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  #5197  
Old September 19th, 2023, 09:49 AM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Leaf_It View Post
You're completely wrong about Webbing though. You're looking at it as though it's a single figure. It's a 4 figure squad. Just 2 of them, and the figure is effectively Cyberclawed. They were not given this to be defenders, they were given this because they are spiders, and giant spider webs would logically make it hard to move, and potentially prevent you from moving entirely.
No, I'm looking at them as a squad. These take away disengaging as an option. While people (myself included) do disengage, it's not a frequent occurrence due to the risk. All the more true when you need to disengage multiple figures. So a pair of almost any two squaddies will tie down a figure almost as effectively as the Spiders. The disengage option is removed, but it's not an option the opponent would want to use anyway (except for Disengage figures, of course).
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  #5198  
Old September 19th, 2023, 12:20 PM
Shadowking Shadowking is online now
 
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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I like the updated Morag, except I don't much like the name. There's nothing actually wrong with it, I just don't like it. If it was some monster or creature I'd like it, maybe even for an evil demihuman, but for a Jandar archer hero I don't like it.
Ah OK, I was just trying to go for a name that was stereotypically Scottish-Gaelic sounding and relatively easy to read (which was a harder thing than it sounded), Eilidh or Brigdhe were my other two initial ideas if you think either of them is any better than Morag?
I like Brigdhe better. But this is just a personal preference thing; there isn't anything wrong with Morag that I'm aware of.
I believe Morag is the name of a Scottish lake creature in addition to just being a Scottish-Gaelic name, so that makes sense honestly. Brigdhe works for me.

In other news I also have worked on an updated version of Jan Sobieski; obviously I will need to do a lot of additional tests with him, since this new version has fairly large changes, but wanted to know if anyone could spot any immediate issues first:



Swapped his general over to Einar, First Assault replacing the Special Attack (but still largely filling the same role in play), a Disengage-type ability but one that only works on small and medium figures over Evasive (because it doesn't make much sense against things the horse is larger than), and then the biggest change/addition is Orders of the Grand Duke plus his points/stats adjustment to try and move him out of direct competition with Alastair's role and points value. He still has the ability to play as previously, like a fast harrasser picking at out-of-position enemies, but now has a little more survivability and a lot more ability to get out of protracted combat.

I had messed around before with some versions with buff abilities (stuff not dissimilar to Dorim's Charge from AoA), and I think one thing that felt missing from the previous iteration was the commander part of his historical life. So Orders of the Grand Duke brings that back while adding interesting choices in the gameplay of when to activate it or not (and if you want to get the benefit of the boost while bonding with Knights, you have to take a full turn with just him). My main concern with moving ahead to testing this version is whether or not he steps on Valguard's toes too much now (although Valguard is a decent bit cheaper, is single-spaced, and has the bonding roles with Romans and Dreadguls, to keep some unique advantages to him that Jan does not also have).
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  #5199  
Old September 19th, 2023, 12:58 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

This version of Jan is too much of a "do everything well" unit for me to vote for. He isn't trying to add one valuable thing to an army, he does a lot of things and he does them all very well, with no downsides.

First, he doesn't simply outshine Valguard, he laughs at him as he runs by. Faster plus Disengage makes (the same) First Assault vastly better, so much that he's a unit in an of himself. And he bonds? With a strong unit? No thanks.

Orders of the Grand Duke is crazy good, and doesn't hurt much to use because he can bond after that too.

This version of Jan would be much more interesting as a non-bonder. That would make him an early round assassin that gives a huge (still way too good, honestly) boost for the rest of the round, but at the risk of getting Jan killed.
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  #5200  
Old September 19th, 2023, 01:30 PM
Shadowking Shadowking is online now
 
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

The funny thing is that while on first blush I'd have agreed with you that Orders of the Grand Duke felt like a really strong boost (perhaps too strong) with both the Move and Attack buffs, I couldn't actually find very many armies that felt like they'd consistently want to give up the points, and the turn he requires to actually get it.

