The Arkentool War OOC Thread - Signups, Suggestions, etc.

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Re: Any interest in a GMd Campaign-Style Battle for ____ game?

Postby tigerusthegreat » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:34 am

Levels for our knights/warlords?
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Re: Any interest in a GMd Campaign-Style Battle for ____ gam

Postby Water_Bear » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:59 pm

Hey, any room for one more? I've downloaded the rules and can have an army generated ASAP.

Also, would it be possible to play as Natural Allies/Barbarian Mercs 'attached' to one or more factions? (I know I'm pushing my luck here, but that dynamic has always fascinated me in the comics)

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Re: Any interest in a GMd Campaign-Style Battle for ____ gam

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:34 pm

Sure - our first scenario is already underway here, but we can easily add another player!

Playing as Natural Allies/Barbarian Mercs will definitely be fine later. We're just in the prologue to the campaign right now, so everyone is rather boxed in - they can't create their own units or their factions yet. When we hit the main campaign, things will open up and you can do almost whatever you want.

I'll PM you with your role in the prologue.
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Re: Any interest in a GMd Campaign-Style Battle for ____ gam

Postby Water_Bear » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:30 pm

Awesome, I noticed the game but wasn't sure if you could slot a newbie in. Will definitely be watching for that PM. :)

BTW, does Cameria have a 'theme' with regards to naming? (Vampires/Mafia = Translvitto, Rocks = Jetstone, etc) I haven't had time to really pour over the data from the campaign because the different colored fonts hurt my eyes.
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Re: Any interest in a GMd Campaign-Style Battle for ____ gam

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:35 pm

Er... so far, each of the players seems to have been using his/her (do we have any female players?) own naming conventions. I just used fairly generic names for the cities - three of them are all Newcastle in varying languages. :P

So just name things however you like.
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Re: Any interest in a GMd Campaign-Style Battle for ____ gam

Postby Stryke » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:53 pm

Seeing as Watermonkey mentioned the possibility of us being able to design our own units soon I thought I had better get these suggestions in now will there’s still time. This is a follow up on my suggestion that the specials available to units be restricted, this is an attempt to stop people designing units that have more specials than stats. i.e. I’m attempting to remove “vestigial” specials as BLAND puts it.


So running through them as they appear in the rules doc;

Cargo: nothing in particular that I’d change about this, perhaps make the gradient on the cost/cargo a little less steep.

Scout: Scout units may only take the following specials. Commander and Ranged
Commander: May be applied to any unit other than caster

Ranged: May be applied to any unit other than caster


Watch out, more to follow.
Siege: Units with siege may only take the following specials Cargo and Commander

Dance-fighting: Units with Dance-fighting may only take the following specials Commander

Builder: Units with builder may only take the following specials Commander

Sapper: Units with sapper may only take the following specials Commander
Mancers

Any units who take a mancer special may not take any other special unless stated in the mancy description. Units may only take one mancy special.

Dirtamancer: Units with builder or sapper may replace it with dirtamancer and benefit from both specials

Foolamancer: Units with foolamancy may take the ranged special, however this only allows the foolamancer to cast on units outside of its stack and does not contribute to a stacks ranged damage. A foolamancer can take the ranged special twice to allow it to contribute to a stacks ranged damage.

Shockamancer: Units with shockmancer may take the range special

Healomancer: Units with healomancer make take the ranged special, however this only allows the
healomancer to cast on units outside of its stack and does not contribute to a stacks ranged damage.

Promotions
Knight: Unit receives a bonus to their base attack and move values.
Heavies: Unit receives a bonus to their base hits and defence values.
Commander: Unit receives the commander special. (mucho expenseevo)
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Re: The Arkentool War OOC Thread - Signups, Suggestions, etc

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:58 am

What does everyone think about Stryke's more restrictive specials? I'm inclined to tend towards more freedom: In other games using these rules, no one's created a mega-doom unit with a cwapload of specials. Furthermore, I doubt that would even make sense, since the cost of the unit becomes increasingly composed of the cost of the specials, and losing the unit in battle becomes correspondingly more painful.

That said, specials need work in terms of clarifying what they do. (suppose a melee Foolamancer is stacked with a ranged stack - can it cast a veil as the stack uses its ranged attack?) I'll detail my proposal later in this post.

Also, the -mancies need serious work. -glares at Foolamancy- Despite its cost as the most expensive special, Foolamancy is still far too overpowered. In a game with foolamancers, everything quickly devolves into a game of Battleship, where the first team to find the other wins. (See the Battle of Two Cities game for an example - BLAND's team has now scored two total victories by finding my team first.)

