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I use this blog to record data for testing custom figures and sharing my thoughts on the design process before posting the results in my thread.

I don't plan to submit all customs that I'm recording data for into the SoV but I do plan to test any custom that I make thoroughly so that it is enjoyable for others that might want it for their table.
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Test 1/16/21 Wulfing Hunters

Posted January 16th, 2021 at 10:40 PM by Shiftrex
Updated January 17th, 2021 at 11:52 PM by Shiftrex
Test Subject:

GENERAL = JANDAR
PLANET = FEYLUND
SPECIES = WULFING
UNIQUENESS = COMMON SQUAD
CLASS = HUNTERS
PERSONALITY = FEARSOME
SIZE/HEIGHT = MEDIUM 5

LIFE = 1

MOVE = 6
RANGE = 1
ATTACK = 4
DEFENSE = 3
POINTS = 50

HUNTER'S HOWL
After revealing an Order Marker on this Army Card and taking a turn with the Wulfing Hunters, if at least two Wulfing Hunters that you control are engaged, you may take 1 additional turn with an unengaged squad of Wulfing Hunters or an unengaged Hunter Hero.

SILENT STALKER
While a Wulfing Hunter is not adjacent to any other figures it has no visible hitzones.

GAME 1
Map: Sidewinder (Valda Wannok)

Armies:

80 Custom Samurai (gives samurai within 3 CSP Iron Shirt)
110 Tomoe Gozen
60 Izumi Samurai
120 Tagawa Samurai
130 Tagawa Archers
500, 14 hexes

vs

50 Marro Warriors
95 Arktos
105 Van Nessing
250 Hunters
500, 16 hexes

Stats:

Shiftrex
Attack rolls: 43 out of 98 (43.88%)
Defense rolls: 40 out of 123 (32.52%)
Total dice rolled: 221
Time used: 0h, 23m, 58s


Luke
Attack rolls: 58 out of 117 (49.57%)
Defense rolls: 34 out of 98 (34.69%)
Total dice rolled: 215
Time used: 0h, 54m, 9s

Outcome:

Loss for Hunters that was fun and could have gone eitherway especially looking at the low attack rolls, also played into what I would consider a reasonable custom. Marro Warriors moved out early, secured some good positions for a shoot out but they lost the shoot out to Tagawa Archers on mostly level ground. Hunters were able to move east and take the Valda Glyph with an isolated unit while most development from both armies met on the northwestern portion of the map where there was a large standoff as I used Hunters to kill archers and then Akrtos and Van to kill Samurai when able but ultimately lost to the clean up crew of Tagawa.

Thoughts:

This was definitely a thinking battle as I feel that the Hunters should be close in power level to samurai as a faction, because samurai depend on counterstrike and unique squads outside of the archers. I wasn't able to just attack from lower into counterstrike despite having 4 attack dice, it got me killed more than once and proved saver for me to use the Hero activations to try and kill samurai. This is the first game where the Hunters served as good glyph grabbers because Valda was in the south and almost zero development took place there so a single Hunter was able to stand on the glyph without worry of being engaged. Opponent won with: Custom Samurai Hero full life, 2 Tagawa Samurai, 2 life Tomo Gozen and 1 Samurai Archer.

Howl was used a total of 7 times this game, mostly for development. Was never in a position to use 4 attacks of 4 because it was always better to try and position Arktos for the next turn or use Van Nessing's special attack to avoid counterstrikes. Stalker came in quite handy and showed that a hunter could grab a glyph if the opponent is relying on ranged attacks to keep figures away from a key area.

The figures were noted to be fun and thematic by the CPT Stupdendous, though some design notes were brought up with discussion after the game from the brainstorm pool:

4 Attack might not be necessary, they may be able to function with 3 attack just fine. This thought has been in testing before and has shown that Howl then starts relying on "missed" attacks rather than conscious choices to avoid attacking.

Less defense may be in order, perhaps a change to 2 defense. This thought is only in passing, the Hunters appropriately die to superior melee figures in every matchup thus far even with defense rolls well within the expected margin or slightly above.

It is possible to leave 2 Hunters engaged from the last turn, move up with a different 2 Hunters and then still achieve Howl. This thought dictates that a wording change may need to occur with Hunter's Howl if this is an unwanted interaction however it should be noted that it will be giving up 2 attacks in favor of the movement power which could be interpreted as just presenting more meaningful choices. "Do I go offensive and kill with my engaged hunters? Do I activate 2 others, walk up, activate 2 more and try to swarm for board control or position a hero accordingly to attack or develop better?"

