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  #1  
Old September 10th, 2015, 11:52 PM
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Customs by Krysto (Drax, the Thief v2)

(Moved to proper subforum, please if possible delete the original)

First and foremost, I'd like to say hello to the Heroscape fanbase - it's be a long, long time. I am aware that somewhere in the depths of the forum is my old Customs thread, and as a note to Mods I'd rather that thread be deleted or locked - many were made hastily and weren't given the full amount of love or TLC they deserved, and I knew it at the time. The end result was a flood of half-baked ideas and ramblings, which I realized the community, myself included, wouldn't want to keep up with. It's been years since then. I've grown as a person and as a content creator in general.

That being said, have I given up making customs? Certainly not - instead I've gone back and taken a good, long look at my work and decided it's best to start from scratch, working only with figures I physically own and have the ability to playtest myself - something I plan to do in the coming months, if able.

From here on I intend to give a lot more thought and effort on the part of developing any given unit and taking time to account for feedback. In the posts following, I will be going into explaining the design process and considerations put into the units, and giving an idea as to what I wanted out of it.

I look forward to returning to the HS community, if at the very least on the web.

Sometimes, you just have to start over.

Last edited by krysto2002; September 15th, 2015 at 05:41 AM. Reason: Title Change
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Old September 12th, 2015, 01:23 AM
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Re: Customs by Krysto (moved)

...and then I realized that in the moving process, I somehow completely forgot to actually repost the first custom. I am off to a wonderful start this week, aren't I? The original post is unrecoverable, so I'll have to completely re-do my writeup, so without further ado - here's Drax:



The figure used here is SW Minis Legacy of the Force #47 Human Scoundrel

Earlier Revisions and Concepts
Drax started out fairly similar to the current iteration you see above - I wanted to make a hero variant of Deathreavers - something which would potentially ooze strategic value if used properly. The original version was very similar, but had Stealth Dodge instead of the third special power listed (which I'll get to in a bit) - I realized that in doing this, I had basically only slightly modified Agent Skahen, reduced the cost, and halved the attack potential, and that just didn't seem... interesting enough.

This got me thinking - what could I make this fellow do to make his abilities go hand in hand? Naturally Thief Sense and Phantom Walk were like two peas in a pod, but what could compliment them both so naturally?

Mechanics
This is where we get to the big mechanic at play here: Shiv.
I wanted something that would not only fit the flavor of the card, but also work well in tandem with the abilities already present. Originally, the idea was to have a sort of backwards passing swipe mechanic, but at 50% wounding potential, I realized that scaling it back to 15% would be for the best.

Currently the 18 is rather arbitrary - I'm not sure if 17 is too low, or if 19 is too high, and quite of a lot of consideration was put in to how the triggered. Moving through a figure seemed flavorful enough, so it was just a matter of balancing things out. This is where the two limiting factors come into play: You can only attempt to Shiv any given figure once per turn (including when Thief Sense is triggered), so there's no dancing back and forth around a unit, and secondly you have to move into an empty space before attempting to Shiv a different unit, so as to effectively reduce the amount of dicerolling which can happen in any given turn.

This results in a natural maximum of 2 units Shiv'd per Thief Sense movement, and 3 units Shiv'd per normal movement - which felt about right, as these are very dicey situations for Drax to be in, so the risk-reward tradeoff seemed fair enough: more attempted backstabbing meant leaving Drax in a more dangerous position.

Stats
So that's where the stats came into play - the 3/6/6/3/3 70 points statline seemed about right - 3 life makes Drax squishy enough that risking his hide for an extra Shiv or two can spell his end, 6 move felt fair, and the 6 range is moderate but not too high. 3/3 attack/defense is par for the course and with only one attack per OM, it's fairly obvious that Drax isn't the type of figure who is going to see a lot of OM-dedication, instead being carried by his abilities. The obvious synergy which resulted from Agent Skahen was only icing on the cake.

Considered Changes
As for changes, I've considered making his stats a little more lopsided, leaning towards a 2/4 figure as opposed to 3/3, or perhaps reducing his range, though keeping his point value around 70-80 is key - I want this unit to be a semi-filler, meaning that it isn't taking up a significant fraction of your army's point total. The idea was to have a unit which could be leveraged for strategic value, but being at least some amount of risked points in doing so. As for Shiv - I'd have to give the unit a try at least once or twice to get a feel for how frequently I want him successfully stabbing units - 18 might very well be too high, and I've considered going as low as 16 (it's currently 15% chance, 16 is a 25% chance).

