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  #6997  
Old September 24th, 2020, 10:58 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Boooo to the idea of turning everything into a faction.

But, also, Abe no Seimei and Kincho are fine cards. My biggest concern is how much is going on with Honest Abe's card -- each of those powers isn't terrible alone, but it makes for a busy card that I think may be better off if it focused on just two of them. But I'm willing to take it to testing to see how it goes there, since it's close on a strictly design level.

to Abe
to Kincho

I, also, don't love the idea of making changes after a card is submitted, especially after it's passed UFR and is in the testing process. Like the others, I'm fine with this change as it's really not changing much (though I personally like it less because why does everything have to be a faction), but it may be prudent to also announce the suggested change in its UFR thread and seek thoughts from the C3V members who voted on it there to get their thoughts on it as well.
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  #6998  
Old September 25th, 2020, 01:26 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
That change is also fine with me; I'm wary of setting a precedent for making changes of this nature after a unit has been submitted. But where it changes none of the interactions as of testing time I think this should be fine.
Aye, and there is additional concerns since it has already passed UF Review. Though I rather doubt anyone would change their opinion based on this change.
Yeah, UF Review is my primary concern with the change. It's relatively minor (given that there are no currently accepted gameplay changes) and while I doubt that it would've flipped any votes, it's still a change that wasn't on the card originally. To my knowledge, most changes to SoV units after submission have typically been initiated by C3V rather than by SoV to account for additional units down the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggaBullfrog View Post
Boooo to the idea of turning everything into a faction.
Touching on this, I do agree with your sentiment that not everything needs to be a faction (and I conjecture also that making factions just to be factions is bad, which I would wholeheartedly agree with).

I think that it's important to note that the Yokai units were being designed to take advantage of unique gameplay and on their own merit as a new army type, rather than merely for the sake of creating another faction or checking off a box. I suppose that it would be possible to cut out Masha altogether and use a new species, but the units at their heart are designed to thematically portray Yokai, and letting Masha join in on the shapeshifting fun makes more sense than trying to design around him (and it gives them a new tool to mess around with, even if they still aren't competitive like traditional factions).

It would be possible to limit the Yokai to standalone designs like the Lawmen or Xao Lin-less monks (and it still is to a certain extent), but Seimei was actually the starting point for the non-Masha Yokai designs, rather than a later addition to turn disparate units into a faction. It's a top-down approach that resulted in some very different designs, evident immediately when just looking at the way that Kincho was designed in relation to Seimei.

Quote:
I, also, don't love the idea of making changes after a card is submitted, especially after it's passed UFR and is in the testing process. Like the others, I'm fine with this change as it's really not changing much (though I personally like it less because why does everything have to be a faction), but it may be prudent to also announce the suggested change in its UFR thread and seek thoughts from the C3V members who voted on it there to get their thoughts on it as well.
I have no qualms with bringing up this discussion (or linking to here) in the UFR thread if it'll garner more attention from C3V. I absolutely want to get their input before any changes are made.
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  #6999  
Old September 25th, 2020, 11:46 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Abe no Seimei and Kincho have both received 4 Yea votes to review (capsocrates, Scytale, superfrog, and BiggaBullfrog) and move forward in the process.
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  #7000  
Old September 25th, 2020, 12:41 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astroking112 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
That change is also fine with me; I'm wary of setting a precedent for making changes of this nature after a unit has been submitted. But where it changes none of the interactions as of testing time I think this should be fine.
Aye, and there is additional concerns since it has already passed UF Review. Though I rather doubt anyone would change their opinion based on this change.
Yeah, UF Review is my primary concern with the change. It's relatively minor (given that there are no currently accepted gameplay changes) and while I doubt that it would've flipped any votes, it's still a change that wasn't on the card originally. To my knowledge, most changes to SoV units after submission have typically been initiated by C3V rather than by SoV to account for additional units down the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggaBullfrog View Post
Boooo to the idea of turning everything into a faction.
Touching on this, I do agree with your sentiment that not everything needs to be a faction (and I conjecture also that making factions just to be factions is bad, which I would wholeheartedly agree with).

