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  #2737  
Old December 16th, 2012, 09:55 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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He said a good lawyer.
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  #2738  
Old December 16th, 2012, 10:04 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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If you were better at math they wouldn't have fired you.
Hey, I did not get fired! That is blasphemous and libel. Does anybody know a good lawyer?
Here are a couple of good ones I know:


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  #2739  
Old December 16th, 2012, 10:51 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Woah, D_S, don't be talking to my boss that way. Go perfect your combover.
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  #2740  
Old December 17th, 2012, 05:40 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Woah there everybody, this thread is reserved for serious business only. We've got work to do!


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  #2741  
Old December 17th, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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I'd like to issue a warm welcome to our new judges, superfrog and hivelord!
Does that mean there are seven judges now?
Yep
We have eight by my count.
The current judges are 1Mmirg, Capsocrates, hivelord, nyys, qt.bangerang, Scytale, superfrog, and Super Bogue.
I went back and reviewed the submission guidelines. It still takes a majority of judges to accept a nomination, and it still takes an 80% approval rate (4/5 judges) to induct a nomination, but it's any five judges. More to go around now, very good, carry on then...

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  #2742  
Old December 24th, 2012, 04:51 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Horned Skull Champion by qt.bangerang

Back for another round, this new version of the Horned Skull Champion works as a leader for both little goblins and brutish bugbears. The Goblin faction, split between Utgar and Valkrill, currently has no leaders or even heroes. Without bonding it is difficult to mix heroes into a faction effectively; the HSC attempts to do so with a combination of leading and sacrificing.

Balance

The key stat feature of the Horned Skull Champion is the 5 attack. There aren't many units under 100 points that have more than 4 attack; the only others are Crixus, Retiarius, and the Ice Troll Beserker. The Ice Troll Beserker, another Uncommon at the same price point, has 4 life and 2 defense versus the HSC's 3 life and 3 defense. The Ice Troll has a regeneration ability while the Horned Skull Champion can keep around Cutters to use as shields. So more less equal. Retiarius has an extra life point over the HSC but no other defensive abilities. Crixus is ... well, a brute that can give most heroes in his price range a beatdown.

It is definitely worth noting that the three comparison heroes have bonding capability, with solid squads no less. An attack of 5 is pretty awesome in addition to a squad activation. An attack of 5 without bonding isn't nearly as powerful, but still useful for cracking defenses. The real question is whether or not a Champion's ability to lead makes up the difference. He does not give a full bonding activation, but Rabble Rouser can move multiple types of Goblins and can give himself hit points, of a sort.

Theme

The Horned Skull Champion is reminiscent of the Horned Skull Brutes with Expendable Rabble. A form of movement bonding with Common Goblins is very leaderish. All around a solid package. Nice-looking figure too that fits in well with the Horned Skull Brutes yet stands out.

Creativity

The Goblin faction could use a hero, and an Uncommon Champion fits the bill nicely. The abilities are nice reuses of existing abilities.

Playability

The Horned Skull Champion is not easy to play, or rather not easy to play well. There are not a lot of scenarios I would rather have a Horned Skull Champion instead of another set of Horned Skull Brutes. A single attack of 5 for 85pts is good, but 3 attacks of 4 is usually better. Total hit points are the same but Brutes have more defense. Both can sacrifice Cutters, though the Champions are better at keeping them close. HSCs also don't have the ever-so-useful Barge Into Battle power.

There are, of course, scenarios were Brutes are not even an option. Heroes-only games, or Unique-only, for example. But those games don't allow for Cutters either (or Brutes), leaving Champions without any special powers. Good stats for the price, but they do need some Goblins by their side.

The best use for Horned Skull Champions that I found was leading the mid-game charge in a Cutters/Brutes army. After scattering Cutters around the map, one can take a few turns with the HSC while moving Brutes into position and/or repositioning Cutters as needed. If he survives, he may be worth an order marker on occasion to reposition some figures while making a nice 5-dice attack. Cutters tend to eat up a lot of starting zone spots, so putting in an HSC can sometimes save a figure or two from never getting on the board. Putting in a second Champion can be ok, but I don't suggest using more than that. One Horned Skull Champion is usually enough to do the necessary repositioning.

