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Ninja Corps
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I don't think there's a topic for this yet, so I'll put this one out there for everyone to use.

I just finished reading through the beta rules and had a handful of things come up.

First, when the use of guard is being described, it's a little confusing. It says that when a guard is successfully applied, no effects occur during "After Action Effects" and to "skip" to ""Resolve 'Hit' Effects". But, after action effects (10) comes after resolve hit effects (8) in the order of operations chart. So, it's effectively saying, when you are going from step 7 to 8 to "skip" 10, which one hasn't even got to yet. I believe the intent is that guard prevents everything except (half) damage, pull and charge, but the way it's laid out is confusing eough to make me wonder if soemthing went wrong somewhere and that's not how it's intended?

Second, does feint require a flip for disengagement? The way it's written, it should (presuming the feint is part of a melee attack) as it's free movement being made while engaged with an enemy. But that seems weird. That's a personal opinion though, not something particularly confusing. Just thought I'd bring that up.

Third, does stealth prevent a model, with stealth, from making melee attacks in some situations? I.E. if a unit with stealth is within 2" of an enemy, but is, for example, in a forest which gives cover, or just on the other side of a wall which gives cover, LOS can not be drawn both ways, thus the units aren't engaged, thus the stealth models cannot make a melee attack?

Fourth, I Think the description for the ranged portion of coordinated attack is wrong. It says that only models that are in contact (not engaged) with enemy models can't contribute to damage. considering every other thing in the book dealing with ranged attacks and bonuses is negated by engagement, not contact, that may just be an oversight.

Fifth, this is purely a suggestion: With the advent of exhaustion tokens, what if the Knockback ability just put an exhaustion token on the target? In the old version of the game, Knockback was nye useless in almost any situation it came up. In the new version it will be even more useless. It doesn't work on minions ever, period. And with the reduced number of units that will even go in the ready queue it will, more often than not, barely effect things if you knock someone out and the pop right back in. Adding an exhaustion token would mean you could pin down a minion unit for a turn or kick a hero out of the queue and possibly even force a place holder. It would, effectively, just make everyone with Knockback emulate the one or two units that had a decent version of Knockback in 1.0 that kept that particular target from being immediately placed back in the queue.

That's all I have, for the moment. Hopefully this helps. Hopefully there are other that want to contribute to this thread, and it sees some feedback as well!


March 7th, 2017, 9:13 am
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For Clarity- When a unit is engaged by two enemy units and wishes to disengage, do they only flip once to disengage from all enemies?

(I believe they only flip once using the rules as written, but it could be clearer).

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March 7th, 2017, 9:13 pm
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odinsgrandson wrote:
For Clarity- When a unit is engaged by two enemy units and wishes to disengage, do they only flip once to disengage from all enemies?

(I believe they only flip once using the rules as written, but it could be clearer).


I think a reasonable offshoot question for that is: If a unit is engaged with multiple opponents and fails to disengage, do they have to stay engaged with both, or can they move, within engagement, until only 1 is engaging? Similarly, if engaged with a squad unit, is the engagement to a model, or can an engaged opponent move along the "chain" of squad members?


March 7th, 2017, 11:39 pm
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My suggestions list:

Abilities: There seem to be a plethora of abilities with varying names that seem to add unnecessary complexity and an increased level of memorization for new players, which seems to be at odds with the nature of the game being a very fast and mechanically light but deep game. Suggestions follow.

Aegis: Why limit to only ranged attacks? Why not cover all attacks, and essentially allow them to have the same trait terrain does when it provides armor. Seems to simplify the rule and makes it easier to remember.

Backlash: Why prevent backlash from affecting the enemy if the unit with Backlash is removed? Seems to cheapen the ability. Why not just let it always work. Again simplifying the rule and making it more valuable as every step in remembering what something does is another step that might be forgotten about.

Belligerent: With the rules change for engagement ranges this seems pretty bad and a relic from last edition. Suggest changing it to any model in the belligerent model’s engagement range takes the damage. Again makes the rule tie to an existing rule for easier memory and will actually force both players to keep a wide berth of the model with the rule, which seems to be the intent.

