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Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2

 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:20 pm 
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Geep, HBs have long been recognised as having a problem. Check out this thread for details on the earlier discussions.

While not ruling your suggestion out completely, IMO it would be better to try to find a more acceptable option that keeps them as CC specialists. Please could you review and try some of the suggestions and comment on your findings.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:01 am 
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Geep, HBs have long been recognised as having a problem

I'm well aware of this- HBs have had an acknowledged problem for at least 7 years, and next to nothing has happened other than talk (and gaining Infiltrator, which is important but still not really enough). I think one of the biggest problems holding up rules changes is that things get over-complicated- which is why I'm suggesting something that is very simple, requires little document editing and achieves the main focus.
(Here's some discussion on Banshees being poor in 2009: http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/viewtopic.php?t=15630 )

Quote:
Check out this thread for details on the earlier discussions

I am familiar with this thread, and am well aware of a very common cry:
Quote:
Give the Banshee Exarch FS on the extra attack. As it stands now the +EA on the Exarch in a Banshee fm is very likely to never happen at all.

Quote:
I also think the real key is in the Exarch...(edit)...If that extra attack on the banshee also had first strike, I am certain Banshees would be frequent picks.

Quote:
As LoM and Ulrik say, the HB Exarch definitely ought to have FS on his MW attack, though I suspect this needs to be a unit note to avoid complications in the Exarch character definition.

The other suggestions that arise are giving HBs some form of specialised Macro-weapon attack, which I agree would help, but gets seriously bogged down in the wording and suffers the usual fate of stalling on the starting block.

Quote:
While not ruling your suggestion out completely, IMO it would be better to try to find a more acceptable option that keeps them as CC specialists.

I don't think it can be claimed that gaining FS on FF attacks will remove the 'CC specialist' role of banshees. They're still 2+ to hit in CC vs 5+ in FF, and still have weak armour- if you want FS in FF Warp Spiders are clearly better. If people are honestly concerned about this then the Banshees could be dropped to FF 6+, it'll make little difference to that fact that they're bad in FF.

Quote:
Please could you review and try some of the suggestions and comment on your findings.

These threads all tend to end with a plethora of ideas with little backing and poor clarity. If I get an opponent's permission to playtest anything, I will playtest my own suggestion, because I wouldn't be supporting it so strongly if I didn't think it was the best and most simple solution to the problem (adding Sniper also appeals to me a little, but I've found that massed Sniper hits often do less damage than massed non-Sniper hits).

Quote:
Warp spiders have FS because they appear from the warp right on front of you as if from nowhere.

I get the justification for Warp Spiders, but it's really no different to many other types of teleporting that don't grant FS. Please don't misunderstand me: Warp Spiders should definitely remain as-is with FS, but more due to the interesting niche this gives them amongst the aspects- 'fluff' justifications are secondary to a good game, mainly because that's a lot more flexible.
I think HBs should have FS as a generic rule, glossing over the fact that this then applies to FF- it's a very simple change and improves their abilities in-game. Background justification can be found later (inhuman acrobatics, speed, the banshee mask having a psychological effect beyond base contact, whatever).

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Rangers do not get sniper on any attacks in an engagement or in FF support.

Interesting- thanks for that. That makes Sniper a very poorly written/placed rule though- surely the 'Sniper' ability should be included as part of the Ranger Longrifle profile rather than FAQing the detail?


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:12 am 
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Epic is not the most precisely written set of rules, no, and alas Sniper was written as a unit ability.

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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:15 pm 
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Geep, if you have read the various thread you will be well aware that I was heavily involved in those discussions :D :{[]

As you note, all the suggestions majored on keeping HBs as CC specialists, and all ultimately struggled with the fact that they have a limited number of viable targets while players prefer generalist formations that are easier to use in the 'tournament' environment.