Strategy
In play, I forsee this fellow as being an early game leverage unit - getting him out into the fray, clogging chokepoints, hopping onto valuable positions, or nabbing glyphs just long enough to keep your opponent off them for a turn. He can dance between squad figures tying up attacks just long enough for you to get your more valuable units into position. Perhaps he takes out a squaddie or two along the way, perhaps he chips one life off of a Hero, perhaps he keeps advancing ranged units from reaching the high ground before you, perhaps he just gets turned into swiss cheese right away.

Bio/Background
Drax comes from the same alt-future Earth that the Agents inhabit. In a twist of ironic fate, he finds himself fighting alongside the very same Agents who would otherwise have shot him on sight.

Sometimes, you just have to start over.

Last edited by krysto2002; September 12th, 2015 at 01:29 AM. Reason: updated miniature details
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Old September 12th, 2015, 04:03 PM
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Re: Customs by Krysto (moved)

Drax: He's really cool and thematic, but I doubt he'll last too long with those stats. I don't see lowering the roll chance of Shiv doing too much damage since he probably won't be around too long to use it. If nothing else Elaria the Pale will help his chances.

~TAF

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Old September 12th, 2015, 11:18 PM
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Re: Customs by Krysto (moved)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAverageFan View Post
Drax: He's really cool and thematic, but I doubt he'll last too long with those stats. I don't see lowering the roll chance of Shiv doing too much damage since he probably won't be around too long to use it. If nothing else Elaria the Pale will help his chances.

~TAF
I thought as much - would upping his survivability by raising def. to 4 and lowering attack to 2, while simultaneously dropping the req on Shiv to 16 be too much? I feel like there's a sweet spot for the numbers here which would make him fun to use. If so many armies draft 1-2 squads of rats, I wonder how well he would sub in armies which cannot spare the 4-8 hexes at the start of the game? I'll try some tweaking, hopefully squeeze in some playtesting in a a future session and see how he rolls.

Edit: After doing some cost-comparisons - units in this point range tend to either be low-def (2)/moderate life (4-5) or moderate-def (3-4)/low life(2-3). Keeping this in mind, perhaps it might be better still to just drop his defense down to 2 and raise his life up to 4 or 5 to better reflect this.

So this puts my options for either leaning towards:
A) Higher defense, lower attack and life
B) Balanced stats as-is, maybe +1 life
C) Lower defense, higher life

And I'm really not sure which is the best direction to lean for the purposes of this unit. Deathreavers roll 4 defense and can be drafted en-masse, but have little to no attack potential. Drax here has offensive potential and can only be taken as 1 unit, and is point-wise equivalent to about 2 squads of rats. Keeping that in mind, and keeping flavor in mind, the careful balancing of stats here will decide just what niche if any this fellow can fill.

Sometimes, you just have to start over.

Last edited by krysto2002; September 12th, 2015 at 11:36 PM.
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Old September 13th, 2015, 02:13 AM
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Krysto's Customs (update: added WiP)

In general, I try to stick with a few main philosophies.
First and foremost, I try to keep cards from becoming overcomplicated.
Second, I try to stick only to figures I have the ability to proxy or own.
Third, I try to avoid posting customs for which I cannot produce a card for visual aid.

On rare occasion, I still succumb to outbursts of creativity, and on rarer occasion, the idea is so special to me that I feel the need to just roll with it.

This is one of those occasions.

To be fair, I'm not certain anyone has tried to do this particular idea- in fact, someone probably already has. That's not going to stop me, either way. The concept here was to create a unit which could mount other units - ie a literal Dragon-Rider. This started with first and foremost - how do I represent this as an ability in a simple and grokkable manner? Second, what benefits do I convey for doing this? Third, how do I make this fit in well with existing 'Scape without making for one-way synergies?

I feel like I hit all of the bullet points here and that the result isn't actually an utter mess. That being said, here is Dragon Speaker (actual name is up in the air) - Keep in mind that the listed stats are all completely arbitrary and subject to change, and that the point value is a complete mystery to me.

Dragon Speaker
  • Jandar
  • Human (Race is also arbitrary until a figure is chosen)
  • Unique Hero
  • Marauder (Any non-bonding class will work, will probably change to Dragon Speaker)
  • Fearless
  • Medium

Stats:
  • 5 Life
  • 5 Move
  • 1 Range
  • 3 Attack
  • 5 Defense
  • ??? Points

And now for the meat on the bones:
Dragon Mount
At the start of the game, you may choose a Large or Huge Dragon Hero you control. For the rest of the game, the chose Dragon is a Mount in addition to its current class.
Spoiler Alert!


Mount Up
After revealing an Order Marker on this card, you may place Dragon Speaker's figure on an adjacent, friendly Mount figure's Army Card. That figure gains the Mounted Strike Special Attack and Dismount special powers. (This ends your turn)
Spoiler Alert!


