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Formations: What are they, why have them?

 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:42 pm 
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Very good point about single model formations there. One balance to that would be that the single-model formations, while giving more activations, would actually be more expensive as a single-model formation would use the whole cost of that model and would not receive any discount for Break Point. Multiple model formations will actually be more efficient in points cost overall then single model ones as (at least) some of the models in the multiple model formation are at a reduced cost.

Also, primarch seems to be suggesting that the number of activations that a force has might shift to being determined by the organization chart rather than just being determined by the number of formations. While this is an interesting idea, it is probably a different discussion.

At the moment, I'm thinking that the best way would probably be to make all formations the equivalent of what Gold calls "Support", including Command detachments and the like. In other words, what 1st edition and Final Liberation both do. [As a side note, GOG.com now has Final Liberation available and it works great on Windows 8.1. It does use a version of Epic40K (IE, 3rd edition) rules, so it's not perfect, and the graphics are a bit dated, but I like it as a game.]

The formations should be grouped by their Model Type. At least, that's the best idea I've had so far. In other words: Infantry, Light Artillery / Support Weapon (whichever term we go with), Cavalry, Walker, Vehicle, Heavy Artillery, Flyer, Super Heavy, Knight, Praetorian, & Titan (possibly broken into Scout, Battle, and Mega sub-categories).

These new formations (that word should still work as good as any) would be able to be attached into an organizational framework in much the way as primarch and Legion4 described above. These frameworks would vary somewhat by faction, and there could even be a few frameworks for each faction. Each framework could have it's own limitations or what formations can be placed in it. Or in other words, what Mattman is doing with Platinum. For example, Imperial Guard could have frameworks for: Infantry Company; Mechanized Infantry Company; Tank Company; Artillery Company; etc. While the Infantry Company framework would allow all of it's slots to be used for Infantry formations, a Tank or Artillery Company would probably severely restrict the number of allowed Infantry formations. As another example, any given framework would allow for a maximum of one Command formation to be selected. Certain factions, primarily those that require Command models, could have exceptions to that. To put that another way, while a Guard framework would require one Command formation (and only allow one) to be selected, an Eldar one would not require one but would allow one, and an Ork framework could require one and allow for up to three (one of Nobz/Warboss/Warlord/Gargant, and up to two additional Nobz formations). [Three is an arbitrary value, but seems reasonable.]

Obviously the specific frameworks for the different factions would have to be discussed, but would probably be largely similar to their current organizations.

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:54 pm 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
Very good point about single model formations there. One balance to that would be that the single-model formations, while giving more activations, would actually be more expensive as a single-model formation would use the whole cost of that model and would not receive any discount for Break Point. Multiple model formations will actually be more efficient in points cost overall then single model ones as (at least) some of the models in the multiple model formation are at a reduced cost.

Also, primarch seems to be suggesting that the number of activations that a force has might shift to being determined by the organization chart rather than just being determined by the number of formations. While this is an interesting idea, it is probably a different discussion.

At the moment, I'm thinking that the best way would probably be to make all formations the equivalent of what Gold calls "Support", including Command detachments and the like. In other words, what 1st edition and Final Liberation both do. [As a side note, GOG.com now has Final Liberation available and it works great on Windows 8.1. It does use a version of Epic40K (IE, 3rd edition) rules, so it's not perfect, and the graphics are a bit dated, but I like it as a game.]

The formations should be grouped by their Model Type. At least, that's the best idea I've had so far. In other words: Infantry, Light Artillery / Support Weapon (whichever term we go with), Cavalry, Walker, Vehicle, Heavy Artillery, Flyer, Super Heavy, Knight, Praetorian, & Titan (possibly broken into Scout, Battle, and Mega sub-categories).

These new formations (that word should still work as good as any) would be able to be attached into an organizational framework in much the way as primarch and Legion4 described above. These frameworks would vary somewhat by faction, and there could even be a few frameworks for each faction. Each framework could have it's own limitations or what formations can be placed in it. Or in other words, what Mattman is doing with Platinum. For example, Imperial Guard could have frameworks for: Infantry Company; Mechanized Infantry Company; Tank Company; Artillery Company; etc. While the Infantry Company framework would allow all of it's slots to be used for Infantry formations, a Tank or Artillery Company would probably severely restrict the number of allowed Infantry formations. As another example, any given framework would allow for a maximum of one Command formation to be selected. Certain factions, primarily those that require Command models, could have exceptions to that. To put that another way, while a Guard framework would require one Command formation (and only allow one) to be selected, an Eldar one would not require one but would allow one, and an Ork framework could require one and allow for up to three (one of Nobz/Warboss/Warlord/Gargant, and up to two additional Nobz formations). [Three is an arbitrary value, but seems reasonable.]

