New Slayer Skills!

Discussion in 'News and Announcements' started by Prabdeep Bazaz, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. Prabdeep Bazaz Social Media Manager

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    Slayer-Skills.png

    It is no secret that we will soon be moving beyond the original starting Warbands and moving into more specialised territory by launching the first of our premier range of Warbands. These Warbands are designed for real connoisseurs of the game with the intended emphasis on them being thematic and fun. The first step in this release is to add in the extra unique Dwarven skills for the Troll Slayer Hiredsword.


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  2. Jesse Shaffer Brigadier

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    The figure in Extra Tough is missing an arm and a leg. And is that a hook for a hand? That is one seriously jacked up S.O.B.! When I realized just how F’ed up that it is, it honestly made me laugh.
  3. Enajien Major

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    Tis but a flesh wound!
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  4. Shangular Brigadier

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    So what's the verdict? Are Slayers now viable?
  5. Jesse Shaffer Brigadier

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    No. They’re missing their core racial characteristic. Adding one to a team can actually be fun now so that’s pretty awesome. But you’ll still like them the less you need them which is very much the opposite of awesome.

    The Good
    The new skills are absolutely fantastic. At last, troll slayers can dish out the pain. They finally feel FUN and satisfying in most one-on-one melee fights and adding a single slayer ONLY is now perfectly tenable for most warbands—especially those that can leave them behind.

    The Bad
    That, "leav[ing] them behind," bit is the real sticking point. They're still completely helpless before ranged attacks, struggle to collect even nearby wyrdstone, and can't approach most objectives without being exposed and killed. They can finally dish out the pain but they still can't reliably take two beatings in a row and the frequency of that event skyrockets with each additional troll slayer added to the party.

    The core flaw is still utterly ignored. Dwarves on TT had one wound like most units but could only be taken out of action by rolling a 6 rather than either a 5 or a 6. This means dwarves were HALF as likely to be taken out of action. At the unit levels most games were fought, this compensated for their shortcomings and allowed them to actually be tough which naturally made them fun. On mobile, the levels quickly become significantly higher and the wound system is so different that the aforementioned gimmick isn’t even applicable. Let that sink in. The single unique mechanic most responsible for making them viable isn’t even part of this game!

    Legendary’s solution to this profound nerfing of dwarves has been to give them the same number of wounds as every other unit and little else. Troll Slayers have been through testing twice now and this hasn’t been addressed. This tells me that someone at Legendary has had a very strong opinion about what to do with dwarves while simultaneously ignoring an omission bigger than Big Ben. Since this is a racial characteristic, Treasure Seekers won’t have it either.

    I’ve spent about $30 USD and most of the day testing them and can confidently say that, while a SINGLE troll slayer really does make a fun addition to most warbands, each additional troll slayer beyond that decreases the survivability of the entire party. Creating a fresh warband and adding 3 has been a hatable experience.

    The Ironic
    These new skills really are great and I honestly appreciate the thoughtfulness and effort that's obviously been put into them. That's why it pains me to say that the single warband knowledgeable players are most likely to avoid adding troll slayers to is the forthcoming Dwarf Treasure Seekers. The reason being that normal dwarves have nothing to compensate for a slayer’s weaknesses and absolutely nothing to gain from a slayer's strengths that isn't undermined completely by the slayer’s own shortcomings. Since Treasure Seekers aren't Treasure Hunters, Legendary has a lot more freedom. It would be a selling point of Treasure Seekers if membership in the warband confered extra health, armor, re-rolls, or something that finally made them dwarves rather than tiny naked baby-men that can’t hide or run away. Then again, that invisible probability shield the dwarves of TT had was racial so membership in a particular type of warband shouldn’t be a criteria.

    The Ominous
    While I win the overwhelming majority of my matches in both single player and PVP regardless of the warband I choose, there is a single exception where this trend is turned completely on its head and I loose the vast majority of the games I play. It is a Witch Hunter warband containing 1 captain, 1 priest, and 3 troll slayers.

