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  #6601  
Old October 7th, 2019, 09:17 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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What homeworld are the Ironstones from?
Feylund. Check the Spoiler in the original submission. It was part of the reason I linked the original submission, but I should have just stated it with the resubmission.
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Old October 16th, 2019, 06:42 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Agrith-Naar has passed United Fanscape Review and moves forward in the process.
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Old October 17th, 2019, 02:43 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Masha Shingai by Astroking112

Long ago in a distant land, I, Soundwarp, the shape sculpting master of mods, started to review an unspeakable evil! But will this foolish samurai demon wielding a magic... fire thing... step forth into the SoV?

--

Balance

Attack subtraction, especially as a global effect that's not limited to attacks made against the unit doing the subtraction, is a bit of a dangerous space to play in, but Masha has enough limits here that it's fine. The Order Marker requirement in particular really helps limit him from stacking with other powers too much. Outside of attack subtraction, his stats and whatnot all seem fine for his price.

--

Theme

Not hard to sell the theme to me here with this awesome looking demon samurai mini. I like that both of his powers crossover between his themes as well. Bonus points here for not making him follow Utgar or Valkrill just because he's a demon.

--

Creativity

His powers blend together his demon-ness and samurai-ness just as well mechanically as they do thematically, really cool stuff going on here.

--

Playability

Masha was an interesting unit to test. He has a bunch of powerful stuff going for him, but there's always a catch to everything he does.

He can subtract from other characters' attack, which is a super useful power that can sometimes cripple the other team. However, he has to have a revealed Order Marker to do it. So you're basically telegraphing your Order Marker placement to the enemy here and paying a fairly hefty fee efficiency wise. Then if you don't win initiative, that first turn for the opponent might make his aura basically useless. Not to mention if you have commons of your own, they're going to be just as woke to Masha's terror as your enemies are. You can mitigate all that a bit with Rygarn, but Masha also really wants Raelin (who doesn't?) and some Samurai, so your points budget gets tight pretty quick here.

He has a pretty beefy attack for a support figure, but his mobility isn't great and that earlier efficiency drain still hurts him here since one melee attack of five isn't so hot compared to three or more attacks from the Samurai squads or Awa's special attack.

His retribution power helps with one of the Samurai's big weaknesses, but keeping a bunch of mostly melee guys adjacent to each other isn't the easiest thing in the world. It only triggers if a Samurai takes a wound, too, and Samurai are fairly expensive on average. Even if you hit your rolls you're usually not getting ahead on points.

So there is a lot of give and take here. If anything there's a bit more take than give at the moment, but I'm fine with that in this case. He's a unit with two powers that can get dangerous pretty quick with the right add-ons, and he's in two different factions that still have a lot of room to expand. I'd rather him not be an A+ unit now, as it allows for more room for his teams to grow without worrying about truly awakening his terror too early.

--

Summary

Overall, I think Masha has a great theme and is a blast to play. He's probably not going to set the competitive scene on fire right now, but as I said, in this case I think that's a good thing.

I vote to induct Masha to the SoV.


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  #6604  
Old October 22nd, 2019, 09:43 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Xundar, Shadow Binder, Shadow Fiend, Shadow Hound by @Sir Heroscape

Since adding our faction submission guidelines several years ago, the SoV has seen a few submissions that take advantage of that format but none so ambitious as this one: a fully-fledged pseudo-squad faction complete with a shadow caster. Is it too ambitious of a set of designs, or does it all pan out in the end?

Balance

Xundar is obviously similar to Kurrok, except he can move and do his controlling stuff. The special attack also sticks out, because it gives him a bonafide way to combine offensive output and regen into one turn in a way that Kurrok canít (at least not without overexposing himself). Xundar also has worse survivability.

As far as the commons go, theyíre pretty much your standard bonding common hero fare. The Binder feels a lot like a nerfed Drow Chainfighter, the Fiend compares to the Black Wyrmling, and the Hound definitely doesnít outclass the Hoplitron or White Wyrmling

Theme

I must say I love the matching of the magic glow on Xundarís wand to the color of the Shadows themselves. Thereís some other nice thematic touches like the lack of LoS restriction.

Phantom Walk fits very well here, although part of me wishes the Fiend had it as well (Flying + Phantom Walk would allow the Fiend to disengage and use the road bonus on the same turn, for example). Each unit has a single other power, each of which play nicely off the sculpt of the figure.

Creativity

This faction is a great example of restrained design. Each unit is simple and understandable, and each design has a role in the faction. The Binderís ability nicely sets up the abilities of the other two Shadows (and Xundar as well), in a simple yet novel way.

Despite treading much of the same ground as Kurrok + Elementals, Xundar + Shadows manages to feel creative and unique because of the interplay of the commonsí powers.

