Hobgoblin - Playtesters Wanted!

Hobgoblin - Playtesters Wanted!

crikeymiles
Wizard
Joined: Mar 26 2012, 12:30 PM

Jun 15 2015, 09:14 AM #1

Hello,

This weekend, James and Kody helped with some very early playtesting of a new set of fantasy-themed mass battle rules I have written, with the working title of Hobgoblin. Hopefully they will agree that the game appears to be pretty fast and fun, and tactical.

I would love to know if anyone else is interested in playtesting this game. The current rules and cards are available here:



http://www.crikeymiles.com/games/hobgoblin

The magic system is still being written, but there will be one. I'm going to bring it to club tomorrow, as I have the day off!
Gaslands - Post-Apocalyptic Vehicular Mayhem, to be published by Osprey.
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orkula
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orkula
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Jun 15 2015, 04:18 PM #2

I've had a quick read through and looks good.

I assume all units have 10 starting wounds (doesn't say outright but the examples imply it)

I assume the 'monstrous' strength is so you can create monstrous infantry. Is a monster monstrous or is it already reflected in its stats?
Should you be able to create monstrous elite (or frenzied) warmachines that blow the beejezus out of everyone?
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crikeymiles
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Jun 15 2015, 04:28 PM #3

orkula wrote:I assume all units have 10 starting wounds (doesn't say outright but the examples imply it)
Yes. Good catch, will add!
orkula wrote:I assume the 'monstrous' strength is so you can create monstrous infantry. Is a monster monstrous or is it already reflected in its stats?
Good catch. It is intended that monsters cannot take the monstrous strength. Will add.
orkula wrote:Should you be able to create monstrous elite (or frenzied) warmachines that blow the beejezus out of everyone?
... Hellcannons? Yes. Shooting rolls half dice, so you will never be able to delete units with war machines. Maximum is a war machine or missile unit with the "hero" strength for 6 attacks.

Fancy a game tomorrow evening, Dave?
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orkula
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orkula
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Jun 16 2015, 08:09 AM #4

crikeymiles @ Jun 15 2015, 05:28 PM wrote:
orkula wrote:I assume all units have 10 starting wounds (doesn't say outright but the examples imply it)
Yes. Good catch, will add!
orkula wrote:I assume the 'monstrous' strength is so you can create monstrous infantry. Is a monster monstrous or is it already reflected in its stats?
Good catch. It is intended that monsters cannot take the monstrous strength. Will add.
orkula wrote:Should you be able to create monstrous elite (or frenzied) warmachines that blow the beejezus out of everyone?
... Hellcannons? Yes. Shooting rolls half dice, so you will never be able to delete units with war machines. Maximum is a war machine or missile unit with the "hero" strength for 6 attacks.

Fancy a game tomorrow evening, Dave?
Yeah definitely. No-one seems to want to play x wing this week so i'll throw some fantasy stuff in a box. What pts level do you want me to bring?
I'll try and bring a mix of troop types

edit: oh and how many pts is frenzied?

edit2: More questions! does merciless and infighting stack (so each roll of a 1 causes 2 wounds)?
How does terrifying and cowardly (one on attacker, one on defender) interact?

"Swift: This unit may divide its movement points to
spend as it pleasing before," - good work on the broken English ;)
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crikeymiles
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Jun 16 2015, 02:01 PM #5

> What pts level do you want me to bring?
Bring what would roughly equate to 2,500pts in WHFB, and we should be good.

> how many pts is frenzied?
30pts. I renamed "Brutal" to "frenzied", to make it's application more obvious.

> does merciless and infighting stack (so each roll of a 1 causes 2 wounds)?
I guess so. I'll keep an eye on that. Goblins may suffer unnecessarily if so...

> How does terrifying and cowardly (one on attacker, one on defender) interact?

