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BeitragVerfasst: 12.04.2008, 08:43 
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André Winter
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Registriert: 29.08.2006, 23:52
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Ein für den einen oder andere interessanter Artikel auf der Website von FFG. Wenn ich mal Zeit hab, werd ich eine Übersetzung nachreichen.

Zitat:
Musings on Army Building:
Part 1 — Getting Started

by Carl Hotchkiss


One of my favorite aspects of miniatures gaming is building armies. I know, I know, it should be playing the game, but there is a subtle attraction to building multiple armies and variations of armies and spending time trying to envision how they will perform against various other armies. While I am not always very successful at anticipating the moves of my opponents (or of remembering their special abilities), it is still fun to go through the process. So it was with much enjoyment that I spent some time at work over the last few weeks building armies.

The first reason I was building armies at work was to prepare the demo kits for the FFG Mobile tour. The specifications I tried to meet were:

Zitat:
1. Try for balance, so each player has a good time.
2. Try to field different units, so players get a taste of what's out there.
3. Try to keep it short, yet lengthy enough to show the strengths of the game.


The first thing I needed to choose was point values. By nature, I prefer large-scale battles with huge numbers of figures, as it gives me more of an epic feel to battle, yet my target audience here would be people who have not played before, so I needed to keep the size down. And yet while the starter set is a cool entry point, I wanted more than one unit apiece so players could really get a feel for the scope of the game. I decided to go with 2000 points, which allows 2-3 units on each side. I also decided to go with the basic Order of the Banners for both armies for simplicity's sake.

Starting with the Confrontation starter, I decided to begin with the Wolfen. I grabbed Serethis for my Incarnate, since each army must have an incarnate to play. He currently is the only Wolfen incarnate, but that will change when the Throne of Stars Hero box is released. Since Serethis works well with Hunters, that was my obvious choice for my first unit, which also satisfied the compulsory choice. I took the basic 4 Hunters from the starter set and added 4 more, which can be done by picking up a Hunter Unit Box, which will be coming out soon. This can also be done from a second starter box (trade with a friend who plays Griffin) to bring the Hunter unit to 8. I then decided to pick as my second unit the Great Fangs. This unit box has one of my favorite sculpts (the one with the 2 blades). My Wolfen army was complete.

Going back to the starter, I then turned to the Griffin. I began with Abel, as again I needed an incarnate. Since Abel works with Spearmen, my first unit became a Spearman unit, which also satisfied my compulsory choice. I used the 8 spearmen from the starter and added 6 more, which can be done using a Spearmen Unit Box (coming soon!). This can also be done from a second starter box (trade with a friend who plays Wolfen) for a total of 14. I then picked out the Fusiliers as my primary unit. I say primary as my experience with demos out of the starters has been that the Wolfen's Fear is a huge factor, and the ferocity of their attacks usually carries the day. However, the recent arrival of the Fusiliers suddenly gives the Griffin faction the ability to cause some wounds before the Wolfen barrel into them. In my mind, that balanced the two forces, and gave the Griffin a bit of edge they were missing. I went with a full unit strength of 12 Fusiliers, just because they are so important. To round out my points I chose a Templar unit of 9 Templars. At this point, I felt I had two forces that are roughly balanced.

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While building the demo armies, there was discussion around the office asking those of us who know the Confrontation system to teach others here. This is the second reason I have been building armies, to be able to teach people here in office, and just get some games played during our lunch hour. Since these games would be played during a lunch period, the armies needed to be smaller, so I went with 1500 points. I decided to do up 2 configurations per army to give me a variety of strategies.

This time I started with the Griffins. I decided to go with two extremes: The first army is primarily ranged, while the second is melee only. The ranged army gives me a little trouble as the army banner only allows me to put three infantry units in, and only two of those may be Rank 1. Abel only works with Spearmen, so I gave up one Rank 1 slot to nine spearmen. The other slot went to twelve Fusiliers, naturally, given their great shooting ability. When the Temple of the North is released, and I have a commander that works with Templars, I will actually carry two units of Fusiliers. My third unit is a group of six Demon Hunters. This gives me a second shooting unit, which though weaker, allows me to shoot and protect the Fusiliers both, and their Scout ability allows me to set up in advantageous positions.

