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  #6841  
Old April 15th, 2020, 05:32 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

to review Clayton Pierce

Masha Shingai has received 4 Yea votes to review (capsocrates, Scytale, superfrog, and All Your Pie)) and moves forward in the process.

Clayton Pierce has received 5 Yea votes to review (superfrog, Astroking112, capsocrates, BiggaBullfrog, and Scytale) and moves forward in the process.
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  #6842  
Old April 16th, 2020, 02:52 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Olog by @The Long eared bat

Hopefully I caught all the times my computer tried to change this guy's name to Ologies.

Balance

Itís hard to draw a clear comparison for Olog, since thereís not really another self-positioning offensive figure in the game. Maltis Tez is somewhat close, with her high move instead of Savage Rush and sharing First Assault. Her attack is lower, but she has higher survivability. Other figures at the same point range that can get 5 attack are generally missing the self-positioning potential and have a more conditional attack boost, like the Dumutef Guard and Sahuagin Raider. None of these comparisons are saying Olog is out of his league at his point range, but thereís still a lot to double check on in other sections.

Theme

Olog has a lot of subtle aspects to his theme that I love. As a Valkrill Orc, he has a lot of similarities to the Death Chasers with his high offensive threat potential but low survivability. Savage Rush also connects him to the Deathchasers as he rushes to get into position to make a mighty attack.

The other part of his theme connects him to the Durgeth, starting with the obvious connection with his class as a Savage, allowing Durgeth Ravagers to activate him with Savage Cry. The mini supports this secondary theme as well, as while Olog has the same features as a Death Chaser Orc, he is missing the armor and weaponry that the Death Chasers are equipped with, helping to suggest the more savage theme. And while the stats/powers are drawing from the Death Chaser card, Ologís play style fits naturally with the Durgeth as he gets to use Savage Rush every round, playing into the momentum and opportunity seeking that a Durgeth army looks for. This helps Olog to toe the line between two factions in Valkrillís army in a way that feels very Classic ĎScape in its application.

Creativity

Savage Rush is a nice twist on an old power. The callback to Orc Battle Rush is readily noted, but being able to rush between each round not only differentiates it on a technical level, but also a strategic level, which is a great way to homage an older power without making the same thing. This, along with the nature of the Durgeth bonding power, creates a different kind of bonding hero that self-positions himself looking for a chance to jump in with 5 attack dice, but whoís too fragile to do so very many times. This made for a cool, fresh dynamic during games with Olog.

Playability

It probably goes without saying that the biggest tool Olog has is Savage Rush. Being able to get into position without needing Order Markers or bonded turns is a huge benefit to be able to capitalize on. Even at 3 spaces each round, those free moves stack up, letting Olog get into threatening positions by mid-game. Then all heís looking for is the right opportunity. 5 dice on such a cheap figure is a big threat, but youíll usually only be able to try it once, maybe twice if Olog can survive the retaliation. But often the threat of the 5 attack is enough to make an opponent nervous, moving figures over to block the orcís attack, which can open up avenues for your other figures. This gives a player using Olog a lot of ways to utilize his threat as a feint for other figures to get into the action, or if ignored, an actual threat of 5 dice on an important figure.

Olog especially shines as a cheap extra bonding hero for the Durgeth Ravagers. The Ravagers are all about keeping squad figures in key positions in order to get attacks, which in turn allow them to activate their bonding heroes. Thus, one of their weaknesses is an opponent that can clear out the squaddies before they get a chance to get good attacks, let alone develop their big heroes. Here, Olog is a great benefit to the army since he doesnít need Savage Cry to get into position, and then it only takes one successful attack from a Ravager to activate him and his 5 attack. This forces the opponent to start making decisions ó attack Ravagers to try to limit their potential for bonding, or attack Olog to get rid of the potential for Savage Cry to trigger figure close to the action? (I mean, the answer is still usually Ravagers, but a well-developed Olog that gets ignored can then just receive an OM himself if Ravagers get cleared out.) The decisions become even more impactful if Savage Cry has triggered a few times and a bigger hero like Uzog or Pel is in the mix. Both of those heroes can be stuck with immobility, so having another hero on the front to act as a constant mobile threat is useful. Olog adds a good level of strategy and flexibility to the Savage army for cheap, without being an overpowered figure to do so ó in the end, heís influencing the battle with a threat of 5 attack happening where the opponent really doesnít want it to.

