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Items/Monsters in 18 point armies?

 
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CalicoCorsair
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:03 pm GMT    Post subject: Items/Monsters in 18 point armies? Reply with quote

So here's something I've also thought up while looking at army selections. I've been playing just 18 point armies to start out with - it's the maximum number that all of our friends can comfortably do with the current dice we have - and it's easy to learn the rules and strategy by.

However, I have a hard time justifying taking up points that could go into more commons, uncommons and rares by putting in monsters or items.

Monsters, obviously, can get a nice upper hand in certain scenarios, but they can also just as easily be a 4 point burden that does nothing.

As for items, I can't see spending more than maybe a point or two in items at 18 points, or you are seriously thinning your army down too far. As much as I think it would be awesome to chuck a medallion in for 4 points, that gives me a remaining 14 for units, which seems a bit limited.

I primarily will be playing either Coral Elves or Ferals, if this gives any context.

Just wondering what anyone's thoughts on the matter are, or if there are any good "tips" for choosing monsters/items for low point armies out there. I'm trying to expand my strategies for the game, and having not played it a lot, the best people to ask are the ones that have been!
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stormywaters
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:21 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: Items/Monsters in 18 point armies? Reply with quote

CalicoCorsair wrote:
So here's something I've also thought up while looking at army selections. I've been playing just 18 point armies to start out with - it's the maximum number that all of our friends can comfortably do with the current dice we have - and it's easy to learn the rules and strategy by.

However, I have a hard time justifying taking up points that could go into more commons, uncommons and rares by putting in monsters or items.

Monsters, obviously, can get a nice upper hand in certain scenarios, but they can also just as easily be a 4 point burden that does nothing.

As for items, I can't see spending more than maybe a point or two in items at 18 points, or you are seriously thinning your army down too far. As much as I think it would be awesome to chuck a medallion in for 4 points, that gives me a remaining 14 for units, which seems a bit limited.

I primarily will be playing either Coral Elves or Ferals, if this gives any context.

Just wondering what anyone's thoughts on the matter are, or if there are any good "tips" for choosing monsters/items for low point armies out there. I'm trying to expand my strategies for the game, and having not played it a lot, the best people to ask are the ones that have been!


I find that at 18 points, it's really hard to play much of anything. The points are so low that you are severely limited on the dice at your disposal. I totally understand playing low points; I did that when I started playing, for a few months. Once my collection got large enough, I graduated to the much, much better 36 point games.

I find that monsters are not usually playable, excepting certain really useful monsters:

1. Anything with Dispel Magic, especially: Unicorn (SAI maneuvers and Teleport), Will o' Wisp (Group ID), and Owl-Folk (magic and Dispel Magic on the same die).

2. Troll - Regenerate is just too good not to use.

3. Fireshadow - Create Fireminions makes him a highly-versatile play.

4. Dracolich - Cantrip/Magic and SAI maneuvers.

5. Minor Death - Plague and Slay are both really cool.

6. Elephant - Trumpet is amazing.

7. Swamp Giant / Coral Giant: Very reliable on homeland terrain, throwing up more than 50% maneuver and saves, plus decent maneuvers.

8. Remorhaz - Swallow is excellent, especially against opposing Trolls.

I know it's kind of a long list, but considering there are (soon to be) 60 monsters, that's a lot of missing names.

Magic items find a place when you get to higher-point games. You just have such a small number of slots to use at 18 points that it's tough to squeeze anything extra in.
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CalicoCorsair
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:02 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I do kinda want to go up to at least 24 points but it's good to learn at a smaller number for now. After all, things have changed greatly since the 10 years ago I played, and our friends are completely new to it too! Smile

I actually did use the Owl-Folk, speaking of which, in a 18 point Feral game and they did ok. So I agree with you on that one. I will have a Coral Giant soon for my Coral Elves so that's something good to know.

Thanks! Though I'll take other ideas and thoughts as well, too, any ideas are welcome Very Happy
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stormywaters
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:22 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

CalicoCorsair wrote:
Yeah, I do kinda want to go up to at least 24 points but it's good to learn at a smaller number for now. After all, things have changed greatly since the 10 years ago I played, and our friends are completely new to it too! Smile


Of course! 18 is a great place to start. Just know that the game is completely different at 36 points. It's astounding how much can change when you've got so much more to work with.

Quote:
I actually did use the Owl-Folk, speaking of which, in a 18 point Feral game and they did ok. So I agree with you on that one. I will have a Coral Giant soon for my Coral Elves so that's something good to know.


Owl-folk are good to place with your mages, so they can provide magic and also provide some possible protection/deterrent from magic (Dancing Lights, dragons, etc).

Coral Giant is a beast, but keep him at a Coastland. That's where he really shines.

Quote:
Thanks! Though I'll take other ideas and thoughts as well, too, any ideas are welcome Very Happy


Dragonkin. If you don't have any, buy them. They're free to take with your army (starting in the summoning pool), and they make a world of difference. They can be summoned to protect your mages or support an 8th face. You need them.
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CalicoCorsair
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:55 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually will have some dragonkin coming soon, and I do believe I'm going to read up on them. They sound neat, but I was a little confused about them at first. . . but if I'm understanding right, in an 18 point game I could bring 6 health worth of Dragonkin in my summoning pool?
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stormywaters
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:08 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's right! They are summoned with magic, at a rate of 3 magic per health.
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:34 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to jump in too late here, but the decision to include any magic item, or artifact or medallion or monster really depends on what you need your army to do.

