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  #97  
Old May 7th, 2019, 06:28 PM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

Spoiler Alert!

NAME OF THE TEST UNIT (Madripoor Mercenaries)
Army Test 1
- Give a brief preview. The Madripoor Mercs find themselves working for some insane folks, but money is money and they pay well. Mad Hatter wants to run around and place hatís on people heads, but isnít very good at attacking, so the Mercs will do the shooting for him. Titanium Man on the other hand can move opponent figures next to him by not moving, so the Mercs can move while he stays put. Then HQ can bond in addition to the Insane figures turns, whether they partially bond with the Mercs or not. Running an Archer build in opposition, with Weather Wizard providing them with some fog cover, so lots of figures for Mad Hatter to try and get close to. Titanium Man can help with that buy pulling the Archers closer to Mad Hatter.
Map: Christmas in Budapest (heavy snow, regular ice)
Units: Madripoor Mercs x3 @85 points, Deadpool, Mad Hatter, HQ I, Titanium Man (1000) vs. Hawkeye II, Hawkeye (Kate), Green Arrow (Oliver), Red Arrow, Black Canary, Oracle, Weather Wizard (1000)
Spoiler Alert!

Recap: Opening round, the Mercs move boned on all 3 OMís just trying to move up to high ground on some bridges overlooking the river, while HQ bonded twice and did the same. The Mercís heroes just stayed put in the start zone. In R2 the Mercs just take all the turns while bonding with HQ twice, she drops her bomb for good effect, dealing 6W in total over 3 cards. HQ also causes problems for the archers by engaging them while doing backflips. Red Arrow is controlling his bridge though so in R3 Titanium Man flies out and pulls Red Arrow next to him. Red Arrow almost takes Titanium Man out before he can complete his plan, but he hangs on with 1 life and then destroys Red Arrow. Meanwhile Hawkeye almost has HQ dead but the Mercs have almost eliminated WW. Mad Hatter decides itís time to head out, while the Mercs provide some cover fire and finish off WW, Hawkeye takes down HQ though, freeing up Kate. Unfortunately, the Mercs take Kate out before she gets a chance to use her bow again. Green Arrow can stop the Mad Hatter from running up and putting a Hat on his head, after which I allowed the Mercs to att. for him (I donít think this was ever resolved whether or not a before attacking power required you to then use that figureís attack phase). Oracle comes up with an attack plan, Hawkeye issues the orders, and Green Arrow takes out the Mad Hatter with 1 arrow to end the round. Clint spends the next round taking out Mercs while the Mercs spend the round trying to take him and Green Arrow out, they manage to knock the Hat Marker off Green Arrow and give 1W to Clint. Deadpool decides not to go up after the two Archers on the bridge and heads towards Titanium Man on the other bridge. This succeeds at getting Hawkeye to carry Green Arrow down to the middle of the board where he rolls a 1 and doesnít att. Deadpool tries to take out Hawkeye but has both att. blocked, then Hawkeye flies Green Arrow up to HG on Deadpool and they execute Oracles Attack Plan, GA rolls an 18 for -2 def., it looks like they might score a big hit but only manage to deal 2Ws to Deadpool. Deadpool both move and att. bonds with the last two Mercs while healing himself, who take out Green Arrow, then Deadpool X heals to end the round. Clint takes out another Merc, then moves out of range of Deadpool. So Deadpool sends the last Merc after Clint and she finishes him off. Iím just throwing in the towel here as Oracle w/3W is the only figure left and her only hope is to run away from the figures on the bridge, so it could take another 15 minutes chasing her down to kill her.
- Does it pass, Yes or No? I could see dropping the Ďeitherí option in Private Military Contract and make them move or attack but not both, as there is little reason to risk the Heroes right now until after the Mercs get set up, otherwise everything checked out fine here.
- What should be the unit's point value? Their team won by over 300 points and they certainly had a big impact on that outcome. That being said, the map used and HQ as an ally also played a big role as they were able to make many of their attack from HG while HQ tied up Kate and prevented the bonus attack from her that would have thinned them out quicker. They are better than a tradition common squad in that you can move and attack with 3 different figures as long as you put the OMís on a heroís card instead of their own card. In addition to that boost, they can also do things like heal Deadpool or bond with HQ as a result of that OM placement. I could see them moving up in price as a result if left as is.
_____________________________________________________________
Army Test 2
- Give a brief preview. I altered the map a bit to see how the Mercs felt playing in a different setting where HG wonít have the same impact on game play and performance and also bumped their price up by 10 points. Viper has rounded up some deadly ladies with Domino under contract to her, while Yukio can rush to the defense of either Domino or Marrow should they get engaged. The mercs have 3 UHís to partial bond with, so they will move and attack as needed. Iíll be keeping Marrow back in reserve since she helps with the initiative boost and wants the X as much as Viper does. In opposition we have the SS, their double turns could prove effective at clearing the Mercs off the board if they donít switch sides. Special Assignment will be Domino until she is taken out as she is the OM hub of the early game army.
Map: Christmas in Budapest, take 2 (removed the two bridges, covered up much of the icy river with heavy snow.
Units: Viper, Domino, Madripoor Mercs x3 @95 points, Marrow, Yukio (1030) vs. Amanda Waller, Rick Flag Jr., Black Widow, Bronze Tiger, Deadshot, Scandal Savage (1030)
Spoiler Alert!

