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Subject: Report on Erthen faction rss

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These are opinions only based on reading the Erthen faction (Playtest Version 1.3).
After reading the booklet of this faction, it seemed to me ready to go. Minor changes on values and one or other change in abilities. Main characters look balanced as a team, having plenty of options for different strategies. Also, very expectable character / story relation.
So my tweaks are:

Death Vine:
I think that camouflage ability should include ‘water’ terrain on the bonus side or, new ability;
Hidro merge: Character while standing in ‘water’ would reduce enemies WR by half (round up). That’s because Death vine can be totally inside water, blurring vision and shots on water will be less acute.

Geomancer:
Alter Earth ability can benefit from a small change, like progression alter, ‘water’ to ‘clear’, ‘clear’ to ‘Difficult’, ‘difficult’ to ‘elevated’ and ‘elevated’ to ‘blocking’, and the reverse.
Earth travel: remove the water.

Tremor:
Stone skin ability seems a little ‘weak’, to random, I would prefer something like, “Character can reduce 1 or 2 points (didn’t figured it out) losing his next action phase.”

In a 5 characters, at first impression, 2 look perfect: HelleBore and Ion Core.
Death vine changes are small and driven by ‘water’ element. 'Water' is somewhat overlooked in the game. ‘Water’ isn’t a very important element until some characters have real use for it. (I keep putting water inside ‘’ because I really think the real name should be Liquids).
Geomancer proposal it’s about coolness and tactics, can you imagine anything better than the combine characters effect? Using the Geomancer to create a path of difficult terrain so other Erthen can use it? Or, if the idea of lowering the terrain making it ‘Water’ so Death vine could Hidro merge? That would improve tactics part of the game.
Tremor it’s the really one that have something that don’t sound good to me, random in fight yes, random in abilities, not so great, I like an ability that if choose to use, it will happen, and in this case, player chose, take the hit, and keep the action or keep health and lose action.

In general, Erthen seem a solid faction and a great addiction to STA.
I can’t wait to put them in the battlefield, and that is the feeling that read the booklet should do, putting the gamer imagining all the great things he can do with that.
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Ricardo,

As usual, awesome stuff.

Here are my thoughts:

Quote:
I think that camouflage ability should include ‘water’ terrain on the bonus side or, new ability;


I like this, but I'd like to extend it to the Hellebore too, just to keep them consistent. So they will both have the camouflage ability, but it will grant them the extra defense bonus in Difficult or Water Terrain. This better reflects their ties to the natural world. Good call.

Quote:
Hidro merge: Character while standing in ‘water’ would reduce enemies WR by half (round up). That’s because Death vine can be totally inside water, blurring vision and shots on water will be less acute.

Hmmm..interesting idea. I don't know if I'm going to include this yet in the next revision, but I will try it in some upcoming playtests. I definitely like the idea of increasing the ability of some characters to interact with Water Terrain. I just want to make sure I understand how the power would work. It would reduce the WR for any attack that passes through the Death Vine, right?

Quote:
Alter Earth ability can benefit from a small change, like progression alter, ‘water’ to ‘clear’, ‘clear’ to ‘Difficult’, ‘difficult’ to ‘elevated’ and ‘elevated’ to ‘blocking’, and the reverse.

You're just suggesting I make it more clear exactly what the Geomancer can change, right? If so, I agree. Good idea to make it very clear exactly what the Geomancer can and can't do.

Quote:
Earth travel: remove the water.

Why? You don't think they should be able to move easily through the water? I think this reflects their material and organic nature and ties to the natural environment. I'm not opposed to changing it, I just want to get your thoughts on this. Also, were you thinking remove it just for the geomancer or for both the geomancer and the hellebore?

Quote:
Stone skin ability seems a little ‘weak’, to random, I would prefer something like, “Character can reduce 1 or 2 points (didn’t figured it out) losing his next action phase.”


This power has gone through a LOT of changes over the last couple years. At one time, it just reduced damage done by a point. That proved to be WAY too powerful and it was a major issue for characters that only deal one point of damage with their attacks (he was basically immune). The it changed to he could reduce damage by 1 point unless it would reduce the total damage dealt to 0, and this was the inverse problem - the best tactics became attacking him with a bunch of weak characters that only deal one point of damage because the power couldn't reduce their damage to 0. We finally had to settle on a power that potentially allowed the character to reduce damage, but it wasn't a static bonus that would either seriously negate or benefit weak opponents. There's nothing less fun than not being able to attack someone because you know they are immune to the attack. The other option was allowing him to be able to absorb a certain amount of damage per round, but that results in record keeping that I don't want to introduce to STA. I know the random system isn't perfect, but it seems a good compromise to all the problems/issues. What do you think? Can you come up with an alternative that addresses these concerns?

