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  #7393  
Old August 13th, 2021, 10:34 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Other things, like D&D dragons, have specific looks and rules in D&D canon that should be followed if making D&D dragons or even just using D&D dragon figures.
I will argue this point until the end of time. Dragons are such a universal mythology. You show someone a dragon and 99.9% of people would not be able to tell you whether or not it came from D&D.

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Originally Posted by wriggz View Post
I actually think it is the availablity piece that keeps non designers from submitting.
And seconding this. Even if I had time to browse everyone else's customs for canon-worthy figures, that would mean I'd also need the time to research availability on something I liked. I agree it would be nice if nominating others' designs was more common, but there are some reasonable hurdles to it. Here's an idea to facilitate that, though: put out a request for customs creators to post the figure used and its availability at the time of posting if they wish for it to be eligible for someone to take into consideration for SoV nomination.


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  #7394  
Old August 13th, 2021, 10:52 PM
Dragonfly2099 Dragonfly2099 is offline
 
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Just wanted to say thanks for all of the responses in regards to my lengthy amount of questions a few pages back. It was appreciated, and helpful in clearing up some of the confusion. Not all of it, but some of it.

I still think there should be some hard and fast rules in place to help designers know what is being looked for in a design. Because as it stands, the process appears more subjective rather than objective.

I won’t derail this thread any longer with this topic, as it’s pulling away from the designs submitted here. I do appreciate all the feedback I received, and I’ve started a custom design thread of my own. I may also drop something into the Pre-SoV thread for some feedback there.

Thanks again.

Dragonfly

Last edited by Dragonfly2099; August 13th, 2021 at 11:57 PM.
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  #7395  
Old August 13th, 2021, 11:26 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by NecroBlade View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Other things, like D&D dragons, have specific looks and rules in D&D canon that should be followed if making D&D dragons or even just using D&D dragon figures.
I will argue this point until the end of time. Dragons are such a universal mythology. You show someone a dragon and 99.9% of people would not be able to tell you whether or not it came from D&D.
It seems the published units also argue against forcing D&D design onto borrowed figures. Wyrmlings are D&D dragons physically, but their gameplay is clearly that of Heroscape dragons (e.g., the Black Wyrm is a baby Braxas, not a baby Othkurik). Once a borrowed figure comes into Scape, it becomes a Scape character. Taking inspiration from the source material's canon is great, but ultimately each unit has to be what's right for our universe, not theirs. And anyway it would be impossible to consistently satisfy all the fans of a source universe without compromising the Scape universe.


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  #7396  
Old August 14th, 2021, 01:53 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly2099 View Post
I still think there should be some hard and fast rules in place to help designers know what is being looked for in a design. Because as it stands, the process appears more subjective rather than objective.
It's barely objective and mostly subjective. That's always been true and there's no way around it.

One can argue that grossly overpowered designs should objectively be turned away, but that's really about it. We could really do anything we want, stretching theme and gameplay however we like. There's nothing but subjectivity to this, what we (VC members and fans as a whole) feel is right to add into the game and what is not. That's a big reason why passing units is such a struggle, both here and in C3V: everyone has their own, slightly different definition of what the game should be.
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  #7397  
Old August 14th, 2021, 07:14 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

One persons subjective decision is arbitrary, a dozen experts majority vote is much less so. There is a point where a difference in quantity is a difference in kind.

Becoming a judge is not a popularity contest. The judges at this point have hundreds (thousands?) Of hours of agonizing over designs. Before that each normally has created their own customs or commented on others with worthwhile comments. Also there is the official and VC units to consider, as that has established a style, theme and convention to heroscape. it might be hard to define but I would argue that there is definitely a template to a 'classic' heroscape card, much like there is a template for American cars or MacFarlane action figures.

Look at an example like the sprawling MtG and a tighter game like summoner wars. MtG cards some times feel weird, look off, are broken, etc. Such things happen when you have sooooo much out put over years and different people. It can be alot harder to spot an unofficial MtG card since they vary so much. Summon wars on the other hand has a clear style and convention so a customer deck would be easier to spot for anyone familiar with the game. Heroscape is still small enough that you can see that vision and check against it.

Moreover designs also are subject to all VC members and those folks are sharp as they come, being experts on cannon, unit interaction and very good players. Everyone also takes this a little to seriously at times since this a main hobby for most of us, thus there is a high amount of passion to match the expertise.


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  #7398  
Old August 17th, 2021, 08:48 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Olog by The Long eared bat

Centuries past the most feared of the Norse warriors were the Berserkers, those who were said to have fought in a trance-like fury. Not surprisingly the Orc have similar traditions and it was only a matter of time before Valkrill added one to his legions. Let’s see if Olog and his loin cloth can live up to the legend.

