I've been discussing with people from various places on how to make Overlords more competitive and varied. Because one thing we all agree on is that the Barak-Zilfin clown car list is getting so boring and overplayed.
What's wrong with the Overlords I hear you ask? In a nutshell, with the exception of Endrinriggers and the Aether Khemist, and to a lesser extent the Admiral and Endrinmaster, nothing they have function the way they probably should be functioning. The ships are too slow and too vulnerable. Way too vulnerable. And with poor damage output to boot. The frigate, which should be a mainstay of the list imo, is at present nothing more than an overpriced Rhino but without it's reputation for toughness. Arkanauts are nothing but skyhook delivery systems. Skywardens and Thunderers? Don't bother. And as for the Aetheric Navigator and Grunstok Gunhauler?..forget about it.
Let's look at the Frigate for starters. In terms of its durability, it's a moderately sized unit of light infantry without the ability to take cover. Armed only with a short ranged and inaccurate artillery weapon, a couple of handgun equivalents, and a non existent melee attack too. Oh, and it's quite slow. If you want to go fast you gotta skip all your shooting. Poo.
Now me, I think it should be the equivalent of a small unit of typical heavy cavalry in terms of durability. Think Mighty Skullcrushers or Gore Gruntas. It should be able to take a bit of a battering before it comes crashing down. And as it's also an artillery weapon, it should have an artillery weapons range. And assaulting it should be a serious undertaking, like storming a castle...or a small fort at least. So how about this:
- Pump its save up to 4+
- Increase it's Wounds Characteristic to 16.
- Make Tireless Endrinrigger automatic rather than 4+ only.
- Boost the range of the Heavy Sky Cannon and Heavy Skyhook up to 32".
- Increase the Attack characteristic of its Belaying Valves to 4.
- Change Skymines so that any results of a 6 inflict a one off D3 mortal wounds result, as if it was deadly terrain.
- Make Aetheric Navigation "automatic" (as in it doesn't require a separate model to go off. It just happens. That navigator in the Endrin should be doing something.
Now the Frigate is a tough, fast, durable tank unit that can reach out far with it's weaponry, and can hopefully make units of single model fliers (like monsters) think twice before attacking it too. It now matches how a big warship should be in a fight imo, and you could comfortably build a list around them too.
Obviously the Ironclad and Gunhaulers need work too, and a lot of would be the same. For the former, I would:
- Increase the Wounds Characteristic to 20.
- Again, make Tireless Endrinrigger automatic.
- Boost the range of the Great Sky Cannon and Great Skyhook to 40".
- Increase the Attack characteristic of its Belying Valves to 8.
- Increase the Rend of Aetherstrike Torpedoes to -2.
- Automatic Aetheric Navigation too.
I know that some suggest bumping it's save up to 3+, but I'm not sure about that to be honest. Not without increasing it's cost. 4+ with that many wounds and auto healing 1 wound a turn is durable enough imo. Also, I would rework the Flagship rule to make it more useful overall.
For the Gunhauler, the worst ship of them all, and supposedly a fast moving fighter plane of sorts (a fighter boat?), I would:
- Increase it's Movement to 14".
- Increase it's Save to 4+.
- Give it the ability to Retreat and Shoot in the same turn.
Now it is a very fast Hit and Run unit that can zoom around the board in 'strafing runs'. Like our version of light cavalry. And yet still tough, like an armoured warship should be.
Oh, and you know the three ship orders? Batten The Hatches, All Hands To The Guns and Ahead Full? Make them ubiquitous to all three ships. There's no reason they shouldn't be.
Finally, the bomb racks need reworking too imo, but that's a whole other issue and I don't know how to do it.
But anyway, what do you guys think of these changes? Too much? Not much enough?