Brutality: I understand the intent, but given that there already exists the rule Coordinated attack, why not delete this rule and just add a clause to Coordinated attack so that you could, if desired, have this apply any attack. Essentially Coordinated Attack (Melee +1) would give the unit coordinated attack, but when damaging in melee it would do an additional damage for each model engaged with the target. It would simplify the amount of rules, and give greater flexibility in future design space by allowing higher damage totals to be utilized if desired, and again allow all damage types to take advantage of it, again if desired.

Cadre Mascot: When the Cypher moves into the active slot, can they also move a minion into the minion slot?

Charge: The formatting seems inelegant, where the first step is damage with potential secondary effects to charge, or press for charge. Would suggest Charge should be listed before any damage to make it easier to determine the steps involved. It’s easier for a newer player to see: 2R > Charge 6; damage 5 to know the movement comes first. As an additional suggestion I would perhaps remove any linked ability to cause damage from charge itself, essentially allowing charge to serve as a third movement if desired, in between initial and secondary moves, with optional presses for damage if in engagement. It would allow the entire charge section to be more clearly worded and more elegantly understood.

Coordinated Defense: Would suggest renaming. When another ability that also begins with the word coordinated already exists, players naturally assume they work in similar ways. Coordinated attack increases damage, but coordinated defense doesn’t reduce damage it increases the defensive skill. Coordinated attack works for each model able to make the attack; coordinated defense only increases the skill by one, regardless of how many models are in Base to base. Would consider changing the rule to either be a mirror, IE reducing damage for each model affected by the attack and in LoS to the Attacker, or changing the name to remove the word coordinated, and just call it something like Defensive.

Coordinated Fire: Please see above comments on Coordinated Defense. Especially likely to have the effects confused with Coordinated attack. Very much suggest the name is changed to something different like Suppressive Fire.

Defensive Formation: Same issue as Coordinated fire and Coordinated Defense. Name is so similar with different effects it will be difficult to remember for players. Suggest changing the name.

Line: Would suggest rewording so that essentially you nominate a target to set the line, then each unit affected by the line, starting with the unit closest to the attacker, and moving unit by unit away must resolve primary or secondary defenses. The way it’s worded at the moment it seems that once an attacker targets a unit the targeted unit could use a guard action to force another unit the line passes over first to be the only unit hit. That seems counter to intent and is counter intuitive.

Mob Rule: In addition to comments above in reference to Coordinated Fire, would suggest combining all rules that essentially reduce defensive skills to a new rule so only one keyword needs to be remembered. Coordinated fire is essentially the exact same thing as Mob Rule, but for ranged attacks instead of Melee. Would suggest combining them all under one key word such as Overwhelming Attack (ranged), Overwhelming Attack (Melee), or Overwhelming Attack (Psychic)

Overrun: No issue with the rule per-say, but there seems to be a large number of rules that allow specific moves during an attack. Again it is a lot to remember, and might be better if they could all be combined in fewer keywords.

Psychic Choir: Same comments for Mob Rule.
Teamwork: Again with the new engagement rule, suggest changing the requirement to be in base contact to being in engagement range.


March 8th, 2017, 2:08 am
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Continuing from Fetid Strumpet (because I think rules questions belong in the Rules sub-forum, but discussion of rules structure belongs here):

Unstoppable: Is usually going to be a worse version of Heavy. In general you want to reduce Forced Movement so you are not pushed/pulled into/off things instead of moving after a collision (which might kill you). Alternatively renaming Unstoppable to be more inline with reacting to forced movement rather than being impossible to stop.

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March 8th, 2017, 2:36 am
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Usagi wrote:
Second, does feint require a flip for disengagement? The way it's written, it should (presuming the feint is part of a melee attack) as it's free movement being made while engaged with an enemy. But that seems weird. That's a personal opinion though, not something particularly confusing. Just thought I'd bring that up.

Yes, you must flip. Dave answered this one in the KS comments. Some units will have abilities that specify they can ignore engagement rules, but for the general case, a flip must be made.

Usagi wrote:
Third, does stealth prevent a model, with stealth, from making melee attacks in some situations? I.E. if a unit with stealth is within 2" of an enemy, but is, for example, in a forest which gives cover, or just on the other side of a wall which gives cover, LOS can not be drawn both ways, thus the units aren't engaged, thus the stealth models cannot make a melee attack?

