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Warhammer: Diskwars» Forums » General

Subject: FFG Snuck a New Preview - Ranged Combat rss

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Matthew McFarland
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I believe many people have been waiting for this one.
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I'm quite happy with what I see here, I just hope that magic is manifested in more interesting ways as well (in the form of specific effects/spells, as opposed to just straight-up insta-damage at medium range).

The paragraph on magic attacks ("arcane damage") does say that this is ONE of the ways that magic will be manifested in the game...let's hope the other forms of it introduce more depth.

So far though, everything I've seen is making me anticipate this game more and more...



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Ian Johnstone
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I'm really looking forward to picking this game up.
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MGS
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These are very cool. I like how they translated the positive aspects of the original Diskwars ranged attack including friendly fire (via scatter) but getting away of the dexterity mechanism.

I think there is no question that other effects will be available through magic. We just have to look at the original spells and see the a great deal of them can be easily translated.
 
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Andreas
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I think these rules make the ranged units VERY powerful. They already were in the original game, despite what many people claim. But measuring distance before shooting and easily being able to target every unit within range (also pinned units) makes shooting very nasty.
I wonder if there are some rules for targeting Units which are in meelee/pinned?
 
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MGS
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The rules that you couldn't pre-measure range were a bit of a problem in the original game. Since everything else, except for range, could be measured, there was some abuse. Even in tournaments, I read reports of players placing disks with measured special abilities close to their archers so they could measure the ability and therefore effectively pre measure. I think it is a positive sign that they are addressing this issue from the get go.

Although I am not sure the ranged units were already very powerful in the original game (in my 7 tournament games at GenCon, I didn't see a single missile fired), I agree that the changes make ranged units more powerful but this is only a relative increase and hopefully, the design team takes it into accou t when balancing these units in relation to the game system as a whole.
 
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Andreas
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The main problem is that you now can easily remove units out of melee stacks by ranged fire. In the original game it was risky or even impossible to shoot into meelees, as some units were covered by others and disks of both sides were very close to each other (friendly fire). The new rule gives ranged Units an accuracy that they should not have.

Have you ever played against a skilled elven playxer? Or the Knights catapult? Also the accolyths had some VERY nasty ranged Units. especially in combination with some of the spells...
 
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MGS
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leberegel wrote:
The main problem is that you now can easily remove units out of melee stacks by ranged fire. In the original game it was risky or even impossible to shoot into meelees, as some units were covered by others and disks of both sides were very close to each other (friendly fire). The new rule gives ranged Units an accuracy that they should not have.

Have you ever played against a skilled elven playxer? Or the Knights catapult? Also the accolyths had some VERY nasty ranged Units. especially in combination with some of the spells...


I think you are saying many things here. Lets start saying that I think I have as much appreciation for the original game's missile combat as you do. I really enjoy it and think it is fun.

I like the aspect that you mention that there is a physical element, that if you entirely cover a disk with another disk, it is completely protected from missile fire (except maybe how you interpret Sure Aim). That larger disks are easier to hit and smaller are more difficult. Risk of friendly fire (although this is maintained in the current version). The different techniques: have all the missiles in a single pile and you are likely to have many of them hit the target or have them spread to increase your chance of them scattering and hitting multiple enemies. The missiles are more accurate if you play on a soft surface and bounce more and are less accurate on a harder one. Although I love it, I am not sure how many gamers appreciate that kind of meta.

I will give you an example. Greg Schloesser wrote one of the session reports on Diskwars and here is a relevant part of his report on missile combat:

"Here is where the game gets really silly. Each archer disk launches a certain type and quantity of missile (arrows, bolts, etc.). Let's say I am launching a missile attack from my elven archers, who can fire four arrows. I then pick up four small arrow counters and place them atop an unused disk. I then pick up this disk and place it one foot above my target, which must be in range of my archers (usually 12 inches). I then flip over the disk, allowing the arrows to tumble to the table and hopefully land on my target. Arrows then cause damage to whichever disk(s) they land upon, even if the disks were part of my own army! Shades of Crossbows & Catapults here. There's no skill here ... it is pure luck. Sure, some may argue that a skill could be developed in how to flip the disk, but the rules are pretty clear that this is disallowed. One must simply and quickly flip the disk and let the arrows fall to the table.