The second Griffin banner is all about melee. The Spearmen can fight out to 3 cm, so are most likely to be able to get all of them in a fight. I started with eight Spearmen and Abel, hoping his Chastisement artifact can keep his unit alive for a time. The second unit is a unit of Templars. This is a fully decked out unit of nine Templars, including the Chaplain, Standard Bearer, and Musician. I am hoping that they can be the core group that can stand against the Wolfen, as the Chaplain gives them sacred weapons which make them read on a better column on strength tests, the Standard Bearer gives them a two point bonus on courage (much needed against the Wolfen fear), and the Musician allows them to resolve a second combat. My third unit is another, smaller Templar unit, with seven Templars, and minus the Chaplain, as I ran out of points.

Moving on to my Wolfen Banners, there are no ranged units, but knowing that the Griffins have ranged available, I try two ideas here also. The first is to simply go with cheaper, more plentiful troops, just trying to get as many available Health out there as possible. I of course took Serethis and four Hunters, as Serethis only works with Hunters. Fangs are the cheapest Wolfen available, so I looked to those next. Since I could afford more than a single unit allows, I purchase two under strength units. My second and third unit therefore have five Fangs each, though with the few remaining points I was able to give one of the units available a Repentant, whose ability allows him to skip one damage per strength test, i.e. wounds.

The second Wolfen Banner is a much stronger one, but doesn’t have nearly as much health. I began with the required Serethis and four hunters for my first unit. My second unit contains six Great Fangs, decked out with the Rune Guardian, Grave Guardian, and the Repentant. While the Great Fangs have similar stats to the Fangs in most areas, there are some critical differences. Each Great Fang rolls two dice for attack instead of the one which the Fangs use, giving them much more punch. They also have a special ability called Sequence, which allows them bonus dice on fives and sixes in hand to hand combat. Even if they take some losses crossing the field towards their prey, they should do considerable damage when they get there. The Rune Guardian allows them to call for Sacred Armor, making them harder to hit. The Grave Guardian allows them to re-roll failures on courage tests if they have been taking serious losses. The Repentant allows them to ignore one damage point each strength test. This looks to be a fairly solid unit.

All in all I look forward to trying these and other builds soon, and look forward to the ever varying strategies as more units become available.


http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/confr ... cle-1.html

Zitat:
Musings on Army Building:
Part 2 — The Future

by Carl Hotchkiss


I'm coming fresh off of testing one of my army builds from the last article I wrote. It worked great. We played a three way battle, with one Griffin and two Wolfen players. I played with Serethis, four Hunters, and six Great Fangs. My Hunters wiped out a unit of Spearmen, while my Great Fangs wiped out a smaller unit of Great Fangs. By the time my groups arrived at the side of the battle where the other players were fighting each other, my forces outnumbered them. It just emphasized how important the attachment boxes in this game can be. The special abilities of the special fighters can be critical in battles that might otherwise be equal. And the sequence ability and Gift of the Wolf were critical.

Bild

This has lead me to start thinking about what is coming soon and what new figures I can add to my forces to make them better. The Griffin especially will be well served by some of the new incarnates coming. As there will be multiple Incarnates to add to the armies, and more options to pick from, I am moving up to 2500 point armies, to try out even bigger ideas.

Bild

Standard Griffin Order

One of the new releases coming soon allows me to start an army that I have wanted to try ever since I read the Griffin book. I love the whole concept of Knights on horseback, as it captures my imagination, and the Temple of the North Hero Box allows me to try a banner idea that will be fun, and I will see if it can be effective. I start by choosing the standard Griffin Order of the Banner. It allows me to choose two Rank 1 infantry slots, which is necessary for my idea to work. For my priority slot, I choose a full unit of 12 Fusiliers. My second choice is also a full unit of Fusiliers. This gives my banner great firepower to begin the fight at a distance.

My third unit is going to be a full complement of five Redemption Riders, with both special fighters, led by Thurbard, mounted on his horse. The Redemption Riders have nice solid stats on both attack and defense and move faster than the other Temple units, giving this banner a little more movement flexibility, and their lances give them the ability to attack at 3 cm. The standard bearer gives a 2–point bonus on courage, which given Thurbard's already high courage, lets this unit stand against the Wolfen's Fear easily. I also pick Thurbard's artifact, a Battle Censer, which makes Thurbard's unit's power always greater than that of the unit it is charging, guaranteeing the charge re-rolls.

