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Thread: Goblins: the Zerg Force of WoM

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  1. #1

    Goblins: the Zerg Force of WoM

    Heya,

    One of the important things to me in WoM is that the factions be different enough that when you choose a new one, the game feels tangibly different. In MoM, only a few races had a different feel: lizardmen with their waterwalking, draconians with their flying, dark elves with their magic missiles. But those are small differences. If you found a strategy in MoM that worked for you, you could probably apply it to any race. It really didn’t’ matter which you picked. I hope WoM is different.

    That’s why I’m bringing up goblins. Like so many fantasy games such as D&D, Magic: The Gathering, EverQuest, etc. goblins are a distinct race from orcs. The two can be confused (Tolkien seemed to go back and forth on this), but few games now-a-days treat goblin and orc as a synonym. So I feel comfortable in proposing this new faction here.

    I regard orcs as the brutes, the bulky strongmen of the worlds. They are tough and physically powerful. Goblins on the other hand are weak, physically and mentally. They rely on their numbers rather than on individual strength. Hence the zerg reference in the title. So how do we represent this?

    Well, obviously, goblin units-especially the basic ones-should be cheap. In fact, I don’t think they should have any upkeep at all. Goblins aren’t picky about what they eat. No doubt their stomachs have evolved to metabolize almost anything: even dirt. Eschewing upkeep costs for the base units would essentially mean that any player could create an unlimited number of them. They’re weak, so any high level unit could squash one in a second. But, could a single high level unit squash 10 of them? There’s the strategy!

    Not everyone enjoys the zerg strategy, but there are those who do. It would be no sin, IMHO, to appeal to that style of play. At some point, all strategy styles should have something in the game that fits them. And we can’t be afraid to have factions that work differently. We don’t want cookie-cutter races.

    Goblins could and should have higher level units. That way if the zerg strategy doesn’t pan out or a player doesn’t feel like going that route, he or she is able to have some choice. Here are my suggestions for buildings and units. I’ll expound on them some more after the list.

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Goblin Units:
    =Settlers- settler unit
    =Spearmen- basic, simple, cheap. (no upkeep)
    =Chuckers- stone throwing nuisances (no upkeep)
    =Raiders- raiders have the ability to Ravage* (no upkeep)
    =Boar Riders- what better way to represent base instincts like greed than to have them ride pigs?
    =Goblin Mutant- elite unit, high HP and atk. Higher than normal food and gold upkeep cost.
    =Condor Patrol- flying unit. Does every faction need a flier?
    =Longboat- naval unit.
    =Goblin Sappers- sacrifices themselves to blow a hole in a wall and damage nearby units.

    Goblin Buildings:
    =Warrens**- gives a free Raider unit every other turn
    =Treasure Trove- allows the player to gain gold and food when a unit Ravages a tile.
    =Pigsty- allows boar riders, produces food

    Racial Advantages:
    =No upkeep on many units
    =Fast production of military units

    Racial Disadvantages:
    =Low hit points on almost all units
    =Upper tier units have high upkeep costs
    =Limited number of different buildings this faction could build (no advanced buildings like banks, war colleges, universities, wizard towers, etc)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    *the Ravage ability allows a unit to degrade a tile over time. It would work in a somewhat similar way to engineers building a road (i.e. it might take several turns). For example: forests would turn to grassland. Grassland would turn to desert. Hills and mountains couldn’t be affected. One thing that could be debated, tho, was whether or not the Ravage ability could target resources. So while you can’t change a mountain to a hill, you might be able to strip out its iron resource. Once a player had a Treasure Trove built, he/she would get gold, food, and maybe mana from a successful Ravage. This is a unique ability that would help separate goblins from other factions, especially orcs.

    **the Warrens give a free unit every turn. Maybe this is the only way to get a Raider- thus we can keep the Ravaging ability in check. But a free unit every other turn would well represent the goblins’ fast reproductive cycle and zerg mentality. Raiders would have about the same strength equivalent of human swordsmen. They would need some playtesting to see if their power needed to be moved up or down, but swordsmen is a good starting point I think.

    And that’s basically it. The goblins’ strategy is all about attrition. That’s key to keep in mind. They throw wave upon wave of cheap units at you, wearing down your defenses while destroying your resources with their raiders. It’s a grindy sort of way to win, but it’s a strategy that will definitely appeal to a certain group of 4x gamers.

    What do you think?

    Peace,

    -Troy

  2. #2
    Mage of the Lesser Tower Rybon's Avatar
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    I like it. Maybe for the flying unit you steal an idea from Warhammer. Basically a catapult glider system.

  3. #3
    I like the faction overall. I'm not sure if this is what Rybon was talking about, but a catapult that launches a goblin with a bomb strapped to it would be hillarious. Goblins reproduce so fast, that they probably wouldn't value life as a rule.

    That's one thing you didn't address in the Racial Advantages: fast population growth. It would be fast, right?

