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Playtest Changes

 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:27 pm 
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I agree with Vaaish, but I want to see FK as 5 for 250 first. If this causes headache, we could bump it up to 275.

List organisation should not change wether I like the Idea to eject the rule that you have to have one battle titan for two scout titans. But this is a very minor issue to deal with.


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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:44 pm 
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More thoughts on the Plasma family. This isn't a comprehensive analysis of every possible armor value. I'll be using 4+ armor as the baseline. Plasma hits per turn are figured by calculating the total shots fired in 3 turns and dividing the hits by three:

GB: AV or AP 3 hits per turn. no RA: 1.5 kills; RA: .75 kills
PC: AV or AP 1.68 hits per turn, no RA: 1.68 kills; RA: .84 kills
Laser Blaster: AV, 3.96 hits; AP, 1.98 hits per turn. no RA: 1.98/0.99 kills; RA: 0.99/0.5 kills
Destructor: AV or AP 2.24 hits per turn. no RA: 2.24 kills; RA: 1.12 kills.

My feeling is that the PC might be ok as is since it seems to come out pretty close if my math is right, however slow firing makes it feel rather puny compared to weapons that can fire each turn. The destructor though could do with some work. Compared to the plasma cannon, you are gaining one shot and 15cm range for a price bump of 50 points. For that cost I can take three plasma cannons and come out with 5 shots more than a destructor and I can't think of a situation in any of my games where the extra 15cm range would have been worth more than additional shots.

I think we can go two routes with the destructor:

1. drop it to 50 points and give it an extra shot.
2. leave it at 75 points and up it to 6 shots.


Side note: I've updated the first post with the price changes for FK and the Ark.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:50 pm 
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"for those points I can take 3 plasma cannons"*

(*not including the other 575 points needed for an entire new reaver to mount them on)

that comparison is utterly useless. if we ignore the "takes up a whole bunch of weapon slots" part of the equasion, lets just argue that for the price of a 75 point plasma destructor i could take an infinite number of free plasma blastguns, for as many more shots as i could ever possibly want.

Once you take weapon slots into account:

A destructor and 2 blastguns on a reaver puts out 1 less shot than a triple plascannon reaver. but with the sole weapon surcharge, costs 25 points less. half those shots are at 15cm shorter range, but half those shots are at 15cm longer range

A destructor, plasmacannon, blastgun reaver puts out the same shots at the same price, but 4 shots are at greater range in exchange for 2 shots at shorter range.

A destructor 2 plasmacannon reaver puts out 1 more shot, costs 25 points more but has 4 shots at greater range.

So, we can see that each plasma cannon shot is worth around 25 points, with the extra range and ability to take up less weapon slots (and thus more efficiently avoid the weapon surcharge) more than making up for the extra 25 points (which the surcharge would have cost anyway)

Plasma destructors are fine the way they are.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:13 pm 
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Quote:
that comparison is utterly useless. if we ignore the "takes up a whole bunch of weapon slots" part of the equasion, lets just argue that for the price of a 75 point plasma destructor i could take an infinite number of free plasma blastguns, for as many more shots as i could ever possibly want.


It's only a useless comparison if you want it to be. Look at it like this: two plasma cannons cost 50 points. Two plasma destructors cost 150 points. For 100 points more than the plasma cannons you gain a whopping 2 shots more and +15cm range. That's the price of a sentinel detachment or most of a thunderbolt squadron or several other options. Are those two shots really worth an extra activation?

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:51 pm 
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Sometimes those two shots would be worth an extra activation
Sometimes you already have as many extra activations as you can buy and it doesnt matter if the 100 points would be better off in sentinels because you cant take them anyway.
but unless you're aiming for "most plasma shots possible" then taking multiple plasma destructors is always going to be an expensive and awkward proposition. It's the same as turbolasers vs lasblasters. you take the biggest weapon because you want more shots than you can get for your slots otherwise.

So maybe the "it only gets 2 shots for 100 points" arguement is really "the plasma cannon gets more than it deserves for 25 points" arguement.

The only time you'd want to take more than 1 plasma destructor is when you need more firepower than primarily plasma cannons/blastguns can provide. But, as I've shown, from a "shots fired vs slots used" the plasma destructor is usually a better choice for atleast most of the time.
A weapon that is a better choice most of the time is not in need of improvement, it certainly doesnt need the rather absurd level of improvement you're suggesting.

