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Author Topic: What the Warlord got right  (Read 8696 times)

ringkichard

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What the Warlord got right
« on: September 24, 2013, 04:15:51 PM »
The Warlord has some design flaws. The most serious seems to have been a romantic idea of how players would use his abilities: he's got Goblins forever and a barracks spawnpoint and Outposts that should encourage him to spread out and conquer territory. Only in practice, he hurriedly casts some Golems and then fights the opponent's summoned critters.

But he's also got some real strengths, so any discussion about fixing the Warlord is going to need to acknowledge that foundation as a place to build from, while also deciding what sort of mage the warlord should be, now that area control has so strongly become the Druid's specialty.

I also want to remain aware that currently we have the Bloodwave (orks) Warlord and that some improvements to the Warlords as a whole are more properly saved for the next setting expansion (German themed mountains?) A wall that extends three zones would help the Warlord achieve his control the Zone mission, but fits the dwarven stonework theme better than the Big Green Horde.

So, what's the Warlord good at?

1. Taunt (Thorg). In practice, Thorg is one of the best tactical pieces in the game. An expanded war school with more taunts would help the Warlord greatly. Warlord spellbooks often have a strategy (summon some creatures and attack) but lack real tactical options. It doesn't help that the best tactical spell in the game is Arcane: Teleport. A level 4 war command Incantation that taunted a target at range could be a good thematic equalizer.

2. Veteran markers. I've only ever gotten veteran markers on Thorg or Thorg's accomplices, but there's a lot of untapped potential there. A Promotion command that turned a bunch of creatures into Veterans could help reduce the Warlord's reliance on Iron Golems, which often feel like they were a crutch to help the Warlord get through development against the Forcemaster.

3. Helm of Gothos. A great wand in search of great spells. Warlord badly needs some higher level commands to push with this equipment. Right now it's just for casting charge on the Iron Golems. But it could be spectacular.

4. Piercing +x. Bleed is nature and poison is dark and tainted is both, but piercing should be War (Okay, and holy). Ballista and piercing strike are a start, but this idea needs to be built up

As for that future Dwarf?
Some ideas: A leutenant familiar that casts commands. A conjuration that prevents enemy creatures from entering it's zone. A Mage ability to extend walls for only their level cost. A Mage ability to allow casting conjurations diagonally as if they the diagonal zone was range 1.


P. S. I got a suspicion the other morning, and I wonder what other people think: in the current environment post Conquest but pre DvN, Channeling 10 is better for agro books than +1 melee.

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labartels

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 04:57:22 PM »
I really like your ideas- thanks for putting them out there.

My real issue is with Arcane being the opposition school - I know I should just get over it, but it really limits the Warlords ability to have a diverse spell book.

sIKE

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 05:12:02 PM »
1. The main problem with Thorg is that he does not affect the Mage. So his main power has no outcome on the winning condition of the game. When I played him we was ignored for half the game and then bashed to bit by a Golem.

2. Meh - honestly by the time one of my creatures got a veterans token, they were not long in the arena. If (never has happened) a BM were to spam winnies at me then this would be useful, but with most strats using 3-4 medium/large this never comes into play

3. Battle Fury has been nerfed and the War Mage needs single handed weapon (both Vorpal Blade and Morning Star work very well please de-promo these quickly)

4. Yes yes yes, this like corrode will help change the meta on the Wizards



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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 08:03:26 PM »
So what if he doesn't effect the mage? The way the Warlord should be played, they will have to play creatures to really hope to win. The solo Forcemaster can really be wrecked here through the good use of the medium level soldiers. As well, If I knew I was playing a solo mage (you can tell quickly), I just wouldn't cast Thorg! It's that easy mate!

1 vet token on Thorg or the likes can really, really change the game in your favor. You really only should need 1-2 vet tokens per game to swing it in your favor. The vet tokens are not a necessity, but they do make the Warlord's job a bit easier.

It seems like you glanced over the warlord, lost with him, and never went back. I hope you come back to him! He's not as bad as everyone makes out to be, he just can't be played like you think.
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Kharhaz

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 08:53:54 PM »

So, what's the Warlord good at?

1. Taunt (Thorg). In practice, Thorg is one of the best tactical pieces in the game. An expanded war school with more taunts would help the Warlord greatly. Warlord spellbooks often have a strategy (summon some creatures and attack) but lack real tactical options. It doesn't help that the best tactical spell in the game is Arcane: Teleport. A level 4 war command Incantation that taunted a target at range could be a good thematic equalizer.

