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Albi86

Are direct templates unconstitutional?

46 posts in this topic

ARO and FtF rolls are a core mechanic of Infinity, so to say part of the "constitution" of the game.

If Ortega shoots Angus with its combi and Angus shoots back, the battle of intents will be resolved with a FtF roll.

Let's say that both hit but Angus prevails. This would symbolize that f.x. Angus was faster, so Ortega was shot before completing his action (e.g. while moving, since everything that happens in an order is simultaneous).

Now, if Ortega had a flamethrower, even if the situation is still the same, the resolution would be quite different. If Ortega had to move to get in range before flaming, the lack of FtF denies the possibility that Angus shot Ortega while approaching, which is a core mechanic of the game. It also collides with the concept of simultaneous resolution of the order, since it implies that Angus cannot do anything to prevent or before Ortega flames, he can only act in response to that.

I'll make a concrete example:

Ortega moves.

Angus shoots in ARO.

Ortega flames.

Now, due to the simultaneous resolution, the core game mechanics grant Angus the possibility to shoot Ortega at any point of his movement, even while Ortega is out of range for his flamethrower. Yet he can't.

Am I the only one seeing this?

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DTWs do change the nature of an encounter, but this is an intentional design decision. You can see the same overall effect in, for example, the CC rule Berserk. It explicitly converts the CC attack into a pair of normal rolls. 

Direct templates are very powerful in this way, but the risk to the user is also increased. Angus can only evade the attack if he chooses to dodge, but once Ortega declares an attack with the flamethrower, his life is effectively in his opponent's hands. If Angus chooses to shoot instead, Ortega is freely giving his opponent an unopposed normal roll. 

I would also encourage you to look at the "all at once" rule/section; in the case of something like BS vs. CC, the skills are taking place at different points along the movement path, but all movement still happens regardless, and the skills are still treated as simultaneous. 

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I'm aware that it is a design choice, I'm just saying that a design choice clashing with the core rules is not a good one.

I'm glad you brought up the CC vs BS case because it's a great example. If Father Knight declares Assault and Ortega wins the FtF with a shoot ARO, FK doesn't get to move because his entire action has been countered. So this situation is actually in line with the core rules.

Treating this case like the flamethrower, Ortega would be automatically locked in CC and could only declare ARO valid in CC.

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Nope, just the CC attack. The Father Knight will sill be in place to beat poor Ortega with righteous fury on the next order (and without BS, this time!)

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Yes, you're right, I got confused with Engage.

My point still stands though: Ortega can react to the action rather than its final state. If Ortega wins the FtF roll he doesn't receive damage from the CC attack.

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What was the difference if Ortega won the CC FtF? Ortega wouldn't receive any damage.

And before you say it's highly improbable, mu Kitsune is normally killed in CC.

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What was the difference if Ortega won the CC FtF? Ortega wouldn't receive any damage.

And before you say it's highly improbable, mu Kitsune is normally killed in CC.

There's no difference. My point is that Ortega can choose at what point of the action to intervene. He can shoot FK on his movement or he can counterattack in CC. Ortega has a chance to go on FtF and win the exchange. This is in accordance with the core rules of infinity.

If Father Knight has DTW instead Ortega cannot choose to go FtF and win. At best he can hope for a tie. And it doesn't make sense because, according to the core rules, Ortega could shoot father Knight on his movement and win the exchange by winning the FtF.

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Do you know you can simply DODGE a DTW, right? Oh, man... Dodge is unconstitutional! You cannot simply avoid my wrath with a roll!

Edit:

The game has these rules. The core have almost been the same for ten years, what you claim to be a problem is simply an aspect of the game to consider.

 

From your complain, i think you play with way too much scenery on the table. DTW are deadly, but you shouldn't be able to cross the table without any distress...

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What prevents Ortega from dodging to avoid the template weapon?

The DTW mechanic is very important in Infinity because it forces you to make use of a wider variety of skills and make decisions based on probability and risk, plus it also increases the lethality of combat such that it doesn't necessarily favour the one with the best shooting ability.

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45 minutes ago, Mahtamori said:

What prevents Ortega from dodging to avoid the template weapon?

Exactly.

 

Model A (active), declaratiion of 1 Short skill - Move into Base-to-Base.

Model B (reactive), ARO declaration: Shoot a DTW.

Model , declaration os 2nd Short Skill: Dodge.

 

Now, model A reaches BtB with model B. If the dodge was successful, unharmed - if unsuccessful, takes an ARM / BTS roll. Then spend next Order to slice & dice.

What's "unconstitutional" there...?

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1 hour ago, Mahtamori said:

What prevents Ortega from dodging to avoid the template weapon?

Nothing, except that Ortega is the one using the DTW.

 

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As a new player to Infinity I must agree that when I read about DTWs and how they functioned I was a little surprised. I didn't really see the need to have these resolved any differently than other BS attacks.