Summary

While not crazily flashy, Olog is able to bring a strong new dynamic to the game. He encourages good interplay between players as they work to minimize or maximize his potential in the game, and makes for enjoyable and memorable gameplay.

I vote Yea to induct Olog into the Soldiers of Valhalla.
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  #6843  
Old April 17th, 2020, 03:13 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
The Catalan Mercenaries by Scytale (submitted by @Cleon ) have received 2 Nay votes to induct (BiggaBullfrog and All Your Pie) and are removed from the process.
I never said anything after this and I meant to, sorry I missed responding back to when the reviews happened. Even though I was really hoping these dudes would make it in, Iím not trying to argue or resubmit or something further with the unit (unless someone else loves them too and pushes for them ). And I think the reviews were well said.

I will say though these are some of my favorite customs Iíve come across and would love to see them had they been in the original game. I think everyone agrees the theme and flavor is top notch, the idea of mercenaries fighting and then gradually considering fleeing as their numbers dwindle is super cool. They also fill a void in my opinion as theyíre strong cheap melee you can splash. I donít think thereís really anything quite like them in the game other than the Tarn, but theyíre only a single unique squad for 50. The Catalan provide a universal option of beefy common melee in high numbers for only 120-200pt. (I guess you could experiment with x1 and x2 too)

If you donít mind me asking, what armies did you guys test with the Catalan? Iím interested to see what you ran them with.
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  #6844  
Old April 17th, 2020, 02:53 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
The Catalan Mercenaries by Scytale (submitted by @Cleon ) have received 2 Nay votes to induct (BiggaBullfrog and All Your Pie) and are removed from the process.
I never said anything after this and I meant to, sorry I missed responding back to when the reviews happened. Even though I was really hoping these dudes would make it in, I’m not trying to argue or resubmit or something further with the unit (unless someone else loves them too and pushes for them ). And I think the reviews were well said.

I will say though these are some of my favorite customs I’ve come across and would love to see them had they been in the original game. I think everyone agrees the theme and flavor is top notch, the idea of mercenaries fighting and then gradually considering fleeing as their numbers dwindle is super cool. They also fill a void in my opinion as they’re strong cheap melee you can splash. I don’t think there’s really anything quite like them in the game other than the Tarn, but they’re only a single unique squad for 50. The Catalan provide a universal option of beefy common melee in high numbers for only 120-200pt. (I guess you could experiment with x1 and x2 too)

If you don’t mind me asking, what armies did you guys test with the Catalan? I’m interested to see what you ran them with.
Great question! And I'm very much agreed that the design/theme for these guys is super! Unfortunately I've deleted most of the files I was using for notes at the time, but I remember running a lot of different combinations (this was easily the card I ran the most tests with as I was trying to reach a decision, helped by the fact that there are so many options for the Mercenaries and I love army building). Early on was mostly running Mercs x4-5 with high point cheese like Q10+Cyprien, dragon+support, etc. just to get a feel for how they played. Then I started trying lower numbers of x2-3 as well to see how Cut and Run worked with smaller groups.

