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  #6181  
Old February 28th, 2019, 02:57 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Xundar, the Shadow Binder, the Shadow Fiend, and the Shadow Hound have been removed by the submitter's request. It was looking unlikely the Shadow Fiend was going to pass United Fanscape Review, so Sir Heroscape would like to rework before resubmitting the faction.

On a more positive note, Masha Shingai passed United Fanscape Review and moves forward in the process.
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  #6182  
Old March 9th, 2019, 11:25 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Agrah Fenh by @superfrog

So if this guy becomes canon, does that mean all Icarians have a long, creepy tongue? Or is this guy just special? Man, the far-reaching implications here are astounding.

Balance

My main comparison point for Fenh was fellow 60-pointer Darrak Ambershard. Their attack and defense are the same stat-wise. Ambershard can increase his attack to 6 with a Sneak Attack, while Fenh has two ways to increase his attack -- either attacking a dragon (increase to 5) or having 3 wounds on his card (+1 skull ~ slightly less than 6 attack). Fenh has 6 life, more than Ambershardís 4, but Hide in Darkness helps the dwarf have similar survivability (depending on maps, special attacks, etc., but itís comparable).

They also both help squads. Ambershard helps Axegrinders by providing a cheap bonding option that hits hard, but when unused lets them move faster. Fenh doesnít bond, but when engaged gives his cultists +2 move, which is huge for Nhah Scirh who already are fast with a limited Disengage. The downside is that you need to use order markers on Fenh to get him into position, which will be addressed more in playability, but on paper Fenh has both a powerful cheerleading ability and potential for strong attacks -- a strong 60-pointer, but not significantly overpowered.

Theme

Fenh does a great job of being a cultist leader who leads by example, not from behind. His powers want him to be engaged and active in the battle, from a meta standpoint creating a shark/cheerleader hybrid. Itís a super combination and fitting for a fanatical dragon-killing zealot, and the left- and right-side stats fit the design well.

The mini itself is Nhah Scirh-y enough to carry the theme on the board. While his skin and clothing are a bit different from the other Icarians, he fits in well with them. The sword is particularly wicked, great for a dragon slayer.

Creativity

Hybrid roles like a sharky cheerleader arenít pursued enough, in my opinion. Occult Zeal is a neat twist on movement buffs, requiring a lead from the front strategy. Martyrís Fervor is a powerful attack boost as he takes wounds, and a good new take on other ďI get stronger the more damage I takeĒ powers. Dragonkind Enemy is reused from the Nhah Scirh and is fitting. Having two different powers to affect the attack stat is a little unusual since cards usually try to keep that to one power, but not terribly distracting.

Playability

As I mentioned, Agrah Fenh looks to have a lot going for him as a 60 point addition to a cultist army. Giving +2 move to his homies is a significant boost, and he has potential to deal a lot of damage. This all is kept in check by the requirement to actively put order markers on him to give him the activations he needs to fulfill either of his roles as a shark or cheerleader, and thatís where things get messy.

I began playtesting Fenh fully expecting some challenging-yet-fun games where order marker management is crucial. While the challenge was there, the fun, unfortunately, was not. Playing Fenh is difficult, but getting much success out of him is dependent almost completely on your opponent.

As a single melee unit that needs to be engaged for any of his powers to go off, Fenh is easy to avoid when playing against him. When looking for enemies to engage, the other player could simply keep their figures out of reach, or at least in a spot where Fenh would have to go to crazy lengths to engage anything. If Fenh did overextend like that, then he was easily surrounded and killed. If played conservatively, order markers on Fenh were spent not developing the rest of your army, giving your opponent board advantage. Either way was a lose scenario.

Another option was to keep Fenh and the cultists in a group, usually with Raelin backing. He could then engage while in Raelinís aura and force your opponent to have to choose between Fenh and the now-speedy cultists. Except, it still wasnít much of a choice for the opponent. Again, order markers used on Fenh here usually resulted in the opponent getting board control, and in so doing could either get to where they could easily kill Fenh if desired, or, more usually, ignore him and block the cultists from using their extra move effectively, making the bonus irrelevant since they could engage with normal move but were blocked from getting height. When playing defensively, the cultists didnít want to leave Raelinís aura anyway, and going offensive only gave a couple of good attacks before the still-better board control of the opponent won the day.

