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Split Fire (Titans)

 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:29 am 
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Other, non-WE, formations don’t lose armour or initiative when damaged. To me, this is the most important aspect (preserving mechanical continuity).


Since WE is it's own distinct category in the rules, with plenty of (often not very intuitive) exceptions I must disagree here. Critical hits that permanently cripple WE (instead of just killing them) exist on e.g. Gorgons and Eldar Titans. The way I look at the Crippling Damage rule (as they are at the moment) is just a form of critical hit.

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New, relatively complex rules are needed, and the degradation doesn’t happen naturally based on existing mechanics (i.e. the change doesn’t depend on remaining DC).


Not sure what you mean by this?

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I’m not sure if degrading armour and initiative really reflect actual titan damage any better than existing EA mechanisms do, and I’m not sure if titans actually need to be easier to kill if they can be effectively suppressed (this could be debated, of course, so it’s the least persuasive—and I’m not trying to start a quibble-fest over it!).


For the solitary titan included in a list this might seem like overkill, but this is intended to try and deal with lists where you face several of them at the same time. Imagine showing up at a tournament with an air-assualty space marine list (no TK anywhere in the list) and facing a Gargant list... That's just not particularly fun. The basic rules unfortunately made the single Warlord or Great Gargant into an excentric curiosity, and the rules just collapse when you have more than that. The Gargant list for example has seen extensive playtest and it either wins or draws, and there needs to be ways of dealing with that.

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But that all doesn’t mean that it’s not an idea worth trying! I just find it more elegant the plasma way, and I don’t think a critical damage threshold is necessary to represent multi-DC units well. (Like I’ve noted before, another critical existence point doesn’t really help the existing critical existence failure issues a whole lot)


And my problem with the Plasma Point rules (as presented here) is that they will quickly become quite complicated and that they deal with a small aspect of the problem, not all the problems.

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As a compromise with some of @Mrdiealot’s points, I think degrading Assault performance with damage/plasma capacity works well. I’m not sure about the effects of blast markers; I have seen past discussions on the Fearlessness of WE causing issues, too.


Making CC and FF work with remaining DC might work, but then it's harder to motivate why that should be restricted to only big titans like Reavers and Warlords.

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One-shot weapons costing plasma might be considered a useful feature of the list. For support weapons, perhaps blast markers (or damage sustained) could suppress weapons systems like units are suppressed in formations? Or perhaps they don’t need extra suppression. I do think the ‘all or nothing’ suppression of titans is a bit wonky, though, but with main weapons needing plasma, this issue is lessened.


The problem is that they're still not easier to break, which is the way you get them off the objective you're trying to hold. Shooting isn't really the problem I think, Titans have pretty weak shooting to begin with.

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On the topic of Knights and other WE versus titans: this discrepancy is why I suggested another class of WE might be useful. Knights, Baneblades, Thunderhawks, &c. all seem to be supposed to act quite differently to titans. Are there any ideas for rules that might help these smaller WE that aren’t appropriate for big WE?


A lot of the weirdness for these types of units comes from them blocking line of sight from each other. RAW, you could use one the WE to give the others Hull Down against enemy shooting (I never play like this, but it's what the rules say). Associated with this is that they block line of sight for each other. My suggestion would be that they are transparent towards both each other and the enemy within the formation itself, and blocks LOS only when you try to see past them.

The second weirdness that bugs me is in the engage, where RAW you should roll each WE separately. No-one really does that because it takes forever. So it would be better to make the way everyone plays them the official way of playing them. I'm not sure we should extend it to DC3 WE, as that would include e.g. Warhounds. But maybe it would make sense to just say it applies to all multiple WE formations.

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as the appointed AMTL person, @Vaaish is already pretty supportive of ideas testing.


While I certainly appreciate what Vaaish wants to do with AMTL, and I recognize that it's an important list to get right, I argue that the problem is much bigger than just that single list. Traitor Titan Legions and the Gargant list have many of the same issues. Also, I would love to see more single Warlords being played in a large variety of lists.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:57 pm 
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And support weapons? Also there's one-shot weapons such as barrage missiles. Should CC weapons take plasma points as well? TTL and Eldar has a lot of auxillary weapons such as tails and other fixed armament, as does the Emperor Titan in AMTL.


