Thursday, May 22, 2014
Escalation and Why it's OK
We are all familiar with escalation, and till now it has been controversial and probably for good reasons. I have been for accepting the additions to the game and think these should be allowed, if not forced down people's throats either. Well a new edition is here (sorta) and escalation is in the BRB as well as stronghold. Now I'm sure many will buck this and continue to ban lords of war, but I think with one of the changes in particular, lords of war are not the monsters they used to be.
The big change I am talking about is to D weapons. No longer do they just destroy everything. And they balanced its damage out for vehicles and infantry, which is something I felt the old D weapons were unfairly skewed against. Lets be honest here, the main issue everyone had is in how powerful they were, they just removed so much from the board and in many cases like the revenant if you went first you won. Shield generators could help you if you were lucky, but the events that have run escalation showed that most times, the one who went first won.
Changing D weapons was a necessary thing, they were just too powerful and while they countered deathstars, they countered everything else. So with the new edition we are getting a more palatable D weapon. For vehicles and buildings: a 1 the model is unharmed. Much better than before as though infantry could survive on a one, vehicles still suffered a pen hit. 2-5 model suffers a pen and D3 hull points. You could still possibly survive even with this result. 6 you get the old D weapon with no saves a suffer D6 + 6 hull points and/or explode. So you need to get lucky for the D weapon to do maximum damage. For infantry its pretty much the same, 1 does nothing, 2-5 suffer D3 wounds, and 6 is D6+6 wounds with no saves at all.
For anything but 6s, you will be able to make cover and invul saves. The power of the D is now much more limited, it still is powerful and can deal damage, but you are no longer just removing models. If a 6 is rolled, then the super gun appears, but now its a much smaller chance and will not be the norm.
With this change, I no longer feel that lords of war are a big deal. They are expensive and give you VPs if you hurt them. There big advantage is now only a small one. So if you face a revenant now, well you'll take the wounds the same as if it was a basilisk or other large blast high S low AP weapon. Powerful but no too powerful.
All in all this is a good thing. Lords of War should be cool, approachable and most of all fun. They should not traumatize players. Hopefully people will take another look at this and realize these are not the same lords of war that they previously were. With this, Lords of War can become regular part of games and be fun, but not overpowered. The D has been reigned in.
And really, with unbound and unlimited FoC, is escalation really that big of a deal anymore? I don't think so.