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How I envision a redone CC...

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by Sabin76, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Sabin76

    Sabin76 Well-Known Member

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    So all this speculation about N4 got me thinking about how I would redo CC to make it simpler even while keeping all of the skills we currently have.

    First, my philosophy on this is that currently CC is in a tough spot. Barring specific units (Fiday/Speculo) getting into CC is incredibly difficult, and the payoff once there can be rather underwhelming (if I did my math right, a servant bot has a 46% chance of survival* against a Speculo... lol wut?!). A native burst of 1 means that any CC attack is very swingy. In a shootout, the active turn piece has the advantage due to increased burst. Not so with a CC unit. Additionally, there are levels of MA that are basically untouched because they are statistically worse than the lower levels (MA2 is the immediate concern, although MA4 only makes sense against non CC units when compared to MA3). Therefore I have 3 goals with this: condense the rules/charts, make progression more intuitive, and make active turn CC better than reactive turn CC.

    First I would make Martial Arts the only skill that has a table, though here even a table isn't really necessary. I'm laying this out just like it is currently; that is Attack MOD/Opposing MOD/Damage MOD/Burst:

    MA1: +3/0/0/+1
    MA2: +3/-3/0/+1
    MA3: +3/-3/+1/+1
    MA4: +3/-3/+1/+2
    MA5: get rid of it because any opponent that knows what it does is not going to put themselves in a situation where you can use it.

    Two things to note before moving on: first is that the +burst is only available in the active turn. The second is that I've purposely made each level better than the last. I've seen people suggest that each level be useful in its own right, but I must respectfully disagree. There are very few situations where you would downgrade camo purposely and I feel the same should be true with MA. More MA training should mean you are better in all situations. What this also means is that MA4, with its 3 native burst, should be reserved for only the very best CC units in the game. High CC stats with that high of a burst (and accompanying MODs) means lots of crits. Alternatively, they could lower the CC stats of CC specialists across the board.

    Next, each of the other skills simply adds short rules to what's already here. Additionally, there is no reason that a trooper needs MA to get any of these other skills:

    Berserk: Treat all rolls as normal rolls with a +3 MOD to your attack that is cumulative with other MODs (e.g. MA) OR allows assault full order skill
    Assault: Spend a full order to move up to the sum of both movement values and make a CC attack. However, the recklessness of this attack imposes a -3 MOD to your attack cumulative with other MODs (e.g. from MA).
    Dual Wield: Combines the ammo types of up to two different CCW in the troopers equipment. (clearly some of these interactions need to be cleaned up in addition to that, but that's for another post)
    Guard: This CC special skill adds +2 DAM to any CC attack, cumulative with other MODs.
    I-Kohl: I suggest only 2 levels of this. Each level grants a -3 to an opposing CC attack regardless of your own action. Think of it like camo or TO camo MODs that only work in CC.
    Natural Born Warrior: Using this skill cancels all other CC skills in this combat, including the users. I'd recommend giving anyone with NBW at least MA1 for the other effect, if they so choose.
    Protheion: This CC special skill adds +1 DAM to any CC attack, makes the victim suffer BTS roll(s) instead of ARM roll(s), and keeps the vampiric effect. Clearly handing this out in addition to high MA is very powerful due to the increased burst. I'd suggest lowering the MA levels of some protheion troopers.
    Poison: This CC special skill adds +1 burst and makes the victim suffer BTS roll(s) instead of ARM roll(s).

    Closing notes: I've tried to head off balance concerns where I saw them, but I'm not a game developer. I also hope I made it clear in some of the descriptions that I would - in no way - keep every unit with the exact same skills they have now with these changes. I should also say that these tweaks would require a complete points overhaul... I'm certainly not suggesting that these changes be made without rethinking how much the skills are worth.

    If you think something is off and have a better suggestion, let me know below. Remember that one of my main goals was to keep the complexity and variety while also cutting out a lot of the bloat.

    * There is a 15% chance that the speculo just gets immobilized (wonderful!), there is a 5% chance that the attack is just canceled, and there is a 40% chance of shrugging off the non-crit hit (that itself will land 65% of the time). 0.2 + (0.4*0.65) = 0.46
     
  2. ijw

    ijw Wargaming Trader, Freelance Editor (UK)
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    A couple of minor comments on your baseline comparison - Electric Pulse, mechanics-wise, is specifically designed to help counter CC specialists, and as CC Specialists go the Speculo isn't actually that good - it's just the ability to take down high-ARM multiwound targets that make her scary.

    Electric Pulse - try her against something like a Fusilier and add in Surprise Attack (not that that makes much difference!) and it goes up to 64/32/4%.

