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 July 28th Update: Not happy. 
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Major Glitch wrote:
ND_Justin wrote:
If a unit has cover against a ranged attack, it gains an additional armor 2 for the duration of the attack
Should psychic be included here?

Why does cover only apply to ranged attacks?

I would advocate removing the word ranged from the rule after all it's not like someone that's half covered by a wall isn't harder to punch than someone standing in the open.

It also makes the rules "do they have cover? If yes +2 Armor" instead of cover mattering for just ranged attacks and triggering Stealth. (ie it's simpler to remember 1 rule for all situations than a rule that varies by situation).

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August 2nd, 2017, 4:33 am
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Granted I might be missing something in the rules that makes this problematic, but I would also support giving cover to all attacks, including Melee.

The cinematic combat element the game strives for helps to make this more of a realistic proposition, as how many movie scenes have opponents using the terrain the shield themselves from attacks, making it harder to get to them, or ducking slightly behind a wall as a punch is thrown with the attacker's fist hitting the wall, or picking up garbage can lids or the cans themselves to use as improvised shields.

The basic movement mechanics also make this more palatable. Relic knights has a massive amount of movement compared to other game systems, and few of them come at the expense of other actions. Making Melee Models have to consider the vector of their attack, which allows tactical design making and movement on the part of the attacker and defender relevant.

I just think it will be more interesting for the game if combat is actually fought as a moving melee, where attacker and defender jockey for the most advantageous position more interesting than just a static placement.

Just my two cents since someone mentioned it.


August 2nd, 2017, 11:53 am
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Alright.

Allowing cover for melee is pretty neat, though it will rarely come up.


@Obsidian Crane: before this I worked on Malifaux. And I have played plenty of miniatures games.

You say your issue is fixed with a single line. Unless I'm misunderstanding, I think that single line will open up an issue just as big and lead us down a rabbit hole that is not worth going down. But why don't you write that line here and, if I'm wrong, great, problem solved. And, if not, I'll respond in more depth.

I will not be at Gen Con.

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August 2nd, 2017, 1:40 pm
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Cover for melee may come up often enough with low walls and other scatter terrain. And it will be important for positioning in general - sometimes forcing a choice between giving the enemy cover or opening a unit up to a ranged attack. And since Objectives grant cover now, I imagine that fighting over them may cause the armor to trigger from time to time as well (likely only on an initial charge to prevent a score).

Of course some of this hinges on the idea that you can use a free movement to reposition within engagement range without needing to test for disengaging, which may be worth specifically stating.


August 2nd, 2017, 2:13 pm
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Two additional questions for the core mechanics that come to mind:

1. Is the cypher interchangeability going to stay? I still believe the game will be better balanced with forced pairs.
And the rules are still contradictory; p17 states you must use the cypher that was packaged with the knight, while p28 states you can use any cypher with the appropriate name.

2. I know you said units were not getting much changes, but at least two new Knights did not have a cadre ability (Alisyn, Avatar Cordelia).


August 2nd, 2017, 3:03 pm
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Major Glitch wrote:
Two additional questions for the core mechanics that come to mind:

1. Is the cypher interchangeability going to stay? I still believe the game will be better balanced with forced pairs.
And the rules are still contradictory; p17 states you must use the cypher that was packaged with the knight, while p28 states you can use any cypher with the appropriate name.

2. I know you said units were not getting much changes, but at least two new Knights did not have a cadre ability (Alisyn, Avatar Cordelia).


1) Yes, plan to keep it

2) I'll fix it :)

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August 2nd, 2017, 3:07 pm
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ND_Justin wrote:
Allowing cover for melee is pretty neat, though it will rarely come up.

And Psychic as well please. 1 rule for all attacks makes it less likely to be applied incorrectly.

ND_Justin wrote:
@Obsidian Crane: before this I worked on Malifaux. And I have played plenty of miniatures games.

And where are all the ones that let you shoot through the building you are standing on?

ND_Justin wrote:
You say your issue is fixed with a single line. Unless I'm misunderstanding, I think that single line will open up an issue just as big and lead us down a rabbit hole that is not worth going down. But why don't you write that line here and, if I'm wrong, great, problem solved. And, if not, I'll respond in more depth.