As I read it, in your scenario the unit with stealth is engaged with the the enemy, so it can make melee attacks and the enemy has to flip to disengage. The unit with stealth would not be engaged BY the enemy due to the enemy not having LoS, so the enemy could not make a melee attack, and the stealth unit could move away without a flip. The wording on engagement does need some cleaning up to make things clearer, maybe a designation of engager and engagee or something. In most cases, both units would have both statuses, but it would make the stealth situation easier to figure out.

Usagi wrote:
Fifth, this is purely a suggestion: With the advent of exhaustion tokens, what if the Knockback ability just put an exhaustion token on the target? In the old version of the game, Knockback was nye useless in almost any situation it came up. In the new version it will be even more useless. It doesn't work on minions ever, period. And with the reduced number of units that will even go in the ready queue it will, more often than not, barely effect things if you knock someone out and the pop right back in. Adding an exhaustion token would mean you could pin down a minion unit for a turn or kick a hero out of the queue and possibly even force a place holder. It would, effectively, just make everyone with Knockback emulate the one or two units that had a decent version of Knockback in 1.0 that kept that particular target from being immediately placed back in the queue.

Knockback on it's own does not prevent a unit from being placed in the queue during clean-up. Exhaustion tokens do. I agree with your assessment, but my gut tells me that being able to put exhaustion tokens on units is extremely powerful, and should be rarer than Knockback - If even two or three units in a cadre could cause exhaustion, the player could essentially dictate which units the opponent is able to activate.

Fetid Strumpet - If I'm reading your suggestion for Line correctly, I have to disagree. If you allow any unit affected by line to guard, you hamper the active player's ability to set the terms. Line is powerful, but requires good planning and positioning, as well as a bit of luck (or poor planning on the defender's part) to really use well. Being able to chose a specific target rewards a player for their planning. (I will add that unless the Line attacker has a height advantage, they almost always have to target the first unit in the line they want to damage).
Overall I think the number of keywords is fine, and is part of the learning curve of any game, but I don't see why some of the consolidations suggested couldn't/shouldn't be made.

Obsidian-Crane - Heavy negates some or all of a forced movement (usually caused by an enemy), whereas unstoppable lets your unit make a free movement (so you get to decide where they go) after being subjected to a forced movement, it's a good thing, not a bad thing. (Yes, it means if you want to stay put, Heavy is better, but if you want to re-position, Unstoppable lets you put more distance between you and the attacker, possibly darting to safety behind a wall.)


March 8th, 2017, 4:53 am
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Which isn't unstoppable, but is rather "Nimble" or something else. Unstoppable has different connotations (think The Juggernaut).

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March 8th, 2017, 8:58 am
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Regenerate: might it be better to just give this ability to all squads and remove it as a special trait?

It would make healing more powerful for squads, especially Recover (which is currently very ineffective on low health squads), which would reduce the need for the huge squads we see in some of the latest playtest and thus address some of the concerns about such large squads in play?

(Yes more playing with new squads needed.)

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March 8th, 2017, 9:03 am
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When it comes to engagement regarding stealth, the rules specifically say, paraphrased, if LOS isn't both ways, there is no engagement. I believe it _should_ be how you say, a one way engagement, effectivly. But as it is not, it appears that stealth prevents engagements and melee attacks both ways. That's why I brought it up.

I also know that Knockback doesn't prevent units from going into the queue. I'm saying it _should_. it would make it actually worthwhile. As I said, as an ability previously, it was super duper lackluster. To the point that anyone I ever saw playing went out of their way to use it once, basically said "oh, that's it?" and then never bothered using it again unless it was happenstantial to some other action. It was almost completely worthless. It doesn't really dictate an entire lineup as any exhaustion tokens you put down go away on the opponent's next turn. It just prevents the single character from taking part that turn, if it's a minion, or having to actually wait to go back in the queue. It absolutely is a power up to the ability, but one that I think should happen. It's simple, just applies a rule that already exists and makes a 95% worthless ability usable, maybe even preferential to others is some cases. It may have to be removed from some units if it were powered up. it shouldn't be as prolific as it is with that power. But it would be a good change I think, and has precedent in a more complexly worded version of Knockback in 1.0

Line is a weird one, so it's rules are always going to be weird. One of the main problems I have with it is that it's extremely easy to avoid any form of primary defense and hit any target you want with it still. All a unit has to do is wheel around something like an opposing objective or boost, targeting it from any angle they want which also hits their actual target. The objective gets no defense, and the actual (technically secondary) target gets no primary defense either.


