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Tarliyn

Fixing Golems?

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It is generally accepted that golems aren't great.  I took a shot at making golems a bit better while both not making them to much and sticking to their design concept:

A file is attached of the dial and card.

Changes made:

- Increased wounds by one to give them a bit more survivability, they are a big chunk of stone they should survive as long as a worm or scion. 

-  Added reform and move to go along with their move and reform, I figured this sticks with their slow movement forward design. 

- Added a red dice.  This brings them in line with the other heavies throwing three dice.  I had thought about a red hit instead of a dice here but thought the consistency was to much with brutal.  I did like the choice between offense vs defense the hit provided though.  If a red dice is to much we could do blue, as it is less hitty.

- Thought about adding Steadfast too, but wanted feedback first

Keep in mind that these guys are the most expensive of any of the heavies right now. 

What is everyone's thoughts?  To much?

Oh, yes I did change the colors on the shift 1.  I had to in order for my copy paste/power point skills to work, lol.

 

 

Rune_Golem.png

Edited by Tarliyn

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I tried to bring them into line with all the other heavies throwing three dice and all the other heavies having three wounds.  They are still slow and still the most expensive heavy out there.  A golem hero would have more move options plus ummm something, lol.  This would have to be done to both make it worth 30+ points that heroes cost and bring in line with other heroes abilities, unless he was going to be a value priced hero which may be interesting too.

Take in mind here I have done no play testing on these changes yet and just came up with this today.

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3 minutes ago, Tarliyn said:

I tried to bring them into line with all the other heavies throwing three dice and all the other heavies having three wounds.  They are still slow and still the most expensive heavy out there. 

But Spined Threshers only roll 2 red dice, just like the Rune Golems. Rune Golems get a potential for extra Brutal, Spined Threshers get a potential for a reroll. I see a lot of parity there. The big difference is health, but Rune Golems can armor up while the Spined Threshers cannot.

I think the white rally does a good job of helping them shrug off banes, so I don't see the need for Steadfast.

I think the one thing they really need is the +1 health. There are enough ways to deal wounds that I don't think it will make them too powerful, but it will go a long way toward making them seem like solid rock instead of paper mache. The addition to the dial doesn't seem like it will hurt - I kinda like it. I think having three red dice is too much, though.

Still, it's a topic I've been thinking about recently myself. I'm interested to hear more opinions about it.

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I wasn't thinking about the Uthok stuff yet, lol. Perhaps three red with brutal might be a lot.  A blue would be better, most of the blue dice sides wouldn't help them that much but it gives them that change of a hit, no precise or natural reroll ability makes it where the results stick.

Spined threshers do get a basically guaranteed reroll, I mean they could not get it but really Uthok shouldn't have much trouble keeping panic around even against Daqan and they are far more maneuverable.   But they also cost one more point.  I still think that even with the spine thresher comparison golems, need the extra life and the extra hitting power.  The extra movement action/modifier was to give them a bit more moving power without changing the design philosophy.

I mostly liked steadfast for thematic reasons, which is why it didn't make the final cut lol.

I don't want them to be overpowered but I do want them to be desired if that makes sense.  That perfect sweet spot can be hard to find, lol.

 

Edit:  Just noticed threshers have the hit modifier.  That is better than a dice.  I am double downing on golems needing that red dice to be comparable to the other heavies, lol

Edited by Tarliyn

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Okay, I'll grant you that every other siege has a hit modifier. However, I think you may be undervaluing the fact that they have Brutal 2, 50% of the time. Look at the 6-tray formations and their max damage with the hit modifier and Golems with 2 stable runes.

Aymhelin Scions (62 points): 4 hits + modifier = 5; times 3 threat = 15 damage.

Carrion Lancers (68 points): 4 hits + modifier = 5; times 3 threat = 15 (and possibly some mortal strikes)

Rune Golems (74 points): 4 hits times 5 threat = 20

Spined Threshers (72 points): 5 hits times 4 threat = 20

Seems like things are costed decently well. The counter to this argument, of course, is to look at minimum damage. You get 3, 3, 0, and 4. From that perspective, the Rune Golems need a hit modifier more than an extra red die.

I think averages would be helpful to look at, too, but I would need a lot more time to work that out since my stats are rusty.

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14 minutes ago, Budgernaut said:

Okay, I'll grant you that every other siege has a hit modifier. However, I think you may be undervaluing the fact that they have Brutal 2, 50% of the time. Look at the 6-tray formations and their max damage with the hit modifier and Golems with 2 stable runes.

Aymhelin Scions (62 points): 4 hits + modifier = 5; times 3 threat = 15 damage.

Carrion Lancers (68 points): 4 hits + modifier = 5; times 3 threat = 15 (and possibly some mortal strikes)

Rune Golems (74 points): 4 hits times 5 threat = 20

Spined Threshers (72 points): 5 hits times 4 threat = 20

Seems like things are costed decently well. The counter to this argument, of course, is to look at minimum damage. You get 3, 3, 0, and 4. From that perspective, the Rune Golems need a hit modifier more than an extra red die.

