Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP)

Forum for the strategy game set during the 2nd War for Armageddon.

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DocDesastro
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by DocDesastro » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:24 pm

As long as weapons and stats can be tweaked we should be fine. A shame we cannot rename weapons or units and duplicate them. I would rather see a Steel Legion Veteran Squad and things alike. I should download your mod and take a deep look into it. I guess, however, we should opemn a new thread for the discussion on it. Heck, this breathes even life into this rather quite forum.

Also, I have no problems with the mod eventually getting better than vanilla game mechanic-wise. Some things feel wrong to me in vanilla although I must say it is still a good game.

Now, I would like to play with this hypothetical unit (can you tell me, whether this is possible?):

Steel Legion Infantry Platoon
This is the backbone of a Steel Legion-themed army. Fluff-wise, we consider it to contain a command squad of 5 and 3 squads of 10 making it 35 sprites overall so unit strength 35 at 1 HP each, which is reasonable for humans.

Weapons:
Lasgun (short range)
Range: 1-1 Strength: 20 Piercing: 0 Shots: 2.4 Accuracy: 100/-10%
Lasgun (long range)
Range: 2-2 Strength: 20 Piercing: 0 Shots: 1.6 Accuracy: 100/-10%
Bayonet
Range: 0-0 Strength: 15 Piercing: 0 Shots: 1 Accuracy 100/0%
Grenade Launcher
Range: 1-2 Strength: 35 Piercing: -5 Shots: 0.2 Accuracy 100/-20%

I want to see whether it is possible to use non-integer numbers for shots. With the values stated every 5th man of the platoon will be armed with a grenade launcher which will shoot with improved stats, which is true for units bought in the tabletop game. 2 special weapons in each squad and another one in the 5-man command squad. This is only usable, if the AI will count the sprites and multiply with the number of shots to get the correct number of attacks (rounded up). Strength is set to 35 so that it is possible for the launched frag grenades to have a small chance for bonus damage. I remember the launched grenades to be at strength 4 and a small piercing value. Lasgun ranges are split up to simulate the rapid-fire mechanism and the orders the present lieutenant will give (First rank: Fire! Second rank: Fire!). Also, infantry will have a chance to defend itself in close combat and hurt some orks in return - not too much, though. Having a close combat weapon would call for the assault trait.

The upgraded version of this unit would swap grenade launchers with the flamers. After some number crunching, I would expect the unit to be as big as the normal one: 35 men with 1HP depicting 1 command squad and 3 squads with a mixture of lasguns and flamers. Understanding the flamer, it should automatically come with the trait terror and siege, but the latter is not needed, since melee ignores cover bonus. Since the flamer is an AoE-weapon, I have increased attacks in melee simulating the flamer soldiers firing those instead of using bayonets but in turn incinerating more orks. Frankly, the vanilla version is not canon. There is no unit of 20 men all carrying flamers. 2 per squad

Steel Legion Flamer Platoon

Weapons:
Lasgun (short range)
Range: 1-1 Strength: 20 Piercing: 0 Shots: 2.4 Accuracy: 100/-10%
Lasgun (long range)
Range: 2-2 Strength: 20 Piercing: 0 Shots: 1.6 Accuracy: 100/-10%
Bayonet
Range: 0-0 Strength: 15 Piercing: 0 Shots: 0.8 Accuracy 100/0%
Flamer
Range: 0-0 Strength: 30 Piercing: 0 Shots: 0.2x4=0.8 Accuracy 200/0 "Terror"

This modification makes the unit more versatile as you still can use it in firefights on range 1-2. But I cannot see, why the unit should be smaller, just because it has a 'better' weapon now. A flamer does d6 hits automatically, so I raised accuracy to 200 to ensure the shots will hit. A d6 has a median of 4 (after rounding), so this is the average number of hits one inflicts.

You could offer to upgrade to reinforced platoons which will be the max of 1 command squad and 5 squads of 10 making it 55 sprites in one unit of infantry. True, this is a force to reckon with, but is at all in accord to fluff. The Chimera transport should be buffed and nerfed simultaneously. I would raise HP to 3 apiece, because it stil is a tank with, mind this, a better armour than a rhino. You get one for each squad, so 4 for a basic platoon and 6 for a reinforced platoon. When it comes to numbers, it should have accuracy on par with other tanks so around 60 to 70 ranged, although I feel it would be better to have accuracy generally be kept at 50% and weapon accuracy raised to a higher base to reflect that some weapons will hit more likely because they are good at close range, hit automatically like flamers or sheer cadence makes up for poor aim like twin-linked weapons do. A Multilaser is not a weak weapon so the comparison with the lasgun is not true at all. I would keep it 3 shots with strength about 50 to 60 but no piercing. It is a kind of high-powered, gatling lasgun. in the game it has Strength 6 which is enough to auto-kill a toughness 3 model, so giving it a strength of 20 is wrong. The heavy bolter has about the same cadence so 3 shots with a bit less strength but added piercing like 40/10 or 40/15. A heavy bolter penetrates all armour types beneath servo-armour fluffwise, so 40/0 would be too weak.
To compare a heavy bolter with a twin-linked one:

