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  #421  
Old December 28th, 2010, 07:18 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

dok's Zombie Hulk:

First of all I have to say I'm pretty bad at playing Zombies, with or without the Hulks, because every Zombie Army Lost except when I had a Zombie on Zombie game. That out of the way, I played tons of games with this unit. Every time I was done I just wanted to see if I could devise a way for the Zombies to win and had fun every time.

The Zombie Hulks still add more strategy and fun to the Zombie horde. When You place your order markers on a ZH; do you move up another ZH if you have one, or do you use the Zombies and Horde Movement? Most of the time it was the Zombies Horde, but when you were worried that the fragile (and they are fragile with 3 Def and 3 life) ZH may go down, you moved up another to take its place. ZH's give you some flexibility when creating a Zombie Army with limited start Zones. In one scenario there was only 10 start zones for one side in an Ambush situation and choosing two sets of Zombies and 2 Zombie Hulks did the trick. In that game, the Zombies almost won, except for Tandros and Cleave! Still it was fun having a Hero party going into a scary Graveyard full of Zombies.

The first time a Zombie Hulk Army won was a Heroes Only battle and it came down to a ZH and Charos and Isamu. The ZH rolled all skulls and Charos whiffs, thus creating a new Zombie Hulk which goes on to win the game (fun stuff).

So all in all this card adds some strategic elements to the Zombies and a fun factor when you turn a large figure into a Zombie Hulk (The Templars were Zombie chowder big time, unfortunately Kaemon Awa is a master of clean up)

I had tons of fun with this card and its my pleasure to vote YES to induct the Zombie Hulk into the Soldiers of Valhalla!

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  #422  
Old December 28th, 2010, 09:59 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Ok, time for me to vote on Priscus by Filthy the Clown.

At 110 points Priscus is an important fit into a Gladiator build, as Filthy noted in the nominating post. He's obviously thematic. One thing I struggled with was the sculpt. He is a modified 'Scape sculpt, one of the gladiators, and Filthy's step by step guide to creating Priscus can be found here.

One thing I really wrestled with was whether I could vote to induct a sculpt that takes so much customization. So I read Filthy's instructions and realized something: His *only* change to the sculpt is the clipping off of the end of the sword. The rest is paint - red crest, darker clothes - making him almost identical in this way to Samuel Brown.

Another thing about the sculpt and competitive play: In the case of Samuel Brown, it's the rule for my events (see House Rules in my sig) that any 4th will do, provided it's distinguishable from others you may have in play. Extending the same rule to Priscus leads to an absurdly simple solution for an acceptable proxy: Just use Spartacus. They'll never be in the same army, so why not? Food for thought for the TDs out there.

Anyway. As I said, Priscus is very thematic and an overdue & welcome addition to the Gladiator faction.

I played with him a number of times on a few different maps and each time he played exactly as I believe Filthy intended him to. With 4 defense and 5 life he's reasonably durable but certainly not Spartacus or Crixus; with an attack aura of 4 hexes Crixus *loves* him but with no defense boost the Gladiators do not become too strong.

Filthy also duplicated the OM mechanic from Spartacus onto Priscus, so players are forced to choose one or the other even at very high point totals, or make a significant sacrifice by putting a 1, 2 or 3 on one of the heroes.

I think he may have worked as low as 100 points. Not lower, and definitely not higher.

This is a well balanced, clever, thematic, well-written card, concept and sculpt. I am pleased to vote yes to induct Filthy the Clown's Priscus into the Soldiers of Valhalla.

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  #423  
Old December 29th, 2010, 12:37 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

dok's Zettian Infantry has received 4 YES votes to review (Dad_Scaper, nyys, Lamaclown, ZBeeblebrox) and moves on to being reviewed

Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
Hey judges,

I know you've got a lot on your plate, but I've decided to nominate one of my customs, the Zettian Infantry:

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Fantastic nomination, dok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollie View Post
What's the SoV position on random unqualified 'scapers like me dropping by with opinions on customs that are not backed with any testing? If it's allowed/encouraged I'm happy to elaborate.
Just to reinforce what all my fellow judges have said-the more the merrier. This project is for the community, so community input is always welcome.

