59
Some good replies here, I'll go back and address later when I have time. But for the time being I'll reply to this one.


True, there are some here who just want cannons effectively out of the game so it can become monster hammer.
Strawman argument. No one has said that as far as I can tell.


A little common sense would go along way with scenery (or just model your scenery to be of the correct scale, as GW's is a bit small). Also, can we please stop with the absurd examples of assuming you are charging your monster-character into a huge main block. Only noobs do that, and experienced gamers utilize the ridden monsters to their fullest by routing specialist troops/warmachines/other monsters and thus the example of being beaten by massed ranks and what not simply doesn't apply.
If monsters can't hang around outside of combat for fear of spells/cannons, that's another turn of manoeuvre before combat if you don't charge the front. But if they can't take on units from the front, what is their role? Heroes on monstrous mounts are good war machine hunters and flankers, hardly worth having a monster for that role.


Ridden monsters are fine as is, as against most armies they will reach combat and against the few with cannons, they still do so at least half of the time (and when they do, they have a brutal impact on the game).
The reality is this: people don't take ridden monsters. I can't remember the last time I saw one. Certainly not in even vaguely competitive play. We had that long thread on cannons, we actually had some tournament data to analyse from a big tournament. Very few people took ridden monsters and none did very well.

You can say "ridden monsters are fine as is" until you're blue in the face, that doesn't change the fact that a mighty lord on a dragon fails to engender fear in the opponent - indeed it's not just a soft option but a total concession. You can say "real gamers can use ridden monsters just fine" but I don't see any tournaments (including ones with decent terrain) won by armies with ridden monsters.

The problem goes a lot deeper than just "cannons suck!" although cannons are a big part of it. Even without cannons in the game they'd still be pretty poor. Cannons are just the final nail in the coffin.

Gradek
19-08-2012, 17:31
The problem goes a lot deeper than just "cannons suck!" although cannons are a big part of it. Even without cannons in the game they'd still be pretty poor. Cannons are just the final nail in the coffin.[/color]

Correlation doesn't equal causation. The reason you don't see ridden monsters is pretty simple, they are not cost effective given the points breakdown in 8th. In other words, having a combat lord on monster eliminates a level 4 in most cases and in 8th, magic is simply far too powerful to not have. Again, only 3 armies have real cannons and 2 of those armies are rarely seen at tournies, and yet ridden monsters are still rare. The answer is that even if you eliminate cannons, no one would use ridden monsters because it means losing the magic phase or being crippled somewhere else due to the point sink.

Soundwave
19-08-2012, 17:33
Character Monster combos are not the best for tactical options,i find you are forced to push them into combat asap to avoid oncoming firepower,they are expensive e.t.c.In saying this though i find army lists are written to completely revolve around the character and monster,bringing target saturation does help allot my dark elf monster lists are very nasty,but this is in part due to catching my opponent off guard.

logan054
19-08-2012, 17:41
True, there are some here who just want cannons effectively out of the game so it can become monster hammer.

Its funny because considering how many armies have access to characters that can rider monsters in relation to how many armies have access to cannons, I see a lot more cannons in my games of warhammer, is it not the case they have already effectively been taken out of the game in a allcomers environment?


Also, can we please stop with the absurd examples of assuming you are charging your monster-character into a huge main block. Only noobs do that, and experienced gamers utilize the ridden monsters to their fullest by routing specialist troops/warmachines/other monsters and thus the example of being beaten by massed ranks and what not simply doesn't apply.

Let me get this straight, your saying people should use a dragon to kill 100/200pts units? sorry but :wtf: If I want something to warmachine hunt I will take something that is a lot cheaper, the only exception being maybe a hellcannon because its good in combat as well. But lets say we use it to one turn kill units, unless it manages to overrun into another unit of off the board its going to shoot by cannons which means it will not earn its points back, maybe its just me, but if I use a dragon as the rules are now I need locked in combat until the cannons are dealt with by my warmachine hunting units. This does go against your idea of destroying whole armies if its picking off cheap units really, if its doing that I may as well take something half or even a third of the points!

Ratarsed
19-08-2012, 17:45
Just posted my vote and agree with the most popular answer, no tactical sense in an all comers list. However I was disappointed that the choices were loaded towards all comers lists. Why is it necessary all choices be viable in all comers lists? Why can't we have some choices much better when we know we are playing beastmen, or Orcs, or Lizardmen and not Dwarfs, Ogres or Empire?
Ridden Monsters work pretty good as they are. The only two things I think need changing are how cannon balls hit both monster and rider and Victory points awarded as both or nothing. It should be randomised for cannon ball hits and seperate VPs for rider and monster.

Lord Inquisitor
19-08-2012, 18:36
Correlation doesn't equal causation. The reason you don't see ridden monsters is pretty simple, they are not cost effective given the points breakdown in 8th. In other words, having a combat lord on monster eliminates a level 4 in most cases and in 8th, magic is simply far too powerful to not have. Again, only 3 armies have real cannons and 2 of those armies are rarely seen at tournies, and yet ridden monsters are still rare. The answer is that even if you eliminate cannons, no one would use ridden monsters because it means losing the magic phase or being crippled somewhere else due to the point sink.
So there's a problem with the ridden monster rules. There's a lot of reasons people don't take them. The vulnerability to cannons is just the final nail in the coffin.

yabbadabba
19-08-2012, 19:23
I find that if you want to take a character on monster at the moment, their best use is as a support unit, and they are extremely effective at this. The sheer amount of damage they can dish out on the flank, rear or even hunting on their own means that, if your opponent isn't also equipped, you can make a real mess of his attack. This extends to Transformation of Kadon - getting this in a flank attack can ruin someone's day, especially if they have decided to sink their points into one or two mega units.

Even small flying monsters with riders make a big difference. A Captain on pegasus can force your opponent to rethink his war machines, skirmishers, single characters even single chariots and flanks. That same simple model can also pursue those fleeing units that are above 25% getting you those vital VPs.

The problem is we cannot think of WFB as a linear style of game, unit facing off unit, units points value = another units points value. This is no longer chess where you can think and plan several moves ahead because you know your unit of 6 Chosen Knights will mash anything short of another unit of Chosen Knights. That unit of Knights will easily get its points back in a game, but no longer but just breaking anything in a single turn of combat. Some support is now needed - flanks taken, units whittled down, characters neutralised etc.

I think part of the problem is the new targeting and scenery rules are still causing issues with people's thinking and deployment.

Gradek
19-08-2012, 19:35
So there's a problem with the ridden monster rules. There's a lot of reasons people don't take them. The vulnerability to cannons is just the final nail in the coffin.

I think the easiest "fix" for ridden monsters would be to have the monster points come out of a <25% of points "monster" allowance instead of lords/heroes.

Vipoid
19-08-2012, 20:14
I think the easiest "fix" for ridden monsters would be to have the monster points come out of a <25% of points "monster" allowance instead of lords/heroes.

If I'm honest, I really don't think this would fix much. It's an interesting idea, but it seems more like a way to skirt the real issue.

Yes, it would potentially let you have a lv4 and a mounted lord (or possibly a mounted lv4 and lord), but that still leaves the problem of a ridiculously-expensive mounted hero, who's very vulnerable to spells, cannons and shooting, very inefficient, and a massive liability. It doesn't matter where the points are coming from - a 700pt liability is still a 700pt liability.

Montegue
19-08-2012, 21:22
The only fix that's necessary is a randomized hit between monster and rider on all template weapons. For stone throwers, we basically already do that.

If a monster with a killy lord gets into my lines with support, my army vanishes off the board. there is no way in hell that any of my units can survive against a flank charge from a killy vamp lord on a terrogheist or zombie dragon, etc. No way. You will fly in, I will do no no wounds, you will crush me with combat resolution.

Dwarfs have no good answer for big gribbly monsters, especially those ridden by big killy lords, without effective cannons. And I have a third game loss at Bayou Battles that gives the lie to the "unstoppable laser guided heralds of death" meme about cannons. Sure, they are accurate and strong. A monster ridden by a killy lord is fast and very strong. It's balanced just fine.

theunwantedbeing
19-08-2012, 21:26
Dwarfs have no good answer for big gribbly monsters, especially those ridden by big killy lords, without effective cannons. And I have a third game loss at Bayou Battles that gives the lie to the "unstoppable laser guided heralds of death" meme about cannons. Sure, they are accurate and strong. A monster ridden by a killy lord is fast and very strong. It's balanced just fine.

Except Runed bolt and grudge throwers.
And those untouchable dwarf lords.
And hordes of great weapon armed dwarf warriors.
And quarrelers/thunderers.

Aside from those things, dwarves only have cannons to deal with monsters.

Doommasters
19-08-2012, 22:27
Well this thread really is getting some discussion :)

After reading a number of responses I decided to test out a couple of rules on the weekend.

1) Random Wounds: Rather than a cannon hitting both the monster and the rider the unit was hit an the "D6" wounds randomly assigned to either the character or Monster. Each wound was rolled for; on a 1-4 hit the Monster and 5-6 hit the rider.
2) Seperate VP's for the rider and monster (not sure how you deal with this when they can't be split)
3) +1 rank when in combat
4) If a cannon hits a monstrous target it stops dead (i.e. can only hit that unit)

The overall result was very effective, cannons and stone throwers still felt powerful and had little trouble taking down a monster as their damage potentional on single targets has not been reduced (outside of stupid bounces taking out multiple units). In terms of ridden monsters not hitting the rider and monster with basically double wounds was a nice change. Monsters in general have 6 wounds and charcters 3 so the 1-4 5-6 split works out rather well, basically it felt like ridden monsters were not as big a liability without making them a must have option in a number of games my combat lord ended up on foot by turn two a couple of times which is much nicer than being popped by a lucky roll. This can still leave said combat character in a really vulnerable position making it quite exciting as often the general was fighting on his own versus units behind the lines (really cool dynamic and gives you a sense of pride in your character). Splitting the VP's also makes sense and worked out very well until you run into a unitthat you can't split apart from his/her mount. The final change was adding +1 rank to the unit, I don't think characters on monsters should be able to blow through steadfast blocks easily but at the same time it is stupid when a charcter on dragon for example loses combat simply becuase they can't get enough CR to hold. Initially we tried +2 but it seemed to good especially when you should be getting into a flank at the least. +1 was enough with the charge and flank to keep everyone honest.

One thing that we didn't feel worked well was giving the monster the chracters ward save, splitting the wounds and giving them the charcters wardsave was simply too powerful and allowing the monster and rider to be hit but giving the monster the riders ward save didn't work as well as simply randomising the wounds. Making cannons D3 wounds worked when you can hit both the monster and rider but it did not feel as nice as the random D6, as it is still nice that on a lucky roll a cannon can still pop a monster in one shot without being able to take down a monsters and rider.


Overall there are plenty of things to test but that is all we have time for and TBH it really did make a positive difference to the gameplay. One thing that can't be overstated enough is that while cannons maybe the biggest threat to ridden monsters it is not the only thing to take into consideration. But one thing that was interesting was the 1/3 2/3 rule for attacks and something we will be testing out more next time.

DaemonReign
19-08-2012, 22:49
1) Random Wounds: Rather than a cannon hitting both the monster and the rider the unit was hit an the "D6" wounds randomly assigned to either the character or Monster. Each wound was rolled for; on a 1-4 hit the Monster and 5-6 hit the rider.
2) Seperate VP's for the rider and monster (not sure how you deal with this when they can't be split)
3) +1 rank when in combat
4) If a cannon hits a monstrous target it stops dead (i.e. can only hit that unit)


If I did what you just did, it'd look very similar:
1 - If a cannon-ball hits a ridden monster, roll a D6: On a 1-5 you hit the Monster, on a 6 you hit the rider.
2 - All Monsters and Chariots count as having 1 rank in close-combat (five rnf-troops being steadfast against a dragon that just killed 20 of their buddies is not ok..)
3 - If the Monster is killed, or the rider is hit, then the bounce is continued. If the Monster isn't killed, however, the cannon-ball stops.

The bit about counting separate vp's is a matter of taste I suppose. I wouldn't bother with it personally.
It's cool that you playtestd it though. I'm not having a go here, I think it's pretty plain that the way you have it figured works just as well!

Lord Inquisitor
19-08-2012, 22:55
Some older replies I'm only now getting back to:


Lord Inquisitor: I'd written a big answer yesterday, but it was counterproductive so I deleted it.
I did read it, so I appreciate your consideration in deleting it. In fairness, I meant no attack on you, I meant only to point out a strawman argument, so I apologise for that.


To sum up and focus on the parts that are worth replying to, I completely disagree that complaining that turning monsters into glorified sorcerer protections is OT, and that's not how I want to see monsters become viable. Ignoring obvious defects in a rule suggestion gets a big red no stamp from me, always. There's fixing, and then there's making a mess of stuff. Mixed profiles only benefit those monsters whose rider taut a ward save, all the others will still die to two or three cannons, and that would mess melee atrociously. So monsters would just replace flying carpets and stuff for making more resilient purple sun flankers (with the additionnal bonus your caster would actually become something like a greater demon in melee, as you pointed out yourself.), and, well, this idea is bad.
Firstly, you do have a point. With the addition of monstrous mounts, wizards get combat ability. Combat lords get... more combat ability. Still, this is just an exacerbation of the existing problem. Wizard lords are much more valuable than combat lords. But there are many reasons and possible solutions. For example, the Standard of Discipline and an ill-advised FAQ means for a paltry 15 points means you can turn your wizard lord (e.g. slaughtermaster, elf wizard, etc) into a lord level Ld bubble. However regarding monsters, most really nasty monsters are only available to combat lord choices anyway. This can easily be resolved at the army list entry with correct pointing and list structure.

As for combat repercussions, that's far from a bad thing. This is the other half of the problem! Why would you take an empire Lord on a griffon! A lord on a pegasus is more valuable than a lord on a griffon, because the griffon is pretty easy to kill out from under him. MC mounts are better than monsters for more reasons than just because they're more able to take cannonballs.


2) I don't know if it's still the case, but when I was playing 40K (I think that was two editions ago, it's the edition where Tau were introduced), there was a rule that meant that if a tank had moved fast for that turn, it was very hard to hit (or damage, don't remember). Monsters with the flying or fast rules should benefit from a rule like that, if they've marched or flew full distance, they should have a "moving fast" ward.
Well, to be honest, for a change, I hope GW will get some inspiration from 40K with the new flyers for a way to handle monsters in 9th ed, make flying monsters actual flyers instead of "hoppers", add AA stuff to lists, etc.
There used to be an extra -1 for moving fast in the game as I recall. Of course that means nothing if cannons and stone throwers don't use BS.


Sure, adding a mechanic to cannons that made them 'scatter' D3" to either side is an idea I've seen brought up Before that would make hitting lots of monsters a lot harder, and above all it would virtually make character-sniping impossible.
... but then COSTs would have to be recalibrated.
This just overcomplicates cannons further. There's already a system designed to incorporate firer's skill with all sorts of modifiers. It's called Ballistic Skill. Cannons made sense back when the player actively guessed the range, the artillery dice gave a bit of randomness to the player's skill. Now the player's skill is removed, it should be replaced (like every missile weapon) with the firing model's skill. I.e. ballistic skill.

However, this is a thread about monsters. The cannon rules need a re-write. They are, like the ridden monster rules, an anachronism based on older editions. But cannons are not all that's wrong with ridden monsters.


Cannons really are a distraction here, a red herring. To an experienced gamer, typical to Warseer, guessing distances is also an irrelevance

The two rules that have really made the difference are both rider and mount being hit and TLOS. The latter can be solved easily with some common sense and a quick chat with your opponent. The former is the rule that, if anything needs changing, should get changed.
Step up and fight in ranks makes a huge difference too. It isn't just about whether a monster makes it to combat. Unlike what several posters have said, a ridden monster that hits the enemy is not a one-monster army able to kill everything. A horde of great weapon troops will chop up a ridden monster very quickly, unlike in 7th. Another area that fails particularly for the new large-base models is the ability for troops to strike the rider or the mount at will. For comparison, a vampire on a horse can only be attacked by 3 enemy, 9 counting two supports each in a horde. For a zombie dragon-rider, that goes up to 21. Never mind the added vulnerability in multiple-combats. The vampire lord sticks his neck out a whole lot more than just vulnerability to cannons.

yabbadabba
19-08-2012, 23:16
Step up and fight in ranks makes a huge difference too. It isn't just about whether a monster makes it to combat. Unlike what several posters have said, a ridden monster that hits the enemy is not a one-monster army able to kill everything. A horde of great weapon troops will chop up a ridden monster very quickly, unlike in 7th. And a good thing too. Step up is a big impact for everyone though, not specifically monsters but what has made the difference is step up giving particularly rank and file infantry a threat to the front.

Another area that fails particularly for the new large-base models is the ability for troops to strike the rider or the mount at will. For comparison, a vampire on a horse can only be attacked by 3 enemy, 9 counting two supports each in a horde. For a zombie dragon-rider, that goes up to 21. Never mind the added vulnerability in multiple-combats. The vampire lord sticks his neck out a whole lot more than just vulnerability to cannons. On a horde. Answer - don't front attack a horde.

logan054
20-08-2012, 00:02
I find that if you want to take a character on monster at the moment, their best use is as a support unit, and they are extremely effective at this. The sheer amount of damage they can dish out on the flank, rear or even hunting on their own means that, if your opponent isn't also equipped, you can make a real mess of his attack. This extends to Transformation of Kadon - getting this in a flank attack can ruin someone's day, especially if they have decided to sink their points into one or two mega units.

While its very true they make a excellent support unit the problem is getting the rest of you army in position if you have cannons to worry about, I still think someone must be wrong if so few armies have cannons I am still more likely to encounter a cannon than a dragon, I know one person who uses one, and he hasn't played against a empire or dwarf army, still makes me giggle killing his dragon lord twice with a exalted on a jugger in a challenge twice :D I still think a MC type system works very well for dragons, hell all mounts. I don't think it something that is abusive but it does open up a lot of interesting choices, I would actually consider a hero on a chariot (and I would love to make a Chariot pulled by a pair of juggers!).

I dunno, it would be nice if once when you see someone posting something like "hey I want to use a hero on a daemonic steed" or "I want to use a shaggoth" the first answer wasn't "well if you take it, it will just be cannon bait" I think that really sums up cannons, people will swear bind its fine, the fact is it takes a lot more skill to get something like a dragon across the board than to take it down.

Lord Inquisitor
20-08-2012, 02:03
And a good thing too. Step up is a big impact for everyone though, not specifically monsters but what has made the difference is step up giving particularly rank and file infantry a threat to the front.
I agree it's a good thing - just it is important to realise it has had a negative impact on ridden monsters perhaps more than most because the enemy can freely allocate against the (relatively squishy) components when coupled with the big base size. The reform in combat and steadfast rules also make it hard on monsters.


On a horde. Answer - don't front attack a horde.
Indeed. Sorry what am I paying 600 points for again? This isn't a 200 point giant we're talking about here. Why am I blowing a quarter of my points on a unit that can't hold its weight against infantry half the cost? I can get a support unit/war machine hunter in the form of a pegasus captain for a fraction of the cost - and oh look, doesn't take double hits from war machines, the whole model benefits from armour/ward, etc.

The point however was that in 7th you could kill off on the charge the front rank and prevent the squishy character on top taking too many hits. Now you can't. The relative danger for a character is higher on a monster because of the larger base. Sit on a horse, 9 people attack, sit on a dragon 21 attack. How's that again? It doesn't make sense and it is counter-intuitive that the attackers can somehow all reach past the big scary monster to hit the rider.

The ridden monster rules are just deficient. They aren't helped by some other rules that no longer make sense. Challenges hurt them (What do you mean I can't refuse a challenge - it should be "Sorry, I can't hear your challenge over the sound of my AWESOME DRAGON, I'm going to eat your regiment now"), and cannon mechanics as they are no longer have a place in the rules. It's like a tour of 8th edition mechanics that needed updating and didn't get it. Challenges, war machines and ridden monsters. But the ridden monster rules are just weird by themselves. Why is a hunter on a stonehorn two components but a regular ogre + stonehorn is one model? There's a distinction there that doesn't make sense. We've got used to chariots being single split profile models. We've got used to ridden monsters like thundertusks and warsphynx being split profile units - doesn't the stegadon seem weird now? We've got used to monstrous cavalry type mounts like pegasi becoming split profile units combined with characters. Really, the writing is on the wall for ridden monsters to become split profile units, it makes so much sense with hindsight it seems odd they didn't do that in 8th. Ah well we'll see how it goes in 9th. ;)

(This reminds me of a discussion on Warseer about a year before 8th - I was arguing that all units should fight in 3 ranks and get casualties taken from the back. Gosh, it would break the game and the game was just fine then. :p)

Urgat
20-08-2012, 06:56
Why is a hunter on a stonehorn two components but a regular ogre + stonehorn is one model? There's a distinction there that doesn't make sense. We've got used to chariots being single split profile models. We've got used to ridden monsters like thundertusks and warsphynx being split profile units - doesn't the stegadon seem weird now? We've got used to monstrous cavalry type mounts like pegasi becoming split profile units combined with characters. Really, the writing is on the wall for ridden monsters to become split profile units, it makes so much sense with hindsight it seems odd they didn't do that in 8th. Ah well we'll see how it goes in 9th. ;)
You miss the fact that all those examples are split profiles, not combined profiles. It is unfortunate, but my wolf chariots still only have 3 wounds, not up to 10 (when "uncombined" before 6th ed, it could have up to 6 - with the same drawback as ridden characters, excepted it applied to the pulling beasts instead of the rider. I don't remember how the people riding the chariot worked, so I assumle they were treated as they are now). You don't actually want the 3 wounds lost of the ogre on stonehorn mechanic translated on characters, so let's be careful with what we say there.


(This reminds me of a discussion on Warseer about a year before 8th - I was arguing that all units should fight in 3 ranks and get casualties taken from the back. Gosh, it would break the game and the game was just fine then. :p)
Mmh. I don't remember a single game when someone or another has not complained at the lunacy of front ranks being wiped out with no way to retaliate when the second rank is just right there picking its nose, and I can't count the number of people displease with 7th ed altogether, so that's hardly accurate I suspect :p

Lord Inquisitor
20-08-2012, 22:34
You miss the fact that all those examples are split profiles, not combined profiles. It is unfortunate, but my wolf chariots still only have 3 wounds, not up to 10 (when "uncombined" before 6th ed, it could have up to 6 - with the same drawback as ridden characters, excepted it applied to the pulling beasts instead of the rider. I don't remember how the people riding the chariot worked, so I assumle they were treated as they are now). You don't actually want the 3 wounds lost of the ogre on stonehorn mechanic translated on characters, so let's be careful with what we say there.
What's the difference?


Characters on regular mounts have always been split profile units.
In 6th ed the chariots and the like became split profile units rather than individual components
In 8th ed characters on monstrous mounts became split profile units rather than individual components
Between 7th and 8th ed non-character ridden monsters went from individual components (e.g. stegadon) to proper split profile units (e.g. warspynx or thundertusk).
War Machine crews used to be independent (and if their machine died, they could crew a new machine!). This changed in 6th (I think) and crew became permanently part of their own machine. 8th ed War Machines became split profile units rather than individual components.

