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AoS Theorycrafting Balance Changes

Discussion in 'Seraphon Discussion' started by cyberhawk94, Dec 23, 2021.

  1. cyberhawk94
    Cold One

    cyberhawk94 Active Member

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    After the.... dissapointing changes in the Winter FAQ, I thought I would start some discussion on what changes we would *actually* like to see going forward.

    Personally, Im very disappointed that the classic playstyle of blocks of saurus supported by characters is probably the worst thing in the book, so most of my wishlist revolves around that.

    My dream changes:

    • Salamanders return to 120, but become single units (no where near as good if you can't double up on buffs and teleports)
    • Skink Priest goes to ~100
    • Troglodon and Oldblood on Carno drop to ~235
    • Saurus Warriors become 2 wounds @ ~150 points, Knights go to 3 wounds for similar points, Guard go to a 3+ save
    • Knights also maybe get rend -1 on either the mount jaws or the rider weapons
    • Ripperdactyls get a 4+ save and Rend -1 on their jaws. 105 for 3.
    • Either Oldblood's CA (both versions) gets reworked to not be +1 to hit, or Koatls ability changes to +1 to wound on the charge.
    • At least two of the following go to rend -2: Carnosaur Jaws, Kroxigor Mauls, Ripperdactyl Jaws, Saurus Hero Celestite Weapons (with slight point increases)
    • Dread Saurian's Jaw is Rend -3. It also gets the Totem keyword back.
    • And this last one I know is going to get some hate: Slann should lose table-wide unbinding. It is the number 1 thing my opponents have complained about, and I personally hate things that dont really have counterplay like that, sentinels lack of LoS, etc

    Would love to hear peoples thoughts
     
  2. Erta Wanderer
    OldBlood

    Erta Wanderer Well-Known Member

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    • descent fixes over all
    • less good fix. warriors don't struggle for durability thats not one of their problems. the problem they do have is slow, big basses, horde dependant, low damage, and no rend. none of the above would be fixed by a wound increase. it would make guard even worse then they are now as 1 unit of warriors would have twice as many wounds as one unit of guard. even with 3+ save warriors would be a much better defencive unit.

    • this wouldn't be enough to help rippers they need a full re-wright even with rend their damage is piss poor at best.
    • well this would be a good start but all suarus heroes need a rework.
    • people complaining about things does not make it bad and saying it has no counter play is untrue.
     
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  3. cyberhawk94
    Cold One

    cyberhawk94 Active Member

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    I know durability isnt one of their problems, this would be more of a lore-focused shift. Saurus should not be a horde unit, and they should not have a comparable statline to Freeguild Guard. They are supposed to be this super-human force on the battlefield, nearly comparable to a stormcast. Even in Fantasy they were closer to a chaos warrior than a human.

    My actual dream fix for them would be two wounds and the 2nd attack horde bonus gets baked into the base profile, but i was trying to keep the points short.

    Except guard would be 115 for 5 and Saurus would be 150-160 for 10, so while twice the wounds they are also more expensive. Besides, guard are a bodyguard unit, they always have that role that Warriors cannot do

    I did include them in the -2 rend options, and they are personally my pick (along with Carno jaws), since thematically they are supposed to be able to slice through armor.

    I think that is more of a overall game problem with foot heroes than one specifically for saurus, but I do agree in principle
     
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  4. Kilvakar
    Carnasaur

    Kilvakar Well-Known Member

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    I could see this being ok. This would kind of solve the main issue people have with them, which is getting a buffed unit teleported onto a key target. But they'd still be effective in Coalesced. It's hard to balance things for one side of the army without making them useless or OP in the other half due to how differently Starborne and Coalesced play.

    I know the Skink Priest is good, but other factions have heroes that do the same things or better for a similar price. Maybe bump him to 90 to start, I don't like big point increases without testing.

