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Are Mortal Wounds a good mechanic?


Are mortal wounds a good mechanic?   

160 members have voted

  1. 1. Are mortal wounds a good mechanic?

    • Yes
      101
    • No
      59


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I‘d go with the rest here and say MWs in general are fine, but rend is underused imo. 

+damage/rend/MWs on hit should go away as they slow down the game by seperate rolling, but everything dealing MWs on 6s should instead increase the wound roll/rend/damage. 

You would have so many variations. 

example given: 

„6s to wound have a rend of -3“ to represent precision strikes

“6s to wound deal double damage“ your generic critical hit - imagine that on sth like retributors

“6s to wound have -1 rend and deal 1 additional damage“ beheading strike of executioners 3+/3+/- blade for example

Giving LRL weapons an additional rend or even -2 would be enough for sunmetal weapons, especially on 5+ to wound (buffed) - would also fix the frustration problem as archers would now have to deal with -hit (eg look out sir). 

Edited by Phasteon
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I think the response to the poll can be summed up as -  "Mortals wounds are a good mechanic but are currently too prevalent, especially on ranged attacks"

My Lumineth Scinari scholars have pored over this question; and through deep contemplation, tribulation and eventual enlightenment, they have come to an objective, unbiased, completely reasonable and

I like them in concept but not in all implementations. For spells in AoS 0 they were fine - you might get hit by an arcane bolt but it was 18" away, had a chance to fail, and also a chance to be dispe

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2 minutes ago, Joseph Mackay said:

To add on what I said before, mortal wounds should NEVER trigger from Missile weapons. If that one thing went away I’d be at least a little bit more ok with mortal wounds in general 

Now that I think about it - even dealing them on wound rolls would solve the problem as you first need to hit. 

Take sentinels as best example, their MW output on long range Heroes would go from ~7 MWs to like what? 2?3? 

Because they would need 5s to hit most of the time or use their quartz to actually hit stuff instead of +1 save which would leave them open for retaliation = more drawback. 

 

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24 minutes ago, Phasteon said:

Now that I think about it - even dealing them on wound rolls would solve the problem as you first need to hit. 

Take sentinels as best example, their MW output on long range Heroes would go from ~7 MWs to like what? 2?3? 

Because they would need 5s to hit most of the time or use their quartz to actually hit stuff instead of +1 save which would leave them open for retaliation = more drawback. 

I think rerolling successful hits when there is no LOS and mw's are one step worse outside of half distance would also be good.

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Mortal Wounds as a concept is great IMO and is a way to deal with high re-rollable armor save units. It also seperates how magic and combat/shooting works.

It only becomes an issue IMO when it is super easy to apply, ala LRL archers that 1) ignore LOS 2) has immense range and 3) triggers on hit. This leaves a feeling of not being able to counter this in any way at all, meaning it is almost pointless to bring low (5 wound) support heroes to the table because of how easily they can be sniped. Look-out sir is worthless because the MW triggers on unmodified hits anyways, you cant hide the hero due to ignoring LOS and the range means you cant really put them in a safe spot unless they are so far away from the objectives etc. that they are essentially useless and might as well be dead. 

This is an example when MWs becomes an issue. Skinks is somewhat the same, although they dont have the same range and they dont ignore LOS either, so there is a way to play around them. 

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I voted "yes" because I think the threshold for a mechanic being bad in isolation is super high. I don't even think something as powerful as "You win the game" effects are bad in isolation.

However, the same could be said for mechanics being good in isolation, so I think going into detail on why I think mortal wounds have a place in AoS is valuabel.

Some points have already been mentioned:

  • Mortal wounds are a "good" rule breaking effect that feels powerful without being game breaking

Being able to just deal a wound to even high-armour units feels powerful, but is overall pretty managable. Personally, I am of the opinion that if we have a choice between potentially making offense too powerful or making defense too powerful, we should err on the side of offense. Because offense at least causes stuff to happen.