Recap: SS fails to win initiative in the first two rounds, so Black Widow must move out on her own to keep tabs on the criminals; she then comes under fire from the Mercs and falls at the start of R2 without having done much. This means Flag must move up to monitor the criminals now. Deadshot is trying to take down Domino, but canít get past her defense. Domino & Viper start shredding Scandal, itís not looking too good for the SS at the end of R2. But then in R3 the SS wins initiative and for one brief moment it looks like things might turn around, Deadshot nails Domino for 3W, tries to finish the job but Domino has a perfect 4 shield defense to hang on. Scandal gets her shot next and Domino just barely dodges again and backflips away out of engagement. Had they managed to finish her off, she would have dies with all 3 OMís on her card and the SS could have run rampant, instead Domino retreats behind some cover while the Mercs take out Scandal. Bronze Tiger makes him move up, and is instantly taken out by the Domino & Viper combo from HG. Itís the end of R3 and with the SS down to just 1 att. per OM reveal max, there really isnít any way they can compete with the 3-4 att. per OM reveal Vipersí team has. Viper wins initiative for the second time thanks to the +2 bonus she gets from Terrorist, and the take out Rick Flag. Deadshot tries to take out his new Special Assignment, Viper, and deals 2W, while the Mercs rush him to prevent him from shooting at her again, but then end up taking him out from LG. Iím once again throwing in the towel here with just Amanda Waller left in play.
- Does it pass, Yes or No? I canít say yes as is, these guys are really good with no real downside or limitations. Another suggestion I can give beyond what I said after the first game would be to include some kind of range restriction on the partial move/attack bonding that includes clear sight. That would at least force the heroes to come up into the fight and risk themselves. As it stands there really is no reason to not spam out all the Mercs first before putting your heroes at risk, which completely negates the cut and run negative power. Furthermore, I feel that thematically speaking, paid mercs need a little more supervision (ie. eyes on them) to insure they are doing what they were hired to do and not just collecting a paycheck then bailing. Itís not like they have any loyalty to the cause or organization they are working for. Another option for reeling them in would be to make Cut and Run more impactful, say have you roll for it even when heroes are still in play. Keep the number real low and add bonuses for each wound your heroes have and every dead figure in your army, that way the odds of a cut in run increase as the battle turns against you or winds down. The more Madripoor Merc you hire and get killed, the more likely the ones still in play decide the moneyís not worth it.
- What should be the unit's point value? These guys are for sure better than the 100 point SHIELD Agents as is IMO. I would draft them over the SHIELD Agents again and again. Kill Box is a nice power but itís not easy to set up and they only can bond with an Agent hero once you draft the expensive Nick Fury figure. These guys get an improved bonding right out the gate. I can bond their 3 range 6 attacks of 3 with a fairly wide range of units like Viper, Yukio, Jubilee, Armor, HQ, etc.
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  #98  
Old May 7th, 2019, 07:36 PM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

Hmm... damn. Looks like we're getting pretty screwed here... they seemed good from what I saw.
No idea what to do now.


