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Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for some?

 Post subject: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for some?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:18 pm 
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While reading the AM proof I noticed something that seems out of kilter for the Reaver.

Specifically, that it has no critical hit which can bring down its void shields for the rest of the game.

Check me on this, but let's review

Warlord Titan: In its critical hit table, under the carapace hits there are hits that bring down that void shield generators completely or until repaired or potentially destroy them completely for the remainder of the game

Imperator titan: In its critical hits tables there is likewise the chance to take out the void shield generators.

Eldar Phantom titan: Wing hits have the potential to take out the holofield generators either temporarily or for the remainder of the game.

Ork mekboy gargant has a kustom force field generator set of crits that can destroy the force field generators.

Chaos Banelord, has carapace hits that destroy the void shield generators.
Chaos Bubonis, same
Chaos Skylok, same




But then when we look at other units... and they appear to have power/void/etc field generators that you simply cannot destroy.

Units include:
Capitol Imperialis
Leviathan
Imperial Reaver
Imperial drop ship (2 void shields)
Ork Great Gargant
Slasha Gargant
Mega Gargant

Now, I can understand that orks would be given a freebie regarding this because of the flicker effect and the fact that shields can't be brought back up, so that seems fair. the power field generators are scattered individually about the gargant so there's no single generator to destroy and bringing one down destroys its generator for the most part anyway, so yeah, it would make sense.

However, I simply cannot understand why the Reaver, capitol Imperialis, Leviathan, and the drop ship would not have crits that can take out their void shield generators if a theoretically more robust unit like the Warlord or the Imperator do.

I suggest that at the very least, Reavers should be given 1 box on the front profile and two on the side profile that read "void shield" and have a 2+ save.

Hits to these areas that result in a crit would use a similar damage table to the Warlord for Carapace hits that have the potential to knock out void shield generators.



Now, dovetailing on that subject, going back and reexamining all the titans in question that do have location hits that take out their defensive screens I noticed a couple things that seem more than a little statistically unequal in regards to points value cost of the units in question.

Specifically, the issue of the number of locations that do lead to void shield generator knockdown and their accompanying saves. It seems to me that some units are more than a little unequal given the game effect and the statistical ability to avoid the loss of defensive capacity.

Given the baseline of the Imperial warlord, we see that the Warlord has 4 locations on its various hit templates which result in carapace hits, and thus possible void shield generator knock outs. We also find that these locations have a save of 1+.

However the Imperator, while it only has 1 location which can result in void shield knock outs has a save of 4+ for that location (which given the save dice it has and the probability of a bell curve works out to about a 1.5+ save equiv. I'd think that the imperator would maybe pull a 3+ save for that area, which brings it more in line with the 1+ save seen on the warlord.

Likewise the Skylock has 5 locations that lead to loss of void shields, and given its similar point cost to its other compatriot titans (which have 4 locations that lead to loss of void shields) This seems slightly unequal. Mind you this is a minor inequality, but still one that's present.

However, the Eldar titans have some real problems in the area of defense field vulnerability. They have a whopping 6 (50% more than the warlord) hit locations that result in hits against its defensive field generators. Furthermore, each of these 6 locations only have a 3+ save (the worst save of any titan for loss of it's primary defensive screens) for those locations as compared to the 1+ of the warlord. Given the clearly greater numbers of crit locations (and thus greater hit probabilities for wing hits), and the 3 times worse save value, it's hard not to wonder why this issue hasn't been redressed.

Simply put, given the high point cost of eldar titans, the limited utility of holo fields against artillery type barrages, and the low save value (3+ for wing hits), I conclude that Eldar titans are being overtly penalized in terms of their save values for defensive shield generators. Given the terrible statistical values given them for saving for hits on the wings, holofield loss for Eldar titan units is almost a certainty if artillery is used on them.

I suggest that raising all pure "wing" saves to 1+ or 2+ would go a long way toward redressing this imbalance and giving eldar titans a more balanced survivability

But regardless, at the very least the reaver titan needs to have its crit tables modified to include the chance for its void shield generators to be knocked down. Otherwise it is granted a form of void shield invulnerability. That it's given the benefit of being able to bring void shields back up, without the chance of losing its primary defensive feature the way more robust titan units do.


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:57 am 
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The titan tables have basically been as they have since 1992. Can't see any great need to modify them now I'm afraid.

Eldar titans are significantly better protected against barrages now then they ever were and in my experience still very hard to destroy.


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:09 am 
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Just because they've not been modified does not mean that they are not in need of modification.

The point is, void shields go down due to fire, and come up on a 4+ roll during repair.

