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wyldhunt
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PostSubject: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sat 23 Jan 2010 - 0:49

In our years of Mordheim play, we've found that the profitability of a warband definitely impacts is success rate. Equipment does help - not by much per item, but taken over the aggregate, it definitely makes a difference. Yet the official warband rating does not take equipment into account at all.

Add to that - keeping track of equipment values can be problematic, and definitely increases bookkeeping - ugh.

We've worked on this through all of our campaigns, starting six years ago. For those interested, here is the current incarnation, which we're finding works well enough.

1. Keep track of the base value of all current models and equipment. The "base value" of the item is the value of the item in the trading chart (not discounted/increased by warband-specific Equipment Lists), and not including any variance in price (for example Healing Herbs are valued at 20gc, regardless how much a model actually paid for them).

2. Add all these base values together to come up with a Warband Value.

3. Do not include gc not spent nor wyrdstone. Do include warband "stored equipment."

4. Calculate the Warband Profit from the Warband Value as: Profit = (Value - 500) / 10, rounded down. It's a pretty easy formula once you think it through.

5. Add the Warband Profit to the Warband's Rating.

I have created a Warband Roster to include spaces for model and equipment cost in each hero and henchmen group entry, and this makes the bookkeeping pretty easy. The Warband Roster also has spaces for total Warband Value and Profit.

If anyone is already using a system for this which works for you, please share!
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sat 23 Jan 2010 - 1:04

That's a pretty good implementaion! It's something that I have always felt was missing from Mordheim.

Now to convince the players...

One question, do you add it to the warband rating as-is, or do you eliminate the number of warriorsx5 component of warband rating?

I ask because, in my estimation, between combined experience and combined base cost of all the warband's members, you kind of represent their numbers (or at least the effectiveness of having large numbers) indirectly anyways.

More guys cost more money, therefore higher warband rating based on money spent. Or, more guys net more xp, therefore higher warband rating based on total xp.

Just curious, I'm not sure what difference it would make to take it out, or in what direction that difference would take effect (favoring small warbands, or large ones, or balancing it out).
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sat 23 Jan 2010 - 1:08

I'd love to see that roster wyldhunt, it's way necessary to have a value of all equipment costs. This is useful when somebody in the group/campaign has to create a new warband, it makes it much easier to balance newcomers so they're able to win something.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sat 23 Jan 2010 - 1:33

Sounds interesting. What do you actually use the revised rating for - just for the underdog rule? Ah - it also affects who goes first in some scenarios, doesn't it? (We don't use the warband rating much, can you tell?).
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sat 23 Jan 2010 - 8:20

It can be important for calculating underdog bonuses, and also determines who plays what role in many multiplayer scenarios.

For me the biggest is that supposedly evenly matched warbands often aren't really evenly matched at all, and cost would better reflect how well matched they are.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sat 23 Jan 2010 - 10:14

First off, nice work, Wyld. thumbsup A concept like this is definately needed, one way or another. Either you calculate the warband properly or not at all. Factoring in equipment is definately highly relevant for determining the actual strength of a warband.

Some thoughts...

Naturally this sytem requires the gold values of equipment to be balanced.

Are you using revised prices for armour in your group? Considering that armour is considered overexpensive already I can see this system to cause players to use even less armour. Prices are meant to balance equipment choices etc so when there's the simple question "shield or second club?", of course I go with club. Not only is it cheaper, it also prevents my rating from going up further (I am assuming that a too high rating is not desired because the game rarely rewards warbands for being successful, it just pushes the weaker ones).
But maybe this thought isn't even correct and the same thought process that goes into deciding what to buy (e.g. big armour or couple of guys) goes into factoring in the effect on the rating, so no difference there. Did you get what I mean?? scratch

Did you make an additional list for magical artefacts (including extra items from the Multiplayer rules, i.e. the ban scroll)?

While writing this I had this idea: Is it relevant to keep that much track of everything? My warband earns X gc and spents Y on equipment and Z on new guys. If both Y and Z are calculated into the warband rating eventually, why not straight add X? I know this wouldn't be exactly equivalent to your system since my stash would now be included as well. But wouldn't it be much easier to just keep track of whatever money you earn at some point (happenings, exploration, selling wyrdstone, etc.)? I know this punishes saving money for bigger purchases, but is that even that bad? If your wealth (=spare money) is factored into your rating, then you have a reason to not only see the rating as "power level" but also as "coolness factor" and make more use of it for determining the winner of a campaign (BTB objectives come to mind)...

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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sat 23 Jan 2010 - 10:54

I will allso like to join the cheering crowd.
I feel it very relevant to include equipment in the ratings!

Though it does seem to increase the book-keeping aspect of the warband bureaucracy.

Allso I am curious about the magic artefacts. Possibly a constant artefact-bonus should be added to the rating, per artefact possesed by the band. Maybe +100?

If you just calculate on income, you wouldn't get the bonus equipment (such as artefacts) in the calculation.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sat 23 Jan 2010 - 11:03

I believe that not only warband's normal equipment should be included but also magical artifacts because these are the most imbalanced objects and make the difference while playing.
Giving a price related to this objects will make things easier for calculation, for example: the most wanted artifact in your group could be given a higher price than the rest...
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sat 23 Jan 2010 - 14:20

Thank you for the compliments, and for the additional considerations/suggestions!

