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Knight World special rules

 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:01 pm 
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The same ATSKNF as in the SM list seems very appropriate for brave knight pilots and works well in the list to balance their low numbers, all but the newest players will be familiar with how ATSKNF already and even if they're not they'll soon need to learn so there's no problem with them learning here.

No more than 1DC for is the best approach, 2DC is overkill for regular Knights! Ideally just have them be regular AV (possibly with a army wide special rule letting AV knights barge). Having to track and be aware of each knight's DC independently would add time and book-keeping and be really annoying for both players. It would also lead to the knight player moving damaged knights to the back of their formation when they move which seems gamey and cowardly against the heroic knightly spirit.

AV knights is a lot simpler and doesn't have problems with blocking line of sight through other knights. With an entire army of knights (particularly in larger games of 4-5k+) there'd have to be a lot of careful positioning and knights would get in the way of other knights a lot. There be a lot more having to work out whether particular knights have LOS or not than with other armies and it would be annoying. WE LOS blocking can also be abused to hide knights and reduce casualties - having 2 knights next to a building and the others in the formation directly behind them out of sight. An attacking formation - say a Leman Russ company - might only be able to get LOS to the front ones with a single and could score on average 12 hits on them, enough to kill 3 on average if they were AV. Yet since only 2 can be seen the others behind can't be allocated hits or killed and this seems unreasonable and annoying.

There's a lot of precedent of other similar sized units not being 2DC - Ork Stompas and Slaanesh Knights in the Black Legion list. 2DC knights in the new Emperor's Children breaks the existing precedents and is a very bad idea and myself and number of others argued against it. I predict next to zero chance of Steve 54 wanting to change the Slaanesh Knights in the approved BL or LATD lists so it unnecessarily adds two sets of different rules for the same models.


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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:58 pm 
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You make a good argument for AV knights. But how would you Stat them 4+ RA? 5+ RA? Inv Save to represent the shield?

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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:39 am 
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Yep agreed Glyn and I was also already thinking of the inconsistency with Stompas and Slaanesh knights.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:49 am 
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mordoten wrote:
But how would you Stat them 4+ RA? 5+ RA? Inv Save to represent the shield?

Something like that yes. I agree with Glyn's points.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:56 am 
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Having a precedent does not necessarily make it a good precedent. Stompas are one of those units that really should be a WE, and not AV. In fact, given the recently released 40k Escalation supplement, they should actually be a 4DC War Engine! Baneblade-chassis vehicles are now sporting 9 Hull Points in 40k terms, as are Eldar Renevant Titans, which are both 3DC War Engines in Epic Terms. The Stompa checks in at 12 Hull Points with roughly comparable armor in that supplement, and the model on the table is not appreciably smaller in bulk than either Baneblades or Revenants, but it is somehow only an AV while the others are 3DC?

That Stompas are not War Engines is something that should be ultimately fixed, not something to be used to hold back design space for other units. Ditto the Slaanesh Knights. If those stats aren't right, regardless of if the list is approved or not, they need to be fixed (which, of course, may also include point costs and formation sizes). Obviously in the case of an established list, plenty of play-testing needs to be applied to ensure balance isn't disturbed, but established doesn't mean "can't change", just that change must proceed with caution. You can't just enshrine something that was once okay and never change it again just because it was okay once, or we'd still be playing with Eldar Pulse weapon and spirit stone rules, among other things.

While I personally don't like having extra markers on the table, if 2DC knights is what best represents how they should behave, then that's what they should be.

So the quesions need to be about what parts of the war engine rules do or do not fit Knights, and what, if anything needs to be done to make that "right" with how Knights are envisioned to work.

Putting aside the tabletop management of actual markers aspect for the moment, what would 2DC Knights gain over 1DC or AV Knights with ATSKNF? Let's walk through the various War Engine rules and see.

1.8.4 Terrain Effects

No differences for DC1 vs DC2 Knights, but AV knights are barred from crossing rivers and jungles and may suddenly use vehicle-ready fortifications compared to War Engine Knights.

This is a major setback to the idea of AV knights, IMO. A large part of the Knight fluff is that they originate on frontier/maiden worlds and are used primarily for herding giant megafauna. Not being able to handle common terrain types to those environments makes no sense to me. They're only marginally smaller than Warhounds, and their legs are easily large enough that they can ford the same rivers and crash through the same jungles a Baneblade could.

1.9 Shooting

War Engine Knights block line of fire, while AV Knights would not. This has both ups and downs.