The best thing of the options available to him that weren't bonding-based seemed to me to be Ashigaru Yari (since they are so cheap and have a low enough base attack that just getting them to more reliably punch through figures in the 3-4 defense range could be worth it despite sacrificing a move and attack with 4 of them in round 1), although dropping the big chunk of points on him would probably be better off spent on Kato in the situation of Ashigaru since with him and some Harquebus mixed in, you get 8 activations a turn and can also still get to 3 attack dice with Wait Then Fire.

Even the Knights would be trading 16 hexes worth of movement (4 Knights moving 4 each) for 8 (2x4 Knights each getting +1 move) assuming all went well (and that movement is pushed back to activations 2 and 3, where generally the "power" of an activation is slightly worse the later in a round it happens). In the same vein you're trading down 12 attack dice for 8, and can get the same attack benefit from Gilbert in many cases - although there are certainly situations against high defense figures like Q9 where it may be worth taking the hit in number of dice thrown to concentrate them into stronger individual attacks.

In general though, I can see your point about him filling too many roles, and hitting too hard as a stand-alone hero in addition to the other benefits he now provides. I'd hoped to compensate that through his cost (which was probably too low regardless) and the fact that maximizing all of his powers requires heavy risk in charging him ahead of your army and getting engaged for First Assault (if he dies you of course lose the Orders of the Grand Duke boost for your other units); however, it does result in him having less of a clearly defined role than the previous version. Is there generally a concern in more "hybrid" units like this? I quite like how the optionality plays in games personally, but I can see it being a turn-off for others.
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  #5201  
Old September 19th, 2023, 02:12 PM
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Scytale Scytale is offline
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Shadowking View Post
In general though, I can see your point about him filling too many roles, and hitting too hard as a stand-alone hero in addition to the other benefits he now provides. I'd hoped to compensate that through his cost (which was probably too low regardless) and the fact that maximizing all of his powers requires heavy risk in charging him ahead of your army and getting engaged for First Assault (if he dies you of course lose the Orders of the Grand Duke boost for your other units); however, it does result in him having less of a clearly defined role than the previous version. Is there generally a concern in more "hybrid" units like this? I quite like how the optionality plays in games personally, but I can see it being a turn-off for others.
It's not really a risk to charge in. You have bonding follow-ups and teh ability disengage to safety next round. Bonding heroes have it easy.

I always have a concern for jack-of-all units. I am not against them as they can be good to have in the game, but not without care, and not bonding with good bonding armies. If nothing else they're not interesting, not to play with or against. There's no way to play right or wrong, you just play them, and no way to counter them, you just fight them. Also, jack-of-all's usually should not be great at any of the things they can do; their ability to be useful in multiple ways has lots of value in and of itself.
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  #5202  
Old September 19th, 2023, 03:23 PM
Shadowking Shadowking is online now
 
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

That makes sense; I think there are adjustments that can be made to temper some of the possible concerning things (more points cost, First Assault 2 instead of 3 - I meant to do that anyway but just copied over Valguard's wording and forgot to change it in the render, a less reliable disengaging ability, the buff ability only affecting move or attack and not both) but they wouldn't nesc. do much to reduce the overall feeling of him maybe doing too much.

I think he could make sense leaning into the striker/assassin role, or the "mounted champion commander" role, and there probably is space for him to do a little of each, but yeah it's a tough balancing act in that case to make sure he's not being too strong in each/every of the roles to where he overshadows every other choice. I do think something like the Orders of the Grand Duke is a compelling ability base idea though both mechanically and thematically, and I like the decision-making it can provide even in conjuction with bonding.

Maybe I should just put more focus on the "formerly Kafnirra" design for now while I try to figure the bigger picture things out, and test out some stuff for him. Currently the 120 to 200 point range has no options for Human Champions, so it seems like a good niche for him to fit into so as not to contest the original ones too much (while I did like how his other design played, one of my least favourite things about it was always how directly it competed with Alastair), and some combination of these abilities at varying power levels and the theme of an elite and powerful cavalry commander could certainly justify him up that high.

I agree overall that it feels like if he's having those abilities as well, he should be less of a striker than Valguard or Alastair is, or at least a less efficient one; I guess the idea of a hybrid Valguard and Sir Gilbert sounds a bit overpowered on paper however you slice it but if I can get to some structure that works there it does feel like it's mechanically what his historical theme lends itself to. Anyway, thanks for the notes, some good things to think about.
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