Added the following:
Individual strengths and weaknesses cannot be "stacked": you may only have one copy of each strengths and each weakness on a given unit at any time.  If some game effect, (such as the battle standard, Terrifying or a spell), would result in a unit gaining a strength or a weakness that they already have, the second copy is simply ignored.
Thanks for all this, really appreciated!
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orkula
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orkula
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Jun 16 2015, 04:10 PM #6

crikeymiles @ Jun 16 2015, 03:01 PM wrote:
> how many pts is frenzied?
30pts. I renamed "Brutal" to "frenzied", to make it's application more obvious.
I should have spotted that. I went through the list checking for any other missing ones and clearly missed that.

I wanted to represent some goblin fanatics so thought that seemed appropriate then couldnt find the cost for it. Brutal + Merciless + Infighting represents them quite well!

I think it might be worth adding (in the future) some "suggested" traits for different basic forces.
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crikeymiles
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Jun 16 2015, 05:17 PM #7

> I think it might be worth adding (in the future) some "suggested" traits for different basic forces.

Definitely want to do this, once the rules are stable. E.g. Give elf units "Elite", give dwarf units "Stubborn", give goblin units "In-fighting", etc.
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orkula
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orkula
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Jun 17 2015, 04:36 PM #8

Hi Mike,

Really enjoyed those games yesterday and I'll be interested in doing some more playtesting for you.

Below are some ideas for some spells. This uses the dice mechanism i explained yesterday but of course its entirely up to you - its your game! You might have to excuse some of the names of the spells...

I've deliberately not added any new special rules and kept to the ones you've already created.

Attack Spells

Fireball – Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If equals or exceeds enemy current wounds, inflict D3 wounds

Fiery Blast – Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If equals or exceeds enemy current wounds, inflict D3+1 wounds

Fire Storm – Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If equals or exceeds enemy current wounds, inflict D3+2 wounds

Honey I Shrunk The Enemy – Range 12”. If roll equals or exceeds enemy strength, inflict Tiny. If already tiny, unit cannot do anything . Lasts until beginning of casters next turn

Your Powers Are Weak Old Man – Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If roll equals or exceeds enemy strength, inflict weak. Lasts until beginning of casters next turn

Vans, Horses and Spectacles – Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If roll is equal or lower than enemy strength, it swaps attack dice with friendly unit within 1” of that enemy unit. Lasts until beginning of casters next turn

Defence Spells

Ming- Roll 2D6. If roll is equal or less than current wounds, gain Merciless. If already merciless, the attacker loses 2 wounds for every 1 rolled. Lasts until beginning of casters next turn

Miracle-Gro – Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If roll is equal or less than current wounds, gain Monstrous. If already monstrous, change profile to Monster. If monster, gain +1 to wound. Lasts until beginning of casters next turn

Terrifying visions - Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If roll is equal or less than current wounds, gain Terrifying. If already terrifying, enemy must reroll 6s to hit. Lasts until beginning of casters next turn

Heroic intervention – Range 12”. If roll is equal or exceeds current wounds, gain +2 attack dice. Lasts until beginning of casters next turn

Red Bull – Range 12”. If roll is equal or less than current wounds, gain Flying. Lasts until beginning of casters next turn

Shadows coil – Range 12”. If roll is equal or less than current wounds, gain Cover. If it already has Cover, gains Defensive Position. Lasts until beginning of casters next turn.

Healing spells

Healing hands – Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If roll is equal or exceeds current wounds, regain D3 wounds

Blood pulse – Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If roll is equal or exceeds current wounds, regain D3+1 wounds

Resurrection – Range 12”. Roll 2D6. If roll is equal or exceeds current wounds, regain D3+2 wounds

I couldn't think of 3 more healing spells
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crikeymiles
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Joined: Mar 26 2012, 12:30 PM

Jun 18 2015, 08:31 AM #9

Thanks to Dave and James for some more play-testing on Tuesday.

On reflection, I have simply removed the "Terrifying" strength. It thematically only really fits on Monsters, and they don't need it. I think the interaction of the basic unit types adequately captures the scariness of monsters, and it interacted badly with the "In-Fighting" strength.

I added a rule for hills:
HILLS
A unit on a hill may ignore friendly units for the purposes of drawing line of sight.
I'm going to make Light Cav vs Missile Troops a 4+ (rather than the current 3+), and Monsters vs Light Cav a 4+ (rather than the current 6+).

