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FASA Games, Inc. • 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to see?
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3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to see?

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:02 am
by poulpox
As per the RalPartha's FB post, let's discuss the changes you'd like to see for the third edition of DW. Not being a player since many years I can't really comment on the rules as I haven't played them for so long.
For me to get back into the game would require:
. non-hex play (this would allow me to introduce the game to other system players without having to re-do a whole battlefield. It would really help to promote the game widely I think).
. non-overpowering heroes and magic: power to the units! (I'm not sure whether this happens in DW?)
. reworking the cover art of the army books (to make them look less 80s)

So what do the real experienced DW players think?

Re: 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to se

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:02 pm
by Arhnayel
I'm still playing the 2nd edition with all the "kind-of-official" german erratas. The game is pretty balanced although they are some changes I would like. Most of them concern the recruitement of the army : it's too easy to create a full-elite army which haven't any sense, like an army of trollbins or an army with so many heroes it seems you're playing a skirmisher-RPG. I think the rules are very good - but maybe some clarifications would be necessary.

So, my changes would be to lower the quota of characters and of the special units (units without moral by examples) to force the recruitement to get some basic units. here are some examples / ideas :
- use the "elite-limitaiton" of Thaïn to all races (i.e. only one elite unit per basic unit) ;
- in order to do this, give restrictions to recruit some units or create new quotas (by examples in Isthak, some beastmen units are elite and shouldn't be recruitable in a basic quota so you could have two beastmen quotas : basic and elite - same idea would fit well with the Goblins and the Dark Elves) ;
- make the Blunderers (Dwarves) cost a higher price (130 is way too cheap, 160-180 would fit more) ;
- limit the global recruitement of characters to 40% (just enough points to be able to recruit a high level sorcerer and a general) or lower the different quotas of characters to 20% (heroes / generals) and 30% (sorcerers) ;
- make some changes concerning some units / characters / spells (but this needs to go in a very deep thinking and I don't have everything in mind right now - I will edit or post something else later) ;
- give some special abilities to sorcerers lvl 2-3 (the German players got some ideas on this like the "spells dupplication" which deserve to be thought at).

Re: 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to se

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:05 pm
by metatron
Please, give up the D20 !
It puts to much luck in the game, and the calcul are not so simple in the heart of the battle.
Why not trying the D10 if not the D6 ?

Re: 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to se

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:00 am
by CSANecromancer
One of the things I really like about Demonworld is the use of the D20. Every time someone tells me about rolling 30 or 40 D6 in Warhammer I can only shake my head. Such a number of dice is ridiculous, not only the rolling itself but also mathematically. The more dice, the closer the result is to the mathematical average.

Ok, point given, it reduces the element of luck and puts more "stability" into the game, but still I like playing with chances more than just calculating the 1% or 2% deviance from the mathematical average.

And concerning D10 or D6: I prefer the D20 to the other two dice types because it has more granulation creating chances. With D10 you are stuck to steps of 10%. Even badder is the W6 which means steps of 16 2/3 %. With less granulation there is less difference between the units. In the end it plays no matter if you're using Isthak (beastmen with attack value 1-4 on D6), Elves (Thanaril spear bearers with attack value 1-4 on D6), Empire (Noble infantry with attack value 1-4 on D6) or something else. So perhaps more dice could be the solution? Something like 2D6 for attack values? To me that's more complicated in real than the rolling of a single D20.

What's the problem with calculating the actual target number in battle? Attack value - armor + boni for side/rear attacks + support from other attackers. I don't think this is too hard.

With the recruiting rules I don't think there should be too much tinkering with it. Ok, it is definitely possible to create an army with many heroes or elite units. But usually this means also that you don't have many units in total. An opponent with cheap but numerous units can counter even the strongest hero quite easily.