Mounted Strike Special Attack
Range 1. Attack 4.
Once, at any point before, during or after moving this figure and before attacking, you may attack with the Mounted Strike Special Attack as long as this figure is on a space where it could end its movement. This figure may still attack or use any of its special powers as normal after using the Mounted Strike Special Attack. Use this ability only while Dragon Speaker is Mounted Up.
Spoiler Alert!


Dismount
After taking a turn with this figure or when this figure is destroyed, you may place the Dragon Speaker on any adjacent same level or lower hex, or on any hex this figure occupied. If the hex is lower, roll for any falling damage that would apply. If you can't, Dragon Speaker is destroyed. Use this ability only while Dragon Speaker is Mounted Up.
Spoiler Alert!


And there you have it - a figure which can Mount other figures, granting them the ability to strike at foes as they charge across the battlefield, and then Dismount when needed. On the board, he/she's just a vanilla dude/dudette, but isn't entirely worthless on their own. In terms of OM management, there is rarely a scenario where you aren't fully in control of the duo - you choose when to Mount Up, and if you are Dismounting voluntarily, you have control over which unit will be taking the next turn. There's no awkward handling of Order Markers, and it should work quite well in practice. As for the event of your opponent Mind Shackling your Mount? I've actually considered this and it fits into the rules quite well: you still control the Dragon Speaker, but the Mount is the figure with all the abilities, so your opponent gets to use Mounted Strike and also has control over Dismount, so flying that Mounted Nilfheim across the map, Striking down one of your units, and then dumping the Dragon Speaker into Lava is a perfectly valid play. All the while, you "control" Dragon Speaker, but it only matters where his figure is and who controls that figure, so cheeky use of mind control can be quite costly.

I hope you guys enjoyed this little idea dump, I don't intend to do them quite often, and only when I feel like the result is worth reading. Yes the effects fit on a standard HS card, and yes, they're quite readable when they do, so huzzah, I suppose?

Sometimes, you just have to start over.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 05:40 AM
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Customs by Krysto (Drax, the Thief v2)

I've revised the statline for Drax, here's an alternate build:



This variant has a higher defense and more life, and is less squishy as a result - he also shivs at 16 instead of 18.

To be completely honest, I think this build is on the more powerful end of the spectrum, and might need to be toned down. The big question is: how powerful is autowounding? The answer is that I'm not sure - 70 points may be too low for a figure which requires little, if any, OM dedication - and making such a figure too sturdy might throw things overboard. If used as I anticipate, the attack value should be irrelevant.

Comparing this to similarly costed units is hard as there are ZERO 70 pt Heroes in classic scape. 65 pts gets you Johnny and his Shotgun (5 health) and 60 gets you Zetacron (high range + potentially high damage output), while 75 gets you James Murphy (defense null + shotgun) and 80 gets you quite the variety.

So is nerfing this guy to fit into the 70 point slot doing him injustice? Or should I roll with the idea and boost him into the more dedicated point ranges of 80-100?

Sometimes, you just have to start over.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 11:41 AM
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Re: Customs by Krysto (Drax, the Thief v2)

As he is now, he is like a cheap Tor-kul-na, but not sure I like him this way. I might like him cheaper at like 45-50 with 3 defense (but keep the 16 Shiv) as a cleanup figure kinda like Isamu or Marcu does on a smaller scale. Say the end of the game there is only one hero and/or only a partial squad left - he would be a good figure to slowly widdle them down and worth 50 points.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 10:19 PM
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Re: Customs by Krysto (Drax, the Thief v2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lefton4ya View Post
As he is now, he is like a cheap Tor-kul-na, but not sure I like him this way. I might like him cheaper at like 45-50 with 3 defense (but keep the 16 Shiv) as a cleanup figure kinda like Isamu or Marcu does on a smaller scale. Say the end of the game there is only one hero and/or only a partial squad left - he would be a good figure to slowly widdle them down and worth 50 points.
I'm dead set on the role I want this unit to fill - at this point it's all about messing with stats and numbers to fulfill that role.

I don't want this to explicitly be a cleanup unit - I'm not a fan of units that ultimately end up sitting around and doing nothing for most of the game. Instead I want this to be a unit to be leveraged in the early-mid game for strategic value - an alternative to Rats which also offers some offensive capabilities and provides some level of synergy with existing units. Enough of a unit that it's not a filler, but it's also not a major chunk of your army.

So it's not about making him like a mini Tor-Kul-Na, he's a figure you will devote OMs to and will be an explicit offensive threat/dedicated part of your army - if I wanted that I'd incentivise dumping OMs on him by giving him a stronger base attack.