Lots of points values calculations and tweaking going on... that's going to take the most work for sure.

Amazing start on the magic. Thank you. Let me kick those around, and I'll bring something when I'm next down.
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crikeymiles
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Joined: Mar 26 2012, 12:30 PM

Jun 18 2015, 02:03 PM #10

So.... lots of calculations and tweakings later, here's what our armies from Tuesday might look like...



The new "Horde" rule:

Horde: (100pts) Only Infantry units may take this upgrade. This unit gains 10 additional wounds, but may still only attack with a maximum of 10 dice, (or 12 if containing the commander). A unit given Horde upgrade may not be given a second strength upgrade, but may be given a weakness.
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crikeymiles
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Joined: Mar 26 2012, 12:30 PM

Jun 22 2015, 10:25 PM #11

Okay - new play-test rules up for those that are interested. Featuring:

- Magic
- Variable and secret victory conditions
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orkula
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orkula
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Jun 23 2015, 07:51 AM #12

crikeymiles @ Jun 22 2015, 11:25 PM wrote: Okay - new play-test rules up for those that are interested. Featuring:

- Magic
- Variable and secret victory conditions
Won't let me download as you're not currently accepting payments
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crikeymiles
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Jun 30 2015, 06:41 AM #13

Ah - dang.

Okay - fixed now!
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crikeymiles
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Jun 30 2015, 07:25 AM #14

Okay - so the new version contains a new victory condition system, which draws inspiration from both Malifaux and Mighty Empires. I don't find that "battlefield objectives" feel right in a fantasy game, and instead I'd rather capture a range of "attacker/defender" type encounters.

With Malifaux, I love the uncertainty that their system brings, in that you can start to guess, but never wholly know what your opponent's victory conditions are, so you have to attempt to shut down a number of options, and hope that he's not bluffing or leading you astray.

With Mighty Empires, I like the epic, zoomed-out nature of choosing your strategy for each battle. Essentially compressing a whole battle into a single card selection. Obviously, that's not the objective of the system here, but I wanted to capture a little of that strategy-selection-creates-the-narrative-of-the-battle feeling here.

STRATEGY CARDS

During setup of the game, randomly deal each player one of the three Strategy Cards face down. Each Strategy Card has a set of five victory conditions on it, which the player will need to complete in order to earn victory points.

I'm not certain yet whether each player should have all three to choose from or if each player gets one of the three. I want to play both ways and see want is most fun.
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orkula
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orkula
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Jun 30 2015, 07:39 AM #15

Just redownloaded. Looks good :)

I'll take it as a compliment that you used quite a lot of the magic rules I suggested, though not my silly names. I was rather fond of "Red Bull" :D

I'm keen to run another playtest, though I have games lined up for the next 2 weeks
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crikeymiles
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Joined: Mar 26 2012, 12:30 PM

Jun 30 2015, 08:49 AM #16

Thanks Dave. Your suggestions were great, looking forward to getting them on the table with you.

I'm considering a "play test day" round my gaff one Sunday in August. I'll provide food, in exchange for playtesting! Is that of interest?
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crikeymiles
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Joined: Mar 26 2012, 12:30 PM

Jun 30 2015, 09:33 PM #17

Thanks to Rufus and James for giving the magic system it's first proper walk around the block tonight. It works really nicely. I threw away some dice early on trying to cast "By My Will" on some slaves, to lose Clumsy, forgetting they had 20 wounds! Later on, after I had lost some units, i was out of line of sight of any casting for a turn, ending up on the followong turn with 13 dice (Skaven sacred number) to heal the Verminlord twice, from 3 back up to 10 wounds, and then summon a new unit of slaves into the flank of Rufus' general's unit. It was great!

A couple of wording tweaks so far, but more to find yet... Looking forward to finding out more!
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crikeymiles
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Jul 5 2015, 05:49 PM #18

Got two more playtest games in yesterday. The first ended too abruptly due to the new game end condition (if you can claim three then you win), which I have now reverted back to "game ends when you break the other guy".

