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 First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative

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wyldhunt
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PostSubject: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Wed 28 Oct 2009 - 5:55

Since the "Are Spears Worth It?" thread I've been thinking more about the whole First/Last strike setup and how it might be changed to an Initiative adjustment setup rather than just First/Last Strike. This is just a forum exercise to come up with some decent house rules, nothing more.

In this exercise, I would have the following sources of Frist/Last Strike instead give the following adjustments to Initative:

Charging: +5I
Spears: +6I
Steel Whip (Whipcrack): +6I
Lightning Reflexes: +5I
Led'z Go: +5I
Standing up from Knocked Down: -10I
Double-handed weapons: -8I

Effects:
1. Chargers go first against all models in most cases, even if they have a low Initiative and the defender has a high Initiative. The only exception (besides other positive Initiative adjustments) is extreme cases, like I2 Orcs against I7 Skaven heroes, where they would roll off.
2. Spears/Whipcrack versus chargers:
a. Would go first against same-Initiative chargers
b. Would roll-off against chargers with 1 higher Initiative (Orcs defending against Humans, Humans defending against Skaven)
c. Would still go last against chargers with spears or 2 higher Initiative (Orcs defending against Skaven)
3. Lightning Reflexes and Led'z Go is on par with Charging.
4. Ligthning Reflexes can help offset Standing up from Knocked Down and Double-handed weapons.
5. Spears and Whipcrack can help offset Standing up from Knocked Down.

If you were to implement this, what changes would you make? Would you just instead keep First/Last Strike as they are per the Rules Review and give +1I to Spears and Whipcrack?
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Ezekiel
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Wed 28 Oct 2009 - 6:31

I'm not sure wether or not you'd need such a high penalty against knocked down models... they may also make a sweeping attack, gaining their freedom to stand up, just not really wounding the opponent... If you are to get such a penalty, then you might not really get a chance to attack, and thus be bound to stay down until OoA.... sure, it speeds up the game, but not really what I like about Mordheim. - the other options do seem fair (but what if you have first strike, lightning reflexes, and carry a double handed weapon? then the bonus would outmatch the penalty, and you pack serious hammering damage with a pretty much guaranteed first strike option...


Last edited by Ezekiel on Wed 28 Oct 2009 - 9:10; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Wed 28 Oct 2009 - 8:20

I like the idea in principle, but it seems a bit too complicated (with the various values for different things) to allow for smooth game-play. It would, in my opinion, be simpler to assign things a priority - for example, spears and whips would be priority 1, charging, 'ere we go, and lightning reflexes would be priority 2, etc. with the lower priority going first and resorting to initiative in the case of tied priority.

I'm quite interested in finding a more acceptable solution to this, though, so please report on how any playtesting goes!
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Wed 28 Oct 2009 - 8:45

Yeah, I think that adding all those different variables would complicate things too much. I think the rules as they are fit pretty well.
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Gyges
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Wed 28 Oct 2009 - 9:49

I am inclined to think that your proposed system would offer greater granularity--i.e., detail--to the initiative system. But this gain would have to be measured against the increased fiddliness.
In short, the system looks like it would work, and would provide a benefit, and it would be up to each player (or group of players) to choose if it's worth it. I am personally happy with a +1I to spears (and whips, sure) in addition to first strike, as it is simpler and not much worse than a more detailed system.
Part of me wishes we could get your level of detail more simply, though. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Wed 28 Oct 2009 - 12:00

Interesting topic and absolutely glad to have someone that's interested in forum excersises to come up with decent (better?) house rules... again praise to you, Wyldhunt and contributors, for putting it on screen pixels.

I'd go for something simpler on the whole Initiative matter:
Leave things as they are, with one exception, and that is for each time beyond the first a model gets "strike first", it gains a +1 to its Initiative for purposes of fighting order.

An example to make it clear (I hope):
A merc warrior (I3) wields a spear and charges a verminkin (I4) that also wields a spear.
The merc gets "strike first" once for charging and another time for wielding a spear, thus "striking first" at I4.
The verminkin holds the line "striking first" for the spear, thus fighting back at I4, his standard value.
Merc and verminkin, now both "striking first" at I4, have to roll a D6 to decide who goes first.

Thoughs? Ideas? Insults?
To me this is pretty straigth forward, but what do you people out there have to say?

