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 Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It

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Asp
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PostSubject: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 13:06

Given that each henchman's experience add's to the group, rather than the group as a whole, henchmen experience is quite inflated.

For example, a standard warrior:

4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 adds +5 to rating

now level him max up

rolling randomly we get:

+1 WS
+1 I
+1 Ld
+1 BS

being

4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8

he now adds +19 to the rating

so

4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 rating: 5

vs.

4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 rating: 19

not worth it
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 14:09

????

"The warband rating is simply the number of warriors in it multiplied by 5, plus their accumulated experience." (p. 77 of the updated rulebook).

So, initially a henchman with no experience adds 5 points to a warband's rating.

The same henchman after gaining the 2 experience points necessary to earn an improvement adds 7 experience to the warband's rating (5 for being a warm body in the band +2 for his 2 experience). Where are you getting 19?
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 14:11

henchmen advance at 2, 5, 9, 14

so the buffed up warrior in my example adds 5 + 14 = 19

and when you have a group of such warriors it starts getting ridiculous

3 blank warriors = +15 rating

3 buffed warriors = +57 rating
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 14:25

Interesting, something I'd certainly never really thought of before. However, the alternative is not taking any henchmen (or only henchmen that don't gain xp), and in these circumstances you'll almost always be vastly outnumbered (unless you're playing undead of some varieyt, or CoC). And in fact, the same happens (to some degree far worse) with heroes, especially when initially recruited:

Mercenary Captain:
444331418 (coincidentally, the same statline as the max xp henchman in your example)
with a rating of 25! (6 higher than a henchman with the same stats)

vs.

basic human:
433331317
with a rating of just 5.

A mercenary captain is hardly an even match for 5 basic warriors. Now of course, we're not necessarily taking into account the benefits of being a captain, or even being a hero (less likely to die, better potential for advancement, better equipment selection, bring home the bacon), so after all of that, and in the long run, I'd say they definitely even out. However, in-game stat for stat henchmen are actually probably weigh less heavily on your rating than heroes do. Nevertheless, it does kind of look like low-xp characters deliver the most "bang for buck" in terms of combat effectiveness vs. contribution to rating (maybe excluding heroes that get really high in xp and actually can weather a swarm of weenies).

Ultimately, though, it seems kind of irrelevant because as far as I know there's no way around this except to be constantly dismissing and rehiring henchmen, which wouldn't be worth the gold.
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 14:45

or never having large henchman groups
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 14:55

Asp wrote:
or never having large henchman groups
But even individual henchmen are going to earn xp at the same rate, no?
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 15:04

right but they have a larger chance of dying so you wont end up with a lot of xp sunk into i and ld upgrades

thats why i call it a spinoff - as it is, the system encourages small henchmen groups and "powergaming" as some call it
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 15:08

Ah - I see what you are saying now.

A worse-case scenario, where your 4-improvement henchman has the dread +1 Ldr and +1 Init (the worst rolls) might not worth four times the points he was starting out. Indeed, a henchman with dream rolls of +1Str, +1A, +1BS and +1 WS would be a great melee warrior, but probably still four starting warriors could take him down. Numbers count in Mordheim (something that people who come to Mordheim from D&D often have to learn the hard way).

I have never worried too much about warband rating, to be honest. I never felt it was finely tuned, but I don't think it is all that critical, either. As people have noted on other threads, the relative GC cost of a warband is arguably more important in terms of judging relative worth (although it is also imperfect).

I suspect if each warrior was worth 10 points +1 per experience point, it might be a better measure. The buffed warrior might be worth two starting warriors.

Asp, you don't have to wait for a henchman to die if you want to depress your warband rating - just sack 'em and replace 'em.


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Last edited by mweaver on Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 15:10; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 15:10

There's weird stuff on the bottom of my previous post! Aiiiiiieeeee!
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 17:11

Yes....if you roll an odd assortment of stats it really isn't worth a maxed henchman. But what if you toss some +ST and/or +A in there? Quickly becomes worthwhile.
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 17:52

decker_cky wrote:
if you roll an odd assortment of stats it really isn't worth a maxed henchman.
How else would you get a maxed henchman, other than by rolling "an odd assortment of stats?" You aren't exactly allowed to choose his stat advancements...
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 18:38

To be honest, if I have a henchman with five experience who is +1 leader and +1 initiative, I often give him a gold watch and send him on his way, . Not always - if he has developed some character, he can stay. In a way having +1 I and +1 L as your first rolls inoculates that henchman from further crappy rolls...
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 18:56

We're taking a different tack with this - finding ways that I and Ld become more useful, even for henchmen. Granting certain weapons' attacks Initiative adjustments (such as First Strike at +1 I for Spears) is one way; using At the Mouth of Madness, with Insanity Points for henchmen is another.

