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 Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members

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wyldhunt
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PostSubject: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Sun 4 Oct 2009 - 16:35

First light bulb: when reading Strike to Stun's interview with Tuomas Pirinen (http://www.strike-to-stun.com/WFB/Interviews/Tuomas.htm), in the section he talks about Witch Hunters.

Second light bulb: realizing that Mordheimer is absolutely correct that henchmen who earn experience are always better than henchmen who can't (well, except maybe some of the Large critters as the last warband member).

Third light bulb: seeing repeately that 19 Orcs with an upcoming Troll is much better than any Goblin/Squig inclusions.

Fourth light bulb: seeing some variety quashed with the "lesser" warband members being left out for "better" henchmen due to hard limits on warband sizes.

Fifth light bulb: analyzing the end-game options for Ostlanders, and realizing just how nasty they could end up being with 14 humans, an ogre, and 12 warhounds (due to Animal Friendship), for a total of 27 models on the board (not counting Halfling Cookbook and Encampment additions).

Sixth light bulb: Our group adjusting the Pirate Swabbies (0-5 models) so that they do not count towards the warband's maximum size.

Now, unless I'm blinded by all this light, I believe it would be a Good Thing(tm) to adjust some maximum warband sizes and model requirements. Proposal (house rules, of course):

Middenheimers: the Wolf Companion does not count towards the maximum size of the warband, but of course may only be included if the Wolf Priest is, and only participates in battles when the Wolf Priest does.

Skaven (Clan Eshin): maximum warband size 15. Giant Rats (0-5 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband.

Undead: Zombies (0-5 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband, but may only be present if a Necromancer is, and only participate in battles when the Necromancer does.

Witch Hunters: Warhounds (up to one per hero) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband.

Beastmen: Warhounds of Chaos (0-3 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband. Alternately, Warhounds of Chaos (up to one per hero) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband.

Carnival of Chaos: Nurglings (0-5 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband. Or possibly tie their warband membership to the use of Tainted Ones or the Plague Cart if the Nurgle fluff would support this - I'm not up on Nurgle.

Dark Elves: Slavehounds (0-3 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband, but may only be present if a Beastmaster is, and only participate in battles when the Beastmaster does.

Orcs & Goblins: maximum warband size 15. Goblins (0-3 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband. Squigs do not count towards the maximum size of the warband, however only up to 2 Squigs can be in the warband per Goblin in the warband.

Ostlanders: add Warhound to warband list at 15gc, but only allow recruitment of them via Animal Friendship, subject to that skill's rules.

Pirates: Swabbies (0-5 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband.

Miscellaneous Equipment's Warhounds: may only purchase one per hero (human warbands only, of course - Witch Hunter and Ostlander warbands cannot purchase through this; Wolf Priest cannot purchase); Warhounds do not count towards the maximum size of the warband. Tie this Warhound purchase to a skill available to all human heroes.

Good/Bad/Ugly? If good, what refinements/changes would you make?
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Sun 4 Oct 2009 - 18:14

For the most part I like them, especially the changes to Skaven. Here are my comments:

Nurgle: Nurglings' presence in the warband isn't really tied to the tainted ones, fluffwise, but definitely is tied to the plague cart. However, that's kind of already taken into account by the added rules that the plague cart offers. Frankly though, I think that even without gaining xp nurglings are a good buy at 15gc due to their long list of special rules, and I typically opt for a handfull of them. I don't think that making them not count towards max warband size would drastically alter my purchasing habits, but then again my group rarely runs into issues with warband size limitations anyways.

Orcs & Gobbos: While a warband of 19 orcs and a troll does sound a lot scarier than a warband of mixed orcs and gobbos, I also don't know that I would bother with the gobbos if I could only get an additional 3 of them. Maybe up them to 5, or say that gobbos and squigs only count as half a model for warband size purposes.
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 0:45

While I understand your intent (to reduce the number of "samey" warbands that only have the good stuff and none of the weeker choices) won't you just be forcing people to take the same warband as each other anyway? For example: All O&G warbands will end up as 14 Orcs, 1 troll, 3 Goblins and 6 Squigs!
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 1:49

To get 19 Orcs and a Troll will run 730 gold crowns (or 920 if they are all armed with just either a sword or a bow) at an absolute minimum. With attrition and general expenses, I'd think it would probably take at least twice that realistically.

The speed at which gold enters the campaign may need to be controlled. If gold is too plentiful, it takes away from the players' need to make decisions and causes homogeny in choices. Gold is there to be a limiting factor and should be used as such.