Magic continues to work okay. Although I swapped the difficulties of "Fireball" and "Ice Blast" to better balance them.

Can't wait to get some more folks playing it. A couple more of the TWC crew were thinking of given it a go, and I hope they might.
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chippie john
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Joined: Oct 6 2011, 09:02 PM

Jul 5 2015, 07:47 PM #19

I am up for getting involved when I get time
But EoT games with Glen seam never ending
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crikeymiles
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Joined: Mar 26 2012, 12:30 PM

Jul 7 2015, 01:10 PM #20

Happy to report, I've now had over 100 downloads of the Hobgoblin beta rules!

I may have created a monster..... :D

(fingers crossed)
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crikeymiles
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Jul 10 2015, 03:11 PM #21

Posting some feedback from folks that have playtested. First from Ben Crowe of TWC:
Ben Crowe wrote:Weakness – love the idea, perhaps points need to be juggled, for instance, Elite gives you re rolls So as a random example and prob not the best one. Elite unit fights three rounds of combat  (vacuum sustaining no dmg so has full 10 attacks) that’s 30 attacks-  average roll of a 4+ you’re looking at approx. 15 hits, rerolls increasing that to 22 (average rolling etc)
You're right that something's not right here. Elite and hero scale differently as the unit loses wounds. Elite is comparitively more effective when the unit has more wounds, Hero is comparitively more effective when the unit has less wounds. Overall, as the unit loses wounds, Elite makes a unit 50% more effective, and Hero makes them 36% more effective. That means Hero is roughly 70% as effective as Elite. Accordingly, I shal change Elite to 100pts and Hero to 70pts!
Ben Crowe wrote:Looking at cowardly same instance, 30 attacks - 15 hits. Less (30/6 = 5 Assuming no. of 1’s rolled) = 10 hits. Now as a mechanic it works, simple and great. But they are both 50 points (arguably a 100 points if you compared them directly against each other) But that still seems pretty good for double output in essence.
Clumsy, Weak, Cowardly also all scale differently as the unit loses wounds. Clumsy has comparitively less negative impact as the unit losing wounds, whereas Cowardly pretty much cripples a unit under 5 wounds (statistically speaking). Weak has a linear relationship as the unit loses wounds. Overall, as the unit loses wounds, both Clumsy and Cowardly make a unit ~50% less effective, and Weak makes them 35% less effective. That means Weak is roughly 70% as bad as either Clumsy or Cowardly. Accordingly, I shall make Clumsy and Cowardly both -100pts and change Weak to -70pts!
Ben Crowe wrote:I think the magic needs a basic TN requirement like you suggested. Think 4+ for cantrip and 7+ for making would be a good starting point.
I agree. I think I shall introduce a blanket minimum target number of 5, to make one-dicing spells more dicey.
Ben Crowe wrote:Miscast system could be simply if snakes eyes are rolled during spell unit takes a wound. (that way the spell potentially can still go off if enough dice are used).
I can't really be bother with a miscast system, particularly if it just pops a wound off. Maybe if it allowed your opponent to choose the target, but then you'd never throw dice at things... I'll keep it in mind, and keep a look out for the snake eyes during test games to see if funny situations are being missed.
Ben Crowe wrote:The frost spell is interesting but don’t think it will see much use when requiring to meet the double wounds. Like Wise I think if the fireball needs to reach double wounds to cause d3 wound is not much of ‘reward’ for casting. Felt the big spell was fine as is.
Agreed. Swapped round cantrip and making on those two.
Ben Crowe wrote:We talked about the chariot, I think the stiff breeze is a good fix. (well a good starting point for change)
Added. Will test.
Ben Crowe wrote:Think as discussed the abrupt ending was a bit meh.
Yep. Gone, daddy, gone.
Ben Crowe wrote:I think a turn limit maybe worth trying out – having breaking point as criteria for end of game could mean camping two small warbeast units with a weakness to make them cheap as chips and then hiding them out of danger as they are pretty quick?
This is where the Penumbral school comes in. Cast the cantrip on a couple of units, now they move twice as far and fly. Try and hide from that!

