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 Ninja All Stars - State of the Game 
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Minion
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Joined: November 22nd, 2012, 5:01 pm
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UN17 wrote:
Almost a year later and I've managed to rope a few friends into trying the game out. We have a little league going, but it's a very slow game. I think the box said 90mins, but it's more like 4 hours per game. The games are fun, but we do wish there was a map expansion so we can have all our friends playing simultaneously rather than 1v1 and the rest watch or play another game.


If your group is interested then maybe pool your money and trawl the internet and buy a cheap core box, or at least the map and cards you need for a separate game. Im sure there are a few people who only wanted the minis and eBayed the rest.


January 22nd, 2018, 11:31 pm
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Mini-Boss
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I remember seeing some alternate sentries of Miko shrine maidens.
NAS generally dosen't see as much play between the hubby and I [we feel the rules need some work, and have been too tied up in SDE to find the time to try and tweak them]
But !SODA! would I love some shrine maiden chibis for SDE. :mrgreen:


March 5th, 2018, 7:36 am
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Minion
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Salaura wrote:
I remember seeing some alternate sentries of Miko shrine maidens.
NAS generally dosen't see as much play between the hubby and I [we feel the rules need some work, and have been too tied up in SDE to find the time to try and tweak them]
But !SODA! would I love some shrine maiden chibis for SDE. :mrgreen:


Was some pics & info from PAX 2 years ago, of two potential map packs for NAS. One was Hidden Shrine, with the female chibis. Other was Night Market, with some form of ghost like enemies.

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Thread http://community.sodapopminiatures.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5876 detailing it.

First time I ever saw the above image though, they were pretty far along if they had the models prototyped and art worked out for the tiles. Guess NAS never caught on as well as they would have liked (even though it sold almost everything in my FLGS), or the delay with SDE KS pushed it back alongside other projects (SDE Frostbyte Peaks packs).


March 6th, 2018, 12:20 pm
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Bottle Cap

Joined: February 20th, 2018, 11:10 am
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I'm hoping that once the SDE legends and Relic Knights kick starters are sorted there will be some sort of NAS 2.0, with a rules update and new play areas to refresh interest. I really love the depth and theme of the game and hope that interest has not been lost. Has the opportunity to really shine with some reworking.


March 7th, 2018, 10:42 pm
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Mini-Boss
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For me, I would need the whole battle system to change. While sounding cool on paper, the dice mechanic is too clumsy in practice for me. That's really the biggest thing holding it back for me.


March 8th, 2018, 9:36 pm
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Ninja Corps
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NAS hasn't got the play-time it deserves for me to make the call, too much SDE beta testing to compete with (as well as other games!) Does it need as much rework as SDE 2.0 received, or are we just talking simplification / speed?


March 9th, 2018, 3:20 am
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Minion
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If they did a rules rework for NAS.. I'd want them to focus on reducing the token management and making the board reading easier for faster flow of play. For example, if you could activate any 2 units on your turn, so tracking who activated wouldn't matter, that would cut out the activation tokens. Making a "back attack" work by having two models attack a unit from opposing sides instead of tracking the targets facing could cut out having to track the units facing. The use of the dots on the map to denote spaces is also a problem for quickly understanding LOS. These are just examples of what I mean, I'm not specifically asking for those to be the new rules... but I would love to see the game be faster pace, where more of my time and mental energy is on the puzzle of the game, not book keeping and managing board state. I realize this would mean changes to most of the rules tho, like I don't think you can just make a few small changes to the current rules to get what I want, so I don't predict that would happen.


March 9th, 2018, 8:50 pm
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Minion
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So I was working on my own expansion for a while, no miniatures or anything just a bunch more advancement options with some effort at re-balancing the tournament rules a little bit:

Mostly I wanted to make the advancement and injury rules a little more interesting, personaly when playing games like Necromunda or Mordheim my enthusiasm for the game was always fairly balanced between the out of game stuff and the battles themselves & I didn't feel the out of game aspects of Ninja All Stars were very engaging.