I decided to look at those encounters in a way that might explain it. When there is a ftf with two combi's the winner doesn't necessarily prevent the loser from shooting. The loser simply misses. I look at DTWs as covering such a large area that if your opponent chooses to shoot back the trained shooter isn't going to miss with a flamethrower and you take an automatic hit. I feel that to make short range weapons or CC attacks effective and worthwhile they need some advantages. Combi's etc have +3 at short range while shotguns are +6, and DTWs are just an extension of this. Instead of say +9 they made them an auto-hit.

Infinity seems to be a game with great depth and balance. To maintain that balance and give players a plethora of options to choose from shit is going to get complicated. Rules are not always going to feel simple or streamlined. That line between a deep game and simple game-play can't be an easy one to find. From my early days with Infinity I feel the game is a breath of fresh air. CB seems to have made the game they want instead of streamlining it simply for the sake of appealing to the masses for the revenue it would undoubtedly generate. 

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4 hours ago, Dragonstriker said:

Nothing, except that Ortega is the one using the DTW.

I though Father Knight was the hypothetical DTW user. Oh well. What prevents the FK from dodging?

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Just be glad this isn't N2 when DTWs were -6 to dodge! 

But yes, I fail to see the problem as you can dodge if you think you're about to be direct templated and make it a f2f roll. DTWs are an important short range deterrent and a counter to ODD/Camo.

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9 hours ago, Albi86 said:

Now, due to the simultaneous resolution, the core game mechanics grant Angus the possibility to shoot Ortega at any point of his movement, even while Ortega is out of range for his flamethrower. Yet he can't.

Umm, he absolutely can shoot Ortega at ANY point in his movement. What he can't do is stop Ortega from shooting. Cause even if he gets a killing blow, because it all happens so fast Ortega is still going to be able to squeeze off his flamethrower and roast Angus.

This forces you to make choices with DTWs. DTWs are basically a short range counter to shooting units, because they have to choose between shooting you or dodging out of the way. Or if the ranges are long enough, you might be weighing the possibility that maybe he isn't close enough to flame you, or maybe he is and you'll just die horribly.

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1 hour ago, Barakiel said:

If the concern about DTWs has to do with game design, consider the following:
A Camo model in Partial Cover using suppressive fire imposes a -9 penalty to his opponent.  A TO or ODD wearer imposes -12.  These models can be purchased for roughly 1.5 to 3x the cost of a standard linetrooper, and a standard linetrooper has very little likelihood of overcoming them in either the active or reactive turn.

However, these suppressing models are highly vulnerable to templates.  The template either means they will take a hit if they continue to Suppress, or they must break Suppression by Dodging to stay safe from the direct template weapon.

If DTWs utilized a face-to-face roll, it would remove this effective counter. 

The same is true for linked teams.  They receive superior stats in face-to-face encounters by virtue of higher BS, higher Burst values, and the ability to ignore many modifiers through 6th Sense.  However, by being forced to stay in proximity to one another, these strengths are balanced by their vulnerability to Direct Template Weapons.

So the fact that Chain Rifles, flamethrowers, etc. don't prompt a face-to-face roll is a balancing factor.  It takes units or situations that can casually stack face-to-face odds in their favor, and gives them something to be wary of.  If you make every encounter dependent on a face-to-face roll, you lose the tactically flexible nature of many units.  Suddenly, the game now has "best units" and "worst units", rather than "units that are good in some situations, and not in others" which is the factor that gives Infinity play a great deal of depth.

I, for one, enjoy depth.

Second this while there are other ways to deal with this situation (Spec fire grenades. try to get around if the table allows) they are all very order inefficient so it would require a large expenditure of resources to deal with them if direct templates didn't exist. Camo/TO camo is already such a powerful rule if direct templates worked like F2F rolls I feel the game would devolve into just cramming as many Camo/TO Camo and MSV's as possible into a list and hoping you are the lucky one with those F2F rolls.

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The flip side here is true also. If templates needed to resolve a F2F roll against someone's BS, then suddenly Impetuous' lack of Partial Cover and the generally low BS of warband units would be crippling. BS9 Shaolin wouldn't stand a chance. How would this theoretical change be countered... By giving templates a rangebands? Upping their burst? But then suddenly they would compete with shotguns, assault pistols and other dedicated BS-based close range weapons. Not to mention that hitting 3 models with a template and rolling F2F with them is basically identical to splitting your burst with a Combi Rifle, just with worse rangebands and a maximum of one hit per model.

So I think there are a lot of complications if templates utilized face to face. The game is well designed around direct templates standing apart in terms of mechanics.

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1 hour ago, Barakiel said:

If the concern about DTWs has to do with game design, consider the following:
A Camo model in Partial Cover using suppressive fire imposes a -9 penalty to his opponent.  A TO or ODD wearer imposes -12.  These models can be purchased for roughly 1.5 to 3x the cost of a standard linetrooper, and a standard linetrooper has very little likelihood of overcoming them in either the active or reactive turn.

