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  #3757  
Old January 22nd, 2014, 12:36 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Whenever I see a two figure common squad for a custom card, I must wonder if that is the case only because of miniature availability. I think even the official D&D Heroscape products were hit by the same limitations with things like the Mezzos. While one could argue that these squads would be better served with a third member, limitation can breed creativity and still provide a valuable contribution to the game.

That said, let's try to see which of these categories the Thoresby Woodsmen may fall under. As a ranged squad, one could jump to comparing them the aforementioned Mezzodemon Warmongers and the Zettian Guards. Neither comparison is that great, with the Mezzos being typically much sturdier between their exoskeletons and defense, but with an inferior range. The Zettian Guards match their range and attack value, but dwarf the rogues' defense and move at a crawl. Furthermore, the Guards are a Unique Squad, perhaps one of the most fragile positions to be in with each loss severely diminishing their effectiveness. It would appear that there is no perfect analogue to compare the woodsmen to, but we can still learn general lessons from two man ranged squads: One, having the potential for two attacks, at range, is still not terrible. And two, ranged units do not need the same board presence that melee has, suffering less from having fewer bodies.

So, the fact that they are a two man squad shouldn't be inherently limiting. As far as their abilities go, they provide essentially three interesting decisions per round between Tracking and Precise Shot. They could have a move of 7, move and attack normally, or have none of them move and take a precise shot. In particular, I can see these being a real choice to make throughout the game, particularly between moving to high ground or using Precise Shot. As it stands, firing a precise shot will most always be more likely to hit than high ground advantage, even if that means the defender has high ground on your rogues. However, the potential future pay off of repositioning and taking a precise shot from high ground on future turns will always linger. Coupled with the same wait then fire aspect that applies to the 4th mass, there will be turns still where you really have to choose between one precise shot or repositioning for two normal ones.

I would label the Evergreen Camouflage power under theme, since it will rarely matter in most match ups. When it does, it provides them an incredible bonus from behind a melee screen, but I could see in some matches the trees being use against them, where attacking units could move to opposite sides of the tree and force them to reposition and deny them a precise shot. Human rogues work fine with me, and rogues strike me as inherently tricky. With the total package, I am getting a real theme sense of a group of Robin Hood-style bandits able to launch ambushes from the woods.

In all, I feel that they elegantly provide three interesting options between two powers and are right on the mark for their theme. I have no idea how they play in testing and how their balance will work out, and I look forward to hearing about it.
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  #3758  
Old January 22nd, 2014, 12:45 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Actually, I wanted to elaborate on how I feel about the precise shot power some more. I like the decision that it forces, and on average it gives them an effective attack of 4. This is an inversion on tough type abilities which provide an automatic shield (on average three extra dice). In total, these are variance reducing powers. They negate the chance of whiffing a roll, but also drop some of the excitement of rolling all skulls and all shields and saving yourself from an otherwise impressive attack.

Heroscape is undoubtedly a high luck and high skill game, and I feel that things that reduce the variance too much should be avoided so it keeps in these lines. I feel that powers like precise shot becoming ubiquitous would be a real problem for the game. That said, for a unique ability on a lone squad, I don't think it poses a problem to keeping with the core aspect of luck in the game. This is especially true given that they are very much still rolling attack dice for that attack.
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  #3759  
Old January 22nd, 2014, 12:56 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Had it not been for Scytale's review, I would not even had noticed that Thrangir's Resilience could be used to negate the wounds from his own Reckless Barrage. If Resilience were not usable with Reckless Barrage, I think the tension among those abilities and trying to keep him alive would be extremely interesting. Abilities that set up a little conflict and a good risk and reward pay out are great in my book. But, given that you can negate your own Reckless Barrage, it kind of feels like cheating for your opponent and probably even yourself.

Otherwise, the stats are mostly solid and match the sculpt well. He may be a little fast when wearing that kind of armor, however. I like the idea of reckless barrage in general. It seems to give him a boon in hacking through heroes or handling a swarming squad, but has the downside of hurting himself in the process. A half-orc champion raises no issues here, especially with the lighter color pallet of his figure. I'm not sure about the driven personality only in that it doesn't have precedence. Perhaps bold?

Last edited by Ixe; February 18th, 2014 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Miscalled power
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  #3760  
Old January 22nd, 2014, 02:58 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Pygar Fasir seems to be an interesting card with a very cool theme. I have to agree with Scytale that it that theme could be hit a few more times in the card. For instance, we know Eldgrim is a Viking Champion because his name is "Eldgrim the Viking Champion." It would be similarly and abundantly clear if Pygar Fasir were renamed "Pygar the Blind Assassin," or something to that extent.