Example: Jason Klingor of the Empire vs. simple skeleton warriors of Isthak. For the same recruiting points of Jason you can get 20(!) elements of skeleton warriors. I you succeed in getting Jason into melee range he is as good as dead. Taken the pure numbers and neglecting moral checks for the skeletons (hopefully there is a necromancer of undead commander nearby - else it would be very difficult to even move the skeletons into melee range), there is a 65% chance each round, Jason destroys one element of the skeletal warriors and a 40% chance that he destroys two of them, due to his higher speed. I would say, it takes him definitely more than just 5 rounds to kill both units. But if the skeletons completely surround him, he is in for a ride, because he will be attacked each round from the rear with a target value of 8 (normal weapons of the skeletons) +4 (bonus for rear attack) + (4 * 3) (support of the other skeleton) = 24. There is just a VERY slim chance that he will be missed. Oh, and I took "only" four supporters into account since I think that it will be normal that Jason kills one element of skeletons each round.

So - bring on an army almost completely consisting of heroes and I will bring the cheapest units - and drown you in the sheer masses of them. :)

I don't want to imply anything to anybody, I just want to say that I have seen the situation many times before in other games: Someone gets owned numerous times by a specific tactic. But instead of rethinking his own approach to the situation he calls for a nerf or a modification of the rules. Once given in, it just takes a short time and the whole game balance crumbles to dust.

And finally: What's the problem with non-hex play? I for myself definitely prefer hexes to pure table top play, because it not only reduces but completely eliminates the boring discussions about distances ("I can hit you!" "No, you can't! You're just THIS too short!" "I can!" "You can't!" etc.) But I think it is not too hard to play Demonworld without hexes. Some time ago there was a book called "BattleTech Compendium" which included rules for playing BattleTech (another hex-based game) without hexes and similar rules can easily be applied to demonworld. Just a simple rundown about the rules as far as I have thought about them:

- One hex field is about 3 cm in diameter and it costs 3 MP to enter the next (clear) hex field. Given this movement points can be translated 1:1 to centimeters. You spend 5 MPs and the unit can move forward 5 cm. "Shifting" to the left or right (as is the case with moveing along a hex grid) can either completely be ignored (since we are now in the non-hexed movement and directly straight movement is possible), or it could be allowed to let the unit sway to one side or the other for 5 or 6 centimeters.

- Terrain: Entering the first cm of woodland costs 1 MP in addition. After spending this MP every third entered wood cm costs another 1 MP. Similar rules for entering water, gravel, brushes, sand etc.

- Hills: They should be made so that each height level can be entered by a element of the unit. Entering costs 2 MPs in addition to terrain.

- Turn about: Just use some paper to make an angle of 60° and you are ready. Turns UP to 60° cost 1 maneuvre, turns up to 120° cost 2 maneuvres - for units with no more than 5 units in front rank.

- Ranged combat/magic distances: Each point equals to 3 cm. Imperial archers with a range of 12 can hit enemies in 36 cm distance. You want to make is more simple? The same archers have a range of 35 cm and it is sufficient when they can just reach the enemy base within these 35 cm (no calculating how much more you need to reach the exat center of the enemy base).

- Turning for giants: Use the paper angle mentioned above or simpley turn the giant on the spot.

- Positioning during melee: rearrange your elements as usual and align the hex bases of the elements with each other. Possible side effect: No discussion from where the attack comes (front, side, rear?) and it is clear which element is able to support each other.

Just a few short thoughts about playing demonworld without the hex grid.

Re: 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to se

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:48 pm
by Arhnayel
I totaly agree with you about the D20. It gives some "luck effect" to the game for the worst and the better although the probabilities are important. Having many dices to throw only complicate the probabilities calculation and make the game longer and not really fun. Besides, having a scale of 20 points to powers and to spells' levels make the units really different as you mentionned it.

Just to clarify my position about the recruiting rules : I know everything is beatable in the game. I just find "elite only armies" or "heroes only armies" to not fit the spirit of the game / races. My point of view was more background / history than strategy so that's why I think some units should be limited in recruiting (like Trollbins, Beastmen Berserkers, Dar Kalons etc. because they are special units regarding the background). If memory serves, Dar Kalons were limited by the German players (one unit per other unit in the Warriors quota) and I think this could be applied to some other units.

