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  #2053  
Old May 9th, 2012, 05:42 AM
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William099 William099 is offline
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

So I don't know if it got lost in the shuffle but the OP still shows the Tentacle's of the Kraken are still pending acceptance to review, and it doesn't show the Psionic Marauder at all... (even though it has recieved three no votes anyways.)

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  #2054  
Old May 9th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I too would like to express my sadness over Dad_Scaper stepping down. His discerning eye has been a great benefit to the SoV project, and his direct and sometimes blunt evaluations served a valuable role. D_S, you will be missed.

Which means it's time to step up and start doing my job. I have been doing quite a bit of playtesting and am ready to place some votes, I just need to sit down and do the write-ups.


Rat Swarms by Killometer

How well do swams of pint-sized rats do in Heroscape?

Balance

It is somewhat difficult to theoryscape exact pricing on this unit, as common squads with similar attack/defense stats either have range or bonding. The Rat Swarms have a combination of good speed due to Scramble and Disengage and a special attack that each figure of the unit can use independently, but rather weak stats otherwise. Fifty points is at least in the ballpark. For more details on this point see the Playability section.

Theme

Treating swarms of tiny figures as a single combat unit is fairly common in fantasy games. Making them mobile is a perfect fit, as is the (to your opponent) mostly annoying but sometimes troublesome Ravenous Swarm Special Attack. Initially I was put off by the figure choice because 1) I do not like common squads where all the member use the same scuplt and 2) it is so darn tiny. But when I got the figures they were not as much of a problem as I expected. They are easy enough to see on the battlefield and, due to the nature of the figure, the sculpts would end up looking pretty much the same even if they were different. Calling them Height 2 is a stretch, but it is necessary for gameplay.

Creativity

Using a swarm as a single creature is fairly common in other fantasy games but has yet to appear in Heroscape. The powers are creatively designed to give the feel of a unit that is quick and annoying and not overpowering.

Accessibility

The painted version of the miniature is fairly hard to come by; only 13 right now on abprices. However this miniature comes with the Castle Ravenloft game, and Auggie's is selling the minis individually. With 110 in stock right now and Castle Ravenloft still in print I am ok with the availability.

Playability

The Rat Swarms are quite speedy. Scramble 2 ends up feeling somewhat like Flying, allowing them to zip around ignoring small terrain changes. I found this especially effective in the River of Blood scenario where regular Flying is restricted. Disengage is also very helpful in being able to hunt down the figures you want to kill instead of getting locked down by screening units.

While they do get into the action quickly, unfortunately they do not do much when they get there. Each unit being able to do a special attack is certainly valuable, however their special attack isn't potent. Against a single opponent 1 attack of 3 is almost always better than 3 attacks of 1, except against a handful of special units. It's the same reason Q9 usually attacks with 3 dice each attack; concentrating your dice into a single attack increases the odds of punching through the opponent's defense. If Rat Swarms could attack multiple figures with Ravenous Swarm it might be different, but as-is it's generally weaker than single special attack of 3. Defensively two defense dice on a melee unit doesn't stop much (as Macdirk players can attest to), but their tiny size does help them hide behind obstacles better than most.

After a while of playing against the Rat Swarms I started mostly ignoring them. If they tied up my figures I would attack (and usually kill) them, otherwise I would just wait for them to come to me while I concentrated on killing units that would give me more trouble.

As a Deathreaver counterdraft I found the Rat Swarms disappointing. Even though Ravenous Swarm prevented the Deathreavers from using Scatter, it usually did not have enough punch to kill them. The Swarms fared better against Goblin Cutters, but even then the Cutters put up quite a fight due to larger numbers and four attacks per turn. As a screening unit they did not do much due to their lack of defense, and their defense hurt their usage as glyph-holders. When used as assassins that zip through enemy lines and hunt down range units or other key figures, they lacked the offense to get the kills and were quickly killed themselves in the ensuing counterattack.

Bottom line, I found the Rat Swarms to be ineffective. This isn't something I feel that simply lowering the price would fix; even if they were cheaper they would still be an ineffective use of an order marker, though they may have some value as cheap filler. I really think that what the unit needs is a fourth squad member, to give them more attacks per order marker and more bodies on the field.

Summary

The Rat Swarms have a distintive feel that matches the theme well. They are quick and annoying, zipping into enemy territory and nipping at heals. I really wanted to like them, but I continually found them disappointing. They have neither the offense to get kills or the defense to survive on the field; in most of the games I played they were just a road bump for the opponent to get over. I certainly do not require tournament-worthiness, but as they are they have little effect in any game they are in. I waffled back and forth on how I wanted to vote, but in the end I leaned against.

I vote for the Rat Swarms.
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  #2055  
Old May 9th, 2012, 06:26 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Rat Swarms by Killometer has received two NO votes to induct (Scytale, Super Bogue), and are removed from the process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by William099 View Post
So I don't know if it got lost in the shuffle but the OP still shows the Tentacle's of the Kraken are still pending acceptance to review, and it doesn't show the Psionic Marauder at all... (even though it has recieved three no votes anyways.)
Don't know about anyone else, but I'm still pondering the Tentacles, and Fedex Worker withdrew the Psionic Marauder.

