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NecroBlade
May 12th, 2019, 08:01 PM
The Book of Velnesh Alphas

Arena of the Valkyrie Master Set

https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/567009548041453579/567021153571569664/image0.jpg?width=508&height=676

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VYDAR :vydar:
VELNESH ALPHAS
Velnesh
Unique Squad
Class Experiments
Personality Menacing
SIZE HEIGHT Medium 5

LIFE 1 (3 figures)
MOVE 4 / BASIC 5
RANGE 1 / BASIC 1
ATTACK 4 / BASIC 4
DEFENSE 4 / BASIC 4

90 POINTS

SHIFT
After moving normally, you may place a Velnesh Alpha on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current placement. Velnesh Alphas will not take leaving engagement attacks while Shifting.

BLINK
After a Velnesh Alpha rolls defense dice against a normal attack from an opponent's figure and is not destroyed, it may immediately move using its Shift special power.

The figures used for this unit are Leyline Phantoms from Arena of the Planeswalkers.


Character Bio:


-Rulings and Clarifications-
TBA

-Combinations and Synergies-

Synergy Benefits Received
TBA

Synergy Benefits Offered
TBA

-Strategy, Tactics and Tips-
TBA

Playtest 1 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showpost.php?p=2386793&postcount=292)
Playtest 2 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showpost.php?p=2387901&postcount=293)
Playtest 3 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showpost.php?p=2391630&postcount=294)
Playtest 4 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showpost.php?p=2391634&postcount=295)
Playtest 5 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showpost.php?p=2401231&postcount=297)
Playtest 6 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showpost.php?p=2402593&postcount=299)
Playtest 7 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showpost.php?p=2408397&postcount=305)
Playtest 8 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showpost.php?p=2420783&postcount=309)
Playtest 9 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showpost.php?p=2421443&postcount=310)

https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/567009548041453579/567021153571569664/image0.jpg?width=508&height=676

Pumpkin_King
May 12th, 2019, 10:04 PM
Love these guys. I imagine them as aliens - beings made of weird energy that phase through reality. I love the idea of them having a "telefrag" power. Telefrag is a term used in games where a teleport exists, and you're able to kill an opponent by teleporting into/through them.

Phaseborn Hunters

Prismite
U.Squad
Hunters
Wild

1/6/1/4/4

Telefrag SA.
R5/A4
No LOS needed. If the Hunter destroys the figure, take its place. If not, place it adjacent to the figure.

Phased Out
Has no visible hit zones if there are no revealed OMs on their card.

flameslayer93
May 13th, 2019, 08:55 AM
I dig the Telefrag power, and I see you went with NB’s Phased Out idea. I like it! I can see them going for 90 points.

All Your Pie
May 13th, 2019, 04:56 PM
Telefrag actually seems quite strong to my eyes, and I donít know that Phased Out is a neat enough defensive power to justify being a new one when Stealth Dodge or the like would do. Some tweaking could probably alleviate those concerns, though. Here are my initial thoughts for these guys if we want to go a different direction.

1/6/1/3/4

Blink
Instead of moving normally with a Phantom, you may place it on any empty space within 3 spaces. When a Phantom is placed with Blink, it will not take any leaving engagement attacks.

Phase Grab
Before a Phantom uses its Blink special power, you may choose an adjacent small or medium figure. After placing that Phantom, you may place the chosen figure on any empty same-level space adjacent to that Phantom. Placed figures will not take any leaving engagement attacks. [figure race] are not affected by Phase Grab.

flameslayer93
May 13th, 2019, 06:35 PM
Tethering Raelin (or another cheerleader) might be a bit of a problem with Phase Grab, but I like the idea of teleporting around while pulling other characters in (and out) of the mix.

All Your Pie
May 13th, 2019, 06:52 PM
Tethering Raelin (or another cheerleader) might be a bit of a problem with Phase Grab, but I like the idea of teleporting around while pulling other characters in (and out) of the mix.
Mm, fair. Could always restrict Phase Grab to opponent's figures, I suppose.

EDIT: Another, separate option would be to change base move to 4 and make Blink an instead of attacking power. This would make it a little more powerful in the early game but would force a choice between attacking and blinking and would also prevent the phantoms from immediately capitalizing on a Phase Grabbed figure

Pumpkin_King
May 13th, 2019, 07:16 PM
Possibly you could tie phase grab to a d20 wound - making it more helpful for hurting enemies but also making it a risky decision to grab an ally.

I’m still a fan of the telefrag visual and theme, but I’m not tied to that specific special attack, or even a special attack at all. If we can capture same feel and theme, I’ll be satisfied.

Pumpkin_King
May 13th, 2019, 07:17 PM
I also like Stealth Dodge as a defensive option. Nice and simple.

NecroBlade
May 14th, 2019, 11:12 AM
Another, separate option would be to change base move to 4 and make Blink an instead of attacking power. This would make it a little more powerful in the early game but would force a choice between attacking and blinking
I like this a lot. The visual of these guys blinking in and out, bouncing around the battlefield is a good one.

I also like Stealth Dodge as a defensive option. Nice and simple.
I like this, too. Would give us a melee Stealth Dodge Squad to go with DW7K, as we have Krav and Skahen to fill the SD Squad and Hero roles.

I also do like no hitzones with no revealed OMs (plus or minus allowing figures to move through them maybe), but it's hard to argue with the simple reuse of SD here.

One more thing: I want them to have 4 Attack. I know #arms = #Attack is not a thing, but I like it as a moment for someone to read the card and discover, "Four arms, four Attack, cool!"

flameslayer93
May 14th, 2019, 03:08 PM
Let’s see a really simple design here:

Prismite Hunters

6M 1R 4A 3D (stats can be tuned accordingly, but I don’t like 4M here).

Phantom Walk
Stealth Dodge

Nothing flashy in this power set, but this does allow us to add another power while hitting the “pass through figures” and “bullets pass through them” notes at the same time. Whether this is a Telegrab (my personal favorite), Phase Grab (ehhh), nothing (:shrug:), or something else yet could be open for debate.

Pumpkin_King
May 14th, 2019, 03:48 PM
I like them having stealth dodge and phantom walk, but my want for simplicity is making me wary of three powers. It helps that those two are very simple.

All Your Pie
May 14th, 2019, 10:10 PM
I don't mind just Stealth Dodge and Phantom Walk--3 def still makes them fragile enough in melee that I doubt they'll be too frustrating. If we add a third power to that, though, I think it'd have to be something we haven't seen yet. Adding a big ranged special to that toolset feels off, and Blink and Phase Grab are only really interesting when used together, which would be two powers.

In terms of complexity, I think we're fine to add three powers to a card every now and then, so long as we're fine with leaving cards with only one power every now and then. It's interesting to note that the main designs being proposed so far have been two powers, which suggests that we're taking to the lesson of simplicity pretty well but we might be trying to even things out too much. There can be peaks and valleys to it, after all.

Pumpkin_King
May 14th, 2019, 11:42 PM
I feel very strongly that we need some sort of power that fulfills the theme of them phasing in and out of reality - teleporting is the obvious way to do this. If not Telefrag, then some sort of blink/teleport ability. Maybe something where they teleport and then burst with energy in an AOE.

Astroking112
May 14th, 2019, 11:48 PM
After finally getting caught up here, I have to say that my favorite direction is a combination of several:

SPOOKY ALIENS
Vydar
1 Life
4 Move
1 Range
4 Attack
3 Defense

Blink
Instead of attacking with the SPOOKY ALIENS, you may place them on any empty space within 3 spaces of their original location. When a SPOOKY ALIEN is placed with Blink, it will not take any leaving engagement attacks.

Phase Grab
Before a SPOOKY ALIEN uses Blink, you may choose an opponent's adjacent small or medium figure. After placing that SPOOKY ALIEN, you may place the chosen figure on any empty space adjacent to that SPOOKY ALIEN. Placed figures will not take any leaving engagement attacks. Figures cannot be moved by Phase Grab more than once per turn.

Stealth Dodge

AYP's Blink and Phase Grab could theoretically be combined into one power if we feel the need, but they're practically two separate powers already and it wouldn't reduce any complexity. I really like NB's idea of making them an instead of attacking power, which makes it a definite choice for whether you want to get a good move or a good attack (the 4 dice makes it a tougher choice as well). That also helps tie down the power level a little bit.

Stealth Dodge I'm a little less enthused about, but it's thematic and having it on a melee squad would be an interesting reuse of the power at the very least. Of the design, I'd probably call it the least essential part, but it can work well with what we have, and as AYP said, we don't need to overcorrect in avoiding 3-power units.

All Your Pie
May 14th, 2019, 11:59 PM
I'm pretty much happy with the design posted above. The restriction on moving a figure multiple times is a good touch. I think we still need a same-level restriction on where you can place the figure, though, to make lava dunking a bit tougher. It may also be possible that the lack of any chance of failure for phase grab could make these guys frustrating to play against, but that's a concern I'd need to see validated or dismissed by testing.

Pumpkin_King
May 15th, 2019, 12:03 AM
It's not sold on Blink being instead of attacking. Would prefer instead of moving. But that may bump their power level too high.

Astroking112
May 15th, 2019, 12:54 AM
A same-level restriction also makes sense from the standpoint of these guys having 4 attack, so they're already potent and don't really need the easy way to boost their offense even further with height.

A roll might also be necessary, but that could be a little tricky since it would either make the grab unreliable while leaving your figure in the intended position, but making the ability both instead of attacking and require a roll for placement could be frustrating. It could certainly be refined in playtesting, though.

I prefer Blink to be instead of attacking because it presents it as more of a choice to me. Otherwise, it's usually just a matter of checking whether you can move the full number of spaces, or if you should blink. Making it require you giving up your attack makes it a much harder choice after the early stages, when it admittedly is always a natural choice in the opposite direction. Still, I like the combo of low move with a choice to sacrifice your attack for a great teleport.

Pumpkin_King
May 15th, 2019, 03:18 AM
I dunno. I’m not quite sold yet. I’ll have to think on it a little.

flameslayer93
May 15th, 2019, 08:32 AM
With the Phantom Walk + Stealth Dodge design, it was meant to be easy to use while still getting the same theme across. So here are a couple of questions and my arguments why Blink itself is uneeded.

Why Blink over Phantom Walk?

Blink lets you clip over water and onto potentially higher heights. It achieves phasing in and out of physical-ness.

Phantom Walk does not let you clip over water, but is an existing power. It also achieves the theme of phasing in and out of physical-ness.

Can you attach Phase Grab or Telefrag to Blink that is better than attaching it to Phantom Walk?

The only value I see of Blink over Phantom Walk is that with Phantom Walk you’ll have to add “choose a figure a Prismite passed through this turn” before whatever power text you want. With fancy wordsmithing, we can even do it for the original idea of Telefrag (if Telefrag is an SA). This is made up for the fact that Phantom Walk is only one sentence.

Blink is more thematic as a name, right?

Change the name of Phantom Walk to Blink. Boom.

NecroBlade
May 15th, 2019, 10:33 AM
After finally getting caught up here, I have to say that my favorite direction is a combination of several:

SPOOKY ALIENS
Vydar
1 Life
4 Move
1 Range
4 Attack
3 Defense

Blink
Instead of attacking with the SPOOKY ALIENS, you may place them on any empty space within 3 spaces of their original location. When a SPOOKY ALIEN is placed with Blink, it will not take any leaving engagement attacks.

Phase Grab
Before a SPOOKY ALIEN uses Blink, you may choose an opponent's adjacent small or medium figure. After placing that SPOOKY ALIEN, you may place the chosen figure on any empty space adjacent to that SPOOKY ALIEN. Placed figures will not take any leaving engagement attacks. Figures cannot be moved by Phase Grab more than once per turn.

Stealth Dodge

AYP's Blink and Phase Grab could theoretically be combined into one power if we feel the need, but they're practically two separate powers already and it wouldn't reduce any complexity. I really like NB's idea of making them an instead of attacking power, which makes it a definite choice for whether you want to get a good move or a good attack (the 4 dice makes it a tougher choice as well). That also helps tie down the power level a little bit.

Stealth Dodge I'm a little less enthused about, but it's thematic and having it on a melee squad would be an interesting reuse of the power at the very least. Of the design, I'd probably call it the least essential part, but it can work well with what we have, and as AYP said, we don't need to overcorrect in avoiding 3-power units.

I don't want to see a bunch of 3-power units, but I really do like this design. Blink instead of attacking is an interesting choice, though it does leave them vulnerable. I think Phantom Walk (with higher Move) and Phase Grabbing a figure moved through might be the better way to go. Same-level restriction for placement is a good add (and moving a figure once per turn a la Tactical Switch was a good call). Should we get this in the OP so we can focus on its discussion for design, as well as rounding them out with a name (not gonna lie, I kinda like SPOOKY ALIENS) left box stats?

flameslayer93
May 15th, 2019, 11:29 AM
With only 2 members for Phantom Walk and 2 for Blink, and we still aren't sure if we are going a Telefrag or Phase Grab option I'd hold off on posting this to the OP. You may be able to get away with updating it with 4 Attack though. ;)

I'd say let capsocrates post his thoughts here first, NB. :)

Pumpkin_King
May 15th, 2019, 11:44 AM
I’m unsure what direction to take - I’m not sold on phase grab just yet.

lefton4ya
May 15th, 2019, 11:53 AM
Phase Grab with Blink sounds like advanced power - even more difficult than Warforged's tactical switch. By advanced I don't mean hard to understand I mean hard to pull off effectively and requires to be an advanced player to use in game strategically. I am not against it, just want people to be aware of the direction if we go this route. I do like Blink over Phantom Walk and Stealth Dodge as well.

Pumpkin_King
May 15th, 2019, 11:56 AM
Yeah. I think that’s why I’m struggling with phase grab. It seems like a situational power in a set that will need much more generally applied mechanics.

Astroking112
May 16th, 2019, 03:51 PM
With the Phantom Walk + Stealth Dodge design, it was meant to be easy to use while still getting the same theme across. So here are a couple of questions and my arguments why Blink itself is uneeded.

Why Blink over Phantom Walk?

Blink lets you clip over water and onto potentially higher heights. It achieves phasing in and out of physical-ness.

Phantom Walk does not let you clip over water, but is an existing power. It also achieves the theme of phasing in and out of physical-ness.

Can you attach Phase Grab or Telefrag to Blink that is better than attaching it to Phantom Walk?

The only value I see of Blink over Phantom Walk is that with Phantom Walk youíll have to add ďchoose a figure a Prismite passed through this turnĒ before whatever power text you want. With fancy wordsmithing, we can even do it for the original idea of Telefrag (if Telefrag is an SA). This is made up for the fact that Phantom Walk is only one sentence.

Blink is more thematic as a name, right?

Change the name of Phantom Walk to Blink. Boom.

I don't think that Phantom Walk and Blink convey the same themes. Phantom Walk normally is for stealthy figures that can sneak past anyone, and even a rename to Blink doesn't fully change this. Why, for example, does a teleporting alien need to count spaces around castle walls to appear on the other side? Why can they not blink over water or lava? Phantom Walk inherently conveys the theme of walking somewhere, which is at odds with the theme of teleporting away.

Changing the name to Blink doesn't change this, and I'm not so sure that Blink makes sense as a name for the power in any case since they're no longer specifically walking a set distance, blinking to a different position, and then walking again. In my eyes, any kind of Phantom Walk power makes more sense for a much more physical power/theme, such as ninjas or the phantoms that these guys originally were.

I'd also argue that Phantom Walk + Phase Grab is a more complicated power set than Blink + Phase Grab, since placing a figure at a given time is easier to understand than having to walk through a figure and drag them away. It's easier for us to immediately understand since Phantom Walk is a familiar power, but hopefully there will be players who see everything as a new power, even the reused ones.

The aliens admittedly might be a little easier to play well if they're allowed to Phase Grab a figure at any point during their movement, but there's nothing wrong with including a few "advanced" units that reward skilled players as well. I personally don't think that the necessary thematic sacrifices are worth it.

Pumpkin_King
May 16th, 2019, 03:59 PM
I think I’m in agreement with AK here. He put words to some thoughts I had.

flameslayer93
May 16th, 2019, 06:49 PM
Iíll accept Blink+Grab but Iím definately gonna need to see how it fares in practice. Itís a powerset that takes a lot of risks competitively, which is fine. Just hopefully not ĎAí levels of fine. Some things you can charge for, others are little bit harder to. Blinking Raelin will be a concern, but blinking Rats away might make up for it. Then again, blinking Rats and other screens around could also prove to be annoying.

But, Phase Grab wasnít really my favorite option here anyway. ;)

Pumpkin_King
May 16th, 2019, 07:23 PM
I honestly think that we should be moving away from phase grab at all. It doesn’t feel like it fits to me. Not theme wise, and not in a master set.

flameslayer93
May 16th, 2019, 07:38 PM
I honestly think that we should be moving away from phase grab at all. It doesn’t feel like it fits to me. Not theme wise, and not in a master set.

I agree that simpler is better, but we are currently at 3-2 in favor of Phase Grab. And, it might get rejected in testing anyway. Like I said above, it takes a lot of risks in the competitive format. Not all of which are super concerning, but *could* be a concern. There’s a reason Warforged and Arashara cost so much.

All Your Pie
May 16th, 2019, 07:42 PM
Phase Grab is not be all, end all for me. There have been some valid points against it, most notably the point that it may end up superfluous on a card that would rather just attack normally, or too much on a card that can both use it on attack. That said, there are two main points I want to emphasize.

1. If we're want to emphasize a dimensional/teleportation theme, Phantom Walk isn't going to get us there. Astroking's explanation for why is, to my mind, more or less sufficient here, and I agree with it.

2. Abandoning the Phase Grab direction should not default us to the Telefrag direction. For one, Telefrag as written is too strong in that it provides 3 ranged attacks of 4 which can be used against the same or different targets. Additionally, the theme of Telefrag is too niche for my tastes, as a reference to old-school twitch shooters and a very specific usage of teleportation. I could see a design where that is appropriate, but I don't believe that's here for this Master Set.

