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  #5473  
Old November 10th, 2017, 04:24 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Uzog by @Kinseth

For this review I had to wait until the release of Uzog's C3V brethren, the Durgeth Ravagers. Now that the swamp-dwllers have risen to terrorize the armies of Valhalla, let's see how well this big brute fits in.

Balance

It's a bit tricky to compare Uzog directly with other units because of his combination of attributes. He's clearly a front line bruiser with 5 Attack and the very solid combination of 6 Life and 3 Defense, putting him in a combative class with Alastair Macdirk on stats alone. He also sort-of bonds with the Durgeth Ravagers and has a cheerleader ability in Gruesome Display that also boosts himself. The Ice Troll Berserker is a good comparison in terms of his combat ability, as the troll's significantly weaker defensive stats are alleviated somewhat by Cold Regenerate. I'd say Uzog wins out thanks to his cheerleader potential. As a bonding cheerleader we can compare him to similarly-priced Viking Champions. Once again I'd say Uzog is better, despite not having a Spirit power, as his stats are quite a bit better.

The large Durgeth seems to have the upper hand over similarly-priced heroes, though not by a lot. It appears that the price takes into account the disadvantage that comes with the loss of movement he suffers whens adding Trophy Skulls to his collection.

Theme

The durgeth are ugly savages, and the miniature used here fits that well. Uzog is quite a bit larger than the Ravagers, which some could argue as a break in theme, but we don't really know much about durgeth physiology. Perhaps he's an oversized member of the species, or a member of a larger offshoot, or something else. Personally I'm fine with it.

The concept of a brutish slayer who likes to make trophies out of the skulls of his victims is pretty neat (if somewhat disturbing). It is easy to imagine the sight of his enemies demoralized by his gruesome display, becoming easy prey for the crazed savages. The class and personality fit this picture as well.

Creativity

Gruesome Display alone gains points for creativity in my book. It takes the concept of kill trophies and makes it worthwhile within Heroscape, and it fits thematically with Valkrill and works well for the durgeth faction. Once-per-round abilities without a tracking marker are borderline problematic, but there is precedent and not a problem as long as these "memory" mechanics remain rare.

Playability

As a solo hero, Uzog is pretty darn competent. As good as anything in his price range, in my opinion. While he only has a single attack, it's a potent 5 dice, and it's relatively easy to "boost" by reducing his target's defense dice, as long as you can get that first kill. Which isn't too difficult, again because of the solid base attack and enough survivability to stay in the fight.

Is he too good as a solo hero at 85 points? I wouldn't consider him a must-buy by any stretch, and a single attack is limiting against many armies, but he is at least as good as other beatsticks in that price range, giving even Crixus a run for his money.

But that's not all Uzog can do, and not what he's best at. The Durgeth Ravagers are more potent that you might expect (as long as they aren't facing special attackers), though reliant on getting a couple of Hide In Swamp rolls to keep up the momentum. Momentum is key to the Durgeth's game, and that's where this big brute comes into play. If the Ravagers can get some kills, they grant Uzog some free turns to move up and get some kills himself. When doing so, he can stop and make himself some Trophy Skulls, which helps the Ravagers get more kills with Gruesome Display, which gives Uzog more free turns. This does, of course, require Uzog to be on the front lines engaging multiple figures, but he's pretty happy there with his solid Life/Defense and with his buddies cutting through the chaff around him each turn.

It's a self-reinforcing feedback loop that makes Durgeth momentum all the more powerful. And I love it. It fits perfectly with the Durgeth playstyle and has a terrifyingly destructive potency when it gets rolling, which fits Valkrill all so well.

The problem is the point value. I can't claim that at 85 points Uzog and his Ravager companions will eat up the competitive scene, or even make a dent given the current metagame. But the more I played with them the more that Uzog's low point cost just feels inappropriate for the unit's value.

As I noted above, the lower point cost may take into account the disadvantage of not being able to move normally after using Trophy Skulls. Except it's really not a disadvantage at all. Note that the power is optional. If you expect to take more turns with him that round, don't use Trophy Skulls. If it's your last order marker of the round, or the last on Uzog or Ravagers, or if you have another Savage Cry option, or if Uzog is already engaged with more figures, go ahead and boost up. These situations come up plenty, so I rarely felt any pressure to give up movements to make some Trophy Skulls. The "disadvantage" here is that sometimes you don't use the power, not that it limits Uzog from taking turns.

Summary

Uzog is a fun unit that works so well with the Durgeth Ravagers it's scary--in both a good way (thematically) and a bad way. I just don't feel comfortable releasing a unit with this level of potency at such a low price. Not that he breaks the game, or that he clearly outclasses other units, but simply because a hero with his stats and boosting potential belongs at a higher point total.

I vote Nay to induct Uzog into the SoV.
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  #5474  
Old November 13th, 2017, 02:39 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

We have completed our deliberations for the new Judge position. As usual, the choice was a difficult one as there were multiple candidates with strong submissions.

I am pleased to announce BiggaBullfrog is the newest SoV Judge! We look forward to his contributions to the project.
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  #5475  
Old November 13th, 2017, 02:55 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I've always appreciated BBF's contributions as a playtester for the C3V. Excellent choice, and congrats!

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  #5476  
Old November 13th, 2017, 04:24 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Excellent. Congrats to Bullfrog and a shout out to him for stepping up and taking on the role of judge!!
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  #5477  
Old November 13th, 2017, 08:09 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Thanks guys! I'm super stoked to help out here and hope I can at least partially measure up to the other great judges (both present and past).

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  #5478  
Old November 13th, 2017, 08:17 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Congratulations @BiggaBullfrog ! I look forward to reading your reviews!

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  #5479  
Old November 14th, 2017, 12:36 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I KNOW THAT GUY!!! (Sorry, I'm just excited.....) Congrats @BiggaBullfrog !

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  #5480  
Old November 14th, 2017, 01:11 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Way to go Bigga! You'll do great!
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  #5481  
Old November 14th, 2017, 12:42 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Grats Bigga!

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  #5482  
Old November 16th, 2017, 12:24 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Judging maps AND units?? @BiggaBullfrog , you're living the dream!

I'll give you your first unit to critique as an official judge of the SoV!
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  #5483  
Old November 16th, 2017, 12:33 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

If you've got 10 points left to fill in an army, you've got two options. And unless it's General Wars and you're playing Vydar or you have a funky strategy to get a glyph on OM 1, you're going with Isamu. Don't get me wrong, I love both of the little ninjas, but I also love variety. That's where this custom comes in.
I put the initial iteration in the Pre-SoV Workshop thread nearly six months ago, received some great feedback, made some appropriate tweaks, and have tested the bajeezus out of him since. He is ready for submission. I present to you, a third 10 point filler, Bol.



Bio/Theme, Creativity, Accessibility, Balance, Playability, Fun:
Spoiler Alert!


Thank you for your consideration. I hope you find him as fun, interesting, and appropriate as I have.

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  #5484  
Old November 16th, 2017, 01:26 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Having four powers is precedented but avoided without good reason. It's usually an indication of overdesigning. Disengage and Scale are simple and the latter is necessary, but you're pushing with Ankle Shank which is situational at best. The overall design is not complicated, though, and having a situational attack boost is common with 10pters.

to review Bol.
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