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  #7477  
Old January 9th, 2022, 10:11 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

@Sir Heroscape

Thanks for this detailed submission; I really appreciate the time and thought you put into explaining the various aspects of this design and the intentions behind them. I also love the simplicity of the powerset, and the opportunity this presents for a nonbonding common squad.

Venomous Sting is I think the perfect choice for this design. It's simple, thematic, and as you say leads to some interesting gameplay decisions.

However, I've got a big problem with the current iteration of Carapace. Over 95% of the time, 2D+Carapace is exactly the same as plain 3d. The only situation in which 2D+Carapace could achieve a different outcome than 3D is if you roll 2 shields with your two defense dice (11% chance) AND you are attempting to block an attack of 3+ skulls (12% for 3A; 31% for 4A). That means when defending against an attack of 4, there's only a 3.41% chance that Carapace will be meaningfully different than a plain 3D.

Given that ~95% of the time there's literally no gameplay differences between Carapace and three defense, I'd prefer for Carapace to be dropped and the defense increased to 3, OR for Carapace to be reworked so that it actually offers some gameplay ramifications that would differentiate the scorpions from figures with 3D. Something like this could work well along these lines:

Quote:
Carapace (with 2 defense)
When rolling defense dice for a High Dunes Scorpion, if no shields were rolled, you may reroll all dice that did not show shields. Carapace may only be used once for each defense roll.
A power like this isn't directly analogous to any base defense value like the original Carapace. It also leads to some unique gameplay considerations, as it lessens the benefit that a scorpion receives from height or other defense bonuses (which also synergizes nicely with their Venomous Sting power). Without doing a mathematical analysis, its strictly worse than 4D, and probably better than 3D against figures with lower attack and worse than 3D against figures with higher attack.

Overall I really like this design, and I hope that we see it again, with Carapace slightly reworked.

Last edited by Captain Stupendous; January 9th, 2022 at 10:54 AM.
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  #7478  
Old January 9th, 2022, 10:20 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Hey, Captain NoFun, I like it because it’s thematic. :P

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  #7479  
Old January 9th, 2022, 10:45 AM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
Hey, Captain NoFun, I like it because it’s thematic. :P
A highly thematic power with virtually no gameplay ramifications is good but not great. For VC we aim for great

I also felt more comfortable critiquing the OP given that adjusting the power to be both thematic AND mechanically relevant should be fairly achievable (just look to my suggested alternative for an example of a very similar power that IMO achieves both).
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  #7480  
Old January 9th, 2022, 01:11 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

huh, I find your suggested power much LESS relevant and thematic.

Carapace is natural "armor", specifically, "the hard upper shell of a turtle, crustacean, or arachnid" and is "something regarded as a protective or defensive covering."

If you look up a Scorpions Carapace, it doesn't actually cover their entire body...it's a protective covering, but not like an exoskeleton that usually covers/protects the whole body.

Our current power operates under that realistic, thematic definition of Carapace. It is always "active", in that unless your opponent maxes out attacks, you'll get to roll for it. It's useful and will still be relevant as you gain defensive buffs. Your suggestion doesn't. Your suggested power becomes less relevant the more defense you give them. I don't think that makes any sense to have a power that rarely shows up the more advantageous you try to position your units (i.e. on height, next to jungle etc). And realistically, your power just doesn't makes sense for how carapace is a constant protection.

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  #7481  
Old January 9th, 2022, 01:54 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Well I said what I had to say. You can offer your workshopping feedback somewhere else. But neither of us speaks for the goals of the larger project. Just our own preferences.

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  #7482  
Old January 9th, 2022, 02:24 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

First of all, great to see the Scorpions finally submitted. I’ve greatly enjoyed my playtime with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
A highly thematic power with virtually no gameplay ramifications is good but not great. For VC we aim for great
FWIW, I’ll just say that without running all the statistics of what Carapace actually is, while playing the Scorpions, it feels like it matters.

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  #7483  
Old January 9th, 2022, 04:51 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

I mean, C3V just released Koggo, who has Clear Shot, which for most intents and purposes is +1 attack. I think Carapace is fine to give the Scorpions some defensive flavor.