Yes. A.L.L. weapons in those groups for AMTL. The benefit of the support missile is that it's single shot and after firing no longer requires power which makes it harder to knock out other weapons. Any big weapons that you choose should take power. Auxiliary weapons I think should be ignored. Too granular but if it did come down to it, 1 plasma point for all aux weapons.

Empys are a special case. Probably something like requires 3 plasma points for each main weapon and 2 for the battle ttitan grade stuff.

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Not saying that the Crippling Damage rule is the only way to go, but I think in order to make Titans and Titan lists more viable and playable we need to think about the titans in more than one dimension (using weapons for shooting). Maybe there's a way to do it with Plasma Points, I don't know.


The simplest and I think most effective way to get what you want is to combine plasma rules with using current DC for BM need to break and CC/FF attacks. That gets you easier to break titans that aren't as effective in FF or CC or supporting fire. The up side is neither rule would require that much bookeeping.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:16 pm 
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The simplest and I think most effective way to get what you want is to combine plasma rules with using current DC for BM need to break and CC/FF attacks. That gets you easier to break titans that aren't as effective in FF or CC or supporting fire. The up side is neither rule would require that much bookeeping.


Worth trying out! Once you get to 1 or 2 DC they perhaps become too useless. Bit it's simple and I like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:35 pm 
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Me and Norto are playing a TTS game with the Crippling Damage and the Split Fire rules btw, we paused after turn 1 was complete. We'll see if the Crippling Damage rule comes into play, taking on a Warlord when it's undamaged and got all its shields left still isn't easy.

The Split Fire rule on the other hand looks like it could create some real havoc in turn two, as long as I get the initiative. I was concerned that limiting it to Sustain Fire would be too weak, but right now I don't think that's the case.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:05 pm 
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The problem is that they're still not easier to break, which is the way you get them off the objective you're trying to hold. Shooting isn't really the problem I think, Titans have pretty weak shooting to begin with

I'd like to point out that AMTL Titans very rarely win on objectives. Most armies don't need to get them off the one or two objectives needed for a win. What your looking to solve for just isntva real issue most of the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:31 pm 
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Vaaish wrote:
I'd like to point out that AMTL Titans very rarely win on objectives. Most armies don't need to get them off the one or two objectives needed for a win. What your looking to solve for just isntva real issue most of the time.


That's not what I meant. I am well aware that WE lists tend not to win on Objectives, but they force a draw by blocking enough objectives and then win on a draw. Making them easier to break would mean that the opponent gets a better chance of winning by objectives.

The issue in general with WE lists is that they become a winning draw kind of list. If you make them easier to break and/or kill, it would be possible to make them cheaper, which in turn would make them less of a low-activation list, which would make them less extreme compared to other lists.

If you then add a Split Fire rule to this I think things might become interesting. This would go against them becoming cheaper of course, but it would give them another way to compensate for being low on activations.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:42 pm 
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My point above was you also have to think about it from the Titan perspective here which I feel is getting a bit lost in making them degrade. Making them break easier does make titans less of a problem for other armies, but it makes in far more difficult for Titan armies to bother with anything other than forcing the draw. The problem is I want titans to FEEL like titans. that means they should be hard to kill and have a lot of firepower. Less capable as they take damage, sure. But I'm really not ready for a building sized war machine to start feeling quite as mundane as you seem to be shooting for. They do still need to be a low activation army of tough, high firepower units.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:27 pm 
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Vaaish wrote:
My point above was you also have to think about it from the Titan perspective here which I feel is getting a bit lost in making them degrade. Making them break easier does make titans less of a problem for other armies, but it makes in far more difficult for Titan armies to bother with anything other than forcing the draw.

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The problem is I want titans to FEEL like titans. that means they should be hard to kill and have a lot of firepower. Less capable as they take damage, sure. But I'm really not ready for a building sized war machine to start feeling quite as mundane as you seem to be shooting for. They do still need to be a low activation army of tough, high firepower units.


