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The Heavy Infantry Problem

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by Weathercock, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. daboarder

    daboarder Force One Commander
    Warcor

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    Every pip of ARM or BS or W is far more valuable the more of each of the others you have.

    ARM is significantly better on troops with a High BS and 2W
    High BS is significantly better on troops with ARM to back it up and 2W to keep on going
    2W is major when a unit with High BS and High ARM takes a hit as it means you can keep on going and making use of the High BS and High ARM on the rare occurences both fail, and thats not touching on the way it lets you essentially ignore large parts of a defensive net, or large chunks of the critical mechanic the way 1W troops cannot.

    Most of the "HI problem" is from people trying to put square pegs in round holes, and this thread cant even agree on which of the pegs are actually square.
     
  2. toadchild

    toadchild EI Aspect

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    I think that's a very fair assessment of the order system. It's mechanically advantageous to have lots of orders, and orders are worth more the better the unit you have performing them. Combat groups, fireteams, etc. all complicate the comparisons, and there are optimizations about being "good enough" and redundancy, but I don't think they contradict your fundamental thesis.
     
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  3. SpectralOwl

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    A lot of that may come from what factions people are trying to play. Different factions have HI for different things; NCA have superior long-range firepower, Bakunin have close-up brawlers and powerful defensive options, Invincible Army have literally everything and Druze aren't even involved. When the local meta has a lot of the counter for whatever your HI does, it sucks excessively compared to other unit types because of the increased cost and wider range of weaknesses. If you've got nothing else in your army of choice that can fill the role, the game starts to feel pretty broken. You've certainly made excellent points all around for why HI are competitive, so I'm starting to think that the "HI Problem" is that it feels really bad to play them into the counters people are complaining about, which is different for most factions, metas and even players.

    Maybe we don't need to look at how to buff HI, but think of ways to make Jammers, E/M, Hacking defense etc. fun in the way that normal gunfights or melees are?
     
  4. Ogid

    Ogid Well-Known Member

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    This is so true; and also the reason for why I think extra supportware for HI would be a great idea; you will invest extra points and SWC in your army but you will end with a very tough and order eficient army and would give reasons to include some HDs without being a gamble.

    Also very true; IMM-2 and Isolated can single handely cripple a 100+ points model; maybe these effects could have less effect the more W/STR the unit have (to represent more complex and resilience systems). For example, make the IMM and ISO states add 1 state token per roll failed, to a max of the maximum number of W/STR the unit have. The Engineer rolls would eliminate 1 token of each state (so you will need more than 1 roll to fully clear them if they are stacked).
    If the number of tokens is equal or higher than the current (not max) W/STR; then the trooper suffer the full effects (briked/isolated); if not
    • IMM halve the movement and give an extra MOD of -3 to any roll (except RESET and those that can be performed in a IMM state).
    • Isolated would apply every effect, but the LoL; the trooper could receive orders from the order pool, but in the phase 2 of the order spenditure sequence the player would have to make a normal roll versus 12; if the player fails the roll, the order is expended but the trooper doesn't activate (nor provoke ARO)
     
  5. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Against a CombiRifle, an ARM4 trooper will save against that 55% of the time. In cover, 70%. An ARM1 trooper would save against that same combirifle 40% of the time (55% if in cover). That makes ARM4 less than 50% more valuable than ARM1, that's it.

    In both cases, they still lost the FtF roll! This makes to-hit modifiers like Mimetism, camo, etc much more valuable than ARM because to-hit mods increase your chances of winning the FtF roll to begin with. So ARM should cost less than Mimetism (more precisely, Mimetism should go up in price somewhat, but ARM is still over-valued).



    Would be a different way to look at it, and may be better.
     
  6. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    An alternative to that is for Mimetism (etc) to be context dependent instead of functioning effectively as a bullet proof shield.

    For example, if Mimetism only worked outside of 16" from the target, or only triggered if the bearer was in cover or terrain from the attack. Its still good, but now it has a counter where as ARM always works.
     
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  7. Savnock

    Savnock Nerfherder

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    Hacking definitely feels fun to me, even on the recieving end. It really doesn't need a fix.

    E/M, being powerful but largely limited to low-Burst weapons, feels pretty well within scale to me. If it did catch a nerf, the ISO-1 and ISO-2 states suggestion earlier in the thread would be a good one (ISO-1 being negated with a successful Reset, ISO-2 requiring an Engineer). That fix is simple, fits the rest of the system well, and still keeps E/M weapons useful.

    Jammers are broken AF. Fixing them should be a high priority. The ISO-1/ISO-2 fix would also help there, even more than with E/M, and would keep Jammers useful. Their Intuitive Attack function is too much for one weapon, and needs to be split off to a separate piece of gear or dropped.
     
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  8. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    While that is a cool idea, I think it goes against the idea of 'forgoing maximum realism for better playability' that was N3's design brief.
     
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  9. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    Surely I'm not the first person to think that toning down mimetism effects would lead to better gameplay too?
     
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  10. Savnock

    Savnock Nerfherder

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    I think many agree with that. But the question is how to do it in a simple, playable way. Infinity is already complex. Fitting with existing ways of doing things, or adding simple, elegant things if you must add, is the best approach to avoid making the current barely-manageable rules sprawl tip into impenetrability.

    So, what's the simplest version of your previous proposal? The only-works-in-cover version is simple, but doesn't solve high skew of to-hit numbers in ideal conditions. It is interesting though, and makes Mimetism great defensively but terrible offensively, like a reverse Nanoscreen. Hmmm, worth trying out!
     