The x2 armies especially were more to see how well they were as defenders for a Raelin-junky army since 6 defense is awesome and if the army got pushed they could hit back with four attacks of 3. (IIRC the go-to army for that build was Mercs x2, Raelin, Krav, Eltahale at 400, then I would add or substitute figures as I tested further.) x2 wasn't bad and a viable tech option, though the low mobility did hurt when trying to keep the figures together.

x3-5 is definitely the preferred amount for them. Since they're so strong against melee forces, a lot of the testing I did when getting into the meat of it involved spamming a bunch of Mercenaries with some anti-range to round out their matchups, like Krav Maga or Sgt. Drake 2.0. Throw in a special attacker like Kaemon, Q10, Nilfheim, Eltahale, etc. depending on the composition and it made for a super solid army with an answer for everything. Nakita were also a personal favorite with the Catalan as all-around good range to help the all-around good melee. I was able to find a few remaining files from these games, so some specific builds for the interested included:

Mercs x4, Drake 2.0, Q10 (480/18 )
Mercs x4, Drake 1.0, Nakita (390/20)
Mercs x4, Krav, Nilfheim (445/20) (add in another squad for ~500 point games)
Mercs x3, Eltahale, Krav, Rygarn (450/17)

I remember also getting some 550-600 point games in too, but don't remember those exact builds. As you can imagine it was the same-ish structure, though, with something like Mercs x5, Nilfheim, Cyprien, Zetacron as an example that I'm pretty sure I played.

Another format of note that I spent time with was Heat of Battle, where their high numbers and stats wouldn't be as hurt by their low move. They were really good there, but after testing against other stupidly good armies for that format (10th, Ashra, and those stupid Cathar Spearmen) I didn't find them overwhelmingly OP for it.

Throughout the testing process, I did also try a couple dungeon crawl-esque scenarios with them as mooks for bigger baddies, like Mercs x3 + one or two stronger heroes (Asterios, Master of the Hunt, Sgt. Drake, etc.) against a team of heroes on a mission, and they were great thematically for those scenarios.

The most ridiculous test I ever ran with them was when I was really curious about their power in numbers and how that balanced out with Cut and Run, resulting in a smackdown of a grand total of 12 squads of Mercenaries vs Cathar Spearmen x5 + Airborne Elite. (Take that all you who say that competitive tournament play is all that SoV judges care about! You ain't got nothin' on this guy! )

Last edited by BiggaBullfrog; April 17th, 2020 at 07:30 PM.
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  #6845  
Old April 22nd, 2020, 07:47 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Kate Crawford by @Pumpkin_King

We all know that class and gender have a funny relationship in Heroscape. Wo-Sa-Ga is the first female Hivelord, and so her name is different than the others. Arashara Goshiri is a female Warlord, presumably for synergy reasons. Iíve seen customs for female tribesmen and the like. Here, we have a lawman woman. Will Kate Crawford break the glass ceiling?

Balance

3 attacks per turn on a 4-life ranged hero for 40 points? Sounds preposterous, but if we take the pieces in turn, it starts to make sense.

40 points for 4 life is the cheap standard of 10 points per wound that we see on Bol, Otonashi, Isamu, Rats, Ashigaru, Nagrubs, and the like. Marcu breaks that curve, but Kate fits right on the low side without breaking. Combine that with a low defense, and her survivability is quite low. Most armies have Kate at one-shot territory from the getgo.

3 attacks per turn is also great, but much less so when you can only target one figure. Sure, itís 6 attack dice in a turn, but the defender gets to defend three times. It takes quite the combo of hot attack and cold defense to do more than 2 wounds in a Fan the Hammer turn.

And the range is nice for sure, but with only 5 range on the special, using it puts Kate right smack into the heat of things, where the low survivability makes things uncomfortable.

Anyway, Iím happy with balance.

Theme

Kate really feels like a lawman. The 5/7/2/2 stats sell that, and the Fan the Hammer/Tenacity power combo work well together thematically and have a nice Wild West flavor. Bold is an interesting choice, I might have gone for Resolute or something, but I canít really complain there.

Creativity

Again, working within the thematic constraints of a lawman design, Kate does a nice job of feeling a bit different. The multi-attack on a single target is a cool idea that raises Kateís low end without increasing her high end too much.

Playability

My main concerns with Kate were whether she was too good for her point cost, whether she felt different enough from the Wild West figures in a similar space (Josie and Guilty), and whether Tenacity felt natural or tacked on.