Cheers!!!
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wyldhunt
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Sat 31 Oct 2009 - 12:59

Ezekiel wrote:
I'm not sure wether or not you'd need such a high penalty against knocked down models... they may also make a sweeping attack, gaining their freedom to stand up, just not really wounding the opponent... If you are to get such a penalty, then you might not really get a chance to attack, and thus be bound to stay down until OoA.... sure, it speeds up the game, but not really what I like about Mordheim. - the other options do seem fair (but what if you have first strike, lightning reflexes, and carry a double handed weapon? then the bonus would outmatch the penalty, and you pack serious hammering damage with a pretty much guaranteed first strike option...
In official rules, models who stand up from being KD strike absolutely last (even behind double-handers) anyway. I actually made it so that a model with high Initiative and a Spear who stood up from KD might be able to attack ahead of a Zombie in HtH.

A model with a double-handed weapon and Lightning Reflexes would be at -3I - of course, Ligthning Reflexes only come into play against attacks from charging models, so the charging model's attacks would maintain a +5I at least.

It is interesting to note that while a lot of the Strike Firster rules were removed in the Rules Review, the following priorities remain:
1. Crossbow Pistol will strike ahead of everything else, since it's done in the Shooting phase.
2. All First Strike attacks will go in Initiative order of models involved.
3. All "normal" attacks will go in Initiative order of models involved.
4. All Strike Last attacks (except those coming from models who stood up in the Recovery phase) will go in Initiative order of models involved.
5. All attacks from models who stood up in the Recovery phase will go in Initative order of models involved - except that I guess attacks from models who stood up in the Recovery phase and use double-handed weapons will go after attacks from models who stood up in the Recovery phase and use regular weapons.

Yes, while the Rules Review flattened Strike First, it didn't flatten Strike Last. Maybe it should, maybe not. Maybe pistols should fire in the Shooting phase just like Crossbow Pistols, or maybe the Crossbow Pistols should attack like other Pistols.

Warning - rant ahead: all of this is still fiddly. In fact, Mordheim is so fiddly already that it makes most Eurogamers suck their thumbs and cry for daddy Knizia. Even worse, Mordheim is so fiddly that we can legitimately interpret the same rules in wildly different and incompatible ways, and house rules aren't just a desirable addition to the system, but a requirement to avoid arguments and roll-offs during game play. Mordheim players really do, by definition, accept a very complicated and interpretive system. That's why I'm comfortable with creating a more granular, and actually smoother, system for attack priorities. To me, assigning a number to the different sources is the same as assigning a priority, while allowing the system the inherent flexibility to deal with cross-purpose situations, such as charging with an Ithilmar double-handed weapon against a Whipcracking Lightning Reflex Augur who just stood up from being KD.

::deep breath::

Even so, Matumaros's response is great - I like that some, although unadvanced Orc henchmen armed with spears would still be worthless on receiving a charge (except against equivalently low-Initiative models). Hmm, combine that with the extra fiddliness of having Spears and Whipcrack grant +1I against chargers' attacks, and we might have a good middle ground.

This could also be applied to Strike Last, where all sources of it are equivalent, but multiple sources each grant -1I.

With these rules, we would still have to allow Strike Last to overrule Strike First, otherwise we'll end up with many high-Initiative models charging with double-handed weapons...
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Gyges
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Sat 31 Oct 2009 - 13:09

wyldhunt wrote:

Warning - rant ahead: all of this is still fiddly. In fact, Mordheim is so fiddly already that it makes most Eurogamers suck their thumbs and cry for daddy Knizia. Even worse, Mordheim is so fiddly that we can legitimately interpret the same rules in wildly different and incompatible ways, and house rules aren't just a desirable addition to the system, but a requirement to avoid arguments and roll-offs during game play.

No need to insult Eurogamers for avoiding the system, and then make their point for them by saying the system doesn't work. Besides, just because it's already fiddly doesn't automatically justify more fiddliness.
To reiterate, I like what you've done, and think it improves on the rules. I just won't be using it, as my personal preference of overhead v. gameplay clearly strikes a different balance than yours.
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Sat 31 Oct 2009 - 13:19

The point of my rant that fiddliness is not in itself a bad thing, and I quite like what most people consider fiddly - to me, with Mordheim and most of the meaty games I enjoy, the complicated aspects are what makes the game come alive, and raise it above the level of either a party game (some of which are quite good) or a transparent mathematical exercise in statistics with a bit of social dynamics to obsfucate the math (which is my opinion of the majority of Eurogames).

I also have a very prickly relationship with Eurogamers, and have endured their insults to wargames and what is termed Ameritrash (a term not necessarily coined by them) enough that I feel fine in standing by my statements. Want to watch their eyes cross? Pull out NATO: The Next War in Europe and say, "But it is a Eurogame! It's all about Europe!"

And yes, it's all about a difference in preference about overhead to enable gameplay (not versus). I want a da Vinci, not a Warhol, of a game. Not that Warhol is bad for those who enjoy his work, and I can appreciate his purposes with his work, but I'd much rather own a da Vinci any time.
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Matumaros
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Mon 2 Nov 2009 - 9:08

ROFLMAO!!! I totally quote wyldhunt on that "da vinci - warhol" thing!