    I'm going to agree with @Erta Wanderer on this. Everything Saurus needs a pretty drastic rework. But I think they need an even more radical profile overhaul. Skinks should be as they are. Cheap but weak and easy to kill. They're supposed to be our chaff, not our main battleline. Saurus should be 2 wounds, 4+ save, -1 rend on all celestite weapons with clubs being either damage 2 or a better wound roll, and jaws with a better hit/wound profile. Yes, they'd be more expensive, but Saurus are supposed to be a "fighty" infantry. With hordes being neutered in 3e stats like these would at least make them worth taking in MSU. Guard should be 2 wounds, 2" range with polearms, 3+ save and have a built-in ward save. This would make them a good option for tanking and allow them to do something other than just be extra wounds for a Slann. Either that, or you could just give them the ability to take wounds for any Wizard or Priest or your General. Then they'd have a different niche of protecting all your heroes, not just one.

    Yes. Knights' volume of attacks was great in 2e, it does nothing in 3e with everything being on a 2+ or 3+ save. Without the Starpriest buff, they do no damage at all against anything that isn't chaff. It doesn't matter if you force your opponent to make 10 saves if they have to roll a 1 to take any damage. Knights also need a speed increase and should be 3 wounds.

    Again, going to agree with @Erta Wanderer that this wouldn't fix Rippers at all. They need a total rework. Better coherency rules, better toad rage rules, better everything. I'd vote for making them a true glass cannon unit. Make them fragile but very fast and very killy. Also, give them some of the Poomineth's flying shenanigans like being able to retreat from combat. Give Terradons the same ability, but make them more or less purely ranged focused. Keep the rock drop as a one-time ability, but design their stats so that you want to kite and shoot with them, not just suicide charge every time. Don't give them protection from ranged attacks, though. So our flyers would be hard to pin in melee but would be prime targets for ranged units. Also make the chiefs of either type make both flyers battleline if they're the general. Seraphon air force lists could be a thing!

    Oldblood's CA isn't really a problem, since our units have pretty bad to hit chances to begin with. However, if we made Saurus troops better, then it wouldn't be as needed. But all our Saurus need a re-work, except the Astrolith Bearer. I'd like to see the Oldblood on foot be focused on buffing troops (not just Saurus), the Sunblood be an actual foot hero melee blender, kind of like what they tried to do with Eltharion, but with a bit more defensive theme since they're based on Gor-Rok with the giant shield and everything. And the Scar-Vet on Cold One be faster along with Knights, and focused on buffing and assassinating support characters.

    Carnosaurs need to be our killing machines. Period. They need -3 rend jaws, -2 rend on claws, and the Oldblood's spear should be -2 rend. They're supposed to eat Stegadons for breakfast, so why does a Stegadon do much more damage than a Carnosaur *and* last longer in a fight? I've always supported making Carnosaurs much more "killy" than they are. They already die to anything that really wants to kill them, so just make them an actual threat in melee already! Especially to other monsters. The Oldblood needs his gauntlet attack to actually be threatening. Just make it do mortal wounds similar to the Stormdrakes. Right now it does nothing, but GW seems to think it's super OP, along with his +1 to hit CA. Make the Oldblood the big beast that we bring to kill important things, and the Scar-Vet the cheaper version that does less damage but has a different CA and better support abilities.

    Kroxigors are actually really good, but I think they could use a flat 3/3 hit/wound profile, and keep the +1 to hit when near a Skink unit.

    Ripperdactyls need a bigger rework, as stated above, but getting -2 rend would be a good thing.

    Our heroes absolutely need more rend, or at least some of them do. Melee foot heroes in general without extremely powerful stats are kind of in a bad place in all of AoS. But with Stormcast heroes pretty much all having a standard 3/3/-1 rend 2 damage, I think that's a good base to shoot for.

    I just don't get why GW doesn't want Forgeworld models to be competitive. Aren't they the same company? Is Forgeworld the black sheep of the GW family or something? lol! The Dread Saurian is already more expensive than the Mega Gargants, has the same wound count, and does much less damage in combat while not being as tough and lacking the special rules they have. Is it just because GW thinks it's unfair that Khorne and Seraphon have a model that could possibly compete with a Gargant if it was actually statted competitively? Anyway, I agree. Dread Saurian needs a buff. It's an option GW refuses to remove from the game, so why not make it actually good?