    To increase my win ratio to around 80%, all I’d have to do is dismiss one Troll Slayer. It's apparent though that no amount of leveling afterward would increase my win ratio back to where it is with all my other warbands. However, I could make those gains immediately just by dismissing a second Troll Slayer.

    Both humans had broken legs for a while thereby capping movement for the entire team at 3. Based on this experience I can say that the maps in this game clearly weren't designed with 3/3 movement in mind. Every map contains holes in its grid that render covered traversal completely impossible for 3/3 units. As a result, this warband is mechanically incapable of reaching the objective in nearly all 10 turn missions and the majority of 8 turn objective missions without being exposed and either killed by ranged fire or rushed by melee units who then kill everyone else before they even get a turn. 10 turn missions are such an automatic fail for that warband that I will now no longer play them at all opting instead to quit the game. Why play a mission where the warband is physically incapable of completing it?

    Hunting for wyrdstone missions are typically only possible to complete thanks to the two non-dwarfs. Even then, it’s typically only possible to get one shard before being engaged in battle. The maximum shards obtainable for these missions are never collected. This is a trivial task for me with any other warband but collecting even half with these dwarves has thus far proven elusive.

    My experience suggests a serious flaw with the upcoming Treasure Seekers. Unless they have significant armor and some mitigating skills (like ranged shard collection), missions that demand they move need to be skippable.
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  6. Shangular Brigadier

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    Nice summary.

    My concern when slayers were first released was that they move slow 3/3, have no armor, and were stunnable. Bad combination as being slow you'll most likely not get the alpha strike which means you have to be able to take a hit so you can strike back. So this new skill helps to alleviate the stun issue. I'm thinking they still need another upgrade of resilient, like vampires to reflect the increased toughness in the TT version.

    One skill that I think is missing, hopefully can be added to Slayers when Treasure Hunters are released is perhaps one that allows increased movement when charging. Make them count as 5/5 or 6/6 when charging, but 3/3 otherwise?
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  7. CzaRus Major

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    Speaking of additional armour, lorewise they have magic resistance and are shorter than humies, then why not apply halfling skills to be more difficult to hit with ranged and being resistant to spells?
    studer1972 likes this.
  8. Jesse Shaffer Brigadier

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    I hesitate to write anything else of length in this thread but I swear, this is the more important one.

    From a survivability perspective, dwarves had two major attributes that made them viable: +1 toughness compared to most other unit types and the Hard to Kill special rule. They certainly had others but these two were the foundational pair. I recognize that since toughness isn’t in the game and the wound systems of mobile and table top are so different that Hard to Kill can’t just be copied and pasted but the substitute implemented is really very inappropriate. And I can prove it with simple math.

    As I said in my previous post, dwarves on TT had 1 wound like most units but, unlike most units, you had to roll exactly 6 for them to be taken out of action rather than a 5 or above. So what happened to the 5? It was absorbed by stun. Since a 1:6 chance is half as likely as a 1:3, dwarves were one half as likely to be taken out of action. Simultaneously, this meant that (without the addition of other modifiers) they were also one sixth more likely to be stunned as a consequence.

    These are irrefutable statistical truths and core features of the dwarven experience that have been removed from mobile gameplay. Even good people who are excellent at their jobs sometimes make mistakes and neglecting the above has definitely proven to be a mistake.

    Dwarves can barely move, they can’t hide, and, while they did have some mitigating skills, their base chance of being stunned was (before modifiers and special alternate skills) greater than any other creature in the entire game. Without looking at their specific ways of compensating, their core downsides are awful. And that's the point. They had to have these problems at their core because their ways of compensating would be way too good otherwise. For example, being 50% less likely to be taken out of action would be an epic game breaking ability if it weren’t balanced by their inability to hide or move.

    Instead of something functionally equivalent to that amazing power, they gave us a lesser version of Quick Recovery and now, with the update, Thick Skull which is essentially just Quick Recovery. What they've done is thrown out an honest to God super power and replaced it with something as mundane as a two tiered Quick Recovery which is a speed skill and not something Troll Slayers or any other dwarf should have access to. That’s not balance and—even worse—it isn’t even really a dwarf. Immunity to stun is nice but I’m pretty sure we players would all rather have the super power.