I tend to agree that Infiltrator was insufficient, and that other suggestions were somewhat over-complex. My personal favourite was to increase the armour to make them a bit more survivable, but that was shouted down as making them better altogether rather than just in combat (though IMHO this might have made them generally more attractive . . . ).

My concern is that adding FS to their FF combat will prove far more effective than you expect, purely because they will be able to perform clipping attacks. Indeed, this particular tactic was the prime reason that Warp Spiders lost the ability to be transported in Wave Serpents.
Consider a formation of 8x HBs with 2x Exarchs in 4x Wave Serpents. In a clipping assault they would get 10x 5+ FF attacks on perhaps 2-3 target units (avoiding any return fire), they will go into assault resolution at least 4-5 up against most formations. This means that they become assault monsters on anything in a 50cm radius, with the additional ability to consolidate 35cm away from the combat. IMO this is actually way OTT . . . :D


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:28 pm 
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Hi Everyone,

Well sorry been with RL and dealing with ISP about phone/internet issue. So limted to mobile connection and that at moment is not the greatest either... interesting discussion, I was coming back to this issue with the exarchs, since it just not about HBs... I like want the UK had done, but always thought the wording in netea list could be changed, so that the exarchs got benefits of the weapons that the aspect used.... . So something like....

Exarchs added to units of dire Avengers howling bashees, shining spears or striking scorpions have an exarch close combat weapon and the abilities of that weapon. The same wording thats at the end of the sentence could be add to the range Exarch section in the note..

The above note could be add to the autarch note section, although testing would be need.... The above is pretty straight forward and no need to change any of the aspect warriors stats..

Oh the joys of typing on same screen, anyways hoping to have the bloody isp issue resolve soon...Thanks for reading

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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:58 pm 
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Quote:
the wording in netea list could be changed, so that the exarchs got benefits of the weapons that the aspect used....

This sounds good, and would be the best solution if simple wording could be found for it IMO, but getting that wording right is tricky. After all:
Quote:
Exarchs added to units of dire Avengers howling bashees, shining spears or striking scorpions have an exarch close combat weapon and the abilities of that weapon. The same wording thats at the end of the sentence could be add to the range Exarch section in the note..

This is unclear. I'm not sure how far-reaching you intend for this to be, but it could be something along the lines of:
"Exarchs added to units of Dire Avengers, Howling Banshees, Shining Spears or Striking Scorpions gain the benefits of any 'Range: (bc)' weapons possessed by the Aspect the Exarch is attached to, with the additional rule applied to these weapons: 'EA+1' "
That's kind of awkward as it wipes out 'Exarch Close Combat Weapons' as existing at all, but it means the Exarch attack will definitely benefit from that weapon. It's also easy to adjust for the Small Arms aspects. I went with the wording of 'Range: (bc)' because I don't remember if close combat weapons are actually clearly defined anywhere in the rules (and don't feel like a rules search right now).

I had considered:
"Exarchs added to units of Dire Avengers, Howling Banshees, Shining Spears or Striking Scorpions gain an Exarch Close Combat Weapon, and the benefits of any 'Range: (bc)' weapons possessed by the Aspect the Exarch is attached to"
But that technically means the Exarch has two weapons- one with +1EA and no special rules, and one with special rules but no attack.

Other than being a bit of a long-winded rule, the issues I see arising from the above are:
Dire Avengers have no listed CC weapon, which technically means there's no weapon to add the '+1 EA' to, so no EA is gained.
Striking Scorpions have EA+1 from Mandiblasters- is it intended that the Exarch would gain these? Do two lots of EA+1 stack to EA+2? Is a single stand with 4 attacks intended?

Is it intended that Fire Dragons would have an Exarch with a MW attack? I know this fits the background, but it also clearly puts a FD Exarch a fair way above any other Exarch.

For Autarchs, it may be unbalancing for them to gain the Aspect ability, but just for completeness this would be my recommended wording for them:
"Autarchs gain the benefits of any 'Range: (bc)' or Small Arms weapons possessed by the Aspect the Autarch is attached to. Additionally, both of these weapons gain the EA+1 special rule, and the Autarch's 'Range: (bc)' weapon gains the MW special rule."

