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Command unit: An idea to improve foot lords

Captain_OzCaptain_Oz Junior MemberPosts: 11Registered Users
I have thinking about this idea for quite a while. The post made by @glosskilos inspired me to finally post my thoughts on this issue.

Suggestion: Enable lords and heroes on foot to enter infantry units. This is called ”Commanding” a unit in any further mentions.

Reason behind the suggestion: Foot characters are not viable in the current and past metagame compared to characters with accompanying mounts. Their low speed and mass usually makes them easy targets for goon squads and characters on mounts.
The introduction of ”Commanders” could potentially increase the survivability and viability of characters on foot. This might help solving the inherent balance issue of characters on foot compared to those with horse-like mounts and flying mounts.

How does it work?

1. Click on a lord or a hero
2. Click on the new button called ”Command unit”
3. Select the targeted unit that you wish to command
4. The lord will start to run towards the center of the selected unit. Every X seconds the game checks where the center of the unit is and the lords destination is changed to match the new centre.
5. The lord enters the middle of the unit.
6. The potrait of the lord now placed ”on top” of the commanded unit and a "horn icon" is added according to figure 1.
7. Any command given to the unit will also affect the lord. The lord moves at the same speed as the unit and keeps the position in the middle of the unit, as if it was an ordinary soldier. The commanded unit moves at the slowest speed among the unit and the lord.
8. The lord cannot take any actions other than casting spells, using its special abilities and clicking on the ”Abandon unit” button, which stops the lord from commanding the unit.
9. The lord cannot be targeted as a target for ranged attacks, spells or melee engagements. Instead it functions as any of the other soldiers in the unit, except for its special abilities and separate statistics.
10. Any spell which is cast on the commanded unit is duplicated on the lord. This affects friendly buffs as well as enemy debuffs. Magic missiles and aoe abilities are NOT duplicated. Character abilities are NOT duplicated.
11. If either the unit or the lord starts routing, the unit and lord is separated and function as usual.
12. A symbol appears above the commanded unit, telling you and your opponent if it is commanded by a hero or a lord.
13. A lord or hero with stalk or unspottable will not show the commanding symbol until the lord is spotted. A lord or hero which becomes stealthed when the enemy has LOS of the commanded unit will remove the commanding symbol until the ”commander” (add this to the rest of the document!) becomes visible. The commanding symbol reappears when the commander becomes visible again.




Why is this useful?

1. Improves survivability of foot lords and heroes against focused ranged fire and goon squads as they are not directly targetable. No change in survivability against single target direct damage spells (spirit leech, soul stealer), but lost value due to spell duplication.
2. The ability to use strong, single target, buffs on both unit and lord (e.g. occan mind razor, fists of gork). Debatable whether or not healing can be used to heal both the unit and the lord with a single cast.
3. Improves the survivability of heroes and lords (commanders) with stalk. Check reason 13 in the paragraph above. A commander like Tretch could potentially become unspottable and disengage from the unit leaving the enemy wondering if he is still commanding the unit or not. Also, he could be stealthed before the enemy has vision of the unit.
4. Introduces a novel feature in the game that could increase immersion in the campaign/battles. This would make it more fresh and improve the lifespan of the title. Examples are: Alith Anar commanding a unit of shadow walkers would be very fun and nicely fit the theme of the faction. Grimgor Ironhide commanding his Immortulz. Sigwald leading the mirrorguard.



Suggested restrictions:

1. Lords and heroes cannot initiate ”Command unit” if the targeted unit is engaged in melee combat. The same is valid for a unit which is firing missiles.
2. Mounted/Monstrous characters cannot command units.
3. Huge lords or heroes such as Durthu and Kholek Suneater cannot command units.
4. Available "command" targets: Infantry and foot missile troops.
5. ”Command unit” has a 120s cooldown and a 60s cooldown for ”Abandon unit” starts when the lord enters the center of the commanded unit.]

NEDKIL™ for life! :D

Comments

  • keroro7keroro7 Posts: 166Registered Users
    if there was a rule in table top, i'm no claim about that. but if I remember right, i heard that the table rules are affected by the lord leadership when the combined units are defeated. if such a part is implemented, i don't care.
  • eumaieseumaies Senior Member Posts: 3,571Registered Users
    Creative thinking. i'm not really convinced yet it's worth the added complexity and potential gaming, but on the other hand if they did a good job of it in WH 3 I'm sure i'd be cool with it.

    At the end of the day, it seems as if the foot lords would be really strong at warding off enemy characters and large targets because they would automatically deal hits and damage while taking almost no hits in return.
  • Lord_DistamorfinLord_Distamorfin Posts: 161Registered Users
    This is definitely a good framework of how to add embedding heroes into the game. A few things that I would do differently:

    A. Allow mounted lords/heroes to join units of a like mount (Mounted Wight King can join with Blood Knights, Bretonnian Lord on a Pegasus can join with Pegasus or Hippogryph Knights).

    B. Add unit captains back into the game so that the lord/hero has someone to replace in the unit. A unit of Empire Greatswords would be lead by a visually distinct Greatsword Captain (like in previous total war games) and an embedded lord/hero would then replace the unit captain.

