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  #4945  
Old September 11th, 2015, 06:56 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

figures and sculpt matter - at least to me. there have been a few times I purchases minis only to be turned off by the actual figure. harpies, dwarves and Mechwarriors have all given me this issue. too bad about the Knolls for now. it sounds like the may be potential for a two man squad in there.


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  #4946  
Old September 14th, 2015, 12:40 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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Originally Posted by wriggz View Post
figures and sculpt matter - at least to me.
Very much agree. If it doesn't look right, it isn't right.


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  #4947  
Old September 23rd, 2015, 06:23 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Rampage by @William099

The warforged barbarian is back, looking to bash his way into your collection.

Balance

This is pretty tough to determine. His survivability is amazing: seven Life behind Warforged Resolve (and two Defense when not Raging). While four Attack with a conditional second attack is weak for a non-bonding hero over 100 points, it's normally six Attack, which also gives him a high probability of a second attack. His five Move seems average at best, but again his real speed is seven, which is viper-level fast.

However, to get those Attack and Move values you have to pay a cost: the 'X' order marker. (And, of course, two Defense, though I tend to think of him as having a bonus two Defense until he first activates in a round.) While I'm not really concerned about him preventing other figures from using their 'X' order marker powers (there just aren't that many of them), giving your opponent knowledge does have a price.

Even considering that he seems crazy-good for his points. While I might otherwise call him out as overpowered, 120 points is a sweet spot in Heroscape, dominated by some of the game's greatest heroes in Krug, Kaemon Awa, and the Fen Hydra. Is Rampage really better than them? That's a difficult question, and one that I'll address further in Playability.

Theme

This new iteration of the unit captures a 4th Edition D&D warforged barbarian quite well. In D&D "rage" isn't a loss of control, it's a self-boost (with limitations). Giving up defense for extra move and attack paints a vivid picture, and Reckless Second Swing plays up his ferocity well. He certainly plays like a reckless barbarian.

Creativity

Rage is simple and it's value clear, and the other two powers are both reuses, simple ones at that. Each power is not only necessary for how he plays, but each helps bring out some aspect of his character--race, class, and personality. It's a very clean, thematic design.

Playability

Rampage plays exactly like you'd expect, so I'll just get right down to my final analysis.

After doing some testing, an issue emerged: I just wasn't having fun playing Rampage, either with him or against him. While different players have different tastes and it's my job to take that into account, I think the issue here is both deep and broad. The unit simply lacks tension. I don't mind simple, straightforward units, not by any stretch, but this design has the added complexity of utilizing the 'X' order marker. It's a special, rarely-tapped design space and really asks for something special or necessary. With Rampage, it's merely a cost.

Let's take a look at the two official designs that require revealing the 'X'. Seige's Crag of Steel turns him into a slow-moving, multi-attacking tank. You gain hardcore defenses and some crowd control, but at the cost of slowing him to a crawl and weakening him against single targets. Knowing when and where to use Crag of Steel is important. Evar Scarcarver's Frost Rage does not provide such a balancing act, it simply boosts. However, it still provides tension, as revealing the 'X' is not only good for his attack power but essential for his defense. When he's in the fray he demands the '1' order marker to get the Frost Rage going, and you pray for initiative. It's a different sort of tension.

With Rampage, turning on Rage really isn't a question. Yes, two defense dice matter (just ask Raelin), but in Rampage's case his survivability drops from "really good" to "quite good." Those two defense dice are just not worth the +2 Move and Attack, especially with Reckless Second Swing potential. So you almost always activate it the first chance you get. But it also doesn't hurt you to not get it activated. If you want to use other units instead of taking an early turn with the barbarian, he'll have bonus defense dice. There's no need to hurry and activate him, and there's only negligible downsides to firing off Rage upon the first activation each round.

As for whether or not he's unbalanced at 120 points, I'm still not sure. It would require quite a bit more testing than I did to be certain. He's clearly in the same class as the other 120 point big hitters, and is possibly better. But using him does come with the cost of the "X" order marker, and that second attack isn't guaranteed (though it tends to feel like it). At 140 points I'd feel pretty good about him. At 120 points he's borderline.

Summary

This is what I would call a "really good" custom. But in the end, we're not looking for really good, we're looking for the best. Rampage's design utilizes the "X" order marker, but not in a way that adds significant value. It's a design that's simple, straightforward, and wonderfully thematic, but doesn't take that extra step up it needs to.

I vote to induct Rampage into the SoV.
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  #4948  
Old September 29th, 2015, 04:36 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

It saddens me to announce that capsocrates is stepping down from his position as SoV Judge. He has been a valuable member of the team for some time; his contributions will be missed.

To find a replacement Judge, we will have an open audition. Anyone interested in becoming a Judge can apply. If you have applied in the past, we still have your submission on file, so you can simply PM me to say that you would like to be considered. If you have not submitted before or would like to add a new submission, please PM it to me.

The deadline for new submissions is end of day October 31st.