I think that it's important to note that the Yokai units were being designed to take advantage of unique gameplay and on their own merit as a new army type, rather than merely for the sake of creating another faction or checking off a box. I suppose that it would be possible to cut out Masha altogether and use a new species, but the units at their heart are designed to thematically portray Yokai, and letting Masha join in on the shapeshifting fun makes more sense than trying to design around him (and it gives them a new tool to mess around with, even if they still aren't competitive like traditional factions).

It would be possible to limit the Yokai to standalone designs like the Lawmen or Xao Lin-less monks (and it still is to a certain extent), but Seimei was actually the starting point for the non-Masha Yokai designs, rather than a later addition to turn disparate units into a faction. It's a top-down approach that resulted in some very different designs, evident immediately when just looking at the way that Kincho was designed in relation to Seimei.

Quote:
I, also, don't love the idea of making changes after a card is submitted, especially after it's passed UFR and is in the testing process. Like the others, I'm fine with this change as it's really not changing much (though I personally like it less because why does everything have to be a faction), but it may be prudent to also announce the suggested change in its UFR thread and seek thoughts from the C3V members who voted on it there to get their thoughts on it as well.
I have no qualms with bringing up this discussion (or linking to here) in the UFR thread if it'll garner more attention from C3V. I absolutely want to get their input before any changes are made.
I've been watching closely. It seems to me obvious that this thread is not the place to change the text of an existing card. I can't imagine that that's what anyone was proposing, but (to the extent that it is) I would rather we did not go that route.

And as for "making everything a faction," it seems to me that there's pretty much always some pressure from somewhere to expand (or round out, or w/e) a faction. Cowboys, whatever. It's difficult to resist that kind of pressure, because we all draw those lines different ways.

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Last edited by Dad_Scaper; September 25th, 2020 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Post #7,000 in the thread! Woohoo!
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  #7001  
Old September 25th, 2020, 12:56 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
I've been watching closely. It seems to me obvious that this thread is not the place to change the text of an existing card. I can't imagine that that's what anyone was proposing, but (to the extent that it is) I would rather we did not go that route.
I proposed it, actually. I would rather something like this was discussed publicly.

It's also not an existing card. It's a card currently under review, with one review so far.
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  #7002  
Old September 25th, 2020, 01:12 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I am not saying that there should not be a public discussion. Of course there should, for the SoV. And I was confused and thought that this related to an existing card, as opposed to one currently under review.

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Last edited by Dad_Scaper; September 25th, 2020 at 01:19 PM. Reason: Oops!
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  #7003  
Old September 25th, 2020, 01:25 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
I am not saying that there should not be a public discussion. Of course there should, for the SoV. And I was confused and thought that this related to an existing card, as opposed to one currently under review.
I would have agreed if this was an existing card. I'm glad it was just a misunderstanding.

To be clear, we could just go through a cancellation and resubmission, but that seems like process for process's sake in this case. Unless someone objects to the slight thematic shift, I'd like to just slip this one through.
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  #7004  
Old September 25th, 2020, 02:50 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quite right. And I am pleased to have posted the 7,000th contribution to this thread in a way that was true to my pattern of posting, which is a constant state of confusion.

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  #7005  
Old October 2nd, 2020, 02:39 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Here is the updated card for Masha Shingai featuring the new Yokai synergy. The only change is that Fiery Retribution can now work for both Samurai and Yokai, which only impacts future designs:



I'll also edit it into the original submission for future reference.

I'd also like to withdraw Abe no Seimei and Kincho for the time being. A few days ago, I found that one of the other Yokai sculpts unexpectedly has enough availability for a submission. I intend to run just a few more tests to ensure that this other design is up to par and then resubmit Seimei and Kincho along with the newcomer very soon.