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  #99  
Old May 7th, 2019, 08:10 PM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

I gave you 3 different suggestions on way to reel them in a bit, I'm sure others can come up with more ideas. Right now they are just a really good ranged 3 figure bonding squad with no downsides. This is how I would rank my suggestions:

1. Limit the bonding by clear-sight and distance.

Leaving your bonding hero in the start zone or hiding behind a wall while they can move 3 and attack with a different 3 is really good. It means you can move fresh guys up from the back while the front line keep shooting, all while never putting the lynch pin at any risk and bonding that hero with another hero. You can also rush and engage anyone trying to reach your hero to lock them up, while attacking with someone else that isn't engaged and possibly on high ground. A clear sight and range limit on the bonding will force your hero to move out with them, where they can be attacked to try and destroy the OM hub that makes everything go.

2. Change Cut and Run so it is more of a negative.

Right now, as long as you leave 1 hero figure back in the SZ for end game clean-up, the Madripoor Mercs never have to roll for Cut and Run. What was suppose to be a negative power to help keep their cost down had 0 impact on my games, since their is no reason not to push the common squads out to their death first before the last hero in your army. Changing this could take many forms, maybe roll for any Merc not within X spaces of a hero, maybe roll for every Merc at the end of every round, maybe get rid of the roll all together and just have 1 automatically run off at the end of every round. If the goal was to have this power keep the points down, it needs to have a more active impact.

3. Make the partial bonding either/or and not both.

As noted earlier, moving with any 3, then attacking with a different 3, is a big improvement over normal squad play that can lead to many tactical advantages. I don't have anything against leaving it here, which is why this suggestion comes in last, but if you don't like the other options then it is another place that could be tweaked. Having the hero they are bonding with either move or attack each turn changes things quite a bit. Drafting them with a ranged double attack hero to bond with like Domino/Marrow/Deadpool will still be good as you can move them up into position while attacking with the hero and move the hero up while attacking with them. It just won't be as good as it was when you could move 3 and attack with a different 3 all on the same turn.

I would personally consider trying some combo of both 1 & 2, to see if an improved negative power can do most of the work. Maybe just a clear sight restriction but at unlimited range for the bonding, then some tweak to Cut and Run to make it have an impact while your heroes are still in play.
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  #100  
Old May 7th, 2019, 08:17 PM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

I would agree with YK there. I think a combination of 1 & 2 together could very likely keep them cheap and keep them pretty effective. Right now the keep the Merc in the start zone strategy just works too well.
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  #101  
Old May 7th, 2019, 08:25 PM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

Having not played them, keeping your leader in the back seems pretty thematic. It would be cool to figure out a way for that to work. What about just running with option 2? Your leader can boss them around from anywhere but if there isn’t somebody nearby to keep them in line, there’s a chance they’re just leaving. Fighting Wolverine isn’t worth it. It would also encourage playing with one background leader type and one in-the-field combat type which seems about right as well.
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  #102  
Old May 7th, 2019, 09:04 PM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

Been lightly following, an idea playing off of YodaK and Nobady:
Quote:
CUT AND RUN
At the end of the round, you must roll the 20-sided die, one at a time, for each Madripoor Mercenary you control that is unengaged without an Unique Heroes you control within 10? (5?) spaces. If you roll a 10 or lower, remove that Madripoor Mercenary from the game.

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  #103  
Old May 8th, 2019, 07:25 AM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

Hmmm.... okay... how about going forwards at 95 points with ZJ's suggestion (the 5 space version):
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zettian Juggernaut View Post
Been lightly following, an idea playing off of YodaK and Nobady:
Quote:
CUT AND RUN
At the end of the round, you must roll the 20-sided die, one at a time, for each Madripoor Mercenary you control that is unengaged without an Unique Heroes you control within 10? (5?) spaces. If you roll a 10 or lower, remove that Madripoor Mercenary from the game.
Would someone be able to run one more test like that to close these chaps out?


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  #104  
Old May 8th, 2019, 10:26 AM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

Phoenix Force is up next for me, but I can put these guys after that. I can't promise I'll be quick, though, so hopefully someone can beat me to it!

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  #105  
Old May 8th, 2019, 10:39 AM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

I am in the same spot. I was going to hit these guys after T-Rex but Phoenix is more pressing.
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  #106  
Old May 8th, 2019, 10:51 AM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tornado View Post
I am in the same spot. I was going to hit these guys after T-Rex but Phoenix is more pressing.
Do you want to get these and I'll get Phoenix?

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  #107  
Old May 8th, 2019, 11:03 AM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

Does Phoenix only need 1 more?
If so, that works.
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  #108  
Old May 8th, 2019, 11:09 AM
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Re: The Book of Madripoor Mercenaries - Public Playtesting

Sounds good. Thanks chaps.


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