I don't see any real difference between them, it's all just conglomerating units to the point where each model has only one toughness value (well, two in the case of war machines, but only one is used at any given time), one set of wounds and simplifies the units considerably. Ridden monsters stick out like a sore thumb as the last bastion of two models on one base, the last case where wounds are tracked separately and you'd need a foot mounted model in case the mount dies. Times change, the direction the game is moving in is very clear ... we just need ridden monsters to move with the times. :)


Mmh. I don't remember a single game when someone or another has not complained at the lunacy of front ranks being wiped out with no way to retaliate when the second rank is just right there picking its nose, and I can't count the number of people displease with 7th ed altogether, so that's hardly accurate I suspect :p
LOL well, it being a Warseer thread I can show you. Here's (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?243171-Do-we-really-need-static-combat-resolution) the thread (note that there were several refinements to the idea throughout the thread). After 8th came out I did have a bit of a retrospective on the thread here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?243171-Do-we-really-need-static-combat-resolution&p=4753592&viewfull=1#post4753592) and I picked out some of the interesting replies to the thread in that summary. I didn't predict everything, missing Steadfast and fighting in Initiative were important pieces I didn't see coming. You can look to the thread if you're interested, but one of my favourite quotes were right from the first page:

Not to mention the logistics. Say a 30 strong unit of free company generating 60 attacks! I don't have that many dice.
Important note: I'm not saying "therefore I am always right" or anything silly like that. No bearing on this thread - this thread just reminded me of that one, that's all, I saw a lot of people saying the 7th ed mechanics were just fine:

It's fine as it is.
... But once 8th came out people were suddenly good with the program. :p

Here's my prediction anyway. Ridden monsters/chariots will become split profile units like characters on MC mounts. I also predict a change to the cannon mechanics in 9th, possibly a move to a BS based system. See you here in two years?

yabbadabba
20-08-2012, 23:13
While its very true they make a excellent support unit the problem is getting the rest of you army in position if you have cannons to worry about, I still think someone must be wrong if so few armies have cannons I am still more likely to encounter a cannon than a dragon, That seems an issue with where you play.

I dunno, it would be nice if once when you see someone posting something like "hey I want to use a hero on a daemonic steed" or "I want to use a shaggoth" the first answer wasn't "well if you take it, it will just be cannon bait" I think that really sums up cannons, people will swear bind its fine, the fact is it takes a lot more skill to get something like a dragon across the board than to take it down. Its the internet. Its like urban myth, about 10% of the advice you read has some truth the rest is just fantasy or repeated misinformation.

yabbadabba
20-08-2012, 23:30
Indeed. Sorry what am I paying 600 points for again? This isn't a 200 point giant we're talking about here. Why am I blowing a quarter of my points on a unit that can't hold its weight against infantry half the cost? I can get a support unit/war machine hunter in the form of a pegasus captain for a fraction of the cost - and oh look, doesn't take double hits from war machines, the whole model benefits from armour/ward, etc. Isn't that the whole point of the game? Asking yourself what is going to work well together? If you haven't got a pegasus type monster, how can you use your dragon?

It took me 6 turns of cannon fire to kill an Arachnarok the other day. With 2 cannon. This is where this theory falls down.

The arguments mostly focus on the old worry about house rules; some rules have changed, it has created a perceived imbalance, so lets change some more rules. Why don't we focus on the rules that have changed. The idea that the cannon has become a laser guided missile of instant death is just untrue. The Empire one got more expensive for doing the same job as it did before. We have to recgnise that GW have changed rules to make the game better (step up, steadfast) and fit a design ethos (TLOS, cannon=template). Its the latter that often jars, especially when all you do is play people who just maximise on the stuff they think is fruity.

My Halberdier hordes have generally come off worse vs Orc 25 man units. Theory doesn't support this. Its just the way it is.

Cannons really are a red herring. This game is far more about synergy than 6/7e were because there are so few units that can operate comfortably on their own. Everyone needs support. The piecemeal approach to WFB just isn't going to work anymore. Gamers have to be far more flexible as are their lists. If you can't make a 600pt monster and rider work in 2500pts then don't take it. If you want to take it then you are going have to learn to get the best out of it, like the rest of your army.

logan054
20-08-2012, 23:31
That seems an issue with where you play.

So you see bucket loads of dragons then?


Its the internet. Its like urban myth, about 10% of the advice you read has some truth the rest is just fantasy or repeated misinformation.

I still use my shaggoth, I have 2! I do appreciate that it will get shot by every cannon on the table every game I play against them, it isn't a myth, its "look, it big, kill it" hmm, maybe people know its going to eat the lvl4 wizard hiding the corner, who knows...

yabbadabba
20-08-2012, 23:35
So you see bucket loads of dragons then? You have described your playing environment - this does not project across the globe. And yes I see Wyverns, Dragons, Pegasi, Griffons and many others in the games I play - as an Empire player I often don't have what it takes to deal with them effectively and they make it into combat quite alot. But that's just where I play.

I still use my shaggoth, I have 2! I do appreciate that it will get shot by every cannon on the table every game I play against them, it isn't a myth, its "look, it big, kill it" hmm, maybe people know its going to eat the lvl4 wizard hiding the corner, who knows... So we leave the big gribbly alone because it doesn't like to be shot at?

Lord Inquisitor
20-08-2012, 23:58
Isn't that the whole point of the game? Asking yourself what is going to work well together? If you haven't got a pegasus type monster, how can you use your dragon?
Sadly, if we're talking about effectiveness, the best place for a ridden monster is on the shelf.

I might add I quite like taking "underdog" units and trying to make them work. I'm currently running a daemon list with a daemon prince. Internet logic dictates daemons princes are rubbish! Well I can tell you after several weeks of playing with one... They're right. It sucks. You can build a list that works if you play it very competitively, but it'll be an uphill struggle.

Unfortunately ridden monsters just aren't taken because they don't work well. If you set your mind to it you can use one if you really want to, indeed like all rarely-seen models you do get the tiny metagame advantage that it can take people offguard. But that's about all you can say for them. And when such cool models stay on the shelf - well that's a shame.


It took me 6 turns of cannon fire to kill an Arachnarok the other day. With 2 cannon. This is where this theory falls down.
Not at all, one example of a monster being successful because of extreme bad luck and, excluding intervening MI or walls, this is quite astonishingly unlikely, the odds are somewhat tricky to work out but the average wounds for 5 turns of double cannon fire against an arachnarok spider is 19 wounds. I assume the arachranok didn't have a rider either.

It is important to realise that probability theory can only give you the odds and that unlikely events can still happen. Likewise it is important to realise that one unlikely event does not invalidate the probabilities. Odds are you could play that arachranok spider a great many times without it happening again.


My Halberdier hordes have generally come off worse vs Orc 25 man units. Theory doesn't support this. Its just the way it is.
I ran the numbers a while ago when Empire came out. Orc units are better, point for point, than Halberdiers. If you're interested I can try and dig out the post where I did the stats.


Cannons really are a red herring. This game is far more about synergy than 6/7e were because there are so few units that can operate comfortably on their own. Everyone needs support. The piecemeal approach to WFB just isn't going to work anymore. Gamers have to be far more flexible as are their lists. If you can't make a 600pt monster and rider work in 2500pts then don't take it. If you want to take it then you are going have to learn to get the best out of it, like the rest of your army.
Odd, I find there's many units that can operate quite comfortably on their own. Indeed, I would have said things have progressed more in this direction. I know we play in different ways and different environments, but most of the time I find you're trying to make your line units operate if necessary without support.

Gradek
21-08-2012, 00:23
So you see bucket loads of dragons then?

But you make the false conclusion that cannons must be the reason we don't see dragons. The real reason is that they are a point sink and under the new rules system (step up, strike on I, steadfast), they are never going to be "worth" their points when compared to spending those points on another unit. Sure, I can put a chaos lord on a chaos dragon for about 600 points, but for those same 600 points, I could get a block of 14 chaos knights+FC that will perform far better. Simply put, the game has changed and monsterhammer isn't in the cards right now cannons or no cannons.

Doommasters
21-08-2012, 00:40
But you make the false conclusion that cannons must be the reason we don't see dragons. The real reason is that they are a point sink and under the new rules system (step up, strike on I, steadfast), they are never going to be "worth" their points when compared to spending those points on another unit. Sure, I can put a chaos lord on a chaos dragon for about 600 points, but for those same 600 points, I could get a block of 14 chaos knights+FC that will perform far better. Simply put, the game has changed and monsterhammer isn't in the cards right now cannons or no cannons.

So how would you fix it if you could? What would make ridden monsters more attractive to the player?


83% of people so far think ridden monsters are not particularly good value and I think it is clear one of the main reasons is cannons being able to hit both the rider and monster 'potentially' deleting them in one shot (regardless of what anyone says it clearly is an issue for the 'majority' of the community).

Lets try move away from cannons as being the biggest issue as the arguments will start to go round and round and round. Lets take the time to talk about 'non cannon' related issues?


What are the biggest issues around investing in a 500-700 point lord on a ridden monster outside of being one shotted by a cannon?

Lord Inquisitor
21-08-2012, 00:56
But you make the false conclusion that cannons must be the reason we don't see dragons. The real reason is that they are a point sink and under the new rules system (step up, strike on I, steadfast), they are never going to be "worth" their points when compared to spending those points on another unit. Sure, I can put a chaos lord on a chaos dragon for about 600 points, but for those same 600 points, I could get a block of 14 chaos knights+FC that will perform far better. Simply put, the game has changed and monsterhammer isn't in the cards right now cannons or no cannons.Gradek, I agree with you in broad terms. Cannons are not the only problem with ridden monsters, although I disagree that the cannon rules are fine (there are many things wrong with the cannon rules, most irrelevant for the purposes of this thread). So would you agree it is time GW updated the rules for Characters on Monsters?

CreativeNameToStandOut
21-08-2012, 01:02
I think they are only balanced in extremely large games otherwise they are hard to justify in 3000 and under games. I think cannons are fine though. I guess the best way is to randomize the hit rather than both get hit. I do think that all large targets without the regeneration rule should get an extra 2 wounds since a majority of monsters don't have armour and its not too hard to take those wounds away from them even without cannons when we factor in mass attacks, armor piercing, poison, magic, etc...

Gradek
21-08-2012, 01:48
Gradek, I agree with you in broad terms. Cannons are not the only problem with ridden monsters, although I disagree that the cannon rules are fine (there are many things wrong with the cannon rules, most irrelevant for the purposes of this thread). So would you agree it is time GW updated the rules for Characters on Monsters?

I am not sure it is the rules per se (although more effective terror would go a long way) , but monsters in general are likely over costed for what they can actually do in most games. Somewhat lower costed monsters (the imperial griffon is especially too much) coupled with not counting ridden monsters points in the lord allowance would go a long way.

Lord Inquisitor
21-08-2012, 02:01
Well, for the sake of the argument, let's assume we have a new 25% limit for ridden monsters distinct from Lords. How cheap would a zombie dragon have to be before players would actually take one? It's a serious question. Relative to a unit of black knights, for example, you can get 10 black knights (ish) for the cost of a zombie dragon. They give similar sort of damage output (certainly on the charge), they protect him from cannons, combat res and so on, and don't increase the number of enemy able to attack the character. How cheap do you make the dragon?

Gradek
21-08-2012, 02:11
Well, for the sake of the argument, let's assume we have a new 25% limit for ridden monsters distinct from Lords. How cheap would a zombie dragon have to be before players would actually take one? It's a serious question. Relative to a unit of black knights, for example, you can get 10 black knights (ish) for the cost of a zombie dragon. They give similar sort of damage output (certainly on the charge), they protect him from cannons, combat res and so on, and don't increase the number of enemy able to attack the character. How cheap do you make the dragon?

You are arguing semantic here. Whether we make monsters cheaper or make them better for the same points accomplishes the same thing (ie more playable monsters). I would argue for cheaper, as better can lead to abuse and mistakes more easily. For your zombie dragon, I would say around 200 would work ( it's not a bad monster already). Something like the empire griffon should probably be roughly 125 base tops.

Lord Inquisitor
21-08-2012, 02:35
Well the point here is that for some armies like VC, you have to drop the zombie dragon down quite dramatically. The vulnerability of the ever-so-important general on a monster is such that the risks are pretty hefty against the benefits granted by a zombie dragon even if the zombie dragon cost 0 points. I wouldn't take one at 200 points either. I think a good question to VC players would be "if the zombie dragon cost 0 points, would you take one as standard in a competitive list?" I'm not sure competitive players would actually say "yes". But certainly around that level I'm thinking I might risk a zombie dragon, but not for much more than that. (Unless the game size is such that I could take a second vampire lord, at which point it does become a no-brainer as I could mount a non-general VC lord on there).

Thing is, a zombie dragon ought to be a sizable points investment. Reducing points could work, but they need to be reduced a lot. The griffon got substantially cheaper and got a buff to its stats, still no one takes it. You're going to have to reduce its points a whole lot more to make them attractive. And it feels weird if ridden monsters are so much cheaper than unridden ones (or split profile ones like stonehorn). Should a Stonehorn be cheaper as a mount for a Hunter?

There are mechanical issues within the rules that are making ridden monsters so much less attractive than the sum of their parts. Reducing points can work, surely, but really its a bit of a kludge when the root cause of the problem is that the ridden monster rules are outdated in comparison with the rest of the rules.

Doommasters
21-08-2012, 02:58
Well, for the sake of the argument, let's assume we have a new 25% limit for ridden monsters distinct from Lords. How cheap would a zombie dragon have to be before players would actually take one? It's a serious question. Relative to a unit of black knights, for example, you can get 10 black knights (ish) for the cost of a zombie dragon. They give similar sort of damage output (certainly on the charge), they protect him from cannons, combat res and so on, and don't increase the number of enemy able to attack the character. How cheap do you make the dragon?

I don't care if the Zombie Dragon is only 200pts there is no way I am putting a 400pt lord on top of a dragon making my general easier to kill. I simply don't think reducing the points is the right answer, its the same reason you don't put your general on a chariot or throne.......it really is silly that investing two three hundred points makes your priced possesion even more vulnerable but it just seems that is the case. No problem with the Dragon getting blown apart at all thats fine its only a monster, but when you can lose you general at the same time with no additinal effort that is where I start to draw the line.

When you are talking 650pts or more for a unit you expect it to be worth 1/4 of your army in value. Also when you spend 250pts on a monstrous mount I expect him to be even hard to kill (basically a horse in a unit is 1000X more benefical (sad panda). In a unit you get ranks and only spells and shooting attacks with sniper like rules can effecively single him/her out. On a dragon you get no ranks and you are a sitting duck and unless you are a vampire lord with all the bells and whistles you basically need the crown of command otherwise CR is going to make it very difficult to evry win a combat.

Basically you pay all those points to make it easier for your opponent to kill your general and you automatically become a support unit or warmachine hunter. You don't pay 700pts for a chaos lord on dragon to be hiding the whole game waiting to support a unit of slow warriors.....it just seems silly if you ask me. No I don't want this combo to run freely around the map crushing anything and everything in its path, but at the momment the rules are not even close to being balanced.

The only reason people think a dragon rdier is viable in high points games is becase when you lose him turn 1-2 you don't automatically use the game.....this is poor logic and fails to identify the issues becuase at higher points game the chance of you dragon rider doing anything is often less.

With the exception of HE and WE being able to give their dragons a decent save and HE dragons having 7 wounds there really is no hope for others without a rules change.

Agree with lord Inquisitor 100% it is not about points cost it is about mechanics.

Ghremdal
21-08-2012, 14:07
As of the last 15ish games, I have been using my warboss general on a wyvern (2500 point games). I found him to work very well and is worth the points, but I think its due to these factors.

- the games are in a noncompetitive setting between friends. While we try to win, we do not use over the top cheesy builds.
- he has not faced a significant cannon threat. Only one game I played had a cannon in it, and the player chose to shoot at the arachnarok.
- there were games with multiple stone throwers (including vs 3 dwarf grudge throwers). The wyvern died first turn on that one, but the general was unscathed.
- 18" ld bubble is huge for orcs, having that only makes having a wyvern worthwhile.
- I can take off champions with brain bursta.
- it is a big threat to ranked up infantry if they ever enter a forest or a river
- we play with lots of terrain, you can usually hide first turn
- has a small base (for monsters)
- relative low cost
- can fit a lvl 4 mage in the points allowance
- fear/terror do sometimes work
- waaaagh can help with combat res
- is fun to play

While the wyvern warboss works for me, he has not faced a significant cannon threat (dual or triple cannons), and I don't believe he would do well against those. Other then that however he works very well, and I feel he is worth the points. So I think its more of a cannon issue then the rules governing monsters.

Gradek
21-08-2012, 14:22
When you are talking 650pts or more for a unit you expect it to be worth 1/4 of your army in value. Also when you spend 250pts on a monstrous mount I expect him to be even hard to kill (basically a horse in a unit is 1000X more benefical (sad panda).


Here's the problem. If you make that monster mounted character equivalent in power to the same points in troops you are right back to herohammer. Now, maybe that is what game you and Lord Inquisitor like to play, but I (and many others) like the 8th edition changes and enjoy games that revolve much more on troops and strategy rather than a couple of monsters/characters.

theunwantedbeing
21-08-2012, 15:42
Here's the problem. If you make that monster mounted character equivalent in power to the same points in troops you are right back to herohammer. Now, maybe that is what game you and Lord Inquisitor like to play, but I (and many others) like the 8th edition changes and enjoy games that revolve much more on troops and strategy rather than a couple of monsters/characters.

I don't think you really get that there is a middle ground between "rubbish" and "far too good".

DaemonReign
21-08-2012, 16:00
I don't think you really get that there is a middle ground between "rubbish" and "far too good".

Well of course there is, and Ridden Monsters are neither of those two extremes.
Do away with the ping-pong cannon-balls and that's it.
Or keep the ping-ponging and increase the game-size just a Little.
Very few single model units are going to fare particularly well against an opponant overloading on cannons anyway.

Urgat
21-08-2012, 17:37
Here's my prediction anyway. Ridden monsters/chariots will become split profile units like characters on MC mounts. I also predict a change to the cannon mechanics in 9th, possibly a move to a BS based system. See you here in two years?

Possible, though surely you can't believe that if they've done it for heroes, they haven't considered it for lords too this edition and finally decided against? But if it does happen, I expect a severe nerf regarding ward saves availability and stuff like that ;). Not too convinced for cannons though, honestly :p

Lord Inquisitor
21-08-2012, 17:43
Here's the problem. If you make that monster mounted character equivalent in power to the same points in troops you are right back to herohammer. Now, maybe that is what game you and Lord Inquisitor like to play, but I (and many others) like the 8th edition changes and enjoy games that revolve much more on troops and strategy rather than a couple of monsters/characters.

There can be no middle ground?

I'd like ridden monsters to be good enough to be taken even in competitive lists (plus a dragon should really engender the response "holy crap a dragon!")
I don't want ridden monsters to be so good they're a no-brainer or without risk

Essentially the rules need to be tweaked so we see a respectable number of ridden monsters, without overdoing things so you see one in every list. Changing cannons so they hit rider or mount I doubt would be enough to actually encourage ridden monsters enough. I still wouldn't take a zombie dragon. But it wouldn't hurt that's for sure!


Possible, though surely you can't believe that if they've done it for heroes, they haven't considered it for lords too this edition and finally decided against? But if it does happen, I expect a severe nerf regarding ward saves availability and stuff like that ;). Not too convinced for cannons though, honestly :p
Perhaps indeed they did. Maybe an edition of no ridden monsters or chariots will make them reconsider? ;) But I'm not sure you'd need a serious nerf to ward saves, f you compare a dragonlord using my suggestions (armour and ward of the rider, toughness and wounds of the dragon) what you get is something very similar in stats, toughness and points to a tooled-up bloodthirster. I don't think bloodthirsters are overpowered these days and certainly cannons are a threat to greater daemons but it is still a unit that's viable if you want to use it. That's the sort of thing I think the rules should aim for - good, viable if you want one, not a no-brainer either.

I don't know if cannons will change either but I think that's got more to do with how much errata they're willing to do in the books. It seems GW often get "trapped" in certain game mechanics that end up not making sense because of previous editions. If they re-did cannons completely, they'd have to errata most books with access to cannons.

My favourite example is this: Space Marine Terminators are bulky and can't move that fast.
2nd edition: cannot Run (i.e. move faster in the movement phase) but fight in combat normally
3rd edition: no more run mechanic, so instead Terminators can't sweeping advance (and move 2D6 forward after an assault).
4th edition: sweeping advance is changed to a contested dice roll, but no actual movement. Termiantors can't sweeping advance still.
5th edition: Run reintroduced. Terminators can't sweeping advance.

So here we are in 6th edition, and Terminators, which by the fluff and original rule design shouldn't be able to run are able to run, but can't cut down enemies in combat? Somehow I doubt that if they were redesigning terminator armour without the holdovers from previous editions, they'd really use "no sweeping advances" as a mechanic.

I hope they'll re-do cannons properly from the ground up and make them work, but we'll see whether that happens or whether we'll be left with archaic rules mechanisms that don't make sense any more...

yabbadabba
21-08-2012, 17:55
Essentially the rules need to be tweaked so we see a respectable number of ridden monsters, without overdoing things so you see one in every list. Changing cannons so they hit rider or mount I doubt would be enough to actually encourage ridden monsters enough. I still wouldn't take a zombie dragon. But it wouldn't hurt that's for sure! I think you would see a lot more if it was combined with more TLOS blocking terrain.After all its going to take some doing to cover every angle of a table with a cannon if there are TLOS blockers on there.

Lord Inquisitor
21-08-2012, 18:03
I think you would see a lot more if it was combined with more TLOS blocking terrain.After all its going to take some doing to cover every angle of a table with a cannon if there are TLOS blockers on there.

Or a return to more abstract lines of sight, but that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. Perhaps we can hope for a return to some form of area terrain rules that make sense as I've never seen a wood on a table that actually blocked line of sight.

A major solution to the irrelevance of terrain for shooting is to make war machines BS weapons in some fashion, that way taking cover behind woods is valuable but not a 100% defence. This appeals to me as I don't like the binary nature of terrain to cannons. Surely firing a cannon through a wood should be in some fashion less effective than firing over clear terrain?

Not that I disagree - I like to use big terrain myself. I'm a big fan and I think this edition really needs it, but the monsters keep getting bigger and I don't have any hills that are big enough to block LOS nor do I see such terrain being used at clubs or tournaments.

yabbadabba
21-08-2012, 18:13
Or a return to more abstract lines of sight, but that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. Perhaps we can hope for a return to some form of area terrain rules that make sense as I've never seen a wood on a table that actually blocked line of sight.
A major solution to the irrelevance of terrain for shooting is to make war machines BS weapons in some fashion, that way taking cover behind woods is valuable but not a 100% defence. This appeals to me as I don't like the binary nature of terrain to cannons. Surely firing a cannon through a wood should be in some fashion less effective than firing over clear terrain?
Not that I disagree - I like to use big terrain myself. I'm a big fan and I think this edition really needs it, but the monsters keep getting bigger and I don't have any hills that are big enough to block LOS nor do I see such terrain being used at clubs or tournaments. I think the real problem is that terrain has always been abstract but for some reason there is an almost religious adherence to the rules when it comes to terrain, even though there is no need for it and it won't change the game at all.
If a cannon is firing into a wood at targets it can see, it can still cause quite a lot of damage. Of course this is dependent on distance, force and type of tree. It also becomes an unnecessary complication in the rules.
The easiest thing to do is for everyone to loosen up a bit and just agree "See this round bit of wood with one moth eaten plastic tree? TLOS blocker in height, width and depth." Job done.

Lord Inquisitor
21-08-2012, 18:35
Well, as far as "unnecessary complication" there's already this wonderful system which differentiates between soft cover and hard cover and applies an appropriate penalty. My argument is that the war machine rules are themselves an unnecessary complication when the game has a perfectly good BS system already. A re-write of the mechanics based on a BS roll with additional rules for bounce for cannons and scatter for stone throwers would require a fraction of the rules verbage and be a whole lot more intuitive. But that's a subject for another thread really, beyond the fact that this would make terrain more useful for monsters.

While just adapting the LOS rules is indeed an option both for casual and competitive play, as it happens I'm going to the NOVA tournament in about two weeks that has a more abstract LOS system, it'd be nice if the core rules were more adequate. You tend to get a barrage of "its fine as it is" and "you're trying to make it 7th edition" in response to any such rule.

Gradek
21-08-2012, 18:43
There can be no middle ground?

