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This is a neater way of storing my playtests for my customs that I want other people to be able to see. I mostly intend on posting about units that I'd like to submit to the SoV.
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Yokai vs. Sacred Band

Posted January 30th, 2021 at 12:59 AM by Astroking112
Updated January 30th, 2021 at 06:05 PM by Astroking112
So, the Kirin's beefed up and ready to absolutely terrify those bread and butter common squads. What better way to truly test its mettle than to throw it against the horrifying horrors of the Sacred Band?

Feast your eyes, anonymous viewer, but be warned that this post is not for the faint of heart. That is, unless you wanted to see the Yokai lose to a fairly middle-tier army. In that case, you've got nothing to worry about.

VALLEDONN FORTRESS by antmarchingroves
500 Points
Normal Snow and Normal Ice
Glyphs: Valda and Wannok
Astro: Abe no Seimei, Kincho, Masha Shingai, Kirin, Nure Onna
Hero89: Sacred Band x4, Marcus Decimus Gallus, Parmenio, Gen. Simon Fraser, Johnny "Shotgun" Sullivan

VERSION OF THE KIRIN USED:
Spoiler Alert!

VERSION OF NURE ONNA USED:
Spoiler Alert!

SURVIVING UNITS:
2x Sacred Band, Marcus (0 wounds), Parmenio (2 wounds), Johnny (1 wound), Fraser (0 wounds)
~275 Points Left

GAME SUMMARY:
Hero89 won initiative and began developing his Sacred Band and Marcus Decimus Gallus, while I moved Nure Onna in to a nearby piece of height and then moved my OM1 to the Kirin (she was just within reach to benefit from its +1 defense). The Band then claimed Valda, bringing them up to 9 move when starting within Simon Fraser's aura (I think that we may have forgotten about the 6 clear sight spaces a couple of times in hindsight, but I don't think it would've significantly impacted the game; I couldn't easily develop outside of the central struggle by the empty door anyway).

Thanks to the Kirin's +1D and height in one case, Nure Onna's measly 3L/2D held out against three Band attacks (getting 1/4, 2/3, and 2/3 shields), and then she switched with Masha and ran back up to pounce on one of the Band for a Paralyzing Trap kill. OM2 then moved to Masha, who began heavily penalizing the Band and limited most of their damage. OM3 was revealed on the Kirin, who exchanged with Nure Onna to target the 3 remaining developed Sacred Band soldiers with Kirin's Judgment SA. 2/4 skulls rolled, with 0/4, 1/3, and 0/3 defense rolls securing all of their deaths.

For Round 2, I used Divination on Masha to guarantee that his terror would be active for the full round. Hero89 won initiative again, and he began directing attacks towards the Kirin as another SB moved in. The attacks were ineffective, and the Kirin used another Judgment against 3 more SB within range, getting 2 skulls and killing all of them again.

For Hero89's next turn, three attacks including Marcus' occurred: (2/3)v(2/5), (1/3)v(0/5) for 1 wound, and (0/2) thanks to Masha. The Kirin then used another Judgment with 2 skulls, targeting and killing two more Sacred Band soldiers. With two full squads of Sacred Band killed by the Kirin, Hero89 focused all efforts on killing it immediately to great success: Marcus got a (3/3)v(1/5) for 2 wounds, a SB from height disadvantage got (1/2)v(0/6) for 1 wound, and the other SB got (2/3)v(0/5) for another 2 wounds, finishing off the Kirin in one turn. To quote Capt. S: "[the] Kirin was just so done with this mortal plane" and noped out of there.

Round 3 saw an initiative switch where I swapped Nure Onna in with a teleporting Kincho and killed a SB from height, reactivating Masha's terror in the process. I then took a series of turns with Masha, swapping back and forth (frustratingly, they were three spaces apart from each other and separated by several Sacred Band, so I couldn't reconcile the two positions to benefit from Masha's 5A and Nure Onna's defense penalty at once). He managed to take out another three SB members, then circled around to grab height on Parmenio, who was sitting on Wannok and slowly poisoning Seimei all this time. 0/6 skulls. Stay classy, Masha.

