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 Are shadow warriors overpowered?

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StyrofoamKing
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Tue 3 May 2011 - 15:04

[quote="werekin"]
Quote :
Elves you meet in a Warhammer adventure story have been living for hundreds of years!!! If you follow the natural progression of a story, then in the space of a Mordheim campaign an elf should learn jack-shit skills he didn't already know!

Although, you have no problem with vampires, mummies, or any other ancient being learning new skills?

I'd argue that Mordheim city (and other intense locales), teach whomever very quickly. Before they were training on an isolated island and getting into 1 fight a month. Now, every living moment is a one of conflict and fear, and they rack up more battle experience in a week than they otherwise would in a year. They learn quickly that it's adaption or death.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Tue 3 May 2011 - 15:47

As I mentioned on another thread, my "fix" for shadow elves was to start them with four heroes, and require rare search rolls to hire any additional warriors outside of the starting band. I liked that option (which seemed to me consistent with their background) much better than nerfing their stats (which makes them non-elfs, really). I had not considered starting their henchmen with experience, which also seems a reasonable approach.

I have not really field-tested my adjustments, however.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Tue 3 May 2011 - 16:17

My record is having 3x Heroes fail their rolls during the same turn.

It's generally how it goes. I've played only a handful of games using Elves and it's uncanny how many 6's come up when rolling for charging nose-dives! The risk is low meaning players are inclined to use 'real man' tactics (is that 'real elf') equating to their electing to take a dive on purpose.

The pay-off means it's always worth it in a bar fight despite the risks. Wink

@Styro: When did you last see mummies listed as a troop type in Warhammer!?

@MWeaver: Rolling to find Heroes recruit eh. Unconventional, sound trippy to me! 4 starting Heroes is the real deal. As for nerfing stats, I would always cite Youngbloods as being a reason why the game has such charm. The Dregs lend it character. Start at the bottom, work your way up! Same can be said for any Elves (under the age of one hundred years). Adventures shouldn't be treated like a military campaign. As such Elves don't need their base characteristics to be stripped out from the back page of Warhammer Armies: Elves. It's more complicated than that. Warbands convey themes and more detail.

Granted some warriors are natural born killers, but take an Elf. An Elf who is a Wardancer. He won't have always been a Wardancer. Previously he will have been somebody else doing something different, not necessarily unconnected. What would that be? Go take a look into the career progression of a warrior.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Tue 3 May 2011 - 17:55

ooh~ did the Wardancer start as a Kithband Warrior? Or maybe a Hunter? Maybe an Envoy...

A fun idea could be allow elves to just earn exp at half rate. Or make it so Simply surviving isn't enough for heroes to gain exp. Something to remain fluffy. But the best elf list I saw (in my opinion, and no offense to the great ones I've seen around here!) was one that was similar to Skyrers from Necromunda. It started off with a full list of awesome heroes and then could not gain more models other than by hired swords I think. I REALLY wish I could find it again. I thought it was on this forum too...
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Tue 3 May 2011 - 18:35

mweaver wrote:
As I mentioned on another thread, my "fix" for shadow elves was to start them with four heroes, and require rare search rolls to hire any additional warriors outside of the starting band.
We considered dropping their starting heroes to 4, but rejected that in the end because we never really had a problem with the *start* of the warband, it was only the finish that was overpowered.
One of the side-effects of making the henchmen start with 8 xp is that it also slows their recruiting down because you have to roll 8 or more for your xp pool in order to hire one.

We experimented with making the heroes rare to hire also, but we found that that tended to make things too unfun for the elf player if they were unlucky with the rolls. Loss of heroes can be pretty crippling in Mordheim and loss of heroes and being unable to replace them, sometimes for many games just through sheer bad luck is not fun at all.

That being said we did only play around with a few rarity values from 7 to 10. Perhaps a rarity of 4-5 or something would have worked but we had had several campaigns by then and they were pretty much how we wanted them so in the end we just said "fuckit" and left them with no roll. It seems to work well enough for us.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Tue 3 May 2011 - 19:02

MWeaver: I don't love the idea of rarity rolls, but I think it's one of the fairest versions out there. It doesn't effect how slow your potential strength, it just spaces out your rehiring.

What rarity rate did you set? To me, 1 Rarity per 5gc sounds fair. (35 = 7, 25 = 5, etc.)