I'd like ridden monsters to be good enough to be taken even in competitive lists (plus a dragon should really engender the response "holy crap a dragon!")
I don't want ridden monsters to be so good they're a no-brainer or without risk

Essentially the rules need to be tweaked so we see a respectable number of ridden monsters, without overdoing things so you see one in every list. Changing cannons so they hit rider or mount I doubt would be enough to actually encourage ridden monsters enough. I still wouldn't take a zombie dragon. But it wouldn't hurt that's for sure!


First, if a dragon brought forth a "holy crap, a dragon" response in a competitive list, then ALL competitive lists would have them. The very nature of so-called competitive lists is that they all gravitate towards the more powerful units and thus end up being very similar. In the end, I am guessing that monsters a) still sell pretty well and b) are seen in a majority of warhammer games around the globe, just not in your competitive WAAC lists. In other words, I am going to guess and say that competitive gamers make up a heck of a lot less sales for GW than hobbyist gamers and thus the monster rules are fine.

Also, I agree with Fred Flinstone here, that a little common sense (something very few competitive gamers like to employ) regarding TLOS and terrain would fix about 90% of the so-called problem with ridden monsters not being "viable" for competitive gamers. Count a hill (or model one) as an actual hill instead of the roughly 8 foot (to scale) rise that GW sell and the problem disappears.

Asensur
21-08-2012, 18:53
I don't think any change is needed with ridden characters.

Only 3 armies have 'real' access to cannons:
-Empire: where cannons had a huge increase of points
-Ogre Kingdoms: rare unit slot and also a high value in points
-Dwarves

Also, about both parts of the model being hit...
-The character should have a ward save (5+/4+). Opal amulet, for example, is a good cheap item if you are on a flying monster (as the first wound received should be easily the canonball), talisman of preservation or armour of destiny are also good investments.
-The monster is a magnet for canonballs with or without rider. Regeneration helps in some cases. Also, a monster needs to be in combat as soon as posible (a cannon can't declare a target if there is the chance of an engaged unit being hit).

TLOS? just learn that you can't hide a monster that big and use other methods (obstacles, engaged units, other monsters, etc) to avoid being hit.

Yes, lucky and painful shots are there. But they are not that common if you hit fast.

Cannons are there to counter monsters.

Lord Inquisitor
21-08-2012, 19:20
First, if a dragon brought forth a "holy crap, a dragon" response in a competitive list, then ALL competitive lists would have them.
Not necessarily. Greater daemons tend to have that sort of feel - those things are dangerous but not all competitive lists take them. And Greater Daemons are pretty much the only Lord choice available. If there was a foot "herald lord" that you could make a Level 4 you can bet it would see a lot of play.

I didn't mean "holy crap those things are overpowered" just that there's 600 points of angry monster there that should carry 600 points of whoopass with it.


In other words, I am going to guess and say that competitive gamers make up a heck of a lot less sales for GW than hobbyist gamers and thus the monster rules are fine.
Now I might not be the best benchmark for this, but I don't see ridden monsters in casual games either.


Also, I agree with Fred Flinstone here, that a little common sense (something very few competitive gamers like to employ) regarding TLOS and terrain would fix about 90% of the so-called problem with ridden monsters not being "viable" for competitive gamers. Count a hill (or model one) as an actual hill instead of the roughly 8 foot (to scale) rise that GW sell and the problem disappears.
Since I think the problem is with the rules for ridden monsters that doesn't gel with the rest of the game, I disagree, but it would mitigate the problem yes.


Cannons are there to counter monsters.
And they do that. They counter ridden monsters so well people don't take ridden monsters. Yay for cannons!

Agusto
21-08-2012, 19:54
Speaking about metal detectors... (cookie for the one who takes that one) In the debate about ridden monsters being too weak and cannons being too OP, am I the only one who now is having an issue because of the system of rules between WHFB 8th and 40K 6th? For the sake of the argument, let is say that the target is a Bloodthirster. Let us call him... Bob. Bob the Bloodthirster! A big juicy target that exists in both systems and has wings and can fly. When swooping about (we all know that "swooping" is bad, but hey, it is a daemon) doing what Bloodthirsters do and actually using its wings to FLY, in 40K any unit that is not a dedicated anti-air craft gun with the "skyfire" rule only hits Bob on the roll of a "6". A space wolf Long Fang, Gunnar the Grim, with hundreds of years of battle experience shouldering a laser cannon will hit Bob on a 6! In WHFB on the other hand you can have a goblin called Gruka who is in charge of a rickety catapult contraption pretty much made up of tooth-picks, twine and Sigmar knows what else and Gruka will have roughly a one in three (or 5+) to land a boulder between Bob's eyes. And that is with a ******** catapult! If armed with a huge, unwieldy crossbow it is more often a 4+ and if we factor in cannons with engineers or dwarfen runes the hit is more or less guaranteed. I cannot wrap my head around this issue and a pray that something is done in 9th for ridden monsters in general and flying ones in particular. I am not advocating that the old "flying high" rule is returned because it could be ridiculously abused but something really should be done about trebuchets and black powder cannons being able to pick off flyers left and right... perhaps a rule closer to "Deep strike" that would allow our ridden, costly fliers a chance to at least reach the enemy before being challenged by a unit champion and loose the combat resolution because the dragon thinks it is cheating to actually attack anything itself... sorry, getting side tracked thinking about those lovely rules for challenges ;)

Anyway... that was just my thoughts. Long Fangs = 0, Goblins 1 :)

Ghremdal
21-08-2012, 20:35
Aside from cannons, what are the other problems of monstrous mounts?

The 5 man unit being steadfast is one, but that is a general artifact of the rules (and can very much stand to be improved).

Getting tied in combat with champions, well thats also the point of champions (why else buy them?). So the champion's would have to do something new (I also agree with this, maybe something like sgt's/exarchs from 40K). Also overkill should work even if the lord kills the champion before the monster gets to strike, but they should FAQ that.

So what else is wrong, aside from cannons?

Drasanil
21-08-2012, 21:28
The biggest problem with ridden monsters in my opinion is that everything about them is counter-intuitive. Just about everything you think a monster should do and it actually does the opposite. Protect the dude mounted on it? Nope it actually makes him more vulnerable, to both combat and shooting, he'd be safer on a horse or on foot. Break ranks and disrupt enemy formation? Nope. Monsters are big and tough right? Not really, half the time the guy on top is killier or harder or both.

Gradek
21-08-2012, 21:42
I didn't mean "holy crap those things are overpowered" just that there's 600 points of angry monster there that should carry 600 points of whoopass with it.


And here is your problem. A Chaos lord isn't "worth" 200-300 points of troops, nor are most other single model units. THAT IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF THIS EDITION. The troops are center stage, not your ridden monster thing. GW was very clear in the design of this edition that larger units of troops would be the focus. So, no, your ridden monster shouldn't be "worth" the same as a unit of 15 chaos knights or 100 empire halberdiers etc. Ridden monsters are not force multipliers (ie they are no better than their separate parts and sometimes a bit worse). I know you like the idea of your big single model toy destroying someone else's army all by itself, but the game for that isn't Warhammer.

Doommasters
21-08-2012, 21:58
And here is your problem. A Chaos lord isn't "worth" 200-300 points of troops, nor are most other single model units. THAT IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF THIS EDITION. The troops are center stage, not your ridden monster thing. GW was very clear in the design of this edition that larger units of troops would be the focus. So, no, your ridden monster shouldn't be "worth" the same as a unit of 15 chaos knights or 100 empire halberdiers etc. Ridden monsters are not force multipliers (ie they are no better than their separate parts and sometimes a bit worse). I know you like the idea of your big single model toy destroying someone else's army all by itself, but the game for that isn't Warhammer.

Dude you are taking it the wrong way, being worth 600pts does not mean it has to kill 600pts of units in a game by itself.

Gradek
21-08-2012, 22:54
Dude you are taking it the wrong way, being worth 600pts does not mean it has to kill 600pts of units in a game by itself.

I never said they had to kill 600 points worth, I said they are never going to be "worth" 600 points (ie worth the same as 15 chaos knights or 100 halberdiers). *th edition revolves around larger units, not single model units and thus those 600 point multi-model large units are going to be better. It is part of the game design (ie intentional), and IMHO a great thing for the game of warhammer.

Drasanil
21-08-2012, 23:10
I never said they had to kill 600 points worth, I said they are never going to be "worth" 600 points (ie worth the same as 15 chaos knights or 100 halberdiers). *th edition revolves around larger units, not single model units and thus those 600 point multi-model large units are going to be better. It is part of the game design (ie intentional), and IMHO a great thing for the game of warhammer.

So basically you just don't want monsters in the game? Why not just flat out say it instead of arguing it's somehow balanced or fair. Monsters should absolutely be worth every point you pay for them, just like ideally every unit you take, to actively aim for anything else is horrid game design and counter-productive.

The difference is monsters should not fulfill the same role as a massive infantry block or a big unit of knights, they should have a role of their own and a good reason for taking and using them. Note 'Oh shinny' or 'Gradek likes gaming on easy against that dupe who took a monster' don't qualify as good reasons.

yabbadabba
21-08-2012, 23:25
Part of the problem with character and monster costs is that people look at it as a straight quid-pro-quo where they forget all the additional bonuses. Unfortunately its very hard to quantify those.

innerwolf
21-08-2012, 23:35
So basically you just don't want monsters in the game? Why not just flat out say it instead of arguing it's somehow balanced or fair. Monsters should absolutely be worth every point you pay for them, just like ideally every unit you take, to actively aim for anything else is horrid game design and counter-productive.

The difference is monsters should not fulfill the same role as a massive infantry block or a big unit of knights, they should have a role of their own and a good reason for taking and using them. Note 'Oh shinny' or 'Gradek likes gaming on easy against that dupe who took a monster' don't qualify as good reasons.

Just took the words from my mouth. If single model units are intended to not be worth their points, it doesn't make any sense for them to be in the game other than being big and shiny centerpieces. When a unit is worth less than their point cost it's underpowered and few people use it. Having an entire category of models being underpowered is horrible balance and shouldn't be cheered as a "great thing for the game of Warhammer"

Gradek
21-08-2012, 23:38
So basically you just don't want monsters in the game? Why not just flat out say it instead of arguing it's somehow balanced or fair. Monsters should absolutely be worth every point you pay for them, just like ideally every unit you take, to actively aim for anything else is horrid game design and counter-productive.


Nice strawman. Monsters are as balanced as the game designers wanted them for 8th edition (and 8th works great). Second, I would argue that many monsters are balanced as is (while maybe not the WAAC choice, they still perform pretty well in most cases), what doesn't work as well is when you stack a 300 point character on top of a 2-300 point monster and that appears to be intentional game design so as not to go back to herohammer (which wasn't very fun for those of you who are old like me and played from 4th edition on). The fact is monsters are still very good and effective (no one here has proven otherwise outside of the very insignificant tournament lists), they just are not the WAAC optimal choice and some here seem to think they are entitled to that.


Just took the words from my mouth. If single model units are intended to not be worth their points, it doesn't make any sense for them to be in the game other than being big and shiny centerpieces. When a unit is worth less than their point cost it's underpowered and few people use it. Having an entire category of models being underpowered is horrible balance and shouldn't be cheered as a "great thing for the game of Warhammer"

Wrong. As separate units (ie the lord and a separate monster) they are likely worth close to their points, it is just when you combine them they are not as efficient as being separate (ie two good units are better than one superpowered one). Not only is that game design, but it is also reality. Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good tactical idea, nor does it act as a force multiplier which is what you and many other are advocating. The strengths of the units stack (ie attacks), but the weaknesses do too (as they should). In other words balanced.

pointyteeth
21-08-2012, 23:52
Some kind of improvement needs to be done to characters on monsters, but ONLY in the survivability of them. Most armies out there have the tools to deal with a character on a monster, be it war machines or spells. Also, most of the discussion here seems to be about characters on Dragons. Dragons aren't the only large monsters, what about the empire player who wants his lord on a majestic Griffon to inspire his troops with an 18" Inspiring Presence? Or the chaos player who wants a Manticore to carry his Chaos Lord into the fray? These monsters can be taken out even without a cannon. Heck, a high powered fireball and a unit of archers or crossbowmen can make short work of one. Perhaps the key would be an adaptation of the Monstrous Cavalry rule? Counts as a single model but with seperate profiles, uses the highest T of the two and combines the wounds? Chaos Lord on Manticore would be T5 with 7 wounds. Or maybe thats too much the other way?

SimaoSegunda
22-08-2012, 00:02
In some respects, it depends what you want to use your monster-mounted character for. I've had a degree of success with using a relatively cheap Warboss mounted on a Wyvern, but I wouldn't dream of throwing him into combat alone against a fully-ranked enemy. His main benefits are that he can be repositioned easily, can spread his LD over a larger area, and can also destroy small units easily. I know it's not an ideal thing, but the fact is that if I can kill even a 100pt unit, and then keep him alive through the game, it puts me about 400vps to the good, when points-denial is factored in. When I manage to get him into a combined-combat, then he also works really well, either joining from the start, or, even better, charging into a tight combat, where the charging bonus alone can swing the CR. Also, he's cheap enough to let me take an LV4 shaman at 2.4k.

I like fluffy armies, and I like centrepiece models. But I'm lucky that OnG allows me to have such a model without chewing through a stupid number of points. If I was taking a monster-riding Lord that cost more, I wouldn't take the risks.

Drasanil
22-08-2012, 00:13
Nice strawman. Monsters are as balanced as the game designers wanted them for 8th edition (and 8th works great).

The designers didn't want Ogre Butchers to be able to take magic armour, yet they can. Not everything the designers 'want' and translates to actuality. Good try at deflecting though, too bad it doesn't change the fact you sank yourself with your last post.


Second, I would argue that many monsters are balanced as is (while maybe not the WAAC choice, they still perform pretty well in most cases),

You just conceded they weren't in your last post. Not being worth their points is pretty much definition of not being balanced.


what doesn't work as well is when you stack a 300 point character on top of a 2-300 point monster and that appears to be intentional game design so as not to go back to herohammer (which wasn't very fun for those of you who are old like me and played from 4th edition on).

Don't play the Herohammer boogeyman card. It was a completely different game then and designed in a completely different spirit. I could just as easily point at that the really 'unfun' stuff started with 6th which was designed to appeal to the professional tourney gamer and brought about the entrenchment of the WAAC mentality.


The fact is monsters are still very good and effective (no one here has proven otherwise outside of the very insignificant tournament lists),

Once again. You conceded otherwise in your previous post, no one needs to 'prove' what you already acknowledged.


they just are not the WAAC optimal choice and some here seem to think they are entitled to that.

Now that is a strawman and a deliberate misrepresentation. No one is arguing or has argued they should be auto-include WAAC choices. People just don't want to be penalised for taking them, there's a big difference between the two.

theunwantedbeing
22-08-2012, 01:20
And here is your problem. A Chaos lord isn't "worth" 200-300 points


I never said they weren't balanced

:eyebrows::angel:


It is very clear from the rules design that GW intended this edition to be about tactics and troops and not stupid supercharacter builds with rules like steadfast, step up, always wounding/hitting on 6's, separate profiles, etc. I am sorry you don't like warhammer, but many of us do.

Indeed, characters are never the focus!
At least not the cool ones that ride big fantasy monsters into battle, those are aweful...you need to take mages in units and a battle standard bearer but not a fighty character, that would be silly.

Adelie
22-08-2012, 03:16
Then how do you define "worth it" on this monster with a character on it? By how much it kills? You've rejected that criterion. By comparison to 600 points worth of troops? If the monster kills as good as 600 points worth of troops, its overpowered because it has a smaller base area (almost always) is faster, and usually carries a host of additional special rules. But this is supposition. You stated you would like it to keep your lord 'safe' so he can extend his 18" leadership bubble. How safe? You give no objective measure.

Gradek is not alone in thinking that the Monster Rules are just fine in this edition. Gradek is not wrong in thinking that this edition focuses blocks of troops and tactical movements over giant monsters and hero-hammer. And to call it a strawman of herohammer, where we are roughly only two years removed from a dragon rider charging a block of troops, killing the first rank so there is no attack back, and breaking a 40 man unit off the charge, is disingenuous at best.

Lord Solar Plexus
22-08-2012, 05:31
Monsters are excellent, characters are all kinds of shades, and ridden monsters are extremely cool and useful. Whoever fears to take one or multiples is clearly suffering from some kind of deep paranoia or internetz bandwagon syndrome. May I suggest ...? Ah, no, that would only get me into even more trouble than this absurd thread.



Indeed, characters are never the focus!


First you correct Gradek, and then you put words in his mouth? Who's sinking his ship now? With all respect but in my neck of the woods, this behaviour is simply called lying.

Yes, characters are NOT the focus. This is a self-evident fact. They are support, just like these (completely overrated) cannon. Or the monster.


Go back through the thread and learn to read brother, I clearly state that it is not about the combination being able to kill 600pts in combat. Dude I can accept a good argument but you don't make one at all.

And learn to read is simply an overused internet platitude not worthy of any further glance or comment. Please do not talk about arguments when you start out with such a meaningless term. Go read yourself - see what I did there?

Probably not.

Lord Inquisitor
22-08-2012, 06:31
I find the argument that ridden monsters are deliberately less powerful than their points suggest a rather flimsy one. Certainly no one is advocating a return to herohammer. But to deliberately make big kits like griffons poor in the game? This doesn't seem to make financial sense for GW. And making them rare in-game by making them a liability does not make them seem special but rather pathetic.

I, for one, am attracted to Warhammer Fantasy because of the fantasy aspects. If I wanted a game only about infantry cavalry and artillery there are a lot of other games out there that have indeed no monsters at all (discounting perhaps elephants). I can recommend several good historicals to those who do not want to see monsters actually be worth their points, which translates to not wanting to see monsters in the game at all except as a soft option taken for the model/fluff/imagery.

I am very sad to see that iconic elements like ridden dragons practically absent from the game. Which is not to say I wish to see them dominate either. Merely that they should be worth their points and not an unacceptable liability. Gradek has agreed that they could stand to have their points dropped considerably to make them more viable, yet the suggestion of making them worth their points is somehow bad. I do not understand this - providing they are correctly pointed, what difference is there? Except that instead of being still a liability, but a cheap one, a ridden monster centrepiece costs an appropriately large amount and represents a suitably imposing threat.

Ratarsed
22-08-2012, 06:50
Isn't the issue really just one of rock/paper/scissor syndrome. To make my rock worth taking against your paper it makes it stupidly overpowered against your scissors?

The worth of a unit is variable depending both what else you have in your army and what your opponent has in his. Too much emphasis is put on making tournament style all comers lists when it comes to calculating worth. Big ridden monsters need to be expensive. Their potential for dealing out vast amounts of damage is big and they are very difficult to bring down (unless you happen to have a cannon or three. A couple of large terrain pieces for your monster to take cover behind may be the difference between your ridden monster being over-powerd or not woth it. The balance of this game is constantly on a knife edge and it does not take much to swing it one way or the other. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win but when it come to the big powerful centre piece of your army you are always going to notice which way the balance has swung. That is why Ridden monsters have always been a contentious issue when it comes to balancing the game.

Lord Inquisitor
22-08-2012, 07:02
This assumes ridden monsters are overpowered against armies without elements like cannons, and averaged across all 15 armies, about right for their points cost. This has analogies with other units like ethereals. Unfortunately for ridden monsters this is not the case. They are not overpowered against cannonless armies. If there was a payoff to ridden monsters that would be a different matter but ridden monsters are not particularly better than unridden ones and put the rider, typically your general or level 4 at much increased risk for little potential reward even without worrying about cannons.

t-tauri
22-08-2012, 07:34
A number of posts removed. Please read the posting guidelines and follow them.

Ghremdal
22-08-2012, 11:13
If there was a payoff to ridden monsters that would be a different matter but ridden monsters are not particularly better than unridden ones and put the rider, typically your general or level 4 at much increased risk for little potential reward even without worrying about cannons.

Aside from cannons, when using my wyvern I don't really feel threatened by anything (well perhaps infernal gateway), and think that the 18" ld bubble is great for my low ld trolls and NGs. This is also due to the fact that OnG cannot get flying monsters otherwise. But I feel for the price you pay for the wyvern you get a decent (neither overpowered or underpowered) deal.

I can see that other armies might have problems with ridden monsters. If you cannot take a wizard lord as well, or don't benefit much from the increased ld bubble; those are major detractors. Also, as I think happens with the empire, the rider detracts from the attractiveness of the ridden monster (ie better options lie with the archlector then with the general of the empire).

T10
22-08-2012, 13:31
The time to fix ridden monsters was in 8th. They're an anachronism based on outdated editions. I think they need to be brought in line with monstrous cav mounts. I was just saying this the other day in a different thread here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?349354-Most-boring-army-to-play-against&p=6377965&viewfull=1#post6377965).

And even before earlier: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?322816-Combined-wounds-for-riders-on-monster-mounts

For most character/monster combinations the two have fairly similar Toughness, differing by just 0-1 points. But there are exceptions. I seem to recall Tomb Kings can have a T5 character on a T8 mount, and Elves can have a T3 character on a T6 mount. That's a significant leap in survivability!

There is also the issue of armour save being improved: The +1 works great for monsters that don't have any natural armour, yet the Gigantic Spider seems to set a precedent for "armoured" monsters. Add in the character's armour and there's plenty of room for "ironclad" monsters running around with lots of wounds, lots of toughness, high WS and 1+ re-rollable armour saves... Well, that's what cannons are for.

-T10

Gradek
22-08-2012, 14:32
If there was a payoff to ridden monsters that would be a different matter but ridden monsters are not particularly better than unridden ones and put the rider, typically your general or level 4 at much increased risk for little potential reward even without worrying about cannons.

That is the point. Ridden monsters are equal to the sum of their parts, no more, no less (I would argue that the added movement and leadership bubble cancel out the added risk) and hence they are as balanced as their individual components. The problem is that tactically it is almost always going to be better to have two separate powerful independently operating units (ie monster and lord) than one paired up superunit. Ridden monsters are neither weak, nor underpowered, they just aren't as good tactically as having the parts separate.

Ghremdal
22-08-2012, 15:27
That is the point. Ridden monsters are equal to the sum of their parts, no more, no less (I would argue that the added movement and leadership bubble cancel out the added risk) and hence they are as balanced as their individual components. The problem is that tactically it is almost always going to be better to have two separate powerful independently operating units (ie monster and lord) than one paired up superunit. Ridden monsters are neither weak, nor underpowered, they just aren't as good tactically as having the parts separate.

If you can get them as separate entities. I would love to be able to field a solo wyvern, but aside from storm of magic, OnG don't have that option. Thus I feel it is somewhat of a improvement to be able to take it at least as a mount.

DaemonReign
22-08-2012, 16:13
Rock/paper/scissors indeed.

When your super-expensive monster-rider gets clocked by a cannon in turn 1 and bites the dust the set-up is clearly 'underpowered'.
When you run that set-up into the front of a steadfast great-weapon-wielding block of infantry your tactical prowess is 'underpowered'.
When, on the other hand, you manage to get that monster-rider around the flank of your opponant, into the flank of enemy units already engaged in attrition-combats with your main line - then it's (more often than not) quite broken.

The cannon-ball ping-ponging is just an ugly simplification that should be replaced with the rider being hit on 5+/6+ - but going further than that is treading Deep muddy Waters as far as I'm concerned.

For the record I Think a lot of posters have been quite unfair to Gradek in this thread. He's absolutely spot on in the reflection that "600pts Worth of troops" can't (and shouldn't) be compared in a bubble to "600pts Worth of monster&lord". Oh well.. Just wanted to say that Gradek's far from alone in liking Warhammer, especially 8th Ed.

Dreyer
22-08-2012, 16:21
How About Ridden monsters that does not get those benefits Gradek? My stegadon is not faster than the skink on top and wouldnt give a bigger leadership bubble on top if the little guy was my general. (the same counts for an oldblood on a carnosaur compared to a coldone) Atleast flying monsters have the chance to dive into cover behind a building or an obstacle, the rest of us can just eat cannonballs...

