Friday, August 27, 2010

Alliance: Part 1- Melee Breakdown

Making the Switch

Back in the spring of '08 some friends and I were shopping for a new LARP to play. International had gotten stagnate and wasn't looking like it was going anywhere, but we needed to feed our addictions. Amtgard seemed very combat oriented with little to no story in their games, the same going for Dagorhir. So we kept looking. Finally one of them said, "What about NERO Alliance?".
Now, at the time, I didn't even know Alliance was even still operating outside of the one chapter in Michigan some WAR players had gone to. After a quick search on Google, we saw there was in fact a local Ohio chapter.
So I said sure, why not. We got a hold of a rulebook and within that night of sitting down and glancing through their "NERO", I was sold.

Class Builds

Going into this, I really expected nothing to change too much in terms of weapon tech (ultralights, coffin/tear drop shields, etc.), tactics, and speed of combat. There were some new skills that I was interested in seeing, but for the most part, a lot of the new skills came off to me as fluff, having limited applications. I couldn't have been more wrong.

*Fighters: While most do in fact use shields, I have yet to see a coffin shield outside our group. The most common shield? Take a heart shape, and cut it down the middle. Ultralights are not the staple either. You still have LOTS of PVC weapons being used. Now there are some huge differences between how Alliance fighters spend their build vs. how International fighters spend theirs. Equal skilled, same build, an Alliance fighter will trash an International fighter. The reason being is Alliance fighters have access to an arsenal of "Prepare to Die" skills like disarm, stun limb, and of course, Eviscerate. They are also better defensively equipped as well with mass parries and ripostes. They do however, normally swing half that of an equal International fighter. In fact, I have yet to see a 20s fighter. Most are 10s with mass "Prepare to Die" skills, parries etc. This type of character build has a direct correlation to amount of healing in game, which I'll go over later in Part 2.

*Rogues: Rogues are your typical mass damage from behind, base damage from the front builds. Some go sword and board. Some use 2-Handers, and some go short sword/long bow. Short sword/bow is an interesting combination. When in melee its very similar to short sword/spear in terms of using the bow to parry. The real benefit comes from times where the rogue is unable to get behind the target. For one, backstab, when used with a bow gains 1 point of a backstab, but no longer needs to be from the rear. For instance, you have a +20 backstab modifier. With a bow you would gain +10. Terminate and Assassinate also lose their positional requirements when used with the bow. This helps remove the problem rogues run into on mods, where normally they get to go sit in the corner with their base damage.

*Scout(rogue/fighter hybrid): Nothing too special about this class. In comparison, scouts are your typical rogues who also take profs. in International. If you want to be able to do decent damage from the front as a rogue, you go scout instead. With access to evades, dodges, and second only to fighters with hit points and armor caps, they make for a good front line fighter as well as filling the rogue flank role when needed.

With avid PVC use, 2-handers viable with their 1 1/2 prof. scaling, and fighters having more skills to spend build on outside of profs., Alliance combat is right where it needs to be in terms of speed, scaling, and attitude. "Twitch" fighting is a rare sight, and stick jocks are even more rare.

Part 2 will be covering magic as well as the Adept, Scholar, and Templar classes. Look for a post late weekend.

Anderian Update

If your looking for the actual rules, unfortunately they will be unavailable until the event. If you register on the site, you will be able to see the build charts to play around with character concepts before the Sept. 24th event.

If you’re interested in Alliance, check us out HERE or on Facebook

For more information on Anderian.


  1. I've always been a fan of other skills rather than adding more profs - that's why I'm glad WAR brought back the weapon-strikes playtest from long ago.

    As to the shields - is there any rhyme or reason to the heart shield? I've never been a fan of the coffin shield, but it was intended to get the most out of the surface area/max dimension requirements, and games with less requirements tend to use rounds a bit more. Is it a fad or is there some tech around it?

  2. Its just a fad. The coffin/tear drop shield is still superior in terms of max coverage. The real weakness of the heart shield is lack of leg coverage, opening you to taking hits to the shins and ankles, where the coffin-types still have no real drawback.