Playability

I go back and forth on what the best army composition is for the Shadows. I canít see a time when youíd want more than 2 Binders, but I can see arguments for splitting your Fiends/Hounds at 3/5, 4/4, or 5/3 in a 500-pt setting. More points than that and you might consider adding support in the form or Raelin or range, but at smaller point totals you really need to squeeze everything you can from the commons, and it wonít help to shortchange how much you include in your army.

One of the first things you notice about Xundar and co. is that Xundar is very squishy (thatís the technical term for it, I believe). Itís not unheard of for him to die in 3-4 attacks, especially if theyíre from height or otherwise boosted to 4 or so dice. For that reason, itís important to deny melee figures access to Xundar as much as possible (while still keeping him within 8 spaces of where you want your Shadows to be).

I usually accomplished this by keeping a Binder near him from the first few turns of the game onwards. At 4 defense, theyíre the stoutest Shadows, and at 1 attack, theyíre not about to run across the battlefield to get in a chance attack. I usually kept another Binder closer to the front to make ventures towards Raelin or a figure situated on high ground (which Phantom Walk helps facilitate). That usually didnít last past the first round or two.

The Hounds require the most planning in order to maximize their attack output, and thatís one of my favorite things about playing this faction. You have to sequence your turns properly to get the most out of them, especially since utilizing the boost is the only way for this army to get 5 or 6 attack. Itís tricky to play with Hounds once theyíre engaged (since the attack bonus only works on figures you donít start engaged to), but Phantom Walk helps mitigate that difficulty. 4 defense is just stout enough that they can last a few turns in engagement.

The Fiends are the key to success with a Shadows army. Theyíre your only shot at multiple-kill-turns, and they are the most maneuverable with 6 move and flying. That makes them your best shot at buffing the Hounds on turns where youíre not already set up to do that (which is most of your turns, usually). The roll of 13+ is right about that point where you feel like you ďoughtĒ to get it a fair amount of the time, but it is very important not to overextend your Fiends. They have the lowest defense of the faction and will melt if exposed to fire.

Although I was a bit skeptical at first, Xundarís special attack grew to be one of my favorite parts of this faction design. Of all the resurrection powers in the game, this is the only one that works by killing at a distance. The more I played Xundar, the more I found turns to use it in the middle of the game. One good opportunity is on an OM3 when youíre playing for the initiative switch. If you can get a 3v2 or a 4v3, thatís pretty good odds that youíve got yourself ahead in the figure count race, made a big gain in positioning, and set yourself up for a great turn on OM1 of the next round. Itís also quite fun to Shadow Cast a figure on Dagmar or Wannok at the end of the round and flip the effect to your favor.

The Shadows arenít a top-tier build, but they really are enjoyable to play, especially when you can pull off a few good turns in a row.

Summary

If this was my design, I would have done a few minor things differently (change the Binderís attack to 2, have the Hound bonus go up to +3, the aforementioned Phantom Walk + Flying combo on the Fiend) (fair warning, I didnít test any of those changes). But overall, I thought that Xundar and co. were an excellent package.

I vote to induct Xundar, Shadow Binder, Shadow Fiend, and Shadow Hound into the Soldiers of Valhalla.

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  #6605  
Old October 24th, 2019, 07:25 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Clayton Pierce by Discord group

A leader for the cowboys of Heroscape has long been requested for inclusion into Valhalla Customs. Though this desire has been far from unanimous; some don't like the idea of "factionalizing" all of Heroscape, myself included. At the very least, though, a sheriff leading a posse is very thematic and very Heroscape.

Balance

I don't know how to theoryscape Clayton. While his stats are subpar for the price, obviously his value is in his powers. While controlling leader figures are nothing new, the Sheriff goes about it rather differently than others, relying on everyone else to do their own thing outside of the once-per-round moves and attacks. Balance here has to come down to actual play experience, but even that is questionable due to the varying power he can demonstrate with new Lawmen. From my testing, the point value seemed passable without raising any red flags about future synergies.

Theme

The design team aimed for two very clear themes: the posse and the shootout, and nailed both of them. The once-per-round movement with Sheriff's Posse definitely gives the feeling of leading an old west posse. The oddity of the figures having to end their movement near him is made up for with how it plays; it wouldn't feel nearly as thematic if Clayton could hang behind and send out his lackeys. It really feels like he's leading them. On top of that, while a Shootout power could be implemented in different ways, this version has a great thematic feel of a western gunfight. Theme is spot-on in gameplay.

Creativity

This design one went round and round for a while, and is still on the wordy side, but Mr. Pierce does manage to feel different and interesting compared to Heroscape's other leader units. Ultimately it's just a leader that gives other units bonus movements and attacks, but the timing is different, and there is value in putting order markers on other Lawmen. I should clarify: whether or not the design appears unique is actually irrelevant; the design plays uniquely, and that's what matters.