The whole concept of this banner centers around using the two Fusiliers' firepower to heavily damage the opponents fastest unit, and using the Redemption Rider unit to slam into the weakened unit and destroy it. While the Riders go after that unit, the Fusiliers then pick the next fastest enemy unit and start mauling it, so when the riders finish with the first unit they can then charge the second, and so on.


Bild

Temple of the North

Looking further out on the release schedule, there are two more units that I am looking forward to experimenting with, the Praetorian Guard and the Cannons. For this army build, I choose the Temple of the North banner. I am making this choice for two reasons: it allows me to bring two War Machines and two Rank 3 Infantry. In this case, I hold off on making my choice for the compulsory priority slot. I know I must fill it, but I want to make my other choices first and see how many points are left and then make that decision.

My first choices are the Praetorian Guard. I choose two full strength units with all three special fighters. These units cost me more than half of my army points, but they have incredible stats and abilities. While they only have one health and one die, their attack is decent at 5 and their strength is a 9, which is great for Griffin troops. Their defense is a meager 3, but with a resilience of 9, they should hold up well. With their Master Strike ability, which adds their Attack to their strength in hand-to-hand strength tests, they can cause massive damage. Another cool ability comes from the Musician, who allows me to bring in any incarnate into my unit.

I choose Mira to join one of the Praetorian units. Her stolen weapon Hauteclaire has a powerful ability that triggers a wave of magical flames, which allows her to inflict a strength test whose action value is equal to her Fervor of 6 on all enemy fighters in contact with her unit. Her War Fury also allows her attack tests to be re-rolled. I next move on to the multiple War Machine slots this banner allows. I pick two Cannons. The Cannons are very powerful pieces. Not only can they shoot out to great distances, but their strength tests are very powerful. Since they are fixed artillery, they get extra shots based on the number of crew. The shots are also perforating which allows the number of kills to exceed the number of shooters.

Now, as my compulsory slot needs to be filled and I have only 305 points left, I select a group of Demon Hunters. My ultimate plan here is to center my deployment around the Cannons. The Praetorians get placed to the side of them, with the idea that as units get closer they move out to intercept them. The Demon Hunters would be placed last to prevent units with the Scout ability from being able to get to the Cannons.

Throne of Stars

I decide to try a Wolfen banner next. The new Throne of Stars is about to be released, and both incarnates look really cool. Yes, sometimes that can be a good reason to play a figure, but in this case, they are also good stat-wise. I decide to use the standard Banner when building this force.

For my compulsory slot, I choose Onyx and a unit of nine Fangs, with all three special fighters. I give Onyx the Keratis blade, which makes his strength tests better, and given his solid stats, that helps him become a solid pick at low cost.

BildBild

The next pick is Y'Anrylh and a unit of three Bloodthirsty Predators. Y'Anrylh himself is a great fighter with devastating strength, and some critical artifacts: He has a Bloody Shoulder Guard, which allows him to ignore the first damage from every strength test scored against him, and Y'Anrylh's Edge, which allows him to do a strength test of strength 6 against every enemy in contact with his unit. In addition, both he and his fighters share the Born Killer ability, which provides an extra die in attack tests, and Savage, which allows a bonus die on 5s and 6s. The final unit I take is five hunters, mainly for their Scout ability so they can base any ranged units to allow my two main groups to cross the table intact.

Bild

The Path of Opal

The second Wolfen banner I want to experiment with is The Path of Opal. The compulsory slot here is a Rank 3 infantry, which works well with the banner's first incarnate, Asgarh. I choose Asgarh because he leads a Worg Unit, and Worgs are incredibly powerful figures, though a player may only have one in a unit. Asgarh's stats are the same as a normal Worg, except he gets three attacks instead of two, yet his abilities modify that in a very big way. All Worgs get a bonus die on 5s and 6s for both attack and strength tests. In addition, The Purple Eye of Y'llia gives the unit the Implacable ability, which means that after they have assaulted an enemy unit, if they are still in contact with enemy figures, they initiate a new combat. The advantage of this banner works well with these abilities, as the results of strength tests are read one column to the right.

