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  #289  
Old November 6th, 2019, 03:16 PM
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Re: Astro's Custom Units [Update 11/4/19: Seishin Samurai]

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Originally Posted by Astroking112 View Post
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Originally Posted by quozl View Post
Just to lessen confusion, here's my rewording of Honor Beyond Death so that you can only spawn each Seishin once:

Quote:
HONOR BEYOND DEATH
Seishin Samurai do not start the game on the battlefield. When a Human Samurai that you control is destroyed by a normal or special attack or a leaving engagement attack by an opponent's figure, you may replace it with a Seishin Samurai in your army that has not been destroyed, if possible, and then move that Seishin Samurai up to 4 spaces.
Much appreciated. This does let a Seishin Samurai that is already on the board be teleported to another killed Human Samurai, though, does it not? Would saying "...that has not been placed yet..." work, or is that unfeasible?

Also worth noting is this kind of a revision, which was suggested to me privately. I'm no Editor, but if this direction is more workable for a single-spawning Seishin Samurai then I would have no qualms with adopting it.

Quote:
HONOR BEYOND DEATH
Seishin Samurai do not start on the battlefield normally. Instead, place any or all of them on any Samurai Army Cards that you control. For the entire game, when a Human Samurai that you control is destroyed by a normal or special attack or a leaving engagement attack, you may replace it with a Seishin Samurai from that figure's Army Card, if possible, and move that figure up to 4 spaces.
I kind of just winged that wording, but hopefully it's at least good enough to get the idea across.
You're right about the teleporting thing, which I think is kind of cool for a spirit but if you don't want that you will need to add "not on the battlefield" to the list of criteria. Placing them on other Samurai cards does make it a lot easier. Wording would then be:

Quote:
HONOR BEYOND DEATH
Seishin Samurai do not start the game on the battlefield. Instead, place them on Samurai Army Cards you control. When a Human Samurai that you control is destroyed by a normal or special attack or a leaving engagement attack by an opponent's figure, you may replace it with a Seishin Samurai from that figure's Army Card, if possible, and then move that Seishin Samurai up to 4 spaces.

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  #290  
Old November 6th, 2019, 06:34 PM
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Re: Astro's Custom Units [Update 11/4/19: Seishin Samurai]

The teleport not making much thematic sense doesn't bother me too much; I'm more concerned about the potential gameplay ramifications of making it too easy to reposition the screen for the TSA. Forcing the other player to place the Seishin in suboptimal places is one of the ways to counter them, so I'm hesitant to let them easily move again without an OM.

It sounds like the placing on cards mechanic is tenable and might be nicer on the rules, so I'll proceed with that direction. Thanks for improving the wording for it, @quozl !
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  #291  
Old November 7th, 2019, 08:59 PM
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Too Many Samurai, Not Enough Space

So while I tinker around with a way to make the Seishin spawn once each but still not be worth taking more than 2 or 3 copies of, Masha Shingai needs some tweaks to get further in the SoV process after his second downvote today.

Submission for Context
Review 1 - YEA
Review 2 - NAY
Review 3 - YEA
Review 4 - NAY

A brief summary of some of the critiques of him:
  • He doesn't really tie the Samurai faction together or fix their weaknesses.
  • An Einar Demon feels jarring.
  • Losing initiative really sucks for Masha when he can't activate Awakened Terror and encourages you to place OM1 on him.
  • He doesn't really work with Tagawa Samurai Archers.
  • There's a lot of OM management trouble when juggling him, Tomoe Gozen, and the Unique Samurai.
  • He is outclassed by Tomoe Gozen.
  • His powers conflict with each other a little bit.

Some of the suggestions for how to change this have included bumping up the life to 6, dropping the adjacency requirement on Fiery Retribution (or otherwise boosting it), or lowering his point cost.

As for him not tying together the Samurai faction that well on his own, I'd have to agree with that statement. I didn't want to create a unit that felt like a bandaid for the faction, and I really like how he adds a twist to them without necessarily making them go up a tier. I was also pretty concerned about the attack reduction aura, of course, so I may have veered a bit too much towards the weaker side here.