IcedCrow
22-08-2012, 16:26
Nice strawman. Monsters are as balanced as the game designers wanted them for 8th edition (and 8th works great). Second, I would argue that many monsters are balanced as is (while maybe not the WAAC choice, they still perform pretty well in most cases), what doesn't work as well is when you stack a 300 point character on top of a 2-300 point monster and that appears to be intentional game design so as not to go back to herohammer (which wasn't very fun for those of you who are old like me and played from 4th edition on). The fact is monsters are still very good and effective (no one here has proven otherwise outside of the very insignificant tournament lists), they just are not the WAAC optimal choice and some here seem to think they are entitled to that.

Wrong. As separate units (ie the lord and a separate monster) they are likely worth close to their points, it is just when you combine them they are not as efficient as being separate (ie two good units are better than one superpowered one). Not only is that game design, but it is also reality. Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good tactical idea, nor does it act as a force multiplier which is what you and many other are advocating. The strengths of the units stack (ie attacks), but the weaknesses do too (as they should). In other words balanced.

I agree with this.

I disagree that for a ridden monster to be effective it should be able to front charge and destroy an infantry unit solo, based soley on its points value vs the infantry units points value. I disagree with the concept that a monster, ridden or otherwise, should ever be able to front charge solo a unit of infantry and crush it. I hated 5th edition. That was 5th edition.

If that happens, the meta changes to be all monsters. Why bother with infantry units when a monster is just as good, is one model as opposed to 30-40 models, and is easy to use (i charge your front. I win. I profit. Yay)

The fact that a monster, ridden or otherwise, requires some manueverability to use properly, or as support pieces, is excellent. I don't view the model cost in terms of its raw points vs the raw points of an infantry unit, and say "but my 600 point shape just got beaten by a 300 point shape, that makes my 600 point not optimal". Because lets' face it, that's what many of you are doing. It's a 600 point square shape charging a 300 point rectangular larger shape. If the 600 point square shape coudl always break the 300 point larger rectangular shape, why on earth would you ever field the 300 point larger rectangular shape unless you had to?

The 600 point square shape is a support piece. That's what many balk at. A 600 point support piece. :wtf: I happen to agree with its role though. Mainly because I suffered through 5th edition and when 6th came out and made monsters and their riders support pieces instead of domination pieces, I rejoiced and cried tears of joy... weeping openly at my GW overlords for their kind benevolence and encouraging armies instead of super heroes and their dragon pets.

Again... 5th edition taught us that when the 600 point small square shape can dominate the battlefield, it will be taken, all the time, and spammed as often as possible.

That's not a game of armies folks. That's super heroes and their mandatory bodyguard models that have to come around with them. That's 5th edition Warhammer fantasy.

I've used the hell out of ridden monsters in 8th. And I can't claim 100% dominance with them but more often than not they have helped tipped the game in my favor. Not solo. But I don't go into a game wanting to solo the enemy. It is a cog in a machine. The cogs all form the machine, not the one cog.

I agree also that many people only go with the super optimal choices, or the "WAAC" choices, and from that perspective I agree... ridden monsters are not the WAAC super optimal choice to take. If you're looking for an easy game, don't take ridden monsters because there is a bit more risk involved in using them. I definitely concur there.

Lord Inquisitor
22-08-2012, 16:40
That is the point. Ridden monsters are equal to the sum of their parts, no more, no less (I would argue that the added movement and leadership bubble cancel out the added risk) and hence they are as balanced as their individual components. The problem is that tactically it is almost always going to be better to have two separate powerful independently operating units (ie monster and lord) than one paired up superunit. Ridden monsters are neither weak, nor underpowered, they just aren't as good tactically as having the parts separate.
So they're not worth the points of the combined model. That's the bottom line. A zombie dragon might be quite some fun as a lone monster, but it isn't one. Since it is a mount upgrade, that upgrade points is too high (which you've already agreed with me on). Whether or not it would hypothetically be worth it as a lone monster is irrelevant outside of storm of magic because it can't be taken as one. Which means we don't see zombie dragons. OR the sum of the parts needs to be changed so they are worth the cost of the parts!

Also clearly the added movement and leadership bubble don't cancel out the added risk or people would take ridden monsters. It's that simple.


When your super-expensive monster-rider gets clocked by a cannon in turn 1 and bites the dust the set-up is clearly 'underpowered'.
When you run that set-up into the front of a steadfast great-weapon-wielding block of infantry your tactical prowess is 'underpowered'.
When, on the other hand, you manage to get that monster-rider around the flank of your opponant, into the flank of enemy units already engaged in attrition-combats with your main line - then it's (more often than not) quite broken.
Yeah, it's broken when a unit worth 600 points and still requiring support hits your lines and actually does something?

This whole rock-paper-scissors thing is still as far as I can tell an absolute myth and I'm going to regard it as such unless someone can come up with a convincing argument for it. Every time I've played with or against ridden monsters the best you can say for them is that if used absolutely right and they don't fall foul of the usual anti-monster suspects they are at best okay. They do a job that could easily be done as an unridden monster. This whole "eating whole armies" overpowered idea just doesn't hold water.

Again, if they were even remotely broken if used right, you'd see them used a whole lot more. Not every army has cannons. If they were truly a rock-paper-scissors unit like etherials, you'd see them being used. Such units rely on luck of the draw but at a tournament such extreme armies can do well if they get the right draws. Yet I don't see anyone running ridden monsters. The risk is too high, the reward pretty much nonexistant.


For the record I Think a lot of posters have been quite unfair to Gradek in this thread. He's absolutely spot on in the reflection that "600pts Worth of troops" can't (and shouldn't) be compared in a bubble to "600pts Worth of monster&lord". Oh well.. Just wanted to say that Gradek's far from alone in liking Warhammer, especially 8th Ed.
Strawman, implying we don't like Warhammer. We like Warhammer, but in many ways monsters and ridden monsters are iconic parts of the game. Most illustrations in the rulebook have mighty monsters and riders in epic duels - but it doesn't happen on the tabletop. We'd like Warhammer to be MORE Warhammerish. What's more Warhammer than Karl Franz atop Deathclaw with THE warhammer in his hand?

600points of troops can't be compared to 600points of monster? Isn't that exactly what points are for? If a monster isn't worth 600 points relative to 600 points of troops then it is undercosted. That doesn't mean it has to be able to kill 600 points of troops single-handedly, but there needs to be a payoff somewhere and there just isn't. Any value to a griffon rider for example, can be achieved at a fraction of the cost in a pegasus rider.

DaemonReign
22-08-2012, 16:54
Yeah, it's broken when a unit worth 600 points and still requiring support hits your lines and actually does something?

Well the "underpowered/broken" lingo was a comical touch, as I'm sure you gathered.

The Point isn't that the 600pts monsters needs support but simply that you can use it in synergies with the rest of your list - put it 'in gear', so to speak - and cash in on a lot more vp's (a lot faster!) than an infantry unit of comparable 'value' would be likely to.

That flying 600pts monster can fly up and position itself with a flexibility that no infantry blob can hope to do. It can then flank-charge-break-over-run (effectively fighting many times in the same turn if you sequence it right) - and the Point is not that it's 'easy' to do, but rather that while you might lose those 600pts to a single lucky shot, you also stand the very real chance of cashing in on many times those 600pts.

As I've maintained from scratch in this thread: The Ping-ponging is clonky rules-design. I don't like it. The fact that (removing) it makes ridden monsters just a Little less 'risky' is a positive conseqence but my main concern is the aesthethic of the rules-design.

Beyond that, ridden monsters are high risk and reward units. And I Think they should be. You are adamant about them being high risk but No Reward, and I must respectfully disagree with that (although I'll concede that we probably play Warhammer at different ends of a pretty broad spectrum).

Lord Inquisitor
22-08-2012, 16:55
I've used the hell out of ridden monsters in 8th. And I can't claim 100% dominance with them but more often than not they have helped tipped the game in my favor. Not solo. But I don't go into a game wanting to solo the enemy. It is a cog in a machine. The cogs all form the machine, not the one cog.

I agree also that many people only go with the super optimal choices, or the "WAAC" choices, and from that perspective I agree... ridden monsters are not the WAAC super optimal choice to take. If you're looking for an easy game, don't take ridden monsters because there is a bit more risk involved in using them. I definitely concur there.

That's just spin. Saying they're not "WAAC" choices implies that if I want ridden monsters to be worth their points, I am (a) a WAAC player or (b) unable to "man up" and use suboptimal choices. Suggesting that wanting the game to be actually balanced is in some way a bad thing!

I look to greater daemons as good examples of large, flying, potentially magic using, Lord monsters. They were a bit overpowered in 7th but in 8th seem a reasonable choice. Not an auto-include, many competitive daemon armies don't run any lord at all. So they're definitely not too good. But they are worth their points for the most part. You don't send a greater daemon into the front of a unit, you try not to pick a fight you can't win but you also have to stay the hell out of the way of cannons and poison shooting, which can mean committing to combat earlier than you'd like. But they're not a complete liability to cannons with a ward save, they don't have a vulnerable rider sitting on top that can be singled out in combat.

Using a greater daemon is an art and certainly they will not go into 600 points of elite troops and win. They just won't. As such they're a cog, as you say - you can't expect them to own the enemy on their own but that doesn't mean they're not worth their points, that they can't be an important hammer element in your army, so on and so forth. They're certainly a high risk unit, a single cannon can end them and I've had it happen more times than I can count. But they carry a big reward too so it is worth it.

Then we turn to ridden monsters. As expensive as greater daemons, but either the rider or mount or both are less durable than a greater daemon. Rarely a magic user, forcing you to choose between combat and magic, and even then a magic user on a ridden monster is a huge weak spot for the model. They're more vulnerable to cannons as both components get hit, if either component dies the remainder is likely very vulnerable.

As has been said ad nauseum, a ridden monster need not beat an equivalent points of infantry. Which is in itself a strawman - you'd expect a ridden monster to have a fair fight against an equal points of infantry i points were perfectly balanced. But they do need to be worth their points when used optimally (not necessarily throwing them into infantry). Currently, even by your own admission, even if you really use them and you can really make them work to the best of their capabilities they still aren't all that.

Edit:

DamonReign, I think I addressed some of your points above - I think this is the crux of the matter. A high-risk, high-reward unit would be okay. Perhaps not seen that much in competitive play (at least not in winning armies, they don't tend to like risky units or matchup-dependent ones) but you'd still see a use for them. Compared with a greater daemon, there is more risk and less reward and greater daemons are on the edge of "just about viable", leaving aside cheesy gift combinations.

yabbadabba
22-08-2012, 17:00
600points of troops can't be compared to 600points of monster? They can, but people rarely take in all the variables. Its normally on a kill to kill basis because that is the tournament mind set, and easier to prove in math hammer world.

And this is the problem with this discussion. Ridden Monsters might not be tournament efficient but there is no evidence to support or counteract that these things are not being used in general games. So all we have is a snapshot of a niche within a niche.

I've already mentioned the two things I would change within the rules; anything else is tinkering too far I feel.

Lord Inquisitor
22-08-2012, 17:11
Understood, unfortunately many of the ephemeral advantages are on the side of the unit. Comparing a VC lord on a zombie dragon to a VC lord in a unit of black knights, the zombie dragon has a little more maneuverability and speed, larger Ld bubble and thunderstomp. The black knight bus has durability, armour, look out sir, rank breaking ability, etc. There's many reasons the black knight bus is a standard and often seen build whereas the zombie dragon might as well not be in the book, and it isn't all about which can take out more infantry per turn at all.

As for general games, I can't remember the last time I saw a ridden monster in one. No, wait, there was one guy who had a goblin shaman on an arachranok but that was a good six months ago. I can only comment on what I see of course and only for my area (if I get to see other players and armies it tends to be a tournament). But if we have no data on causal games, certainly no evidence for widespread use of ridden monsters, then I don't see it has much bearing on the conversation. Improved balance helps both causal and competitive games.

"Tinkering too far" depends on whether we're talking about house rules (i.e. anything more than "cannon hits one component not two, randomise as normal" is probably too much for a house rule) or speculating on changes for 9th edition (there were rather more dramatic changes in 8th!).

Adder007USA
22-08-2012, 17:13
Here's an idea that my group has toyed around with. Might seem a little clunky at first, but bear with me.

IF

The cannonball lands on the ground in front of the monster, then hits it because of the bounce, only the mount is hit. Makes sense, unlikely the small guy on top gets hit.

IF

The cannonball lands ON the base, it gets randomized, according to the old rules. It's feasible the thing was flying through the air at just the right anle to hit the lord on top. In the case of models where it's not just the character on top, such as a stegadon, the crew is not a valid target. We feel its just stupid to make a shot mean that little when there's the risk of the war machine that costs that much blowing itself up each time it fires.

IF

The shot not only lands directly on the base, but also measures out to be exactly on top of the character after the roll, then both get hit. A shot that lucky should be rewarded. In the case of models where the character is outside of the base radius (He's way out on the neck or something) then we consider the center of the base to be his location.

These rules also work well for stone throwers. If the rock lands directly on the guy, it's hitting the mount beneath him too, no questions asked, if it doesn't, the monster is taking the rock, the lord is taking the splash.

IcedCrow
22-08-2012, 17:23
I'm not using WAAC negatively I'm using WAAC to mean optimizer. An optimizer that takes a risky piece in his army is about as common as diamonds are in my back yard.

I see ridden monsters as exactly high risk high reward based on my own experiences with using them. They are not auto-includes because they cannot auto smash units without maneuver etc.

A 600 point blob of infantry has a list of strengths and weaknesses.

A 600 point ridden monster has a list of strengths and weaknesses.

The value of shape A compared to shape B should not be "if shape A and shape B meet head on in vaccum combat, will they evenly break each other 50/50?"

Infantry Shape has ranks, and a lot of attacks. It carries with it auto CR. It carries with it a large sack of wounds to get its points.

Ridden Monster Shape has fewer but mostly high strength attacks. It however flies, has a higher movement characteristic, is not bothered by wheeling, etc... and can position itself across the board a lot easier than infantry shape can. It can utilize flank charges easier than infantry shape can, and can provide support for friendly infantry shapes across the table easier than infantry shape can, which when thus combined make opposing infantry shapes hurt.

Artillery Shape has zero combat ability. If it engages with infantry shape in combat, it assuredely dies. However, artillery shape can land high strength ranged death.

Wizard shape is also usually pathetic in combat, but can utilize magic spells to land death from range as well as boost or hex opposing shapes.

Cavalry Shape has a smaller signature than infantry shape, can deal out high strength attacks, has high armor, but is largely also like monster-shape a support piece as infantry shape is designed to not break and flee from other shapes so easily.

Chariot Shape is even smaller than cavalry shape, and is also a support piece used in conjunction with other shapes to assist in breaking opposing shapes.

All shapes have their own list of things that they can do well at, and what they do not do so well at.

Wizard-shape benefits from having spells that erase units, and thus is easiest to use.

The only real shape capable of fighting toe to toe with reliability is infantry shape as the other shapes are used as a support piece. When support pieces help each other or other infantry-shapes, this coordination can tip the scales in their users' favor.

However coordination takes more planning, more luck, and more skill to use as opposed to infantry shape and wizard shape.

Guess what you see the most of in a standard game?

If you guessed infantry shape and wizard shape, you guessed correctly.

If monster-shape could charge equal points of infantry-shape and reliably break them, the risk factor would decrease dramatically because you wouldn't need to coordinate monster-shape as much. Erego you'd see monster-shape used a LOT more.

It doesn't have to do with "manning up" or anything like that. Point blank - it's harder to use support pieces effectively because they MUST work in their role to succeed whereas things like infantry and wizards can take multiple roles, which is the quintessential point in powergaming... you take the most effective (that bieng units that can do multiple things while at the same time denying the enemy objectives) pieces and spam them enmasse.

Ridden monsters can do awesome! BUT... they require manuever... they require planning... they require some luck... and as such, that fits the definition of HIGH RISK... HIGH REWARD. The risk being that its risky to pull off but if you do it can pay off in big ways. I can attest to this multiple times over as I often use them in my armies. They are not 100% ... but they pay off at least half if not more of the time.

If I am concerned with my win/loss record as a priority (where going 0.500 - 0.700 is not going to win me a tournament which is about where my W/L record sits) then no... I probably would not use a monster either as much.

Anecdotal, our local group of optimizers NEVER uses ridden monsters either. Our narrative and casual guys use them often. The win/loss record of the optimizers is more important and as such they are going for the mroe sure things and less on the risk. Risking at a tournament is too much of a gamble, and seen by many as a waste of time. You go with the sure thing at a tournament. In a chess tournament I will rarely play large gambles. In a casual chess game I am more apt to do so. That's psychology though.

High risk means apt to fail. The percentage of fail is greater with high risk than low risk. So when you say a piece is high risk high reward you are saying the odds of this working are difficult, but if they do work it will reap you great benefits. High risk is not it may fail once in ten. Some people however do think that way... if something fails 10% of the time that's too risky for them and they place that in "high risk" category.

And as 5th edition taught me... ridden monsters were able to reliably smash equal points of infantry back then, and much like wizard lords in today's game, very few players did not field at least one dragon rider in 5th edition, just like very few players leave home without a wizard lord today... because they were easy to use and had very little risk but GREAT reward (just like wizard lords today... )

T9nv3
22-08-2012, 17:37
The one thing that irritates me the most is the idea that a Cannon can actually snipe a dragon. Against a unmoving target....or a large block of infantry, cannons should be accurate, and the rules can stay as is...but Dragons and flying creatures should get a chance to dodge. Even like a 3+ dodge roll would make sense if the monster flew during it's last round. For other monsters you could lower the roll, or if the target was stationary have a lower roll. That might mitigate some of the issues with cannons being "too good" against dragons and large monsters....the idea of lining up a cannon shot and hitting a moving monster just seems so unlikely that it's actually quite funny.

DaemonReign
22-08-2012, 18:13
The one thing that irritates me the most is the idea that a Cannon can actually snipe a dragon.

This could be remedied with cannon-balls 'scattering' 0-3" on the first Artillery-dice roll.
It would require one additional Dice-roll to determine from where to measure the 'bounce'.
This would make it damn near impossible to hit a single 20mm base, still fairly likely to hit monster bases, and just as easy as now to hit units and A-rock dished bases.

I aired this upthread too. Haven't really given it much thought at depth. For example, perhaps LookOutSir would become a bit OTT.

Ratarsed
22-08-2012, 18:25
I think players just need to come to terms that sometimes their ridden monster will be shot down and othertimes it will run riot. Theres a lot of "I daren't, it's too risky" in the attitude to ridden monsters. You also need some big terrain pieces! Get the Skullvane Manse and wizards tower out. Even a Dragon can shelter behind those!

IcedCrow
22-08-2012, 19:04
I think the two main things I'd do:

1) cannonballs hit either the rider or monster not both
2) ward saves extend to the mount as it is one model.

Those things I think would help patch up some of the risk a bit better without tipping the scale to the point of monsters are mini DJ-Lethals on their own. I haven't really seen any other reccomendations that I agreed with.

Lord Inquisitor
22-08-2012, 19:12
I'm not using WAAC negatively I'm using WAAC to mean optimizer. An optimizer that takes a risky piece in his army is about as common as diamonds are in my back yard.
Be aware that WAAC is always a negative term. Win at all costs means at all costs at the expense of sportsmanship, above board tactics and potentially the rules themselves. Splitting hairs perhaps.


It doesn't have to do with "manning up" or anything like that. Point blank - it's harder to use support pieces effectively because they MUST work in their role to succeed whereas things like infantry and wizards can take multiple roles, which is the quintessential point in powergaming... you take the most effective (that bieng units that can do multiple things while at the same time denying the enemy objectives) pieces and spam them enmasse.
It's not as simple as that. Support pieces are often important parts of power lists. For example, I run a Ld-bomb daemons army, one of the more competitive daemon builds and generally considered "too cheesy" for anything but the most no-holds-barred competitive play. In my case it's heavy on the Slaanesh with a Keeper, Seekers with BSB, Masque, Fiends, etc. Each element is very vulnerable alone. Masque is dead if she is engaged by a ranked unit. Keeper is very vulnerable to cannons, heavy infantry, cavalry, etc on her own merits. Seekers - well, they're seekers. Yet in support of each other, overlapping their complimentary abilities, results in a very powerful synergy. An army that requires constant support - and if you screw up the support things go pretty badly pretty quickly. But the rewards are big, smashing a keeper into a unit with -5 Ld applied will break the back of an army.


Ridden monsters can do awesome! BUT... they require manuever... they require planning... they require some luck... and as such, that fits the definition of HIGH RISK... HIGH REWARD. The risk being that its risky to pull off but if you do it can pay off in big ways. I can attest to this multiple times over as I often use them in my armies. They are not 100% ... but they pay off at least half if not more of the time.
The problem here is I'm not seeing the "high reward" part. For example, why would I take a wizardmobile as a mount for an empire wizard? Why would I take a terrorgheist as a mount for a ghoul king? Why would I take a Stonehorn as a mount for a Hunter? In each case I can get almost as good from the corresponding Rare choice, for a much smaller cost (and consequently smaller risk). For the cost of a Dark Elf Dragonlord, I could have a lord on a pegasus (arguably tougher) and have points left over for a hydra or two which can put out almost as much damage?

I'm not saying you can't take a ridden monster and make it work. But you are swimming upstream, because they are not really worth their points. You can make most sub-par units work if you really put your mind to it. I've been trying to get a Daemon Prince to work in my daemon army (for a comped tournament) and although I've won some games with it, it's really a struggle. Being able to make it work doesn't mean it's any less overpointed.


And as 5th edition taught me... ridden monsters were able to reliably smash equal points of infantry back then, and much like wizard lords in today's game, very few players did not field at least one dragon rider in 5th edition, just like very few players leave home without a wizard lord today... because they were easy to use and had very little risk but GREAT reward (just like wizard lords today... )
Ideally we'd get to a point where they're a viable option but not a no-brainer. Not able to reliably smash infantry - but not an unacceptable risk for a dubious reward as they are now either.

yabbadabba
22-08-2012, 19:19
I think the two main things I'd do:

1) cannonballs hit either the rider or monster not both
2) ward saves extend to the mount as it is one model.

Those things I think would help patch up some of the risk a bit better without tipping the scale to the point of monsters are mini DJ-Lethals on their own. I haven't really seen any other reccomendations that I agreed with. Hmm with ward saves you would need to drop the number of wounds a big gribbly would have.

Lord Inquisitor
22-08-2012, 19:27
Why? A greater daemon has a ward save too. Many of the more effective monsters have wards/regen. Is there some reason a griffon with rider costing 500+ points is overpowered?

yabbadabba
22-08-2012, 19:34
Yup. Its easy to see why. You could just give big gribblies ward saves in general but then their points would go up anyway.

Vipoid
22-08-2012, 19:35
Why? A greater daemon has a ward save too. Many of the more effective monsters have wards/regen. Is there some reason a griffon with rider costing 500+ points is overpowered?

Agreed.

When you're paying 200-300pts for a mount, I think it's reasonable to expect a little more than a 5+ armour save.

Enigmatik1
22-08-2012, 19:45
Agreed.

When you're paying 200-300pts for a mount, I think it's reasonable to expect a little more than a 5+ armour save that it more than likely won't even get to roll.

Fixed.

Signed,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Tomb King on a Warsphinx (assuming one actually existed outside of a fluff piece). ;)

Gradek
22-08-2012, 19:58
Ideally we'd get to a point where they're a viable option but not a no-brainer. Not able to reliably smash infantry - but not an unacceptable risk for a dubious reward as they are now either.

The problem here is that many of us believe that they are already a viable choice, just not necessarily a tournament/powerbuild one. When one looks at tournament lists, one finds that they are very similar. The same units are almost always included with minor differences in numbers or magic items because tournament players are always looking to optimize their lists. In other words, it is going to be nearly impossible to make that ridden monster meet your definition of viable (which I might add is your definition and not a fact) without also making it a no-brainer choice for every list.

