Author Topic: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"  (Read 19081 times)

Offline Oakwolf

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UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« on: March 08, 2011, 08:45:45 AM »
I've been playing with the various "human" factions, namely Imperial, Bauhaus, Mishima and the Brotherhood, but my main army is the Dark Legion. I play all apostles depending on what fight we want to create, but my prefered army is Golgotha's.

I've had problems with the army in the way it behaves in the UWZ system.

a) Morale

Nobody has ever seen the hordes of the dark legion flee in a fluff text of the Mutant chronicles. Can you imagine Ilian templars shaken by panic? I sure can't. Pretorian Stalkers cowering in cover? That's borderline heresy.

These situations happened in the games i played UWZ with the Dark Legion, and while people who have never played to the Mutant Chronicles RPG or the 1st edition of warzone will probably shrug at this, it does make fighting the dark legion much more similar to fighting another corporation and this is very different from the root of the background.

Necrorganics are well done, they function as they should.

Mortal cultists and heretics are fine and should behave like humans do, even if they are driven astray by the apostles.

Necrobiotics and Summoned are the problem imho. The fact that they suffer the same effects from morale as mortals defies the original feel of the dark legion. They should have different rules than mortals when it comes to morale. I'm not saying that they should all be "zombie like", but we're talking of alien monsters, horrible mutated creations and in some case raw evil creatures. Many of those are not even alive in the proper sense. Why should a Pretorian Stalker be more afraid than a Razide under enemy fire. The only fear they might have is toward their master, which usually makes for very motivated troop.  

This is also valid for necromutants and neronian legionnaires and all those "half-dead" troops, who are supposed not to feel much if anything.

b) Horde and Algeroth consistency.

Something i'd want to ask, as well, is if it is possible for Golgotha to lead a force strictly composed of Undead Legionnaires and Necromutants (which is basically what we see in her citadel in the comic books). Would she be forced to take in one of those "neronian legionnaires" (i.e. grunt from the Algeroth list) ?

I ask this because, in the end, the Horde and Algeroth are one and single army.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 10:29:54 AM by Oakwolf »

Offline dmcgee1

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 11:12:30 AM »
In order to answer your questions, I am going to come across as a bit of a literalist; forgive me.

There are some issues of "morale" that arre not necessarily related to fear, cowardice or any other sort of emotion.  Morale (and resultant LD Tests) are there to simulate battlefield confusion and duress.  As UWZ is a game, a game must simulate certain aspects, sacrificing realism for ease of play and balance.  Morale is one of these things.

Whether a model is scared by the sights with which it is confronted, overwhelmed by the data overload with which its processors are presented, is sweating profusely while ebing bitten by various jungle insects, or simply encounters confusion over which target to shoot after they just shot its best bud (from whom he was owed poker winnings) is irrelevant.  What is relevant is that, at some point, a model will be forced to find the wherewithall to make a battlefield decision in order to act in the given circumstances.  Hence, morale and a LD stat.

With that, these rules simulate the circumstances under which a model would have to make that check.  It is a game mechanic that allows for the randomness and chaos of battle to make unexpected things happen and well-laid plans to go awry.

I understand that there is fluff within the book.  That fluff has no bearing on what is, actually, written as rule.  The fluff is just that - fluff.

As for translating things over from the RPG, comics and other editions, I again state that the game is seperate from those, much like Seige of the Citadel is a game based upon the fluff of the Mutant Chronicles universe.  If I may suggest, do not try to make the literal translations; rather, enjoy the fluff and allow it to drive the story, while the rules, dice and models decide the outcome of the story.  After all, gaming is supposed to fun.  It shouldn't be an exercise in discussing the finer points of, ...well, this should act like that, while this is just completely wrong."  It should be, "Dude, that was a great fight.  When your Legionnaires just stood there with their collective thumbs up their nether regions, I thought my models were gonna die from laughter."
If sing, sang, and sung, sink, sank, and sunk, and drink, drank, and drunk, how is it that it isn't bring, brang, and brung, think, thank and thunk, and ding, dang, and dung?

Don't even get me started about bad, badder and baddest.  Run, ran AND run...again?  C'mon!