Playing against Fenh, I was happy when he was used instead of the Nhah Scirh since one attack of 4 wasnít as intimidating as 4 attacks of 3. Even when playing a dragon, one attack of 5 wasnít nearly as good as probably at least 2 attacks of 4 on the dragon and two attacks of 3 on support units. I could always ignore Fenh, limiting him from getting the extra skull, until I felt otherwise safe and then kill him in a couple of easy turns. The Fenh player never felt as good taking turns with Fenh as they would have if they just took turns with the squads, and generally wished the 60 points had been spent on something else. 60 points isnít huge, but itís enough that you want it to contribute to the battle. Fenh just always felt like a hole in the playerís army for the opponent to exploit, and I didnít like the success of Fenh being more dependent on my opponentís play than my own.

Summary

Agrah Fenh combines aggressive and cheerleader play into a unique and dynamic design. I like the potential on paper, but unfortunately the powers never shined and I always found myself unsatisfied with it in gameplay.

I vote Nay to induct Agrah Fenh into the Soldiers of Valhalla.
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  #6183  
Old March 9th, 2019, 12:40 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Thanks for the reviews, gents.

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  #6184  
Old March 31st, 2019, 07:46 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion



I would like to officially submit Clayton Pierce. This is a unit that has been worked on as a group in the heroscapers discord (link in my signature!) since December of last year, and we think he's at a stage where we can submit him.

We know that cowboy synergy has been an anticipated (and sometimes controversial) aspect of VC, and we think that Clayton delivers on that theme and mechanics in a unique and interesting way.

The figure used is "Sheriff Steve Rogers" which is very common on the usual sites. Availability will not be a problem.


Credits:
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Majority of the playtesting: Necroblade and Superfrog
Some feedback, assorted help and input: All_Your_Pie, Flameslayer, Astroking
Late stage guidance and input: Superfrog, dok

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  #6185  
Old March 31st, 2019, 11:28 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Hmm, not loving both powers doing the 'per OM number' bit for some reason I can't quite express. I'll think on it a spell.


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  #6186  
Old April 1st, 2019, 12:58 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I have 2 things that throw me off with Clayton. The first is simple, he can't activate Shootout, nor can he be activated by Shootout, which is odd, since he's the one with the ability. I believe this is to force order marker management, but it seems a little forced, and an unnecessary limitation, that he can't at least be activated by it. I can understand, though I don't think it's necessary, that you would want to keep Clayton from starting his own Shootout, but I don't see a reason he should be restricted from being activated by a Shootout once it is started by another Unique Lawman.

I think someone might have brought this up in the Pre-SoV, but the second issue I have with Clayton in his current form, is that the Common Lawman Hero inside the C3V won't work with him at all. I see no reason Posse shouldn't be able to at least move Common and Unique Lawman Heros just the same. Shootout probably shouldn't activate off of a Common Lawman, but once it is activated, I don't know why you couldn't let the Common Lawmen be activated by Shootout. Without being in the C3V, or seeing the design for the Common Lawman I realize that there could be a reason not to include the Common Lawman, and if this is the case, just say so, and I'll drop this point altogether.
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  #6187  
Old April 1st, 2019, 01:32 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Sheriff's Posse is quite a mouthful. The whole power has only two periods.

Clayton is within clear sight of himself? Or no?

Why Valiant instead of, say, Resolute? When I think of cowboy heroes I think of grit and determination rather than straight valor.

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  #6188  
Old April 1st, 2019, 07:33 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundwarp SG-1 View Post
Hmm, not loving both powers doing the 'per OM number' bit for some reason I can't quite express. I'll think on it a spell.
I'd love to hear what doesn't jive for you. There's a certain tension derived from both powers being similar that makes the Lawmen interesting to play. Clayton makes them a lot of fun, IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
I have 2 things that throw me off with Clayton. The first is simple, he can't activate Shootout, nor can he be activated by Shootout, which is odd, since he's the one with the ability..
He can. It probably does need a line a la Sonlen, though, to clarify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
I think someone might have brought this up in the Pre-SoV, but the second issue I have with Clayton in his current form, is that the Common Lawman Hero inside the C3V won't work with him at all. I see no reason Posse shouldn't be able to at least move Common and Unique Lawman Heros just the same. Shootout probably shouldn't activate off of a Common Lawman, but once it is activated, I don't know why you couldn't let the Common Lawmen be activated by Shootout. Without being in the C3V, or seeing the design for the Common Lawman I realize that there could be a reason not to include the Common Lawman, and if this is the case, just say so, and I'll drop this point altogether.
Currently there only officially exist Unique Lawmen, so that's what Clayton is designed to work with. Leaving Common Lawmen out of his powers also keeps more design space open for potential Common Lawmen to work their own type of synergy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Why Valiant instead of, say, Resolute? When I think of cowboy heroes I think of grit and determination rather than straight valor.
I actually never really gave any input on the left box, but I agree that Resolute feels more Lawman-y than Valiant.