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I didn't really want to add the need for numbered dice though so I tried to make this as varied as possible with just the element dice from the game
Vices and virtues doesn't sound very ninja-style though so these charts need better names, considering Yin & Yang.

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Expanded keywords, bit of a pain to implement these rules-wise as how affinities & tests work makes it awkward to add more affinities (I didn't want to just add keywords to the 6 affinities already in the game for various reasons). Text probably needs to be bigger for this to be legible at 800px...
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Random sketches and stuff:
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I'm interested to know what people think as I had sort of abandoned this project a while ago but I recently pulled out my NaS miniatures to try finish painting the set so this might see some more work.


March 9th, 2018, 8:53 pm
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Minion
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homedrone wrote:
If they did a rules rework for NAS.. I'd want them to focus on reducing the token management and making the board reading easier for faster flow of play. For example, if you could activate any 2 units on your turn, so tracking who activated wouldn't matter, that would cut out the activation tokens. Making a "back attack" work by having two models attack a unit from opposing sides instead of tracking the targets facing could cut out having to track the units facing. The use of the dots on the map to denote spaces is also a problem for quickly understanding LOS. These are just examples of what I mean, I'm not specifically asking for those to be the new rules... but I would love to see the game be faster pace, where more of my time and mental energy is on the puzzle of the game, not book keeping and managing board state. I realize this would mean changes to most of the rules tho, like I don't think you can just make a few small changes to the current rules to get what I want, so I don't predict that would happen.


Yeah, token overdose is almost an SPM staple at this point. I mocked up little sheets with 12 numbered slots to correspond with the relevant Ninja to place tokens on, board becomes a mess mid combat. Was thinking of marking 1-12 on the back of their bases, also help speed up facing as you know where their front and back zones are.

I dont mind the activation tokens, just picking 2 to activate would mean your Chunin and Oni get activated every turn, unless you needed a sniper or a runner for a task. And the "I go, you go" makes it a little more tactical, as you try to outmaneuver each other as you try to setup backstabs and risk moving characters into positions knowing they will be vulnerable for the rest of the round. Put it this way, in a 4 player game each player would have to wait for 6 activations to go again...you could have lost half your team and not been able to do anything about it!

Firah wrote:
So I was working on my own expansion for a while, no miniatures or anything just a bunch more advancement options with some effort at re-balancing the tournament rules a little bit:

Mostly I wanted to make the advancement and injury rules a little more interesting, personaly when playing games like Necromunda or Mordheim my enthusiasm for the game was always fairly balanced between the out of game stuff and the battles themselves & I didn't feel the out of game aspects of Ninja All Stars were very engaging.


First off, love the art.

The Vices dont sound very appealing, gaining a (even partial) negative for leveling up is not really fun. Given that two people could roll up advances: one gets +1 AT straight and the other rolls the Brute Vice and gains +1 AT but has to lose -1 MV......not fun for the second player! Sounds more like a serious injury in Necro/Mord terms.

Really like the Schools concept, had been brainstorming potential hybrid clans if there were ever more than the original 6 clans. Stuff like Fire + Earth = Magma/Lava clan, Wind + Air = Tempest clan, Wind + Spirit = Divine, Void + Air = Mist/Gas clan, Void + Water = Swamp clan.
Maybe dont make them whole new affinities, but maybe new spins on the original clans: choosing a school grants +/- to stats to show they focus on different strategies ( an Earth clan who are faster but less resilient). Could lead to losing a bit of the flair each clan had and everyone becoming very bland and similar, though.


March 10th, 2018, 2:34 am
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Denizen
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I played my first actual game against a friend yesterday. The game isn't bad what I was initially fearing after listening Tom Vasel's review years ago. It's ok; could be better, but I'm still willing to play again if someone else wants to.

I chose the challenge of Capture the Medal for us because it felt the most interesting. I had Air Shrine and my friend used Water Shrine. I think my shrine was lots of better for this challenge because Madoushi boosts movement of other models during its activation. -> Slight gameplay problem: how to mark and remember these extra boosts? -> Second problem there are already tons of tokens on board! It's fiddly to first move models and then remember who had what tokens. There should be some easy way to mark activation at least. Maybe a base that rotates and shows whether a model has activated or not. We ended up using color rings to show that model has activated and removed them after each round.

