April 29, 2016 at 5:39 am #12232
After almost 1 year after I started the project, I finally managed to playtest my Dirz Wrath of Kings faction cards. So without further ado, I present probably the first pictures anywhere in the world (because no one else is as crazy as I am, probably) of the first titanic clash between House Nasier and the Dirz of Syhar 😀
The initial probe between 2 strange factions…
The battle for the Mana Crystals rages on, while the Phemera roam freely…
The Dirz Rank 1 Specialist in the lower right was too overpowered. No one could touch him!April 29, 2016 at 5:47 am #12233
A brief batrep and analysis:
Scenario: First encounter between an oblivious Nasier patrol and an aggressive Dirz force. At stake is a clump of mana crystals, which the Dirz use to power their technomancy. The houses of the Scion Kings have thus far been oblivious to the existence of mana as their sorceries and magic lie in other directions. All that is about to change….
Each side picks a Motivation. Dirz can only use the “Fanatic” motivations (so far). Nasier chose “Sever the Head”. Dirz chose “Grisly Harvest” (harvest the stem cells of a target to bring back to their labs).
After Round 2, any side in control of the Mana Crystals gains 1 Morale at the end of a round.
The beginning was just jockeying for position. The “Scout” ability of the 2 Dirz specialists proved to be a nasty surprise for the Nasier. The Nasier continued to be wary of the Phemeras… with good reason!
The Crossbowmen drew first blood, killing and Ashmen Swordsman. Then it was a swirling battle around the Mana Crystals as both sides attempted to fulfill their Motivations while fighting for control of the crystals at the same time.
In the final Round: Nasier managed to win by fulfilling their Motivation. Dirz were already down to zero Morale when their Skorizes specialist darted in and interacted with their target Nasier unit to complete their Motivation, bringing both sides down to zero Morale. Then the Phemeras took out 2 Bloodmasks, dropping the Nasier Morale to -1. Nasier struck back by finishing off the Clone Biopsist Rank 1 leader, then took control of the Mana Crystals to bring their Morale up by 1 at the end of the round.
In the end, Nasier won despite sustaining heavy casualties. The Morale ranking:
Dirz -2, Nasier 0.
The presence of a significant force of ranged infantry has changed the tone of the game… for the better, I think. Whereas previously, it was hey diddle diddle. straight up the middle. Now, flanking movements are a must, taking advantage of terrain.
Speaking of terrain, it now plays a greater part in the game besides slowing down the troops.
Dirz made the mistake of being too aggressive. In future, use Crossbowmen to inflict long rage damage and Clone Infantry to ward off any attacks. Use Phemeras to harass and break up any solid mass of enemy troops headed their way. Specialists to harass and deal damage.
A quick overview of the Dirz troops so far:
Their driving Motivation is Fanaticism. That’s why they get big rewards for fulfilling their Motivation, but also (unlike the other factions) face penalties for failures. Very thematic according to their C:AotR fluff.
Also because they’re clones, their Will is their weakest point and they will hurt going up against enemies will strong Will attacks. Even though the Nasier won the play test game, that was because I mis-handled the Dirz. I think with proper handling, they should be able to beat Nasier (who are weak in Will attacks). That’s also why basic clones don’t have Magic combat results.
Clones: Weaker than normal Rank 1 infantry from other factions. But their attack and leader makes up for that. Very squishy, though. Did I nerf them too much?
Crossbowmen: I think these will be the mainstay of the faction. My mistake was moving them up to engage. I should have them hang back, since their range is 8″ and fire away at the enemy. Use the Clone infantry as skirmishers to protect them from any enemy attacks.
Phemeras: surprisingly useful and difficult to pin down. But I wouldn’t take 3 in the future, as the penalty for losing 1 morale point after they blow themselves up is too great. My original version had them pretty bare bones and I could do anything with them. Now I’ve had a playtest, I’ve added some restrictions on how to handle them. So they’re still useful… but tricky to use.