Playability

Obviously you want to make the most of Clayton's abilities when using him, which makes army building strictly limited at this time with only three other Lawmen in existence. And two of them very similar, no less. That's just how things are, at least for now.

Which makes Sheriff's Posse of limited usefulness, at least on smaller maps. That's not to say it isn't appreciated though; like Orc Battle Rush, that initial movement is huge, especially when trying to get a crew of Lawmen heroes into position. In theory with more Lawmen you could use Clayton as a midway launching point to high ground, though the limitations of Shootout make that mostly undesirable. However, the ability to move Clayton back first to "call in reinforcements" as part of Posse could be both thematic and helpful, some day.

Shootout is actually rather interesting. Often enough you do use it on the first order marker to have the greatest impact on the round, but that isn't always the best option. If there aren't many enemies in range, or you still need to get your own figures up on height, it may be better to hold off for a later, more impactful turn. Of course, that does come with a risk. I quite liked the decisions it caused, and it was extremely helpful in making the team effective despite their limited individual capabilities.

As I was testing, though, something started to nag at me, and it grew worse and worse as I continued to test. Here are the Move/Range/Attack/Defense stats for Pierce and the other Lawmen:

5/7/2/2
5/7/2/2
5/7/2/2
5/6/3/3

There is a simple similarity between the existing Lawmen. Their statline helps make them feel similar, despite not being synergistically bound. Clayton Pierce doesn't fit the mold. These things can, of course, be explained away: he has a stronger, less-range gun, he's more nimble than the others, etc. The problem I had is the more I played, the more I had to keep repeating these justifications to myself. He really is the odd man out, despite being the leader.

I know I'm being somewhat hypocritical about this. Deadeye Dan doesn't follow the statline, nor does Garrett Burns or Josie Whistletop (though, in my defense, none of these are Lawmen). Dan's sniper rifle is obviously different, but I don't know what's special about Garrett's high-powered gun or Josie's crap range. But all of these at least also share the Defense 2 value. If it was just one of Clayton's stats, it wouldn't bother me, even if it was Defense. But having all of them different than the other Lawmen just felt wrong, even though the differences have value to the design.

Summary

I didn't want the Lawmen to get a leader unit, but Clayton Pierce proved me wrong. The moveout with Sheriff's Posse is thematically on-point, and Shootout is both thematic and provides a meaningful tactical choice. I really like what he brings to the table. But he just doesn't feel like a Lawman with his stats (Defense especially). He's a real lead-by-example kind of guy, which makes the differences stand out all the more. I think Clayton is one step away from being the cowboy leader the game wants, and would like to see him back with adjustments. Or pass as he is, if the other Judges don't have the same hangup I do.

I vote Nay to induct Clayton Pierce into the SoV.
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  #6606  
Old October 25th, 2019, 12:54 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I would like to submit Olog. Figure used Orc Savage #57 Deathknell D&D Miniatures.
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  #6607  
Old October 25th, 2019, 01:35 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

There is a glut of medium fantasy heroes in VC, and as such the standards are higher to get one through the process. We already have plenty of Orcs in canon too. But I think Olog passes muster; he comes off as a fairly unique ambusher with nice tieback in feel to the Death Chasers. (A shame he doesn't bond with them, but oh well.)

to review Olog.
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  #6608  
Old October 25th, 2019, 02:00 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

The Great Axes of Ironstone and Dalmar Stonewall have both passed United Fanscape review and move forward in the process.
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  #6609  
Old October 25th, 2019, 02:19 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I'd like to resubmit Kate Crawford.





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  #6610  
Old October 25th, 2019, 02:46 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

@Pumpkin_King , please add the usual stuff to your submission post (mini used, mini availability, homeword, etc). It can be a pain to try to track that stuff down later.

I am very happy with the changes to Kate since the prior submission. The statline is now fitting for a gunslinger, and Tenacity is a decent name for the defense boost power. The personality is good too. You did not change the class, which was a sticking point for some. I didn't have issue with it before, and I don't now. And having played with Clayton he really wants more friends, so there's a synergistic reason for it.

to review Kate Crawford
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  #6611  
Old October 25th, 2019, 03:06 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Sure thing, I've updated my post with that info. Let me know if it needs anything else.
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  #6612  
Old October 25th, 2019, 03:48 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
@Pumpkin_King , please add the usual stuff to your submission post (mini used, mini availability, homeword, etc). It can be a pain to try to track that stuff down later.

I am very happy with the changes to Kate since the prior submission. The statline is now fitting for a gunslinger, and Tenacity is a decent name for the defense boost power. The personality is good too. You did not change the class, which was a sticking point for some. I didn't have issue with it before, and I don't now. And having played with Clayton he really wants more friends, so there's a synergistic reason for it.

to review Kate Crawford
I was just wondering if you take into account two designs in the pipeline at the same time that would have synergy if both are approved.

Really like the Lawman designs btw.

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