So the simple change I outlined in this thread makes the second dot point of elevated terrain LoS read:
Elevated terrain that either the model is currently standing on is ignored when drawing LoS if the model is within 3" of the edge (of the terrain in the LoS Window).

However back last time this came up I wrote this (it's actually the last post in that thread):
Obsidian-Crane wrote:
With some discussion with others we were able to boil the Abstract rules down to:

An object that passes completely across the LoS Window is blocking terrain if one the following is true:
The object is equal to or greater in size than both models, including the height of terrain they are standing on.
Or
The object is greater in size than the target or model, including the height of terrain they are standing on, and the smaller model is within three inches of the object.
Or
The tallest terrain they are standing on's edge in the window is further than 3" from the model standing on the terrain.


Which reminds me, we need a call out (probably at the Engaged section) explaining what "within" means for measurement.

------
On a different note I'm now wondering what the difference is between Heroes and Minions and the benefits of the 2 different types now that you can activate in any order?

I'm not sure the rules should be removed, abut I'm wondering what the advantages are that make them worth keeping.

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August 2nd, 2017, 9:02 pm
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The post you quoted is a bit hard to parse, the way it's written. I know you're using our style so this isn't a criticism but I don't want to misinterpret it. So I'll respond to your change to the current bullet points.

You want to make it so models ignore the terrain they are standing on so long as they are within 3" of the "lip" but not if they are further than three inches.

So (assuming the model on the building is further than 3" from the lip) you eliminate this problem:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ra2fto16bg6ax2y/Photo%20Aug%2002%2C%204%2046%2000%20PM.jpg?dl=0

In the above image, the two models can see each other under the current rules. However, instinctively, that makes little sense. Your change makes it so they can't see each other, better matching people's instincts. That's great!

However, the change runs into issues in the following situation (again, assuming the model on the upper level is slightly further than 3" from the "lip")

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7kd6hxvgmpypkak/Photo%20Aug%2002%2C%204%2046%2007%20PM.jpg?dl=0

From an instinctive point of view, most people will tell you the two models *can* see each other. And under the current rules, they can. With your proposed change, they can not. This is where your fix hits a snag.


It solves one instinct problem but creates another that is equal to it. In my opinion, it's a wash, so I'm going to err on the side of having fewer rules than having more if it's all the same.

Now, we could start writing rules where we factor in how close to the building the lower model is, and assign the building a "shadow" determined by its height. But that is going to be paragraphs of text and make the game far more difficult to digest for newer players and leave more text for returning players to misinterpret. And, at the end of the day, it will not create 100% verisimilitude. There will still be corner cases. It will just take us from, say, 90% realism to 95% (arbitrary numbers, I know, but you understand my point) and we would be paying a lot for that 5% in terms of complexity.

On top of that, I like that elevated terrain gives a wide range of LoS. So from a tactical standpoint, a model that takes the time to get up high to see more is not, I think, a terrible thing in terms of strategy.

So long as we use an abstract system, there will be some elements that don't match perfectly to the realism and remain, well, abstract. The only question is what level of realism you demand and what level of abstraction you can accept. I think that level is fine where the current LoS rules are. You may continue to disagree with me. But at least you have my reasons. :)


EDIT: yes, the cover rules work the same for all three attack types.

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August 2nd, 2017, 9:36 pm
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Ahm "model is currently standing on" means the model on the building will measure 3" from the edge and thus see in both scenarios. The subject of the sentence is "the model standing on the terrain" so that is the model you check the 3" on.

I will not deny that the suggested rewording of the entire Blocking section is hard to parse, but it would be accompanied by diagrams to make it easier.

The rewording suggested does the following;
Says if there is an object all the way across the window that is larger than both models it blocks.
Says if there is an object all the way across the window that is larger than one of the models, and the model that is smaller than the object is within 3" of the object it blocks.
Says if the models are standing on objects the one that has a larger total height must be within 3" of the edge of the terrain or the terrain blocks.

Yes the RK rules speak version is harder to parse but it is also more clear once it is understood.