Obviously the specific frameworks for the different factions would have to be discussed, but would probably be largely similar to their current organizations.


Hi!

Sounds like a very good marriage of all ideas proposed. :)

What would be the first step in starting to develop it? Formations first?

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:36 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:16 pm 
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Legion 4 wrote:
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Sorry, I'm not quite sure so I have to ask. Is the above comment you being passive/aggressive? In other words, do you really not care how things develop on this? If that is so, then why post at all?

If you have something that you'd like to contribute, then please do so. If I seem to have incorrectly interpreted your earlier post (which is possible - you did use a lot of terminology that I'm not familiar with), then please explain your point again, preferably using game terms rather than (I'm guessing) military terms. Thanks.
___

Starting with the formations themselves is probably the best idea.

For the most part, I'd prefer to stick with most of the 2nd edition / NetEpic conventions for detachment level formations, but mix in a few adjustments from Epic 1st and modern 40K. For example, the default Infantry formation should have four to six stands and the default Vehicle formation should have three. Specific notes by class follow:

Command formations should generally be a single model as default.
_ Infantry type Command stands (CHQ, Medics, Commissar, etc) could allow for secondary stands of either the same HQ type, or a related type. For example, an OM Inquisitor formation could have an option to add one or more stands of Grey Knights, a Guard CHQ could have the option to add another CHQ stand, or a Marine CHQ could allow for having an attached Medic or Techmarine. These would also have the option to add Transport model(s) varying by faction.
_ Cavalry type would mainly be alternate versions of Infantry type stands usable with normal Cavalry formations, including Cavalry CHQ. Default should be single stand.
_ Vehicle type should always be just a single model, as would any class above Vehicle. I'm not aware of any possible additions that could be made here, but welcome suggestions.

Infantry formations are where I think it could be helpful to import a convention from (relatively speaking) modern W40K. As I've noticed from various posts (mainly from mattman) W40K seems to assume that the base level for Infantry is a ten man squad. For Epic, this converts into being two stands. Thus I'm proposing that all Infantry formations be composed of multiples of two stands as a rule. In other words, there should never be formations with an odd number of Infantry stands. Except for Command formations. This will assist in making Break Point easier to determine for Infantry formations. Also cost will be very easy to preset as it will be X per two stands and the player can then make the formation as large as desired.
_ It would also simplify Break Point issues if ALL Infantry formations were pure-Infantry. IE, no included Transports. To make a Mechanized formation, one would then buy a Vehicle (or other class) formation of the appropriate type and size.

Support Weapon (IE, Light Artillery) formations could also benefit from being required to be purchased in multiples of two, but I'm not sure if there is precedent for that or not.

Cavalry formations seem to primarily come in groups of five stands, which kind of makes sense as at two per stand it works out to ten (Bikes, Horses, etc) per formation. Do we want to keep this convention, or would Cavalry be best shifted to a multiples of two stands rule as well? Aside from the two stands per rule making figuring costs easier, I have no strong opinion here.

Walker formations are generally four stands/models per formation in NetEpic, so these could also benefit from moving to a rule of multiples of two stands. On the other hand, based on what these represent, going stand by stand would be more "realistic" and better for some factions.

Vehicle formations are generally in threes. Do we want to stick to this as the default (IE, multiples of three per formation) or set the default to single models? Single models would make customizing formations easier, and be more in keeping with current W40K, but make figuring costs more complicated. Single model as default would probably be best here.
_ Heavy Artillery is really a sub-category of Vehicle, and could easily be folded into it. HA should use any rules that Vehicle does.
_ Flyers (that are not Super Heavy) are also a sub-category of Vehicle, and should use any rules therefore. [Of course, whatever new Flyer system gets created may change this.]
_ Floaters: same.

Super Heavy are generally found as single model formations, and that should still be the default.
_ Flyers & Floaters: same as general Super Heavy.

Knights though are generally found in threes, despite technically being Super Heavy. These should probably change to a default of single model.