    Slann's boardwide unbinding is just about the only special magic rule we have left, and is the only way we can hope to stop armies like Lumineth, Kruleboyz, Stormcast, DoK and others with *much* better spells than we have from wrecking us with said spells. Slann are supposed to be the best wizards in the setting, except for the gods. If you're going to take away the boardwide unbinding and nerf endless spells (already done, people aren't taking them much anymore), then you'd need to re-work the Slann to give them something good to make up for it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
  5. Erta Wanderer
    OldBlood

    Erta Wanderer Well-Known Member

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    a common thread i see in all rebalance conversations is trying to make melee foot assassins into major combat forces. this is a lost cause. as we have seen with gotrek it doesn't matter how killy you are foot heroes are just bad at this roll and buffing combat stats just pumps up their price. damage is more about the delivery method then it is about how much damage you do it doesn't matter how much damage you do if you can't hit a good target with said damage.
     
  6. Erta Wanderer
    OldBlood

    Erta Wanderer Well-Known Member

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    my problem with making fluffy changes to their wound count is that is massively increases their cost for no real benefit while also making life swarm less effective. fix the problems they have remember ogres are fat to and their foot troops are bad.



    then they would still be worse, at a points incres of about 25% they would have +33.33% more durability on top of being better fighters.



    still wouldn't help. with rend 2 fully buffed(+1 to hit and toad) going into a 4+ save that didn't all out defense. is 3-7 that's still awful and it gets way way worse if your buffs don't go threw or you hit anything that doesn't want to die. the warscroll is fundamentally flawed.
     
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  7. Canas
    Slann

    Canas Ninth Spawning

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    A little while back they showed a special rule for some hero, can't remember which one, that seemed like a great way to make foot heroes more relevant and stop them from just sitting in the back buffing something.

    Essentially that hero had a rule that worked as follows "after this attacks a nearby battleline unit can immeadiatly attack", in addition it had a spear-type weapon. So you could wrap the hero in a unit. Then have the hero attack from the safety of the second rank all the while it provides its regular buffs to this unit (+1 to hit or whatever it was)

    More stuff like that would be great for the minor buff focused foot heroes to actually do something, maybe alongside a minor buff to their damage output (an oldblood really shouldn't struggle to do damage as much as it does, give it an extra attack or two or +1 rend or something on all it's profiles.), explicit synergy between heroes & units that works by simply keeping them close together and literally having them attack in tandem.

    If you do that rippers will remain terrible.
    They only have 3 wounds and a 5+ save (or a 6+ in case of the terradons), if they become powerfull enough offensivly to be a relevant target for ranged units they also need significant protection from ranged attacks or they'll just be blown out of the sky before achieving anything whatsoever.

    It's the same issue the skink chiefs have. Even if the combo were good enough, it is nearly trivial to break it apart due to how easy it is to just wipe them all out....

    If anything, do the opposite. Make them nigh invulnerable at range but very vulnerable if they ever get caught in melee and don't manage to kill their enemy first. This would also play into the idea of them being great hit-and-run-troops.
     
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  8. Kilvakar
    Carnasaur

    Kilvakar Well-Known Member

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    I actually really like this idea. I've always wanted to use Terradons as ranged skirmishers, but since you can't do that without them getting charged and killed it's kind of pointless. I think if they were like an actually balanced version of the foxes they'd see a lot of play.

    As for foot heroes, It's not that I think they should be a major combat force, but rather that they should be actually able to do something in combat at all. But they should have specific roles in addition to buffing troops. If the Oldblood on foot was the best all-around buffer, then you could have the Sunblood be a tank and the Scar-Vet on Cold One be a character assassin, since with the extra speed I was suggesting he'd actually be able to get to his targets.
     
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  9. Canas
    Slann

    Canas Ninth Spawning

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    Imho they should do the following with our minor saurus heroes.

    oldblood: the martial counterpart to the astrolith bearer: multiple melee combat focussed auras. Also, make sure that it's actually capable of holding it's own in combat in an emergency. Possibly by sacrificing all the buffs for a turn.