Offline Oakwolf

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 01:39:46 PM »

I understand that there is fluff within the book.  That fluff has no bearing on what is, actually, written as rule.  The fluff is just that - fluff.


I disagree with that philosophy, because it is the background which captivates the imagination, and what differenciate a game from another beyond the system. We've been used to the exact same treatment with Games Workshop's wargames, where the fluff is a gigantic hyperbole, but there's no obligation to adhere to such way. A good example of a system that goes without fluff is the 2nd edition of Warzone. It's a barebone system of armies fighting each other.

The reason that fluff in the UWZ book doesn't always work with the rules is because it was often copy pasted from other rulesets, down back to the source materials of the mutant chronicles. But when there's 5 sentences describing a unit and it mentions them to act without fear...you expect them to do just that in the game. There's no problem in having a cohesion rule that makes them act awry and not according to plan, but just not behaving like mortals do.

My point is that Supernatural, Summoned and Necrobiotic models should have different rules for morale in the same way that AI and Necrorganics have them. They are just as different from mortals in how they are described.








« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 02:20:12 PM by Oakwolf »

Offline Pollo

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 03:17:35 PM »
Nobody has ever seen the hordes of the dark legion flee in a fluff text of the Mutant chronicles



They are not fleeing, but they seem quite scared...

Ok, this is not fluff text... but it is such an iconic image!

Oakwolf, you are right regarding the importance of the fluff for the setting and the mood of the game. But game mechanics and fluff operate in two different ways. If all of the Necrobiotics were immune to morale issues, probably the game would have been unbalanced, and the PC cost of most Dark Legion troops would have been surely higher.

We would really like to see a Crucifier capable of making 4 attacks per action, or an Eradicator Deathdroid able to shoot AP rockets; according to the canonical Mutant Chronicles setting, that should be possible. But in UWZ, this would surely make those figures too strong, even with a correct PC applied.

As far as I understand, the balancing issues are even the reason why a lot of troops that canonically are followers of Algeroth have been split among different apostles. UWZ is full of such differences from the original Mutant Chronicles. But the game mechanic's consistency should always be more accurate than the fluff's consistency, if you want your game to be smooth and clear.

Offline dmcgee1

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 04:39:20 PM »
My point is that Supernatural, Summoned and Necrobiotic models should have different rules for morale in the same way that AI and Necrorganics have them. They are just as different from mortals in how they are described.


The final effect will, for all intents and purposes, still be extremely similar, mechanics-wise, to failing an LD test.  What you suggest merely dresses it up in fluff.

Believe it, or not, I used to think about it similarly to you.  My good friend, Jeff Dodge, broke me of it, though.  Another good friend, Josh Slater, then pulled me through completely until I emerged as a person who'd rather play than discuss whether I thought a rule needed to be changed in order to accurately reflect fluff and/or previous editions.  Dodge was able to make me see that in order for a game to be fun and playable, there must be certain concessions made.  Usually, these concessions are made by sacrificing realism and "real-world mechanics" in order to gain playability.  Playability is a huge part of a game.  If rifling through the rulebook at every die roll is your thing (and I'm not saying that it is), then there are games that cater to that type "A" personality.  I prefer to sit around a table and push pewter that bears my paint, all while having fun with my buds.

That is not to say that we abandon the rules and relish defeat.  We play by the rules, and by the spirit that is eloquently evoked on the first pages of the very book we are discussing:  "It's like playing army men with rules."

I do not know how to explain this better, and did warn that this answer would make me out to be a literalist.  That said, I believe in these rules.  I believe that Close Combat works beautifully in this iteration.  I am okay with certain models being susceptible to battlefield stressors.  I am okay with all of this, because, over all, this game is fun to play.

Oakwolf [edit], I do respect your viewpoint, and I used to believe what you believe.  I no longer do.  That makes neither of us right or wrong; it just makes us disagree on this point.  I would like to think that my stance is correct, but that would meaqn that I would then have to bellieve that your stance is incorrect; I don't.