    C. Lords/heroes must be embedded at the beginning of the fight (or alternatively on the campaign map) and can only choose to leave the unit during the fight. I think the option to allow lords/heroes to join units in the middle of a battle would be overly clunky. Plus requiring you to make the choice of where to embed your lord/hero before the beginning of combat more closely embodies the tabletop. (And if unit captains are added back into the game you run into the issue of two "leader" models in one unit.)

    D. Add specific buffs for the unit with the embedded lord/hero in addition to any aura buffs the lord/hero gives. Many lords in tabletop gave specific buffs to units they were embedded into (Slann made units Stubborn, Grimgor gave his Black Orcs Hatred Against All, etc.). Also give the lord/hero specific buffs for being embedded within a unit (Look Out Sir!- basically a missile resistance only applied to the lord/hero).

    E. Maintain separate health between the unit and the lord/hero. Ideally, every model of each unit would have its own ascertainable health bar, but that's likely not possible with the current engine. But the embedded lord/hero should still have its own health bar independent from the unit.

  • Captain_OzCaptain_Oz Junior Member Posts: 11Registered Users
    Thank you all for your replies!
    Some things seems a bit fuzzy so I will clarify: A character commanding a unit will keep all of its stats intact, including hp, and they are separate from the unit it commands. To answer some of your points @Lord_Distamorfin , due to balance reasons I wanted to keep the mechanic streamlined.
    Allow mounted lords/heroes to join units of a like mount (Mounted Wight King can join with Blood Knights, Bretonnian Lord on a Pegasus can join with Pegasus or Hippogryph Knights).

    If e.g. mounted characters could command mounted units, why would you take a foot lord? A mounted lord would be faster and have a reasonable survivability as well. However, if it turns out that foot characters are viable compared to mounted ones after playtesting, I would agree with you.
    Add specific buffs for the unit with the embedded lord/hero in addition to any aura buffs the lord/hero gives. Many lords in tabletop gave specific buffs to units they were embedded into (Slann made units Stubborn, Grimgor gave his Black Orcs Hatred Against All, etc.). Also give the lord/hero specific buffs for being embedded within a unit (Look Out Sir!- basically a missile resistance only applied to the lord/hero).

    I support auras and buffs to units if it does not introduce any balancing issues. Grimgor Ironhide is a good example of a lord that can be made competitive and very fun to play if auras would be added.
    NEDKIL™ for life! :D
  • WojmirVonCarsteinWojmirVonCarstein Posts: 414Registered Users
    This is a very good idea. The only issues I have with Aura's is they lead to blobbing.

  • WunderKatzeWunderKatze Posts: 205Registered Users
    edited June 12
    This sounds like a balance nightmare.

    You get to basically multiply your leads health multiple times over while their offense remains unchanged.

    Say hello to tanky assassin lords, immortal mage lords and the like.

    This is a horrible idea.


    I was thinking instead foot lords could purchase a retinue. Like a drummer and standard bearer for the empire general etc etc. Something to give them utility and a buffer while not causing to many problems.
  • Captain_OzCaptain_Oz Junior Member Posts: 11Registered Users
    This sounds like a balance nightmare.

    You get to basically multiply your leads health multiple times over while their offense remains unchanged.

    Say hello to tanky assassin lords, immortal mage lords and the like.

    I don't agree, the added survivability comes with flaws. The character will not fight any units until some of the infantry in the front and/or back row are dead or displaced. So you get a 'tanky assasin hero' which is not killing anything intially. This seems like a waste of gold to me.

    Also, the added survivability depends on the quality of the infantry the character is commanding. Once the infantry routs or dies, the charcter becomes exposed. You can only start commanding a unit not engaged in combat and at this point that is very few units. Because of the low speed on foot characters, there will be no way to escape enemy characters and/cav units.

    In addition to that, single target low model damage spells (e.g. spirit leech) will get duplicated on the commanded unit. This means that the spell will affect BOTH the infantry and the character, which is equivalent to two casts for the cost of one.

    I agree with your concern that foot mages might become a problem. Mages only need to survive, so being able to command imfantry might make them too tanky. I have been thinking about removing the ability to cast spells and/or use spell-related abilities (e.g. bound spells) once you command a unit. I had not made up my mind before posting, so I didn't include it in the OP.
    NEDKIL™ for life! :D
  • glosskilosglosskilos Posts: 1,084Registered Users
    I still prefer the idea of each lord and hero having a range of different units they can join in the army selection screen instead of in game, that changes based on their mount of choice.

    For example, a saurus scar veteran could join saurus or temple guard while on foot, cold ones while mounted on cold one, and must fight alone while on carnosaur.

    Or a skink chief could join skirmishers when on foot, or terradon riders when mounted.

    Some lords could even have access to unique rors that can only be brought as a unit to accompany them, eg. grimgor’s immortulz.

    Making lords untargetable when attached to a unit is exactly what should be in this game. It’s absolutely absurd that you can snipe foot lords with cannons or missile units and route them before they even reach the fight.
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