I think averages would be helpful to look at, too, but I would need a lot more time to work that out since my stats are rusty.

What about the turns they don't get two brutal?  They will do 10 damage.  They are also more expensive than the other options and far less maneuverable.  You also forgot the thresher hit/panic modifier and their innate reroll.

3 minutes ago, Darthain said:

Golems are fine, I make them do a lot of work.  They are excellent tar pits, or systematic glass canons. 

 

The problem is this: everyone wants them to be tanks that also do massive damage.

I'm not sure where you see the cannon.  I don't want them to do massive damage I want them to do the same damage as their counterparts.  They cost more than everything except the Spine Thresher, move far less, only throw two dice (albeit the Thresher throws two as well but with a reroll), and have no damage modifier.  There is a reason you see the other sieges in almost every list and don't see very many golem units (solo or otherwise)

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2 minutes ago, Tarliyn said:

What about the turns they don't get two brutal?  They will do 10 damage.  They are also more expensive than the other options and far less maneuverable.  You also forgot the thresher hit/panic modifier and their innate reroll.

I'm not sure where you see the cannon.  I don't want them to do massive damage I want them to do the same damage as their counterparts.  They cost more than everything except the Spine Thresher, move far less, only throw two dice (albeit the Thresher throws two as well but with a reroll), and have no damage modifier.  There is a reason you see the other sieges in almost every list and don't see very many golem units (solo or otherwise)

A single tray golem can do a max of 12 damage.  That's pretty damned cannon.  Many a hero can not muster that.  Sure it is long odds, but the potential exists.  I've run many a 4 block of golems and wrecked many a big block in those matches. 

Golems also move great, especially if you tech rune manipulation, white reform, white rally, good to go. 

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2 minutes ago, Tarliyn said:

What about the turns they don't  get two brutal? They wiifl do 10 damage. They are also more expensive than the other options and far less maneuverable.  You also forgot the thresher hit/panic modifier and their innate reroll.

 

They will do 16 on maximum damage rolls with 1 stable rune and 20 with 2, which averages to 18, which is still better than Lancers or Scions can do.

I didn't consider the reroll on Threshers because 1) everyone already has a reroll in this scenario, and 2) I was considering max damage anyway.

I think there is a danger in wanting all units to be too much alike. Each unit has a role and a function. Not all sieges should be pigeon-holed into a damage-dealing role.

 

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28 minutes ago, Budgernaut said:

They will do 16 on maximum damage rolls with 1 stable rune and 20 with 2, which averages to 18, which is still better than Lancers or Scions can do.

I didn't consider the reroll on Threshers because 1) everyone already has a reroll in this scenario, and 2) I was considering max damage anyway.

I think there is a danger in wanting all units to be too much alike. Each unit has a role and a function. Not all sieges should be pigeon-holed into a damage-dealing role.

 

I do agree with making them all different from each other and maybe I am focusing too much on solo golem or small group golem.  But if we are going with the premise of making them different from each other which I 100% buy into what makes them worth the extra cost?  They cant just be slower, hit softer, and cost more to be different.  They need to do something to offset that. 

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Well, what should Rune Golems do? Their 4 defining traits, in my mind, are:

  • Defense 5/6, very good at shrugging off conventional damage (threat 4 is as high as it comes naturally, so having defense 5+ is one of the few ways to take NO damage from an attack)
  • Handing out stun tokens in melee
  • [Unstable] charge relatively early in the turn, quite slow otherwise
  • High damage output potential

So we have a slow, tanky unit that can smash pretty well or provide some crowd control. My problem with them is reliability - set them up to charge, get no unstable runes; get a flank charge, roll blanks; armor up, eat some mortal strikes. 

Let's compare!

  • Carrion Lancers are very versatile. Their dial is pretty average EXCEPT for two excellent initiative 3 options: Rally and Advance 3 (very fast this early in the turn) and Reform and +1 Defense. This lets them escape charges or engage enemies before they activate, redirect chargers, and just generally brace for impact. They fight reasonably well and have access to Rank Discipline (which is probably too powerful for its cost), threaten plentiful mortal strikes, and can even do the dreaded MCW+CI combo. They're tough, their maneuver options are very useful, and they are at least situationally dangerous. Excellent unit.
  • Ahmhelin Scions are almost pure control. Cheap, pretty bad mobility, fragile, but they hand out stun and immobilize quite effectively. They're also the only ranged Siege units, so even though they don't do a ton of damage, it's something. They block for other units, control opponents' heavy hitters, and contribute some ranged damage.
  • Threshers have unrevealed unique upgrades which will surely change things, but they have a very average dial, solid, mortal strike resistant durability, and good damage output. They also contribute to Uthuk panic token synergy, and have Morale+Hit as a melee attack modifier, which is quite potent. Without seeing the unique upgrades it's tough to say more, but they're durable shocktroopers in an aggressive faction.

