So in the last post I started a post where I wanted to investigate if my theories are something that can hold up if I actually count up all special rules I consider to be special rules for each unit. This time I will continue it and discuss what conclusions I have come to.
First of all I should also include a disclaimer. As with my last post this is a highly subjective discussion. What to include and what to not include as a special rule is up to each of his/her own. My list is basically only valid for me. Except for when it isn’t… I come a little into that. But mostly it is so highly subjective that another person might come to a completely other conclusion.
Again I think I should not the theories;
Theory 1. At the start there was almost no special rules.
This is a rather simple one. No matter how I look at it I come to the conclusion that in average we have about 1 special rule per unit one way or another at the start. Now if you calculate harsher then it might be higher or slightly lower. Thing is, what I considered no special rules is actually, by my opinion, one per unit. That is a lot more than zero.
Theory 1 discarded. All units basically had special rules in the beginning.
Theory 2. Special rules inflation in the releases.
The next theory is regarding there are more special rules. That is for me the waves’ development.
UCM I got: 0,57, 2 and 1,5
Scourge: 1,43, 1,33 and 3
PHR; 0,75, 2,67 and 4
Shaltari: 1,43, 1,67 and 2
Resistance: 1,5 and 3,33
So in one case we see a question (UCM) if there are more special rules. But in the other cases there are more. Of course the amount of units added might change the numbers but I think it is rather clear that newer units have more special rules. I also think this is a conclusion most people would come to no matter how you calculate.
Theory 2 confirmed for Egge.
Here I need to clarify something. Just because there are more special rules doesn’t mean that it is bad. Just that there are more special rules. I think it have a lot to do with the amount of people with input and creative minds. New stuff is fun to add. For me it just don’t mean that a new special thing that add a total new layer to an army is a must with each unit released. It can just be a different played version of something old giving variation in both models and game style. But it doesn’t have to be a completely turn around.
To try to make a point. Valkyries are one of the coolest additions to DZC and especially a great help to PHR. But it basically meant that PHR went from one of the slowest infantry armies to one of the most mobile and least dependent on transports to get the infantry to the correct point. It is hard to explain how I mean in written words here. I love the Valkyries but wonder if they had to be fastest unit between buildings without a transport or would it have been enough just making them “faster” than immortals? I would in this case say yes but the question is a valid one. Does each new unit have to invent the wheel? In that I would say no.
There is also the matter that special rules tend to be used to make people think a unit is special. But we are playing a miniature game. Not a roleplaying game. As long as a unit behaves roughly as expected and looks cool you have gotten a long long way. Another PHR example;
Does the Medusa look like it should have cool special rules? Hell yeah!
Does she look like she is faster than a fast skimmer? Not to me.
Does she look like a unit that takes more AT shots than any other unit in the game to take out (it takes 36 AT E10 shots shooting directly at her to kill her in average if hitting on 2+ – assuming no healing and it takes 14 shots to take down a Hades)? No – I don’t really think so. It is a girl flying. No matter how I look at it she shouldn’t survive more AT fire than a Hades. Especially nor for half the cost. I don’t care if you can use machine guns as well. It is just strange.
So in this case I must come to the conclusion that there are more special rules among the newer units. There do seem to be something within the game where each new unit must be extremely different and add something new with new rules instead of just new variants of old. I’m not sure but I think a more moderate approach on special rules should be sufficient.
Theory 3. Newer units have better special rules.
So now it comes down to what I think is my most subjective part.
Is the Evasive rule better than skimmer? Yes.
Is DF better than higher armour – mostly yes.
Does flame unit get faster and making old flame units even less usable – hmmm.. yes.
I would say that many special rules have become more powerful than old ones. In some cases several new units using only old special rules are not as good. It is clearly more important to look at a units special rules than the stats themselves than on the old units. A gun’s special rule is more important than the stat. Of course this is highly biased and there are many units that does not have special rules at all. But I do feel that the newer rules are more frequent with special rules and do have better combination of them or together with stats. For instance the Raider. It just completely killed the Tormentor off. Flame on a transport is cool as long as it doesn’t become much much better than the army’s dedicated flame unit. Then it just feels wrong.
