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  #6433  
Old August 29th, 2019, 02:24 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Hats make everything better, but she's close enough.


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  #6434  
Old August 29th, 2019, 07:02 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Thanks for the update on the mini. I see the gun and she looks like a Western character. She still doesn't look more like a Lawman than she does an Outlaw or a Rogue or something.

I've cast my vote and I'll let the other judges speak now.

Your custom probably has too much Defense.

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  #6435  
Old August 29th, 2019, 09:27 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

to review the Beakface Rogue.

Since Kate isn't a secondary submission with Clayton, it puts the class into question for me. Obviously she's a Western gunslinger of some kind, and I can see Lawman if there's a compelling synergy reason to do so. But since you've submitted her separately, I have to ignore Clayton and his synergy, which makes Lawman look like potentially the wrong class.

If it was a secondary submission to Clayton I would vote but as submitted I vote .

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  #6436  
Old August 30th, 2019, 11:07 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion


Well met!

In Tetraites’ Book, the judges’ reviews refer to Bol.




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  #6437  
Old August 30th, 2019, 12:26 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I'm of the opinion that Lawman is the right class for Kate, even without Clayton.

The figure looks very Ullar to me; her shawl thing is pretty reminiscent of Deadeye Dan's poncho. I know that the generals don't summon based on what the fighter is wearing but I still think Ullar is a very obvious fit for the miniature. That being said, from a strictly Old Western standpoint, I don't think that Outlaw works for an Ullar unit. Rogue is a bit better, but we already have Old Western rogues, and they're called Outlaws. She might work as a Firefly style space age outlaw, but I just don't see Ullar summoning an Old Western outlaw. She's obviously not a sniper, and any other Old West class you could think up seems wrong or just too specific. Maybe maybe maybe a Vigilante? I don't know bout that. Lawman doesn't feel 100% right but it also feels significantly more right to me than any other alternative. I think this case is very similar to the class of Lawman for both Guilty and the whip dude, and I don't think Kate would end up sticking out.

I do agree with previous sentiments that Reckless does not fit great as a personality and that Mettle seems bit off as a power name. I am also not assuaged of my objections with the special attack that I made in the Pre-SoV thread, but that would be a problem I would look into during testing, if I was a judge, which I am not! Overall I think this is a very good design!

The beatings will continue until morale improves!

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  #6438  
Old September 1st, 2019, 01:43 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I've been a bit inactive this past week, so to catch up real quick:

to the Beakface Rogue (though I think it has enough upvotes already).

to Kate. I've read through the discussion and can see both sides of the mini argument, but for me personally I think it's fine. The better mini photos help sell it a lot, and I agree that Lawman doesn't need to mean strictly the head honchos, and that Kate can be a lower level lawman without a hat or badge. I think Fighter would be better mini-wise, perhaps, but I'm also not hung up on a strict reading of Lawman. The sticking point for me, as others have mentioned, is that having a defensive power on a Reckless figure is a theme break for me. If she was Bold or Resolute I'd upvote. I'd also prefer a better name than Mettle for the second power if one can be thought of, maybe more along the lines of spirit, guts, fortitude, etc.
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  #6439  
Old September 3rd, 2019, 05:18 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Kate Crawford has received 4 Nay votes to review (capsocrates, wriggz, superfrog, and BiggaBullfrog) and is removed from the process.

The Beakface Rogue has received 6 Yea votes to review (Scytale, capsocrates, All Your Pie, Astroking112, superfrog, and BiggaBullfrog) and moves forward in the process.
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  #6440  
Old September 5th, 2019, 07:07 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Xundar, the Shadow Binder, the Shadow Fiend, and the Shadow Hound by @Sir Heroscape

They went through a few iterations, but Xundar and his Shadow pals finally made it in the list of units to review. I really love faction designs, and I'm excited to see a pseudo-squad design. These are so tightly bound that I decided to combine them into a single review.

Balance

Tightly-knit factions have a lot of moving parts, so direct comparisons are very difficult. Units that might otherwise be underpowered may be fantastic if they fill the right niche. The best we can look at is broad comparisons.

Comparing Xundar to Kurrok, their stats are pretty comparable. Xundar drops a Defense and gains a Life point, which makes him feel Hersocape Elf-y. The standout difference, of course, is the significant cost increase for Xundar. While Kurrok is able to attempt a summon every time he takes a full turn, Xundar ties it to a useful special attack. I'd say they're about even there. Shadow Master is significantly better than Master of the Elements in that it allows Xundar to move around while commanding his minions. Anyone who's played Kurrok, especially on a map with lots of obstacles, can tell you how advantageous that is. So a cost increase is needed.