There are lots of ways to do this without changing too much. Some ideas:
- Alter Wyrdstone selling chart
- Punish voluntary routing by allowing only a single exploration die.
- Change exploration rules from "Roll 1D6 for each of your Heroes who survived the battle..." to "Roll 1D6 for each of your Heroes who was not put out of action during the battle..."

I really dislike the idea of changing the warbands' roster choices, but I dislike silly min-maxed warbands even more so I see where you are going (that is, in a good direction). You might also consider limiting the length of campaigns; if a campaign has gone long enough for a 27 man Ostlander band, it probably gone on too long.
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 5:03

It sounds pretty reasonable to me and even when it's quite deep touch
to the rules I thing it's certainly worth of trying/testing.
As we play rather time limited campaigns (cause I'm bored of 500 rating superhero gangs), there's no danger of gangs expanding to 27 members, so I'm thinking about trying.
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 5:18

It would be nice to have more of a reason for using zealots.
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 7:04

I agree completely with the Giant Rats (and I'm definitely adding the Swabbie rule to the possible House rule Section of Sartosa), but I have to disagree with the Warhounds (WH, Beastmen, so on). Those things are fast, have superior WS and Strength, and cost 10gc less.

Look at it this way: if a human were to have the same stats (WS, S, I), it'd need 3 advances. That means the Henchmen would need to play 9 games to reach the same strength. What are the chances that henchmen is going to die in those games? For me, my meat screens get taken out at least every other game. If that's, say, 4.5 OoAs (rounded up to 5, 'cause I'm reckless) and each time, the henchmen has a 1/3rd chance of dying, that's a 13% chance of of your 25gc henchmen surviving to be strong enough to equal your dog. Even if it does, it can only gain +1 stat above that, and that's if he survives another 5 games. Of course, the additional hand attack, higher Ld, and the chance of being a hero balance it out a bit, but none the less, I don't think the dogs need a boost the way that 'Giant Rats' need them.

And of course, I STRONGLY recommend that your animal house rules have the following add-on restriction: "Does not apply one-off games". No one needs a starting Witch Hunter warband of 17+ for a one shot!
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 17:12

Quote :

- Change exploration rules from "Roll 1D6 for each of your Heroes who survived the battle..." to "Roll 1D6 for each of your Heroes who was not put out of action during the battle..."
This is already the case. Check Living Rulebook page 93.

Cheers,
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 18:16

perfesser wrote:

- Change exploration rules from "Roll 1D6 for each of your Heroes who survived the battle..." to "Roll 1D6 for each of your Heroes who was not put out of action during the battle..."


Ya. For a second there I was like, you mean we've been playing another rule wrong! But I checked the rulebook--my old falling apart book and there's no need for a change since that's how its always read. (Whew!)
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 19:23

All good points, which I'll have to consider.

While I haven't found that we're swimming in money, I have in two consecutive campaigns been able to assemble 19 orcs with clubs and bows by the 10th game, even while losing a few henchmen along the way.

I'm not sure I can balance the warbands enough to avoid a "best" combo being found, especially while trying to keep anything remotely resembling the Mordhim we currently know. At this point, I'm just trying to allow the "best" combo to include a wider variety of models.

We do consistently bang up against the warband limit around 7-10 games, because that's what we've found to be most effective use of any additional funding beyond basic melee and missile equipment.

We've also seen that Witch Hunter warhounds get left behind for Zealots - why? Zealots get bows, and get XP. Our experience is that Witch Hunters need bows more than quick, cheap S4 models after the first 5 or so games. We absolutely go for warhounds at first, but when they die, we replace them with zealots.

To me, the biggest challenge for the warhounds is finding some middle ground for all of the different ways they're included. Some ideas are coming around this...

I'll post a revision after some more mulling. I don't want to bump standard warband size up, which the Warhound Miscellaneous Equipment change might do, but then again, I hear that Mercenary warbands often need help in the end game, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 19:37

If you want to help mercs, I say buff guns up a bit
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 19:47

Sadly, it all comes down to personal preference. If you make one thing stronger, competitive people will shift towards that way. If you make restrictions, competitive players will push the restrictions to the limit or simply abandon the warband for another, less restricted one. There will always be players who will field 19 orcs and 1 troll. Personally, I'd be the guy with 5 Squigs and Goblins, but that's just me.

OR, rather than trying to revise existing warbands, why not create a new one? 'Skaven Clan Moulder' warband, maybe. Very similar to Eshin, except they have a Beastmaster instead of sorceror, and they can have up to 5 rats over the limit.
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 21:13

wyldhunt wrote:
All good points, which I'll have to consider.

