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Old December 15th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Revised cards:






NOTE: ORIGINAL POST, BELOW


As the title of the thread indicates, I am requesting help with a Christmas gift for my 10 year old son. I'm customizing both Drizzt and Guenhwyvar units so any opinions and expertise is much appreciated.

BACKGROUND
Shortly after D&D Scape was announced, it was discussed on Hsers that the best way to get a feel for the world of the Underdark was to read the superb “Legend of Drizzt” series by R.A. Salvatore (fantastic suggestion Grombloodboy, thanks). So my 9 (at the time) year old son and I began reading the series together. We've recently finished Book 1: Homeland and have just started Book 2: Exile. We are thoroughly enjoying the books and love D&D Scape (Estivara/Spiders/Drow/Wyvern armies see lots of play).

For those who are unaware, Drizzt Do'Urden is the main character who is accompanied by his faithful friend, Guenhwyvar, a great black panther that can be summoned from the astral plane. One night, while reflecting on our reading, my son said that it was too bad there wasn't a Drizzt unit for Heroscape adding, “That would be so cool.” me>>> AHA! Christmas idea! So I got a cheap 2 scimitar-wielding elf on ebay which I've painted to be Drizzt and I ordered an inexpensive Guenhwyvar through Cool Stuff. Now I just need to finish off the cards.

MY GOAL
My goal is to make a combo that my son absolutely loves to play, a unit that plays like Drizzt reads, and a game experience that in 6 months has us saying, “remember that time that Drizzt...” The challenge is that I'd like to accomplish all these things without breaking the game. Ideally, I'd like for Drizzt and Guenhwyvar to be an A-/B+ combo with lots of flair.

Here's what I've got so far:
(click on it for larger image)


CARD BREAKDOWN
Because I'm designing these units for home use and not for teaching lots of new players or for the tourney scene I've decided to give Drizzt 5 special abilities. I feel each is necessary to bring out Drizzt's personality and flavor.

LIGHTNING REFLEXES
You may be wondering why I would even bother with the first round requirement. Well here's why, my theoryscape tells me that this Drizzt/Guenhwyvar combo is best suited to work as end-game closers. The combo would be most effective when facing fewer attackers resulting in an opponent that tends to be more spaced out and therefore less likely to block a Guenhwyvar rescue. Also, while Drizzt can attack multiple enemies, massed commons, especially those with 3 or higher defense are not going to be his specialty.

The problem is, this type of play runs counter to Drizzt's character in the books. Drizzt, the character, actually prefers (keep in mind we've only just completed Homeworld) to be at the front leading the attack! Therefore, this special ability encourages a player to be like Drizzt or lose out on a powerful advantage. Of course, a person could use their 1st round #1 and #2 order markers on Drizzt and then just hold him back but that would mean conceding the most favorable terrain to the enemy.

SUMMON GUENHWYVAR
I've got some indecision on the summoning number right now. On one hand, I want the player to be able to start Guenhwyvar either on or off the battlefield. I also want to make Guenhwyvar easy to summon (155 points can frustratingly disappear way too quickly without her). On the other hand, I don't want to make Guenhwyvar so easy to summon that there's never any reason to start her on the battlefield.

I've been back and forth on this multiple times. Even while writing this up, I've changed the summoning number from 6 back to 8. I figured that if all first round order markers are on Drizzt, there is only 6.4% chance that Guenhwyvar won't summon in the first round. I think that sounds reasonable. Any thoughts?

SCIMITAR DANCE SPECIAL ATTACK
I eliminated multiple attacks on the same target in order to keep Drizzt's cost down. I want to be able to field the Drizzt/Guenhwyvar combo and not have it completely dominate 500 points.
____________

I'm hoping that Melodramatic Escape and A Friend Avenged are what will really transform the miniatures into the Drizzt and Guenhwyvar we've read about.

MELODRAMATIC ESCAPE
I originally had “add 2 to Defense when 3 wounds are present but 7 Defense seems frustratingly untouchable when you consider the second part of Melodramatic Escape. I'm counting on this ability lives up to its name and result in some memorable battles.

Currently my big decision here is whether Guenhwyvar should take leaving swipes while she moves adjacent to Drizzt's attacker or should she just be able to be placed there providing she can move there. Originally, I had her just being placed there but then I figured I'd better account for possible lava damage.

