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  #3181  
Old February 13th, 2019, 04:37 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
It's a good, solid pair of designs. Some things I'd like to mention though.

Imposing Threat is certainly similar to Combat Challenge, but unlike Astroking I think it's an elegant way to avoid the problem of the bad wording of Combat Challenge. I think you're making a mistake with the 2-dice reduction, though. A single die would be better. While that seems weak, trust me, no one wants to lose an attack die. Losing two is crushing, so it will be very, very rare anyone would attack something else. With one die it is a choice, a painful one, and that's a good thing.
You might remember over a year ago when I first sent you a draft of Dalmor's design in a PM. He actually had the modified version of Combat challenge back then, and he was uncommmon. This is indeed my solution to avoid the problem, and this is only for Commons, to further differentiate it, and to match the theme set by the name. I went with -2 because I wanted it to be useful against heavier hitting units like a beefed up Krug, or Kozuke Samurai. With just a -1, heavy hitters can more easily ignore Dalmor. It is also a replacement for Combat Challenge, so I wanted to stress the downsides of ignoring Dalmor heavily, so that it would have a similar effectiveness when compared to combat challenge. A -1 would probably lower his price a bit, so I might consider that side of it, since a lower priced hero would be nice to see for the Dwarves.


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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Tenacity is really, really good. Really, really good. The defense bonus is fairly weak, but the offensive bonus is super huge. 80 points for 4? No way, not with that ability.
I would argue that the Brute Gruts are better, (and only 65 points, though I hear they might have been under priced) especially against Squads due to Bully, but even without it, Taking multiple turns is just better. Even the Tarns aren't the worst comparison. The base defense makes them about even with Tenacity, Charging Assault makes their move potential pretty similar, and while they only have 3 attack, they are also only 50 points, instead of 80. The Varkaanan Swiftfangs are arguably at the same level as my Great Axes. They are also 4 figures, with a base of 3/3, but Bonding is very powerful, especially with the heros and Unique Squads available to them, and First Strike makes their attack comparable, even if it's only for 1 turn each round. I don't have any unique squads to compare to at the 90 point range, but I'd argue that every 100 point unique squad is better than the Great Axes. The Quickblades have better, and more consistent movement, equal defense, and while they might not have the same attack, they have a special attack, which despite only being an attack of 3, is even better than a normal attack of 4, since it lowers your target's defense, and to top it off they have bonding. The Kozuke Samurai have an even better attack, and while they lack the same defensive potential, they do have counterstrike, and their movement ability makes them much easier to engage with, and position. The Krav Maga are the last 100 point unique, and with Stealth Dodge, and a Range of 7, I think we can all agree that they are better than my Great Axes.
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  #3182  
Old February 13th, 2019, 04:53 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
With just a -1, heavy hitters can more easily ignore Dalmor. It is also a replacement for Combat Challenge, so I wanted to stress the downsides of ignoring Dalmor heavily, so that it would have a similar effectiveness when compared to combat challenge.
You are underestimating the power of the -1. It hardly even matters what it does statistically; people will be loathe to give up the dice.

Besides, I really like that it doesn't hit heavy hitters as badly. It does even more to distinguish it from Combat Challenge.

In my opinion, -1 is interesting and valuable, and easily underestimated. -2 is unnecessarily burdensome.


I was thinking the Great Axes were Common. Being Unique does change things quite a lot, enough that I can buy 80pts. Still, do not underestimate Tenacity. When rolling attack dice, getting two skulls is an ok chance at doing damage. Rolling three, though, is very likely to do damage. Tenacity turns all 2's into 3's. That's amazing.
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  #3183  
Old February 13th, 2019, 06:35 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

On the topic of Imposing Threat, I actually think that it's significantly better with just 1 dice. I still think that you should just use a tweaked Combat Challenge if that's the power that you're trying to make, but making it slightly less impactful actually further differentiates it from that ability. I can see far more instances where an opponent might choose to attack a squad figure if they're only losing 1 dice, but it's still something that they would usually want to avoid and accomplishes the same theme.

