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  #5617  
Old March 6th, 2018, 11:14 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I think MM's skill may have been a bigger factor in that than the Chainfighter's goodness.

I would get absolutely slaughtered if I ran that army but that pretty much happens anytime I play Heroscape.

It was really cool to see that army in person.
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  #5618  
Old March 6th, 2018, 01:45 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Agent Fawcett by @Soundwarp SG-1

Charlie: Looks like the Twilight Clan is up to their old tricks. Agent Fawcett we need you to infiltrate their base and report back. Time to go to work.

Balance
Agent Fawcett is unquestionably a niche figure. She can add to a build with some additional board control or might grab a glyph eventually if they are ignored by an opponent. As such we can look at her attack output and survivability for Balance. Fawcett falls slightly below Guilty with his superior attack output and bonding, but weaker survivability and threat range. She does compare well with Seleena albeit they have a different bag of tricks, but I never felt the two agents treaded on each other’s toes, with Seleena being another target for Ghost Protocol. I would be remiss to not mention Command Courier, however I felt she merely took added an alternative target for Command Dispatch and added to the existing build rather than replacing the common hero. With a single attack of 2, resulting in a drop of survivability to 2/2, her point cost felt accurate.

Theme
I felt Agent Fawcett presented a clear package. The interaction between Ghost Protocol and Stealth Suit 1 was neat to experience in game, and felt really sneaky. I enjoyed Fawcett as a unit that has thematic soft synergy which encourage certain army types. The most enjoyable games were Agent on Agent games which almost felt like a different game than I’m accustomed to playing with heavy hitters or multiple common squads. I did have a quibble regarding how sneaky she felt, which would imply tricky as a personality, but that was avoided for obvious reasons. I also don’t care for the figure, but that is likely inspired by being familiar with the original figure used.

Creativity
As mentioned the interplay between powers was really cool. Fawcett is also a really cool way to build soft synergy between a faction – something I really value. I respect the naming nod, but I understand how people may feel going to the same source for inspiration may be redundant. Additionally the stat box does a good job reflecting the existing agent motif.


Playability
I found Agent Fawcett’s agent synergy to be her greatest downfall in actual play. Due to the nature of Ghost Protocol a player wants to maximize their agent activations. This means you are kind of building an army around a 30 point figure or trying to find room for another 30 points in an existing agent build. That might mean one less Command Courier or simply using her as filler, which often I felt there were options that augmented existing weaknesses such as using Deathreavers for board control.

Additionally the more games I played the more I grew disappointed with Agent Fawcett. As a Glyph grabber I found the 3 move despite being free, was slow, so she only could get to a glyph first if the opponent ignored it. Additionally in existing Agent builds a sole Krav Maga Agent is fairly fast has fair survivability and can use an attack of 3, Gorillanators also have free move with the Nakita Agents and are 30 points apiece or you could also draft the afore mentioned Deathreavers. This was similar in regards to board control, since although Fawcett could clog up choke points her 2 life/2 defense did not last long against any sort of melee.


Where I was most frustrated was any time I revealed an Order Marker on Agent Fawcett. With only 2 base attack I was seldom tempted to activate her, especially given the range and attack stats of other agents. When I did attack and negate Stealth Suit, often I would only destroy a single low/medium defense common squad or maybe put a wound on a key figure like Raelin. Although she only costs 30 points I was repeatedly disappointed with her attack output, especially after specifically designing an army to include Fawcett.


I will note, I personally prefer skirmish games with smaller armies on smaller maps. I did find Fawcett performed better on larger maps since they favor range and larger army pools where agents could be combined with other factions such as Dragons or Vipers. Although even in these higher point games I still felt I would be better off drafting more of something else rather than the additional Agent.


Summary
While Agent Fawcett has a neat tool box of powers and potential roles, I found her attack output disappointing to the point of frustration, especially after drafting an army to specifically fit her in.

I vote Nay to induct Agent Fawcett into the SoV.


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  #5619  
Old March 6th, 2018, 01:45 PM
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Assuming I Recollect Properly

I think he's brought that army twice. The first time he went 2-3 I think. It was a Gencon before I was there. The format last year was more conducive to a chainfighter build than some previous years.

~Dysole, who could be off base here
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  #5620  
Old March 6th, 2018, 02:34 PM
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Re: Assuming I Recollect Properly

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Originally Posted by Dysole View Post
I think he's brought that army twice. The first time he went 2-3 I think. It was a Gencon before I was there. The format last year was more conducive to a chainfighter build than some previous years.

~Dysole, who could be off base here
He went 1-4 the first time he used it (20x Chainfighters). The one army he beat was a very weak hodgepodge. The Chainfighters can hold up surprisingly well in a lot of matchups, but at the end of the day it just kills too slowly.
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  #5621  
Old March 7th, 2018, 06:47 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

As promised, here is a picture of all the Drow Assassin figures now that have arrived from over seas.