The Shadow Binder is similar in function to the Drow Chainfighter, but comparatively looks pretty bad. The Binder is weaker in speed, attack power, and defensive prowess. Phantom Walk is pretty darn nice, but it doesn't make up the difference. What does make up the difference is its place in the faction. Drow Chainfighters are painfully limited by only a single 1-Life figure per activation. With Xundar, a Binder is just one of three activations, for a faction where repositioning enemy figures is especially valuable.

The closest comparison I can think of for the Shadow Fiend is the Black Wyrmling, though that's a poor comparison at best. Similar stats, both parts of pseudo-squads, and both have auto-wound abilities. Blackie's Fledgeling Acid Breath has range that is not bound by engagement restrictions, which is nice, while the Fiend needs to actually move over the figure. But the Fiend also gets its normal attack, and the "Stealth" on its Flying is always good. It's fair to say that its lack of range is more than made up for by those other traits, though the lack of self-bonding makes it less attractive as filler.

The Shadow Hound is somewhat similar to the Preyblood Thrall, with a situational Move and Attack bonus. While the Preyblood is limited to hunting wounded Heroes for its bonus, Shadow Hunting is more broad but takes setup to use. Additionally, Blood Hunger can get stronger when the Preyblood is in the midst of battle, but the Hound has to keep moving from target to target to keep up the bonuses, which is difficult due to the setup required. But the extra Defense the Hound has is huge, and along with Phantom Walk definitely earn the extra 5 point cost, though not really outside of a Shadow build.

Theme

A Drow Sorcerer controlling a bunch of summoned shadow creatures? Yeah, I like it. The miniatures look pretty good on the battlefield too.

Xundar is thematically sound all around. Sorcerer is fine and Tricky is fitting, and the stats are elf wizard-ish. It's a little weird that this shadow-loving Drow does not have Hide in Shadows, but the card couldn't handle another power.

As for the Shadow Binder, I do find it a little weird that there is a tentacle squirming around. It looks as if it's the end of some creature, but of course there isn't one, not in game nor in the theme, from what I can tell. But it's a shadow thing, so it's not too absurd. Tentacle Grab is a perfect fit for a mobile tentacle. Making it a Guard is not what I would have expected, but it works well enough.

Minion fits the Fiend pretty well, though. Not that it says something in particular, but the vague link to the Minions of Utgar feels "right" with the wing design. And yeah, it's a minion, I suppose. The concept of the fiendish shadow demon draining those it passes over is pretty neat.

The Shadow Hound design does a good job of feeling like a Hunter of the wolf/dog variety. Like the Fiend it mixes in the faction concept of adjacency boosts, and does so in a way that does not overpower the overall theme.

Creativity

One of the most difficult aspects of designing a pseudo-squad is making the different pseodu-squad units relevant to the faction as a whole. Here each piece fits into the puzzle well and they play off (and sometimes against, in a good way) each other. Xundar himself is obviously Kurrok-like, but has significant differences that really set him apart. Similarly, the Shadow crew feel completely different than the Elementals. Phantom Walk/Stealth Flying is a fitting set of powers to tie them together thematically, and the adjacency boosts that the Fiend and Hound require is nicely set up by the Binder. All in all I think it's a strong example of a tight-knit faction that is both familiar and different.

Playability


Like Kurrok, the costs make it difficult to mix in Xundar and a few Shadows into another army. Xundar himself is costly, and you want at least a fair number of Shadows. That usually ends up being the bulk of an army, if not all of it. The individual Shadows can be tossed into non-Xundar armies, but without the group together they're rather underwhelming.

So how do they perform as a group? Not especially well; they have good tricks and some decent stats, but losses quickly become painful as respawning the Shadows is difficult and slow. They do have better mobility overall than the Elementals, in part due to Phantom Walk/Stealth Flying and in part due to Xundar's ability to move around while controlling his minions. That certainly helps them, as do their tricks (especially with the Binder), and with careful play they can sneak out wins even against decently strong armies.