Phase Grab could still be workable if we restrict it to opponent's figures and testing proves it to be tactically interesting. But it doesn't, or if we don't want to go that direction, we don't have to come to an ultimatum here. We're in no hurry, and we can always continue to brainstorm additional powers to convey our intended theme that have yet to come up. In my mind, that's the decision we're at here, not a make-or-break choice between two different directions.

NecroBlade
May 17th, 2019, 11:23 AM
1. If we're want to emphasize a dimensional/teleportation theme, Phantom Walk isn't going to get us there. Astroking's explanation for why is, to my mind, more or less sufficient here, and I agree with it.
I do want to point out that it's not difficult to make work with Phase Grab, but that's fair. I love the simplicity of a unit with just Phantom Walk/Stealth Dodge, but that might not be the right theme fit here.

2. Abandoning the Phase Grab direction should not default us to the Telefrag direction. For one, Telefrag as written is too strong in that it provides 3 ranged attacks of 4 which can be used against the same or different targets. Additionally, the theme of Telefrag is too niche for my tastes, as a reference to old-school twitch shooters and a very specific usage of teleportation. I could see a design where that is appropriate, but I don't believe that's here for this Master Set.
I would absolutely be against Telefrag as laid out (5R/4A). It's just way too strong. At the very least the Attack would have to drop to 3 (otherwise even with 4A normally you'd just Telefrag adjacent figures to get around defensive powers and move if you fail).

Phase Grab could still be workable if we restrict it to opponent's figures and testing proves it to be tactically interesting. But it doesn't, or if we don't want to go that direction, we don't have to come to an ultimatum here. We're in no hurry, and we can always continue to brainstorm additional powers to convey our intended theme that have yet to come up. In my mind, that's the decision we're at here, not a make-or-break choice between two different directions.
I think part of the problem is that while Blink, Phase Grab, and Stealth Dodge are all thematically appropriate, they don't necessarily make the best package together.

How about this?

4 Move
1 Range
4 Attack
3 Defense

BLINK
Before moving, you may place a SPOOKY ALIEN on an empty space within 2 clear sight spaces. It will not take leaving engagement attacks while Blinking.

PHASED OUT
SPOOKY ALIENS have no visible hit zones while there are no revealed OMs on this card.

Both of these really get the theme across of them moving between dimensions. And both make them a solid anti-Range unit: can't be targeted and can disengage to get behind screens. 4 Move helps balance out Blink-before-moving. And both powers are short and straightforward.

lefton4ya
May 17th, 2019, 11:30 AM
I like NecroBlade's new BLINK a lot as you can essentially have a disengage move of 6 in most circumstances, but it keeps the theme. However I not a fan of the name BLINK, maybe FLASH or PHASE IN, I dunno :shrug:

PHASED OUT seems good as well as it essentially Stealth Dodge for at least part of the round; but I'm not tied to it. Name at least good and IMHO is better than BLINK is for that power.

Astroking112
May 17th, 2019, 06:04 PM
Iíll accept Blink+Grab but Iím definately gonna need to see how it fares in practice. Itís a powerset that takes a lot of risks competitively, which is fine. Just hopefully not ĎAí levels of fine. Some things you can charge for, others are little bit harder to. Blinking Raelin will be a concern, but blinking Rats away might make up for it. Then again, blinking Rats and other screens around could also prove to be annoying.

But, Phase Grab wasnít really my favorite option here anyway. ;)

If you read the most recent drafts, you'd see that Phase Grab already only worked with opponents' figures. ;)

Power concerns are a good point, but I don't think that we need to absolutely avoid making an "A" unit at all costs. So long as we don't add a new Raelin or Major Q9 into the mix, I'm fine with some units being in a competitive discussion every now and then, and I think that the proposed Phase Grab would be too difficult to consistently find value in for a Unique Squad to make them the next Cathar Spearmen unless we price these guys way too low.


I think part of the problem is that while Blink, Phase Grab, and Stealth Dodge are all thematically appropriate, they don't necessarily make the best package together.

How about this?

4 Move
1 Range
4 Attack
3 Defense

BLINK
Before moving, you may place a SPOOKY ALIEN on an empty space within 2 clear sight spaces. It will not take leaving engagement attacks while Blinking.

PHASED OUT
SPOOKY ALIENS have no visible hit zones while there are no revealed OMs on this card.

Both of these really get the theme across of them moving between dimensions. And both make them a solid anti-Range unit: can't be targeted and can disengage to get behind screens. 4 Move helps balance out Blink-before-moving. And both powers are short and straightforward.

I may be mistaken, but I thought that the reason we were discussing Stealth Dodge over Phased Out was because they were similar enough mechanically and Stealth Dodge was simpler to get the hang of? I can get behind Phased Out as well (the theme feels a little stronger to me), although conditionally removing hit zones is generally a more complex mechanic to implement in my eyes. I'd feel more iffy about putting Phased Out in a design with three powers.

If we wanted to remove Phase Grab from the design, I would suggest upping Blink to 3 spaces and lowering the base move to 3. As one of the defining aspects of the design, I feel like it should be a little more impactful, although it still essentially equates to a free disengage before moving here.

flameslayer93
May 17th, 2019, 06:07 PM
Things get missed all the time Astro. Good catch ;)

flameslayer93
May 17th, 2019, 07:01 PM
Is Blink + Stealth Dodge an option that still hits the theme well? I mean, if a robot can use Stealth Dodge, I don’t see why Spooky Aliens can’t. A rename still works.

Plus, if the units are “phased out” of this dimension, how can they be slashed at? At least in melee we can guess that they are too busy fighting to really think about timing their phasing.

Pumpkin_King
May 17th, 2019, 07:15 PM
I much much prefer this version of Blink. I’m torn on SD/Phased. I’m leaning towards Phased just for the novelty, but like flame mentioned, maybe a renamed Stealth Dodge?

All Your Pie
May 17th, 2019, 09:54 PM
I'd rather not rename functionally identical powers, it's something I disliked every time official scape did it. That said, we could easily make a version of stealth dodge that only works against normal attacks, although that would imply that teleportation/dimension shifting to avoid attacks is somehow worse than matrix dodging. Which is a little odd.

NecroBlade
May 17th, 2019, 10:26 PM
I lean Phased Out not for the novelty but because Stealth Dodge is more "close but not quite" like Phantom Walk was.

Pumpkin_King
May 18th, 2019, 03:07 AM
I lean Phased Out not for the novelty but because Stealth Dodge is more "close but not quite" like Phantom Walk was.

This too. Agreed.

Astroking112
May 18th, 2019, 04:01 PM
I can get behind that reasoning for going with Phased Out. Stealth Dodge feels less off to me personally, but I like the added feeling of these guys becoming visible after they've taken a turn. Just as a quick brainstorm to explore more ideas:

Phased Out
If there are no revealed Order Markers on this card, then when rolling defense dice for a SPOOKY ALIEN, one shield will block all damage.

The main change here in my eyes is that it gives them the boost when in melee as well, given that they're supposed to be phased out of the battlefield altogether. That might prove problematic in practice, though it can be balanced by their Unique stature and them losing all protection whenever they try to take a turn.

flameslayer93
May 18th, 2019, 04:12 PM
That risks them taking a Defender role, which is cool with me, but I was under the impression these guys were going more for an Attacking role.

No complaints on either route though.

capsocrates
May 19th, 2019, 01:00 PM
I like NB's version of Phased Out. And I definitely don't like Stealth Dodge for these guys; I don't think it fits.

I like the general idea. I still like the idea of doing a phase grab though. What about something along these lines:

PHASE GRAB
Instead of moving normally, you may choose an adjacent figure, place a PHASER on an empty space within 3 clear sight spaces. If you chose an adjacent figure you must roll the 20-sided die. On a 9 or higher, you may place the chosen figure on an empty same-level space adjacent to the PHASER. On a 16 or higher, you may also inflict one wound on the chosen figure.

Numbers up for change; wording is rough.

The instead of moving normally is because it is basically like a Shaolin Monk Stealth Leap, and replacing movement is simpler than adding to it.

Pumpkin_King
May 19th, 2019, 01:34 PM
I still prefer the simple move > blink. Nothing here really says to me that they need to grab people and pull them through a blink.

Astroking112
May 19th, 2019, 02:36 PM
I like the grab idea because it's something we haven't seen before (and it evokes alien abductions, which I quite like the theme of for these guys given the other sci-fi tropes).

I'd be willing to sacrifice the move then blink power to get an instead-of-moving blink with Phase Grab like caps proposed. I'm not a huge fan of Stealth Leap, but the grab seems like it would be fun to play around with and play differently than what largely amounts to a disengage.

NecroBlade
May 19th, 2019, 04:40 PM
I like Phase Grab in theory, but like the simpler version of these guys more.

As to 3M + Blink 3 spaces, Negation is a thing and I'd rather not see these guys completely neutered by it. Blink 2 spaces is just enough to get through a ruin/wall, and can still fully disengage you around a screen any way but straight through. (note that I removed "clear sight" to make this happen, as intended)

The "Stealth Dodge but only while no revealed OMs" version of Phased Out isn't bad (since it does help with melee), but the lack of hit zones still feels preferable thematically.

Current discussion in the OP.

Astroking112
May 19th, 2019, 05:53 PM
I like Phase Grab in theory, but like the simpler version of these guys more.

As to 3M + Blink 3 spaces, Negation is a thing and I'd rather not see these guys completely neutered by it. Blink 2 spaces is just enough to get through a ruin/wall, and can still fully disengage you around a screen any way but straight through. (note that I removed "clear sight" to make this happen, as intended)

Eh, negation is so rare as-is (only Morsbane and a glyph come to mind as opportunities) that I'm fine with letting it counter them like many other units. Morsbane, although more usable with Haduc, will probably be even rarer than the negation glyph for most players, so I don't personally think it's worth changing their design over it. I'd be more concerned if we were still discussing negation on another design.

The "Stealth Dodge but only while no revealed OMs" version of Phased Out isn't bad (since it does help with melee), but the lack of hit zones still feels preferable thematically.

Just to be clear, you feel like them not being visible is more thematically important than being tougher against melee when phased out?

NecroBlade
May 22nd, 2019, 10:14 AM
I'd be OK with getting outvoted on 3/3 Blink. :shrug:

And yes, being "invisible" seems more thematically appropriate to me than being tougher/stealth.

flameslayer93
May 22nd, 2019, 07:06 PM
I prefer 4/2 Move/Blink personally. Even if a unit gets negated it should still be capable of moving. The only things that go 3 spaces are literally rock-people and they too can walk 4 spaces with Leadership.

All Your Pie
May 23rd, 2019, 09:33 PM
I personally just don't like messing with hit zones with a mechanic as it's always struck me as a bit unintuitive and messy, but that's my own gripe. 4 move and blink of 2 seems fine with me.

flameslayer93
May 24th, 2019, 12:16 AM
I just think we need to figure out how these guys should be played and then make sure we have both the theme and the actual mechanics in line with that. Right now, if I was a new player I wouldn’t be sure what to do with them. Do I move ‘em around to get to ranged figures or do I wait around with my invisibility suits active? We may almost be better off giving them no hitzones at all.

In other words, let’s focus on Blink for this design.

Astroking112
May 24th, 2019, 02:12 AM
I'd be OK with getting outvoted on 3/3 Blink. :shrug:

And yes, being "invisible" seems more thematically appropriate to me than being tougher/stealth.

Ah, I see. I took Phased Out as being them physically teleporting off of the battlefield when not active or otherwise completely disappearing, not them being invisible.

I do prefer 3 move for blink and 3 base move if both can be used every turn (and I disagree with negation being a strike against it), but I won't press it if everyone else feels differently.

I think that flameslayer touched on a much more important topic, though:
I just think we need to figure out how these guys should be played and then make sure we have both the theme and the actual mechanics in line with that. Right now, if I was a new player I wouldnít be sure what to do with them. Do I move Ďem around to get to ranged figures or do I wait around with my invisibility suits active? We may almost be better off giving them no hitzones at all.

In other words, letís focus on Blink for this design.

What is the intended playstyle for these guys? Are they assassins? Right now, they feel pretty much like the Ninjas of the Northern Space to me (which to be fair, is an archetype we can use, but it doesn't scream alien to me).

Honestly, a stronger Blink + Phase Grab would be more satisfying to me than Blink + Phased Out or other ranged defensive power, both in terms of thematically being an alien that grabs and abducts people and mechanically being unique. I'm curious to hear if others disagree, though, since I won't deny that I could be the only one to view Phase Grab as being pretty distinctly alien feeling.

All Your Pie
May 24th, 2019, 02:16 AM
I suggested phase grab mostly to tie in to the four big arms these guys have. I do still like it conceptually, though, so you arenít entirely alone.

If we want to make their powers a bit bigger and splashier, but perhaps more unwieldy, we could combine a version of Phase Grab with straight-up Teleport from Tuk-Bak-Ra. The ability to move 10 spaces across the battlefield mitigates the need for a defensive power and gives more weight to the option to move an opponentís figure. If we did that, though, I would rather see these guys at 3 or even 2 attack as opposed to 4.

Astroking112
May 24th, 2019, 02:19 AM
Combining Phase Grab with a true Teleport sounds absolutely bonkers, and I wish we could explore it. Unfortunately, I feel like the relative lack of terrain in the Arena of the Planeswalkers sets makes the same-level restriction practically nonexistent, which could pose a significant problem.

flameslayer93
May 24th, 2019, 03:12 AM
How about just making them teleporting beatsticks? Blink could just be a straight up Teleport but with a move of 5 and same level requirement. Their normal move could be 4 to make them “feel” like they are heavier units already and that they really aren’t used to walking/climbing. The Crypoliths give us some heights, and stacking cardboard flats also helps a bit.

I’m still not sold on the Phase Grab. Wouldn’t they be punching/phase clawing somebody instead of grabbing them for a wild ride through time and space?

NecroBlade
May 24th, 2019, 02:46 PM
I'd be OK with getting outvoted on 3/3 Blink. :shrug:

And yes, being "invisible" seems more thematically appropriate to me than being tougher/stealth.

Ah, I see. I took Phased Out as being them physically teleporting off of the battlefield when not active or otherwise completely disappearing, not them being invisible.
I put invisible in quotes as in "no visible hit zone", but yes the theme is them not physically being present. As noted earlier that does have a slight issue with melee still being able to attack them. We could go to something like, "SPOOKY ALIENS cannot be attacked while there are no revealed Order Markers on this card". That's stronger both mechanically and thematically, but in an endgame scenario an opponent who wins initiative wastes an OM, which is a big advantage.
Another alternative might be, "SPOOKY ALIENS have no visible hit zone while there is at least one unrevealed Order Marker on this card." They become a parking spot for your X that way, though. Maybe even "exactly one" like Shiori, so they can still use the X to stay phased, but if you want more than one OM on them they'll only be phased part of the time. Or even revealed instead of unrevealed, that way an opponent that wins initiative can get the drop on them before they go full phase monster mode. Actually, I might like that one best...

I do prefer 3 move for blink and 3 base move if both can be used every turn (and I disagree with negation being a strike against it), but I won't press it if everyone else feels differently.
I suspect we'll put it to a vote sooner or later.

I think that flameslayer touched on a much more important topic, though:
I just think we need to figure out how these guys should be played and then make sure we have both the theme and the actual mechanics in line with that. Right now, if I was a new player I wouldnít be sure what to do with them. Do I move Ďem around to get to ranged figures or do I wait around with my invisibility suits active? We may almost be better off giving them no hitzones at all.

In other words, letís focus on Blink for this design.

What is the intended playstyle for these guys? Are they assassins? Right now, they feel pretty much like the Ninjas of the Northern Space to me (which to be fair, is an archetype we can use, but it doesn't scream alien to me).

Honestly, a stronger Blink + Phase Grab would be more satisfying to me than Blink + Phased Out or other ranged defensive power, both in terms of thematically being an alien that grabs and abducts people and mechanically being unique. I'm curious to hear if others disagree, though, since I won't deny that I could be the only one to view Phase Grab as being pretty distinctly alien feeling.
I think Blink + Phased Out is a strong thematic combo, possibly pending finding the sweet spot for Phased Out. They do feel a little bit like the Ninjas, but so what? That doesn't make them not-alien. I said before that I like the idea of Phase Grab, I'm just not sure I like it on these guys in a Master Set.

How about just making them teleporting beatsticks? Blink could just be a straight up Teleport but with a move of 5 and same level requirement. Their normal move could be 4 to make them ďfeelĒ like they are heavier units already and that they really arenít used to walking/climbing. The Crypoliths give us some heights, and stacking cardboard flats also helps a bit.

Iím still not sold on the Phase Grab. Wouldnít they be punching/phase clawing somebody instead of grabbing them for a wild ride through time and space?
Teleport as noted is pretty strong when there's a lack of terrain. It doesn't quite hit the right thematic notes for me, either. And I wouldn't like lowering their attack to make Phase Grab happen, since as you say they should be punching and clawing with those, so 4 Attack looks good.

All Your Pie
May 24th, 2019, 03:31 PM
Getting slapped around by four spooky arms sounds more like a street fighter character than some sort of alien to me. Again, though, I'm not deeply committed to the Phase Grab direction. I could see Teleport/Phase Grab working with stats of something like 2/5 or 3/4. A more beatstick approach then makes sense for 4/3 stats. I'm still a little iffy on Phased Out but it seems like it's still being iterated on so that's fine.

Astroking112
May 24th, 2019, 03:36 PM
I put invisible in quotes as in "no visible hit zone", but yes the theme is them not physically being present. As noted earlier that does have a slight issue with melee still being able to attack them. We could go to something like, "SPOOKY ALIENS cannot be attacked while there are no revealed Order Markers on this card". That's stronger both mechanically and thematically, but in an endgame scenario an opponent who wins initiative wastes an OM, which is a big advantage.
Another alternative might be, "SPOOKY ALIENS have no visible hit zone while there is at least one unrevealed Order Marker on this card." They become a parking spot for your X that way, though. Maybe even "exactly one" like Shiori, so they can still use the X to stay phased, but if you want more than one OM on them they'll only be phased part of the time. Or even revealed instead of unrevealed, that way an opponent that wins initiative can get the drop on them before they go full phase monster mode. Actually, I might like that one best...

If they are meant to be physically phased out, then I don't think that making them invisible carries out that theme. Removing hit zones feels more like Phantom Walk to me, where there are obvious thematic ties, but not in the way that we're looking for.


