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 Post subject: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:32 pm 
Kinsman
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So. Situation has been after this new warband system was established that cheap massed units have no more been useful. When gamers make an army list they almost always choose slightly more expensive option, such as morannon orcs instead of mordor orcs.

Solution could be that there would be put a point limit to warband. There would be no unit limit at points 90 or less. That would mean about 15 mordor orcs now into a warband, or 18 goblins. After that there would apply normal unit limit 12.

Anyone like this idea?
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:12 pm 
Kinsman
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It is a cool and novel idea of dealing with this problem. I agree, elites are almost always a better choice. But think of it thematically; as a commander, if given a choice of which troops to bring to battle, you would mostly certainly take reliable, good quality soldiers.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:02 am 
Loremaster
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Yes, this is a pitfall of the warband rules, but can be easily remedied by playing generic captains which will allow you to field more warbands.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:32 am 
Craftsman
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The new experimental rules take care of this problem. A Pure goblintown force can take up to 18 models in a warband. Woses and the army of the dead don't need heroes for their warbands,...

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:06 am 
Ringwraith
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I like the idea of defining warriors as elite or core, with either elites taking up 2 slots in a warband or being limited to 6 per warband.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:31 pm 
Kinsman
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Making the rules of army making too complex and too strick would be against joy... The units are approximately worth their given points... So, making the warband rules even more strick than they are now would be a very bad thing...

The problem right now touches mostly a few factions evil factions: Mordor and goblins were traditionally highly massed forces. Also Isengard had an option to use mass such as dunlanders and orcs. Now these evil armies are forced to use elite forces.

Many good armies have cheap heroes to help out: Rohan has Eowyn, Gondor has a similar hero. Hobbits have ultra cheap heroes.

Personally I enjoy creating new army lists, but sometimes I simply wish I could just focus on the big picture and choose units I like instead of never-ending calculating of warbands... Independent heroes such as Shelob, Castellan of Dol Guldur or Spider queen or cave drake would be nice to use in the armies of mordor, but now it would require huge sacrofices. It is hard to get mass... And if I wanted to play elite-forces I would then choose elves or similar elite faction...

So, would it really hurt that much to return to old rule of "at least 1 hero per faction"?
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:18 am 
Craftsman
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more than limiting elités, I think that most of them need to be more expensive. Harad is a major offender, with plenty of cheap and extremely effective units. When we compare the regular troops to the elité we see that for 3 points more at most the elités brings much, much more to the table: Watchers, Merchants Guards, Reavers.

I believe that certain upgrades in stats have to be more expensive than they are now. A morannon orc comes at the price of a Minas Tirith Warrior, yet I don't think that +1S equals +1C.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:16 am 
Kinsman
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Morannon orcs are not actually that powerful when we consider the big picture. For example, because of changes into warbands, Mordor can no more spam orcs or trackers. That's why Mordor is nowadays like dwarves used to be - a melee army that hopes to clash as fast as possible. Gondor has rangers on the other hand.

If there was no warband system, like old times, then Morannons could actually be dropped 1 strenght. Then they would be exactly as descriped - highly armored orcs. They would work as a meat shield, protecting less armored orcs behind. That would be logical. And a player who needs more hit-power, could always take uruks or spiders or something.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:51 pm 
Kinsman
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Dikey wrote:
more than limiting elités, I think that most of them need to be more expensive. Harad is a major offender, with plenty of cheap and extremely effective units. When we compare the regular troops to the elité we see that for 3 points more at most the elités brings much, much more to the table: Watchers, Merchants Guards, Reavers.

I believe that certain upgrades in stats have to be more expensive than they are now. A morannon orc comes at the price of a Minas Tirith Warrior, yet I don't think that +1S equals +1C.


Here is the thing, though. Vanilla Haradrim are so worthless that even if the elites costed 2-3 points more, they would still be a more attractive option. Increasing their cost does nothing to rebalance the list, you still run elites.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:45 pm 
Kinsman
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Salattu wrote:
If there was no warband system, like old times...