The key is in the combination, and I like that about the faction. The general theme is that the units are usually stronger when there are other Shadows surrounding the foe, so teamwork is important. This is where the Binder comes in. Tentacle Grab is neat by itself, but as a part of a pseudo-squad it's potent, even without considering the Shadow adjacency boosts. That's because a early Binder can position an enemy figure in a disadvantageous position, which can then be capitalized on with the next two Shadow turns.

But it's easy to dismiss the Shadow Binder, even in the middle of a game, because of its terrible Attack, which is not helped by Tentacle Grab because the other figure must be placed on a same-level space. That seemed off at first, but the utility of Tentacle Grab definitely offsets that. Repositioning enemy figures is valuable on its own (moving them off high ground or glyphs, out of auras, etc), but it also sets up Shadow Swoops as Fiends move towards other targets, or it moves figures into range of trailing Hounds and their Shadow Hunting. And of course it creates adjacency that the other Shadows love. The tentacles' defense also lets them work as blockers, to an extent. They do have potential value outside of Xundar builds, but the Drow Chainfighter outclasses them in most ways.

The Shadow Fiend is important for its ability to damage multiple targets in a single turn. In theory three Fiend turns in a row allows for six "attacks," but that really isn't a great way to use them, thanks to their lackluster defense for the price. A bunch of these swooping in on an enemy would be likely to get cut down in the counterattack. They are best used as opportunistic strikers, combining a Swoop with a strike from height, rather than as a frontline mainstay. These may be the most useful of the Shadows to take in non-Xundar armies as filler, as Stealth Flying 6 + Attack 3 + Shadow Swoop is pretty good, even if their defense isn't great.

The primary attack force is the Shadow Hounds, but again, they aren't great on their own. They do have the defense to hold out, but they are pretty dependent on Shadow Hunting to do their all-important damage. Phatom Walk allows them to repeatedly move to different targets for each strike, but that very quickly ends up overextending them, and only works if the other targets also happen to be adjacent to other Shadows. They are best used to make the most of traps set up by Binders, or to press advantage in contested areas.

Xundar himself is a bit more than just endgame desperation, thanks to Shadow Cast. It's not a great special attack, but it is a ranged special attack. What makes it interesting is the attack boost if the target is adjacent to a Shadow. That makes for some difficult decisions, as it's better not to wait until your Shadow army has fallen before falling back on it. It can even be valuable to throw in a Shadow Cast midgame if you're in a solidly advantageous position, as respawning a unit on the front lines can be more valuable than three Shadow turns at times.

Summary

I quite enjoyed the Shadow army. It is by no means dominant, but with some practice and experience one can learn to make the most out of the combination of abilities and put up a fight against most opponents. They play quite differently than existing pseudo-squads, and they feel like they are designed to work together as a unit.

I vote Yea to induct Xundar into the SoV.
I vote Yea to induct the Shadow Binder into the SoV.
I vote Yea to induct the Shadow Fiend into the SoV.
I vote Yea to induct the Shadow Hound into the SoV.
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  #6441  
Old September 5th, 2019, 09:25 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Thanks for the input/critiques of Kate, folks. When I'm back on my computer full time I'll review and retry
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  #6442  
Old September 12th, 2019, 07:01 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Soontir Van by @Arch-vile

Soontir has returned with some adjustments. Time to move out!

Balance

Strictly as a combatant, Soontir Van is pretty mediocre. Same stats as Me-Burq-Sa, except MBS has better movement thanks to his creepy horse. The comparison of Paralyzing Stare to Exosuit is relatively even, though as a cleanup figure (as both are) I'd normally prefer the offensive boost. Most of the Mariedian Leader's value is in his Move Enhancement though, so it's fair he's not as good otherwise.

Theme

Mr. Van fits pretty neatly in the Mariedian army, combining a scrappy movement power like the M-43s with the proto-Soulborg Exosuit first demonstrated by Jarek Guy. The Leader class is appropriate given his role in a build and Resolute is fine. Overall I'm pretty happy with the theme.

Creativity

Mariedian Move Enhancement is the sort of soft synergy I really love to see. It's an obvious boost from the starting zone, but when combined with the M-43's Guerrilla Tactics it becomes something more. On top of that, Guerrilla Tactics softly synergzies with Soontir's Exosuit and his normal role as cleanup, as it can move him into position to serve as a low-investment blocker or glyph holder and get him into position for endgame advantage. It's a wonderfully simple design that is useful and thematic.