March 8th, 2017, 10:06 am
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Obsidian-Crane - Regeneration on all squads would be insane. No no no no no. Do not want.

Nimble to me also suggests being able to avoid an attack. I think we're down to semantics at this point :P

Usagi - Thank you, I apparently overlooked that very important line about mutual LoS. Lets hope my wording makes it in, because otherwise there will be situations where you want or need to be engaged, but can't be.

Knockback in 1e was lackluster at low queue sizes, but in longer queues, it could seriously disrupt your opponent, and was especially effective at stopping Link abuse in 1.0.

Line can be abused as you describe, I won't argue that, but I think with all units having some defense, it won't be as bad. A simple fix might be "If the target of an attack with Line is an objective or boost, the line effect does not trigger". That would prevent the cheese without rendering units that only have an attack with Line as a base ability unable to attack objectives...

Now, a new situation that isn't addressed as far as I can find:

The Doctrine Unit, Catalogue, lets you use the top card of your discard pile to pay for abilities. Nowhere in the rules does it specify that your discard pile must remain in the order you discard. (Obviously, when spending for an attack or discarding during refocus/cleanup, you can order those cards as you want). I'm positive intent is that your discard pile cannot be manipulated, but until such a rule is written, there is nothing other than sportsmanship stopping you from abusing Perfect Recall.


March 8th, 2017, 5:14 pm
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The Cypher (Name) ability seems superfluous when combined with the Cypher Bond ability. Cypher Bond (Name) is intuitive, and really only needs to appear on the Knight given that the associated rule allows the Knight to move the Cypher into the Minion slot. This would also mean Cypher can be a trait like Robot or Tonnerian etc, not an ability, and thus attacks etc can have the Cypher trait without a specific ability being needed.

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March 12th, 2017, 3:46 am
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Re-reading Stealth, it doesn't interfere with LoS, it only prevents a unit with Stealth from being a valid target of a Ranged or Psychic attack. So even if a unit with Stealth benefits from cover in relation to another unit that it is engaged with, the Stealth ability doesn't apply to melee. Both units would benefit from any other properties related to cover, like additional armor if the terrain grants it. It looks like we were all reading Stealth as "blocks LoS", which is not how the ability works in Relic Knights.

Therefore Stealth has no bearing on engagement, and no wording clarification is needed.


March 13th, 2017, 12:34 am
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Per a comment Usagi made on another topic, current order of operations allows a player to refocus with their hero and thus have a ten card hand for their minion activation. Is this intentional? (It would seem to exacerbate the "alpha strike" issue with large squads, if they remain but this isn't addressed.)


March 13th, 2017, 4:11 pm
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As a suggestion for victory objectives, I have disliked both the randomness, and the flip mechanic to achieve vp. At a minimum of you continue to use the flip mechanic the cards flipped should not be reshuffled into the deck. Given the amount of times that has to happen a large portion of the game will be taken up by this player or that reshuffling the deck.

I understand the intent of trying to prevent the game devolving into something that can be Mathed out so that no one attacks and just saves their cards for defense. I think in this situation you've created the opposite effect where people can still math out attacking the opponent. I would suggest examine potentially the following changes. Keep in mind these are only suggestions based on some games with 1.0 and an examination of other game's mechanics.

First some amount of randomness needs to be applied to attacks. Right now all the randomness is applied in when you get your cards to power the attack, and then how big the attack will be with presses. You actually cannot attack and miss at the moment which feels wrong on many levels. You also cannot attack if you don't have the proper cards to initiate the attack, which can lead to some very odd situations. Additionally the mechanics work in odd ways where you can attack with a high skill unit where the goal is just to draw more cards to set up your following units which again creates odd non-intuitive rules interactions. Additionally attacking other units can prove deleterious because they can use those defensive cards for offense on the next unit to activate. Which creates the odd situation of one model getting attacked providing the power up for the next model to attack.