    Speculo compared to other CC Specialists - a Ninja with DA CCW doesn't even need Surprise Attack to hit 83/14/3%.
    Speculo compared to other CC Specialists - a Caliban is on 74/21/5% without Surprise Attack.

    This has implications for your suggested changes, because the CC specialists are already extremely good when they reach CC.
     
  3. Spinnaker

    Spinnaker Vanguard Officer

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    As you said, the issue with CC right now is the swingyness inherent in using only single dice. Single dice work becaus of the way CC interacts with the crit mechanic, allowing CC specialists to reliably get crits - if we were to move to a multiple dice system, I'd definitely like to see CC values lowered otherwise CC is going to be too powerful - as IJW pointed out, it's already mathematically pretty good if you get there.
     
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  4. REND

    REND Well-Known Member

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    I do think CC needs some streamlining but I disagree with some of the proposed changes. Your new CC table certainly better reflects a better progression for the levels but only on the active turn. A trooper with MA2 in the active turn will be equal to a MA4 trooper (ignoring the difference between their CC stats) because they all share the same +3/-3 mods. If that was the intent then ok but it goes against the grain a little.

    I fully support removing the other tables though. Protheion can easily be subsumed by just saying that wounds caused by a model with this skill add to it's own wounds characteristic. (Similar to now.) Not sure switching to BTS is necessary against a lot of high-tech targets it would make protheion actively worse because of how much higher BTS stats can be.

    I completely disagree with the proposal to Guard. It makes it an aggressive skill that improves the lethality of the attacker, which is the opposite of what I understood the original intent of the skill to be. Particularly with the name 'guard'. I would prefer it helped the owner to survive attacks as the loss of inflicting damage. So instead it would be a levelled skill that increased burst in reaction but if you won the roll-off you cannot deal damage to your opponent. (Similar the the breakwater hacking program.)
     
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  5. ijw

    ijw Wargaming Trader, Freelance Editor (UK)
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    Sorry, I forgot to comment on this bit.

    From my three tournament games on Sunday, using Shasvastii:

    Game 1, Hunting Party vs Steel Phalanx
    Ajax Assaulted a Taigha Creature and then smashed an Ikadron, and everyone else avoided that flank because of him.
    A Caliban Engineer put the Myrmidon Officer LT into IMM-1 with a Stun Pistol, then walked into combat from behind, not triggering any AROs. In the ALEPH turn, he spent five Orders attempting to Reset, getting wacked around the head with the Stun Pistol each time, which won me the game.

    Game 2, Highly Classified vs ALEPH
    An Ikadron did a forced-Change Facing to get into combat with Dart, a Caliban then safely moved into combat and ate her with the +1 Burst, stopping her from doing two of the main Classifieds, and stopping the opponent from probably winning.
    In the end game, Machaon threw down Eclipse Grenades and killed my Gwailos in CC, stopping me from getting Capture and turning a win for me into a draw.

    Game 3, Frostbyte vs OperationS (Yes, I ended up playing all three ALEPH players in the event!)
    It cost me eight Orders and two Command Tokens, but I got the Marut Datatracker into a White Noise Zone, got a Caliban and two Remotes into combat and took it to Dead in three Orders, which won me the game on points killed, killing the Datatracker and dominating the Exclusion Zone with my Datatracker.

    That's probably more CC than average in the games that I see, but these three games were decided on the basis of the combats. So streamlining, sure, but boosting the power level of CC would probably need to be balanced by making CC even harder to reach. :-(
     
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  6. spears

    spears Well-Known Member

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    I think attitude to CC very much depends on which faction you play. I agree that the charts and skills could do with a cleanup I don't think it needs to be any easier to get into CC.
     
  7. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Speculo has 30% risk of losing to an Electric Pulse (straight CC of 20 means a roll of 1 to 6 is IMM-1 loss, 7 is a tie, 8+ is a win)

    -

    I think any alteration to CC needs to have as a goal for CC to be worthwhile, if opportunity presents itself, for units who are merely good. The potency of high-level CC units is perhaps a bit too one-sided.
    Edit: to clarify, I think a unit that allegedly spends time learning a melee advantage (Zhanshi, Order Sergeant, Odalisque...) should prefer Move+CC to Move+BS if close enough, this shouldn't be a situation beneficial only to units with an effective CC of 22+. This isn't even advantageous for a Hsien (Cc19 MA1 PH14) over its HMG firing in -3 range (when compared against a Fusilier)
    And I think active turn should mean an advantage in burst just like it does for ranged attacks (where there is also a greater advantage in movement and position due to rangebands than can be achieved by active turn melee)

    Or, you know, if the current 1 burst system is kept, then CC of 19 or below should be treated as entirely cosmetic. (Martial Arts and similar are, of course, not the CC stat and wouldn't ever be cosmetic)
     
    #7 Mahtamori, Aug 6, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  8. Brother Smoke

    Brother Smoke Bureau Trimurti Representative

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    I would argue Guard should just give +1 burst and any other benefits should be moved to the cc, ph and MA skills if any, and keep Berserk and Assault separate
     
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  9. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I'd rather they bring the CC scores back down but add more "burst". Don't even need the +3, -3 whatever.

