Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by Zewrath, Nov 17, 2020.
If you do that I'd be interested to hear if it causes unexpected problems.
It will need to the active player to confirm what Repeater (to allow ARO validity to be determined). Right now this isn't a decision so doesn't have to be declared (Hacking Area is binary: either you're in or you're out the path doesn't matter).
Biggest issue is Supportware. Those Repeaters are often used in LOF. You could mitigate this if you restricted it to "Attacks made through friendly* Repeaters will cause that Repeater to activate, this will cause AROs to enemies within ZOC or with LOF to the Repeater to be considered valid.".
* Friendly is necessary or you can cause shenanigans by having your Hacker ARO through an enemy Repeater, activating it and then allowing your friends to attack it, their attacks are valid AROs at Step 5 and the Hacker's ARO fails its requirements at Step 6 because the active Trooper wasn't a Hacker.
Does nothing to deal with BTS9 Hackers though. ;)
I'd just do the extra ARO check at the step where the hacking player declares their whatever hacking action they're doing.
True, but it does limit the damage they can do through a single overly aggressively placed repeater. Like that Crusade team I mentioned that got fucking trucked one after the other by an Interventor. In that case, 1 knight would get hacked while one of the other 4 in the team could shitblast the repeater to turn it off.
It also increases the value of defensive firewalls, if they cause an attacker to scrub a couple of hacks it might actually be sufficient time for another unit nearby to dodge into sight of the repeater and disable it before the entire group gets fucked over.
The reason why you want to kill the hacker is to preserve you orders. In order to kill the hacker, you need to invest a lot of orders. If you don't succeed with your first trooper, sending in a second trooper will fail the point of doing it in the first place
Those are decent odds in a vacuum and you get better odds against a bog standard Moderator Hacker, but consider when you stop treating it like a vacuum (and let's ignore that ISS has a huge problem with power projection); first and foremost let's acknowledge that whether this hacker is you LT or not isn't actually all that relevant as you'll be able to severely limit any TAG or HI movement while your hacker is alive and will be able to kill almost anything that gets Spotlit by the same hacker - most Nomad hackers need to be treated as a high priority target, as does hackers in a few other factions (Combined, Hassassin, etc).
Now, having removed the vacuum we need to look at a board state. How likely is it that your hacker is peeking out in order to get shots off across the table? Nill. How likely that they're peeking out to get shots off at close range? Depends on the table, but you're trying to avoid it. How likely is it that your hacker is not in a difficult to reach position? Depends on the table and whether you've got a Pitcher on the hacker that you want to use, but most of the time let's assume that you don't have a building to hide two storeys up in. That said, we should acknowledge that if you could hide your hacker in a dumpster with the lid closed, you would most of the time.
However, you'll not be standing too close to the DZ's edge is what I'm really saying. Not as close as a Spitfire-wilding Rodok requivalent, not as close as a Messenger Remote that's gonna be dumping Discovers into Camo because that's the best it can do, and not as close as literally expendable stuff like a Kuang Shi or an Auxbot that'll be standing in a spot to try and kill assassins. And not as exposed to HMG fire as a TO Camo sniper is to do the job.
So. The issue here is that you've now forced a KHD to spend several orders just moving, probably really carefully so as not to break camo. Most likely your opponent will be spending more than 5 orders getting into position just to take a hail Mary at 40%. Sending another unit in if such a unit exists is not really possible. Not only that, but the big deal here is that the hacker needs to be dealt with early since as the game goes on it will decrease in value as your orders gets eaten up, isolated or killed off. Your hacker also do not need to see the targets it picks off in ARO and as we have established, trying to hack through an enemy Repeater takes one of the top tier hackers to do effectively.
In either case, all this is essentially why Hackers exist in the game, so the issue here is why it's so important to send a trooper in to kill the hacker in the first place - a fact that is largely dictated by whether your opponent has the ability to stick Repeaters down where they are needed mid-field or beyond at a low order cost or not.
After all, have you ever seen someone argue that a Kameel hacker needs the attention of a Ninja and half an order pool? Fusilier hacker? Hell, even a Zhanshi Hacker and they have access to above average repeater placement - it's just not very order efficient to put a new repeater during the game if the table state changes.
That's a meaningless sentence in N4. The ARO check happens at Step 5. It doesn't matter if Bob declares Dodge at Step 2, when he thinks Alice is inside his ZOC, or at Step 4, after Alice declares Spolight through Charlie because she thinks she's outside of Bob's ZOC. What matters is that at Step 5 either Alice or Charlie were inside Bob's ZOC (which technically isn't measured until Step 6 - but lets keep ignoring that).
Which is Mahtamori's point above (and indeed mine regarding Moderators): the issue isn't the Interventor, it is the Repeaters.