Re: 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to se

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:22 pm
by metatron
I don't get the point about the number of dice : you throw 1d20 => you throw 1D10 if we change the luck scale :)
Throwing 5 D20 is much more complicated than 5d10 (I dont have 5D20 :))

Re: 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to se

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:12 pm
by CSANecromancer

Regarding the number of dices, I'll gladly try to explain:

To show my point I will use D6 because they are the most familiar to players, but the mathematical principles are valid regardless of the number of sides. Don't be taken aback, it is some text and many numbers, but it is not too complicated.

When you throw 1D6 you can have up to 6 different results, each with the same chance of 16 2/3%:

1: chance 1 / 6
2: chance 1 / 6
3: chance 1 / 6
4: chance 1 / 6
5: chance 1 / 6
6: chance 1 / 6

When you throw 2D6 you can have up to 11 different results, but the propabilities for the results are NOT equally distributed:

2 (1 + 1): chance 1 / 36
3 (1 + 2, 2 + 1): chance 2 / 36
4 (1 + 3, 2 + 2, 3 + 1): chance 3 / 36
5 (1 + 4, 2 + 3, 3 + 2, 4 + 1): chance 4 / 36
6 (1 + 5, 2 + 4, 3 + 3, 4 + 2, 5 + 1): chance 5 / 36
7 (1 + 6, 2 + 5, 3 + 4, 4 + 3, 5 + 2, 6 + 1): chance 6 / 36
8 (2 + 6, 3 + 5, 4 + 4, 5 + 3, 6 + 2): chance 5 / 36
9 (3 + 6, 4 + 5, 5 + 4, 6 + 3): chance 4 / 36
10 (4 + 6, 5 + 5, 6 + 4): chance 3 / 36
11 (5 + 6, 6 + 5): chance 2 / 36
12 (6 + 6): chance 1 / 36

And if it is 3D6 the chances are even more weighted on the average (this time without the single results for each sum, the chances should be sufficient):
3: 1 / 216
4: 3 / 216
5: 6 / 216
6: 10 / 216
7: 15 / 216
8: 21 / 216
9: 25 / 216
10: 27 / 216
11: 27 / 216
12: 25 / 216
13: 21 / 216
14: 15 / 216
15: 10 / 216
16: 6 / 216
17: 3 / 216
18: 1 / 216

So, what's the chance to roll the minimum/maximum vs. the average when rolling the dices? (I'll round to the nearest full percentage where possible)

Minimum (1): 17%
Maximum (6): 17%
Average (3 or 4): each 17%

Minimum (2): 3%
Maximum (12): 3%
Average (7): 17%
Near average (6,8): each 14%

So the three most common results 6,7 and 8 are hit with a 45% chance, but there is only a 3% chance to hit the top or bottom score.

Minimum (3): 0,5%
Average(10 or 11): each 12,5%
Near Average (9 or 12): each 11%
Maximum (18): 0,5%

The most common results 9, 10, 11 and 12 are rolled in 47% of all rolls. But the chances for a top or bottom roll are not even more percent but 5 per mill!

Conclusion: The more dice you use, the slimmer the chances of very low or very high results compared to the propability of a totally average result. And this is just up to 3D6. I don't even trouble imagining what's the difference between 30 (absolute minimum) and 100-110 (mathematical average) concerning propabilities when "rolling" 30D6 like in Warhammer. (Hint: The chance for 30 or 180 on 30D6 is each 1 / 221073919720733357899776).
Use a single dice and you have a real element of luck in the game. The more dice you use, the less the elemtn of luck.

(Personal remark: I really enjoy chess when I definitely don't want ANY luck in the game. ;) )

Ah, I think I unterstand. So it is not the rules themselves but more what the players are making out of it. This is a lack in background information I see with Demonworld, too. But you will encounter "munchkins" regardless of the game. I myself am playing the Empire and Isthak. And I know that Furik, the level 1 priest of the empire is as seldom used as the simple foot soldiers, since both are relatively weak units. I think it depends on what and how you're playing which shapes the army. Should I ever go to some tournament I will propably twink my army to the maximum of efficiency, too - like all the other players. But when playing with my pals, it's a different story. We enjoy RPGs and for this reason we also take into account the background of the units when recruiting our armies. For example I find the emperial canon quite enjoyable and much more useful than the foot soldiers, but there are some questions: Where does the canon come from? How is it transported to the battlefield? Is it logical that such a piece of war machine is even present? Only if these questions can be answered the canon will be set up.

