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  #5413  
Old June 12th, 2017, 04:05 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
Is the idea that those are throwing weapons? Why does he get to keep throwing, when he's only holding two and there are no others on his body, AFAICT?
Probably the same way the Master of the Hunt can keep throwing that same javelin over and over again, or how Shiori can keep throwing shurikens all game long.

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  #5414  
Old June 12th, 2017, 04:31 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Yes, but those *look* like throwing weapons. These do not. There is nothing about these daggers that suggests "range" to me, and if there were more strapped to the figure's leg, that might help. Or something. Javelin and shuriken both, on their own, suggest range. I don't see that here.

Again, my opinion, and my vote does not yet count. I thank you, TAF, for pointing out a way in which I expressed it incompletely.

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  #5415  
Old June 12th, 2017, 04:38 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I suppose figures like Elaria have a lot more weapons on their person, suggesting ranged use of knives. It's just not something that bothers me personally. Or at least I'd argue it's not a thematic deal breaker.

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  #5416  
Old June 12th, 2017, 04:48 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

As I've written before in this thread, and apologies to the judges of the SoV for all my posts on these last couple of pages, ideally a custom will achieve the following trifecta: mechanics firmly connected to theme; theme firmly connected to the mini; mini firmly connected to mechanics. It is the iron triangle. There *should* - I'm not saying it always happens, or that the C3V or anybody always achieves this goal - be something obvious about each point of that triangle in how it relates to the other two.

In this case, I believe one side of the triangle is not there. You mention C3V's Elaria, who is a blade thrower. Here she is:


That is a fighter who is ready to throw some blades. It is suggested by the mini and delivered by the mechanics. I am aware that I've already posted too much here, but I wanted this issue to be aired now, and I didn't originally intend to be participating so much in the "airing" of it. Apologies again.

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  #5417  
Old June 12th, 2017, 07:49 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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Originally Posted by Sir Yeshua View Post
I like way Jack of Blades looks on paper, but a quick question:
Is Deadly Strike supposed to activate if he's making a ranged attack? Because the first time I read it, I assumed that was the case because the power only appears on melee figures. But when I took a closer look, I realized it's always active.
Yes, it activates on range. The ranged version is typically Deadly Shot, but since this guy isn't shooting anything, Strike makes more sense, and I don't find it to be an issue when chucking a knife.

As for the issue of the looks of the mini, that's something I haven't touched on. I don't want to have a debate in the submissions thread, but I would like to reply to Dad_Scaper's concerns (and I do appreciate him being willing to bring it up now), because I do agree that the mini should help carry the theme. The difference between our views is that in my opinion, this mini does help sell the theme.

First off, throwing knives. As was mentioned, there have been plenty of figures, Classic and Custom alike, that throw their weapons while seemingly have no backups. That's a part of selling this for me (plenty of assassins would have knives hidden in their boots, shirts, etc.), but like DS said, there should be a bit more. So with that, he also mentioned that they don't look like throwing knives, but I disagree here. If you look at the knife in his right hand, it has a blade protruding from either side of the handle. This, to me, says throwing knife, as there is more blade to hit with. On top of that, it also sells the theme of a shorter-than-average range for the figure. It's a big knife, good for throwing, but not something that will go a super long range effectively. Rather, it's a knife meant to be thrown with brute force with a shorter effective range. Like a shotgun vs a rifle. And on the topic of the mini selling the range side of things, the mini itself is pretty stocky. For me, this speaks the theme of a guy who will chuck knives, but really wants to be in on the action, playing more of a melee game than a ranged game. His overall appearance is on the more thuggish and brutal side of the assassin "class," and that's really what the theme is going for. Thus deadly strike instead of just having higher attack. There is also the fact that he has some studded armor pieces on, which help the stat of 4 defense, if that was a concern for anyone, which it hasn't popped up, but there you go.

Last edited by BiggaBullfrog; June 12th, 2017 at 08:19 PM.
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  #5418  
Old June 13th, 2017, 08:20 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

There are a few little things that I don't love about Jack of Blades (the range, use of poison on top of everything), but it doesn't quite add up to enough for me to turn it down outright. I'm willing to test to see how good the gameplay is so I vote YAY for review.
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  #5419  
Old June 17th, 2017, 12:43 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Wow, do hero armies ever hate Jack of Blades!

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  #5420  
Old June 17th, 2017, 02:17 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Wow, do hero armies ever hate Jack of Blades!
This would be my biggest concern with him. Of course that's where playtesting is of greatest value. Over these short years of getting to know Heroscape, I've realized how squad heavy "Hero"scape is.
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  #5421  
Old June 21st, 2017, 02:39 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I'm voting to review Jack, design doesn't gel for me. I don't have a problem with 3 range in and of itself, but the mini doesn't do a very good job selling it. Besides that, all of his powers are fighting for the same design space and I don't see the point of it.


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  #5422  
Old September 1st, 2017, 10:30 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

The Beakfaces have needed some help, and WizKids' recent release of more Kenku miniatures has now made it possible with ample availability to fill out the Raptorians and help them be even more fun and competitive! It's been a long time coming, but here they are! I'd like to submit my custom: Beakface Archer (Primary) and a somewhat joint effort custom between @wriggz and I, the Beakface Rogue (Secondary), for your consideration SoV.


