Stealth Bases

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Stealth Bases

Post by Mewing » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:52 pm

Hey everyone, this is my first post on the forum but I have been following the progress of Dark Potential through these forums and matts old vlogs. I just havent gotten around to posting anything or creating an account for that matter, but now that summer has begun I have decided to begin weighing in on the many discussions.

On to my point, I started wondering about the stealth bases. I have three questions, the first being if stealth bases will stay as empty bases, because although I plan on putting some flock on or something I still think a bit of smoke or a wisp of some sort. This brought up the question of mechanics, because would the wisp smoke or whatever it may be, be included as something that can be perceived. Personally I would like there to be some kind of smoke or something but I also like the perceiver to have to see the base. Just thinking out loud here though...

My second question will probably only be answerable by Matt but I will ask it anyways because I might have missed when this was already discussed. Will the stealth bases be included as part of the assassins model set or will the player have to find bases themselves because although I have plenty of empty bases I think that any new gamer would be slightly turned off due to having to buy extra bases just to use a model. This could of course include wisp, smoke, etc.

My final question is about the placing of numbers on said bases for gameplay purposes. I have found that the best way to do it is to put sticky tack on the bottom of the base that means something, and if there are multiple stealth units are used then maybe instead use a token that can be attached to the "real" stealth base that differs in some way (color being easiest) so differentiation can be made. This allows players who may want to make their bases or smoke or whatever fancy and not ruined by numbers to keep everything visually appealing.

Its late in Denmark right now but I tried my best to make something coherent out of my thoughts and I hope that I have helped in some way! :D

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by slaughtergames » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:36 am

hi,

1: unless the rules change, they explicitly state 'the stealth base.....' blablabla. which means, that they will be bases. but, they are your bases, so nobody can tell you not to put stuff on them if you want to.

2: I don't know this, but I think it would be a glaring mistake on Matt's part not to include another couple of bases in the stealth units' blisters

3: I think this is up to you. if you have numvers on top, you need to write down which one is 'real'. if you put stickiy tack underneath one of them, that looks better, but you might forget which one it is. then you need to keep your best poker face while checking them. :)

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by miniwargaming » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:06 am

Ideally the stealth bases would actually have a representation of the model on them for Line of Sight purposes. I'll need to clarify this in the rules, but you can actually see a stealth base if you could see the model that it hides.

Having said that, for now any stealth model will be shipped with enough bases to use as stealth bases. You are free to modify them in any way you wish.

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by cymruvoodoo » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:07 am

That's not what I expected to hear, actually. All the testing so far and points estimations (that I've checked, at least) have been on the assumption that Dark Potential was taking the rather novel step of defining stealth as just the base for LoS purposes. If there is supposed to be a stealth model mounted on the base then stealth models are going to be a lot easier to see for perception tests and stealth may be a touch overpriced.

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by Mewing » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:00 pm

Thanks for the replies!

Its good to hear that you plan on including the stealth bases, because I think it would be a huge mistake on your part had you not. Another thing I would love to see included as well would be the command point beads, because this is a major part of the game and would be a hassel to find elsewhere for new players.

Im glad to hear that there will be some sort of model on the stealth bases. Personally I think that the rule for perception checks should be at least half of the model must be visible for a perception check to be made. That or we could continue with needing to see the bases and have the stealth model be there purely for aesthetics.

Another thing that has come up in my games is that recently my opponent and I had a dispute over stealth bases behind smoke. With the new X'Lanthos upgrade where everyone has LoS through smoke, they also can detect stealth bases behind smoke, reading the rules this means that putting a stealth base behind smoke is more or less the same as leaving it out in the open because there are no negative modifiers when it comes to perception. I personally think there should either be a negative modifier or even just no LoS to stealth bases at all.

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by Cow » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:27 pm

cymruvoodoo wrote:That's not what I expected to hear, actually. All the testing so far and points estimations (that I've checked, at least) have been on the assumption that Dark Potential was taking the rather novel step of defining stealth as just the base for LoS purposes. If there is supposed to be a stealth model mounted on the base then stealth models are going to be a lot easier to see for perception tests and stealth may be a touch overpriced.

Wait, how would having to look directly at the base be more intuitive than having to look at the base or up to the height of the model itself?

