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JackOfBlades

Amending Forced Subfaction Command Traits

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Posted (edited)

Personally I feel that sub-faction benefits are good enough these days that they should simply eat your first artifact choice as a cost. Armies with a sub-faction do not receive an initial artifact for free, but can still access them via the normal bonus from battalions. Sub-factions which currently force an artifact choice instead gain that artifact as an option they can pick in addition to the regular ones. Too many armies players are basically forced to pick a sub-faction, because they are strictly stronger than not doing so, which is more restrictive than not having them at all and also ties overall army performance to how strong the VERY inconsistent benefits of sub-factions it happens to have. Adding a more notable cost than 'you have to take this command trait/artifact (which may be as good or better than your other options anyways)' would be far from fixing things but it would at least help.

And before the argument gets made; "that would unfairly penalize sub-factions which are already bad" yes, it would. But that would have little to no effect because people would go from not using them... to still not using them!

As for the original line of discussion involving command traits; IMO allow people to pick a normal command trait instead, but at a cost. Something like "The general may select a command trait off the appropriate table instead, but the army does not receive the normal command point in its first hero phase, and cannot purchase an additional command point in Matched Play."

Edited by NinthMusketeer

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I don’t understand the perceived limitations on narrative play with forced command traits. A sub faction is supposed to be flavored in one particular way according to the designers taste. 

Mechanically, the argument that choice is lost, were you can’t have access to all command traits, is a red herring. There is   very much a choice albeit a different kind, one involving the sacrifice in one aspect of the army for power elsewhere. I say it absolutely promotes diversity in list building.

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I don't even undersand why going factionless is an option. I mean what do that option gives , to the game, as a whole? When has been having less rules more exciting than having more rules?

 

"You can have LESS to be able to pick something different". It doesn't sounds good to me. And in my eyes it goes agaisnt what AoS stands for.

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13 hours ago, Skabnoze said:

I enjoy all of my Orruk Warclans armies (I play all 3 allegiances) and it is a good example of where the subfactions all came out fairly well balanced - both for Ironjawz and for Bonesplitterz.  They all add something interesting, useful, and unique, but they come at the cost of some very good core command abilities.  But this book is very much in the minority.  I think the subfactions are a good concept but poorly implemented most of the time.  There is a tendency to make some of them absurdly good and with hardly any downside, and to make the majority of them just plain bad for the most part. 

Yeah it could be that Im just spoiled by the Orruk Warclans tome. I do think they did a great job at it and creating interesting choices, which I would hope they continued with onwards in future tomes. 

Having invested a fair bit of time into the Seraphon tome Im rather happy about the new sub factions too, although the way they set up the batallions is horrible. Way too restrictive when it comes to army building. Again, it could be Im spoiled by the Orruk Warclans tome where the batallions arent restrictive at all, especially Ironfist that is literally just "bring whatever you want". 

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Posted (edited)

Maybe a lot more could be fun (going crazy!):

  • All subfactions could have 6 items. 3 of  them shared by all of them and 3 unique. No restriction to chose any of this 6.
  • All subfaction could have 6 traits. 3 of them shared by all of them and 3 uniques. No restriction to chose any of this 6.
  • All subfactions still have their own Passive/s and their own Command Ability/es.
  • Remove the option to not take subfaction.  Create a modular system to build your own subfaction (like 1.0 Code from KO or Successor Chapters). that should give you unique Passive/s and Command Ability/es.
  • All this "new" subfaction share the same 3 traits and 3 artefacts from the normal subfactions but have 3 "basic" ones to chose from.

I know, really crazy and unbalanced, but I really love this things!! I'm a Warscroll Builder rat.

Edited by Beliman

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3 hours ago, Galas said:

I don't even undersand why going factionless is an option. I mean what do that option gives , to the game, as a whole? When has been having less rules more exciting than having more rules?

 

"You can have LESS to be able to pick something different". It doesn't sounds good to me. And in my eyes it goes agaisnt what AoS stands for.

It's for people that want to make their own subfactions (like me) and don't want to use artefacts belonging to another subfactions e.g. if that particular artefact is used only by Celestial Vindicators why my Lord Celestant from homebrew stormhost has it?

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15 hours ago, NinthMusketeer said:

Personally I feel that sub-faction benefits are good enough these days that they should simply eat your first artifact choice as a cost. Armies with a sub-faction do not receive an initial artifact for free, but can still access them via the normal bonus from battalions. Sub-factions which currently force an artifact choice instead gain that artifact as an option they can pick in addition to the regular ones. Too many armies players are basically forced to pick a sub-faction, because they are strictly stronger than not doing so, which is more restrictive than not having them at all and also ties overall army performance to how strong the VERY inconsistent benefits of sub-factions it happens to have. Adding a more notable cost than 'you have to take this command trait/artifact (which may be as good or better than your other options anyways)' would be far from fixing things but it would at least help.

