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Jordon

Injured Workers Act

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Seems like anytime Toni/M&SU is mentioned, your always seeing this ability get brought up. It seems like were not achieving a good balance if we locking away abilities that we deem so good/necessary that mandates the inclusion of IWA.

It always feel like grit is not worth it unless your getting it immediately. It's rare that I see reports of grit getting used due to models actually unlocking it naturally via hitting half health.

Then we have Injured Workers Act which makes whatever model it's on to become a mandatory inclusion. General consensuses is that removing it from Toni was a giant nerf to not only her but the M&SU as a whole. 

 So it appears like there is a disconnect here. Grit feels like it should be worth it on it's own but I'm not getting the sense that it actually is. Injured workers act shouldn't be mandatory, nor should it have such a massive impact on how the M&SU operate. 

So the big question I'm posing to people is

  1. In a world where Injured Workers Act doesn't exist. Does Grit feel worth it? Is a typical M&SU model worth his cost with Grit being locked away until half health? Or does M&SU work good on it's own, and become exceptional with Girt?
  2. If we were to remove Injured Workers Act entirely, how should M&SU be compensated?

 

To me, we seem to have more discussions around IWA rather than Grit - which is the actual theme wide ability. One ability shouldn't be required, regardless of whether its "needed to get the crew to function" or "makes the crew way more awesome than they should be". It seems like it's nearly an impossible task to keep balanced. 

  • A model should be valid regardless of Grit
  • Grit should be a slight boost to an already good model
  • IWA shouldn't be a requirement, otherwise it should go away entirely and we should look at making Grit function properly
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I ask all of this because I look at Toni and I see that her Grit radically changes how she plays. It has a huge impact on adrenaline production as well as damage output via her Df trigger.

The big question to this is whether Toni is subpar without her Grit and only gets good once she gets it. Or whether she's okay without, and gets amazing with Grit. I have a feeling it's one or the other, and either of them is a problem.

Then you factor in Injured Workers Act, which in either scenario, makes Amina a requirement, which is really poor design and it sucks having to keep everyone anchored to a single model - and a henchmen non the less.

So then I look at the other models and i'm seeing similar scenarios.

Howard Langston - Only good with Grit, or too good with Grit? It feels like he's only worth his points in the context of Grit - at least in a M&SU list.

Gunsmiths - Same question. Are they balanced around always having a built in suit? Or are they mediocre, only made decent through Grit?

 

The only Grit I find Meh, is (Dash). However the more I think of it, the more "Meh" should be exactly what were striving for. Grit (Dash) hardly seems to make or break a model but is still a handy little boost. To me that seems to be the sweet spot. Good without Grit, and slightly better with it.

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21 minutes ago, Jordon said:

Seems like anytime Toni/M&SU is mentioned, your always seeing this ability get brought up. It seems like were not achieving a good balance if we locking away abilities that we deem so good/necessary that mandates the inclusion of IWA.

It always feel like grit is not worth it unless your getting it immediately. It's rare that I see reports of grit getting used due to models actually unlocking it naturally via hitting half health.

Then we have Injured Workers Act which makes whatever model it's on to become a mandatory inclusion. General consensuses is that removing it from Toni was a giant nerf to not only her but the M&SU as a whole. 

 So it appears like there is a disconnect here. Grit feels like it should be worth it on it's own but I'm not getting the sense that it actually is. Injured workers act shouldn't be mandatory, nor should it have such a massive impact on how the M&SU operate. 

So the big question I'm posing to people is

  1. In a world where Injured Workers Act doesn't exist. Does Grit feel worth it? Is a typical M&SU model worth his cost with Grit being locked away until half health? Or does M&SU work good on it's own, and become exceptional with Girt?
  2. If we were to remove Injured Workers Act entirely, how should M&SU be compensated?

 

To me, we seem to have more discussions around IWA rather than Grit - which is the actual theme wide ability. One ability shouldn't be required, regardless of whether its "needed to get the crew to function" or "makes the crew way more awesome than they should be". It seems like it's nearly an impossible task to keep balanced. 