Here's my website for Mordheim, on which you can find the link to the Warband Roster we use: http://sites.google.com/site/wyldhaunt/games-workshop/mordheim. I found after publishing the roster that I do need to add a spot to keep track of the cost of Warband Equipment - for now, just write it in the right-hand side of that space. By having the columns for model and equipment cost aligned, I can easily add up the columns and write each at the bottom of each page, then add those two and write them in the bottom-right corner of each page. At some point, I'll include all of this as an exampe in my rules revision.

Some may not believe this, but we do give precedence to official rules, only changing what we consider necessary to get to our desired play-goals of fun. For that reason, we're still using the other rules for warband rating, including +5 per model (+20 per large model), +XP, +Hired Sword rating, etc. The only thing we cut out was the +rating for Mounts, considering these as included in Value/Profit.

One thing I forgot in the first post: we do not include the "value" of Hired Swords (nor their equipment). Since we already include their Hired Sword rating (and have re-balanced this rating add based on what we've calculated their "value" to be), it's much easier this way since Hired Swords' equipment is set. To close one loophole, we also don't allow warbands to buy equipment for the Imperial Assassin (he has plenty already).

We could easily not include model rating, and only go with their gc in the Value/Profit. If so, we would use straight Value rather than Profit in order to make sure the initial 500gc gets counted. Skaven would love this; Witch Hunters would not. In our experience, numbers do count more than value, so I'm not convinced that we should make this adjustment. However, valuable models are worth more than inexpensive models, so we definitely want to include their cost.

We use rating for underdog bonus, determining who becomes Defender/Attacker in some scenarios, finding Settlement Housing in encampments, and will use it for other campaign effects (like drawing the attention of the Shadowlord and Campaign Objectives) when we write these items in.

Since we include the value of found items (and those can be at least as powerful as bought models/items), we don't just keep track of income. Also, models and equipment are lost, so rather than keep track of that lost value separately, we just add up the value of what the warband has. We tried keeping track of income/losses in an earlier iteration, and it proved very cumbersome, just like accounting. The way we have it now, we can easily, at any point, re-verify what a warband's Value is - we don't have to remember that we lost certain henchmen and equipment way back in Campaign Turn 3. We thought about including the value of unspent gc, but some in our group argued that since warband doesn't get current value from it, it shouldn't count in warband rating.

We have massively revised many rules, including the relative value of equipment - we do still use a hybrid of "value by effectiveness" and "value by fluff." For example, while we have not adjusted the value of body armor, we have bumped their HtH AS by +1, and included a basic Leather Armor. We have reduced the cost of shields to 3gc (to match club). We've also allowed armor to possibly help against all Critical Wounds. If you try out our rules, you'll find that armor is a value-viable model-saver, and that swords are really more valuable than clubs, especially for skilled models (due to our Critical Hits additions and Parry adjustments).

Even so, I won't say that this system requires items to be absolutely balanced cost-wise. I do get what Tuomas was trying to do - enforce rarity - when purposefully pricing items out of line with their in-game value. Is Heavy Armor really worth +5 to the warband rating, even if it gives +3 AS in HtH (+2 in shooting)? Not in a scenario effectiveness comparison - but it might well be worth +5 to your warband rating to help protect a critical model after you've filled out your warband and got basic equipment for them.

We are still considering how to value Artifacts, and 100gc is what we're using right now. We might assign values to them individually at some point, especially since we're going to add more lesser magic items.

There are still some holes, like the value of a Mordheim Map (20gc regardless of which type). If we feel like this gets too much, we'll specify individual values for these things at a later revision.

Alright - so this works in the context of Wyldhunt's Mordheim Revision. But can it work with the official rules? In replacing model rating adds with pure Value, I'd say no. Equipment costs are just too much out of effectiveness balance. I would say that rating adds from Profit is still useful. Armor is already ignored in favor of DW clubs - this wouldn't excerbate that tendency. Profit would still help properly rate warbands with loads of equipment.

The Profit system isn't perfect, but we find it balanced between our desired goals of getting some sort of warband rating balancing mechanism in place which includes gc value of warband models/equipment, while attempting to keep it simple.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sun 24 Jan 2010 - 7:35

What about undead warbands? The majority of its warriors dont have equipment, so their warband rating will stay low except for the main heroes. Would they just be constant underdogs and lvl in experience faster than others?

But I like the idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sun 24 Jan 2010 - 8:06

Fungomungus wrote:
What about undead warbands? The majority of its warriors dont have equipment, so their warband rating will stay low except for the main heroes. Would they just be constant underdogs and lvl in experience faster than others?

But I like the idea.
Well, a) it makes sense, given that all of those figures also aren't benefitting from any equipment, and b) it kinda fits the style of an undead warband - elite heroes and mindless undead minions.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Sun 24 Jan 2010 - 12:29

Undead warbands already tend to underdogs because a maximum of 10 models in their warband gain experience. In actual play, Undead tend to lag behind anyway - Undead are one of my favorite warbands for fluff reasons, and their lagging is one of the reasons I've gotten fed up with and left Mordheim the previous two times I stopped playing.