Problems from this are:
Dire Avengers, Dark Reapers, Fire Dragons, Swooping Hawks and Warp Spiders all have no listed CC weapon, so the Autarch couldn't add his +1 MW attack to anything.
Is a FS 2+ MW too good for those points on the Banshees, or is it balanced by the fragility?
How does MW stack with Lance, as would occur on Shining Spears here?
When attached to Striking Scorpions the Autarch would gain 2 MW attacks thanks to the Mandiblasters.
Fire Dragons would again have an extra MW FF attack, if that's an issue.

Quote:
Geep, if you have read the various thread you will be well aware that I was heavily involved in those discussions :D :{[]

I read your earlier contributions, and hope the head-butting emoji is in reference to the stubbornly unchanging nature of things rather than any frustration I have caused you here. I found the earlier threads interesting.

You make a good point about clipping attacks with the Banshees, though I question whether it is that much different to the clipping attacks Eldar are already quite good at- FS would help, of course, but when there's very few enemy in range the decent armour of some aspects can already soak the few hits they do receive fairly well. I personally dislike that clipping is possible (it's too much of a 'cheap win'), but that is one extremely complicated rules quirk to iron out.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:29 pm 
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Last edited by Ginger on Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:30 pm 
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With respect to Exarch and Autarch weapons, I commend the E-UK approach which provides the names of some weapons and generic terms for the rest :-
Quote:
  • Eldar Autarch
    - Autarch Ranged Weapon . . . . (15cm) . . . . . . . Small Arms, EA (+1)
    - Eldar Power Weapon . . . . . . . (base contact) . . Assault Wpns, MW, EA (+1)

  • Eldar Exarch
    - Diresword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (base contact) . . Assault Wpns, MW, EA (+1)
    - Exarch Ranged Weapon . . . . . . (15cm) . . . . . . . Small Arms, EA (+1)
    - Exarch Close Combat Weapon . . (base contact) . . Assault Wpns, EA (+1)
    - Executioner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (base contact) . . Assault Wpns, EA (+1), First Str
    - Firepike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (15cm) . . . . . . . Small Arms, MW, EA (+1)
    - Starlance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (base contact) . . Assault Wpns, EA (+1), Lance

    Dire Avengers have a Diresword,
    Swooping Hawk, Warp Spider & Dark Reapers have Exarch Ranged Weapons,
    Striking Scorpions have an Exarch Close Combat Weapon,
    Fire Dragons have a Firepike,
    Howling Banshees have an Executioner,
    Shining Spears have a Starlance.

You are correct that the Emoj was not directed at you. The underlying E:A rule mechanics have some quirky aspects that make it very difficult to represent well certain unit abilities or attributes. HBs are not alone, there have been rafts of such discussions over numerous units and weapons, where people have tried and often failed to get the desired representation whilst also remaining 'balanced' within the E:A game as a whole. That said, IMO E:A remains a very good game.

On 'Clipping attacks', these can be made by any formation in the right position. Essentially it represents an attack on a thinly defended part of a formation that other units of the formation cannot counter and where there are also potentially no other supporting formations defending that point either. This is a perfectly valid representation of real life however frustrating it appears, and one that everyone comes across at some point in games of E:A. It does not merit any changes to the rules; rather people learn to adapt their strategies and tactics accordingly.

However, the point is that First Strike makes such attacks very potent because they can remove units capable of returning fire before they can act, which is what makes Warp Spiders so powerful. The same would be true of HBs if FS were applied to their FF dice, which is unfortunately why this suggestion is really a non-starter.