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August 3rd, 2017, 12:14 am
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Obsidian-Crane wrote:
On a different note I'm now wondering what the difference is between Heroes and Minions and the benefits of the 2 different types now that you can activate in any order?

I'm not sure the rules should be removed, abut I'm wondering what the advantages are that make them worth keeping.

Keeping two types of activation tokens allows for different types of units to cycle at different speeds (35pts is the only game size where hero and minion tokens are equal). If you dropped the type difference, you would need to change the number of activation tokens for 50/70pt games, as they currently have odd numbers of tokens.

Then there is the dual nature of cyphers. If you consolidate activation token types, you would need to reassign esper draw on cyphers (or make their esper draw dependent on if the cypher went first or second in a turn).

And there's balance considerations with regard to unit power - if you don't keep the dichotomy, then you either need a rule that a single unit can't be given a token twice on a turn (because otherwise some units would present situations where moving and then triggering a 2+ token ability would be the strongest choice.)

Keeping the distinction also means choices on any given turn are more limited, requiring more planning.

I'm sure there are other arguments for keeping the distinction in token types, but I think these considerations are strong enough to argue to keep them. I realize that most of these points boil down to "you'd have to re-balance everything", but "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a fairly safe maxim. And there's the fact that Hero/Minion designation needs to be kept for cadre-building purposes, so keeping the activation difference helps to keep the difference meaningful.


August 3rd, 2017, 1:16 am
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Those are the exact points I couldn't think of with everything else I've been concentrating on lately. I figured there were some good reasons. :)

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August 3rd, 2017, 2:40 am
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Obsidian-Crane wrote:
Ahm "model is currently standing on" means the model on the building will measure 3" from the edge and thus see in both scenarios. The subject of the sentence is "the model standing on the terrain" so that is the model you check the 3" on..


Well, let's be clear on something: so long as the model on the building is 3.1" from the edge, then the building it is on blocks LoS under your change, correct? Both above scenarios were assuming the model on top was 3.1" from the edge.

If I understood what you wrote, it doesn't change that the two models cannot see each other in the second scenario due to your reword.

So the model on top of the building is further than 3" from the edge. This means the building is going to block LoS to/from any models on a lower level (unless they have a size greater than the building, which is unlikely).

But as the model on the ground moves further and further from the building, it becomes clear that, from an instinctive point of view, people will say "those two models can see each other." Yet the building is still blocking LoS because the model on top of the building is 3.1" from the lip of the building. See what I'm saying?

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August 3rd, 2017, 1:42 pm
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Maybe the issue was with my pictures.

The model on top of the building is farther than 3" from the edge. Its position does not change throughout any of the following pictures. From my understanding, with your suggestion, this means the building it is on blocks LoS:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3cpjerchj3loiz8/Photo%20Aug%2003%2C%209%2050%2048%20AM.jpg?dl=0

With your reword, the two models in the following photo cannot see each other (improvement!):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tkzkvup0vs9e9w1/Photo%20Aug%2003%2C%209%2050%2056%20AM.jpg?dl=0


Unfortunately, it also means that with your reword the models in the following two photos can NOT see each other (step back):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xyhhghqt9n7unzp/Photo%20Aug%2003%2C%209%2051%2008%20AM.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/u5jjd2jvzi1vnph/Photo%20Aug%2003%2C%209%2051%2022%20AM.jpg?dl=0

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August 3rd, 2017, 2:27 pm
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For me, this is the most important part of the argument is this:
ND_Justin wrote:
On top of that, I like that elevated terrain gives a wide range of LoS. So from a tactical standpoint, a model that takes the time to get up high to see more is not, I think, a terrible thing in terms of strategy.

Keeping the simpler rule means that there is always a clear advantage to taking the high ground in terms of target selection. It also carries risk since more units can now return fire. Since each rule option has a logical counter-argument, I do agree that the simpler rule is more attractive.

