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[RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:25 pm
by Galdred
I still find Imperial infantry to be useless :
Heavy bolters Space Marines take higher casualties(relative to their starting numbers) shooting at tankbustas than any tank would. That makes no sense at all. Infantry is useless at soaking damage, and useless at causing them.
Granted, they are cheaper, but they are still wasting a slot, and an hexagon for little, and their replacement cost quickly add up.
Having a smaller unit count than the orks makes no sense there, they should just have less units, so that they are somewhat useful against ork infantry.

Good job on making the Titans feel powerful.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:25 am
by Kerensky
Imperial infantry has more to do with their overall composition than anything else. Making them more powerful is really not an option. They serve their purpose, you can't play Act1 without IG infantry. :)

Besides even in late game, they still serve a purpose. They are excellent scouts, because any scouts in the late game are going to have a hard time staying alive so being cheap is really important! lol

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:05 am
by Galdred
But I was also including Space Marines in the imperial infantry. They are currently too weak to do anything useful IMO, which is a shame. I don t understand the reason for bumping Space marine tanks to 7 per unit (guard has 5/unit) while dropping Space Marine infantry to 10 per hex at the same time. That makes them less useful than guard command squads which does make no sense fluf wise.
I find it very weird that ork infantry is much better at fire support than Space Marines due to unit strength.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:54 pm
by Kerensky
You and I must have had some very different experiences with Space Marine infantry. 0.o

I luv Space Marine Infantry, I always have at least 5 basic, plus a few Terminators to boot. I do agree that some of them might need a little boost, the Death Company with dual single RoF weaponry is a bit on the weak side, but units like the Sanguine Guard are incredibly powerful with their Glaive Encarmine while units like the Terminator with Cyclone is an absolute vehicle wrecking machine!

Balance is a never ending task, so there will always be more balance changes post 1.0. Bottom line though, 1.0 is in a really good place, and pretty much every unit has at least some form of usefulness and/or an appropriate price tag attached to it. :D

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:53 pm
by Kerensky
I just rechecked my final scenario CORE force.

I use...
4 Baneblades (or some variant there of)
3 Titans (2 reaver 1 scout. I actually had 1 reaver 2 scouts, but the new AI actually killed one of my scout Titans in mission 22, I was impressed!)

16 infantry (4 death company assault, 1 sanguine guard, 5 rough riders, 2 Salamander Terminators, 4 ultramarine sternguards)

The rest is an assortment. 2 Command vehicles, 2 dreadnaughts, 2 land raiders, 2 destroyer tanks, and 5 artillery.

After all that, I only have 5.8k points left over for replacements. I wanted to have more spare points, considering how massive the final battle is, but I didn't want to sacrifice unit quality too much. Difficulty mode challenging BTW, which is 100% of point setting.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:19 pm
by Kerensky
Turn 7 and I'm already down to 1521 points... I should have saved more! :(

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:02 am
by Galdred
vs tankbustas, range 2 :
Sternguard losses =2, Tankbustas losses = 9, replacement cost = 255 (355 with Rhino)/5 = 51(71) for 9 cas = 5.666 req/kill
Land Raider Achilles = 1 HP lost, tankbustas losses = 11, replacement cost = 720/(4*5) = 36 for 11 cas
StormLord Upgarded =1 HP losses, tankbusta = 13 cas, replacement cost = 890/20 = 44.5 for 13 cas
Predator Anihilator = 2 HP lost, tankbustas losses = 8, replacement cost = 720*2/(7*5)= 41 for 8 cas = 5.125 req/kill
So basically, they perform worse than specialized anti infantry tanks, and are slightly worse than anti tank armors. To make thins worse, tanks can replenish HP by resting if they were not destroyed, while infantry has to lose a turn AND pay req. And if you add transports, it makes things much worse.