While I haven't found that we're swimming in money, I have in two consecutive campaigns been able to assemble 19 orcs with clubs and bows by the 10th game, even while losing a few henchmen along the way.

Wow you must be really focused. I just posted my 4 week/10 game warband in the Battle Reports and fluff section. 10 orcs, 4 goblins and a Troll. And I'm happy to have accumulated them. Smile (Of course I am partial to swords and crossbows and one hero has a blunderbuss...)
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Mon 5 Oct 2009 - 21:20

Avatar wrote:
This is already the case. Check Living Rulebook page 93.
Durf! I need to read more better Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Wed 7 Oct 2009 - 6:56

as far as I can see, your suggestion would raise the max no of models on the tabletop

i am opposed to this because it means more dice rolls, longer games etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Sun 18 Oct 2009 - 17:00

Alright, here's the second version of the proposal:

Middenheimers: the Wolf Companion does not count towards the maximum size of the warband, but (of course) may only be included if the Wolf Priest is, and only participates in battles when the Wolf Priest does.

Skaven (Clan Eshin): maximum warband size 15. Giant Rats (0-5 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband.

Undead: leave unchanged (for now). Undead need help, but just bulking up Zombies isn't it. I've read through several people's changes for Undead, and would go with one of these alternates rather than trying to get more Zombies on the board.

Witch Hunters: Warhounds (0-3) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband.

Beastmen: leave unchanged.

Carnival of Chaos: leave unchanged.

Dark Elves: Slavehounds (0-3 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband, but may only be present if a Beastmaster is, and only participate in battles when the Beastmaster does.

Orcs & Goblins: maximum warband size 15. Goblins (0-3 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband. Squigs (0-3 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband - normal Squig limit of 1/Goblin applies.

Ostlanders: add Warhound (0-6 models) to warband list at 15gc, may only recruit 2 per hero with Animal Friendship.

Pirates: Swabbies (0-5 models) do not count towards the maximum size of the warband.

Miscellaneous Equipment's Warhounds: leave unchanged.

----

The effect I see of this is to:

1. Allow Witch Hunters and Dark Elves a few more (non-XP-gaining) models on the board.

2. Allow Middenheimers one more model, which by itself will not help against rout tests, and will hurt the net income of the warband.

3. Allow Pirates more models, but the worst available to them, and not reliably available (due to the Swabbies' special recruitment rule). Pirates need more differentiation from regular mercenary bands - this will help a little.

4. Restrict Skaven (Clan Eshin) and Orcs & Goblins from just bulking out their extra models with the best experience-earners, forcing more variety of models in their warband makeup.

5. Give Ostlanders a price break on the Warhounds, so maybe the Animal Friendship skill pick will actually be desirable compared to others. Restricts the numbers of Warhounds down from the ridiculous. This helps balance against some of their (fairly harsh but fluffy) restrictions, such as only one (expensive) Hired Sword, and no Academic skills.

This version somewhat normalizes the amount of models on the board rather than giving practically everyone a chance for more. It provides a nudge towards what I consider a more balanced experience between the warbands, and gives space for some of the lesser-used models even later in the game, helping preserve variety of model-types on the board.

Thank you for the comments so far - what do you think of this version?
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Fri 1 Feb 2013 - 15:30

Thread-o-mancy
I have been thinking of animals (mainly the warhounds that are equipment) and how much they suck... not stat wise but that you have to use an exploration roll for them and then spend 27-37gc each for a henchmen.
To me that isn't something that will really get people using them.

Looking over the above I like a lot of it.

Wardogs (Equipment): Lower there cost and Rarity to 10+2D6 (12-22gc) and Rare 7.
This would mean they still act as they do normally as a member of the warband but at the same time you are not "waisting" as frequently rare rolls (roughly a 45% to find it) and at the same time cost isn't too bad.
Warhounds (Witch Hunters) have the same stats but no rare roll for 15gc.
Odds are that you will end up paying more for Wardogs (17gc on average) but with a chance of no find and you use a Rare roll.
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PostSubject: Re: Warhounds, Giant Rats, and other lesser warband members   Wed 6 Feb 2013 - 1:12

*Pokes the zombie thread*

In my group we very seldom go above 9-12 models regardless because of the efficiency at which you earn gold at those numbers. It is only in the very end stages we inflate our numbers past that, and even then it is generally only if we are doing a rating-based campaign.
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