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Author Topic: 9th Age infantry  (Read 4064 times)

Offline Anubis

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9th Age infantry
« on: February 24, 2016, 04:05:59 AM »
Hey all,

I've been looking at the new 9th age rules and I feel swordsmen have gotten nurfed and would like to hear your thoughts.

Rambles from my mind: In the 8th book halberdiers were superior to both swordsmen and spearmen, with the increase in str it made up for their less survivability compared to swordsmen and spearmen. Swordsmen in 8th while still better then spearmen with their increased WS, armor, and parry were survivable, but still rarely fielded (at least in my neck of the woods) and spearmen were just ignored completely. In the 9th age halberdiers still are competitive with the increase to str, spearmen have now become a contender with the killing blow against cav, however swordsmen have only been down graded. With the overall decrease of WS for swordsmen coupled with the fact that parry has become less protective leaves (for me) swordsmen being under powered and aren't going to be fielded. Which as one of the main goals of the 9th age is to make every unit playable I feel needs to be addressed. Any how these are just my thoughts I would love for others to voice their thoughts and opinions.

Best,
Anubis

Offline Padre

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2016, 06:22:00 AM »
Reduce their points and all is good.

I'm an almost completely fluff info inspired builder of armies and so all sorts of troops are included based first on what I think fitted the game-world (Tilea), second my figure collection and third tabletop effectiveness. My campaign players however might balance things differently.
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 09:06:58 AM »
Just yesterday I downloaded the 9th Age EoS list & the rule book. I can see why Anubis is worried. There are many other, minor problems there, and a couple unclarities. It's clearly a work in progress. They've promised a new version in March.

My advice would be to put this to the 9th Age forum. The designers seem to check that forum often, and pay attention to good criticism. There are Empire players there, so they should be familiar with the eternal problems of three Empire Core Infantry types, out of which only two have been "gamers' choice" in the different editions over the past 15 years. I believe they want to remedy that.

A good criticism comes with a well-thought suggestion of how to improve things. Do you have that suggestion, Anubis? Cheaper Swordsmen? HW+Sh special Parry/Save back? Better WS & I back? A type of maneuver only possible for units with HW/HW+Sh? Skirmish? Other?

The problem is that the Empire especially has drawn ideas from history. And Renaissance Sword&Shieldmen had very specific combat roles, almost invariably as supporting/detachment units and special task forces in special situations. They were flankers, night fighters, skirmishers. If they can't take the role of the main infantry in historical comparison, how could they in game comparison? Thus bringing them to a game in general terms tends to put them into inferior position, compared to the main infantry types (Spears, Halberds, Pikes).

-Z
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Offline grimgorgoroth

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2016, 08:07:45 PM »
The good thing is that spear men are usable again with killing blow to cavalry, monstrous cavalry and chariots plus they got Armor Piercing (1). Before that I would have never thought of using them.

As for sword men sure they have become, in this moment, probably the least used unit but you can still make a good anvil with them even holding up Warriors of the Dark Gods because the can only hit you with a 4+ (before buffs). Not too bad I guess.

Still, I just love my 50 man halbadier unit. I'd take strength 4 any day  :-P

Offline Minsc

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2016, 10:01:32 PM »
Swordsmens role currently in 9th Age is purely defensive due to parry.

I use them as detatchments/flankers; their role is to survive, not to kill stuff, and thanks to parry, they survive alot better than halberdiers and spearmen.

Offline Warlord

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2016, 10:49:05 AM »
What is the meta for 9th age going to be targeted at?
Killing or combat res. Because that will define how often they are taken. Role players are always a lesser choice to the more flexible or versatile choice.
Run the numbers - we always have done that in the past to determine which is better - who is the 9th age math-hammer expert you are using for balancing stuff?
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Offline SorenJ

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 09:03:14 AM »
Haven't done the math myself, but there is wide consensus on the T9A forum that spears are best. Halberds are sub-par choices but this is due to the very effective parry rule and the fact that they (halbs) come with shields that they have no use for.

(And I don't want to derail this tread, just say that T9A empire army list doesn't feel like Empire to me)

Offline Minsc

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2016, 11:28:35 AM »
(And I don't want to derail this tread, just say that T9A empire army list doesn't feel like Empire to me)

Why?

Personally I feel that EoS feels more like Empire than they've done in a long time. The playstyle is almost the same from 8th, but with more fun options (except for the lack of pidgeonbombs. :( ) and better detatchment-rules. Some armies have lost some of their flavour in 9th, but Empire is not one of them.

Offline Zygmund

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2016, 12:37:52 PM »
+1 to what Minsc wrote.

I think T9A Empire actually has more WH Empire flavour than any single WH edition since the 5th. For game purposes, the army should play very similarly to the 8th ed, and allows all the units form the 8th ed army book in their familiar roles (although the Reiters are much more aggressive compared to the Pistoliers).