Lord: Well, you can have it only affect henchmen. Or, it only affects heroes if you have 4 or more heroes already. (Thus, a warband with a Master, a mage, and two recruited henchmen can't just rehire two walkers, bringing him to instant 6 heroes... he has to hunt for them!) If your heroes drop to 3 or less, you may rehire without rare rolls.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Wed 4 May 2011 - 13:53

I'm with Styro on not loving the rarity rolls on hiring. It feels all wrong. Treating warriors like they are animal or possessions might work in the mind of Chaos Dwarf Overseer but it's not going to work for most of us honourable villains.

That said, Elves (& Dwarfs) are very scare in most of the Old World. In that respect I'd love to see this Necromunda-esque take on an elite Elf band even if it stinks of power-creep.

Dwarfs have 4 starting Heroes so 5 Elf Hero slots to open proceedings is too generous.

Speaking from experience (no pun intended!) of rehiring Henchmen, there is more than one considerable drawback to requiring a 9+ after game one. Firstly, given that within a few games it will be impossible* to replace fallen warriors then I judge that too step to brunt.

*Unless you have repaired the Abandoned Trading Post in a BTB campaign.

Secondly, by removing the first two level-ups you've rendered adding Henchies to
an existing group pretty much pointless anyway. This is a key point that
I am monitoring in my campaign. And it makes the difference between
deciding whether Elf Henchmen should start with 5, 2 or 0 Experience
Points.

Regards,

Stuart Half-Elven
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Wed 4 May 2011 - 14:00

I have my Ubuntu Lion Warriors starting with 2 exp. I'm not sure if it is the best idea though. For elves I would suggest lower rarites. Mostly 5 to 8 tops? The point is not that you are buying them, but a hero needs to take time to find a useful elf ally.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Wed 4 May 2011 - 14:59

Well, while I don't like the rarity nerf, I kinda like the henchmen EXP even less. Dwarves don't, and they seem fair.

Mordheimer found this problem when he started building his own 40k skirmish based on Mord, "Death Squads". If a youngblood starts with 0 exp and is so weak, why why does a human henchman start with 0 when it's so much stronger? Likewise, why does a swordman start with 0 too, or a strong (possessed) beastman, which is tougher than any Elf?

Mordheim failed to institute a smooth graduation of power to experience... thus, experience does NOT equal strength, especially amongst henchman. To try to nerf elves too much without nerfing other warbands (some of which are just as strong) seems unfair. Instituting it on one seems off (even if the "fluff" justifies it), and applying it to every warband would be nuts.

Also, factor in the possibility of One-Shot games... if Elves are broken in a one shot game, it doesn't matter how high their henchman exp is.

Personally I don't feel the need to nerf the Shadow elves (except maybe the sniper skill.) Rather, the 40gc / 4 hero base is the one I use when writing new elf warbands.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Wed 4 May 2011 - 16:15

Agreed. There are a few standard house rules which do make Sons of Nagarythe totally and utterly fair. I don't believe anyone is interested in re-writing the fundamentals. It's healthy discussion concerning what would make players feel more or less inclined to play with or against Shadow Warriors or other Elf warbands.

Another thing to consider with loadings is that in any game a handicap is based on performance of the individual. This would mean a GM might feel inclined to load the Heroes & Henchman of a particularly accomplished player in a campaign if there are also raw recruits participating.

Quote :

Mordheimer found this problem when he started building his own 40k
skirmish based on Mord, "Death Squads". If a youngblood starts with 0
exp and is so weak, why why does a human henchman start with 0 when it's
so much stronger? Likewise, why does a swordman start with 0 too, or a
strong (possessed) beastman, which is tougher than any Elf?

I don't see the logic on this. Any Henchmen who becomes a Hero will initiate his heroic path with some amount of Experience Pts. That seems fair to me man.

Regards,

Werekin
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Wed 4 May 2011 - 21:20

Here is the rule as I wrote it:

Scarce: Recruiting new warriors is not easy for the Shadow Warriors, as there are few elves in the old world, and even fewer near Mordheim. Usually a new recruit must come from far-off Ulthuan. To find a new member, the warband’s captain must use his or her rare search roll, exactly as if the captain was looking for a rare item. On a roll of 10 or higher, the warband is able to recruit another Shadow elf. The captain may add +1 to this roll if the Shadow Elves won the previous scenario. The Streetwise skill also modifies this roll, although it only adds +1 to the roll, rather than the +2 benefit the captain would receive if looking for a rare item. If attempting to recruit a henchman into an existing henchman group, the warband must still make the roll to see if it has found someone with enough experience to join the group (see “New Recruits and Existing Henchman Groups”, p. 144).


