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  #349  
Old May 26th, 2021, 01:42 PM
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TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline
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Re: TAF's Customs - RETURN OF THE KING: SCOURING OF THE SHIR

A few patch notes, based either on feedback or my own thoughts:

Sam: Samwise The Brave power now includes a clause that Sam cannot attack Frodo Baggins, to avoid easy access to wounding and thematic weirdness.
Uruk-Hai Scouts: As per Astroking's suggestion, Abduct no longer prevents Small figures from attacking, although affected figures now roll 2 fewer attack dice making it very difficult to kill the Uruks.
Soldiers of Gondor: Braced Spear 16 has been replaced with Spear Wall 18, a similar power that requires at least one adjacent Soldier of Gondor and also receives a bonus to the roll the more soldiers are clustered together. This prevents spreading out troops to cover a ton of ground with Braced Spear, which would likely be unfair with such inexpensive units.
Andúril: Andúril's bonus now only applies if Aragorn is engaged, to prevent the oddity of the sword making his bow stronger.

Feel free to leave any feedback, should any unit feel too strong, too weak, powers need more clarification, etc.

~TAF

TAF was the Storyteller...
in THE ENEMY'S LAST RETREAT

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  #350  
Old June 6th, 2021, 11:38 PM
Blue Trails Blue Trails is offline
 
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Re: TAF's Customs - RETURN OF THE KING: SCOURING OF THE SHIR

I'm impressed by your dedication in making such a comprehensive set of Lord of the Rings customs; I've read the entire trilogy and watched all of Peter Jackson's films, and I didn't remember many of these characters. I'm also interested in learning where you found the sculpts for these units.

Special credit goes to Lord Denethor, as I think that his powers and stats represent such a selfish, traitorous, and self-destructive character in a fun and unique way. If I may raise a thematic issue, though, I don't really know why Steward of Gondor would prevent Gondor's warriors from defending themselves if Denethor were to directly attack them. Thus, I would suggest changing the power's text to say "If Lord Denethor has not attacked a figure your opponent controls during this game, figures your opponent controls who follow Einar cannot target Denethor with any attacks or leaving engagement attacks."
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  #351  
Old June 6th, 2021, 11:56 PM
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Splash Splash is offline
 
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Re: TAF's Customs - RETURN OF THE KING: SCOURING OF THE SHIR

Again, these are just amazing!
Any plans for Hobbit stuff down the road?
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  #352  
Old June 7th, 2021, 02:56 PM
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Re: TAF's Customs - RETURN OF THE KING: SCOURING OF THE SHIR

Thank you for the feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Trails
I'm impressed by your dedication in making such a comprehensive set of Lord of the Rings customs; I've read the entire trilogy and watched all of Peter Jackson's films, and I didn't remember many of these characters. I'm also interested in learning where you found the sculpts for these units.
The minis used are the Warhammer-style Lord of the Rings collection. They're not great for Heroscape as they require minor assembly and are unpainted. But they do look nice and include most characters from the movies and even some exclusive to the books. The medium figures are also shorter than their Heroscape counterparts, though the hobbits are just about right:




Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Trails
Special credit goes to Lord Denethor, as I think that his powers and stats represent such a selfish, traitorous, and self-destructive character in a fun and unique way. If I may raise a thematic issue, though, I don't really know why Steward of Gondor would prevent Gondor's warriors from defending themselves if Denethor were to directly attack them. Thus, I would suggest changing the power's text to say "If Lord Denethor has not attacked a figure your opponent controls during this game, figures your opponent controls who follow Einar cannot target Denethor with any attacks or leaving engagement attacks."
There are some thematic hiccups with the card. The short answer is that there's just not enough space on the Army Card (not everyone can be Master Woo), though I could try to squeeze it in since it makes sense. Fortunately Denethor will more likely than not be using his Abandon Your Posts power instead of attacking as that will do more damage overall, and for more thematic oddness your Soldiers of Gondor can still fend him off with their Spear Wall ability should he try to attack them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash View Post
Again, these are just amazing!
Any plans for Hobbit stuff down the road?
Maybe but probably not; it'd be much harder to do Hobbit minis since there's more dwarves than there are unique traits to make Army Cards out of. I think I once saw Hobbit customs that turned Thorin's Company into a few unique squads--that seemed like a good approach.

I'd be more likely to make more LotR units that I didn't get around to, like Beregrond or Elrond's sons or Arwen.

~TAF

TAF was the Storyteller...
in THE ENEMY'S LAST RETREAT

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  #353  
Old August 24th, 2021, 09:26 PM
Blue Trails Blue Trails is offline
 
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Re: TAF's Customs - RETURN OF THE KING: SCOURING OF THE SHIR

610 points
Map
: ZEPHYR
Glyph: Wannok

Army 1 (Western Start Zone): Talingul, Avernus, Boreos, Lilja, Phantom Knights x2
Army 2 (Eastern Start Zone): Adeptus Ruststalkers x3, Microcorp Troopers x3 (sat one Trooper), Patrick Ferguson

Survivors:
6 Microcorp Troopers
Patrick Ferguson

Summary:
Spoiler Alert!


Power Usage:

TRANSONIC BLADES: not applicable to this matchup.

COVERT: never used; Talingul, the only opposing figure with sufficient range to activate the power, did not attack this game.

STEALTH VAULT 15: used at every opportunity; the Ruststalkers traversed the hilly/obstacle-rich north with ease, bypassed swamp water near their start zone, and disengaged from Lilja to (unsuccessfully) attack Talingul. Moreover, the power allowed the Ruststalkers to lessen the impact of Boreos's Swirling Vortex.

