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 Post subject: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:46 am 
Kinsman
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So I'm surprised that it's been a couple of days and this topic hasn't already been raised. To accompany the throne of skulls rules pack we have now been given some new BETA army special rules for LOTR era armies as well as new unit structures.

For those who haven't seen here's a link to the pdf:
https://20889-presscdn-pagely.netdna-ss ... -Rules.pdf

So what does everyone think of these rules? what do you like? what would you change? and has anyone play tested these yet?
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:43 am 
Elven Warrior
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I think they are unbalanced. There are a couple of them which are very good and some other that are borderline useless. Most rules really need some work; let's take Numenor, for example. As an army, it basically has 5 models. The special rule grants them +1 courage which is never a bad thing, but won't attract anyone.
Mordor, instead, gets a poisonous weapon bonus and a +1 courage in an army that, let's face, it's already very powerful. The esterling, on the other hand, gets +1C once their force is broken (had it been +1S it would have been a different story) and lose access to chariots, which are now in Khand, whose bonus is not bad but just unreachable since most model are OOP
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:15 pm 
Kinsman
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Maybe not super balanced, but i think these are awesome! Although, Numenor should definitely get shield wall special rule (same as Iron Hills). That would be very fluffy and make them much more attractive to play.

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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:31 pm 
Craftsman
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Interesting to say the least. Some of this is not too bad, some is kind of cool in a fluffy way, but some it just boring. Why so many re-roles on ones when we can faint yet? Sound pretty 40k-esc to me. Still, I like the devolved army list rosters well enough and it looks like the Middle Earth team has the right idea with a lot of the rules. The Easterlings, Fangorn, the Shire, the RotN, Dunharrow, Arnor, Druadan (though a Wose spam sounds terrible to fight), Rivendell, Lorien, the Eagles, Angmar, Moria (blackshields should be renamed to goblin bodyguard imo), Isenguard, Far Harad, the Ruffians, and Goblin Town all seem pretty good. I really like Fangorn's rule in particular, it makes the ents viable solo. Glad Far Harad got their warrior's pride back too, it was a shame they lost it and it's very fitting. Same with the Easterlings I think. That rule reflects there lore very well and is not to powerful, like the Iron Hills it's nifty but not to eclipse the whole of the army. Here is to seeing the Grey Company and Dunharrow are back in business.

There is much that might be otherwise though. Gondor, the Fiefs, Numenor, Rohan, and quite a few others are hasty looking. The Fiefs' rule in particular is pathetic. They deserve something that can work without Imrahil being there because in small games he wont be. Khazad Dum's rule seems like it should be other than it is by the name. An armor save or orcs/goblin bane would have suited it more; plus the re-roll is lame compared to what they might have. Barad-dur and Mordor are thematic enough but kind of wonky feeling. I would rather Sauron had got to give a table wide magic resistance in Barad-dur. While Mordor got to give a negative to standfast ranges from proximity to wraiths when the enemy is broken in addition to the +1 to courage when you have more troops on the field (which is kind of neat). I think that Rohan's is interesting but should be altered to make it so what the +1 to strength only happens when they charge as part of a heroic move or heroic fight to keep the players from trying to cycle charge to much.

On the whole though it is not a bad start and I hope they take some community feedback from the tournament into account when going forward.

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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:18 pm 
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I love them. They look great. I know a lot of folks are worried about gondor and numenor, but courage plus 1 combined with a warhorn is going to keep your forces on the field for a long time. Nazgul and terror won't keep your forces at bay any longer. Think on this: osgiliath vets, plus Capt boromir, plus a banner of minas tirith, plus a warhorn plus the gondor special rule. F5 troops with crg 5, yes please!

I'm stoked that my token forces got lots of love: rangers of the north, harad, easterlings and Khand
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:04 pm 
Elven Elder
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I think the most important thing to remember is that these are temporary rules to see what we think about them. I think all of them are at the least a good start. Particularly the Army of the Dead rules.

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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:55 pm 
Elven Warrior
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I am already preparing a big review/rating post about those experiment rules, I am going to post it soon.

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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:49 pm 
Craftsman
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Another point to keep in mind is that these are simply "Army Bonuses" for people using models from just one faction. I actually believe that we will see some meaningful profile changes when the LOTR era factions are updated. Those updates could address long standing issues and help balance out any issues with these Army Bonuses.

Bottom line - it's an exciting time for everyone !

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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:12 am 
Craftsman
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I'm more excited about that certain models are now listed in armies they weren't in before. Arnor gets some firepower and I've always wanted to field an all ranger army. Also excited about the Angmar orcs. A new breed or orc, or one in the rules somewhere before?

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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:32 pm 
Kinsman
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I really like the idea, and like quite a few of the new rules. I'd like to maybe see a little bit more variety from them, and a little more balancing to make some of the lesser used armies more desirable to play as a result of this rule (e.g. Mordor doesn't really need the help it was given via these new rules, Numenor's rule isn't that enticing, etc.).

But these are relatively small quibbles. Overall, I think they enrich the game.
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:25 pm 
Craftsman
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They look like fun on first glance, definitely gives more to think about when picking armies. Some are more attractive than others, hopefully they will take our feedback on board !