Though I fear the the 'shooting (almost) straight down' scenario will be more common given the amount of terrain Relic Knights suggests, more worrisome to me is flier abuse. A unit with fly can hide behind a building, move to the top (near the back from the target's perspective) and take a shot, then use their follow-up to drop back down. This works thematically in that a ranged flier would naturally gain altitude to get a better attack vector, but with the granularity of activations, the unit never has to take any actual risks to make the same shot that another unit would have to spend an action to set up by using the Scaling rules to get to the top of a tall building. This type of abuse would also happen to a more limited degree on smaller terrain that units would be able to simply climb up and then back down after making the shot. (Or for units with thrusters, like Kisa RK, Climb up, attack, fly down.)

So while I think either option is balanced and has logical pros/cons, one is clearly abusable. (Having played another game that allowed a similar yo-yo, I can promise you that it is frustrating to realize you must take damage in order to stop a cheap trick, not because you positioned poorly, but because the rules didn't consider or otherwise explicitly allowed the yo-yo trick.)

On the topic of the current LoS rules, the second bullet point for elevated terrain reads "Elevated terrain that either the model is currently standing on is ignored when drawing LoS." Should "or target" be added after 'model'? (Assuming the rule stands.)


August 3rd, 2017, 4:21 pm
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Major Glitch wrote:
For me, this is the most important part of the argument is this:
ND_Justin wrote:
On top of that, I like that elevated terrain gives a wide range of LoS. So from a tactical standpoint, a model that takes the time to get up high to see more is not, I think, a terrible thing in terms of strategy.

Keeping the simpler rule means that there is always a clear advantage to taking the high ground in terms of target selection. It also carries risk since more units can now return fire. Since each rule option has a logical counter-argument, I do agree that the simpler rule is more attractive.

Though I fear the the 'shooting (almost) straight down' scenario will be more common given the amount of terrain Relic Knights suggests, more worrisome to me is flier abuse. A unit with fly can hide behind a building, move to the top (near the back from the target's perspective) and take a shot, then use their follow-up to drop back down. This works thematically in that a ranged flier would naturally gain altitude to get a better attack vector, but with the granularity of activations, the unit never has to take any actual risks to make the same shot that another unit would have to spend an action to set up by using the Scaling rules to get to the top of a tall building. This type of abuse would also happen to a more limited degree on smaller terrain that units would be able to simply climb up and then back down after making the shot. (Or for units with thrusters, like Kisa RK, Climb up, attack, fly down.)

So while I think either option is balanced and has logical pros/cons, one is clearly abusable. (Having played another game that allowed a similar yo-yo, I can promise you that it is frustrating to realize you must take damage in order to stop a cheap trick, not because you positioned poorly, but because the rules didn't consider or otherwise explicitly allowed the yo-yo trick.)

On the topic of the current LoS rules, the second bullet point for elevated terrain reads "Elevated terrain that either the model is currently standing on is ignored when drawing LoS." Should "or target" be added after 'model'? (Assuming the rule stands.)


You could still yo-yo with the proposed change. You would just have to get within 3" of the lip, which with the vast majority of terrain is not difficult. If this is an issue, and has come up in play, maybe the issue is with Fly.

I deleted the extra "the" a few days ago:

Elevated terrain that either model is currently standing on is ignored when drawing LoS.

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August 3rd, 2017, 5:45 pm
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I hadn't considered the yo-yo with the 3" rule, derp.

I'm not aware that the situation as I laid out with fly has specifically come up, but the knowledge that it's possible troubles me - the 'trick' feels exploitative. But I'm not sure what I would suggest if fly were to be changed - ignoring elevation changes is it's reason for existence (The parachute effect for falling damage being recent addition). Fly is a strong movement ability, one that makes a unit much more threatening simply due to the large amount of terrain used. "Units with fly cannot change elevations during a follow-up movement if they made an attack." seems harsh, and puts them at a disadvantage compared to other units that can climb down smaller terrain, so I don't think that's the right way to approach it.

More input is probably needed, but I'm erring on the side of leaving the flying yo-yo in, since there should be enough terrain on the table for units to move about without being targets, and a player would have to commit to leaving their flier in a specific position for it to be a threat. Throw in the activation tokens and a smart player should be able to create an opening to break the yo-yo. Still, It's a strong defensive tactic.

