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  #5989  
Old November 7th, 2018, 08:34 AM
Tai-Pan Tai-Pan is offline
 
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Tai-Pan is inducted into the Halls of Valhalla Tai-Pan is inducted into the Halls of Valhalla Tai-Pan is inducted into the Halls of Valhalla Tai-Pan is inducted into the Halls of Valhalla Tai-Pan is inducted into the Halls of Valhalla Tai-Pan is inducted into the Halls of Valhalla Tai-Pan is inducted into the Halls of Valhalla Tai-Pan is inducted into the Halls of Valhalla Tai-Pan is inducted into the Halls of Valhalla
Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

BEAKFACE ARCHER AND BEAKFACE ROGUE by Sir HeroScape

Raptorians have long been part of the HeroScape canon, but only came into existence through the SoV with the Beakface Sneaks. Will they remain a mini-faction or are their reinforcements strong enough to secure their place in Valhalla?

Balance
Beakface Archer - The Beakface Archer's claim to fame isn't that he is the lowest-priced range figure in the game (he is), but what he brings to the Raptorian faction. Improved Flocking is a rehash of normal Flocking, but allows the player to go Birdy with or without the Beakface Sneaks, essentially creating army possibilities with only Raptorian Heroes. The power is balanced in that the Archer himself is relatively weak and his additional ranged attack of 2 isn't a game breaker when coupled with even the powerful attacks of the Warwitch or the Rogue.

Beakface Rogue - The Beakface Rogue packs the punch for the Raptorians, able to throw down 5 dice. He is also a crossover figure as far as synergy goes, able to take turns in tandem with either the Beakface Archer or the Nottingham Brigand and works excellently in both situations. A situational attack of 5 is at home with the Dumutef Guard and the Sahuagin Raider at the point level, although the bonding with Archers gives him an edge. I'd say he's a good choice for 25 points, even as a standalone filler, but not unbalanced.

PASS

Theme

The miniature selection fits perfectly with the other Raptorians. An archer calling the shots and being the organizational hub of an army is acceptable. I have a minor problem with the Rogue being a thief-like tricky/sneaky hero. The Beakface Sneaks are mechanically the mainstay of the Raptorian army and they are already dagger-wielding sneaks. The Rogue is more of a bruiser-type with his much larger sword and attack of 5, but name and the names of his powers go more along the lines of a, well a dagger-wielding sneak. It's nothing I can't live with though, and I love seeing new factions emerge in the age of customs.

PASS

Creativity


The powers aren't really anything new, but the faction evolution that occurs through these two figures creates something that is rather unique in the game thus far. The use of a ranged figure who, when working with his sword-lugging brethren, wants to be engaged, is something I really like and I find to be different from how other figures interact.

PASS

Playability


I really struggled initially with these figures and the Beakface Sneaks and eventually decided that the Sneaks work best with themselves and the Raptorian Heroes work best with themselves, despite the possibilty of crossover-synergy (I'm sure someone else can get them to work, but I had a lot of problems with it). Once I reached this decision, the Archer and the Rogue were quite enjoyable and not difficult to use.

The Archer gives you a full activation plus either 2 movements or 1 attack, which I found to be helpful in developing an army in the beginning without being overwhelming once the fighting starts.

As previously mentioned, the Rogue plays well with his bow-wielding friends, either the Beakface Archer or the Nottingham Brigand. I would also take him as a standalone heavy-hitter with squad support.

Both units fear being alone, as their special abilities pretty much fade away, but their strength in numbers is a lot of fun and can be quite impressive.

PASS

Summary


The inclusion of these fine soldiers into Einar's ranks would enhance the canonical faction of the Raptorians as well as the game in general. I was quickly convinced by the Beakface Rogue, while the Archer needed a little more time to grow on me. Once I'd had some time with them, I really enjoyed them and they led me to purchase the entire Raptorian faction, a testament to their excellence.

I vote to induct the Beakface Archer and the Beakface Rogue into the Soldiers of Valhalla

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  #5990  
Old November 13th, 2018, 06:45 PM
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Scytale Scytale is online now
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Agrah Fenh by @superfrog

Who better to lead the Nhah Scirh Cultists than a Wild Zealot?

Balance

Agrah Fenh is a curious mix of assassin and cheerleader. Four attack isn't huge, but it gets much better with the auto-skull from Martyr's Fervor when he's hurt. And of course Dragonkind Enmity gives him a noticeable edge against dragons. He comes in at a low price given that offensive potential, though he is a melee unit and his survivability isn't great. While low, the price is not unreasonable. Darrak Ambershard is simlarly vicious, and Brave Arrow and Cormin the Dark are fairly similar in terms of offense for the cost.

The Zealot also has a cheerleader ability, though, in Occult Zeal. Two extra movement for all Cultists, including the 4-man Nhah Scirhs, is a sizeable boost. It is, however, far more difficult to utilize than most cheerleading abilities as it requires Agrah to be engaged.

