Remove this ad

Lead

Jan 17 16 7:56 PM

Tags : :

Having played a half dozen games now, there have been two situations in which players have 'gamed' the rules via the Fearful rule.  Taking Elite Foot and then reducing their point count by two points per unit (down to 4) makes for some very 'gamey' lists to go up against.  Here is just one example.

2x Orc Elite Foot with Fearful rule = 8 points.
2x Orc Heavy Riders with Mounted Missiles and Fearful rule = 6 points.
2x Orc Light Missiles with Feaful rule= 4 points.
1x 'Ghost Orcs' Bellicose Foot wih Invisibility and Fearful rule = 5 points.
1x Goblin Scouts with Fearful rule = 1 point (which is miniumum). 

That's eight units which have a relatively small penalty when it comes down to playing the game.  It just seems that 'Fearful' really throws off some of the balance of the game.  After seeing the rule in use (in the worse possible way), I am inclined to remove it from any usage in events or campaigns which I run.  But rather than just throw it out based on my observations I wanted to see what everyone else was thinking about its usage.  Perhaps it should be reversed; say -1 point to a units cost for a -2 penalty to courage tests?  It might bring some balance back into the point system. 

What do you think?  image
Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad
Remove this ad

#1 [url]

Jan 18 16 1:59 AM

Oh dear me. Well if I were playing them then that would be for the last time! Elite units that are fearful? Really? A sharp pointy stick needs to be used to remind them to play for fun and in the spirit of the rules...

Quote    Reply   

#3 [url]

Jan 18 16 1:50 PM

Just to add some more confusion, I'm not sure you are allowed to field a Scout unit which has Fearful, because the words on P11 say you can't reduce the cost of a unit below 1 point. The way I read that therefore is that, since the Scout unit costs 2 points, giving it the Fearful trait would violate that rule.

However I agree that using the Fearful trait could mean 2 point Orc Bellicose foot units, so giving an army of 12 such units, or go all the way and have 24 units of Light Foot! Just having -1 on the Courage tests in those circumstances would not really matter much.

Quote    Reply   

#4 [url]

Jan 18 16 2:00 PM

And this, as they say, is why we can't have nice things....

Aside from smacking them over the head with a "dontbeadick stick",(copywrite pending) and not gaming with this sort of underhanded General, I understand where you might want some guidelines for events and such.

How about: Fearful may not be taken by a unit with a Courage value of 3+.

Or if you really want to lay the Spirit of the Rules Hammer down: Fearful may not be taken by any unit with an Attack value of 4+ or better.

Quote    Reply   

#5 [url]

Jan 18 16 5:07 PM

Bernard Stuart wrote:
Just to add some more confusion, I'm not sure you are allowed to field a Scout unit which has Fearful, because the words on P11 say you can't reduce the cost of a unit below 1 point. The way I read that therefore is that, since the Scout unit costs 2 points, giving it the Fearful trait would violate that rule.

However I agree that using the Fearful trait could mean 2 point Orc Bellicose foot units, so giving an army of 12 such units, or go all the way and have 24 units of Light Foot! Just having -1 on the Courage tests in those circumstances would not really matter much.

I'm sure that's right about Scouts. 

On the point about 12 or 24 units: these would be outlawed under the "maximum of 10 units" rule (for 24 points). 

One thing to consider in all this is what happens to these Fearful warbands when they come up against units with Fear. In that case, they'll be making more Courage rolls and making them with -2 to the dice. That could be quite significant - especially once some casualties have been incurred.

Another point: it will obviously depend on table size, but the 3" rule does tend to count against cramming the table with troops. If the table is crowded, Bellicose Foot and Cavalry with Fearful might find that they're often forced to retreat into their friends - most likely taking additional casualties as they do so, which will in turn amplify the effects of Fearful ...

All that said, it does seem very much against the spirit of the game to create Fearful Elite Foot without a good narrative rationale!
 

