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 Mercenaries, Major Revision.

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James PowerFist
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PostSubject: Mercenaries, Major Revision.   Sat 3 Sep 2016 - 18:22

So I've been working on this warband for a while and wanted to get another set of eyes on it to make sure I haven't missed any major balance problems with pricing etc.

The idea here is that mercenaries are one of the most played warbands in our group but they tend to feel a little to similar to each other, even with the three factions. Additionally we wanted to reign in the extended list of warbands that were available to close to the original roster. As a result I've tried to incorporate interesting bits of various warbands to make a more diverse and interesting Mercenaries roster.

Let me know what you think, and in particular if you think anything is broken.
https ://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByoFLdacZSMgTzZqTnlZZ0w2TkE
(I'm a new member here so I can't post this external link, please delete the space after the https)

Edit: the link is to the recently (sept 7th) edited version.


Last edited by James PowerFist on Wed 7 Sep 2016 - 23:02; edited 2 times in total
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bitxo
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PostSubject: Re: Mercenaries, Major Revision.   Sun 4 Sep 2016 - 6:38

That's awesome, your idea looks interesting and may be the start of a really fun approach to mercs, or even a whole subgame about mercs vs mercs only.

Said that, I think every official Mordheim band has two major characteristics that define their lists: strengths and weaknesses balance, and specific tempo that lead them to be strong at the beggining of the campaign, at mid campaign or at late campaign. I think every time we introduce house rules those two characteristics are modified, sometimes for the good, sometimes ruining the whole thing.

The problem I see with your mercenaries version is that you are able to make a list with no flaws, just strenghts and the perfect tempo, recruiting the right heroes. For example you may hire 6 heroes, including 1captain, 1warrior priest, 1ranger (this guy is too good), 1 blood brother (also awesome) and 2 young bloods. Then you may hire 1/2 flaggelants, 1/2 marksmen and 2 ruffians, making a total of 10/12 really powerful starting band. They have decent numbers, spellcaster, great ranged and CC specialists, and have potential of becoming invencible thanks to exploration (6 heroes and +1/-1), buying good equipment, xbows and more flaggelants fast thanks to their huge gold income and may hire an ogre at mid campaign. The perfect balanced band. Or you could go for long range only or CC only, and still dominate the strongest bands in that area.

It's a great idea, I like the many possible configurations an starting band could have, being able to focus in any specific area, or mix different styles of gameplay, but it will be complex to balance. I'd start limiting the maximum number of heroes you may hire to 5, acquiring the 6th due TLGT only, and making incompatible ranged specialist heroes with heroes that give access to powerful close combat henchmen (give ruffians access to long bows, swords and halberds, tho). I'd also remove the exploration skill from the ranger (keep the price, because starting BS4 is great), less maximum flaggelants, only 1 starting spell for the wizard, remove the sling from the list (and dueling pistols if you keep instructor's skill), no blunderbuss for starting heroes, 1 large guy only, and make the ogre unable to become a hero. I'd also consider giving them no access to hired swords, because they don't need them. I'm not mentioning instructor and pistoliers stats, because I guess those are mistyped. I hope the feedback helps you.

Great work overall, I'd love to see more of this.


Last edited by bitxo on Tue 6 Sep 2016 - 16:32; edited 1 time in total
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James PowerFist
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PostSubject: Re: Mercenaries, Major Revision.   Sun 4 Sep 2016 - 10:28

Thanks for the long and well considered response, there is a bunch of valuable feedback here. Before I get into it though I think you missed something that would solve at least some of the issues you have brought up, and I'm die to know what you still think is problematic afterwards.

on the first page there is a chart of the heroes (excluding the Captain and Youngbloods), any Mercenary warband may only have two of these heroes at a time, which also significantly limits available henchmen. The henchmen stick around (except the ogre) if the hero that made them available dies, even if you replace them with a different hero.