Please mull over the past suggestions and try them out, or if possible suggest some other approach.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:10 am 
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Hi Everyone,

Ginger, thanks for the stats on the uk stuff mate :) ..but I have them all ready..as I said in last post, i like the idea and if rewording the note section in the Netea list is to much of pain than, I will end up going that way... :)

Geep...let try again........Yes it was not clear and i'm sorry for that..... :-[

Exarchs added to units of dire Avengers,howling bashees, shining spears or striking scorpions have an exarch close combat weapon and the abilities of that weapon on the above aspect type.

We are talking about the extra attack here, which is want the notes cover in the army list...so the Exarchs that was placed on a HB would get it's extra attack with FS..if placed on Shinning spears Would get lance on the extra attack..

So now for the ranges Exarchs..

Exarchs added to a unit of Dark Reapers, Fire Dragons, Swooping Hawks or Warp Spiders have an Exarch Ranged Weapon and abilities of that weapon on the above aspect type...

So for example Exarch Fire Dragons would gain extra MW attack...

As for the Autarch, It was a suggestion and it would need a shit load of testing...but I placed on the table anyway for the discussion....

A for the aspect issue... I'm looking at it and its a long term goal (yes i'm here for the long run)

Thanks for reading...

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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:03 am 
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How about:
Quote:
Exarchs added to units of Dire Avengers, Howling Banshees, Shining Spears or Striking Scorpions have an Exarch Close Combat Weapon and the abilities of the close combat weapons of the joined aspect type.


Quote:
Exarchs added to a unit of Dark Reapers, Fire Dragons, Swooping Hawks or Warp Spiders have an Exarch Ranged Weapon and the abilities of the small arms weapons of the joined aspect type.


Hopefully that's a little clearer? It can be hard to tell these things, since we all know the intention already. It may be a good test to find a non-Epic player and see how they interpret what has been written- and how confused they look about it :P

The above still leads to a Striking Scorpion stand with 4 attacks (assuming the mandiblasters EA+1 stacks with the Exarch Close Combat Weapon's EA+1) - is that intended?


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:46 am 
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Nope, the character effectively adds another stat line to the unit containing the relevant weapon and it's extra attack. So just +1 FF or CC attack, even for the Autarch with his two weapons ;)

Also note that the Dire Avenger Exarch is armed with a close combat weapon, the dire sword. Otherwise we could simply say that "Exarchs have a weapon that adds EA+1 with the special weapon abilities of the unit" :D


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:58 am 
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Quote:
Nope, the character effectively adds another stat line to the unit containing the relevant weapon and it's extra attack. So just +1 FF or CC attack, even for the Autarch with his two weapons ;)

I assume this in reference to the Striking Scorpions issue?

From what I understand, the goal of the wording we're creating here is to give the Exarch's EA+1 the additional special rules of the close combat or firefight weapons of the attached stand- it's more than just adding another statline to the unit (which is as it currently works). This means the Exarch's weapon would gain the First Strike of a Banshee Mask, the Lance of a Laser Lance, but also the +1 EA of a Mandiblaster- and if 2xEA+1 does not equal EA+2 that is very unclear.

Quote:
Also note that the Dire Avenger Exarch is armed with a close combat weapon, the dire sword. Otherwise we could simply say that "Exarchs have a weapon that adds EA+1 with the special weapon abilities of the unit" :D

Having +1 EA for small arms would make Dire Avenger Exarchs much more appealing, though I know the Diresword is a more traditional weapon option.
You'd also have the issue of Aspects with both a listed CC and Small Arms weapon gaining +1 EA to each (unless you could easily define 'special weapon' for each aspect).


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:57 am 
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Geep wrote:
How about:
Quote:
Exarchs added to units of Dire Avengers, Howling Banshees, Shining Spears or Striking Scorpions have an Exarch Close Combat Weapon and the abilities of the close combat weapons of the joined aspect type.


Quote:
Exarchs added to a unit of Dark Reapers, Fire Dragons, Swooping Hawks or Warp Spiders have an Exarch Ranged Weapon and the abilities of the small arms weapons of the joined aspect type.


