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 2.0 Beta Rules: Blur and Inspiration Discussion 
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Ninja Corps
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Joined: April 24th, 2012, 12:17 pm
Posts: 346
Right, so I've been rattling these around in my head. A number of factions in the beta rules have a Knight who can grant tokens to friendly models that have a specific effect. Leopold Magnus has his Data tokens, for example.
Now, as the thread title suggests, Questing Knight Malya's Blur tokens and Questing Knight Sebastian's Inspiration tokens, have been on my mind, mainly because each of them has a Minion Squad (Hell's Belles and Swordsworn, respectively) that gain benefits from those tokens. To my mind, this presents a bit of a problem, but also an opportunity.
The problem is, these Squads seem to depend on having a specific Knight. The perception, although arguably not the reality, is that they will underperform in a cadre led by anyone else.

The opportunity is this: These tokens are strongly connected to their respective factions' overall themes, so the problem can be solved, and the themes reinforced, by giving every Knight an Action or Ability -on the Knight or his / her Cypher- that grants the token. More Minions, and possibly Heroes, could be given effects that require the tokens. This removes the Knight / Minion dependency and also has the benefit of unifying the factions in question.

Theoretically this could also be done with Leopold Magnus's Data tokens and Kasaro To's Spree tokens, but no Minions require those and they're more closely connected to the specific Knight than the faction as a whole.

Edit: I have thrown together some suggestions for Knights and Minions regarding these tokens. These are all kind of slapdash, so if someone has other ideas, feel free to chime in:

BLUR TOKENS
Relic Knight Malya:
-When a unit uses Dash, the player may pay 1G to give it a Blur token.

Marie-Claude (both versions):
-Units affected by Esmee's Boost Pad / Go, Go, Go! AoEs gain a Blur token.

Lug:
-Lug Smash gains "This attack gains Charge 2 while Lug has a Blur token."

Pacer:
-Roll With the Impact gains "[Press] 1 Blur token: Feint 4."

Royal Wrecker:
-Royal Treatment gains "This attack has Charge 4 while this unit has a Blur token."

Hardshell:
-Suppressing Fire and Scattershot gain "This attack has Feint 2 while this unit has a Blur token."

Faust's Devils:
-Run Through gains "[Press] 1 Blur token: Charge 4."

Pit Crew:
-Mental Toughness gains "This action gains Feint 4 while this unit has a Blur token."

INSPIRATION TOKENS
Relic Knight Jeanne Romee:
-Banner Held High changed to grant Inspiration tokens instead of Inspired tokens. Side benefit: Eliminates potential confusion between these very similarly-named tokens.

Questing Knight Jeanne Romee:
-When Hearts & Minds is pressed to target a friendly unit, the target gains an Inspiration token.
-Martyr grants Inspiration tokens to all friendly units. Inspiration tokens granted by Martyr are not removed when spent.

Castellan:
-The Castellan gains "Divine Drive: The Castellan can spend an Inspiration token to pay for its attacks' Presses."

Paragons:
-Thruster Blast gains "[Press] 1 Inspiration token: This action's movement is increased to 10 inches."

Star Lancer:
-The Star Lancer gains "Will Generator: While the Star Lancer has an Inspiration token, its Shield Generator value increases to 3."

Purifiers:
-Sanctify gains "[Press] 1 Inspiration token: Friendly units in the area gain Armor 1."

Swordsworn Command:
-Swordsworn Command gains "Commanding Radiance: When Swordsworn Command are affected by Heal while they have an Inspiration token, all friendly Swordsworn in their LoS Heal for the same amount."

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April 10th, 2017, 3:57 pm
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Denizen
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Joined: August 27th, 2012, 5:11 am
Posts: 494
Bitt_Player wrote:
The problem is, these Squads seem to depend on having a specific Knight. The perception, although arguably not the reality, is that they will underperform in a cadre led by anyone else.

The opportunity is this: These tokens are strongly connected to their respective factions' overall themes, so the problem can be solved, and the themes reinforced, by giving every Knight an Action or Ability -on the Knight or his / her Cypher- that grants the token. More Minions, and possibly Heroes, could be given effects that require the tokens. This removes the Knight / Minion dependency and also has the benefit of unifying the factions in question.

I agree completely. I think it's an interesting mechanic, but I don't like that a squad basically needs a specific knight to perform at full power. I'd even be fine with the units that use the token having some way to generate the token themselves. For example, Hell's Belles could generate a Blur token on their own if they moved X inches, which would allow them to use their abilities to the fullest, but they would only get the bonus armor if QK Malya was leading the Cadre. You still have to do something to generate the effect, (it should be harder to generate without the knight, but you can at least still do it, or the tokens are only for activating an effect as opposed to other bonuses), but your unit's potential is not tied to a specific cadre build.

The one issue I could see with having non-knights generate the tokens for other units is this: If you have a non-knight cause token generation, and the tokens have inherent abilities like they do on the knight, would those abilities overlap, would one take precedence, or could you choose which effect they grant? That becomes increasing hard to track since you have multiple tokens with the same name giving different effects. If a unit generates a token that doesn't have an inherent effect without having a Knight, then you're back to a situation where units don't reach their full potential without a knight, only now it's multiplied.

I want to see this mechanic work well, because it is interesting, but it seems like balancing it is going to be very hard. Perhaps each faction could have it's own way of generating the token, and then a knight could (but not necessarily) cause the token to have an additional effect. That way your units can still benefit from their abilities without putting you in a position where you need to run specific units together to get the most out of them. (I do like, however, that currently the different uses for the same token in SSP really feels different; Cross inspires his soldiers through the worst of it, Jeanne sees the bad that's happening and pushes herself harder...)


April 10th, 2017, 5:13 pm
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Ninja Corps
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A thought I had based on your suggestion: Suppose the Minions generated the tokens themselves, but don't specify what they do. Instead, each Knight has one or more abilities that determine the effects of the token. That might be quite interesting, if difficult to balance. Though come to think of it that's basically what you suggested in your last paragraph, isn't it?

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April 11th, 2017, 3:58 pm
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Essentially, yes. If you move the generation of the tokens to a faction-specific trigger or to individual units and have them act as an additional resource you get a bigger design space and avoid "forced pairs". Then you can have some Knights cause the tokens to generate an additional effect beyond being a resource.

I'm not sure which option I would prefer though;
Having it be on the unit makes for more text, but allows different units to have different triggers, and would allow for some units to simply not gain them.
Having it be a faction-wide trigger means it's easier to track. Consolidating it into one trigger like this would mean that some Knights would need to have their cadre abilities redesigned.
In both cases, you would lose some flavor (Noh Knights currently make more than one type of token).

These options don't even need to be mutually exclusive, it could be that some units would have two conditions, or it could be that a unit that has a unit-specific condition means that unit doesn't generate a token from the faction-wide condition.

(That's not to say forced pairs are inherently bad, Betty and Lug being a great example of them done right, but I'd rather see more of the pairs be hero/minion or hero/hero instead of Knight/unit for greater cadre building flexibility.)


April 11th, 2017, 5:03 pm
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Joined: September 9th, 2012, 1:25 am
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Location: Australia
Well, the latest update gives us Suicide Queen handing out Blur tokens as well.

So these things appear to be a design space they are going to use going forward, which is a good idea.

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April 15th, 2017, 2:06 am
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