Horned Skull Champions can work as first-strike units, in some situations. Leading a horde of Brutes I found them to be disappointing; they would often die taking order markers with them. A Champion with a squad of Cutters, or two Champs with two or three squads, works ok as a quick strike, if you are able to get him into position to take out a key figure like Raelin with some Cutters on his heels. Though it seems like an HSC with three Cutters is like having three Exoskeleton markers, it's not that simple. If your opponent is smart, he'll target your 1-defense Cutters instead. Yes, they have Scurry, but often enough Scurrying away from attacking figures also means Scurrying away from the Champion they're supposed to protect. So normally the Cutters are cut down first, or at least pushed away leaving the HSC unprotected. The diversion is enough to pull away some attacks, sometimes enough for the Champion to get the assassination job done. Unfortunately, this combination of Champion+Cutters is 135pts -- there are more effective uses of 135 points.

Another place that Horned Skull Champions do well is in dungeon crawls. Officially-produced dungeon crawls like River of Blood have fairly small starting zones for the evil player, making masses of commons untenable. A Champion with some Cutters is thematic and fun, and against adventuring heroes an HSC's single attack is not as much of a hinderance. Beating down even a single hero can be worth it.

Summary

There aren't many uses for Horned Skull Champions, at least when comparing them to Horned Skull Brutes, but they can be effective when used in the right time and place. They won't shake up the tournament scene (though I wouldn't be surprised to see one appear in a Goblin army), but they do deliver a different style of play and expansion to the Goblin faction.

I vote to induct the Horned Skull Champion into the SoV.
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  #2743  
Old December 27th, 2012, 12:51 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Dashi Tokainto by qt.bangerang

Dashi is a fun, creative master-ninja by qt.bangerang that gives the ninjas some more playing time.

Balance
When I sat down to play Dashi, the first thing that leaped out at me was the lack of a distance restriction on his command ability. I was concerned that it would give him too much of an advantage on open fields. While it does prove to be an advantage on open fields, it is not broken and it is actually very thematic--why should a Ninja Master need to be close to his Ninjas to command them? My other concern, the precedence of the power, was easily assuaged by Kato Katsuro's similarly phrased power with no distance restriction.

Ultimately I found Dashi to be pretty balanced at 120 points. I couldn't find a build or matchup that I thought made him broken. For more of my thoughts on his balance, see the Playability section.
PASS.

Theme

Overall I like Dashi's theme. Phantom Walk is a given, of course, and in play he works very much like a ninja master should--darting in and out of the shadows to direct his ninjalings. His backstory as one of the originators of Ninjutsu who was a dishonored Samurai explains one of his power names as well as his use of Counterstrike. Nonetheless, the latter power does give me pause for non-thematic reasons. I don't like it that he's a human that follows Valkrill, but if anyone is going to do it, it makes sense that a master of honorless assassins would.
TENTATIVE PASS.

Creativity

Dashi has a creative set of powers and brings a unique playstyle to the game-table. I also like how well the miniature choice fits him.
PASS.

Playability
I thoroughly enjoyed playing Dashi. He was a lot of fun and required above-average strategy and at-least-average luck.

I mainly played Dashi with Kumiko, Shiori, and Isamu, often using the Ninjas of the Northern Wind and/or Otonashi to fill out the army, or in the case of the former to give the army more punch. I enjoyed using Moriko, but in general she is still overpriced--she is not the most efficient 110 points for a ninja-army. My best luck using this army was with an extra component to either beef them up, do some opening damage, or for cleanup--in one game the Krav took out half the opponent's army before Dashi had a single activation. I tried Raelin, the Airborne Elite, the Krav Maga, and Major Q10, just to name a handful. I found those combos to be effective, although the aforementioned units were rarely as effective as they would be in an army more suited to them. With that said, I suspect that a skilled and lucky player could take Dashi, Kumiko, Shiori, Isamu and cheesy-bacon to a tournament and perform well.

Dashi really makes Kumiko and Shiori shine. While they both live, the Ninja army has quite a punch. Kumiko can often shred through multiple squad figures, even if they are separated. Shiori is the only ninja with range and her Concentrated Will makes her a solid 4/4; although she is often able to get height to become 5/5. Once either one of those two ninjas goes down, the house of cards begins to tumble, and when they're both gone the ninjas are just about done for. Almost.

With 4 life, 5 defense, and Counterstrike, Dashi can be very resilient. For most armies he is not too hard to crack, but against some armies if the ninjas are played well and have a little luck he can sometimes find himself at full life against a number of melee squad figures. All he has to do at that point is grab height, await their attacks, and hope for halfway decent luck. Sometimes it works for him and sometimes it doesn't.
TENTATIVE PASS.

