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The definite N4 Comments, Suggestions, Ideas, wishlist's and Bugs that need fixing thread

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

  1. Stiopa

    Stiopa Trust The Fuckhead
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    @inane.imp you might well be right. The problem is that whole thing relies on players' psychology. We tend to do everything to minimise risk, remove luck factor from the equation as much as possible, and right now AD2 does this completely when compared with AD4.

    And since AD4 offers quite good a risk/reward mix, it means that it's AD2 that needs to be changed. Maybe allowing AD 2 to use only owner's half of the table would help.

    Or maybe they're both just fine, and is requires the soft solution - players learning how to guard table edges properly, etc. I don't know.
     
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  2. FlipOwl

    FlipOwl New Member

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    Perhaps if failing AD3/4 simply downgraded you to AD2, or alternatively if AD2 would also require a roll if used on the enemy’s half of the table the choice wouldn’t be so clear cut.
     
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  3. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    That's why I proposed the make AD:4 act like AD:5 does now (place anywhere in the DZ). It lessens the sting of failing the roll. There's a lot more you can do with the trooper if it's placed anywhere in the DZ rather than only on the edges.

    I think this and the ITS:X changes to AD would suffificently reward using AD4-.

    An alternative option would be to allow AD4+ troopers to deploy on the edge of Sections 1-4 in the event of a failure (ie on the edges of the friendly table half). This would significantly mitigate failure, while still feeling like a high reward play if it succeeds.
     
  4. FlipOwl

    FlipOwl New Member

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    I feel like it’s time to chime in!

    My main wish for N4 is a change to the way spec fire works:

    In my opinion, spec fire should only be allowed if the target is:
    a) In the attacker’s ZoC (for short range grenades into fortified positions)

    b) in LoF from a friendly model or non-equipment marker (i.e. an artillery spotter)

    c) Targeted

    This change should preserve spec fire as a useful tool while taking away the worst of what I and others consider uninteractive and frankly un-fun spec fire shenanigans.


    Another area of the game that I think needs some work is helping more condensed lists stay viable*. An Idea I had recently for further empowering lists with only one combat group would be to give them a +9 mod to the Lt roll.

    Most times I find that playing a one CG list is just on the brink of working, but extremely vulnerable to alpha strikes. The +9 would put most elite lists at a considerable advantage in the Lt roll without making the result a foregone conclusion. Too strong? I think the limitations of playing with only 10 order generating models means that this shouldn’t give them too much of an advantage in ITS play.

    *I find myself gravitating towards 20+ order lists whenever I go to a tournament, and I would love it if I didn’t automatically reach for that sledgehammer for every situation...
     
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  5. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    One of my issue with bonuses to single order group lists is because it just squeezes 11-13 order lists even further. Right now they're in a really awkward place: it's generally better to expand to ~15 than staying at 13.

    I'd probably prefer something that's less extreme than a +9 bonus. Even +3 would be highly significant.

    ------

    One of the more extreme idea's I've had for this is reducing the CG size to 8 troopers.

    This would make 9-16 orders 2 CG, and almost all lists would fall into this range. You can then provide fairly robust bonuses for single CG or even penalties for 3 CG.

    With only 8 orders in one group it limits the power of alphas.
     
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  6. SpectralOwl

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    I feel this would just encourage spam even more; you've got fewer orders you can count on having where you need them so the appeal of a single combat group is even further diminished and the impact of casualties is exacerbated because there's no margin for losses in critical groups before player plans get thrown off track. In particular, AD3+ and Impersonation become even more powerful and swingy tools as they cost almost nothing (in the way of Orders) to appear in enemy blind spots in their DZ, and can use very few orders to completely gut a soft Order pool.

    I believe the ability to deploy units in the DZ in Suppressive Fire would be a stronger option to slow down alpha strikes. This would make a well-positioned Fusilier equivalent into a passable roadblock against most things trying to enter the DZ at close range, as well as passably fitting lore (the DZ is under your control and you would have a little time to prepare, as Sappers show) and providing incentives to bring pricy automatics instead of Chain Rifle spam. This also has the benefit of not impacting the midfield Skirmisher actions which people seem to quite like at present.
     
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  7. FlipOwl

    FlipOwl New Member

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    The reason for +9 is to bring the Lt’s modified wip above 20 to get the + on the dice.