Praetorians and Titans should, of course, be default of single model.

Of course, the above are just my opinions and what seems to be the general consensus. Please post any other ideas.

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:10 pm 
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Hi!

Quote:
Starting with the formations themselves is probably the best idea.

For the most part, I'd prefer to stick with most of the 2nd edition / NetEpic conventions for detachment level formations, but mix in a few adjustments from Epic 1st and modern 40K. For example, the default Infantry formation should have four to six stands and the default Vehicle formation should have three. Specific notes by class follow:

Command formations should generally be a single model as default.
_ Infantry type Command stands (CHQ, Medics, Commissar, etc) could allow for secondary stands of either the same HQ type, or a related type. For example, an OM Inquisitor formation could have an option to add one or more stands of Grey Knights, a Guard CHQ could have the option to add another CHQ stand, or a Marine CHQ could allow for having an attached Medic or Techmarine. These would also have the option to add Transport model(s) varying by faction.


I like this idea very much. To have command formation is something that is currently missing and would be a real boon to formulate and implement.

Also, in the context of using an army organization, you could require command formations at certain levels or sizes to simulate the command structure, while other armies would require less of them.

Overalll I think this is a key and crucial thing to implement. I think it would support any such system greatly.

Quote:
_ Cavalry type would mainly be alternate versions of Infantry type stands usable with normal Cavalry formations, including Cavalry CHQ. Default should be single stand.
_ Vehicle type should always be just a single model, as would any class above Vehicle. I'm not aware of any possible additions that could be made here, but welcome suggestions.


I think for vehicles options to put characters of certain special models (a commissar in a baneblade for example) could be done. I can't really think of any particular use for extra vehicles in such a command formation.

Quote:
Infantry formations are where I think it could be helpful to import a convention from (relatively speaking) modern W40K. As I've noticed from various posts (mainly from mattman) W40K seems to assume that the base level for Infantry is a ten man squad. For Epic, this converts into being two stands. Thus I'm proposing that all Infantry formations be composed of multiples of two stands as a rule. In other words, there should never be formations with an odd number of Infantry stands. Except for Command formations. This will assist in making Break Point easier to determine for Infantry formations. Also cost will be very easy to preset as it will be X per two stands and the player can then make the formation as large as desired.
_ It would also simplify Break Point issues if ALL Infantry formations were pure-Infantry. IE, no included Transports. To make a Mechanized formation, one would then buy a Vehicle (or other class) formation of the appropriate type and size.


Funnily enough Magnus, many of the building blocks in 1st edition were 1 to 2 stands, so I heartily agree with formation blocks in 2 stand increments.

As for transports I would propose the way 1st edition solved this and that an organizational entity of a certain size (say a company for SM) would have a "transport pool" slot. where you could purchase transports to embark your formations in that organizational block.

That would keep the formations of a single type, but offer the transports needed as a separate "formation" also of the same type.

Therefore the same formation could be mechanized (or not) according to whether the transport pool was used or not.

Quote:
Support Weapon (IE, Light Artillery) formations could also benefit from being required to be purchased in multiples of two, but I'm not sure if there is precedent for that or not.


Regardless of precedent I think this needs to be done. Its congruent with the overall system proposed and offers flexibility that is needed.

Quote:
Cavalry formations seem to primarily come in groups of five stands, which kind of makes sense as at two per stand it works out to ten (Bikes, Horses, etc) per formation. Do we want to keep this convention, or would Cavalry be best shifted to a multiples of two stands rule as well? Aside from the two stands per rule making figuring costs easier, I have no strong opinion here.


Same as everything else, 2 stand formation blocks for building.

Quote:
Walker formations are generally four stands/models per formation in NetEpic, so these could also benefit from moving to a rule of multiples of two stands. On the other hand, based on what these represent, going stand by stand would be more "realistic" and better for some factions.


Agreed, the rule of two stands per formation block for buidling would indeed benefit these units.

Quote:
Vehicle formations are generally in threes. Do we want to stick to this as the default (IE, multiples of three per formation) or set the default to single models? Single models would make customizing formations easier, and be more in keeping with current W40K, but make figuring costs more complicated. Single model as default would probably be best here.


Vehicles are large enough and sparse enough as models in people's collections that doing them on a 1 model per formation block is indeed the best way to go.