I think Blink + Phased Out is a strong thematic combo, possibly pending finding the sweet spot for Phased Out. They do feel a little bit like the Ninjas, but so what? That doesn't make them not-alien. I said before that I like the idea of Phase Grab, I'm just not sure I like it on these guys in a Master Set.

Blink + Phased Out (at least currently) doesn't feel like it's quite there yet to me. As I mentioned, there's nothing wrong with following the style of the ninjas, but that doesn't feel perfectly aligned with the alien theme. It feels like an assassin, which feels more in tune with ninjas (of course) or even phantoms. Given that HeroScape didn't have any true "sci-fi aliens" like we're designing, I feel like we should lean more into the alien tropes and try to make a playstyle that's reminiscent of it rather than away from it. We can still take them down this route, but I want to make sure that's the direction that we're intending.

Teleport as noted is pretty strong when there's a lack of terrain. It doesn't quite hit the right thematic notes for me, either. And I wouldn't like lowering their attack to make Phase Grab happen, since as you say they should be punching and clawing with those, so 4 Attack looks good.

As All Your Pie noted, I think that being able to grab onto other figures suits the four arms pretty well (and it justifies them also attacking that turn, if we wanted to go that way). Having 4 attack is neat representation of four arms as well, but I'd personally be fine with either callout with a slight preference towards the grab, given that it matches the alien feel more.

NecroBlade
May 24th, 2019, 03:47 PM
I guess I see (literally, what I first think of when I look at the figures) these guys more as the menacing assassin/beatdown type of sci-fi monster that is hunting the heroes and turning up in the worst places to kill them, rather than one that "does necessarily alien things" like teleporting and abducting people through other dimensions. As far as phasing goes, in my mind it's more of an in-and-out thing than full on disappearing here and reappearing there (hence Phase Out vs Teleportation).

Any thoughts in particular on any of these other potential directions for Phased Out?

SPOOKY ALIENS cannot be attacked while there are no revealed Order Markers on this card.
SPOOKY ALIENS have no visible hit zone while there is at least one unrevealed Order Marker on this card.
SPOOKY ALIENS have no visible hit zone while there is exactly one unrevealed Order Marker on this card.
SPOOKY ALIENS have no visible hit zone while there is at least one revealed Order Marker on this card.

lefton4ya
May 24th, 2019, 04:03 PM
I like:
SPOOKY ALIENS have no visible hit zones while there are no revealed Order Markers on this card.
Thematically they phase out at the start of the game until they attack then have to wait till the end of each round to phase out again. Makes you want to use turn 3 on them while they are outside of range as well as helps if you loose initiative, but this is probably the most nerfed of this power's options.

Astroking112
May 24th, 2019, 04:14 PM
I guess I see (literally, what I first think of when I look at the figures) these guys more as the menacing assassin/beatdown type of sci-fi monster that is hunting the heroes and turning up in the worst places to kill them, rather than one that "does necessarily alien things" like teleporting and abducting people through other dimensions. As far as phasing goes, in my mind it's more of an in-and-out thing than full on disappearing here and reappearing there (hence Phase Out vs Teleportation).

Rapidly blinking in and out of existence doesn't match the "menacing alien" feel to me. It feels more in line with morning cartoon aliens, disappearing and reappearing where they like, but not necessarily interdimensional monsters. My preference is the more "classic" style of aliens because that feels more in line with how HeroScape explored different genres and its clear Saturday morning cartoon influences, but if we wanted to go with a kind of alien that shows up to beat up some people when they least expect it, I think that a better teleport fits that theme more.

If we really want the defensive power over anything else, this is what I would personally suggest:
SPOOKY ALIENS cannot be attacked by a normal attack while there is exactly one unrevealed Order Markers on this card.
It solves the melee problem and avoids rules issues and a lack of counterplay by being weak to Special Attacks. It's still very strong, though, and it would probably be worth making the thematic sacrifice of copying Shiori and only making it work with one unrevealed Order Marker on the card.

Pumpkin_King
May 24th, 2019, 07:18 PM
As far as the issue of theme (and at the risk of repeating what others have said) - think dimension-hopping Xenomorphs. That’s what I have in mind for them. Hunters, stalkers, beasts that exist partially out of phase with the rest of reality, and use their method of phasing through objects as the ultimate element of surprise.

NecroBlade
May 26th, 2019, 03:31 PM
Rapidly blinking in and out of existence doesn't match the "menacing alien" feel to me.
I didn't say rapidly. More "leaving this dimension for another, to reappear slightly to the left". They don't stay in the other dimension long (just long enough to escape engagement or dodge a shot), but they also don't instantly displace halfway across the battlefield (a different kind of rapid). Hence also me starting Blink at 2 spaces.

if we wanted to go with a kind of alien that shows up to beat up some people when they least expect it, I think that a better teleport fits that theme more.
Two different ways to accomplish the same "appearing where you least expect it" theme, but Teleport doesn't fit what I'm envisioning. Blink fits the stalker-type alien better.

As far as the issue of theme (and at the risk of repeating what others have said) - think dimension-hopping Xenomorphs. Thatís what I have in mind for them. Hunters, stalkers, beasts that exist partially out of phase with the rest of reality, and use their method of phasing through objects as the ultimate element of surprise.
There we go. At least PK can read my mind when I haven't spelled it out well enough on the forum. :lol:

Astroking112
May 26th, 2019, 05:26 PM
As far as the issue of theme (and at the risk of repeating what others have said) - think dimension-hopping Xenomorphs. Thatís what I have in mind for them. Hunters, stalkers, beasts that exist partially out of phase with the rest of reality, and use their method of phasing through objects as the ultimate element of surprise.

I get the "dimension-hopping horror" idea quite well, I just don't think that the current mechanics are the strongest option for it or that it's the best fit for HeroScape in the first place. It reminds me of seeing a Xenomorph at Disney World; while it isn't that extreme, it still feels like we would've seen a different type of alien before one inspired by Alien. :shrug:


Rapidly blinking in and out of existence doesn't match the "menacing alien" feel to me.
I didn't say rapidly. More "leaving this dimension for another, to reappear slightly to the left". They don't stay in the other dimension long (just long enough to escape engagement or dodge a shot), but they also don't instantly displace halfway across the battlefield (a different kind of rapid). Hence also me starting Blink at 2 spaces.

Two different ways to accomplish the same "appearing where you least expect it" theme, but Teleport doesn't fit what I'm envisioning. Blink fits the stalker-type alien better.

The mechanics imply rapidly. They disappear and reappear a space or two away, walk some distance, and then do it again their next chance. If we're aiming for a horror-inspired alien, one that can instantly appear further away before striking at their opponent captures that theme better. Even if we go with a new "Teleport" of just 5-ish spaces (necessary for this set, IMO), that still feels more aligned with horror than an alien disengaging or jumping through a ruin to run at the defender.

NecroBlade
May 26th, 2019, 07:04 PM
I don't think you're seeing the same thing in mind's eye that Pumpkin_King and I are (heck, if I'm not describing what he's seeing either, he can tell me I'm wrong, too!). Maybe we rename it something other than Blink if that helps, but I'm not picturing a "rapid" in-and-out. This gif actually illustrates it pretty well if you imagine them as walking through another dimension, but solid (i.e. in our dimension) at beginning and end:

https://media0.giphy.com/media/xT9IgEHC1dql9S8qys/giphy.gif?cid=790b76115ceb0c1f765745386fd3fa4c&rid=giphy.gif

They phase for a second or two still travelling relatively normally, but in another dimension and reappear in our dimension somewhere else. None of the instantaneous here-then-way-over-there of Teleportation.

Pumpkin_King
May 26th, 2019, 07:17 PM
I don't think you're seeing the same thing in mind's eye that @Pumpkin_King (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/member.php?u=810) and I are (heck, if I'm not describing what he's seeing either, he can tell me I'm wrong, too!). Maybe we rename it something other than Blink if that helps, but I'm not picturing a "rapid" in-and-out. This gif actually illustrates it pretty well if you imagine them as walking through another dimension, but solid (i.e. in our dimension) at beginning and end:

https://media0.giphy.com/media/xT9IgEHC1dql9S8qys/giphy.gif?cid=790b76115ceb0c1f765745386fd3fa4c&rid=giphy.gif

They phase for a second or two still travelling relatively normally, but in another dimension and reappear in our dimension somewhere else. None of the instantaneous here-then-way-over-there of Teleportation.
This is pretty much exactly what I had in mind! This gif is a good illustration.

Astroking112
May 26th, 2019, 10:04 PM
I don't think you're seeing the same thing in mind's eye that Pumpkin_King and I are (heck, if I'm not describing what he's seeing either, he can tell me I'm wrong, too!). Maybe we rename it something other than Blink if that helps, but I'm not picturing a "rapid" in-and-out. This gif actually illustrates it pretty well if you imagine them as walking through another dimension, but solid (i.e. in our dimension) at beginning and end:

https://media0.giphy.com/media/xT9IgEHC1dql9S8qys/giphy.gif?cid=790b76115ceb0c1f765745386fd3fa4c&rid=giphy.gif

They phase for a second or two still travelling relatively normally, but in another dimension and reappear in our dimension somewhere else. None of the instantaneous here-then-way-over-there of Teleportation.

The problem is that there are two distinct phases of movement as written; one where they are normally walking, and one where they briefly phase at least partially into another dimension. If we want to convey this style of movement specifically, where they are only solid at beginning and end, then I don't think that the longer walking phase (where they move just like any other figure) accomplishes that. A mechanic more akin to Phantom Walk is more fitting to that theme, either with or without the ability to move through obstacles as well.

All Your Pie
May 26th, 2019, 10:36 PM
I'm having trouble coming up with any alternate ideas for these guys myself, but I'll note that despite my preferences I'm more or less okay with most ideas that have been proposed. That said, I don't think it's to our benefit to get bogged down in discussing which specific version of theoretical interdimensional travel we want to represent. The theme is broad enough that there are plenty of different options we can justify, so let's pick the one that works best for the design.

Pumpkin_King
May 26th, 2019, 11:28 PM
My vote right now is for 4 Move and a 2-Blink. Blink being through obstacles and whatever.

Secondary I’d like some version of Phased Out. I liked Telefrag, but I’m happy to leave it on the floor for Blink 2/Phased Out

Astroking112
May 27th, 2019, 03:43 AM
That said, I don't think it's to our benefit to get bogged down in discussing which specific version of theoretical interdimensional travel we want to represent. The theme is broad enough that there are plenty of different options we can justify, so let's pick the one that works best for the design.

Agreed. So long as the feeling of traversal fits the design and theme (as in horror evokes horror or anything else), I'm fine with it. I don't think that we need to worry about what version of dimension hopping is being used so long as the design plays like a horror creature if we're going down that route.

flameslayer93
May 27th, 2019, 01:51 PM
That gif seems very reminiscent of Phantom Walking, just with less Stealth and more Phantomness. :p

How about running Astroís idea?

Interdimensional Walk:
Spooky Aliens may move through all figures and obstacles, and never receives leaving engagement attacks.

Blinking up castle walls might be nice, but realistically, not effective on units who only have limited anti-range powers anyways. We do lose the ability to blip through them however.

If we want that, we may as well have teleportation, which Blink basically is (itís just in addition to moving).

NecroBlade
May 27th, 2019, 09:50 PM
The problem is that there are two distinct phases of movement as written; one where they are normally walking, and one where they briefly phase at least partially into another dimension. If we want to convey this style of movement specifically, where they are only solid at beginning and end, then I don't think that the longer walking phase (where they move just like any other figure) accomplishes that. A mechanic more akin to Phantom Walk is more fitting to that theme, either with or without the ability to move through obstacles as well.

Again, that's not what I suggested. They can move into the other dimension for a couple seconds at a time. Hence Blink 2 spaces, then normal move. If we're worried about castle walls, we could always make it same level. (I'm not; can they move vertical relative to our dimension while walking in the other? Sure, why not. My point was there's still movement happening, not just the disappear-here-reappear-there of teleportation.)

All Your Pie
May 27th, 2019, 09:52 PM
I kind of like Move of 3 or 4 and then blink of 3 or 2 with a same level requirement. Prevents them from being functionally faster than 6 move over uneven ground while still capturing our theme. I think I slightly prefer move 4, blink 2 also.

Astroking112
May 27th, 2019, 09:59 PM
The problem is that there are two distinct phases of movement as written; one where they are normally walking, and one where they briefly phase at least partially into another dimension. If we want to convey this style of movement specifically, where they are only solid at beginning and end, then I don't think that the longer walking phase (where they move just like any other figure) accomplishes that. A mechanic more akin to Phantom Walk is more fitting to that theme, either with or without the ability to move through obstacles as well.

Again, that's not what I suggested. They can move into the other dimension for a couple seconds at a time. Hence Blink 2 spaces, then normal move. If we're worried about castle walls, we could always make it same level. (I'm not; can they move vertical relative to our dimension while walking in the other? Sure, why not. My point was there's still movement happening, not just the disappear-here-reappear-there of teleportation.)

That's what is suggested by the current power set. If they're not intended to have two distinct types of movement, then that is not conveyed at all currently. I didn't say that they can't be "walking" in the other dimension that's presented by Blink, but it does not jive well with the current mechanics.

I don't care too much about how the aliens move when using "Blink;" again, I'm more concerned about thematically matching the playstyle of what we're aiming for. If we're trying to evoke horror with this design, I'm not seeing it yet.

Pumpkin_King
May 27th, 2019, 10:43 PM
It's not horror, exactly. When I brought up Xenomorphs, I was talking about the agility and stalking they're sort of known for - not the space/body horror.

I think that a Blink 2/Move 4 thing illustrates that very well. We could even make Blink happen before or after moving.

NecroBlade
May 27th, 2019, 10:47 PM
If they're not intended to have two distinct types of movement, then that is not conveyed at all currently.

They do have two "types" of movement as in one in our dimension one in theirs, but it's fluid, all part of the same continuous motion. Again, pick a different name if that's giving you trouble.

If we're trying to evoke horror with this design, I'm not seeing it yet.
You can't pin them down, they can get in unexpected places, and you had better get the drop on them if you want to shoot them*, or else they'll come for you first. That fits to me.
*Updated Phased Out in the OP for clarity.

@AllYourPie are you suggesting Blink after their normal move instead of before? What does that accomplish for the design? (Not putting it down, curious.)

All Your Pie
May 27th, 2019, 10:50 PM
@AllYourPie are you suggesting Blink after their normal move instead of before? What does that accomplish for the design? (Not putting it down, curious.)

Ah, no, I simply misunderstood how the power works. Putting it at the beginning makes a lot more sense, although the "before or after" version has some merit as well.

I think I'd still prefer Stealth Dodge to Phased Out on this design, but it's not a dealbreaker for me. I think both powers could use some workshopping for their names. I'll see if I can come up with anything.

NecroBlade
May 27th, 2019, 10:57 PM
We could try it either way. Blinking then running in to maul you fits my vision of them better than running at you then Blinking at the last second, for what it's worth. "Before or after" might be a bit much for a Master Set.

All Your Pie
May 27th, 2019, 11:29 PM
Idea proposed by Pumpkin King in the discord:

Phase Dodge
When a Leyline Phantom rolls defense dice against a normal attack from a non-adjacent figure, if you roll at least one shield, that Leyline Phantom takes no damage and may immediately use its Blink special power.

Pumpkin_King
May 28th, 2019, 12:26 AM
Yes! Thank you AYP.

Astroking112
May 28th, 2019, 12:47 AM
It's not horror, exactly. When I brought up Xenomorphs, I was talking about the agility and stalking they're sort of known for - not the space/body horror.

I think that a Blink 2/Move 4 thing illustrates that very well. We could even make Blink happen before or after moving.

Horror is perhaps a bit broad, but I don't think that space/body horror is what we're discussing, either. The image of these guys hunting down figures works better with them suddenly appearing than mostly moving normally. I don't see how Blink 2/Move 4 is tied thematically to them hunting down figures at all, for all of the reasons I previously mentioned.

If they're not intended to have two distinct types of movement, then that is not conveyed at all currently.

They do have two "types" of movement as in one in our dimension one in theirs, but it's fluid, all part of the same continuous motion. Again, pick a different name if that's giving you trouble.

Blink of course doesn't make sense as a name for the power, but that's not the main problem here. Just like earlier, if we're trying to convey them physically running somewhere, a teleport won't get us there, even if it's them teleporting and then moving.

If we're trying to evoke horror with this design, I'm not seeing it yet.
You can't pin them down, they can get in unexpected places, and you had better get the drop on them if you want to shoot them*, or else they'll come for you first. That fits to me.
*Updated Phased Out in the OP for clarity.

Not being able to pin them down and them getting into unexpected places are common to most proposed designs here. Getting the drop on them to take a shot is from a different power altogether. The current movement mechanics specifically do not do anything for me in terms of horror (and what little they can be argued to do can be better represented with another movement style). It would be much more evocative to have them literally appearing right where you least expect, suddenly closing great distances to attack a victim directly.

We could try it either way. Blinking then running in to maul you fits my vision of them better than running at you then Blinking at the last second, for what it's worth. "Before or after" might be a bit much for a Master Set.

If we do settle for this direction, then I don't see why "before or after" would be too much for a Master Set. The amount of complexity that it adds isn't very much, and the tactical benefit would probably make them easier to use for newer players by giving them more leeway to jump through a wall or the like.

Idea proposed by Pumpkin King in the discord:

Phase Dodge
When a Leyline Phantom rolls defense dice against a normal attack from a non-adjacent figure, if you roll at least one shield, that Leyline Phantom takes no damage and may immediately use its Blink special power.

I like this as a defensive power for them. It's dependent on a weaker "Blink," but it's a neat enough twist on Stealth Dodge without getting too complicated.

flameslayer93
May 28th, 2019, 11:06 PM
I think I still prefer these guys without Hitzones at all. Phased Out is a good power, but doesn’t seem to fit the theme so far. It can look like those Knights of Weston are swinging at air, while the 4th Mass all look at each other completely puzzled.

I’ll have to think about what a better way to employ their movement is.