As for turn limits, I'm lazy and can't be arsed to remember what turn it is. Who cares! Get on with the killing!
Ben Crowe wrote:Do you think the counter attack is a bit strong? Maybe reducing the amount of attacks even related to the damage caused or perhaps a standard amount of attacks.
Connor also suggested the same thing. I like it the way it is. It makes the game brutal and play differently to other games, whilst introducing tactical options in your activation order. I think some units
Ben Crowe wrote:Wounds – could this terminology be changed to combat effectiveness or something along those lines? This would relate to the attacks going back, and relate to not just wiping units out, but making them break as it were without putting break test esq rules in? (prob just confusing for confusing sake)
Wounds is fine.
Ben Crowe wrote:Do the strats have to be different? Could they not draw from their own strat card pile? Or is that part of the tactics, trying to guess what they are playing?
No idea. This just needs to be playtested both ways a few times.
Ben Crowe wrote:Why cant a unit be square? (not hugely relevant just a passing comment about the unit shape in the rules)
A square is a special kind of rectangle where all the sides are equal length. :P However, have added a clarification, so as not to confuse again! :)
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crikeymiles
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Jul 10 2015, 03:15 PM #22

Some feedback from Connor Barker (https://twitter.com/Proximocoal), whom I met on the Malifaux circuit:
Connor wrote:I absolutely love the concept of the strengths and weaknesses and stuff, I just think some of the points need to be re-thought.
You're right that something's not right here. Elite and hero scale differently as the unit loses wounds. Elite is comparitively more effective when the unit has more wounds, Hero is comparitively more effective when the unit has less wounds. Overall, as the unit loses wounds, Elite makes a unit 50% more effective, and Hero makes them 36% more effective. That means Hero is roughly 70% as effective as Elite. Accordingly, I shal change Elite to 100pts and Hero to 70pts!

Clumsy, Weak, Cowardly also all scale differently as the unit loses wounds. Clumsy has comparitively less negative impact as the unit losing wounds, whereas Cowardly pretty much cripples a unit under 5 wounds (statistically speaking). Weak has a linear relationship as the unit loses wounds. Overall, as the unit loses wounds, both Clumsy and Cowardly make a unit ~50% less effective, and Weak makes them 35% less effective. That means Weak is roughly 70% as bad as either Clumsy or Cowardly. Accordingly, I shall make Clumsy and Cowardly both -100pts and change Weak to -70pts!
Connor wrote:In the same vain both me and my opponent used heavy cavalry which were absolutely obliterated by warmachines. It seems crazy that they cost so much more and yet can be neutered so easily.
I think War Machine might need their "To Wound" track toned down but a click here and there, as they are pretty effective. Just to check, you were rolling 5 dice for shooting with war machines, and not 10 dice, right? When making a shooting attack, total the number of dice you would have rolled, including strengths or weaknesses, and then halve that number, rounding up, before rolling to wound.
Connor wrote:I think the game is too brutal. ... There should be an element of locking battle lines and the grinding of infantry formations. ... For example, Infantry can start with 20 wounds, warmachines with 5 etc.
I totally agree. My intent was that infantry units get the "Horde" rule, which gives them 20 wounds but 10 attacks, and that War Machines (and as of the next version, Chariots also) get the "Stiff Breeze" weakness, which gives them effectively five wounds, but also 10 attacks. I suppose Infantry could get the Horde rule as standard, but that might constrain the theme of some armies. Perhaps I could remove the rule that says that you can't take another Strength if you take the Horde upgrade? I worry that might make Infantry too strong. But maybe that's fine actually.
Connor wrote:However, once all is said and done, I had a good time playing the game. I think it’s great that the rules are simple with a standard template for everyone making an obvious balancing point (everyone has access to everything) but also that you can personalise it and add character with the strengths and weaknesses. I am impressed by the work you have done and the concepts have got my creative juices flowing. I look forward to seeing the game develop further.