Also, to second IcedCrow, the difference with ridden monsters isn't their power level (which again is pretty good), but their reliability. When they work, they work very well, but when they get killed turn 1, you are out 600 points and likely lose. For a tournament player, that simply isn't a risk you are ever going to take. Let me give a different example: If there was a magic item that guaranteed you a win on turn 1 on a d6 roll of 3-6, but an automatic loss on a roll of 1-2 and only cost 5 points, would you use it? The answer for tournament players would be no because they expect to win more than 66% of the time.

IcedCrow
22-08-2012, 20:16
Yeah. Other than my two suggestions above, I don't see what else to do to make monster riders better without tipping the balance over to over powered.

The conflict may come in with what is worth points and what is not worth points.

If a monster could benefit from its rider's ward save, it then can survive more cannonball shots to the mouth, which increases its survivability. Really that's the only thing that I can see as an issue with monsters... their lack of survivability... specifically when it comes to cannons. After the second round of a game, my chaos lord is rarely ever able to be shot at again as he's pac-manning his way through missile and artillery troops at that point whilst my warriors and knights are dealing with the center of my enemy's line.

Offensive power isn't really needed to be upped. My manticore or dragon already does a lot of damage. The only negative I hear a lot of (which I do not agree is a negative in terms of needing fixed) is that my chaos lord and dragon can push out about six or seven wounds but steadfast prevents my target from breaking reliably (of course my first target is to maim the battle standard bearer to prevent re-rolls of the stubborn break check). I don't typically use my lord on manticore to aim at large blocks of infantry though, i leave that to my warriors which I support with a chariot (and while my enemy is cannonballing my lord and ignoring the warrior/chariot combo, they find out to their dismay that when that comes in, it hurts in big ways, but I've been doing that since 6th edition with similar results (even back in the "lulz why did you take foot troops" days of 7th edition))

There's of course points costs, but we'd be needling there as to what is and is not acceptable. Would it be horrible for a manticore to drop 50 points or so? Probably not horrible. Anything more than that though and it now crosses the realm of potentially broken as you could take him AND a unit of something else and that gets dangerous in terms of balance.

Dragons I don't really see used in 2000 point games. 3000 points I think is where they really belong. IMO

Having had this conversation many times with optimizers, I can't ever really agree to what needs done with them as their suggestions would all, I think, unbalance them to the point of being no brainer always takes (and I shudder to go back to 5th edition days)

Some suggestions that have been serious that I have heard (some good, some that made me go wtf) that would make it so the player who said it would take them
* manticores should cost no more than 125-150 pts tops
* give monsters the ability to deny steadfast or count as having ranks to negate steadfast
* give monsters ward saves of their own
* give monsters the ability to dodge cannonballs
* dragons should not cost more than 200 points
* give monsters more attacks. they should never have more attacks coming back at them then they can put out (if a dragon charges a unit of spears, they are being hit with around 20 attacks and they think the dragon + rider should have comparable number of attacks)
* put back the ability to fly-high from 5th edition so they can fly high and then charge anywhere on the table in turn 2

Drasanil
22-08-2012, 20:59
Some suggestions that have been serious that I have heard (some good, some that made me go wtf) that would make it so the player who said it would take them
* manticores should cost no more than 125-150 pts tops
* give monsters the ability to deny steadfast or count as having ranks to negate steadfast
* give monsters ward saves of their own
* give monsters the ability to dodge cannonballs
* dragons should not cost more than 200 points
* give monsters more attacks. they should never have more attacks coming back at them then they can put out (if a dragon charges a unit of spears, they are being hit with around 20 attacks and they think the dragon + rider should have comparable number of attacks)
* put back the ability to fly-high from 5th edition so they can fly high and then charge anywhere on the table in turn 2

I like Lord Inquisitor's suggestion of just giving them a merged/split profile/what ever it's called. Yes the monster gains a better Armour and Ward, but overall the model has 3-4 less wounds and can still in theory be one shotted by Cannons and HKB. Seems like a nice balance of risk/reward it out buffing the over all damage out put or reducing the cost.

Wizard on monster is no long a flat liability, but the monster doesn't gain much in the way of offense. Lord on monster makes it perform better in combat with out having to worry about one or the other being shot out from under (or over) it.

innerwolf
22-08-2012, 21:29
I like Lord Inquisitor's suggestion of just giving them a merged/split profile/what ever it's called. Yes the monster gains a better Armour and Ward, but overall the model has 3-4 less wounds and can still in theory be one shotted by Cannons and HKB. Seems like a nice balance of risk/reward it out buffing the over all damage out put or reducing the cost.

Wizard on monster is no long a flat liability, but the monster doesn't gain much in the way of offense. Lord on monster makes it perform better in combat with out having to worry about one or the other being shot out from under (or over) it.

It's an effective, consistent (with how cavalry and MC work) and simple rules change. I can't see how it could be any more desirable. If only 9th edition wasn't several years from now

Urgat
22-08-2012, 21:35
The only negative I hear a lot of (which I do not agree is a negative in terms of needing fixed) is that my chaos lord and dragon can push out about six or seven wounds but steadfast prevents my target from breaking reliably

Doesn't it occur to these people that, well, it's the point of steadfast, that stuff like a lone monster cannot break a large unit on its own? :p

theunwantedbeing
22-08-2012, 21:42
Some suggestions that have been serious that I have heard (some good, some that made me go wtf) that would make it so the player who said it would take them
* manticores should cost no more than 125-150 pts tops
* dragons should not cost more than 200 points
This would certainly boost their usefulness and encourage their use on the tabletop.


* give monsters the ability to deny steadfast or count as having ranks to negate steadfast
Only having them count as a single rank is better and less powerful, but stops the issue of single line enemies getting to be steadfast
Having them able to negate steadfast would be an unwelcome return to herhammer which nobody really wants.


* give monsters ward saves of their own
* give monsters the ability to dodge cannonballs
It's no surprise that the monsters people take most often are those with saves from regen or wards


* give monsters more attacks. they should never have more attacks coming back at them then they can put out (if a dragon charges a unit of spears, they are being hit with around 20 attacks and they think the dragon + rider should have comparable number of attacks)
Can't say I like this idea.
A slight boost perhaps but things like the mountain chimeara are very silly indeed


* put back the ability to fly-high from 5th edition so they can fly high and then charge anywhere on the table in turn 2
I'm not sure I like this idea, but some sort of rule akin to the 40k flier rule that makes them harder to hit but forced to keep moving would make sense.

Urgat
22-08-2012, 22:10
This would certainly boost their usefulness and encourage their use on the tabletop.

No kidding. Why not pricing them 50pts, you'd be sure peopel would take them, heh? :p 200pts for a dragon :rolleyes:

Vipoid
22-08-2012, 23:05
No kidding. Why not pricing them 50pts, you'd be sure peopel would take them, heh? :p 200pts for a dragon-shaped cannon-magnet, armoured with Papier-mâché :rolleyes:

Fixed that for you...

yabbadabba
22-08-2012, 23:17
Fixed that for you... Lovingly fixed with a sense of paranoia there.

Lord Inquisitor
22-08-2012, 23:43
Doesn't it occur to these people that, well, it's the point of steadfast, that stuff like a lone monster cannot break a large unit on its own? :p

I don't think anyone wants lone monsters to break steadfast. I don't even have a problem with one rank being steadfast against monsters. I'm in agreement that this is the point of steadfast and I've no desire to see monsters return to 7th ed "charge and autobreak" mechanics.

This is a red herring, neither side wants to change the monster/steadfast mechanic. While this has bearing on 7th ed points costs of monsters, this is not the area that ridden monsters need help in at all.

innerwolf
22-08-2012, 23:56
As Lord Inquisitor already pointed out, take your own army (when applicable) and ask yourselves this question:
What would I use first, my close combat lord riding a monster, or the same lord riding a horse (or similar) in a cavalry unit worth the same amount of points? The only real difference between both is the former flies and the latter has to maneuver between units (but moves only marginally slower).

Demigriffon riders and GotE on a Gryffon is a brutally glaring example.

Doommasters
23-08-2012, 00:23
Doesn't it occur to these people that, well, it's the point of steadfast, that stuff like a lone monster cannot break a large unit on its own? :p

Why would anyone want this? Maybe someone has said it but most of us here are talking about being more durable and less of a liability rather than gaining mountains of additional damage potential.

All I would like to see is ridden monsters being harder to kill than they currently are (i.e. no sniping both the rider and monster in one shot) and the ability to hold their own in comabat i.e not run away due to the insane amount of static combat res that combat blocks can generate. This does not mean that the dragon and ridder has the butcher an entire horde with an insane amount of attacks, simply being able to hold the line (not for ever but enough time for your other units to catch up) with their current damage potential would be enough.....this would give the a solid use in my eyes.

IcedCrow
23-08-2012, 01:04
Well really a solid block of infantry will have about +4 to their combat score before combat starts. 3 ranks + 1 banner.

The monster rider should get +1 for the charge, and if he's doing it right and not charging the front, should get bonuses for flank or rear.

So worst case, the rider has to overcome 3 points of CR. He' sprobably a lord so his leadership is probably sitting at a 9 or a 10. Barring horrible luck, if he loses it shouldn't be an auto break and flee.

3 points of CR to a combat lord and a large monster. Choose your target wisely. Hell... challenge. Limit the attacks coming in on you and then do 3 wounds to draw the combat in worst case scenario, 4 wounds to win the combat.

Most fighty lords plus mounts are swinging roughly 9 attacks combined. Kit him out properly and generating the necessary damage to win combat is not that far fetched (I do it with a chaos lord often but I realize that's a chaos lord).

Drasanil
23-08-2012, 01:12
How about giving Large Monsters their own version of Steadfast? It doesn't make them killier or let them rolfstomp regular infantry, but it does reflect the fact that to a dragon 10 spearmen wouldn't really seem more threatening than 40. In essence Large Monster wouldn't run with their tale between their legs due to 'generic' combat resolution. Something like either Stubborn so long as another large target is not involved in the combat, or only wounds scored are counted for the purpose of LD modifiers to break tests.

EDIT: Or even, a flat out only wounds caused count towards combat resolution Vs a Large Monster. That way units maintain their staying power thanks to Steadfast, and BSB if applicable, but a Monster doesn't get run out of combat. In essence Large Monsters become the ultimate stalemate unit, a role and purpose of their own.

Doommasters
23-08-2012, 02:12
Well really a solid block of infantry will have about +4 to their combat score before combat starts. 3 ranks + 1 banner.

The monster rider should get +1 for the charge, and if he's doing it right and not charging the front, should get bonuses for flank or rear.

So worst case, the rider has to overcome 3 points of CR. He' sprobably a lord so his leadership is probably sitting at a 9 or a 10. Barring horrible luck, if he loses it shouldn't be an auto break and flee.

3 points of CR to a combat lord and a large monster. Choose your target wisely. Hell... challenge. Limit the attacks coming in on you and then do 3 wounds to draw the combat in worst case scenario, 4 wounds to win the combat.

Most fighty lords plus mounts are swinging roughly 9 attacks combined. Kit him out properly and generating the necessary damage to win combat is not that far fetched (I do it with a chaos lord often but I realize that's a chaos lord).

Sure aslong as you don't pick a really hard hitting unit with deep ranks you 'should' be fine for atleast the first round of combat. The problem comes when it is your opponents turn and gets a second unit involved and uses magic to make your dragon rider significantly weaker. Your dragon rider is fast but it has to wait for the rest of your army to catch up otherwise you will be in trouble, if you wait that is another turn of warmachine and shooting you have to endure.

Now this will turn into a what "if" game which is pointless, but from experience it simply does not work out as nicely as you describe above there are plenty more variables to consider. outside of player 1's combat phase.

Doommasters
23-08-2012, 02:15
How about giving Large Monsters their own version of Steadfast? It doesn't make them killier or let them rolfstomp regular infantry, but it does reflect the fact that to a dragon 10 spearmen wouldn't really seem more threatening than 40. In essence Large Monster wouldn't run with their tale between their legs due to 'generic' combat resolution. Something like either Stubborn so long as another large target is not involved in the combat, or only wounds scored are counted for the purpose of LD modifiers to break tests.

EDIT: Or even, a flat out only wounds caused count towards combat resolution Vs a Large Monster. That way units maintain their staying power thanks to Steadfast, and BSB if applicable, but a Monster doesn't get run out of combat. In essence Large Monsters become the ultimate stalemate unit, a role and purpose of their own.

Something like this could work, would need to explore it some more. Durability is one of the big issues I see with monsters, fluff one round of attacks and you die to CR (crumble, run down etc). Monsters also generally have high movement so are stuck on the flanks to add support it would be nice if you could use them as an anvil. Ridden monsters would still need something to reduce the one stone two birds issue.

Overall it is a few small things that stand between sub-par and balanced, there does not need to be any huge overhaul of the rules to make everyone happy here.

malisteen
23-08-2012, 02:31
I play vamp counts, and we have it worse than many. We've got this awesome model for an excellent centerpiece dragon/terrorgheist, but only a lord can ride them, and a lord on a monster is around 700 points which basically forces it to be your general, but our general has to stick with our army or it can't march and if it dies our whole army takes crumbling wounds.

Not only is a cool big ridden monster not good in my army, it's actively bad. ll such a monster does is make my army's weak point more vulnerable. Even if you make it to combat, it makes your lord a separate unit for crumbling - preventing it from supporting ongoing combats and leaving me one flubbed round of attacks away from going up in a poof of smoke before cannons are even considered. Fielding one would be shooting myself in the foot even if it were free. That's right, I couldn't justify a 0 point dragon in my army. At least the gheist can be taken on its own as a rare choice, but still, it's hugely discouraging to have such a cool model be so completely, so pathetically unusable.


So yeah, I really, really do wish they'd fix ridden monsters to not be so damned awful. I don't care how they do it. Combined stat line would be great - not like anyone I know actually converts on-foot versions of their mounted characters to look the same anyway - but however it was done would be great. I also wish they'd fix crumbling wounds to be distributed among units involved in a combat, rather than having each unit suffer the full wound penalty over again. But that's a problem unique to undead ridden monsters.

IcedCrow
23-08-2012, 03:08
That's why I don't use them to try to turn 2 charge main infantry. In that scenario they will more than likely lose most of the time yes.

Urgat
23-08-2012, 06:52
Fixed that for you...

Hope you don't work in a field that actually involves fixing things, coz you're not very good at it.


Lovingly fixed with a sense of paranoia there.

At least he didn't quite add that even at 50pts he wouldn't take dragons :p (sure it's coming though, just wait and see :p)


I don't think anyone wants lone monsters to break steadfast.

Why would anyone want this? Maybe someone has said it but most of us here are talking about being more durable and less of a liability rather than gaining mountains of additional damage potential.
Well it's in the list of suggestions that Icedcrow heard, so there's at least one people who wanted it ;)


I don't even have a problem with one rank being steadfast against monsters.
Me neither. Honestly, the amount of units that can resist more than one turn against a ridden monster with only one rank can certainly be counted with the fingers of one hand if you ignore extreme cases of rubber lance (claws?) syndrom.


How about giving Large Monsters their own version of Steadfast?

Well they don't really need it, it's not like they're losing combats much in the first place if they flank (unless we're talking about chosenstars and the likes, and those I choose to ignore for constructive discussion purposes).


What would I use first, my close combat lord riding a monster, or the same lord riding a horse (or similar) in a cavalry unit worth the same amount of points? The only real difference between both is the former flies and the latter has to maneuver between units (but moves only marginally slower).

Well, for orcs, the difference of speed between a wyvern and a boar is more than marginal, to be honest. Wyverns also got quite a low profile, hidding it behind buildings isn't too difficult.

I'd like to see flying monsters able to do swooping attacks (swooping is bad, I know). Could work like that:
IF the (flying) monster has charged, he can make a swooping attack: the rider's attacks are sacrificed (it all happens too fast, monster falls from the sky and bam!) but gains ASF. When combat is over, no combat result (it all happens too fast, monster falls from the sky and bam!), the monster can disengage at will, the unit cannot pursue whatever the direction the monster moves on to (did I mention it all happens too fast, monster falls from the sky and bam?).
Varient for monsters with the fast rule but w/o the flying rule: pounce; works about the same, but (obviously) can't go on over the unit, it has to go a direction that's not blocked by troops. Keeps rider's attacks though, because he's not just clutching his reins screaming "Yeeeeehaaaaaah!" coz the monster isn't falling from the sky and bam!... her... voila.

Ratarsed
23-08-2012, 07:54
Well really a solid block of infantry will have about +4 to their combat score before combat starts. 3 ranks + 1 banner.

The monster rider should get +1 for the charge, and if he's doing it right and not charging the front, should get bonuses for flank or rear.

So worst case, the rider has to overcome 3 points of CR. He' sprobably a lord so his leadership is probably sitting at a 9 or a 10. Barring horrible luck, if he loses it shouldn't be an auto break and flee.

3 points of CR to a combat lord and a large monster. Choose your target wisely. Hell... challenge. Limit the attacks coming in on you and then do 3 wounds to draw the combat in worst case scenario, 4 wounds to win the combat.

Most fighty lords plus mounts are swinging roughly 9 attacks combined. Kit him out properly and generating the necessary damage to win combat is not that far fetched (I do it with a chaos lord often but I realize that's a chaos lord).

You should always be very cautious about charging into a fully ranked unit unsupported. If the unit has a champion, you can be challenged out even if you charge flank or rear and are not in base contact with the champion :eek:. (I have been caught out by this!) Due to attacks being in initiative steps it is very possible the champion will be killed by only 1 or 2 wounds before the slower monster gets to attack meaning a very high risk of losing the combat, especialy when the enemy are Dwarfs :cries:

yabbadabba
23-08-2012, 09:13
-snip- I think this is the key. I have used Karl Franz on a dragon, a mountain chimera and a General on Griffon as support to my Halberdiers over several battles. In short it has turned a 50/50 combat into my opponent needing a double 1. That's a round of combat, over in 1 turn, using the Empire's best core troops (which isn't saying a lot). That's an enormous difference in combat resolution for me. Add to that all the bonuses you get with having a Lord character on a big monster and that is worth more to me than the equivalent points in troops.

Pin your opponent to the front, use the gribbly to annihilate him in the rear or flanks.

Add to that more TLOS blocking scenery and a house rule to randomise shooting attacks and jobs a good 'un I reckon.

Vipoid
23-08-2012, 10:57
Hope you don't work in a field that actually involves fixing things, coz you're not very good at it.

Sorry I don't believe that Dragons should automatically cost 200+ points, regardless of whether or not they're any good, just because they're dragons. :eyebrows:


At least he didn't quite add that even at 50pts he wouldn't take dragons :p (sure it's coming though, just wait and see :p)

You are correct on this one - I wouldn't take my army's only dragon, even if it was only 50pts. I wouldn't take it at 0pts either.

Honestly, malisteen already summed it up very well, but I might as well say it anyway:

"Hey Vampire Count players, you know that really expensive, really valuable Lord who holds your army together? Do you often feel that he's too well-protected, too difficult for your enemy to kill? Do you often wish that you could help your opponent out a bit? Well, look no further - it's the all new ZOMBIE DRAGON! That's right, for the low low price of 245pts, you can make your lord easy to snipe, more vulnerable to spells, more vulnerable to combat resolution, and more vulnerable to killing blow! And don't worry - with a mighty 5+ armour save this baby won't be taking wounds any time soon. Oh, and did we mention IT'S A DRAGON!!!"

theshoveller
23-08-2012, 11:07
Sorry I don't believe that Dragons should automatically cost 200+ points, regardless of whether or not they're any good, just because they're dragons. :eyebrows:
Nah, I think GW agrees with you.



It's the 4+ attacks, S5 T6, W5, ability to fly and breath weapon that swing it, I reckon...

Vipoid
23-08-2012, 11:10
Nah, I think GW agrees with you.



It's the 4+ attacks, S5 T6, W5, ability to fly and breath weapon that swing it, I reckon...

Ah, of course - they're obviously great value. I'm sure that's why so many tournament players swear by them. :rolleyes:

IcedCrow
23-08-2012, 13:12
Tournament players I know or have experienced typically only swear by a small fraction of what is available to them (the best that they can spam), so that's not really saying much. A good percentage of the army book gets ignored. If a tournament player is never using something that often means its not busted lol. As has been argued and which I agree... flyers are not broken nor are they too weak. They represent a significant risk in using however, and that is typically the antithesis of what a tournament player wants to use.

If flying monsters could go back to 5th ed days and blow holes in units and not require as much or any support to use, you'd see them a lot more (as we did in those days when nearly everyone always took them at all times).

Doommasters
24-08-2012, 12:55
Tournament players I know or have experienced typically only swear by a small fraction of what is available to them (the best that they can spam), so that's not really saying much. A good percentage of the army book gets ignored. If a tournament player is never using something that often means its not busted lol. As has been argued and which I agree... flyers are not broken nor are they too weak. They represent a significant risk in using however, and that is typically the antithesis of what a tournament player wants to use.


If flying monsters could go back to 5th ed days and blow holes in units and not require as much or any support to use, you'd see them a lot more (as we did in those days when nearly everyone always took them at all times).




Now we are at the other extreme why can't there be a middle ground? Because 84% of people who voted don't think they are any good and of the last 124 games played at my local club less than 5% involved a ridden monster. No one has brought a dragon to the last 7 tournaments I have attended.

From my own experience the only really viable dragon is the star dragon as it has 7 wounds and have some decent durability. Basically I find it hard to beleive they are 'worth it' when most people don't see them as being viable and I can't recall the last time I saw one on the table top in an all comers list.

If there were reports of ridden monster lists winning tournaments every now and then maybe you could argue they are balanced but it just does not happen......the proof is always in the pudding outside of opinion I am not seeing any pudding.

Show me some evidence that ridden monsters are a viable option, because I have tested and tested them again and on average they are very disapointing to say the least.

IcedCrow
24-08-2012, 13:23
Now we are at the other extreme why can't there be a middle ground? Because 84% of people who voted don't think they are any good and of the last 124 games played at my local club less than 5% involved a ridden monster. No one has brought a dragon to the last 7 tournaments I have attended.

From my own experience the only really viable dragon is the star dragon as it has 7 wounds and have some decent durability. Basically I find it hard to beleive they are 'worth it' when most people don't see them as being viable and I can't recall the last time I saw one on the table top in an all comers list.

If there were reports of ridden monster lists winning tournaments every now and then maybe you could argue they are balanced but it just does not happen......the proof is always in the pudding outside of opinion I am not seeing any pudding.

Show me some evidence that ridden monsters are a viable option, because I have tested and tested them again and on average they are very disapointing to say the least.

There really is no middle ground. It's either points effective or "optimal" or it is not. Even something that is somewhat effective won't be taken in a competitive enviornment. You won't see ridden monsters winning tournaments or in a competitive group because they are too risky to take. That doesn't mean it can't be done, that means that most people won't take the risk and therefore you will never see it. That's why your typical tournaments feature similar builds across the board. The optimal choices tend to be a very small percentage of combinations and units, but that very small percentage is what is most represented in a competitive enviornment.

I have already explained evidence that it is risky to take ridden monsters; I have posted a half dozen times in depth on why I think they are risky to use.

Tournament / competitive players will rarely if ever choose the items that are high risk no matter if they are high reward or not. It goes against the rules of optimization. Therefore you won't ever see it. That is not proof that they are not balanced, that is proof that they are high risk and not optimal for competitive / tournament players to use, and tournament players often gravitate towards things unbalanced in the over powered way and spam them as much as they can.

This does not mean ridden monsters are weak. It means that they are not optimal / powergaming choices. If I had my way there would be no powergaming choices and everything would be balanced, but that is not the case. If you are a competitive player that plays primarily to soley in competitive groups and events, of course you will never see ridden monsters. Most of the posters on here I'd dare say are primarily tournament / competitive players, so the poll results don't surprise me.

I see ridden monsters all the time, but my group is mostly narrative, and while we are competitive, we don't use tournament lists and take risky units for the narrative. My group right now is about 16 fantasy players, of which two of them use the internet to post ;) it's been that way largely since i started in the 90s... I don't think you'll get a lot of non competitive player voices on these forums and the results are a bit skewed.

