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Let's Talk: Overlords!

 Post subject: Let's Talk: Overlords!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:59 am 
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Let's talk: Overlords!


Image

So what is happening with the war balloon everyone loves to hate?

So version 1.6 of the army list has dropped, and there has been some significant changes with the rules for the Overlord Armoured Airship. We though it would be worth a discussion about what was the design ideas behind the changes and where the rules might still go.

Note: I'm 90% convinced that of all the units in 1.6 that the Overlord rules will be the most likely to change in the preparation for 1.7

What were the issues with the 1.5 Overlord?

1. It had great firepower.
There is a spreadsheet that we posted up some months back that showed that the Overlord was putting out significantly more damage than Warhound and the Shadowsword (the two most highly-rated 3DC War Engines seen on the battlefield today.) Not only that, but the Overlord was the #1 damage dealer against nearly all possible opponents, from no-save infantry right up to shielded titans.

2. It has long range and is highly maneuverable.
Which means it's popping up from turn one shooting the most vulnerable targets, and it's rarely missing a single turn out of a 4-turn game due to cover

3. It synergises well with being spammed with more Overlords
Which only compounds the problems.

4. It's great in turn 3 and 4 at both blasting enemies off of objectives, and of marching 60cm to claim an objective itself.
Forget firepower. This wins games.

5. It's doesn't really behave like a war balloon.
It's great as a sneaky, lone sniper, and is really only vulnerable to be taken down in hand-to-hand combat.

What is the new design role?

We played around a lot with tweaking the stats over and over again, but none of the tweaks really 'solved' all the above issues. So we have decided to recast the role of the Overlord completely, and try to make rules that fit.


The new design aim is this:

The Overlord is no longer a long ranged sniper, it's true firepower is close ranger bombardment. Any enemies caught with the overlord overheads are quickly pulverised by its heavy bombs. It is also good at firefights, but needs to be supported with blocks of squat infantry. We foresee Squat armies fielding 1-2 of these war machines and keeping them close to the infantry for firefight

Have we achieved our design goals with the current rules?

Probably not.

The current 1.6 rules are probably a touch too weak.

There is a lot more to making a unit good at FF other than just bumping up the FF score. My current leaning is that the addition of Fearless (like other 3DC WE's) and quite possibly the rule Commander (representing the co-ordination of the ground troops below, allowing for easy mass engagements). But this might mean a further reduction in the existing firepower.

Feedback

1. What do you think of the design goal of remaking the Overlord a short-range fire-fight monster?

2. Do the current rules reflect that goal? What changes would you suggest?


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk: Overlords!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:10 am 
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Good synopsis mate.
Commander would be a good addition but i think fearless would create problems by making it to survivable.
Cheers
Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk: Overlords!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:00 pm 
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Thank you for this overview. TBH I am not sure about this change of role, but understand where you are coming from. I will need to get some games in with Overlords to get a true feel for this. However, my initial thought is that I would rather spend the same points on Iron Eagles instead as they can actually pop down.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk: Overlords!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:03 pm 
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Tiny-Tim wrote:
Thank you for this overview. TBH I am not sure about this change of role, but understand where you are coming from. I will need to get some games in with Overlords to get a true feel for this. However, my initial thought is that I would rather spend the same points on Iron Eagles instead as they can actually pop down.



We're very open to feedback on this one, and I can see that it might very well need the role to be changed.

Good call on the Gyrocopters - they should be as useful as landspeeders now with the cheaper scout.

I can't see ever letting Overlords pop down though. I imagine them as always hanging in the sky above the battlefield. They can be more useful than Gyrocopters as they can project an AA bubble over units that might not have it (bikes and bezerkers) and lend their fearsome FF in a combined assault.

I did play around with giving them a special rule, like "all squat formations in 15cm have +1 to activate" to try and represent the idea of them shielding/co-ordinating the troops on the ground, but decided to go without for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk: Overlords!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:26 pm 
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I certainly won't be calling for the Overlord to lose Support Craft.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk: Overlords!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:26 pm 
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My impression from the game last night was that overlords were pretty useless now. Having to move up closer exposed them to serious risk and the shots just don't do enough damage. Will have to experiment with them as a close range support craft rather than a shooting platform but it feels like massed battlecannon fire has been an essential tool of the list for a long time but it's gone now and the army feels incomplete.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk: Overlords!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:21 pm 
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I use 2 type of models for the Overlord ... one for my Squats and one for their "cousins"/Allies - the Khazari. I use the same rules for each of them ... ;D

As far as rules, I'm not entirely clear on which version you are using. But not matter maybe this input will help. If not ... ignore it. And just look at my models ... ;)

Use the long range firepower at ... long range.

Use high terrain to cover the ship whenever possible. The easiest way is to use the height of the Overlord flight base for it's "altitude". I'm sure a Blimp can change it's altitude like any other aircraft. I've seen the Goodyear Blimp a number of times in flight. With it's hanger in Akron, OH being only 50 miles away. From where I live. It can fly pretty low.

Keep the Damage Rating at least DC3 ... to give it some survivability ...


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk: Overlords!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:31 pm 
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I have been thinking about this, and there are really 2 main reasons people hate to fight against them.

Firstly they tend to be used as a long range sniping unit. Perhaps force them to get closer to fulfil the role you intend for them of a close support unit by reducing their main weapons range down to 45cm.

They are also use as cheap lone spotting unit that can be spammed cheaply to provide 60cm radius pie dish zones around the board. Make it harder to field more than 1 formation in a normal game by making it a 2 - 3 units per formation. They will still be able to float around 15cm from each other because they are 3DC, and still give a decent spotting zone, but not as powerful as you could have.

Lastly, this one might be too much of a change. Either increase their points cost by 50 points each unit, or reduce their RA save down to 5+. That would definitely make them a less used formation than before, but I think it might be Nerfing them too much.

I found it hard to bet the old GW models, and have only found 2 myself. I found a very good proxy. The Dystopian Wars FSA Lee class scout ship. I have 4 of those.

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