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Resetting bonuses are useful because they’re so high and because the volume of attacks are high. Headhunter and Fast Adaption in combination makes for a murderous archer. Without resetting, the bonuses would be too good – and since you’ll likely only need 1 or 2 hits to gruesomely down your target, the bonus resetting isn’t a problem. And Executioner is very, very good. Stack it with crippling strikes and you can use a spear with high innate precision as a debuff inflictor.
Gifted does feel a bit strange. +[Random] stats is… +3-5 to a single line of stats, but then it does it to all of them and it turns out the bonus is in line with what’s given by other perks. Shield Expert gives 25% to shields, with is +3 to +4 defense anyway, so it’s actually in line with Gifted. The weirdest thing about Gifted is that its a single use replacement for other perks (shield expert, anticipation, fast adaption).
I too woul prefer if it was more of a long term thing, maybe adding a star on a chosen characteristic now that that mechanic exists.
Playing around a little, you can get some really wonky battle brothers if you combine together bright, gifted, lonewolf, dodge and underdog, simply because the stacking attributes rack up so high.
The event for “Spartan” characters is a bit. . . odd. It essentially just acts like a “have you been paying attention?” test. Find a spartan character, they’re looking weak from not having eaten, do you make them eat?
Well you know they’re Spartan, if you’ve checked their traits, so you pick “leave them alone”. Congratulations, nothing happened, and the person used to not eating is soon back on their feet. If you pick “Force them to eat”, boo, you just got a negative penalty, because you forced someone to break their religious / personal rites.
It feels a bit like taking a test rather than an event. Quick question, do you remember if character X has the Spartan trait? You do? Oh, okay.
What I might suggest is using the happiness system and making it so that leaving them alone makes them “happy” for that +resolve but “tired” for -fatigue, whereas forcing them to eat makes them “Disgrunted” for -resolve (no fatigue change, since they’re not worse then usual). Then suddenly it’s a choice. Let someone not eat and watch as they tire out, but at least they’re happy or make them eat and hear them grumble about not keeping up their diet.
I think one of the Weapon Master events I got is a wee bit strong? While training a Squire, that Squire gained +3 melee defense. Permanently. That’s a free level up! Hell, it’s better than a free level up because my luck is abysmal and I normally only get +2 to stats when I level up. I love the idea that having a weapon master around trickles down to your troops, and I think it’s a brilliant way of marking out how good they are with a sword. It’s just almost “too good” of a bonus, as such.
(Especially because it happened twice to me, somewhat randomly. +6 melee defense? Yeah, I’ll take that. I’ll take that every time)
Compare it to the event in which two archers square off against each other in competition and gain +1 or more ranged attack. In that event you’re trading Ammonition for it, so it feels more fair. I was unlucky in that I used all the ammo I had on hand when the event came up, so two of my archers gained an increase in skill followed by participating in a battle where they had no arrows to shoot.
But that felt fair and reasonable! They had just used all the arrows to practice, getting better, and if I had been more prepared or re-stocked before fighting, my gain would have been a lot. A sword master just giving random troops bonuses is less neat.
So perhaps apply an injury to the character gaining stats when trained by a weapon master? “You leave them to it, and hours later you can still faintly hear the exasperated voice of [XXX the YYY] telling the battle brother to keep his sword arm straight. [XXXX has gained +2 melee defense and an injury from over-training]”. Packages of medical herbs are expensive, after all, and time consuming to use.
Ration Loss events are bit strange too. I lost 30 rations a few times, but since I always keep as much as possible I didn’t notice and it didn’t affect me at all. It’s also just a single package of rations, since they come in bundles of 25. It’s a bit of a non-thing, because the effect isn’t big enough to matter and you’ll only really notice if you’re wandering the very edge of the map and bad luck strikes.
I think changing it so that ration loss is instead an effect on your troops might work slightly better. “Half way through the evening’s meal, [XXX] spits out an otherwise bland gruel, a bit of rock and half a chewed maggot. With faint horror, you realize your provisions aren’t up to par” Every battle brother gets mildly disgruntled for -5 resolve or so, Spartan characters are unaffected (they don’t eat!) while Gluttonous characters are doubly affected (they ate a lot). Let it fade after a day or so.
Instead of ration loss which is a less than useful metric, it captures the influence it has on your troops which is of supreme importance.