And before the argument gets made; "that would unfairly penalize sub-factions which are already bad" yes, it would. But that would have little to no effect because people would go from not using them... to still not using them!

As for the original line of discussion involving command traits; IMO allow people to pick a normal command trait instead, but at a cost. Something like "The general may select a command trait off the appropriate table instead, but the army does not receive the normal command point in its first hero phase, and cannot purchase an additional command point in Matched Play."

Not all books are written this way. Cities mandates a subfaction, and has extremely limiting batallions. This would be quite detrimental for a book that already has a lot of choice in warscrolls, but hardly any in the rest of the options.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Galas said:

I don't even undersand why going factionless is an option. I mean what do that option gives , to the game, as a whole? When has been having less rules more exciting than having more rules?

 

"You can have LESS to be able to pick something different". It doesn't sounds good to me. And in my eyes it goes agaisnt what AoS stands for.

It gives you options. What if I want my Orruks to be some dank swamp living tribe. Doesn't fit any of the 3 subfactions - My army can be its own thing. 

You get to pick your own trait and artefact, not locked by any subfaction. That in itself can be a huge power boost - Considerably more than a subfaction's bonus. 

 

Edit: Again, I realize this HEAVILY depends on what battletome you have experience with. I might be spoiled by the Orruks Warclans one, but I absolutely love it and think it is a perfect design and it should imo. be expanded to current and new tomes too. 

Edited by Kasper
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Here's an interesting alternative to the forced command trait issue that they've tried in the new Seraphon book.

So each of the Constellations has the typical Battle Trait and required Artefact and Command Trait.  The Command Trait, however is only for a specific type of General. 

For example, the Fangs of Sotek Constellation has a Command Trait that has to be taken by a SAURUS General.  You do not have to field a SAURUS General, however.   So if you have a SLANN or SKINK General they can take one of their own keyword specific Command Traits.

Dracothian's Tail - SLANN General
Fangs of Sotek - SAURUS General
Koatl's Claw - SAURUS General
Thunder Lizard - THUNDER LIZARD General on a MONSTER mount


Now I don't know if taking a different type of General than what is referenced in the Command Trait for each Constellation is some kind of crippling handicap.  The book arrived just before quarantine started and I haven't played any games with it yet.  I do like that you have options! 🦖    

   

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8 hours ago, Kasper said:

Having invested a fair bit of time into the Seraphon tome Im rather happy about the new sub factions too, although the way they set up the batallions is horrible. Way too restrictive when it comes to army building. 

I will agree with you and disagree.  I really like that for Seraphon GW created 4 basic battalions but then turned it into 8 battalions by making 2 versions of each one and tying them directly to the sub-allegiances (Coalesced vs Starborne).  I thought this was very well done because it allows them to tailor the benefit to each of those types of army.  This was great design in my book.  Honestly, I think the whole design of Seraphon allegiance & army construction is very well done.  But I won't disagree that the unit requirements for the Seraphon battalions are quite restrictive compared to many other armies.  On the whole the Seraphon battalions are very specific & restricted for what units a battalion can contain. 

When I say that I think the Seraphon battalions are well designed I mean that from how they are duplicated the battalions and then restricted them to the sub-allegiances so that the battalions are designed for specific army types and can only be included in specific builds they were designed for.  That means they have less chance to have bad outlier battalions that are overly strong in uses the design team did not anticipate.  And also it lets the design team target changes more narrowly for specific types of army builds they want to emphasize in a particular army.  But that does not mean that I think all of the rules benefits, point costs, and unit compositions for those battalions are good or not - I am just saying that I think they nailed the basic structure.

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7 hours ago, zilberfrid said:

Not all books are written this way. Cities mandates a subfaction, and has extremely limiting batallions. This would be quite detrimental for a book that already has a lot of choice in warscrolls, but hardly any in the rest of the options.

We really need better terminology around the army construction rules.   If we are calling things like Daughters of Khaine Temples, Seraphon Constellations, Stormcast Eternal Stormhosts, etc as "subfactions" then Cities is a book that does not have any of those - same as Gloomspite, Slaves to Darkness, or Nighthaunt.  What cities has is a 2-tiered allegiance system - which is the same for Slaves to Darkness and Seraphon.  They have a base allegiance shared across the whole battletome, but then they force you to select a sub-allegiance.