A FRIEND AVENGED
When facing Drizzt, just kill off the cheerleader (Guenhwyvar) first, right? Well not so fast – do so and Drizzt suddenly becomes a blur of vengeful scimitars with the ability to wipe out entire squads and slay even the stoutest heroes in short order. If you're going to risk taking Guenhwyvar down, you'd better be sure Drizzt is close to death himself. While I want this special to communicate the love (and loss) of a great friend, I'm not sure if I'm 100% sold on the name “A FRIEND AVENGED”. Thoughts? Positive/Negative? Suggestions?


I should note that one of the true limiting factors of this combination is the necessity to put an occasional order marker on Guenhwyvar to keep her within rescue distance of Drizzt. This should help keep the cost down a bit.

GUENHWYVAR'S CARD
(click on it for larger image)

BREAKDOWN

ONYX FIGURINE
As mentioned, I want the player to be able to start Guenhwyvar either in on or off the battlefield. Without having played the combo yet it is hard to imagine I'd ever start Guenhwyvar on board; the extra attack and ability to start her positioned close to Drizzt in the heat of battle granted by summoning seem too advantageous to pass up. Any thoughts on this? Perhaps she should be granted some sort of stealthy initial 1 time attack (SILENT HUNTER SPECIAL ATTACK?) if she starts on the board.

LYING IN WAIT SPECIAL ATTACK
So again, without any stated bonding, Guenhwyvar should occasionally be able to take some heat off of Drizzt by demanding opponents' 1st turn attention.

Any thoughts or suggestions - good, bad, or otherwise? Do the costs seems right, considering the limitations of keeping these two together along with my A-/B+ goal? All feedback is welcome. Unfortunately, all our Scape is kept in my son's room so playtesting isn't an option. While I'm obviously not expecting it, but if these cards look fun and anyone is so inclined as to playtest them that would be very cool.

Thanks all.

mrkurtb

p.s. I need to give credit where it is due:
- I used Eveningdrive's Drizzt and Guenhwyvar as inspiration. Although I didn't include the specials Twinkle and Icingdeath, I love that they are named after and reflect the unique characteristics of his scimitars (we haven't read that far in the books).
- I thought DWK9000's Dancing Scimitars Special Attack was a great name so I borrowed from it.
- I also used jwindjackal's and jonesey292's customs for ideas as well.
- Thanks for the inspiration and ideas everyone.

Drizzt Do'Urden and Guenhwyvar keep on giving.
I recommend everyone try Darth Vader's Massivescape suggestions.

Last edited by mrkurtb; December 24th, 2010 at 02:39 PM. Reason: added pics and changed wording a bit
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  #2  
Old December 16th, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Added pictures to the cards and changed wording on Scimitar Dance Special Attack. 1st post updated.

Drizzt Do'Urden and Guenhwyvar keep on giving.
I recommend everyone try Darth Vader's Massivescape suggestions.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 02:52 PM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Lightening Reflexes-Does he get the Initiative bonus the first round? When do you verify that he has the #1 OM on his card? Might be easier to establish the bonus (and more strategically interesting) if the requirement was something like "If Drizz't begins the game with at least 3 Order Markers on his card..." That way he still comes out swinging in the first round, but you're not limited to turns 1 and 2.

Scimitar Dance-You could add 5 to the list of dice options for its additional attacks, since if Guenhwyver dies Drizz't will have penty of dice to play with.

Onyx Figurine-You can delete the "If" that starts this powers description.

Lying in Wait-Maybe allow her to ignore a certain number of level changes during her movement for this power, to mimic a pouncing effect? Something like:
  • After revealing the 1 Order Marker on Guenhwyver, if Geuenhwyver is unengaged you may choose an opponent's Small, Medium or Large figure within 7 Clear Sight spaces and no more than 8 levels higher than Guenhwyver. Place Guenhwyver adjacent to the chosen figure. The chosen figure cannot roll any defense dice if attacked by Guenhwyver this turn.
Right now the player can use either Lightening Reflexes or Lying in Wait, but not both. is that intentional?

Finally, Guenhwyver is waaay to cheap. Even though she has to be summoned, a 5-Life, 4-Defense fig with an unblockable Special Attack of 4 (even one usable only once per round) should probably be at least 110 points. Drizz't could probably be dropped to about 130, though.

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Old December 16th, 2010, 03:08 PM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Lightening Reflexes-Does he get the Initiative bonus the first round? When do you verify that he has the #1 OM on his card? Might be easier to establish the bonus (and more strategically interesting) if the requirement was something like "If Drizz't begins the game with at least 3 Order Markers on his card..." That way he still comes out swinging in the first round, but you're not limited to turns 1 and 2.