In the end, one must decide for themselves which is more important - letting one minor point of contention take away from a game they, otherwise, enjoy, or accept that it is something that was done in order to make the game more appealing to more people.  Either way, it's all good.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 05:29:31 PM by dmcgee1 »
If sing, sang, and sung, sink, sank, and sunk, and drink, drank, and drunk, how is it that it isn't bring, brang, and brung, think, thank and thunk, and ding, dang, and dung?

Don't even get me started about bad, badder and baddest.  Run, ran AND run...again?  C'mon!

Offline Oakwolf

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 04:52:29 PM »
On the image:
Hehe,  while their white eyes and open mouth might look "scared" for a mortal, if you look closely they are actually trying to swarm Mr Hunter and Max Steiner :P (some are even climbing on the heroes!). Legionnaires always have a stupid expression on their face...being dead, some are evil, others are idiotic and some may actually look scared (the horrible way they died, maybe)

To McGee:
I am not looking into the raw decisions that made UWZ writers put karnophages, immaculate furies and Ezoghouls into muamwhije's list. I understand that the apostle had a serious lack of options. Same for Ilian in a way. Having helped to develop games, i know that concessions need to be made for playability, but there are some rather broad aspects which were not minor to my eyes, which is the unit types.  Why put any AI or Necrorganic rules then? Why should neronian legionnaires panic but not the Horde's "undead" ones?  That's the consistency i was talking of.

Anyway...i did put a question at the end of the original post (hence placing the thead here):  Can an army of Legionnaires and Necromutants be lead by Golgotha, or does she need to pick one of in Algeroth's list too.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 04:56:14 PM by Oakwolf »

Offline dmcgee1

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 05:09:17 PM »
The book states, specifically:

"Dark Apostle Forces
    ...They may also select from either the Cult or the Horde list, but not both. ..."

Therefore, the answer is that Golgotha may be in a force consisting of Algeroth and/or Horde units.  The Horde grunts count as grunts for an Algeroth force.
If sing, sang, and sung, sink, sank, and sunk, and drink, drank, and drunk, how is it that it isn't bring, brang, and brung, think, thank and thunk, and ding, dang, and dung?

Don't even get me started about bad, badder and baddest.  Run, ran AND run...again?  C'mon!

Offline Oakwolf

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2011, 05:30:59 PM »
Excellent, thank you.

I wasn't certain to what extent the rules for taking individuals applied when it came to mixed lists.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 05:53:30 PM by Oakwolf »

Offline Raga

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 05:13:11 AM »
We would really like to see a Crucifier capable of making 4 attacks per action, or an Eradicator Deathdroid able to shoot AP rockets; according to the canonical Mutant Chronicles setting, that should be possible. But in UWZ, this would surely make those figures too strong, even with a correct PC applied.

Try first edition. :)
Crucifiers were a squad of 2-3 models, armed with 2 nemesis pistols and 2 punisher blades and were capable of making 4 attacks per action.
Eradicators had 3 custom pylons for dedicated weapons (chainripper + megablaster + rocket launcher combo was possible)
None of Algeroth forces or legionnaires ever panicked.

dmcgee1:
The examples given by Oakwolf and me (above) are not just fluff. These were normal rules of 1st edition.
If UWZ was set "back to normal" maybe other people who still resist UWZ (like me for example) would change their minds.

I don't want to open a discussion and I don't expect any answer. My post only shows the background of such topics to players who never played the 1st edition.
Let us drink to the power drink to the sound
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Offline dmcgee1

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2011, 10:06:08 AM »
Raga, as I stated in my first response, my answer was purely from the perspective of literalsim.  I was, in my own, attempting to put the fluff in a new light, if you will.  I was explaining that even though they are subject to the Morale Test, it is not because they are "scared" or are "panicked."  I was simply trying to state that if one considers other battlefield conditions (confusion, over-zealousness, indecisiveness, etc.) then the Morale Test takes on a new context which is easier to "believe" when dealing with Dark Legion units.

I used different words, but, in effect, the game mechanic is the same, but the fluff associated with it can be read anyway one chooses to interpret.  It doesn't remove anything from the game, in my opinion.  It is all about balance, playability and fun.

