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 underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances

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Dahag
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PostSubject: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Fri 13 May 2011 - 1:16

In our group (6 players, but not everybody is present every time) we mostly have multiplayer games and soon it became clear that we not quite knew how to deal with underdog experience if alliances are formed.

Especially so, because we tend to have open alliances. By this I mean that they are not fixed from the beginning like in 2 versus 2. But alliances that can be announced and broken at the beginning of the player's turn. So alliance constellations may vary a lot during a game. While this makes gaming exciting for us, it also raises some problems.

1) What counts as an alliance exactly? i mean, it's clear if two players openly agree on being allied. But there are many cases where it's not that clear. Especially in a 3-player-game, where two warbands hit one warband from both sides. Should they count as being allied regarding the underdog experience although they never explicitly said so? How much fighting action / ooA models does such a warband have to suffer until it can claim an underdog bonus? What if the player attacked the two warbands on his own initiative?

2) how long must an alliance last and how much impact must it have on the game in order to cause the other player(s) to get underdog experience?
In an extreme case, two players declare an alliance and shortly after, the other allied warband routs with the alliance having no effect at all only to grant an untouched third player +1 experience on top of laughing his ass off. Just bad luck for the two allied players or how to handle it?

3) in the last games we had the situation that people were reluctant to form alliances as winning is not so important in mordheim, but getting an underdog for the un-allied player(s) does. How to make forming alliances worth it?

well, a lot of questions Smile So how do you deal with alliances?

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PostSubject: Re: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Fri 13 May 2011 - 1:45

These are all very good (and hard!) questions with no definite answer.

To simplify things I'd just allow underdog experience even if you are in an alliance. You can learn a lot from another warband even if they're fighting on your side. Things you don't learn otherwise since you can assume you don't hang around with the other warband between battles (as you do with your own).

If someone objects to that I could stretch to not allow underdog experience for alliances decided before the game. I'm sure that this could be abused by power gamers but if you are 50+ rating behind, perhaps you need some help anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Fri 13 May 2011 - 2:55

From what I recall Underdog is very easy to calculate in multiplayer. All you do is take the lowest warband rating and compare it to the next-highest rating, so only one warband can get the Underdog at all and it will only be the lowest rating if at all.

I vaguely remember an FAQ or something suggesting an alternative of comparing each warband to the next highest, but I haven't been able to find it so I am not sure if it is real. We never used it in my circle if it is.
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PostSubject: Re: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Fri 13 May 2011 - 6:37

1. An alliance is where two warbands officially do not recognize each other as enemies, but rather as "friendly" models. This is different from two players deciding not to attack each other.

Ex. We had two players NOT allied to each other, but both agree to a sort of cease-fire... "Let's take out bob.. but if you attack me, I'll attack you." While they moved side by side towards Bob without attacking each other, they were technically within 8" of each other, so a lot of their warriors couldn't run. Bob snickered- while he wouldn't get underdog against their conjoined ratings, he delighted in seeing them slow each other down, letting him take more pot-shots. Likewise, if either of the cease-fired members had frenzied models, they'd have to charge the NEAREST enemy, which would be each other.

2. Uh, no clue what the official ruling is. I'd go with "tough luck for the allied players."

3. Can't really tell you... however, our group is pretty informal. Sometimes one player will have 20 games under his belt, another has 2. In those cases, we've had two warbands ally together... and STILL had the smaller of two ratings.

Underdog ratings: I think the official ruling is that you use the next highest warband from your own... but I've been tempted to try a house rule out:

Use the highest warband rating of any warband (or alliance) that attacked you. That way, if you're attacked by a coalition of 380 and by a weak player of 120, you don't use the 120 for bonus. Likewise, if you're playing a massive 3 on 3 match, you don't get exp bonuses for the 400 rating band in the opposite corner, that never even got close to you.

Of course, the key word is "attacked YOU." You can't just take crossbow shots at a player and steal their rating for your underdog.
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PostSubject: Re: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Fri 13 May 2011 - 7:46

StyrofoamKing wrote:
Likewise, if either of the cease-fired members had frenzied models, they'd have to charge the NEAREST enemy, which would be each other.
As far as I know, nothing in the rules say it has to be the closest enemy. Any of the enemies in charge range is fine.
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PostSubject: Re: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Fri 13 May 2011 - 8:15

Yes, anyone in range is fine for the target of Frenzy, but I think in the situation he was meaning it would be pretty unlikely that there would be anyone in range except for the person you have the nonaggression pact with.
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PostSubject: Re: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Fri 13 May 2011 - 8:18

Exactly. If Player A and B and deciding to go against player C (who's across the entire board from both of them), if Player A's frenzied model gets within charge range of B, then he'll have to charge (unless one of C's warriors is within range, yes.) The only way to avoid that is to make a formal Alliance with B, joining your rating together.

One more complication to two players "joining" together against a 3rd player.
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PostSubject: Re: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Fri 20 May 2011 - 2:38

StyrofoamKing wrote:
Of course, the key word is "attacked YOU." You can't just take crossbow shots at a player and steal their rating for your underdog.

so that means that you are thinking of "attacked" as in "charged" (in close combat), right?

I was once part of a group where we had the following rule concerning alliances and underdog bonuses:

"An alliance count as such concerning the underdogbonus of a warband, if it loses at least one model (ooA) by said alliance."

It's not the exact wording as we formulated it in german and it was rather sort of an unwritten rule.

However: What do you think of it?
One problem of that definition is though that the underdog player can attack the alliance by sacrificing a meaningless henchmen in order to get the bonus.

Stryrofoams definition on the other hand would cover that part (the underdog player needs to be the "victim" charge-wise), but in some cases he gets the underdog although he did not suffer one single ooA.

But if I think of it: I always assumed that a warband needs to suffer (many) ooA models in order to be worthy of bonus experience. But there is one flaw in that way of thinking: If the player stands against multiple warbands and still is able not to lose models, why should this be less worth than suffering a lot of losses, as the deed is even greater and more difficult to achieve.

well, what do you guys think about the rule quoted above (/ styrofoams proposition, btw. thanks for that, mate Smile )?

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PostSubject: Re: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Fri 20 May 2011 - 4:52

i am confused with this sentence:
Quote :
How much fighting action / ooA models does such a warband have to suffer until it can claim an underdog bonus?

when did you calculate the underdog? before or after a game?

We usally play, that you get your underdog rating at the start of the game and not during the game. If you are the stronger warband and you loose many members because of bad luck, during the game you can't say "Now i am weaker than you, i will get the underdog bonus from now on".
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PostSubject: Re: underdog experience in regard to (open) alliances   Sat 21 May 2011 - 16:02

well, I don't mean that rating changes during the game. what I wanted to say is: The meaning of underdog bonus is that you get compensated for being smashed by two warbands at the same time. But not if one warband of the ally shoots into your direction once and maybe even misses.

So its a gradual differentiation and the question is how much fighting / losses etc. that warband has to endure agains an alliance to be legitimately claim the underdog bonus....
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