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  #2056  
Old May 9th, 2012, 06:39 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Okay. Hopefully that didn't come across as too pushy or busybody or whatnot.

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  #2057  
Old May 10th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Rat Swarms by Killometer has received two NO votes to induct (Scytale, Super Bogue), and are removed from the process.
*Sigh* I liked the rat swarms, at least in concept. We need swarms of annoying little creatures running across the battlefiedl. Just imagine this, I have Q9, the deathreavers, Raelin, and maybe the 4th Mass.* My opponent has nothing but... a mess of rats.

How wickedly cool it would be if he kicked my tush.

I hope more ideas like this get submitted.

*I'm not saying I would really field this army, it's just random fantasizing.
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  #2058  
Old May 10th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Horned Skull Champion by qt.bangerang

The Horned Skull Champion provides an interesting twist on the interaction between the Goblin Cutters and the Horned Skull Brutes. Instead of Barge Into Battle the Champion rouses the little goblins to rush into battle.

I enjoyed playing this unit. Mixing Horned Skull Champions with Horned Skull Brutes did not work as well as I expected; they tended to get in the way of Barge Into Battle and didn't have the offensive output to compete with the Brutes for order markers. However I did find them interesting as 75pt heroes, of a sort, keeping a troop of Cutters alongside them as extra hitpoints. In that role they are obviously weak to explosion attacks but somewhat effective for the price, and different results can be gained by adjusting the ratio of Champions to Cutters.

However, I ran into some situations that made Rabble Rouser unclear. If the Horned Skull Champion dies during its turn (to, say, a leaving engagement attack or Counter Strike), does it still get to use Rabble Rouser? Normally a figure's powers are negated when it dies, but since the Champion is Common there may be other Champions still in play leaving the card active. This led to a list of scenarios with different results depending on the interpretation of the power, whether the Champion died during movement or during its attack phase, and whether or not there was another Champion still in play.

After some consideration I've decided the power is just too unclear. Something as simple and common as a leaving engagement attack can cause confusion (it did for me at least), and even if it is meant to work like I think it does I'm not keen on the power acting differently whether or not there are other Horned Skull Champions still alive.

I vote for the Horned Skull Champion, though I would like to see the power revised and the card resubmitted.
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  #2059  
Old May 11th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I'd like to nominate a custom of mine called Ocelot:

The figure is:
Mech Warrior - Falcons Prey - Ocelot #086

And I really enjoy this custom after all the time it's been since I designed it. I think it could do well in SoV. That's not to say I am against criticisms and possible improvements to the design. His background is that he is a failed spinoff of the Deathwalkers that went haywire and was completely uncontrollable. Hence since it is completely chaotic evil, Valkrill would love this guy in his ranks.

PS: I am allowed to nominate my own design right?

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  #2060  
Old May 11th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Yes, you can nominate your own unit. Looks fun!

Can you say a bit more about sculpt availability?

(While there are a lot of great customs out there, SoV is different from many in that we want people to be able to find the mini and play the actual card/sculpt.)
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  #2061  
Old May 11th, 2012, 02:26 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I have to vote NO on Ocelot .

After a preliminary inquiry into the availability, I found only 5 after checking six different online stores. That is way too low for a SoV nomination.

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  #2062  
Old May 11th, 2012, 05:58 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Clyemne by DeathDoom

Clyemne is an attempt to further bolster the ranks of Ullar's elves by adding in a captain for the Warriors of Ashra. I like the concept, but I have a problem with how one of the powers is designed.

Captain's Assault reads: "After taking a turn with the Warriors of Ashra, you may take a turn with Clyemne, as long as she ends her movement adjacent to an opponent's figure." The problem with this power is that is it dependent on something occurring in the future, after the power is triggered. There are a few scenarios I can think of where ending Clyemne's movement next to an opponent's figure is possible but not guaranteed.

The most obvious possibility is Clyemne being killed by leaving engagement attacks on her way to a key enemy figure. If that happens, she fails to meet the requirement of ending her turn adjacent to an enemy. So is her entire turn then negated and reset? A perhaps more interesting example could occur due to her Passing Slash ability. Clyemne could disengage from a figure daring the leaving engagement attack and Passing Slash could kill that figure. If that is the only enemy unit nearby, she would be forced to end her movement not adjacent to an opponent's figure. Again, what does that mean? She should not have been able to use Captain's Assault at all, so is the turn negated?

I like the unit concept, the figure chosen is appropriate, and she seems fun to play. But I feel the requirement on Captain's Assault leaves unanswered edge cases, as any requirement on something happening in the future likely does.

I vote for Clyemne.
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  #2063  
Old May 11th, 2012, 06:02 PM
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William099 William099 is offline
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Don't the Kozuke Samurai do the exact same thing?

They "must be able to move adjacent to an opponents figure in order to use charging assault"

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  #2064  
Old May 11th, 2012, 06:06 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I think one could argue that the Kozuke establish a certain precedent for this. (Though in their case, it's a bit ambiguous, since much depends on how one interprets "must be able": does it require that one be able to guarantee the result, or only require that one be able to pursue that result?)

Heh, William099 was faster.

Last edited by Typhon2222; May 11th, 2012 at 06:08 PM. Reason: I'm late to the party!
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