All Your Pie
May 29th, 2019, 12:10 AM
I think I still prefer these guys without Hitzones at all. Phased Out is a good power, but doesnít seem to fit the theme so far. It can look like those Knights of Weston are swinging at air, while the 4th Mass all look at each other completely puzzled.

Iíll have to think about what a better way to employ their movement is.

I don't like to come down as an absolute no on things generally, but no hitzones is pretty close to that for me. I know C3V did it for the Varja, but I'm still not sure I like it there. All it really amounts to is giving the unit a power without having the text on the card to explain it, which is a design choice I don't care for and I especially think doesn't belong in a Master Set.

flameslayer93
May 29th, 2019, 12:16 AM
I think I still prefer these guys without Hitzones at all. Phased Out is a good power, but doesnít seem to fit the theme so far. It can look like those Knights of Weston are swinging at air, while the 4th Mass all look at each other completely puzzled.

Iíll have to think about what a better way to employ their movement is.

I don't like to come down as an absolute no on things generally, but no hitzones is pretty close to that for me. I know C3V did it for the Varja, but I'm still not sure I like it there. All it really amounts to is giving the unit a power without having the text on the card to explain it, which is a design choice I don't care for and I especially think doesn't belong in a Master Set.

I can respect that, and Iím probably already outvoted on the matter anyway. :p

Astroking112
May 29th, 2019, 12:47 AM
I'd prefer no hitzones on the card and one less power over a conditional removal of hitzones, partially because the rulebook will explain that you need to be able to see red to attack from range anyway. It is another power that isn't spelled out, but we also saw the original designers play around with stuff like that with the Zombies of Morindan, and it'd be acceptable for one design to use a similar mechanic to introduce players to that mechanic.

That said, I don't feel particularly attached to the idea here (and I could see a more compelling use of that mechanic being proposed further down the road). I wouldn't be surprised if others felt differently about wanting a conditional removal of hitzones instead, either, even if it's more complicated. To be honest, I think that we'd probably be better off going with some kind of Thorian Speed altogether instead of messing with hitzones if we want to go with invisibility, as has been suggested earlier.

Pumpkin_King
May 30th, 2019, 01:29 AM
I think what we need to do here is first focus on something we all seem to agree on - some kind of traversal ability. Then we can focus on a potential defensive.

Options that have been thrown around for traversal:

- a combo low Move/a 2-space blink that happens before or after their normal move
- a mid-range teleport that replaces normal move entirely
- a variation on Phantom Walk

A quick idea I just had:
- a Drop-like power that happens every round/turn - roll the d20, if successful all living Stalkers can move anywhere they like

I’m also linking the two versions of Nightcrawler our friends at C3G have made - Bamf being somewhat similar of a teleport as we’re messing around with.

http://heroscapers.com/c3g/released/cards/jpg/C3G_Nightcrawler_comic.jpg

http://heroscapers.com/c3g/released/cards/jpg/C3G_Nightcrawler_KurtDarkholme_mini.jpg

NecroBlade
May 30th, 2019, 08:48 PM
I'm actually not entirely opposed to grey hit-zones here, but I do think conditional removal of them is more interesting as it allows counter-play.

I also still don't see anything that fits my vision of them better thematically than short Blink + move. Teleportation doesn't strike me as a more "horrifying" power because there's no tension in it: the ability to almost combat something only to have it slip away, or almost escape from something only for it to get just ahead of you around the corner is much scarier than suddenly appearing out of nowhere and there was nothing you could do about it, IMO.

A similar sort of logic applies to disappearing hit-zones, which is what gives that power set thematic consistency to me.

Pumpkin_King
May 31st, 2019, 02:32 PM
Let it be known that’s my preference too, Blink/Move.

flameslayer93
May 31st, 2019, 02:59 PM
I have no actual preferences for which movement type we should go with, just the note that we have to figure out how theyíre supposed to be used and testing in that role.

Astroking112
May 31st, 2019, 08:40 PM
I also still don't see anything that fits my vision of them better thematically than short Blink + move. Teleportation doesn't strike me as a more "horrifying" power because there's no tension in it: the ability to almost combat something only to have it slip away, or almost escape from something only for it to get just ahead of you around the corner is much scarier than suddenly appearing out of nowhere and there was nothing you could do about it, IMO.

Neither example for why running is more horrifying doesn't apply to a teleport as well. We can call it "Phase Shift" or the like instead of Teleport and imagine that they're still visible when moving between the dimensions, but mechanically placing them a greater distance away is more representative of horror. They can still "teleport" around the corner just before you get away, and they are much harder to predict and react to when they aren't mostly moving like every other unit. I personally think that there is more tension in not knowing where they'll strike from, or what they're capable of. :shrug:

All Your Pie
May 31st, 2019, 09:39 PM
I like the short blink+move as well. I think discussing which version of teleportation feels more "horrifying" is missing the forest for the trees. Suspense and horror aren't really relevant concepts when your opponent's movement range is a consistent and predictable threat zone. You can shoehorn in an interpretation to how different forms of teleportation work and how relatively spooky they are but it's a largely pointless exercise that isn't going to come across to most players.

A true horror concept would be giving the Phantoms variable movement that it isn't possible for the opponent to 100% predict. Something like Wild Pack Movement from the Marrden Hounds would be an example of this. "before moving, roll d20. If you roll X or higher, teleport." This would add an element of suspense to every turn, as it would mean that the threat zone of the Phantoms could be drastically different and much harder to account for (hilariously, this interpretation does cast Gilbert and the KoW as extremely suspenseful figures, but as a Nilfheim player I argue that that's 100% accurate).

Astroking112
June 1st, 2019, 12:27 AM
I like the short blink+move as well. I think discussing which version of teleportation feels more "horrifying" is missing the forest for the trees. Suspense and horror aren't really relevant concepts when your opponent's movement range is a consistent and predictable threat zone. You can shoehorn in an interpretation to how different forms of teleportation work and how relatively spooky they are but it's a largely pointless exercise that isn't going to come across to most players.

I disagree. The mechanics of a design should evoke the themes of the figure--I'd argue that there are distinctly "sci-fi" things that designs can do that would feel off on a fantasy figure, for example, even if reskinned. If we want to make a scary monster, then I think that it should play like one. I don't think that the horror theme and the mechanics outlined in the OP are aligned enough currently. If I'm the only one bothered, then I can shut up about it (since we've essentially been talking in circles for a while now), but I think that getting a unit to play like its theme is an essential part of the design.

A true horror concept would be giving the Phantoms variable movement that it isn't possible for the opponent to 100% predict. Something like Wild Pack Movement from the Marrden Hounds would be an example of this. "before moving, roll d20. If you roll X or higher, teleport." This would add an element of suspense to every turn, as it would mean that the threat zone of the Phantoms could be drastically different and much harder to account for (hilariously, this interpretation does cast Gilbert and the KoW as extremely suspenseful figures, but as a Nilfheim player I argue that that's 100% accurate).

That's a neat interpretation, and it certainly makes them more unpredictable than most of what we've discussed so far. I'd definitely be open to exploring this direction if others are interested.

(Having fought a Gilbert who averaged 5 Jandar symbols per turn one game, I'd agree that the knights can be downright horrifying, too. :lol:)

If people aren't interested in exploring variable moves, I think that this twist on the main design we've kicked around could work:
Blink
Before or after moving, you may place a SPOOKY ALIEN on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current location. SPOOKY ALIENS will not take leaving engagement attacks while using Blink.

Intangible
After a SPOOKY ALIEN rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Blink Special Power.

Intangible/Phased Out/the defensive power could use some adjustment (such as if we wanted to go with invisibility/removing hitzones), but I think that I could settle for this direction. It doesn't feel like it's focused on horror to me, but it at least feels distinct in them being more technologically advanced and generally feeling like aliens if they have a greater degree of control on their teleportation timing and can use it to dodge opposing attacks.

Pumpkin_King
June 1st, 2019, 11:13 AM
Blink
Before or after moving, you may place a SPOOKY ALIEN on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current location. SPOOKY ALIENS will not take leaving engagement attacks while using Blink.

Intangible
After a SPOOKY ALIEN rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Blink Special Power.Intangible/Phased Out/the defensive power could use some adjustment (such as if we wanted to go with invisibility/removing hitzones), but I think that I could settle for this direction. It doesn't feel like it's focused on horror to me, but it at least feels distinct in them being more technologically advanced and generally feeling like aliens if they have a greater degree of control on their teleportation timing and can use it to dodge opposing attacks.


Could definitely be open to this. I'd still like some form of defensive, though.

Captain Stupendous
June 1st, 2019, 11:54 AM
Still following along here :) My main concern with allowing blink to trigger off of a successful defense roll/special power is that they could easily start to feel too much like the ninjas of the northern wind, especially with 4A 3D stats and a defensive ability against ranged normal attacks.

If you do decide to go this way though, what if you required them to end their move adjacent to the enemy who tried to shoot them? Maybe you could even allow them to make an unblock able attack against the attacker... Something like

PHASE SHIFT
When a SPOOKY ALIEN successfully defends against a normal attack from a non adjacent figure, you may immediately place them on any space within 6 clear sight spaces that is adjacent to the attacker. A SPOOKY ALIEN will never take leaving engagement attacks when using PHASE SHIFT. [?You may then roll one unblock able hit against the attacker?]

Pumpkin_King
June 1st, 2019, 02:52 PM
I can see that. It discourages ranged attacks without simply giving them stealth dodge.

NecroBlade
June 1st, 2019, 03:55 PM
I'm aware that there's a limit to what you can do in terms of gameplay to be unpredictable. But Teleportation is no more unpredictable than Blink, because anyone can read the card and figure out what spaces are currently within 10 and on the same level. Thematically, though:

You see Alien A out the corner of your eye and go to the window to get a closer look, but when you get there at first you don't see it, until you spot it already at the other end of the yard somehow. Deciding it's better to kill whatever this thing is than let it harm you, you grab a bat and plan to go outside and smite it. You open the back door, but when you do, it suddenly gets inside your house behind you. Despite your best efforts, Alien A gets to you first and you die.

Alien B beams inside your house and kills you in your sleep without you even being aware of its existence.


Intangible doesn't actually do anything for them defensively, and would at the very least need to be renamed. That said, like PK I too prefer a defensive power here. And as Captain Stupendous points out, both Intangible and Phase Shift make them feel like alternate Ninjas of the Northern Wind.

Astroking112
June 1st, 2019, 04:51 PM
Still following along here :) My main concern with allowing blink to trigger off of a successful defense roll/special power is that they could easily start to feel too much like the ninjas of the northern wind, especially with 4A 3D stats and a defensive ability against ranged normal attacks.

If you do decide to go this way though, what if you required them to end their move adjacent to the enemy who tried to shoot them? Maybe you could even allow them to make an unblock able attack against the attacker... Something like

PHASE SHIFT
When a SPOOKY ALIEN successfully defends against a normal attack from a non adjacent figure, you may immediately place them on any space within 6 clear sight spaces that is adjacent to the attacker. A SPOOKY ALIEN will never take leaving engagement attacks when using PHASE SHIFT. [?You may then roll one unblock able hit against the attacker?]

I agree with the Ninjas of the Northern Wind comparison, which is one of the reasons that I've been wanting us to actually hammer out how these guys should be played and what the thematic playstyle is. Last time I brought it up, I seemed to be more concerned than the general consensus, but it's worth keeping in mind. I do think we're at least approaching a greater difference, though.

I like your idea. I'd drop the range restriction and just place them adjacent to an attacker after the power is fulfilled to keep it simple, whether we add the attack die or not.

I'm aware that there's a limit to what you can do in terms of gameplay to be unpredictable. But Teleportation is no more unpredictable than Blink, because anyone can read the card and figure out what spaces are currently within 10 and on the same level. Thematically, though:

You see Alien A out the corner of your eye and go to the window to get a closer look, but when you get there at first you don't see it, until you spot it already at the other end of the yard somehow. Deciding it's better to kill whatever this thing is than let it harm you, you grab a bat and plan to go outside and smite it. You open the back door, but when you do, it suddenly gets inside your house behind you. Despite your best efforts, Alien A gets to you first and you die.

Alien B beams inside your house and kills you in your sleep without you even being aware of its existence.

I disagree, but I think that it's clear at this point that neither of us is going to change our mind. I don't intend to keep restating my problems with that direction, and I'm content enough with pretending that these guys don't have a horror theme if they're able to be thematically compelling elsewhere. :shrug:

[SIZE="3"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Intangible doesn't actually do anything for them defensively, and would at the very least need to be renamed. That said, like PK I too prefer a defensive power here. And as Captain Stupendous points out, both Intangible and Phase Shift make them feel like alternate Ninjas of the Northern Wind.

Any name or consistent defensive power works for me. I just wanted to bring up the idea of them shifting away again, since it was somewhat obscured by talk of improving blink.

I'm glad to see that you'd prefer for them to not feel like Ninja variants now, too. I'm not a big fan of them feeling too similar, especially since there's a lot of potential for the design in general.

Pumpkin_King
June 1st, 2019, 09:41 PM
To be clear I do like Stupendous’ ability idea as a defensive. We could give them 4 defense, 3 and Evasive 1, or just allow their 3 and a teleportation deterrent to try and carry them. Call it Reactive Teleport, Phase Reprisal, Counter Teleport, something like that.

NecroBlade
June 21st, 2019, 09:47 AM
Just to restate where we seem to be at the moment, this seems to have the most traction durrently:

BLINK
Before or after moving, you may place a SPOOKY ALIEN on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current location. SPOOKY ALIENS will not take leaving engagement attacks while using Blink.

BLINK TRIGGER
After a SPOOKY ALIEN rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Blink Special Power.

lefton4ya
June 21st, 2019, 11:36 AM
Seems good. The Blink Trigger makes them good against melee squads or heroes with multiple attacks, as well as can get you height advantage in certain circumstances.

NecroBlade
June 22nd, 2019, 12:40 PM
But they're also basically Ninjas 2.0 at that point.

Captain Stupendous
June 22nd, 2019, 02:02 PM
But they're also basically Ninjas 2.0 at that point.

That's why my original version of the reactive teleport was slightly different. I had suggested something like the following:

PHASE SHIFT
When a SPOOKY ALIEN successfully defends against a normal attack from a non adjacent figure, you may immediately place them on any space within 6 clear sight spaces that is adjacent to the attacker. A SPOOKY ALIEN will never take leaving engagement attacks when using PHASE SHIFT. [?You may then roll one unblock able hit against the attacker?]


I also like this as an alternate, slightly more powerful version:

When rolling defense dice against a normal attack from a non-adjacent figure, one shield will block all damage. After rolling defense dice, you must place the Spooky Alien adjacent to the attacking figure, if possible.

I still recognize that they're pretty similar to the ninjas, but I think that requiring them to end their teleport move adjacent to their attacker gives them the potential to be distinct.

Pumpkin_King
June 22nd, 2019, 05:19 PM
I like stupendous’s phase shift better than blink trigger. It’s more unique, has a built in range deterrent. I’d also make it optional.

Astroking112
June 23rd, 2019, 01:15 AM
I like Stupendous' idea as well. If we wanted, we could even go further with it and make it guaranteed:

Phase Shift
When a SPOOKY ALIEN is attacked by a normal attack from a non-adjacent figure and at least one skull is rolled, you may place that SPOOKY ALIEN adjacent to the attacking figure to ignore all wounds that would be inflicted by that attack.

I'm not a big fan of rolling an unblockable attack die since it would be a pretty potent counter to range of all kinds, although I do really like the concept. It makes them feel more aggressive than the Ninjas, who are required to end their movement unengaged when vanishing, albeit the statline and Blink in general will naturally lead to comparisons.

Making Phase Shift only work against normal attacks would be necessary if we're placing the alien adjacent to the attacker, I think. Otherwise, if an alien is attacked by the Roman Archers' Special Attack (or another theoretical ranged combination attack in the future), we'd need to make a R&C specifying who the attacking figure is, which could be a whole can of worms for editing.

Captain Stupendous
June 23rd, 2019, 11:15 AM
I like Stupendous' idea as well. If we wanted, we could even go further with it and make it guaranteed:

Phase Shift
When a SPOOKY ALIEN is attacked by a normal attack from a non-adjacent figure and at least one skull is rolled, you may place that SPOOKY ALIEN adjacent to the attacking figure to ignore all wounds that would be inflicted by that attack.

I'm not a big fan of rolling an unblockable attack die since it would be a pretty potent counter to range of all kinds, although I do really like the concept. It makes them feel more aggressive than the Ninjas, who are required to end their movement unengaged when vanishing, albeit the statline and Blink in general will naturally lead to comparisons.

Making Phase Shift only work against normal attacks would be necessary if we're placing the alien adjacent to the attacker, I think. Otherwise, if an alien is attacked by the Roman Archers' Special Attack (or another theoretical ranged combination attack in the future), we'd need to make a R&C specifying who the attacking figure is, which could be a whole can of worms for editing.

But this version is an even more of a potent counter to range than the possibility of an auto wound, not to mention this ability would rarely ever trigger. Why would an opponent ever choose to attack these guys with normal range if he knows that there's no possibility of doing damage? I feel like in practice this version of the ability would play out just like a more complicated version of Thorian Speed. They still might be attacked every once in a while just to force them to teleport adjacent, but that feels unthematic. I much prefer for their teleport not to be guaranteed.

Pumpkin_King
June 23rd, 2019, 11:28 AM
I’m hesitant to change it to a “basically cannot be wounded at range” type of thing. It seems powerful.

Astroking112
June 24th, 2019, 01:27 AM
I should specify that it's the unblockable attack die against ranged attacks that I think would be too potent of a counter (even if the teleport isn't guaranteed), albeit I could see the argument that it's practically no different than Evil Eye Defense. It feels more powerful to me to have a chance at killing the attacker than a guaranteed dodge by repositioning.

My reasoning behind suggesting a guaranteed dodge is that it's unique and still allows plenty of room for counterplay. The other player can set up "traps" by placing attacking squad figures together to ensure that the next attackers are adjacent to the target (and engaging them in general is an option for the attackers if they're not too far away), and with a range of 1, the aliens will already be prioritizing getting in close. We could always specify that an alien cannot be moved by such a power more than once per turn if it proves to be too strong, as well, although it's basically just a Stealth Dodge or Thorian Speed that allows more counterplay. I wouldn't be surprised if I was the only one to like this direction, though, since it is a little weird, and having a D20 roll or Stealth Dodge-like effect with the teleportation after a success will play basically the same way. I still support other methods of activation for the teleport as well.