The issue is at least 80% the repeaters, but on the other hand the Moderator is actually vulnerable to being fended off by firewalled KHDs, and even an unfirewalled KHD will probably kill them if they try to ignore it which will at least force them to try do something about KHDs before they steamroll whatever they were after.
Naturally it's meaningless, the rules don't exist for repeaters to trigger AROs. If I were writing it into the rulebook it's just something I'd add under the quantronic combat section, heck probably use the repeater equipment entry. Change the last bullet point which forbids reactions against repeaters to something like this
When a hacker uses a repeater to extend their hacking area in their active turn (this references bullet point 1 but not 2, preventing hackers from triggering AROs through enemy repeaters) the reactive player's Troopers may react against the repeater if they have not already had the opportunity to declare an ARO during this order and they either have LoF to the repeater or the repeater is in their Zone of Control. Reactions are limited to:
A BS attack against the repeater if the Trooper has LoF to the repeater
A CC attack against the repeater if a CC attack can be legally declared against it
A Dodge. The Dodge is at -3 PH unless the Trooper has the Sixth Sense skill or LOF to the repeater
Should probably work with minimal issues.
I have a feeling that allowing Deactivators to be used without LoF on a basic WIP roll would help a bit here.
It's meaningless because you implied that there were multiple "ARO check steps", there aren't. There's one. It's Step 5.
You'd need to also manage the "Interesting Dodge Trick" (where a Trooper declares an ARO they know will become an Idle but triggers an event that causes OTHER AROs to be valid).
Which is to say, it's workable but it will cause LOTS of questions.
What if declaring a hack through your own repeater disabled the firewall mod.
You'd get the bts mod when resetting but if you start opening ports to attack back you also make yourself more vulnerable.
TBH that intentional bullshit ARO declaration interaction is something that the game would be better off if CB publicly obliterated it with no uncertainty for everyone's sanity.
That would make everything 10 times worse. Fuckin RIP tinbots doing jack shit.
I've been following this thread on and off for a while now (it has been going for a while) and I find myself rather confused… @Triumph , it very much sounds like you wish for a playing field far more level and I'm having trouble understanding why you'd play an asymmetric game.
Not every faction needs to be able to compete within the same specialisations, but they should have a way to deal with opposing tactics. A faction focused on CC (say JSA) would be able to deal with Hackers, BTS9 or not, by vertically hacking them from head to toe. You know, with the CC, infiltration and such that they have.
If you want all factions to be able compete fairly within the same specialisations, why not play a symmetric game, instead of Infinity? Once you nerf BTS9 hackers, or anything else, there will be another best thing™ in that specific stat, until nothing is different.
That's one of the crux of the problems, there's no real way to currently deal the top end of the hacking sphere for factions that are limited or non existent in that. Asymmetric gameplay is fine as long as it doesn't have the capacity to utterly overpower shit, especially like it does right now if you go first with it.
Due to the nature of how hacking warps the rules of engagement, not needing LoF, reaching across the entire length of the table, being relatively risk free, there's not alot you can actually do to provide non hacking factions with a way to defend against it without pushing them towards cheese builds. You're kinda stuck at 2 options
Make them immune to it, for example dropping 15 camo markers + rape bear works, but it's unhealthy for the game because you're encouraging hard counters and list chicken. This is not a good thing, if everyone who struggles to hack says "FUCK IT. I'M PLAYING CAMO MARKERS AND RAPEY WARBANDS" the game isn't any fun for hackers anymore because they've got fuckin nothing to hack, and we know that's the case because they spent last edition bitching about getting a low value experience hacking into non hackable opponents.
Make them better able to contest at hacking. As you say this does devalue the asymmetric quality of the game, but it does allow the hacking factions to still hack which is preferable to encouraging opponents to play hard counters to push them out of the meta.
Reasonably the best goal with the second option is to make hacking for top factions smoother rather than give them far more raw strength. So give them lots of nice supportive hacks that other factions don't get, like give them shit like the old Overclock, access to White Noise, better Cybermask. Useful, good hacks rather than LMAO BURST 3 OBLIVION FROM 40" AWAY SUCK MY DICK.
What exactly is the problem with hard counters? Rock, paper, scissors is not a terrible system (although Infinity is more like rock, paper, scissor, lizard, Spock). The game begins with making the list and meta is a thing, it will always be a thing, as long as the game is asymmetrical; playing whatever you want, just because you like the flavour, and expect it to hold its own against everything is rather disingenuous.
I mean… if you're playing a list that does nothing but hack, maybe that list is bad?
For this to work properly, you'd need every faction to be equally good at hacking, or for hacking to suck in relation to other specialisations. Otherwise, you'll always have a to beat target that is a better choice than the remaining and that will hose you at hacking.