A better choice for the 2 plasma weapon slots comparison would be 1 Plasma Destructor + 1 Plasma Blastgun. it's the same number of shots as twin plasma cannon, and 25 points more. at that point, I've avoided the potential for a weapon surcharge, but if nothing else, I've paid 25 points to get 4 shots at longer range and 2 shots at shorter range. thats not a bad deal, it's not an amazing deal either, but it's pretty fair.

And thats the goal here, or atleast it should be.

If there is a problem in the points to shots+range ratio, its not with the destructor, its with the cannon (who gets the range boost as well as the shot boost at a bargain price with only the "cant be on warhounds" arguement to keep it restrained.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:35 am 
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See that's just it, you threw together a bunch of combinations and now you say you've "proved" the destructor is better yet when I point out that in a comparison of the SAME number of slots used (your original beef with my example) you wave your hand and act like it's nothing. You've proved nothing, least of all that the destructor is worth 75 points.

Even your latest combination of PBG + Destructor is lackluster at best. With 2x PC you'd never run into the surcharge since you've got an empty slot to take anything else (heck, why not a PBG, it's a different weapon!) on the reaver and two slots for other weapons on the Warlord. Since the Warhound can't even take the PC, there's no issue there either. So why on earth would I pay 25 points MORE than 2x PC to fill the same number of slots and have my range all over the board? That doesn't seem like a "better choice" to me!

In a low activation army like AMTL you always need the extra activiation. I've never seen one situation where there wasn't ample slots available for it either, but assuming there wasn't I'd much rather spend the extra 100 points on a legate and maybe vets or a CML than locking it into upgrading PC to destructors.

The goal is to make titans fun to play and feel right on the table while maintaining a fair game for an all comers list.

Quote:
If there is a problem in the points to shots+range ratio, its not with the destructor, its with the cannon (who gets the range boost as well as the shot boost at a bargain price with only the "cant be on warhounds" arguement to keep it restrained.


This statement makes it pretty clear you fundamentally don't understand what's being talked about here. If you've done or looked at the math for the performance of the plasma cannon to the GB, both statistically perform about the same over the course of the game since slow fire negates most of the advantage of MW in kills. That's fair considering both are 60cm, 25 point weapons. Psychologically though the slow fire makes the plasma feel weaker and less fun to use since you don't get to fire it each turn and, lets face it, rolling dice makes the game fun.

That you are suggesting that the problem is with the plasma cannon, and I infer, being too good is simply unthinkable in light of its performance compared to the GB and Laser Blaster.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:22 am 
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25 points to "have your range all over the board" is not a fair assessment. you get a boost in range on the majority of your shots, for an equal drop in range in a minority of shots. thats an improvement. especially when you factor in the flexibility afforded by slow fire.
You paid 25 points to have a greater range on most of your shots. With 1 destructor 1 blastgun, you will have 45cm where everything is in range, 30cm where only 2/3rds of your firepower is in range. With 2 plasma cannons, you will have 60cm where everything is in range, and then 15cm where nothing is in range.

In your thrown together combination, being able to avoid the weapon surcharge is, as i noted, a minor consideration, but not no consideration (especially given the incentive to take a dedicated plasma titan.) in your "twin plasma cannons are best" reaver, you're not able to take a third of your supposed "best" option without losing value, while my own "lacklustre" example is. it's flexibility, which is not always needed, but it's not useless.

I don't think there's a problem, I'm not the one suggesting that the weapons need changing, but if there is a problem with plasma weapon balance (and your own numbers do not suggest there is, neither does the complete lack of public outcry at their underperformance) it is because the cannon is "too good" compared to the other plasma weapons. it's definitely not because the Destructor needs to be made better and cheaper.

Slow fire is better than regular fire. Its better to have the option to shoot twice as much firepower on one turn if you need to than to not have that option. a 2shot Slow Fire weapon is without question better than a 1shot regular weapon, because the 2shot can function exactly the same as a regular weapon, or it can "bank" it's shots.