Quote:
_ Heavy Artillery is really a sub-category of Vehicle, and could easily be folded into it. HA should use any rules that Vehicle does.
_ Flyers (that are not Super Heavy) are also a sub-category of Vehicle, and should use any rules therefore. [Of course, whatever new Flyer system gets created may change this.]
_ Floaters: same.


All of these should be like vehicles. 1 per formation block.

Quote:
Super Heavy are generally found as single model formations, and that should still be the default.
_ Flyers & Floaters: same as general Super Heavy.


Agreed.

Quote:
Knights though are generally found in threes, despite technically being Super Heavy. These should probably change to a default of single model.


No different from super heavies. Should be one per formation building block.

Quote:
Praetorians and Titans should, of course, be default of single model.


Of course. :)

Quote:
Of course, the above are just my opinions and what seems to be the general consensus. Please post any other ideas.


I am VERY enthused with this proposed method. It gives flexibility to players, can be easily integrated into any organizational structure we devise and I can't really see any way to "abuse" it as I go over scenarios in my head.

Do we have a sufficient of a formal idea with this to present it to other discussion formats?

Primarch

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:09 pm 
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Sorry to sound obsessed but could I confirm how activations work in this system? Would it be that nearly everything from vehicles upwards would activate as units of one with possibly infantry and cavalry operating in units of two?

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:04 pm 
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The Bissler wrote:
Sorry to sound obsessed but could I confirm how activations work in this system? Would it be that nearly everything from vehicles upwards would activate as units of one with possibly infantry and cavalry operating in units of two?


Hi!

Formations are built in 2 stand increments for infantry and similar units and 1 model increments for vehicles and similar.

In other words the smallest an infantry formation could be is two stands and for vehicles 1 model. All subjective to the overarching army organization.

Also, there will be command requirements built into the organizational chart. So there is such as thing as how many formations you could make given that the more smaller ones you may make, the more command formations you may be required to field. This method encourages to fill out eligible large sized formations before acquiring more due to command formation costs.

As an aside I think you are over obsessing/worrying with activations a little to much since a whole army of one model formations, regardless of number would be ineffective and easy to beat against a force of less activations but more models per formations since the one or two models offensive ability would be trivial in this context.

Its one thing to have many more activations than your opponents when the formations are roughly of the same amount of models, since the offensive capability is what makes the activation worthwhile. Activations by themselves are worthless without enough models to make those activations worthwhile. The only reason you came across this is because you used gold organization with the new formula they are not optimized for each other. The new system will be optimized for the formula.

This system would not permit an opponent to have significantly more activations of similar strength between players, but if one player wanted to make large amount of 1/2 stand formations he could do that, but would be quickly and soundly beaten.

This is one of the points where 1st edition experience goes a long way. It may be difficult for me to relate how it works if you have not used it a fair amount. Under that system you could make a bunch of small formations and get more "activations". However, it was infrequent to do that because such formations were feeble and their offensive output too insignificant to worry about. There was no such thing as "death by a thousand cuts" under such a system.

Also keep in mind that your using EVO, none of what is going to be made is optimized for that. The activation issue you describe is mainly an offshoot that your using some mechanics not covered by stock Gold nor NE6. Therefore extrapolating an issue there to a rule set designed to be optimized with the formula is at best difficult (i.e. not comparing apples to apples).

I'm confident that implementing Magnus ideas in the content of a tightly made organizational framework optimized to work with the formula cures most if not ills. ;)

Primarch

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:27 pm 
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I do look at this through the prism of Evolution because that's what I play. I'm not expecting the formula to be optimised for it and I don't really see how the costs would be any different for Evolution in any event.

That aside, I do think the activations are an issue for Gold as well and that's why I raised it.

I'll wait to see how the system comes together; I think I understand the idea but look forward to seeing the full detail. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:34 pm 
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The Bissler wrote:
I do look at this through the prism of Evolution because that's what I play. I'm not expecting the formula to be optimised for it and I don't really see how the costs would be any different for Evolution in any event.

That aside, I do think the activations are an issue for Gold as well and that's why I raised it.

I'll wait to see how the system comes together; I think I understand the idea but look forward to seeing the full detail. ;)


Hi!

I think the formula as it stands is an issue for any system not optimized for it. But the way EVO works its probably much more problematic there, but yes, it problematic for Gold too.