I'm looking for the right balance of stats to fit that role, and figuring out just how far I can push the numbers without him being unfair or OP for a unit that will get mileage without ever having more than one or two OMs used to get him into position (fewer if you pair him with Skahen).

Sometimes, you just have to start over.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 08:44 AM
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Re: Customs by Krysto (Ticallan Raptors and Dragon Speaker)

Alright, so here's a visual on the previously described Dragon Speaker:


The figure I'll be using is the D&D minis Xeph Warrior, which by all accounts appears to be cheap and available, and carries a sizeable polearm.

It's gone through a few minor changes, and the numbers are still rather arbitrary (life, attack, defense and point value are way up in the air). The wording could also probably use a bit of revision, but the general idea is the same, and so playtesting isn't too far off.

With that aside, here's an old unit revisited:


Way back when, I made these little dudes called Blood Raptors, and after looking back on the feedback they got, I realized some tweaks needed to be made. In the end, they always ended up being a wasted OM, so I figured some synergy was called for and decided to change the existing movement bonding ability and add an additional defensive ability.

So what we have, in the end, is a 90 point pseudo-squad, which has the ability to work as either a 3-man pack, or a 1+1 hero pair - based on what the situation calls for. This creates some cool scenarios where you can, for example, poison a hero with Sujoah and have a raptor aim for the killing blow, or use a Wyvern to grab a wounded figure from some safe spot and drag him down to the raptors waiting below.

The defensive buff was just a little something I felt added some flavor.

As-is, I am not certain if they're very powerful, or if they'll just end up falling into a hero-killer niche which falls flat vs squaddies.

Perhaps 7 move is too high, and scaling it down to 7 would be for the best, and perhaps dropping the defense buff to 1 might work as well.

This uses the D&D Minis Bloodseeker Drake, though Nagrubs are more than suitable proxies.

As always, if you spot any sort of wording issues, feel free to let me know!

Sometimes, you just have to start over.
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Old September 18th, 2015, 12:06 PM
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Re: Customs by Krysto (Drax, the Thief v2)

I like the Dragon Speaker overall, but need help on wording. Maybe make more like Mok in reverse as he is the mount, but I'll let you figure out wording. One error in wording is for dismount you need to change "this Hero's army card." to "a Mount's army card." I alse don't like that an opponent cannot damage Dragon Speaker without killing the mount first. Maybe make either a D20 roll or opponent's choice who gets wounded or even attacked/targeted.

For Ticallan Raptor, looks very similar to my Raptor Youngling from my Jurassic World DINOSAURS!, the biggest change being common instead of 3 life uncommon, and allowing to use essentially as a squad of three or with bonding. I actually really like the strategic pack bonding, as I am sure you along with me were trying to get the feel of raptors seen in the Jurassic Park/World movies, especially the first one. I do think 20 would be a better point value, since if you think of other 3/3 melee squads in the game such as Roman Soldiers/Sacred Band, Marro Drones/Dividers or Warriors of Ashra, they are mostly 50 points and either 4 unit squads or have bonding and/or some great defensive power, although Raptors are faster and the blood fenzy in a squad or with bonding is a real hero killer. Now that I think of it, I should probably reduce the cost of my own raptors to like 45 or 50.

Last edited by lefton4ya; September 18th, 2015 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Ticallan Raptor
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Old September 19th, 2015, 09:32 AM
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Re: Customs by Krysto (Drax, the Thief v2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lefton4ya View Post
I like the Dragon Speaker overall, but need help on wording. Maybe make more like Mok in reverse as he is the mount, but I'll let you figure out wording. One error in wording is for dismount you need to change "this Hero's army card." to "a Mount's army card." I alse don't like that an opponent cannot damage Dragon Speaker without killing the mount first. Maybe make either a D20 roll or opponent's choice who gets wounded or even attacked/targeted.
Thanks so much for the feedback - I did actually put a lot of consideration towards Mok when designing the effects on Dragon Speaker. Mok does not however, account for the gunners coming back off, if I remember. Additionally the effects are worded because the effects are read from the Point of View of the Mounts themselves - that is to say the ability is literally copypasted onto the Army Card of the Mount, and are used as if they have those abilities themselves, which is what makes things so weird - perhaps rewording them so that they function from Dragon Speaker's Army Card would make things less confusion. Basically they're all written as if the ability itself was on the card of the Mount and the ability belongs to the Mount and not Dragon Speaker.