  4. #4
    Mage of the Lesser Tower Rybon's Avatar
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    You got John, that is what I was thinking about.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rybon View Post
    You got John, that is what I was thinking about.
    So let's explore the suicide theme a little more. What about a goblin grenadier unit that explodes when it attacks dealing X to the target unit and Y damage to all surrounding units. X and Y to be determined later.

  6. #6
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    I'm a bit confused. Previously we've used the words "Goblin" and "Orc" interchangeably in these forums for a single faction. For example the thread The Goblin Hoard lead to the original Orc faction vote.

    Within that debate one of the ideas was that the city farmers, workers, as well as the base combat unit (goblin javelineers), cavalry (goblin worg riders), and priests (goblin shaman) would be goblins. Hobgoblins, Orcs, Ogres, etc. would be the more advanced units.

    Goblins, being small, could work like the halfling suggestion and have their units have 3x3 instead of 2x2 giving them 9 goblins per unit compared to say the 4 men in a high men base unit. This gives them that numbers advantage (more than 2 to 1) and makes up for their lower per goblin health and strength). Buildings would have no gold upkeep, be easier to destroy in city combat, limited compared to other races and even based in part on population size to further link the growth mechanic.

    A lot of this sounds very similar to your suggestion here. I'm not entirely sure what form Orcs are going to end up taking as one of the GIANT supporters may end up taking them and the Native American culture won the original vote which may or may not implement some of these ideas but I don't think there will be separate goblin and orc factions.

    The idea was also put forward to have no gold upkeep so units would only have food upkeep (I'm not sure having NO upkeep at all is a good idea as some limit on troops needs to exist IMHO.) Consensus seemed to be that the bottom end units should be cheap (in production) and quick to produce and the cities should have high growth rates.

    As to the specific unit suggestion I'm not convinced every faction needs an air unit however Ogre Magi (a top tier unit suggestion from the Goblin Hoard thread) does fly and as a mage could use magic to allow the rest of the stack to fly. Boar Riders at this moment are a Dwarven unit although there has been much discussion on that.

  7. #7
    That Goblin Horde thread was so convoluted, it was hard to tell what was going on there. The Great Orc Debate thread seemed to show that goblins and orcs had been naturally split. I'm all for the Orcs being big toughguys and the goblins being little weenies. I'd rather there be two factions than one. Variety is the spice of life!

    As to the specific unit suggestion I'm not convinced every faction needs an air unit however Ogre Magi (a top tier unit suggestion from the Goblin Hoard thread) does fly and as a mage could use magic to allow the rest of the stack to fly.
    I don't really care for conglomerate factions (I wasn't all that excited for The Fey in the other thread). Mashing ogres, orcs, and goblins all together cramps each's space. I'd rather them be independent.

  8. #8
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnReeve View Post
    That Goblin Horde thread was so convoluted, it was hard to tell what was going on there. The Great Orc Debate thread seemed to show that goblins and orcs had been naturally split. I'm all for the Orcs being big toughguys and the goblins being little weenies. I'd rather there be two factions than one. Variety is the spice of life!



    I don't really care for conglomerate factions (I wasn't all that excited for The Fey in the other thread). Mashing ogres, orcs, and goblins all together cramps each's space. I'd rather them be independent.
    I'm not normally a fan on conglomerate factions either but goblins, orcs, ogres, and trolls all have a strong history of being in the same faction. In fact in Lord of the Rings the term goblin and orc are interchangeable, they are the same race. I got the impression (and perhaps I was mistaken) the Orc/Goblin faction for WoM was going to be a greenskin faction that was in the context of WoM a single unified faction but would borrow the stats from those various different races from D20 (with tweaks of course). That's just a behind the scenes mechanics thing (like Draconians using lizardmen) so for Joe Player who doesn't know or care about D20 it would just be one cohesive faction.

    The point I was trying to make had nothing to do with the name. The point is the faction that has already been voted on (currently called "Orcs" but it could be anything) already has A LOT of the concepts here. Having a separate Goblin faction would be almost a duplicate of that faction unless "Orcs" takes a sudden turn. For example "Orcs" already have:

    Cheap to produce low end units
    Numbers advantage on those low end units
    Low health per figure on those low end units
    Low end units are quick to produce
    Units (and even buildings) have no (gold) maintenance.
    Limited availability of buildings.

    This covers the bulk of the suggestions of the op. Now maybe the Orcs will take a big turn and end up being all strong brutish race but I don't see evidence of that in the threads about them. If they do then yeah having a goblin faction with these traits would be different but if Orcs have all those characteristics I listed then this goblin faction suggestion really isn't very different at all. I'm not saying the ideas are bad, I'm just saying that it seems like they should be part of the "Orc" discussion instead of a different one (unless/until the Orc takes a turn and drops most/all of those traits)

  9. #9
    The orcish faction is so muddled now, IMO, that I had hoped that this thread would help define it. If goblins are small, fast, cheap, the orcs can be something else. More noble warriors if the original vote holds or an infighting canabalistic force of barbarians if a new vote wins.

  10. #10
    THE GRAND BACKER zdsdead's Avatar
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    I would like a separate goblin and orc faction myself.

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