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  #145  
Old February 9th, 2021, 12:48 AM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

First off, I love the design thematically and I'm a big fan of using the sculpt as a historically-inspired Vlad III.

I think that this design is in a bit of a rough spot right now, though, to be honest. Display of Cruelty doesn't seem worthwhile enough to rely on outside of bonding (generally I'd rather put an extra turn on a squad rather than position an adjacency aura that will conditionally give +1A to melee if Vlad kills something). The only bonding option that Vlad has is the Roman Legionnaires, a squad that already has a plethora of options (I think that Warlords are more appealing at this point if they also bond with another squad, like the Armocs or the Sacred Band, especially for newer players to have more options for expansions, but I love Utgar thematically for Vlad the Impaler). I think that Warlord feels out of place here as a result, at least for our goals.

Mortal Blow does help to combat this at least a little bit by giving a decent chance to bypass defense dice, but I still don't think that Vlad will be satisfying in a standalone environment, especially when he has to be priced around Roman Legionnaires. I would highly encourage rethinking the synergy here--there's nothing wrong with synergy ties to existing units, but I'm very much concerned that Vlad is going to end up being designed around Roman Legionnaires, who he is an athematic choice for (though to be fair, the same can be said for most of their leaders).

For some alternative class suggestions, I think that anything that won't incur synergy is a fairly safe bet (my early drafts for him had Count as a class to pay homage to the Dracula legend, for example). Emperor could also work as a class that could realistically get synergy down the road, but it would probably be weak enough to not drive the design because of Zelrig. I don't hate Lord since he follows Utgar (Skeleton synergy is weird, but this is probably the best human for it), but that's a bit too vampire-y when coupled with the pale skin, I think.

More specifically on the topic of his powers, I think that Display of Cruelty is a pretty cool representation of his legend, fiddliness aside (one of my favorite quotes about him stems from the forest of impaled corpses that he set up to scare invaders away). Without bonding to rely on, I think that it'll probably land in a better place since it'll be consistently hard to set up (also, it might actually be okay to leave it open to ranged attackers in that case, making him more appealing in our box). I'm a little iffy on Display of Cruelty working for enemy figures as well; it feels odd for his horrific acts to also inspire opponents, but when they're attacking him, it kind of feels like getting revenge, so I guess it works? I wouldn't bat an eye at limiting it to figures that you control, and that would probably be more intuitive for newer players especially.

Mortal Blow is a fine power, but I think that the name is a bit too vague (Paralyzing Stare doesn't have to be reused by any stretch of the imagination, but it paints a better theme IMO). For an alternate suggestion, how about Torture Technique 13?
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  #146  
Old February 10th, 2021, 11:48 PM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

I'd be open to removing Warlord synergy. Open to it, but sad to lose base game synergy.
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  #147  
Old February 11th, 2021, 01:09 AM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

I don't mind base game synergy, but I think that pairing it with an adjacency aura for melee figures that also requires an attack to activate is going to result in a design made for the Romans. If we end up with a Grimnak scenario where it's an awesome unit that's fun to play (and made better by "later" releases), then that's fine. I don't think that Roman Bonding with these mechanics is the answer, though, and I'd rather Vlad be tested without them in mind to ensure that's the case.

I'd be happy to help with spitballing alternative classes/suggestions or elaborate further if the pod wants it, but if not then I'll happily bow out.
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  #148  
Old February 11th, 2021, 03:02 AM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

I think the two powers work well together and are flexible enough that you can use him well in a variety of situations. I also agree that Warlord seems Romans-centric and to me doesn't quite fit. And if he's historical, should he be in Einar? That would boost the Sacred Band usage a bit.
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  #149  
Old February 12th, 2021, 09:12 AM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

Obviously a fan of the Roman synergy, but understandable that it kinda pigeon-holes him. Utgar definitely feels like the best general for him (Jandar has plenty of historical units and Utgar also has the "historical" Sir Hawthorne), though, so I don't think Einar just for the sake of Sacred Band is the way to go. Lord, along with its Skeleton synergy, is a possibility. I also enjoy the double-edged nature of Cruelty, and agree that if Vlad goes the way of a non-bonder some tweaking there is probably in order.


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  #150  
Old February 12th, 2021, 06:11 PM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

Thanks for the feedback Astro! Definitely brings up some very valid points. Lord or Ruler seem like good class options. I actually really like the idea of Lord just because it's shared with Cyprien, but can see Ruler being a better choice.

If we wanted to tweak Display of Cruelty, we could always buff the range slightly. The fact that Vlad is a melee unit, provides the buff upon kill and also gives it to enemies means it'll be a lot harder to pull off and use effectively.

Display of Cruelty
If Vlad destroys an opponent’s adjacent figure this round, any figure within 2 clear sight spaces of Vlad rolls an additional attack die when attacking with a normal attack.

As for Mortal Blow I agree, Torture Technique could work but I don't know if I'm sold on it yet. I quite like the name Incite Fear.
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  #151  
Old February 12th, 2021, 07:28 PM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

I definitely prefer Incite Fear to Torture Techniques.
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  #152  
Old February 13th, 2021, 02:08 AM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

First of all, I like how this design has developed. It feels like a cruel, brutal and sadistic representation of Vlad III. All I have is quibbles.