2. Veteran markers. I've only ever gotten veteran markers on Thorg or Thorg's accomplices, but there's a lot of untapped potential there. A Promotion command that turned a bunch of creatures into Veterans could help reduce the Warlord's reliance on Iron Golems, which often feel like they were a crutch to help the Warlord get through development against the Forcemaster.

3. Helm of Gothos. A great wand in search of great spells. Warlord badly needs some higher level commands to push with this equipment. Right now it's just for casting charge on the Iron Golems. But it could be spectacular.

4. Piercing +x. Bleed is nature and poison is dark and tainted is both, but piercing should be War (Okay, and holy). Ballista and piercing strike are a start, but this idea needs to be built up

As for that future Dwarf?
Some ideas: A leutenant familiar that casts commands. A conjuration that prevents enemy creatures from entering it's zone. A Mage ability to extend walls for only their level cost. A Mage ability to allow casting conjurations diagonally as if they the diagonal zone was range 1.


P. S. I got a suspicion the other morning, and I wonder what other people think: in the current environment post Conquest but pre DvN, Channeling 10 is better for agro books than +1 melee.

Here's my thoughts on the Warlord:

1. Thorg is awesome!

2. Veteran tokens are not my favorite mechanic right now. They're on notice

3. No comment

4. Here is where you lost me. As a novice piercing strike is not really something I consider the "war" school having done. It's the same for anyone. Pierce should never be specialized by a single school unless armor is in turn done the same. Everyone needs access to cheap pierce, which is why it is a novice spell. The only war cards that have pierce from the FM v WL set are caltrops and sniper shot, even the wall of pikes has zero pierce! Pierce is something, IMO, the warlord needs badly!

I don't know about you but I don't think there has ever been a time in my mind when melee +1 > channel 1?

I have won games with him and I have lost some. Warlord is a different play style that's for sure.

sIKE

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 09:07:17 PM »
It seems like you glanced over the warlord, lost with him, and never went back. I hope you come back to him! He's not as bad as everyone makes out to be, he just can't be played like you think.
Ok that's rough. I am quite sure that the same thing happened to him that happened to me...the Earth Wizard. Does everything better practically. I know none of the really cool spiffs of the Warlord but where it counts the Earth Wizard out Warlords the Warlord pure and simple. The only thing that even begins to help him is the Ballista but this too can be used the same or better with ..you guessed it.....yea olde Earth Wizard.

I ran about 6 or 7 Warlord builds against Charmyna with only a bit of success (ie Ballista) but still didn't win that one either.
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ringkichard

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 09:49:41 PM »
My experience with the Warlord was largely as described: I built a pretty OK book with Iron Golems and Thorg and some Dwarves and the Banner and some walls and Outposts and it did its job, kinda, at being a metagame solution to the pre-nerf Temple and Hand of Bim-Shalla builds, and had some bad matchups but could have maybe overcome the horrendous expense of its Teleport suite, but... Earth Wizard stomped it flat. And Charmyna asked why I was playing Warlord when I  could be playing Earth Wizard, and my answers were generally:

"I can give my Iron Golems vet tokens and buff them with the Banner, and Helm lets me cast Charge which is also great for cracking opposing Nullify before using Teleport Mage Wand."

But I realized that I was buffing Golems when they were already so dangerous that my opponents were avoiding confrontation anyway. I was gilding the lilly. And Helm was potentially great, but in a long game where it was better than casting the commands freehand, I was at a serious disadvantage because of the cost of Teleport.

But I didn't want this thread to be yet another "Here are the weaknesses of Warlord" but instead I hoped it would be more constructive: "here's what is working, maybe this suggests a way forward."

So, in that context, yes, vet tokens and piercing are currently really underdeveloped, but the seeds of greatness are present, they just need to be watered by Design and warmed by Development.

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 10:29:13 PM »

But I didn't want this thread to be yet another "Here are the weaknesses of Warlord" but instead I hoped it would be more constructive: "here's what is working, maybe this suggests a way forward."

So, in that context, yes, vet tokens and piercing are currently really underdeveloped, but the seeds of greatness are present, they just need to be watered by Design and warmed by Development.


I just can not agree with that statement. If every warlord creature came into play with a vet token would that change the status of the Warlord compared to an earth wizard? I do not think so.

Vet tokens and pierce are what is NOT working with him and even if they were developed it would not address some of the gaping wide holes in his spell book. Nevertheless, i am just spinning my wheels and shooting out my opinions for another perspective on my boy from the Bloodwave.