Scimitar Dance-You could add 5 to the list of dice options for its additional attacks, since if Guenhwyver dies Drizz't will have penty of dice to play with.

Onyx Figurine-You can delete the "If" that starts this powers description.





Lying in Wait-Maybe allow her to ignore a certain number of level changes during her movement for this power, to mimic a pouncing effect? Something like:
  • After revealing the 1 Order Marker on Guenhwyver, if Geuenhwyver is unengaged you may choose an opponent's Small, Medium or Large figure within 7 Clear Sight spaces and no more than 8 levels higher than Guenhwyver. Place Guenhwyver adjacent to the chosen figure. The chosen figure cannot roll any defense dice if attacked by Guenhwyver this turn.
Right now the player can use either Lightening Reflexes or Lying in Wait, but not both. is that intentional?

Finally, Guenhwyver is waaay to cheap. Even though she has to be summoned, a 5-Life, 4-Defense fig with an unblockable Special Attack of 4 (even one usable only once per round) should probably be at least 110 points. Drizz't could probably be dropped to about 130, though.
What he said plus Drizz't has way too many powers on his card. Three is ok, four is pushing it to the extreme and five is too much. The easy way out is to place the A Friend Avenged? and summon ability on Guenhwyver's card (Obviously the abilities would have to be slightly reworded). This way, Guenhwyver has more abilities and Drizz't's card isn't bursting to the seams with words.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Thanks Killometer and Chardris. Some very good points. Let me address each of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Lightening Reflexes-Does he get the Initiative bonus the first round?
Yes, he gets Initiative bonus the first round. However, I think I'll reword this to make it a bit more clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Lightening Reflexes-Might be easier to establish the bonus (and more strategically interesting) if the requirement was something like "If Drizz't begins the game with at least 3 Order Markers on his card..." That way he still comes out swinging in the first round, but you're not limited to turns 1 and 2.
Previously I had it worded like you suggest. However, if I want to continue to have the option of starting Guenhwyvar on board (something I'm more and more considering doing away with), then I need that #3 order marker to get her into rescuing distance of Drizzt. The problem is the Drizzt/Guen combo essentially loses an attack that turn. That's another strike against the on-board start option.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Scimitar Dance-You could add 5 to the list of dice options for its additional attacks, since if Guenhwyver dies Drizz't will have penty of dice to play with.
I'm not sure if I understand your suggestion. I'm guessing you're referring to the line where it states, "Drizzt Do'Urden may keep making special attacks against new targets with 1, 2, 3, or 4 attack dice until he has rolled all 5 attack dice." The reason I only list 4 there (and not 5) is because if he is attacking additional targets, then he has already used at least 1 attack die against the original target leaving only 1, 2, 3, or 4 to attack the additional targets. He may not attack the same target more than once per turn. Correct me if this is not what you were getting at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Onyx Figurine-You can delete the "If" that starts this powers description.
I can delete the "If" if I want to eliminate the option to start on-board. As mentioned earlier, that's seeming more and more likely. I'm going to continue thinking on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Lying in Wait-Maybe allow her to ignore a certain number of level changes during her movement for this power, to mimic a pouncing effect? Something like:
  • After revealing the 1 Order Marker on Guenhwyver, if Geuenhwyver is unengaged you may choose an opponent's Small, Medium or Large figure within 7 Clear Sight spaces and no more than 8 levels higher than Guenhwyver. Place Guenhwyver adjacent to the chosen figure. The chosen figure cannot roll any defense dice if attacked by Guenhwyver this turn.
This is an awesome start, I like it a lot, but it doesn't address the lava issue. She just can't pounce over 7 molten lava spaces with no risk. She shouldn't be able to pounce over more than 3-4 water spaces for that matter. Perhaps what you've got plus, "Guenhwyvar can't cross more than 1 molten lava or water hex while using Lying in Wait Special Attack."

I'm also considering incorporating some of the wording in Melodramatic Escape. I'm not sure if Guenhwyvar should take passing swipes or not. If we such wording can account for lava and water, I'd prefer to simply place her next to Drizzt's attacker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Right now the player can use either Lightening Reflexes or Lying in Wait, but not both. is that intentional?
Yes, this is very intentional. I want Guenhwyvar to be able to pull some of the attention away from Drizzt without actually using "bonding". If she is more dangerous than Drizzt, if even only when unengaged on the first turn, she's done her job and made the whole order marker guessing game that much more interesting.