However, these suppressing models are highly vulnerable to templates.  The template either means they will take a hit if they continue to Suppress, or they must break Suppression by Dodging to stay safe from the direct template weapon.

If DTWs utilized a face-to-face roll, it would remove this effective counter. 

The same is true for linked teams.  They receive superior stats in face-to-face encounters by virtue of higher BS, higher Burst values, and the ability to ignore many modifiers through 6th Sense.  However, by being forced to stay in proximity to one another, these strengths are balanced by their vulnerability to Direct Template Weapons.

So the fact that Chain Rifles, flamethrowers, etc. don't prompt a face-to-face roll is a balancing factor.  It takes units or situations that can casually stack face-to-face odds in their favor, and gives them something to be wary of.  If you make every encounter dependent on a face-to-face roll, you lose the tactically flexible nature of many units.  Suddenly, the game now has "best units" and "worst units", rather than "units that are good in some situations, and not in others" which is the factor that gives Infinity play a great deal of depth.

I, for one, enjoy depth.

I'm so glad someone finally gave a meaningful answer rather than the plentiful "Brawndo's got electrolites, it's what plants crave" above.

I don't question DTW ignoring CH/ODD. That would affect a secondary rule (modifiers) rather than a core rule (shoot vs shoot FtF). I personally don't see a big issue with DTW working like shotguns, with the difference of 1) in FtF always +3 BS that ignores Smoke and CH/ODD MODs and 2) auto-hit on normal rolls only. IMHO all template weapons should have a -3 to dodging, since they're targeting an area and it's understandably more difficult to evade them.

To me that's a world of difference. In a game with a hefty ruleset like Infinity it is important to have a streamlined structure with core rules -> modifiers -> exceptions (Infinity also has exceptions on exceptions, but that's another story). A secondary rule/modifier should build upon rather than wreck the core mechanics. This makes the game easier to balance, easier to understand, easier to enjoy.

I also enjoy the depth but I have a different view on the subject. As a strategy game based on comparing dice rolls to stats, Infinity is ultimately a game about stacking odds. Easily available stuff that always auto-hits is basically an ode to stupidity and creates successful abominations like the Auxilia spam. 

So, welcome be DTW but I'm not sure about the current implementation. I think a situation like the one I suggested above is more equilibrated.

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Current implementation?   More like only implementation.   DTW have always been this way.  They were already dumbed down for some folks so they Dodge easier    

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1 hour ago, Albi86 said:

rather than the plentiful "Brawndo's got electrolites, it's what plants crave" above.

Hrmm... :unsure:

1 hour ago, Albi86 said:

I don't question DTW ignoring CH/ODD. That would affect a secondary rule (modifiers) rather than a core rule (shoot vs shoot FtF).

You probably should question it, because Direct Template Weapons do not actually ignore Camouflage and Hiding skills nor visibility MODs - they actually still get applied purely mechanically, but don't matter. If you move Direct Template Weapons to roll on an ability you need to specify that they ignore Mimetism/ODD, such as is the case for Intuitive Attack, if you wanted them to ignore Mimetism/ODD etc. 

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11 hours ago, IJW Wartrader said:

To be blunt, so are Normal Rolls.

Aww man!

I'm deaf with tinitus after that mic drop :P

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1 hour ago, Albi86 said:

 That would affect a secondary rule (modifiers) rather than a core rule (shoot vs shoot FtF).

So, welcome be DTW but I'm not sure about the current implementation. I think a situation like the one I suggested above is more equilibrated.

How do you determine just what a Secondary or Core rule is? Modifiers are a core part of the game just as much as Face to Face is. But the skills that give them perhaps aren't. Of course Normal rolls are also a core part of the game. 

As for the balance of the rules with your suggested changes I don't agree. You've either weakened DTWs vs. Groups of Troops or substantially increased the Survive ability of your DTW troops. This amounts to a substantial change to the role of DTWs in the game and would involve a mass overhaul of all the unit pricing.

You also haven't addressed some of the rules questions that naturally arrive. Off the top of my head:

  • If DTWs become ITWs they either increase or decrease the effective range of the template because of the range first.
  • If DTWs don't become ITWs  how do they work? Do they still lay down their template and then apply modifiers inside the template. how do Range Bands work inside of a template? Normally there are only 8" bands. The templates themselves are not in 8" Multiples. Are we rewriting a core rule to accommodate this?
  • How do DTWs interact with Link Teams/groups of troops now? Is it treated like an ITW where there is a primary target? Or is it more like a dodge where one attack roll is compared to all other attack rolls?
  • If we're 'streamlining rules' like this why would these template weapons auto hit on normal rolls? Nothing in the game does this right now. 

 

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Edited because I am a noob and didn't understand the difference.

 

 

 

 

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