    Simply adding +3 would only affect your probability of success in the cases where you actually roll within the window provided by that +3 AND you beat the opponents roll because of it. I haven’t done the exact math, but it would affect less than one game in six. It’s a matter of perspective, of course, but that would not sway me over to using single CG lists in a tournament setting.

    I do agree that 11-13 order lists would still have issues, but I think it is better than the current format where almost all lists with <14 orders are having issues...

    Anyway, these are minor tweaks. Overall I just want to find something that promotes list archetype diversity
     
  8. Stiopa

    Stiopa Trust The Fuckhead
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    On the other hand it'd make a spam lists even more resilient, with multiple cheerleaders effectively blocking access. It might be an ok idea, if deploying a unit this way would cost a Command Token (and I'd like to see their number increased just a bit).
     
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  9. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    Even on the lower bounds its a rather large bonus.

    WIP 13 Lt vs WIP 13 Lt = 50/50
    WIP 16 Lt (ie +3 WIP) vs WIP 13 Lt = ~63 / ~37
    WIP 22 Lt vs 1 (ie +9 WIP) vs WIP 13 Lt = ~84 / ~16

    And that's before you factor in LI lists being more likely to run higher WIP Lts. For instance, even at only +3 an Avatar doesn't have any chance of failing.

    Personally, I'd prefer to keep numbers under 20, as this results in less extreme outcomes. IE

    If the number of troopers in a list exceeds your Lts WIP then you get a -3 WIP penalty to the roll and if it is equal to or less than your Lts WIP you get a +3 WIP bonus.

    This would give 73 / 27 for a WIP13 Lt with 13 or less troops vs a WIP13 Lt with 14 or more.

    This is just as simple to calculate as "do I have a single CG" (it's a single check performed before the game, and could be built into Army builder like the tick of ITS legality), but opens up a lot of interesting list building choices.

    Any major swingyness would be the result of list building decisions by both parties coupled with a WIP disparity ie. one player takes a low WIP Lt and accepts the penalty and while the other designs to get the buff while taking a high WIP Lt (13 trooper Fusi Lt PanO (-3 WIP) vs 15 order Interventor Nomads (+3 WIP) ): this approaches the +9 WIP result (Fusi 18% / Interventor 82%), but almost inevitably does so at the cost of an obvious Lt (there are very few non-obvious WIP15+ Lts) for the player who gets such a noticeable bonus.

    Combined with the existing rules about command token usage vs LI CGs it would be a significant incentive to 10-13 trooper (and are more marginal buff to 14-15) sized lists without completely invalidating large order pools.
     
    #1669 inane.imp, Jan 12, 2020 at 11:08 PM
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020 at 11:50 PM
  10. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Bonuses to LT rolls in excess of +3 also means there will be a significant amount of LTs where you'd be forced to reveal your LT's actual WIP and that gives away some of the protection that several LT choices often need.

    Also, the LT roll provides very weak benefits. There are few missions where the LT roll is that decisive and even then you run the risk of losing any advantages gained by simply rolling poorly making it unreliable. I doubt it'd have much effect.

    If on the other hand you'd only be able to generate a number of regular orders equal to your LT's WIP value... that's a tangible benefit for running higher WIP LTs should you have them and a strong detriment to order spam. And predictable as well as consistent. As you can tell, I have very little love for order spam, as much as I think it's providing a target rich environment, I think the combination of order spam and competent units makes the game very skewed at the moment. The biggest drawback to this is, of course, that it essentially makes the game at 400+ very strange. And also Ariadna lists.

    P.s. as a side note I'd like to mention that trooper, and thus LT, WIP values tend to have little meaning when it comes to costs. The cheapest WIP 14 LT I know of is 13 points while the Zeta LT is 98 points for WIP 13 and particularly Haqq has a bunch of WIP 15 alternatives in a very varied range of values.
     
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  11. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    This is kinda ok if it's a very soft cap.

    Haqq is, largely, designed to work well in the 14-16 Order range band. It's not particularly abusive at that size. And Saladin's odds of winning the Lt roll aren't substantially changed for an LI list.