Now, against regular infantry, the results are similar :
vs shoota boyz :
Sternguard = 2 cas, Shoota Boyz = 9
Land Raider Achilles = 1 HP lost, shoota Boyz = 15 cas
StormLord Upgraded = 1 HP lost, Shoota Boyz = 13 cas
Predator Anihilator = 2 HP lost, shoota Boyz = 8 cas

Against big shootas, most tanks won't lose any HP, while the sternguard will lose 3 on average, so one guy to replace.
And to make things worse, during the ork turn, anything with less than terminator armor that begins in sight of an ork will get mauled (in hard), while heavy and superheavy tanks usually won't even be targetted.

I fail to see the appeal of infantry (once again, I speak of regular marines and guardsmen, not terminator and centurions, which are much more durable).
I prefer to spend everything upfront and not have to waste lots of requsition recompleting my units.
I have not reached the last mission yet, I will v until then later on, but so far, I am using mostly tanks(weapon upgrade shadowswords, Land Raiders, Predators), a few artilleries (4-5), a few Titans (2-3 Warhounds, 1 Reaver), and Terminators or Centurions. I obviously have some slots left, but it's not like I could maneuver all of my units in firing position to begin with.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:43 am
by Kerensky
To each their own. Sounds like two different, but both totally viable, play styles to me. You prefer to spend all your money up front for maximum 'all in'. I prefer to cheapen some of my units so that I have more mid-mission flexibility and adaptability. Some low end infantry might move up a little bit, but I doubt by very much, if at all. They undoubtably serve their purpose and they do it very well and very cheaply. To anyone who doesn't like them, they can choose a different playstyle and still enjoy success with our game. :)

I would be very curious to see how the game's Glory score tracking handles the two different CORE approaches...

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:32 pm
by Galdred
Actually, AT weapons can destroy both tanks and infantry, while Anti personal weapons are very weak against tanks, and have a very wonky scaling (see the scaling of multiple heavy bolters vs multiple lasercannons). My main problem with infantry is that it dies way too quickly to non dedicated infantry killers.
So not only will the infantry units perform a bit worse than the tank units, but their return fire will drop so quickly that they will soon be obliterated (predators and Land Raiders, for instance, are much more resilient, so they can keep returning fire much longer than infantry).
Mostly because the representation of infantry is so blurry (what is 1 strenght of infantry? It requires half a transport capacity, and carries one heavy weapon, so it sounds like it should represent 1 squad of 5, but it dies to a single lasCannon shot, and only carries one personal weapon. This results in the weird heavy bolter scaling, where 8 heavy bolters have the strength of 2.5 heavy bolters, so that they don't obliterate infantry formations...).
Infantry cannot have higher number because their base damage is too high, but if the scaling of infantry weapons was the same as heavy bolters, or even a bit better, that would not be a problem.
So it cannot hold its traditional role (holding a position, while tanks, planes and artillery do the job), and serve as tanks, but with different movement abilities.
I wish infantry units were not as cheap and not as frail (like the ork units for instance...), so that they could sustain damage instead of being the glasscannons they are now.

This is not only a nightmare from the balancing point of view (with high STR units vs low STR units), it also kills immersion (Are my troopers so overweight that I can only fit 2 in a transport? How can each of these marines carry one bolter and one graviton gun? Or are they squads? Then how do I lose a whole squad to a single lascannon shot? Maybe I should stop using column formation! Why do they share 1 lasgun for the whole squad?).

If titans could be made to fire twice each weapon, would it not be possible to have infantry fire 1/5th of each weapon (rounded up)?

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:40 am
by IainMcNeil
I think reducing the damage to infantry from non dedicated anti-infantry weapons would help make them last longer and give more of a role for anti infantry load outs and infantry themselves.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:50 pm
by Kerensky
That is what 'cover' was doing. You needed assault tactics and weapons, which ignored cover entirely and were also unique to infantry, to properly engage and eliminate infantry. That said, cover gave pure avoidance not damage reduction, but the reason damage reduction doesn't help infantry is because they are 1 HP low defense units, and anti-tank weapons are so huge and so powerful in this game that damage reduction never really helps infantry. A lascannon shot that connects with a light infantry Ork will kill it pretty much no questions asked.