    Warden: defensive version of the oldblood, otherwise the exact same. E.g. if the oldblood gives +1 to hit and +1 to wound to every saurus with in 12", the warden gives +1 to save and -1 to being hit or something along those lines. (also, buffs are completly made up and not attempted to balance obviously :p)

    Sunblood: Semi-independent minor hero with decent all-round stats. Great for those missions where heroes have to hold objectives. Also, a decent enough beatstick that you can use him to plug holes in your formation and be certain he won't just immeadiatly die or threaten to steal objectives or kill some minor foes with him if your opponent doesn't pay attention.

    Scar-vet on cold one: glass cannon. Throw some mortal wounds on him, rend, extra attacks, a charge bonus etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021
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  10. Kilvakar
    Carnasaur

    Kilvakar Well-Known Member

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    Agree with everything here! Aura buffs are so much better than targeted CA buffs, unless the CA also affects an aura instead of just one unit.

    This would give us a reason to take each of these heroes. I think the +1 to hit/wound and the +1 save/-1 to be hit are perfect. Obviously, the heroes wouldn't be super cheap if they did that, but if they didn't want an always-on aura, they could just make it a command ability.

    The Sunblood and Scar-Vet on Cold One are basically exactly what I was envisioning. Make the Sunblood a good all-around fighter with survivability and make the Scar-Vet a glass cannon support killer or able to deal the finishing blow to something another unit has wounded.
     
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  11. LordBaconBane
    Ripperdactil

    LordBaconBane Well-Known Member

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    The issue with the salamander is that it effectively fills two roles where it should be one. The Salamander can dish out excellent ranged and melee damage, which makes the Razordon effectively overshadowed. If it were up to me, I'd swap the melee damage of the Razordon with the melee damage of the salamander and give the Razordon a charge bonus. That way, you're encouraged to keep the Salamander back and the Razordon as a melee beast. In terms of points, I don't exactly know how i'd cost them, but by doing this now they both have their own roles to fill.

    I'm still shocked this little guy didn't get nerfed. I don't know about 100, but easily a 10 point increase from 80 to 90.

    Oldblood could use a small points buff, I don't know about the Troglodon. Imo, it's a bit a of weird monster since it's more or less just a Slann extender and can be excellent at that role. @Putzfrau would have a better idea if the Trog would need any changes.

    @Erta Wanderer and @Kilvakar said it nicely. The Saurus is slow, its base is big, and it's low damage. You could fiddle with it a lot, but Kilvakar made some great points, especially with 2" polearms on the Saurus Guard. As for knights, I don't really know enough about them to make a judgement call.

    Ripperdactyls are bad for two reasons:
    1. They have horrible damage. They only do about 1-2 more damage base warscroll then freaking Terradons.
    2. They are the most expensive Seraphon unit in terms of points to real $$, even, after the update. Yes, they are more expensive than a freaking Dread Saurian.
    Ripperdactl characteristic wheel is good, but their base damage needs a massive increase, 3" coherency, and maybe play with the blot toad. They also need rend on jaws. All of this should be coupled with a point increase to make Ripperdactyls a scalpel.

    As @Kilvakar said, Kroxigor is pretty good. You can keep it as is for now imo. I already talked about Rippers, and as for Saurus foot heroes, they need a new book I think. Saurus Knights though seem to be doing pretty well. I think @Putzfrau said a Koatl's list went 5-0 recently?

    As others have said, Slann is fine. The board wide unbind is what makes the Slann special in our army. If your friends keep complaining, ask to switch armies for a game. I did that with a friend and he shut right up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
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  12. Dread Saurian
    Salamander

    Dread Saurian Well-Known Member

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    Giving me back the Totem keyword and giving me a +1 to hit would help an extreme amount. Giving me a 5+ shrug would make me extremely efficient tbh
     
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  13. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    I wouldn't be bad to have salamanders as artillery.
    Yeah, they're not classic warmachines, but they fit the role better than the EotG (which perplexes me as artillery).
     
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  14. PabloTho
    Kroxigor

    PabloTho Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, (assuming I'm thinking of the same tournament) that KC list was a complete meme and more of a testament to the player's skill than anything else.

