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PanOceania in N4

Discussion in 'PanOceania' started by psychoticstorm, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. CabalTrainee

    CabalTrainee Well-Known Member

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    Oh i love the feuerbach in general. And i like the Uhlan. I just think he is a bit more pricey than he should be.
     
  2. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

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    And this is exactly my problem with the actual Feuerbach. Maybe give to the Uhlan a Heavy Feuerbach instead of a regular one with B2 AP+EXP missiles and B1 EXP circular impact template? So the antitank firepower is better than a Cutter, you still have a good ARO alternative and there is still a good reason to carry an HMG against light targets as it is how it was designed and armed.
    Heavy Feuerbach would be Unlootable, of course.
     
  3. Werekill

    Werekill Well-Known Member

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    Ah, I see the problem. I have a very large dead pixel cluster on my phone screen, and when I took the screenshot, it covered up the ammo type benefits minus the "ck" at the end of Shock. So I wrongly thought it was just Shock for the B4 shot type. My bad, thanks for correcting!

    I'm curious how the math works out for the two; I'll run some numbers later for fun.

    However, you also still haven't addressed why you're comparing the Cutter vs the Uhlan when only Vanilla offers that choice.
     
  4. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Ivory tower game design, perhaps? The game was "supposed" to be be about warbands and camouflaged skirmisher troops scrapping it out, and the TAGs are just there to draw new people into the game and be discarded by serious players once they reach a certain level of skill?
     
  5. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    No. The current state of TAGs was primarily a reaction to how powerful they used to be.

    TAG play was prevalent in N2, due to a variety of factors that has since changed in N3.

    Examples:
    • The majority of HI being 4-2 made TAGs much faster than virtually all other unit types except REMs.
    • The HMG was the best weapon in the game with 0 from 0-8, and +3 at 8-32.
    • Lieutenants could score ITS objectives, so TAG LTs were capable of doing well in ITS missions (which generally were much more simple.) Isolation wasn't a prevalent effect.
    • Close Combat was less common and less lethal, so TAGs were less bothered by it than they are now.
    • Efficient, effective sources of AP ammunition were basically unheard of (boarding shotguns weren't +6 to hit, MULTI weapons didn't fire AP at full Burst and were overpriced.) Certain effective Ammo types, like Breaker, didn't exist yet.
    • BTS modified enemy Hacker's WIP, so a WIP13 Hacker vs a BTS6 TAG had low chance of success, and Possession/Expel didn't exist yet.
    • Direct Templates were -6 to be Dodged, so the assumption was that no unit type was likely to pass its Dodge roll, and therefore TAG ARM and multiple STR was quite a nice defense considering how unlikely any unit was to Dodge a Chain Rifle.
    • Silhouettes weren't standardized, so TAGs tended to be significantly smaller and easier to hide than they are now.

    It's likely that TAGs were "overnerfed" as a response to all of these factors, but it's pretty clear some kind of change was called for. If anything, N2 saw new players getting crushed by TAGs on Turn 1, and CB wanted to make other troop types (specifically non-Achilles Heavy Infantry and REMs) were useful too.

    Achilles has also been changed/nerfed (iirc) 4-5 times since I started playing the game, for similar reasons to TAGs.
     
  6. Werekill

    Werekill Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, I didn't know about all that. Thanks for giving the discussion context!

    @barakiel How would you, personally, change TAGs if at all? If you've already explained in this thread, I apologize.
     
  7. colbrook

    colbrook Black Fryer

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    Also:

    Templates didn't ignore cover, so a Jotum or Avatar (it used to be ARM 10!) in cover was immune to Chain Rifles or LFTs.

    TAGs could Overrun, letting them move out of/into/through CC whilst making a CC Attack of their own.
     
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  8. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    @barakiel Oh, I'm aware. I played during N2. But it seems like the transition wasn't thought through enough. I hope there's some sort of community playtesting effort for N4.
     
  9. andre61

    andre61 Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see MO get back the FUSILIER!
     
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  10. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
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    I mean, this is only even an issue because,

    1: Order Sergeants are being hit by the "CC costs too much" issue (like Zhanshi)

    2: The stupidity of the unlinkable "Specialist Sergeant" options

    and

    3: The lack of an Order Sergeant Lt.

    Fix those issues and there'd be no need to call for a return to Fusiliers in MO.
     