For the comparison on attacks, I just want to throw out there that I think these guys will probably perform better offensively than the Kozuke. They're more likely to survive against range (especially since the Kozuke only have 3 members), and if they can nab height, they're looking at an expected three skulls per attack, which matches the Kozuke. Even without height, I'd still rather take the fourth attack (with improved odds) over the extra attack die. Counterstrike and the better movement don't quite make up the difference for a better defense and a fourth squad member in my eyes, but the Kozuke also aren't the best squad in the first place, and power levels only really come through in playtesting. I just wanted to point out that this comparison doesn't really hold up, so I wouldn't use it as a pricing indicator.

Quote:
Before moving a Great Axe of Ironstone, if a friendly figure within 6 clear sight spaces is engaged, you may add 2 to that Great Axe of Ironstone's move.
Quote:
Before moving a Great Axe of Ironstone, if there is an engaged friendly figure within 6 clear sight spaces, you may add 2 to that Great Axe of Ironstone's move.
The difference between these isn't big, but the former feels like it places a more equal weight on the latter two clauses to me, largely due to the slightly more complex second fragment. Saying "if a friendly figure within 6 clear sight spaces is engaged" isn't as immediately readable, since it splits the subject we're looking for (an engaged friendly figure) from its adjective across the range of the power. Perhaps I've just been writing too much code in the past few days and am in the wrong mindset, but introducing just "a friendly figure," then the range, and then the clause that the figure must be engaged doesn't flow as well to me as introducing that we're looking for an engaged friendly within range. I don't think that it's a huge problem (or that the proposed phrasing is perfect), but I do think that there is some minor room for improvement in the wording of the power.
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  #3184  
Old February 13th, 2019, 06:52 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
With just a -1, heavy hitters can more easily ignore Dalmor. It is also a replacement for Combat Challenge, so I wanted to stress the downsides of ignoring Dalmor heavily, so that it would have a similar effectiveness when compared to combat challenge.
You are underestimating the power of the -1. It hardly even matters what it does statistically; people will be loathe to give up the dice.

Besides, I really like that it doesn't hit heavy hitters as badly. It does even more to distinguish it from Combat Challenge.

In my opinion, -1 is interesting and valuable, and easily underestimated. -2 is unnecessarily burdensome.
I'll run a few tests and see how I like it.

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
I was thinking the Great Axes were Common. Being Unique does change things quite a lot, enough that I can buy 80pts. Still, do not underestimate Tenacity. When rolling attack dice, getting two skulls is an ok chance at doing damage. Rolling three, though, is very likely to do damage. Tenacity turns all 2's into 3's. That's amazing.
I could see an argument for as high as 90 points if they are backed by Raelin, or Tealord, but being melee range only, and unique makes this setup hard to pull off effectively against a player who is familiar with how Tealord/Raelin strategies work. Tenacity is Good. Really Good. But in this design it's not broken.
EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astroking112 View Post
On the topic of Imposing Threat, I actually think that it's significantly better with just 1 dice. I still think that you should just use a tweaked Combat Challenge if that's the power that you're trying to make, but making it slightly less impactful actually further differentiates it from that ability. I can see far more instances where an opponent might choose to attack a squad figure if they're only losing 1 dice, but it's still something that they would usually want to avoid and accomplishes the same theme.

For the comparison on attacks, I just want to throw out there that I think these guys will probably perform better offensively than the Kozuke. They're more likely to survive against range (especially since the Kozuke only have 3 members), and if they can nab height, they're looking at an expected three skulls per attack, which matches the Kozuke. Even without height, I'd still rather take the fourth attack (with improved odds) over the extra attack die. Counterstrike and the better movement don't quite make up the difference for a better defense and a fourth squad member in my eyes, but the Kozuke also aren't the best squad in the first place, and power levels only really come through in playtesting. I just wanted to point out that this comparison doesn't really hold up, so I wouldn't use it as a pricing indicator.