Conclusion: ridden monsters are high risk, and as such will not be seen in tournaments where the mindset there is to optimize and take the safe bets. I understand this thought as I was a primarily competitive tournament player for seven years, and had you been talking to me ten years ago I would also say I'd never touch ridden monsters either, because that would defy the convention of powergaming and optimization, which are the keys you use in a strictly competitive environment to succeed.

I use them often. They often do well for me. They have also been shot out from under my feet on turn 1. My win percentage is around 50-70%. My current league record is 50%. I'm ok with that. A lot of the guys in my group also use them semi-regularly. HOwever if I go to the store where most of the competitive guys play pick up games, I'll never see one either, so it will always be largely dependent on

A) how important is winning to you? I'm ok with my w/l percentage, I still do pretty well but I know I'm not going to go undefeated and win a trophy. The only loss I had that was a blowout was a purple sun that destroyed my entire army and it turns out we played that wrong anyway.

B) how aggressive / risk taking are you? I find most optimizer type players are very conservative. Using something like a ridden monster requires one to be willing to take risks, and in some cases large risks.

C) what is "worth it" to you? We use that phrase a lot. To me "worth it" is providing a legitimate threat that is very mobile that needs dealt with asap while the rest of my army moves forward. To many, "worth it" means reliably making their points back. My ridden monster doesn't always make his points back, but taking cannon fire off my army and providing a real threat somewhere that forces my opponent to engage it on my terms while leaving the rest of my army unmolested is often to me "worth it", even if he doesn't make his points back.

What is disappointing? Not making his points back? Yes if I wanted him to make his points back, I'd be disappointed to, but my ridden monster lord's primary role is actually not to make his points back (that's secondary and if he achieves that, then HOORAY) but to be a support piece. As such, he rarely disappoints me because he fulfils that role well.

Is it that he can't solo an infantry unit? If so ... yes I agree if that's something I'd desire in a flying monster I'd also be disappointed. However, as I've mentioned earlier, if things went back to 5th edition where ridden monsters could easily solo infantry units and any other unit, I'd hang up warhammer and go play Kings of War or LOTR or another system.

Vipoid
24-08-2012, 13:51
There really is no middle ground. It's either points effective or "optimal" or it is not.

I don't get this.

Surely a model that's worth its points is exactly middle ground.

If (as is the case) they're worth less than their points, then they're underpowered.

If they were worth more than their points, then they'd be overpowered.

IcedCrow
24-08-2012, 13:56
I don't get this.

Surely a model that's worth its points is exactly middle ground.

If (as is the case) they're worth less than their points, then they're underpowered.

If they were worth more than their points, then they'd be overpowered.

That again comes down to what is "worth its points". I find ridden monsters "worth their points", not because they can reliably "make their points back" but for all of the reasons I have outlined in several places.

To many people "worth their points" means "often or always can make their points back", which is not balanced. It's a sure thing they are looking for. (Optimal)

As I've also mentioned, a 500 point ridden monster that can always take on a 500 point infantry unit and reliably win would turn the game from a game of armies to a game of ridden monsters (see 5th edition for poignant examples which is exactly what that game was).

Also a 500 point ridden monster that can equally match up to a 500 point infantry unit is unbalanced. The infantry unit cannot fly and lacks the extreme mobility of the ridden monster (assuming it flies of course) which account for a large number of points in my opinion.

Gradek
24-08-2012, 13:56
That again comes down to what is "worth its points". I find ridden monsters "worth their points", not because they can reliably "make their points back" but for all of the reasons I have outlined in several places.

To many people "worth their points" means "often or always can make their points back", which is not balanced. It's a sure thing they are looking for. (Optimal)

Because the definition of "worth" in warhammer terms is extremely subjective.

IcedCrow
24-08-2012, 14:06
Because the definition of "worth" in warhammer terms is extremely subjective.

Absolutely, though in discussions like this it is important to understand what the "worth" is as it is the keystone of the entire debate. Otherwise you just have people talking over each other when they are using the centerpiece of their discussion differently.

Vipoid
24-08-2012, 14:13
That again comes down to what is "worth its points". I find ridden monsters "worth their points", not because they can reliably "make their points back" but for all of the reasons I have outlined in several places.

To many people "worth their points" means "often or always can make their points back", which is not balanced. It's a sure thing they are looking for. (Optimal)

Honestly, I really don't think that ridden monsters are worth their points. For the record, I don't think that a 300pt ridden monster should be able to take on a 300pt regiment and win (since you're paying for the added manoeuvrability), although a 300pt monster, plus a 300pt rider should have a fair shot.

Regardless, my point was that there *is* a logical middle-ground (although whether or not we've reached it is obviously up for debate).


T
As I've also mentioned, a 500 point ridden monster that can always take on a 500 point infantry unit and reliably win would turn the game from a game of armies to a game of ridden monsters (see 5th edition for poignant examples which is exactly what that game was).

Yes, but then a 500pt monster that can be locked in combat with a 300pt unit for the entire game isn't much better.

I agree that we should be careful not to make monsters too powerful. However, at the end of the day, this is a fantasy game, so having powerful monsters doesn't seem that unreasonable. Considering that ridden monsters have some of the nicest models, if it came down to a choice between overpowered monsters or underpowered paperweights, I'd personally choose the former.

IcedCrow
24-08-2012, 14:27
I would need to see suggested changes then to be able to really comment further.

I haven't really experienced my chaos lord and manticore ever locked in combat against a 300 point unit for the entire game. That's what... a 30 man spearmen unit with a captain in it? I wouldn't want to charge that with my monster solo unless it was a flank or rear charge and there was no BSB nearby to give them a re-roll on their break check. This is where my comments about me assuming others want their monsters to be able to reliably break infantry units come in. If one is commenting about a ridden monster being locked in combat with a unit all game, that indicates that they want to charge infantry units solo with their monsters and then break and run those units down.

Overpowered monsters would take us to an edition that I hated more than anything and as having to leave the game again is something I want to avoid, I'd have to disagree with overpowering monsters. If a ridden monster could reliably run infantry units down, every player would always take them, and then the sight of armies would diminish and instead it would be about the lords on dragons all over again with their body guard (turning the game from army vs army to dragon rider vs dragon rider). In essence... not a game of warhammer any more but more of a skirmish level game.

theunwantedbeing
24-08-2012, 15:22
Overpowered monsters would take us to an edition that I hated more than anything and as having to leave the game again is something I want to avoid, I'd have to disagree with overpowering monsters. If a ridden monster could reliably run infantry units down, every player would always take them, and then the sight of armies would diminish and instead it would be about the lords on dragons all over again with their body guard (turning the game from army vs army to dragon rider vs dragon rider). In essence... not a game of warhammer any more but more of a skirmish level game.

See I think this fear of monsters suddenly becoming nonsensically uber is misplaced.
The only way they'll be able to reliably take on giant ranked infantry blocks singlehandedly and win easily is if they get a rule that allows them to negate the rank bonus of the enemy.

Bumping stats and such won't turn monsters into unstoppable death machines that can easily take on entire armies singlehandedly.

It happened in 5th for a few reasons
1. Chargers went first
2. There was no step-up
3. There was no steadfast
4. It was possible to be too tough to hurt
5. The guy atop the monster was often decked out in so much kit that his mount was merely a means to get to the enemy

In 8th.
1. Chargers don't go first
2. Step up does exist
3. Steadfast exists
4. You will always wound on a roll of a 6
5. The guy atop the monster isn't an unstoppable death machine in almost all cases

So really unless monsters get given a rule that they negate the enemy ranks there's no way they'll revert to 5th ed levels of herohammer.

IcedCrow
24-08-2012, 15:42
Sure. But I haven't seen any suggestions really that were reasonable IMO to accomplish waht it is you want other than to make cannonballs not hit both rider and monster and to extend ward save from rider to monster (both of which I think are reasonable)

theunwantedbeing
24-08-2012, 16:13
Sure. But I haven't seen any suggestions really that were reasonable IMO to accomplish waht it is you want other than to make cannonballs not hit both rider and monster and to extend ward save from rider to monster (both of which I think are reasonable)

Care to give a run down of the sugguestions and reasons why they aren't reasonable?

yabbadabba
24-08-2012, 16:19
Sure. But I haven't seen any suggestions really that were reasonable IMO to accomplish waht it is you want other than to make cannonballs not hit both rider and monster and to extend ward save from rider to monster (both of which I think are reasonable) I am not sure about the ward save business - wouldn't that mean hike in ward save prices, or a dual price?

I still think the first stage, and the most important one, is randomising the hit and terrain. The second is to realise how few armies have cannons.

IcedCrow
24-08-2012, 16:27
Care to give a run down of the sugguestions and reasons why they aren't reasonable?

I've already done this a couple pages back. The most popular being dropping dragons down to about 100-150 pts, which I feel is way too cheap for a mobile flanking lord that can have decent magic items. That would make manticores about 100 points and lesser large monsters below 100. I think that is a bit too cheap for the utility one can pull out of it.

Another popular one i have heard a lot of is that monsters ignore rank bonus, which puts us back closer to 5th edition (a ridden monster would then only have to do one wound for a draw out of its 9 or so attacks with magic weapons etc to win, barring lucky strikes back by the unit, would tip it so the monster and rider would be winning combats reliably and comfortably). Combined with an infantry unit of your own this would make the monster and infantry combo win practically 95% or so of the time and be unbalanced. It would, however, become popular in tournaments for that very reason.

Then of course there is the cannonball only hitting the rider or monster (I agree) or that monsters get their rider's ward (I agree).

Those make it more durable. The former two make it potentially ridiculous.

We make heavy use of terrain that block line of sight and walls which stop cannonballs, (we roll terrain randomly but have access to all of those pieces if they get rolled)

I think a group's first order of business should be to obtain better terrain. On a table with normal terrain and cannon-ball stopping pieces... durability of larger monsters is a lot higher than when playing without cover or walls at all (which is one reason its rare for my chaos lord on manticore to get dropped in turn 1, not all of my opponents can see it to shoot it with everything)

Lord Inquisitor
24-08-2012, 20:08
There really is no middle ground. It's either points effective or "optimal" or it is not. Even something that is somewhat effective won't be taken in a competitive enviornment.
I disagree. There's no reason to say a unit has to take out its points to be effective, attractive or competitively viable. And units that aren't in "the" competitive build for an army can be viable in a competitive setting.

For example, I often like to use a Thundertusk in my Ogre army. It isn't typically seen in the "A" ogre lists but you do see it in competitive lists from time to time. It's horribly vulnerable to typical monster banes, poison troops and cannons. That said, I do take it in my competitive lists quite often. It's a risk, but it's a risk that can pay off quite well. It's only 250 vps if I lose it, not the end of the world, and it pretty much never "makes its points back". It has a number of support roles, as a mobile stone thrower, as a force multiplier with the aura and can add a bit of combat damage too but it really doesn't tend to kill anything off by itself.

But let's now have a look at a ridden monster. Why would I take a ghoul king on a terrorgheist? The payoff isn't much higher than a terrorgheist that isn't ridden, the risk of losing it is about the same but with a colossal penalty if the risk happens.

This isn't a case of "these aren't super optimised". I quite like these sorts of units like thundertusks, or seekers or whatever that require a bit of thought to use. Ridden monsters are just bad.


Sure. But I haven't seen any suggestions really that were reasonable IMO to accomplish waht it is you want other than to make cannonballs not hit both rider and monster and to extend ward save from rider to monster (both of which I think are reasonable)
I'm curious why you don't want to go the whole hog and make it a split profile unit? That's a logical extension of passing the ward onto the beast.


Another popular one i have heard a lot of is that monsters ignore rank bonus, which puts us back closer to 5th edition (a ridden monster would then only have to do one wound for a draw out of its 9 or so attacks with magic weapons etc to win, barring lucky strikes back by the unit, would tip it so the monster and rider would be winning combats reliably and comfortably). Combined with an infantry unit of your own this would make the monster and infantry combo win practically 95% or so of the time and be unbalanced. It would, however, become popular in tournaments for that very reason.
Even if monsters broke steadfast/ranks, that still wouldn't make ridden monsters more viable. You're still better off taking two hydra than a lord on a dragon, taking stonehorn instead of stonehorn ridden by a hunter, etc.

The issues with monsters aren't breaking steadfast. Plenty of units out there, notably Mournfangs, can win by sheer attrition of the enemy infantry. Monsters can do this quite well particularly with a combat lord on top. This isn't the issue. We don't want to introduce such an imbalance into the game, then it really would be rock/paper/scissors.

The issue is very much durability. Ridden monsters are vulnerable to cannons (they would be even if you didn't hit both!) and really really expensive and often a vital character like general or level four. But they're also vulnerable to the usual monster-killing stuff - poisoned shooting will shred most mounts because they don't have much of an armour save. In combat the enemy can choose and will kill the weak point. A wizard will be picked out and slain by enemy attacks, conversely a griffon will be killed quickly as it has no saves, leaving the tough combat lord on foot and easy pickings.

This isn't a new issue though - as I said earlier we have had these precise issues before.

Chariots had issues with durability in 5th, because the crew could be picked out. Solution? Make a split profile unit with one set of wounds and a decent toughness/armour.
Non-character ridden monsters have had issues because the crew can be picked out. A stegadon can often be beaten in combat by killing all the squishy T2 crew. Solution? Crew-ridden monsters like warspynxes and stonehorn became split profile units with one set of wounds and a decent toughness/armour.
War machines became special split profile units, and benefit from the machine's toughness from shooting.
Characters on MC mounts had issues with durability because rider or mount could be picked out. Solution? Increased Wounds and a split profile unit with combined armour and ward, etc.

We've been here before. Many times in the last three editions. The solution every time is to make a single, tough, model with a shared set of wounds that benefits from the toughness/armour/ward all together.

Characters gain the benefit of the monster's toughness. Meaning they aren't a weak point
Monsters gain the benefits of the rider's ward and/or armour, protecting the whole monster from cannons and poison shooting
But only one pool of wounds - a cannon that does hit and penetrate ward could take the whole model out in one shot
Monsters can't break steadfast but are a serious threat to infantry and aren't easily killed by eliminating the weakest link
dragon+rider is comparable to greater daemons in cost and power

IcedCrow
24-08-2012, 20:30
So you're saying instead of a chaos lord on manticore, I'd have a model that is the chaos lord on manticore.

A manticore is I believe T5 as is the lord but lets just say monster is T6. So the whole model is T6. Then the lord on top you've given a 4+ ward, so the whole monster has a 4+ ward. Then it would have 3W for the rider (or whatever) + 5 wounds for the monster = 8W on its profile. Then bring the cost down so the whole thing is about 500 points or so.

Those aren't bad ideas. I may tinker with the idea as a house rule for next campaign though that won't be until next July.

Lord Inquisitor
24-08-2012, 21:00
I was thinking you'd use the monster's Toughness and the monster's Wounds. I'm not sure I'd add them together: that would make them very durable. Perhaps that would be a good thing but conservatively I'd say just use the monster's wounds (if higher of course).

So for example, a Chaos Lord on a Manticore with Talisman of Preservation would be:

WS8 (lord's WS) when attacked, T5, 4W, 2+ armour (assuming chaos armour, shield, mount), 4+ ward (ToP).

That costs you 465. That still seems a bit much for what you get but you've then got marks, weapons and 55 points of items if you want. Compare it to a Daemon Prince and it stacks up favorably I'd say.

On the other hand, a level 4 Sorcerer Lord on a Chaos Dragon costs (with 4+ ward but no marks and 55 points left of item allowance): 665

This has WS5, T6, a 2+ armour (assuming a dragon adds +2 to represent the dragon's armour), W6, and a 4+ ward save. Plus a level 4 of course. Pretty equivalent to a Lord of Change I would say, slightly better ward and a 2+ armour but more expensive than a level 4 LoC without gifts.

Finally an Empire General on a griffon (note that the griffon is better and cheaper now than it used to be):

With a ward save, full plate and shield, this costs you 322 points.

This now has WS5, 3S4 and 4S6 attacks, T5 and 2+ armour and 4+ ward.

innerwolf
24-08-2012, 22:42
We make heavy use of terrain that block line of sight and walls which stop cannonballs, (we roll terrain randomly but have access to all of those pieces if they get rolled)

I think a group's first order of business should be to obtain better terrain. On a table with normal terrain and cannon-ball stopping pieces... durability of larger monsters is a lot higher than when playing without cover or walls at all (which is one reason its rare for my chaos lord on manticore to get dropped in turn 1, not all of my opponents can see it to shoot it with everything)

That doesn't help non-flying ridden monsters at all. They usually lack the mobility to run from cover to cover.
LOS blocking terrain and walls solve nothing for (using the example I know more) Stegadons and Carnosaurs. They need something more. Split profile (exactly in the same way LordInquisitor points out) would help them a lot.

I have to say the only big issue with split profiles would be ward saves being too cheap for their effect. Dual prices have been mentioned, and although it wouldn't mean perfect balance (a Talisman of Preservation would have to protect a griffon and a star dragon for the same cost) it would be fine. Let's say we would pay a 50% more for the ward on a monster rider.

Urgat
24-08-2012, 23:24
I was thinking you'd use the monster's Toughness and the monster's Wounds. I'm not sure I'd add them together: that would make them very durable. Perhaps that would be a good thing but conservatively I'd say just use the monster's wounds (if higher of course).

So for example, a Chaos Lord on a Manticore with Talisman of Preservation would be:

WS8 (lord's WS) when attacked, T5, 4W, 2+ armour (assuming chaos armour, shield, mount), 4+ ward (ToP).

That costs you 465. That still seems a bit much for what you get but you've then got marks, weapons and 55 points of items if you want. Compare it to a Daemon Prince and it stacks up favorably I'd say.

On the other hand, a level 4 Sorcerer Lord on a Chaos Dragon costs (with 4+ ward but no marks and 55 points left of item allowance): 665

This has WS5, T6, a 2+ armour (assuming a dragon adds +2 to represent the dragon's armour), W6, and a 4+ ward save. Plus a level 4 of course. Pretty equivalent to a Lord of Change I would say, slightly better ward and a 2+ armour but more expensive than a level 4 LoC without gifts.

Finally an Empire General on a griffon (note that the griffon is better and cheaper now than it used to be):

With a ward save, full plate and shield, this costs you 322 points.

This now has WS5, 3S4 and 4S6 attacks, T5 and 2+ armour and 4+ ward.

Well that would make great shamans on arachnaroks a pretty cool option. With a 4++ save, eight T6 wounds would make him nasty. I trust you'd extend that to characters on chariots too? That would make Grom the crappiest lord ever (what with Niblit making the whole damn thing autodie if it runs), but that would certainly make characters on chariot quite a lot better too, still because of the ward save. At least there would be little surprise, you'd see a monster, you'd know he spent 45 or 50pts in a 4++ granting item.

Doommasters
27-08-2012, 01:09
anyon tested any of these rules ideas?

T10
27-08-2012, 10:53
Some good ideas here, but I don't think it's appropriate to always use the highest toughness. Here's my take on it:

A character riding a Monster mount has the Mounted Monster troop type. This follows the same rules as a character riding a Monstrous Beast, with the following exceptions if the mount has the Large Target special rule:
* Against ranged attacks, use the better of the character and the mount's Toughness values. In close combat, use the character's Toughness value.
* If the mount has its own armour save then the model uses the character's armour save (remember to include the +1 bonus for being mounted) or the mount's armour save, whichever is better.

-T10

Von Wibble
27-08-2012, 11:05
I like the idea of combining profiles (including adding the wounds together) but one thing I'd also do is say that once the model is reduced to half wounds they are also reduced to half attacks (I believe Warmaster has a similar mechanic?). So a High Elf Prince on Griffon may have 8 wounds and 8 attacks, but once reduced to 4 wounds he is also reduced to 4 attacks. By combining attacks you also remove the challenge problem, as the monster is also getting to attack. Makes VHS a beast however...

T10 - I don't agree with using the riders T in combat - surely a unit is going to struggle to attack the character when there is a GIANT FRICKIN' MONSTER stood in the way? I'd say in challenges yes but otherwise use monster's toughness.

Sh4d0w
27-08-2012, 12:19
I'm just curious here, for the people that wish cannons go down to d3 wounds, how do you propose we deal with 6 t8 sphinxes in a single list? Obviously that is difficult for alot of armies but atleast you guys have magic and can out-outmaneuver/outrun them.

Baluc
27-08-2012, 13:37
I'm just curious here, for the people that wish cannons go down to d3 wounds, how do you propose we deal with 6 t8 sphinxes in a single list? Obviously that is difficult for alot of armies but atleast you guys have magic and can out-outmaneuver/outrun them.

Stone throwers, thunderers, combat to finish it off. People issues with cannons is that they work 85% of the time. The option is make them less powerful or less reliable. Tomb Kings can't march so I'm not sure why you can't out-maneuver them.

I'm also not sure how they are getting 6 Sphinxes in a regular 2000-2500 point game. If you're playing massive games take Slayers.

theunwantedbeing
27-08-2012, 14:34
I'm just curious here, for the people that wish cannons go down to d3 wounds, how do you propose we deal with 6 t8 sphinxes in a single list? Obviously that is difficult for alot of armies but atleast you guys have magic and can out-outmaneuver/outrun them.

Bullcrap.

Want to know why?
For shooting you still have....
Grudge throwers, they're St9 in the centre and do D6 wounds and you can make them nice and accurate
Bolt throwers, 5+ to wound before upgrades and you can have multiple st9 bolt throwers if you want, plus they're 2 for 1 so you can have at least 6 in total (not necessarily 6 st9 though)
Handguns and Crossbows will kill them eventually, or at least knock a wound or two off per volley of 20.

For combat you still have....
Massed ranks will kill them, St5 negates any save they get and each 6 is a wound off.
Combat Res, dwarves can currently rack up massive levels of combat res from banners and the like, you can crumble enemies without ever needing to hurt them in combat.
Master rune of Skalf Blackhammer to wound them on a 2+ with your 4+ attacks
Master rune of Smiting to deal D6 wounds per wounding hit
Rune of Might to double your strength to 8 vs them(lots of characters can have these)

So you have plenty of ways to deal with loads of monsters even with cannons that "only do D3 wounds".
You used to have D3 wound cannons before and monsters weren't an issue back anyway.

Note my personal viewpoint on the matter is that cannons should remain doing D6 wounds per hit.

Enigmatik1
27-08-2012, 19:35
Stone throwers, thunderers, combat to finish it off. People issues with cannons is that they work 85% of the time. The option is make them less powerful or less reliable. Tomb Kings can't march so I'm not sure why you can't out-maneuver them.

I'm also not sure how they are getting 6 Sphinxes in a regular 2000-2500 point game. If you're playing massive games take Slayers.

You could probably do it if you put a King and Prince each on Sphinxes (*epic facepalm*), ran two Warsphinxes and two Necrosphinxes. I can't help but wonder, however, why on Earth would someone dump so many points in sphinxes...especially by putting Royals to on top of them (full circle ftw).

Ratarsed
27-08-2012, 22:10
Stone throwers, thunderers, combat to finish it off. People issues with cannons is that they work 85% of the time.
Have you ever stopped to work out how reliable cannons really are?
Lets say you are targeting a single model and decide to place your "spot" 10" short of a hit on the target. (A very common strategy. Not sure if it is the best spot to chose but it is common amongst my group.) To hit the 10"+ you will only succeed about 56% of the time. Big monsters on 50mm bases can be hit on 8+ but that still only gives a 67% chance of success. The perfect shot down the length of a 100mm monster ups the chance to about 75% success.
Now you have hit you have to wound. (anything but a 1? 83% chance of success) Now you need to do enough wounds to kill it. Say it has 5 wounds thats a 33% chance of success. For the rider lets give it at least a 5+ ward save. (67%) and 3 wounds (67%)

So the chance of a single cannon shot killing a ridden monster on a 50mm base with 5 wounds and a rider with a 5+ ward and 3 wounds is by my calculations
18% for the monster and 25% for the rider (19% with a 4+ ward)

A monster that can fly is in a far better position as a clever general can impose enemy troops in fron or behind the shot. Remember a spot cannot be picked that has any chance of hitting friendly troops or a combat involving friendly troops.