  • Mortal wounds are part of a "damage-armour-armour piercing" rock-paper-scissors mechanic

These soft RPS triangles are usually good mechanics to implement, because they give different strengths and weaknesses to units in a fairly natural way. This comes with the caveat that AoS knows another type of armour piercing damage in rend, which should probably be used more than it is. That said, I prefer the simplicity of "mortal wounds on 6s" to "+1 rend on 6s", which is significantly more annoying in terms of bookkeeping.

  • Mortal wounds are good in situations where extra dice rolls (such as save rolls) would be onerous

In AoS spell casting, you already get an attack roll (casting) and an active defense roll (unbinding). There is really no need to keep stacking more defense rolls on there by involving saves. Mortal wounds are good in this situation.

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The issues some are currently seeing with mortal wounds are not due to the mechanic itself. The presence of direct damage that does not allow a save is not in itself unbearable for the game. But we should be aware that mortal wounds are very strong. Usually, we see mortal wounds as a tool to deal with high-value targets that are hard to pin down in combat. But once we get into the range of being able to deal  ~10 or so mortal wounds reliably, they can be used to deal with basically any unit. Which is not what we want, because in that case mortal wounds don't function to give units unique roles anymore. They instead reduce the natural diversity of roles.

Lumineth are the army people currently like to point to when it comes to mortal wounds being bad, because they have the "mortal wounds on 6s (or 5+)" Sunmetal Weapons rule on most of their basic troops. It is worth noting that Lumineth don't necessarily have high damage output because of this, even if you value mortal wounds about twice as highly as regular wounds. If anything, the "problem" is that they have a very consistent damage output. Mortals on 6s certainly removes many instances of dice rolls that could go wrong for the Lumineth player.

However, in general I don't think mortals on hit are problematic in melee. Shooting is a different matter, though. But even in the case of shooting such as with Sentinels, the problem is not with the mortal wound's ability to bypass save rolls. It's that the way those mortal wounds are triggered entails auto-hits on 6s to hit. This is a problem specifically because shooting defense in AoS relies so heavily on negative to hit modifiers (both with Look Out, Sir! and cover). If we had the ability to reduce the impact of ranged mortals on hit proportionally by getting cover or Look Out, Sir they would be way more managable. Sentinels hit on 4s normally. Imagine if their damage output actually dropped by 1/3 for each -1 to hit.

There is a reason we moved away from "6+ to hit triggers an effect" to "natural 6s trigger an effect". In most cases, it's the better mechanic. But for ranged attacks, this wording just does not play well with the other rules of AoS.

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When I first started Age of Sigmar, I had come from having played 40k, and 6th/7th edition was the most recent at the time. I had played since 4th, but I never found that Deathstars were a thing before 6th/7th. Seeing that, in AoS, there were wounds that armor/ invulnerable saves could not save, and that ward saves tended to be 5+/6+ and not the likes of 3++ invulnerables etc etc, I immediately found the game far more fun than 40k ever had been. The game was so much less open to abuse, because it was so much easier to kill units, in particular the kind of problem units that in 40k, would have made the game unpleasant to play. AoS, for the most part, did not have that problem. So yes, mortal wounds are a good idea and I'm glad they exist. I've never had more fun playing warhammer than when I switched to AoS.

However, naturally, there are now too many mortal wounds flying around these days, and it needs to be reigned in.

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I need a "maybe" answer.

For me, it's all about the whole game, not just one mechanic. That's the balance that I expect to see for AoS 3.0:

  1. To break high defense (2+ save), we need high rend (-3 or more rend). I expect this to be a job for standard Elite Units.
  2. To kill low armor save units (5+ or 6+save), we don't need high rend (spill damage can change the outcome...). That's what I understand that battlelines and Horde units are going to do.
  3. To kill Indestructible armor (1+ save), we need mortal wounds. Maybe artillery or specific weapons could do the trick.
  4. And so on...

note: I'm not talking about "paper-scissor-stone" mechanic, critical rolls (unmodified 6 for attacks) are going to allways be successfull, and no matter what, 1+saves and this type of units should be completely restricted and not abused.