Defensively, you can use Knights to hide damaged knights in the case of DC2 (DC1 Knights do not gain this advantage), but you also can cause focus fire on the only Knights in LOF, meaning that in the DC2 case, you're more likely to get enough hits to kill a unit rather than spreading them around (see 3.2 below). The only "tricks" you can play are with the units themselves, though; terrain blocks LOF to WE and AV units equally. Knights have small formations, which means that you're probably not going to hide more than 2 models tops, and only from one direction.

Offensively, your own WE block LOF. With small units and possibly extra coherency for 2DC (see 3.1 below), this shouldn't be a problem within a unit, however in very large games you can potentially end up denying yourself shots because of other units on the table.

My personal opinion is that the upsides to WE over AV are offset by the downsides, and both tend to make the WE version of a Knight army more of a "thinking man's" force, requiring you to be conscious of the opportunities. Since that's already true in that it's an army with small but fast formations, I don't see this issue as being a huge. They're also 9m tall bulky walkers. It does not feel wrong to me that they would block LOF.

3.1 War Engine Movement

2DC Knights gain an extra 5cm of formation coherency over either 1DC or AV Knights. I don't see this as a problem. 10cm over 5cm isn't a big deal, and in fact is kind of appropriate in an army that's going to struggle to hold ground due to small numbers, and where solo "knightly" fights is in line with the fluff.

2DC Knights need another unit in base to base to remove their ZOC. With small unit sizes and a knightly theme, I think this is also a non-issue.

Knights have no transport, so the war engine transport rules are irrelevant.

3.2 War Engine Shooting

Shooting would now be allocated 2 hits at a time into the formation vs either 1DC or AV Knights. Given their armor, this does mean that you are more likely to end up with multiple knights with only 1 DC removed because they were allocated 2 hits and saved 1, especially if being shot at from multiple directions. This can lead to somewhat gamey scenarios as GlynnG mentions (or, from a different viewpoint, highly trained and battle bonded households will heroically and courageously save their damaged brothers in arms from potentially deadly attacks with their own vehicles). For AV vs DC1 Knights, there is no theoretical difference, as hits are allocated to units, not formations, and anyone who rolls multiple saves and just pulls from the front for any formation WE, AV, or INF regardless is doing it wrong. Since there are no mixed Knight/non-Knight formations, the rules for shooting at mixed formations is a complete non-issue for Knights.

2DC Knights obviously have more damage capacity than 1DC or AV Knights. They lose models to blast markers and post-assault resolution at the same rate as 1DC or AV Knights, assuming that those had ATSKNF and the 2DC Knights did not. However this does mean that they will lose units to direct fire at half the rate as a DC1 or AV Knights. That's a pretty big deal, and is one reason I'd consider needing to move points up or armor down if this route were taken.

2DC War Engines actually care about Critical Effects, which neither 1DC or AV Knights do. This means somewhere around 10% of unsaved hits are actually going kill a 2DC Knight outright (16% chance of a crit, less the relatively incalculable odds that other hits allocated or previous hits would have already stripped 1DC, making the crit irrelevant). I think this partically makes up for the fact that you're likely to get hits scattered around a formation and have extra DC against direct damage. Not completely, but some.

2DC Knights care just as much about blast markers as ATSKNF 1DC or AV Knights. Either way it takes 2 BM to suppress or kill a broken a Knight. Obvious wash across the board.

2DC War Engines care slightly more about TK weapons than either 1DC WE or AV. As with critical hits, this means any weapon with TK>1 can one-shot an undamaged Knight. Conversely, TK(1) weapons do not now auto-one-shot a 2DC Knight, however these are fairly rare (mostly Monsterous Creature type melee attacks, and Eldar/Dark Eldar titan class lances). TK(d3) and TK(d6) weapons are substantially more common and would have a roughly 33% and 16% chance respectively of not one-shotting a 2DC Knight. Given the low odds and that Knights already have a Knight shield designed to save them from TK class attacks, and the relative scarcity of TK(1) weapons, I don't see this issue as a huge deal. If anything it's kind of in line with the fluff, that these are vehicles meant to go toe to toe with Megafauna and War Engines and survive.

3.3 War Engine Assaults

2DC Knights can barge 2 extra non-War Engine units when charging, and be charged by 2 extra units when charged. At 9m tall, barging through extra infantry does not seem a problem. Barging through up to 4 tanks does seem a little more shady, but not horribly so. Being charged by multiple units actually makes them slightly more vulnerable to CC heavy armies, but is a fairly small point.

2DC knights gain an extra CC and FF attack vs 1DC or AV Knights. This is probably the single biggest deal, in my opinion, as it makes 2DC Knights double the effectiveness in engagements and 1DC or AV Knights. You could, however, offset this by removing the EA portion of the Shock Lance rule and/or decreasing the FF value of Knights. Alternately, you could again increase their point costs account for that. However, that risks shrinking an already small army too far to be viable.