It's unfortunate that the availability for this other design wasn't found two weeks ago, but I think that being able to also test this unit in relation to Seimei and Kincho will really help emphasize what makes the Yokai unique.
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  #7006  
Old October 4th, 2020, 02:53 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

With my additional testing done, I would like to nominate Ibaraki-doji along with Abe no Seimei and Kincho for SoV Review. Since I already delved into Seimei and Kincho in-depth in their recent nomination, I will focus this post primarily on the newcomer, Ibaraki-doji. The cards are provided again for easy reference.

ABE NO SEIMEI
(Primary)


The miniature used for Abe no Seimei is Nymph, Alseid #008 from the recently released Mythic Odysseys of Theros D&D set.

BIO:
Spoiler Alert!

KINCHO
(Secondary)


The miniature used for Kincho is Tanuki #019 from Pathfinder's Jungle of Despair release.

IBARAKI-DOJI
(Secondary)


The miniature used for Ibaraki-doji is Oni Night Haunter #35 from D&D's Lords of Madness set.

BIO:
Spoiler Alert!

The primary change from two weeks ago is obviously the addition of Ibaraki-doji to the faction. Seimei and Kincho still work surprisingly well as a pairing on their own (even though you'd be better off saving those 190 points for a dragon 9 out of 10 times), but the addition of the terrifying Oni serves to really highlight what makes the Yokai unique and gives a clearer immediate form to the faction, even if it isn't one set army.

BALANCE
Spoiler Alert!


THEME
Spoiler Alert!


CREATIVITY
Spoiler Alert!


PLAYABILITY
Spoiler Alert!


AVAILABILITY
  • Abe no Seimei's sculpt (Nymph, Alseid) is a Common figure that was released recently. It has extremely high availability still, averaging $2-$3.
  • Kincho's sculpt (Tanuki) still has strong availability. It has 9 on MiniatureMarket, 25 at RPGLocker, and 54+ sculpts on eBay. It generally averages $3-$5.
  • Ibaraki-doji's sculpt (Oni Night Haunter) is a bit on the rarer end, sitting at a total of 51 sculpts online right now (9 at MiniatureMarket, 6 at TrollAndToad, 9 at Sun City Games, and 27 on eBay). That's not taking into account him also being in stock at Paizo, so the availability is likely higher than it seems. He averages for $3-$7.
Thanks for your time and consideration. It took a bit of crunching to get Ibaraki ready for review this past week after I first saw that he had enough availability to pass muster, but I think that he adds a lot to the faction and that it is better off for having him under immediate consideration to more fully flesh out the Yokai.
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  #7007  
Old October 5th, 2020, 11:48 AM
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Scytale Scytale is offline
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Abe no Seimei and Kincho have been removed from the process by the designer's request.

And they're back with a friend. I was willing to review Abe and Kincho before, and this new addition doesn't change that. It feels strange for that particular sculpt to have Flying, but I get Japanese lore, so I'm ok with it. The rest of the design is pretty cool, especially Insatiable Greed and how it works with the faction.

to review Abe no Seimei
to review Kincho
to review Ibaraki-doji
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  #7008  
Old October 6th, 2020, 06:49 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Agrith-Naar by @Sir Heroscape

A miniature this awesome-looking deserves to be in the game. Believe me, it's fantastic in person.

Balance

Agrith-Naar is terrifying to behold, and I mean both in terms of stats and powers and the fearsome miniature. Whirlwind Attack with Attack 5, and not just Flying but bonding to get into position? Terrifying indeed. While his hunger weakens his survivability a bit, Life 6 and Defense 3 are solid, though not exceptional.