Beakface Archer is the D&D Icons of the Realms: Storm King's Thunder #11 Kenku Bow
The Beakface Archer is one of the few disciplined units in a Raptorian army. Unlike the skittish Sneaks and tricky Rogues, these archers were taught to use their keen sense of sight to oversee the battlefield while giving orders to the troops and granting them cover; firing at oncoming enemies. Trained to remain steady and focus their shots rather than skirt around their opponent, these archers bring organization and order to the ranks of the Raptorians.


Beakface Rogue is the D&D Icons of the Realms: Storm King's Thunder #10 Kenku Sword
The Beakface Rogues on the other hand were trained to attack when an opponent's back was turned, gauge when an enemy was otherwise distracted, cut at their ankles and soft spots and stab when they least expected. Though fighting without honor, the Raptorians quickly welcomed their comrades to the fight after having been saved countless times from the grips of an overpowering opponent only to find that a fellow Rogue had stuck them in the back.

PLEASE refer to my Strategy Notes at the end, as they will be very important to understand when playtesting these units.


Balance
I've had headaches over these guys for a long time now, trying to figure out just how to make common hero's in this unique faction not too weak and not too strong, but I can truly say the current design is beautifully balanced in gameplay and theme.
Beakface Archer: The archer pulls everything about the Raptorians together. Though not terribly strong on their own, their ability to bring in troops early and maneuver heroes into key positions makes them a valuable and NECESSARY cost in a Raptorian army build. They typically don't fill their points in kills (only occasionally getting a pot shot in), but make up for it in their ability to move in a heavy hitting Rogue or a strategic and powerful Warwitch. They have consistently felt balanced at the 25pt mark and any more costly would make them hard to make up their point value for.

Beakface Rogue: These guys are fun!!! Don't let the potential 5 attack (6 from height) scare you away into believing these guys are OP. I've played with them enough to know that they are extremely valuable in a Raptorian build to bring some punch when needed, but setting up your units to get that punch isn't the easiest thing. Not only do you need to get some Sneaks to hold engagements without dying (only 2 defense when engaged), but you also have to place your order marker right so that you're using the Archer to move in a Rogue for the hit. I've had games where I've only been able to pull off a total of 4 or so Sneak attacks with only a few actually doing damage, and for a 25pt figure that's not so good if you've got 4 of them in your army. On the other hand, when you do set it up and it works, then you can really help clear out some pesky units by punching for 5 with a Sneak Attack while the opponents figures are otherwise distracted in combat by another unit. These guys are fun and balanced in this build.
Playability
The powers of both the Archer and Rogue are actually quite clear and easy to understand, though it does take some getting used to how they operate within a Beakface army. These common heroes make a much stronger case for a Beakface Build, bringing some punch (Rogue's) and some order marker surety benefits (Archer). They are extremely fun to play and really make a player think like they're playing chess. Though not as clear cut and easy as a bonding army, these common heroes bring some intriguing complexity to the game, allowing for a very unique playstyle.

Creativity
Beakface Archer: This guy is the most creative. He's got an improved flocking ability that operates similar to the Sneaks but allows for many more options when deciding how to run a full army of Beakfaces. He brings a whole new playstyle to the game with his ability.

Beakface Rogue: His abilities are somewhat recycled, but still quite creative when taking a unit and combining the ability to dodge and skirt ranged attacks while coming in for a sneak attack on an unsuspecting foe.
Theme
Man 'o Man do these guys drip with theme! I think the backstory/bio does them pretty good justice. The archers are a unit taught to focus and shoot steady, therefore they don't have an evasive ability and their personality is disciplined. Also thematic is their ability to direct troops as they are often the first units to take to the field in order to survey the movements of the opponent and issue the troops accordingly while giving them covering fire. The Rogues are a thematic unit because they operate very similarly to the sneaks in their evasive abilities, but because they are rogues and tricky, they fight without honor and attack an opponent "unfairly" while they are otherwise engaged in combat. These units bring a whole lot of life to the Beakface faction and make for some very thematic and fun games.

Accessibility
These guys are a newer unit having been released by WizKids earlier this year. There are ~100 miniatures available on the immediate market last I checked (for both figures), and as they are a newer release expansion, WizKids can be expected to continue production.

Overall, these guys rock! I apologize for the longwindedness, but please read the following strategy points so you know how to play this unit as it isn't immediately apparent.

STRATEGY GUIDE
Spoiler Alert!


Thank you for your consideration!
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  #5423  
Old September 2nd, 2017, 12:20 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Just looking at the Rogue without playing it, and as a person with less experience than probably all of the people who will be commenting on this, it seems like it would be better if it was "one other Raptorians you control". Getting the 5 attack does not seem too hard to pull off, just play them with any high-ish defense squad. That said, Drow Chainfighters are 25, and they are a 4/4 with sudo-range. The rogue has to have a setup to get this attack, while the Drow just gets the 4 attack with range, so maybe my concerns are unfounded.

If this gets through though, I'll be very excited to play some Raptorians at the next Utah monthly. Maybe this time I'll position my Sneaks, and manage my Warwitch better.
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  #5424  
Old September 2nd, 2017, 12:56 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

If I'm reading your submission right, it seems like the "Archer" plays more like a scout.

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