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  #6189  
Old April 1st, 2019, 08:50 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by capsocrates View Post
Why Valiant instead of, say, Resolute? When I think of cowboy heroes I think of grit and determination rather than straight valor.
I don't mind Valiant. It feels more like the noble sheriff than a realistic cowboy, which is another trope that can be represented. It also provides more justification for why he won't work with Outlaws, along with making him feel a little more unique personality-wise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
I think someone might have brought this up in the Pre-SoV, but the second issue I have with Clayton in his current form, is that the Common Lawman Hero inside the C3V won't work with him at all. I see no reason Posse shouldn't be able to at least move Common and Unique Lawman Heros just the same. Shootout probably shouldn't activate off of a Common Lawman, but once it is activated, I don't know why you couldn't let the Common Lawmen be activated by Shootout. Without being in the C3V, or seeing the design for the Common Lawman I realize that there could be a reason not to include the Common Lawman, and if this is the case, just say so, and I'll drop this point altogether.
I do agree that the current iteration seems more compatible with Common Lawmen than the previous ones, but it's hard to say without being able to see what that Common Lawman can do (if he is a Lawman). It's safer to just work with what we can see, and if they do both work with Lawmen, then we'll suddenly have two neat ways to build armies around them.
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  #6190  
Old April 1st, 2019, 11:58 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Warning: long post.

---------

Yeah, I appreciate the concern about Common Lawmen, but it's just speculation at this point.

Some people who worked on this custom will remember that I said CP must be able to "work alongside" the Common Lawman, but I never meant that to imply that Posse or Shootout must include commons. I think this design leaves plenty of space, and I'll leave it at that.

---------

I like Jandar customs, and I like figures that are Valiant. I've liked that part of this design since I first saw it.

---------

I think my favorite version of CP was the previous version, where he got to move any Lawman with an OM on its card. But there is a certain symmetry here, which I'd like to try out for myself.

---------

My understanding is that CP is (supposed to be) able to start a Shootout and take a turn in a Shootout. Probably needs that Sonlen sentence.

---------

I'm a bit concerned that I was listed as doing the "majority" of the testing. I know NB tested the current version and was quite happy with it, but I only ran three tests on the card two versions ago. Perhaps you're just being nice, though

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Maybe a shoutout to Sam Sixkiller would be appropriate for the nomination post as well?

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I checked availability. Troll and Toad has 199 in stock for $0.49. I think that qualifies

---------

Okay, enough rambling. I like the concept, I'm content on the execution, I'd like to test it.

to review Clayton Pierce

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  #6191  
Old April 1st, 2019, 04:25 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by NecroBlade View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundwarp SG-1 View Post
Hmm, not loving both powers doing the 'per OM number' bit for some reason I can't quite express. I'll think on it a spell.
I'd love to hear what doesn't jive for you. There's a certain tension derived from both powers being similar that makes the Lawmen interesting to play. Clayton makes them a lot of fun, IMO.
I guess part of it for me is I don't really see much tension, like to me you'd use the movement power in the first round and after that it just doesn't feel like it would get much use (outside of pretty big maps). It's not like you're giving up all movement for Shootout or anything, so to me you get plenty of board positioning just by spreading out your OMs and going for Shootout.

The other part is I just don't like how the powers sort of work the same, but not quite. It makes for a lot of text and it feels kinda inelegant and potentially confusing. Also a bit weird to me that the movement power is so much more restricted than the attacking power, if anything I'd expect the reverse.

IDK, I just think the design would benefit from either a simpler movement power or rolling the two powers into one unified power using bullet points. It's just a little discordant to me at the moment.


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  #6192  
Old April 1st, 2019, 04:49 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundwarp SG-1 View Post
I guess part of it for me is I don't really see much tension, like to me you'd use the movement power in the first round and after that it just doesn't feel like it would get much use (outside of pretty big maps). It's not like you're giving up all movement for Shootout or anything, so to me you get plenty of board positioning just by spreading out your OMs and going for Shootout.

The other part is I just don't like how the powers sort of work the same, but not quite. It makes for a lot of text and it feels kinda inelegant and potentially confusing. Also a bit weird to me that the movement power is so much more restricted than the attacking power, if anything I'd expect the reverse.

IDK, I just think the design would benefit from either a simpler movement power or rolling the two powers into one unified power using bullet points. It's just a little discordant to me at the moment.
These are all good points.

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