However, while on warlords and imperators you can knock them out for good in a battle, on a supposedly smaller and weaker titan (the reaver, and the warhound) you cannot knock them down for good. They potentially can keep being repaired over and over.


Think about it like this,

A warlord goes into battle and takes damage sufficient to knock down its void shields. A hit sneaks by, hits the carapace and knocks out the void shield generators for the game.

Now any hit that comes in on the titan does so without the impediment of void shields.

On the other hand we have a reaver with its 4 shields. It takes similar fire, and all 4 are down. A crit slips through and does some damage, but cannot knock out the void shields since there's no such thing to hit. Suddenly this lower point cost titan is able to regenerate 2 out of its 4 void shields during repair.

If reavers act as harassing units on the periphery of the battle, able to slip in and out of fire fights they never have to worry about losing their void shields and they can continuously regenerate them.

That sounds broken to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:25 am 
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Hello,

This is an interesting problem that made me think a bit. In principle I agree with you, it does seem odd. However I wonder if this really is a problem in practice? Lets say you strip the shields off a warhound. Would you, if you were the attacker, really go for disablng the shield generator? Would you not try to knock it out right away, aiming at legs, head or reactor? My point being that these smaller titans/preatorians are easy enough to kill that aiming at the shield generator would just be a waste of shots. The Reaver with 4 shields is problematic though, I still sort of agree with you there...


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:29 am 
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BTW, I just looked this up in WD142, first datasheets for Reavers for 2d ed: In this version the Reaver has a damage table "Carapace" in which you CAN knock the shield generator down...

Only problem is there is no hit location called "Carapace"?! The carapace can be hit though, if you get a certain result on the weapons table :o This is clearly a mistake (and a mistake thats survived since 1991!) and I now agree w you... However I believe this has been thought through (the flashback result on the weapons damage table now only flashes back on reactor or head, and the carapace is out completely - i e it has been noticed before). One good thing about the current version is that its simpler now (Titan sheets are somewhat simpler all the way now, which is very good).

BTW, sorry about these confused posts... :-\


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:52 am 
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I thought when the reactor is damaged, all void shields were shut down until reactor is repaired. I did not remember where this idea came from ?


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:19 pm 
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I see your point, but the big question is if it actually makes a difference in game terms: Is that Reaver really that much tougher to take down compared to it's point cost? Although in principle your right, I'm leaning towards the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"-reasoning. After all the Reaver has been played like this throughout 2nd ed. Epic /NetEpics lifetime, and if it hasn't been percieved as a problem untill now, I think some serious number crunching is needed to warrant any changes.

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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:21 pm 
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Brother-Captain Parzval wrote:
BTW, I just looked this up in WD142, first datasheets for Reavers for 2d ed: In this version the Reaver has a damage table "Carapace" in which you CAN knock the shield generator down...

Only problem is there is no hit location called "Carapace"?! The carapace can be hit though, if you get a certain result on the weapons table :o This is clearly a mistake (and a mistake thats survived since 1991!) and I now agree w you...


Thanks for the lookup. So at the very least we now know that they intended the reaver to have the same sort of crit table (and thus vulnerability to void shield generator hits) as other titans. Good.

Now then, I really do understand the points that have been brought up that this is something that has largely gone without comment since 1991. But the point is that it's both a physical inconsistency and a rules issue that I suggest is ripe for exploitation. That a specific class of titan can literally never lose it's capacity to keep bringing up void shields just seems wrong to me.

Now, why hasn't this ever become an issue? Quite simply, in my opinion, because most epic games do not tend to last out beyond 3 to 7 game turns. This is an issue that we'd only see arise in games that hover in the 4+ turn category due to regeneration. However it also may have not been noticed for a simpler reason: Noticing something is missing is harder than noticing something that is there.

How many games have been swayed because a titan that should have gone down, didn't, because a regenerated void shield that should never have been there in the first place was there to turn a shot? There's really no way to tell. But noticing that a titan should have gone down... that's tough to do.

But there's also another reason for concern that I noticed last night. Specifically that of the inherent risk that void shields carry is something the reaver and the other units I mentioned are immune to.
To review:
As we all know, Void shields are capable of being regenerated 50% of the time (4+). So a warlord, on any give turn can potentially regenerate 3 void shields if all are knocked down. A powerful defense indeed when compared to orks who have flickering shields and who simply cannot regenerate downed shields.
As such, GW determined a long while back that void shields should be a two edged sword. That they should be a powerful defense but also carry some risk with their use to keep them from being unbalanced.
Thus we need to look at the risks that these shields carry with their use. To whit: their critical hit table.

