Discussion in 'News' started by Melkhior, Jun 1, 2020.
Yes, I agree Jaguars are a well designed warband
Let me start out by stating that for me lists of roundabout 15 units feel right for Infinity...so I am not in general an advocate for larger lists. Just to get this out of the way before I state my dislike for a 15 units hard-cap.
My premise for looking at this issue: players should not be "forced" to play a specific way...or at least they shouldn't feel that way, but rather they should be incentivized to do so.
Within a game's "engine" there is a framework of boundaries in which this premise should be applied...so there should be caps for "variables", but still these caps should be sound with the overall concept of "variables"...so 8' MOV is reasonably faster than 4'...24' MOV appears unreasonable in contrast. I guess this is common sense: amping variables will crash the engine.
Still we shouldn't only look at individual units and their variables. One thing that I feel has not been discussed so far is overall faction design. I can remember a time when ALEPH was inherenty an elite faction. It was hard to pack bodies but your units were overall really efficient. according to the mission you ha to chose your tools wisely because it wasn't possible to field a jack-of-all-trades list. The only HD was on Thyramis, so no real guns...HD+ came on the hyper expensive Asura. The faction felt intentionally designed to make you pay more for specific assets. That was something to work with. While it was possble to field larger lists of Thorakitai, those lists weren't competitive...so you were incentivized to play ALPEH a specific way, which meant it was hard to get more than 9+2 orders. I've seen 10+7 lists now, with Achilles and Dart.The same applied to ather factions as well. You could field HI in Haqq, but they were mediocre at best, so you tended to field MI and Warbands...easily exceeding 16 orders. Still that wasn't really a problem as Spam meant having to rely on rather weak individual units that could easily be wiped off the board (there are some exceptions of course).
Over the course of N3 this distinct factions design was blurred...gaps were fille...gaps that should be there. While I can see that players like new shiny toys, CB added units that made the factions more alike (sure, we can argue about the remaining differences...that's not my point...). Just take a look at the OSS units...a 25 points HD+...that's something to totally crush my understanding of ALEPH. Proxies not taking up additional slots...that was a definite game changer. Dropping points overall made skills more available. Mixed linkteams incentivized players to bolster highly efficien troops with cheap units thus reducing costs and making a larger second combat group possible. Additionally new skill made some units even more efficient.
Where I am aiming at: the organic way to design a game "how it is intended to be played" is by having some restrictions in faction design. This applies to skills, their combination, their points and availability. For me, it should rather be for the question of how "factions are intended to be played". It's more about micro managing. Introducing this 15 unit hard-cap feels like the broadsword chop to end a percieved problem...while the underlying root of "evil" stays intact.
Quoting myself here to add my 2 Cents.
Also Ghazi have been long seen as a problem. They also could have gradually changed them in the last years. Many and I made suggestions how to make them more balanced.
Same for many other cheap orders.
This would have prevented this silly cap.
Edit: Sergej Faehrlich said it so much better than me.
I think this is a valid point. At some point units have to be cut or reworked to make room for new additions, if the intent is to maintain faction diversity.
One thing I like about Infinity is that developments across all factions currently mirror developments in real world military technology: Some new tech pops up in one faction, then proliferate into other factions, that may even utilise it better, and then the counter to that tech starts to proliferate. For me, this is much more interesting than maintaining a static relation between factions.
However, I think a new edition would be an excellent opportunity to reset the baseline: Make som N3 MSV2 units MSV1 in N4, because they are using an older generation of visors that are not as effective against current gen TO camo. On the other end of the spectrum, downgrade some TO camo troops to Camo, because their old camouflage tech is more easily countered by modern visors. The same dynamic can easily be achieved by adding or subtracting a point of armour here or there as well.
In the end, though, it's a matter of taste and will most likely not make the game too much better or worse in my opinion, just different
I've been avoiding this discussion because I don't think there's something inherently wrong with 15 Trooper limit (I think it's fairly safe to call it a Trooper limit now that Ghost: Synch and Ghost: Servants etc are Peripherals, even if AI Beacons potentially screws it over a bit), but let me elaborate a bit on... squeaky wheels. Theoretical squeaky wheels even as I'll list a few I don't agree with.