The Hunters seem to offer a variety of offensive and mobility based options since the change to Hunter's Howl.


GAME 1
Map: Where the Streets Have No Name (Dagmar Wannok)
Note: Map was being tested for Flash_19, it is a symmetrical focused on roadways and line of sight blockers.

Armies:

110 Valguard
30 Guilty McCreech
120 Kaemon Awa
260 Dreadgul Raiders x4
520, 15 hexes

vs

105 Shadow Hound
100 Himmelskralle
110 Dund
200 Hunters
515, 14 hexes

Stats:

Shiftrex
Attack rolls: 36 out of 69 (52.17%)
Defense rolls: 32 out of 87 (36.78%)
Total dice rolled: 156
Time used: 0h, 19m, 36s


Flash_19
Attack rolls: 53 out of 104 (50.96%)
Defense rolls: 11 out of 54 (20.37%)
Total dice rolled: 158
Time used: 0h, 33m, 28s

Outcome:

Loss for Hunters but it seemed like it could have been closer if I either took more hunters, took a ranged squad or a better option that Dund who almost destroyed a card full of Dreadgul Order Makers. Game started with slow development as the Hunters took positions off the roadway to try and avoid berserker rushes that would crumple their defense rolls quickly, I also decided to move up Himmel and Dund by investing their own markers in so they could be ready for some fighting. Dreadguls developed Valguard and Guilty who took shots at Hunters that grouped up and Himmel before dying to a blanked defense roll against a hunter. Dreadgul Raiders did most of the heavy lifting by moving without Valguard and getting the 4th attack die where they were able to tie down Himmel with a single figure that I had to allow in order to get Howl activations and respond to their greater numbers.

Thoughts:

This battle should solidify where the Hunters are, in the beginner it feels like they are very sharky and dangerous and able to get where ever they need to go. They always lose the numbers game against melee bonding, which is important to their design because they should be threatening but not overpowering. I had some great attacks this game and the opponent has some moments of poor defense where it seemed like almost every attack I rolled had some level of success. Even with the defense rolls panning out at 20% for my opponent they were still able to win with 2 life on Valguard and a full health Kaemon Awa.

Howl was used 5 times in this match, Himmel was pinned down early so I used my activations mostly on Hounds and on Dund which was pretty fun as I rolled a 14 when trying to use his gaze ability. I was never in a really good position to use 4 attacks of 4, mostly because I think I needed more Hunters in this matchup and partly because if my opponent was playing in a fashion that made howl difficult. They trickled in their figures and didn't engage as many of my hunters as possible in some instances (from my perspective) and it meant that if I went as aggressive as I could then I would be clumped up, lose my hitzone protection and not be able to get effective activations the next turn (regardless of if I whiffed or not). Stalker came into play to protect Hunters from Guilty, who still found targets that were hunters engaged to a raider that tied down Himmel. Stalker also protected my last Hunter on the board from Kaemon's ranged attacks and allowed me to position to get one more attack to kill a raider.

After the battle the opponent remarked that the Hunters are good against ranged and good against melee because they have a lot going on with their card. They have a nasty attack of 4 that allows them to be effect when attacking into most squads and they have the ability to activate Himmelskralle who can go on a rampage if the conditions are correct.

This is something that has been noted often but the conditional activations and the ability to position to effectively prevent Himmel's Rampage with bonding melee has not yielded this result yet. The scenario is likely much more possible against ranged squads or insects or fodder style units that Himmel already excels against. I theorize that in such a scenario I would engage with 2 hunters and decline attacking with them to activate Himmel and produce this result. In that bit of Theoryscaping I would still be giving up 2 attacks in order to get my bonding activation of Himmel who has to be in position already to go on such a rampage or the order makers need to be split to develop her properly. The only thing that has changed to benefit me in that scenario is that 2 hunters have been developed on the board unless the opponent has created a situation where I can get multiple engagements after what are anticipated to be successful attempts with 4 attack dice.

Still considering the idea that the hunters should lower their attack to 3 dice, though I would need to see data that shows a closer game or a consistently harder fought game. This game was won by a margin of over 120 points by the Raiders.
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