To potentially combat all of these issues I would suggest changing how skills interact with the game. I would potentially allow all attacks to be made without requiring the power cost. Then flip, face up, and amount of cards equal to the skill rating. These cards may be used to pay for the attack and any boosts required, but they are not drawn into the hand and cannot be stored for later use for other models. Cards from hand can still be used to pay for the attack and any boosts required. The same process would apply to defense. Cards flipped could be used to pay for the defense and any boosts but could not be saved and applied to other later defenses or attacks.

I feel this could potentially open some design space but also solve some issues from last edition. Part of the issue being that models Would save all their Esperance to use for defense rather than attack and then just run objectives ignoring the other force. I feel part of this issue exaserbated by each factions attacks and defenses using generally the same esper for attack and defense. If you had the esper for defense you won't use it for attack, because you might not draw any, and since you couldn't make an attack without paying for it you wouldn't attack. If you change that around by allowing attacks to be initiated even if not paid for initially more models sitting on defensive cards might still attack in the hopes of getting lucky and connecting based on the free cards they flipped from their skill.

By making them face up you easily keep them separated from your hand, but also let the opponent have some information with which to base defensive choices on.

And by preventing the cards from going to hand you prevent using attacks to power defenses and defenses for powering attacks. Which I feel is not an issue in and of itself but does become problematical in the current rules architecture.

Since attacks could miss defenses could be made slightly better, or not depending on effect, especially since sitting on defensive cards would not preclude attacking since paying for the attack would occur after flipping cards.

Removing the complete randomization from objectives would be basically the same thing. Cards would still be flipped when completing an objective, but you could allow the ability to spend cards from hand to pay for the ability if the flip didn't go your way.

I'm not saying these should be enacted but they are addressing an issue I see with this game where you can't attack if you don't have resources, and if you have them you can't miss.


March 13th, 2017, 8:12 pm
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I've mulled over the flip instead of draw idea quite a bit, and I like it. One additional benefit that's not pointed out is that it adds a meaningful choice in situations where a player was previously constrained. If you have a bad hand, you can either refocus or use your activation to complete an objective. In both cases, you get to adjust your hand at the end of the turn, but if Fetid Strumpet's proposal is considered, you'd have the additional choice of risking an attack.

Corollary:
I do think that this rule change could unbalance things if one player was better at counting cards than the other, allowing them to make make choices that are more statistically sound. This could create an economy of actions where the counting player would be able to avoid risking attacks knowing the state of their deck, and would instead focus on defensive positioning and objective completion until they were able to cycle their deck. Conversely, a novice player or one who isn't able to count cards to the same level could easily fall into a trap where they are constantly trying for attacks that statistically can't happen. (While this is something that can be learned, I do worry what effect it would have on player base growth. Unlike a true randomize, such as dice, this would be a randomizer that a savvy player could game, leading to frustration in their less aware opponents.) If you have to have the minimum esper to commit to the attack, as is the current rule, you may lose out on a choice to attack, but you are also not allowed to make a "false" (bad) choice.

Nitpick:
Fetid Strumpet wrote:
By making them face up you easily keep them separated from your hand, but also let the opponent have some information with which to base defensive choices on.
I don't think this would affect the opponents decision making in any way. Currently, you pay for the base ability, draw your cards, pay for presses, and then your opponent decides to guard or use a secondary defense. Unless the choice to defend is moved to a different point in the Order of Operations (I posit it should not be moved), the target will have all relevant information available needed to make such a determination. Overall I like the idea, it's just that the target cannot possibly benefit from additional information as you describe.

As it is, changing guards so that they are no longer perfect does go a long way to preventing a meta that favors the avoidance of combat and the hording of esper for defense. The proposal is still interesting enough to warrant testing (provided SPM did not consider such an option during the closed testing period).


March 13th, 2017, 10:06 pm
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I understand the change Fetid Strumpet is suggesting, but that makes the game Malifaux.