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  #424  
Old December 29th, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Thanks guys. Here are my reasons for not liking Utgar Soulborg Bonding (USB). For the purposes of this post, by "Deathwalkers" I mean 8000 and 9000. They're the ones I've had the longest and the ones I think of most naturally, and not all of the arguments apply to DW7K or Warden 816.

The crux of my argument is that the Deathwalkers are just lovely as they are and that USB makes them less lovely.

I think for a lot of us, DW9K was one of the distinctive units of RotV, at least after a little play. I don't think it's coincidence that of all the 'scape-specific jargon that gets thrown around on the site, I've never seen anyone be confused by the term "deathwalker roll". It's part of the game that we love/hate, but it's part of what makes the game what it is.

Once you've been struck by the deathwalker roll, playing the deathwalkers becomes a much more fraught experience. On the one hand they need protecting, on the other they've got 8+ defence dice. At the point in the game where one is your primary attacker, what do you do with the order markers? Are you brave enough to risk all three on the Deathwalker? I rarely am (though it depends on what else is going on). I'm nervous about the #2 marker (and, for that matter, the #1 as well). I don't think any other unit in the game consistently makes the order marker placement piece of the game so tense. USB wipes out this tension.

As I understand it, one of the motivations for USB is to make the deathwalkers more competitive in tournament-style games. I don't think this is necessary or desirable (and to the extent it is, it's a concern of Dignan's custom project rather than the SoV). To make the deathwalkers more competitive is to strip away what makes them distinctive---it's their unreliability that is the source of both their uniqueness and their flakiness in a tournament setting. Adding USB to the mix turns them into reasonably reliable ranged heroes in the 100-150pt range. There is no shortage of such units. If you're looking for such a unit then take Kaemon Awa or Q10 or Agent Skahen or Othkurik or...

To anticipate a couple of objections:

1. You're not required to use the Zettian Infantry; you can play the deathwalkers without them to get your masochistic pleasure.

I don't think this is how many people play. I certainly want to get the most out of the units and playing a bonded hero without the squad (or vice versa) feels like an artificial handicap in most cases. I think that most of us take the squads and their bonded heroes to be some sort of loosely-defined meta-unit. This would happen with the Zettian Infantry and Deathwalkers too.

2. But no-one plays the deathwalkers as they stand.

Not true. I do, for one, but more generally I think this is an impression that is got from reading these boards. I have an unmeasurable hunch that this is not particularly representative of how most people play the game, and that the deathwalkers see a lot more play than browsing here might suggest.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my rambling, and sorry to Dok for picking on your custom. If it's any consolation, it's that I trust you to have nailed everything else about them perfectly that makes me want to voice my objection.
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  #425  
Old December 29th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

One of my favorite combos is 8K, 9K and Rats x3-5 depending on points. Every OM is important and one mistake crushes you.

I see where you're coming from Ollie and it's definitely something I will take into consideration during testing. Thanks for the input, and please don't ever hesitate to give props or hammer a unit up for review. There are plenty of times someone brings something to light that I hadn't considered.

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  #426  
Old December 29th, 2010, 11:26 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

All very good points, Ollie. The joy and pain of the Deathwalker roll is, indeed, one of the things that makes them unique. This is a big part of why I made circuitry replacement work the way it does - I didn't want it to allow you to weasel out of a Deathwalker roll, rather, I wanted to make the Deathwalker roll happen even when you're playing against repulsors/fire elementals/Mogrimm/Sonlen.

I don't really go for your objections 1 and 2, but I'll put my own 3 and 4 down:

3. Those who wanted to avoid the masochistic fear of the Deathwalker roll already had the perfect unit to help them - the Deathreavers. Rats were the best way to shield Deathwalkers from attacks before the ZI, and they would remain so if you put the ZI in play. In my opinion this is really the main counter to what you're saying.

4. Loss of order markers, and the difficult OM decisions that lead from that concern, are only a small element of the fear associated with the Deathwalker roll. The main part is that a large chunk of your army can die with one whiff. That's still there, and it becomes even more crucial when your other attacking figures aren't independent of the Deathwalker. The loss of the Deathwalker is generally a greater blow to an army like DW8k+ZIx3 than it would be to, say DW8k+TSAx3, even if the latter army loses a turn.

