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  #373  
Old September 25th, 2021, 03:39 PM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
One of my biggest issues with this iteration is the lack of counterplay available to the opponent. Since an opponent now has to kill both soul guides in order to prevent the revival, in most cases an opponent is far better off just targeting something else in your army to attack.

Also, since the hero now comes back with full life, there's not really much point in attacking the revived hero either. Basically, the best strategy when playing against the soul guides is to just ignore them and try to weather the damage from the returned hero as best you can by just playing very defensively/stay out of their way until the round is over. Which just doesn't sound like much fun to me.

With Necro's iteration, targeting and destroying the soul guides becomes critical to limiting their effectiveness. Opponents actually have a goal to pursue other than simple avoidance.
I think that you may be underestimating an opponent's willingness to shoot at a 4D figure or make a push to kill it on OM2 or 3 (the revival is going to be telegraphed at least one round early unless the hero is revived in a starting zone). If the Soul-Guides player developed both as a backup plan, then both are at risk. If they only moved one up to keep the other safe, then they only have one good spot to revive and are depending on the Guide surviving.

And if the hero is revived, the opponent now has to choose between trying to minimize damage taken, block the revived hero, or simply try to ignore it and finish off the "permanent" figures on the battlefield. I'd argue that this is a case where even if the power looks plain on paper, there are plenty of interesting opportunities for counterplay in practice, which is the important part. Whether this is fun or not can best be seen in Testing, I think, given that most feedback on the previous, more limited iteration of this design was already quite positive.

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Originally Posted by flameslayer93 View Post
Haven't tried playing it, but I think the question is less of whether it will or won't work and whether Heracles/Drake can effectively win the game on their own. Rats/Soul Guides surely aint gonna do it after all
I'd be more concerned about frustration factors with almost any version that relies solely on the Soul-Guides being killed than it being overpowered, even if we limited the revival to only Humans. If a "Human Q9" ever came out, then you can bet that a melee player is never going to breach a sea of rats to kill the hero twice.

If we wanted to keep the risk element of destroying both Soul-Guides, we could include both triggers:
Quote:
LAST WILL
Once per game, before placing Order Markers at the start of any round, you may choose one of your previously destroyed small or medium Unique Heroes. Remove all wound markers from that hero's Army Card and place it adjacent to a Soul-Guide that you control. At the end of the round or if both Soul-Guides are destroyed, destroy that hero.
This still introduces the range/melee imbalance, though (along with being very close to what we previously had, with OMs on the revived hero being risky because they could whiff a roll at any second), and it would result in the second Soul-Guide sitting in the Starting Zone every time. I think that we're better served by going the unique path here and having a figure that's almost guaranteed the full round, but no more than that. It's weird and different than traditional HeroScape chances, and it makes for a memorable card as a result.
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  #374  
Old October 18th, 2021, 08:40 PM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

I know I suggested placing at the beginning of the round and destroying at the end would help encourage moving the HSGs at least once, but the reality is you're giving up an early turn for little to no benefit, when that turn could be spent on the revived Hero later to the same effect if they happen to catch an early second death. I generally dislike any version of the HSGs that just says "here's your figure back" and doesn't have to actively do anything. Bringing the Hero back at full health mitigates the risk during the Hero's second life, but simultaneously makes it even less important to move the HSGs first since it'll usually have more than 1 Life.

I do think there's going to be an inherent lean toward Range with any version, which we'll just have to accept. We could take a (different) page from the Revenant's Tome glyph and instead of negating powers, treat the figure's Range as 1. Of course, Special Attacks get around that. Anyway, here's a stab at a more glyph-like version of the power:

