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Author Topic: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?  (Read 3166 times)

Offline Splgrk

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Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« Reply #75 on: February 17, 2019, 07:06:04 PM »
I'm not saying it has to be wildly random. Or even that they have to have the same identity. But what I see in ninth age is an army list that is about a third shorter than it used to be and where most of the remaining stuff lost one or several rules. What I mean is this:

If you take out that much stuff, and especially if you take all the most fun stuff, you have to replace it with something. What is currently there is an extremely barebones skelleton of an army. Cheap troops alone does not an interesting army make. There has to be something more than that.

Doesn't have to be random. But this was an extremely fun army, and just putting some large blocks of infantry on the table does not remotely replicate that feeling. Sadly, there's nothing else. Doesn't have to be random, but none of this stuff does anything. It's just piles of numbers that you push against another pile of numbers.

Edit: Also, I don't really want to play an army if it's not even clear if they are modelled after a certain culture or not. That's just too vague, fluffwise.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 07:20:22 PM by Splgrk »

Offline Calisson

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Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2019, 08:47:21 AM »
The drawbacks you describe are known.
I would expect VS to be addressed sooner than most other factions.
Not in 2019, though.

Offline Splgrk

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Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2019, 09:47:35 AM »
Well, that's the answer then.

I may have another look at the Ninth Age. Not in 2019, though.

Offline The Peacemaker

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Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2019, 10:55:48 AM »
Well the new Daemon Legions book is pretty interesting and fun to play.

Its got good fluff that is different from GW. The army feels like a Daemon army too me but not the same as GW's version.
I didn't play Daemons before this new release, nor had many games against them as they weren't very popular in my area. Its good, lots of customization. And its still in beta so will only get better.
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Offline S.O.F

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Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« Reply #79 on: February 19, 2019, 01:32:20 PM »
I don't think there's anything bland about Vermin as they are in T9A. Strength in Numbers is still there, which creates a number of interesting dynamics. They are the only army to get massed cheap numbers with independent Ld 8. That means they get cheap numbers for swarming and grinding, *and* the staying power to stick around and do so even when not supported by characters. The downside is that that staying power is conditional on deep ranks, and that if they do flee, they aren't likely to rally anytime soon, both which rule out MSU tactics, requiring them to instead play as relatively inflexible battlelines and be vulnerable to enemy force concentration.

All which supports a playstyle of bringing a mountain of models onto the table, something that is very much consistent with Vermin fluff. A good rule design is one where fluffy armies actually work.

If T9A is trying to take a similar feel but different approach I don't get why this version of Strength in Numbers has remained, being that even by the end of WHFB to me at least it was starting to feel vestigial and not really representative of what the fluff behind it was trying to represent. On the WAB end Strength in Numbers was part of the rules for Warbands, simulating situations where by in large a unit was made up of good warriors but poor soldiers. I would never considered Skaven good warriors or soldiers thus tying what is meant as an expression of numerical advantage to something drawn from formation felt odd. Further this lead to assault column style attacks rather than the aesthetically and background more appropriate sort of more linear masses as the cowardly Skaven look to overwhelm the edges of more disciplined blocks by having more attackers than opponents able to defend themselves. I mean perhaps a system more based on the size of unit (+1 Ld for every 10 models to a max of +3) would be better mechanically at representing a chittering horde.
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« Reply #80 on: February 19, 2019, 01:59:57 PM »
Now that T9A Hordes don't get rank bonus at all, the Horde rule itself (with the extra rank attacks) represents the uncontrolled onslaught of barbarian warriors without much discipline. I don't know how that relates to the Vermin rule. Just an observation. In general, I feel the T9A has put more focus on the gameplay of their game, which has thinned the connection to historical tactics, which still were the origin of the various WHFB editions. The connection with WAB and what it represented will get surely thinner.

The last time I checked the guy responsible for writing the Vermin had retired from the project. I don't know if that heralds good or bad for the army. Marrying lab rat psychology to Republican Roman social structures was a very hazardous project anyway, prone to non-intended caricature. But there were surely dozens of interesting ideas there. Maybe the new writers want to clear the table a bit before continuing. Still, the different Vermin factions with their varying emphasis on technology, disease and assassination surely remain there, just as they are present in the army list.