I had actually private messaged McHotcakes and recommended for him to continue the them and change his line of sight to be from his ears (i.e. the sides of his head) instead of from his eyes. McHotcakes said that that was considered, but ultimately went with conventional sighting since that would be a little easier for SoV. I think that a little bit of flavor like that can go a long way. Functionally, it changes very little to nothing about the card but reinforces the point of how he is a blind assassin, especially if his name already makes this clear. Classic Heroscape already set a convention for thematic variations on the hitzone image with the Zombies of Moridan and making their heads the only valid hit zone. One might have to do a double take, but when you realize that they're zombies you feel excited for that wonderful bit of theme carried through. Similarly, if the fact that he was blind was right in his name, I think that doing a small tweak to his line of sight could go a long way. These kinds of changes have already been set by C3V with Grigor and Rorig who can see out of both heads, so it really isn't that revolutionary.

As far as Pygar's cost, I can't say whether or not it's too little for a clean up hero of his caliber. I can say that his heightened senses ability is certainly interesting and thematic, especially when it is clear that he is blind. The reroll ability changes your chance for rolling a skull from 50% to 75% per die, and your chance of rolling a shield from 33% to 55% per die. Thus, 3 attack will net you 2.25 skulls on average (right between 4 and 5 attack on average), and 3 defense will net you 1.66 shields on average (right at 5 defense on average). Breaking it down that way, his effective stats are 3/4/5/4.5/5 for 35 pts. He does move at a snail's pace, but I can see a ranged attack like that for so little posing a balance problem. This is especially considering that those stats climb to 3/4/5/6/6.6 on high ground. With other boosts it just gets better and better. Granted, these are for averages and his attacks won't have the same highs that these attacks suggest.

Overall, I think it's a great idea with great possible flavor. I don't know how exactly he tests, but I can see how Scytale says he might be undercosted.
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  #3761  
Old January 22nd, 2014, 03:12 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Prince Al'Kahora looks to be a very cool and fun figure. His stats seem solid. I usually like abilities that can give you some decisions to make, and, as Scytale pointed out, Al'Kahora gives you three options on any given turn between his two powers. Both Razorpetal Stance and Strike of the Puma are decidedly offensive powers, so I feel that excluding times of repositioning while engaged, it's just choosing between two different flavors of damage. I'm not sure if that's really much of a choice, but at least he's always a threat in an interesting way.

The fact that he's a knight and a prince doesn't bother me in the slightest. The class scheme is already a bit random as it is, with clear knights like Denrick and Sir Gilbert labeled as champions and the cited Empress Kiova being a warrior. Even Viking Warriors like Eldgrim and Finn are champions. Seeming inconsistencies aside, this prince more than fits the bill for a knight and there's no reason that he couldn't have been trained in chivalry despite his royal lineage. Like Scytale, I must disagree with loyal, however, since there is really nothing else on his card that suggests loyalty, or to whom. I agree with Scytale that bold would be a better fit for what is presented to us.

Overall, I think it would be great to see another knight hero in Heroscape and hope that this Prince continues to hold up in review. Maybe if there's enough knights, we could even see a knight bonding squad between C3V and SoV and have a chance to dust of Sir Dupuis.
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  #3762  
Old January 22nd, 2014, 03:27 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Asterios looks to be a beautiful figure, something I suppose you can come to expect from Reaper. On paper, he appears to be a reasonable costed hero meant to stand against and smash through squads with his Furious Charge Special Attack. I think Legendary Creature 3 could come with a more flavorful name, but I like the idea of him doing his job and holding up against the rabble while able to be defeated by a worthy hero. Very flavorful indeed as far as the Greek myth, since it took a hero to finally slay the minotaur. I don't have any particularly good suggestion for another name for the power, however. Maybe even something like "Legendary Endurance," suggesting that he can withstand the rabble easier. I've got nothing, I just feel that it's a point that might be able to be improved.

I understand the motivation to make him Einar because of him being from a greek myth, but as a dauntless marauder (which is great), I really don't feel that it fits. Gurei Onei, another oddball in Einar, was at least a guard, though I suppose he was only there for his Japanese roots. My point is that the Hydra is already a creature out of Greek myth and it is in Utgar, so there's no real reason why the Minotaur (also a D&D monster) needs to be in Einar.

Overall, I really like the unit and am looking forward to hearing how he tests.
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  #3763  
Old January 23rd, 2014, 03:22 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Thanks to take your time to voice your opinion on the submited figures, Ixe


Regarding Asterios availability, superfrog sent them a mail asking the same thing I asked, but got a response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superfrog View Post
I contacted Reaper about a week ago about availability. I got this response:
Quote:
We will have more Legendary Encounters hopefully by summer 2014. Thanks!
Just so everyone is aware.
So no new stock of Asterios until (hopefully) this summer. But it also means that there will be new stock !