It does not at all help that GW does not have a generic term for these things and they keep changing what they are called from book to book.  Seraphon is currently the only army book that has both a two-tiered allegiance and also a set of "tribes/chapters/subfactions/temple/whatever".

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Skabnoze said:

When I say that I think the Seraphon battalions are well designed I mean that from how they are duplicated the battalions and then restricted them to the sub-allegiances so that the battalions are designed for specific army types and can only be included in specific builds they were designed for.  That means they have less chance to have bad outlier battalions that are overly strong in uses the design team did not anticipate.  And also it lets the design team target changes more narrowly for specific types of army builds they want to emphasize in a particular army.  But that does not mean that I think all of the rules benefits, point costs, and unit compositions for those battalions are good or not - I am just saying that I think they nailed the basic structure.

I personally dont think this is a good design - Duplicating the batallions. I find it somewhat lazy, boring and it actually limits design space imo. I would much rather have had 4 entirely different batallions focusing on different units, which you could pick regardless of subfaction/constellations. The issue with the current version is also that you might want X bonus from Y batallion, but oh wait, you are playing the wrong subfaction/constellation, so you are getting a different, likely less interesting bonus.

Right now I feel like Seraphon is really missing a batallion for just Skinks or one for heroes like Slann/Kroak + Priest guys. Shadowstrike is OK, but it shouldnt force you into either Terradons/Rippers. What if I want Kroxigors or Razordons/Salamanders? It is literally impossible to make a solid but low drop army with primarily Skinks, without being forced into one route or feel that your list is severely gutted, which seems like such an odd design when they just released Changehost that is pretty boy "pick whatever the hell you want".

I realize older tomes have it as bad if not worse, but I dont think we should look backwards and based things on that, rather improve. I dont want every army to be a no-brainder 1 drop list, but it seems odd some armies are just "yep you wont ever get to decide who goes first, enjoy your 10+ drops".

 

Apologize for going a bit off-topic here. But yeah in general Im really happy about subfactions and having a forced artefact. Seraphon takes it a step further and lets you give up the forced command trait for a generic one, if you simply take a different general. I dont like the idea of a free buffet. There should be choices to be had, otherwise you would likely always pick the same artefact and same command trait.

Edited by Kasper

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On 4/6/2020 at 7:04 PM, NinthMusketeer said:

Personally I feel that sub-faction benefits are good enough these days that they should simply eat your first artifact choice as a cost. Armies with a sub-faction do not receive an initial artifact for free, but can still access them via the normal bonus from battalions. Sub-factions which currently force an artifact choice instead gain that artifact as an option they can pick in addition to the regular ones. Too many armies players are basically forced to pick a sub-faction, because they are strictly stronger than not doing so, which is more restrictive than not having them at all and also ties overall army performance to how strong the VERY inconsistent benefits of sub-factions it happens to have. Adding a more notable cost than 'you have to take this command trait/artifact (which may be as good or better than your other options anyways)' would be far from fixing things but it would at least help.

And before the argument gets made; "that would unfairly penalize sub-factions which are already bad" yes, it would. But that would have little to no effect because people would go from not using them... to still not using them!

As for the original line of discussion involving command traits; IMO allow people to pick a normal command trait instead, but at a cost. Something like "The general may select a command trait off the appropriate table instead, but the army does not receive the normal command point in its first hero phase, and cannot purchase an additional command point in Matched Play."

A lot of this makes sense. The inherent problem at the moment is that factionless is simply worse for almost all armies than picking a sub faction and being in that more limited option space from a strength perspective. 
 

The solution is simply to make factionless more appealing. Either by reducing artefacts for picking a sub faction or by adding a faction wide rule which is lost if you go into a specific sub faction. 

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On 4/7/2020 at 9:36 AM, Skabnoze said:

We really need better terminology around the army construction rules.   If we are calling things like Daughters of Khaine Temples, Seraphon Constellations, Stormcast Eternal Stormhosts, etc as "subfactions" then Cities is a book that does not have any of those - same as Gloomspite, Slaves to Darkness, or Nighthaunt.  What cities has is a 2-tiered allegiance system - which is the same for Slaves to Darkness and Seraphon.  They have a base allegiance shared across the whole battletome, but then they force you to select a sub-allegiance.

It does not at all help that GW does not have a generic term for these things and they keep changing what they are called from book to book.  Seraphon is currently the only army book that has both a two-tiered allegiance and also a set of "tribes/chapters/subfactions/temple/whatever".

Indeed, choice of City or Starborne/Coaleced, etc is not the same as a subfaction. Certainly not what I was referring to with my original comment.

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