Trust me, so far when I've been playtesting with the Crippling Damage rule they still feel extremely tough for the opponent. Even with really significant benefits of damaging them people pretty much treat them as before. The thing is that they are just as bad-ass as before when at full strenght, and it takes a lot of effort to get to them.

I think with the split fire rule they actually feels even better than before. I'd encourage you to test it.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:49 am 
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@Mrdiealot

What I mean is critical hits are an exception to the general rules mechanics already, which is what I was getting at with ‘more elegant’, ‘simpler’, and ‘preserving mechanical continuity’. To me, Crippling Damage is just a variation of critical hit, and thus still an exception to the general rule mechanics—and it has more stuff associated with it, so is inherently more complex. I think such an exception-based system can work, I just think it would be easier and more elegant to tie degradation to an existing stat, and get rid of critical hits altogether (or at least as much as possible).

I’d take @Vaaish’s earlier ‘proposal’ as the basis for the plasma point system:
* Plasma points (PP) = remaining DC
* Emperor titan weapons require 3 PP each to fire.
* Battle titan weapons take 2 PP each to fire.
* Scout titan weapons take 1 PP each to fire.
* Auxiliary weapons take 1 PP to fire all auxiliary weapons.
* A titan has as many Assault FF or CC dice as it has PP left.
* Titans are suppressed when # of blast markers = remaining DC.

I think you could start with this for all titans, and then adjust them as required (Gargants seem to be an obvious case). It’s probably too weak overall, but I reckon starting weak is easier in this case. It will certainly be weaker than the current rules (therefore titans would be cheaper).

I am generally in favour of what Vaaish is saying about the ‘feel’ of titans: I think it’s appropriate that they be like big rocks that can lose their offensive power but can stay on the battlefield (like how 1st rate sail warships could keep afloat after impressive amounts of damage). I don’t think it’s a bad thing that this results in different gameplay (different gameplay can be good!), but whether it goes too far or not can only be seen with game experience.

I think you have valid points about the other issues WE and WE formations have, but I think those can be addressed independently (for the most part) from degradation. I’m still not sure if small WE issues can be resolved without creating another class of unit—more discussion to be had!

As you saw me say before, I don’t think the plasma route is the only possible option, and I wouldn’t want to stop people experimenting with alternatives. But I think the PP system is ready for people to test with (and my tests with coins on a bed can only go so far!).


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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:22 pm 
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(and my tests with coins on a bed can only go so far!)


Coins-on-bed is already a giant leap from theorizing from behind a keyboard =-)

If you want a side-grade from that (it's tactile and in stereo 3d, which is hard to beat) I'd recommend getting into Tabletop Simulator or Vassal.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:20 pm 
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Thinking Stone wrote:
What I mean is critical hits are an exception to the general rules mechanics already, which is what I was getting at with ‘more elegant’, ‘simpler’, and ‘preserving mechanical continuity’. To me, Crippling Damage is just a variation of critical hit, and thus still an exception to the general rule mechanics—and it has more stuff associated with it, so is inherently more complex. I think such an exception-based system can work, I just think it would be easier and more elegant to tie degradation to an existing stat, and get rid of critical hits altogether (or at least as much as possible).


I'd actually argue that it's the other way round. The defining trait of WE is that they don't degrade along with DC, so having a threshold where they "change stats" and go to half (like in the current Crippling Damage rule) you kind of preserve that. I think it stands to reason that making big WE degrade like non-WE formations will have the consequence of making them feel less like WE.

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I’d take @Vaaish’s earlier ‘proposal’ as the basis for the plasma point system:
* Plasma points (PP) = remaining DC
* Emperor titan weapons require 3 PP each to fire.
* Battle titan weapons take 2 PP each to fire.
* Scout titan weapons take 1 PP each to fire.
* Auxiliary weapons take 1 PP to fire all auxiliary weapons.
* A titan has as many Assault FF or CC dice as it has PP left.
* Titans are suppressed when # of blast markers = remaining DC.


Worth trying out.

