Sept 22 BA FAQ: Clarification Request & Feedback for Game Balance

Home Forums Historical Bolt Action Sept 22 BA FAQ: Clarification Request & Feedback for Game Balance

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  • #188174
    Neely
    Participant

    Hey Everyone,

    This is one of my first posts in the new forum setup and I just want to say that tone is hard to convey, but my attempt is to be constructive and provide feedback to help make the BA  scene be a more healthy, balanced, and therefore, more fun scene to play in. I also want to state that BA is such a fantastic game that I enjoy playing as well as being a part of the BA community.

    That being said, I am having a hard time chewing on the most recent September  22′ BA FAQ and subsequent game balance ramifications: specifically revolving around “National Characteristics for the British and Commonwealth Armies” pg33.

    In short, the most recent FAQ states: “When building a force from the Western Desert book, British and Commonwealth armies get the basic traits from the Armies of Great Britain book (i.e. the free artillery observer in lists that allow them, and the barrage reroll) and then the National Characteristics from the Western Desert… … Example 2: An Indian force would have the free observer, the barrage reroll, and then both Unsurpassed Bravery and Manpower of the Empire”

    I have one request for clarification and based on this, one really critical and constructive feedback remark:

    Clarification Question: For using new units from Theatre books, the FAQ is clear/explicit: ” unless the rules in the unit’s entry say otherwise, new units in these books are limited to use for scenarios and selectors from that book only. Unless of course you get opponent approval, or Tournament Organizers’ approval.” However, FAQ does NOT explicitly mention or clarify on how to use alternative National rules or overall platoon rules/modifications from theater books in an open tournament. My question is: can the various Army/National rules in campaign/theater books be used in an open tournament? Like Indian national rules, or British Airborne or Canadian units gaining the stubborn trait for one point (from the Italy Underbelly Campaign Book)…etc?

    Rough Assessment of the Current Interpretation in the Midwest of USA: In the few tournaments I have played in the US (Adepticon, Chicago Dice Tourneys, Bug Eater, Tacticon, Genghis Con) the general interpretation from these events is that the British Players are allowed to use the various Commonwealth rules and platoon addition rules in an open tournament without permission.

    Ramification: In short, if this interpretation is true – it has made the BA British armies so significantly over-powered in game play, that I predict these changes will have a significant and very negative impact on the BA tournament scene… if left unchecked.

    Here is the breakdown of my reasoning:

    – If a player selects a Indian Commonwealth Platoon, they receive 200 pts in free and very useful units (100pt Artillery Observer, 100pts in a 10-man regular squad). In a 1000pts tournament, that means a British player has 20% more unit resources on average than their opponent.

    – On top of this, Indian Commonwealth Platoons can re-roll their morale for infantry units using the “Unsurpassed Bravery” rule…was this rule play tested with the British’s ability to have stubborn units? As the Soviets do not have a SINGLE stubborn unit in their army lists, I presume which is due to previous play testing of the soviet’s reroll moral army rule with stubborn units – the effect of which (I am guessing) is that rerolling stubborn units are OP and generally have to die to the last man….the German “33rd Waffen-SS ‘Charlemagne’ squad” basically get this rule, but at 17pts a person…

    – On top of this, British players are now allowed to make their Airborne HQ and weapons teams stubborn (from Italy’s Underbelly Theater Book)…if you make them Indian Airborne (say from the 44th Indian Airborne Division, now the HQ and Weapons Teams (Piat, Mortar, Sniper, etc) have reroll-able stubborn…basically more – dying to the last man units

    – On top of this, the Indian Commonwealth platoons also receive the repeat bombardment rule.

    – On top of this, it is generally agreed that the British Army have some of the best selection of units, vehicles, artillery, and tanks.. (Ghurkas, Landmattress, M3 Stuarts, 10-shot mmg 45pt jeeps, etc)

    No other nations get this much bonuses as well as broken rule synergy, on top of unit selection.

    I love this game and I understand if the game designer takes a “sit, wait, and see” approach to gather more data…but even at face value, this specific Army rule does no favors for the BA tournament scene.

    Just to re-emphasize my point and/or to have the community playtest/experience the OP-ness of these rules, I’ll throw out a few army list suggestions for folks to take at the BA tournament scene…maybe to win awards, but lose friends.

    Thanks for listening and again, my intent is to solicit positive change or at worse – at least get a constructive dialog going.

    – Neely

     

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Neely.
    • This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Neely.
    • This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Neely.
    #188176
    Neely
    Participant

    For those power hungry competitive gamers, here is some list ideas, just to cut through it all, and since Thanksgiving in the US is around the corner, lets call them “Spanksgiving” lists.