I wonder what would happen if you played EVO or Gold with only support formations how it would play? Probably worth a test. :)

The important thing is we've pointed out a lot of interesting issues that usually get glossed over. That has not only made the formula better, but started a discussion on better organizations that go with it and compliment it.

That will go a long way to make things a lot better than what we have now. :)

Primarch

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:21 pm 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
Legion 4 wrote:
Again ... Do what works for U ... Not Me ...


Sorry, I'm not quite sure so I have to ask. Is the above comment you being passive/aggressive? In other words, do you really not care how things develop on this? If that is so, then why post at all?

If you have something that you'd like to contribute, then please do so. If I seem to have incorrectly interpreted your earlier post (which is possible - you did use a lot of terminology that I'm not familiar with), then please explain your point again, preferably using game terms rather than (I'm guessing) military terms. Thanks.
___

.

Well no malice is meant in anything I said, only my opinion based on playing wargames since the '60s. Playing 1 to 1 scale war games, '79-'91. And started with Epic in '90 and have been involved ever since ... I'm sorry if you don't understand the military terminology. You are playing a "wargame", so you may want to look some of those terms up. Again, we're talking "War" games, any term you don't understand please just ask. My only point is why I think formations is a good idea based on all my previous experiences ... on and off the gaming table/board/RL. There are at least 5 versions of the Epic gaming system. So my point is, I was saying, you don't have to listen to any one really in any of the systems. Do what works for you. Not Me ... No one is going to come to your gaming locations and say what that you are doing is wrong, right, good, bad, etc. ...
I stated my ideas that I like, think are the correct way to do things, etc. ... but again if you don't like it ... don't do it ... again ... Do what works for you ... not me. But I gave my opinion ... and I thought that was what was ask for ...

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:57 am 
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The Bissler wrote:
Sorry to sound obsessed but could I confirm how activations work in this system? Would it be that nearly everything from vehicles upwards would activate as units of one with possibly infantry and cavalry operating in units of two?


Very good question. While primarch has already somewhat addressed it in his way, I'm going to comment as well.

At the moment, how activations would work has not been settled. My thought is that each formation would get one activation, much like how each formation (or detachment of a Company) gets one in Gold. Primarch seems to have suggested that activations could be handled at a different level, but I'm not entirely sure he intended to or even specifically what he meant. Obviously, this is an issue that would have to be discussed.

Also, while the listed increment would be one model (or two stands), the expected - or default, size of a formation would of several such instances. In other words, the majority of formations would be three models (or six stands). While I am tempted to make this a required minimum, I feel that having such a minimum would be a bad idea overall, as it would squelch creativity and flexibility.

A couple more thoughts on default formation size.
_ It could vary by faction. For example, Marines and Eldar could allow minimum formation sizes of 1 instance (1 model or 2 stands) as their troops tend to be higher quality and lower quantity. On the flip side, Guard and Orks could have minimums of 3 (or more in some cases) instances per formation, as they tend to be lower quality and higher quantity.
_ We could have minimums for standard troops, but then say that Elite troops ignore the restrictions. Or just have less restrictive rules.

So to put that another way, as a generality Vehicles would not be activating as single models, but rather as formations of several models. Probably. Same with pairs of Infantry stands. Again, probably. Depending on what gets decided on via discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:20 am 
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primarch wrote:
The Bissler wrote:
Sorry to sound obsessed but could I confirm how activations work in this system? Would it be that nearly everything from vehicles upwards would activate as units of one with possibly infantry and cavalry operating in units of two?


Hi!

Formations are built in 2 stand increments for infantry and similar units and 1 model increments for vehicles and similar.

In other words the smallest an infantry formation could be is two stands and for vehicles 1 model. All subjective to the overarching army organization.

Also, there will be command requirements built into the organizational chart. So there is such as thing as how many formations you could make given that the more smaller ones you may make, the more command formations you may be required to field. This method encourages to fill out eligible large sized formations before acquiring more due to command formation costs.

As an aside I think you are over obsessing/worrying with activations a little to much since a whole army of one model formations, regardless of number would be ineffective and easy to beat against a force of less activations but more models per formations since the one or two models offensive ability would be trivial in this context.

Its one thing to have many more activations than your opponents when the formations are roughly of the same amount of models, since the offensive capability is what makes the activation worthwhile. Activations by themselves are worthless without enough models to make those activations worthwhile. The only reason you came across this is because you used gold organization with the new formula they are not optimized for each other. The new system will be optimized for the formula.

