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Old February 6th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

I really enjoy units like Mika Connour and the GIE that have the ability to affect the terrain itself, so here's an idea for a Granite Guardians champion that has a unique terrain mechanic. I also wanted this to be a better thematic booster for the GGs than Warden 816, but I don't know that I've accomplished that yet.

Note: The card image may be obsolete; please refer to the text below for revisions made based on feedback here.


LANDSLIDE THROW
If Bjarg has a height advantage on an opponent's figure, it may use Landslide Throw when attacking that figure. Add 2 to Bjarg's range and/or attack. If you add 2 to Bjarg's attack, after attacking you must either place a wound marker on Bjarg or destroy an Elementar you control that is adjacent to Bjarg.

GAIN HIGH GROUND 2
After taking a turn with Bjarg, you may move Bjarg up to 2 spaces. These spaces may be up to 4 levels higher. Whenever any Elementar you control is allowed to Gain High Ground, every Elementar you control may use the Gain High Ground power on its own Army Card, in any order.

ROCKBITER
If Bjarg is unengaged, instead of moving it normally you may choose one adjacent Elementar or single-space rock outcrop. Remove the chosen figure or rock outcrop from the battlefield and remove all wound markers from this Army Card. Rock outcrop bases remain on the battlefield as shadow spaces.


Notes:
  • The name is from old Norse: bjarg means mountain or rock. (And you pronounce the j like a y.)

  • Obviously Landslide Throw is combining the GG's Rock Throw and Landslide into a single special power, with the added ability that, when attacking at range, Bjarg can (optionally) throw a GG or rip out part of his own body to hurl. (The combination seems a bit complex, although we do have official figures with dialable/switchable specials.)

  • Gain High Ground 2 needs to allow Bjarg to move 2 spaces because the figure is double-based. He can thus either move 1 or 2 spaces without changing elevation, or move exactly 2 spaces with an elevation change (since he can't end the move on two uneven spaces).

  • Rockbiter doesn't quite have the first-read comprehension I wish it had. The gist is that when you eat rocks, you can either strengthen (get the permanent +1 A/D bonus) or heal (in which case you don't put the meal on your card and don't get the ongoing bonus). I suppose I need to pick just one of these, and it should probably be the healing.

  • It's nice to have a couple of different ways to 'use up' GGs. I especially like getting efficient use out of the last 1 or 2 members of a squad when lack of a full team makes an order marker placement undesirable. And the champion doesn't even have to chase them down: they can make their own way to him on the tails of his own turn. I think that's important in making these various little mechanics all work together.

  • Do we know what other kinds of "Elementar" there could be? If they're always rocky, great. But if there's a chance there could be a non-rocky one in the future, then the Elementar references probably need to explicitly say Granite Guardian, and the last sentence of Gain High Ground 2 might need to get more complicated (or might not ... presumably a non-rocky elementar wouldn't have Gain High Ground?).

  • The text is probably too long. It may not need three different Elementar shout-outs, but I don't want to lose any of those ideas while I'm still working it, and I'm not yet at the length-reduction phase.

  • My biggest frustration with this design-in-progress is that it doesn't actually replace Warden 816's move bonus. One of my initial goals was to allow a more thematic GG-based build, but I don't think I've accomplished that yet. I've toyed with the idea of making Gain High Ground 2 a two-space move for the Guardians as well, but that requires more verbiage to clarify that it's still a total elevation gain of 4, not 8. (Fortunately the same ambiguity does not arise with the champion himself, since as a double-based figure he has to end the move on two same-level spaces.) However, I probably need to word the template so it works even if Bjarg is single-based (see below), so I may just have to bite that bullet.

  • The other thing is, if all this does is encourage a Guardians core that uses Bjarg and Warden 816, then I still haven't accomplished the goal, and I don't think we want the GGs to become the fastest unit on the map. I think want I really want, probably, is a speed bonus for the GGs if you don't have the Warden in your army, but it seems kinda ugly to say "if you do not control any Army Cards that follow Utgar" or whatever. And the card is already quite full as is.