So I’m sorry and I understand the hate I might get because of this; Theory 3 confirmed to Egge.
Theory 4. More than 10 units have special rules they could go without.
This is also pretty self explanatory. I want to see if there are units I can think could just remove a special rule and they wouldn’t give a damn.
So I went thought the list I have made and came to the conclusion;
UCM; Snipers could decrease the amount of special rules. Evasive and dodge to be exact. Katanas could use removing the smoke launchers. Hazard suits could remove the DF.
Scourge; Destroyers could ditch the go through walls (I like that manning walls stop opponents from coming in). Screamer could be redone.
PHR; Valkyries could make it well without evasive and Jump jet pack for moving over buildings. Snipers could make it without evasive. Medusa absolutely have some rules she could be used without.
Shaltari; Braves and First borns could go without DF.
Resistance; HQ skimmer could be a non-skimmer (it is stupid big). Cyclones would still be highly usable without barrage. Freeriders without DF would be welcomed. Scout ATV could have less special rules.
With this list I feel I have been generally rather generous. There are many other things you could argue that they could be removed and the unit would still be used. But special rules are also created to make a unit feel special. So I came up to 13 and I think most people, being harsh would come with a much greater number. My list is of course highly subjective but I think most people would be able to find units they wouldn’t play different just because a special rule was removed.
Theory 4 – approved to Egge.
It should be highly noted the unfairness here. The special rules doesn’t stand alone in a unit. Most of them are in combination with stats. Freeriders evasive is not so bad until you understand they have a high speed movement. In the original rulebook you had to move smart with your units. The newer waves base more on being harder, faster, being able to do more stuff and more powerful attacks and more DP. The original idea of “if you are fast – you are easy to kill when hit” or “If you are tough to kill – you are slow” is basically ignored for later waves and we do have units that are “fast, hard to hit, can stand up to more damage”. I think this is the main reason we see so little percentages of the normal units.
Theory 5. Special rules are better than stats.
This has a basis in my opinion that special rules are harder to put points to and thus should be judged harder. In case of doubt the points should be set higher. Special means special and if everyone is special then no one is.
Well subjectively speaking. Yes I think that newer special rules are much more powerful than the first ones. I also think that we have seen a inflation in stat as well. More DP, higher Energy on weapons, more evasive, more speed and so on. We see more Ferrums than Sabres. And so on. I think that a lot of units out there are extremely much beter than their points and the reason we are not seeing so much of an issue is because of the brilliant restrictions built in when doing your army. But I think that many units could get a 10% price increase and still be highly used. Mostly because of special rules that doesn’t feel included in the points.
But with the data I have I got my list of “best units” at 1,68 special rules in average. The middle got 1,62 special rules and worse unit-list got 1,28 special rules. While I can see it shows a trend I don’t think it conclusive. Even for me. But I still suspect that basic units are not as good and I can’t really blame the special rules. More then, I suspect, a combination of stat increase and special rules.
Theory 5 – inconclusive.
So overall I would say that we do have seen some inflation. We see more special rules, better special rules while increase in stat. We also see several units being used all the time and many of the original units being beaten by the later units. Special rules are a good addition to make a unit feel special or when you need to make it better (UCM Falcon is a good example) but in combination with better stats I think it is pretty clear that the game is doing some of Games workshop’s inflation of rules. Problem is that now new units will be compared with the current best units by Hawk and the community and the level of Freeriders, Ferrum, Raider, Medusa, Caiman is not what I want to see. I want the new units to be compared with Tormentors, Sabres, Gun technicals, Hyperions and Ocelots. Else we will just see that the later units will just get special rules to keep up. But this isn’t easy. Most of the community screams nerf and cry if their precious units that are always in the army get a nerf in favour of the weaker units.
I love the game and it will be interesting to see how it develops and how DFC will be handling this matter as well.
I expect some hate here below in the comment section 🙂 but please remember that all this is my personal opinions. Let me have it.