    From what I remember it didn't even heavily capitalize on Saurus. Could be misremembering though so to anyone more informed feel free to correct me...

    Tons of cool suggestions in this thread. I'm always ranting about Saurus being mediocre but I constantly forget how neglected Rippers and Terradons are. I've always thought Rippers should function kind of like a squishier Morrsarr Guard - just a lightning fast scalpel unit that you can bank on to remove a mid-threat single target reliably.

    I saw the suggestion that perhaps they should have -2 rend on their attacks but I wonder if they would be better suited to a role as mortal wound factory? I know, I know, many people are sick of the prevalence of mortal wounds in the current state of the game, but I think having Rippers dish out buckets of attacks each with a shot at mortal wounds would help boost their effectiveness better than more rend would. It also plays into the power fantasy of directing a unit of flying piranhas to whittle away the enemy via death by a thousand nibbles. Could even rework Toad Rage to make the MW proc on a 5+ instead of a 6+ or something.

    The Ripper Chief would likewise need an overhaul. Would be neat to see him work in tandem with Ripper units similar to the Knight-Draconis does with Stormdrake Guard. e.g. Once per battle he lets them move in the hero phase (I'm sure someone else can think of something more useful). Would also be sick if having him as your general unlocked Rippers as battleline for a themey Seraphon air-force list.
     
  15. Erta Wanderer
    OldBlood

    Erta Wanderer Well-Known Member

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    it was very light on saurus only about 800 points of the list.
     
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  16. Kilvakar
    Carnasaur

    Kilvakar Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. They're the weakest part of the army, arguably even worse than Saurus Warriors. They definitely need some attention.

    This would be really nice. I think that Terradons should be ranged skirmishers that can reliably take out foot heroes. Then you could make their fire bolas more effective against infantry and their javelins more effective against monsters/elite troops.

    Ripperdactyls used to be the best unit in the army because they were the only unit that could kill anything. Now they can't kill anything. Your idea of them being an effective scalpel unit is a good one. And unfortunately save-stacking isn't going anywhere in 3e it would seem, so mortal wounds are generally just better all-around than mediocre rend (unless your rend is -3 or higher, it doesn't count for much.)

    Definitely! Having either a Terradon or Ripperdactyl Chief as your general should make both flyers battleline.
     
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  17. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Rippers were mediocre at best since the release of the battletome. When GW faqed the part about the possibility to stack command abilities on them, they were dead.
    Terradons weren't bad at the beginning. Good MW's output and decent shooting, making them able to be employed for a solid strike and then harassment.
    With the limitations on maxed units, being able to field at most a 6-birds unit... they came back into mediocrity.
     
  18. Erta Wanderer
    OldBlood

    Erta Wanderer Well-Known Member

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    3rd edition murdered a lot of our bad units. many where fine before the changes ruined them. that said 3rd edition also saved all of our monsters and most of coalesced from mediocrity so it's not all bad.
     
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  19. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Yep, with 3.0 we're still pretty fine.
    My only issue is that, as with 2.0, we are still heavily oriented toward a limited amount of units, which perform their role far better then other units from our battletome.
    But to be fair, that is:
    1 - an issue we already experienced in 2.0. The units were different, but the problem was the same.
    2 - it's an issue shared by other armies as well. Many units are better then other ones, and so on.
     
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  20. Kilvakar
    Carnasaur

    Kilvakar Well-Known Member

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    This is the gist of the conversation in the rumor thread about how half of the army is great and the other half is terrible. 3.0 was clearly made to favor certain unit types, GW said this openly. But they also said that it was supposed to encourage diversity in listbuilding and that's just not true. It encourages you to use different units than before, yes. But the basic playstyle still "spam the most damaging and/or efficient unit," hence why people still play mostly Thunder Lizards with shooting dinos or as many Salamanders as they can get in Dracothion's Tail. See the tournament results in the "how's 3rd edition going" thread for some good examples of this.

    All I can say is that I hope that as more 3e books come out we'll start to see them work on improving the units like Rippers and Saurus that are lagging behind and that they'll take the entire army into consideration when writing the rules, not just focusing on a few units that they want you to buy more of.
     

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