Since we changed that with a global reduction of cover, infantry have been having a harder time, but they are priced appropriately and they still very much have their place in the game. You cannot survive without any infantry at all, even on the final scenario I brought a full 16 infantry units into battle with my forces.

If we want to make some kind of change to how large weaponry like Lascannons interacts with infantry, I wouldn't be totally adverse to exploring that, but that goes far beyond the scope of some data number changing.

Bottom line though, I really don't see swarm units like standard IG Infantry or Gretchkin and Slugga boyz becoming potent and decisive units. They are cheap swarmers that you can buy at wholesale prices and they are extremely effective at doing this. If you want quality Infantry who are heavy duty and heavy hitters, Space Marines, especially Terminators and Centurions, or Mega Armored Nobz are the units you will call upon. Their power is significant, and their price reflects this. Normalizing all infantry to be equal is just going to create homogenized gameplay. Why appreciate awesome Space Marine infantry if standard IG infantry size, stats, and price is boosted to a comparative point? Infantry, like vehicles, exist on a spectrum in this game. There are those that are cheap and plentiful, and those that are extremely powerful and extremely expensive. They all have their place though, a place generally defined by their GW inspired stats. :)

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:50 am
by IainMcNeil
I think we may want to adjust accuracy based on the target size so AT weapons find it harder to hit infantry than tanks. It makes sense that a hit is a kill but it should be harder to achieve giving more difference between AT and HE units.

This is obviously an engine change not a data change.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:59 pm
by Kerensky
An interesting solution. It might even work given current game structures. We would need to make sure the infantry that needs such protection gets it, such as Imperial Guardsmen and lighter Ork units like Slugga boyz, while making sure units who don't need it don't get it, like Space Marine Terminators and Centurions who are so tough you do need to engage them with anti-tank weaponry.

Infantry are sorted by two classes, normal and heavy, and if we only give this 'evasion from heavy weapons' to the normal class, it could have some potential.

The only question then is how to define what weapons are affected by this. Any weapon with power > 51 perhaps? This seems to be a safe number, it keeps the biggest anti-infantry weapons operating as intended (vulcan mega bolter) but falls short of things like Lascannon and Battlecannons, not to mention anything above this, and there are many weapons in the 40k universe that are far stronger indeed.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:56 pm
by IainMcNeil
If we want to do it it might need new data. Its really about the "blast size" of a weapon. Focused beam weapons or small projectiles should find it hard to hit. Blast radius weapons or area effect should have no penalty. There may be some wider area beam effects which are borderline or projecticles with explosive heads.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:29 pm
by Galdred
Something like two or three new traits might be enough, to avoid changing the engine :
All weapons wouldbe focused by default, then some could have small blast, other large blasts (I don't know how many different blast size they have now in 40K, but I would say 3 should be enough). Blast would give extra number of shots depending on target Strength.

To increase the protection of infantry against conventional weapons, I think the better way would be to increase the size of infantry units without increasing their firepower (like doubling the Strength of infantry, then halving the number of shots after it has been multiplied by Strength). That could be a specific of Infantry, or a new trait. This should not concern Centurions and Terminators who are already good enough like that( but I think regular Space Marines should be eligible).

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:51 pm
by Kerensky
Well flat out doubling the formation size of infantry is out of the question, even if there was a way to limit their offense to not scale in direct proportion. The better way to treat infantry is to buy and deploy more individual units, not make individual units beefier. The game already does this for the Orks, there are considerable amount of Ork infantry formations in every scenario, and if we doubled their formation size we'd need to go through the entire game and take away half of all the pre-placed and pre-set Ork infantry. Stacks of 60-80 is far too dangerous, for so many reasons, two stacks of 30-40 is the much more reasonable and functional approach. How much firepower would it take to burn through a stack of 80 units? Their raw HP count is minimum 80 and that is totally out of scope with the rest of the game.