Anyway, the army books are mainly driven by game design, which is driven by the idea of creating a couple of key playstyles for each army. As is visible in every level of the T9A project, the fluff is secondary, and may need to be rewritten at times to allow for an emergent playstyle. I'm sure the designers will have a closer look on how the Vermin play and how to make their intended playstyles fun and rewarding. The writing, on the other hand, will remain as obscure and potentially misinformed as in the "legendary" army books. For me personally, that makes the setting totally uninspiring, but of course it leaves lots of room for interpretation and fanfic.

At one point I remember the T9A team wanted to create a dynamic setting, where the present would not be the like of eternal status quo of the WH Old World (where each chaos incursion was battled to a halt, and the wretched and tainted lands returned to their former nature in a generation or so). In this dynamic setting, some fantasy races could be a little downtoned now, but would then emerge as new dominant factions in the next update. IIRC, the Vermin were such a faction - long in the hiding, but ready to embark on a big campaign to assume a leading role in the world politics. Not that different from the WHFB idea. I don't know if this design principle is still held by the writers. But the idea of a slowly changing world is a good one, I think.

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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« Reply #81 on: February 19, 2019, 05:07:52 PM »
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

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Offline Calisson

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Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« Reply #82 on: February 20, 2019, 06:45:36 AM »
...Anyway, the army books are mainly driven by game design, which is driven by the idea of creating a couple of key playstyles for each army. As is visible in every level of the T9A project, the fluff is secondary, and may need to be rewritten at times to allow for an emergent playstyle.
That was true for the first edition - and most of current AB are carried over from that time. The idea was to focus first on collection legacy and tournament balance.

The focus has changed for the second edition.
Each army will get progressively a detailed T9A background, which will serve, along with playstyle and model legacy, to define the 2nd edition AB.
Warriors were given full background attention. Daemons as well, plus more freedom to the concept team.
A new organization is being implemented, which will provide even more freedom of creativity to the team in charge of Infernal Dwarves, followed closely by Dread Elves. :smile2:

Be sure we're moving from the idea of fluff, accessory to playstyle, into the idea of background, source of the faction's soul. :smile2:


...I'm sure the designers will have a closer look on how the Vermin play and how to make their intended playstyles fun and rewarding. The writing, on the other hand, will remain as obscure and potentially misinformed as in the "legendary" army books. For me personally, that makes the setting totally uninspiring, but of course it leaves lots of room for interpretation and fanfic.
Undying Dynasties and Sylvan Elves will be redone like all others. We have extended since sources of information to be less obscure, albeit still in-world and prone to misinformation from outsiders - especially true for Daemons, for some reason... See the "Scrolls" where many pieces of background have been provided.


...At one point I remember the T9A team wanted to create a dynamic setting, where the present would not be the like of eternal status quo of the WH Old World (where each chaos incursion was battled to a halt, and the wretched and tainted lands returned to their former nature in a generation or so). In this dynamic setting, some fantasy races could be a little downtoned now, but would then emerge as new dominant factions in the next update. IIRC, the Vermin were such a faction - long in the hiding, but ready to embark on a big campaign to assume a leading role in the world politics. Not that different from the WHFB idea. I don't know if this design principle is still held by the writers. But the idea of a slowly changing world is a good one, I think.
This idea is still there.
However, I would not expect a dramatic change which would be the coming of a 10th Age, but rather an evolution of History.
At the moment, High Elves rule the seas (like Victorian UK) and dominate world trade.
The Empire of Sonnstahl is the growing challenger, a land power becoming imperialistic (like Wilhelm 2 Germany).
Other factions regret their former hegemony (like post-Napoleonic France), resist change or anticipate opportunities.
Which big change could occur to alter significantly History has not been thought yet.
I would not expect it to be a Daemon invasion, that would be too close to GW. I would rather anticipate a more modest change, which would be illustrated with a campaign.
 

Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« Reply #83 on: February 20, 2019, 10:15:27 AM »
Marrying lab rat psychology to Republican Roman social structures was a very hazardous project anyway, prone to non-intended caricature.

Which is a reason for why it'd be preferable that the Vermin appropriated the identity and the trappings of Avras, rather than its actual substance. Then, any resulting caricature or irony would be entirely intentional. For instance, the Lord-level character of the Vermin should be called Dictator, because it used to be an Avrasian title of unlimited authority. Only that instead of being a time-limited office in a constitutional framework with extreme separation of powers as it as in ancient Avras, a Vermin Dictator would be closer to the contemporary real-world meaning of the term, with the irony being largely lost on the Vermin  :icon_lol:
The only good thing about 7th ed heads is that they look particularly inbred and superstitious which is perfect for Stirlanders