Quote:
Before moving a Great Axe of Ironstone, if a friendly figure within 6 clear sight spaces is engaged, you may add 2 to that Great Axe of Ironstone's move.
Quote:
Before moving a Great Axe of Ironstone, if there is an engaged friendly figure within 6 clear sight spaces, you may add 2 to that Great Axe of Ironstone's move.
The difference between these isn't big, but the former feels like it places a more equal weight on the latter two clauses to me, largely due to the slightly more complex second fragment. Saying "if a friendly figure within 6 clear sight spaces is engaged" isn't as immediately readable, since it splits the subject we're looking for (an engaged friendly figure) from its adjective across the range of the power. Perhaps I've just been writing too much code in the past few days and am in the wrong mindset, but introducing just "a friendly figure," then the range, and then the clause that the figure must be engaged doesn't flow as well to me as introducing that we're looking for an engaged friendly within range. I don't think that it's a huge problem (or that the proposed phrasing is perfect), but I do think that there is some minor room for improvement in the wording of the power.
I wanted to respond to you, but I had to leave for work when I posted so I didn't have the time to do so. I think you and Scytale are right about -1 differentiating it more, and so I will be seriously considering it. I wanted Combat Challenge way back when I was first creating this design, but this design was different in other ways back then, and I no longer want to use it here.

The Kozuke are very good against melee only armies, but pretty "meh" against armies with decent range. At the time of their release the meta was different, and maybe they were better at the time, but in the current meta, they should probably be reduced to 90, or even 80 points. I'd say they are slightly better than the Great Axes just because they can't be kited by range so easily. The Kozuke's attack is more consistent without a height advantage, and with a height advantage, they are about the same on average, but the Kozuke have a higher potential roll. If the Kozuke can live long enough, they will do more damage than the Great Axes, even with 1 less figure. The only advantage the Great Axes have (aside from the extra figure) is the single extra defense, and that takes a bit of luck to take advantage of. I think the other 100 point squads are clearly better though.


The wording isn't a big issue in my eyes, so for the time being, I'm going to leave it as is.

Last edited by Leaf_It; February 14th, 2019 at 04:04 AM.
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  #3185  
Old February 15th, 2019, 04:02 AM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

I like the Kozuke and generally find them to be worth their cost... but their value comes from being shocktroops. With an attack of 5 each and a move of 8 on the charge, their role generally is to do the damage you need them to do in the first assault - they won't stick around much longer unless you're in the cleanup stages, and they don't need to. The Great Axes and Kozuke seem non-comparable, to me.


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  #3186  
Old February 21st, 2019, 01:29 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop


I've made some adjustments to my Dragon Rider custom with the feedback from the Discord server, with one of the biggest changes being to the organization of the powers. I originally had put the simpler power (her conditional stat boost) under the same power as choosing her Companion, but Just_a_Bill made an excellent point that thematically the riding aspect should be in the same power.

This has the benefit of making it more modular, so theoretically another "_____ Rider" power could be created in the future if anyone so chose, keeping the design space open. The separation of her stat boost also facilitates this, letting other designers create their own type of riding units in the future.

All of my past playtests have also shown her to be very underpowered, so I'm planning on moving forward with a couple of mechanical revisions. Placing Order Markers on Eltris instead of her dragon subtly encourages her to take a more active role, since you can sometimes choose to take a turn with her instead of the dragon to surprise the enemy with a solid attack from height. It also gives her a much greater weakness, since the other player can kill her and rob you of Order Markers much more easily.

Since the above change is more of an adjustment to her playstyle than a buff (the appeal of switching over to take turns with her isn't prominent with Nilfheim or Quahon, for example) and she's much more killable now, I'm also toying around with her increasing the move of the dragon in addition to attack and defense, to make her more worth her points.

I'm mostly curious as to whether anyone thinks that any of these revisions (especially in terms of structure) will pose any problems. The balance of the move/attack/defense boost will come through in additional playtesting, which I think is necessary after seeing how weak she previously was in practice.
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  #3187  
Old February 21st, 2019, 01:58 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

I know this is a "game not simulation" but I don't like the interaction between the powers and I doubt players would like it either, at least not thematically. Dragon Rider teleports Eltris after the Dragon's turn, and Companion's Strength has a (fittingly) close-range restriction. It will be fairly common to move the dragon more than 3 spaces away from Eltris, then attack, then teleport Eltris at the end of the turn. Thematically she's riding it, but it doesn't get the attack bonus because she's too far away.