  11. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

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    And I find that we are now really close to the good balance. Why? because TAGs can't win a game alone. Your whole list needs to be constructed around it in order to provide it defense and solutions where and when it can't surpass your opponent's troopers. So the rest of your list isn't just composed of order monkeys and a machinist but also have an active role. Your opponent still need a lot of tools to stop your TAG or pricey ones. Yes, one Mutt can stop a TAG, but how many Mutts do you need to deploy to make sure it doesn't have anywhere to move? At the moment, my experience says me that your opponent can stand most of the time only two full turns with a TAG alive, played and supported well. This means that if your opponent didn't put your TAG down definitely (because you have merely 2 orders or because it's dead/IMM2/Isolated too far away from your Engineer) in the two first turns of the game, your TAG will wipe out what is still in the way and you'll be able to achieve the mission.
    So, if this is what top players feel too, I would say that we are really near a good balance. The problem to make TAGs easier to play is that we will see what happened in N2.
    I remember my first tournament, I played my Squalo like a dumb during the first game, never heard about Hacking until I get in the repeater range of a Kameel Minesweeper and shot it with my heavy pistol. The Barid missed his attempt and died in the next order. It was just dumb, my opponent tried everything and my Squalo just blew up everything coming in its way. This was easy mode and I don't think that's good for balance to see it coming back again.
    During my second and third games, I faced a Daofei and Mk2 AHD and then I really felt that a TAG isn't just an unstoppable murder machine. But even then, I really felt that if you bring the good tools to get your TAG safe, you can get the upper hand in a way your opponent won't enjoy.
    For the context, it was in Season 7, the last season with the need of a ton of specialists just to hope to fulfill half of the requirement of the scenario. I was playing NCA just for one month against seasoned players.

    And to be fair, I wouldn't say that playing a TAG isn't easy. It's playing a TAG in PanO that isn't easy. I have the feeling that O-12 might be the best place to play a TAG in easy mode since the Zeta isn't that expensive and it has a Nomad/Aleph level of support to help it.
     
  12. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    @Ayadan I don't think the problem is that TAGs can be played well by a player who is skilled, it's that a player playing a TAG will frequently be playing at a skill deficit - that is, they will be at a disadvantage against another equally skilled player who brought camo spam, warbands, etc.
     
  13. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Good question. I'm not a game designer, nor do I pretend to be one.

    Thinking about it from a player perspective:
    The real issue isn't necessarily the specialty TAGs. Units like Cutter, Avatar, Tikbalang, Sphinx, Squalo HGL all see a fair amount of play, even in ITS settings. So I think it's difficult to assess "TAGs" as a broad category, because there are top-ranked players who leverage certain TAGs to great competitive success.

    The bigger challenge are the "Main Battle TAGs", which are typically MULTI HMG, flamethrower, and not much else. No neg mods, not much additional utility, no marker state defense.

    For TAGs to justify their cost and vulnerability, they need to be doing something that other units can't. Rule of Cool helps get a TAG on the table, but it won't become a staple of play unless it's achieving something unique, or is able to perform multiple interrelated roles very well. They also need to have some capability for defending themselves.

    The Tikbalang's a good example of a TAG that succeeds in all the right places:
    • HMG, Mimetism, BS15 make it a superior gunfighter.
    • Its point cost is very reasonable relative to its strengths.
    • It's at home in a Sectorial which easily lets it fit 15 very good Regular Orders alongside it.
    • Its Sectorial brings piles of mines, strong AROs, KHD+Repeater support.
    • Perhaps most importantly, it's got 3 types of point defense (Climbing Plus to avoid being fought in CC, heavy flamethrower as standard, and antipersonnel mines to interdict smoke/marker state danger.)
    I think a lot of popular TAGs have a similar combination of factors going for them. They're doing something that no other tool in their Sectorial (or even Vanilla faction) can really achieve.

    To start with, TAGs should be incentivized, rather than punished. I'd probably start by simply getting rid of the hacking programs that exclusively target TAGs. While thematic, their very existence discourages TAG play. Alternately, supportware can/should exist to mitigate that danger. Hacker play/counterplay adds some interesting depth, but it should be restricted to a small list of programs in order to avoid the current laundry list of Hacking programs.

    Second, I would look at breaking free of the standard "Main Battle TAG" armament and rules, and look at alternate weaponry or tools that increase TAG diversity and lethality. I think every TAG should feel slightly special, and slightly unique. This is a good chance to display faction personality.

    I think the Raicho's overhaul, for example, was a great idea; it's still a dominant HMG platform, but the presence of a shotgun and mine launcher allow it to have new, tactically versatile roles.