1-2: The void shield generators are shut down and the shields may not be used until repaired.
3-4: The Titan’s void shield generators are shut down and the shields may not be used any further in the game.
5: The shields are in danger of overloading and you must shut them down before they explode. Roll a D6. On 5-6 the shields are safely shut down, on 1-4 they explode as 6 (below):
6: The Titan’s void shields overload and explode. The Titan is destroyed but remains standing. Any models within 2D6 cm are automatically hit at 0 TSM.

So we have a 16 2/3 % chance of a crit on the void shield generator having the whole thing go critical and explode, and a 16 2/3% chance of them entering a potentially lethal situation (66% of the time)
Or more accurately, there's approximately a 28%(based on (16.66+(16.66*.6666)) chance that a hit on the void shield generator will in fact destroy the titan outright.

Mind, Imperators use a slightly different table. The point being is that this risk is part in parcel with the benefits that void shields carry. That the Reaver does not experience this risk, as well as having the ability to regenerate void shields endlessly, seems to create a potentially very exploitable situation especially from a statistical standpoint.

Now, consider that a warlord is 500 points vs the 300 of a reaver. Then consider a battle with 5 reavers in action vs that same battle with 3 warlords. (equal point value of 1500 points) Those 5 reavers will never experience lost shields, will be able to continually regenerate shields at all times, AND will never run the risk of a critical carapace hit destroying them outright 28% of the time that the void shields are hit. Is this a situation that sounds broken to you? If so, then I suggest that it should be corrected.


Last edited by Ifurita on Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:28 pm 
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If you have some spare time, why not creating new titans datasheets for warhounds/reavers/warlords ?

Dwarf Supreme started working on titan tables with D10 damages results. I don't know the status of this project.


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:50 pm 
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I'll be happy to.

Though I think sticking to the d6 standard to keep things simpler and standardized would be more in keeping with the expected format.


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:20 pm 
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scream wrote:
If you have some spare time, why not creating new titans datasheets for warhounds/reavers/warlords ?

Dwarf Supreme started working on titan tables with D10 damages results. I don't know the status of this project.


Scream is correct; I have been working on d10 based damage tables. I finished the tables for Imperial Titans, but my computer crashed and I lost my digital copy. I will re-type them on my computer and post them.

I've known for a long time that there is no carapace hit location for the Reaver (or Warhound). I think I accounted for this on my tables so that when a weapon is blown off and causes a flashback, that the carapace can possibly damaged.

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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:46 pm 
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Well then, I'll see what I can do to type up something in the interim and we'll see which damage tables show the most promise.

To be honest, I'm thinking that instead of "weapon" on the main body hit charts that I'll go with "hardpoint" and a hardpoint hit will go 50% of the time to a weapon hit table , or 50% to a carapace hit table. If a weapon no longer exists in that location, the hit will instead automatically go to the carapace.

Seems the easiest method for both the warhound and the reaver since all three weapons are in those regions.


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:18 pm 
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Warmaster Nice wrote:
I see your point, but the big question is if it actually makes a difference in game terms: Is that Reaver really that much tougher to take down compared to it's point cost? Although in principle your right, I'm leaning towards the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"-reasoning. After all the Reaver has been played like this throughout 2nd ed. Epic /NetEpics lifetime, and if it hasn't been percieved as a problem untill now, I think some serious number crunching is needed to warrant any changes.


And here speaks the voice of reason. Back when it was a flat 500 for a Reaver with any loadout you liked and a flat 900 for a Warlord it was pretty clear the Reaver was a great deal, but now days the Warlord is far better value and the Reaver is a bit of an ugly cousin. If it has a slight advantage in that you can't knock out it's void shield generator then cool, bully for it. As BCP pointed out, who cares? I drop the shields of a Reaver I'm aiming for the head man!

Not broke, don't need fixing.


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:28 pm 
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But the question is; IS it broken or not? I contest that it is...for longer games. It both removes the risk that comes with using void shields (That if they're damaged they can either stop working or even potentially explode) and allows the units the potential to regenerate shields even if baddly damaged because it can NEVER lose the ability to project void shields.

And as I pointed out, we can't tell if it has had an effect, because when you've never played it with that feature in play (and remember in 1991 the INTENT was that it should have the same vulnerability as the warlord re:voidshields) you cannot measure the efficacy of the unit without vs the same unit with.

zap123 wrote:
And here speaks the voice of reason. Back when it was a flat 500 for a Reaver with any loadout you liked and a flat 900 for a Warlord it was pretty clear the Reaver was a great deal, but now days the Warlord is far better value and the Reaver is a bit of an ugly cousin. If it has a slight advantage in that you can't knock out it's void shield generator then cool, bully for it. As BCP pointed out, who cares? I drop the shields of a Reaver I'm aiming for the head man!

since weapons are now point based for both, it's a wash, so the base value remains an excellent measure.
500/900 = .5555555
300/500 = .6
A difference of 4.5% or more accurately 22 points of buy in netepic.
The difference is not as drastic as you would seem to be claiming between SM2 and NE.