Aren't repeaters exactly that kind of support? The top faction you've been complaining about isn't the best in raw stats, that would fall to… eh, I'm writing from the top of my head but Combined Army, with WIP 16 and Aleph with WIP 15 and BTS 6. Interventors are the one units who's a clear exception to even the Nomad army.
Then again, I think the clearly superior faction in the game is JSA and that CC is just badly implemented, so I probably don't know jack.
We've been over this several times in the thread already, but list chicken is bad. You don't want counters to exist in a state where they don't have their own reasonable counters and can't be dealt with before they end the game for a player. You definitely don't want list building to be determined by gear checks as that leads to very samey lists and can cause factions to feel solved. You definitely don't want the warmachine situation where counters were so extreme that they straight up ended games the moment lists were selected, that lead to a shit gameplay experience and was a waste of time for everyone involved. That shit got so bad in the end we could basically call 90% of games correctly based on what lists were selected, and it took a monumental unforced fuckup from one player to make the predictions incorrect.
The preferable situation is that players feel compelled to build lists based on internal synergy rather than countering opponents, and building around mission viability. That helps more profiles stay relevant and helps lists stay varied.
In N3 people who invested in hacking felt cheated when they played into opponents that couldn't be relevantly impacted by their hackers, and rightly so. Part of the goal behind the shift in hacking in N4 was to make it more viable as a focus for players to build their lists around. The problem we have right now is that hacking is too powerful with many factions being to weak to contest top end factions at it, so they feel compelled to play unhackable lists. Whenever they play unhackable lists we're back in the N3 situation where the hacking player feels devalued and doesn't get to play their list with its special abilities, which sucks for them and is directly opposite of what CB was trying to make happen with N4.
Not true. Not every faction needs an Interventor to compete, but most of these factions need an option to either make it harder for the Interventor for the Interventor to destroy their key models, or they need a hacker that can remove the Interventor as a problem in a reasonably order efficient fashion. Like @inane.imp suggested, if you gave the Ninja KHD AP Trinity, it could fill that role, but contrary to what you're saying it definitely wouldn't suddenly make ISS or JSA as good at hacking as Nomads.
Personally I am partial to the idea of defining some factions by bringing back defensive hacking devices and making them actually function as the name implies. Then you define some factions, like Yu Jing or Pan-O, around hackers that are schooled and trained to defend their HI and TAGs from attack, while factions like Nomads are primarily geared towards offensive hacking of bricking and stealing shit.
Basically white hat hackers vs black hat hackers. However that would require a huge overhaul of hacking and would probably want an entire thread of its own to discuss, so haven't really been bringing it up in this thread that much.
Repeaters are part of that as I put it "LMAO BURST 3 OBLIVION FROM 40" AWAY SUCK MY DICK". That's part of these factions having raw hacking strength rather than defining them as a "better" hacking faction by improving their all rounder aspect and improving their QoL and value. Like you could help define Nomads as a better hacking faction by rather than allowing them assfuck people from across the map with repeaters, you stick Assisted Fire on more hacking devices rather than just the EVO, like Interventors or Mary, allowing them to more easily build varied and synergistic lists rather than needing to add an EVO hacker to get that program like plebian factions do.
I mean, first off, anal sex being a pejorative is kinda maybe a bit too far off. And it's not the first time you've equated parts of playing the game to, say, rape. Maybe tone it down?
To reply to the above quote – in order to be a top hacking faction, you need to add to your faction's BS* or other skills. I see two things happening: either, in order to have a top hacking faction, you have to be good at two things (BS + hacking), or your hacking is a waste of points.
In order to balance that out, you either make the base BS worse, in which case the hacking isn't as much giving it an advantage as it is patching a rather weak BS, or it's now oppressive at shooting.
*By BS I mean anything that surrounds shooting and the ability to do it properly, not just the stat itself. Shorthanding, that's all.
This is, in my opinion, a better point. It is, however, a solved one: lists immune to hacking exist and unlike other games, you present two lists to your tournament judge/organiser/person who's in charge, so having a "sideboard" is possible. Losing to "gear check" and "list chicken" literally only happens if you let it. And if you're trying to force sectorials in N4… I mean, why give up the options that generic give you? Most of the sectorials are outright worse than generic, with others being situational at best.
You don't want gear checks, but then you directly advocate for specific anti-hacking tech?
If the analogy is upsetting you it's doing its job to get the point across, because the current state of hacking is sure as shit upsetting people in my meta to the point where I'm genuinely concerned it's going to cause some players to burn out and quit.
Unfortunately I don't think that's a possibility in the current state of things because of how hacking interacts with different types of units. You can't try to balance hacking by making a faction weak at shooting because it becomes far too useless at handling certain unit types in an order effective fashion.
Offensive hacking is good at dismantling lists by targetting key units, bypassing defensive positioning, and eliminating them. It is not order effective at dealing with say a bunch of Ariadnan dogs.