2DC Knights have no significant difference vs AV or 1DC Knights with ATSKNF in post assault resolution. Beyond the above issue of having extra CC/FF attacks in the first place, the ATSKNF rule makes extra points of damage from assault equal to the relative amount a 2DC Knight takes.

Summary

Having done this exercise, I'm now less against 2DC over 1DC with ATSKNF knights than I was. I still don't like the extra book-keeping, but I do think that none of the problems that 2DC knights without Might of the Omnissah/ATSKNF are insurmountable. Most of the differences are complete non-issues. The two primary that are being their extra resilience to direct fire and extra offense in engagements. The toughness is a pretty easy fix, just a swap from 1DC @ 4+RA to 2DC @ 5+RA or 3+; the increase from the second DC would be offset by the combination of crits, TK vulnerability, and lower overall armor. The extra offense is a much bigger deal to me, and but can be mitigated through adjusting the Shock Lances, adjusting CC/FF stats, or even adjusting points. I don't have any immediate suggestions on that front, but will think about it.

The only other specific factor for 2DC to me would simply be that it would definitely move the list from Developmental to Experimental, so if the goal is to have this Approved in a short time frame, then this is probably too big a change.

I'm very opposed to AV Knights at this point, and I don't see the precedent of AV Stompas and Slaanesh Knights as a good one to follow or reinforce (in fact, I think it's actively bad, and would support any attempts to revise those in the appropriate lists). The few problems that AV fixes vs 1DC War Engines (mostly LOF issues) are more than offset by the troubles it adds (having special rules to allow barging, new issues with terrain), and at least as much as the 1DC+ATSKNF to 2DC change this would require moving the list back to Experimental.

To me, the only other question right now is if GW does come out with Knights for 40k, I would like the Epic stats to closely reflect the 40k ones, so the question is do people feel that Knights are going to be treated like large but regular walkers, with 3-5 Hull Points like a Land Raider or Battlewagon, or are they more likely to be Super Heavy Walkers, with 6-8 Hull points like a smaller Baneblade or Warhound? If they did the former, that would be the only way I could consider accepting going with AV over WE. However, given Escalation and the likelihood that they'd continue to have Titan class weapons like the Light Quake Cannons, I tend to believe they'd go the latter route. This is another small reason I'm less against 2DC than I was at kneejerk first reaction.


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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:36 am 
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My concern with 2dc knights is book keeping. Granted, AMTL and a few others can load up on multiple hit formations, but don't you think it would get a tad fiddly and easy to lose track of which knight had what hits left across that many models?

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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:49 am 
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Wow, very well thought out and analyzed, DaR. I was initially opposed to 2DC Knights, but I'm not now after reading your post. I know Dave has suggested changing their armor to 5+ RA if they change to 2 DC. I guess I don't understand the issue with book keeping for 2 DC. I find it very to easy to mark how many DC's a WE has.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:06 am 
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I definitely agree with Mark on that front, at least. It's not exactly hard, but it can be a little fiddly, especially if your blast and wound markers don't look sufficiently different.

OTOH, I suppose it's no worse than Superheavy Tank formations in any of the IG lists, or Engine of Vaul formations in the Eldar ones. The only real difference is that you're going to have 8 to 10 formations to keep track of, instead of one or two.

I've seen some suggestions on how to make it easier. One of my 40k buddies has little magnets on the bases of any multiwound model, and some crystal beads with matching magnets on them, which at least makes it pretty simple to track. I've seen other people in these threads offer similar sorts of suggestions.

If people can offer up good suggestions for the Assault and Shooting issues with 2DC vs 1DC, I can probably learn to live with the book keeping. At this point the primary advantage to 2DC is that I think it matches the fluff better and it's likelier to match the eventual 40k Knight stats, while ll of the other downsides are ones that can be fixed by adjusting stats and/or points.

On the armor front, I just realized that moving to flat out 4+ at 2DC is fine. It's mathematically the same as 4+RA with 1DC against normal weapons (ie, it takes 4 normal AT hits to kill a Knight). If we use the 1.4 version of Knight's Shield, which works on TK, but not MW, then it also ends up the same against MW (2 hits to kill). The only difference is the slight chance of crits.