I would like to see Rune Golems be tougher, but mostly I'd like traitorous Unstable Runes to have less impact so I can actually USE my golems. Blanking red dice is one thing, but setting up a dangerous flank charge only to have zero Unstable leaves a sour taste. Greyhaven Channeler is something, but champion upgrade slots are kinda scarce, you have to exhaust it to recast the runes, and it's sinking even more points to try to make them work. Maybe a third wound makes it worth it? That way, in spite of all their issues, they're a ***** to kill.

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3 hours ago, Darthain said:

Golems are fine, I make them do a lot of work.  They are excellent tar pits, or systematic glass canons. 

 

The problem is this: everyone wants them to be tanks that also do massive damage.

They really aren't fine.

On their own, I usually wipe them off the board before they even get to swing, even in bigger groups. They're also more expensive than other siege models that are quicker, tougher, and meaner.

One extra wound would go a long way toward fixing that.

It's just way too easy to toss wounds.

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My thought on fixes is that it's always easier to add than to take away, to buff than to nerf. That's why I like to add just one thing at a time and see if it makes a difference. My suggestion would be (to anyone who wishes to test out buffs) to start with making them have 3 wound threshold and see how that goes before adding other things.

(This mentality coming from BattleLore where we've been discussing how to strengthen the Uthuk Y'llan for years.)

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I think golems work well currently. I would like to have their defense modifier on their second dial to have two color combinations. That would give them more survivability. They don't really strike me as damage dealers thematically. Their stun skill is amazing. Try using them as a road blocks, they work great.

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1 hour ago, TheWiseGuy said:

I think golems work well currently. I would like to have their defense modifier on their second dial to have two color combinations. That would give them more survivability. They don't really strike me as damage dealers thematically. Their stun skill is amazing. Try using them as a road blocks, they work great.

Yup.  Go up against a 2x2 of golems and then try to tell me they’re weak.

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3 hours ago, flightmaster101 said:

Yup.  Go up against a 2x2 of golems and then try to tell me they’re weak.

Done it. They're weak. And expensive. A simo order deathcaller can drop one in a single action at range 5 on a good turn.

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I would like to see someone play a 2x1 reconfigured to a 1x2 with Hawthorne and equipped with wind rune. Under the right circumstances they can move 3 at intitiative 3 and armor up. Seems good for canceling charges and gaining a reroll. But in general I don't fear golems unless they're embedded.

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1 hour ago, Tvayumat said:

Done it. They're weak. And expensive. A simo order deathcaller can drop one in a single action at range 5 on a good turn.

A simo order deathcaller gets sniped before it can fire, or should anyway.  Not a combo I'm afraid of at all.

Edited by Darthain

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I agree that giving them 3 wounds would be the (hopefully) easy solution.  They could do this with errata, or go the X-Wing route and release a "title" upgrade card that doesn't require an icon.  Something like "Armored Rune Golem (Rune Golem only): This unit has +1 wounds".  They could even put a cost on the card if they felt an increase was warranted.  Two other ideas we've kicked around:

  • Leave the wounds as they are, but double down (literally) on armor.  Make it 8 so these guys are practically invulnerable to damage and only fear hard-hitting things like death stars and special abilities that cause wounds.  Would make them an interesting counter to small unit builds.
  • Not related to their health, but we've never liked that their stun is an action.  You've finally gotten your hulking Rune Golem into contact and you have to choose between smashing things or stunning them?  A stun token is nice but that's an expensive choice to make.  Make their stun a surge ability like most other special abilities.  They roll RR so it wouldn't reliably come up every time.

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No, really what they need is 3 red dice, 8 armour, 3 wounds *and* a better dial. Oh and they should cost less as well

 

Seriously, they are a bit meh but all these changes sound more like a 6 years old's Christmas list than a serious discussion

Let's first start by reflecting on the fact that threat 2 is very close to doubling your dice. That means we stop whining about them having only 2 dice. I will take threat 2 over an additional die any day, and these guys have 2.5!

Then we can agree that they are very fragile to mortal wounds, and may deserve a little protection there. An equipment to discard in order to cancel a wound would be a good idea, alongside with adding an equipment slot to the single golem. This would make them powerful without breaking the game

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I've been liking running multiple single tray Golems.  I feel like they are more efficient in that setup.  Threat 2/3 on a single tray getting a flank is pretty strong (that's 4.5 - 6.75 expected damage depending on runes, and with super luck -- it has a maximum hit of 18 damage).   They can always move and reform, so even though they lack the turns, they can generally line up a flanking charge without too much trouble.  Give it a try sometime - have 2 or 3 single tray ones out there running amuck, it's good!

 

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