All of them should be made with lore and coherence in mind. I don't have any problem if spells do Mortal Wounds, but Enhanced Weapons (to make an example) shoud have them in "To Wound rolls" (poisons, magic weapons, runic weapons, etc...).

I think that magic attacks and spells in general are just do "1D3 mw with maybe some bonus". That's a bit boring, maybe it's time to give them more personality. I don't know, but it could be fine that Fireball (?) and all fire attacks  had an auto-hit with high rend (I don't want more rolls, but it's just to make a point, don't take it 100% seriously).

Btw, GW is looking for a Lead Game Developer of Age of Sigmar:
https://jobs.games-workshop.com/search-and-apply/lead-games-developer-warhammer-age-of-sigmar

Not sure what it is, but I hope that can help to polish some AoS rules.

Edited by Beliman
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24 minutes ago, Beliman said:

To kill Indestructible armor (1+ save), we need mortal wounds. Maybe artillery or specific weapons could do the trick.

I think it's nonsense to make a 1+ save unrendable.

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13 minutes ago, zilberfrid said:

I think it's nonsense to make a 1+ save unrendable.

This mechanic emerges naturally from the nitty-gritty of the game mechanics, but it was nonsense to write a warscroll that actually relies on this stupid, obscure interaction. Just a huge design blunder. It's something that should have been "patched out", not put into the spotlight.

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9 minutes ago, zilberfrid said:

I think it's nonsense to make a 1+ save unrendable.

Don't get me wrong, I think the same.  My point is that all attack should have a prefered target.

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I am also in line with most posts here:

MW are fine to prevent certain unwanted tactics AND offer a fast and simple way to have nice "Bonus" rules.

(Ideally those already have a lot of rules text and not that big of an impact, so no need to waste time rolling even more dice)

But when they become a main tactic of the game there is something wrong. 

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the implementation of MW is not part of the question folks. MW are/were a good mechanic but with more and more power creep and bad rules writing  their implementation is problematic. Also any mechanic could be bad with a poor implementation - let me give this 100 point unit 20 wounds etc. 

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23 minutes ago, Feii said:

the implementation of MW is not part of the question folks. MW are/were a good mechanic but with more and more power creep and bad rules writing  their implementation is problematic. Also any mechanic could be bad with a poor implementation - let me give this 100 point unit 20 wounds etc. 

In a yes/no question, you'll get yes/no answers. GW isn't shy in using them for some factions, and even requires them to deal with some stuff. If GW can't write good rules with mortal wounds, I'd rather not have them at all.

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13 minutes ago, zilberfrid said:

In a yes/no question, you'll get yes/no answers. GW isn't shy in using them for some factions, and even requires them to deal with some stuff. If GW can't write good rules with mortal wounds, I'd rather not have them at all.

well then dont answer?  if people keep answering that MW is a bad mechanic because of the state of the game right now it does not help the discussion

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13 minutes ago, Feii said:

well then dont answer?  if people keep answering that MW is a bad mechanic because of the state of the game right now it does not help the discussion

On the other hand, if a mechanic is fine on its own but often ends up abused, it should be brought into the discussion.

While I voted for yes, in concept, if a lot of people think they're abused currently then perhaps the concept of them is too easily abusable and so they're not a good concept? Or at least not good without some adjustments 

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34 minutes ago, Feii said:

well then dont answer?  if people keep answering that MW is a bad mechanic because of the state of the game right now it does not help the discussion

Rule elements can only be as good as how GW uses them.

Between mortal wounds as they are now, and no mortal wounds, the choice is clear to me.

With more options, there would be room for nuance.