I feel like I can't do much about the concern over an Einar Demon. It may be evil, but so was Einar at the beginning, and he hasn't shied away from summoning some dark stuff since. Valkrill doesn't feel like the right general here.

For the Tagawa Samurai Archers... yeah, he doesn't work with them. I couldn't figure out an elegant way to exclude them from the terror without loosening some of the heavy restrictions on Masha. It doesn't particularly bother me because I don't think that he really adds a lot to their playstyle, and it led me to work on the Seishin Samurai instead (who do make them more fun to play).
Plus, if he doesn't affect your own Commons, then how will we be able to take him with Deathstalkers?

Similarly, I don't really want to ease the OM management difficulty here. Some of the most fun that I've had with Masha has been from him, Tomoe Gozen, and the unique squads all in the same army. It's a tough army to play, but I liked how different it felt from other armies that provide ways to ease that stress. Kato Katsuro already exists as a (poor) replacement for OMs in the army, or Rygarn does a lot to ease that tension on his own.

So, for avenues that I'm currently considering on how to change the design:
  • Bump up the life to 6 and decrease the points to 100.
  • Drop the roll for Fiery Retribution to 11 to make it a bit more intimidating against range.
  • Decrease the points back to their original 90, now that others have tested him and verified that he didn't break the game.
  • Drop the adjacency requirement on Fiery Retribution to let it work on Samurai within X spaces.

Most of these are relatively minor tweaks, but they come with some caveats. I don't think that the first three changes really address the fundamental issue that some reviewers had, instead just bumping back up his power level a little bit to make him more enticing.

6 life makes him feel more intimidating and a bit easier to play, but I don't want melee squads to feel overwhelmed by him.
The decreased roll threshold for Fiery Retribution is a more balanced way of strengthening him by evening back out his bad match-ups. On the other hand, I don't want it to be too low when the entire faction is known for Counter Strike.
90 points always felt reasonable for him to me, albeit I'm not sure if the other judges who voted yes would agree. The biggest difference the bump had was that it made Raelin a bit harder to squeeze in, which I don't mind too much.

Dropping the adjacency requirement for Fiery Retribution, on the other hand, is something that deeply concerns me. Range has always been the Samurai's biggest weakness, and creating a unit that so clearly helps against that without heavy restrictions like the current design has feels like it might foster a dominant way of playing the Samurai. I enjoy playing Masha a lot, but he was never intended to become a "must-draft" for the Samurai. It also makes all of the Samurai pods much easier to maintain.

That said, I was also very staunchly against excluding Unique Squads from Awakened Terror for a long time. I'm generally just against trying to make him too strong, I think, and it's perfectly possible that like his terror only affecting enemies, this is something that I'm too concerned about and would find to be fine in practice.

I'm pinging @Scytale , @superfrog , @Soundwarp SG-1 , and @wriggz as the judges who have reviewed the current iteration of Masha. I know that @All Your Pie has also completed some testing as well. Any feedback on these ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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  #292  
Old November 7th, 2019, 09:07 PM
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Re: Astro's Custom Units [Update 11/7/19: Seishin and Masha]

I'd probably go with one of the first two bullet points I guess. Hard for me to judge, since I thought he was fine as is personally.


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  #293  
Old November 8th, 2019, 08:33 AM
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Re: Astro's Custom Units [Update 11/7/19: Seishin and Masha]

My 2 cents:

1. don't worry about an einar demon if you like it. I would never down vote for this alone. however to avoid getting mixed up in deming webs, Oni might be a better species.
2. Awakened terror could work on squad figures and exclude samurai (the way counter strike does) then the archers get to play.
3. At 6 life his survivability increases and he feels a bit more stand alone then cheerleader. This lessens the order marker management concerns.

Balance for points and profit.