  • A model should be valid regardless of Grit
  • Grit should be a slight boost to an already good model
  • IWA shouldn't be a requirement, otherwise it should go away entirely and we should look at making Grit function properly

I think the Grit abilities seem weak, but that's primarily because a model at half health dies very quickly, often before it can even activate. I think IWA would work better if it was closer to what it was last edition, something along the lines of "Put attackers at a negative / reduce incoming dmg / give HTK to models in range that are below or equal to 50% wounds" (for some cost, of course) That way, its a relevant ability outaide of keyword, but it also synergizes well within Keyword by making models a little harder to kill when their Grit is active (so they can use their Grit more) but also allows Grit abilities to feel stronger since they arent always on, which means that Amina may not be an auto take

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11 minutes ago, Mycellanious said:

I think the Grit abilities seem weak, but that's primarily because a model at half health dies very quickly, often before it can even activate. I think IWA would work better if it was closer to what it was last edition, something along the lines of "Put attackers at a negative / reduce incoming dmg / give HTK to models in range that are below or equal to 50% wounds" (for some cost, of course) That way, its a relevant ability outaide of keyword, but it also synergizes well within Keyword by making models a little harder to kill when their Grit is active (so they can use their Grit more) but also allows Grit abilities to feel stronger since they arent always on, which means that Amina may not be an auto take

Yeah that brings up another good point in that Grit's value is really dependent on the model who has it. Grit on a 5Wd model means they will typically be 1 hit away from death before they can use it. The trade off being that they will often get it within a single hit as well. Where as Toni has 7wds worth of Grit but is not likely to hit it as fast, so she'll be spending more time without it's benefit.

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We actually have a perfect example of how Grit feels without IWA, in the SRM.  It's an 8 health model with HtW, how do we feel Grit (Frenzied) is on it?  Does it happen often?

For me personally, I think that most of the M&SU is a bit subpar without their Grit, and a bit above par with it.  Which does mean that IWA feels crucial to how they play.  Some of the lesser Grits (like Dash) I regularly forget to use entirely, but then there's stuff like Grit (Resourceful) and without it I don't think the Gunsmith looks that great at all, especially compared to Envy for 7, so it's really the Grit that's turning the model into the heavy hitter it is.

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10 minutes ago, retnab said:

We actually have a perfect example of how Grit feels without IWA, in the SRM.  It's an 8 health model with HtW, how do we feel Grit (Frenzied) is on it?  Does it happen often?

Yeah that's true. While personally I feel like the SRM is decent, I've heard more criticism on it not being worth it. However it is an interesting case since the SRM is supposed to be tanky so you'd expect grit to come into play a bit more often. 

13 minutes ago, retnab said:

For me personally, I think that most of the M&SU is a bit subpar without their Grit, and a bit above par with it.  Which does mean that IWA feels crucial to how they play. 

Yeah that seems like an issue. So most experiences is that they are too good most of the time since Amina is always going to be in the list. However removing her means the list is now under performing.  I don't really see how were supposed to strike a balance here with how it currently works.

 

Perhaps Grit should be changed into a pseudo Df trigger. So it gives some effect whenever a model takes damage (during an opposed:meleeduel). It still gives that theme of tough dudes getting angrier as they take a beating, but it's a bit more versatile in it's application/function

Ironsides: Grit (Now Me) - When this model suffers damage from an opposed duel. After resolving, gain Adrenaline tokens equal to the damage taken.

Mouse: Grit (Grand Plan) - When this model suffers damage from an opposed duel. After resolving, friendly model within LOS gains focused +1

Howard Langston: Grit (Kinetic Transference) - When this model suffers damage from an opposed duel. After resolving, gain a power token

The Captain: Grit (Soar) - When this model suffers damage from an opposed duel. After resolving, place this model 3" in any direction (this would replace his Df trigger)

Gunsmith: Grit (Reload) - When this model suffers damage from an opposed duel. After resolving, draw a card

Union Miner: Grit (Hold Em) - When this model suffers damage from an opposed duel. After resolving, gain a pass token (to a max of +3)

Union Steamfitter: Grit (Steam Cloud) - When this model suffers damage from an opposed duel. After resolving, the enemy gains injured +1

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RE 3.07update:

So Toni has gotten IWA back on her card. This is a better spot in terms of Grit users but I feel like the point still stands that Grit and IWA are too tricky to balance. 

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Lol I like the idea behind some of these (they would 100% have to be Enemy only though, or having an Arachnid slap Mouse around for tons of crew-wide Focused would be a thing), not locking it behind a certain health point definitely means the benefits get spread out throughout the game better, but with it being on damage I think it'd penalize lower health models even more than Grit since at least that has IWA (Mouse would likely only get to use his once before being killed if it's Enemy only for example)

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I think the interaction between Grit and Injured Workers Act is a brilliant way of allowing the master to buff her crew in unique ways.  Each model getting a uniquely useful buff when in range.  So even if Grit delivers almost nothing without IWA I think that's fine.  What the interaction probably does is make the models less hire-able out of theme as they end up over costed without IWA access so the hiring tax makes them too un-competitive. 