During first turn, it was Air Moon so, I was allowed to boost 3 models when Madoushi activated! Air Clan's Chunin has sprint ability so this combination allowed him to move 14 movement points during its first activation! After the first 2 or 3 rounds, scoring was 0 - 4; we ended the game when scoring was 1 - 9 on round 6. The challenge takes 9 rounds -> too long.

Rules wise my friend had difficulty to calculate movement cost. He couldn't remember that moving in this terrain takes more movement points than 1. I always mentioned this. At first he was also afraid to get rid of stealth so moved slower. Again I need to remember that if you move on this terrain type, your stealth would be gone. -> I'm not sure, but maybe in 2nd Edition could be streamlined to get rid of Stealth rules. This would lessen the number of tokens on board as well.

During round 3 or 4, friend got my medal, but quickly got stuck due to my defense line. If going straight, he would have needed to dodge successfully 3 times! He brought reinforcements, but rules doesn't allow giving the medal to anyone else or dropping it so he was truly stuck. -> I would perhaps house rule that when dodge fails, still allowing to move that 1 space he was intending to go. Gameplay wise it's also easier to move the model first and then do the dodge roll.

When the medal holding Chunin model made some progress, I battled him and due to assists/back attack easily got extra attack dice. I always threw him back into the middle of defense lines. -> I might have forgotten rules that assist bonus aren't given if other enemy model is next to it (could perhaps streamline this rule for easier to remember / then again it's part of tactics to bring reinforcements to help in situations like these). I originally thought (due to Tom Vasel) that I wouldn't like facing rules; the game would be slightly more streamlined without having to set facing of models. Then again, I liked the back strike bonus and tried to position my models this in mind then attacking. Well for streamlined edition, I could still drop facing rules and assist cancels of other models.

The dice mechanics wasn't that bad. I quickly got grasp of idea of cancelling the dice. However, it took time to interpret what each result meant. With more games this might get quicker, but I'm all in towards streamlining this into a complete different dice mechanics that's quicker. This would also require upgrade pack for most of the existing content. Probably would be worth it to get a better reception for 2nd edition.

I don't think I have time to invest into League Play so in 2nd edition, I would mainly go towards supporting one-off games. Maybe get rid of upgrading teams as well. To streamline even further, give suggestions for pre-built teams -> No need to spent time building those. In addition, provide settings for pre-built battle arenas without players needing to select lanterns and shrines. Second edition could also bring more challenges or mainly narrow the focus to only provide the best game play modes. Other "not-so-great-modes" could be part of supplementary pdf material.

And final note, my friend mentioned that deployment points are hard to find. It would be much easier if those would be colored differently.


March 11th, 2018, 10:30 am
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Minion
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Firah, you need to start a new thread for that stuff :) It deserves it's own!


March 11th, 2018, 6:37 pm
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Minion
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nakano wrote:
During round 3 or 4, friend got my medal, but quickly got stuck due to my defense line. If going straight, he would have needed to dodge successfully 3 times! He brought reinforcements, but rules doesn't allow giving the medal to anyone else or dropping it so he was truly stuck. -> I would perhaps house rule that when dodge fails, still allowing to move that 1 space he was intending to go. Gameplay wise it's also easier to move the model first and then do the dodge roll.

I like this idea, the Ninja stumbling through the dodge so still moving but getting the stun and ending its action (you cant just wander through enemy influence zones, accruing stuns, but can still punch out of a box your trapped in).


March 15th, 2018, 11:54 pm
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Bottle Cap
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Veknoid wrote:
To determine our winner we use a point system win = 10, draw = 5, loss = 2.


Exactly what I do also to determine the winner but trying to figure out something more to make it more interesting to win. Waiting for some weird idea to come into mind
Further expansion to the map would have been great. One of my friend did it on his own... if I get my hand on it, I will share it


March 22nd, 2018, 4:26 am
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Minion
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RoyEverett wrote:
Veknoid wrote:
To determine our winner we use a point system win = 10, draw = 5, loss = 2.