Meanwhile, Plasma titans can let rip completely on turn 1, capitalising on their sustain or advance action, then on turn 2, march into a strong position, ready to sustain/advance once again on turn3. End result is 4 "turns" worth of unpenalised firing, 5 turns worth of "advancing" and all on turn3. then, should the game even last till turn 4 (not assured, so already, Slow Firing often gets a free "turn" worth of shooting in) you can still use the maximum movement you're able to rush objectives, without degrading your firepower in the process.

you can function exactly like a regular fire weapon, or you can fire in larger bursts to capitalise on any opportunities that present themselves. that option is absolutely an improvement over the gattling blaster, and one you did not factor into your maths

As to the "range all over the place" situation, the ability to slow fire means if you find yourself in range with the destructor but out of range with the blastgun, you can "save" your blastgun shots for next turn, so a split range problem is less detrimental than having all weapons in a middle range, where in half those instances, the target would be out of range completely.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:23 am 
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My numbers say the PC is fine and the destructor is overpriced for the relative gain in capability.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:21 am 
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because your numbers ignore range, and gloss over the slot use.

My numbers, which do not, showed that taking a plasma destructor and making up the point difference with plasma blastguns (and cannons where available) was atleast a comparable, if not a better use of slots/points than taking the equivalent number of just plasma cannons. If your numbers show that plasma cannons are fine, and mine show that plasma destructors are a comparable choice with slots/pointuse and range taken into consideration, there's no strong reason to make changes to the weapons.

If you reduced the Plasma Destructor cost to 50, the price between "plasma blastgun+destructor" and "plasma cannonx2" would be the same. but one would get a range boost on 2/3rds of their firepower, at an equal reduction of the remaining 1/3rd.

If you increased the Plasma Destructor shots and reduced it's price, then the same example holds true, only now it also gets a free shot at the extended range (meaning the "range boost:penalty" ratio jumps to 5:2)
so not only does it become a better range benefit, it also becomes a better points/shots for slots used ratio

If you increase its firepower by 2, you've changed the "balanced points" to be limited to only warlords, and the plasma cannon would get 1 less shot, and the destructor would still have a "better than half my shots are at greater range" thing. Meanwhile, the equivalent attempt at reavers would cost 25 points more, get 1 shot less, and have lost the extra range shots.

If the plasma cannon is fair, and any of your suggested changes make the plasma destructor clearly and significantly better than the plasma cannon, then how can these changes possibly be making the destructor "fair" too?

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Quote:
because your numbers ignore range, and gloss over the slot use.


Really? When we do a direct comparison using the same number of slots, there is never a time the destructor is a better idea. The added 15cm range almost never comes into play on the table. This is fact. Regardless, lets look at the numbers for the plasma family:

The Plasma Cannon pays 25 points for a 33% increase in shots and a 25% increase in range over the PBG. The Plasma Destructor pays 75 points for a 50% increase in shots and a 40% increase in range over the PBG. Looking at it a different way, the Destructor pays 66% more for a 25% increase in shots and a 20% increase in range compared to the PC.

Furthermore, over the course of a typical three turn game, both fire the same number of times. If you take a single destructor or PC, the destructor hits an average of 6.72 times while the PC hits 5.04 times on average. Ignoring armor for the moment or other saves a target might have, over the course of the game you can expect the Destructor to perform approximately 25% better than the PC. The PC on the other hand can expect a performance increase of 33% over the PBG. The key point here is that there isn't even a linear increase in capability between the PC and Destructor despite the Destructors tripling in cost.

That can read that the PC is too good and needs a nerf, but this is where our comparison to other weapons in the 25 point range comes into play which I've shown earlier the PC fits with pretty well statistically. That means the issue isn't with the PC, it has to be with the Destructor.

So going back to the destructor, if we increase the shots to 6 while keeping the price at 75 points the numbers look like this: The Destuctor pays 66% more than the PC for a 50% increase in shots which translates into a 50% increase in average hits. That's ok, the weapon is one of the most expensive options you can take and it should pack a punch.

Now lets look at the second option I mentioned. The destructor cost drops to 50 points and it gains +1 shot. This gives the destructor a 30% increase in shots over the PC which is in line with the PC's increase over the PBG we noted earlier. This also increases the Destructor's average hits per game to 8.4 which is a 20% increase over the current Destructor and a 40% improvement over the PC. Cost wise you pay twice as much as a PC. This is also an ok adjustment since it brings it in line with PC in terms of cost vs. capability.