In the old times there was instead a model limit, and also Legions of Middle Earth. They implemented the Warband system to get rid of the model limit and open up the allying rules both at once. Similarly, the placement rules are based on warbands now which I think is a good feature.

Mordor is still fine in casual play, and if you are talking from a competitive viewpoint the warband rules are not the issue.

My only qualm is that warbands are only one size (until now with the new prototype rules for that tournament). And some armies don't have enough heroes (again placated by the prototype rules).
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:32 pm 
Kinsman
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Under the "old system", hordes of cheap units were flat out overpowered. More dice in a fight was (and still is) always an advantage. As a result, you rarely saw elite troops or multiple heroes in an army, as the benefits to hording out a force were just too good.

So GW introduced artificial barriers such as army maximum numbers and then the Legions rules. Warbands, IMO is a dramatic improvement over those artificial limits on high model counts. Plus, Lord of the Rings, is, and has always been, about heroes and heroics. Now the rules system reflects that as well.

So I support the warbands rules. However, if you and your friends want to play friendly games under different house rules, and you're all in agreement, then by all means - it's your game - have fun!

I do think horde armies can still be viable, but indeed - their effectiveness has been dampened a bit by the warbands rules. However, it should be noted that Moria and Goblintown are still quite competitive because they can field large numbers effectively.

I don't think that the new Army bonuses "fix" the situation as noted above. The bonuses do improve a handful of forces (most of which do not have the option of generic captains), but most of those forces already are pretty one dimensional with clear disadvantages.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:18 am 
Kinsman
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Ideal situation would be a balance: both elites and normals should work.

It is true that old times armies had a lot of cheap forces. But now the situation is purely opposite: people do not use anymore orc warriors, rohan warriors, dunlanders, and even goblins they use much less than they used to.

A way to approach the problem is to buff heroes' price. It is easy to make them cheaper. Let's say, Aragorn, King Elessar with armored horse from 2XX to 225? Dragon with Wings and Heavy Scale from 3XX to 300. Theoden with heavy armor and shield and armored horse from XX to 70. Orc Captain with shield from XX to 35. Goblin Captain with shield from XX to 30. Balrog from 400 to 320. Named ringwraith from 120 to 110. And so on.

Also, the warband problem could be approached by making new heroes. Let's say if there was made a lesser orc captain with 1 might 0 will 0 fate and no sheild, it could cost let's say even 20-25 points and fix the problem of not having cheap forces. These kind of minor captains could be given to each faction. And what is good with these changes is that, no-one has to learn a change in something he has already learned. Points are anyways changing occasionally, and new heroes are also added, so they should not cause despair.

This would fix both the problem of not having cheap forces, and the problem of not having heroes and elite forces enough.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:50 pm 
Kinsman
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I would also like to see some incentive for using more of an army's "core" troops. What I was sort of hoping for was that we'd get Army Bonuses for LotR era armies that would provide an incentive for comprising an army of more core troops. But the initial "test" Army Bonus rules release for Throne of Skulls didn't go in that direction at all.

I don't think making uber heroes more expensive is the right answer, as they aren't that heavily used anyway (because of cost). The most utilized heroes are the "value" heroes that offer great benefits for relatively low cost. Stuff in the 100-150 point range. It doesn't seems like competitive lists have very many 200+ point heroes. The idea of reducing the generic heroes costs is an interesting one, although I'd tend to think that that would need to bring down the cost of all heroes, in order to preserve balance.

My vote here is really for a system that adds some sort of an army buff for an army that consists of, say, no less than X% of the army in "core" troops. e.g. basic Mordor Orcs, basic Warriors of Rohan, Warriors of Minas Tirith, etc.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:00 pm 
Craftsman
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Salattu wrote:
Ideal situation would be a balance: both elites and normals should work.

