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 Unstable Nitro 
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Denizen
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Joined: August 27th, 2012, 5:11 am
Posts: 494
I like some of the changes to Unstable Nitro, but am also worried about the new power of the ability.

First, I do think it should be clarified if "Before the game begins" means before the first action (like the Black Dragon upgrade). That is my assumption based on how the setup and playing the game sections are split, but things like this need to be clear and consistent.

Good:
- No longer risking starting at a disadvantage due to losing two models (possibly the whole unit if you really wanted to gamble with the ability!)

Bad:
- The upgrade is cheaper. I had considered putting this as a neutral point, but upon reflection I feel the cost reduction is not warranted due to the removal of the chance to harm the unit. That, combined with my following concerns, makes the cost-effectiveness of the ability really high, and an auto-include upgrade in my mind.
- Based on experience and quick math, a flip 3 should have a high rate of at least one success, with an average outcome between 2 and 3. This means that more often than not, the SNC player will benefit from this upgrade. (Which is fine, you pay for it, it should be useful.) Previously, the ability created a set number of AoEs if the flip was successful. Now, the number created is variable, which can lead to an extremely strong starting position. On a great flip, the SNC player can make a 42" line of AoEs that the enemy must damage themselves to move through and/or remove. (barring a small number of units that can remove AoEs at range). These AoEs trigger on entry AND activation, giving them extra threat. On a bad flip, the ability doesn't do anything (You've just wasted a single point that could've bought a boost. I personally wouldn't be bothered by that, which is why the point cost reduction is a negative in my mind). On an average flip, you still get a handful of AoEs that you can use to mess up your opponent's plans in a number of ways (below:).
- The placement restrictions are extremely generous. Given the chance to get a large number of tokens, you can easily encircle your opponent in such a way that would force at least 1 unit to be damaged. Alternatively, placing the tokens around your objectives (crazy pirates putting unstable explosives by the plunder!) or defensively gives an extra layer of protection. Even a small number of tokens being placed at the start of the match gives SNC an advantage in control.

Basically, the potential for a really advantageous flip is high, which would be extremely frustrating if I was facing a lucky SNC player. On a smaller flip, a smart player can still use the placement to create additional choke points or otherwise gain the upper hand before play even starts. That said. I really like the ability, I'm just afraid of the potential that it allows, as I can easily imagine a scenario in which a SNC player can force an opponent to trade a unit in order to clear a path.

Possible solutions:
- Remove the "Debuff" tag from the AoE. If the nitro is that unstable, why not make it problematic for both players. This would require more careful positioning on the part of the SNC player, and a but more planning about how they want to approach the battlefield.
- Make them one-use AoEs, "Each AoE has the following: Debuff, When an enemy unit enters the area, it suffers Damage 4. Remove this AoE token after it deals damage."
- Trigger the ability after Objectives are deployed, but before units are deployed, and allow enemy units to ignore the 9" rule when deploying near the AoEs
- Change it from 1 AoE per chaos to 1 AoE per card with chaos (caps potential at 3).


July 17th, 2017, 6:11 pm
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Denizen
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Joined: August 27th, 2012, 5:11 am
Posts: 494
Another possible solution is to move the randomness from number of AoEs (they produce a set number) and make the randomness part of the damage, instead.

Or make it so that the number of AoE tokens placed is dependent on the number of models in the squad. Preferably combine this suggestion with another (one-use or random damage) to keep it from being too powerful.


July 23rd, 2017, 2:16 am
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