Pumpkin_King
June 24th, 2019, 10:42 AM
I’m definitely liking some form of “teleport to a ranged attacker”, but I’m not sure what direction for that I like.

NecroBlade
June 25th, 2019, 10:17 PM
Riffing on that direction...

When a SPOOKY ALIEN is targeted for a normal attack [from a non-adjacent attacking figure], you may place that SPOOKY ALIEN adjacent to the attacking figure. A SPOOKY ALIEN moving this way will not take leaving engagement attacks.

Any particular reason it needs to be anti-range? Could it just be anti-normal?

Captain Stupendous
June 25th, 2019, 11:32 PM
Riffing on that direction...

When a SPOOKY ALIEN is targeted for a normal attack [from a non-adjacent attacking figure], you may place that SPOOKY ALIEN adjacent to the attacking figure. A SPOOKY ALIEN moving this way will not take leaving engagement attacks.

Any particular reason it needs to be anti-range? Could it just be anti-normal?

It doesn't need to be anti-range, it just felt more thematic to me that way. The same thing goes for making the teleport trigger after a failed attack. I was envisioning a soldier seeing a spooky alien out of the corner of his eye. He shoots at it, but suddenly its gone... a moment passes... then... SUDDENLY ITS RIGHT IN HIS FACE!!!

I felt like this helped bring out more of the horror direction that the design seemed to be aiming toward, but if there are mechanically compelling reasons to try something more along the lines of your suggestion, I think that is the way to go.

Astroking112
June 27th, 2019, 08:41 PM
Riffing on that direction...

When a SPOOKY ALIEN is targeted for a normal attack [from a non-adjacent attacking figure], you may place that SPOOKY ALIEN adjacent to the attacking figure. A SPOOKY ALIEN moving this way will not take leaving engagement attacks.

Any particular reason it needs to be anti-range? Could it just be anti-normal?

I'm fine with this version. Letting it work against melee as well makes enough sense to me with their established teleportation, and adding a disengage is necessary to make it work as intended.

I was under the impression that the consensus was for a defensive aspect of such a teleport to make them less frail, but I would be fine with cutting it altogether.

For fleshing out some of the other stats of the card a bit, here's some quick spitballing:

Species:
Xerogs (or some gibberish equivalent)
Illusions or Holograms (if we want to really play on their translucent nature)
Apparitions
Foreigners or Aliens (if we want to avoid making up any words)

Class:
Scouts could play on the idea of them being a small force of aliens scoping out the battlefield for a larger invasion, but that adds Venoc Warlord synergy to a design that's shaping up to be faster than average.
Warriors is always a generic option.
Assassins could match their gameplay style well enough.
If we wanted a heavy sci-fi approach that ties into some kind of a backstory/bio, perhaps Experiments could be interesting.

Personality:
Tricky is a fit, although I think we're likely to see it elsewhere and find that the more designs that have Tricky, the less flavorful it personally feels.
Menacing is a rarely utilized personality that could work well with their intimidating theme.
Tormenting could play on the idea of them being cruel, controlling aliens running experiments on the other figures, but that's more in line with them toying around with the figures than teleporting around and punching many times.
I'm personally fond of some vaguer personality like Mysterious or the like that keeps their intentions unknown, but I could understand apprehension against going that route.

flameslayer93
June 29th, 2019, 09:12 AM
Riffing on that direction...

When a SPOOKY ALIEN is targeted for a normal attack [from a non-adjacent attacking figure], you may place that SPOOKY ALIEN adjacent to the attacking figure. A SPOOKY ALIEN moving this way will not take leaving engagement attacks.

Any particular reason it needs to be anti-range? Could it just be anti-normal?


I don't have anything against this route. Is moving before attack dice are rolled the mechanical direction you guys want since Targetting happens before attack dice are rolled?


BLINK
Before or after moving, you may place a SPOOKY ALIEN on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current location. SPOOKY ALIENS will not take leaving engagement attacks while using Blink.
I like this Blink.


Similarities to the Ninjas of the Northern Wind can probably be drawn from this design direction, but I'd rather we stick true to the theme we want than forcing something different. After all, classic scape literally had this:
https://i.imgur.com/fWTVUlo.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/SaoIQ5X.jpg

NecroBlade
June 30th, 2019, 12:07 PM
I was under the impression that the consensus was for a defensive aspect of such a teleport to make them less frail, but I would be fine with cutting it altogether.
That was my intent as well, but the ability that seemed to be gaining traction was just a teleport with no defensive quality. We could give them 4 defense if we go that direction (making Move, Attack, and Defense all 4). We might need to pick a preference first and work on it.

Species:
Xerogs (or some gibberish equivalent)
Illusions
I prefer something exotic like this. Illusions doesn't work because that's the things Jace will potentially be working with, plus they're real physical beings, just, you know, SPOOKY.

Class:
Scouts
If we wanted a heavy sci-fi approach that ties into some kind of a backstory/bio, perhaps Experiments could be interesting.
Scout have several synergies and too many units are Scouts already, IMO. Experiments is an interesting direction: rather than some larger invading species, they've escaped from a space lab?


Personality:
Tricky
Menacing is a rarely utilized personality that could work well with their intimidating theme.
Tormenting
Tricky is also overused, and we've already got Jace I with possibly more units down the line. Menacing is a good one. If we go with Experiments, we could also maybe do Tormented, to evoke a certain theme.

Right now I'm looking at something like:
Delnesh (can we not use the letter "x"? It's always used for "alien" species)
Unique Squad
Experiments
Menacing


Is moving before attack dice are rolled the mechanical direction you guys want since Targetting happens before attack dice are rolled?

I'm not sure if there are any headaches caused by moving between being targeted and rolling dice. The first thing that comes to mind is a state change between unengaged and engaged, but I don't know that that actually impacts any powers.

Similarities to the Ninjas of the Northern Wind can probably be drawn from this design direction, but I'd rather we stick true to the theme we want than forcing something different. After all, classic scape literally had this:
https://i.imgur.com/fWTVUlo.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/SaoIQ5X.jpg
I was also expecting Johnny/James. :lol:

Pumpkin_King
June 30th, 2019, 12:38 PM
Hunters is also an option if we’re on the Xenomorph angle.

Astroking112
June 30th, 2019, 03:09 PM
Gibberish/Unique Squad/Experiments/Menacing is my personal preference for the left box as well, for the reasons that NB and I outlined. I'll probably be fine with any variant of the gibberish. Tormented could fit with the Experiment angle, but I find it to be less fitting for their gameplay style and mysterious nature, so I prefer Menacing in this case.

I'm not a big fan of Hunters. Much like Tricky, I feel like it's been used in enough different contexts that it's beginning to lose some of its meaning, albeit not to the same extent. I could live with it if people would prefer that, though.

For moving between targeting and the attack roll, the immediate and most widely applicable benefit is changing a height advantage to either be neutral or in your favor. I don't think that there should be any rule breaks here (Nakitas established that you can change your target before rolling attack dice, so it seems pretty straightforward to me), but editing will know more on that front.

flameslayer93
June 30th, 2019, 04:32 PM
I like a gibberish species for the name/race.

After looking at a name generator these sound promising (no x’s either ;)).

Scograks
Audak
Munuds
Qhiknads

NecroBlade
July 7th, 2019, 02:49 PM
Qhiknads

Sounds painful.

I don't really have a preference for a particular gibberish, though. But I am always down for a good reference (any sci-fi B-movies with 4-armed aliens?).

I still prefer no-visible-hit-zones-while-OM-revealed for their non-Blink power. As for Blink, just an idea that struck me that I was curious what others thought of:

BLINK
Before or after moving, you may place any or all [Spooky Aliens] on any empty space within 2 spaces of their current placement. [Spooky Aliens] will not take leaving engagement attacks while Blinking.

What if instead of each one Blinking individually before or after moving, you had to choose before or after for all of them at once? Perhaps something to do with the experimentation linking them together, with shades of Wait then Fire for all-or-nothing.

Astroking112
July 7th, 2019, 06:43 PM
BLINK
Before or after moving, you may place any or all [Spooky Aliens] on any empty space within 2 spaces of their current placement. [Spooky Aliens] will not take leaving engagement attacks while Blinking.

What if instead of each one Blinking individually before or after moving, you had to choose before or after for all of them at once? Perhaps something to do with the experimentation linking them together, with shades of Wait then Fire for all-or-nothing.

It's an interesting thought, but I don't think that it'll really add too much to their playstyle. The main thing that it accomplishes is limiting their mobility (which I'm not a big fan of) by forcing each alien to choose the same time for their teleport. The problem I have is that this doesn't feel like it'll really present a much bigger choice to the player often, other than sometimes trying to leave each alien in a place where they can teleport at the beginning or end of their next turn to avoid wasting the movement. For only 2 spaces, I don't feel like this will be worth the hassle. It's more interesting from a thematic/background perspective with the Experiment class, but I'm not sure that we would need to implement that mechanic into their power so rigidly. The current implementation feels a lot smoother to me.

lefton4ya
July 8th, 2019, 10:36 AM
Is there any consensus on the defensive power? This seems to be the last semi-collaborated one:
INTANGIBLE
After a SPOOKY ALIEN rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Blink Special Power.

I'd also like if it had Insubstantial 2 (from phantom Knights but +2D) or Tough and maybe you could combine wording in above power:

INTANGIBLE
When rolling defense dice against a normal attack, SPOOKY ALIEN adds 2 additional defense dice. After a SPOOKY ALIEN rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Blink Special Power.

This would work against ranged and melee attacks, but not special (going with theme of Phasing out against most guns, arrows, etc. but not Magic or special guns, etc.).

Astroking112
July 15th, 2019, 12:43 AM
My preference is for a longer teleport when they're targeted that lets them move adjacent to the attacking figure. Combining it with a weaker Insubstantial is a simple way of giving them a defensive benefit when in that situation, although I would be fine with most methods of achieving that (or even leaving it out of the equation entirely).

NecroBlade
July 18th, 2019, 03:17 PM
Not a big fan of a third power on these guys, though I acknowledge it may be the best way to get some version of Phase to work. Looks like we have a few different directions that probably need to be compiled and voted on.

Astroking112
August 15th, 2019, 05:08 PM
Let's kick things back into action on this unit. I think that it's fair to say we're pretty much in agreement on these parts, save for potentially the name and left box stats:

Velnesh Assassins (?)

Velnesh
Unique Squad
Experiments
Tormented

LIFE 1 (3 figures)
MOVE 4
RANGE 1
ATTACK 4

BLINK
Before or after moving, you may place a Velnesh Assassin on any empty space within 2 spaces. Velnesh Assassins will not take leaving engagement attacks while Blinking.

For my own personal preferences, I would pair this with 3 defense and the following defensive power:
Phase Shift
When a Velnesh Assassin receives one or more wounds from a normal attack by a non-adjacent figure, you may place that Velnesh Assassin on any empty space adjacent to the attacking figure to ignore all wounds. Phase Shift can only be used once per turn.

I know that this seems overbearing against range, but if it can only be used once per turn and can be avoided entirely by engaging the aliens first (which should be possible since they only have 1 range), I don't think it'll be too much of a problem. It reminds me a little of Thorian Speed, although I think that there are significantly more ways to play around this. My main concern is pairing this with the situational disengage from Blink, although their range of 1 does a lot to stem this sort of behavior.

That said, I'm equally willing to drop the ability to ignore wounds, keep the teleportation to a ranged attacker after successfully defending, and just test them out without a defensive power to see if they truly need the help. We could always keep them as cheaper strike units.

If anyone else has ideas, I think that we should discuss them. There seems to be some consensus for the ranged teleport, but we need to iron out the details for what we're looking for before proceeding.

NecroBlade
August 16th, 2019, 05:17 PM
Once per turn certainly keeps it from simply being Thorian Speed, since squads and multi-attackers can get around the wound-ignoring.

I think somewhere back there was also the idea of simply moving them adjacent to a non-adjacent figure that targets them; the attack would still happen, but they'd be able to move to even or potentially high ground first, and if they survive the ranged figure is now engaged. I don't think "Phase Shift" worked as a name for me for that version.

Astroking112
August 16th, 2019, 05:33 PM
I think somewhere back there was also the idea of simply moving them adjacent to a non-adjacent figure that targets them; the attack would still happen, but they'd be able to move to even or potentially high ground first, and if they survive the ranged figure is now engaged. I don't think "Phase Shift" worked as a name for me for that version.

This works fine for the second power for me as well. If they're underperforming or feeling too frustrating to play, we can add a more defensive aspect to the power later.

For alternative names to Phase Shift, we could look at a simpler word that feels more in line with Blink. Something like Ripple, Leap, Flash, et cetera. None of the simpler words that I can think of are really that good, but something like that could feel right at home with Blink thematically.

Maklar the Silver Prince
August 18th, 2019, 10:08 AM
I'm pretty excited about this design, cuz I really like the sculpts! They definitely work as some kind of nasty, uber mobile aliens. Blink and the suggested Phase Shift that allows them to move adjacent when targeted seems like a very solid starting point. For a one word name for Phase Shift to go with Blink, I might suggest just Shift, although that's a bit nondescript.

Theme-wise, the sculpts look vaguely monkey-ish, and very very vaguely Marro... Maybe they could be a genetically engineered species made by the Primadons to combat the Marro? Or even vice versa? Or perhaps a whole other race from Marr that's been enslaved by the Raptorians, if you wanted to stick with the escaped experiments shtick? Anyway, I think it might be cool if they were from Marr.

NecroBlade
August 18th, 2019, 11:52 AM
Maybe they could be a genetically engineered species made by the Primadons to combat the Marro? Or even vice versa?
That's an interesting thought. I think I still lean toward Arctorus or some other space-y planet, but I'd love to hear what everyone thinks.

As for their powers, here's what I got to thinking recently:

SHIFT
Before or after moving, you may place a [Spooky Alien] on any empty space within 2 spaces. [Spooky Aliens] will not take leaving engagement attacks while Shifting.

BLINK
When a [Spooky Alien] is targeted for a normal attack from a non-adjacent attacking figure, that [Spooky Alien] may immediately move using the Shift special power.

Swapped the names (and trimmed Phase Shift to Shift thanks to @Maklar the Silver Prince (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/member.php?u=45633) ) since Shift sounds more deliberate while Blink sounds more rapid and reactive.

Moving adjacent to the attacker was kind of neat thematically (for the terror angle), but they already have good speed and don't necessarily need it. The new Blink (wording modeled after Spider-Man (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=9716)/Venom) would similarly allow the targeted alien to seek height, or perhaps shadow or jungle, or even duck behind a ruin to avoid the shot altogether (allowing re-targeting like Nakitas (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=8600) succeeding Smoke Powder). Only working against non-adjacent attacks also cuts down on their abuse vs other melee, making them rely on their superior movement and Attack to get there and get first blood. Also opens a tiny door to counter-play, where the opponent can target them to force them off certain spaces, or they stay and risk dying. Then pair with 3 Defense and I think we have a winner.

Astroking112
August 18th, 2019, 12:09 PM
I can get used to just Shift as a name paired with Blink.

I'm fine with saying that the Primadons were the ones to create them as well. It saves us from having to put too many of our Sci-Fi units on Arctorus, and Marr has had plenty of genetic experimentation so it wouldn't be a stretch given their theme. The transparent figures don't quite match the aesthetic of Marr as well as Arctorus, though, given that we've mostly seen twisted creatures (such as snakes and gorillas) and the Marro rather than true Sci-Fi stuff that's blinking in and out of existence.

NecroBlade I like swapping Shift to be the teleport and Blink to be the reaction against range. When we had discussed this proposed direction before, we were hesitant because it might end up being too similar to the Ninjas of the Northern Wind. I'd be fine with testing this out, though; depending on the price point, ease of use with teleportation, and the lack of avoiding wounds with Blink (as opposed to Vanish), I think that we have some leeway for still creating a distinct design.

We need to add that one of the aliens can't use Blink more than once per turn, though, otherwise we'll end up with a chain of targeting actions that let each figure move until they're either out of range or behind cover.

Pumpkin_King
August 19th, 2019, 04:22 PM
I like this version, NB. It’s simple and hits all the points we wanted to hit.

I’m okay with saying the Primadons made them but I also like the idea of them just being from another plane. Small gripe though.

NecroBlade
August 19th, 2019, 07:35 PM
When we had discussed this proposed direction before, we were hesitant because it might end up being too similar to the Ninjas of the Northern Wind. I'd be fine with testing this out, though; depending on the price point, ease of use with teleportation, and the lack of avoiding wounds with Blink (as opposed to Vanish), I think that we have some leeway for still creating a distinct design.
You're right that that's still a valid concern. I think not being able to avoid damage without something to hide behind is a big difference, and also the move is automatic not behind a d20. And then again there's only working against Range (and we may or may not find the need to work against ranged Specials, too).


Iím okay with saying the Primadons made them but I also like the idea of them just being from another plane. Small gripe though.
Yeah either way I'm sure I'll be happier with someone who's better than I at the fiction write-ups fleshing it out.

Pumpkin_King
August 19th, 2019, 08:02 PM
I doubt it'll be able to work agaisnt specials - the ever-problematic Volley would rear its head.

Astroking112
August 19th, 2019, 08:16 PM
If it's only movement, then I think that it can be workable with Special Attack targeting as well. Powers such as Isamu's Vanish can still let him move, albeit his only works after the attack was already rolled. Assuming that we're fine with the targeting weirdness of Nakitas coupled with stuff like Mimring and Pelloth, I don't think that it's immediately out.

Pumpkin_King
August 19th, 2019, 08:53 PM
Oh, that's true. I was thinking the older version of Blink. Just movement kidn of eliminates weirdness.

lefton4ya
August 20th, 2019, 01:57 PM
BLINK
When a [Spooky Alien] is targeted for a normal attack from a non-adjacent attacking figure, that [Spooky Alien] may immediately move using the Shift special power.