Nobody is paying 9ss for a Gunsmith without the suits built in.

Given how late we are in the beta I think that's an acceptable proposition, the previous Toni update makes me nervous about pushing for big changes at this stage unless it's a game breaking issue.

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There are some neat ideas here but now that they gave us the updated tweak I would rather leave well enough alone..... at least on Toni.

i would be happy with some small tweaks to the Steamfitter (1 SS cheaper or the ability to make armor again) or Howard  (Flurry and Critical Strike) ..... but think that overall we are in  pretty good place. 

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For the Steamfitter my big gripe with it is how the major reason I'd be taking it (the Shielded) is skewed way more towards Constructs which the M&SU has barely any of. What if we gave it's Encase in Steel a built-in T, and gave it a TT trigger to give the target a Power Token? That'd make them more valuable to both crews.

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I still feel like Howard and Steamfitters are simply not worth it in an Ironsides crew. Howard NEEDS IWA just to break even but at that point he's having to be anchored to Ironsides/Anima which really goes against his benefit of added movement. He's only good if he's within 6" of a master/henchmen and that just plain sucks for a 10ss model. The steamfitter equally sucks and basically acts as a totem for Langston. He's too difficult to utilize in a non construct crew and almost useless outside of IWA.

 

IWA just seems to promote bad things. Bubbling up has huge drawbacks and M&SU only work when crowded around two specific models. With my proposed idea they could actually spread out and I feel like the crew overall would work so much smoother. Bubbling up is awful for scheming and it basically means you need to hire out of keyword to accomplish schemes

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28 minutes ago, Jordon said:

I still feel like Howard and Steamfitters are simply not worth it in an Ironsides crew. Howard NEEDS IWA just to break even but at that point he's having to be anchored to Ironsides/Anima which really goes against his benefit of added movement. He's only good if he's within 6" of a master/henchmen and that just plain sucks for a 10ss model. 

While that is true, Caught in the Ring might change that. I want to try bringing Ironsides in a more melee heavy crew (Howard and Emissary) and see how rough it is when the opponent cannot attack the big beaters.

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4 hours ago, retnab said:

While that is true, Caught in the Ring might change that. I want to try bringing Ironsides in a more melee heavy crew (Howard and Emissary) and see how rough it is when the opponent cannot attack the big beaters.

You already know the answer...

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@Jordon The entire Union theme of stronger together and safety in numbers is built around these models standing next to each other.  Regardless of if this is right or not now is about the worst time to rip up these mechanics and start again.  There's no testing window left for this.

If the issue is with specific models; steam fitter and Howard, lets look at them but it is way too late to rewrite the core mechanics of the crew and end up with anything balanced.  

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6 hours ago, retnab said:

For the Steamfitter my big gripe with it is how the major reason I'd be taking it (the Shielded) is skewed way more towards Constructs which the M&SU has barely any of.

For 6ss in M&SU you get free Shielded+1, cheap Shielded+1, with an option for an expensive/awkward Shielded+2 or Focus+1 (depending on the mix of Tomes, Rams and Power Tokens available).

For 7ss with Hoffman you lose the free 1 but get a much easier repeatable Shielded+3.

It's hardly stellar, but it's not bad. Models don't have to be strictly optimal in-keyword.

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4 hours ago, DuBlanck said:

For 6ss in M&SU you get free Shielded+1, cheap Shielded+1, with an option for an expensive/awkward Shielded+2 or Focus+1 (depending on the mix of Tomes, Rams and Power Tokens available).

For 7ss with Hoffman you lose the free 1 but get a much easier repeatable Shielded+3.

It's hardly stellar, but it's not bad. Models don't have to be strictly optimal in-keyword.

They are Augmented so only 6ss with Hoffman. But they are not constructs so do not get Power Tokens when Hoffman activates, cannot use Power Transfer from other models which means they cannot get the 2" push that comes with that. They are far less likely to have a Power Token, so the Mechanical Attendent usually cannot Push them either, which means that they usually have to walk at least once just to keep up with all of the free movement of the rest of the crew. In turn 1 this isn't a problem - but then Shielded and their aura is far less likely to be useful, but even by turn 2 I've found that they either are positioned correctly for their aura or they can use encase in steel maybe once. Hoffman can't even overcharge them to give them fast and a Power Token. You can Toss them with a Guardian, but you've got better things to be doing with that activation.