Quote    Reply   

#6 [url]

Jan 18 16 7:18 PM

Ive done my lotr goblins light foot mixed weapons,fearful and hatred of dwarves.Think this is the type of in character use for fearful. I might add fleet footed for an extra point.

Quote    Reply   

#7 [url]

Jan 19 16 2:53 AM

Thanks for the input guys.  I figure I will likely drop the rule for general use unless I can think of clever way of dealing with it.  It does seem that it can be 'cheesed up' rather easily.

Quote    Reply   

#8 [url]

Jan 19 16 12:29 PM

I think it would be a loss to just ban Fearful. I'll use it on goblins / smaller orcs, for the regular melee and missile troops. They need something to differentiate them from higher quality troops, and this is one way to do it. Otherwise, my elves with swords and my goblins would both be Light Foot + Offensive. (I'd like a few more ways to subtly vary troops without messing with balance.)

While concerns are expressed above, I see a lot of answers, too. What about the limit on Courage rating suggested above? I wouldn't like the Attack Value limit, because it would apply to my Light Foot + Offensive.

andy

Quote    Reply   

#9 [url]

Jan 19 16 1:20 PM

andyskinner wrote:
I think it would be a loss to just ban Fearful. I'll use it on goblins / smaller orcs, for the regular melee and missile troops. They need something to differentiate them from higher quality troops, and this is one way to do it. Otherwise, my elves with swords and my goblins would both be Light Foot + Offensive. (I'd like a few more ways to subtly vary troops without messing with balance.)

While concerns are expressed above, I see a lot of answers, too. What about the limit on Courage rating suggested above? I wouldn't like the Attack Value limit, because it would apply to my Light Foot + Offensive.

andy


I also wonder whether a ban is necessary. One thing that strikes me is that there's a big risk in adding Fearful to the likes of Elite Foot. Elite Foot are normally a great unit becasue they're durable (Armour 4 and Courage 3+), as well as good at fighting. But once you start to tamper with their Courage, the durability diminishes. Normally, you can rely on Elite Foot to rarely be Battered and to rally quickly if they are. And you can be sure that they won't rout immediately if they've only taken one or two casualties. But once you add Fearful, that's no longer true. If a Greater Warbeast with Fear attacks a Fearful Elite Foot unit, he'll typically inflict 8 hits, killing two of them. They then have to make a Courage test with -4 on the dice, so even a slightly sub-par roll (6 or less) will leave them Battered (and highly vulnerable). Fearful also raises the possibility of an Elite Foot routing altogether when they've taken only a single casualty. Over the course of a game with an all-Fearful army, I'd expect all those -1s to add up significantly. 

Quote    Reply   

#10 [url]

Jan 19 16 11:50 PM

The real problem comes down when it is applied across the board.  The real test of balance is whether or not 2 units of 'regular' Elite foot is balanced when it can be replaced by 3 units of 'fearful' Elite Foot.  A single negative pip is hardly comersurate with a 1/3 reduction in post cost.  I understand the arguments of what a -1 to leadership means in the game, but in terms of mechanics it really means less than some would argue. 

I didn't want to dismiss the rule altogether, but in my experience as an event organizer there will always be that 'one guy' and we all know who that is in our local area.  I don't want Dragon Rampant to degenerate into Power-Hammer, which many of you can remember from not so many years ago.  I would hate to see the game become 1 or 2 'Uber Power Units' with 3-4 Fearful Cheese units thrown in on top. 

After discussing it with a couple of pretty intellegent gamers here locally- guys of various styles... while its not perfect, we collectively decided to limit the use of the fearful rule to a maximum of 2 units per warband.  So, the guys who want it just for flavor have access it, while the power-game, cheese-types can't abuse it.  I think it will be a reasonable accomidation for larger events or local game days- at home I think players should do whatever floats their boat... or longship if they are predisposed to Vikings. 
image

Pat

Last Edited By: SoCalWarhammer Jan 20 16 7:16 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad

#11 [url]

Jan 20 16 7:17 PM

Steve J wrote:
Oh dear me. Well if I were playing them then that would be for the last time! Elite units that are fearful? Really? A sharp pointy stick needs to be used to remind them to play for fun and in the spirit of the rules...