Foolamancy's defensive bonus (+1 to defense) is very much unbalanced compared to its offensive bonus (impunity unless veil breaks - unless there's 70-something units in the hex, much more than a single point of defense!)

I should note that Shockamancy in the Two Cities game was also overpowered (one of my Field Guns could stun an entire enemy stack), but it's since been nerfed and doesn't seem too powerful.

That gives us two key issues with specials:
1) clarifying stacking specials and 2) fixing the mancies (also, prepping the groundwork for full casters).

To address problem 1, I think we should classify each special's effects as offensive, defensive, or intrinsic.

Offensive specials would be Ranged, shockamancy, Siege: For a stack to count as "ranged" for an attack, all units that contribute to attack calculations would need to be ranged.

Defensive specials would include Foolamancy, Healomancy: If used, those units would contribute to defense calculations (e.g. a 0 def foolamancer would depress the avg def of his stack).

The Dirtamancy specials, dance-fighting, leadership, and everything else would be intrinsic specials that apply by virtue of the unit being in the stack.

To address problem 2, I think we need to differentiate between what a true caster can do and what a "primitive" caster with Natural -Mancy can do.

Healomancy seems adequately limited - it's at most a unit's hits, and attack is limited as well.

Dirtamancy, both in terms of sapping and building, also seems adequately limited by the practical limits on units' hits and attack stats - a unit that can build a city-size fortification would be correspondingly expensive. (probably 10k+)

Shockamancy, though previously unbalanced, seems to be rather better now. It's also very powerful - which means a true Shockamancer would have to be very powerful as well, but that seems ok.

Foolamancy again is a problem. A master-class Foolamancer is capable of disguising his stack as something else (of similar size/shape) or of displacing his troops - but not making his stack invisible as it annihilates an enemy stack. Even in the capture of Ossomer, Jack needed Archon suppressing fire to disable the warlords guarding Ossomer.

Foolamancy as it stands now is really on the order of a Master-class true Foolamancer, not a primitive Natural Foolamancer like an Archon. I would therefore propose that we nerf Natural Foolamancy when attacking, either by raising the chance of the veil breaking or changing it to a defense bonus. That would leave us room to make a distinct and powerful true Foolamancer an option.
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Re: The Arkentool War OOC Thread - Signups, Suggestions, etc

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:30 pm

WaterMonkey314 wrote:(suppose a melee Foolamancer is stacked with a ranged stack - can it cast a veil as the stack uses its ranged attack?)


The Battle for Mine Island had this exact problem, as you know, and I resolved that as a "no". But that may change in future versions.

WaterMonkey314 wrote:Despite its cost as the most expensive special, Foolamancy is still far too overpowered.


Indeed. I notice (after a mere scan of your post, must admit), that your biggest beef is with Foolamancy. The "deep" reason for it is that, much as I try to balance specials between themselves and against the cost of an in some sense equivalent set of basic attributes, this is NOT possible for stack-dependent specials.

These are:

- Leadership,
- Builder,
- and Foolamancy.

What this means is that the "value" of these specials is highly dependent on the stack that contains a unit with these specials. A Commander of a stack of Gobwins won't increase damage by much; however, that same one Commander may add a whoppin' amount when leading Dwagons.

Similarly, the +1Defense bonus offered to units in a Fort means a whole other thing when those units are already high-defense.

Foolamancy ... you already know.

However, ->

Leadership, under the current combat formula, is weak enough that it's not really a candidate for "overpowered". There's probably a complicated set of economic reasons why it's not abused more, will think of such later.

Builder requires a unit with high-ish Hits to actually be something credible, and since Hits are expensive, again, in practice it is not abused.

Foolamancy- as you know, this is a biggy.

Now, if you want my opinion, the best way to go is to remove stack-dependence in the effective value of a special. Case in point:

- say Builder's Forts may only protect a given total Hits, not total number, of units.
- similarly, a Foolamancer may Veil a given number of Hits of units in a stack, and those are shielded from retaliatory or targeted damage for that one combat.