Quote:
LAST WILL
After revealing an order marker on this card but before taking a turn with the Honored Soul-Guides, choose one of your previously destroyed [small or medium] Unique Heroes that is not on this card. Remove all wound markers from the chosen Hero's card, destroy a Soul-Guide you control, and place that Hero on the space the Soul-Guide occupied. Take a turn with that Hero, then destroy it and place it on this card.
With only a single turn, placement of the HSGs matters more. Restricting it to not-on-this-card means any given Hero can only be used once, encouraging diversity. There's a somewhat interesting interaction with Spirit powers, as they can't be revived from the HSG card, but the HSG can borrow them from another card (albeit with minimal impact since at least one of them will be dead). I also don't think small-or-medium would be strictly necessary here, either, since the figure is only getting one turn guaranteed. Finally, with a single power we have the option of mirroring the Specters' entire Phantom Walk/Levitation combo (instead of one or the other; or Stealth Flying).


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Last edited by NecroBlade; October 23rd, 2021 at 10:18 PM. Reason: that is not on this card
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  #375  
Old October 20th, 2021, 12:28 AM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

I think that version of the power might be what we're looking for.

It's debatably even more straightforward than the current version, avoids most problematic playstyles like reviving support heroes or punishing melee more, and still keeps the "special moment" on the hero while giving the Soul-Guides some more decision-making space. Of course, ranged heroes are the primary candidates for revival to avoid placing OMs on the Soul-Guides, but I think that's fine?

It's also worth noting that this narrowing of the scope might make it easier to hit around the current point cost, since one extra turn with Cyprien/Heracles is harder to manage, especially when sacrificing a Guide to do it. I could even see a slight defense bump to make them a bit more tempting to develop in the early game, but that might be unnecessary (and we could always bump the defense later if needed).

Opening the door back up to large/huge figures will probably make their main pairings Nilfheim, Q9, or the other big special attackers that are already good. I'm partial to keeping it to small/medium to give the others like Sgt. Drake and Sonlen another way to shine (and if Heracles is the heaviest hitter to worry about, they might be able to be a bit cheaper), but I'd be fine with testing either direction.
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  #376  
Old October 20th, 2021, 06:58 PM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

I think we've more or less circled back around near the original suggestions for this design. At one point we may have been very close to this except "after" the turn instead of "before", which opened up concerns that led us down a rabbit hole...

I don't think I'll hate it whatever we decide on small/medium. Dragons and soulborgs or not, we'll still have Kaemon Awa (which, if I'm being honest, is the first thing I thought of since he's my favorite figure). I'd be willing to test large/huge inclusive, though.


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  #377  
Old March 20th, 2022, 10:00 AM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

Playtest here.

Quote:
HSG good that they're cheap since they don't do much on their own and Last Will usually makes them a later-game piece, but Last Will is a fun ability to try. Last Will was also the only ability deemed leaning toward the complex side, but I think we knew that and it's a very thematic power. Floated the idea of them exploding or something else when removed to give them something else to do, but I don't think that fits the design (and would probably raise their points). Another idea was to place the Hero adjacent to the HSG before destroying it (instead of destroying it then taking the exact space) and I could get behind that as a way to open up some options.
That would make:

Quote:
LAST WILL
After revealing an order marker on this card but before taking a turn with the Honored Soul-Guides, choose one of your previously destroyed [small or medium] Unique Heroes that is not on this card. Remove all wound markers from the chosen Hero's card, place it adjacent to a Soul-Guide you control, then destroy a that Soul-Guide you control, and place that Hero on the space the Soul-Guide occupied. Take a turn with that Hero, then destroy it and place it on this card.


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  #378  
Old May 15th, 2022, 11:52 PM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

Bumping this to say that I like that version of the power. They've been circling for a while and you're close to nailing it down. From my reading that doesn't seem like it would be problematic mechanically.
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  #379  
Old May 17th, 2022, 12:47 AM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

Thanks for the bump, PK! Time flies as of late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NecroBlade View Post
LAST WILL
After revealing an order marker on this card but before taking a turn with the Honored Soul-Guides, choose one of your previously destroyed [small or medium] Unique Heroes that is not on this card. Remove all wound markers from the chosen Hero's card, place it adjacent to a Soul-Guide you control, then destroy a that Soul-Guide you control, and place that Hero on the space the Soul-Guide occupied. Take a turn with that Hero, then destroy it and place it on this card.
I like this. It might get messy mechanically with the "...before taking a turn with the Honored Soul-Guides" bit, though, especially in relation to the timing of the revived figure being destroyed. An easy example is cheerleaders like Taelord or Velkhor potentially buffing the remaining Soul-Guide. I think the intuitive reading is that the hero is destroyed before the bonded turn, but it might be easier to change this back to "instead of taking a turn" again. I'd like to get Scytale's input on this as well.