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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 11:13:11 PM »
Vet tokens and pierce are what is NOT working with him and even if they were developed it would not address some of the gaping wide holes in his spell book. Nevertheless, i am just spinning my wheels and shooting out my opinions for another perspective on my boy from the Bloodwave.
What it got right is very little. I can't but help feel that there was something better but it was nerfed. As an example I like to cite Battle Fury, it comes out in the core, gets a well done write up in the very first FAQ which adds great clarity to the intent of the card. Six months pass, oh my what have we done? Though we(AW) meant this to be what it is, the FM just throws the game way out of balance using it, so we have to nerf it. I am guessing the same thing happened to the WL but what ever the issue was, was caught during play testing, towards the very end of the pre-release cycle and due to time pressures/constraints we got what we have today.
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ringkichard

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2013, 12:51:05 AM »
I think we disagree pretty strongly, then. I think Orc Butcher would be pretty good at 8 Mana for a 5 die attack with 2 armor and 10 health. And I think the  interaction between piercing and Battle Fury argues fairly strongly for an internal combo there. Give Warlord better access to counterstrike and more multiple attacks to go along with it and suddenly Wizard's Tower is a lot easier to kill and the Warlord has a "Bloodwave" playstyle. It's a Horde. It kills things. It should be vulnerable to trickery, but it should be quite dangerous in a straight up fight. It's not supposed to have Teleport, it's supposed to smash face.

Hell, eratta vet tokens to be intrinsic so the melee +1 works on all multiple strikes. There are options.

--

I don't think it's a coincidence that when AW printed intercept creatures and nerfed the dominant agro books we got a new crop of control books out of the ashes.

There's currently no good agro answer to Earth and Water attrition control, and that means Warlord has a vacuum it can fill.  What's the other option? If we give the Warlord all the same tools Wizard, just with different names, it's really just Wizard in green paint.
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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2013, 06:33:05 AM »
The title of this thread is about the positives so...

Sniper + Tower + Walls is borrowed by so many builds. Success!
Thorg and maybe Helm would be borrowed too if not Warlord Only.
With Swarm returning in the new set, Veterans will see more use (it's better than Wounded Prey vs. nonliving)
Panzergardes and Slingers are good value but suffer from weenie damage threshold
Blademaster is an acceptable elite but not good enough to be borrowed over Grizzly.


The rest of his suite: I have to agree with sIKE, it just doesn't work.
Orc Butchers cost the same as Timber Wolves with a Ring of Beasts and are worse except as Soldiers.
It's a shame they added (what seems like) a last minute Outpost nerf as non-adjacent rule really hurts.
He plays Swarm, he really needs a good Spawnpoint so he can smash face himself (or play ranged zonal)


So everyone and their grandmother has an opinion on what to do with this awesome idea that is the Miniatures Wargame Lord. Here are some ideas. I don't propose all of them together. Just some of them, least disruptive and in theme, as options.

Errata Barracks (new 1 card released soon) so Soldiers arrive active! This is huge tempo play but he still has mana problems. It creates a big fragile wooden target that he will need to defend, creating his fortress game. He really needs a better spawn point more than anything.

Release a Warlord Only one-handed Cantrip weapon with Counterstrike so he can be frontline attacker without losing Horn. This weapon should be as emblematic as Lash, Galvitar, Hunting Bow, Staff of Asrya etc. Because the Horn is a really nice tool for a general to have, if only he could spawn soldiers better (linked to above).

Create an Epic enchantment "Summon the Warband!": reveal to teleport any number of friendly Soldiers of lower level from any 1 zone to that creature's zone. The priestess has her get out of jail. Well, he doesn't do that, he brings the fight to the opponent. Its wording also allows creative builds like with Intervention.

Tooth & Nail for Soldiers. Slingers, Blademaster, etc Warlord just doesn't have piercing for such a warlike mage as mentioned by ring.

Errata his Training (new 1 card released soon) to "Triple for Level 2+ Arcane". Or "Also trained in Soldiers from 1 other School" (so no Holy with Skeletons but adds Bridge Trolls as an option). Or simply increase his spell points above 120..

If errata-ing and re-releasing his card, turn Battle Orders into before/after ready marker free action like Deflect.