    #350 Savnock, Jul 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  11. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
    Moderator

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    While I like the basic ideas of making hackers useful in a support/ buff role, how do you envision the logistics of order expenditure and units affected?
     
  12. Ogid

    Ogid Well-Known Member

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    I think it would be something good to give some fresh air to the mechanic; right now non-KHD hackers are quite niche (buff REMs, EVO for TeamPro/Overclock in some sectorials/lists and few more things); AHD are great in LI, but outside of that mode they are a gamble. It doesn't help that the KHDs are very efficient killing them and as they are cheap and widely used as specialists they are very frecuent. Most people just pick the crapiest Hacker to buff the total reaction REM and call it a day.

    For me the role of the hacker would be very support/utility focused and with high sinergy with the Hackable units: Giving them specialist options, heal/state removal (under some conditions, not as good as a Doctor, engineer), minor defensive and ofensive buffs... It would be cool to have some support for TAGs too, but buffs on these could get out of hand real quick.

    If this force with HDs and HIs would be less efficient for being less and require extra orders to activate the supportware, some extra rules or programs could be added to solve that. Like programs that help with order management (see below), or even a new tipe of order that could only be used to activate supportware; for example, a player could get 1 of these "supportware" orders for every HD (any kind) at the start of the game, these orders wouldn't generate again and could only be used to activate the supportware.

    I've elaborated that idea here: https://forum.corvusbelli.com/threads/creative-new-hacking-programs.34086/page-2#post-268748
    At the start of that thread there is an earlier version with more programs that were discarded for being potentially too powerful with some top tier HIs (like marker states or too powerful defensive buffs).

    These are 2 programs from that link to help with the order starving and supportware management of these kind of lists
     
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  13. SpectralOwl

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    Big thing with Jammers and Hacking is Reset. It's the only skill or ARO in the game that, on a perfect success, does absolutely nothing but waste time. While I completely agree with you when a list has the 30pts or so of buy-in necessary to play Hacking that handling the defense is great (Tinbots, EVO, KHDs and Repeaters etc. are a lot of fun to handle all at once), it's the situations that you can't spare the points or play a non-hacking faction that makes Hacking a bit of a dull process since you can't do anything proactive about it other than make saves and shoot the hacker. Jammer is also like that, but all the time to every trooper. Giving Reset an actual consequence for good results, like immunity to Comms Attacks for a player turn or something a bit less powerful, would go a long way to improving the experience for troops without a special response.

    In the case of E/M, I see your point about low-burst weapons. I very rarely see complaints or have complaints about the likes of the E/Mitter or Blitzen. It's the templates that are the problem. E/M Grenades often invoke Speculative Fire, the second least fun interaction in the game to defend against, and the other varieties of the weapon are DTWs of varying flavours that aren't too great on the interactivity front themselves if the player puts any effort into setting them up right. They're all order-intensive, but usually result in useless troopers for the defender with very little they can do about it after they've finished building and deploying the list. Which sucks.
     
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  14. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    Yes, cover is simplest and I feel more interesting than distance. I don't mind visual modifiers being strong when used in the correct situation, its the "these are always good" and "bulletproof" elements to the rule design that are poor IMO.
     
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  15. Armihaul

    Armihaul Well-Known Member

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    You can not make E/M, jammer, hacking and similar tools "fun" for the HI player. The reason is: they remain there while suffering the effects.

    You can kill a HI with shotting, and usually nobody will thought much of it because the miniature will end outside of the game, but when is imm1, is there, is not in null state so for the one hacking is not enough because can return any moment, and for the HI player is no fun seing how his miniature is stopped from someone he can only do resset. The same agains isolated, is no null state, and the miniature can deffend, aro, and do things.

    But usually the resources spent are higher than the benefits. Only E/M is a true pain for HI, and even then, an engineer can try again and again and not cause any problem when failing, as will do a doctor. And even with that, the sensation of the player will be worse against E/M, imm1 or isolated, than against the mini beign dead, because it will remain there to remind him that is there
     
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  16. toadchild

    toadchild EI Aspect

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    I'm not sure what you mean by that, especially compared to Change Facing and Dodge, which frequently do nothing in particular on success.

    In fact, in the active turn, a passed Reset does more than a passed Dodge, since Reset gives you a chance for extra movement, and active dodge does not:
    • If the user wins the Face to Face WIP Roll, he may apply the Guts Roll rules.
     
  17. SpectralOwl

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    Hadn't known this, and it's one hell of a help due to the short range of most things that require Reset. Infinity sure is really hard to memorise. I also agree that active Dodge is hopeless, but it's quite tricky to wind up in a situation requiring its use for an extended period of time unlike Reset in a Repeater-heavy environment or a Jammer at close range. Reactive Dodge often lets you end a fight by finding cover, which is why I consider it pretty good.
     
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  18. Nenyx

    Nenyx Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. While Guts can indeed allows to move the troop, it is severely restricted. You can only move if it improves your cover from the attacker, and you can't move closer to the attacker. But during the active turn ? Maybe you can gain some movement, but it is highly situationnel.
     
  19. Armihaul

    Armihaul Well-Known Member

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    You can get out of ZoC from the attacker and get safer, with the limited range from hacking/hammer, gaining that little extra move is great
     
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  20. Nenyx

    Nenyx Well-Known Member

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    But this is during the active turn. Meaning the "attacker" is doing an ARO because you activated in his ZoC, and you're counting on the extra movement you could eventually gain from guts, meaning you tried reset, failed the opposed WIP test and did a BTS roll (and still be able to move, if it was AHD or KHD). It's really situational, and started because the active player chosed to activate in such a dire situation.