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 Glitch's July 17 playtest report 
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Joined: August 27th, 2012, 5:11 am
Posts: 514
Black Diamond (4VP, Hero)
Codebreaker & Slaved Cypher
CSM Alex-117
M-8 Blitz Auto-Tankz
Diamond Corps (4 models)
Star Nebula Corsairs (3VP, Villain)
Golden Vance & Minnow
Blowhards (2 models +upgrade)

Overall the game played well and wound up being very close. Game time ran longer than I'd like, but some of that was due to pausing to clarify rules. For the most part I am happy with where everything is right now. Aside from a few sections that could use clearer wording, I think the mechanics are solid. I hope that we are able to move to focused testing of units for balance purposes soon.

We played with slightly less than the recommended 2-3 pieces of terrain, partially due to the size of some of the terrain used, but mainly due to the fact that you need a 110mm diameter area for objective placement. I could have set the field with more terrain, but that would have meant I would've needed to pre-plan objective placement, and that seemed like the wrong thing to do.

Rules Questions:
- Officer: When exactly is the damage transferred? We played after the target unit determined all defenses, including armor flip.
- Unstable Nitro: Timing on "Before the game begins?" We played using the timing from the Black Dragon's Fortify Position (Before the first activation)
- Healing Aura: Does the unit with the aura benefit from it? Does a unit have LoS to itself? Is it within it's own aura? The rules specifically state that an AoE token is part of the area, but there is no wording I could find to confirm or deny that the unit's base is considered part of the aura, nor anything that mentions if a unit has LoS to itself (for effects that target a friendly unit in LoS, such as a healing support).
- Do attacks that do not require LoS ignore cover? We played that they did, using the reasoning that if you don't need LoS, you don't need to draw a window. If you don't draw a window, you never determine if an object is blocking/obscuring. The 1.0 rules (errata?) specifically stated that attacks that did not require LoS did ignore cover, and I suggest putting that wording into the book.
- When an AoE is placed, how are units that are already in the area affected? Using Nebula (Squall) as an example, would any enemy units that are in the AoE when it is placed be considered to have entered the area? We played no, but felt this should be considered for clarification.
- Moffet - Time Hop: Current wording means this ability would need a disengage flip, since it is a free move. My assumption is that the ability should say "place" and not "move".
- Moffet's defense instructs you to remove an exhaustion token. Since exhaustion tokens don't exist, we played that it removed 1 activation token.
- Piercing and the order of operations:
I think the rules for determining armor should be cleared up to state "All bonuses are added to the base value, and then all negative effects are subtracted."
Currently, the wording could be argued to work as above, or it could be argued that effects are determined in the order that they are generated. If the latter, then a unit with 1 armor being attacked by piercing 2 and using a defense which increases armor by 1 could be figured as 1 - 2 = 0 + 1 = 1, since piercing can not reduce the value below zero. We played using the wording I suggested, meaning the example was figured 1+1-2=0. (I will note that if you follow the steps as written in list format - base, defense action, additional effects that increase or reduce - then you get the second result. I just think that it should be worded to clearly explain the order the math is done, especially if the math is done in an order different from the timing of effect generation.) [This also applies to Precision and any other ability that reduces a stat but has a floor that the stat cannot be reduced below]
- Squall's Eye of the Storm: Is the "discards a card or the suffers compel 4" a choice, or the order in which the effect triggers? We played it as a choice, but the wording could be argued that for each unit the discard was mandatory, and the compel was the consequence if a discard was not possible. Suggested wordings are "unit either discards a card or suffers compel 4" or "the unit must discard a card, if it cannot, it suffers compel 4." I assume the former because the latter would be really powerful.

Other Thoughts:
- I flipped 3 for Unstable Nitro, giving me 3 AoEs to place. This allowed me to create a "wall" of damage that effectively locked down two enemy units (Alex-117 and the Diamond Corps). My opponent did run Alex-117 through the minefield, but was unwilling to clear a token, either due to not wanting to discard, or because the position he would have been left in opened him to attacks from 3 of my units. Post game discussion confirmed my thoughts from this thread: viewtopic.php?f=54&t=14000 ; The damage wall frustrated my opponent, because they would either have to waste several turns navigating around the minefield, or risk losing a model charging through. She ultimately ignored activating the Diamond Corps, leaving them to do nothing until I moved to clear them off the objective they were "guarding".
- Hand management for SNC is odd in that the esper draw values are comparatively low, but their skills (flips) are higher. This allows them to have better chances to trigger Gambler, but means that they have a harder time keeping cards in hand than other factions. With a number of costs (especially defenses) reduced in this update, it didn't seem to impact my ability to pay for actions, but it does mean that they have a harder time planning actions. This is appropriate to the faction theme of chance, but should be taken into consideration for costs that include a discard.
- Shielding 3 on Golden Vance's Cadre Ability is incredibly strong, to the point where I was willing to leave a unit in a risky position and avoid activating them because I was confident that they wouldn't take much damage - and post game confirmed that my opponent was reluctant to "waste" an attack on a unit with a Luck token. At one point 3 of my 5 units had tokens. Please consider reducing the value.
- The game came down to "your activation tokens will refresh before mine, so you win." As we each had 3 points from kills and units positioned to score an objective. I would have won if I didn't miscalculate how cheap Codebreaker's ranged attack was (I had moved Moffet in a way that prevented her from getting engaged; if I had moved her a different direction the previous activation, then her Time Hop would have allowed me to close the distance needed to engaged Codebreaker and prevent the final VP from being scored.)
- Game time is still a little longer than I'd like, and my opponent commented on the state of the game an hour in (no score yet, but a lot of stuff had been damaged). I do believe some of the game length can be attributed to the fact that we're still having to double check things to make sure we're not missing a change in the rules, so it's hard for me to say what "normal" game length will be compared to "beta" game length.
- SNC had a lot of tricks I didn't expect, and this game has me seriously questioning whether I want to add them back as a faction I want to play. (They didn't quite make the cut as I budgeted for the pledge manager...)

July 23rd, 2017, 12:48 am
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Joined: September 9th, 2012, 1:25 am
Posts: 321
Location: Australia
HEALING AURA [X]: Friendly units that begin their activation within 3” of a unit with Healing Aura heal by the number indicated.

From page 1: "Models in your cadre are referred to as friendly models, while models in your opponent’s cadre are referred to as enemy models."

From page 3: "To determine how far apart two objects are, measure the distance between the points on the edge of both objects bases closest to each other."

So a model is friendly to itself (because it is in its owner's cadre) and it is also within 3" of itself, thus it benefits from Healing Aura and can use powers that refer to "a friendly model" on itself but not ones that say "another friendly model" and you measure the distance from the edge of the base for other models as well.

Unstable Nitro: should have clearer wording, but the second sentence implies it is before the first activation. Keep in mind that the mines are just normal AoEs and can be removed by the expedient of taking the damage when you end you move in them and then discarding 2 cards. Sure you take damage and loose your follow up, but they are one of the few always useful AoEs in the game. That said I do think limiting them to the number of models in the squad should be a thing.

Piercing I have always played as reducing total Armor, this could be made clear by replacing the first "when" by "after" in the Piercing entry.

Squal's Eye of the Storm: the presence of the "or" makes it a choice. The game probably needs a blanket rule for choices, either "you may choose an option you cannot do" or "when an action or trait gives you a choice, if you cannot succeed at one of the choices you may not choose it". The current default seems to be that you can choose an option that will fail. So if you have a card in hand Squal makes you choose to discard or suffer compel 4, but if you have no cards in hand you can always choose to discard but it fails.

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July 23rd, 2017, 10:18 am
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