Skorizes: I’ve turned them into Specialists instead of Rank 3 Infantry as originally envisaged. A much better fit thanks to their Scout ability. They can do massive damage and are really great for assassination-type scenarios. But gang up on them and they’re toast, thanks to their low Resilience.
Dasyatis: I used the original v.1.1 Nemesis stats. Wow. Too tough for a Rank 1 Specialist. So I dialed him back down again. So now he’s a bit easier to damage, although the “regen” capability can be nasty.
[NOTE The troops I used are the equivalent of a normal WoK Starter Box: 2 different rank 1 Infantry and 2 Rank 1 Specialists. I added the equivalent of a “Creature Box” for the Phemeras.April 29, 2016 at 9:09 pm #12239
Wow, this is bloody brilliant CK, you’re blazing a trail! I must give this a go myself next time Will is in town.
(Nice terrain mat too, where’s that from?)April 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm #12244
Thanks, UH! Did a 2nd playtest with some re-balanced units (Clone Infantry, Crossbowmen, Phemeras and the Dasyatis specialist.) Worked better. Feels a bit more balanced.
The interesting thing about them being clones is: the Rank 1 Leaders each have their own Special Abilities, but because they share the same Clone trait, they can cross-command both the Infantry and Crossbowmen so that the loss of one isn’t as devastating as it would be for a normal WoK House faction.
While the Dirz troops performed better in terms of balance, the Nasier still kicked their butts due to some excellent die rolls. It wasn’t even close! Morale: Dirz 1; Nasier 5.
I’ve worked out some background fluff and the unit cards are undergoing some last minute fine-tuning. I’ll try and play test some Rank 2 Infantry (Sentinels) and the Rank 2 Character Leaders (Lady Claudia; Kheris… and it’s a toss-up between Ysis or Sykho).
(I printed the play mat myself from a file downloaded off the Megacon Games MERCS web site).April 30, 2016 at 2:36 pm #12256
Fantastic batrep CK!!! Please include a link to your updated “Dirz WoK cards” when you have them all fine-tuned.
You have me wanting to try WoK again with proxies. I dont have any of the official models….but i know the rules are free and I am going to try to how easily i can proxy my CaoR Wolfen for the Goritsi to go up against the Dirz.
By the way, is there any significance to the numbers on the markers by the miniatures?April 30, 2016 at 3:52 pm #12257
They look they’re from Dungeon Command.April 30, 2016 at 7:35 pm #12258
Yup, those are markers from Dungeon Command. I have so many of them, they are my go-to set for anything: Resonate, Wounds, and Activation. 😀
@briscoe999 : yes, you can proxy the Wolfen for the Goritsi with no problem. You can get the Skorza Skirmishers, Skorza Aplha, Shield Breaker and Scourge Hound. Just remember they need to hit and run else they’ll get into trouble once their foes strike back. 😀
Evaluation after the 2nd play-test:
1. Tactics work. Crossbowmen are deadly. Especially to models who only have Resilience 1, Wound 1. And Volley Fire (Combined Activation Inspire) doubles that if hit for tougher foes. But the Crossbowmen are squishy. So the Clone Infantry will be their meat shields. It worked. To a certain extent. I need to buff the Clone Infantry a bit more, so I’m going to try Special Ability: Hive Mind. Basically, an unengaged (but maybe activated) Clone can move up to take the Wound for an another Clone under attack. Hope that’ll work to make the Clone Infantry more “meat shield”-like.
2. The Phemera: have now turned into a nuisance. But a deadly nuisance. Enemies that need to cluster tightly together for buffs (Shael Han Legionnaires, Bloodmasks) tend to tread warily because of the Phemera’s high movement and ability to squirm through enemies and friendlies alike. Of course, how much damage they do still depends on the roll of one die, but still…
3. The Skorizes specialist: deadly but squishy, even with Resilience 1, Wounds 3. Because he can usually do massive damage in a single attack (he took out a Rathor in 1 blow in my 1st play test thanks to his “Scout” ability), enemies usually gang up on him to finish him off. I’ll test him out with Resilience 2, Wound 1 and see if his chances improve.
