Stack Bonus Comic
It's been a frustration to me for the last five years that I (and my forum gaming associates) cannot come up with a system to apply a stack bonus that actually motivates players to form stacks of 8 units that also aligns with the comic canon.
This comic celebrates this reality.
NOTE: User was awarded 25 Shmuckers for this post. -Rob
What about eight-person pike formations? A "hedgehog" or "centipede" of eight is well-shielded and armed, but moves slowly. Break your force into eight-man units marching together? A lot of battles have been lost by commanders who didn't realize how fiendishly efficient pike formations can be. The comic is cool.
The stack bonus does diminish beyond 8, and can reach 0 again (the same bonus as a 1-unit stack). If there's something in canon which says otherwise, then I'm afraid that's my mistake.
So a group of 16 unled units is obviously much more effective as two 8-unit stacks than as a single stack of 16.
With led stacks, you might think that you'd want to max them and sacrifice the stacking bonus for the broader application of the leadership bonus to more units. But you have to balance the worth of more units against the effectiveness of the warlord in combat. The stack bonus applied to the warlord can make him/her a much more powerful combat threat.
So with a stack of 8 with a level 2 warlord vs a stack of 16 with a level 2 warlord, the stacking bonus applied to the warlord in the smaller stack may give them the additional power to cut through the screen and take out their opposite number. That would leave a led stack against and unled one, and we know how that goes.
Warlords lead stacks of 8 because they like the bonus on themselves. They'd prefer to survive the battle!
With Transylvito's bats, you have 3 cases:
- The warlord wants to scout.
- The warlord wants to engage a target personally (using their own combat power)
- The warlord does not want to engage, but wants to put a lot of meat into battle
With 1, the warlord uses the bats as expendable spy drones and tries to avoid combat, because the bats are individually vulnerable.
With 2, the warlord would want to enter battle as an 8-stack, using the bats to screen the targets s/he doesn't want to engage, but hitting the desired targets personally (typically the leadership, special units, or any target supplying a bonus to the enemy stack).
3 happens when the warlord (especially a higher level one) is fighting a big battle, where there are units in the hundreds or thousands fighting on the scene. In that case, the applied leadership to the many is effectively a better multiplier than the stack bonus, and something like the logic in this comic applies. The warlords generally do not fight in this case, but try to overwhelm their opponents' unled and lower-level led stacks, plowing into an opposing army, defeating them stack by stack. Between engagements, they would call in reinforcements and re-stack.
There is a maximum possible stack size, which is some number like [unit class * unit levels] (Or maybe unit class * unit hits. I haven't fully fleshed this out down to the math, but this mechanical principle is settled). It may be that certain units have NO_MAX as their special, allowing swarmlike stacks as you saw in the battle at the pass, or it may be that the bats are so weak that that is a max stack. That's another case where I haven't settled that as a canon mechanic, but for dramatic purposes it's pretty clear in my head.
With mounted units, both units count toward the stack bonus. However! They do not count as "units past 8" toward the declining stack bonus. In this way, a warlord and 3 knights riding 4 heavy mounts would get the full stack bonus. But so would a warlord and 7 knights riding 8 mounts. Any units beyond that would begin to reduce the bonus, but that kind of firepower in one stack might already be a max stack.
Hope that clears things up. It's fine if people want to add this information to the wiki as proposed canon. ~Rob
So awesome all of you, but especially our Rob and LTDave. If i cna be cheeky and ask another question:
Do combat bonus's like stack bonus's, leadership, dance fight, e.t.c. apply to just attack, or do they boost defense or other numbers? Or is the difference in attack as important as the difference in attack and defense for avoiding death. Otherwise it seems like bonus's should turn everyone into glass cannons.
Actually i think a dedicated Q&A session on the mechanics sometime would be very popular Rob....
> Oh, and the stack bonus stays consistent throughout the engagement. No suiciding low units to raise your bonus in combat.
Assuming you can reform stacks (which is supported by the Battle of Jetstone), you enter combat in even stacks of 8 to maximise your bonus, then merge as many stacks as possible to maximise Warlord bonus. Have the best of both worlds!
Actually knowing the Stack mechanics is a real boon to the community, thanks for commenting on the humorous comic, Rob! It's really going to help out with my own big battle scene, and will really flesh out my Werewoof's special.
I'll have to tinker with ideas, but it is going to be fun to write, and hopefully will be a good read.
Wait, let's say you have a lvl 10 Jetsone warlord and 400 stabbers/pikers because that's Jetstone baby! Would it be best to have one giant stack of 400 infantry, and they all get a 0 stack bonus but they all get the massive leadership bonus?
I'm assuming that the units in the stack can still screen their warlord.
And wih: Rob already commented on reforming stacks mid-combat. If you're engaged with somebody (and therefore using your stack bonus), you can't restack unless you want to break the engagement (which grants opportunity attacks to the enemy). If you restack after beating an enemy stack, your stack bonus will reset as well as your warlord bonus.
How close does a unit have to be to the rest of the stack to be "in" the stack? I mean, can you have a stack that is made up of units on opposite sections of the walls? I'd suggest that the best solution would be that you can't screen members in the same stack, but DigDoug was screening Lord PosBrake while stacked with him when Prince Screen took out his lightsaber.
The best I can come up with is a Flanking Bonus. When 2 stacks attack 1 stack, the 2 stacks both get a flanking bonus to their rolls. The more flanks you attack from, the higher the bonus. The bonus is not such that 8 individual units are better than a single stack attacking. But when you have 50 stacks of 8 versus one mega-stack of 400, every single one of those 50 stacks engages a flank of the mega-stack, leading to an epically brutal flanking bonus that undoes any benefit of the mega-stack having leadership.