Other than that, what's this Euro-America thing?
I'm asking just because I'm very ignorant and curious on the subject...

Sorry, back on topic:

I forgot to mention that I'm my head and dreams my proposal above goes with spears at 5gc... would that be too much?

You say add +1 Initiative for spears and other "long reaching" weapons on top of "strikes first"? Hum, sounds a bit over the top...
Anyway I really have no clue, and would appreciate more in depth infos by you all who had experience with it...

Cheers!!!
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Mon 2 Nov 2009 - 10:30

Quote :
ROFLMAO!!! I totally quote wyldhunt on that "da vinci - warhol" thing!

Other than that, what's this Euro-America thing?
I'm asking just because I'm very ignorant and curious on the subject...

Yeah me too Razz. Sorry to be off topic
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Mon 2 Nov 2009 - 10:46

[off-topic]
Amongst some board game aficionados (such as those on Boardgamegeek.com) there is taken to be a genre distinction between so-called "Eurogames" and "Ameritrash" games. This distinction leads some to self-identify as preferring one style of design over the over, and there has been no shortage of petty arguments and name-calling between the two self-styled factions.
Eurogames tend to be characterized by minimalist rulesets, shorter playtimes, and fewer random factors (e.g., Settlers of Catan, Agricola, Puerto Rico, Ticket to Ride). Ameritrash games tend to be characterized by lots of player interaction, more specialized rules systems with lots of detail (aka "chrome"), and heavily themed games (e.g., Descent, War of the Ring, Twilight Imperium).
For what it's worth, Mordheim and almost all of GW's catalog is squarely within the Ameritrash tradition (despite its being British, but there you go).
[/off-topic]
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Mon 2 Nov 2009 - 13:50

Woah! Thank you for making it clear Gyges, I've learned something interesting (and pretty much weird, imho) about the world of boardgames... let me just add I like games that are good, as wide as that definition may be.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Mon 2 Nov 2009 - 19:04

Heh, lots wierd in the realm of games! I do have a gut reaction against the word "fiddly," and wish "fiddly" could be removed from the gamer's lexicon. The only time I've seen it used is in a negative, name-calling way to bash ideas about rules changes, and my impression (right or wrong) is that those who pledge allegiance to Eurogames are quite free in bandying this word against games they do not like. I would rather see more specific reasons why someone considers "fiddly" rules to increase complexity over what is needed to achieve the rules' objective.

In this circumstance, I will say that the ideas in my first post above actually decrease the complexity of the rules. Here's why:

1. Initiative adjustment Special Rules are already in the game: Ithilmar.

2. Currently, the rules section for "Who Strikes First" takes four rules sentences to explain, and several Special Rules reference Strike First and Strike Last.

3. Strike Last had to be specifically written to override Strike First.

4. There are still two levels of Strike Last, and while my interpretation of these two levels are that "standing up from KD" is behind "double-handed weapons," this is not specifically called out in the rules.

Contrast to my proposal:

1. "Who Strikes First" is reduced to two rules sentences, removing the sentences for Strike First and Strike Last.

2. All Strike First and Strike Last rules are removed, replaced by Initiative adjustments, covered as one type of Special Rule, but with differing levels of adjustments and some already-existing situational triggers. These Initiative adjustments inherently cover the situations which all of the prior Strike First and Strike Last rules had to cover separately, and do so in a way that allows both greater granularity and flexibility in the game.

Thank you all (and I do mean all) for helping me focus the worth of these changes - even though they conflict with some of the core rules of the WHFB system (the time-honored Strike First/Last rules), this thread has convinced me that these changes are well worth it!
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Mon 2 Nov 2009 - 19:16

Glad you found the comments helpful, and I'm glad you like what ypou've come up with. I suspect many other will, too.
I can't help but feel I haven't expressed myself clearly, though. Ain't nothing to do with number of sentences, or "owing allegiance" to anything--it's just my preference to dispense with a system that will likely require either memorization of modifiers or reference to a chart to look up said modifiers. The current (i.e., rules review) system may often be thematically stupid, and may start to creak when specific weapons are paired with specific circumstances, but it's fast and within striking distance of being balanced. If that preference counts as ideology, then sign me up.
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PostSubject: Re: First Strike, Last Strike, and Initative   Mon 2 Nov 2009 - 19:27

That's our difference in a nutshell, then. I would rather memorize modifiers than more rules (which does have to do with the number of rules sentences). I don't believe the current rules are any faster than my proposal - but then I'm quicker with numbers than specific rules memorization (an anaolgy: I'm better with physics than biology), so your mileage may vary.
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