Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
groggydog

A Standardized 500-pt Format from Imperial Discipline

Recommended Posts

It is with great pleasure that I can finally release my recent pet project out into the wild: a playtested, standardized 500-pt, 75-minute format for Legion. I see people asking all the time what they should do below 800 points, and with this guiding document I think we've got something really solid both to bring some novelty to veteran players and help draw in newer players.

Please let me know your thoughts - I try to keep all my posts in one thread so it's not too spammy, but I really like this format and would love to hear from forum-goers about what they think!

https://imperialdiscipline.blog/2019/06/04/creating-a-500-point-format-for-legion/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think it's a good start, but I feel that removing the battle Card system sacrifices one of Legion's better innovations. Allowing both players a way to exercise a degree of control over the battlefield and objective feels a lot more engaging than just rolling a dice to determine mission. You'd probably need to adapt the existing cards to create a new deck, sort of like what Operation: Take the Hill did (But randomized instead of a chart, of course).

 

Edit: Just thought I'd make my actual thoughts a little clearer, since I realized I kind of glossed those over; I've been hoping the community or FFG would release a more refined format for small games for a while. I look forward to seeing how this develops.

Edited by Squark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

For beginners/casual play, this is a solid basis.  I do tend to agree with @Squark somewhat.  My main issue is in the static deployment zones. 

I'd prefer to see Disarray and Major Offensive adjusted to fit a 3x3 area and then adjust Fog of War to take into account those set ups (divide the board along the diagonal for Major Offensive and make four separate quadrants of "no fire" zones for Disarray).

Then roll off for Deployment using a black attack die: Hit is Battle Lines, Blank is Major Offensive, Crit/Surge is Disarray.

I'm going to try out the format this weekend and toy around with added deployment options and report back with how it goes.

Edited by FSD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Squark said:

I think it's a good start, but I feel that removing the battle Card system sacrifices one of Legion's better innovations. Allowing both players a way to exercise a degree of control over the battlefield and objective feels a lot more engaging than just rolling a dice to determine mission. You'd probably need to adapt the existing cards to create a new deck, sort of like what Operation: Take the Hill did (But randomized instead of a chart, of course).

I agree with you to an extent. Part of the first round of creating this format was wanting to keep it simple, and I found that there were more unknowns about changing deployments and conditions than I liked. I think there's absolutely room for them in the future, but I also think that as of right now this format works really well as more of a quick, basic format where fewer things have to happen before the game itself starts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Couple of other thoughts off the top of my head. Just to be clear since I know intent can be lost on the internet, these aren't requests for immediate changes. I'm just going off past experiences with small games during the operations.

-2 Support/Special Forces slots feels like it could get spammy. The 5th corps slot also feels excessive. Dropping down to only 1 special forces slot would also make entourage more special, although the lack of any rebel commanders with entourage makes this a little awkward

-Related to the above; During Operation: Take the Hill, Vader+Boba Superfriends proved to be a bit of a problem. I'm a tad worried what someone could do with 2 commanders and an operative slot. Perhaps 1 mandatory commander and then a flex slot that can be a commander or operative? On the other hand, if such lists became too problematic even with that limit, you could allow people only 1 commander or operative, with the operative being promoted to commander much like what happens if you lose all commanders. More testing is probably needed before any changes are made, though.

Edit: To clarify the seeming contradiction between the two points above: I have concerns about letting players build too tall or to wide, to use a term from 4x video games. Small games can magnify the strenths of such strategies, to the detriment of more balanced armies.

-Some command Cards may need adjusting. Leia's 1-pip is going to struggle to hit much of anything with fog of war. Conversely, Master of Evil is truly dumb on a 3x3 board, capable of supressing most of an opponent's list while also giving Vader a valuable dodge token.

-Fog of War feels unrealistically binary and potentially exploitable. I do think some sort of limitation on turn 1 long range attacks on such a small boardis necessary; Without one, Bossk+Death Troopers+DLT have a truly horrifying alpha strike. Conversely, though, your version feels like it favors short ranged units a bit too much (Fleet troopers, Snowtroopers, and the Emperor all would love the ability to double move turn 1 with no thought to incoming fire that turn. Limting range to a maximum of 3 on turn 1 seems like a good compromise, and also allows for more flexible deployment zones.

Edited by Squark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, NeonWolf said:

I'm curious what you think your version offers over Operation: Take the Hill?  Could you please provide an objective comparison of the two? 