Normal Attack: used on seven turns; dealt five wounds to Talingul, dealt one wound to Avernus, and single-handedly destroyed Boreos, Lilja, and one Phantom Knight.

Comments:
Spoiler Alert!


-----------------------------------------
640 points
Map
: HIGHWAYS AND DIEWAYS
Glyphs: Dagmar (north), Wannok (south)

Army 1 (Western Start Zone): Wildwood Monarch, Wildwood Sentinel x2, Wildwood Runner x3, Azazel the Kyrie Warrior
Army 2 (Eastern Start Zone): Adeptus Ruststalkers x3, Hercules, Krav Maga Agents, Isamu

Survivors:
1 Adeptus Ruststalker
2 Krav Maga Agents
Isamu

Summary:
Spoiler Alert!


Power Usage:

TRANSONIC BLADES: not applicable to this game.

COVERT: not applicable to this game.

STEALTH VAULT 15: used before every movement. The Ruststalkers were able to Vault onto road tiles from their start zone and then enjoy an entire road-boosted movement, giving them an effective Move value of 10. The power also allowed the Ruststalkers to bypass the water moats at the edges of both start zones and pass over a ruin to attack Wildwood Runners.

Normal Attack: used on six turns; dealt 4 wounds to Azazel, destroyed 4 Runners.

Comments:
Spoiler Alert!


-----------------------------------------
480 points
Map
: BAD MOON RISING
Glyphs: Kelda (North), Dagmar (South)

Army 1 (Southwestern Start Zone): Sacred Band x3 (sat one member), 10th Regiment of Foot x3, Marcus Decimus Gallus
Army 2 (Northeastern Start Zone): Adeptus Ruststalkers x2, Ashigaru Harquebus x3, Raelin

Survivors:
MDG
2 Sacred Band soldiers
3 10th Reg. soldiers

Summary:
Spoiler Alert!


Power Usage:
TRANSONIC BLADES: used on many attacks; ignored the Sacred Band's Disciplined Army Defense Bonus and the 10th Reg.'s Melee Defense 1 powers to great effect.

COVERT: forced 10th Regiment to forego Wait Then Fire on two turns, contributing to several Ruststalkers' survival.

STEALTH VAULT 15: used whenever possible; leapt over heights and obstacles to continuously attack the MDG/10th Reg. pod and prevent the curtains of squaddies from closing after opening a hole; bypassed battlements and water-related climbing when leaving their start zone.

Normal Attack: used on seven turns; destroyed four 10th Reg. soldiers and two Sacred Band soldiers and dealt five wounds to MDG.

Comments:
Spoiler Alert!


------------------------
Final Thoughts:
The Adeptus Ruststalkers strongly reminded me of the Buccaneers of Tortuga, another dedicated hero-killing squad with an anti-range defense, the ability to slip through screens, and the potential to toss around four attacks of 4 dice against cheerleaders and bonding targets. I would consider the defensive and disengaging benefits of Covert/Elusive and Stealth Vault 15/Disengage fair trades, as they give each unit advantages at different ranges and against different formations; the Ruststalkers are harder to harass as they move in without sacrificing positioning and can clear screens and blockers with ease, but they can't protect themselves once they engage a figure and they can only avoid LEAs at the start of their movement. Therefore, the Ruststalkers' higher price tag—10 points more per figure—pays for superior mobility, constant access to an Attack value of 4, higher durability, and the powerful Transonic Blades power, which allows them to more effectively fight their way to a protected figure. Moreover, the Ruststalkers proved to be incredibly consistent, mauling their intended targets whenever they hit the board; this is a very valuable quality that justifies their high cost and certainly merits a high power ranking.

Nevertheless, this cost ultimately keeps the Ruststalkers from dominating the draft pool. The sweetspot for Ruststalkers seemed to be three squads, but this leads to major sacrifices in army composition at lower point totals; returning to the Buccaneer comparison, I could draft three squads of Bucks and Isamu for the same cost as two squads of Ruststalkers and have a perfectly fine assassin unit with a cleanup figure to boot. This means the Ruststalkers are more of a premium option suited for point totals at which their price tag doesn't hurt one's ability to build a balanced army as significantly. Furthermore, their high price per figure means the Ruststalkers suffer whenever they must expect to trade multiple figures (such as when fighting massed commons), face a unit that can revive itself (such as the Wildwoods), or take out many figures instead of a select Hero or two, and they seem to falter when attacking something with more than 3 Defense, as their blazing offensive is slowed to a more manageable level.

Map layout was also important to the Ruststalkers' success. Clever use of obstacles such as ruins or rock outcrops can deny the Ruststalkers their full four attacks per turn, especially when combined with clustered unit placement; the Ruststalkers can Vault over many screens, but they can't bypass a solid mass. Theoretically, this would make dragons good partners, but the combination eats up a great sum of points. Also, I really can't overstate how nice Stealth Vault is on maps with road near the start zones; the power's activation timing allows the Ruststalkers to start their normal move on the road and move 10 spaces while ignoring elevations, a great boon whether securing the first strike or sending in reinforcements.

All in all, I did not find the Ruststalkers excessively powerful. I could see them costing about 10 more points per squad if you really want to make a change, and I would happily draft them still at those numbers. However, I should mention that I would also be willing to use the Ruststalkers as a unique squad or as an 80-to-90-point three-man squad, so take that as you may.
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