Here is a problem I just discovered while mock-testing on a piece of paper (I know, sounds weird). I'm wondering if requiring Guenhwyvar to be unengaged is going to be too easy to counter. Specifically, here's how I see things playing out: 1) Guen initially engages opponent 2) Guen's 3 attack doesn't kill opponent 3) If that is a cheap common, the opponent doesn't bother to do anything with it, thereby tying up Guen and also minimizing the chances of Lying in Wait Special Attack to kick in. I've got to test this more or tweak the special attack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Finally, Guenhwyver is waaay to cheap. Even though she has to be summoned, a 5-Life, 4-Defense fig with an unblockable Special Attack of 4 (even one usable only once per round) should probably be at least 110 points. Drizz't could probably be dropped to about 130, though.
She probably is a bit too cheap and Drizzt too expensive, but keep in mind Guen's special attack is easily (probably too easily) negated (just have someone adjacent). When figuring her cost, I factored in that she will probably be sacrificing at least a couple lives from disengagement strikes each game. You're right though about each of them, I should be looking at them independently, and even though Guen that is actually saving Drizzt lives, the cost should probably go to her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chardris View Post
What he said plus Drizz't has way too many powers on his card. Three is ok, four is pushing it to the extreme and five is too much. The easy way out is to place the A Friend Avenged? and summon ability on Guenhwyver's card (Obviously the abilities would have to be slightly reworded). This way, Guenhwyver has more abilities and Drizz't's card isn't bursting to the seams with words.
Agreed. I thought of this while making Guenhwyvar's card but I took the lazy way out. I will change this.

Thanks guys. This is exactly the type of feedback I was hoping for. Feel free to counter anything I've said or add more suggestions/feedback.

Drizzt Do'Urden and Guenhwyvar keep on giving.
I recommend everyone try Darth Vader's Massivescape suggestions.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Mrkurtb, you don't have to overthink this - the goal of this exercise is to engage and entertain your son, right? Well, the effort and enthusiasm you've should here will do most of that. Looking at them as they are currently pointed, I'd compare them head to head with Cyprien & Sonya. I think the initiative advantage would carry Drizz't through.

+ rep for being an awesome Dad!

CRC

CRC's Maps: please consider using one of my maps. I'd love the feedback.

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Old December 16th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkurtb View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Lightening Reflexes-Might be easier to establish the bonus (and more strategically interesting) if the requirement was something like "If Drizz't begins the game with at least 3 Order Markers on his card..." That way he still comes out swinging in the first round, but you're not limited to turns 1 and 2.
Previously I had it worded like you suggest. However, if I want to continue to have the option of starting Guenhwyvar on board (something I'm more and more considering doing away with), then I need that #3 order marker to get her into rescuing distance of Drizzt. The problem is the Drizzt/Guen combo essentially loses an attack that turn. That's another strike against the on-board start option.
Don't forget the X Order Marker.

If you just require 3 OMs on Drizz't, he could start with 1,2,3 or 1,2,X or 1,3,X, or 2,3,X. having that potential variety available would keep your opponent guessing a little.

Quote:
I'm not sure if I understand your suggestion. I'm guessing you're referring to the line where it states, "Drizzt Do'Urden may keep making special attacks against new targets with 1, 2, 3, or 4 attack dice until he has rolled all 5 attack dice." The reason I only list 4 there (and not 5) is because if he is attacking additional targets, then he has already used at least 1 attack die against the original target leaving only 1, 2, 3, or 4 to attack the additional targets. He may not attack the same target more than once per turn. Correct me if this is not what you were getting at.
After Guenhwyver dies Drizz't will have 8 dice available for Scimitar Dance, so he could then attack 1 fig with 3 dice then another with 5 dice.

Quote:
She probably is a bit too cheap and Drizzt too expensive, but keep in mind Guen's special attack is easily (probably too easily) negated (just have someone adjacent). When figuring her cost, I factored in that she will probably be sacrificing at least a couple lives from disengagement strikes each game. You're right though about each of them, I should be looking at them independently, and even though Guen that is actually saving Drizzt lives, the cost should probably go to her.
I forgot about the adjacency limitation when I suggested 110 points for Guenhwyver, but HS figs are generally priced for best-case scenarios, so she should be priced for her value when facing an army made up of a few, high priced units. Definitely no less than 90, imo.