As for wounding Dragon Speaker himself, the issue is that, while it's something I wanted to do, it adds just sooooo much fluff onto the card, it would never fit - something just had to go. I might be able to squeeze in a clause that autowounds him if his mount dies in combat, but otherwise it's just something that takes up too much space on a card which is already crammed to the max.

I do want to figure out a working point value for him eventually though as his value is a big fat question mark.

Sometimes, you just have to start over.
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Old September 20th, 2015, 07:15 AM
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Re: Customs by Krysto (Drax, the Thief v2)

Alright - so I'm going to be making plans to run a playtest sometime within the next month, I figure now would be a fine time to show off something that is almost guaranteed to see play during that session:



These are the G-19 Cyber Soldiers - a common melee squad of Mariedians.

The figures used are 3 out of the many Battle Ball figures - I believe you get a full squad out of the box, and there are plenty of other figures in there worth using. They, at the very least, make acceptable Gladiatron proxies, and have a slew of other uses - I will be using several of them for upcoming customs (at least two other Unique Heroes in the works, possibly more).

In design, the idea was to make a higher-end melee squad, sans traditional bonding (though they get movement bonding from an existing custom squad in C3V if I'm not mistaken) with some cool abilities.

You might notice that none of these abilities are explicitly "new", but going out of the way to do things for the sake of novelty isn't always the best of ideas. There was originally going to be an associated debuff for the claw effect, but it just occupied too much additional space on the card, and I decided to cut that over the Grapple Gun, though I may have been wrong in doing so. I decided that I could just cover the debuff by simply supplementing the offense of the soldiers.

Abilities
The G-19 Cyber Soldiers feature two abilities - Grapple Gun 15 and Vise Grab.

The former is a bit of added mobility - I realized that on castle maps, melee figures are quite disadvantaged by ranged units perched on the parapets, and getting at them required taking either flying units or counterdrafting range. By adding in Grapple Gun 15, the Cyber Soldiers can quickly scale large cliffs to gain the high ground before their ranged opponents, and with a base defense of 4 stand a high chance of holding it.

The second ability is a modified version of Chain Grab and is what I feel makes them an interesting squad and makes the Chainfighter an un-interesting hero. Each Cyber Soldier can not only stand ready to grab height advantage, they are also poised to take it away, yanking key units out of position or off of height and into place for a good old fashioned beat down. An important thing to note is the intentional lack of a clause stating that a figure cannot be move more than once by Vise Grab, meaning that 3 successful D20 rolls can move a single figure from one Cyber Soldier all the way down the line to the last, potentially putting a figure like Raelin so far out of position that returning might be difficult. This ability also adds quite a bit of extra bit of threat range, something melee units desperately lack.

Synergy
I'll be the first to admit that I had no specific synergies in mind when I created this unit - I wanted a solid standalone melee squad, and question if such a thing can even be done. Consideration was put into making them soldiers for the sake of Marcus' move bonus as an afterthought, and might happen in the future if it's deemed that the Cyber Soldiers are too slow.

Stats
The Cyber Soldiers, at 75 points were immediately brought into comparison to the Horned Skull Brutes, which fill a similar role. The HSB have added surviveability with the ability to munch Goblin Cutters to dodge wounds and also feature a 100% consistent movement ability. In that regards, I'd go so far as to say that they are, in comparison, a better unit than the Cyber Soldiers, and has me questioning if that warrants an improvement. If the HSB can roll 4/4 at 75 points, I see no reason why the Cyber Soldiers can't do the same.

Changes in consideration
Does Grapple Gun do enough work? If not, should it be replaced with a more useful ability?
Is 14 too high for Grabbing? Should a lower number be used for increased consistency?
Should Class be changed to Soldier for the sake of movement bonuses via Marcus Decimus Gallus?

Bio
Since being either enslaved by the soulborgs or forced into hiding, the Mariedians have definitely lost access to their most advanced technology, but they have definitely not lost their knowledge of it. Having returned to the battlefield, Mariedian soldiers quickly took to scavenging the remains of downed Soulborgs. After all, the only good soulborg is a dead soulborg! Bits of armor, hollowed out skulls, salvaged cyberclaws - the G-19 Cyber Soldiers have made use of the bodies of several downed Gladiatrons, modifying their Cyberclaws for use as grappling hooks and their tough metal hides for body armor. Despite lacking the full stopping power of fully functional Gladiatrons, the Cyberclaws still pack one mighty punch and can snatch unwary opponents clean off their feet in a deadly one-two attack.

Sometimes, you just have to start over.
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Age of Consent, moved from the UD thread. Karkadinn General 28 September 27th, 2006 09:04 AM
FAQs moved over truth Official Rules & FAQ's 6 May 13th, 2006 05:20 PM


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