Heavy Bolter:
Range: 1-3 Strength: 40 Piercing: 15 Shots: 3 Accuracy 100/-10%
Twin-linked Heavy Bolter
Range: 1-3 Strength: 40 Piercing: 15 Shots: 4 Accuracy 150/-5%

This weapon behavior reflects the fact, that the twin-linked weapon will shoot more bullets so +1 to shots and in the game statistcally, each miss get a re-roll, which is reflected by accuracy 150 and lesser impact over range (tracer fire anyone?).

Mathematically, the Piercing value is odd, as it does just the same as strength. This is, because an armour value is missing. When calculating wounds, first it should be checked, whether the unit has armour, which will add to the defence value which is a number consisting of cover and natural toughness/resilience of troops. Piercing would negate that armour number but do not touch defence more. It just removes a possible bonus. To unarmoured troops it does not matter whether the bullet was armour piercing or not - they have no protection agains neither. So we would see that the multilaser would fare slightly worse against armoured targets (which it indeed does), because they get their defence buffed by their armour value. The heavy bolter however, would chew down on the armour and then hurt even better equipped targets. Cover goes into defence so it is nothing, piercing would help against and will decrease overall attack efficiency as intended. But the current system is wrong, as it is pure addition/subtraction mechanism so raising strength does the same as giving piercing: it linearly increases the difference between attack strength and effecive defence. This falls short of logic.

deranzo
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by deranzo » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:05 pm

A short reply for squad differency:
For example if a unit number is 5 and has a lasgun (1 shot) and bayonet (1 shot) separetly as 2 weapons, that means that unit will fire 5x1 times lasgun and 5x1 times bayonet. If any weapon has 2 shots, that will be 5x2. If a weapon has 5 shots, it will be 5x5. So, we can't separete weapons in a squad. It applies to whole squad.
Also, shot count only uses integer. Otherwise, it just trims the number.
Also least accuracy value is -10%. If you set -5%, game sees it as 0.
You can see mod topic in here http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 26&t=76966
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DocDesastro
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by DocDesastro » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:18 pm

This is bad, but at least I can think of another way to balance the attacks and shots made. This is o.k. for the bayonet and the lasgun. By taking away the assault skill, we would ensure, that this unit will not attack in CC on its own, but can defend at last in CC. Unfortunately, without using non-integer numbers, which is a REAL, SERIOUS flaw in the game engine, I see no possibility to include the special weapons in a basic platoon. The flamer squad would have the assault skill, however and on Range 0-0 there would only be the flamers with only 1 shot each - otherwise they will become too strong. I calculate 35 shots which is 7 times 5 which is roundabout a very good roll for attacks made with 8 possible flamers in the unit. 2 in the command squad and 2 in each squad making this 8 flamers with median of 32 attacks, which is good in my book. 35 is a bit more but I think it will represent the odd soldier bashing with his gun or firing a shot point blank range. The platoon would lose the bayonets to compensate for better CC weapons. I would really like to have a talk to the designers. I reckon, it would not be too hard to make the game be able to use non-integers - this is a simple mathematical problem, after all. But it can give variety and make it better to tweak the game. Also, defence/piercing mechanism is lacking in my book a bit.

deranzo
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by deranzo » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:44 pm

DocDesastro wrote:This is bad, but at least I can think of another way to balance the attacks and shots made. This is o.k. for the bayonet and the lasgun. By taking away the assault skill, we would ensure, that this unit will not attack in CC on its own, but can defend at last in CC. Unfortunately, without using non-integer numbers, which is a REAL, SERIOUS flaw in the game engine, I see no possibility to include the special weapons in a basic platoon. The flamer squad would have the assault skill, however and on Range 0-0 there would only be the flamers with only 1 shot each - otherwise they will become too strong. I calculate 35 shots which is 7 times 5 which is roundabout a very good roll for attacks made with 8 possible flamers in the unit. 2 in the command squad and 2 in each squad making this 8 flamers with median of 32 attacks, which is good in my book. 35 is a bit more but I think it will represent the odd soldier bashing with his gun or firing a shot point blank range. The platoon would lose the bayonets to compensate for better CC weapons. I would really like to have a talk to the designers. I reckon, it would not be too hard to make the game be able to use non-integers - this is a simple mathematical problem, after all. But it can give variety and make it better to tweak the game. Also, defence/piercing mechanism is lacking in my book a bit.
Sure, send feedback to them but same team is working on Panzer Corps 2 right now. So, Armageddon is basically abondened for now. Just me is working on it.
By the way, have you tried latest optional version developed by me which includes 4th weapon and fixed Siege, Terror, AA traits? It's in here: http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 35&t=79526
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DocDesastro
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by DocDesastro » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:55 pm