4. Any of the larger specialists are deadly. The Dasyatis has the annoying “Regen” ability that allows it to shrug off wounds, even though it’s a Resilience 1, Wound 2 model. Plus its attack is particularly nasty as well. Works well, and I think I’ll keep him the way he is: deadly, but able to be taken down with some effort.
Once I’ve done a 3rd play test, I’ll evaluate again and post the links to the cards. 😀May 2, 2016 at 3:44 pm #12259
2nd play test for the Dirz faction vs Nasier (again). Same set up as 1st game, just dropped 1 Phemera for 1 Crossbowman.
Dirz works more smoothly now. Better synergies. But Nasier also learning to handle the Dirz better, so this (together with some truly atrocious dice rolls on the part of Dirz – eg. both Phemera were killed and they passed their Will Checks so could blow themselves up, but poor rolls meant their foes escaped injury) let to an even larger Nasier victory. Morale: Nasier 5; Dirz 1. They was no mathematical way Dirz could’ve won with only 3 Crossbowmen and 1 Dasyatis left. Nasier had most of their troops intact, having dealt with the Clones around the mana crystals.
The nice thing about the Dasyatis having a 2″ melee Reach is that he can still hit the Bloodmasks, who’ve taken cover behind the walls for some protection from the Crossbowmen. The Skorizes only has a 1″ Reach, so he can’t do that (the wall was 1.5″ wide).
Once again, I’m finding having a significant number of ranged troops capable of causing significant damage changes the dynamics of the game. Flanking is now de rigueur, as is use of terrain for cover, which is nice.
Will try next game with Hadross or Shael Han since they have significant Will attacks and see how the Dirz can cope with that.May 2, 2016 at 4:20 pm #12260
It’s weird how there are so few ranged options in WoK so far. I wonder why.
Really enjoying this little project CK, well done!May 2, 2016 at 7:24 pm #12261
We do know from the initial set of (beta?) rules that cover was definitely something CMON were considering, but was removed from the final rule set. Also the troops from the KS wave don’t really support ranged attacks apart from the odd specialist and leader.
That’s why I’m doing this: to test out what it’s like if there were ranged troops in WoK. So far, so good 😉
Next up: Rank 2 Infantry & Leader and the Rank 2 Leaders. Maybe the Rank 2 specialists also if I can manage to squeeze it in.May 3, 2016 at 12:54 am #12262
Looking forward to it!!May 10, 2016 at 3:46 am #12301
So the 3rd playtest went happened over the weekend. Skirmish sized game vs Shael Han.
SH: 6 Legionnaires, 1 Legion Keeper, 3 Wrath, 1 Big Sister, 6 Iron Lotuses, Mdm Mui (Army commander), 1 Shield of Taelfon, 1 Fulung Dragon. Motivation: Disrupt Supply Line. Morale: 10. (Made an error and shorted Shael Han by 3 Rank 1 infantry. No wonder they were a bit squishy!).
Dirz: 6 Clones, 1 Biopsist, 7 Crossbowmen, 1 Acolyte, 2 Phemera, 3 Sentinels, 1 Dawn Warrior, Sykho Volesterus (Army commander for his Will buffs), 1 Dasyatis specialist, 1 Aberration Prime Specialist. Motivation: “No Retreat! No Surrender!”
Mana Crystals for Morale bonus in the center.
It all ended up in a wild melee in the center of the board. Need to balance the Mana Crystal bonus so the factions can ignore it and go for their Motivation if necessary. Right now, it’s a bit unbalanced.
First blood went to the Phemera in round 2… in the wrong way! They ran up to the tightly packed Legionnaires and blew themselves up! Managed to do cause 2 wounds… one of which was negated by Healing Vapours, the other by Diamond Wall Stance. Haha!
