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 Post subject: Re: Magic.....How powerful? Let's debate.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:05 pm 
Kinsman
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I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I won't rehash some of the excellent points made above, except that; yes, times have changed with regards to good and evil heroes. Almost every evil faction now has access to a 3/3/3 hero or something similarly devastating in combat. When the game was still young, evil had elite captains at best and needed a way to stop the Aragorns and Boromirs. This was cheap access to magic and very cheap troops.

I think, in the modern game, the first step would be to tame the Budget Wraiths. I really like what they represent, and I wouldn't necessarily change their profiles in any way, except that I'd remove the M/W/F option entirely. I kill just about every hero I meet because I have access to a very cheap captain with a range of powerful spells. If you strip it of Might and Fate, well, it's no longer a Captain, now it is strictly there for its magic and is much more fragile. I know that lots of people do take bare-bones Budget Wraiths and do very well with them, I personally refuse to take a one without giving it at least 2 Fate and a Might, part of their power for me is the option to behave like normal heroes as well as spellcasters.

Which brings me to the next thought: what if they're also made independent heroes? Fluffwise it makes sense to me, these are the Ringwraiths at their weakest, when they left Sauron's domain to hunt down Frodo. They had nothing to do with his armies at this point. The Ringwraiths as commanders to Sauron's armies are represented by their named profiles (which, to me, are fine. Fell Beasts are just too cheap as stated above).

That's a path I would pursue and playtest, see if it balances things out.
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 Post subject: Re: Magic.....How powerful? Let's debate.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:32 am 
Kinsman
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+ 1 to polywags!

May I ask what is the sollution for Fury according to GHBL?

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 Post subject: Re: Magic.....How powerful? Let's debate.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:01 pm 
Kinsman
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If I recall, the most common proposed solution is to make Fury a single turn in duration, and then change the channeled version to extend the duration to exhaustion (which would replace the 5+ save).

So - there would be no version offering the 5+ save, and it would only persist when using the channeled version.
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 Post subject: Re: Magic.....How powerful? Let's debate.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:59 pm 
Loremaster
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Not having read the whole thread (a lot of detailed replies and all raising good points, those that I read - sure the rest do too), I have a few additions (that may have been stated already).

The first one isn't directly related to magic. The game has had power creep in areas - not necessarily bang for buck (although there are instances), but definitely in the prevalance of improved profiles. Before The Hobbit, it was considered the Holy Grail to get a hero with all the 3s in the right places in their stats and strength 4 for troops was considered strong (and was mostly given to heroes). But the game's moved on since then - my Durin's Folk used to rely on their high defence against S3 and laughing attacks off: today, they get wounded comparatively easily because of the sheer number of S4 (and often multi-attack - lookign at you, Hunter Orcs!) models that can be obtained so cheaply. Meanwhile, the doughty dwarfs can barely scratch anything in return it seems (they've almost always been outnumbered, so winning a fight isn't the easiest thing to do and there seems to be fewer and fewer defence 3 and 4 models, making wounding harder - add shields onto most models means 6s to wound now. Used to be able to take wounds only on a 6 or 6/4 and dish them out on a 5 or 6 - balanced out as harder to win fights and usually outnumbered.) and they have to resort to shielding to stay alive - but do no damage and therefore lose the wars they should win: attrition.
I think I got sidetracked: my main point being that magic used to be for shoring up weaknesses in an army (as others have mentioned) such as weak troops against strong heroes. But since the armies are now as strong (and, arguably, in a lot of cases much stronger, IMO), the magic tips them over onto being stronger. It's noticeable how often Evil armies are in the top tiers (bearing in mind, I've been out of the game for a while prior to Ardacon) and how often they have magic users in (and multiples too!).

My second, much more relevant point: I've always found (with the exception of Fury-casters) that certain users are near-pointless due to their limited Will (these are unnamed casters - it's not that their Will is limited, so much as how limited) and others are arguably too strong through having free Will every turn on top of a strong stockpile or having a huge stockpile of Will (those with staffs and the Necromancer as examples). The former stop being useful to soon and the latter have no counter (because of the sheer lack of magic resistance [not even meaning the special rule] that armies have - and a lot of these, 1 wound or not, are hard to kill at the best of times and by focussing on them [especially with Pall of Darkness or Blinding Light and myself usually lacking in speed - although they're usually mounted and/or flying anyways] you have to forego other elements of the army which tear through you). I know people will say (and I appreciate it too) that Wizards are the most powerful casters in the world and Ringwraiths are all about magic (hello special rules and fell beast that mean it's not just magic any more, like way back when): but this game needs to take some balance - even taking your own caster just means both sides have nukes, but we could do with another way of defending aginst casters (instead of simply trying to take offence to them) and the weaker casters could do with even a few more Will (it'd be nice to know you could at least try to cast a spell each a turn in a 6 turn game - and many games now last much longer than 6).

TL;DR: The game has changed (I'm not complaining about it's not how it used to be - so many good things have come of it), but could do with some rebalancing (here's hoping for Middle-Earth SBG). Weaker spellcasters need more stamina/likelihood of success (Fury excepted - I do like the sound of Temporary and channeled Exhaustion length to fix that) and the strongest spellcasters need to have counters built in or purchasable (more Will for heroes or Resistant to Magic for most heroes or something, I'm not sure).
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