Like the other more expensive Lawmen, Kate doesnít use her normal attack much. Thatís not to say she never uses it, but her special attack is what does the talking when sheís on the battlefield. Itís not super strong, but it is relatively reliable: you have about a 70% shot of getting at least a wound on a 3 defense figure and a 60% shot of getting at least a wound on a 4 defense figure. If the defending figure is rolling 2 defense dice, youíre up over a 90% chance of doing at least a wound. All that to say, the chance of Kate coming up empty on a turn you take with her is pretty low.

The reliance on the special attack is of course where she begins to differ from Guilty. Guilty can utilize his full 7 range for his double attack, and so makes a much more effective kiting figure. He also can get height boosts, which is incredibly important for him. 2 attacks of 3 is pretty great, especially behind a screen of bonded Dreadgul Raiders. Guilty also has the ability to stop a pincer movement with two well-timed kills in cleanup, which Kate only wishes she could do.

Thatís not all to say that Guilty is better at everything. Kate is far less reliant on height, and that leads to some fun kiting plays that Guilty wouldnít be as likely to pull off.

With Josie, again, height is the key to their differentiation. Josie can throw 9 dice in a turn (!) and at three different figures no less. Thatís all dependent on grabbing height, which Kate doesnít care much about. Josieís survivability is probably slightly better as well, and sheís much less susceptible to a one-shot. Add in the upcoming [xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx] army where Josie really shines, and Kate doesnít feel like sheís stepping on toes.

My last concern was with Tenacity. Itís really just a rebranded Chalice of Fortitude, so thereís official precedent for this sort of ability. It did also lead to an interesting mechanic where Iíd almost hope that a one-wound Kate would take a second wound so that sheíd have her third defense die. In practice it didnít matter very much, Kate is fragile no matter how you slice her. Tenacity did sometimes give her an extra turn or two, though, which is helpful in a cleanup role.

I played Kate with the previously submitted version of Clayton and found her to be a good addition to that army as well. Iíll look forward to trying her out with the new version.

Summary

Kate Crawford manages to fit in with the existing Lawmen (and Outlaws) without stepping on any toes or feeling too similar. Plus the miniature is only $0.49 at Troll and Toad so you should go grab it now!

I vote to induct Kate Crawford into the Soldiers of Valhalla

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  #6846  
Old April 25th, 2020, 12:17 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

The virus has my work in crazy over drive so I've not been active. I now both votes are moot but:

Masha Shingai by Astroking112 - I really like the changes cannot wait to see if there is enough oomph here to make the game play match the excitement of the mini.

Clayton Pierce by Discord group - I still really don't like that it seems Clayton makes the lawmen crazy fast.


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  #6847  
Old April 28th, 2020, 01:22 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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  #6848  
Old April 28th, 2020, 09:26 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Xundar and company haven't officially passed yet, so adding more to the faction is somewhat premature. I can't really agree to review them until we know there is a shadow faction. Can you wait a bit and resubmit?
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  #6849  
Old April 28th, 2020, 10:19 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

sure thing.
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  #6850  
Old April 29th, 2020, 06:55 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Talking about this, I just noticed that when a figure is under the last SoV step (so-called Unified Fanscape Review), and the OP is edited accordingly, then it is no more possible to see the reviews for the units under this step.

We can during the previous stages, it will be also possible after UFR with the "stars style", but during this step... oupsi. Could this be changed ?


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  #6851  
Old April 29th, 2020, 09:36 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanieLoche View Post
Talking about this, I just noticed that when a figure is under the last SoV step (so-called Unified Fanscape Review), and the OP is edited accordingly, then it is no more possible to see the reviews for the units under this step.

We can during the previous stages, it will be also possible after UFR with the "stars style", but during this step... oupsi. Could this be changed ?
Yeah, doing this would help me too. Done.
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  #6852  
Old May 1st, 2020, 06:12 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Swaysil by Maklar the Silver Prince

Swaysil may be able to pierce the heart of a charging orc while galloping full-speed, or beat down the shields of a legionary formation with her hooves, but can she jump through the hoops of an SoV review? If not, hopefully someone can give her the news when Iím not in eye-piercing or hoof-battering range.