How do we feel about making this change and returning the HSG to Editing? Pinging @Captain Stupendous as well.
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  #380  
Old May 17th, 2022, 12:47 AM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

Accidental double post.
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  #381  
Old May 17th, 2022, 11:13 AM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astroking112 View Post
Thanks for the bump, PK! Time flies as of late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NecroBlade View Post
LAST WILL
After revealing an order marker on this card but before taking a turn with the Honored Soul-Guides, choose one of your previously destroyed [small or medium] Unique Heroes that is not on this card. Remove all wound markers from the chosen Hero's card, place it adjacent to a Soul-Guide you control, then destroy a that Soul-Guide you control, and place that Hero on the space the Soul-Guide occupied. Take a turn with that Hero, then destroy it and place it on this card.
I like this. It might get messy mechanically with the "...before taking a turn with the Honored Soul-Guides" bit, though, especially in relation to the timing of the revived figure being destroyed. An easy example is cheerleaders like Taelord or Velkhor potentially buffing the remaining Soul-Guide. I think the intuitive reading is that the hero is destroyed before the bonded turn, but it might be easier to change this back to "instead of taking a turn" again. I'd like to get Scytale's input on this as well.

How do we feel about making this change and returning the HSG to Editing? Pinging @Captain Stupendous as well.
I don't understand why you'd want to make this change, but it seems ok. I don't think timing is particularly confusing; it seems fairly clear that the Hero would be destroyed at the end of its turn before the Soul-Guides turn. That can be clarified in an R&C. But I still dislike this unit as forcing a theme, regardless of complexity, in a set specifically designed for new players.
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  #382  
Old May 17th, 2022, 10:16 PM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

The change simply gives a little more flexibility in placement with no additional overhead. I agree the timing works just fine. I'll update the OP since everyone seems on board.

It does have a little complexity, but can you clarify what feels forced?


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  #383  
Old May 18th, 2022, 09:42 AM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astroking112 View Post
How do we feel about making this change and returning the HSG to Editing? Pinging @Captain Stupendous as well.
I support this change. A nice return to (relative) simplicity.

The only thing that I'm not sold on is the class of Psychopomps. Looking up the definition, it seems to fit quite well, but the fact that most people would need to consult a dictionary to have any idea what the word means is problematic for a new class, which should typically be relatively straightforward, especially for a Master Set figure.

At this point I think I'd prefer something like Sentinels or Guards.
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  #384  
Old May 18th, 2022, 02:23 PM
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Re: [Pod 0] Honored Soul-Guides (Lantern Geists) - Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by NecroBlade View Post
It does have a little complexity, but can you clarify what feels forced?
Making them soul guides feels forced to me. It fits the miniatures, but plenty of ghost-y ideas would. To make them fit the soul guide concept, they obviously need to do something soul-guidey (though I question why soul guides are fighting on a battlefield in the first place), and thus the Revenant's Tome-like temporary return to life (which doesn't feel like guiding the dead, honestly).

They could have had a chance to auto-kill, guiding an enemy soul to the afterlife. Or they could have had a creepy "lanterns floating in the haze" sort of power. Or something more mundane (for undead). Lots of potential directions that don't rely on giving turns to dead units.

To be clear, I like the soul guides concept is cool and it's implemented pretty well. But I don't like it as a first-exposure design. To much complexity, not enough focus on core mechanics.
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