But it all went south rather quickly. Rather than going for the Supply Dump, the Iron Lotuses tried to take out the squishy Crossbowmen while the Legionnaires kept their bodyguards (Clone Infantry) tied up. They didn’t reckon with Sykho’s Tunic of Blood that made all troops in a 6″ aura gain a Resilience of 2 (instead of the normally squishy 1). The Legionnaires managed to kill some Clone Infantry as well… and ran into Sykho’s Inspire: Fierce. Killed units don’t get removed off the board till the end of the Round! (The markers in the photo below is a reminder to remove the models at the end of the Round). That meant the Biopsist got to use his Anthemis Treatment: after all, the clones were dead any way… they just didn’t know it yet! 😛
The Fulung killed off the Dasyatis from range because I forgot the Dasyatis had Regen. Shael Han was poised to wham the pain hammer on Dirz when the Aberration Prime activated… and wiped out the entire Shael Han left flank!!! He basically had exploding dice and unlimited follow-up kills… which was waaaay too OP as he took out 2 Wrath, 3 Legionnaires, 1 big Sister and 1 Legion Keeper! And despite being within the Shield’s Defensive Insight, managed to skate past the Will Attacks caused by Backlash.
The shocked Shael Han managed to deal 1 wound to Sykho… and finish off another Clone. But despite their squishy stats, their Evasion + Sykho’s Tunic of Blood kept most of them alive. So in the photo above, you can see the entire SH right wing melted away by the Prime, while in the background the Crossbowmen … seeing that the Sheal Han now lacked the troop numbers to do 2 things at once, made a run for the Shael Han “C” deployment zone to fulfil their Motivation.
At this point, I ended the play test.
The Clones: they have very squishy stats, but with the right leader to buff them up, they are surprisingly able to go toe-to-toe with the best of them. Their Shieldsmash (as opposed to the normal Shieldbash) is very useful in tightly packed conditions and they get an actual 1d10 attack off the Shieldsmash thanks to that nasty spike in the middle of their shield.
Crossbowmen: have an Optimal Range on their crossbows that give them extra damage but it’s tricky to use. But if an enemy unit is ever caught out in the open… watch out! (Note: I used the “Cover” rules in the WoK beta rules to account for mass ranged troop fire).
Phemera: useful more as a deterrent, especially for troops that need to cluster together for buffs. Any damage they cause will be a bonus. It’s a tricky balance deciding how many to take. In an Intro game, 2 are just nice. For a Skirmish game, 2 is too few. (Remember because they blow themselves up, 3 dead Phemera = 1 Morale loss).
Sentinels : work as advertised. Heavy infantry with a killer weapon. 1″ reach is all it takes for them to get stuck in to the Legionnaires after traversing rough terrain. Nothing special, no tricks up their sleeves. Just tough heavy infantry (with special armor) with a heavy weapon that can deal damage (with a slight buff).
Dasyatis : good thing I know he works from the last play test as he never got a lick in this game.
Aberration Prime: yikes! Too over powered! I’ve now dialled his attack down. He needs to be positioned more carefully now to take advantage of his follow-up attacks…. which should be less easy to pull off if he’s facing decent Rank 2 enemies, and easy to pull off with Rank 1 infantry.
Sykho Volesterus : man, what a leader! Taking all his abilities from his Confrontation fluff makes him a killer on the battlefield. I’ve dialled him down as well. He can increase units to Resilience 2 in a 6″ aura; let them stay on the battlefield after they’ve been dealt their last Wound, and ups any unit’s Willpower by 1. So he’s a bit like a Warmachine Caster: incredibly powerful, the backbone of the army. But take him out and the entire army falls apart.
So that’s it for my 3rd play test. I’ll go up against Shael Han again with version 0.94 of the Dirz stat cards. This time, I’m taking Hong Yao on as the SH assassin. Let’s see if he can glide in to kill Sykho (and/or Lady Claudia) from behind his screen of protective troops.
Need to test out Lady Claudia as well: she can do the old Warmachine Cryx trick of resurrecting dead models. And a full Battle-size game should see the intro of the Cloning Tank that does essentially the same thing if you can pull the unit out from the battle to send them over to be brought back to life again. (You need at least 1 model left alive in order to be able to do so. A cheesy tactic is send 5 models into battle and keep 1 in reserve next to the Tank, I guess… but that is SO cheesy…) 😛
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