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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:29 pm 
Kinsman
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I agree, not too balanced, but this is definitely a step in the right direction! Maybe the will be tweaked. This is terrific news. Thanks GW!
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:04 pm 
Kinsman
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I think people haven't haven't realized that Barad Dur does NOT include Morannons. An awesome rule which forces you do use either Mordor Orcs or Black Numenoreans.
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:49 pm 
Kinsman
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The Grey Company rule will most likely be changed. You can run 41 bows at 500 points. Max shooty Harad with no elites and base captains gets under 30.
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:50 pm 
Wayfarer
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I am guessing the purpose of the proposed army rules is to give each army a more unique feel and make them more playable under the current game system. The proposed army rules add a nice flavor, but for the most part do not make a "pure" army competitive with the current meta on the gaming circuit.
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:05 am 
Kinsman
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I'm probably in the minority but I dislike the concept of army bonuses altogether.

Complexity in a wargame isn't a bad thing, but it definitely works on diminishing returns, e.g. the more complexity you add, the less it returns to the design.

In these bonuses (and the TABA bonuses) I don't see sufficient advantage to justify the extra level of complexity - you're effectively adding approximately 50% more profiles to the game - the originals, and those models that have a new stat or ability when they gain their army bonus:

a) It'll made the game that much harder to balance as now you have a model with a single point value that now has to cover those two different "versions". Consider the fiasco with special strikes - two of the same unit, same cost, yet one is equipped with axes, one not - one generally wound up being more valuable than the other.

b) Nor do the rules as currently written scale consistently: Compare Rohan's bonus with the fiefdoms. Whether you're playing 200 points or 2000 points Rohan will benefit proportionately - each mounted model (inc heroes, Riders, Outriders, Sons of Earl, Mounted Royal Guard, even Pippin) get the +1S bonus on the charge regardless of where they are on the battlefield or who they're with.

Conversely the Fiefdom bonus is reliant on a) Taking Prince Imrahil - which in small games might not be practical, b) taking troops which don't already have Amroth for Gondor!, c) keeping all these troops within 12" of the prince to actually gain the bonus which in large games, or games with scattered deployment or objectives might not be practical.

c) It's also going to add unnecessarily to the FAQ as this new level of special rules will inevitably lead to questions. For example does mounted Rohan still get their bonus when charging models defending a barrier, or in rough terrain, or other mounted models, or otherwise against which they would not receive their cavalry bonuses? If "yes" (as currently RAW) then why confuse people by treating cavalry bonuses inconsistently?

d) Does it add variety? I don't know - look at how many factions would get "reroll 1s to wound" - how is giving everyone poisoned weapons adding variety compared to when it used to be a uniquely Harad trait? Fiefdoms used to have some models that had Amroth for Gondor and some that didn't... now they all do... Elves and Bodyguard used to be somewhat special - now half the models in the game potentially get high courage or auto pass courage tests under certain conditions.

e) Do they improve theme? Look at the Eagles - It's only by taking a pure eagle list that you get the ability (pounce) they should innately have in their profiles. Yet if you take Eagles with Radaghast riding one, and Beorn (also a themed list) you do not receive the bonus. You do however receive resistant to Magic... very themish considering how many evil spell casters were at BoFAs... At least resistant to magic will come in handy facing the 8 Nazgul at the Black Gate with that themed Eagle/Gandalf forc... oh... right.




Don't get me wrong - I (almost) always take themed forces and would love to see incentive for others to do so as well, but IMO the way to do so, If you're going to add complexity to the game, is it's better to invest a little in a spot where it will do alot of good to the game as a whole (ie the base rules and profiles), than to continue to add lots of unique complexity (via the special rules bloat) which has a poor ROI.


Last edited by Michaelc on Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:12 am 
Wayfarer
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I agree Michaelc. Adding More rules does not necessarily make the game better.

I would rather see GW "fix" the current rules to make every army competitive without the need to ally with a magic using component.

In my opinion, the game would be better if it did not require clever list building/manipulation to field a competitive army.
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:18 am 
Wayfarer
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I agree, some bonus are OP, or useless.
I'm pretty surprised, some army was "subdivised", so, i cannot play harad with half troll and mahud, or arnor with the twins with the bonus (and i cannot play the twin, because not on "friendly" list, just on rivendell list. So bad.). And finish my new idea : threebeard, 2 ents, 10 wose for just 500 points !
But this is an interesting evolution, i need to see.
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:49 pm 
Kinsman
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Another thought on the bonuses: Some of the sides that got buffed the most were ones with crappy special rules, like Minas Tirith. Having a bad army bonus means you will not hesitate to ally in others, while your enemies will most likely stay pure force.

I think I might come up with a list, winners and losers with the new army bonuses.
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 Post subject: Re: New Army Special Rules
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:13 am 
Kinsman
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Armies that do not need warbands are OP. No-one can beat a 40+ ranger gunline or over 100 ruffians. This needs to be changed. Otherwise you bring either a massive hoard from one of 3 or so lists or Thranduil.
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