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Thread: Swarm / Horde type units

  1. #1
    Archmage of the Inner Ring ampoliros's Avatar
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    Swarm / Horde type units

    I have an idea for unit types that are meant to be really weak, but numerous.

    What if - to get the horde effect these units have a special game mechanic that allows each unit on the strategic map to translate into 2 units on the tactical map?

  2. #2
    Mage’s Assistant Belgariad87's Avatar
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    hm idk if i would want that... would depend on how complicated it ends up being
    Malleus the Magician + Fang the Draconian = OP

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    Judging from the early video, WoM is using a multi-figure unit design similar to MoM, where a single unit is actually made up of multiple individual fighters. This can be handled under those rules, I think - e.g. a Summon Swarm unit might be made up of twenty or more small figures. They would die off quickly, especially to area effect spells, but the unit's initial damage potential would be quite high due to the sheer number of outgoing attacks.

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    Archmage of the Inner Ring ampoliros's Avatar
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    I understand the number of figures in a unit will change with figure size.
    My idea is simply to allow for the massive amounts of really weak figures that likely would not naturally fit into one unit and have the relative strength of the unit scale. Noone would play the horde faction if their 8 figure base unit was half as effective as everyone elses - unless there was not a stacking limit. But I for one think that there needs to be a stacking limit or else things get unbalanced in a hurry.

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    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    If an 8 figure base horde unit is still half as effective as everyone elses then either make them stronger or make it a 16 figure base unit. I don't see the point of the new mechanic when you already have multi-entity units. The number (and strength) of entities in a unit can be tweaked during playtesting to make sure it works as desired.

    As for the stacking limit I'm not a fan of having ridiculously huge stacks but nor am I a fan of picking some arbitrary number to cap it at. My personal preference is that the stack size be controlled by maintenance costs for units so stack sizes stay reasonable because you can't afford (in food, money, or gold) to maintain huge stacks. Also to discourage huge stacks other means like having global map attack spells that damage every unit in a global map tile would make you think twice about loading everyone into a single square. That spell would have to be very expensive in mana of course but if you put all your units in one giant stack they'd only have to cast it once to hit everyone, if you spread your units into different stacks it wouldn't be cost effective to keep burning your mana to cast it just to hit a few at a time.

  6. #6
    Archmage of the Inner Ring ampoliros's Avatar
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    It is my understanding that the number of figures per unit was to be based on how many would naturally fit into that 20x20 square. I also understand that the numbers may be tweaked a little for balance.
    As an example, a Tolkien goblin is 90% the size of a human but is far far weaker. If 8 human spearmen will fit in a unit, I really don't see 16 goblins fitting. This comparison is the basis for my search for a mechanic to support a horde type faction.

  7. #7
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ampoliros View Post
    It is my understanding that the number of figures per unit was to be based on how many would naturally fit into that 20x20 square.
    I don't believe this is the case. 20x20 is the starting size of a battle board for tactical combat. I say "starting" because it may go up or down during playtesting. Also they may even have different maps of different sizes during the same game, for example maybe battle boards on ruins would be smaller or battle boards on cities would be larger. The battle board is not intended to be the entire square on the world map. A square on the world map might be dozens of miles so when you go into combat the battle board may be a very small area of that representing just the small area within the global map tile that the armies actually met.

    For cities they've even gone so far as to say that they'll NOT be to scale. So when you defend a city there will be little tiny pixie buildings or whatever representing the city where if an enemy steps on those tiles it will cause damage to the buildings in the city but they won't be to scale with the units, it's more abstract than that.

    For the purposes of range and movement each tile in the battle board is basically a 10 foot by 10 foot square and when that scale doesn't cause a problem I'm sure they'll keep it however just like with their micro city representation I'm sure if they wanted a horde mechanic they wouldn't hesitate to put a bunch of figures in a single tile. For art purposes to put 16 figures in a single square that's the same size as the one the 4 human spearmen fit in would require them to make the models comparatively tiny but I'm pretty sure they've said they're going to have large monsters (such as a dragon) that may take 2x2 square of tiles instead of just one so in theory they could also have a unit of horde forces that is 2x2 with 4 figures in each square so it's 16 individual entities inside one unit without having to be small. The thing would just be that that 2x2 unit of 16 creatures would move as one and show up as one on the world map.

  8. #8
    Archmage of the Inner Ring ampoliros's Avatar
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    20'x20'
    Which I misremembered from the 10'x10' square the units will be standing in. Which is 4x smaller than 20'x20' and even less likely to fit 16 figures.

  9. #9
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ampoliros View Post
    20'x20'
    Which I misremembered from the 10'x10' square the units will be standing in. Which is 4x smaller than 20'x20' and even less likely to fit 16 figures.
    Which the last paragraph of my post still addresses.

    Scaling the size of the graphics is trivial in a 3D engine so they can easily make 16 unit fit in a tile if they wanted but yes they would look tiny just as the cities will.
    If that is not desired though (and I can see some may object to the abstract representation being used there, even though it IS being done with cities already) then there is nothing to say that a unit must take exactly one tile and as I said I'm fairly certain they've already confirmed there will be large monsters that take up multiple tiles on the battle board so the engine already supports it (or is planned to.) If large monsters can take multiple tiles then a horde of units should be able to as well. So 16 figures would be very easy to represent using a 2x2 size square of tiles on the battle board with 4 figures per tile in that 2x2 square unit.

    So in summary:
    A single unit can have one or more entities in it.
    A single unit can take up one or more tiles on the battle board.

  10. #10
    However it works, there definately needs to be one faction at some point that uses the zerg strategy to win. Not everyone likes it, but enough to that WoM aught to give players the option. It would also be a great way to harass young empires.

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