I next choose Karnyrax, who works with Vestal units. I put her in a unit of nine Vestals, with all special fighters. I also give her the Kiss of the She-Wolf, which gives the unit Regeneration, which means every time figures in the unit are damaged, they roll one die per wound and cancel a wound for every 5 or 6 rolled. Given that the Repentant can still cancel the first wound that gets through on each strength test, Regeneration makes them very durable. Last and definitely not least, I take two more Worg units. The whole idea is to run the Vestals ahead, soaking up the fire of lead troops because they can get rid of many of the wounds inflicted, and have the three Worg units follow and maul the enemy.

These four armies are just a few of the future potential armies for Confrontation: The Age of the Rag'narok. While going over the books, I began to see a multitude of strategies to use. I can't wait to try these armies out!


http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/confrontation/article-2.html

_________________
André Winter
L'Art Noir - Game Design and Translation Studio


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BeitragVerfasst: 08.05.2008, 19:00 
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André Winter
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Registriert: 29.08.2006, 23:52
Beiträge: 5458
Wohnort: Augsburg
Zitat:
Musings on Army Building:
Part 3 — Dirz

by Carl Hotchkiss


While my previous articles addressed current and future army builds, I concentrated on the two current factions, as they have been the focus of the current game. That is about to change with the upcoming release of the Creatures of Dirz book. I am very excited by this, as the addition of one more faction really opens the game to more options, and having a variety of opponents keeps a game fresh. Also, for those of you who like playing darker factions, this is the first faction to come to us from The Meanders of Darkness. No longer will The Ways of Light and The Paths of Destiny be alone.

The laboratory of Shamir has perhaps one of the better advantages of the four labs included in the book. While the Gift of the Scorpion allows each unit in the banner to roll an extra die for each Rank, the advantage of SO 150: Shamir is to gain an extra die when the gift is used. Since a lot of the creatures are large and powerful, but low in numbers, this gives them an opportunity to get extra dice rolls for some heavy hitters. I begin my first banner here.

Bild

For my first, compulsory slot, I choose a Nefarius Prime unit of one. This creature is Rank 3 which works well with the gift and advantage combo. The creature already comes with three attack dice of its own, which have incredibly high stats as it is. If the gift and advantage are used on the one attack die of its two handed weapon attack, that is five attack dice with 9 attack value and 9 strength value, plus the two attack dice from its two single handed weapons makes for seven dice in total. This attack becomes more brutal assuming it can survive a turn in hand to hand and its Master Strike ability comes into play. This allows it to add its attack to its strength value for hand-to-hand if it does not move. To help it survive, I team it with Claudia Nessalith. Claudia has Treatment M65, which gives her unit the regeneration ability, which means each time they sustain a wound, they roll a dice for each wound. On a "5" or "6" the wound is ignored. Given that the Nefarius Prime has a 10 resilience, it will be hard to wound. The Nefarius' insensitive trait also protects Claudia and itself from mystics and faithful.

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For my second unit, I duplicate the first unit almost exactly, except that I now use the other incarnate from SO 150, Sykho Volesterus. He also has an ability to help protect the Nefarius he is teamed with. His supernatural companion, Zilash, allows Sykho to call the Exquisite Pain communion when he eliminates a fighter. This cannot be censured, and allows his unit to suffer one less wound on the next strength test it suffers. While these two units pack an incredible punch, I need to find a way to cover them until they get closer. I choose two identical units to move forward in front of them to provide protection. These units are both made up of 12 Clones. While the clones have decent stats, in this case they are just meat shields to protect my real hard hitters.

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My final unit is a very nasty group of creatures called Phemera Alpha. Their prime ability is that they are explosive. At any time during their activation, if they are in contact with an enemy, all enemies this creature is in contact with suffer a 8 value strength test. Of course the creature dies, but since I take a unit of 16 of them, I feel it will be a fair trade as they are not expensive. Since they are fast, I use them as a reactive unit. Normally, they follow the clones until they are close enough to jet out and kill enemies. However, if I notice my opponent has any units with scout, then I will send them after the scout unit so my Nefarius units cannot be targeted early in the game.

Bild

Moving on to my second banner, I look at SO 38: Theben. This laboratory also has a very cool ability. The maximum number of fighters in creature units is increased by one, and that fighter is free. Only units with a maximum number value can benefit from this. The disadvantage actually works well as far as I can see: the standard number of fighters in all creature units of the lab of Theban is increased by one, and must be purchased as an extra fighter.