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I think you could start with this for all titans, and then adjust them as required (Gargants seem to be an obvious case). It’s probably too weak overall, but I reckon starting weak is easier in this case. It will certainly be weaker than the current rules (therefore titans would be cheaper).


When you write "all titans" I assume you also mean literally every single WE in the AMTL list, including Warhounds and potentially Knights? I think that's too much, I think there's a good reason to keep things where the problems are: WE with 6 or more DC, 4++ save and Power/Void Shields.

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I think you have valid points about the other issues WE and WE formations have, but I think those can be addressed independently (for the most part) from degradation. I’m still not sure if small WE issues can be resolved without creating another class of unit—more discussion to be had!


I think it would be much easier to just reform the rules for all multiple WE formations in the way I outlined. It's the most sensible way, and mostly how things are played anyhow, and it would benefit people with the new A-T Warhounds ("real size" Warhounds = Absolutely Huge. These will cause a lot of problems). Creating a new class would just create another headache.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:49 pm 
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When you write "all titans" I assume you also mean literally every single WE in the AMTL list, including Warhounds and potentially Knights? I think that's too much, I think there's a good reason to keep things where the problems are: WE with 6 or more DC, 4++ save and Power/Void Shields.


For AMTL at least I had expected all of the titans would use the plasma rules. That's Warhounds, Reavers, Warlords, and Empys. At the time Knights weren't WE so it didn't matter. I'd expect that anything with fixed weapons under 3dc wouldn't bother getting this, but it may be easier to just say anything with "titan or Gargant" in the name gets Plasma. I think that covers most of the stuff that matters from AMTL, Eldar, TTL, and OGBM.


Personally I'd be more inclined to test it as this:

* Plasma points (PP) = remaining DC
* Emperor titan weapons require 3 PP each to fire.
* Battle titan weapons take 2 PP each to fire.
* Scout titan weapons take 1 PP each to fire.

* A titan has as many Assault FF or CC dice as it has DC left.

I'd suspect Aux weapons could be covered by the basic power requirments a Titan has and would still be functional as emergency point defence against assaults and close range attacks. If so, there's no reason they need to take Plasma to fire.

Plasma should only be tired to weapons and remaining DC to assault/cc/bm. It creates some weird issues if it's all based on Plasma. I'd also drop test first without BM for breaking being tied to remaining DC. IMO this is an unnecessary change and not something I'd be in favor of right now. Find out if the base rules work, then look into some additional things if tweaks are still needed.

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 Post subject: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:12 am 
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Mrdiealot wrote:
Thinking Stone wrote:
[snip]

I'd actually argue that it's the other way round. The defining trait of WE is that they don't degrade along with DC, so having a threshold where they "change stats" and go to half (like in the current Crippling Damage rule) you kind of preserve that. I think it stands to reason that making big WE degrade like non-WE formations will have the consequence of making them feel less like WE.

Purely in the interests of clearing a miscommunication (and not arguing in favour of one method or another), what I’m talking about is coherence between WE rules and standard formation rules. Standard formations do not have ‘critical hits’ in general (except in the case of losing a command stand—perhaps modelling WE as multiple units is another idea). Standard formations do degrade with DC loss, in both firepower and Assault value. What I’m saying is that WE not degrading, and suffering critical hits is less coherent because they are exceptions to the behaviour of standard formations—and I think most people in the thread agree that some part of those exceptions is causing issues; the discussion is working out how much exception is good.

Mrdiealot wrote:
Thinking Stone wrote:
(snip)

When you write "all titans" I assume you also mean literally every single WE in the AMTL list, including Warhounds and potentially Knights? I think that's too much, I think there's a good reason to keep things where the problems are: WE with 6 or more DC, 4++ save and Power/Void Shields.

Thinking Stone wrote:
(snip)

I think it would be much easier to just reform the rules for all multiple WE formations in the way I outlined. It's the most sensible way, and mostly how things are played anyhow, and it would benefit people with the new A-T Warhounds ("real size" Warhounds = Absolutely Huge. These will cause a lot of problems). Creating a new class would just create another headache.


