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Old 02-13-2018, 07:10 PM   #1
dommer2029
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Default Tarantuloids

The latest issue of Ogrezine introduces some new enemies and provides 3 scenarios that use them. http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/products...mptrooper.html

I've only tried one of the scenarios so far, but it appears to be quite unbalanced. I'm hoping to either be corrected here, or that the author will update the article.

First, let's consider the value of the new units. A Tarantuloid howitzer is a regular howitzer, so that's easy: 2 AU or 12p. A light howitzer has the attack strength of a Missile Tank, but 0 movement and is destroyed on a D result. I'd say that's 1/2 AU or 3p. A Tarantuloid infantry (or "spider") has the attack value of 2 squads (2/1), but moves more slowly and has an effective lower defense value, since it is destroyed on a D result. I'd say its equivalent to a single normal squad: 1/3 AU or 2p.

Next, let's consider the scenarios.

In scenario 1, the Terrrans get 6 platoons (36p). The Terrans need to take out 7 of the 8 CPs to win, and have only 11 turns to do it (including the drop turn, in which they cannot move or attack). To achieve this, the platoons will need to split up, making them more vulnerable. At best, the Tarantuloids get 10 spiders, 2 light howitzers, and 1 howitzer (38p) over the first 3 turns, plus continuing spider reinforcements (2p/turn thereafter). So this is pretty balanced, at first glance.

In scenario 2, an Ogre player gets 16 extra spiders (32p) and the defender gets 12 extra squads (24p). However, since the spiders start off the board and have M1, they will quickly trail behind the Ogre and have no impact on the outcome of the battle. Meanwhile, the defenders 12 extra squads will be in front of the Ogre and - since the basic Ogre scenarios are quite balanced - should be enough to guarantee a defender victory.

In scenario 3, the Terrans get 9 platoons plus 4 howitzers (93p). The Tarantuloids get 16 spiders and 2 light howitzers (38p), plus continuing spider reinforcements (max of 12p/turn, but only to replenish losses). The Terrans win if they don't take too many losses OR if they cover at least 5 craters within the range of a howitzer. As a result, unlike in scenario 1, the Terrans do not have to divide their forces or advance into hostile territory. Since the Tarantuloids respawn at random locations, some fraction of the reinforcements will appear too far from the Terrans to actually return to battle. In this scenario, the time limit works against the Tarantuloids, since the Terrans can occupy one corner of the map and it is the Tarantuloid player that must spend time moving to the target.

Scenario 3 is the only one I've played, and it was a blowout for the Terrans. Clearly I don't understand how the last 2 scenarios are supposed to be balanced. As I stated at the beginning: If I'm missing something, let me know. Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:36 PM   #2
wolf90
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Default Re: Tarantuloids

This is exactly the type of feedback we want to see! Thank you for bringing this to the forums.

That said, one data point does not a trend make. And point values will not necessarily account for a balanced scenario.

Your comment about scenario 2 assumes that the Ogre will make a mad dash for the CP. That would be foolhardy, at least initially. It should hang back and allow the swarm to whittle away some defenders under the protection of the Ogre's guns to start.

Re: Scenario 3, the Retrieval Boats can't land until turn 4, and the HWTZ won't be available to fire until at least turn 6. That leaves a few chances for the Swarm to either A) take out a Retrieval Boat, and both HWTZ in it, or B) take out an off-line HWTZ.

But please, (everyone!), run through this a few (many!) more times and post your results. We've got a solid month to tweak it as needed.

Many thanks!

D.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:00 AM   #3
dommer2029
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Default Re: Tarantuloids

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
Your comment about scenario 2 assumes that the Ogre will make a mad dash for the CP. That would be foolhardy, at least initially. It should hang back and allow the swarm to whittle away some defenders under the protection of the Ogre's guns to start.

Re: Scenario 3, the Retrieval Boats can't land until turn 4, and the HWTZ won't be available to fire until at least turn 6. That leaves a few chances for the Swarm to either A) take out a Retrieval Boat, and both HWTZ in it, or B) take out an off-line HWTZ.
Your point about scenario 2 is well-taken. I suspect that if the Ogre moves more slowly, this allows the defenders to keep the fight farther from the CP, but then the defenders have to choose between striking the Ogre first or taking out Tarantuloids. So there are enough variables at play that it is worth trying out.

Regarding Scenario 3, it is played on the standard Ogre board and there is no pressure on the Terrans to penetrate deeply into the board. Every hex in a band 3 hexes deep at the Ogre's side of the board is 6 or more hexes away from the nearest crater. The Terran should have no difficulty in landing the howitzers safely.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:37 AM   #4
brettd
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Default Re: Tarantuloids

So, OK, I confess, I designed the scenarios.

I did playtest Scenarios 1 and 3 a lot (x12 each), and had some wins and loses with each. Luck can play a big factor around where the little dudes emerge, and that can quickly make a game go sideways. I played games where the Terrans won easily and games where I had no idea how they might have won. I didn't think about landing the How's in the clear area (interesting!), but I didn't lose too many How's, so I don't think it would have helped me.

I did not playtest 2 as much. My basic (off the cuff) strategy is, indeed, to have the ogre approach slowly in concert with the bugs. This will, of course "move the clock" against the ogre, as the time/distance relationship gets worse for it when it meets the enemy further from the CP.

That said... I'd love to hear more about how the game seems to go.

You could easily balance the scenarios (1&3) by having players elect to take fewer Terran infantry squads and see how low they could go and still win. For S2, you could "bid" on increases/reductions to the swarms in the bug forces with the lower number playing the bug/Ogre side.

-Brett
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:14 AM   #5
dommer2029
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Default Re: Tarantuloids

Hi Brett,

I like the idea of new units and scenarios that can be played on the Ogre map, so the Tarantuloids are good stuff, even if I am trying to pick apart Scenario 3.
Here's another thought: are the Terrans obligated to land the howitzers? The scenario doesn't say they have to. If they don't, then even if all 27 squads are destroyed, the Terrans still win. I'll bid 0 troopers and still take the win as Terrans!
As a third thought, the Terrans win if any howitzers cover at least 4 craters. It seems like it would be possible to have all the Terran forces (minus one retrieval boat) in one corner, and then land the second retrieval boat on turn 9 in any spot that covers at least 4 craters and is at least 3 hexes away from the nearest spider. The Terran stops attacking for the last few turns, preventing the Tarantuloid from gaining reinforcements that might be closer to the howitzers. The howitzers set up before the end of the game and the Terrans win.
It seems like, in your playtesting, you had some details about the scenario in mind that didn't make it to the final description. If the expectation is that the howitzers will be centrally placed, you could flip the victory conditions around: Terrans win if at least 9 (for example) craters are covered by active howitzers, Tarantuloids win otherwise.
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