How does the SoV feels on this matter ? Should I withdraw Asterios for now and resubmit him when new stock are available ? Perhaps he could stay in the process, but only be released when the stock are back again ?
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  #3764  
Old January 23rd, 2014, 10:18 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyrgard View Post
How does the SoV feels on this matter ? Should I withdraw Asterios for now and resubmit him when new stock are available ? Perhaps he could stay in the process, but only be released when the stock are back again ?
Asterios passed both SoV submission review and United Fanscape review with the understanding that Reaper would someday print more. It sounds like that's exactly what's going to happen. So no need to pull and resubmit.
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  #3765  
Old January 23rd, 2014, 10:41 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by superfrog View Post
I contacted Reaper about a week ago about availability. I got this response:
Quote:
We will have more Legendary Encounters hopefully by summer 2014. Thanks!
Just so everyone is aware.
Awesome! That means my mini should be changed too -- but I'm not worried!
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  #3766  
Old January 26th, 2014, 02:02 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Jarek Guy by fishguy1

Theme- Jarek Guy’s theme is acceptable. Soldier is a fun class and makes him function in a more situations than he would as just a Mariedian, although I think Sgt. Drake is better than him in said situations. Tricky is an interesting personality choice, but I think it works, just as long as you aren’t tempted to build him into an army around Otonashi. The only major thematic objection I have with Jarek Guy is the lack of a grenade on the sculpt, but that is something that I think will have to be a sacrifice fanscape makes sometimes. I also wish that Exosuit was a reuse of Stealth Suit, but Exosuit does work better on a hero.
PASS.

Creativity- Jarek is a fairly creative design. Exosuit is a cool way to give him more survivability. Plasma Grenade is fun too. It makes Jarek the first figure since the Airborne Elite to use the lob mechanic. The backstory explaining Jarek’s armor is interesting and expands the Mariedians in more directions.
PASS.

Balance- Jarek has good base stats. Sgt. Drake and Crixus are probably the best comparisons for him. All three have solid defensive powers, although Jarek’s has more of luck component to it which increases how swingy he is (I once had Jarek hammered from height, taking five wounds in a single blow, in an online asynchronous match. But my opponent forgot Exosuit. He wasn’t too happy when Jarek went from dead to full health!). But unlike Sgt. Drake and Crixus, Jarek can be used in a wider variety of roles. Plasma Grenade makes him a great opener, a great figure to plop an X on every round (and then a numbered OM when you see a cluster of figures in range), or even a special attacker/heavy hitter for armies that lack both of those roles (the Mariedians conveniently do). I found Jarek to be fairly costed when compared to the solo heroes in his price range. He may not always kill his points, but he is able to weaken squads and get enough wounds on a hero for the M43s to finish them off.
PASS

Playability- Jarek Guy is fun to play with and against. Just like all heroes with a strong normal attack and a decent special, there are many choices that can be taken every turn, which creates choice for those who are using Jarek or fighting against him. Jarek’s powers are easy to understand and rarely cause confusion, and none of his powers ever felt unbeatable. Exosuit has potential to be frustrating, but with only three defense and five lives, he’s squishy enough that a wound or two on him being lost isn’t too bad.
PASS.

Summary- I have no major problems with Jarek Guy. He’s a solid solo hero, easy to understand but still possessing a lot of choices, able to perform in a variety of roles, balanced, and thematic.

I vote to induct Jarek Guy into the SoV.

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  #3767  
Old January 27th, 2014, 01:09 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I have a couple of announcements.

First, it pains me to say that nyys is stepping down as an SoV Judge. nyys was the last remaining member of the team of founding Judges, and has written many quality reviews over the years. His contributions will be missed.

Secondly, with nyys's departure we will be looking for someone new to step in as an SoV Judge. The application process will be open to everyone. If you are interested, please send a submission to myself or any other current Judge via PM. There is no time limit for this as we keep submissions on file for when a new Judge is needed, but to have a chance at the newly-opened position you must submit your application before March 1st. For those that previously submitted an application, you do not need to resubmit as we will be reviewing all past submissions, but you are welcome to submit more reviews.

To apply for an SoV Judge position:

Choose one or two of the units currently under SoV review, preferably ones with fewer official votes. Run some playtests and write up reviews, complete with Yea or Nay votes. It is not expected that you go through the rigorous testing that SoV Judges normally do, and your write-ups will be reviewed with that in mind.

Also include a paragraph about yourself, telling us why you think you would be a good Judge and a valuable addition to the team.

Last edited by Scytale; January 31st, 2014 at 06:36 PM.
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  #3768  
Old January 27th, 2014, 01:15 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I am disappointed to see nyys go. At the same time, I look forward to finding out who our next judge will be and getting to work with him (or her)!

--

As a side-note, I have seen several people (current judges and people who have never even applied to be a judge) say that they were "invited" to join the SoV. The SoV has never simply invited anyone to be a judge. At least as long as I have been a member, we have always gone through the same process of accepting applications and reviewing them. We did have a period where we sent PMs to site members we thought would be interested and invited them to apply to be a judge, rather than opening the application process up to the general public as we are now.

I just wanted to clear that up in case there was any confusion on the matter.

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