Summary
I like almost everything about Dashi and I loved playing him. At the same time, there are things about him that make me uncomfortable. I previously mentioned that I don't like him being a human that follows Valkrill. His leadership breaks precedent by letting him take a full turn before activating his companions. He is also a little tougher for melee squads to take down than previous commander types.

Kato is tough, with 4 defense and 5 life, and he has teeth with 4 attack, but once his minions are gone he has only that one attack per turn and melee squads can overwhelm him. Kurrock and Ulginesh both have 5 life and only 3 defense, and none of the commander types have any extra defensive abilities. In that way, Dashi breaks not one precedent, but two.

When taken altogether, I feel like Dashi has just a little bit too much going on. 5-defense Counterstrike adds "end-game cleanup" to his already useful and effective role as a double-activation commander figure. Even though my playtests showed that Dashi was definitely not broken at his point value with any army-build that I could find, I still felt uncomfortable with the number of games that came down to Dashi winning via Counterstrike. Combined with my dislike of a Valkrill human, I just don't feel comfortable adding him to the canon.

I am almost certain that the remaining judge, nyys, will disagree with me, but nonetheless I vote NAY to induct Dashi Tokainto into the SoV.

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  #2744  
Old December 27th, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Khophawet by Typhon2222 and Sertorius

... when I sat down to playtest Khophawet, I realized a problem arose with Fury of Anubis. Unleashed Fury states: "Before moving, roll the 20-sided die...". Note it says "before moving", not "before taking a turn". This indicates that the Anubian's turn has already started when the Unleashed Fury roll occurs. Khophawet's Fury of Anubis power allows him to "immediately take a turn" if an Unleashed Fury roll is 2-11. This means that Khophawet takes a turn during the Anubian Wolves' turn.

This is a problem I refer to as "turn stacking". No official cards allowed multiple turns to be active simultaneously -- all bonus turns are taken before, after, or instead of. Having multiple turns active at the same time can cause problems with powers or effects that last for the duration of a turn (e.g. like the Goblin Cutter's Scurry) or powers or effects that activate once per turn (like Elaria the Pale's Slippery 6). I could not think of an example where this currently causes an issue, but the existence of duration of a turn and once-per-turn effects makes turn stacking troublesome. Additionally, turn stacking is a potentially slippery slope where allowing more and more turns-within-turns can create deepening stacks. All in all I find turn stacking to be at best unclear and at worst problematic.
...
I hope to see some version of this unit again, since I have never played the Anubians before and wouldn't mind giving him a shot. I don't want us to set any kind of precedent for turn stacking, however, so I'm going to follow Scytale's lead here and vote to Khophawet.

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  #2745  
Old December 27th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Understand fully gents. My thanks to you all for the careful consideration.

capsocrates and superfrog have already suggested possible alternate versions of his power which wouldn't create problems with turn-stacking. Once I have a bit more time, I'll revisit them and see where that leaves Khophy.
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  #2746  
Old December 27th, 2012, 01:05 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

There's some errors with the Dashi Tokanto under units currently being reviewed. It says under yes that it has two votes, when it should have three. Capsocrates is also listed under the yes votes, when he should be under the no votes. Hopefully Dashi gets through, he looks cool and brings the underused ninjas into play.
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  #2747  
Old December 27th, 2012, 06:13 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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Originally Posted by Heroscaper Guy View Post
There's some errors with the Dashi Tokanto under units currently being reviewed. It says under yes that it has two votes, when it should have three. Capsocrates is also listed under the yes votes, when he should be under the no votes. Hopefully Dashi gets through, he looks cool and brings the underused ninjas into play.
Thanks for pointing that out. I've updated the OP and 2nd post.

Khophawet by Typhoon2222 has received 2 NO (Scytale and capsocrates) and has been removed from the process.
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  #2748  
Old December 27th, 2012, 06:28 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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Originally Posted by Typhon2222 View Post
Understand fully gents. My thanks to you all for the careful consideration.

capsocrates and superfrog have already suggested possible alternate versions of his power which wouldn't create problems with turn-stacking. Once I have a bit more time, I'll revisit them and see where that leaves Khophy.
And a thanks to you as well Typhon. Another thing that I thing sets this community apart from others is our collective ability to take constructive criticism and use it to make things better instead of getting all defensive. That's not to say one shouldn't stick up for themselves or something they've created when warranted, but over and over again I see Scapers taking the high road or at the very least attempting a civilized argument.


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