    15 Order Caledonia (Wallace) is also largely fine. That's 8 regular orders through McMurder/Grey Core and 5 through some Caterans to open doors. It's a strong opening, but it's still only a 13 non-impetuous order first turn. Add

    Bakunin would have interesting decisions to make (between an Obvious Hackable Lt, a WIP12 LT or expensive LT options). While Nomads would sit at 13-15 orders without much change.

    OTOH is does limit things like 16 regular order Squallo lists. Making it much harder to run a Satlock group as well as a 9 order spec fire group and reliably win the Lt roll.

    This wouldn't be enough in Isolation (because as you point out the Lt roll isn't usually decisive) as part of a suite of changes that make Impetuous orders more expensive/less useful; ARM/BTS cheaper/more effective; and/or the average cost of an order rise (all things that have been suggested in various different iterations).

    It would also open up another point of differentiation between Vanilla and Sectorials: at the moment Vanilla tends to have broadly similar Lt choices to all of the Sectorials. By making Lt choice more meaningful to list construction and then limiting Lt options in Vanilla you could emphasise the cohesiveness of Sectorials.

    You could do the same with a fixed values with probably less second and third order weirdness (+3 at 10 or less Troopers, -3 at 15 or more: this reflects LI and Tactical Window but is a soft limit rather than a hard one, so I find it much preferred). However I think the second / third order weirdness from basing it on the Lt's WIP is worth investigating though.
     
  12. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Well... to be more direct, I think the difference between choosing sides and going first along with a predisposition of missions to favour going second means that the LT roll is largely a formality that has little game balance impact on the game.

    Bluntly put; pursuing alterations to the LT rolls as a means of game balance is pretty much a waste of time. The balance of the two results of the LT roll is so good that affecting the LT roll would only make it complicated for no in-game benefit. It is in fact so good that LT WIP is not ever worth consideration.

    Maybe a "manageable force" got to pick side of table regardless of the result of the LT roll when facing an "unmanaged force"?
     
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  13. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    While I agree that overall there's a good balance between first Initiative and deployment, I disagree that's true for specific interactions.

    Some missions heavily favour going second: having an advantage to choosing that (or at least not having a disadvantage) would have an effect.

    Equally, if you're worried about weathering an alpha then having a slight advantage to getting to choose to go first would be useful.

    The reason Lt WIP isn't worth considering is because the difference is almost always within +/- 3. So even if you choose an Lt based on WIP it's still largely a matter of praying to the dice gods. You really need differences > +/-3 before you start getting reliable results, and my rule of thumb is +/-6 is the first point you can plan on achieving a particular outcome: this would be the difference you see in an LI list vs a high-order count list. This would achieve the original desire: for LI lists to generally have the opportunity to avoid high-order couny alphas.

    The point isn't that this alone would be The Solution to high order lists, but just another minor counterbalance. Forgoing the bonus / eating the penalty *should* be something that people go "yeah, it's not that big a deal just something to think about". Same as the general response to Command Tokens vs LI lists since ITSX.

    I think any large blunt solution should be resisted. Such a solution is more likely to make whole play styles obsolete. I don't want to see that.

    Less than X you get a +3 bonus, more than Y you get a -3 penalty isn't complex to manage. But yes, it's a fair point that for such a minor and relatively uncertain balancing point you want it to be as simple as possible: so the fixed "1 CG gives a +3 bonus and >15 gives a -3 penalty" is probably as complicated as you'd want.
     
  14. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    If you win a roll you can often manipulate your opponent to give you go second, but if you want to pick going second you're often forced to accept being at a disadvantage as you get to deploy first - as a result going second is often going to be an available option for the person who lost the roll as far from all lists can typically handle deploying at a disadvantage.
    I very seldom find that I want to win a roll when I want my list to go second, but when I've got a list that really wants to alpha strike, such as one featuring a TAG or an IA list, then it's a lot harder as I almost inevitably have to deploy in a way that gives away a significant part of my plan, if I even get the choice to go first at all.

    At the same time, I find the best way to weather an alpha is often not to try to commit to an alpha myself, but to deploy defensively with a rough estimate of what the alpha is going to be and where it's going to come from, so picking to go first isn't necessarily a good option here but forcing your opponent to deploy their force first is (unless it happens to be a camo-heavy force and you want to mine objectives, but that's the one exception I can think of).
    It can sometimes be a bit of a gamble, but more often than not I find going second against an alpha strike list to be better simply because if I don't lose more than one or two pieces and zero primary pieces, I can push back a lot harder due to my opponent spending orders moving the pieces I want to hit closer to me.