Yeah, I think in the end re-releasing his card with amendments is the least disruptive solution.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 07:19:43 AM by DeckBuilder »
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ringkichard

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2013, 04:26:19 PM »
Given how much upset the last eratta caused, I think AW will be unlikely to make an erattum for Warlord, actually. (Yes, I know I speculated about Vet Token eratta. I contain multitudes.) Nudging Warlord to competitive rank is probably a long-term project, especially because a weak Warlord is playable, but an overpowering Warlord breaks the game. Putting the toothpaste back in an emergency is so much harder than slowly bringing out more.

The more I think about it, the more I am attracted to an improved suite of level 3&4 war commands and war enchantments, and some synergistic goblinoids.

The model for Warlord is partly the Straywood Beastmaster: swarmy, aggressive, 9 channeling w/ +1 melee, trained in a school with creatures and buffs, and with an opposing school.

But where the Beastmaster fleshed out Nature school, The Warlord had to double duty for both Earth and War. Consiquently, half the Warlord's mojo went to the Earth Wizard, too. I feel like expanding the Warlord's War identity may help a lot. (There's also a lesson here for future Elemental mages like the Siren, she needs a strong independent identity or Wizard is just gonna rumble her and toss her pockets. )

There's a real risk that these war abilities will just fuel a future Paladin (for example), of course, which is one reason I think it's important to craft mechanical identities for the two different Warlords (Orc and Dwarf) as well. That's why I want to reinforce the Bloodwave theme for the Warlord we have now and leave the fortification theme to the future once we see how Druid is received by the competitive scene.

To make a clumsy analogy to computers,  that means finding the available "API hooks" on Warlord. The Warlord we have has Vet Tokens, and yes, they're hard to get if your opponent isn't playing swarm. But the way you prevent other war school mages from being strictly better to the Green Guy is by expanding on what makes him unique.

With that in mind, cards that interact with the Warlord's Battle Orders ability might be good to have, too. A 12 Mana level 2 creature that gets +1 piercing for the turn when it is affected by a command spell, for example. Hit him with To Battle! and a strong command  from the Helm and suddenly he's scarry. But a Reverse Attack or a Stumble will still hurt him.

Or, if you're living the dream, add in two more similar creatures, and the Horn, and make the command you're casting Akiro's Battle Cry and now you've got a potential Alpha Strike that can't be ignored.

Of course, that depends on being free to set up something like that. Maybe that's an area Warlord could use help with? How do we set up an alpha strike potential that would maybe make turtling mages come out of their shells without overly punishing Forcemaster or Beastmaster or Warlock?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 04:28:39 PM by ringkichard »
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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 04:46:28 PM »
Taking an idea from Heroscape here - how about something like bonding?

Introduce a warlord-only creature called Goblin Captain or something that says "whenever you activate this creature, you may choose another goblin creature you control. After Goblin Captain is done acting, you may immediately activate and act with the chosen goblin creature."

Alternatively, "you may use Goblin Captain's full action to activate and act with up to two other Goblin creatures you control. If you do, return Goblin Captain's action marker to the ready side."

That helps the horde mentality of the Warlord and will help to set up or execute on big charges.

Alternatively alternatively, a level 4 or 5 War Incantation that works like Rouse the Beast except it doesn't have the "summoned this turn" restriction.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 05:00:09 PM by lettucemode »

ringkichard

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2013, 06:42:37 PM »
Rouse the Savage could be a really nice way to reclaim some of the functionality Battle Fury lost to the nerf bat, but at a more appropriate cost and level.

Gotta be careful with a card like that, though; pretty sure it's a combo enabler. Two Thoughtspores could cast it on each other indefinitely (until Mana ran out), or other special ability shenanigans could emerge. At the very least it would make for some terrific sniper turns, which therefore might require a Mana cost above 10.
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ringkichard

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Re: What the Warlord got right
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2013, 10:05:09 AM »
The title of this thread is about the positives so...

Sniper + Tower + Walls is borrowed by so many builds. Success!
Thorg and maybe Helm would be borrowed too if not Warlord Only.
With Swarm returning in the new set, Veterans will see more use (it's better than Wounded Prey vs. nonliving)
Panzergardes and Slingers are good value but suffer from weenie damage threshold
Blademaster is an acceptable elite but not good enough to be borrowed over Grizzly.


Going back to this, I think you're right about wall+tower+sniper. It's so good that other books steal it. That's a good sign!

The funny thing about Vet Tokens (especially on something with regeneration like bridge troll) is that the more successful they are the more successful they will become: it's a positive feedback loop where the increased +1 melee of one creature makes it easier to get +1 melee on the next creature. The problem, currently, is that there's such a high activation energy required to get started.
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