    A CC15 with a burst of say 3, with a DA weapon should be fine. Especially if it's coming out of Camo with a Surprise attack.
     
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  10. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    I think Guard should give +1B. You have a big honking guard critter there, why doesn't it have an effect on anything but your Silhouette?
     
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  11. Ogid

    Ogid Well-Known Member

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    CC specialists are very very scary when they get into CC. The problem is outside of Oniwabans, Speculos and all those sneaky bastards, the mean trooper is paying a tax for a stats he is not going to use in most games (and even Oniwas, Speculos and alike end up using their BS weapons a lot). The balance isn't easy... maybe 2 types of costs, the standard cost for the models with good ways to reach CC and a reduced cost for those who can't.

    But I agree with the general idea, we don't need 6 different tables and rebalancing CC to get a increased B without needing MA4 so the mechanic would be more consistent for the non-cc monsters.
     
  12. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Some problems I think are the Nested skills within Martial Arts. Take out Stealth and Courage allows to be on more troops.

    BTW thanks for the write-up @Sabin76 !
     
  13. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    I see a lot that I agree with here. The arguments about active turn with a BS weapon vs active turn with a CC weapon are very valid. Likewise I (and many others) strongly agree with reducing charts and I also agree with the concept of making martial arts levels simply better rather than the forced 'options' it gives. The change to Berserk and to Assault are very good ideas too imo - berserk is good simply by giving normal rolls most of the time, and assault is practically unplayable as is.

    Personally, I like the "one good dice" feeling of CC, while at the same time agreeing that mechanically it has issues. With the difficulty of getting into CC vs using a gun, and then getting there only to die to RNG (the other day, my Speculo died to Mary Problems - wtf) I'd strongly agree that the skill needs a looking at.

    Pre-N3, I was all about adding burst to CC, but the way they've crafted it to be a single big dice is interesting and not found elsewhere in the game. I would suggest that CC could be improved on by, firstly, reducing the cost. If a skill is less potent or less reliable, make it cheaper to reflect that. This doesn't remove the problem of swinginess in outcomes for the unit, but it does help stop the swinginess being a problem in the first place. I'm talking quite a solid points reduction, at least for the elite CC units (CC warbands etc are in a fine place atm). CC is a tool, like a hacking device, it should cost the same as a tool and not drastically inflate the cost of the unit.

    The other change I'd suggest is that CC skills impose big negative mods. That helps mitigate the swinginess while keeping the one strong dice approach. It also helps CC units to resist other CC units and so act as a sort of deterrent to CC attack. Alternatively, there could be some sort of mimetism effect for models that enter close combat during an order. Something to get that Fusilier hitting on less than naturals as you attack.
     
  14. Agorapocalypse

    Agorapocalypse Namurr and Nahab are girlfriends

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    While i dont like the multitudes of different charts for cc i do like the idea that CB wanted to have where a higher MA skill wasent always better, but offered utility. I dont know if its been mentioned yet, but what if the MA chart became

    You:+3 opp:-3 Dam: +1 Burst:+1
    Limit: can only pick up to 2 of and mod.

    And your MA Level is how many mods you pick.

    Example: my MA lvl 3 unit wants to cc 2 guys at once so i pick +1 burst for a total burst of 2. But i have 2 more options to pick. Both enemies are line troopers so i dont need more damage, or to reduce their skills, so ill dump my last 2 picks into +3 mods so i can crit better, thus gaining a +6 mod. But i couldnt use all 3 picks on any one mod cause they are limited to 2.

    This option for MA skill also means if i am ccing a wall with DA ccw i can choose +2 damage and maybe +1 burst cause the unit is using its MA knowledge to make fast and strong attacks but isnt dueling and doesnt need to make sure theyre accurate when hitting the broad side of a barn in this case. Whats your guys opinions. Maybe make this the main chart and other cc skills simply modify this chart slightly, like beserk you can pick +3 3 times but it becomes a normal roll. It would need work but could be a good alternative.
     