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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:10 am 
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So this has spiraled off into repetition on one facet of my initial post. How about some response to this:

The Knight Shield rule as it stands:

Quote:
The Knight Shield provides Knights with a 4+ saving throw that can be taken instead of the Knight's normal saving throw. This save may always be taken, even against TK or Macro-weapon attacks. The Knight is also allowed to re-roll its saving throw as per the Reinforced Armour rules unless hit by Lance, Macroweapon or TK attacks, but the re-roll must be made using the unit’s armour save rather than the Knight Shield save.
A Knight may not use its shield against hits sustained in a Crossfire. Make a saving throw per damage inflicted by a Titan Killer weapon, e.g. a TK(3) weapon would require 3 saving throws to be made by the Knight.
Note that the Knight Shield save can be modified by the Sniper rule and that weapons with Disrupt will still cause a BM if they hit a Knight even if it makes its save.


A rehash to simplify:

Quote:
Units with a Knight Shield may make a saving throw on a 4+ when they are hit instead of using their armour value. No mofidiers ever apply to this saving throw and it is unaffected by macro-weapon, lance and titan killer hits. However, each point of damage from a titan killer hit must be saved separately. If the unit has reinforced armour it may not re-roll a failed Knight Shield save. Finally, none of these benefits apply to units in a crossfire or in an assault where their formation did not carry out an engage action.


It stays true to SM/TL in that the save is never modified, and simplifies it down to either rolling your normal save or the special shield save. For the most part, you're going to want to use your normal save for a normal hit and a shield save for everything else.

Not using it when you're charged it meant to represent the Knights not being able to square off as much as they could of if they charged.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:59 am 
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Dave wrote:
A rehash to simplify:

Quote:
Units with a Knight Shield may make a saving throw on a 4+ when they are hit instead of using their armour value. No mofidiers ever apply to this saving throw and it is unaffected by macro-weapon, lance and titan killer hits. However, each point of damage from a titan killer hit must be saved separately. If the unit has reinforced armour it may not re-roll a failed Knight Shield save. Finally, none of these benefits apply to units in a crossfire or in an assault where their formation did not carry out an engage action.


It stays true to SM/TL in that the save is never modified, and simplifies it down to either rolling your normal save or the special shield save. For the most part, you're going to want to use your normal save for a normal hit and a shield save for everything else.

Not using it when you're charged it meant to represent the Knights not being able to square off as much as they could of if they charged.


Your proposed wording is mostly fine, though I suggest "may always be taken against" instead of "is unaffected by", to avoid possible confusion that the latter might means"doesn't work against" or possibly even "completely ignores, doesn't need to roll", both of which could be true if you squint right and emphasize the words differently.

My only other comment is that if 2DC Knights do happen, this version would double Knight resilience against Macro Weapons, while the 1.4 version actually only works against TK weapons and relies on the Knight's base 4+RA to deal with normal and macro weapons.


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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:08 am 
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How about just:

Knight Shield: Any unit with this special rule has an invulnerable save that is taken on a 4+. this save is ignored by any attack claiming a crossfire bonus, or from a formation that initiated an engagement against this unit.

Then don't give them RA.

Against anything short of a TK shot it functions like reinforced armour that can be cancelled out by crossfire or assaults. but it has the added advantage of not being tied to the actual value of the initial armour save, so we could have 3+ or 5+ saves without it messing with the shield save

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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:36 am 
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Dave wrote:
So this has spiraled off into repetition on one facet of my initial post. How about some response to this:


If this has spiralled off onto one facet it might be because that one facet is a massive change and the others are less-contentious. Please don't gloss over it.

Quote:
As to my intent, I'm shaking things up and asking questions.

Respond to the shaking then, shaking works both ways. People raising AV knights is just as valid as raising DC2 and just as simple. Constructive responses like DaR's on the topic will advance the discussion more than than passing over it does.

You say it's simpler, a number of people disagree, a number agree, they talk about it.
An additional way of making knights simple has also been suggested.
What do you expect, what sort of feedback do you want to help advance your development of the list at this stage?

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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:01 am 
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DaR wrote:
Having a precedent does not necessarily make it a good precedent. Stompas are one of those units that really should be a WE, and not AV. In fact, given the recently released 40k Escalation supplement, they should actually be a 4DC War Engine! Baneblade-chassis vehicles are now sporting 9 Hull Points in 40k terms, as are Eldar Renevant Titans, which are both 3DC War Engines in Epic Terms. The Stompa checks in at 12 Hull Points with roughly comparable armor in that supplement, and the model on the table is not appreciably smaller in bulk than either Baneblades or Revenants, but it is somehow only an AV while the others are 3DC?


Off topic I know, but it's worth bearing in mind, there's no such thing as a stompa as originally defined in epic in 40k, the 40k stompas are most definitely equivalent to epic super stompas, the closest thing in 40k to an epic stompa is probably the mega dread, hence why it's an AV rather than a war engine

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 Post subject: Re: Knight World special rules
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:12 am 
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This is true...


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