As an aside, I don't think mortal wounds really need existing if the "1+ save bug can't be modified" is patched. It just adds to the pile of game elements that have the word "wound" in them.

Edited by zilberfrid
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17 minutes ago, Enoby said:

On the other hand, if a mechanic is fine on its own but often ends up abused, it should be brought into the discussion.

While I voted for yes, in concept, if a lot of people think they're abused currently then perhaps the concept of them is too easily abusable and so they're not a good concept? Or at least not good without some adjustments 

I agree. I just fear that bad implementation (which is native to probably every game mechanic) will lead to people thinking MWs are always bad. 

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2 hours ago, zilberfrid said:

I think it's nonsense to make a 1+ save unrendable.

In regards to the Bastiladon (I believe the only 1+ save unit in the game?), people need to be aware that it’s previous warscroll ignored rend and had a ‘ignore mortal wounds’ ability anyway. Sure, it’s old save was 3+ (4+ for mortals) but the point is that ignoring rend isn’t new for them

as for how the saves + rend actually works, it’s not gw fault that no one actually played it properly, people still don’t in regards to rerolls actually 

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1 hour ago, Joseph Mackay said:

In regards to the Bastiladon (I believe the only 1+ save unit in the game?), people need to be aware that it’s previous warscroll ignored rend and had a ‘ignore mortal wounds’ ability anyway. Sure, it’s old save was 3+ (4+ for mortals) but the point is that ignoring rend isn’t new for them

as for how the saves + rend actually works, it’s not gw fault that no one actually played it properly, people still don’t in regards to rerolls actually 

The 1+ is the only thing that can't be solved by just having high rend and thus deleting a term in the crowded "wound" word group, and I am firmly in the opinion that that exception should just be rendable.

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I think Mortal Wounds in general are good for the game. However, I think how easy it is to deal mortal wounds in the current state is not healthy for the game (looking at you specifically LRL that basically has the opportunity to deal Mortal Wounds with half their army). Their should be a pretty high value on the ability to deal mortal wounds IMO and reserved for Heroes, certain spells & prayers and super elite units.

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Like everything GW comes up with, it's a good idea that gets put into place mostly well then abused and broken at some point with poor army book writing.

I would like for DPRs to be negated by them.  I don't want to see Nurgle getting their saves after bypassing their armour.  It's not really "mortal" then is it?  In 40k you cannot take Invulnerable saves from MWs.  I just wish they were maybe a bit sparser and not blocked.  

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Again, a yes from me.

But like so many others, it isn't the MW tool that is the problem, but how the writers are using it.

Magic MWs are pretty acceptable, as are some MWs from weapons and abilities. It's the sloppy writing that tries to compensate for poor rules insight that causes the problems.

Such as 'this model can clear its nose and inflict D3 mortal wounds on any unit within 3"' and only because the model's melee weapon is hitting on 4 and wounding on 3 with no rend, but GW has to sell these models so there needs to be something that's attractive about them in the warscroll.

MWs have become the goldrush of AoS mechanics and no one is saying it needs to stop or the writers need to do their jobs better. Otherwise we might as well resort to 'rock, paper, scissors, stone' contests.

(So yeah, I like mortal wounds, it just needs to be reined in).

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I actually really like mortal wounds since it gives a way to hurt durable targets even if you lost the right tools for it.  Even if I lose my high rend Troggoths/Fanatics I can still throw out a few mortal wounds on a durable target with my shaman and maybe take it out or take it down a notch. They have certainly become much more prevalent than one might like, but as a mechanic I think they are good for the game.

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Mortal wounds are a fine and I dare say necessary mechanic.

Not stated are all the instances where mortal wounds are used as a cost or consequence for some abilities. To use Beast of Chaos as an example, self inflict mortal wounds are used to generate point for their summoning mechanic. Another example would be an artifact that gives the wielder +2 W but as a drawback, rolls of one inflict mortal wounds on the wielder.

Edit: Grammar

Edited by Chaos Shepard
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