It is true that old times armies had a lot of cheap forces. But now the situation is purely opposite: people do not use anymore orc warriors, rohan warriors, dunlanders, and even goblins they use much less than they used to.

A way to approach the problem is to buff heroes' price. It is easy to make them cheaper. Let's say, Aragorn, King Elessar with armored horse from 2XX to 225? Dragon with Wings and Heavy Scale from 3XX to 300. Theoden with heavy armor and shield and armored horse from XX to 70. Orc Captain with shield from XX to 35. Goblin Captain with shield from XX to 30. Balrog from 400 to 320. Named ringwraith from 120 to 110. And so on.

Also, the warband problem could be approached by making new heroes. Let's say if there was made a lesser orc captain with 1 might 0 will 0 fate and no sheild, it could cost let's say even 20-25 points and fix the problem of not having cheap forces. These kind of minor captains could be given to each faction. And what is good with these changes is that, no-one has to learn a change in something he has already learned. Points are anyways changing occasionally, and new heroes are also added, so they should not cause despair.

This would fix both the problem of not having cheap forces, and the problem of not having heroes and elite forces enough.


It's not that people don't use cheap units because the hero are expensive. It's because most elité are cheap. Adding a 30 point hero to the army list would only mean "add more elité".

Nobody use Rohan warriors just because Rohan it's a force that, quite thematically, gives its best when mounted. Orc warriors may be used again: a Mordor force loses access to elités but gives them +1 to wound when they outnumber the opponent: now, that's a good way to put them back on the field.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:13 am 
Kinsman
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It is true that some units are also in need of boost or nerf... That's why I will make a list of suggestions, and I hope that you continue the discuss...

Nerf suggestions:

Feral Uruk-hai: 14 points
Morannon orcs: S3
Warg Marauder: 40 points
GUndabad blackshield: F3 S3
Dweller in the Dark: 90 points
Gil-Galad: 185 points
High Elf warrior: 10 points


Boost suggestions:

Giant spider: 16 points
Wild warg: 6 points
Spectre: 9 points
Spider Queen: 85 points
Dragon: Forced to take 1 upgrade of 4 -> with this upgrade 250 points (with second 300)
Balrog: 320 points
Cave Drake: 165 points
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:24 am 
Craftsman
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@Salattu

You didn't mention Harad, which is a major offender. Watchers of Karna and Abrakhans must be changed, at the very least. While not as mentioned as the watchers, the fat guys comes at the price of a human elité with two handed weapon, but with +1S and a Chop special rule that makes a massive difference when we compare them to Khandish Soldier (same price, less S, no special)

I wouldn't change the Spectres. While they aren't cheap, it's also true that they basically have 1 compel per turn. Since they usually come with Nazgul, they can be quite annoying. 9pts seems too cheap
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:16 am 
Kinsman
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Yeah I did not mention harad because i'm not very experienced with them but glad you did... How would u exactly change them to make them most balanced+

About spectres... They do have a compell, and in a situation of troll, dragon, etc as enemy, they might be op for price... On the other hand most good heroes are c5-c7... So you are right, they would need other type of upgrade to make them work propelly...

Their lights in the fog are not exactly scary - in fact they can be tempting, unless one has knowledge of the danger... So far there is no ''wisdom value'', though courage is probably in good relationship with wisdom - wizards elves c7 and so on... This does not touch berserkers, furied orcs etc...

If you have any upgrade ideas feel free to tell them...
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:39 pm 
Craftsman
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I'd raise the Abrakhan to at least 10 points (1 for their strenght, 1 for the special rule) and remove all the special rules from the Watchers.

As for the specters, we ofter forget that they wound on courage too. They come at the same prince as a warrior of the dead, who has +2D. I'd set them at 12 points.
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap units are no more worth!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:47 pm 
Craftsman
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I would just take the second attack of the Watcher of Karna and leave them their Steely Nerves rule. That would make them a more specialist counter to armies that rely on terror, from magic or a rule of there own, rather than an objectively better front line unit.

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