It'd too wierd and silly if all you had to do was put your stealth base behind a piece of terrain that's less than half an inch high, and no one would be able to make perception tests on the stealthed unit at all. It wouldn't matter how big the stealth guy is, it could be the Animal Faction's premier stealth unit: The Sneaky Mammoth!

This is a three dimensional game, every interactible marker or token should have a height to it. Smoke AoEs have a height, but for some reason Grav, flame, energy, or ballistic blast AoEs don't have one. I really think this sort of thing should be cleared up. As of now, they are "cylinders to the sky" like 3rd edition 40K.
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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by miniwargaming » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:24 pm

Also, the Perception checks are actually quite hard unless they are Active (which requires using an Action), AND you have to guess which one is the real model with an active test.

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by dragon1010 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:32 pm

well with gravity mines it makes sense. it is affecting the gravity of this area. so if you increase the gravity in a small area, it doesnt matter how high up you are. the increase in force would affect something 3 feet up as well as 30 feet up.

as for models on the stealth bases im kinda on the fence. yes it would make sense to have the model there to see if you can see him or not. but also this model is a master of hiding, able to go undetected while sneaking through enemy lines. he uses cover to its full potential. so maybe something smaller than the actual model should be on the base instead of something the same size to represent him making better use of the cover while he is "sneaking". this would eliminate every stealth model transforming into pancake man when they hide.
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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by cymruvoodoo » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:15 pm

Cow, I think you and I were looking at the question of hiding stealth bases very differently. For my part, it's been a brilliant thing since it actually manages to handle that cross-over between the world within the game (where we can narrate what's going on and it operates according to internal logic and rules) and the world of the tabletop, where players have to make a whole lot of compromises. To me, having the stealth base just be a base was a brilliant way of introducing a lot more of that three-dimensionality _and_ representing stealthiness in a very, very tabletop centered way.

Let me put it to you this way. You see the silliness of the Bioformed Ninja Mammoth, a rightly feared special forces unit, low-crawling behind a waist height stone wall. I saw the elegance of forcing players to respect the terrain when playing stealthed units. How many times have we seen any number of Cryxian units, or Khadorian Kayazay, or what have you "stealthed" just because of the distance they were from your units, not because they were hiding in the trees, or behind a wall, or in the ruins, or in the water? How many times have we seen Antipodes, or Muyaib, or what have you run hey-diddle-diddle in a game which otherwise sees units humping cover like they've just got shore leave after a six month cruise?

Well, the empty stealth base fixed that. In the playtests I've conducted it made models with stealth really respect cover and try to stay in cover because although passive perception checks are pretty tough, one sniper with line of sight can really, really ruin your day. What really impressed me is that the way it worked made players _want_ to stay in cover. Rather than writing out a set of rules which operate only in restricted circumstances (you only get stealth while within x inches of cover, blah blah) or otherwise prescribing the player's behavior explicitly the ease of hiding the stealth base on its own did two important things:

1. It made z-axis territory even more valuable. It's a lot more difficult to hide behind a wall when somebody's up in a third story window looking down over the wall. This goes both ways, since it's not just a scramble to get your spotters in the right position, you also have to plan out your stealth moves and really assess the environment.

2. It made players have to work to keep their advantage of surprise. Rather than having stealth be a magic shield that players can count on to soak up a unit's activation if nothing else (for the active spot attempt, assuming the player has a modicum of sense and hasn't just thrown the unit out in the middle of nowhere so close that a passive check will get it) and possibly a lot more, stealth bases made players save that stealth as jealously as they could guard it in order to guarantee their gap-closer would be there when they needed it. Resuming stealth, if you survived a round of shooting, is definitely possible but it isn't quite the same as not getting caught in the first place.


Then there's the other side of the argument. If a stealth unit has to have something on the base, what does it have to have? Does it need to match the volume of the model? I have to say, I would _really hate_ to have to buy four assassin models just to field one assassin. First, that's expensive. Enough so that I might consciously avoid fielding said assassin in X'Lanthos lists. Second, that's not very new-player friendly with the X'Lanthos starter set. Third, that reduces a whole lot of the mind games which I think are a good thing in a game - keeping your opponent guessing about just what a particular unit is going to do next. If you know what might be stealthed right under that base then you have a more clear meta-game picture of what to do to shut that model down. It would make a huge difference, for example, to have to put whether I have a commando or a stealth squad under my PMC stealth marker.