====

Running list of modifications that I plan to make:

- remove vestigial specials.
- adjust special cost formulas for units with less than 6 Hits to use a Hits_Adjusted value (6 instead of their actual Hits).
- by popular demand, soften the "Ranged-stack" and "Siege-stack" rules. Maybe same for Dance-fighting.
- adjust Specials to remove stack-dependece of effective value. This might not happen for Leadership though.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: The Arkentool War OOC Thread - Signups, Suggestions, etc

Postby Sihoiba » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:42 pm

Remember with the Battle of Two Cities I made up the specials on the fly. So while it's flattering to see them keep being used similarly to how they work in Two Cities, there's no reason to not redo them completely if they have problems. Obviously that games has had balance issues, but that's as much that foolamancy is only so powerful because of how powerful shockamancy is.

What I'm curious to see is how the siege/fortification rules and the effect of traps pans out. As we yet to see more than a single shock action and no battles around forts. Still that game is on going so hopefully these things will be witnessed (especially if Watermonkey's side hurry up with their turn orders hint, hint)
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Re: The Arkentool War OOC Thread - Signups, Suggestions, etc

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Wed May 04, 2011 11:44 pm

The Arkentool War: Book One - The Red Menace (working title)
Chapter One: Clocks (also a working title)

Blurb:
Located on the northern coast of the Western Continent as well as on several islands off the coast, the Federation of Alkimia is one of the most powerful empires on Erf, on par with the likes of Jetstone and Gobwin Knob. It resolutely stayed neutral during the Great Western Conflict, and it only watched the Royal Crown Coalition's ill-fated march on Gobwin Knob. Along with the rest of Erf, Alkimia watched Gobwin Knob's subsequent march on Spacerock with concern; after the annihilation of Jetstone in an improbable - nay, impossible - turn of events, it decided that it had to act. As Gobwin Knob turned north to consolidate its power over the Western Continent, Alkimia rallied its own coalition to make a stand against Gobwin Knob. Because of the thick forests and mountains (and the peaceful Kingdom of Cameria) immediately to its south, the United Nations expected Gobwin Knob to advance north along the eastern coast of the continent. They planned to make their stand at the Maginot Line, a massive line of fortresses in Gall that protected the coast.

Alkimia led the way forward, sending its troops first to the expected front; nearly all of Alkimia’s forces had deployed to Gall when Cameria sighted the enemy. Cameria would not delay the enemy long, and the only troops defending the Alkimian heartland were a few green Alkimian divisions and the arriving coalition contingents. Even at a breakneck pace, Alkimia’s forces cannot reach the heartland in time to save it; the fate of Alkimia rests in the hands of the coalition forces...


Currently Planned Major Changes:
  • Scouting will transition to an auto-scouting feature like the Return to Gobwin Bump system.
  • Foolamancy powers changed; grants defensive bonus of +2 (attacking or defending, but not both) OR allows a single unit to avoid detection by scouts (roll to check if veil holds).
  • Sandbox Mode OFF! Players can design their own factions; no more set objectives.
  • Tunnel zones of cities come with built-in Dirtamancy traps.
  • As per Stryke’s suggestion, screening stacks!
Additional details to come! Feel free to suggest more changes!

Faction Design:
Since we're out of the Prologue, training wheels are off - you can now make your side as crazy as you like! Some example ideas to get your juices flowing (you are by no means restricted to these - I WANT creative sides):
  • Barbarian mercenaries
  • Wandering Natural Allies
  • Expeditionary Force of a powerful empire
  • Exiled Heir and followers
  • and etc.
Feel free to recycle a pre-existing faction you might have established elsewhere (e.g. Steam Gentlemen, Risun, etc.).
You will need to design five units following the guidelines in the Main Ruleset. Either PM them to me or post them here. If you feel the need to bend any of the rules, PM me and we'll see if it's merited and acceptable.

While designing your faction, here's some additional things to think about (and maybe write out if you like):
  • What exactly is your faction? What kind of Side are they? What do they value? Are they aggressive, or diplomatic, or both?
  • Why is your faction fighting? Is it for the cause? Self-interest? Greed? Battle lust?
  • What does your faction think about the other factions? Of Alkimia? Of Cameria? Of GK and Charlie?
  • How is your force connected with its home base? Is it on its own, with no chance of reinforcements? Or is it the advance guard of a huge army?

I will determine Initial pop point supply after seeing how unit proposals and faction design shape up; rest assured that I will provide ample budget for expensive units (honestly, I'd prefer a few expensive units to hundreds of Pikers. :P ). Further pop point reinforcements may depend on how you characterize your faction. (e.g. barbarians would start with much more points but get little to no reinforcements - I'm still thinking about whether this would be a good idea or just get annoying.)