I loathe to type the next few words, but here they come, anyway:

Literally, one could be pushing tokens across a board with nothing more than scraps of paper representing whatever is written on them.  Dice rolls would represent results of actions, and the game would, still, play the same; but the flavor and feel would simply not be the same.  Therefore, at its core, this game is a set of rules and mechanics to determine the outcome of strategy and tactics, while allowing for randomness and the unexpected.  Anything else is, literally, fluff.

No one is saying that one could not house-rule anything.  However, in my house, we play it as it is written.  In this way, whenever new people join us, or visit us from afar, there is a common understanding of the rules.  It is my strongest opinion that house-rules take away from the enjoyment, in the end, because one changes the game in such a way as to suit their playing, rather than changing their play style to suit the game.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 10:08:33 AM by dmcgee1 »
If sing, sang, and sung, sink, sank, and sunk, and drink, drank, and drunk, how is it that it isn't bring, brang, and brung, think, thank and thunk, and ding, dang, and dung?

Don't even get me started about bad, badder and baddest.  Run, ran AND run...again?  C'mon!

Offline Pollo

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2011, 02:56:41 PM »
Try first edition. :)

I have been playing 1st edition for years. That is why I made those examples.
Eradicators with MMG and LR, squads of Rams Air Cavalry that could each shoot 2 rockets per action, Nepharites of Ilian with Nazagaroth and 5 actions of fire... they were really great. But they were a bit unbalancing.

I am not saying that UWZ is better than 1st ed. I like 1st ed. a lot. But UWZ and 1st ed are two different games, simple. 1st ed. depicts better the original setting; UWZ is more balanced and more innovative (false leads, hidden deployment, etc.). But, once again, they are two different games, with different rules, and different fluff.

Hehe,  while their white eyes and open mouth might look "scared" for a mortal, if you look closely they are actually trying to swarm Mr Hunter and Max Steiner

... Ok, we are looking at different images... (or probably you are not «mortal»)  ;D
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 03:06:39 PM by Pollo »

Offline Oakwolf

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2011, 03:28:38 PM »
tssk  :D, i meant if they (the legionnaires) were mortals, they might show signs of fear, but if you look closely at the image, they are all (except the guy looking at us and the one being stomped) going for the 2 doomtroopers.

Offline Kaile_Bloodhammer

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2011, 06:13:08 PM »
This is exactly why I play Cultists.  I fully expect my stupid human cultists to freak-out and run when they start getting hit with heavy enemy fire.  Its when my Razides start getting scared is when I have a problem.

Offline Oakwolf

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2011, 06:54:50 PM »

Here's a sample failed morale table i would have no problems with for Necrobiotics:

1 - 5: The unit will move in a random direction next turn, whatever obscure motive they got.

6 - 10: the unit will try to charge the closest enemy next turn, or spend all actions moving toward it.

11 - 15: the unit will fire at the closest enemy (or shout wildly if unarmed) for 1 single action next turn, they may do no other actions. If they have more than one ranged weapon, select one.

16-20: The unit will fire at the closest unit, friend or foe, for one single action next turn, or shout wildly if unarmed. They may do no other action.  If they have more than one ranged weapon, your opponent shall select one.

So whatever the unit, failing a Ld check will have consequences, but no longer will they behave like mortals fearful of death or damnation. I would expect necromutants to sometimes charge in no-man's land, or even shoot at their own "comrades", either seen as enemies or to vent off rage. They are still effectively fighting, but tactically dumb without a Nepharite's iron will.

Offline dmcgee1

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Re: UWZ - the Dark Legion "feeling"
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2011, 08:28:44 PM »
This is exactly why I play Cultists.  I fully expect my stupid human cultists to freak-out and run when they start getting hit with heavy enemy fire.  Its when my Razides start getting scared is when I have a problem.

Razides are, actually, immune to morale issues.
If sing, sang, and sung, sink, sank, and sunk, and drink, drank, and drunk, how is it that it isn't bring, brang, and brung, think, thank and thunk, and ding, dang, and dung?

Don't even get me started about bad, badder and baddest.  Run, ran AND run...again?  C'mon!