While Take the Hill did offer some fun options, it definitely had its problems that would need to be adjusted for a long-term tournament format. Secure the Drone was unpleasant to play, and seemed to favor the empire in many cases. Infiltrate might change that, but not for the better. A lot of the deployment choives were also rather finicky (Going against the OP's stated design goal of simplicity), and might have balance issues. And finally, Master of Evil broke War Weary so badly it wasn't funny. At least for the person on the receiving end.

 

In general, Take the Hill's setup phase haf a fair number of traps a player could fall into that weren't immediately apparent to new or casual players, and could make for a lot of negative play experiences. Or at least, that was my group's take on it.

Edited by Squark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Squark We only played a few games of it in my group, at it was before half of the current units were released, so it could be an issue now. It was fun at the time and we might give it another try soon.

After glancing over @groggydog suggested deployments, they look too much like 40k for my taste.  Part of the appeal of Legion is the uniqueness of every game due to the Battle Card system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Myself and two friends are using these rules to play small games to learn Legion. We've come from GW background so don't have any issues with the deployments/scenarios, though i can see that it lacks some of the variety of the full game.

Definitely good for a starter/slow grow league as you can start with one half of a core set and another unit (plus you get to start of with Luke/Vader chopping stuff up with a light saber, which is fun!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

So, since I'm unsure where we would provide feedback, I'm dabbling in a little thread necromancy.

 

We've played a few games locally, and while I wouldn't call our findings definitive, I'll try to point out a few concerns that have been raised;

1) Fog of war is frustrating to play with and can feel unfair, especially if one person is out activated. At the same time, discouraging static gunlines is very important. A couple of possible improvements come to mind. A turn-1 range limit (Either the limited visibility condition or a weaker version) could work, but one thing I noticed is that with fog of war is mostly just an extended setup phase unless someone holds a shock unit like Luke, Boba, or a wolf pack of bikes in reserve. Perhaps increasing deployment space would eliminate the need for fog of war all together?

1a) Leia and Veers really hate losing their 1st command card to fog of war. If it's kept, an exemption for them is probably in order.

2) Deathmatches are boring and can easily devolve into two gunlines shooting each other. While it will only show up one in three games, that's far too often. Replacing that objective with a second territorial control mission would be preferable

3) Fog of war (and any alternative measure) and the low points limit make Luke, the Emperor, and Vader (Probably. We haven't tested Vader yet) very, very poweful. That's not entirely undesirable, since they are some of the star attractions of the game, but it is somewhat worrying from a balance perspective. I also wouldn't want Leia, Han, and other squishy heroes to be pushed out of the game. Palpatine is the one I'd really be worried about- The ability to wipe out multiple units in a single activation is very, very devastating when that could be 40% of your army, and the ability to use wounds as resources is potentially gamebreaking when limited return fire is combined with mitigation shenanigans from guardian and medical droids. Granted, this is still from a small sample size, but it was definitely worrying.

4) Regarding the choice of deployment zone. It might be advisable to limit players to choosing from just two sides of the board (instead of four, which can happen of you're playing on a board that can be rotated or a table with easy access to all four aides). This makes building the game board easier, as you don't need to think about ensuring all four sides of the square board are balanced in terms of cover and sightlines.* Or give the player who doesn't get to pick deployment zones a barricade or two to shore up their side (Rule of thumb when choosing your board position in a competitive wargame is to pick the aide that gives your opponent the least cover).

 

*It's much easier to pick the best side of four than it is to keep all four sides in mind as you set up the board since moving any piece of terrain to improve one side affects the other three.

Edited by Squark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I don't like the fog of war rule. It favors close ranged units too much.

Instead you could limit visibility to range 3 in round 1?

Or maybe even better: Half all attack dice pools on turn 1. This way Veers and Leia can still use theit 1 pip cards and the player with higher range on his units can use that advantage to supress hostile close range units without killing them.

Edited by Staelwulf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like everything about it. 1 core set and 2 expansions is enough to play. Mission setup doesn't take 50 years.

Nothing against Legion overall but I truly feel like it has stumbled upon some "worst of both worlds" things between newer editions of Warhammer 40k and historical Napoleonics. This looks like it would at least partly alleviate some of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone for the feedback and comments. I'm hoping to release a "V 1.1" sometime soon, and I'll be taking a lot of this into account. Feel free to keep commenting with your thoughts. I promise I'm reading every bit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...