This system would not permit an opponent to have significantly more activations of similar strength between players, but if one player wanted to make large amount of 1/2 stand formations he could do that, but would be quickly and soundly beaten.

This is one of the points where 1st edition experience goes a long way. It may be difficult for me to relate how it works if you have not used it a fair amount. Under that system you could make a bunch of small formations and get more "activations". However, it was infrequent to do that because such formations were feeble and their offensive output too insignificant to worry about. There was no such thing as "death by a thousand cuts" under such a system.

Also keep in mind that your using EVO, none of what is going to be made is optimized for that. The activation issue you describe is mainly an offshoot that your using some mechanics not covered by stock Gold nor NE6. Therefore extrapolating an issue there to a rule set designed to be optimized with the formula is at best difficult (i.e. not comparing apples to apples).

I'm confident that implementing Magnus ideas in the content of a tightly made organizational framework optimized to work with the formula cures most if not ills. ;)

Primarch


As much as I appreciate your enthusiasm, let's not go saying we've cured cancer when we've only just discovered radium.

I think The Bissler may have a valid concern, but you have good points as well. I'm less certain than you are that an army of all single-model formations would be easily and soundly beaten. However, I'm also not certain that it would be an instant-win situation. Sure, having a lot of activations would give a big first-turn advantage, but every model killed would yield VP to the foe. Admittedly, such a force would never have to worry about BP. Hmm, this could be worth looking into (IE, play-testing).

Aside from activations, and a lack of BP, the only other significant difference would be cost. Overall, an army built of only single-model formations will cost more than an army with the exact same composition, but in multiple-model formations. How much more? Well, that's hard to say, as it would depend on the exact size of the formations. The larger the formation, the greater the savings.

I'm also not understanding what you mean by saying that Gold formations are "not optimized" for the formula, but that somehow these new ones will be. As I'm seeing them, there will be very little difference between Gold formations and these new ones. It's the same formula, thus any formations built from it are just as optimized as any others.

Also, I don't see any significant reason that this new formations system, whatever it turns out to be, cannot be created with Evolution in mind. In fact it should be, as that is just as viable of a system as any. For that matter, I strongly doubt that Evolution will have any significant impact on it. Or vice-verse. If Gold formations can be used in Evolution, then these should be usable as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:29 am 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
The Bissler wrote:
Sorry to sound obsessed but could I confirm how activations work in this system? Would it be that nearly everything from vehicles upwards would activate as units of one with possibly infantry and cavalry operating in units of two?


Very good question. While primarch has already somewhat addressed it in his way, I'm going to comment as well.

At the moment, how activations would work has not been settled. My thought is that each formation would get one activation, much like how each formation (or detachment of a Company) gets one in Gold. Primarch seems to have suggested that activations could be handled at a different level, but I'm not entirely sure he intended to or even specifically what he meant. Obviously, this is an issue that would have to be discussed.

Also, while the listed increment would be one model (or two stands), the expected - or default, size of a formation would of several such instances. In other words, the majority of formations would be three models (or six stands). While I am tempted to make this a required minimum, I feel that having such a minimum would be a bad idea overall, as it would squelch creativity and flexibility.

A couple more thoughts on default formation size.
_ It could vary by faction. For example, Marines and Eldar could allow minimum formation sizes of 1 instance (1 model or 2 stands) as their troops tend to be higher quality and lower quantity. On the flip side, Guard and Orks could have minimums of 3 (or more in some cases) instances per formation, as they tend to be lower quality and higher quantity.
_ We could have minimums for standard troops, but then say that Elite troops ignore the restrictions. Or just have less restrictive rules.

So to put that another way, as a generality Vehicles would not be activating as single models, but rather as formations of several models. Probably. Same with pairs of Infantry stands. Again, probably. Depending on what gets decided on via discussion.


I find the idea of formations acting as a single activation very interesting. Even taking the number of activations out of the equation, I'm not sure I think that people moving one vehicle at a time would be good for the flow of the game, making things very bitty indeed.

Would I be right in saying that we have now answered the topic title, that formations are there to provide game movement in manageable but not too small bites?

What we therefore are looking at is not whether to keep formations but how to make them fully customised?