So he looks to be on the cheap side as far as his offense is concerned, plus he has a strong but difficult to use cheerleader ability. Not obviously well-balanced, but he doesn't clearly outshine anyone. With the odd combination of powers it will come down to playtesting, which I'll cover in Playability.

Theme

This is exacly the sort of outside-the-norm synergy I love seeing. While Mr. Fenh is a hero and leader of sorts for the faction, he doesn't feel at all like your typical Heroscape leader units. Rather he's an especially wild and driven member of the cult whose zealous actions inspire others. His design reflects this very well, both in his vicious attack power and the boost from Occult Zeal.

The miniature's flesh color is a bit different than for those of the Nhah Scirh Cultists, but not unreasonably so. The rest of the miniature is a great match. Dang that sword looks mean in person.

Creativity

Requiring adjacency for the movement boost is brilliant. It brings him out of the starting zone and right into the fray, which is exactly what the theme calls for. The package as a whole, power names, reuse of Dragonkind Enmity, and both left- and right-side stats paint a vivid picture of what this fellow is like.

Playability

Agrah Fenh has a curious combination of abilities. On the one hand, Martyr's Fervor makes him a sharky assassin: once he gets injured, you want to give him order markers to get the most out of his offensive prowess before he goes down. On the other hand, Occult Zeal gives him a potent cheerleader ability, although it takes effort to set up. For that, once he gets engaged, you want to put your order markers on your Cultist squads to get the most out of the movement boost until the Zealot goes down.

This odd combination makes for a difficult decision. Getting Agrah engaged is essential either way, so that's simple enough. After that, do you continue to use him for that strong attack power, or do you use the time to better your board position and get your Cultists on the offensive? Normally I'm a big fan of these sorts of decisions. Unfortunately, in playing him I never felt the decision was rewarding or even particularly interesting.

Ultimately I think the design fights against itself too much. Occult Zeal and Martyr's Fervor are both exciting, potent abilities that make this Icarian stand out. But not only do they not play together, they actively hurt each other. You can either try to get the most of out of Agrah as a fighter, throwing him at high value targets (dragons, if possible) and doing as much damage as possible, or you sneak him around on the outskirts, engaging with a lone unit to get the movement boost. The former makes him just another assassin with what seems like wasted cheerleader potential, and the later makes him seem oddly cowardly (though if he lasts, he can be a nasty cleanup figure).

The best usage I got out of him was to attack wildly and swap over to the Nhah Scirh Cultists when I thought he would go down. If I was lucky, he was still alive and I'd get the movement boost for a round. That's pretty neat, but really inconsistent given his so-so defensive strength, and at best still felt like I was failing to get the most out of him, either as an attacker ("if I had put just another order marker on him...") or as a leader ("if I had just switched to the squad earlier...").

Summary

I really wanted to like Agrah Fenh. The theme comes through very strongly and I really like the different take on a leader unit. But I just never felt happy with him, even after multiple games where I felt I really could not have played him better. Instead of feeling like a fervorous zealot who drives others to fight harder, he feels like he can't decide if he's a warrior or leader and fumbles trying to be both.

I vote Nay to induct Agrah Fenh into the SoV.
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  #5991  
Old November 13th, 2018, 07:18 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Thanks for the review, Scy.

I can't say I disagree with much of it except your final conclusion. As you noted under Balance, he's got a pretty high ceiling both offensively and cheerleading-ly for just 60 points. In order to make him not overpowered, he has to fall significantly short of those potentials most of the time. That lends itself to some frustration. For 60 points, though, I'll take a frustrating unit with high potential any day.

Either way, I'm glad you found it thematic, original, and not unbalanced.

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  #5992  
Old November 13th, 2018, 07:29 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

It seems to me like Occult Zeal would foster this playstyle and problem with or without Martyr's Fervor. The boost is huge for the Nhah Scirh, but he's cheap because he's forced to juggle between offense/taking turns and inspiring everyone else. I'm surprised to hear that the decision-making and timing isn't that interesting.

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  #5993  
Old November 14th, 2018, 11:04 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I didn't have an issue with Balance after numerous playthroughs. Despite the high potential for low cost, getting the most out of his abilities really isn't possible.

Ultimately my decision was about fun. I never really enjoyed playing with him and was always frustrated (and I'm one who loves to play challenging units). Playing against him I didn't worry about the choices; either way the answer was to kill him when he got close.