    Third, I'd look at the pricing algorithm, and specifically how it scales at that price point. I'd reduce the cost of additional weaponry/equipment after the first weapon system (most commonly MULTI HMG) so that utility can be easily added, without greatly inflating cost over what you've already paid.

    Since we were talking about the Uhlan:
    I'd ditch the Fuerbach entirely. I love the notion of the Fuerbach, but its role is just too similar and to situational compared to a MULTI HMG. Instead, to reinforce the TAG-hunting concept, I'd do AP HMG and Wild Parrots (3), and find a way to shave the point cost down.

    What's the net effect? The E/M angle gives it a role and utility that's extremely different from anything else in the PanO arsenal. It's a very strong HMG user (still too redundant with the Swiss) but suddenly it puts a dangerous E/M platform on a fast 6-4 Marker state platform. It also has both Camo state and its own deployables to help defend it. It's good on attack, decent on defense, and now provides area denial capability. It still fits with its TAG-hunting lore, and stays true to the high-tech feel of NCA. However, it also demands the Uhlan move in to engage, since its specialty weaponry is basically restricted to 16 inches.
     
  14. AdmiralJCJF

    AdmiralJCJF Heart of the Hyperpower
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    I'm a big fan of the idea of adding 4pts to the cost of all of the MBTs with no other options (so the Multi-HMG and HFT Squalo, but NOT the HGL equipped one) and giving them Tactical Awareness.

    But I also think that Overlord and Total Control should function against all Remote Presence units (who are not immune) rather than TAGs specifically.
     
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  15. andre61

    andre61 Well-Known Member

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    Yes! I agree, with you 100%. I did not think off that.
     
  16. daboarder

    daboarder Force One Commander
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    I dont think this is quite accurate, I dont think playing any TAG is ever "easy" not because tags are bad, but because mistakes or poor play can leave you being punished. Essentially picking a TAG will magnify a players own mistakes. I think thats going to be true in O-12 as much as it is in any other faction.

    As to cushioning the mistakes of a misplayed TAG, Id still suggest PanO does that best, but maybe the Marut is more accurate or CA due to their mid tier units
     
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  17. Werekill

    Werekill Well-Known Member

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    I really enjoy the idea of these changes. Nice ones!
     
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  18. Cartographer

    Cartographer Well-Known Member

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    If we're still wishlisting:
    An Auxilia where the Auxbot is the engineer (incentivise keeping the little blighter alive some more).
    Deployable Auxbot "turrets" achieved by wielding a Sup Fire weapon.
    Double-drone Auxilia (maybe a character for this one).
    An Auxbot with baggage sync'd to an Auxilia with some sort of deployable (mono mines for pref, but I'll take Drop Bears).
    A new attack drone on the Bulleteer/Peacemaker chassis, longer range with high ARM, maybe NWI, but no visual mods (K1 sniper!).
    A "dirty" black ops unit with viral weaponry.
    If we're going to keep Space Knights, can we get one with a Plasma CCW, maybe give him a fancy futuristic name, some combination of "noun + verb"-er?
    I really like the idea of Knights in a fireteam:duo with their "page" (an OS: specialist, carrying MSV or a biometric visor, or a long range weapon) but the option to do this was painfully limited.
    Knight with Auxbot (if I can't have the expendable OS, I'll take an expendable REM).
    More ODD, maybe on a HI platform with painfully close-range weapons putting them in the danger zone of DTW and hacking.
    I really liked the sectorial specific Orcs, can we get some more minor tweaks along those lines for NCA and SAA?
     
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  19. ThananRollice

    ThananRollice Your Friendly Neighborhood Locust

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    Definitely more Auxbots. It's one of the few things we can hold onto as uniquely PanO. Sure, other factions have g:synchronized units, but none are as compact as the Auxbot. There's so much room for flavorful profiles, and I really hope CB realizes this and capitalizes on it.
     
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  20. Werekill

    Werekill Well-Known Member

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    Completely agreed on the Auxbots needing expansion. It'd be a great way to add some cool new tools to our kit.

    Honestly I wouldn't complain too much if the Eclipse Smoke got put on the Auxilia, too. It would just have to be appropriately costed, likely with extra SWC compared to smoke from other factions. Smoke should stay limited in PanO, but I'd love to see it on more units outside ACA.

    Edit: Just had a crazy idea. Disposable (2 or 3) Eclipse Smoke on the Auxbot, with a combi (or maybe shotgun?) as the main gun on the bot. Self-limits the smoke without having to add as much cost.
     
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