Multiple problems with this. First it needs to be limited to once a turn, or else they can keep on doing if targeted multiple times. Actually, why would anyone target a figure they are guaranteed not to be able to attack - so this wording would in essence make you not be targeted but also not able to use the SHIFT power, like Thorian. The only circumstance it would trigger is if the power was limited to once a turn and a ranged figure is using 2 less then maximum range then you would target the Spooky Alien, Blink would trigger, then the figure would be retargeted (hopefully with height), but that is super-circumstantial. Maybe add a "after rolling Defense if at least one Blank is rolled..." or a D20 roll like Spider-Man/Venom's Spidey Sense:
Phase 11
If a [Spooky Alien] is attacked by an opponent's figure and at least 1 skull is rolled, roll the 20-sided die. If you roll 1-10, roll defense dice normally. If you roll an 11-20, [Spooky Alien] takes no damage and may immediately move using his SHIFT Special Power.

Pumpkin_King
August 20th, 2019, 02:10 PM
BLINK
When a [Spooky Alien] is targeted for a normal attack from a non-adjacent attacking figure, that [Spooky Alien] may immediately move using the Shift special power.
Multiple problems with this. First it needs to be limited to once a turn, or else they can keep on doing if targeted multiple times. Actually, why would anyone target a figure they are guaranteed not to be able to attack - so this wording would in essence make you not be targeted but also not able to use the SHIFT power, like Thorian. The only circumstance it would trigger is if the power was limited to once a turn and a ranged figure is using 2 less then maximum range then you would target the Spooky Alien, Blink would trigger, then the figure would be retargeted (hopefully with height), but that is super-circumstantial. Maybe add a "after rolling Defense if at least one Blank is rolled..." or a D20 roll like Spider-Man/Venom's Spidey Sense:
Phase 11
If a [Spooky Alien] is attacked by an opponent's figure and at least 1 skull is rolled, roll the 20-sided die. If you roll 1-10, roll defense dice normally. If you roll an 11-20, [Spooky Alien] takes no damage and may immediately move using his SHIFT Special Power.
I'm not sure I quite understand you here. I do agree it should be limited (possibly to once per phantom per turn) but I don't know if I agree that it would be rarely used. As a melee, you're still going to want to move them towards a target, even if their defensive/reactive Blink can't truly move them behind cover or on height.

Astroking112
August 20th, 2019, 02:12 PM
Adding a D20 roll makes them even more similar to the Ninjas. My hope is that the guaranteed teleport that doesn't always get them out of trouble will be enough to set them apart. It still has some uses, such as letting them teleport closer or into engagement to avoid attack bonuses, grab height if it's available, teleport behind cover, or get out of range to avoid being targeted again. It's less of a catch-all than Disappearing Ninja or Vanish, but that's intentional.

I could see pairing this version of Blink/Shift with 4 defense as opposed to 3 to beef them up a little bit, given that without smart positioning or against certain situations Blink won't defend them at all.

Maklar the Silver Prince
August 20th, 2019, 02:28 PM
Adding a D20 roll makes them even more similar to the Ninjas. My hope is that the guaranteed teleport that doesn't always get them out of trouble will be enough to set them apart. It still has some uses, such as letting them teleport closer or into engagement to avoid attack bonuses, grab height if it's available, teleport behind cover, or get out of range to avoid being targeted again. It's less of a catch-all than Disappearing Ninja or Vanish, but that's intentional.

I was personally a bit partial to the earlier version that let them move adjacent to the figure before they get attacked. I think that's offered more of a departure from the ninjas. In any case, the fact that they're still taking an attack they have to defend against would make me not want to include a dice roll as well.

Astroking112
August 20th, 2019, 02:51 PM
I'm also partial to the previous suggestion of letting them teleport directly adjacent, but I'm content with testing this version of Blink out first. If they do play too similarly to the Ninjas of the Northern Wind, then I think we'll definitely need to make changes to differentiate them further.

Pumpkin_King
August 20th, 2019, 03:59 PM
Thirded, on the version that let them teleport adjacent - but I think testing both is worth doing. Obviosuly, the "may use Blink" is less powerful, if we need that.

NecroBlade
September 1st, 2019, 01:37 PM
So it sounds like the OP is the leading design at the moment, including 4 Defense?

Let's vote on moving forward to Editing, then. Yea if the OP is good, nay if we want to change Phase Shift or lower Defense (edit: or, you know, pick a name, class, etc...).

Pumpkin_King
September 1st, 2019, 08:50 PM
:up: is my vote. If moving adjacent is too much we can go back down to “may use blink”

Astroking112
September 2nd, 2019, 02:12 PM
NAY for now. We still don't have a name for this design yet (Velnesh Assassins is my personal pick with a matching race, but I can settle for anything), and I think that the idea of calling the first power "Shift" and the reactionary teleport "Blink" works better than our current Blink and Phase Shift as the power names. Both are easy fixes, but I think we should address them now rather than later.

flameslayer93
September 8th, 2019, 02:50 PM
How about something that makes them sound like expirimental things?

Phasebeasts-XYZ
Phasebeasts
Expiriments
Menacing
Medium 5

Astroking112
September 8th, 2019, 03:11 PM
Hmm, some kind of a scientific experiment name could be interesting and distinct. Something like Subject V12 is mysterious but implies a lot about their background in conjunction with the Experiments class.

flameslayer93
September 8th, 2019, 03:24 PM
Subject xxx sounds really good.

Pumpkin_King
September 10th, 2019, 07:39 PM
My personal view of them was as some form of naturally-occuring apex predator that hunts using its abilities - perhaps evolved to an environment or prey that itself phases realities. Not feral, intelligent enough to understand commands and their goals.

NecroBlade
September 11th, 2019, 07:55 PM
NAY for now. We still don't have a name for this design yet (Velnesh Assassins is my personal pick with a matching race, but I can settle for anything), and I think that the idea of calling the first power "Shift" and the reactionary teleport "Blink" works better than our current Blink and Phase Shift as the power names. Both are easy fixes, but I think we should address them now rather than later.
Valid concerns. In fact, I need to change my vote. :lol: The system works!

Also swapped the power names, because I think that's what I had suggested but not updated in the OP.

Hmm, some kind of a scientific experiment name could be interesting and distinct. Something like Subject V12 is mysterious but implies a lot about their background in conjunction with the Experiments class.

I like it. Or even "V-12 [or whatever Top Secret Experiment Code] Escapees".

My personal view of them was as some form of naturally-occuring apex predator that hunts using its abilities - perhaps evolved to an environment or prey that itself phases realities. Not feral, intelligent enough to understand commands and their goals.

I don't disagree with that, but I think a name referencing the experimentation they underwent distinguishing them from the "natural" versions (even though they will never exist in 'scape) is the way to go here.

Astroking112
September 11th, 2019, 08:24 PM
I think that we should still shorten "Phase Shift" to just "Shift" to match Blink. They sound like they go together more to me when both are just one word.

The scientific/experimental name is really growing on me. It feels weird and different from other units, which is a good thing for some spooky aliens. V-12 Escapees is fine to me, although I do think it'd be neat to avoid putting escapee in their name to leave open the interpretation that this is their intended purpose, and something sent them here.

Pumpkin_King
September 15th, 2019, 03:10 AM
If we’re going the “escaped experiments” route, which is not my preference but understandable, V-12 sounds too close to the naming conventions used for Vydar soulborgs.

Subject Delta
Project Vanega Apexes
Code Blue Entities
Type Blue

Project 4300-Alpha Rejects

This is more random science-jargon sounding names. A question - are these experiments from Earth? The same far-future as Tetsuo?

NecroBlade
September 15th, 2019, 09:19 AM
I like "Project Something Something".

"Velnesh" was kind of a cool species name. Do we want to go with that and something like "Project Velnesh Alphas"?

Pumpkin_King
September 15th, 2019, 12:53 PM
Yeah, that sounds interesting.

Astroking112
September 15th, 2019, 01:46 PM
Project Velnesh Alphas is fine with me.

flameslayer93
September 21st, 2019, 03:15 PM
How about just Project Velnesh? It rolls off the tongue better imo.

Pumpkin_King
September 21st, 2019, 04:51 PM
Project Velnesh would be the name of the project that created them - "Alphas" states that these creatures are the result of said project.

flameslayer93
September 21st, 2019, 06:16 PM
Project Velnesh would be the name of the project that created them - "Alphas" states that these creatures are the result of said project.

For me, that implies that we can realistically create Beta versions and such knowing full well we canít. Classic HS got away with it because they had the capacity to (pre-cancellation of course).

Pumpkin_King
September 21st, 2019, 10:10 PM
I think it's Alphas in the sense of a predator pack's alphas, or leaders. But we may choose a different word.

Simply "Project Velnesh" comes across as just describing the project itself.

Astroking112
September 21st, 2019, 11:40 PM
I don't think that adding Alpha to the name implies that Beta versions would also be in the pipeline at all. Sure, classic HeroScape eventually added things like Major Q10 and Deathwalker 7000 or 8000, but we also have units like Major X17. If someone years down the line gets particularly inspired by this set, they could always go with a new alien breed for their own custom if they feel like we're missing another experiment squad, but right now, it doesn't feel like a noticeable gap to me.

I agree with Pumpkin_King that leaving it at just "Project Velnesh" sounds like a name for the entire experiment rather than just these guys. If we want to keep it to just <ADJECTIVE> Velnesh, then I think that Subject would be a better adjective over Project here.

capsocrates
September 24th, 2019, 01:10 AM
I would have stuck with the Xenomorph/Predator route of making these things aliens rather than science experiments. The mechanics remind me a lot of the monster from season 1 of Stranger Things.

With that said, I'm not opposed to the "Escaped Science Experiments" angle, especially if that makes it easier to tie them into a cyberpunk future.

I kind of like the idea of just calling them Project Velnesh. It is not unheard of for the output of a project to have the same name as the project itself.


EDIT: Also, I'm really glad that you didn't seriously consider a species name that sounds very much like the brand name that is associated with scanning paper documents. That would have been strange.

NecroBlade
September 25th, 2019, 07:14 PM
Either would probably work for me. Having the same name as their project is reasonable, and so is adding Alphas (because it's cool to imply there's more in the lore, and implying there could or couldn't be more in the game doesn't matter since we've obviously got a set pool of figures to work with).

Astroking112
September 25th, 2019, 07:17 PM
That puts us at 2 in favor of Project Velnesh Alphas, 2 in favor of just Project Velnesh, and 1 for either/or. If All Your Pie has no strong preferences, then I'm fine with just settling on Project Velnesh.

All Your Pie
September 25th, 2019, 08:30 PM
I prefer Project Velnesh. If we wanted to expand on designs with a similar theme, I would rather call them "Project _____" rather than "Project Velnesh Betas" or something.

Astroking112
September 25th, 2019, 11:28 PM
I say that we go ahead with Project Velnesh and a Velnesh species, then.

Looks like the last thing we need to decide for the initial card is a points value. My first guess is around the range of 70-90 points because of their 4/4 stats and essentially having 6 move, although Blink could be a good defensive power against weak ranged builds that increases their value in practice. Does anyone else have alternate starting point suggestions?

Pumpkin_King
September 26th, 2019, 03:06 AM
I agree with caps that just having them be spacetime weirdness monsters (Stranger Things is a great comparison) was my preferred source, but hey.

Let’s start with 90.

flameslayer93
September 26th, 2019, 02:50 PM
90 seems like a good start. I don’t think these guys will be much better than the Ninjas, but I’d rather they be priced conservatively so as to not drastically outclass them for non-Ninja builds. Disappearing Ninja being an effective way to block wounds will help them remain distinct from the Velnesh playstyle too.

Astroking112
September 26th, 2019, 03:00 PM
The Ninjas are a good point. I could see us going to 100 just to avoid outclassing them (although they do get Kantono Daishi synergy).

While Project Velnesh doesn't have Disappearing Ninja, it does have 4 defense and an easier way of closing the distance against range. The teleportation is less flexible in avoiding engagement than Phantom Walk, but provides more utility for general movement around the map, so they're relatively close in my eyes.

capsocrates
September 26th, 2019, 04:59 PM
90-100 seems like a good ballpark start. :up:

NecroBlade
October 1st, 2019, 10:03 PM
OP updated at 100 points.

In the interest of simplification, don't we think we ought to make Shift either before or after attacking, not a choice between both?

Pumpkin_King
October 2nd, 2019, 12:09 AM
After moving, you mean?

Astroking112
October 2nd, 2019, 01:17 AM
I actually think that Blink is the more complicated power here. Removing the option of when to trigger Shift wouldn't really cut down on as much complexity IMO.

Pumpkin_King
October 2nd, 2019, 01:24 AM
I like the choosing, too. You can Shift out of engagement or past an enemy screen to attack.

NecroBlade
October 19th, 2019, 03:46 PM
"Project Velnesh" does read kinda weird in the powers... maybe "Project Velnesh Alphas" or "Velnesh Alphas" would be better...

Pumpkin_King
October 19th, 2019, 06:27 PM
Yeah, I feel the same. My vote is for Velnesh Alphas and let the bio tell the story.

Astroking112
October 20th, 2019, 12:30 AM
NecroBlade Agreed. I'd like to go with Project Velnesh Alphas to reinforce the Sci-Fi theme, though I suppose that the Experiments class could carry that on its own if others feel like it's too wordy.

Also, it looks like Shift and Blink refer to the wrong power at the end of their respective texts in the OP right now. Shift should be the short-ranged teleport and Blink should be the long-ranged placement power.

NecroBlade
October 27th, 2019, 09:43 AM
NecroBlade Agreed. I'd like to go with Project Velnesh Alphas to reinforce the Sci-Fi theme, though I suppose that the Experiments class could carry that on its own if others feel like it's too wordy.

Also, it looks like Shift and Blink refer to the wrong power at the end of their respective texts in the OP right now. Shift should be the short-ranged teleport and Blink should be the long-ranged placement power.

I've come around to Velnesh Alphas with a class of Experiments and bio telling the story.

The problem with Blink/Shift is the names really can work both ways. :lol: Interesting that both powers are currently the exact same length.

bmon
October 27th, 2019, 02:45 PM
VYDAR :vydar:
VELNESH ALPHAS
Velnesh
Unique Squad
Class Experiments
Personality Menacing
SIZE HEIGHT Medium 5

LIFE 1 (3 figures)
MOVE 4 / BASIC 5
RANGE 1 / BASIC 1
ATTACK 4 / BASIC 4
DEFENSE 4 / BASIC 4

100 POINTS

SHIFT
Before or after moving, you may place a Velnesh Alpha on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current placement. Velnesh Alphas will not take leaving engagement attacks while Shifting.

BLINK
When a Velnesh Alpha is targeted for a normal attack, you may place that Velnesh Alpha adjacent to the attacking figure. Velnesh Alphas will not take leaving engagement attacks while Blinking.



I really like this! These guys sound very fun and unique to play. Nice work here!

Pumpkin_King
October 29th, 2019, 04:15 AM
We good to go to editing then?

flameslayer93
October 29th, 2019, 06:47 AM
Let’s do it. Yeah to send to editing

Astroking112
October 29th, 2019, 09:46 PM
I prefer Project Velnesh Alphas, but it's a minor change that doesn't bother me too much. YEA to Editing.

Pumpkin_King
October 31st, 2019, 09:52 PM
Yes to editing.

All Your Pie
November 1st, 2019, 04:48 AM
:up:

Astroking112
November 3rd, 2019, 03:26 PM
Looks like we're waiting for NecroBlade and capsocrates to vote on sending these guys to Editing.

The vote started on last Tuesday, so let's call it at the end of the day on November 5th if we don't get any more votes before then.

capsocrates
November 3rd, 2019, 11:09 PM
:up:

Sir Heroscape
November 3rd, 2019, 11:16 PM
one of the few times I've popped into this project. I like where these guys seem to have ended up. Very cool/interesting powerset. Should make for some interesting games.

Astroking112
November 6th, 2019, 11:18 PM
I think that it's fair to call the vote for moving to Editing now. We're at 5/6 YEAs, so we should be good for Scytale to run the checklist when he gets the chance.

NecroBlade, do you mind updating the title of this thread to reflect that we're in Editing now?

one of the few times I've popped into this project. I like where these guys seem to have ended up. Very cool/interesting powerset. Should make for some interesting games.

Thanks for checking in on them! I'm excited to get to test them soon, and I think that the experiments theme is really cool.

NecroBlade
November 8th, 2019, 09:32 AM
Welcome to editing.

Always enjoy seeing that other's are interested in and following this project. We hope the final product is exciting!

Scytale
November 11th, 2019, 05:02 PM
Is it intended that Alphas can Shift unrestrictedly? Currently, they can Shift up or down infinite levels, as well as through any obstacles.

It seems to me that an Alpha can Blink infinitely. It's targeted, it Blinks. It gets targeted again in its new position, it Blinks again. Repeat. Not that anyone in their right mind would do so, unless they happen to be 10 and like to annoy other players. I just don't think that the initial targeting "sticks" when it moves to another position.

Pumpkin_King
November 11th, 2019, 05:17 PM
I think shifting through obstacles is intended - in my mind they're talking short, Nightcrawler-esque jumps through another dimension. We could talk about an elevation restriction but I'd want it to be pretty high.

Scytale
November 13th, 2019, 02:53 PM
I take it you do not want the Alphas to be able to Shift onto a glyph, right? "Empty,", not "unoccupied?" How about with Blink?

I limited Shift to normal movements only. It gets really messy otherwise, and I think that's the intent anyway.

SHIFT
Before or after moving a Velnesh Alpha normally, you may place it on an empty space within 2 spaces of its current location. Velnesh Alphas will never take leaving engagement attacks while using Shift.

BLINK
When a Velnesh Alpha is targeted for a normal attack by an opponent's figure, you may place that Velnesh Alpha on an empty space adjacent to the attacking figure. Velnesh Alphas will never take leaving engagement attacks while using Blink.Suggested R&Cs:
Q: If a Velnesh Alpha is targeted for an attack by a Warforged Soldier, what happens first, Tactical Switch or Blink?
A: Blink. Tactical Switch occurs after targeting and before rolling attack dice.General Checklist:

1. Are we recycling a unit name? No

2. Are we recycling a power name? No

3. If we are reusing an existing power, is the wording exactly the same? N/A

4. What happens when the powers are negated (Rod of Negation, Exploit Weakness)? If negated by Rod of Negation, the Velnesh Alphas could not use Shift or Blink. If negated by Exploit Weakness, they could not use Blink. Do any powers continue to have effects after being negated? No Is this clear from the wording?