You're still utterly missing the point. The point has nothing to do with having a counter available, the point is when you hard counter an opponent it makes the resulting match fucking lame.
You had the same system in Warmachine, 2 lists, even sideboards for some list formats. It still made a fucking shit game experience when a player got assfucked by losing list chicken. Both players knew the game was over the second they revealed which lists were selected, the resulting game was just both players going through the motions. I don't think designing Infinity around the idea of examining army lists rather than playing the game is a healthy idea, and it certainly hasn't been for other game systems.
As for why play sectorials over vanilla? The idea is that all the sectorials should be compelling and viable choices, I'm not sure why you're arguing that it's ok for the game to be designed around any faction or army just being flat out worse than everything else. Even if it's the current status quo the idea behind this thread is that it shouldn't, and something should be done to fix it.
You're misinterpreting the concept of a gear check either intentionally or unintentionally. Gear checks are ok as a base concept, when you hear people complaining about them as a game mechanic in wargames they're specifically referring to there being a very limited amount of gear, units, etc that can meet the gear check. This makes the list construction very rigid, very solved, and makes the game less interesting. In the worst case scenario it leads to list chicken because you can't meet enough of these gear checks at once and it leads players into playing into opponents where List A beats opponent's List B and vice versa, which makes for an imbalanced and boring match.
If you provide a wide variety of equipment, troopers, etc that can meet these gear checks to where the game is balanced enough that your average lists can to a decent degree meet whatever gear checks, it makes the list building less restrictive because the checks imposed are less stringent and less harsh.
AROs are another example of a gear check. You need some shit in a list to ARO it's not really negotiable you have to somehow meet that gear check. Having a bunch of different options in ranging price to offer a player as ARO tools is good. Limiting a player to a single 100 point option to use as an ARO would make building lists suck. Obviously, the game is designed to have a variety of hard and soft ARO options ranging from snipers, TR bots, Warcors, Hackers, etc allows players to organically meet that gear check while not being forced into taking the same stuff all the time. You don't really feel AROs as a nasty gear check because generally speaking there's a large enough variety to mix and match from it feels organic.
So going back to the Ninja KHD. For example if I play Vanilla Yu Jing my best, and largely only functional way to meet a hacking based gear check is to play camo spam based lists. It's funtional, and it works, but it has a massive limiting factor on what I can actually build into the list and cuts a wide roster down to handful of viable options that work together in this case. As spoken about earlier in the thread, Su Jian and Guijia are two units with great profiles that have vanished from my meta because hacking's too fucking strong and can't build a list around them that can deal with it and they become huge liabilities.
If I had better support for these units namely the ability to more reliably protect them or attack units that counter them, such as an AP Trinity Ninja, then I have more options that would help me easily pass the gear checks and expand what lists I can play.
TL;DR Gear checks ok, Gear checks defining games bad. Two different things.
I generally thought those troops in N3 were still problems. VIRD in N3 was not good for the game as a sectorial, and Zulu-Cobras were part of that. They were too powerful of a defensive tool.
Well, they're technically "able" to right now, it's just very difficult/unlikely. I think that should be more likely than it is now, and moreover it shouldn't be *that* much less risky for an Interventor to skeet repeaters everywhere than, say, Valerya Gromoz, but the difference between BTS 0 and BTS 9 (+ possibly firewall) is enormous. High-tier hackers need to be made less powerful with respect to low-tier hackers, especially because CB's pricing system doesn't take into account how important BTS is for hackers. That's what defines a good hacker more than anything else IMO.
Nomads are already plenty strong in other gameplay areas. Cheap camo infiltrators, top-tier gunfighters, etc. And there are plenty of other factions that share their supposedly fragile command structure without the advantages that Nomads have. It's also important to note that the hacking ecosystem changed in such a way as to over-value high BTS hackers (as opposed to high-WIP or whatever) in N4.
Well, I think Interventors need to be nerfed regardless (whether directly to the profile or by making other things more able to challenge them) because the gulf between them and other hackers is *too far.*
Ironically, I think USARF is fine in N4. I've been doing super well with them.
Well put it this way their ability to engage with enemy shooters, particularly MSV ones is very limited to a couple of link spearheads such as Unknown Ranger etc that can actually put up the numbers to go toe to toe. They are textbook faction that gets destroyed by a chucklefuck with a GML and a pitcher without being able to defend themselves worth a shit.
That's certainly been the experience for the local USARF, they're a very brittle sectorial that falls apart very quickly when a couple of key models get scalpled out and N4 hacking is very very good at that and USARF is even worse than Tohaa at defending themselves from this.
I haven't listened to it personally but I've been told some of the competitive community in Australia has been bemoaning their state on podcasts, so I guess maybe they've had similar experiences.
I dunno, man, I was always like "sweet, they can't do anything about my Overclock and Assisted Fire."