That's 96 in total. The bag has about 15 of the promo figure in it, and everything else is the normal "Lolth's Sting 53"
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  #5622  
Old March 13th, 2018, 01:08 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

The Drow Assassin by @Leaf_It did not pass United Fanscape Review and is removed from the process.

It was a close vote with a good amount of discussion. The reasons for the downvotes were varied. The most common reason stated was that the design is an overly overt way to beef up the Drow. This isn't much of a surprise; every time a unit is presented that boosts an existing weak unit or faction, whether through SoV or C3V, there are always some detractors. Another reason was that some felt the design was overly complicated, especially the wordy Shadow Shift. Others did not like how it limits future Drow design space (such as a common ranged squad or common bonding). There was also some concern over the dangerous synergy with Deathreavers (due to Sneak Attack).
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  #5623  
Old March 13th, 2018, 02:06 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
The most common reason stated was that the design is an overly overt way to beef up the Drow. This isn't much of a surprise; every time a unit is presented that boosts an existing weak unit or faction, whether through SoV or C3V, there are always some detractors.
This line of reasoning confuses me a little. Seeing new units made almost solely to boost existing ones is nothing new to the game (especially since the design of cards wasn't changed after release). I'd argue that figures like Kato Katsuro, the Nakita Agents, and Sir Gilbert (along with most of the Flagbearers) were all designed to help existing units. Even units that exist almost solely as buffs aren't unprecedented, since we saw stuff like Sonya Esenwein (granted, she can also be used as a filler) and Hatamoto Taro.

Even in C3V/SoV, there are many examples of units buffing certain factions. Tomoe Gozen, Haduc, the Crypt Guardians, and the Hoplitrons all make some of the weaker units more viable as an option. I'm aware that it has been stated before that this isn't the primary goal of C3V/SoV, but why would a design intended to do this be considered a negative? I don't believe that it goes against the design of the game (or what we saw the original designers doing), and it only serves to get more value out of existing units, instead of making people buy completely new figures to make entirely new armies.

Personally, seeing a unit that will help me get value out of something like the Gorrillinators or Sudema is a big plus, so I'm confused as to why people are hesitant to permit that. I understand the concerns about limiting future design space, but surely there are ways to work around this that would still be acceptable? And in some cases (such as there being no good figures left readily available for another unit in the faction), the scarcity of resources makes it difficult to continue designing in that space, anyway.
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  #5624  
Old March 13th, 2018, 03:04 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

It's tough and I sympathize. It's hard to really explain the reasoning, other than to reiterate what dok said in the discussion: "All of us would stretch the canon more than (almost) any of us would stretch the canon." I think all of the C3V/SoV units you mentioned as examples met with resistance. And not necessarily the same people; different people draw different lines in different places. I am one of those people. Simply put, I don't want all of the factions to feel the same. Personally I'm against cowboy synergy, though there is a lot of push in that direction.

Ultimately, simply adding more synergy to beef up older units will not, in and of itself, fail a unit. There's generally enough support to get them through, even if they're as direct as the Drow Assassin. It's tougher, though, as there will already be some against the unit, so the rest better be really good. Unfortunately the Drow Assassin didn't make it over that line, as the downvotes for other reasons added up.

I think some tightening up of the Assassin design could change the outcome. Personally I'd rather see some less-direct synergy, but that's up to Leaf_It.
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  #5625  
Old March 13th, 2018, 03:10 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

The key phrase is "overtly overt".

One of the big challenges with adding to the canon is respecting the existing canon. There are those of us who feel that creating a unit to augment an existing unit is not the spirit of the original game. The idea is that you should not feel you HAVE to draft X if you are playing Y.

For example Urk, Tetra, or 616 each boost or work with existing units. However you don't feel the need to draft them with Goblins, Gladiators or Deathreavers/stalkers. Most notability they offer alternative ways of playing those units.

Another aspect of Canon is simplicity. If a third power is added, it should have a really good reason to be their, either for thematic purpose, or out of necessity. If the power could be represented in the STAT box with a price adjustment that is often the better way to go. Designers may also be aware of potential complexity creep. Sometimes adding limitations to power or additional bells or whistles can add more confusion and words to already dense cards. Remembering that your design might be used by an 8 year old or a novice player is good to keep in the back of your mind. I love C3G, but I always make sure people I introduce it to have already got a good understanding of Classic scape first since some the card are very complex.