Exactly what I do also to determine the winner but trying to figure out something more to make it more interesting to win. Waiting for some weird idea to come into mind
Further expansion to the map would have been great. One of my friend did it on his own... if I get my hand on it, I will share it


Do you mean the game board or the world map?


March 22nd, 2018, 7:05 pm
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Minion
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RoyEverett wrote:
Exactly what I do also to determine the winner but trying to figure out something more to make it more interesting to win. Waiting for some weird idea to come into mind

What do you mean? Some extra bonus for winning above gaining more points? If you use the shop house-rules listed in the forum here, you could give vouchers to purchase some items: also avoids the power creep of winners using bonus winnings to buy more and more Ninjas.


March 23rd, 2018, 5:10 pm
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Minion
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Danteire wrote:
RoyEverett wrote:
Exactly what I do also to determine the winner but trying to figure out something more to make it more interesting to win. Waiting for some weird idea to come into mind

What do you mean? Some extra bonus for winning above gaining more points? If you use the shop house-rules listed in the forum here, you could give vouchers to purchase some items: also avoids the power creep of winners using bonus winnings to buy more and more Ninjas.


I think he means of the tournament as a whole


March 23rd, 2018, 10:37 pm
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Bottle Cap
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Goodness Gracious! Firah, if you need any help completing your advancement rules, let me know. this is the system i've been looking for for literally years!

ideas for other clan schools:

- have overlapping schools, like for instance, a steel school could be earth/fire, mist could be fire/water, heavens could be void/spirit. so on and so forth.
this could help mitigate some of the glaring issues with the clan by adding some cross clan abilities, but they should be a lower power level than some of the straight class abilities, if that makes sense. I'm thinking cross class dnd types, where they lose some of the disadvantages, and gain some strengths, but not as much as if they soloed a school.

- i'm definitely thinking the Vices table belongs on the injury table. much like morheim/necromunda, even a bad thing could be good there, but any time a negative applies, it should be for a negative reason.

- seriously, I love what you've done here, and this is just the few things I thought of in the ten seconds since reading your post. please, please don't abandon this project! and as said before, I'd be happy to playtest, and help with ideas!


April 4th, 2018, 5:42 pm
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bahahaha looked at another post right under the original, and someone had the idea for cross class schools too! sweet! great minds think alike?


April 4th, 2018, 5:44 pm
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Minion
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Azael88 wrote:
ideas for other clan schools:

- have overlapping schools, like for instance, a steel school could be earth/fire, mist could be fire/water, heavens could be void/spirit. so on and so forth.
this could help mitigate some of the glaring issues with the clan by adding some cross clan abilities, but they should be a lower power level than some of the straight class abilities, if that makes sense. I'm thinking cross class dnd types, where they lose some of the disadvantages, and gain some strengths, but not as much as if they soloed a school.


It would be the hard part of hybrid clans, how to balance the greater variety they can choose from without overpowering vs single element clans! Though the idea of "powered-up" skill is nice, such as skills granting a extra +1AT or DF ontop of the existing skills bonus, or rerolls to ability affinity tests. Then lock these powered up forms from the hybrid clans, and also remove gaining extra affinities as a whole, so mono-element clans are more focused on their particular fighting style.

Or rework the Virtues as a form of specializations, and a character needs a set number of associated element skills to be able to pick the Virtue (eg need 3 fire type skills to gain the "Tigers Fury" Virtue of +2AT/-1DF or 3 Wind skills for "Eagles Grace" to enable 2 ranged attacks from one attack action) so mono-element clans will gain these faster while hybrids will either need to focus ninjas down a path or split between either element to gain flexibility (with an option for 2/2 skill Virtues focusing on their clan eg 2Fire/2Earth skills needed for a Lava Virtue)


April 5th, 2018, 2:56 pm
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It would be great if they could get Ninja Justin to look at a 2.0 rule set. He really improved the rules for the SDE legends campaign and this game could use an overhaul if for no other reason than public perception.

Unfortunately this game is DOA and needs some new life.


May 28th, 2018, 1:01 pm
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