What I have concerns with is the fun factor of a low attack Venomous Sting common squad. When they roll 2 skulls (25% of the time) they are lethal by definition. The rest of the time, they're not doing much. There's some weird dynamics that come with low attack Venomous Sting, like against most squad figures with 5+ defense you're sometimes better off sending your Scorpion to low ground rather than taking height, since you're hoping for a 2 skull roll to instakill. Can you speak to how the squad has played? I'm worried it could be frustrating, because a squad that's entirely about hitting a 25% chance can be either ice cold or red hot fairly often.
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  #7484  
Old January 9th, 2022, 05:09 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegietarian18 View Post
What I have concerns with is the fun factor of a low attack Venomous Sting common squad. When they roll 2 skulls (25% of the time) they are lethal by definition. The rest of the time, they're not doing much. There's some weird dynamics that come with low attack Venomous Sting, like against most squad figures with 5+ defense you're sometimes better off sending your Scorpion to low ground rather than taking height, since you're hoping for a 2 skull roll to instakill. Can you speak to how the squad has played? I'm worried it could be frustrating, because a squad that's entirely about hitting a 25% chance can be either ice cold or red hot fairly often.
I found that Venomous Sting is going to happen as often as it’s going to happen. The real thing to control is not whiffing against the 1 skull attacks. Higher defense makes that less likely.

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Last edited by heroscaper2010; January 9th, 2022 at 05:36 PM.
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  #7485  
Old January 9th, 2022, 05:21 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegietarian18 View Post
I mean, C3V just released Koggo, who has Clear Shot, which for most intents and purposes is +1 attack. I think Carapace is fine to give the Scorpions some defensive flavor.
The good Captain was speaking only for himself, of course. As I've said many, many times, we are individual voters, with individual tastes, preferences, and aesthetics.

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  #7486  
Old January 9th, 2022, 06:26 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegietarian18 View Post
What I have concerns with is the fun factor of a low attack Venomous Sting common squad. When they roll 2 skulls (25% of the time) they are lethal by definition. The rest of the time, they're not doing much. There's some weird dynamics that come with low attack Venomous Sting, like against most squad figures with 5+ defense you're sometimes better off sending your Scorpion to low ground rather than taking height, since you're hoping for a 2 skull roll to instakill. Can you speak to how the squad has played? I'm worried it could be frustrating, because a squad that's entirely about hitting a 25% chance can be either ice cold or red hot fairly often.
I mean, I'd say it's not too different than how the Gnids or Xultiaca Ants feel when you play them. Ants and Gnids have abilities that are terrifying as well for cheap, low stat squads, but they aren't consistently hitting all their ant stings or parasiting onto every hero. The scorps definitely hit their stings in a game, but even the games where it hit exceptionally well, the other armies still tended to have more consistency long-term and weather the storm.

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  #7487  
Old January 9th, 2022, 10:24 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Make the scorpions vydar or something, let's get a little diversity in the creepy crawlies.
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  #7488  
Old January 9th, 2022, 10:38 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Stupendous View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
Hey, Captain NoFun, I like it because it’s thematic. :P
A highly thematic power with virtually no gameplay ramifications is good but not great. For VC we aim for great
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegietarian18 View Post
I mean, C3V just released Koggo, who has Clear Shot, which for most intents and purposes is +1 attack. I think Carapace is fine to give the Scorpions some defensive flavor.
The good Captain was speaking only for himself, of course. As I've said many, many times, we are individual voters, with individual tastes, preferences, and aesthetics.
As @Dad_Scaper rightly pointed out, I figured I'd just reiterate that in sharing my views on the Scorpions (or any design in this thread) I'm only speaking for myself, with the recognition that there will always be a significant level of subjectivity regarding what constitutes a "good" or "great" custom.

I probably could have been more clear that it's only my opinion that a highly thematic power with virtually no gameplay ramifications is "good but not great." We all have our own aesthetic design preferences and philosophies, and by sharing my views I'm definitely not attempting to speak for VC as a whole. While VC certainly does aim for great, as individual members we all have a slightly different idea of what "great" looks like.

If a designer finds my feedback helpful I'm happy to offer it, but if they disagree I'd still encourage them to maintain their vision as my opinion and vote is just one small part of the C3V process, and an even smaller part of the SoV process.
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