Quote:
Death vine changes are small and driven by ‘water’ element. 'Water' is somewhat overlooked in the game. ‘Water’ isn’t a very important element until some characters have real use for it. (I keep putting water inside ‘’ because I really think the real name should be Liquids).
I agree with this in general. The game needs more interaction with Water Terrain...I also like the idea of changing the Terrain type to liquid. Good call.

Quote:
I can’t wait to put them in the battlefield, and that is the feeling that read the booklet should do, putting the gamer imagining all the great things he can do with that.


=)


 
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Quote:
I think that camouflage ability should include ‘water’ terrain on the bonus side or, new ability;
Hidro merge: Character while standing in ‘water’ would reduce enemies WR by half (round up). That’s because Death vine can be totally inside water, blurring vision and shots on water will be less acute.

How about:

Hidro Merge

Defense [Passive]

This character receives a +1 Defense when in Water Terrain against both Close Combat and Ranged Combat attacks.

Simple yet effective and helps better integrate the character with Water Terrain.
 
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Quote:
Hmmm..interesting idea. I don't know if I'm going to include this yet in the next revision, but I will try it in some upcoming playtests. I definitely like the idea of increasing the ability of some characters to interact with Water Terrain. I just want to make sure I understand how the power would work. It would reduce the WR for any attack that passes through the Death Vine, right?

Just reduce the WR to any attack to Dead Vine, like the unit is made of vines that unstrangle inside water, becoming inside water (think in an octopus in the bottom of a lake).


Quote:
You're just suggesting I make it more clear exactly what the Geomancer can change, right? If so, I agree. Good idea to make it very clear exactly what the Geomancer can and can't do.

Yes, and asking for the full range off terrain alteration. Geomancer can create any terrain, one step per turn or having several geomancers doing it.

Quote:
Why? You don't think they should be able to move easily through the water? I think this reflects their material and organic nature and ties to the natural environment. I'm not opposed to changing it, I just want to get your thoughts on this. Also, were you thinking remove it just for the geomancer or for both the geomancer and the hellebore?

Because:
a) reduce some power to them
b) liquid element works different of path finding, land advanced are based in legs, liquid is more based on hidrodinamic body.
c) Tradeoff with Death vine, balancing units.

Quote:
Stone skin

To do list.

Quote:
I agree with this in general. The game needs more interaction with Water Terrain...I also like the idea of changing the Terrain type to liquid. Good call.

Liquid sounds worse than water, but, most of tiles have some other type of liquid than water.

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Quote:
Hidro Merge
Defense [Passive]
This character receives a +1 Defense when in Water Terrain against both Close Combat and Ranged Combat attacks.
Simple yet effective and helps better integrate the character with Water Terrain.


I prefer my version, because, its to look alike other abilities. In other hand, the KISS system would prefer this. Thought call.
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Quote:
Yes, and asking for the full range off terrain alteration. Geomancer can create any terrain, one step per turn or having several geomancers doing it.


I don't care for this much because it really reduces the effectiveness of a power that already doesn't get used that much. Here is the way I wrote up the revised version: "This character can permanently change the terrain type of one square within Weapon Range. This character cannot change the terrain type of a square occupied by a character. This character cannot create Elevated or Blocking Terrain. This character can convert Blocking Terrain into Clear, Difficult, or Water Terrain; Clear Terrain into Difficult or Water Terrain; Difficult Terrain into Clear or Water Terrain; Elevated Terrain into Clear, Difficult, or Water Terrain; and Water Terrain into Clear or Difficult Terrain."

I like this better because it gives great tactical flexibility to the Geomancer's choices.

Quote:
Because:
a) reduce some power to them
b) liquid element works different of path finding, land advanced are based in legs, liquid is more based on hidrodinamic body.
c) Tradeoff with Death vine, balancing units.


Ok, I'll think about this. For now I just left it as is, but we can look at changing it. To be hones, though, I'm not sure we want to limit the movement of the Erthen much, simply because they need to be able to navigate the battlefield quickly to get into combat ASAP.

Quote:
Liquid sounds worse than water, but, most of tiles have some other type of liquid than water.


After thinking about this for a while, I've left it as Water, but I'm open to changing it. The ooze looking stuff on the Streets of Ruin map is just a visual. If it's too confusing, I can always change it.
 
