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Death Guard v0.4

 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Glad to have you back and inspired!

Knee jerk reaction would be that an ability like this that fundamentally impacts other army's abilities to score obj in an obj bases game is exceedingly strong. That said, it's just my impression and it would need to be heavily play tested.

I agree the +1 to Marshall isn't a super strong buff, especially in comparison to losing the ability to march or drop. Other things like the almost universal fearless and Invulnerable saves help to balance out the list and still have a very Death Guardy feel. Admittedly it does create expensive formations which limit the army's activation potential. This is the main issue I've ran into: having enough unbroken presence in the late game to maneuver onto the objectives and push your opponent off. Points wise, they're usually ahead, but the smaller amount of activations can lead to them getting focused and broken from BMs, even if they're not actually killed.

I'm sure other places might have some other results, but I think it's good to note that two different DG lists played by two different players won the two largest tournaments here in the US Northeast/Mid-Atlantic in 2017, NEAT in June and Fall In in November.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:42 am 
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Yes, it would definitely need heavy testing, even with being restricted to two units. Can anyone think of a less powerful rule along the same lines?

And for competitiveness I sometimes forget the advantages this has over the EpicUK list*, which to the best of my knowledge has never won a tournament (I managed third once and second once) and is very definitely mid- to low-tier with only a 25% win rate: http://epic-uk.co.uk/ukepicachampionship/racevrace.php Although it's a small enough sample size that taking my 20 tournament games out drops it to a measly 17% win rate. :(


*Chaos Spawn, solo Plague Towers plus a more controllable crit as transports, garrisoning AA, non-nerfed Blight Drones, Chosen etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:20 pm 
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What about something along the lines of Plague Marine Retinues gaining an ability like ATSKNF, but only when holding or contesting an objective? This would make them harder to move off objectives, but without impacting your opponent's ability to contest and play objectives.

I feel this still might be a bit too fiddly rules wise to be honest, but it's a step back from a rule that limits the other player at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Aye, that's a good example of looking at it from another direction.

I'll be playing a test game tonight with Chosen at 175pt with no character.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:04 am 
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The Chosen at 175pt with no Lord worked out pretty well - enough points were saved to give them Rhinos (although in this particular game the Rhinos played no part whatsoever in the game, apart from getting shot) but with no shooting attacks bar formation upgrades they're mostly restricted to blocking movement and engaging - and having no MW EA from the character is a surprisingly big reduction in engagement ability.

Thinking further about 'we don't give ground' ideas, your ATSKNF suggestion led to one that fits in very well with the +1 to Marshal - a Plague Marine Retinue on an objective counts as having an additional Leader. This reinforces to tendency to get to an objective and Marshal, representing the PMs refusing to give up ground that they've taken. Plus it's using an existing ability which is always a bonus.


Next steps:
I'll do a 0.5.0 list with the following changes:
  • Plague Marine Chosen reduced to 175pt and with the Lord removed.
  • 'Leader while on objectives' added to Implacable Advance, but only affecting Plague Marine Retinues and possibly Terminators. Chosen would be too busy with scouting duties.
  • Chaos Spawn bumped up to 30pt.
  • Possible removal of Nurgle's Rot, as I keep forgetting to apply it. :wah
  • Yet more Beast of Nurgle variants, as I'm still not happy with them. :(
  • Purely for fun I might add some Epic versions of the new 40k stuff in a separate section at the end.

I'm considering another look at Terminators split into two variants, but we'll see...

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:41 am 
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IJW Wartrader wrote:
The Chosen at 175pt with no Lord worked out pretty well - enough points were saved to give them Rhinos (although in this particular game the Rhinos played no part whatsoever in the game, apart from getting shot) but with no shooting attacks bar formation upgrades they're mostly restricted to blocking movement and engaging - and having no MW EA from the character is a surprisingly big reduction in engagement ability.


I've toyed with Chosen, but never found the space for them. At 175 they may be a bit more appealing, but they're so close to fighting with Preds and Hellbringers in the same pt range. There's definitely a place for scouts to keep teleporters off plague towers and Contagion engines.

IJW Wartrader wrote:
Thinking further about 'we don't give ground' ideas, your ATSKNF suggestion led to one that fits in very well with the +1 to Marshal - a Plague Marine Retinue on an objective counts as having an additional Leader. This reinforces to tendency to get to an objective and Marshal, representing the PMs refusing to give up ground that they've taken. Plus it's using an existing ability which is always a bonus.


Just to make sure I understand right, it'd offer the removal of an extra BM when they rally?

IJW Wartrader wrote:
I'll do a 0.5.0 list with the following changes:
  • Plague Marine Chosen reduced to 175pt and with the Lord removed.
  • 'Leader while on objectives' added to Implacable Advance, but only affecting Plague Marine Retinues and possibly Terminators. Chosen would be too busy with scouting duties.
  • Chaos Spawn bumped up to 30pt.
  • Possible removal of Nurgle's Rot, as I keep forgetting to apply it. :wah
  • Yet more Beast of Nurgle variants, as I'm still not happy with them. :(
  • Purely for fun I might add some Epic versions of the new 40k stuff in a separate section at the end.