Thanks for all of the hard work you have done on it so far.
:blush:
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Mr Phil
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Joined: Oct 12 2010, 06:55 AM

Jul 10 2015, 11:44 PM #23

keep us updated - glad to see it coming along so well.
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crikeymiles
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Jul 16 2015, 08:30 AM #24

The army list points values have been tweaked again, after some more games and some more maths...

Here's what a couple of 4,000 point army lists look like:

Get the army builder spreadsheet, or the Quartermaster (for iOS) templates here: http://crikeymiles.com/games/hobgoblin/


Chaos Dwarfs

Sorcerer Prophet on Lammasu (Monster) [700]
+ Wizard [100]
+ Flying [50]
= 850
Blunderbusses (Missile Troops) [200]
+ Elite [100]
+ Stubborn [30]
= 330
Blunderbusses (Missile Troops) [200]
+ Elite [100]
+ Stubborn [30]
= 330
Bull Centaurs (Heavy Cavalry) [550]
+ Monstrous [50]
= 600
Iron Daemon (Monster) [700]
+ Merciless [50]
+ Stubborn [30]
= 780
Death Rocket (War Machine)
= 320
Bazooka (War Machine)
= 320
Earth Shaker (War Machine) [320]
+ Frenzied [50]
= 370
Goblin Slaves (Missile Troops) [200]
+ Cowardly (-100pts)
= 100

4,000 points


Skaven

Verminlord (Monster) [700]
+ Wizard [100]
+ Swift [20]
= 820
Screaming Bell & Clan Rats (Infantry) [250]
+ Horde [100]
+ Wizard [100]
= 450
Clan Rats with Warplock Engineer (Infantry) [250]
+ Horde [100]
+ Cowardly (-100pts)
= 250
Clan Rats with Warplock Engineer (Infantry) [250]
+ Horde [100]
+ Cowardly (-100pts)
= 250
Slaves (Infantry) [250]
+ Horde [100]
+ Clumsy (-100pts)
= 250
Rat Ogres (Infantry) [250]
+ Monstrous [50]
+ Frenzied [50]
= 350
Gutter Runners (Missile Troops) [200]
+ Elite [100]
= 300
Weapon Teams (Missile Troops) [200]
+ In-Fighting (-100pts)
= 100
Plague Wind Globadiers (Missile Troops) [200]
+ In-Fighting (-100pts)
= 100
Giant Rats (War Beast) [180]
+ Tiny (-70pts)
= 110
Doomwheel (Chariot)
= 270
Warp Lightning Cannon (War Machine) [320]
+ In-Fighting (-100pts)
= 220
Warp Lightning Cannon (War Machine) [320]
+ In-Fighting (-100pts)
= 220
Plague Catapult (War Machine)
= 320

4,010 points
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crikeymiles
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Jul 17 2015, 08:57 AM #25

More from Connor!
Connor wrote:Had another game of this last night and we had loads of fun. Halving the dice from shooting had a massive impact. The one thing I did get to try is Horde with bonuses, because I put my standard in one and general in the other. I honestly don't think it's necessary to have a cap on strengths and weaknesses. Things die so easily in the game that spamming strengths on a unit isn't going to be too effective I don't think. Heavy cavalry smashed through my hordes regardless!

One suggestion another friend made was that it would be nice if there was an upgrade to represent pikes or spears or something for infantry, to make it so infantry could be better vs heavy cavalry. Thought I'd just pass the message along.

Having lots of fun playing the game. Thanks for making it so I can drag some old figures out of the box!
Nice idea about the pikes. I've removed the "you may not take a second strength if you take Horde" rule in the most recent version I uploaded, as I think I agree with you. I was being cautious, but I don't think it's really possible to create an unbeatable super unit.

I'm starting to think of more upgrade cards, and plan on adding these to create more depth and interest. I'll definitely add the pikes one. I think that the simplest way to avoid "broken combos" as the number of upgrades increases is to limit the number of strengths and weaknesses that you can combine, but happy to keep that in sights for possible future change.

Really pleased you're enjoying it! I'm having a lot of fun with these rules too. :)
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