Ridden monsters are just a case of big risks for big rewards. If you are prepared to take the risk of putting a big chunk of your points in a single model then go for it they can add a whole new dimension to your games. If not then leave them on the shelf and stick your characters in units.
The only rule that needs changing for cannons is remove the double hit on ridden monsters and return to randomisation.

Lord Inquisitor
27-08-2012, 22:37
Have you ever stopped to work out how reliable cannons really are?
Lets say you are targeting a single model and decide to place your "spot" 10" short of a hit on the target. (A very common strategy. Not sure if it is the best spot to chose but it is common amongst my group.) To hit the 10"+ you will only succeed about 56% of the time. Big monsters on 50mm bases can be hit on 8+ but that still only gives a 67% chance of success. The perfect shot down the length of a 100mm monster ups the chance to about 75% success.
Now you have hit you have to wound. (anything but a 1? 83% chance of success) Now you need to do enough wounds to kill it. Say it has 5 wounds thats a 33% chance of success. For the rider lets give it at least a 5+ ward save. (67%) and 3 wounds (67%)

So the chance of a single cannon shot killing a ridden monster on a 50mm base with 5 wounds and a rider with a 5+ ward and 3 wounds is by my calculations
18% for the monster and 25% for the rider (19% with a 4+ ward)

This is deceptive, because the scenario of only 1 cannon firing at a monster and needing to kill it in exactly 1 shot is pretty unrealistic. Yeah, your numbers look right but they don't tell the whole story because they don't take into account that, for example, you're counting taking 4 wounds off a 5 wound monster as a "failure".

An example I already worked through on another thread:


Let's assume a zombie dragon sized base. Assuming shot with a little bit of angle (typical), the base is 3" long. 10" from the back of the base means only a 2" overshoot and misfire/2" bounce will miss and 4" overshoot with misfire. Add to the misfire chance that's 2/9 that the shot will miss. Multiply 7/9 chance of hitting by 5/6 for the odds of not wounding, that's 35/54.

What's the odds of two cannons inflicting, say, 6 wounds on our dragon? There's a 42% chance both cannons hit and a 72% chance of doing 6 wounds, for a total 30% chance of doing at least 6 wounds, but there's also a possibility of a cannon doing 6 wounds by itself, which is 11% per cannon so about 20% for both. The total probability therefore is around 50% that you'll blow the dragon away*. Oh hey, and that's not even counting the hits on the rider!

So two cannons stand about 50-50 odds of blowing my 600+ point dragon away right there. Assuming a 4+ ward and a charmed shield on the rider, there is almost exactly 50% chance of him being wounded. One cannon wounding is 0.08 + 0.42 * 5/6, which is 0.43, while two cannons wounding is 0.07. With a 4+ ward then the chance of being wounded by at least one is 0.23 and 0.05 so 0.28 or 28%. Causing 3 wounds is therefore 19% even with a charmed shield. The odds of killing either the rider or the mount is therefore pretty much dead on 60%**.

The upshot is assuming a dragon with 6 wounds, a charmed shield and a 4+ ward, the odds of losing either one or the other is 60%. That's fairly significant! Now obviously this calculation incorporates the mechanic of hitting both rider and mount (since that's the current rules!), which I'm aware you're against.

The point of all this is that the probability of one cannon taking you out is pretty small, but this is because a chunk of this includes wounding but not killing the rider/mount. The probabilities increase dramatically when you move to two cannons or three (or four!). Let's face it, no one brings one cannon when they can bring two... (And I'm putting my second ironblaster together!)


Ridden monsters are just a case of big risks for big rewards. If you are prepared to take the risk of putting a big chunk of your points in a single model then go for it
Once again, they're a case of big risks for pretty lousy rewards.

* Looking over my maths, this is wrong, it's "only" a 45% chance of killing the monster.
** This is correct though, clearly I caught the error above.

Ratarsed
27-08-2012, 23:51
We can each quote statistics I suppose. I might say that the chances of two cannons hitting is less than 50%! which depending how you look at it could be rubbish or far too good. :p But at the end of the day the value of a ridden monster will depend a great deal on your opponents and the terrain set up along with your experience and skill in using them wisely. I definately do not want to see the return of Hero-Hammer monsters and with a game as precariously balanced as warhammer even an apparently small change can have a massive impact. That's why the only change I would support for 8th edition rules is the randomisation of cannon shots. To me it's stupid that a single shot can score 2 hits on a single model. I know it is technicaly a "template" but IMO there is a world of difference between a blast template and a cannon line template that can, for example, be stopped by large creatures , so it is already treated differently to other template weapons.

Lord Solar Plexus
28-08-2012, 05:52
I'm just curious here, for the people that wish cannons go down to d3 wounds, how do you propose we deal with 6 t8 sphinxes in a single list? Obviously that is difficult for alot of armies but atleast you guys have magic and can out-outmaneuver/outrun them.

I would have no idea what to do against that with or without cannon, and I'm not sure what you or others expect cannon to do with their current stats. They're not very good; they're just fashionable and hyped up by the internet.

And no, a Crossbolt or one character with an axe isn't a solution while the suggestion to "outmaneouver them" - with what, the unit meant for WM hunting, how, and what for? - is plain stupid. Play someone else.

Baluc
28-08-2012, 12:55
We can each quote statistics I suppose. I might say that the chances of two cannons hitting is less than 50%! which depending how you look at it could be rubbish or far too good. :p But at the end of the day the value of a ridden monster will depend a great deal on your opponents and the terrain set up along with your experience and skill in using them wisely. I definately do not want to see the return of Hero-Hammer monsters and with a game as precariously balanced as warhammer even an apparently small change can have a massive impact. That's why the only change I would support for 8th edition rules is the randomisation of cannon shots. To me it's stupid that a single shot can score 2 hits on a single model. I know it is technicaly a "template" but IMO there is a world of difference between a blast template and a cannon line template that can, for example, be stopped by large creatures , so it is already treated differently to other template weapons.

The cannon isn't busted levels of good, its just too good against one specific set of models. If it could be returned to the mean against ridden monsters so you know we see a few more, I don't think it would be a huge issue. An increased availability of ridden monsters would actually go a long way towards combat characters making a return, massive steadfast blocks having a weakness, decreased amounts of lvl 4 wizards.

That being said even the Stonehorn (which I feel is an amazing monster) is rarely taken over two cannons on chariots...

Why
28-08-2012, 16:08
Even If they got the second stonehorn for free most of the time they pick the chariot riding cannon. Typical ogre for you:rolleyes:

The Low King
28-08-2012, 18:19
I dont take ridden monsters for the following reasons:
-Cant take a level 4
-Makes the character more vulnerable
-gets tied up in combat with large units or champs a lot

On the other hand, with my lizardmen i love taking ridden monsters (when im not taking a slan) because their characters are tough enough (Old blood) or cheap enough (chief) that it matters less.



Bullcrap.

Want to know why?
For shooting you still have....
Grudge throwers, they're St9 in the centre and do D6 wounds and you can make them nice and accurate

50% accurate with accuracy, and probably costing 150-175 points. Plus i hardly think that if they reduce cannons to D3 wounds they will leave stone throwers at D6, and im going to be targetting the big unit of chariots/TG anyway


Bolt throwers, 5+ to wound before upgrades and you can have multiple st9 bolt throwers if you want, plus they're 2 for 1 so you can have at least 6 in total (not necessarily 6 st9 though)

Sphinxes are t8 no? so 6+ to wound i think. You can only have 1 S9 bolt thrower, rune combinations, and it will cost you almost 150 points.


Handguns and Crossbows will kill them eventually, or at least knock a wound or two off per volley of 20.

Unfortunatly 20 thunderers cost almost 300 points, and a single area spell getting through will probably heal a wound back.


For combat you still have....
Massed ranks will kill them, St5 negates any save they get and each 6 is a wound off.

Very slowly, even in horde you wont be getting that many attacks, and it will be doing a lot of damage back.


Combat Res, dwarves can currently rack up massive levels of combat res from banners and the like, you can crumble enemies without ever needing to hurt them in combat.

Static combat res is very unpopular atm, in a horde of dwarfs its really not worth it. Plus, only elite infantry can take a runic banner, and you usually want those fighting the Tomb Guard.


Master rune of Skalf Blackhammer to wound them on a 2+ with your 4+ attacks
Master rune of Smiting to deal D6 wounds per wounding hit
Rune of Might to double your strength to 8 vs them(lots of characters can have these)


unfortunatly you cant take Blackhammer and Smiting at the same time, and a killy lord is pretty vulnerable, paticularly against TKs where you have lots of KB...like the Sphinxes (or the guys on them).



I agree with you that there are ways to deal with things like Sphinxes other than cannons, problem is that they are much less efficient at the job, unfeasable really.

theunwantedbeing
28-08-2012, 19:12
50% accurate with accuracy, and probably costing 150-175 points. Plus i hardly think that if they reduce cannons to D3 wounds they will leave stone throwers at D6, and im going to be targetting the big unit of chariots/TG anyway
If there's 6 of them, you're bound to hit one of them.
Anyway, exactly how much in the way of an army are you expecting to face when the other guy rocks up with 6 large creatures like that?


Sphinxes are t8 no? so 6+ to wound i think. You can only have 1 S9 bolt thrower, rune combinations, and it will cost you almost 150 points.
Yes yes I made a mistake, too used to always seeing st7 dwarf bolt throwers.
135pts is not "almost" 150pts at all.
You can take 3 bolt throwers for "almost" 150pts in any case, they're not pricey and they do not need 70+pts of upgrades per bolt thrower.


Unfortunatly 20 thunderers cost almost 300 points, and a single area spell getting through will probably heal a wound back.
Dispel?
240pts is not "almost" 300pts.
A sphinx with any amount of extra's is much the same "almost 300pts", one with a tomb king atop it is noticably more.


Very slowly, even in horde you wont be getting that many attacks, and it will be doing a lot of damage back.
You'll do a wound a round to it. It won't be able to kill the unit before it dies. You're looking at an average of 4-5 wounds it does to you per round.
This is without any character support at all, a St8 Hero will deal another wound to it each round, it'll be lucky to live more 2 rounds as a result.


Static combat res is very unpopular atm, in a horde of dwarfs its really not worth it. Plus, only elite infantry can take a runic banner, and you usually want those fighting the Tomb Guard.
That doesn't mean it isn't useful in the slightest.
Static combat res is a great way to remove unstable monsters.


unfortunatly you cant take Blackhammer and Smiting at the same time, and a killy lord is pretty vulnerable, paticularly against TKs where you have lots of KB...like the Sphinxes (or the guys on them).
I was merely pointing out the useful runes. The rune of preservation removes any killing blow worry the guy might have.
Also a dwarf lord is in4 and so fights before any tomb king or sphinx and depending on his equipment he is fully capable of ruining the sphinx in a single round.


I agree with you that there are ways to deal with things like Sphinxes other than cannons, problem is that they are much less efficient at the job, unfeasable really.

Looking at each thing individually yes, not that great.
Look at the big picture and you'll see you can field a list that'll easily handle "6 Sphinxes" without the need to resort to cannons (or even grudge throwers) along with the rest of the army.

That's part of the reason why cannons are such an issue.
You fire a shot, knock most of the wounds off a monster and now it's vulnerable to archers or even getting stuck in fighting enemies that it would normally not need to fear. Similarly if you do survive the fight, you have to deal with being out in the open again which is where it's hardest to hide.

The Low King
28-08-2012, 19:58
135pts is not "almost" 150pts at all.
You can take 3 bolt throwers for "almost" 150pts in any case, they're not pricey and they do not need 70+pts of upgrades per bolt thrower..

true, i was just pointing out the issue with your bolt thrower suggestion.
Although, 3 bolt throwers have an average of less than a wound...not the best thing to use on a sphinx, you probably want them picking off chariots.




240pts is not "almost" 300pts.
A sphinx with any amount of extra's is much the same "almost 300pts", one with a tomb king atop it is noticably more..

20 thunderers is 280 points, 20 quarrelers are 220 points (but will probably have GWs).
I was just making the point that the unit will be as much as, if not more than the sphinx.



You'll do a wound a round to it. It won't be able to kill the unit before it dies. You're looking at an average of 4-5 wounds it does to you per round.
This is without any character support at all, a St8 Hero will deal another wound to it each round, it'll be lucky to live more 2 rounds as a result..

what kind of size unit will be fighting it? because for the price of a sphinx you could get 20 GW warriors with FC, a horde costs 425, so there will probably be 2 sphixes fighting the unit. If they are Warsphinxes (some of them will) the thundercrush attack will be dangerous.



That doesn't mean it isn't useful in the slightest.
Static combat res is a great way to remove unstable monsters..

I agree with you, its just that people dont take the runes that give +1 CR any more.



The rune of preservation removes any killing blow worry the guy might have..

But if you take the rune on a killy lord you wont have a rerollable AS or a ward. (Smiting and Might is 95 points, leaving you 30 points for defence)



Looking at each thing individually yes, not that great.
Look at the big picture and you'll see you can field a list that'll easily handle "6 Sphinxes" without the need to resort to cannons (or even grudge throwers) along with the rest of the army..

yes, you could, but that list wont be a balanced list, plus im not sure how effective the measures will be.



That's part of the reason why cannons are such an issue.
You fire a shot, knock most of the wounds off a monster and now it's vulnerable to archers or even getting stuck in fighting enemies that it would normally not need to fear. .



Similarly if you do survive the fight, you have to deal with being out in the open again which is where it's hardest to hide.

You cant aim the cannon so it could hit your own troops, Grudge throwers will be too close, so with a normal dwarf its unlikely the warmachines will have a vey clear LOS.


Monsters are fine vs cannons. Its ridden monsters.

Lord Inquisitor
28-08-2012, 21:48
We can each quote statistics I suppose. I might say that the chances of two cannons hitting is less than 50%! which depending how you look at it could be rubbish or far too good. :p But at the end of the day the value of a ridden monster will depend a great deal on your opponents and the terrain set up along with your experience and skill in using them wisely. I definately do not want to see the return of Hero-Hammer monsters and with a game as precariously balanced as warhammer even an apparently small change can have a massive impact. That's why the only change I would support for 8th edition rules is the randomisation of cannon shots. To me it's stupid that a single shot can score 2 hits on a single model. I know it is technicaly a "template" but IMO there is a world of difference between a blast template and a cannon line template that can, for example, be stopped by large creatures , so it is already treated differently to other template weapons.
My statistics support what we actually see - no one takes ridden monsters. Get caught out in the open with only two cannons drawing a bead and it is probably dead. And terrain, intervening units and soforth can only do so much. I can dig out the maths on that too, but particularly for the big base models, it only helps a little, only a few types of terrain or intervening units actually matter ... and do almost nothing against mobile cannons.

We need not see a return to herohammer if monsters are made viable enough to be taken, only if they're made a no brainer would that happen. Nor if cannons are changed to a mechanic that actually fit with the rest of the warhammer rules.


I would have no idea what to do against that with or without cannon, and I'm not sure what you or others expect cannon to do with their current stats. They're not very good; they're just fashionable and hyped up by the internet.
Says somebody on the internet.

There's a reason every dwarf, empire or ogre army has at least two cannons. I'm putting together my second Ironblaster not because the internet tells me to, indeed I'm typically pretty resistant to whatever "the" internet list is. I've been playing Ogres without Ironblasters or Mournfang for quite some time but now introducing a unit of Mournfang and an Ironblaster, there's no doubt there's a reason these units have hype they do. I'm putting in a second ironblaster instead of my thundertusk because the ironblaster isn't really any more vulnerable than the thundertusk and can effect counter-battery fire. The thundertusk is good, it's a flexible unit and I think it is rather under-appreciated but there's no question if the enemy has cannons on the board, it's dead by turn two at the latest. Plus it's vulnerable to poison shooting, regular shooting and massed close combat attacks, even if the enemy doesn't bring cannons at all.

It has nothing to do with fashion. If anything players, including myself, like to make their armies distinct from everyone else's. But damn, cannons are good. Ironblasters obviously have a couple of perks that make them particularly effective, but Empire cannons are hands down the best artillery piece they have to offer. I played around with hellblasters, mortars and hellstroms but I came back to cannons. They're just so accurate and versatile. Anti-infantry? Cannons are almost as good as stone throwers, better if you can get a flank shot on a horde. Anti-monsters? Cannons. Anti-chariots? Cannons. Character sniping? Cannons. Troops in buildings? Oh, cannons. Single-model redirectors? Cannons! Lone characters? Cannons.

The other thing about cannons is that they have a multiplication of force effect. Ratarsed's point about cannons not being that good fails completely because it doesn't take this multiplication of force into account. One cannon isn't that amazing. But stack two or more cannons and you can damn well make whatever you want dead, especially if you go first and particularly if the cannons are mobile (Ironblasters, Stanks).

Drasanil
28-08-2012, 22:16
But if you take the rune on a killy lord you wont have a rerollable AS or a ward. (Smiting and Might is 95 points, leaving you 30 points for defence)

With just a quick look at the book I can make a dwarf lord with a 2+ re-rollable save, 4++, immunity to poison and KB and S7. Pretty decent, wounds sphinxes on 5s and smooshes most everything else.


yes, you could, but that list wont be a balanced list, plus im not sure how effective the measures will be.

A misleading argument at best. The six sphinx example which is pretty much the worst case scenario, is neither balanced nor exactly with out massive risks. You'd basically need to be playing a 3000 pts game to avoid putting characters on them and play with almost nothing else in specials and an otherwise seriously gimped army. Necros are I1 and the War Sphinxes I3 at best, with lore of death being as popular as it is (not to mention shadows), I doubt many people would risk it with out advanced knowledge of exactly what they are facing, which should confer the exact same list building advantage to their dwarven opponent.

Are the dwarf players seriousy claiming that can't tailor a 3000 point list to deal with a monster spam list with out the use of D6 wound cannons?

Ratarsed
28-08-2012, 22:22
My statistics support what we actually see - no one takes ridden monsters.
Untrue. I take ridden monsters and the opponent I played this Sunday took a ridden monster.


Get caught out in the open with only two cannons drawing a bead and it is probably dead. And terrain, intervening units and soforth can only do so much. I can dig out the maths on that too, but particularly for the big base models, it only helps a little, only a few types of terrain or intervening units actually matter ... and do almost nothing against mobile cannons.
We don't want ridden monsters to have it all their own way. It is important that the enemy has a reasonable chance to kill them. What would you consider reasonable?
Only 1 army has mobile cannons so it is not a huge concern, particularly if you know your opponent in advance.


We need not see a return to herohammer if monsters are made viable enough to be taken, only if they're made a no brainer would that happen. Nor if cannons are changed to a mechanic that actually fit with the rest of the warhammer rules. What would be enough?


The other thing about cannons is that they have a multiplication of force effect. Ratarsed's point about cannons not being that good fails completely because it doesn't take this multiplication of force into account. One cannon isn't that amazing. But stack two or more cannons and you can damn well make whatever you want dead, especially if you go first and particularly if the cannons are mobile (Ironblasters, Stanks).
I played against 5 cannons on sunday (4 + Steam tank) 3 of them shot my Hellpit abomination and it only took 4 wounds. I don't consider that dead. A ridden monster with no regen save would have died I admit (character may have lived though!), but I still question the claim that you can make whatever you want dead with 2 or more cannons, especially with my propensity to rolls 1 to wound or for the number of wounds.

The Low King
28-08-2012, 23:17
Get caught out in the open with only two cannons drawing a bead and it is probably dead.


My maths says that isnt true; for a 6 wound monster, strait on, no save or terrain, a 36% chance of killing it with two cannons.



Says somebody on the internet.

There's a reason every dwarf, empire or ogre army has at least two cannons......

Mine dont. Ive been taking less and less cannons in my lists. A year ago i was taking 2 cannons minimum (at 2000+ points), sometimes 3 of them. In my current lists im frequently taking none, two at the absolute and very rare maximimum.

Im finding more and more that my cannons just arnt reliable or versatile enough for my liking, i have to have a unit in my list that can deal with monsters if they fail, and if i have that unit then what is the point of the cannons? Then if the enemy doesnt have monsters they are even more of a waste, i already have miners for taking our warmachines and i just dont kill enough other stuff.

Obviously there is always the game i wish i had a few cannons, but most of the time not.


With just a quick look at the book I can make a dwarf lord with a 2+ re-rollable save, 4++, immunity to poison and KB and S7. Pretty decent, wounds sphinxes on 5s and smooshes most everything else.

Great. Thats not a killy lord, that is a slight variance on the tank lord.


A misleading argument at best. The six sphinx example which is pretty much the worst case scenario, is neither balanced nor exactly with out massive risks. You'd basically need to be playing a 3000 pts game to avoid putting characters on them and play with almost nothing else in specials and an otherwise seriously gimped army. Necros are I1 and the War Sphinxes I3 at best, with lore of death being as popular as it is (not to mention shadows), I doubt many people would risk it with out advanced knowledge of exactly what they are facing, which should confer the exact same list building advantage to their dwarven opponent.

Are the dwarf players seriousy claiming that can't tailor a 3000 point list to deal with a monster spam list with out the use of D6 wound cannons?

For one i assume we are talking 2500 points.....
TK on a Necrosphinx, 3 Warsphinxes, 2 necrosphinxes.....you still have about 1000 points left depending on upgrades
I would take that list.

And Honestsly, yes, i think i would struggle to take a list that can beat that without cannons. My units will probably be able to kill the Sphinxes in a fair fight, i might even have enough to deal with the rest of the list...problem is, they have movement. Cannons are useful as monster hunters not because they are effective, but because they are effective anywhere. My slayers or my Dwarf Lord are M3, they can just be avoided, multicharged, stomped into the dust. Sure, a Sphinx might only do 5 wounds, but 3 of them on a unit could destroy it in two turns.

Lord Inquisitor
28-08-2012, 23:19
Untrue. I take ridden monsters and the opponent I played this Sunday took a ridden monster.
Good for you both. However, at least in competitive lists, they are grossly under-represented. "Nobody" is obviously an exaggeration, but it's pretty low. In the giant cannon thread (www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?340350-How-to-fix-cannons&p=6217119) we examined some data from a big UK tournament. 5% of players took a lord ridden monster and none finished in the top quarter.

Some players will take any unit because they like them or stubbornly refuse to go with the grain. But that doesn't indicate there isn't an imbalance in the rules. I took a Daemon Prince in my daemon army the other day. I even won. Doesn't suddenly make daemon princes worth their points.


We don't want ridden monsters to have it all their own way. It is important that the enemy has a reasonable chance to kill them. What would you consider reasonable?
I think even if you took all cannons away ridden monsters wouldn't suddenly take over the game. They have a lot of weaknesses. Cannons are just the final nail in the coffin.


Only 1 army has mobile cannons so it is not a huge concern, particularly if you know your opponent in advance.
Two. So two thirds of armies with cannons unless you want to include warp lightning cannons.


What would be enough?
Heh, I've given my suggestions already. Ridden monsters need to be split profile, but cannons could do with a move towards some form of BS mechanic as well.


I played against 5 cannons on sunday (4 + Steam tank) 3 of them shot my Hellpit abomination and it only took 4 wounds. I don't consider that dead. A ridden monster with no regen save would have died I admit (character may have lived though!), but I still question the claim that you can make whatever you want dead with 2 or more cannons, especially with my propensity to rolls 1 to wound or for the number of wounds.
You've answered that yourself. Hellpit is one of four monsters out there that people consider really competitive. Greater Daemons, Hellpits, Hydra and Destroyers. What do they have in common? A ward or regen. Why is this important? Because they can survive cannons.

If you wound a dragon, giant or thundertusk with 3 cannons the odds of it not dying is 10/216 or about 5%. Slightly less if you take hitting/wounding into account, but the odds are still low.