Details of Proposed Changes:

Scouting
Alkimia has a Lookamancer who conveniently provided all its cities with magic items that auto-scout up to X hexes (I'm thinking 2 or 3). I'm thinking about giving the capital an extra-powerful item that can reveal everything within X hexes of a given hex (sort of like the Return to GB Lookamancy power). The Lookamancer is with the Alkimian column, so you can't quite use him just yet... but he might make it back. Anyway, scouting will proceed as normal outside of the auto-scouting radii; I'm just trying to cut down on the tedious parts of scouting. (Also, I have no idea how to cost the RtGB system - BLAND, could you help? If we could cost it properly, we could just transition now.)

Foolamancy
Use this text instead of the text in the Main Ruleset:
Once a turn, a unit with Foolamancy may either Baffle its stack, Veil its stack, or Cloak itself. Units in a Baffled stack gain +2 Defense until the beginning of their next turn (but a unit's Defense may never go above 7). A Veiled stack may move through hexes of hostile units with a good chance of staying undetected provided the veil is not pierced. A Veiled stack may NOT attack while under veil. A Veil remains active until the turn ends, it is pierced, or when the stack attacks something, whichever is sooner. When a Veiled stack enters a hex occupied by hostile stacks, it has a (10 + number of hostile units * ((average hostile unit level/10) +1))% chance of having its veil peirced. A Cloaked unit may make itself invisible to all enemy actions - including scouting and attacks - provided the Cloaked unit successfully makes a roll of 6 or higher d20. Costs either Hits*Hits*(80/3) or 960, whichever is greater.

Dirtamancy-trapped tunnels
It seems like the Tunnels are a rather weak point in a city's defense - the Outer Walls have a wall (duh) while the Airspace has some fairly deadly AA. The Tunnels have nothing but a size restriction that doesn't do all that much (oh no - I can't send a Battle Bear into the Tunnel!). So, I think Tunnels should come with Dirtamancy traps up to a certain amount of damage; the exact number and amount is still up in the air.

Screening stacks
If multiple stacks are in a hex with a commander, they may screen for each other. In order to attack the screened stack, the attacker must first defeat the screening stacks. I'm thinking about limiting the number of screening stacks by commander level. I'm also thinking about Stryke's suggestion of allowing Walkers to specify a direction they face (maybe +2 to screening stacks if they face a direction), but 0 screen if they get hit from an opposing direction.
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Re: The Arkentool War OOC Thread - Signups, Suggestions, etc

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu May 05, 2011 5:34 am

Auto-scouting as per Return to Gobwin Bump would be costed like this (under Oddworld system)- what's the cost of surprise for a (group of) scout(s) of a given ability? (Surprise: deliver a "payload" of units with the same total Hits as the scout(s)).

Fudging and simplifying things a bit, it comes down to this: a "scout-level X" autoscout sees every hex in an X radius from a center. It should cost as much as the number of regular scouts needed to cover that area. I've plotted below how many hexes are in an area of radius X from 1 to 5. Divide that number of hexes by 5, and you get the number of move 5 scouts needed to cover it.

X Hexes
1 6
2 6+12 = 18
3 6+12+18 = 36
4 6+12+18+24 = 60
5 6+12+18+24+30 = 90
.
.
.
n 3*n*(n+1)

Divide by 5, multiply by cost of cheapest possible* scout, and there you go. (*: cheapest will have attack and defense 0).
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: The Arkentool War OOC Thread - Signups, Suggestions, etc

Postby tigerusthegreat » Thu May 05, 2011 11:06 am

I think I will abandon my 100-hex woods idea, in favor of Isenlard, proud nation of Uruk-ham warriors, led by the Wizlard's Council and Saruham the White Meat.
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Re: The Arkentool War OOC Thread - Signups, Suggestions, etc

Postby Stryke » Sat May 07, 2011 11:07 am

I'm currently on an oil tanker anchored of the north west of australia, so my updating wont always be reliable but i'll post as often as i can, the internet on board seems reliable.

I'll PM watermonkey about myside, i have an interesting idea forming and i'll do a little thinking on the screening stack rules, the level limit on the warlord is a good idea i'll lookinto that, although this was originally going to be a spear wall special for pikers i'll adapt it for other units.

BLAND if i start holding up the prologe just take control of Deus and Ex till i post.
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Re: The Arkentool War OOC Thread - Signups, Suggestions, etc

Postby Nihila » Sun May 08, 2011 3:55 pm

Deriving from BLAND's 3n(n+1)/5 times cost of cheapest scout (which is 185), I have the following cost formula for RtGB-style scouting:

Where X is the Scouting range:

Cost=111*X*(X+1)
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