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  #294  
Old November 8th, 2019, 02:28 PM
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Re: Astro's Custom Units [Update 11/7/19: Seishin and Masha]

"Oni" definitely conserves the theme, and probably seems more appropriate given the japanese nature of it.
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  #295  
Old November 8th, 2019, 02:36 PM
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Re: Astro's Custom Units [Update 11/7/19: Seishin and Masha]

I dunno. Adjusting points and/or stats does not address most of the points from the negative reviews. If superfrog's and wriggz's main concern is value for the cost, then yes, a simple adjustment is needed. If their main concern is order marker value, then that's an entirely different problem that a stat adjustment will not solve.
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  #296  
Old November 8th, 2019, 03:15 PM
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Re: Astro's Custom Units [Update 11/7/19: Seishin and Masha]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundwarp SG-1 View Post
I'd probably go with one of the first two bullet points I guess. Hard for me to judge, since I thought he was fine as is personally.
Thanks for the input. I know that you and Scytale were fine with him, so I'd like to make sure that neither of you feel like any of these changes are going to break the bank, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wriggz View Post
My 2 cents:

1. don't worry about an einar demon if you like it. I would never down vote for this alone. however to avoid getting mixed up in deming webs, Oni might be a better species.
2. Awakened terror could work on squad figures and exclude samurai (the way counter strike does) then the archers get to play.
3. At 6 life his survivability increases and he feels a bit more stand alone then cheerleader. This lessens the order marker management concerns.

Balance for points and profit.
Yeah, I don't think that Einar Demon is something that I can change here. I'm glad to know that you wouldn't vote him down only for that reason.

As for the topic of Oni, I have several issues with that species directly that hold it back:
- Gurei-Oni used Ogre as his species, despite having Oni in his name. For whatever reason, the original designers used an English species to describe him.
- Gurei-Oni also has Oni in his name, and him and Masha are pretty visually not the same species.
- Originally, Morgoloth also had very few demons to boost with his Demon Leadership, so I thought that was a neat synergy.
- I understand the concern with Masha being able to bond with the Acolytes of Vorganund, but once I saw them, I don't think that it'll be a problem. He has some very heavy restrictions, even with bonding armies, that I think will make him pretty outclassed as a Bound Demon. Of course, now that they're in Public Playtesting, I'm willing to run a few tests to make sure that's true.

Making Awakened Terror work on all squad figures and just excluding Samurai would work for giving the TSA some love, but I feel like that's a bit thematically weaker. Perhaps it's just because the power serves as a reverse-inspiration for Akumaken's Mask of Terror that I feel that way, but I still just haven't found the TSA to be very fun to play with Masha. They still want Raelin to help against range and she's a lot easier to play, so juggling two auras feels kind of like a waste when you could've taken something else instead. They also don't have the same OM tension that the Unique Squads do, so it just felt a little underwhelming in comparison. I can run a test with him excluding them from the terror to see if that changes my mind, though.

That's largely my thoughts on the 6 life as well. It doesn't serve as a boost to his cheerleading capabilities outside of letting him perhaps tank an extra attack when he's drawing fire, but it does make him a little more terrifying. It also buys him more time with setting up his terror before you get down to the tension of a 2-life Masha when placing Order Markers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpkin_King View Post
"Oni" definitely conserves the theme, and probably seems more appropriate given the japanese nature of it.
Back when there was concern over Acolyte bonding, I know that Oni was one of the alternate species suggestions. I don't think that it works thematically, personally, largely because it clashes pretty heavily with the other foreign mythological Feylundian units. Sudema's an Undead, Khosumet's a Wolf, Gurei-Oni's an Ogre, etc.

Something thrown around behind the scenes that might work better was Akuma, which is essentially a Fire Demon. I still don't like how it doesn't fit the established styles, though, and if the Acolytes really aren't a problem here, then I'd rather just go with Demon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
I dunno. Adjusting points and/or stats does not address most of the points from the negative reviews. If superfrog's and wriggz's main concern is value for the cost, then yes, a simple adjustment is needed. If their main concern is order marker value, then that's an entirely different problem that a stat adjustment will not solve.
This is my main concern as well. Pretty much all of the directions that I've been considering were suggested in some capacity, but I'm concerned that they don't fundamentally address any of the criticisms here. Masha will still have heavy costs built in, hog OM1, die to range, and be terrifying to play against but difficult to play. Whether he can do his stuff slightly better and more consistently or not doesn't drastically change the unit.
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