First and foremost, I do think that there's a magic number of orders where an army will tend to be able to soak losses without grinding to a complete halt, where you can spread your resources out sufficiently that a couple of bursts will not take out all of your key units, but where you're still not playing exclusively with such basic troops that they are not able to overcome the competency of the strongest miniatures, even when using the most basic weapons, simply by using primarily Active Turn advantage - and that's about 17 or 18 Troopers.
Notably, you'll typically have upward to 5 extremely cheap irregular impetuous troopers that you'll be looking to trade up with or to supply tactical smoke. Armies without these will not seldom make use of other excessively cheap substitutes that don't have very high consequences when they die such as Ghost: Synchronized units or Ghost: Jumper units.
While attaching no value to whether this is desired game design or not, it does mean that a 15 Trooper limit will force most factions away from their peak performance point.
Next up is the squeaky wheel that is the balance point between choosing fewer orders than the optimal. There are very few factions, if any at all, that are actually able to fight high-order count lists from a point of advantage. Let me try and explain why, because it's a compound of several design decisions, as I see it.
Primarily, a unit's sum total of statistics, skills and abilities do not scale upwards from zero. The theoretical zero points value unit would still be very useful in supplying orders, AROs, blocking presence, etc., in fact I'm not even sure a theoretical zero point unit would be defenceless.
Beyond this, a unit's points cost scales faster than its strength gain. If you take two light infantry, one which costs 10 points armed with a combi and one that costs 20 points armed with a combi, you'll find that contrary to what the points say, the more expensive unit is far from twice as good as the cheaper unit. This is most likely because the way orders work, once you start spending upwards of 10 orders on a unit a unit that would be twice as good in all respects would be worth far more than twice as much, but also a unit that is twice as likely to kill a target and half as likely to die is a bit more than twice as strong. In either case, in infinity the scaling tends to be erring on the side of caution, as if assuming each miniature will have 10 orders spent on them and that all orders will be effectively used. Don't get the wrong impression here, it's not a huge amount, but eventually people figure it out which is when metas start getting saturated with high-troop count lists.
In either case, this is perhaps the primary reason for why the golden ratio of orders is so high, provided my analysis is even remotely accurate.
Then we have the odd decision of where to put the cost of synergistic abilities. I'll use the most obvious example I can think of.
Mimetism is an ability that increases a unit's performance in all situations where there is combat by a fairly predictable degree, yet it's cost is cheap and it varies depending on primarily the BS attribute of the unit that has it not taking other factors into account.
MSV is an ability that does not increase a unit's performance at all (because, as has been established in various threads, terrain rules that favour MSV are fairly uncommon), all it does is remove the advantage that Mimetism gives. MSV price tag is fairly high, typically costlier than the most expensive Mimetism.
Smoke is a tactical ability that allows you to completely avoid enemy shots at the cost of a short skill and a fairly reliable roll. Smoke interacts with high levels of MSV, where it creates an advantage for MSV or where MSV can take away the advantage of hostile smoke. Smoke is dirt cheap.
For some reason, it seems like the advantage you can gain from smoke and MSV has been attached to MSV rather than smoke. Presumably due to one faction which did not previously have the shoot-through-MSV interaction. Meanwhile, the advantage stripping potential seems to have been equated with the advantage gaining ability. The result is that gaining advantages and synergies is cheap while removing them is expensive.
Then there's hacking. A big one. I'll try to not get into too much detail.
Essentially, the premise of games is that there's a trade off. You accept drawbacks to gain benefits. When it comes to hackable units there is no obvious benefit now that there are non-hackable units with a very similar power level to the hackable ones and when it comes to hacking units there are no real benefit if there are no incentives to bring a bunch of hackable units and in fact cheap KHDs have created a dis-incentive to bring hackers.
Hackable units have problems navigating a field that's covered with Repeaters which can be really frustrating and the hacking player can often feel frustrated when they're wasting orders putting up a bunch of Repeaters for potentially little gain.
In general I think the game is designed into a corner.
You can't make a rock-scissor-paper design of soft counters because there are forces without "rock", and other forces that only have "paper" type units, which means that those forces become predictable and easily counter-able. You can't give heavy infantry a level of BS and ARM that other units simply can't get for free and expect hackers to be the soft counter because Ariadna will naturally ask "what about us?", so you're basically stuck in a situation where one type of the trinity is soft countered by necessity.
Maybe it's not hacking, maybe it's the repeaters that are causing the compounding problems?