Now, Athan Zakhil is the Omnimancer of the Theban lab, and he can be taken in two different forms, his human form or his Dasyatis Prime form at which time he is called Zakhil Prime. In his human form he can join any scorpion unit, but in his Zakhil Prime form, he joins a Dasyatis Prime unit. The interesting part is that it is optional to have him satisfy the disadvantage of an extra creature, but not required. I therefore choose as my first, compulsory unit a Dasyatis Prime unit. While it normally has only one fighter, the disadvantage gives the unit a second fighter, and I add Zakhil prime as third. This gives me a very powerful core unit, whose savage and sequence abilities allow it to get bonus dice on rolls of "5" and "6" on both attack and strength tests, and whose resilience of 12 should keep them alive to use them. Since this lab has so many creature slots, I am very aggressive here with creatures. I take two full strength units of 17 Phemera Alphas. I realize this is a gamble, as they die when they blow up, but 17 in each unit provides a lot of potential firepower. Unlike the Shamir banner, this is not just a screening force for my Dasyatis unit, but a solid force to try and cripple the enemy. My final unit for this banner is 10 Crossbowmen. This is a nice solid group of ranged fighters that can provide covering fire for the Dasyatis unit, and is strong enough to defend itself in hand-to-hand.

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The next banner I experiment with is from SO 78: Eclipse. This lab has a major disadvantage in that the standard and maximum number of fighters in infantry units is reduced by one, but the cost remains the same. Since three of the units may be creatures, it isn't a big deal, however, in large games, it can hurt more. The eclipse advantage is pretty handy though, as I can give any one unit in each banner the scout ability. I decide to try and make this a potent anti-archery banner, with the idea of using the scout ability to put the bulk of my forces into immediate contact.

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The first unit I take for my compulsory slot is a Nefarius Prime unit of one fighter, led by Sasia Samaris. Sasia may be chosen in her regular form or as the Desert Rose. I choose the Desert Rose, as it allows her to roll more attack dice. Sasia's Feint ability prevents enemy bonus dice on attack tests, thus lowering the number of hits against her unit, and her Symbiotic attack gives her an extra die on strength tests. I also give this unit the scout ability according to the Eclipse advantage.

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My second and third units are groups of four Nemesis Evolution each. These units automatically come with the scout ability, and their multiple attacks and high attack and strength values allow them to do solid damage right from the first turn. Given that my entire force may now be deployed anywhere on the board, I can engage the enemy force on the first turn. Since Sasia has a 5 authority value, she has a decent chance of going first, which allows this army to immediately attack after any archers or other important targets.

The final banner I look at here is from SO 58: Cadwallon. They have an advantage that allows you to use an ability an enemy incarnate or unit has used previously in the round. The premise I follow here is having a lot of health, and making it hard to lose health. I pick three units of Dasyatis Evolution with four creatures in each, as they have two wounds each, very strong stats, and most importantly, they can regenerate health. When they take damage, roll a six-sided die for each damage inflicted and a roll of "5" or "6" negates the damage. I also include Salias Yesod in one of these groups as my incarnate commander. Salias has Survival Instinct, which forces successes on strength tests against Salias to be rerolled. He also has a Fleshfeasting sword which inflicts an additional damage for each "6" rolled on hand-to-hand strength tests.

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My fourth unit is a Scorpio war machine. This unit has only two shots, but with the Scorpion Gift, it becomes four shots. With a 7 attack value, it has a decent chance of hitting its target, and with its Isateph bolts, it gets extra strength tests for each success. Perforating shot allows it to cause more than one casualty, so its potential destructive power is great. My final unit is a full contingent of 16 Clones. They are decent fighters, but more importantly, there are a lot of them. Since they come with two biopsists, they also roll more dice. My only worry with this build is that my troops here are slow with a speed of 10, but I am hoping that is outweighed by the number of hits I can take. I am also counting on the Scorpio to take out archers.

While these banners are not ready yet, the various units here give me a heightened anticipation for upcoming releases. The book arrives very soon, and many of these releases will appear over the summer, adding much variety and energy to the current game.

_________________
André Winter
L'Art Noir - Game Design and Translation Studio


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