As for "who cares", well, I for one do. That noone has pointed out this discrepancy till now is not a valid argument for not reviewing the issue. If you could justify why the reaver is entitled to endless void shield regen, then that would be.

Quote:
Not broke, don't need fixing.
[/quote]
We appear to have very different definitions of "not broke".


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 Post subject: Re: Titan issue: Why no void shield (or equiv) crits for som
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Ifurita wrote:
But the question is; IS it broken or not? I contest that it is...for longer games. It both removes the risk that comes with using void shields (That if they're damaged they can either stop working or even potentially explode) and allows the units the potential to regenerate shields even if baddly damaged because it can NEVER lose the ability to project void shields.

And as I pointed out, we can't tell if it has had an effect, because when you've never played it with that feature in play (and remember in 1991 the INTENT was that it should have the same vulnerability as the warlord re:voidshields) you cannot measure the efficacy of the unit without vs the same unit with.

zap123 wrote:
And here speaks the voice of reason. Back when it was a flat 500 for a Reaver with any loadout you liked and a flat 900 for a Warlord it was pretty clear the Reaver was a great deal, but now days the Warlord is far better value and the Reaver is a bit of an ugly cousin. If it has a slight advantage in that you can't knock out it's void shield generator then cool, bully for it. As BCP pointed out, who cares? I drop the shields of a Reaver I'm aiming for the head man!

since weapons are now point based for both, it's a wash, so the base value remains an excellent measure.
500/900 = .5555555
300/500 = .6
A difference of 4.5% or more accurately 22 points of buy in netepic.
The difference is not as drastic as you would seem to be claiming between SM2 and NE.

As for "who cares", well, I for one do. That noone has pointed out this discrepancy till now is not a valid argument for not reviewing the issue. If you could justify why the reaver is entitled to endless void shield regen, then that would be.

Quote:
Not broke, don't need fixing.

We appear to have very different definitions of "not broke".[/quote]

The question also has to do with tactics: Do you focus a lot of firepower on a titan in one or two turns in order to take it down, or do you take a few pot shots and spread your firepower throughout the playing field. Although atmittedly it's been a few years, but my usual tactic when I've decided to take down a titan is to try and focus as much firepower on that single target as possible. Strip the shields and target critical areas such as heads or reactors with heavier weaponry. The titan's ability to regenerate shields becomes pretty insignificant if you can inflict crippeling damage to it in a single turn. Warlords and Imperators are tougher to take down even without shields, so to me it makes more sense that you'd be able to target the shield generator specifically. My point is just, that if I really want to take out a reaver or a warhound in a single turn and I got the right weapons within range, it is not really a problem. It doesn't matter if the titan is able to raise shields next turn, because it will either be dead or severely crippeled.
Using the points value alone is also a bit tricky: Other factors such as speed, armor etc, and even the layout of hit locations (with regards to scattering shots) also has some bearing on the effectiveness of a titan, and not just the ability to raise shields.

Would Warlords and Imperators be better if you weren't able to take out the shield generators? Sure. But these units are tougher to begin with even without shields. a Reaver and a Warhound is still relatively fragile once those shields are out, and can be taken out in a single turn if you are determined to do so. This is somewhat harder to do with an Imperator or a Warlord.

Another way of arguing: If the Reaver is percieved as too good for it's points because you can't take out the shields, would it be better not to change the crit tables, but to solve it with a simple raise in points value?

My point is just: Is the change mainly for the sake of consistency, or because the reaver gains some unfair advantage that isn't reflected in it's points value?

If it is the latter, then yes: Some change is definitely needed. If not: Well, I know it sounds a bit conservative, but change for the sake of change tends to lead to confusion. Epic /NEtepic has been around for almost 20 years now. NetEpic brought some significant changes, and there's been so many years to iron out glitches. Even the changes from NEtEpic 4 to 5 has a lot of people confused about how rules work, and which rules to use etc. etc. Fixes to gamebreaking problems are always needed, but changes just for the sake of change, should be handeled with some caution IMO. :)

Sorry if it comes across a bit negative. An addition of void shield hit locations to DS' updated optional titan rules sounds like fun, but the less rewrites to the core rules the better IMO. If it got really ugly, people could then begin to argue that all Iimplerial titan tables needed a rewrite with the addition of hit effects to stuff such as gyros, etc, just because the Imperator has them. It is just a matter of setting a bar for what kind of inconsistancies actually pose a significant balance problem to warrant a change. :)

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