If the other Judges disagree with me, I'll wholeheartedly support their decision. This vote was more personal opinion than mechanical. A really smart custom with a strong design, but I just didn't feel it was one of the "best of the best."
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  #5994  
Old November 14th, 2018, 11:58 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I’m curious if you tried him with 2x Nhah Scirh, 2x Rats, Raelin or just him alongside whatever Raelin + stuff Splash army? He looks like a really good budget Bruiser option in a Splash army in a B+ meta. 4 defense 6 life is great survivability, and Rats or Tarn can gum stuff up so he can poke the edges.
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  #5995  
Old November 14th, 2018, 12:00 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcElfArmyOne View Post
I’m curious if you tried him with 2x Nhah Scirh, 2x Rats, Raelin or just him alongside whatever Raelin + stuff Splash army? He looks like a really good budget Bruiser option in a Splash army in a B+ meta. 4 defense 6 life is great survivability, and Rats or Tarn can gum stuff up so he can poke the edges.
I tried him with a few different builds. Yeah, he works fine as a straight bruiser, but then Occult Zeal is just an unnecessary power.
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  #5996  
Old November 14th, 2018, 01:06 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
I didn't have an issue with Balance after numerous playthroughs. Despite the high potential for low cost, getting the most out of his abilities really isn't possible.

Ultimately my decision was about fun. I never really enjoyed playing with him and was always frustrated (and I'm one who loves to play challenging units). Playing against him I didn't worry about the choices; either way the answer was to kill him when he got close.

If the other Judges disagree with me, I'll wholeheartedly support their decision. This vote was more personal opinion than mechanical. A really smart custom with a strong design, but I just didn't feel it was one of the "best of the best."
Yep, that came through well in your review. It was an intentional design choice to make him frustrating to play, so I can't fault you for finding that out. Thanks as always for your thoroughness.

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Last edited by superfrog; November 14th, 2018 at 01:11 PM. Reason: although I'd love to see a picture of him with the Nhah Scirh if you've got one
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  #5997  
Old November 14th, 2018, 06:34 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Johann Greybeard by DewNoHarm

Balance- Johann Greybeard is far from breaking the game. Although his Shield Bash is potentially potent, the swinginess of it combined with his vulnerable base stats keep him in line. What concerns me from a "balance" standpoint is his Valiant personality. The 4th Mass don't need any filler units; they win enough games as-is. When I think about the experience of someone barely wiping all the 4th Mass off the board and then losing to a 10 point filler, I feel really annoyed for them.

Playability- It's difficult to evaluate "playability" on a figure that rarely gets Order Markers. I struggled to find end-game scenarios where I would rather use Johann Greybeard than any of my other figures left on the board.
Powers: The powers are clear and understandable. However, they are frustrating on several levels. He eats up an X OM to activate a once-a-round power, limiting his synergy with units like Siege and Evar Scarcarver. The once-a-round nature of the power goes against his purpose as a filler figure suited for no role other than end-game cleanup. Shield Bash is a power that really wants to belong to a more potent figure. The d20 nature of it combined with his low attack value (on two turns out of every three in the end-game) makes his turns very all-or-nothing depending on how that d20 roll turns out.
Appropriate Stats: The stats work for an old man.
Visual Distinctness: The mini is distinct enough for a fantasy/medieval hero.

Creativity- Johann's powers are both new, and the way he plays is different from past figures. However, I struggled to find him a solid addition to the canon.

Theme- Johann comes through alright on theme. Shield Bash is a surprisingly potent power for a figure that is supposed to represent an older, more worn-down warrior.

--

While some of my gripes could be made about an existing figure, Otonashi, as well, they are very distinct. Otonashi does two things very consistently: 1) she is the fastest figure in the game when she starts next to a Tricky figure, letting her rush out to grab a glyph or nab a treasure glyph. 2) she can throw a hefty 4 dice against Wild figures, every turn, without rolling a d20 or burning an extra order marker. In other words, Otonashi has roles outside of cleanup, and she can fulfill those roles consistently. Johann can't say the same for himself.

Between playability issues and the balance issue of him helping 4th Mass (which would cause me to vote to not even review the unit in the first place), I vote Nay to induct Johann Greybeard in the Soldiers of Valhalla.

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  #5998  
Old November 14th, 2018, 06:47 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Johann Graybeard has received 2 Nay votes to induct (Scytale and capsocrates) and is removed from the process.
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  #5999  
Old November 14th, 2018, 10:18 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcElfArmyOne View Post
I’m curious if you tried him with 2x Nhah Scirh, 2x Rats, Raelin or just him alongside whatever Raelin + stuff Splash army? He looks like a really good budget Bruiser option in a Splash army in a B+ meta. 4 defense 6 life is great survivability, and Rats or Tarn can gum stuff up so he can poke the edges.
I tried him with a few different builds. Yeah, he works fine as a straight bruiser, but then Occult Zeal is just an unnecessary power.
Sure, I still think there's merit with a screen. Let him be a Bruiser while also cheerleading. Would give the Nhah Scirh a lot of mobility to be a bread and butter melee.

Last edited by OrcElfArmyOne; November 14th, 2018 at 11:55 PM. Reason: Of course, not saying you haven't tried it, pure speculation
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  #6000  
Old November 15th, 2018, 09:45 PM
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JaesShurrig JaesShurrig is offline
 
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Hi!

I have a couple of customs I'd like to submit to the SoV, but I don't have the editing software to put cards together, could anyone help me out?

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