When I explained this rule to everyone, the universal response was "You're kidding?" This procedure immediately lowered the game to the level of children's fare."


Although I disagree with quite a few of his statements, I understand that it raises more than a few red flags. I think it is reasonable to design a system that removes the dexterity component.

You point out that it increases the accuracy. I would rephrase that saying that it increases the targeting options. You can now target disks that would be impossible to hit under the previous system. I agree.

On the other hand, I would argue that the missile accuracy is actually decreased. The die only has 2 "hit/critical hit" sides, 1/3 of chancing of hitting. I bet you and I had a much better accuracy than that.

Forgive me for insisting but this is all relative to the rest of the design. The ranged units have more freedom to choose targets and can now fire during the activation phase rather than having to wait for the extinct ranged attack phase. But, the game is more dynamic and from what could be seen at GenCon, the current units are a bit faster than the original ones and there is terrain that can further change things up (the original game had terrain but it was not part of the official competitive tournament scenarios).

Getting rid of the Ranged Combat phase is a design decision and could be argued either way. I like it a lot as it streamlines the system without dumbing it down. We already have the command cards choice at the beginning of each activation segment which adds complexity so it is nice that something else gets streamline.

We have to believe that Warhammer: Diskwars is designed with the new Ranged Attack system in mind and that it was taken into account when balancing the game. So, I would not expect them to be insanely intrinsically powerful.

I like that while not every aspect could be reproduced within the new system, it removed the dexterity component while maintaining some key aspects of the original including the risk of friendly fire.


Just as an add on: I appreciate the dangerous units and combos of the original game. The U'thuk Viper Legion that only need to hit to kill a unit. The acolyte unique (forget his name) that you could continue firing as long as you didn't miss and if combined with Sure Aim would automatic kill any unit (although this interpretation could be argued, I suppose).

I used a combo for a while that Scott Luskin gave me the tip. He was the first World Champion:

Catapult
a first level caster
Sure Aim
2x Mentalist
Alchemist Apprentice

The caster would cast Sure Aim on the Catapult and the Alchemist Apprentice would retrieve the spell (this could be done more easily with a Familiar but he was banned from tournaments by FFG). Then, the Mentalist could move the Catapult around effectively increasing its reach/range while not activating it and keeping it ready for the missile combat phase. The range was obscene, 10 guaranteed damage every round. This won many games for me.

Ranged did not seem powerful in competitive play. This combo for example, was easy to break in competitive play with Brother Dalmu and Twister. Or even my double zipped evil Dragons with large or giant disks that could move 7-8 flips. There were quite a few other range deterrents such as the smoke screen.

I love original Diskwars and I love Warhammer: Diskwars more.
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Andreas
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Good to see, that there are still some of the old Diskwars fanatics online... :-)
I really loved that game and I hope that Warhammer Diskwars will be as good as you say. Did you have the Chance to actually play it?
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MGS
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You are right, I am a fanatic as well. I followed Diskwars through its lifespan and more and it was the game I enjoyed most playing casually and competitively. I am under the impression that I am as much of a fan as you are.

I playtested the new version. There is no game I played more this year. I like Lukas Litzsinger's design style, he designed the new version of Netrunner and Diskwars as well. And, Michael Gernes is an awesome game developer, he was the guy continuously demoing the game at GenCon. He has a background in both Warhammer and Diskwars.

While I can only hope that you will enjoy the new version, I can tell you that I like it a lot. So, we can say with 100% certainty that at least some of the original fans love the new version. laugh
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