Balance
When reviewing Olog I was especially mindful of the armies I was drafting him into. Outside the obvious Ravagers synergy he has lots of competition for the 30–40-point filler spot from classic units like Wyrmlings and Elementals to VC heroes like Seleena, Jax, Siiv and Tez. Fortunately, each of those heroes serves a different niche from working with Werewolf lord, grabbing glyphs in the early game, or taking the role as primary clean up unit. I found Olog’s ability to move up the map slowly but surely allowed him to stand out as a mid to late game unit depending on map size, when drafted on his own.

Olog’s survivability is paltry with 3-life behind 1 defense, and while you don’t expect a tank for the bargain price of 35 points, these low stats actually worked in his favor. Since Olog moves slowly up the board, by the time he is within opponent’s threat range, they were more concerned with active attackers and those that would require more focused fire. It was easy to ignore the 1 defense figure for juicer targets, and let the non-descript orc go about his business. When Olog was finally activated his threat range is only 6, but a lucky initiative role and precise order marker management can add 3 prior to turn one. This gambit is made worthwhile by the potential 5 attack from First Assault 2. Of course, all the order marker management is made moot if Olog is paired with Ravagers. Olog’s conservative stats resulted in lackluster showings, but the 35-point investment paid off enough (more so with Ravagers) to make him feel balanced.

Creativity
Prior to the Dungeons and Dragons era there were few options for fillers, but now a designer needs to work hard to get their unit to stand out. It is not easy to make low-cost heroes feel worthy to be part of the battle of all time, but free activations coupled with low survivability is an excellent balance. Savage Rush feels like a cover of the Deathchasers’ Orc Battle Rush, aligning the units thematically without direct synergy. Sometimes the most creative designs almost feel obvious, which is how I feel about including First Assault 2 here. Without it Olog activations would feel lackluster, and its addition makes him feel truly savage. My favorite part of the design is actually the fact that the designer chose NOT to include disengage and increase Olog’s life to 3. This adds extra tension to activations while keeping the card clean and simple.

Theme
Activating Olog felt like a mix of hunter and berserker. With low survivability you don’t necessarily want to rush Olog up the middle, instead he tends to skirt the edges of battle looking for foliage and shadow to help shake off any pots shots that may come his way. However, when it was time to reveal an order marker, Olog is like an Orc possessed ready to risk leaving engagement attacks to take a swing at his target. This play style coupled with his rudimentary spear and loincloth really make Olog feel like a primitive, less civilized Orc. Low defense is suggestive of less formal training and armor of the Deathchasers, whereas his potential for higher attack indicates a wild charged attack. All in all, a very tight theme is reflected throughout the card.

Playability
While the Durgeth Ravagers are one of my favorite units, I found myself testing Olog outside his obvious build. In these cases, Olog was a swingy unit sometimes never making a single attack, like when he fell to a stray Ice Shard from Nilfheim, while other times he was in the right place at the right time such as finishing off a wounded Cyprien on a lucky initiative switch.

Before moving on I would like to talk about In game point valve. This term was popularized by UranusPChicago, and in short is the idea that a unit gains or loose value throughout the game depending on its potential. Unlike other units which may never move from their starting position, it is rare that Olog really does nothing during a game. Beyond getting off his one big attack, Olog can threaten uncontested glyphs, create a road block for advancing melee, tie up sleeping units, or simply soak up an attack that would have been directed at your primary forces. So, while Olog may not do 35 points worth of damage, he can assist other units throughout the game in ways other filler heroes cannot. Importantly due to Olog’s low defense, he never felt too disruptive or annoying to an opponent the way Deathreavers are often accused of being.

Of course, I would remiss not to cover Olog with the Ravagers. I found Olog could play very differently with the other savages based on the playstyle of the player. Aggressive players that push quickly with a small contingent of Ravagers could benefit from having a developed hero nearby to take advantage of Savage Cry, while the bigger Savages were outside of threat range. On the other hand, conservative play focusing on developing both the Ravagers and Savage hero at the cost of board control did not benefit as much from the little orc as the chance to further develop Pel or Uzog was more desirable. Having the option to easily include a second cheep hero with the Ravagers felt like a nice insurance policy in case the heavy hitter fell early, and more than once Olog pinch-hit while Uzog was more worried about a new skull.

My favorite aspect of Olog was not what he could do, but when he did it. Often filler units are relegated to a clean up role as they are seldom worth activating while the rest of your units are still available. Occasionally a low-price unit can be an opening unit able to grab a glyph of move up other units like Theracus. Some of Olog’s best work was during the mid-game when he had either reached striking distance of a key figure or was disrupting an opponents plan by grabbing a stray glyph, such as one activation where Olog moved onto a glyph of Valda. This one activation did not result in an attack, but allowed remaining Minions to move fast enough on Order Marker 2 and 3 to grab high ground and win the day. Units that encouraging putting order markers on different cards in the mid-game are rare and I believe welcome additions.