Mordheim is full of hybrid systems, such as gc for both fluff and effectiveness - adding experience to warband rating seems to be another.

Asp, in your view, would adding the number of advances to the rating rather than XP be closer to real effectiveness per henchman? That way a 4-advance henchmen is still "worth" slightly less to rating than 2 new henchmen.
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 21:17

Ld and ESPCIALLY Initiativs is, IMO, good. Initiative is great for striking first in combat, and have saved the lives of my men several times actually. And yes, allthough Ld isn't amazingly handy for your standard soldier, you can still only get it once.

And although I agree with what Asp is saying, I still don't know if I picture this being a gameplay problem?
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 22:31

"And although I agree with what Asp is saying, I still don't know if I picture this being a gameplay problem?"

I haven't ever particularly found it so. Certainly not these days when we pretty consistently play collaborative campaigns. When I create NPC warbands to fight against the PC warbands, I pay as much attention to GC as to experience. I haven't worked out any formula to try for a close match - I just eyeball it.

If you were playing a campaign where the winner was based on warband rating, then it would probably be worth meddling with.
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 23:08

Initiative is pretty handy for climbing too. I just rolled +I on a crossbowman, and after some initial disappointment, I realized it would let me get to those hard to reach shots.

@Myntokk: I was talking about rolling bad upgrades rather than rolling at least one decent one.
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 23:15

Yeah, the more I play the more I appreciate initiative. Although I still feel that WS, BS, A and STR are better rolls for most warriors. I find that a bump in leadership for a henchman is hardly ever useful, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Sun 31 Jan 2010 - 16:26

Is it a problem really that smaller henchmen groups are more efficient? I mean, everyone can stack 'em small right?
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Sun 31 Jan 2010 - 22:05

mweaver wrote:
I find that a bump in leadership for a henchman is hardly ever useful, though.

Unless you are a Skaven hero, as the vermin men have legendary low Ld Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Mon 1 Feb 2010 - 7:49

imo the most balanced solution would be to say that

2 points of henchman xp = 1 point of hero xp

but that is a clunkier solution than i am willing to implement in my rules




too bad this isnt a video game that would passively take care of all these calculations
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Mon 1 Feb 2010 - 10:00

I agree that a Henchmen leveling up usually isn't as valueable as buying a strait-up hero, but if it is your only option then you have to take the hit. Also in theory everyone else is in the same boat.

The only exception would be warbands that have henchmen that don't get exp. For example Restless Dead they have Zombies, and Skeletons that don't get Exp, their only henchmen that do are Wights.

Most of the warbands I have played have been 4 purchase heroes and 2 LGT. Getting those 2 LGT Heroes early is what you have to do to get compeditive. Usually they aren't as good as your strait-up Heroes, but they are better then nothing.

I also agree there is nothing more annoying then getting a henchmen group with 2 bad upgrades. Except maybe a hero with 2 bad upgrades.

One time we where playing and one of my Orc Big'Uns got the leadership upgrade twice, so he had a better leadership then my leader. It was pretty useless, espically next to my other Big'Un that had an addational attack, an extra wound, and Might Blow. He started getting exp a lot faster, and became a wrecking ball on the battle field.
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Mon 1 Feb 2010 - 10:07

decker_cky wrote:
@Myntokk: I was talking about rolling bad upgrades rather than rolling at least one decent one.
Ah, I see what you're saying, although I think Asp's point is that even if you did get lucky and roll the best possible suite of upgrades a maxed out henchman still isn't worth the boost in rating that he incurs. Suppose he did have +1 WS, S, A, & I (IMO the best for a melee henchman) - he's still not worth 19 rating points, which is almost the same as 4 henchmen with no advances.

@ Asp, what about reducing the length of the Henchmen's xp track, so that they get an advancement on every even number and reach maximum xp at 8?


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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Mon 1 Feb 2010 - 15:54

you should all listen to myntokk because he's so cool
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PostSubject: Re: Henchman Spin-off: Their Experience Rating Isn't Worth It   Mon 1 Feb 2010 - 20:23

I think the idea here is not to display how even a match fights are going to be to but a way to facilitate underdog experience and so allow less experienced warbands to fight more experienced warbands and have it simply be an unprofitable suicide. It's ok if it isn't precise because all it does it give a rough gauge of how advanced (compared to it's basic line up) each warband is compared to any others. I guess it also determines some positions in scenarios but it really doesn't seem like it needs changing, and I think any perceived problems that arise likely stem from other aspects of the game system.
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