I have a strong mathematical background, so to me the army construction is all about tweaking the probability curves to be what I want. If I need more maneuvers, I add a Cavalry type.

I also begin my army construction with an idea of how I want to win. i.e. what is my major strength and weakness going to be.

To that end, if I want to guarantee my army will never roll less than zero maneuvers, I will add a speed slipper.

This is an often overlooked defense to a common practice. The 'path to victory' is very common. You use the gold spell path to move a unit to a new terrain and immediately try to maneuver it to an 8th face (usually the second one which wins you the game).

Typically, the Path spell is paired with something like Ashstorms or transmute rock to mud. Both those spells are intended to reduce the maneuver results of the counter-maneuvering army to zero.

A magic item is an additive result, so it comes last after all the divide and subtract modifiers. Thus you will never be at zero and it provides a little more defense against that type of player.
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CalicoCorsair
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:43 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're not jumping in too late, I am happy to have those observations added!

I've been doing a lot of thought on what I would want an army to do when I build it. Obviously, you have to choose the path that you want to take to victory when you build it, otherwise you risk making everything too dilute to be powerful at anything at all.

So that's a good point about adding a magic item to help out with what your army wants to do. Also thank you for informing me about the "order". I have huge problems with the "order of things" sometimes, when it comes to all of the subtractions, additions, etc etc. Smile
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chuckpint
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:24 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cliff: Did I miss an internal memo or something? Since when have magic items become additive? Last I heard they just produce normal results (which are subject to all modifiers).
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stormywaters
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:55 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuckpint wrote:
Cliff: Did I miss an internal memo or something? Since when have magic items become additive? Last I heard they just produce normal results (which are subject to all modifiers).


This is what I thought.
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CalicoCorsair
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:17 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, but here's another question. I was reading through the items section today (for the millionth time lol) and found this:

And the 22mm four-siders are rare worth 3 health and cost two points of health.

So the rares only cost 2 points of health but are worth 3 health? That seems a bit weird. But that's the info included in the items kicker too, so I assume it's correct since it's in both places.

Also, what does it mean when it's said that the magic item is "worth 1 health?" Since magic items can't be "killed", how does that come into play?
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ddicerc
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:05 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that MIs produced normal results, too. But providing additive modifiers instead might be an interesting rue change which would make MIs slightly more valuable.
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DialFforFunky
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:01 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

A picture I made explaining cost and health:



I believe the health is only relevant for explaining the 'rarity' of the dice and in refarence to the Dwarven spells Reforge Item and Explode Stone.


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CalicoCorsair
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:04 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funky that picture is very clarifying, as well as the explanation. Smile I am wondering, however, why the rare is only 2 points of health cost (not that I'm complaining! Wink ). I suppose that's a question for the help forums.
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DialFforFunky
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:13 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Originally, the point cost scaled 1:1 with the health. However, since the items provide less icons per health as you go up the health-scale. This made the 2 and 3-health items very unpopular - a combination of 1 health items with the same total health would almost always provide more icons. To counterbalance this issue, SFR had to come up with a new scaling-ratio. The cost of the 1-health items could not change, but the higher-healths had to be cheaper. This was their solution.

Edit: 1 health items still provide the highest averages, but have the inherent risk of needing more bodies to carry them, and of course Explode Stone. The new scale, in my opinion, does a way better job in representing these differences than the old ones.

Average number of icons generated by 6 points worth of magic items (SAIs are counted as generating 4 points of icons):

Old scale:
1-health x 6: 1.5 x 6 = 9 icons
2-health x 3: 2.0 x 3 = 6 icons
3-health x 2: 2.5 x 2 = 5 icons

New scale:
1-health x 6: 1.5 x 6 = 9 icons
2-health x 4: 2.0 x 4 = 8 icons
3-health x 3: 2.5 x 3 = 7.5 icons


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Last edited by DialFforFunky on Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:30 am GMT; edited 1 time in total
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CalicoCorsair
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:18 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that is the best explanation - thank you. My friends and I over here were wondering about that! Very Happy It makes a lot of sense putting it that way.

This topic has been very enlightening so far, thanks to everyone who has and who might still yet respond. Smile
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:15 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuckpint wrote:
Cliff: Did I miss an internal memo or something? Since when have magic items become additive? Last I heard they just produce normal results (which are subject to all modifiers).
Am I remembering rules from a previous decade again?

That happens more and more with old age (and vacation brain).

I mixed up the rules for spells and MI's.

sigh.
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CalicoCorsair
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:04 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol Very Happy

It's ok ^^

I have found myself so far in the "wee" point army of 18, that monsters/magic items don't work for me as well as I'd like them to - especially playing ferals with feralization.
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Denimwizard
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:58 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah in 18 point armies i some times leave a monster out in favor of either a rare and common, two uncommons, 4 commons, or some type of combination thereof.
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