Saturday, 26 January 2013

WarmaHordes - rating Casters

I've been thinking a lot about WarmaHordes lately. More specifically, I've been thinking a lot about how to grade models (and then primarily Warcasters and Warlocks) on a power level scale.

The thing that makes this a truly daunting prospect is the problem with looking at anything in isolation. Some of the very best models in the game are good only because of what they do for other models, or because of the support other models offer.

Today is Motivational Saturday here at Incarias Speaks.

That said, most models can be rated by what they do, and what they don't, within the context of their army, without considering every possible combination.

Warcasters and Warlocks, specifically, could be graded based on the following.

Own damage output. How good is the model at hurting the enemy? This is perhaps the simplest of the criteria, but often the least relevant. This fact aside, most Warlocks and Warcasters have some way of damaging the enemy. It can be through spells, ranged attacks or melee, or a combination thereof.

Thrown axe. Combination of ranged an melee. 'Nuff said.

This heading also includes the Caster's skill at increasing its damage output, and any support needed to maximise it. This will include available skills or damage buffs, and such things as access to channelers.

Own defensive capabilities. Sadly, a Caster's foremost task is to stay alive. Defensive capabilities obviously include the model's DEF and ARM, as well as its FOCUS or FURY stat, as well as any abilities that prevent the enemy from hurting it. It also includes any spells the Caster is likely to use to protect itself, rather than other parts of its army. It might also include things that allow the Caster to take advantage of cover or concealment, or keep their distance to the enemy.

This heading also includes access to defensive aid within the army.

Own mobility. The third axis on which to judge any model in WarmaHordes is its mobility. SPD is a great factor here, as are abilities that move or place the Caster. Things such as Parry or Acrobatics, that increase the number of lanes a Caster can travel by, also belong here.

This also includes ways for the Caster to move or be moved beyond its normal movement, by its own abilities, or though the use of other pieces.

Damage output buffs. How much can the Caster increase the damage output of the rest of the army? Anything that increases the STR, MAT or RAT of other models (or adds to damage rolls or attack rolls) goes here, as do things that decrease the enemy's DEF or ARM. This can mean spells, active abilities like feats or Special Actions, or passive abilities.

Maybe with the right damage buffs...?

A factor here is the resources and risk inherent in using these buffs or debuffs, as is the access to suitable buff targets within the army.

Defensive buffs. Anything that keeps the rest of your Caster's army alive goes here. ARM or DEF buffs, giving out cover or concealment, placing walls or structures or trenches, or plain reviving stuff that dies; all of it belongs under this heading. Anything that lowers your enemies' output also belongs.

As with output buffs, a factor is a suitable target. Another thing that factors is whether several parts of your army benefits, or just the one.

Mobility buffs. And this might be the big one. Getting your stuff to where it needs to be is paramount, and any Caster who can help with this is immediately much better for it. Simple SPD or movement buffs, place effects or advances out of activation go here. Giving out pathfinder, ghostly or flight also helps.

The other end of this stick is moving enemy models around (primarily closer, but sideways is good too, and occasionally, moving one model away opens up a lane to another).

And as with the other buff headings, suitable targets are a must.

Mobility debuffs. One of the most powerful groups of abilities in the game is that containing abilities that let you affect how the enemy moves. This can be effects that slow the enemy down, stop him from moving entirely, dictate in what direction he moves or even moves stuff for him.

Or, when eDenghra decides you're not going anywhere.

This is more important in scenario play, where preventing an opponent from being in or near the zone/objective/flag cn spell victory, but the simple act of keeping his models from killing yours is valuable enough.

FOCUS/FURY. Does the Caster have enough F/F to do what it wants in any given turn? Do its spells correlate to the number of 'Beasts or 'Jacks its F/F suggests? Are there spell synergies that take up more resources than are available?

Also, is the control area big enough for what the Caster does? And finally, what support is available from the army, to increase the F/F of the Caster, or circumvent a low stat, or further increase a high one?

Relevance. The final factor to be considered is the Caster's intended role. If all the previous headings are given a number from 1 to 100, this one should be given one between 1 and 5 (possibly; I haven't tried any of the mah yet). The higher the number, the higher the relevance of that specific heading.

Warning: each Witch of Garghast is armed!

So, eCaine, whose speciality is riddling the enemy Caster with holes, would get a 5 for Own offensive output relevance but a 1 for Mobility debuff relevance, since this isn't what he does.

Bringing it all together.
The final piece to the puzzle is to figure out an average.

We do this by multiplying each heading's power points by its corresponding relevance points, adding the whole thing together, and then dividing by the total number of relevance points. This gives a total number between 1 and 100.

I'll make another post with a fictitious example.

Concluding remarks
The tricky bit is to properly evaluate the numbers for each heading. This will be a matter of some sunjectivity, but I feel that, in theory, this is a workable formula. It might et evaluated and changed, since this is essentially theorytheoryMachine (and that's not a typo).

That't that.



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