    In other words, we want the actual Hard to Kill special rule from table top thoughtfully applied to mobile. The original Hard to Kill was essentially a random probability modifier applied to successful hits. Also remember that the knocked down state isn’t even a thing in mobile. Given all the mechanical differences between the two games, the best translation would be this:

    A deflection modifier that applies some percentage chance of deflection to every successful blow along with a much smaller chance of being stunned for 1-turn if and only if deflection occurs. The True Grit skill should then be corrected so that its function is to take away this stun penalty which is literally what it was for on table top and exactly what it did. Since knocked down isn’t a state on mobile, Legendary could just have it reduce the stun penalty however and I’m sure that would probably work too.

    Obviously the exact percentages will have to be explored in testing but a 50% chance of deflecting successful hits with a 16.7% chance of receiving a 1-turn penalty stun are probably good places to start. They are, after all, literally the deliberate choices of the original design and core features of gameplay against which all crippling disadvantages of the race were originally balanced.
  9. Enajien Major

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    Not sure where you got the idea that Dwarves were stunned more than other war bands. With a helmet and thick skull skill they got a 2+ save vs stun. Other war bands just get 4+ from helmets. They also got True grit which makes them 1-3 knocked down, 4-5 stun and 6 out of action. Additionally with Hard Head they are immune to hammers, maces and clubs. This means that a club wielder in TT had a 2-4 chance to stun a non dwarf and a 4-5 chance to stun a dwarf. The dwarf also gains a 2+ save vs a 4+ save, dwarves in TT were mostly immune to stun.
  10. Jesse Shaffer Brigadier

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    I'm talking about dwarves without gear. This is a Troll Slayer thread after all. Additionally, Hard Head allowed them to ignore special rules fore maces, clubs, and things of that nature which made them difficult to knock out, sure, but it didn't change the core mechanic of Hard to Kill as it applied to stun which is 3-5. Unless, that is, you had a different version of the rules than I did which is entirely plausible.
  11. Enajien Major

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    So without gear they still get:
    Hard to kill (Race advantage): Dwarfs are tough, resilient individuals who can only be taken out of action on a roll of 6 instead of 5-6 when rolling on the Injury chart. Treat a roll of 1-2 as knocked down, 3-5 as stunned, and 6 as out of action.
    Hard Head(Race advantage): Dwarfs ignore the special rules for maces, clubs, etc. They are not easy to knock out!
    True Grit (Skill): Dwarfs are hardy individuals and this Hero is hardy even for a Dwarf! When rolling on the Injury table for this Hero, a roll of 1-3 is treated as knocked down, 4-5 as stunned, and 6 as out of action.
    Thick Skull (Skill): The Hero has a thick skull, even for a Dwarf. He has a 3+ save on a D6 to avoid being stunned. If the save is made, treat a stunned result as knocked down instead. If the Dwarf also wears a helmet, this save is 2+ instead of 3+ (this takes the place of the normal Helmet special rule).

    So with all of that and no Helmet. You stunned a troll slayer on a 4-5 and he had a 3+ save. A normal model is stunned on a 2-4 and had no save. With a helmet a normal model got stunned on a 2-4 but had a 4+ save. Dwarves were always very resilient to stun, far far harder than other models.
  12. Jesse Shaffer Brigadier

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    It has been a long time since I played the game and I am completely willing to defer to anyone who actually has the rules in front of them since mine aren't at the moment. I had been thinking about base models without alternate special rules for heroes but I really didn’t say that properly. In good faith, I have edited the offending post. Quite honestly, however, talking about this further is self defeating. The part I do remember with perfect clarity is the issue that matters most along with its pertinent mechanics. Dwarves, as implemented, would be great if they didn't suck so bad and a more true to form implementation of the original Hard to Kill skill would fix that.
  13. Shangular Brigadier

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    I see what you're saying. There are key mechanical differences between TT and mobile, a significant one being that most warriors on TT only had 1 wound as you mentioned so the Trollslayer skills to prevent OOA were more meaningful. In mobile, most warriors can take multiple hits before OOA so renders the translation of dwarf resiliency less effective. Maybe an easier programming fix would be to allow trollslayers extra wounds to reflect their staying power to remain fighting. That combined with a longer charge ability and added Resilient upgrades can add for a viable Trollslayer.