Playability

When choosing how to spend 50 points to fill out an army, I would usually prefer Me-Burq or Marro Warriors. I won't talk much about him outside of Mariedian armies, because he is pretty much just what he looks like, a mediocre ranged attacker with modest defenses. Using him as a move boost to the B-11 Resistance Corps isn't much different, though the initial movment boost is nice. The B-11s arguably make Soontir more valuable as a cleanup figure than other 50-pointers, depending on your preferences.

Where the Leader gets interesting is when he's combined with the M-43 Resistance Fighters, combining Mariedian Move Enhancement with Guerrilla Tactics. Of course Move Enhancement does not enhance the Guerrilla Tactics movement due to it being a bonus movement, but Guerilla Tactics can move up Soontir a bit, followed by moving up other Mariedians adjacent to use him as a launch pad. All for free! Clever repositioning can lead to solid dividends, especially on larger or very hilly maps. The M-43s lack in offensive power, so that extra boost to help them get height can secure them that ever-important third attack dice. The Leader is, of course, helpful to the other Mariedian Heroes as well, especially with M-43 repositioning.

Soontir Van doesn't get any order markers himself, not until you run out of other options usually. Attack 3 isn't terrible on a ranged unit, but it is only a single attack and a single movement (which you usually don't need thanks to Guerrilla Tactics). A turn with the M-43s or a different Mariedian Hero is usually a better option. But that's fine, and it works out for him. He isn't important enough to draw much enemy fire, plus he has Exosuit as a deterrent, so he usually lasts until most of the other Mariedians have fallen even if he is near the front lines. At that point he's probably in a good position to take over and try to mop things up.

In a pinch, Soontir can be used to slow an enemy's advance as a blocker unit. By that time he's already done his job positioning figures, and Exosuit can potentially make him an annoying roadblock. Better, he can be used to take a glyph, for all the same reasons.

Summary

Soontir Van has a solid place in an M-43 army, giving a helpful movement boost as well as slipping in to other roles, especially cleanup. Making the most of out his Move Enhancement takes some planning, which I like, and he has enough utility to find other ways to use him as the battlefield changes. A good addition to the Mariedian forces.

I vote Yea to induct Soontir Van into the SoV.
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  #6443  
Old September 13th, 2019, 09:03 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion



I would like to nominate my custom dragon, Styleeian, for consideration into the annals of the SOV. I am extremely excited to present him to you all and I hope that you will find his skill set unique enough to be worthy of further examination.

Foreword
While shopping at Hobby Lobby, I came across this incredible dragon named “Steel Dragon” by Mojo. It looked like it had come straight out of Heroscape and I knew I had to buy it and create a custom character to share with everyone. I've enjoyed fully examining the rich history of Heroscape design for inspiration in order to put together a skill set that I believe will be a rich addition to Heroscape lore.

One of my favorite official scenarios in Heroscape is "Deadly Encounters,"which is an Online Exclusive Game Scenario and can be found on page 53 of the of the official scenario pdf found on this site. In this scenario, you simulate a volcano erupting on the battlefield and must place molten lava tiles after every round. That scenario is very fun and I thought it would be great if we could bring something like that to a powerful figure. I also wanted another reason to dust off my lava set since it rarely gets used. Enter Styleeian (sti-lee-ian)!

Design Goals

Each major dragon is considered an “event hero” in Heroscape and forces your opponent to adjust their strategy to combat them. In that spirit, I wanted to continue that tradition by creating the first 210+ dragon with the goal of challenging opponents and providing a wonderful time for all players. My goal for Styleeian was the following:

1. Challenge high defense and Raelin builds while simultaneously scaling down his powers against weaker characters.
2. Disrupt the many bonding factions in Heroscape and cause them to make fun and exciting gameplay decisions rather than go on autopilot.

Power Review

Fire Bomb Special Attack
– For this power, I imagined a dragon the size of Styleeian creating a massive, singular fireball and hurling it towards a hero. If the fireball hits, it would continue to roll through the hero and inflict damage along the way. However, if the fireballs strikes a strong defense, I imagined it exploding and singeing nearby allies (and possibly enemies). The larger the initial fireball, the greater the residual damage from the explosion. Should the fireball fail (no attack dice rolled), nothing will take place. The second half of the power’s wording is pulled straight from the official Deadly Encounters Heroscape scenario.