This leaves us with how much is range worth. The PBG is free at 45cm and it regularly gets mounted on one of the fastest platforms the AMTL can field. The PC bumps the range by 15cm but still only costs 25 points which is inline with other battle titan grade weapons. Frankly, that tells me range in a titan list isn't worth much once you hit 60cm. That's something I've seen borne out in games time and again. The only time it hasn't held true is with the CLP, but that's a whole different kettle of fish.

So, I don't know what you are trying to prove in the above post, but the number don't back your position in the least. Furthermore, your comparison is entirely bogus. Adding the PBG is a red herring. You can do the same combination with another PBG or a PC or even a GB or TLD: The addition of the PBG is entirely extraneous to the discussion.

Quote:
If the plasma cannon is fair, and any of your suggested changes make the plasma destructor clearly and significantly better than the plasma cannon, then how can these changes possibly be making the destructor "fair" too?


You are setting up a false comparison.

The entire point of this exercise is to see that each weapon is balanced in terms of paying a number of points that appropriately values the capabilities the weapon has. This doesn't mean all weapons perform equally. It means that a weapon that costs significantly more should perform significantly better than a cheaper weapon. In this case, the Destructor costs significantly more for an insignificant increase in capability. That's not balanced.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:33 am 
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as it currently stands,

a reaver takes 3 plasma cannons. it gets 9 shots, at 675 points
a reaver takes 1 Plasma Destructor, 1 plasma cannon, and 1 plasma blastgun. it gets 9 shots at 675. However, it gets 4 shots at better range, and 2 shots at worse range.
a reaver takes 1 Plasma Destructor, 1 plasma cannon, and 1 plasma blastgun using your proposed destructor rules. It gets 10 shots at 650 points, 5 are at better range, 2 are worse.

it gets 1 shot more, and costs less points! (or it takes 2 plascannons and a destructor, costs the same points, gets 2 shots more, still gets 4 shots at increased range, and no longer has any at reduced range)

those numbers are obvious. with your changes, for the same number of points, taking a destructor instead of a plasma cannon results in more shots and better range, at no downside. without your change, taking a destructor can, for the same points, result in an equal number of shots, with some downside but a greater percentage of shots at a corresponding upside.

Maybe thats not enough upside for the downside in your opinion, but even if you dont believe it's a better option, its clear that it is, at worst, an equal number of shots, which does not present a clear reason that the weapon needs improvement.

You claim that it is a "fact" that the 15cm range increase is irrelevant, and I reject that utterly. thats obviously not true.
but even if the range adjustments were irrelevant, the inclusion of a plasma destructor and plasma blastgun has resulted in an equal number of shots for an equal number of slots on a titan and number of points. the inclusion of your proposed rules results in 2 extra shots for the same cost

If range increments are not considered, they're equal, if they are considered, they're better. Either way, there's nothing to say that plasma destructors need to be made better than they are.

a plasma cannon gets +1 shot, and +15cm range over the blastgun. it costs 25 more points.
a plasma destructor under your proposal gets +2 shots and +15cm range over the plasma cannon for 25 points

thats not a fair escalation. even if there was a problem with the plasma destructor (and noone else seems to think there is) then this change is too potent.

but again. if you build a titan around plasma weaponry, the destructor is not shown to be worse than the cannon, and infact is better if you believe that range is important.

your propsed rule not only makes them obviously better in ranged effects, it outright gives 2 more shots than your supposed "balanced" plasma cannon, for the same points. How in any version of reality is that a fair comparison?

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:35 am 
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Go back and look at the numbers. They don't lie. Quite frankly, you keep ignoring them and I don't see the point in further discussion on the topic when you insist on exaggeration, hyperbole and sarcasm rather than actually working out the statistical probability.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:51 am 
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Updated plasma destructor as per the results of the community poll.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 5:12 pm 
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Ok, I've integrated all of the playest changes into the AdMech document. This next release is going to be a change. Instead of releasing the same PDF in both the Skitarii and AMTL threads, I'll be putting them in a single release thread.

EDIT: I've put up polls for the Ark Mechanicus and AMTL skitarii cost changes for the community to vote on as per the AMTL 3.22 thread. Since the Forge Knights is a pretty minor tweak from 3.22, and it seems most folks agree that they needed a price bump I'm going to skip adding a poll for that one.

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 Post subject: Re: Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:37 am 
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I've updated the first post with some weapons changes for skitarii based on the information we've gotten from FW recently.

See the discussion in the "lets talk about skitarii" thread.

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