And this is, where I see much work ahead, if Demonworld is to be established. Taking a look at BattleTech or Warhammer, there is a giant amount of background information. Not only army books, but novels, too, computer games, scenario books (especially with BatteTech I still enjoy reading the books about the "Kell Hounds" or "Gray Death Legion") and the like.
But with Demonworld? I only know of the three novels (I don't know if they ever were translated into English) and the two computer games. And as much as I like the game play of "Demonworld 1" - the background story totally destroys the mood. Fraiz Alkaldo is overthrown, Harrane attacked, the Ice Giants freed from the Isthak oppression and finally Xeribulos Dan Hurrorcon himself is defeated. WTF? After playing "Demonworld 1" there is simply nothing left of Isthak. And many of the fan fiction I've seen so far is equally bad. I especially remember a story which began(!) with the complete destruction of Emessa, the imperial capitol. Dafuq?

I would like to see this corrected and regard more novels, battle and scenario books much more important than some hex-free rules or new armies or units. When the players are more familiar with the world, races and cultures of Demonworld (what's the name of the world anyways?) then it is still plenty of time for the standard "Army of the Undead" or the lizardmen or full scale siege war or updated campaign rules etc.

I still remeber when I started playing BattleTech. There was a handfull of mechs and the rule set. Let the fight begin! But the next thing I got into my little fingers where the first novels and they were thrilling without end. After reading them I definitely wanted MORE BattleTech. And i got it with the house books and the hardware readouts etc.

But with Demonworld? It is hard enough to gather and paint the full range of units for a specific race and then? You know just the tiny piece of information you get through the army book (about 10 pages) and that's it. After that you can try a second or even third race but you can't develop a real relationship with the race you've originally chosen.

Just my 2 cents. :)

Re: 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to se

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:59 am
by poulpox
I don't think hex play is a problem, I just think non-hex play should be there as an option, not just a house rule. The reason being that if you already have a table to play other systems, it will be easy to try out DM on that nice table. If the only way to try DM is self-printed hex maps it doesn't look as good, and we all know the impact a good looking board has on players. I'm thinking for instance of shops doing demos, it would be much accessible if there is a non-hex play option. Also for home play, it means you don't need to reinvest in a whole table (an expense I'm not sure the wives out there would condone! "you already have one table why do you want another one!"). As you have mentioned it is very doable to transpose into a non-hex system, so all I would like is the option to be official and in the book :)
I agree that fluff and background would make the game juicer. I don't care for novels, but simply fluff in the rulebook would be great.

Re: 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to se

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:07 am
by Arhnayel
@CSANecromancer :

Yep, you got it right. With my wife and my friends, we like to play "thematics" armies. This makes us use the whole rules and the whole tactical-side of the game. And this is really really great and entertaining. No fun playing only elite / heroes. Even in the last tournaments we played, we brought thematics armies or standard but not-so-powerful armies. But we are still playing in 1200 points most of time, and rarely more than 1500.

Having a background more developped would be nice too. I knew of the novels (they're only in german aren't they ?) and one video game though I never had the opportunity to play it. Reading you it seems I will never play it ! Isthak and Xeribulos destroyed ? No way !

Re: 3rd edition DW, which modifications would you like to se

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:55 pm
by razghul
As i already mentioned here viewtopic.php?f=16&t=284 i'd like to have stronger "light" artillery.

Also the standard-troops could use some improvement. They should either get better moral or cost less points. But light orc-swordbearers with a moral of 10 and costs of 130 points are too expensive. And nearly all armies have such units.

I would like to keep the hex-maps and the D20. Of course there could be optional rules in the new edition allowwing to play without them.

Another nice thing would be some race-modifications. Elves, humans orcs and dwarves could differ more than now, where everything is calculated with the same formula.

The most important thing however is to have a well balanced game!