Asp's charting of relative warband power shows that his analysis agrees with what happens to Undead as campaigns progress.

So including Profit in the warband rating more accurately shows the Underdog status of Undead warbands if equipment does get out of hand - that's a bonus to my mind. However, if Undead warbands do keep the elite equipment on their heroes, and manage to keep up with the other warbands, Profit will show this and the Underdog bonus won't creep in any faster than by the official rules.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Mon 25 Jan 2010 - 7:09

How does BtB undead compare to Vampire warband, as far as longevity?
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Mon 1 Feb 2010 - 9:39

This would be a thing greatly appreciated by our group!! (save for matt, as he is kicking ass precisely due to his awesome equipment) yesterday we had a guy resign his warband due to unbalanced equipment/warband rating, so if we were to incorporate this, I'm sure he's willing to give it another try!

great going wyld! now to calculate all my equipment!

- does that go for carts and such as well? (I play the merchant caravan, and find that cart already a disadvantage in a lot of battles, so I'm not looking forward to having that taxed even more! - seeing as you do not tax the mounts but use them in the value calculation, I fear the cart would go there as well?)
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Mon 1 Feb 2010 - 10:08

Hehe Ez, still complaining about your cart all the time Wink

Anyway, on topic, I have to say that this really is an awesome idea I'll bear in mind when I start playing again Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Mon 1 Feb 2010 - 20:18

This is almost exactly what i was planning to try out for warband rating. Value/10 was what i was thinking, i never considered subtracting the starting 500gc to make it an indicator of profit.

I think that even if one uses the original costs for armor, and discounted blackpowder costs for misfires, the profit system would still be a viable way to handle equipment value.

What happens if a warbands value drops below 500 and the profit ends up as a negative fraction?

I would consider this a negative profit, and subtract it from the warband rating to signify a loss, how about you Wyldhunt?
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Wed 3 Feb 2010 - 12:37

Pathfinder Dubstyles wrote:
What happens if a warbands value drops below 500 and the profit ends up as a negative fraction?

I would consider this a negative profit, and subtract it from the warband rating to signify a loss, how about you Wyldhunt?
We separately implemented a Fate Point system using the effects on player cards from Jim Weaver's "The Warpstones Belong To Us!" One of those effects was Benefactor - the way that we've implemented it is that the lowest-valued warband can receive gc equal to difference between his value and the next lowest. Without that system, I would allow any warband valued less than 500gc (this time including their unspent gc) to receive the difference, as a way to keep them at least nominally competitive. If you don't want to do either of those, then yes, I would apply negative profit to the warband rating as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Wed 3 Feb 2010 - 18:05

and what if you don't deduct the 500 crowns but instead drop the rating for warband members? wouldn't that even it out a bit?
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PostSubject: Re: Adding Profit to Warband Rating   Wed 3 Feb 2010 - 21:23

Ezekiel wrote:
and what if you don't deduct the 500 crowns but instead drop the rating for warband members? wouldn't that even it out a bit?

I feel that if this method were used, in the beginning of a cmapagn, it would create a drastic imbalance between ratings of small and large warbands.

Small warbands with expensive models and equipment would have inflated ratings compared to large, cheaply equipped warbands. And we all know that numbers account for successful warbands at the start of a campaign.

Consider the following two warbands (assuming there are no changes to weapon/equipment prices to reflect game value vs. fluff value):

Dwarf Treasure Hunters:
Noble
2-h axe
gromril armor (bought for 75 but adds 15 to rating)
helmet
185gc (260 for rating purpose)

Engineer
dwarf axe
crossbow
shield
helmet
110gc

Slayer
dwarf axe x 2
80gc

Slayer
dwarf axe x 2
80gc

Beardling
axe x 2
helmet
45gc

Total Warriors: 5
Total cost: 500 (575 for rating purposes)
Total xp: 46
Original Rating: 71
Wyldhunt's Rating: 79
Ezekiel's Rating: 104




Middenheim Mercenaries:
Captain
sword
axe
75gc

Champion
2-h axe
50gc

Champion
sword
axe
50gc

Youngblood
spear
25

Youngblood
sword
club
28

Marksmen x 2
crossbow x 2
110gc

Swordmen x 2
swords x 2
bucklers x 2
100 gc

Warriors x 2
clubs x 4
62gc

Total Warriors: 11
Total cost: 500
Total xp: 36
Original Rating: 91
Wyldhunt's Rating: 91
Ezekiel's Rating: 86



No one is getting an underdog bonus at the moment. Considering these are starting warbands with no skills, i can see the dwarfs having a very hard time in a standard battle 'till rout scenario.

It is clear to me, that the rating for a newly recruited 5 model warband, no matter how well equipped, should never be larger than the rating of a newly recruited 11 model warband.

Later in a campaign, the dwarfs might accumulate the experience and skills to make them withstand the numbers of the middenheimers, but only playing will tell.
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