5. Should the powers affect destructible objects? If we make a destructible object that can attack, I think Blink could be used against it, but I'm not sure.

6. Do any of the powers unintentionally synergize with other players' units? No

7. Do the powers allow turn stacking? No

8. Are any of the powers conditional on a future event? No Is that future event inevitable or avoidable?

9. Does it have a d20 power? No If is a small, medium, or large Hero, how does it interact with Mystic Sacrifice? If it is Tricky, how does it interact with Queen of Thieves? If it is Undead, how does it interact with Curse of the Mummy?

10. Do the powers create out-of-turn attacks? No

11. Are any powers conditional on the source of damage? No

12. Are any powers expected to work after all figures have been destroyed? No If so, is that clearly worded? How does it interact with revivals, via Glyph of Sturla or otherwise?

13. Do any powers that decrease attack or defense dice introduce a new minimum value (other than zero)? N/A

14. Do any powers change a Range value from 3 or less to 4 or greater or vice versa? No

15. Do any powers act unexpectedly in multiplayer games? No

16. Do any powers place other figures on this card? No If so, how does it interact with other place-on-card powers (Animated Materiel, Cling, Dwarven Gunners, Warriors Armor Spirit, Warriors Attack Spirit, Warrior's Swiftness Spirit, Necromancy)?

17. Does a power trigger off of an Order Marker being revealed on another Army Card? No If so, is the power expected to trigger if all figures associated with that Army Card have been destroyed?

18. Is it clear which powers are mandatory and which are optional? Both powers are clearly optional.

19. How do the powers interact with the Marro Hive? Nothing special.

20. If the unit is a Soulborg squad who follows Jandar, how do the powers interact with Directed Fire? N/A

21. Does any power's name or wording unintentionally prohibit the power's reusability? No

22. Does the text fit reasonably well on a card? Yes Use this tool to check: https://www.heroscapers.com/xorlof/x2cc.


Capitalization Checklist:

normal attack
Named Special Power


Style Checklist:

1. Species is always singular for Heroes and plural for Squads, except Human and Soulborg are always singular. Is "Velnesh" plural?

2. Class is always singular for Heroes and plural for Squads. "Experiments" is plural.

3. For Heroes with a name like {name} the {optional adjective} {noun}, use the full name for the first instance in each power description, and only the first {name} thereafter. N/A

4. Single-space, not single-spaced; double-space, not double-spaced. N/A

5. Always add 's' after an apostrophe for a singular possessive, even if the possessor ends in 's' or 'z'. N/A

6. Special attacks should have a newline between the Range/Attack line and the description. N/A


Unique Card Checklist:

1. How does it interact with Enslave/Moon Frenzy? N/A

2. How does it interact with Mind Shackle/Soul Devour? Nothing special.


Defense Power Checklist:

1. Does it work against special attacks? No If so, how does it interact with every special attack in the game (listed here (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=42201))? Take careful note of interaction with multi-figure special attacks like Encircle Special Attack.

2. How does it interact with multi-normal attack powers, such as Hydra Heads, Flail Hurricane, Autocannons, and Two Heads are Better Than One? Each time the Alpha is targeted for a normal attack, it may use Blink.

3. How does it interact with Eagle Claw? N/A

4. How does it interact with Lumbering Bully/WHOMP!? Nothing special.

5. How does it interact with Knockback/Ramming? Nothing special.

6. How does it interact with Poison Weapons/Mortal Strike/Whetstone of Venom? N/A

7. How does it interact with Maul/Lethal Sting/Venomous Sting? Nothing special.

8. How does it interact with Paralyzing Stare/Whip? Nothing special.

9. How does it interact with Net Trip? Nothing special.

10. How does it interact with Life Drain/Life Transfer Aura/Sanguine Sword? Nothing special.

11. How does it interact with Bloodlust/Demonblade? Nothing special.

12. How does it interact with Tactical Switch? This one isn't clear, but I think "before rolling attack dice" would come after the targeting phase. So Blink would happen before Tactical Switch. Tactical Switch is poorly worded though, so I'm not sure when it happens in relation to the targeting phase.

13. How does it interact with Zombies Rise Again/Zombie Rises Again/Bloodborn Rising? Nothing special.

14. How does it interact with Reckless Second Swing? A Velnesh Alpha could use Blink before each attack.

15. How does it interact with powers that reduce defense dice? Nothing special.

16. How does it interact with Furious Wrath/Engorge? Nothing special.

17. How does it interact with Shocking Grasp/Breaching Scythe/Master's Strike? Nothing special.

18. How does it interact with Clear Shot? The movement from Blink could remove the Clear Shot bonus.

19. How does it interact with Upgrade? Nothing special.

20. How does it interact with Finishing Blow? Nothing special.

21. How does it interact with Cling? Nothing special.

22. How does it interact with Lycanthropy? Nothing special.

23. How does it interact with Cleave/Skewer? Nothing special.

24. How does it interact with Taste of Blood? Nothing special.

25. How does it interact with Crushing Grasp? Nothing special.

26. How does it interact with Revenant's Tome? Nothing special.


Movement Power Checklist:

1. Does it allow leaving engagement attacks? No

2. How does it interact with Engagement Strike/Ice Spikes/Braced Spear? Both Shift and Blink can trigger these powers.

3. How does it interact with Slippery? Shift can trigger Slippery. Blink can also trigger Slippery, which could cause Elaria to move away, and then she could retarget the Alpha, and it could Blink again.

4. How does it interact with Cyberclaw/Improved Cyberclaw? Cyberclaw would prevent the use of Shift and Blink.

5. How does it interact with Swirling Vortex? A Velnesh Alpha could Shift or Blink into or out of a Swirling Vortex.

6. Is there any way the figure can be forced to end its movement on an illegal space? No

7. Is it a space-by-space move power, or a teleport-like place power? Teleport-like Is it clear in the power which one it is? Yes

8. How does it interact with bonus movement powers, such as Movement Bonding or Jandar's Dispatch? Shift cannot be used with a bonus movement.

9. How does it interact with Shield Push? Shift cannot be used with Shield Push.

10. How does it interact with Maneuver? N/A

11. How does it interact with Steadfast? N/A

12. How does it interact with Flying/Stealth Flying? N/A

13. How does it interact with Levitation? N/A


Triggered Power Checklist:

Attack Targeting Triggered Powers:

1. Does it affect special attacks? No If so, how does it interact with every special attack in the game (listed here (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=42201))? Take careful note of special attacks that do not use targeting like Fireline Special Attack.

2. What happens if the attacker changes targets? Nothing special.

Astroking112
November 13th, 2019, 07:29 PM
I take it you do not want the Alphas to be able to Shift onto a glyph, right? "Empty,", not "unoccupied?" How about with Blink?

I limited Shift to normal movements only. It gets really messy otherwise, and I think that's the intent anyway.

I personally don't see much of a reason to allow teleportation onto glyphs for either power. Maybe just to avoid new players potentially not knowing that an "empty space" doesn't have any glyphs on it, but I'm fine either way.

Limiting Shift to normal movements seems like a good change to me.

Something I just noticed that might pose an issue is that Blink can trigger off of friendly figures. If a player doesn't have to finish the attack after the Alpha moves when being targeted, then they can theoretically move their own Velnesh Alphas quite a few spaces for free before shooting at the enemy. If my understanding of this is correct, then I feel like we might need to specify that it only works against opponents' figures.

Scytale
November 13th, 2019, 11:56 PM
Something I just noticed that might pose an issue is that Blink can trigger off of friendly figures. If a player doesn't have to finish the attack after the Alpha moves when being targeted, then they can theoretically move their own Velnesh Alphas quite a few spaces for free before shooting at the enemy. If my understanding of this is correct, then I feel like we might need to specify that it only works against opponents' figures.
That's a tough one. The rules are incredibly vague when it comes to targeting, and the Nakitas made it clear that re-targeting is possible. My fellow Editors feel that the sensible rule is that targeting should only be allowed to be changed when the situation demands it (like Smoke Powder), but there are no actual rules that say so. Even then, there aren't any rules to say you have to go through with the attack--that would be another leap of reading stuff into vague rules. Blink seems like a drastic change, so even if that Alpha can still be targeted, it seems to me that the attacker shouldn't be forced to do so.

So I agree that it should be limited to opponent's figures only.

lefton4ya
November 14th, 2019, 11:38 AM
Interesting - I do remember discussion that you can target an infinite # of figures (including going back and forth between the same figures) in an attack until you actually roll attack dice, so yes close the loophole of targeting your own Velnesh Alphas just to shift, then retarget the person you plan on attacking. Hypothetically you could go back and forth on targeting to shift multiple times, making it worse even than how Deathreavers were before they were erratad, as you actually had to attack them.

Scytale
November 14th, 2019, 11:47 AM
I added a "by an opponent's figure" restriction to Blink.

Pumpkin_King
November 16th, 2019, 05:07 PM
Reasonable restriction. Anything else?

Astroking112
November 16th, 2019, 08:41 PM
Nothing else comes to my mind.

NecroBlade
November 17th, 2019, 02:22 PM
Interestingly they can take glyphs with Blink, but I'm less worried about that since the opponent has some control over it and that figure is about to be attacked anyway. I think the only time they could be targeted then not attacked is by the M-43s, in which case if the opponent really wants to give you free movement, that's their problem.

Scytale
November 18th, 2019, 02:53 PM
Since there is no review process for these (as far as I can tell), I'll give a critique now. Ignore if you choose.

This is a great design lost in a merely good one. The problem is a lack of minimization, which is all the more important with the target audience. This unit would be really interesting with either power. It doesn't need both. It's not that either power is complicated or unthematic, it's that having both is unnecessary. It does not need both powers either thematically or in gameplay; they exist independently.

That in itself isn't a bad thing, but in this case they are both teleportation powers. Two powers that are similar in a lot of ways, yet entirely different on when and how they are used. To a player that isn't trying to memorize every card (and that's how casual players are, and even some tournament ones), it becomes muddled. Instead a unit that "teleports as they move" or "teleport when you try to shoot them," it becomes "a unit that teleports around all the time," and they stop trying to figure out the whens and whys. The differences are too much to keep track of on a quick reading, and get glossed over. When that happens, they stop trying to play around them strategically, and just deal with whatever they do.

Pumpkin_King
November 18th, 2019, 04:45 PM
Hmmm.

That's persuasive. I wonder if we can get away with (maybe even buffed by 1 move) Blink and Evasive 2?

Astroking112
November 18th, 2019, 07:06 PM
Since there is no review process for these (as far as I can tell), I'll give a critique now. Ignore if you choose.

Looks like Final Review is the closest spot, and that's after playtesting, so I think that now is as good of a time as any to bring up criticisms.

This is a great design lost in a merely good one. The problem is a lack of minimization, which is all the more important with the target audience. This unit would be really interesting with either power. It doesn't need both. It's not that either power is complicated or unthematic, it's that having both is unnecessary. It does not need both powers either thematically or in gameplay; they exist independently.

That in itself isn't a bad thing, but in this case they are both teleportation powers. Two powers that are similar in a lot of ways, yet entirely different on when and how they are used. To a player that isn't trying to memorize every card (and that's how casual players are, and even some tournament ones), it becomes muddled. Instead a unit that "teleports as they move" or "teleport when you try to shoot them," it becomes "a unit that teleports around all the time," and they stop trying to figure out the whens and whys. The differences are too much to keep track of on a quick reading, and get glossed over. When that happens, they stop trying to play around them strategically, and just deal with whatever they do.

Hmm. I was actually thinking that the loop of "Get Targeted" > "Teleport Adjacent" > "Shift Past Attacker Next Turn to Hit Target" would be prominent, but you have a good point here. I could easily see new opponents not fully understanding what the purpose of the card is beyond some vague idea of teleportation, lessening the cool factor.

Part of the problem that I see with just cutting one of these powers is that neither make for a particularly compelling design on their own. Shift is a limited Disengage with a bit of potential for going through walls, and Blink is unique but only situationally useful.

Shift does become a lot more compelling at 3 move--I could see that as a single power design. It's a bit more limited in just our set, but being able to Shift to the top of a Pillar of HŠr or past a screen makes them feel a bit more unique.

Captain Stupendous
November 18th, 2019, 07:09 PM
Since there is no review process for these (as far as I can tell), I'll give a critique now. Ignore if you choose.

This is a great design lost in a merely good one. The problem is a lack of minimization, which is all the more important with the target audience. This unit would be really interesting with either power. It doesn't need both. It's not that either power is complicated or unthematic, it's that having both is unnecessary. It does not need both powers either thematically or in gameplay; they exist independently.

That in itself isn't a bad thing, but in this case they are both teleportation powers. Two powers that are similar in a lot of ways, yet entirely different on when and how they are used. To a player that isn't trying to memorize every card (and that's how casual players are, and even some tournament ones), it becomes muddled. Instead a unit that "teleports as they move" or "teleport when you try to shoot them," it becomes "a unit that teleports around all the time," and they stop trying to figure out the whens and whys. The differences are too much to keep track of on a quick reading, and get glossed over. When that happens, they stop trying to play around them strategically, and just deal with whatever they do.


*let me just preface this by saying that I'm not actually a member of this pod, just an interested observer who's been following this thread pretty closely, so these are just my two cents for what they're worth*

To some extent I agree with you. Personally I would prefer for SHIFT to only be usable before moving, instead of before or after. However, I also think that the powers work together and interact mechanically quite well. Specifically, using SHIFT before movement will allow the Velnesh experiments to disengage from enemies that they have previously blinked to. Because of how Blink works, they'll often find themselves engaged with enemy figures that they might not necessarily want to attack, and in this way SHIFT complements BLINK quite well.

One possible solution would be to replace SHIFT with PHANTOM WALK, which is something that was actually discussed early in the design process. However, I and several others felt like their statline combined with PHANTOM WALK and the movement-based defensive ability would make them too similar to the ninjas of the northern wind.

If anything, I think that just dropping SHIFT altogether could work for this unit, although it would make them much weaker and harder to use effectively due to being easily tied down, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

EDIT :ninja:'d by Astroking haha!

Captain Stupendous
November 18th, 2019, 07:17 PM
Hmmm.

That's persuasive. I wonder if we can get away with (maybe even buffed by 1 move) Blink and Evasive 2?

Did you mean Shift and Evasive 2? I'm not sure what the point would be of combining Blink and Evasive; unless I'm missing something obvious they'd hardly ever get their Evasive bonus because they'd always Blink adjacent to the attacker first...

Scytale
November 18th, 2019, 07:39 PM
Part of the problem that I see with just cutting one of these powers is that neither make for a particularly compelling design on their own. Shift is a limited Disengage with a bit of potential for going through walls, and Blink is unique but only situationally useful.
You vastly underestimate the value of Shift. Shifting past enemy units to the backline, shifting up cliffs and tower walls, shifting out of engagement to go after prime targets, or just shifting to height for better placement. All of these things are amazing and adapts to multiple playstyles. Just allowing it before or after movement instead of both makes for an interesting, valuable power. Allowing both is just wild.

bmon
November 18th, 2019, 09:12 PM
They are a unique squad though - which lends itself better to strong, unique power sets. I feel like shift alone becomes too similar to Stealth Flying. I find both powers together intriguing and adding uniqueness.

Astroking112
November 18th, 2019, 09:35 PM
Part of the problem that I see with just cutting one of these powers is that neither make for a particularly compelling design on their own. Shift is a limited Disengage with a bit of potential for going through walls, and Blink is unique but only situationally useful.
You vastly underestimate the value of Shift. Shifting past enemy units to the backline, shifting up cliffs and tower walls, shifting out of engagement to go after prime targets, or just shifting to height for better placement. All of these things are amazing and adapts to multiple playstyles. Just allowing it before or after movement instead of both makes for an interesting, valuable power. Allowing both is just wild.

I think that it's a useful power, but I am concerned that when taken alone it is essentially akin to just a more limited Phantom Walk (especially without too many walls and towers). We probably won't have another Ninjas of the Northern Wind-like design in this set, but there's still some significant overlap there that we should be addressing. If we're certain that just Shift alone will play significantly differently enough to let both squads stay distinct, then I'm perfectly content to explore that. My hunch is just that Shift alone isn't enough to actually play differently.

Pumpkin_King
November 19th, 2019, 04:37 AM
Hmmm.

That's persuasive. I wonder if we can get away with (maybe even buffed by 1 move) Blink and Evasive 2?

Did you mean Shift and Evasive 2? I'm not sure what the point would be of combining Blink and Evasive; unless I'm missing something obvious they'd hardly ever get their Evasive bonus because they'd always Blink adjacent to the attacker first...

My bad, yeah. I meant Shift and Evasive.

I think if we dropped and/or replaced either power it would be Blink. Iím not quite convinced we need to do that, yet. Scy, do you think your hesitation with both powers could be solved by renaming one or both of them to differentiate them?

flameslayer93
November 19th, 2019, 07:15 AM
I suspect Scy’s hesitation comes from the mechanics rather than the name.

Scytale
November 19th, 2019, 10:06 AM
I suspect Scyís hesitation comes from the mechanics rather than the name.
Right. Two different teleport powers on the same unit muddles both, regardless of their names. "They teleport when ..." and "they also teleport when ..." becomes "they teleport a lot" to people who don't care much about the details. Compare that to "they teleport before or after they move, and they're harder to hit from range."

Pumpkin_King
November 22nd, 2019, 07:11 PM
Hmm. Yeah, I'm definitely open to the "before or after moving" Blink and Evasive 2/3.

NecroBlade
November 24th, 2019, 08:55 AM
Personally I would prefer for SHIFT to only be usable before moving, instead of before or after. However, I also think that the powers work together and interact mechanically quite well. Specifically, using SHIFT before movement will allow the Velnesh experiments to disengage from enemies that they have previously blinked to. Because of how Blink works, they'll often find themselves engaged with enemy figures that they might not necessarily want to attack, and in this way SHIFT complements BLINK quite well.