    Spanksgiving List #1:

    Indian 44th Airborne Division

    HQ – Vets Indian Airborne Stubborn (w/reroll) 3 man SMG squad

    3-4 Squads of Vet Indian Airborne Stubborn (w/reroll), throw in a couple smgs for fun.

    1-2 Vet Airborne Flamer squads Stubborn (w/reroll)

    1 Vet Piat Team Stubborn (w/reroll)

    1  Reg Landmattress Artillery Unit (ahh Multi-launchers, best 65pt or less in the game) w/ reroll moral

    1 45pt Reg Recce Airborne Jeep with 10-MMG shots (always pick twin mmg for just 10pts!)

    1 Tank or light tank of your choice (would suggest the good ol’ 115pt M3 Stuart, or again if you hate your friends  – make it a dual lmg hull M3)

    1-2 transports with MMGs

    1 FREE Artillery Observer w/ reroll moral

    1 FREE 10-man Reg Indian Rifle Squad w/ reroll moral

    OPTIONAL: If you really really hate your game buddies, add-in/substitute-in a airborne Gurkha squad or two. It was historical for the 44th Indian Airborne Division afterall…

    You can easily get 11-14 units at 1000pts with this list.

    #188179
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    Personal opinion – the FAQ is a total misread of the rule as written.

    As written, you replace one characteristic from AoGB with ONE characteristic (not national list of characteristics) from Western Desert.  You don’t get Unsurpassed Bravery AND Manpower of the Empire, you get ONE characteristic.  If there was an intent to change that specific ‘one characteristic’, that’s what errata are for, not FAQs.  Without an errata, this FAQ is just an error awaiting correction.

    Another change that should probably be made to that page is restricting it to the only ‘Commonwealth’ selector in the book – p99, 1940-1942 Commonwealth Infantry Brigade.  This kills any discussion of ‘Maori Gurkhas’ being created by combining a New Zealand characteristic and a selector that allows Gurkhas.

    #188180
    Neely
    Participant

    Stuart,

    Good start to the discussion, and I agree with your statements. I’ll add that if your assumption is deemed correct: “one characteristic for one characteristic” there is still a chance that a BA British/Indian player can select the one characteristic of “Manpower of the Empire” and still get 200pts of free units (1 art observer, and 1 free 10-man regular squad), which given all the other bonuses and unit selection that British players have, I still believe that makes them THE nation to play in a competitive scene with no other nations coming close. This is not even including other shenanigan’s like British guard units who can reroll order tests, yet don’t benefit from British national rules anyway, so sure – take the free 10 man regular squad anyway since you are using units that don’t benefit from the British national rules… and that is just one example of many.

    To be constructive and not just a wine-fest (which is not my intent), a simple ruling is having the “commonwealth” nation rules just be for theatre lists in the Western Desert book as you mentioned (so commonwealth nation rules are not for open play nor tournaments).

    On a personal note – I play British – In particular desert British with Indian 4th Division and Mid-War Italy British… lists, which were already fantastically strong to play, now made into the realm of stupidly fantastically strong. Example, I played that you have to choose between a free 10-man regular squad OR a free Artillery observer, but not both…and no ARVE or Landmattress Multiple Launcher BS or Ghurka BS, mind you. As a top tier player in my area, the FAQ ruling is such a degree that I am really stuck..do I play with these janky British FAQ rulesets in a competitive tournament environment, really sticking it to the other nations and really my only competition will be other players sporting similar British lists or maybe a Japanese list. Or do I play another nation knowing that other players in the tournament will now play these stupidly powerful British rules and despite my skill/ego, I am not sure I can compete against a 20% resource deficit against my opponent on top good unit selection choices and the other British national rules…..don’t get me started with 65pt multiple launchers either.  I know this is super presumptuous, but it is based on my experience and laurels in the BA tournament scene.

    I hope TO’s in BA tournaments make a ruling on this before the big GT events (sure, after playtesting a bit if need be, but seems clear to me – But I hope I am wrong).

    My personal side-bar question does stand: BA community what would you do if you have the presumption that the British National rules are now far and above better than other Nations rules? Do you play with these British rules, knowing they are OP at a tournament to remain competitive or move on to another nation/list knowing that you most likely will no longer be competitive against similarly skilled opponents, simply because of your non-British Nation list selection?

    #188187
    Nanashi
    Participant

    Another thing on the new FAQ: The new Gepanzerte’s armored cab is more expensive (45 points) than every other armored cab (30 points). Is this an error?

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Nanashi.
    #188189
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    @Nanashi, Vehicle Design Rules PDF (unofficial) suggests difference between soft skin and open topped should only be 35 points.  Looks like an error to me.

    It’s then only 20 points for the light AT gun, which should cost 50 points, and another 20 to upgrade to medium.

    Should probably be re-costed from scratch.

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