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  15. Agorapocalypse

    Agorapocalypse Namurr and Nahab are girlfriends

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    Also as a side note, i think something needs to be done for the mid tier cc units that are paying for skills that are not often good. The Hsien is a good example, but so are like khawarij, namurrs, kum from haqq (only cause haqqs my main faction). Theyre cc18 to 20 and with good ccws and occasionally a cc skill like poison, but why pay points for a high cc and ccw when they are marginally better against basic cc 13 to 15 troopers but are still stomped out by anyone cc 20+ with as little as MA lvl1 or suprise attack. I guess its still very swingy at one dice, but you all understand my general point.
     
  16. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    The more I read of peoples ideas it makes me think that the martial arts skill needs to be broken down to the most basic thing. That would be just adding burst to the CC attack. It would be more the Keep it Simple Stupid.

    Note: everyone has 1 CC Attack in their Turn and only 1 in ARO.

    Martial arts Level 1: +1 CC Attack
    Martial arts Level 2: +2 CC Attack
    Martial arts Level 3: +3 CC Attack
    Martial arts Level 4: +1 CC Attack in ARO

    That’s it! Done! No more!

    Now another skill can be applied to Damage. I'm calling it Brute Strength for lack of a name.

    Brute Strength Level 1: +1 PH for CC Damage (Normal Humans and aliens)
    Brute Strength Level 2: +2 PH for CC Damage (Above normal humans and aliens, bikers)
    Brute Strength Level 3: +3 PH for CC Damage (Heavy infantry and light TAGs)
    Brute Strength Level 4: +4 PH for CC Damage (Monsters, TAGs, Vehicles)

    This can allow for a figure to have Martial arts level 3 but only Brute Strength Level 1. or even none at all. A Ninja might be fast but they are not known for their strength.

    For Example Kitsune would have MA Level 4, But only Brute Strength Level 1. But combined with a higher than average CC skill she will still come off better than the opponent.

    Then you can have a guy like Ajax with no Martial Arts but Brute Strength Level 4 (he's all about bashing with his hammer)
     
    #16 Space Ranger, Aug 6, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  17. LaughinGod

    LaughinGod Well-Known Member
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    Lose all the charts. Martial Arts/Protheion gives +1 burst in CC. Make Assault not separate rule, but part of Martial Arts/Protheion and other similar CC skills.
    Guard should just be removed from the game. Berserk as well. Ikhol should have one level and ignore burst bonus from Martial Arts/Protheion.
    Like Hacking, CC is just one small part of the game and like hacking suffers from bloated charts. Simplicity is key.
    New players today come from boardgame backround mostly, if rules have more than a few pages, they won't be interested. Of course, Infinity rules will never be few pages, but they can be much thinner than now. And honestly, a lot of stuff in Infinity is redundant IMO. This is not limited to CC charts, but hacking chart, BS weapons, skills, equipment...
     
  18. ijw

    ijw Wargaming Trader, Freelance Editor (UK)
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  19. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    Hi in an effort to make the various N4 related threads manageable and readable we decided to make one generic thread for all the generic N4 discussions please continue your conversations here.

    Thanks


    Edit

    Thread reopened.
     
    #19 psychoticstorm, Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  20. spears

    spears Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of the suggestions for burst bonuses are because it feels swingier than it actually is. Check out the numbers below, an unlinked Makaul punching a fusilier is roughly as reliable as a burst 5 Kamau hmg shooting the same fusilier. That's not exactly showcasing cc against something scary you don't want to shoot which is when it really shines.
    Mono wielders are a bit of a different bag, the complete disregard for the targets W or ARM is where a speculo's strength lies, not its cc ability.


    Kamau Amphibious Intervention Teams 3 man link - HMG vs. Fusiliers - Combi Rifle
    Active Player
    80.20% Kamau Amphibious Intervention Teams inflicts 1 or more wounds on Fusiliers (Unconscious)
    49.72% Kamau Amphibious Intervention Teams inflicts 2 or more wounds on Fusiliers (Dead)
    Failures
    14.86% Neither player succeeds
    Reactive Player
    4.94% Fusiliers inflicts 1 or more wounds on Kamau Amphibious Intervention Teams (Unconscious)

    Makaul - Viral CCW vs. Fusiliers - Knife
    Active Player
    85.46%
    85.46% Makaul inflicts 2 or more wounds on Fusiliers (Dead)

    Failures
    9.69% Neither player succeeds
    Reactive Player
    4.85%
    4.85% Fusiliers inflicts 2 or more wounds on Makaul (Dead)
     
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