I agree with this, the powers compliment each other. Shift being only before (or after) moving was my preferred version, but got changed. Going back to that would simplify the timing somewhat. "They teleport when shot at, they teleport before moving". "They teleport a lot" doesn't bother me since that's the theme behind the unit. There was also mention of this version of Blink:


BLINK
When a Velnesh Alpha is targeted for a normal attack by an opponent's non-adjacent* figure, you may immediately move that Velnesh Alpha with Shift.


In some cases you'll be able to dodge completely behind something or out of range and avoid the shot altogether, and in others you won't have anywhere useful to go. But more importantly it helps ties the two powers together.

At any rate, I think the two power card here is better than either one by itself. Blink alone is just bad Thorian Speed. Shift alone is a little more interesting, but we're also terrain-limited in this set which hinders it somewhat.

*Required to make this version not abusive vs melee, and could probably be in the current version as well to again simplify the amount of teleports.

bmon
November 24th, 2019, 11:14 AM
At any rate, I think the two power card here is better than either one by itself. Blink alone is just bad Thorian Speed. Shift alone is a little more interesting, but we're also terrain-limited in this set which hinders it somewhat.


And in my opinion, Shift alone is just bad Stealth Flying. But put those things together and you have a very thematic, unique design. I love it.

Pumpkin_King
November 24th, 2019, 04:10 PM
I could go with the "may move with Shift" Blink.

Astroking112
November 24th, 2019, 04:25 PM
Shift being only before (or after) moving was my preferred version, but got changed. Going back to that would simplify the timing somewhat. "They teleport when shot at, they teleport before moving". "They teleport a lot" doesn't bother me since that's the theme behind the unit.

I think that allowing the before or after movement distinguishes them from some designs like the Ninjas of the Northern Wind. If Shift only works before moving, then it essentially becomes a limited form of Disengage in most situations, but letting it activate after movement as well gives them a lot more options, such as teleporting past a screen, jumping up towers, or teleporting through walls.

If we're looking at making Shift the full focus of the design, then I think that keeping the flexibility of using it before or after movement is important. The choice on its own doesn't add too much complexity, but it adds a lot to the gameplay, and it feels more thematic that these sci-fi aliens can jump between dimensions with more control.

BLINK
When a Velnesh Alpha is targeted for a normal attack by an opponent's non-adjacent* figure, you may immediately move that Velnesh Alpha with Shift. A Velnesh Alpha cannot use Blink more than once per turn.

I'm still fine with this on principle, but I think that it still kind of runs into the same problem of being confusing for brand new players to get their head around. Obviously it's not nearly as bad as having two distinct forms of teleportation, so I hope that this would be more manageable. This does make the design harder to use, requiring players to either hide adjacent to walls or count out spaces and ranges in order to use the power well.

I added some placeholder text to remind us that this power would have to be limited to once per turn, since they otherwise just keep getting retargeted and teleporting away until they're out of range.

At any rate, I think the two power card here is better than either one by itself. Blink alone is just bad Thorian Speed. Shift alone is a little more interesting, but we're also terrain-limited in this set which hinders it somewhat.

I agree that just Shift on its own has some issues, and just Blink on its own feels like it will be pretty underwhelming for most newer players (given that it doesn't ignore the attack afterward). We don't necessarily need to have both on the same design, though.

If we want to keep this direction, then I think that the revised Blink to just let them Shift when targeted is workable, or we could look at a gameplay style redesign if we want more substantial changes. Any other potential second powers need to be considered with what purpose and role these guys are supposed to serve, so I'd like to discuss that first if we're going down that route.

Pumpkin_King
November 24th, 2019, 10:07 PM
I think we could go with what we have, first - find some newer players or players that aren’t as versed in the game, and run it past them.

Scytale
November 24th, 2019, 10:39 PM
I think we could go with what we have, first - find some newer players or players that arenít as versed in the game, and run it past them.
I doubt running it by people will matter. They're easy enough to understand when you're trying to understand them, especially individually.

Pumpkin_King
November 24th, 2019, 10:43 PM
I suppose that's true.

I'm torn between keeping what we have, and goign with Shift + Evasive.

All Your Pie
November 24th, 2019, 11:58 PM
If we do go for pairing down to just Shift for teleportation, Iíd rather have Shift + Stealth Dodge as opposed to Evasive.

Astroking112
December 1st, 2019, 01:45 AM
I'm inclined to agree with All Your Pie. Stealth Dodge feels a bit nicer than Evasive here if we want to go that route.

I think that if we want to keep this current direction, we should go with the proposed version of Blink above that simply lets them use Shift once when they are targeted. Scytale's concern still stands, but it's at least a little easier to get the hang of.

I'm also good with going down to a one-teleporting power design, but I think that we should settle on their playstyle with this kind of a change. Shift seems to have the most traction to keep of the two currently. Any other thoughts on that front?

NecroBlade
December 2nd, 2019, 10:24 PM
So do we want to move back to Design to change Blink to a Shift-trigger (or something else), or just change it up and keep moving?

Astroking112
December 3rd, 2019, 10:04 PM
So do we want to move back to Design to change Blink to a Shift-trigger (or something else), or just change it up and keep moving?

I could see us continuing forward with Blink being a ranged Shift trigger, but if we're brainstorming a bigger change then I think that moving back to Design would be prudent.

Personally, I lean more towards the latter option because I don't think that the ranged Shift trigger fully addresses Scytale's points, but I could get behind trying out this direction first if that's what we're feeling.

Pumpkin_King
December 5th, 2019, 05:26 PM
LEt's bring it to design and see what we can hash out.

NecroBlade
December 8th, 2019, 02:04 PM
So do we want to move back to Design to change Blink to a Shift-trigger (or something else), or just change it up and keep moving?

I could see us continuing forward with Blink being a ranged Shift trigger, but if we're brainstorming a bigger change then I think that moving back to Design would be prudent.

Personally, I lean more towards the latter option because I don't think that the ranged Shift trigger fully addresses Scytale's points, but I could get behind trying out this direction first if that's what we're feeling.
A ranged Shift trigger does leave two different timings, but also simplifies their teleports into just one style. I think that goes a long way toward making the theme more cohesive. Here's what it would look like:

SHIFT
Before or after moving, you may place a Velnesh Alpha on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current placement. Velnesh Alphas will not take leaving engagement attacks while Shifting.

BLINK
When a Velnesh Alpha is targeted for a normal attack by an opponent's [non-adjacent] figure, you may move that Velnesh Alpha with Shift.

All Your Pie
December 8th, 2019, 04:32 PM
I'm a little leery of giving a figure the ability to teleport freely when targeted. The "targeting" phase of an attack is already pretty shaky rules-wise, so giving a figure the ability to move from one position to any other potential one during that phase raises a lot of questions we'd have to answer.

For simplicity's sake, we could just allow the Alphas to Shift after successfully defending against any normal attack, or any ranged normal attack.

Astroking112
December 8th, 2019, 04:51 PM
For simplicity's sake, we could just allow the Alphas to Shift after successfully defending against any normal attack, or any ranged normal attack.

I like this a lot more if we want to keep this direction. If they have 4 defense, they'll generally be able to take a few hits anyway, and it feels more approachable than getting into the targeting business.

Here's a draft of what that could look like:
BLINK
After a Velnesh Alpha rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Shift Special Power.

This could be frustrating for melee squads if they can just Shift out of engagement after one successful defense, but I'd like to test it out working against melee first. That also does simplify the teleport triggers to (1) before moving, (2) after moving, or (3) after defending (instead of after defending against range), which is at least simpler than what we were going with.

Captain Stupendous
December 10th, 2019, 11:05 PM
For simplicity's sake, we could just allow the Alphas to Shift after successfully defending against any normal attack, or any ranged normal attack.

I like this a lot more if we want to keep this direction. If they have 4 defense, they'll generally be able to take a few hits anyway, and it feels more approachable than getting into the targeting business.

Here's a draft of what that could look like:
BLINK
After a Velnesh Alpha rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Shift Special Power.

This could be frustrating for melee squads if they can just Shift out of engagement after one successful defense, but I'd like to test it out working against melee first. That also does simplify the teleport triggers to (1) before moving, (2) after moving, or (3) after defending (instead of after defending against range), which is at least simpler than what we were going with.

I think this could work. Another option would be to stay with the current version of Blink and just replace Shift with Phantom Walk. I think Blink is a unique enough ability to differentiate them from the Ninjas of the Northern Wind.

This would give us:

LIFE 1 (3 figures)
MOVE 6 / BASIC 5
RANGE 1 / BASIC 1
ATTACK 4 / BASIC 4
DEFENSE 4 / BASIC 4

100 POINTS

PHANTOM WALK
Velnesh Alphas can move through all figures and is never attacked when leaving an engagement.

BLINK (I prefer the name PHASE SHIFT for this power but that's a quibble)
When a Velnesh Alpha is targeted for a normal attack by an opponent's figure, you may place that Velnesh Alpha adjacent to the attacking figure. Velnesh Alphas will not take leaving engagement attacks while Blinking.

Pumpkin_King
December 12th, 2019, 12:44 AM
I think the "before or after moving" thing is pretty key to the design, for me.

The Long eared bat
December 13th, 2019, 12:49 PM
SHIFT
Before or after moving, you may place a Velnesh Alpha on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current location. Velnesh Alphas will not take leaving engagement attacks while Shifting.

BLINK
After a Velnesh Alpha rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Shift Special Power.

Looks solid guys.

NecroBlade
December 13th, 2019, 09:06 PM
SHIFT
Before or after moving, you may place a Velnesh Alpha on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current location. Velnesh Alphas will not take leaving engagement attacks while Shifting.

BLINK
After a Velnesh Alpha rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Shift Special Power.

Looks solid guys.

Still not 100% jazzed by "before or after" myself, but I can get behind this. Triggering off normal attacks is very ninja-esque, but at least their teleports are a consistent style.

Pumpkin_King
December 21st, 2019, 05:31 PM
"Before or after" makes perfect sense to me, honestly. I think we're in a good place. We should keep Evasive in mind for later, though.

NecroBlade
December 22nd, 2019, 10:17 PM
I think "before", "after", and "before or after" can all make the same amount of sense from a theme perspective, but the first and second aren't nearly as AP-prone as the third. Then again I suppose the board state can dictate what your options are on any given turn to an extent. Either way, I don't think fewer options here would necessarily be a bad thing.

Pumpkin_King
December 31st, 2019, 03:39 AM
Bumping this. Are we good to run them through the checklist?

Astroking112
January 14th, 2020, 02:37 PM
Bumping this. Are we good to run them through the checklist?

I'm good with the changes in the OP. If there's nothing else, then I think that we should be good to run these updates through the checklist now.

Pumpkin_King
January 21st, 2020, 04:38 AM
Scytale when you have a moment.

Scytale
January 21st, 2020, 12:33 PM
@Scytale (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/member.php?u=968) when you have a moment.
Yeah, it takes a good amount of time and mental energy. I was working my way up from the bottom of the AotV list, which unfortunately means pings make it last in the queue.

Pumpkin_King
January 21st, 2020, 01:01 PM
Oops, I’m sorry! Take your time Scy.

Scytale
February 3rd, 2020, 07:30 PM
While it's still shifting around at different times during a round, tying both movements into the same power in this way is a nice improvement.

Question: did you consider something like this:
BLINK 12
If a Valnesh Alpha is attacked with a normal attack and at least 1 skull is rolled, roll the 20-sided die. If you roll 1-11, roll defense normally. If you roll a 12 or higher, the Velnesh Alpha takes no damage and may immediately use its Blink special power.Being a unique squad it could use the survivability boost, even if I would drop their defense to 3.

Makes them even more similar to Ninjas of the Northern Wind, though.

Pumpkin_King
February 3rd, 2020, 10:58 PM
I'd take the similarity to Ninjas if it gave them a little bit of a boost against ranged in that way. I like it.

Astroking112
February 3rd, 2020, 11:16 PM
They're already pretty similar to the Ninjas as it is. I'd prefer to keep more of a distinction between them if we can. If 4 defense isn't enough survivability, then I'd rather look at either increasing their defense or redesigning Blink altogether, personally.

Pumpkin_King
February 4th, 2020, 12:39 AM
Should we give them Evasive?

lefton4ya
February 4th, 2020, 12:47 AM
Should we give them Evasive?
My favorite underused power FTW! I think can be a third power with BLINK and SHIFT as all three powers are fairly short. Only Q is what to add and what should be defense stat for melee attacks.
EVASIVE [1/2]
"When a Velnesh Alphas rolls defense dice against an attacking figure who is not adjacent, add [1/2] defense die to the defense roll."
Defense 4 and Evasive 1 OR Defense 3 and Evasive 2 are probably good spots, but maybe up to Defense 4 and Evasive 2, or go all out with Defense 3 and Evasive 3. Anything but Defense 2, Evasive 8 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=8412) ;)

Another idea is to give them Double Attack or Whirlwhind Assault - mostly based on sculpt with 4 arms. Helps survivability being able to handle swarms as well.

NecroBlade
February 15th, 2020, 07:27 PM
Not really a fan of either adding a d20 making them closer to the NotNW or adding a third power. I'd prefer seeing how 4D plus bonus Shifts held up first. However, we did have a version of Blink that was better against Range:

Once per turn, when each Velnesh Alpha is targeted by a non-adjacent figure for a normal attack, it may immediately move using its Shift special power.

That would allow them to get behind cover, negating the attack, or get to height/jungle/shadow for other defensive bonuses.

Pumpkin_King
February 15th, 2020, 07:47 PM
Just to clarify, each Alpha may use Blink once, not once for the whole squad? I do like that.

I still do think giving them Evasive would be good for mechanical reasons and also to differentiate them from the NotNW, but if we can agree on a Blink/Shift combination that would work without Evasive we can easily put them in PT and see if they're too weak to range.

I say we try NB's wording of each Alpha getting to Blink when targeted, and go from there. IT's entirely possible it sounds stronger than it is.

NecroBlade
February 15th, 2020, 07:51 PM
Just to clarify, each Alpha may use Blink once, not once for the whole squad? I do like that.

Correct. There was earlier concern about repeated targeting from multiple figures letting them Shift across the battlefield. It's entirely possible there's better wording, too.

Pumpkin_King
February 15th, 2020, 07:52 PM
Yeah, I think unique squads are the place for abilities that just work all the time with no d20 chance.

capsocrates
March 1st, 2020, 12:08 AM
I have to admit I really like this direction:
SHIFT

Before or after moving, you may place a Velnesh Alpha on any empty space within 2 spaces of its current placement. Velnesh Alphas will not take leaving engagement attacks while Shifting.


BLINK
After a Velnesh Alpha rolls defense dice against a normal attack and is not destroyed, it may immediately use its Shift special power.
I don't like the idea of replacing a power with Evasive or of adding a 3rd power. I see the argument for basing BLINK off of targeting but I'm concerned the once per turn per figure limit could prove difficult to keep track of. Any thoughts along those lines? I think this core powerset is definitely the way to go.

Pumpkin_King
March 1st, 2020, 02:03 AM
I think if we make them beefy defense wise (4 or even 5) - absolutely that's a good direction, and one I'd be happy to settle on and test.

NecroBlade
March 1st, 2020, 11:24 AM
Sounds like we ought to stick with what's in the OP, then. I like targeting as a fallback, though.

flameslayer93
March 1st, 2020, 11:30 AM
Looks the cleanest to me. It’ll be an :up: from me for voting purposes.

Pumpkin_King
March 30th, 2020, 09:34 PM
Bumping. I think we can get these guys to Playtesting?

Scytale
March 31st, 2020, 12:00 PM
Is this ready for Editing?

Astroking112
March 31st, 2020, 12:12 PM
Is this ready for Editing?

Yes, the version in the OP looks up to date and ready to move forward.

NecroBlade
March 31st, 2020, 04:15 PM
Is this ready for Editing?

Yes, the version in the OP looks up to date and ready to move forward.

:up:

I did some quick tests with RotV figures (and on the map I'm making for ARV), so I'll have thoughts when we get to playtesting, as soon as they pass Editing.

flameslayer93
April 10th, 2020, 10:32 PM
Quick match today with the Alphas. We played on my Castle Montíari map (Iíll try to link a pic later). Glyphs were Knoweledge and Wannok.

Me:
Thorgrim
Guilty
Isamu
Velnesh
Knights x2 (390)

vs

LE:
Drake 2
John Varan
Pathfinders x4 (390)

I started by going for glyphs and forming a nice wall of Knights by the mountainous section of my SZ. LEís forces rushed in. I was slowly blinking in the Alphas, using the walls to prevent getting shot at. LE collided with my forces, using Drake to open with a pair of Pathfinders as backup. My knights didnt do much damage, but they held until the Alphas got the jump in the rear, splitting LEís army up considerably. They got some really good swings in, giving me a turn advantage. I used this advantage to win the game. Varan did do a bunch of damage with a great 5 attack spread, but it wasnít gonna pull LE out of a deficit.

Velnesh killed 2 pathfinders, put 2 wounds on drake, and 3 on Varan.

Shift was key to protecting them from firearms, since they were weaving through the castle walls. One even Shifted on top of the highest peak, a Crypolith/Pillar of Har.

flameslayer93
April 11th, 2020, 09:29 AM
Another quick game. This time a draft with assorted units, which explains the random nature of the armies. (400 point cap)

Me:
Atrixus
Crixus
Velnesh
Roman Archers

LE:
Drake 1
Brunak
Morsbane
Stingers

Once again, the battle was fought in the mountainous part of the map. I used Crixus to get Wannok early. This time the Alphas weren’t able to split her army up since she moved them in a clump. They did smack her figures around, but Brunak got some revenge in, killing 2 of them. Atrixus took some turns, but did almost none of the work and his aura was useless this game. Crixus eventually wiped put LE’s army, doing a notable 4 hits to Drake in a single swing.

The Velnesh Alphas killed a Stinger, and did two hits to Brunak. Near endgame, the last one was useful for clogging the board since he didn’t have to take turns for extra movements.

Thoughts:
Not as relevant this game, but they still held their own. They still need some turns to set up, but Shift helps a bunch. Fun unit, but tricky to find turns for. Menacing, I like it.