Again - never actually field-tested it, so it may be too high in practice. My rationale is that it is consistent with the background that shadow elves should be rare in Mordheim (and I did have Mordheim in mind, since that is where my group consistently sets its campaigns).

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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Wed 4 May 2011 - 23:30

Rarity 10 does seem too high to me. Also I'd keep Streetwise providing a +2 for simplicity. Another option (or probably a complimentary additional option) based on your comments of recruits coming from the elf homeland is to delay the arrival of new recruits by 1 battle as a message needs to be sent home. Perhaps find recruits immediately if rarity roll successful otherwise option to delay hire (pay upfront of course). This would mean that warband has guaranteed chance of recruiting but not immediately if rarity roll failed. That is one problem with straight rarity rolls is that a string of bad rolls would cripple a warband beyond recovery for no reason but randomness.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Thu 5 May 2011 - 0:25

The problem with rarity rolls for hiring are only taken from the leader is, that if your captain dies you had only a very slim chance that your weaver or a TLGT with intellect-skills will have the now highest Ld. Otherwise you don't have access to Streetwise for your captain and than difficulty 10 is a much to high.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Thu 5 May 2011 - 5:30

True, Saranor. I was probably thinking in terms of our house rule about dead captains when I wrote the rule - we let all warbands use the vampire exception (play one game without a captain, then you can hire a replacement).

Interesting suggestion, RationLemming.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Thu 5 May 2011 - 13:45

The trouble is that it's not just Elves who would be uncommon around Mordheim. Players like to use all manner of races in their campaigns and it's best if you let them.

In terms of looking for elves to hire in, you can imagine that there is more than one of each type of warband sweeping the ruins around the city. If a warband is paying enough gold then adventurers will switch allegiance. This can be treated as a fair basis for justifying the availability of new elves, dwarfs, halflings, ogres or whoever. Gold has that effect on one and all, not just dwarfs!

Quote :
Scarce: Recruiting new warriors is not easy
for the Shadow Warriors, as there are few elves in the old world, and
even fewer near Mordheim.

There is already a precedent for this. It's called 'Uncommon' and we found it published in the Spanish White Dwarf article for Chaos Dwarf warbands. It was one of a few highlights from the article after I got the Spanish/Gibberish translated. Cianty & I both like the premise of this so it was included in the compilation article I worked on called Swords of the Empire.

Essentially it makes things fair and more realistic. It is a guideline so you can impose loadings on the hire of any warriors whose race would not be commonly sighted in Mordheim or wherever your campaign is set. The actual rules impose a x2 loading. We prefer to apply x1.5 in our campaigns.

Quote :
we let all warbands use the vampire exception (play one game without a captain, then you can hire a replacement)

Sigmar's sausage, what are you talking about man! Vampire's are nigh on impossible to kill. If you kill one then it has to stay dead. You can't go letting players have another one! Rolling Eyes

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Werekin
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Thu 5 May 2011 - 19:18

In Necromunda there was a Wyrd warband that had something like the rarity roll. The way it worked for them is that they could only recruit a maximum of 1 member after each game and the leader had to make a LD check in order to be able to hire him.

That certainly slowed the progression of the warband, but it didn't really take all that much away from the issue of a leveled up Wyrd with wyrd powers was a lot more powerful than the average ganger and if a gang *could* get up to power it was nigh-unstoppable.

Also, being limited to only one hiring after each game was very painful if you had a brutal game and lost 3 or 4 dudes. If you did, it could then take you 6-10 games to recover from it because you would still lose one or two while you were trying to replace the original four lost, and because you were down so many you would probably be getting pwned for a while too.
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PostSubject: Re: Are shadow warriors overpowered?   Sat 7 May 2011 - 1:43

Too much unnecessary admin. It's depressing enough having to resolve rolls on the Serious Injuries chart without worrying about whether fresh meat can be recruited if you have the crowns to hire it!

I'm all for bringing more fun dice rolls into the post battle sequence. This is not one them.

I'm keen to adopt the gang sensibilities of Necromunda in my campaign. This is more for thematic reasons than anything.
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