    This is entirely anecdotal, but my experience is that WIP rolls (and, really, any single-dice rolls) typically ends up having a massive difference where one side will roll comfortably within their target and the other will roll very high or very low. Theoretically a +3 is a 15 percent points shift in probability of actually rolling a result that's not a failed roll which should translate to about 7% more matches where you get to pick whether to go first or pick sides. That's a dismal amount of matches where it has a miniscule impact per year and player, tbh.
    Command Token strategic use is a good shift because it provided a hard counter to a strong method of limiting first-turn alpha strikes. Problem is, it only provided a benefit if you got to go first which means you're funnelling LI lists into being alpha strike lists and it's easy to counter this benefit as the player without such a list by doing the usual manipulations for turn order or by simply choosing to go first.
    And then they introduced Counterintelligence which makes the same effect available to a small number of factions because 1 CT to remove 1 Order is no longer cost effective.

    Arguably, I don't think manipulating side or deployment order choice based on LT WIP compared to orders is a huge blunt nerf to massive order lists, nor do I think the alternative I suggested where you'd have units in excess of LT WIP generate only Irregular Orders would be a huge nerf either (simply because you still get to use them, ARO with them, and when you take losses they'll start generating Regular Orders in later turns, in reality all it does is limit the second order group's Rambo-potential by about 5 orders, assuming an LT with WIP 14 and that you've actually got 15+ Regular units - which isn't likely, so it just sounds like a drastic)

    More likely I would say they have changed the game to the situation it is in now through small unit optimizations, ITS incentives, or possibly we've had enough cycles with people learning the game that the rules always favoured spam and we didn't realize it before*, and probably the more correct way to handle it is to address the value of an order directly along with a review of what skills and stats are highly valued for their cost and poorly valued for their cost.

    P.s. sorry for the verbose post, I realize most people don't actually read posts with more than a couple of paragraphs.

    * If it takes Starcraft a few months of pros playing obsessively 40+ hours per week to notice and start to take advantage of less obvious benefits, imagine how long it takes for the more disparate and less professional wargamer communities to do the same.
     
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  15. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    You're understating the effect of the +3 bonus.

    The +3 does three major things:
    * It decreases the circumstances in which you'd have failed and your opponent would have succeeded (reducing your opponent's chance of success)
    * It decreases the odds of you both failing (increasing your chance of success)
    * It increases the circumstances where you succeed and your opponent fails (increasing your chance of success)

    The result is that a +3 change in a stat has a greater than 15% shift in the odds.

    The diffence between you succeeding and your opponent succeeding on a Lt roll where your Lts' WIP is the same is 50/50 or a difference of 0%. Where you have a WIP16 vs WIP13 Lt the difference is ~26% (roughly 63% / 37%). So while not reliable (you lose over a third of the time), a +3 difference in Lt WIP does have a noticeable effect: it changes it from roughly 1/2 to 2/3 odds of winning the FTF (a +6 difference in WIP is very roughly 3/4 odds of winning).*

    I think that difference matters because I absolutely think winning the Lt roll matters: my experience is that usually both players want to pick the same thing and that your opponent giving you the result you want isn't even almost guaranteed. Or alternatively, your priority is preventing your opponent having the choice they want: you know you'll struggle to weather your opponent's alpha on the table you got, so you choose to go first to allow you to setting up to successfully blunt their attack while progressing the mission.

    So I agree with you that the best counter to an alpha isn't your own alpha, I just disagree that it necessarily follows that Lt rolls don't matter.

    I do absolutely agree that the FAR better solution is to just price orders as better reflects their actual value. But... just because that's a better solution it doesn't stop us examining whether you can play with LT rolls in potentially interesting ways to promote the sort of gameplay we want to see.