 

So while I agree their abilities are better than a mobile toolkit on paper, but I have found that they are just are not mobile enough. I have not tried bringing in a scrap marker dropping model yet, but I cannot see the value in spending more SS just to make a mediocre model kinda work. I'd probably just rather take a metal Gamin for 5ss+1 on its own, the rest of the crew can eat the scrap markers it drops.

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My two pence, IWA should be built into unionized.  M&SU wants the buddy system. The shorter range will mean closer models, putting them at risk of AOEs, but will allow better model synergies without reliance on Amina or Toni.  It will also make them better out of M&SU as you only need 2 models with unionized to trigger grit this way.

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7 hours ago, Sebasthos said:

That might be a bit powerful, but I like the general idea.

What if you built IWA into unionized, but required the model be wounded for Grit to take effect? ie, instead of half, it's anything less than full.

So it's more available as pairs instead of one or two bubbles, but require a token effort to get the effect off. 

Because my biggest issue with Grit is that outside of a very few models, most opponents shouldn't be allowing Grit to be used. If you're going to reduce it below half, you reduce it all the way.

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The model needing to be wounded at all is something we've flip flopped back and forth on for a long time. On the one hand it sounds like it makes more sense, on the other hand what it means is everyone spends turn 1 just slapping their neighbor for 1 damage and then the game goes on from there.

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There's a lot to be said about designing a game with no "bad" models.  So a reference question about the design of grit as an ability: Is grit designed to help units? (Make good models better when low on health) or Is grit designed to hinder units? (Make good models bad until low on health). I feel like the intent is to help models, but how they costed models feel like a hindrance. They should be costed as though they don't have their grit, or have a mechanic that allows them to consistently have grit. Either IWA on more models or working it into unionized.  It's strong, but do you really want a game with weak crews?

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There will always be bad models and good models. By virtue of a normal distribution curve around the power curve.  We can tighten the distribution but something will always technically be bad.

 

I’m just going to say again that with maybe one update left in the beta it’s way too late to reopen a core mechanic to an entire crew and expect that to end with it being balanced. 

 

If there are issues with individual models we should look at those.  I’m still not sure what the issue we’re trying to solve is?  What’s wrong with the Toni crew right now?

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2 hours ago, GrandpaIronsides said:

There's a lot to be said about designing a game with no "bad" models.  So a reference question about the design of grit as an ability: Is grit designed to help units? (Make good models better when low on health) or Is grit designed to hinder units? (Make good models bad until low on health). I feel like the intent is to help models, but how they costed models feel like a hindrance. They should be costed as though they don't have their grit, or have a mechanic that allows them to consistently have grit. Either IWA on more models or working it into unionized.  It's strong, but do you really want a game with weak crews?

Like you said, a lot of it factors in to how Grit plays into things. Not just in it's effects, but it's comparative duration.

Example, a 10SS model that's worth 9SS before Grit kicks in, and 11SS after is only relatively balanced if the expected duration on the table is 50/50 for each version.

And that's why I think it's hard to value. An overcosted model that gets significantly better if a condition is met, is going to have a highly varied effect depending on when that condition is met.

The issue appears to be that even with IWA, M&SU isn't particularly overpowered. Which means without it, it'd be significantly lesser.

As a thought exercise, imagine IWA didn't exist. You're playing a generic opponent, and have a cache of 5. First, what would be a fair baseline rebate for removing IWA?

Now, how much would you pay to have auto-Grit on every model. How much of a rebate would you need, to remove Grit from every model?

Be curious what the people with Toni experience think. Or people who have sufficient experience against Toni.

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1 hour ago, mythicFOX said:

If there are issues with individual models we should look at those.  I’m still not sure what the issue we’re trying to solve is?  What’s wrong with the Toni crew right now?

My opponents and I feel that Good Shot always going off is too good and think the damage should only be if she's damaged. Amina is weirdly tanky for a support model and should probably be Df 5, Reach of the Union at 6" is a bit much and could probably be 3 or 4. Gunsmiths are a bit good but I don't know how to fix that without nerfing them heavily (maybe Easy Targets shouldn't work against engaged models too?)

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