Hopefully that's a little clearer? It can be hard to tell these things, since we all know the intention already. It may be a good test to find a non-Epic player and see how they interpret what has been written- and how confused they look about it :P

The above still leads to a Striking Scorpion stand with 4 attacks (assuming the mandiblasters EA+1 stacks with the Exarch Close Combat Weapon's EA+1) - is that intended?



Ooo, look! An interested lurker on the periphery of the Epic:A committee! (That is, myself :P)

In my humble opinion, I think even the EpicUK version is a bit difficult to read for someone who doesn't have an intuitive understanding of how Exarchs have always worked in the 40K universe. I suggest the Exarch entry have multiple lines to cover the weapon styles explicitly. For example:

Unit Stats Notes
Exarch (small arms) EA (+1), MW Fire Dragon units.
(base contact) EA(+1), FS Howling Banshee units.

(Apologies for trying to typeset a table on Tapatalk! Imagine also that the other stats are in there, as usual)

Essentially, each Aspect gets its own line in the Exarch entry (like it currently is in NetEA but with the extra bonuses included with more lines). It might take up more space but I think the extra clarity is worth it (and it also suits the summary-style format used by NetEA quite well).


Anyway, some food for thought,
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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:34 pm 
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So potentially something like this;

Exarch, Character n/a n/a n/a n/a
  • Swooping Hawk, Warp Spider & Dark Reapers . . (small arms) EA+1,
  • Striking Scorpions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (base contact) EA +1,
  • Dire Avengers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (base contact) MW, EA +1,
  • Fire Dragons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (small arms) MW, EA+1,
  • Howling Banshees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (base contact) EA +1, First Strike
  • Shining Spears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (base contact) EA +1, Lance

That's fine, but PFE200 is also looking to do something similar for the equivalent Autarch character as well - which would double the number of lines and make the whole entry very lengthy. This is why he is looking for some suitable wording to say that the character assumes the weapon abilities from the unit. There are two issues here;
- The Dire Avenger gets a CC MW weapon for a FF specialist unit
- The Autarch has both CC and FF weapons, and this confuses the notion of assuming weapon abilities . . . . ;)

I am not 'wedded' to the fluff, so am ambivalent about giving the Dire Avenger Exarch a ranged EA +1, (though perhaps not with MW ;) )
And I guess we could try specifying two different Autarch types for CC specialists and FF specialists along the lines of ;-

    Autarch, Character n/a n/a n/a n/a
    • Howling Banshees, Shining Spears, Striking Scorpions
      . . . . . . Assault weapon . . (base contact) MW EA+1, First Strike
      . . . . . . Ranged Weapon . . (small arms) EA+1
    • Swooping Hawk, Warp Spider, Dark Reapers, Fire Dragons
      . . . . . . Assault weapon . . (base contact) EA+1
      . . . . . . Ranged Weapon . . (small arms) MW EA+1
    • Dire Avenger . . . . . . needs a decision whether to keep it CC or FF . . . ;)

Note
I have deliberately given the CC Autarch First Strike which is a boost though probably in character with Eldar, and that giving all the ranged Autarchs MW is also a boost. However both of these boosts apply to one unit in the entire army that people tend to avoid risking in combat, so it is not that significant - though it still needs agreement.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:45 pm 
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TBH I think having a line for each distinct weapon, each having a note as to which aspects it belongs to, is the best (ie most clear) option. All the generic wordings I can think of have issues that will inevitably lead to misunderstanding or questions from players.

Yes the autarch would need a separate entry, but actually it is possibly an opportunity to look again at whether the autarch should have a different set of weapons for certain aspects anyway. For example giving some of the ranged aspects MW on their ranged attack rather than their close combat, but not others. For example maybe the dire avenger and scorpion autarchs will get the current statline, but the warp spider would lose the CC EA and transfer the MW to the FF EA. Whereas the banshee could have first strike macro CC EA but no FF EA.

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