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  #5626  
Old March 13th, 2018, 06:37 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
It's tough and I sympathize. It's hard to really explain the reasoning, other than to reiterate what dok said in the discussion: "All of us would stretch the canon more than (almost) any of us would stretch the canon." I think all of the C3V/SoV units you mentioned as examples met with resistance. And not necessarily the same people; different people draw different lines in different places. I am one of those people. Simply put, I don't want all of the factions to feel the same. Personally I'm against cowboy synergy, though there is a lot of push in that direction.
This makes sense, although I think that many of those units did foster new army styles. Tomoe Gozen's situational bonding and the Crypt Guardians' method of boosting Sudema's Stare of Stone all stand out as being pretty unique to me, much moreso than Master Lao Xin (who I'm personally concerned will be very similar to the lawmen 'leader' that was teased), who feels very similar to what we've seen before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Ultimately, simply adding more synergy to beef up older units will not, in and of itself, fail a unit. There's generally enough support to get them through, even if they're as direct as the Drow Assassin. It's tougher, though, as there will already be some against the unit, so the rest better be really good. Unfortunately the Drow Assassin didn't make it over that line, as the downvotes for other reasons added up.
This is good to know. Many of the customs that I'm toying with were made because I want to see more units become usable, and it's often hard to justify taking things like the Einar Imperium or Hatamoto Taro, even in a casual setting.

Quote:
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There are those of us who feel that creating a unit to augment an existing unit is not the spirit of the original game. The idea is that you should not feel you HAVE to draft X if you are playing Y.
I don't understand this line of reasoning, personally. Unless you're playing with a ton of points, you have to draft Ashigaru if you're taking Kato Katsuro (and even with those massive games, you have to draft Samurai to go with him anyway). Many of the Elf Wizards make me feel like I have to draft Ulginesh when playing them. If you draft Spartacus, you practically have to draft the Capuan Gladiators. Another example is the Retchets of Bogdan--they literally cannot be placed without Iskra.

Units basically requiring the drafting of another one to be usable is not unheard of, and I'd argue that it's natural that some of the most underpowered units would need a boost so powerful that you feel like you have to draft their cheerleaders--otherwise, you wouldn't even be drafting them in the first place. I would probably never take Sudema without her Crypt Guardians, not because I'm unable to, but because she is so ineffective and risky without them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wriggz View Post
Another aspect of Canon is simplicity. Designers may also be aware of potential complexity creep. Sometimes adding limitations to power or additional bells or whistles can add more confusion and words to already dense cards. Remembering that your design might be used by an 8 year old or a novice player is good to keep in the back of your mind.
I think that this is more relevant to designs like the Drow Assassin, that make a new, more complicated method of boosting an existing unit, than to all units designed specifically to boost older units. Something like Haduc that only adds a simple (but very powerful) boost to old units, even complicated ones, shouldn't be too complex for the game.

To be clear, I can see why the Drow Assassin failed outside of just trying to boost an existing faction: I just wanted to ensure that units designed to boost older ones weren't being unnecessarily discouraged. I think that it's a perfectly valid design choice to try and make something to help classic units like Dünd or the Gorrillinators, and I fully intend to submit my own units that are somewhat "overt" about this after I get them to a presentable state.
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  #5627  
Old March 13th, 2018, 08:36 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

We wouldn't want to discourage all synergy with older units. Heaven knows, we draw water from that well often enough ourselves. And I would never ever say that our own work is above reproach.

That said. . .

Let us consider each older unit is like a pair of pants. One of the things that we love about Heroscape is that some pants are more durable or better looking or whatever than other pairs of pants. Sometimes one of these pairs of pants gets a patch, and that's ok. But we don't patch them just to patch them. They shouldn't all have smooth edges.

There's going to be pushback against units that feel like patches-for-patches'-sake, and that's what Scy was talking about when he wrote that if you go down that road, you better have something special to offer on top. And be flawless.

This was a close vote, and not lightly undertaken.

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  #5628  
Old March 14th, 2018, 07:40 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

To those that liked this design, and those which have messaged me with their support, (I didn't expect there to be so many of you) don't worry, I won't give up so easily. I had ideas and plans for a rework if this happened, though with the support I saw, I was hopeful that I wouldn't need to.

Would it be possible to have the notable parts of the discussion on the Assassin messaged to me so that I can properly take them into account while I rework the Assassin?

I have to say though, the "synergy" with deathreavers confuses me. If it was really an issue, it should have more noticeably affected the Beakface Rogue, because you can bond the Rogue with the Archer, and have Range backing up your sneak attacking rat combo. In my own playtests, it wasn't as good as just using the Deepwyrm, mostly due to the number of attacks per turn.

Question regarding complexity; is shifting itself too complex, or is it because it was combined with bonding? In my playtests, I felt like it was pretty straightforward once you understood it, but I designed it, so it could be that I am too used to it.
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