Summary

Either on his own or trailing behind Ravagers I found that Olog was a filler unit that almost always had some impact on the game however minor. Additionally, this impact was often felt in the mid-game, a phase that is typically dominated by common squads and heavy heroes. This coupled with his tight thematic design warrants his place in the halls of Valhalla.

I vote to induct Olog into the SoV.


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  #7399  
Old August 18th, 2021, 11:01 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Olog has received 4 Yea votes to induct (Scytale, BiggaBullfrog, superfrog, and wriggz) and moves forward in the process.
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  #7400  
Old August 18th, 2021, 11:21 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Grats!
Very cool low cost Hero.
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  #7401  
Old August 20th, 2021, 05:07 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

M.A.R.S. by @Astroking112

It's nice to see another of the Solaris VII set to get a card. What else could this one be but a long-range assault unit?

Balance

Right off the bat, a troublesome comparison point comes to mind: Deathwalker 9000. The two have a lot of similarities in design, except M.A.R.S. is not only cheaper but has a special attack that's twice as good as DW9k's. Yes, DW9k has that whopping 9 Defense, but we all know the "Deathwalker roll" all too well. Most of the time I'd prefer the 15 "Lifense" (3 Life x 5 Defense) of M.A.R.S. over the fragility of a Deathwalker. But Deathwalker has better range, most notably on his good normal attack. Also, even though for a long time I saw Deathwalker 9000 as a solo unit, it really never was, it's just that Range Enhancement never meant much until the Zettian Infantry. Now in the VC world the Deathwalkers are involved in an expansive web of synergies which M.A.R.S. is not.

Theme

The immense destructive power (dangerous to friend and foe alike) of an unfeeling war machine is a good fit for Valkrill, and look is reminiscent of the Incendiborgs. "Marauder" and "Militaristic" don't really describe much about the unit or its playstyle, but I don't really mind them. The special attack couldn't be more fitting for the figure. I can easily imagine the soulborg blasting areas with barrages of missiles.

Creativity

I'm very much drawn to the simiplicity of this design. The figure strongly suggests a mental image, and the design does exactly that. The sizeable normal attack seemed off to me at first, but the figure has some mean-looking guns so it fits.

Playability

It's not hard to imagine how M.A.R.S. plays on the battlefield. The fearsome special attack forces enemy units to scatter to avoid getting blasted into oblivion, but struggles after the enemy gets in close. Like most explosion attackers, it's somewhat difficult to use the marauder alongside screens because of the likeliness of blasting your own units. Also like them, it's even more difficult to work without a screen, because it's options in close range are generally poor and it doesn't have the Life to want to risk many disengages.

While the double-explosion attack seems extremely destructive, counterplay isn't any different than any other explosion attack. Spread out, rush in, and try to withstand the attacks along the way.

As a solo unit, M.A.R.S. is generally better than Deathwalker 9000, but it's not as clear-cut as it appears. Against a smart opponent that spreads out, DW9k relies on his long-range solid-strength normal attack instead, using its movement to gain height and/or retreat to full range. M.A.R.S. suffers in this sense with uncomfortably short range on his normal attack, not to mention using it means he gives up the ability to strike two units. On top of that, the Valkrill Soulborg's Move value makes positioning significantly harder. In general I prefer the double-explosion special (usually hitting two figures), having more than one Life point, and a cheaper cost as opposed to DW8K's longer range and better movement, but it's not an obvious decision. More importantly, Deathwalker 9000 has all sorts of synergistic builds in VC, which matters a lot.

Summary

M.A.R.S. plays on the battlefield exactly how you'd expect that figure to play, and that's a big win. While the potential for damage is massive, it isn't complicated to counterplay and it's difficult to make work with or without screens. My biggest concern, overshadowing Deathwalker 8000, turned out not to be a problem with subtle differences in how they play solo and the synergy differences.

I vote Yea to induct M.A.R.S. into the SoV.
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  #7402  
Old September 24th, 2021, 01:01 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Looks like Feral Swog is stuck in limbo. I think it's a fun design but I do think the Chaser build should be explored further before it being accepted for review. I vote but am willing to change my vote if the submitter decides the Chaser synergy is a fine component of the current design (even with an unchanged card).

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  #7403  
Old September 24th, 2021, 01:20 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by superfrog View Post
Looks like Feral Swog is stuck in limbo. I think it's a fun design but I do think the Chaser build should be explored further before it being accepted for review. I vote but am willing to change my vote if the submitter decides the Chaser synergy is a fine component of the current design (even with an unchanged card).
I've been busy and hadn't the time yet to revisit it.
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  #7404  
Old September 24th, 2021, 01:33 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Understood, I look forward to you having the time to do so eventually

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