    * This was worked out by using Toadies calculator for 2 LTs to Spotlight each other, apply a manual bonus to get the desired WIP and then assigning 'nobody succeeds' to each Lts proportional to their likelihood of success. IE:

    [​IMG]

    So, next roll is:
    62% WIP16
    1.5% No result
    36.5% WIP13

    Third roll is:
    63% WIP16
    0% No result
    37% WIP13
     
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  16. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    I think we're talking past each other.
    There's a 15 per cent units shift, as I noted, but as I noted it would not come into effect quite as often as that. Given that it would matter only in the cases where you rolled within that 15% and where you would have lost the re-roll in the case where both you and your opponent failed to roll below WIP, 7 per cent is a bit high, it's a bit closer to 10 per cent and depends on which WIP both you and your opponent starts at - +3 matters more at higher mutual WIP where the chance of re-roll is lower.

    That said, the impact of the LT roll is a lot lower than the impact of any given AD or Infiltration roll. It shifts your priorities, but it doesn't inherently shift the chance to win except for a few certain tables or missions that probably needs to be redesigned.

    Given how you don't know your how opponent's list is structured outside some specific sectorials or if an opponent is very predictable, I don't think evaluating whether you need to weather a particular alpha is going to happen. Unless the table is particularly bad with poor spots to hide troops on either side.
    However, I think a solution to the over-bias towards spam needs to look at something that works either specifically against spammed lists or that works universally for all types of limited lists. I.e. a solution that's not terrain dependent, that's not dependent on either party having a particularly aggressive or defensive list, and that's not dependent on one or the other getting to go first.

    That's also talking around the problem where 10-order list matches have some serious snowballing problems. Even a single loss in those lists tends to snowball a match and a common first turn tends to see two to three losses, so while it's possible to promote such lists by giving advantages, they'd also have to address the problem with Limited Insertion in general.
    Or, you know, shift the game's focus towards 12 to 15 order lists and make sure that all sectorials have proper amounts of core troops in the 15 to 25 points range to offer variety and just abandon the concept of supporting Limited Insertion completely. That is probably a completely different line of discussion, though.

    P.s. Forward Observer has a +0 rangeband :)
     
  17. SpectralOwl

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    The place to look for a solution here is probably the reactive turn, as that's the largest part of the game where a side's Order pool has no effect. I'm too sleepy at present for specific theories, but being able to more safely use elite units in ARO to slow down spam-driven attacks without almost certainly losing them to the enemy's one or two top gunners would be a godsend for them.
     
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  18. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    The issue is how do you do this without simultaneously buffing high order count lists?

    Helots are basically the opposite solution to this. They're thoroughly excellent from a design POV

    Puppets are a better example: they add ARO depth without really risking orders.

    Increasing the impact of ARM is another option (the majority of elite units have high ARM).

    ----

    @Mahtamori yeah, we were largely talking past each other. You were saying "even with a +3 bonus you only win 13% more Lt rolls, so it'll proc every 7th or 8th game, on average", whereas I'm saying "sure but your opponent will also lose 13% more Lt rolls, so you will more reliably win Lt rolls at a rate of almost 2/3". You're emphasising that it happens so rarely as to be unlikely to affect any one game; whereas I'm emphasising that this is a large enough change that you can start using it as the basis of decision making (certainly hedged, because it's not a sure thing). This is a different emphasis in how we view the numbers, not really a disagreement over the numbers themselves.

    I think we'll have to disagree about the effect of winning an Lt roll can have. We both agree that it's not enough on its own to make small order lists viable. I think it's significant enough that it's worth looking at as part of a suite of changes to incentivise playing smaller lists; provided that any system for screwing with it is simple.
     
  19. Shrooms

    Shrooms Member

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    In 84 pages it may have been mentioned already, but what about associating CT with force size? 5CT for 1 order group, 4CT for 15 orders, 3CT for 16+?
    Combine this with the idea mentioned earlier about starting troops (that are in your DZ) in SF at a cost of CT?
     
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  20. LoganGarnett

    LoganGarnett Well-Known Member

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    How about getting a single reduced "Support Group" along with the regular Combat Groups? As a way for 12-13 Order armies to squeeze in a couple more ARO/Specialist/Fire support units, while not becomming vulnurable to Command Token usage.
    Give it 2-3 Order slots, perhaps an extra special Order to use specifically in that Support Group.

    And if they are to go and reduce the Combat Group slots to 8, perhaps they also should give you a benefit of 1-2 extra special Orders for taking risk of running a single Combat Group.