  • The figure is the DDM Earth Titan (33). I bought this a couple of years ago for $3 from coolstuffinc, but I see that they now have it at $19 (ouch). However, they do have a couple of much more reasonably priced alternatives: D&D Elemental Wall (06) at $1.99, and Pathfinder's Medium Earth Elemental (011) at $2.99. These are smaller than the Earth Titan, but still significantly larger than the GGs.



    The stats would probably need adjustment for a different miniature.
Anyway, I'm still mulling all that, but wanted to put this all out there for feedback before I got to playtesting.


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Last edited by Just_a_Bill; February 13th, 2013 at 10:59 AM.
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  #2  
Old February 6th, 2013, 11:30 PM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

You have some cool ideas here, but there seem to be an awful lot going on. I think you could get away with simplifying these powers some. They all seem to be "do X and/or do Y." What if you reduced two out of the three to do only X or only Y?

Your custom probably has too much Defense.

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Old February 7th, 2013, 12:07 AM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

Agreed ... my general process is to get down several of what seem like they could be good ideas (actually too many), and then reduce. So I'm looking for feedback on what settles upward and what settles downward.

What I personally like the best are the terrain modification and the two ways to consume GGs; these seem to be basically the reason for this thing to exist. So it seems the two places to trim that would give me the least angst would be the choice between strengthing and healing, and the difference between the auto +1 for adjacent and the optional +2 for hurling something. With those cuts, it would probably go like this:
LANDSLIDE THROW
If Bjarg has a height advantage on an opponent's figure, it may use Landslide Throw and add 2 to its range when attacking that figure. If the attacked figure is adjacent, you may add 1 attack die. If it is not adjacent, yYou may add 2 attack dice either by placing a wound marker on Bjarg (which takes effect after the attack) or by destroying an Elementar you control that is adjacent to Bjarg.

GAIN HIGH GROUND 2
After taking a turn with Bjarg, you may move Bjarg up to 2 spaces. These spaces may be up to 4 levels higher. Whenever any Elementar you control is allowed to Gain High Ground, every Elementar you control may use the Gain High Ground power on its own Army Card, in any order.

ROCKBITER
If Bjarg is unengaged, instead of moving normally it may consume one adjacent Elementar or single-space rock outcrop. Remove the consumed object from the battlefield and either place it on this Army Card or remove all wound markers from this Army Card. Rock outcrop bases remain on the battlefield as shadow spaces. Add 1 to Bjarg's Attack and Defense values for each consumed object on this Army Card.
Those would be my preference for the first places to cut, but I wanted to see what feedback others had. Some of the either-or choices are an attempt to keep it from being completely terrain-dependent or completely GG-dependent.


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Old February 7th, 2013, 01:54 AM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

I think I finally understand your intention with the last sentence of Gain High Ground. It's not clear on first reading. What if you break up the two effects (Bjarg using Gain High Ground with the GGs turn and the GGs using GHG with Bjarg's turn) into two separate clauses or sentences?

Can he use Rockbiter on rock tiles that are adjacent to other tiles of the same level?

Shouldn't this
Quote:
You may add 2 attack dice either by placing a wound marker on Bjarg (which takes effect after the attack) or by destroying an Elementar you control that is adjacent to Bjarg.
Be more like this
Quote:
You may add 2 attack dice to Bjarg's attack. If you add 2 to Bjarg's attack, after taking a turn with Bjarg you must either place a wound marker on Bjarg or destroy an Elementar you control that is adjacent to Bjarg.
Overall a step in the right direction, but still a little lacking in elegance, I think.

Your custom probably has too much Defense.

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Old February 7th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
I think I finally understand your intention with the last sentence of Gain High Ground. It's not clear on first reading. What if you break up the two effects (Bjarg using Gain High Ground with the GGs turn and the GGs using GHG with Bjarg's turn) into two separate clauses or sentences?
That was where I started out, but that approach had two challenges: (1) I always try to future-proof game texts. In this case, I'm allowing for the possibility of additional Elementars in the future, so it's not as simple as "Barg —> GGs and GGs —> Bjarg." (2) It was messy trying to cleanly allow the figures to move in any order (which, granted, may not be strictly essential, but one way or the other it needs to be clear whether figures from different units can interleave or not). I think it would look something like this (62 words instead of 30):
After Bjarg uses Gain High Ground, all other Elementars you control may use the Gain High Ground power on their own army card(s), in any order. After another Elementar you control uses a Gain High Ground power on its own Army Card, Bjarg may use its own Gain High Ground power. No Elementar may Gain High Ground more than once per turn.
Any suggestions on a happy medium? Or, help me understand what was misleading about the first attempt and I'll see if I can refine that. The essence of the effect is very simple: "when somebody gains high ground, everybody gains high ground."

Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Can he use Rockbiter on rock tiles that are adjacent to other tiles of the same level?
Sorry, I'm not understanding the question. If an outcrop is adjacent to Bjarg, he can eat it. Nearby tiles are not relevant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Shouldn't this
Quote:
You may add 2 attack dice either by placing a wound marker on Bjarg (which takes effect after the attack) or by destroying an Elementar you control that is adjacent to Bjarg.
Be more like this
Quote:
You may add 2 attack dice to Bjarg's attack. If you add 2 to Bjarg's attack, after taking a turn with Bjarg you must either place a wound marker on Bjarg or destroy an Elementar you control that is adjacent to Bjarg.
Yeah, that's a much better approach. I never really did like my "takes effect afterwards" hack.

However, instead of "after taking a turn" I think it should be "after attacking." I wouldn't want him to hurl a Granite Guardian that wasn't actually adjacent to him at the time of the attack, but only showed up afterwards using GHG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Overall a step in the right direction, but still a little lacking in elegance, I think.
I agree. I'm trying to think how to make it less brute-force without losing any of the distinctiveness or mechanical fun.

After I hear your responses on the question I didn't follow and the GHG issue, I'll rework and put up revised texts.


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Last edited by Just_a_Bill; February 7th, 2013 at 04:24 PM.
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  #6  
Old February 7th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

I feel like he'll be pretty high point wise, just based on the fact that with the right drafting, his attack and defense can hit insane heights with Rockbiter. Perhaps cap the amount to 3 or something similar, at that point he would have 7 attack and 9 defense, in which case he could hit for 9 with Landslide.

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Old February 7th, 2013, 02:49 PM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

Your changes to Gain High Ground are definitely a step in the right direction. I would be okay with limiting its usefulness a little more in order to simplify the wording, but it's not my design. I'll try to come back later and post the wording I'm thinking of.

Define "rock outcrop" in Heroscape terms. How does a player know what a "rock outcrop" is?

Your custom probably has too much Defense.

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Old February 7th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6FlagsManiac View Post
I feel like he'll be pretty high point wise, just based on the fact that with the right drafting, his attack and defense can hit insane heights with Rockbiter. Perhaps cap the amount to 3 or something similar, at that point he would have 7 attack and 9 defense, in which case he could hit for 9 with Landslide.
You're right, although this issue is going away since we're deciding to take away the "beef up" part of that special and just keep the "heal" part. I'll update the OP to show the (likely) current edit state of the powers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Define "rock outcrop" in Heroscape terms. How does a player know what a "rock outcrop" is?
Ah, now I understand the misunderstanding.

Them's is Heroscape terms. I took "rock outcrop" and "shadow space" directly from the master set 3 rulebook. It doesn't have anything to do with the ubiquitous rock tiles; this term specifically means the gray versions of glaciers that come in the D&D MS.


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Old February 7th, 2013, 04:38 PM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_a_Bill View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6FlagsManiac View Post
I feel like he'll be pretty high point wise, just based on the fact that with the right drafting, his attack and defense can hit insane heights with Rockbiter. Perhaps cap the amount to 3 or something similar, at that point he would have 7 attack and 9 defense, in which case he could hit for 9 with Landslide.
You're right, although this issue is going away since we're deciding to take away the "beef up" part of that special and just keep the "heal" part. I'll update the OP to show the (likely) current edit state of the powers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Define "rock outcrop" in Heroscape terms. How does a player know what a "rock outcrop" is?
Ah, now I understand the misunderstanding.

Them's is Heroscape terms. I took "rock outcrop" and "shadow space" directly from the master set 3 rulebook. It doesn't have anything to do with the ubiquitous rock tiles; this term specifically means the gray versions of glaciers that come in the D&D MS.
Now I understand. I thought you meant gray terrain tile.

Your custom probably has too much Defense.