What we are looking for in a submission:
First, a short paragraph telling us why you think you would make a good Judge. Then include one or two reviews of units currently in the queue complete with your Yea or Nay vote(s). We do not expect you to run a complete set of tests with the unit (though you will need to do some), nor do we expect thoroughness in your review. We are looking to get a sense of your playtesting technique and what you are looking for in a unit.

Last edited by Scytale; September 29th, 2015 at 04:56 PM.
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  #4949  
Old September 29th, 2015, 05:04 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I know you did great work and will be missed caps.

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in THE ORPHANAGE
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  #4950  
Old September 29th, 2015, 05:36 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

The rest of you are going to have to step up your "nay" game to fill the void caps has left behind.

Happy trails, caps. Don't be a stranger.

Last edited by dok; September 29th, 2015 at 07:06 PM. Reason: Not a knock on caps - the different perspectives and inclinations of the different judges make the process stronger.
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  #4951  
Old October 9th, 2015, 05:40 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Viceron the Blood Knight by @Ixe

What a difference a Life point makes.

I already reviewed Viceron once before. This version has only small changes over that one, so many of my comments there are the same. The name change to "Blood Knight" makes me happy. The personality change from Merciless to Relentless is fine thematically, and notably allows him to bond with Death Knights.

Playability

In my prior review I called Viceron "suicidal." He really needs the multi-hit power of Bloodstorm Ritual to rack up kills, which was quite dangerous with only 4 Life. With 5 Life I no longer felt that same pressure. Quite the opposite; Viceron in this form feels like a powerhouse, with excellent stats, a healing power, and a massive multi-target special attack.

It's strange, even to me, that only a single Life point difference would make him go from "suicidal" to "devastating." But remember that Life point is hiding behind 5 Defense. It also gives him that much more buffer to use Bloodstorm and more damage to recover from with his Sanguine Sword. The Life/Defense combo along with the ability to recover a Life point every time he kills something with his excellent Attack makes him a serious brute to take down, even without Bloodstorm. If his defense dice hold up, he can blast off a Bloodstorm Ritual and often lay waste to his opponent, and still have enough Life to hold out and work on healing back up.

Obviously he's not nearly as good against hero-based armies. Still, his stats are pretty strong all around, so he can hold his own pretty well against most in a dice fest.

Bonding with Death Knights minimizes his other weakness, getting into position. A Move of 5 isn't bad, but you don't get a lot for your order markers just moving him into position. Bonding improves that order marker to activating three figures, increasing board control and offensive capability. Yes, Bloodstorm can hurt his bonding buddies, but the Death Knights have no need to be near him, so they tend to be off elsewhere doing damage or claiming glyphs.

Is Viceron overpowered then? I'm uncomfortable at the price tag, but I'm not going to call "broken." My issue with the unit comes from a different place. With powerful stats, self-healing, a devastating special attack, and bonding, the Blood Knight really doesn't have any weak points. Yes, Bloodstorm wounds him, but he can take one now and again and be ok, especially with Death Knights nearby to back him up. I'm not a fan of all-rounders in general, but one with such a potent and potentially game-changing special attack raises red flags for me. He's got it all--and that's too much.

Summary

The previous version of Viceron was turned down because he wasn't worth his point cost, noting that he didn't have enough Life to be effective. But for me it was that razor's edge that made him exciting to play. This version plays more as a straightforward powerhouse with no real downsides and devastating potential. I honestly expect my SoV brethren to disagree with me on this one, but for me,

I vote to induct Viceron the Blood Knight into the SoV.
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  #4952  
Old October 10th, 2015, 02:30 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

There's just no pleasing the judges . He is definitely much more pushed. With the changes, I was tempted to move life to 6 and drop defense to 4 but then it's turning even further from the original design. I understand and sympathize with your criticism (I loved the razor's edge as well). Great review in any case, Scytale, although I still look forward to what the other judges have to say on the matter.
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  #4953  
Old October 12th, 2015, 12:41 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ixe View Post
There's just no pleasing the judges .
Yeah, we can be a tough lot, for better or worse. Units like Viceron have a bit of a tightrope to walk, too; a design with a power as potent as Bloodstorm needs to be handled with care and precision.
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  #4954  
Old October 12th, 2015, 03:51 AM
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Talking Sometimes I just can't help myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ixe View Post
There's just no pleasing the judges .
Tell me about it. And you think Viceron's got it bad--I still can't believe those hack fraud judges rejected my Gargy the Destroyer:

Spoiler Alert!


In all seriousness though, it's just little tiny tweaks until the design turns out just right.

~TAF, obnoxiously present
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  #4955  
Old October 12th, 2015, 11:54 AM
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Re: Sometimes I just can't help myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAverageFan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ixe View Post
There's just no pleasing the judges .
Tell me about it. And you think Viceron's got it bad--I still can't believe those hack fraud judges rejected my Gargy the Destroyer:

Spoiler Alert!


In all seriousness though, it's just little tiny tweaks until the design turns out just right.

~TAF, obnoxiously present
Awww! Love that Gargy!

~Z

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My map thread
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  #4956  
Old October 12th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Less different than the official Flying wording than one might like to admit.
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