This is the reason that I gave the magician two spells to start. He gets no henchmen so he has to provide value as taking him probably also limits your warband max size.
its possible to pretty much get and all ranged warband or an all CC one, but doing so is pretty limiting to your choices. Its probably also true, even with the limited heroes, I've made a much more viable warband through all of the early mid and late game rather than having a single peak. Our group, however, does not often get to the late game stage and the idea of these different power curves never struck me as especially fun. I would much prefer if the power levels were closer particularly in the late game. As a result I'm not to worried if I've put together a warband that will do okay all along.

The ranger has a simple yet good load out with being a hero, having 4BS, and Seeker. I don't really want to take any of those things away as they feel par for the coarse for a starting hero (maybe seeker is to strong? but it doesn't help him kill people.) to balance him I could raise his cost or reduce the number of marksmen he can recruit from 3 to 2. knowing that the ranger will be one of only ever two of the heroes you can get at a time, do you still think he is to good?
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PostSubject: Re: Mercenaries, Major Revision.   Sun 4 Sep 2016 - 12:01

So only 5 heroes to start with, not 6.
I really really like your idea of certain heroes defining what henchmen are available. They had this in the old WHFB as well. I'd bet there are some nasty combos possible, but there are worse warbands out there. I think I understand why you put so many different choices in there. But this is all a little random to me. Bear-tamer, Bear and Hussars, fine. But Flagellants in a warband with both a magician (if you kick out the priest) and a drunkard/ogre just smells wrong to me.
So great idea, rules probably not too strong, but the background doesn't convince me.
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James PowerFist
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PostSubject: Re: Mercenaries, Major Revision.   Sun 4 Sep 2016 - 14:21

I completely agree that the warrior-priest and Flagellants don't fit nearly as well flavour wise, Its been an issue that has been bugging me a bit as well. That said, I'll probably leave them in for the first cycle of campaign we play to get some testing done. Then I'll revise them, either change their flavour if their working well mechanically or remove or replace them with something that fits better.

I would love to hear any ideas on hero/henchmen combos anyone has so I can consider them for V2.0
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PostSubject: Re: Mercenaries, Major Revision.   Sun 4 Sep 2016 - 14:49

yeah, I missed that heroes will be limited to 5. That's ok, then. I still think having access to all the strengths a warband may have, and not a significant weakness, seems broken. Reiklanders are one of the best bands, and with this one you can make a band as good as Reiklander with ranged... but way better in CC.

Pistoliers and instructor's stats are mistyped, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Mercenaries, Major Revision.   Sun 4 Sep 2016 - 19:57

I see what your saying about the general well roundedness and increased power level. Mostly I just took the cost of the warriors wholesale from whatever source I was getting them from, I may have to adjust these more to compensate for synergies.
I will also spend the next couple day (I'm playing on Thursday so I've got to have it ready enough by then) seeing if I can think of ways to change things to encourage or enforce certain strengths and weaknesses. Certainly the original intent, in part, was that through your choices your warband would excel in some areas and fall short in others. Though I see that I may not have payed close enough attention to that Idea as I moved forward with the project.

I will also bear in mind your other suggestions from earlier, also yes the instructor's and pistoliers stat blocks somehow got overlooked and desperately need fixing. Thank you.
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PostSubject: Re: Mercenaries, Major Revision.   Wed 7 Sep 2016 - 23:00

Okay, did some revision, y'all were right it was a bit on the over powered side of things. Foremost, Warrior-Priest was removed as were flagellants. Many other warriors got priced up or toned down. I think its more inline with the other warbands now, while it still may be a little to strong I'm happy with it here for my group to get some play testing done. After people play with it for a while I look back into more significant revisions. I would still love to hear any comments or concerns, or any ideas on other hero henchmen combos. Thanks again for all the valuable feedback.

https ://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByoFLdacZSMgTzZqTnlZZ0w2TkE
(I'm a new member here so I can't post this external link yet, please delete the space after the https)
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