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Old February 7th, 2013, 04:43 PM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Your changes to Gain High Ground are definitely a step in the right direction. I would be okay with limiting its usefulness a little more in order to simplify the wording, but it's not my design. I'll try to come back later and post the wording I'm thinking of.
Would this seem more clear?
GAIN HIGH GROUND 2
After taking a turn with Bjarg, you may move Bjarg up to 2 spaces. These spaces may be up to 4 levels higher. After you take a turn with any Elementar, every Elementar you control may use the Gain High Ground power on its own Army Card, in any order. A figure cannot Gain High Ground more than once per turn.
Or — even though I hate to chew up more real estate — perhaps this:
GAIN HIGH GROUND 2
After taking a turn with Bjarg, you may move Bjarg up to 2 spaces. These spaces may be up to 4 levels higher.

SEA OF STONE
After you take a turn with any Elementar, every Elementar you control may use the Gain High Ground power on its own Army Card, in any order. A figure cannot Gain High Ground more than once per turn.


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Old February 7th, 2013, 04:49 PM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_a_Bill View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Your changes to Gain High Ground are definitely a step in the right direction. I would be okay with limiting its usefulness a little more in order to simplify the wording, but it's not my design. I'll try to come back later and post the wording I'm thinking of.
Would this seem more clear?
GAIN HIGH GROUND 2
After taking a turn with Bjarg, you may move Bjarg up to 2 spaces. These spaces may be up to 4 levels higher. After you take a turn with any Elementar, every Elementar you control may use the Gain High Ground power on its own Army Card, in any order. A figure cannot Gain High Ground more than once per turn.
Or — even though I hate to chew up more real estate — perhaps this:
GAIN HIGH GROUND 2
After taking a turn with Bjarg, you may move Bjarg up to 2 spaces. These spaces may be up to 4 levels higher.

SEA OF STONE
After you take a turn with any Elementar, every Elementar you control may use the Gain High Ground power on its own Army Card, in any order. A figure cannot Gain High Ground more than once per turn.
If it were me i would keep it one ability, just to make it easier to determine which power sea of stone would be referring to.

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Old February 8th, 2013, 06:53 PM
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Re: Just_a_Bill's customs - Bjarg (a GG champion Elementar)

Excellent custom. Bjarg drips with theme and looks like a really fun way to play the GGs. The figure looks great (and really tall! Don't throw him at me--he looks heavy).

Quote:
LANDSLIDE THROW
If Bjarg has a height advantage on an opponent's figure, it may use Landslide Throw and add 2 to its range when attacking that figure. You may add 2 dice to Bjarg's attack. If you add 2 to Bjarg's attack, after attacking you must either place a wound marker on Bjarg or destroy an Elementar you control that is adjacent to Bjarg.
This is rather confusing. If I don't have height advantage, can I add 2 to attack? I'll hold off commenting on this power until I learn your intention.

Quote:
GAIN HIGH GROUND 2
After taking a turn with Bjarg, you may move Bjarg up to 2 spaces. These spaces may be up to 4 levels higher. Whenever any Elementar you control is allowed to Gain High Ground, every Elementar you control may use the Gain High Ground power on its own Army Card, in any order.
I would simplify this just a tad. Try this:
ROCK MARCH
After taking a turn with Bjarg, you may move all Elementars you control up to 2 space. These spaces may be up to 4 levels higher each.
Move your whole army fast and attack with Bjarg, or get 3 attacks with the GGs?

Quote:
ROCKBITER [or maybe STRENGTH AND HEALING]
If Bjarg is unengaged, instead of moving normally it may consume one adjacent Elementar or single-space rock outcrop. Remove the consumed object from the battlefield and remove all wound markers from this Army Card. Rock outcrop bases remain on the battlefield as shadow spaces.
I'll crack my knuckles at this wording too.
ROCKBITER
If Bjarg is unengaged, instead of moving normally you may choose one adjacent Elementar or single-space rock outcrop. Remove the chosen figure or rock outcrop from the battlefield and remove all wound markers from this Army Card. Rock outcrop bases remain on the battlefield as shadow spaces.
I, personally, wouldn't limit it to single-space rock outcrops. It is probably more balanced with the limit, but removing a 3-hex rock and creating a new path just sounds like too much fun.
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