    The resilient upgrade is really more for them to survive missile attacks since he can't hide. When you get in CC, most people use comet mauls anyways so having an Defense higher than 20 gets nullified. Perhaps another possible skill is a Missile absorption which can work like Parry but only vs missile attacks?

    The increased wounds, combined with current skill of being unstunnable lets them strike back in CC after they get charged. Although a charge movement skill would give them a chance of getting the alpha strike once in a while.
  14. Shangular Brigadier

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    I’m gonna try doing a solo dwarf. It will be painful, but just for fun :) He’s actually going to get to the treasure first this time. 1E555073-D55A-483F-8181-E4DEC4A92774.jpeg
  15. Shangular Brigadier

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    One dwarf one mission lol F0FF394B-1BB3-469E-83D4-459A616A6E60.jpeg
  16. Shangular Brigadier

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    After playtesting a solo dwarf to see the true power of this mighty warrior, my conclusion is....WTF!

    Okay, he has two good skills that give him bonuses when he charges. Unfortunately, average to above average intelligent opponents will never let him charge due to his 3/3 movement.

    There is an Axe Master skill that gives 10% increased armor penetration. So a gromil axe with -15 armor penetration gets improved 1.5 to -16.5 armor penetration? Really? The dwarf I have has his WS maxed to 73 and he still has his gromil axe blocked by defense from opponents who are wearing some crap armor and a shield.

    But the biggest kicker though is due to the lack of Speed skills, opponents can simply walk away from combat without any repercussion of getting hit by a free attack and since they all move 4/4 or faster, he can never catch back up to them. This leads to a comical battle of an opponent running off and the dwarf hopelessly trying to catch him. Thus I truly feel that he trollslayer needs some kind of Charge skill that let's him charge as a 6/6 mover. That will also then allow those other skills that are activated on charging to be useful. Lore wise this can make sense since slayers are eager to get into battle, perhaps call the skill Battle Lust or Battle Frenzy or something like that.
  17. Jesse Shaffer Brigadier

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    Yup. It’s enough to make one assume that the testers only played Troll Slayers safely by leaving them in the back and often leaving them behind. For the full experience, you should try adding two more! ;)

    In the context of a full dwarven warband, fixing the Hard to Kill skill as I previously described would combine quite well with the increased range of pistols and crossbows the other dwarves have to make running away from them a poor strategy for most enemies. But only as long as the engineer stayed alive.

    Battle Lust would be a great name for it and I wish they’d do it but I don’t see them wanting to add an always on charge skill to any dwarf. They might be willing to consider something with a cool-down though. Heck, even one that could only realistically be used twice a match would go a long way towards making them more fun. Call it Pissed Off and it would be perfect.
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  18. Shangular Brigadier

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    Ok. Found a way to make this work lol. Since treasure hunt is the most common PvP scenario, I use a captain wizard to fly and get the chest and then coral opponents to fight my slayer. 975FBC8C-0459-46BD-AE80-A090BD63EFC6.jpeg
  19. Shangular Brigadier

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    Come get the treasure chest. It’s just my defenseless captain hee hee! 1586C97C-452F-4D0F-B3CF-F80C029850AF.jpeg
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  20. Shangular Brigadier

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    Seeing the slayer in the upcoming Warhammer Odyssey game makes me wish they were more viable in this game. Thinking about my recommendation here about adding a Blood Lust Charge skill, wouldn't the programming algorithm already exist? We have Sprint that adds +1 movement and then we have Unstoppable Charge that adds +15 WS when charging. Couldn't we somehow combine the programming logic to do something like +3 movement when charging for slayers?
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