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Old December 19th, 2010, 03:29 AM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnRedChops View Post
Mrkurtb, you don't have to overthink this - the goal of this exercise is to engage and entertain your son, right?
CRC
Don't overthink this? Why, I don't possibly know what you're referring to? I actually did a Doc-style analysis of the previous Scimitar Dance Special Attack. Good thing I did because I was able to easily determine that a necessary tweak (I adjusted the total dice available from 5 to 6, I won't bore you with the math) made it unreasonable to ever use Guenhwyvar's Lie in Wait Special Attack in most circumstances. This actually led to the redesign of both cards' special attacks. So, after playtesting the revisions so many times that I'm embarrassed to say, I'm pretty happy with the results. So, I really don't know what you mean by overthinking things. More overthinking later in the post.

Also, thanks for the kind words, CRC.



The new cards are below.


deleted when they were further revised (see first post)


Comments on the updates:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killometer View Post
Lightening Reflexes-Might be easier to establish the bonus (and more strategically interesting) if the requirement was something like "If Drizz't begins the game with at least 3 Order Markers on his card..." That way he still comes out swinging in the first round, but you're not limited to turns 1 and 2.
Great suggestion, thanks Killometer. By eliminating the option to start on the battlefield it simplified a couple things, this being 1 of them.

Scimitar Dance Special Attack
During playtesting I found that the old version, where Drizzt would just get 5 dice that he could allocate as needed, tended to turn battles into slugfests. While Drizzt the unit was capable in such battles, it seems like Drizzt the character should harder to pin down than that. He also tended to have problems with ranged units behind screens. While he still has trouble with the 10th and some other A units, the test results have been very exciting matches that could go either way at the end.

Moved A Friend Avenged to Guenwhyvar's card as per Chardris' suggestion.


deleted when they were further revised (see first post)

Comments on updates:

Lying In Wait Special Attack, while sounding impressive (4 unblockable dice), was actually pretty worthless. The adjacency clause made it never worth risking taking an order marker away from Drizzt. To the Rescue is much more fun. It does what Lying In Wait was supposed to do, it allows Guenhwyvar to take some heat off of Drizzt. It also involves Guenhwyvar in the game and makes her much more interesting. The opponent also has to be thinking about how they are going to place their figures.


COSTING
Drizzt went down, from 155 to 130 and Guenhwyvar went up from 45 to 70. The individual point values really don't matter as neither is designed to survive without the other. In fact, the way Guenhwyvar's card is written, she can't even see the battlefield without Drizzt, so the real debate is whether the combination is worth 200 points.

Now, I'm sure some will say that is way, way too cheap. In fact I analyzed (more overthinking?) Drizzt and figured that if Melodramatic Escape were always able to kick in he would have something like 3 lives at 5 Defense and what would average out to @4 more lives at 6 Defense. Wow, talk about broken. The thing is, the games don't play out that way. Guenhwyvar can be blocked and more often than not, she falls and all those extra lives she buys are all for naught.

The Drizzt/Guen combo playtested against a variety of builds and actually ended up with a losing record, but this was against the top units/combos. So, while it felt like the combo would grade out at B/B- I'm sure when taken against all units it would probably be in the B+/A-/A range, which is my goal.

The key to playing against the Drizzt/Guenhwyvar combo:
Spoiler Alert!


All in all, I'm pretty excited about the combo. I'll keep testing it and I invite anyone else so inclined to do so too. I can say that without a doubt, it's going to be a fun combo to play and a challenging one to face, but it should result in some exciting play.

Thanks for the help everyone and as always, all comments are welcome.

Drizzt Do'Urden and Guenhwyvar keep on giving.
I recommend everyone try Darth Vader's Massivescape suggestions.

Last edited by mrkurtb; December 24th, 2010 at 01:11 AM.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 02:22 PM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Seeing all the changes in perspective (continuing from my comments in the Gallery), I think the cards are shaping up nicely. I like how Scimitar Dance became Kumiko's power, rather than Moriko's.

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Old December 24th, 2010, 01:02 AM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeblewalker View Post
Seeing all the changes in perspective (continuing from my comments in the Gallery), I think the cards are shaping up nicely. I like how Scimitar Dance became Kumiko's power, rather than Moriko's.

Thanks Taeblewalker. Hopefully, you'll still approve after you see my most recent updates.

Yeah not only is the Kumiko-type attack is more fun, the theme is much more "Drizzt". However, I did test a Moriko-type attack with one more die that was lots of fun but may have rocked opposing heroes a bit too much. I've found that the 2 attack limit really holds Drizzt's value down.