That said I do think both Disengage and Victory Conditions should have the option to discard from hand to achieve the effect. (2 Esper of type, perhaps 3)

I also believe Flips shouldn't shuffle the deck. I understand that shuffling makes the Flip a cost free mechanic in terms of the game, but I note that even in the heavily edited "how to play" video that was still done incorrectly the first time. That's then compounded by the 2 problems with shuffling; people that are horrible at it for which this becomes a time sink and people that are too good at it and will be able to stack their deck (already a potential problem). While Flip being a discard introduces a cost to the Flip mechanic, I think the efficacy of the approach warrants the reversion to the 1.0 version of the mechanic.

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March 13th, 2017, 11:01 pm
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A concern I would have with regard to being able to pay for victory points is that combat oriented objectives would more often than not come down to flips anyway. But at least both players would be in the same situation. For non-combat objectives, I could see a tendency to avoid their completion until you could pay for it, though waiting around for the right hand would leave you vulnerable, so maybe that balances it.

Overall, I think we're running into issues with some of these new flip triggers because they're an attempt to introduce randomness into a system that was designed to be as ordered as possible. The point I made about card counting above holds true for all flip mechanics - while the flips do produce a random outcome, the chances of a favorable ourcome changes. Dave said in the Q&A that after running the numbers, he was comfortable with the random distribution, and so we can say that it is intentional that the flip mechanic will reward players who keep track of the cards remaining in their deck.


March 14th, 2017, 12:57 am
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New ruleset (3/13/17) is out, with new beta unit stats.

Comparing Marikan-To to Kasaro-To, it seems to me that her Cadre ability is better than his: Both grant a unit in your cadre 2 bonus damage, but the threshold to achieve the bonus damage is lower for Marikan-To than it is for Kasaro-To. Additionally, as long as you keep attacking, Marikan-To's ability is essentially self-sustaining on a unit, whereas Kasaro-To's cadre ability only buffs him, and only if you're able to feed him with a model kill. As I read it, Kasaro can only benefit from the counter once, regardless of how many he has. This means that you've got consistently higher damage potential with Marikan as your knight, since you could maintain a counter on each of your heroes, dealing increased damage on each turn instead of on 1/X turns. It surprises me that for two similar cadre abilities, the questing knight's is clearly stronger. If Kasaro-To's benefit's stacked, I could see that making him a monster after hitting a squad, or if you had a few good turns to stack him up, so I don't know if that's something to wish for...)

For Princess Malya (Relic Knight), her first ability lets her disengage automatically for her feint movement. Does that mean she still gives up her follow-up movement (since she had to be engaged to actually make the attack)? Assuming she does lose her follow-up, most units that have been previewed would be able to re-engage her on their activation. (Malya can potentially move over terrain that would prevent the enemy from getting close enough, and at the minimum would be able to set the location of the counter-attack, but confirmation that this is intentional would be appreciated.)

Sophia Drake's defense action has no cost.

Does recover trigger on the attacking unit? If so, can that be made clear in the abilities index?

Academy Guard has a redundant press for regenerate.

Clarification on the Shield Drone upgrade for the Scribes:
1. If it doesn't count as a model for any purpose, does it block LoS?
2. Does it prevent a unit from ending it's movement in it's space?
3. Does it affect the squad's engagement zone (or otherwise matter for the purposes of a squad benefiting from an AoE or being within 6" of a Knight)?
The rules say it's a model and not a model, and that's just confusing. I assume the answers are all 'no' based on the specific wording, but then how does that reconcile with placement rules? Do I just re-position the shield drone if my opponent wants to place a unit where the drone currently sits? I'm sure there are more issues that I've missed, but the rules wording absolutely needs to be cleared up. (Cool idea though, having a non-interacting model represent the upgrade)

[Edited because I don't want to make unnecessary new posts]


March 14th, 2017, 1:35 am
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So there is a host of Abilities that are useless against minions or useless on minions since they affect the minions skills which they don't have any:

Coordinated Defense
Coordinated Fire
Defensive Formation
Mob Rule
Psychic Choir

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March 14th, 2017, 4:04 am
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I don't think the abilities that reduce defensive skills need to be changed, as they are still valid against heroes, but it would be nice to clarify whether the increase abilities allow minion squads to draw a card. If they don't work on minion squads, then there's no point for them to have them....


March 14th, 2017, 4:31 am
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