Would a compromise be "LoS is blocked to models on the lower elevation that are in contact with the terrain if the lower model is smaller than the terrain."? It doesn't solve all issues, but prevents the most extreme complaint, and allows a small shadow of safety. It might end up meaning that holding the high ground is not desirable on many battlefields, though.


August 3rd, 2017, 6:28 pm
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Major Glitch wrote:
I hadn't considered the yo-yo with the 3" rule, derp.

I'm not aware that the situation as I laid out with fly has specifically come up, but the knowledge that it's possible troubles me - the 'trick' feels exploitative. But I'm not sure what I would suggest if fly were to be changed - ignoring elevation changes is it's reason for existence (The parachute effect for falling damage being recent addition). Fly is a strong movement ability, one that makes a unit much more threatening simply due to the large amount of terrain used. "Units with fly cannot change elevations during a follow-up movement if they made an attack." seems harsh, and puts them at a disadvantage compared to other units that can climb down smaller terrain, so I don't think that's the right way to approach it.

More input is probably needed, but I'm erring on the side of leaving the flying yo-yo in, since there should be enough terrain on the table for units to move about without being targets, and a player would have to commit to leaving their flier in a specific position for it to be a threat. Throw in the activation tokens and a smart player should be able to create an opening to break the yo-yo. Still, It's a strong defensive tactic.

Would a compromise be "LoS is blocked to models on the lower elevation that are in contact with the terrain if the lower model is smaller than the terrain."? It doesn't solve all issues, but prevents the most extreme complaint, and allows a small shadow of safety. It might end up meaning that holding the high ground is not desirable on many battlefields, though.


Try the flying yo-yo. I will too. I'm not inclined to consider fixes until I'm convinced it's a problem. I doubt it is.

That would just be another rule that becomes void if the lower model is a micron out from the building.

Really, I'm not looking to 'fix' the LoS rules because I think they're fine.

But it was raised that I was 'ignoring' a LoS issue that had a simple fix. My point is, the fix really isn't that simple. And I have listened. But, at the end of the day, I think the LoS rules are good. And while I can point to a ton of examples of community feedback influencing design (there are quite a few on the previous page!) not all feedback is going to make it in. That doesn't mean we're not listening. And also, your feedback is really highly valued. I think both you and OC can easily point to things in the game and say "that was my idea."

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August 3rd, 2017, 6:50 pm
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I'm absotely going to take credit for stuff that makes it into print :mrgreen:

At this point I'm pretty much in agreement with you regarding the building LoS rule, and am simply suggesting things that come to mind to see if they gain traction. ...Which may be counter-productive as I'm sure you'd prefer to shift focus to other rules things.

I won't be able to get a game in until mid-week (if at all), but I will absolutely test a flying yo-yo squadron. It's possible I'm overblowing the strength of the tactic while theorycrafting.


August 3rd, 2017, 7:34 pm
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Ah, now there is a measurement I see what you mean. Yes the second picture shows a problem (because trigonometry and such), but I think the second picture is less of a problem to game logic than this scenario;

Image

Oh and I have done the yo-yo with a flying unit trick, it actually works with any unit with enough move to get up and down a terrain piece under the current rules. And yes you can yo-yo in and out of 3" as well. I actually don't think doing either is a mechanical problem.

Mechanically I don't think the current rules are a problem in terms of understanding and implementation.

My problem is more with the scenario above, which I find to be fairly common (even if not so exaggerated) with even moderate terrain in the style I use, because of how illogical it is that Lakmi and Sebastian situation in the above picture is. (See various photos in the terrain thread.) I just don't see people who haven't read the rules carefully following that rule without explanation.

As a final note on LoS (for this post) my personal preference is that the 3" be the model's Size (for both directly intervening terrain and terrain being stood on), but I was persuaded that a simple consistent value was easier.

-----
And yes I certainly recognise changes that I can point to that I inspired and I very much appreciate that, in fact that's very much part of my frustration with other people's refusal to engage with the process at all that I've expressed on the KS and FB.

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August 3rd, 2017, 8:46 pm
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Actually, your picture brings up another issue I have with that change. The model on the upper level *IS* within 3" of the edge of the terrain.

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August 3rd, 2017, 9:05 pm
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