Besides, on a purely aesthetic level, seeing so total few Ork infantry units in the maps, but their individual formation count is huge, doesn't seem to be much of a horde . Seeing multitudes of formations spread across many hexes feels much better than one giant ball of '80' all together in one hex and represented by about 6 graphical Orks, and it's much easier for players to understand and engage. Having an over-sized deathball that occupies a single hex is an idea that sounds better in theory but never actually works out in practice.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:08 pm
by Galdred
But I proposed buffing blast and multiple weapons, so that 8 heavy would fire much more than 2.5 heavy bolters for instance, and blast weapon would do more damage to big formations.
The idea being to lascannons a very poor way to deal with an ork horde, but heavy bolters, or artillery a much more efficient one (I said doubling, but any strength adjustment not accompanied by a firepower adjustment would work there).

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:38 am
by JimmyC
Kerensky wrote:...The only question then is how to define what weapons are affected by this. Any weapon with power > 51 perhaps? This seems to be a safe number, it keeps the biggest anti-infantry weapons operating as intended (vulcan mega bolter) but falls short of things like Lascannon and Battlecannons, not to mention anything above this, and there are many weapons in the 40k universe that are far stronger indeed.
I like this idea. Its simple and very easy for the player to understand. Perhaps there could then be some exceptions for power>50 weapons which have a "blast radius", which would be exempt from the rule.

Re: [RC] Unit Balance

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:59 pm
by Galdred
Out of curiosity, why has cover been reduced so drastically from Beta 2? With the increase in number of shots of anti infantry weapons, it might be one of the reasons why it is very hard for infantry to survive now (not for orks, as they have very high body count).

BTW, someone on RPGCodex had the same issue that was bothering me with infantry : It is not different enough from other units at the moment :
I bought the game, have only just begun playing it. I liked the panzer corps game pretty much, so I was willing to buy this first day.

That being said, there are a few things that are bothering me at the moment, but maybe its just that I need to get over comparing it to panzer corps---

but anyway the main issue to me is that infantry tactics and abilities do not feel right compared to how they worked in panzer corps. What I mean is that they have taken out the close combat ratings and the close terrain type along with the ability to fortify and entrench with really takes a huge part of infantry tactics and to some degree artillery tactics out of the game.

In panzer corps infantry can entrench in close terrain like a city or woods and be a huge obstacle to uproot which required artillery and pioneers and other infantry to help out and gave infantry a very valuable role both offensively and defensively. Also in close terrain tanks were forced to use their close combat fighting ability instead of their huge main guns which nerfed using tanks in forests and cities which is realistic and also allowed infantry a way to defend themselves against tanks. Without this in the game I feel like infantry does not have as much a useful nor interesting role.

So far I feel like panzer corps rules better differentiated different weapon types and gave each unit types actual valuable roles where as so far in the warhammer version it feels like weapon types are not that different from each other. But it may be that I am not understanding the interplay between weapons types and how to use them to their best ability yet. But at the moment I feel like there needs to be something done to make infantry tactics and artillery tactics more interesting somehow.

I realize entrenching and close combat terrain may not be a part of the warhammer game system so maybe that is why it was not included, but I feel like the game is missing something without this so far...

but I have only played an hour or so, and its possible I am not understanding how the entire system works yet..
By the way, I really think Tactical Marines without Graviton guns are too weak because of their low max number : doubling their unit size would only make them on par with upgraded Predator destructors, which have range 3, and are more mobile. Granted, they are cheap, but they still take 1 valuable hex around the target, and replacing them gets expensive in the long run, so I doubt doubling their number without increasing their firepower would make them imbalanced(especially if some anti infantry traits get introduced).