Finally, Superstitious characters have a chance of becoming Fearful and getting -20 Resolve.
-20 Resolve. That is utterly confounding, and I think far, *far* too much. That’s worse resolve than Deserters! It makes them near useless because the slightest shock will cause them to break and flee. How about making them convinced of their impending doom and instead making them temporarily have the Dastard trait? That way, they start at wavering for a bit of a skill loss but they aren’t *useless* and you can take steps to mitigate it (Hold Out! Perk). It also ties into the trait better, I think, because they’re convinced of their imminent demise and so won’t be confident in a more abstract, superstitious way. They aren’t really “afraid” of the bandits they’re about to face, they’re afraid that killing the bandits will grant 7 years bad luck and cause a plague of black cats to follow them around.
Alternatively, make it Dastard and the one that means they won’t ever be Confident. That’s a net loss of 15 potential skill and defense, which is worse than -20 resolve but also something you can at least control and mitigate by tactics.
If the controlling factor of oppertunity attacks is the enemies AP, not your personal fatigue then you do have unlimited attacks. In a situation where people can reach multiple targets – which happen often in melee – it’s trivial for someone to potentially be able to whip out 2-6 attacks, then take their turn for more attacks. For instance, ghouls tend to have high initiative, decent AP and low morale so they’ll swarm one fighter, then flee when you retaliate. At that point the one brother gets to hit every single fleeing enemy at least once. It creates an odd and potentially exploitable game-y situation once your units reach high enough to have a decent melee defense score to soak the initial charge. I had one swordmaster with a melee defence of 82 (!) because of perks. Stuck him on a hill with riposte, he killed 4 werewolves because they get 3 attacks (3 return strikes per werewolf!), then got even more attacks when the terrified werewolves tried to run away after he decapitated one of them. That seems at best somewhat unintentional, if also very fitting of the guy described as the greatest fighter in the world. For other, lesser mortals that seems weird.
The various skills and weapons work fine for keeping your people alive. That’s not the issue here. The problem isn’t even really my people. They’re doing fine. I’m just starting to feel sympathy for the young orcs who charge in, see one of their mates get killed, then flee and immediately get butchered by 3 return attacks, causing another orc to flee, who in turn gets butchered… Try giving your people ranged wepaons and the “Quick Hands” perk. You get off enough shots to make enemies at least “wavering” before they close in, and a few more hits will cause them to flee at which point they’re dead. If you add “Fearsome” it gets worse. Hilarious! But also odd. At least the undead don’t flee.
The issue is that fleeing *feels odd* when the person you’re trying to flee from turns into an invincible weapon-god who has reflexes of such prodigious ability that they can whip out a series of 2-6 attacks, but only when the player is not directly controlling them. When I’m controlling them they’re somehow always at max fatigue and weakly, huffingly do their 1 attack before running out of breath. The slackers. Then I turn my back and suddnely they gain the ability to attack everything within range? What? Dammit, Hugo, you should have done that four seconds ago! If you had done it then, you wouldn’t be *dead*.
I still think making “Withdrawal” an option by increasing the cost so it sucks up the entire AP pool to move 2 hexes, without movement getting cancelled on a hit, would go a long way towards making that situation in general feel less odd because it moves people out of range without turning fleeing into an instant death-spiral. There’s a reason most systems that have attacks of opportunity limit them to a certain amount per round, its exactly to avoid this sort of situation, where the trick to taking down some foes is to “Opportunity fish”
If we’re worried about making the game less tactically interesting, it might be a cool change to make it so that the attack of opportunity always hits if someone triggers it. At that point you’re making decisions about what you’re sacrificing for movement, and if its worth it, and if someone flees they’ll get a sword in the back but could still stumble away.
But hey, maybe it’s best if it works this way. It’s still a great system. It just feels odd to me.
Incidentally, it’s an interesting point about max fatigue units ceasing to influence the battlefield. I’d reckon that would be a very good thing? If someone is exhausted from wearing heavy armor and mail, they’re not going to be able to nimbly retaliate at every opening. They’re going to be too busy not keeling over from heat-stroke. It makes sense that they wouldn’t offer as much control over their zone because armor limits fatigue. Also makes heavy armor and interesting trade-off. You get more protection but you’re also giving your enemy more mobility.