Masha saw a couple more turns, but he was finished off pretty soon after that. Nure Onna followed suit soon afterward, leaving it down to Kincho and a Seimei with 3 wounds to save the day. Long story short: Seimei killed 1 Band from height and Kincho made a lot of 1 skull attacks, none of which went through. Most of the Band was killed (and Hero89's heroes took a couple of wounds from LEAs earlier while trying to prioritize the most threatening Yokai), but the game was a pretty thorough loss for the Yokai.

POWER USAGE:
Kirin's Judgment was used three times: targeting 3 SB, 3 SB, and then 2 SB for 2 skulls each time. Each target was killed (Marcus was within range for the first two, and Marcus and Parmenio were in range for the last one, but neither had an OM on their card).

The Kirin boosted Nure Onna's defense by 1 for three different attacks in Round 1, helping her last an initial barrage before Masha swapped in. Since I was mostly going against melee, I prioritized Masha's aura afterward and was mostly trying to use the Kirin to wipe out the SB before it died.

Total Damage Dealt: 100 Points

THOUGHTS:
So, obviously the fact that the Kirin, in theory a perfect counter to bread and butter squads, got pretty thoroughly routed by the Sacred Band with Parmenio in the mix is a bit disappointing, but also reassuring. I was concerned about the Kirin potentially being broken in the right scenarios, and this is a pretty good indicator that it's much more reasonable than it first seems.

Now, of course it's worth mentioning that the Kirin also took 5 wounds in one turn from just three attacks (only getting 1 shield on 16 dice). If the Kirin had survived that turn, it stood a decent chance of wiping out another three Sacred Band the next turn, which would've stopped its momentum from halting and evened out the game much more (as it was, once it died, my army was pretty much limited to single attacks for the rest of the game).

I think that I also could've played the Yokai better once it fell--I was pretty much trapped down, but if I had started taking active turns with Kincho, I could've freed up Masha and Nure Onna from the Sacred Band a good deal and gone for the glyph to make reinforcing harder. It would've been a gamble, but obviously a better one than banking on the fact that Masha could withstand the combined might of a squad and a half of Sacred Band.

So overall, the Yokai did feel a bit weak, but I'd prefer to get some more data and experience with them before making any immediate changes. The Kirin has the potential to be quite dangerous in the right hands, and I'd like to make sure to respect that potential even if it often doesn't pan out.

HERO89's THOUGHTS:
Initially, the Yokai seemed very overwhelming and it felt like there wasn't much that could be done about the Kirin. As a newer player, I was constantly having to check the page for their cards and struggled to remember what they all did (it felt like each of them was doing three different things with their turn at times, and the foreign names and lack of 3D visuals from OHS made it more difficult to keep them straight). After the Kirin fell, though, your army really struggled to kill anything; if it had lasted at least another turn or two, I think that the remaining part of your army would've done a lot better against my heroes.

Looking back on it, the Kirin might be underpowered. Although it was frustrating for me, I think that it would've been fair for it to take out another squad of SB (so ~150 damage) considering how much it costed. Some ideas for improving its power: increase the SA to 5 dice and decrease the normal attack to 2 or 4 (really emphasizing its unique features and placing the focus on the SA), increasing the defense to 6, or limiting Peaceful Protector just to friendly units (your army struggled enough to kill my heroes as it was; you were pretty much just able to focus on the Sacred Band for much of the game).

Another potential improvement could be the creation of a hero assassin, someone who lets the Yokai better handle the bonded heroes and non-squad figures (which the Kirin and Masha seem to handle surprisingly well). Perhaps Nure Onna could be a good fit for this? Although her cheapness and value for her points seemed to be very useful already.
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