I agree with the Roman Legionnaires concerns over his being a Warlord even though, apart from that, he feels like a Warlord more than anything else. Lord is probably my next favorite. As for the Skeleton synergy, his bio could easily explain how, upon arriving in Valhalla, he became eager to learn the dark art of Necromancy from his new Utgar allies or maybe how Cyprien admired his cruelty enough to teach him.

For DISPLAY OF CRUELTY:
Most people can probably remember whether or not Vlad has killed someone this round or not, but that time you get a phone call and you come back and try to get your bearings, or you’re playing different games simultaneously, sometimes people remember things differently. In a perfect world, could there be some way to improve DISPLAY OF CRUELTY so that it did not rely on memory (Revealing the “X” order marker, placing the destroyed figure etc. (Aren’t there some markers that come with the AotP set?))? The drawback of course is that it would add complexity to the current simple wording.
Quote:
DISPLAY OF CRUELTY
The first time Vlad destroys a figure this round, place a Cruelty Token on this Army Card. When Vlad or an adjacent figure with a Range of 1 attacks, if Vlad has a Cruelty Token on his Army Card, the attacking figure adds 1 to their attack. At the end of the round remove all Cruelty Tokens from this Army Card.
For MORTAL BLOW:
There’s something that feels off to me about having two identical powers in existence with different names (i.e. this one and WHIP 12). OK, OK, the to-hit numbers are different, but the number in the power’s title isn’t the power, it’s the name preceding the number that’s the power (take Arkmer’s and Nakita Agents’ ENGAGEMENT STRIKE for example). Every other power that I can think of that may be similar to another, has some little thing that makes it different like with PARALYZING STARE 16 vs WHIP 12 it’s the range. Could some minor tweak be made to make it truly a unique power for a unique name? Like, maybe, “vs Small Medium & Large figures”, or “may roll a max of 1 defensive die”, or something.

Also, what about naming it MORTAL BLOW 13? Admittedly, not all powers with to-hit numbers include the to-hit number in the title, but the advantage of doing so is that the power can be reused with its effectiveness tweaked by the to-hit number. The disadvantage being if the new figure doesn’t match the theme of the power’s name (i.e. Vlad isn’t carrying a whip) then just reusing a power’s name and tweaking it (i.e. WHIP 13) is problematic.

Also, also, I think MORTAL BLOW 13 is off a little since it doesn’t necessarily cause mortality when it hits. I’d like something like MAIMING BLOW 13 or IMPALING BLOW 13 or CRIPPLING BLOW 13 better.

Like I said, just quibbles. I trust the pod to take this one all the way home to be an outstanding part of the AotV set. Keep up the good work.

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  #153  
Old February 13th, 2021, 01:34 PM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

I think the concerns about including a Warlord in the set are well founded. Since this design is based on the historical Vlad III, who was not a Count, I would prefer Lord as the class. The Annelintia synergy is thematic, and also hopefully weak enough to not dominate his design or contribute significantly to his point value.

As for the name of his second power, I think I still prefer "Mortal Blow 13" (I definitely think adding the number is an improvement). I actually like that the name is a bit generic, as it is a relatively simple ability that could easily be reused. Also, a mortal blow isn't necessarily guaranteed to cause death; Oxford dictionary defines "mortal" as: "[attributive] causing or liable to cause death; fatal." I would say that any attack of 3 against a 0 defense figure is "liable to cause death" in most cases.

Without the Roman synergy, I think that some adjustments to Display of Cruelty may be in order, as the current applications are relatively niche, and actually likely to be a liability more often than not since he's a melee figure himself.

Last edited by Captain Stupendous; February 14th, 2021 at 11:21 AM.
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  #154  
Old February 14th, 2021, 10:51 AM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

As I'm seeing it Mortal Blow sounds like it's either a part of the attack, or the attack itself. The current ability is an action before the attack, so I can see why it comes across as not quite fitting. It's why I like Incite Fear, because he's terrifying them to lower their guard.

Brutal Tactics definitely needs a rework as it's practically designed for bonding. I think the core of it is fine and interesting enough to keep, but something like buffing it's range and making it melee attacks only could be a start.
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  #155  
Old February 14th, 2021, 03:42 PM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strack9 View Post
Also, also, I think MORTAL BLOW 13 is off a little since it doesn’t necessarily cause mortality when it hits. I’d like something like MAIMING BLOW 13 or IMPALING BLOW 13 or CRIPPLING BLOW 13 better.

Like I said, just quibbles. I trust the pod to take this one all the way home to be an outstanding part of the AotV set. Keep up the good work.
For what it's worth, I love Impale as a power name here. It's a super thematic nod to Vlad's famous moniker, and it perfectly frames him bypassing a figure's defense. I don't think that adding "Blow" to the end is necessary.
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  #156  
Old February 15th, 2021, 11:00 AM
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Re: [Pod 2] Vlad III (Sorin) (Public Feedback)

Agreed
Simple.
To the point.
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