-Z
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Offline SorenJ

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2016, 01:02:36 PM »
(And I don't want to derail this tread, just say that T9A empire army list doesn't feel like Empire to me)

Why?

Personally I feel that EoS feels more like Empire than they've done in a long time. The playstyle is almost the same from 8th, but with more fun options (except for the lack of pidgeonbombs. :( ) and better detatchment-rules. Some armies have lost some of their flavour in 9th, but Empire is not one of them.
Well, its 100% just a feeling that I can't put my finger on. Maybe it'll grow on me as I play more games.

Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 11:02:59 AM »
I agree, the 9th age list feels much more like an Empire army (especially compared to the terrible 8th editon Empire army book. Empire was the first army I played back in 1995 when I started the hobby. The 8th editon army book was the first time I didn't want to play them.

It feels like the emphasis has been put back onto infantry with more options through the upgrade options and order. Swordsmen are more a support unit which is what they are supposed to be in the background. Large infantry is made up of halberdiers and spearmen, troops that are easier to train and equip so more commenly avaliable than a swordsman.


Offline The Peacemaker

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 07:49:10 PM »
Just yesterday I downloaded the 9th Age EoS list & the rule book. I can see why Anubis is worried. There are many other, minor problems there, and a couple unclarities. It's clearly a work in progress. They've promised a new version in March.

My advice would be to put this to the 9th Age forum. The designers seem to check that forum often, and pay attention to good criticism. There are Empire players there, so they should be familiar with the eternal problems of three Empire Core Infantry types, out of which only two have been "gamers' choice" in the different editions over the past 15 years. I believe they want to remedy that.

They do listen, but their biggest problem comes from their desire to get everything 100% balanced. Which is impossible and has obviously slowed things down in terms of getting stuff released.
And they closed the rules team members off quite early. ....which led to the obvious dwarf bias, and the nerfing of certain rules that were actually fine. I suspect they have 1 or 2 guys on the rules team that really shouldn't be in game design. But since they were founding members of the existing team back in Swedish or etc comp then they get to stay and shove their biases in there.
Note, this is just what it feels like as an observer to how they are doing things.

Dwarfs is the great example - the loudest guy who only plays dwarfs, only plays warhammer and no other game system, complains dwarfs are too slow. So they give them triple march. ...and that wasn't even the first incarnation of the rule. Back in swedish at the end they were comped so light they won almost every tourney.

I looked at the current rules and it looks that that guy is still there whining for his dwarfs.
I have a dwarf army too. And I'll tell ya, the way they buffed dwarfs, there isn't much point in playing empire, or most of the other armies for that matter.
Heck, I skimmed over wood elves and they got nerfed in the shooty department alot. I'm guessing the dwarfs are better shooters than the elves. ...but I only glanced, I'll have to read more and confirm.



....anyway that is my rant about the 9th age.
I applied for the fluff team cause that was the only thing left open a few months ago. But then I just hung up all my hobby stuff and went outside. I don't judge too harshly because its all volunteer. Once I give it a read through I'll probably post a comprehensive theory review on the 9th age form.

If I still find major bias towards dwarfs I'll probe and find out more. But it could just look biased on paper.


Note: even with all the small flaws, its still a very well balanced game. Some units might seem redundant but its mainly because the goal was to allow players to be able to use their existing models, which was achieved.

Edit:
I went and checked the parry rule: yeesh that is bad. Useless against elves.

But the swordsmen for empire are 1point cheaper than spear or halberd. Sometimes all you need is more bodies.
I used Spearmen in 8th edition alot. People said I they never killed anything, halberds are better. So I took halberds and they died just as fast as the spears, their offense was slightly better but sometimes a proper unit matchup just wasn't there.
And that 50pts I saved went a long way for being able to take something else.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 08:02:43 PM by The Peacemaker »
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Offline Warlord

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2016, 04:18:09 AM »
That was my biggest fear about 9th age to be honest. When they said ETC were making it, I was worried, because some of that 'balancing' they did was biased too.  Its just a different group of people doing what GW did, with less bias on marketing new product. There is no science there, aa evidenced by the cannon rules, the light lancers, and a bunch of other things

It may be better than GW, but still doesn't make it the best.
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2016, 11:49:51 AM »
Agree Dwarfs are a very hard nut in this iteration. Their triple march movement, however, is the least of the problems. And they might be vulnerable against strong magic.

Regarding the EoS, Swordsmen and Lance Reiters are hard to fit into a list. They might not have a function in the book. The nerfed STank, on the other hand, seems to be around still, both in fluffy as well as tournament lists.