Throwing OMs on a Deathwalker isn't so different than lots of OM juggling that happens with armies that have multiple attacking options. Yes, adding the ZI turns the army into one of those straightforward bonding armies from an OM management perspective. I do see how that's reductive from the perspective of those who value tricky OM decisions.
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  #427  
Old December 29th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

This might've been part of what dok was just trying to say, but I feel like with USB, the Deathwalker is a much more important part of the army than it is of say, 9K + Trons, or 8K + other range + Rats.

If you're bitten by a Deathwalker roll and you have USB, it's true that you don't lose full activations. However, you lose a critical piece of your army, and I think that weighs more than a lost turn or two (unless your army has multiple bonding options, which is possible and probably likely).

Here's one reason I don't like USB - it takes away from one of my favorite Deathwalker strategies, which is putting the X on them and having them draw fire.

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  #428  
Old December 29th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by killercactus View Post
This might've been part of what dok was just trying to say, but I feel like with USB, the Deathwalker is a much more important part of the army than it is of say, 9K + Trons, or 8K + other range + Rats.

If you're bitten by a Deathwalker roll and you have USB, it's true that you don't lose full activations. However, you lose a critical piece of your army, and I think that weighs more than a lost turn or two
Yes, that's what I was trying to say here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
...it becomes even more crucial when your other attacking figures aren't independent of the Deathwalker. The loss of the Deathwalker is generally a greater blow to an army like DW8k+ZIx3 than it would be to, say DW8k+TSAx3, even if the latter army loses a turn.
You said it more clearly, though, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by killercactus View Post
(unless your army has multiple bonding options, which is possible and probably likely).
As I briefly mentioned in the nominating post, I have not found the double-hero army to be the most successful. Deathwalkers are expensive - two Deathwalkers and Zettian Infantry doesn't leave you many points for other support.
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  #429  
Old December 29th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I'm not sure a solid combat squad is the best idea to boost the DWs survivability but I'd say it is worth playtesting to see how it pans out. I would likely make a common or uncommon hero to boost them instead but that is just me.

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  #430  
Old December 29th, 2010, 02:34 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbdaman View Post
I'm not sure a solid combat squad is the best idea to boost the DWs survivability but I'd say it is worth playtesting to see how it pans out. I would likely make a common or uncommon hero to boost them instead but that is just me.
I'm not sure I'm following you entirely, but to be clear: I'm not trying to boost their survivability as much as I'm trying to boost their playability. I didn't want to lose the aspect of playing the Deathwalkers where one defensive whiff can sink you.
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  #431  
Old December 29th, 2010, 03:39 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

What I mean is that they need some survivability that is reliable to make them playable, the Zettian Infantry you have created really don't help much for that. Also I don't feel the fit the Utgar soulborg theme well with such a low defense but that is a minor issue. I realize the bonding is what you are trying to work in to make the DWs more effective but they are a C- on the rankings for a reason, bonding may push them up to a C. I don't think I'd ever use them.

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  #432  
Old December 29th, 2010, 04:37 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbdaman View Post
What I mean is that they need some survivability that is reliable to make them playable, the Zettian Infantry you have created really don't help much for that. Also I don't feel the fit the Utgar soulborg theme well with such a low defense but that is a minor issue. I realize the bonding is what you are trying to work in to make the DWs more effective but they are a C- on the rankings for a reason, bonding may push them up to a C. I don't think I'd ever use them.
Heh.

If you think the addition of the Zettian Infantry only brings DW8k/DW9k up to a "C" ranking, then you either don't understand the approach Jexik uses to generate those rankings, or you vastly underestimate the effectiveness of the Zettian Infantry/Deathwalker combo.

The addition of the Zettian Infantry would take the Deathwalkers up to "B" at least, and probably B+. Possibly A-, but I don't think so.

Last edited by dok; December 29th, 2010 at 04:38 PM. Reason: The third possibility would be that I'm wrong, but I rarely consider that one
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