At this stage of thought experiment, I was imagining just Warhounds up—I haven’t decided what path I like best for ‘small’ WE like Knights, Superheavy tanks, flying WE transports, etc.. I would probably be inclined to say anything without multiple titan-scale weapons is excluded from the Plasma Points rule, which would de facto create another WE class—just as your suggestion of keeping changes only to the problematic DC6, 4++, Void-Shielded WE would. All I mean is that WE would fall into two types based on behaviour (mine: Plasma/no Plasma; yours: Degrading Stats/Non-Degrading Stats)—there don’t have to be any extra rules differences.

What I meant about other WE changes being addressable independently of degradation: I think those are mechanical problems with the rules that ought to be fixed, regardless of how damage works. Others may disagree. But for me, those fixes would affect things in the balancing stage of any Degradation rules, not as a fix for the lack of degradation mechanics (and resulting critical existence failure).

I am intrigued by the idea of command stand deaths being akin to critical damage, though I would be fine if commander impairment was just represented with degradation.

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On the topic of electronic table top simulators, I’m not a simulator-Luddite, by any means! I’ve played around with Vassal but just never had much joy in it. To me, it’s always seemed clunky and has a steep learning curve, and it’s much easier to just do it with models (and, alas, my time is at a premium). Perhaps Tabletop Simulator is better?

======
@Vaaish: I’m thinking similarly to you about the extent of Plasma rules (I thought I’d put the most extensive/weakest list of changes up first).

I guess the only big element remaining is weapon classification (but I presume the AMTL ones are still divided nicely between Scout/Battle/Emperor?), which I think is really where the proof of the pudding lies.


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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:56 am 
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Standard formations do not have ‘critical hits’ in general (except in the case of losing a command stand—perhaps modelling WE as multiple units is another idea). Standard formations do degrade with DC loss, in both firepower and Assault value. What I’m saying is that WE not degrading, and suffering critical hits is less coherent because they are exceptions to the behaviour of standard formations—and I think most people in the thread agree that some part of those exceptions is causing issues; the discussion is working out how much exception is good.


That would have been one way to do it, but as the rules are written, a defining trait of WE is that they don't degrade linearly... And I think you will have a hard time convincing people that they should function like normal units. As I've said before, the Crippling Damage rule could be a compromise. But to each his own.

Quote:
At this stage of thought experiment, I was imagining just Warhounds up—I haven’t decided what path I like best for ‘small’ WE like Knights, Superheavy tanks, flying WE transports, etc.. I would probably be inclined to say anything without multiple titan-scale weapons is excluded from the Plasma Points rule, which would de facto create another WE class—just as your suggestion of keeping changes only to the problematic DC6, 4++, Void-Shielded WE would. All I mean is that WE would fall into two types based on behaviour (mine: Plasma/no Plasma; yours: Degrading Stats/Non-Degrading Stats)—there don’t have to be any extra rules differences.


Which may or may not be workable for AMTL, but will run into difficulties when translated into another list like Traitor Titan Legion or Gargants. I think things could get odd when you have a Warlord that's basically useless at 1DC while the Baneblade next to it doesn't care. But the only way to know for sure might be playtesting.

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On the topic of electronic table top simulators, I’m not a simulator-Luddite, by any means! I’ve played around with Vassal but just never had much joy in it. To me, it’s always seemed clunky and has a steep learning curve, and it’s much easier to just do it with models (and, alas, my time is at a premium). Perhaps Tabletop Simulator is better?


You're welcome to join our E:A TTS Discord if you feel like giving it a try: https://discord.gg/DQRHRhv

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:22 pm 
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I think things could get odd when you have a Warlord that's basically useless at 1DC while the Baneblade next to it doesn't care. But the only way to know for sure might be playtesting.


I think you're going to have some level of awkwardness regardless. It's awkward that that warhounds, ordinatus, and smaller WE are magically immune from degradation if you limit it to 6/4 for crippling and it's a bit weird that a warlord is practically useless at 1 dc when a shadowsword isn't. It's not so bad with the standard warlord loadout. At 1 dc, it would still get a single TLD which is still a decent number of shots compared to a normal unit.

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