The funny thing might be that hc mathammerists and tournament players are not satisfied, but ordinary guys like me are. :)


It may be better than GW, but still doesn't make it the best.

So there's a better iteration of the Warhammer Fantasy rules?

Or do you indicate that there's a Platonic ideal of the thing, and T9A just isn't quite there (yet)?

Or do you indicate there is another, best game for adjustable & heroic 28mm fantasy battles?
(Nota bene: I'd pick KoW any day for not-so-adjustable and not-so-heroic, and tournaments.)

Just curious.

 :smile2:


And they closed the rules team members off quite early. ....which led to the obvious dwarf bias -- --
Dwarfs is the great example - the loudest guy who only plays dwarfs, only plays warhammer and no other game system -- --

No such rules team member with such a Dwarf bias exists to my knowledge. Maybe the rules team has changed, or maybe your info is simply wrong?

-Z
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 08:22:27 AM by Zygmund »
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Offline Cannonofdoom

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2016, 01:33:15 PM »
I think the best example of dwarf imbalance is Grey Beards which are 11 points, WS5 St4 T4 Ld9 immune to psychology, 6" bubble of no panic, 4+ armor save CORE INFANTRY. It's a bit much.

Compare to our elite Imperial Guard at 9 points.
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Offline Padre

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2016, 03:59:41 PM »
I think the best example of dwarf imbalance is Grey Beards which are 11 points, WS5 St4 T4 Ld9 immune to psychology, 6" bubble of no panic, 4+ armor save CORE INFANTRY. It's a bit much.

That sounds way out of balance. Points wise and being core. Crazy, I tell you, just crazy!
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Offline commandant

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2016, 04:11:59 PM »
beardy even

Offline Zygmund

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2016, 05:28:00 PM »
Greybeards come with only AS 5+, as the basic model doesn't come with a shield. A shield costs 1pt/model. So they cost 12pts/model with a shield and AS 4+, and only then do they benefit from the army-wide special rule of Shieldwall.

You can pay 14pts/model to get a GW. But then again at 16 pts/model you can buy the King's Guard with similar statline and GW, but TWO attacks and the Bodyguard/Stubborn rule.

I can't remember what the Dwarfs had in the past editions, but in general they have little bit more now. I can't remember if the costs have gone up.

I think T9A DH book is very dwarfish in character, but is clearly (one of the) most powerful. It has veritable deathstar-build capacity combined with strong shooting options. You can play both big blocks and MSU. It got its monstrous infantry (although its less seen on battlefields). It got this special Dwarven maneuverability. The army-wide special rules are in general very strong. All of this at a good cost/effectiveness ratio.

Then again, I enjoy confronting DH in T9A, because they are a hard match, and every victory really feels like one. I've learned a lot about the game playing against Dwarfs. I play semi-competitive friendly, and definitely have a grudge with Dwarfs.

-Z
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 05:49:49 PM by Zygmund »
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Offline Cannonofdoom

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2016, 05:46:33 PM »
You are correct they are 12 points to get the 4+ save. They also get Shield Wall, so ...  :eusa_wall:
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Offline The Peacemaker

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2016, 01:44:17 AM »
That was my biggest fear about 9th age to be honest. When they said ETC were making it, I was worried, because some of that 'balancing' they did was biased too.  Its just a different group of people doing what GW did, with less bias on marketing new product. There is no science there, aa evidenced by the cannon rules, the light lancers, and a bunch of other things

It may be better than GW, but still doesn't make it the best.

Just to point out, that bias towards marketing is actually the biggest unbalance factor. So even though 9th age has a few bias here and there, it does pale in comparison to bias towards selling models.
Everything is at least viable, unlike GW where your old units get put on the shelf for years because the new stuff is so OP that the old stuff isn't even worth playing in fun games.

Towards the end of 8th edition, no one was even playing infantry. (for Empire)



A note on the Cannons in my rant. I've watched some bat reps where people are using cannons. And they are doing great! But that is because theses guys can roll a dice and have it hit. Unlike me, who constantly rolls a 1 or 2 when shooting at a monster. And then where there is no monster and i'm targeting 6pt infantry, all of a sudden I can hit!
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Offline Warlord

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Re: 9th Age infantry
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2016, 01:56:33 AM »
The thing is that gw didn't even understand their game enough sometimes that they didn't price correctly for marketing.
The aracknorak is a good example of that. The lizard new special Dino. There are a handful of others where they made a beautiful new model, and the points made it a dumb choice to take. It wasn't always marketing.

And what my point is, is that for a system to be truly balanced, it needs to take into account the math a lot more than any game on the market currently does. Show the calculations to the public, and no one can complain about fairness. 9th age doesn't do that, as evidenced by the example above.
I haven't said I have seen a system that does yet. But that is my ideal.
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