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:33 am 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
primarch wrote:
The Bissler wrote:
Sorry to sound obsessed but could I confirm how activations work in this system? Would it be that nearly everything from vehicles upwards would activate as units of one with possibly infantry and cavalry operating in units of two?


Hi!

Formations are built in 2 stand increments for infantry and similar units and 1 model increments for vehicles and similar.

In other words the smallest an infantry formation could be is two stands and for vehicles 1 model. All subjective to the overarching army organization.

Also, there will be command requirements built into the organizational chart. So there is such as thing as how many formations you could make given that the more smaller ones you may make, the more command formations you may be required to field. This method encourages to fill out eligible large sized formations before acquiring more due to command formation costs.

As an aside I think you are over obsessing/worrying with activations a little to much since a whole army of one model formations, regardless of number would be ineffective and easy to beat against a force of less activations but more models per formations since the one or two models offensive ability would be trivial in this context.

Its one thing to have many more activations than your opponents when the formations are roughly of the same amount of models, since the offensive capability is what makes the activation worthwhile. Activations by themselves are worthless without enough models to make those activations worthwhile. The only reason you came across this is because you used gold organization with the new formula they are not optimized for each other. The new system will be optimized for the formula.

This system would not permit an opponent to have significantly more activations of similar strength between players, but if one player wanted to make large amount of 1/2 stand formations he could do that, but would be quickly and soundly beaten.

This is one of the points where 1st edition experience goes a long way. It may be difficult for me to relate how it works if you have not used it a fair amount. Under that system you could make a bunch of small formations and get more "activations". However, it was infrequent to do that because such formations were feeble and their offensive output too insignificant to worry about. There was no such thing as "death by a thousand cuts" under such a system.

Also keep in mind that your using EVO, none of what is going to be made is optimized for that. The activation issue you describe is mainly an offshoot that your using some mechanics not covered by stock Gold nor NE6. Therefore extrapolating an issue there to a rule set designed to be optimized with the formula is at best difficult (i.e. not comparing apples to apples).

I'm confident that implementing Magnus ideas in the content of a tightly made organizational framework optimized to work with the formula cures most if not ills. ;)

Primarch


As much as I appreciate your enthusiasm, let's not go saying we've cured cancer when we've only just discovered radium.

I think The Bissler may have a valid concern, but you have good points as well. I'm less certain than you are that an army of all single-model formations would be easily and soundly beaten. However, I'm also not certain that it would be an instant-win situation. Sure, having a lot of activations would give a big first-turn advantage, but every model killed would yield VP to the foe. Admittedly, such a force would never have to worry about BP. Hmm, this could be worth looking into (IE, play-testing).

Aside from activations, and a lack of BP, the only other significant difference would be cost. Overall, an army built of only single-model formations will cost more than an army with the exact same composition, but in multiple-model formations. How much more? Well, that's hard to say, as it would depend on the exact size of the formations. The larger the formation, the greater the savings.

I'm also not understanding what you mean by saying that Gold formations are "not optimized" for the formula, but that somehow these new ones will be. As I'm seeing them, there will be very little difference between Gold formations and these new ones. It's the same formula, thus any formations built from it are just as optimized as any others.

Also, I don't see any significant reason that this new formations system, whatever it turns out to be, cannot be created with Evolution in mind. In fact it should be, as that is just as viable of a system as any. For that matter, I strongly doubt that Evolution will have any significant impact on it. Or vice-verse. If Gold formations can be used in Evolution, then these should be usable as well.


I think the idea of savings for larger formations is a great idea and would discourage a lot of the army building/play that concerns me. How much those discounts should be is the big question!

I'm happy to give you feedback on Evolution playtesting Magnus and I appreciate your support on this. I think Gold is the standard so should be the primary focus - I'll set up a seperate thread for that Evolution points formula discussion in order that I don't annoy Gold players with Evolution chat here.

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:14 pm 
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It would seem that the post title has been answered. Specifically:

Formations exist to provide a baseline organization for the armies that can be used in the game.

Formations also define exactly which models / stands are able to be used during a single activation.

Formations are essential to the game as we feel that it should be played. In other words, they should be kept and used in some form.
________

As to the discounts for larger formations, at the moment that would be determined by the Break Point and Morale score(s) involved, as per the Break Point sub-section of the Formation building section of the Formula. However, I did propose a possible simplification of that system over in the Points Formula thread. Have a look at that and see what you think.

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