Otherwise, Dragon Rider is about as good of a dragon-riding power as is possible in the game, and Companion's Strength is fitting, but I'm not thrilled about a +1/+1 boost to any big dragon, some of the game's strongest solo units. An Attack of 4 seems entirely unnecessary, even unthematic. Attack 5 when nearby the dragon?
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  #3188  
Old February 21st, 2019, 02:44 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
I know this is a "game not simulation" but I don't like the interaction between the powers and I doubt players would like it either, at least not thematically. Dragon Rider teleports Eltris after the Dragon's turn, and Companion's Strength has a (fittingly) close-range restriction. It will be fairly common to move the dragon more than 3 spaces away from Eltris, then attack, then teleport Eltris at the end of the turn. Thematically she's riding it, but it doesn't get the attack bonus because she's too far away.
I would prefer for her to be placed after movement as in the previous draft, but I wasn't sure if that would get messier or not. I suppose that I could just say, "After moving her Companion through Dragon Rider, you may place Eltris on any empty space adjacent to it." I had avoided it because I was afraid to interrupt the turn, but I don't think this should actually pose any problems now that I think further on it.

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Otherwise, Dragon Rider is about as good of a dragon-riding power as is possible in the game, and Companion's Strength is fitting, but I'm not thrilled about a +1/+1 boost to any big dragon, some of the game's strongest solo units.
I was definitely surprised by the playtesting results, because I initially was pretty concerned about her power level as well. +1/+1 is great for the dragons, but that's increasing their cost by nearly 30% in most cases. In normal games, the dragon quite likely becomes half your army, and unlike other defensive boosts like Raelin, Eltris doesn't really bring anything else to the table for the rest of your units. The +1 attack is also mostly useful for Charos, since the rest typically use Special Attacks or Powers.

It's definitely something that needs careful balance, but I don't think that it's out of the realm of possibility. I actually like how it encourages players to take dragons without Greenscales, for example, which gives those units a lot more flexibility in army-building.

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
An Attack of 4 seems entirely unnecessary, even unthematic. Attack 5 when nearby the dragon?
Why do you think so? The mini is in a very aggressive stance with a blade held overhead and ready to strike, so I think that the statline represents this. I think that mirroring the conditional +1/+1 stat boost onto her is also a nice way of showing that they mutually benefit from each other, while still keeping her stats relatively low.

A lower attack would also completely remove any incentive to take a turn with her, since every potential Companion would always be an objectively better choice (unless positioning was an issue for the larger ones). I had considered bringing her attack down to 3 for the more passive version that I was previously working with (where Order Markers were on the dragon and she had a form of Sonya's Eternal Heartbreak), but then she feels less like a character and more like a fancy stone being carried around. I also think that the +1/+1 to dragons will be more difficult to balance if I have to drop her price down to keep her usable, which would be necessary if she became so passive again.
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  #3189  
Old February 21st, 2019, 03:05 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Astroking112 View Post
I would prefer for her to be placed after movement as in the previous draft, but I wasn't sure if that would get messier or not. I suppose that I could just say, "After moving her Companion through Dragon Rider, you may place Eltris on any empty space adjacent to it." I had avoided it because I was afraid to interrupt the turn, but I don't think this should actually pose any problems now that I think further on it.
I don't think I'd be ok with any movement, and I don't really like "through Dragon Rider" (nor think it's necessary). I suggest "after moving her Companion normally."