I'm considering another look at Terminators split into two variants, but we'll see...


The chaos spawn increase seems good. That's a nice little addition to a formation. At 30pts, it seems like it'll require intention to add them instead of filling up an extra 25 pts. Only downside is it may lead to the showing up less in lists?

I don't mind Nurgle's Rot. I won't pay for the upgrade, but it's fun on the termies. Opponents have felt that it's fluffy but not game breaking. I do forget it sometimes too.

The biggest hurdle for Beasts right now for me is the two points for one. I'd rather have the two plague bearers with a 3+ at that point.

I originally liked the two termie forms for the flavor, but for working towards approval, I think streamlining the list down to one could be a better long term move. Could be fun to add them with the fluff appendix though or form for special missions.

Glad to have you back!

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:14 am 
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gunslinger007 wrote:
I've toyed with Chosen, but never found the space for them. At 175 they may be a bit more appealing, but they're so close to fighting with Preds and Hellbringers in the same pt range. There's definitely a place for scouts to keep teleporters off plague towers and Contagion engines.

Oddly enough I tend to end up using them to block the midfield instead, but I've not been facing teleporters much.

gunslinger007 wrote:
Just to make sure I understand right, it'd offer the removal of an extra BM when they rally?

Exactly. So definitely a nice boost when it happens, but it's not affecting how the opponent's army works and it's not massively powerful.

gunslinger007 wrote:
The chaos spawn increase seems good. That's a nice little addition to a formation. At 30pts, it seems like it'll require intention to add them instead of filling up an extra 25 pts. Only downside is it may lead to the showing up less in lists?

I don't mind Nurgle's Rot. I won't pay for the upgrade, but it's fun on the termies. Opponents have felt that it's fluffy but not game breaking. I do forget it sometimes too.

The biggest hurdle for Beasts right now for me is the two points for one. I'd rather have the two plague bearers with a 3+ at that point.

I originally liked the two termie forms for the flavor, but for working towards approval, I think streamlining the list down to one could be a better long term move. Could be fun to add them with the fluff appendix though or form for special missions.

Glad to have you back!

The Spawn points increase is one I've been talking about for a while as they're so useful for their points.

I think Nurgle's Rot will stay in for now, after all this is the NetEA list so can afford to have more fiddly bits. :)

Agreed on the Beasts. More on ideas once I've run some stats on different options, but taking them back to 1 Summoning Point is highly likely.

Assault Terminators seem to be a problem across all lists. Personally I don't like making them CC2+ in return for losing FF and would rather see both CC rolls have MW at CC3+ or even CC4+ if that makes them more balanced. I need to check the NetAU Heresy list again, I think that gave Deathshrouds EA+2 but no MW but that actually makes them more powerful against a lot of targets.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:13 pm 
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Wow, its been a while since we played - trying to remember what this list is all about ! :-)

As you say, this list does seem a little less hamstrung than the UK version - the blight drones alone are worth their weight in gold if nothing else. But i can live with the "Leader on objectives rule" - sounds fluffy and not too powerful.

With Nurgles rot, is it worth adding to a specific unit or two rather than an upgrade which is easily forgotten? I do the same with spirit stones as i sometimes take them and sometimes don't. Maybe the grave wardens?

Also EA+2 on the terminators without MW sounds interesting for the terminators - scything down hoards of chaff - which gives them a nice niche (not sure how it relates to 40k stats though?)

Chosen are a funny one - have you tried running them with summoned daemons? In Black L they can be a nasty surprise ready to ambush from a hidden location - with the resulting outnumbering and suchlike they can be surprisingly effective. Perhaps without flamers/infiltrating beasts the effective range is low and therefore not as powerful, but boosted up with plaguebearers and perhaps a spawn for fearless do they become a cheep+strong ground holder or speed hump? BTW - might be worth including a stat line for chosen to avoid confusion?

As for the new 40k units - is it worth just putting both names in for the units - eg. Contagion Engine/Plague Burst, Zombies/Pox Walkers (or is that just confusing?) I was also wondering if any of the new characters are worth including?

I think we need to look at the plugue tower spam again. The game we tried was a disaster for my turn 1 activation rolls iirc, but they did seem pretty powerful...

Looking forward to getting some games in played in the new year!


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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:57 pm 
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Nurgle's Rot - it's built-in to the Terminators and the Daemon Prince, and was then added as an upgrade for some other units. One idea I had is to take some old (Epic 40k?) triple-circle Nurgle markers and place them next to every formation that has Nurgle's Rot, a bit like a Blast Marker.

Terminators - I need to dig out my Epic spreadsheet again and see how EA+2 worked out compared to EA+1, MW. It was definitely vicious against Orks etc.