Already downloaded it and will test it this weekend. In fact, I used the 4th slot already with the proposals I made here for the hypothetic units. I figured out, you were responsible for the community upate. A great thanks in that regard.

deranzo
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by deranzo » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:33 pm

DocDesastro wrote:Already downloaded it and will test it this weekend. In fact, I used the 4th slot already with the proposals I made here for the hypothetic units. I figured out, you were responsible for the community upate. A great thanks in that regard.
Your welcome. Now 4th weapon actually works for all units.
I'm looking forward you to test my mod. You can send feedback in related mod topic. Errors/bugs/crashes may occur on some units but I have fixed every one of it I can see.
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DocDesastro
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by DocDesastro » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:05 pm

Finally passed that blasted mission. On normal dificulty this one is really annoying! Well..unlocked to other Titans and will add the values and my experience with them here. From what I can say the warhound with the inferno cannon is super-efficient clearing city hexes - same as centurions with flamers.

deranzo
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by deranzo » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:57 am

DocDesastro wrote:Finally passed that blasted mission. On normal dificulty this one is really annoying! Well..unlocked to other Titans and will add the values and my experience with them here. From what I can say the warhound with the inferno cannon is super-efficient clearing city hexes - same as centurions with flamers.
Do you mean city buildings/covers? Yes, flamer weapons (especially with Siege trait like Inferno Gun/Cannon) are very useful against covers. Actually they are more useful in version 1.11 with fixed Terror and Siege weapon traits. Also Flamerstorm Cannons should be useful too.
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DocDesastro
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by DocDesastro » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:01 pm

Yes, I mean this kind of terrain. Thing is, the Titan has more than enough defence to scare everything out of a building without danger of being damaged - which is not the case with other flamer units. He is the perfect ork-evictor (one single exception: Tankbustas). More perfect than every other unit with a flamer. Plus: The inferno cannon is the hugest flamer in the game making this even more fun.

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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by deranzo » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:00 pm

I have added new addition to latest optional update. It's in the community update topic.
Now AA weapons only attacks flyers, not ground units. And ground based weapons such as tank's cannons, bolters, artillery etc. can't attack flyers. Thus, you can make more different tactics now.
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DocDesastro
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by DocDesastro » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:23 pm

This is reasonable. But I cannot imagine a Hydra being useless against groud targets. WW2 has teached us more than enough about AA cannons and their (ab)use. Also: Air units should be able to target air units as well. There is one single problem:
When your AA units are killed and the enemy still has one single killakopta or similar left, this will be abused to the max. I'd rather increase the flyer's evasion bonus to make them more immune against conventional fire but enough stones thrown at a problem should still work. I fear, this change will gravely affect balance as the flyers have no penalties like bad weather inactivity, limited range and stuff like in Panzer Corps(e).

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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by deranzo » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:11 pm

DocDesastro wrote:This is reasonable. But I cannot imagine a Hydra being useless against groud targets. WW2 has teached us more than enough about AA cannons and their (ab)use. Also: Air units should be able to target air units as well. There is one single problem:
When your AA units are killed and the enemy still has one single killakopta or similar left, this will be abused to the max. I'd rather increase the flyer's evasion bonus to make them more immune against conventional fire but enough stones thrown at a problem should still work. I fear, this change will gravely affect balance as the flyers have no penalties like bad weather inactivity, limited range and stuff like in Panzer Corps(e).
So I have made it optional, not included directly into the game. If anyone prefers old attacking mechanic, they shouldn't update their game =)

If you don't have AA and enemy has flyers, then this means you didn't make necessary strategy and now you should suffer consequences. But if this makes unbalanced mechanic, I can think of some other way to attack flyers with some ground based weapons. Such as adding a trait to some specific weapons also to attack flyers but with reduced accuracy. But lets wait for sometime to have some feedback.
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Post by juxstapo » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:36 am

Thank you for posting this Doc.

Granted it's a very specific-interest title (RIP totalbiscuit, glad you pointed this game out);
But it's still a touch dissapointing that so few fans have written detailed analysis of it's units and mechanics. A useful snippet for every unit and cross referencing with your TT experience made for a very enjoyable read. 'Preciate it.

DocDesastro
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Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP)

Post by DocDesastro » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:10 am

Regarding AA: I found out for myself that flyers - REAL flyers will disturb games of this like gravely balance-wise. The ones we have we should regard as light vehicles or even tanks with a special movement rule i.e. not affected by terrain. Usually they fly low and slow compared to a real bomber which flies out of range of conventional weapons but also needs LOTS of space for maneuvering for attack runs. Bombers are best depicted as having air strikes available. AA will grant protection against it and reduces damage inflicted or even shoots down the bomber denying further air strikes. Special evasion rules might apply as AA will counter this evasion bonus. But still I am concerned about the intrinsic 'flaws' the game has currently.

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