Balance
At first blush, Swaysilís card raises some eyebrows. She offers multi-kill potential and average-to-good stats all on a fairly cheap standalone hero. 2 defense is her weakest point, but backed up by 4 life she has decent survivability for her low cost. That said, using either of her powers puts her into close range, and getting tied down means she canít use either. Functionally, Swaysil wonít be getting reliable multi-attacks. Her stats are still pretty good though. The card works at 50, but probably doesnít go any lower.

Theme
Centaur archers are a classic fantasy archetype, and Swaysil embodies it perfectly. The statline and powers force you to make use of her mobility, giving her the feeling of always being on the run as she shoots without having to give her a clunky ďmove while shootingĒ power. The powers she does have are simple and flow from the miniature without being overly descriptive of it and feeling nicely reusable to boot. Finally, the left-box stats feel appropriate. I appreciate the restraint in keeping the hero unsynergistic by choosing Archer instead of Scout, and it feels like the stronger thematic choice. Bold also works quite well as a nod to the risks her powers incentivize you to take, and as a descriptor it holds up in play.

Creativity
Swaysilís powers all do fairly simple things, but with new conditions that havenít been touched before. Point Blank Shot is an inverse of Crack Shot from the 53rd, and itís nice to see each power on opposite ends of the same cut-off (4 or more for Crack Shot, 3 or fewer for PBS). Ride down is a little more fiddly, but the way it works makes sense and is accomplished as simply as possible. Her stats and powers arenít groundbreaking, but they still make her stand out as distinct from other heroes around her point value.

Playability
With solid theme, powers, and a well-constructed card, we return to whether or not Swaysil is a bit too good a value for 50 points. In my experience, her cost held up--in endgame scenarios, even against a fairly well depleted enemy force, Swaysil doesnít tend to overperform. She can run away and kite for quite awhile, and one or two melee figures will really struggle to catch her, but any more and they can usually manage to corner the centaur before her plinking away with 3 dice accomplishes much. At that point is where her powerset comes into play, and where the tuning on them shines. Swaysil can charge the enemy line and try to break through wherever itís weakest, but it takes some calculated risks which often donít pay off. If youíre lucky, however, she can get away scot free, and start the chase all over again.

What I found is that even in melee-only matchups on fairly open maps, Swaysil will get cornered, and her powers usually donít save her. They feel correctly adjusted to be powerful options without feeling too consistent. Instead, my gripe is with her life value. On the face of it, 2D 4L doesnít make for a very tough unit. Around her point value, however, Swasil is fairly durable. Sheís comparable to the 4D 2L of Siiv and Zetacron, and slightly worse than Patrickís 3D 4L (though with much stronger offense and speed herself). Unlike Zeta, though, Swaysilís decent life pool allows her much more freedom to risk disengagment, and if sheís engaged with only a single figure it leaves her with very little risk of dying outright in the attack. She still crumples before a full onslaught, but her high mobility allows her to dodge multiple engagements quite well, especially if either of her powers show up to clear the field a little. Since both of her powers wonít work if she stays in engagement, and she has the life to absorb a LEA or two, it started to feel like a bit too obvious of a choice. In general, the 4 life makes her feel a bit more resilient than intended, and gives her better options in her already-favorable matchups. I would much prefer 3L 2D here, as with it she would crumple more consistently when caught. 3L 3D might be workable for me as well.

Decision
This was incredibly close for me, as I ultimately donít feel that Swaysil is undercosted at 50 points. Sheís clearly been put through her paces, and the tight balance shines. I do, however, feel that her life value doesnít fit her role or her point bracket, and its effect on play both with her and against her was a consistent sticking point for me in testing. Regrettably, my vote will be to induct Swaysil into the SoV.
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