The Fen Hydra is a useful comparison point at a similar cost, with the Hydra also known for its devastating offensive output. Its Attack value is lower than the Demon's, and Agrith can theoretically get more attacks in a turn, but Reach and the versatility of Hydra Heads (allowing the Hydra to focus its attacks on a single figure if it prefers) make up for that. The Hydra's Defense 6 is a lot tougher to crack than Defense 3, but doing so also cuts into its offensive power. Hard to say which one is better, so at least Agrith's price tag is in the ballpark. Though it is worth noting that Agrith can bond while the Hydra cannot.

Theme

An excellent multi-attack is very fitting for the miniature, with it's many arms wielding blades. Being a Ravenous Devourer fits the miniature well too, and the theme of Starved ties well into that mental picture. I don't like the power name "Starved" though. I was active in Sir Heroscape's custom thread when the design shifted towards this version, and the theme was that he was driven mad with hunger when he was unable to devour the meatsack right in front of him. I don't get that from the name "Starved," though. With that power name I wonder why he doesn't suffer when isn't taking turns, and why doesn't his starvation end after a good meal?

Creativity

This design takes familiar territory (Whirlwind Assault) and gives it a whole new spin. The addition of Starved brings a danger and a gamble to maximizing Whirlwind, even beyond the existing dangers of jumping in the middle of enemy figures. The more figures he ends up next to, the more likely he will take starvation damage. That's the kind of clever interaction, using mostly existing powers, that I really enjoy, as it's easy to understand but also with interesting gameplay decisions.

Playability

First off, is Agrith-Naar overpowered? His offensive potential is terrifying, so much so that a wise opponent will do his or her best to minimize Agrith's first strike damage. Which is much easier said than done; it's rather difficult to spread figures enough to prevent the Ravenous one from tearing into more than two figures. And it's not merely offensive "potential." When Agrith flies in, squad figures die.

His Life/Defense make up for that, though, despite looking fairly solid. We all know too well what happens when you put Mimring a little too close to the front lines for that perfect attack. Agrith-Naar's survivability is about on par with Mimring when you add in Starved. The Demon is more likely to clear out the figures near him (unlike a painful whiff with Fire Line), but being a Whirlwind melee figure he doesn't want to just get close to the front lines, he wants to jump past it into enemy territory. He kills a lot, but falls quickly too.

Which is fun and dynamic, and he's pretty easy to use effectively. Dive in headfirst and kill as much as possible. But therein lies the problem. The design ends up undermining its most unique features thanks to its stats.

Attack 5 is really great. Good enough to do damage with nearly every attack, tearing through squads. It's too good to pass up, really. But doesn't the potential blowback from Starved make it worrisome to do that? No. Taking one wound isn't a deterrent for the amount of damage Agrith is likely to inflict on his opponent's army and formation. He's a cruise missile that you know won't last long, but will land with a bang. Starved may cause a wound now and again, but it just isn't a concern.

So as interesting as the design seems, with tension between Whirlwind Assault and Starved, there really isn't. Ultimately, I felt that Starved was mostly extraneous. If I played Agrith aggressively, I didn't pay it much mind. If I played him conservatively, I didn't worry about it either, since I wasn't engaging many figures anyways. It didn't even give me pause when attacking a hero he was unlikely to kill, since I was willing to accept the wound to get an attack of five (often six with height, thanks to Flying) on the hero plus one or more other figures. In theory one has to avoid placing him adjacent to a friendly figure, but with the Acolytes' ability to Summon him in the middle of the fight that wasn't a concern, nor was it a concern when I was playing him without bonding, as he's pretty sharky anyway.

Summary

I love the idea of a dangerous whirlwind-assaulter held back by Starved, and a terrifying short-lived whirlwind-assaulter is fun too. This design is the second, but is held back from greatness by trying to be the first. As it stands, Starved just feels extraneous, neither important to the design nor necessary for theme (as being a Ravenous Devourer already handles the theme, and he very much plays that way). Give him one less Life and he'd play the same. Agrith-Naar is fun to play with and against and isn't overpowered, but needs to either make Starved an important part of play or get rid of it.

I vote Nay to induct Agrith-Naar into the SoV.
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