While there are other squeaky wheels, I think those three are the big ones and my post is getting long. Just remember that I'm calling them "squeaky wheels" for a reason, and that's because I think they could use some oil and not that I think the whole under-carriage is broken and needs replacing.
Do you have more information about this? Was this in one of the Videos, if so i missed it completly .
I dind't thinking about the "time", thanks for noticed me :)
I'am really agree with what most of you said, but overall with this:
"Any game involving dice or any other random factor is going to produce situations that will on occasion beggar belief. Sometimes your elite HI will miss every shot on an impetuous WB in the open, possibly for multiple orders in a row. Sometimes your high WP specialist will not be able to activate that damn console despite rolling on an effective 18."
And don't forget us about we are rolling 20 side dices, this will made more "ramdom" as if we use dices with less sides.
Totally is a change from N3 to N4. We saw something about this in "codeone" where players can use only one group. Still, they don't remove the option of playing with som many orders or groups you wanted, only is the "new standar".
In my opinion the use of a lot of troups was most of all something provoked by the changes in ITS Missions, every time you need more orders in order to make sure you could do the objetives with your specialists troups... Too other factor was the changes in order to make the "not go first" atractive, that command token to remove 2 orders from the pool... This factors aren't really about the "core" of the game. Still we could find a lot of motives because people tends to "spam" or not: tables, missions more played, enemies, factions... too many factors.
When I understand the change, the "new standard" and even I defend it a little in others quotes, I'am agree with that players that claim "it isn't the best solution", still is "a try", so we should have it a chance. Don't forget that CB announces in the N4 Week his intentions of evolve the game more dinamically even if it is only to change the "meta". This could not be a bad thing if not a good thing. We will see.
I think is a problem in every game you have little troups. And don't forget that tables settings do a lot in order to make or not an unit more or less good.
From N2 to N3 remove the -6 in order to dodge a direct template was something really good, still I always thoug templates should roll a dice, even if not provokes "confronted rolls", in order to know if they succeded doing the shot, and don' apply any kind of malus, or even provoking some kind of malus in the enemy roll if confronted roll. To me this would be the best option in order to do the "direct templates" less optimal and still good enought. If the core of the game are de active vs reactive and the "confronted" rolls, don't make exceptions.
As other said before, the ghazy with bsg, but only in friendly games. The jammer as defensive optios is too good to be ignored when playing a tournament.
What is the problem with smoke?
I have the same feeling about factions become more and more alike, we will see in N4 :) I hope CB go for the way let some profiles only in the sectorials.
About the "ghazi"... as a Acontecimento player and later a Hassasin one, I have to say that the only problem with the ghazi was the addition of smoke without remove the jammer from the profile. You should choose between to have smoke or jammer, but not both and without extra cost. If we think about the efficience of the jammer it is not so high as we could think, doing maths. We don't see the expensive troups with jammers being so used as the Ghazi, because what makes the "jammer" so amazing in Ghazis is they are expendables and the other weapons they have. Still, remade the jammer in N4 could be a good thing.
A 20-sided dice isn't any more random than a 6-sided dice... it just has more possible numerical outcomes, but not more... randomness
CodeOne rules gives clearest indication.
It was in the N4 Livestream on Twitch, but it was only mentioned in passing.
In N3, I didn't like Tactical Window. I felt like it barely affected most armies, which were running at most 15-16 units anyway. But there were a few armies (Hassassins, CHA) that were designed to run at more than 15 units. You could play them differently, but then why bother playing them at all?
So Tactical Window tournaments didn't feel like they changed the way people designed lists. Instead, they felt like tournaments where nothing had changed except that Hassassins and CHA were banned. In that sense, it did feel like an "artificial" restriction.
In N4, CB is redesigning the factions. They've already said that Hassassins are getting a redesign. We're 99% sure that CHA won't initially be in N4 at all, and will eventually come back with a redesign. And for all the other factions, point costs are changing significantly for at least some units. Presumably part of the goal will be to design every faction to play optimally at <=15 units.
I suspect we're all going to have to adjust our playstyles as we learn this new game. Hassassins and CHA players will have to adjust more than most, and I guess that's not ideal. (On the other hand, I started in Hassassins but eventually stopped playing them because I didn't like the playstyle. Maybe I'll get to dust them off thanks to the redesign.)