And that's one of the reasons I'm making a couple final revisions. I did extensive playtesting against a wide variety of opposition and very surprisingly, the Drizzt/Guenhwyvar combo lost considerably more than it won at 200 points. The aforementioned 2 attacks of 3 per turn limit seemed to be what held it back the most. Consequently, I adjusted the costs down to a total of 175. At 175 combined points they are winning about 50% of the time. I was tempted to go lower but I figure the combo brings some added value as cheerleader assassins. I'm not sure they're going to meet my A-/B+ goal, but I am sure the combo is going to be a blast to play.

And it was made more fun by the second revision which is the addition of Panther Pounce Special Attack. The previous card simply had Guenhwyvar getting to attack when Drizzt was being overwhelmed. Her rescuing attack of 3 was just so boring. Oh sure, occasionally it would factor in but even then it didn't feel like it was a panther doing the damage. I was hesitant add yet another ability until I playtested it a few times. It really adds some spice knowing that you could be killing the cheerleader that keeps your hero alive but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.


The colonel's secret recipe:
Spoiler Alert!


If you're a Drizzt fan the nice thing is that these figures are quite affordable. I got Guenhwyvar from CoolStuff for, I believe $3.99 (it's only $2.99 right now) and I got Drizzt (I simply painted it to be Drizzt) off of ebay for $4.95. While you can't always count on finding it on ebay, I have more recently found it at ReaperGames.com.

In conclusion, I want to thank everyone for the help and kind words. Now, I can't wait for Christmas!

Drizzt Do'Urden and Guenhwyvar keep on giving.
I recommend everyone try Darth Vader's Massivescape suggestions.

Last edited by mrkurtb; December 24th, 2010 at 02:44 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:16 PM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

How did the gift go over with your boy?

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Old January 6th, 2011, 03:13 PM
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Re: Help Please – Christmas gift for my son

Thanks for asking. I'd been waiting to post until we'd completed a few more battles but now seems like a good time.


Christmas went over exactly, and I mean exactly, the way I'd hoped.

I strategically hid the figures in Alias Q Tip's really cool Tower of Lodin and wrapped it all together. When my son discovered the figures and cards he let out an "Awesome!" but the best part was the uncontained smile that stayed on his face while he read the cards and examined the figures.

It didn't hurt my feelings later in the day when listing his presents to someone he mentioned Drizzt as his favorite.

I was happy that he was excited but I knew the real test was going to be the very first game. First game impressions go a loooong way in Heroscape, especially to a 10 year old boy and I knew if Drizzt fell right away he probably wouldn't get too many chances to redeem himself.

When I play my kids I generally play my best and I try to win. I do give myself a handicap in points but I usually never sandbag my play. This time however, I purposely built my army to let Drizzt cut through a lot of fodder before I planned to kill off the combo and finish the game. Zombies are always fun so I deployed them to start (along with some miscellaneous forgettable stuff) but I planned to finish off with a win by closing things out with Torin, a Feral Troll, and a Sahuagin Raider (a nice lineup for finishing off small wounded heroes).

Unfortunately, by holding Drizzt back, my son didn't follow my plan and my Zombies worked a bit too well against the rest of his army. Well, I won't bore you with details but let's just say the powers worked perfectly. After narrowly escaping Torin's battle axe, Drizzt turned the tide of the battle and saved the day for him. Guenhwyvar saved Drizzt's bacon a couple times as well. They played like their characters should!

But the best part was several hours later when, after seemingly being lost in thought, my son turned to me and said, "Dad, Drizzt is amazing!" What can I say - I'm pretty happy when my family is happy.


One of my biggest concerns when playtesting was getting the points right. After all, I don't want to be facing a Q9 or rats type opponent every battle but I do want to make the combo a favorite to play. My 30-40 playtest skirmishes led to the 175 point combo cost. Subsequent full scale battles (sample size is too small yet to be definitive) have them playing at about a B+/A- level which is exactly where I was hoping. I'm going to keep an eye on the costing and update the points if it seems they actually play differently than the B+/A- goal.

So for only @$10 (and everyone's great suggestions) it ended up being the hit of Christmas and looks to continue providing fun for a long time to come.

Drizzt Do'Urden and Guenhwyvar keep on giving.
I recommend everyone try Darth Vader's Massivescape suggestions.

Last edited by mrkurtb; January 6th, 2011 at 03:23 PM.
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