To calculate 3 cannons vs a thundertusk or zombie dragon, via binomial theorem:

The chance of
0 hitting and wounding - 0.04
1 hitting and wounding - 0.24
2 hitting and wounding - 0.73
3 hitting and wounding - 0.27

So the chance of killing something dead with 6 wounds and 3 cannons shooting in front arc:

0.17 * 0.24
+
0.72 * 0.73
+
0.96 * 0.27
=
0.82

If your abomb didn't have a regen save, it would be an 82% chance it would be dead. For comparison, that's about the same of rolling a 2+ on one dice.

Hey, that's 360 points worth of cannons, right? Well, if you're talking about a dragon with a worth of 600+ points if you include the rider, getting whacked on a 2+ isn't what I'd call fun.

Lord Inquisitor
28-08-2012, 23:27
My maths says that isnt true; for a 6 wound monster, strait on, no save or terrain, a 36% chance of killing it with two cannons.
Did you include the chance of either of the cannons one-shotting it? It should be around a 45% for the monster base, a little less if you're talking about a small base. However note I was talking about the ridden monster, so the odds of killing either rider or monster are much, much higher. Losing the monster typically means the rider is toast unless you're lucky enough to hop into a unit and by that point you're arguably better off putting them in the unit there first anyway. Losing your general/level 4 is a pretty big blow even if the beast survives.


Mine dont. Ive been taking less and less cannons in my lists. A year ago i was taking 2 cannons minimum (at 2000+ points), sometimes 3 of them. In my current lists im frequently taking none, two at the absolute and very rare maximimum.

Im finding more and more that my cannons just arnt reliable or versatile enough for my liking, i have to have a unit in my list that can deal with monsters if they fail, and if i have that unit then what is the point of the cannons? Then if the enemy doesnt have monsters they are even more of a waste, i already have miners for taking our warmachines and i just dont kill enough other stuff.
Dwarfs are the only army that can make their stone throwers accurate enough that they actually do more damage on average to infantry than cannons and can be used pretty successfully against cannon-appropriate targets.

However, it is rare I see a Dwarf army with less than two cannons and they can usually blast big targets with their other war machines if necessary.

Gradek
28-08-2012, 23:49
Good for you both. However, at least in competitive lists, they are grossly under-represented. "Nobody" is obviously an exaggeration, but it's pretty low. In the giant cannon thread (www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?340350-How-to-fix-cannons&p=6217119) we examined some data from a big UK tournament. 5% of players took a lord ridden monster and none finished in the top quarter.


I don't care if they are tournament worthy. They are useful as is. Look at those tournament lists, they are all very similar. Tournament players play to win and thus gravitate towards lists than only take the most efficient and all comer units (hence why most of the top lists look so similar). Ridden monsters are big risk/reward units and thus something tournament players avoid. Once again, if there was a magic item that cost 5 points and gave you an auto win on the first turn 75% of the time, but an auto loss 25% of the time, tournament players still wouldn't take it because winning 75% of the time isn't enough for them.

DaemonReign
29-08-2012, 00:06
Reflection:
Since GDs are the only choices seriously available in the Daemon Lord Slot I don't Think they serve as comparative studies here. If Daemons had Lord Choices as Infantry (like a buffed up Herald) that's probably all you'd ever see in all-comers lists.

And it's really all about the 'all-comers' part of the thread-question; Where - like it or not - you are playing a self-styled hybrid of the game with a lot of rather telling 'specialties'. The primary issue, as also mentioned up-thread by others, is terrain:
So - for example - we got some Clean math on what happens when a 600+pts dragon&rider places itself in plain view like a sitting duck on an open field, looking down the barrels of 3 cannons.
Now I still don't Think those shots should ping-pong from rider to mount, but if you're saying that 600+pts model shouldn't be dead meat then I shudder to Think of the Changes you require.
Because in Turn 1 I'd Place that dragon so that a maximum of 1 cannon could even trace a line of sight to it, and if I had Monstrous Stuff I'd screen it from that one cannon too, then in Turn 2-3 (whenever my WM-hunters have engaged those silly cannons in combat) my big bad dragon comes out of hiding and eats my opponant's army.
So yeah, risk and reward essentially. It's not GW's fault tournaments are bending the premises of the game the way they are. Bending Warhammer to fit the 'all-comers' perspective, however, would be its ruin (I mean that litterally).

Last game I played my opponant had 3 Dreadlord's on Dragons and they seemed rather balanced to me, each and every one of them. :)

Down with the ping-ponging! I say. The rest has too many facettes and variables, they'd just screw up if they Went further! *hehe*

IcedCrow
29-08-2012, 02:45
I don't care if they are tournament worthy. They are useful as is. Look at those tournament lists, they are all very similar. Tournament players play to win and thus gravitate towards lists than only take the most efficient and all comer units (hence why most of the top lists look so similar). Ridden monsters are big risk/reward units and thus something tournament players avoid. ...

Yes again. You won't see anything that is not top of the mountain in a competitive tournament list. Tournament players often don't use most of an army list or its combinations. Ridden monsters are one of those things that they don't use, because there is risk involved with using them, and most tournament lists, I'd dare say 99% of any tournament list I've seen where the player is going to groin-stomp the opposition, is based around a conservative list and not one that involves any degree of risk taking *at all*.

The last time ridden monsters were used by tournament players was in 5th edition when they were a no brainer. Once 6th edition came out and started beefing up units where ridden monsters had to do six wounds to win by one, tournament players pretty much stopped using them over the course of that edition and while they picked up some steam again in 7th around here, they were still a shadow of their former 5th edition selves.

If we are talking about optimized lists then we are talking about a very small percentage of possible units fielded and combinations utilized from any given army list. MOST things I find are not optimal enough for a tournament list, which is why MOST lists I seem to see online and here in the wild often resemble each other.

So I agree ridden monsters are not optimal in a list where you want to be optimal, but then again so too most of your army list / codex is not optimal either and won't be used in an optimizers list.

DaemonReign
29-08-2012, 03:14
Ridden monsters are one of those things that they don't use, because there is risk involved with using them, and most tournament lists, I'd dare say 99% of any tournament list I've seen where the player is going to groin-stomp the opposition, is based around a conservative list and not one that involves any degree of risk taking *at all*.

Exactly!
And to clarify:
While you can never avoid taking a risk, you can minimize the chances of a single botched Dice-roll turning your game up-side-down.
In this Environment, if you're any good, I reckon you aim to have statistics not only 'on your side' but also within some degree of Control - as far as that is possible.
Even if you gave them split-profiles, shared wardsaves, and made them generally broken all together - you'd never get away from the simple fact that a 600pts model(!) in a 2,5k-ish game is just too many eggs in one basket {for the competative mindset} (And since the split-profile, shared Wardsave monster-mount would have to Clock in at a much steeper cost it's just circular really).

But the ping-ponging is still ugly and should go for that reason (the marginal improvement to monster-mounted chars would be absorbed sufficiently for it to be ok I Think).

IcedCrow
29-08-2012, 03:44
The only way a ridden monster would become tournament-viable, and that word to me is synonymous with optimized and powerful to the point of being an obvious take, is if it could reliably "earn its points back" more times than not.

To do that in this game that means it would have to be reliably be able to destroy enemy units reliably, upwards of 600 points or more in a game, like they did in the 90s. This would mean a combination of increasing durability on the monster via ward saves / regen saves and adding more kit to the rider so that it could go back to the days of the hydra sword where each hit was D6 hits into the unit. I'm not trying to exaggerate here, that item was so commonly used atop ridden monsters at high scale tournaments for a reason... because it combined with the monster could shatter practically anything it came across barring another super-hero on a ridden monster.

Simply enhancing its durability is "cute" but is not going to make it optimal because it still can't bust through units reliably, and simply enhancing its offensive payload is also not going to hack it because it can still be one shot by a cannon ball, and in the world of the internet, we all know one cannon will kill a ridden monster 95% of the time. Sarcasm aside, if the cannon could kill the ridden monster even 10% of the time... it's not optimal. And therefore... not worth taking. It has to be a statistical anomaly that it could be killed by a cannon before it is considered a safe-bet (optimal).

So enhancing offense OR defense is not going to make it optimal. You have to enhance both to make it capable of reliably overcoming a 600 point or greater unit so that it can "make its points back" reliably, which is the goal of taking a unit typically barring some support role, but ridden monsters were never a support role in the past when they were common, and I dont think keeping them as one now will make them an item you'll see in a competition unless the support role they are fulfilling is simply that damn good.

Until ridden monsters can smash through infantry units in today's game reliably (I'd say reliably to most tourney guys is an 80% or more return one on one) you won't see them in tournaments hardly ever except by new players who don't know any better and people going for the lulz. Make them capable of taking on another 600 point infantry unit with an 80% success rate of breaking that unit and running it down and I guarantee you you will see ridden monster spam across the land.

Until then, optimized lists will go for optimized units that basically do the above. Optimal is another word for meaning safe-bet, conservative, and usually over powered. Balanced and average things have little place in an optimized list because balanced indicates that it can be defeated easier than an unbalanced powerful item (optimized). Optimizers are not looking for balanced units. Simply lessening the risk of a sub optimal unit is not enough to take it, because even if the risk is 1%... its not conservative, and therefore not optimal.

How would one make a ridden monster capable of destroying a 600 point or more unit reliably? Well first look at what is exactly a 600 point infantry unit. It's typically going to be very large and/or packed with characters of its own.

How do you reliably take down an infantry unit like that so that an optimizer would want it in his army? Well you're starting off with having to find a way to remove the steadfast rule. That's gotta go. It doesn't matter if you give dude a tactical nuclear cruise missile, if the unit he's engaging can remain stubborn, then it's not optimal to attack it, and erego... the ridden monster will never be used. easier to lob purple sun or pit of shades by 6 dicing the spell and hoping for IF. The odds are better (ie its optimal and does more damage... being more optimal)

Second you need to find a way to maximize wounds. 9 attacks from the rider and the monster just doesn't cut the cheese. It didn't in 5th ed either, which is why above mentioned hydra sword was always taken. You're going to need to guarantee five wounds at the minimum coming into the infantry unit or it's no dice, and we'll stick to the level 4 auto-win spell spam of doom because it's easier and more optimal to pull off. How do you maximize wounds?

* more attacks
* bonuses to hit
* no armor saves
* special rules that give even more attacks like thunderstomp. Bonus for armor save removal or lessening the ability for the opponent to roll dice to stop you, as that is not optimal (hence going back to the uber spells... no save allowed at all means no opponent throwing monkey wrenches in the system... ie... optimal)

Then you need to reduce the number of attacks coming back at you to the point where its mathematically improbable for most troops to wound the thing. In the past, T8 monsters couldn't be wounded at all by S3. So if you took anything that was S3 in the past, you were a sucker and a bad player or you just didn't know any better.

The fact that they can now be wounded by S3 makes ridden monsters a risk, and erego... tossed out of an optimizers list immediately.

* very good armor save bordering at a min at 2+
* a special rule that doesn't allow their armor save to be modified
* very good ward save at least 4+
* not able to be one shot killed by a cannon ball, means more than 6 wounds

EDIT: One more category I forgot. Making its points back would be easier if the model cost less. If a ridden monster was say 300 points instead of 600, it would only need to kill 300 points reliably (80% of the time or more) for someone to feel that it was worth taking. So add

* make ridden monsters absurdly cheap -OR- make fighter lord characters absurdly cheap -OR- do both so that it is easier for them to "make their points back", which would push them into the optimal zone, and as such taken more. The cheaper the model, the higher the percentage of making its points back, which moves it from a risk to something conservative and reliable.

By the by... i was a super optimizer for many years. The above I feel would be needed for people to feel monsters are viable again, because most of the people discussing this are looking to optimize their list, and unless the unit in question is at least slightly over powered, it's not happening.

Ratarsed
29-08-2012, 07:48
Heh, I've given my suggestions already. Ridden monsters need to be split profile, but cannons could do with a move towards some form of BS mechanic as well.

Cannons have always had this mechanism since I played this game. (4th Edition onwards) What changed in 8th is you do not have to "guess" your range and the cannon ball hits all parts of the model making them that much more reliable than previously. Just take away the template effect will make all the difference I feel.



Hey, that's 360 points worth of cannons, right? Well, if you're talking about a dragon with a worth of 600+ points if you include the rider, getting whacked on a 2+ isn't what I'd call fun.
490 if you include the two engineers allowing re-rolls of misfires (which were used!)

By the way all 5 of the cannons (yes even steam tank) were destroyed by the end of the game. Did they earn back their 730 points of investment? Not nearly. Maybe 3-400 worth of points so maybe we need to start a thread of how rubbish cannons are in this game and how not worth it they are?....

Gromdal
29-08-2012, 08:35
I would change the entire view of warhammer

A monster ridden by a hero would get the following advantages: Speed, ld bubble, hard to take out. (Its nigh impossible to snipe with a cannon, let alone a high flying fastmoving, zig zag target).

Cannons and warmachines is artillery and artillery should be TERRIBLE at single target shooting. It should be powerful vs massed ranked infantry.

Massed ranked infantry should be the backbone of the game (except for brets etc). They should point for point be best. But they will be even better when supported with the ld bubble, fast moving support (hero on dragon, shock cav, chariots etc).

Warhammer would be alot better if it worked like this. Oh and NO deathstars possible

Instead it is:

Magic trumps all
cannons trumps all single power targets
infantry trumps all but magic
heroes suck

The Low King
29-08-2012, 11:24
Thing is, its not designed to be realistic.

Cannons are the unit assigned as the hard counter for monsters.
Because of the weakness of ridden monsters they suffer a great deal because of this.

If they decided Cannons should be anti-infantry and not anti-monster they should add scatter, make the template 3 models wide, and then make bolt throwers S8 and do D6 wounds.

Gromdal
29-08-2012, 12:45
Oh sure it would be a bit more realistic with my ideas. But that is not the point of them. Rather to make the game much more fun.

Imagine a lord swooping down on his dragon, crashing headlong into the action where his main unit has just charged home. With their lords help they crush the enemies and cheer as they surge forward.

The enemy cannon thunders and a huge gap is formed there for a moment, as 10 men lay dead from the deadly barrage.

Think more the way cannons and the like worked in the warhammer video games (shadow of the horned rat etc).

What would be the weakness of a hero on a dragon? None really. But dont charge him into enemies alone. Sooner or later he gets killed. But he cannot break units on his own so you better use him as support to your main units.

Do not fear as no cannon can snipe him though. The enemy would just waste cannon balls...

Less rock, paper stuff.

No auto win stuff, like cannons vs dragonriders today.

The Low King
29-08-2012, 12:56
In other words you want ridden monsters exactly the same as now, but invulnerable to missile fire?

Gromdal
29-08-2012, 13:03
In other words you want ridden monsters exactly the same as now, but invulnerable to missile fire?

LOL, no. I want magic balanced, dragonriders balanced, cavalry balanced, fighting heroes balanced. And this balance with alot less rock paper stuff.

The Low King
29-08-2012, 13:15
LOL, no. I want magic balanced, dragonriders balanced, cavalry balanced, fighting heroes balanced. And this balance with alot less rock paper stuff.

War is rock, paper, scissors....everything is counter to something else

take that away and you might aswell have armies of exactly the same units fighting against eachother on a symetrical board

Vipoid
29-08-2012, 13:17
War is rock, paper, scissors....everything is counter to something else

Out of interest, what would you consider Ridden Monsters a counter to?

theunwantedbeing
29-08-2012, 13:19
In other words you want ridden monsters exactly the same as now, but invulnerable to missile fire?

If you want to misinterpret what he said, yeah exactly that.

He said no hard counters.
The Arachnarok doesn't have a hard counter, as it's got 8 wounds.
The Great Unclean one, no hard counter as it has 10 wounds.

The Low King
29-08-2012, 13:30
If you want to misinterpret what he said, yeah exactly that.

He said no hard counters.
The Arachnarok doesn't have a hard counter, as it's got 8 wounds.
The Great Unclean one, no hard counter as it has 10 wounds.

Why does that mean they dont have hard counters?
And really, except for possibly Dragon Slayers, Dragons have no Hard counters......

Unless we have different definitions of hard and soft counters in mind...

pippin_nl
29-08-2012, 13:35
Out of interest, what would you consider Ridden Monsters a counter to?

Overpowered lists;) Take any OP list, add a ridden monster, remove that many points, making it a legal list again. Voila, no longer overpowered:p

IcedCrow
29-08-2012, 13:36
Hard counter - the ability to remove the threat of an object in one attack.

Anything with more than 6 wounds cannot be hard countered by one cannon. It would need two cannons.

The Low King
29-08-2012, 13:45
Out of interest, what would you consider Ridden Monsters a counter to?

Depends on the monster
My Chief on steg is for killing heavy infantry.
My Old blood on a carnesaur is for killing monsters and tough characters


Hard counter - the ability to remove the threat of an object in one attack.

that is not a defintion ive ever heard or used before.

For example, i would say that a Lord-pedo or a Stubborn Pendent Dreadlord are both hard counters to deathstars, but they arnt by your definition.

Gromdal
29-08-2012, 13:46
If you want to misinterpret what he said, yeah exactly that.

He said no hard counters.
The Arachnarok doesn't have a hard counter, as it's got 8 wounds.
The Great Unclean one, no hard counter as it has 10 wounds.

Im used to it. So many cannot imagine great change, they will always defend the current state of things. They will always misinterpret what is said.

The Low King
29-08-2012, 13:56
Im used to it. So many cannot imagine great change, they will always defend the current state of things. They will always misinterpret what is said.

So what were you saying then? you said warmachines should be terrible at single target shooting. By that i assume you mean they will almost alway miss (hitting only when you are very lucky). Noone is going to waste a cannon shot missing a dragon when they can kill 10 infantry (your suggestion) in a shot, other warmachines even less so.

Normal missile fire is useless agaisnt dragons, i assume hitting with a smaller chance for the same reason as warmachines, wounding on 6s, then there being a 3+ scaly skin save.

So what did you mean if not that it should be (almost) impossible to kill dragons with missile fire?

Gromdal
29-08-2012, 13:57
What is the point of a point system?

To create balance.

So a 100 pt cannon that often can shot dead a 700 pt model is bad for balance. That 700 pt model will have to be very powerful against something else then. This will lead to terrible balance. Where army X can just use its mages vs 7 other armies and they can do little but hope that those mages blow themselves up.

A much more balanced view would be to make it so that points actually means something. No you 250 pt mage cannot win you the battle. You will have to use your other 2k pts aswell.

theunwantedbeing
29-08-2012, 13:58
that is not a defintion ive ever heard or used before.

For example, i would say that a Lord-pedo or a Stubborn Pendent Dreadlord are both hard counters to deathstars, but they arnt by your definition.

Could you define a hard counter for us please?

IcedCrow
29-08-2012, 14:10
If you want a points system that achieves a perfect balance, you're going to have to overhaul the entire rule system and all of the army books.

The Low King
29-08-2012, 14:16
Could you define a hard counter for us please?

A hard counter would something specifically very good against that thing, but very vulnerable to something else (Rock, paper, scissors idea)
A soft counter is something slightly better than normal against a few things (often in combination with something else) and maybe slightly vulnerable to a few others.

So cannons are a hard counters to Monsters but are very vulnerable to warmachine hunters, in turn those warmachine hunters lose massively to large blocks of troops.
Slayers on the other hand are a bit better than normal against high toughness targets, including monsters, and are slightly more vulnerable to low strength attacks like missile fire than other dwarf units.

Obviously its a bit more complex because there are a lot more rules that come into effect, and warhammer is a mix of hard and soft counters, but that is how i think of them

IcedCrow
29-08-2012, 14:20
I use my flying ridden monsters as warmachine hunters.

So by that definition they are hard counters to each other...

The Low King
29-08-2012, 14:29
I use my flying ridden monsters as warmachine hunters.

So by that definition they are hard counters to each other...

Are Flying ridden monsters far better than anything else of the same points cost at killing warmachines? Because by my definition if you have a 700 point ridden monster it really should be killing more than 700 points worth of warmachines....

I would say that just because it has fly it is a soft counter (possibly), but its price and fact that may of the rules it pays for (Thunderstomp, terror) are useless means it isnt more effective than something else of a similar cost.

IcedCrow
29-08-2012, 14:34
Now the definition is changing though.

Now the definition of hard counter has become "very good at a specific thing AND most effective in the army list from a points spent via percentage of reliability of points gained", which of course there being no reliable formula for due to mitigating variables that can change effectiveness of models such as terrain availability, covering fire, etc... means it largely rolls into an opinion.

Your definition of a 700 point ridden monster seems to follow my largish post on page 12 of what an optimizer wants out of a ridden monster before it becomes viable (that being if a ridden monster costs 700 points that it can reliably destroy and make back at least 700 points of anything on the table), which would requie an entire rules overhaul of the core mechanics plus an entire rules overhaul of every army list. In which case, we are no longer playing warhammer, unless we return to 5th edition mechanics where ridden monsters could do just that (as laid out in that post)

The negative side to this, and the negative side to perfect balance is, if a 700 point ridden dragon can reliably destroy 700 point infantry unit, there is no point in an optimizer gamer from collecting more than a handful of models. The game is no longer about armies clashing, but about hero clix scale skirmishes involving collecting pokemon and his monstrous companions.

This was exactly the case in 5th edition where "armies" were the dragon rider, his hero buddies, and a small unit of mandatory troops he had to take to fulfil troop obligation. Why go through the bother of paying for more models than needed, and why bother going through the bother of having to paint an entire army when you can just get 20 or so models and call it a day?

Lord Zarkov
29-08-2012, 15:03
I like Lord Inquisitor's Solution IMO Ridden Monsters should be as follows:

They count as a single model, like Monstrous Cav.
The combined model uses the best of each for Wounds, Toughness, Armour Save and Ward Save/Regeneration from the two components, and enemies roll to hit against the WS of the rider. The first in the same way as with Monstrous Cav.
Unlike Monstrous Cav, there is no +1 save for being mounted as this is already taken into account in the increased T and W (the former of which you don't usually get).
The combined model has the "Monster" unit type.
As a character, the combined model can accept and refuse challenges. In the latter case the character cowers behind the bulk of the monster - the rider may not attack and for the rest of the turn the model no longer benefits from the riders Ld or Armour Save and enemies roll to hit against the WS of the monster, which may attack as normal.

IcedCrow
29-08-2012, 15:45
I like his idea as well, I just don't think it would be enough for optimizers and tournament lists to include them, which means this poll would largely remain unchanged.

The Low King
29-08-2012, 16:07
Now the definition is changing though.

Now the definition of hard counter has become "very good at a specific thing AND most effective in the army list from a points spent via percentage of reliability of points gained", which of course there being no reliable formula for due to mitigating variables that can change effectiveness of models such as terrain availability, covering fire, etc... means it largely rolls into an opinion.

Your definition of a 700 point ridden monster seems to follow my largish post on page 12 of what an optimizer wants out of a ridden monster before it becomes viable (that being if a ridden monster costs 700 points that it can reliably destroy and make back at least 700 points of anything on the table), which would requie an entire rules overhaul of the core mechanics plus an entire rules overhaul of every army list. In which case, we are no longer playing warhammer, unless we return to 5th edition mechanics where ridden monsters could do just that (as laid out in that post)


Now you are misinterpreting me.

I said nothing about the ridden monster being viable or worth its points.

I said that if your ridden flying monster is hard counter to warmachines, then it must be more effective than its equivelent points in anything else against warmachines. Would you rather use it or 700 points of pegasus knights to kill warmachines?

The point of a warmachine hunter is to either kill or tie up (ie, keep in combat so they cant shoot) a larger or equivelent points value of warmachines, otherwise there is no point to them, you might aswell just ignore the warmachines. Unlike other units LD, redirecting etc dont play a part, you just want to eliminate the warmachines as quickly as possible. As a ridden monster is far more points that the most expensive warmachines, it has to be killing them rather than just tieing up. Thus, in order to be a hard counter to warmachines your ridden monster must be able to (as in potentially, not actually) kill its points or more in warmachines.

Nothing to do with general viability or anything.