Personally, I'm happy that list sizes will be reduced, and I think a faction redesign combined with a hard cap is a reasonable way to achieve it. It's just not that fun standing there watching your opponent spend >20 orders in a row (not uncommon in CHA when you include the impetuous orders) while occasionally declaring an ARO. Infinity promises that "it's always your turn," but playing against CHA it feels like it's rarely your turn.
We'll have to wait for the redesigns to see whether CB achieves their goal. If they do, then we'll have a game where the natural way to play will be with a max of 15 units or so. "Spam" lists will be more of a novelty, maybe fun for variety but not particularly optimal. In that case, it will probably seem normal to restrict time-limited tournaments to 15 units, and save novelty lists for casual play.
Just throwing this in there in response to warbands without chain rifles - the new shotgun rules and trooper limit rules might see them used more because 1) trooper limit means if you want your warbands and can't get to 300, that's an easy way to squeeze out ~5 more points per model and 2) trade off of a B1 big template or B2 small template is, at the very least, a choice now where it wasn't before.
That's an interesting point, I dont think I've ever opted for any of my WB's to take a rifle or shotgun over their chain rifles. Usually the chains are cheapest and don't rely on their abysmal BS. I bet taking away their chain rifles and maybe replacing them all with rifles probably would have shook up the game alot and I wonder what that would do to the elite vs swarm issue.
As with Frenzy and fireteams, Chain Rifles take the supposed weak point that BS is for warbands (which makes them so cheap) and renders it nul. I think those should be the mechanics to watch and try to solve instead of just the "now you can only play 15 toons" blanket house rule.
It's the same problem with useless CC bloat, just reversed.
When do you think we'll see those sexy new TAGs in CodeOne Army?
November will be the TAG month
For Army? As in, more than a month after they are added to N4 Army?
any problem? Is not the first time that the army update when the figure is available... and with the tags being a Code One product make sense that the code one army will update when the product hit the stores
The basic engine mechanic is the face to face roll, and both instances circumvent them. (in some cases, of course)
Smoke lasts for the whole turn, leaving an effective invulnerability to ARO zone for the army, barring the exceptional, rare and expensive MSV2+ on the opponent side. Also, its synergy interaction between MSV2+ and smoke also can't be properly costed.
Templates that don't require a roll in general circumvent the core mechanic, and give various above mentioned problems with regards to stat dependence. Also I tend to think the large teardrop is a bit too big for the playing area, but that is more personal...
Marker state is another hard to cost mechanic, and the prime reason for Ariadna power.
Posthuman ability also comes to mind as an example of a hard to cost mechanic.
@Mahtamori Maybe we don't understand the word random in the same way. When programming, using a seed of 100 is not the same as using one of 1000, the probability of outcomes is more random. It's not the same waiting for one six in a 20 side dice, as in one of 6 sides, 1/6 looks pretty different to me as 1/20 chances of... But, I repeat mysefl, maybe I'am not using proertly the word random and I should use aleatory instead of...
@QueensGambit When I understand why a lot of people aren't happy with this decision from CB, I'am not like it myself, but I don't think, for example they are some kind of problem with hassasin, I played a lot with this little bastards and I don't use to align more than 14 miniatures which provides some kind of order. So, saying "hassasin" will not play anymore with his actual style don't looks to me like a valuable argumentation. Don't forget, plaease, don't all players play the same, and this is "amazing", is here, in this point, where I found the bigger issues with the choice of CB doing 15 the "standar" (please, stay aware all of us that still we will have a mod game which allow us to play how many guys as we like while don't exceeds the total points), they cut a way to play, when before we had total freedom, and this don't suits me well. But, maybe this brings some kind of balance and do things easily to "recalculate".
@Benkei I think you nailed it.
Good point this...
I see now your point. About the templates I have myself some considerations on how this kind of weapons break the "stander engine", and thanks, I didn't find before in my brain the translate for "tiradas enfrentadas" which is "face to face... :P, but about the smoke I'am disagree with you I'am afraid, is a tool you have to avoid AROs, and is Ok, and all we have tools to face "smoke". Now the visor l1 will allow to shoot
through smoke, maybe this smooth the "smoke power".
About camos I believe the problem is the quantity, not the rules, and something equal about the posthuman, with itI think the problem exists in vainilla because the companyons it can have, like achilles. In SSO I never find the same "issues" to struggle with it or the same power, for example. And in some scenarios is a poor option, because is really cheap, so it can hardly take control over any kind of area when we need points in there. Some times advantages make a shadow over the disavantages.