Yeah, I plan on hitting him with a hard, blunt object some time in the near future! 

Quote    Reply   

#12 [url]

Jan 21 16 10:18 AM

Dan sums up "Fearful" in the rule book as: "Fearful is an option allowed you to field units that are petrified of everything, their own shadow included." I would hardly say that would apply to Elite troops even Bellicose foot do not fit in with being fearful. At most it might apply to light foot and light missiles for say some goblins, hobbits and "mice".

Quote    Reply   

#13 [url]

Jan 21 16 10:28 AM

ThomO wrote:
Dan sums up "Fearful" in the rule book as: "Fearful is an option allowed you to field units that are petrified of everything, their own shadow included." I would hardly say that would apply to Elite troops even Bellicose foot do not fit in with being fearful. At most it might apply to light foot and light missiles for say some goblins, hobbits and "mice".


The two-unit limit for tournaments seems a good idea, but I think you could conceivably think of situations where the Fearful rule might work with Elite Foot: highly skilled but untrustworthy mercenaries, for example, who might be terrific fighters but disinclined to stick around when things aren't going their own way. And for Bellicose Foot, think of the Tusken Raiders/Sand People in Star Wars: ferocious but easily startled.

You might also have a powerful but craven sorcerer - the kind of villain who sneaks out of the back door of his tower when the heroes cut down his minions. And so on.

But there's obviously a difference between adding flavour in situations like these and applying a rule across a whole side just to cram more troops onto the table!

Quote    Reply   

#14 [url]

Jan 21 16 11:13 AM

I have added fearful to my heavy foot with Denethor. This keeps in character with the unit being fine till a few casualties taken, then its doom and flee time from the happy steward. My goblins have fearful and hatred of dwarves, all is well when the gobbo bullies outnumber the dwarves, till those axes start swinging and its time to get big brother balrog.

Quote    Reply   

#15 [url]

Feb 12 16 8:42 AM

I do not agree with limiting of the number of fearful units. The game itself does a good job of mitigating having lots of units because the more units you have the more likely they will be to fail an activation roll and prevent any other units in your army from activating. Lots of fearful units aren't cheesy, they are just an interesting experiment using the rules of the game.

I really hate the gut reaction mentality some wargamers have of wanting to ban and declare "cheesy" anything new and different.

Quote    Reply   

#16 [url]

Feb 12 16 10:01 AM

PhiloRaptor wrote:
I do not agree with limiting of the number of fearful units. The game itself does a good job of mitigating having lots of units because the more units you have the more likely they will be to fail an activation roll and prevent any other units in your army from activating. Lots of fearful units aren't cheesy, they are just an interesting experiment using the rules of the game.

I really hate the gut reaction mentality some wargamers have of wanting to ban and declare "cheesy" anything new and different.


Interesting point of view.  I suppose where is the balance in terms of going for really lots of units.  Could be a fun experiment to go for 10 units and see how you get on.  It does sound though that the fearful rule is being abused in the OP in order to get upgrades rather than just loads of units - eg Elite Foot rather than heavy foot, bows on mounted, invisibility, etc.
 

Quote    Reply   

#17 [url]

Feb 12 16 11:03 AM

jon1066 wrote:

PhiloRaptor wrote:
I do not agree with limiting of the number of fearful units. The game itself does a good job of mitigating having lots of units because the more units you have the more likely they will be to fail an activation roll and prevent any other units in your army from activating. Lots of fearful units aren't cheesy, they are just an interesting experiment using the rules of the game.