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Originally Posted by Astroking112 View Post
A lower attack would also completely remove any incentive to take a turn with her, since every potential Companion would always be an objectively better choice (unless positioning was an issue for the larger ones).
And why should you want to take a turn with her over a dragon? It's a friggin' dragon! The value here is that she gets a free deployment to the front lines. No order markers needed for positioning. An otherwise solo low-cost hero would only be used for cleanup, blocking, or glyph-grabbing anyways. Making her a viable attacker is unnecessary ornamentation that feels a little like a lack of restraint.
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Old February 21st, 2019, 03:53 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astroking112 View Post
A lower attack would also completely remove any incentive to take a turn with her, since every potential Companion would always be an objectively better choice (unless positioning was an issue for the larger ones).
And why should you want to take a turn with her over a dragon? It's a friggin' dragon! The value here is that she gets a free deployment to the front lines. No order markers needed for positioning. An otherwise solo low-cost hero would only be used for cleanup, blocking, or glyph-grabbing anyways. Making her a viable attacker is unnecessary ornamentation that feels a little like a lack of restraint.
I absolutely agree. Eltris’ main value is coming along for the ride and potentially blocking off enemy units to the Dragon. She also becomes an immediate threat because an opponent has to decide to waste attacks on her to remove the stat boost to the dragon or attack the dragon and accept the stronger defense/attack from Eltris’ ability. She’s not designed to be an attacker as I see it, she’s there to be a protector of the dragon and strengthen it. And even when the dragon is dead, you’ll likely “leave her to the wolves” because it’s likely youve got other more important units to follow up with.
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  #3191  
Old February 21st, 2019, 04:50 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Astroking112 View Post
It's definitely something that needs careful balance, but I don't think that it's out of the realm of possibility. I actually like how it encourages players to take dragons without Greenscales, for example, which gives those units a lot more flexibility in army-building.
Looking at the design, I don't see any reason I wouldn't want to take her with Greenscales. She makes the dragon better, and the Greenscales are the screen for the dragon. She's essentially just a cheerleader for your dragon, that you get to move for free, so she will benefit any army you would normally fit a dragon in to. Pricing is the only factor limiting this.
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Old February 21st, 2019, 05:34 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
I don't think I'd be ok with any movement, and I don't really like "through Dragon Rider" (nor think it's necessary). I suggest "after moving her Companion normally."
I'd be concerned about letting her work with Greenscales. They're already quite good, and I'd prefer for her to encourage different builds than just them, so I feel like it's necessary to require Order Markers on either her or her dragon.

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
And why should you want to take a turn with her over a dragon? It's a friggin' dragon! The value here is that she gets a free deployment to the front lines. No order markers needed for positioning. An otherwise solo low-cost hero would only be used for cleanup, blocking, or glyph-grabbing anyways. Making her a viable attacker is unnecessary ornamentation that feels a little like a lack of restraint.
I don't think it's something that'll come up every turn, but I like the idea of her being able to take advantage of an opportunity if it presents itself. Eltris is pretty heavily inspired by books like Eragon, where Dragon Riders can still hold their own sometimes. They're not as powerful as the dragon, but there are times when they're better suited for a job. Putting her at 4 attack is right at the lowest end of the dragons, so she'll still never outclass any of them, but she will sometimes have a use beyond being carried around.

My original implementation of her was essentially your suggested route. It wasn't quite working as well as I'd expected, though, and I realized that I would either need to drop the points to 40-45 (which makes tacking her on to an army much more doable in almost any situation) or make her more deserving of a solid investment. The feedback on the Discord server indicated that the latter would be a more interesting direction to take, which I agree with.

I would agree that having a usable attack in some situations is extra ornamentation, but this design is unique from other "cheerleaders." It not only sports a much lower defense, but it's also carried into the frontlines with the only unit that it can support. I don't think that adding some more decision-making beyond just where to place her is necessarily a bad thing, especially since she's somewhat costly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Heroscape View Post
I absolutely agree. Eltris’ main value is coming along for the ride and potentially blocking off enemy units to the Dragon. She also becomes an immediate threat because an opponent has to decide to waste attacks on her to remove the stat boost to the dragon or attack the dragon and accept the stronger defense/attack from Eltris’ ability. She’s not designed to be an attacker as I see it, she’s there to be a protector of the dragon and strengthen it. And even when the dragon is dead, you’ll likely “leave her to the wolves” because it’s likely youve got other more important units to follow up with.
As I said in previous posts, the "just here for the ride" direction was one that I've already tried. Beyond the unaddressed concerns that I've already listed for going back down that route, I still look at the mini and find it hard to see her as being a passive defense boost. She's not Kyntela Gwyn; she's clearly a warrior and it would feel odd for her concept to have an attack of 3 or lower unless she goes down into filler territory, which I think is dangerous for this design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
Looking at the design, I don't see any reason I wouldn't want to take her with Greenscales. She makes the dragon better, and the Greenscales are the screen for the dragon. She's essentially just a cheerleader for your dragon, that you get to move for free, so she will benefit any army you would normally fit a dragon in to. Pricing is the only factor limiting this.
This is why I feel like it's necessary to keep the Order Marker restriction and to not let her price drop too low. Either one of those things makes taking the two together much more workable.
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