Chosen - I actually had them with Daemonic Pact in this game, but the way the game went the Daemons weren't needed or weren't available when the Chosen assaulted. And yes, the next QRS will include a statline for Chosen.

New 40k characters/individual units - not sure, but definitely worth a look, even if it's just in using their names for some of the existing upgrade characters.

Plague Tower spam - yes, definitely needs testing again...

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:38 pm 
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P.S.

Blip wrote:
Also EA+2 on the terminators without MW sounds interesting for the terminators - scything down hoards of chaff - which gives them a nice niche (not sure how it relates to 40k stats though?)


For reference, 40k Deathshrouds have Manreapers which hit as hard as a Powerfist used by a Marine, but without the -1 to hit, plus the Deathshrouds have 3 Attacks base (4 for the champion). Three of them are likely to rip a Rhino to pieces in a single CC phase and that's with vehicles being more robust in 8th edition. They also have pretty nasty handflamer-type weapons, but with 6" range that would be rolled into the CC ability in Epic, with not even a FF value. So in 40k they're substantially nastier in CC than standard Terminators, arguably nastier even than Assault Terminators or CC-tooled Wolf Guard Terminators.

So EA+1 with MW on the unit itself (so 2xCC3+ MW) or EA+2 non-MW could both work in different ways, by the time we tone things down into Epic style. Even EA+2 MW could be justified for a 'fluff games only' version.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:42 pm 
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Oops! Missed it on the terminators by default - pdfs on a phone is not so good.

I actually like the idea of the markers just being dished out to formations near (within 15cm?) of rotten units at the end of the turn - might make it easier to remember too. Perhaps they are like standard BMs or perhaps just act as BMs for assaults?

The obvious unit to have this would be zombies/pox walkers - but they are already good enough! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:52 pm 
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I meant on the DG formations with the ability. :)

I'm pretty sure that's how Nurgle's Rot worked in Titan Legions days and that's what the markers I've got are from, but it's a bit fiddly.

Ooh, some more blue-sky thinking - go back to individual units having Nurgle's Rot instead of formations. Any enemy formation within their ZoC has a Nurgle's Rot marker while in ZoC, which counts as a Blast Marker for all purposes. Which would be very thematic (and could be used for Beasts of Nurgle again), but self-prepping assaults might be a little bit too much...

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:43 am 
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Assigning the ability to individual units and impacting individuals is going to be getting too fiddly and detailed for the abstract scaleof Epic. Formations impacting formations during an engagement avoids extra measuring for all stands.

CC chaos terminators are going to be a tough sell. 400 pts for a unit that breaks at 4 BMs and can't defend against FF is gonna see a lot of shelf time. It's almost a one and done since it'll be next to impossible to get them in CC again since they'll be without a transport. The limited range termies in play now seem to work well. They hit hard in CC, can FF well, and that lets them apply the pressure off a teleport . The fearless trait is what makes them effective honestly, so they cant be chipped away by BMs.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:27 am 
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It would be impacting formations rather than individuals, but point taken. Although technically you always need to measure ZoCs during the charge move anyway, to find out which enemy unit you have to contact - but very few people play that to the letter of the rule...

As far as CC DG Terminators go, it would be a split formation like before, so you'd start with four 'normal' stands and swap out up to two of them for Deathshrouds.

For feedback purposes here's a ZoC-based variant that doesn't auto-prep assaults and gives a bonus for having multiple Nurgle's Rot units present:

Quote:
Nurgle's Rot ZoC Variant
Nurgle's Rot is a pestilential disease from the warp. It affects enemy formations assaulting or assaulted by units with Nurgle's Rot.

After working out the result of the assault (1.12.7) but before making fall back or consolidation moves, check how many of your units with Nurgle's Rot have the enemy formation in their ZoC. This is the number of additional Blast markers or 'extra hits' that the enemy formation will suffer.

Nurgle's Rot does not affect enemy formations belonging to the Chaos faction, Nurgle.


Notes - the following units would have Nurgle's Rot: Daemon Prince, Lord of Pestilence/supreme commander, Deathshroud Terminators, Beasts of Nurgle and possibly a new upgrade character. This fixes a bunch of design issues with the Beasts, as they can be reduced in profile but still have a reason to summon multiples.

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 Post subject: Re: Death Guard v0.4
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:36 pm 
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My immediate feedback on that:

    1. Technically by the rules, units that are in base to base contact lose their Zone of Control for the duration of the combat. I see what you're going for but your rule doesn't work as you'd expect.

    2. Checking unit-by-unit for ZoC and counting up additional hits is very fiddly and I don't think it's the right direction for this.

I think Nurgle's Rot as written now is very clear in intention and execution. If you want to increase the effectiveness, simply make it 1D3 or 1D3+1 extra hits/blast markers. This adds a little "chaotic" variability in addition to extra punch.


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