I really hate the gut reaction mentality some wargamers have of wanting to ban and declare "cheesy" anything new and different.


Interesting point of view.  I suppose where is the balance in terms of going for really lots of units.  Could be a fun experiment to go for 10 units and see how you get on.  It does sound though that the fearful rule is being abused in the OP in order to get upgrades rather than just loads of units - eg Elite Foot rather than heavy foot, bows on mounted, invisibility, etc.
 


I'm not sure that's necessarily true.  This is the list the OP posted:

2x Orc Elite Foot with Fearful rule = 8 points.
2x Orc Heavy Riders with Mounted Missiles and Fearful rule = 6 points.
2x Orc Light Missiles with Feaful rule= 4 points.
1x 'Ghost Orcs' Bellicose Foot wih Invisibility and Fearful rule = 5 points.
1x Goblin Scouts with Fearful rule = 1 point (which is miniumum). 

Note, that none of these units would be over the 10 point per unit max if we removed the Fearful rule from them.  Therefore, it isn't really right to say that the purpose of taking Fearful in this list is to take upgrades that units couldn't otherwise get.  Instead, it appears to be (at least in part) to be able to take more units.

However, even assuming you are correct, I still do not see a problem with this.  The Author of DR specifically limited the Fantastical Rules that some units could take.  Therefore, the fact that he didn't limit fearful to "non-elite" units means that he intended the rule to be used with "elites."  Plus, Fearful allows for a wider range of elite options to be taken, because it is the only way that we can get around the 10 point max rule.  

And why not?  Often in literature evil forces seem to "break" the rules by being apparently more powerful than anyone else.  But at heart, they are cowards, and that is what ends up being their downfall in the end.  Why can this same scenario not be played out across our DR game boards?  Especially as the Author has specifically allowed for it.

I take umbrage with the fact that some people instantly see this as "cheesy" or "broken."  The game has been out for less than three months.  Instead of immediatly house ruling out lists that we don't like, why don't we play within the rules for a while and see how that turns out?  I bet a well timed "befuddle thee!" spell on a fearful unit could cause havok.

Quote    Reply   

#18 [url]

Mar 6 16 4:21 PM

I've just played using a goblin force. I opted to have all the foot units as fearful, hoping to a fun brittle force but, it is far to cheap for the benefit it gives you, a three point unit becomes just one point. Not once did the -1 on my courage throws come into play. Even if they had run away it's just not that much of a problem as it hardly effects the force morale losing so few points. I can definately see a valid point for having less enthusiastic troops but, for two less points, should thier initial courage level be changed as well. Post game we discussed them having an overall -1 on all tests and activations amd in all honesty I still think it's a bargain

Cheers
Chris

Quote    Reply   

#19 [url]

Apr 28 16 12:03 AM

I agree fearful is too cheap for what it gives you. I would amend it to a -1 pt cost for the unit with a -2 on its courage.
In the meantime with the rule as is I don't use fearful troops if my opponent doesn't, if my opponent wishes to use fearful troops then I will use lots of fearful troops. Unfortunately with the rule at present you are doing more than just adding theme and character to your force, you are giving yourself a considerable advantage.

Quote    Reply   

#20 [url]

Apr 28 16 1:14 PM

My "Fearful" fix

I have adjusted the "Fearful" rule in a few very small ways that I think makes it work and work well.

   1) "Fearful" now costs "-1pt"

   2) (new rule) "Panic": All "Fearful" troops within 6" of a friendly unit that Routs must make an immediate Courage test

I think the reduction in the cost from -2 to -1 is absolutely required otherwise this will get abused even by gamers who are trying not to do so (really). 

I also think the addition of the "Panic" rule is much needed.  At first I considered adding "Panic" in one form or another across the board, but I think it is a better fit for just Fearful troops in a game this simply/easy to play.

My over-priced 2 cents,

Scott

Last Edited By: Grumbling Grognard Apr 28 16 11:34 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help