I chose the molten lava to be placed up to 3 spaces for a few reasons. First, for thematic and scaling reasons, I did not believe it made sense that it would land more than 3 spaces away from the defending figure. Second, for strategic reasons, I wanted the power to be a little limited in scope to encourage the opponent to advance carefully with a way in to Styleeian rather than simply be locked down and unable to advance. My personal design philosophy is that the best powers are the ones that are fun to execute and fun to counter.

Even though this attack is powerful, it is weak against low defense characters (hence my desire to scale down powers against weaker foes helping keep them viable). For example, a viper with zero defense will never have to worry about a fireball exploding and killing his allies. Sure it will most likely kill the initial viper but the rest of the vipers are safe. However, against a Knight of Weston squad, that 4 defense, or 5 if they are on height, or 7 if they have Raelin, becomes a real liability. The same is true for figures that can block all attacks with one shield. This helps challenge commonly used figures to be wary of relying on their defense. I’m very happy with how this power turned out and the ways to get around it (haven’t even talked about it not being allowed on glyphs or water; another purposeful weakness). I think it will be a lot of fun to use in all types of games and it is a first of its kind since it allows you to affect the battlefield permanently by blocking certain paths.

Despondent Bonding - One of my favorite powers! Thematically, I envision the mighty Styleeian terrifying all enemies the moment he lands next to them. Sure they were fine while he was away, but now that he is up close and personal? His presence becomes too much.

The goal for this power was to challenge some of the autopilot games that take place with bonding armies and provide a new gameplay element that will require them to be more strategic when advancing towards Styleeian. For that reason, I made Despondent Bonding only affect figures within 3 clear sight spaces. This allows bonding squads to still be viable if they take the imitative and strike first. Remember, the power only activates at the start of their turn and if they are already in range so there is still a chance to bond if they are far away enough. I also wanted to make sure that the Styleeian player did not sit back and rely on his special power and play keep away all game which would be quite boring. Until he is within 3 spaces of his opponent, he is at risk of being surrounded. Besides, thematically, I imagined a mighty dragon like Styleeian to want to impose his will and make his presence known. I love the back and forth that takes place with this power as it pushes the action and encourages aggressive movement. Styleeian is an expensive figure and with only 4 defense and 6 life, he can fall quickly if played timidly and if he allows his opponents to strike first. However, if he initiates the battle with a bonding squad, watch out! It’s going to be a rough fight for them with that additional +2 defense.

Balance and Points
With such a deadly special attack that requires Styleeian’s opponent to adjust their gameplay completely less they lose an expensive figure, I felt that Styleeian should cost the maximum points currently in Heroscape. His power is a little stronger than Braxas but it is different enough to still give Braxas fans a reason to draft her. With that said, even though his power is strong and can eliminate almost any figure, it is not unbeatable and it is quite possible that Styleeian will not get his points worth during the game. Yet, with careful placement of molten lava tiles along with aggressive movement, Styleeian will always be a fun disrupter and make every game he is in interesting.

Figure Availability
Steel Dragon by Moxy can be had for $10 at Hobby Lobby (with a coupon) along with Amazon.com. The figure is also readily available across the internet.

Styleeian with other dragons:



Love the photo for this one:
https://www.wildberries.kz/catalog/2364826/detail.aspx

Thank you!
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Old September 13th, 2019, 09:25 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Thanks for the nomination, fellow super! I love the miniature. I'd be curious to see how it fits on a base and/or on a map. The tail looks like it might have some denial issues (which is fine for a dragon, I'm just interested to see what the specific issues would be).

I've got a couple quibbles with this design, though. Heroscape dragons have breath weapons defined by their coloration. A black/gray dragon like this one should have an acid breath power.

As far as the mechanics of the attack, so far VC has stayed away from placing tiles on the board, since we can't exactly include the tiles with the figure like WotC did with Mika. This means you can't play Styleeian without a VW set, and you can't play Styleeian on a VW map without two VW sets.

I also think that Despondent Bonding, while it's a cool mechanic that definitely would have the metagame effect you described, wouldn't fly rules-wise. While most people have an intuitive understanding of what "Bonding power" means, it's not defined in the rules and there's some grey areas like Moon Frenzy or Master of the Elements.

So overall I think it looks like a fun custom but not "official" enough for the SoV.

I vote to review Styleeian.

customs/maps/c3v/sov

how to:
make a card/post your maps

google sheets:
ohs link generator/attack outcomes

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