Oh, and as a totally unrelated aside, I should like to comment that given the way the gravity mine has been described, it actually should not have an infinite column of effect. I know, this is dangerous territory for me, but I'm going to say it anyway. :D

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by Cow » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:14 pm

dragon1010 wrote:well with gravity mines it makes sense. it is affecting the gravity of this area. so if you increase the gravity in a small area, it doesnt matter how high up you are. the increase in force would affect something 3 feet up as well as 30 feet up.
Why only in the "up" direction? What makes the other two dimensions so special that they are only affected by gravity up to 2 inches or whatever the AoE size is? I thought AoEs were supposed to be a sphere....



As for Cymru: Are there no modifiers for cover, when making Perception tests? You could still respect cover if it offered modifiers, just as non stealthed units do. Instead of bullets, its eyes and ears that stealthed units are taking cover from. I can see where no-height bases will add the value of vertical superiority, but that is all I can really see being a plus.


As for the models themselves, I don't care if there are physical models on the bases themselves. So long as they have a virtual height, I think it will work out fine. If folks want to model "whisps" and "glimmers" onto the bases themselves, that is just fine.

Oh, and I personally would think it would be more uhh.... "Proper" (for lack of a better word) to have each set of bases undisclosed as to what unit it represents. It is the same as playing that style where your oponent does not get to review your list, and you get to keep all wargear and reserves and such a secret. Those could be fun, but just doesn't semm.... "proper" or dare I say tournament friendly?
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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by cymruvoodoo » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:21 am

@ Cow - I think the difficulty with a stipulated height is that you then need something to throw on the bases so that you don't have to touch the models (i.e. to replace a stealth base) to make LoS checks. This thing needs to be a standard height/shape, which means it will likely have to be something provided by DP? I'm thinking like tournament gamers here. Modeling for advantage would be a real issue when it comes to stealth bases.

That being said, I like the flexibility to convert and customise my models so let's not get too carried away with bulletproofing "modeling for advantage." That just leads to unpleasantness and a bad atmosphere.

As for cover, sure, it will apply to models as well as their bases, but I think there's a difference. It's not a huge thing anyway and so I'm willing to table it as long as the issues with bases that need something on them are handled?

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by desmonddentresti » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:03 pm

So to clarify what i have read so far.... you want something like, an actual assassin model that you paint and use once revealed and 3 smaller, crouched, versions of clear plastic about 2 thirds the height of the normal assassin model to show that it is crouching down. which gives it a smaller LoS area to have perception checks and makes him able to hide behind small walls with out being seen at all... (message to Matt) so about the price of 3 models-ish because of having less plastic on the stealth bases, but making a model of clear plastic makes it weaker (and harder according to what i have heard) + the price of any extra things ie: command beads. (back to my opinion) i think this would work the best way.... purely because I am vein and awesome. I dont know how far along this is now. but good luck with how this progresses.

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by Micky » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:41 pm

desmonddentresti wrote:So to clarify what i have read so far.... you want something like, an actual assassin model that you paint and use once revealed and 3 smaller, crouched, versions of clear plastic about 2 thirds the height of the normal assassin model to show that it is crouching down

This is pretty much exactly what I had in mind too.

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by cymruvoodoo » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:05 pm

I have to say, this still sounds like a not-very-good idea. The cost of providing three or four models for every model with stealth seems prohibitive by comparison with other models. Either stealth models will have to be correspondingly more expensive or they will have to be treated as a sort of loss-leader. I think given that there are some alternatives which can work, we need to explore those options instead.

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Re: Stealth Bases

Post by Micky » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:39 pm

cymruvoodoo wrote:I have to say, this still sounds like a not-very-good idea. The cost of providing three or four models for every model with stealth seems prohibitive by comparison with other models. Either stealth models will have to be correspondingly more expensive or they will have to be treated as a sort of loss-leader. I think given that there are some alternatives which can work, we need to explore those options instead.
It could be done as a very generic featureless figure - ie. a standard 'stealthed character' mini. So just something on a small sprue, a couple of which could be tossed in with each stealth solo.

But, yeah, I take your point, it would jack up the price - maybe it can be something sold separately for those who want it.

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