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Quote:
This power has gone through a LOT of changes over the last couple years. At one time, it just reduced damage done by a point. That proved to be WAY too powerful and it was a major issue for characters that only deal one point of damage with their attacks (he was basically immune). The it changed to he could reduce damage by 1 point unless it would reduce the total damage dealt to 0, and this was the inverse problem - the best tactics became attacking him with a bunch of weak characters that only deal one point of damage because the power couldn't reduce their damage to 0. We finally had to settle on a power that potentially allowed the character to reduce damage, but it wasn't a static bonus that would either seriously negate or benefit weak opponents. There's nothing less fun than not being able to attack someone because you know they are immune to the attack. The other option was allowing him to be able to absorb a certain amount of damage per round, but that results in record keeping that I don't want to introduce to STA. I know the random system isn't perfect, but it seems a good compromise to all the problems/issues. What do you think? Can you come up with an alternative that addresses these concerns?


My thought on this would be to have it be that all damage dealt is reduced by half, rounded down. Thus 1 damage is still 1, but 2 is 1, 3 is 2, etc. Still not perfect, but it's an initial thought.

Incidentally, I don't mind that the main way to defeat the guy is through a horde of weaker beings. If you do that, you potentially face the dangers of him shockwaving you, which is going to be pretty bad. Considering you have 3 units that have Area Attacks and 1 that can stop someone from moving, this seems like a double-edges sword. Sure, you get to pick away at the big guy, but you have to be really careful with how you do it.

Quote:
Ok, I'll think about this. For now I just left it as is, but we can look at changing it. To be hones, though, I'm not sure we want to limit the movement of the Erthen much, simply because they need to be able to navigate the battlefield quickly to get into combat ASAP.


Another grain of salt comment here, but I think the Erthen's movement is fine. Sure, they don't move as fast as most other squads, but they are tougher overall then them. Plus, you have 2 units that get bonuses to def when in tough terrain and 2 that can move through it quicker. My guess is it's going to be fine. They definitely don't need to move slower. Otherwise they'll get shredded before reaching any of the ranged squads.
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Quote:
My thought on this would be to have it be that all damage dealt is reduced by half, rounded down. Thus 1 damage is still 1, but 2 is 1, 3 is 2, etc. Still not perfect, but it's an initial thought.



That's not a bad idea. Personally I really look forward to the roll in combat. It adds a little tension and excitement to the game. But maybe it would work better as a static ability.
 
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Taking Erthen for a ride, set ready, all tokens cut everything ready and...
“Don't erthen have huge?”
“Off course it... where are the huge? I...”
That beautiful moment you understand that something is wrong... first thought: ok, I adapt the other faction I have... Second beautiful moment... the other faction is Marauders... no huge...
“Ok... lets play like there aren't huge units until I figure it out...”

Late I check my pdf file.
Tremor tokens in normal size.
Look the other pdf's versions and the same.
Some one shrunk the Tremor, I suspect Echo as a new power...
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Ummmm....oops!

I'll fix it when I get back. How in the world did I miss that?!
 
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I just had this picture in my head of tiny, little action-figure sized Erthen running around.
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First Impressions on playtest version 2.11 :

I like the intro story, , is the book coming soon (yes it is…)

0k, let’s go to the faction:
Constrict:
Hum, huge characters could be immune… or remove one dice to the RC / CC.

Magnetic force:
Quote:
The target of this Ranged Combat attack does not receive Difficult Terrain Defense bonuses. This ability is overruled by abilities that allow characters to gain special Difficult Terrain Defence bonuses, such as Camouflage, Shadowmeld, and Stealth. The target of this Ranged Combat attack also does not receive Defense bonuses for shooting through characters. The attack deals no damage; however, if the attack has at least one success, the target can be moved to any square within this character’s Weapon Range and line of sight. This ability can be used by the character on itself and its allies, but a Ranged Combat attack roll is still required. If this ability forces the target to move away from one or more adjacent enemy characters,
the enemy characters do not receive free immediate Close Combat attacks. This character can target a Huge character with this ability as long as the entire Huge character is within Weapon Range and at least one square of the Huge character is in line of sight.

Too big and too messy… Let me try:
When attacking with magnetic force and the attack has at least one success, any character, including Ion Core itself, can be moved to any square within this character’s Weapon Range and line of sight. No Defence bonuses for shooting through characters or for Difficult Terrain.
This ability is overruled by abilities that allow characters to gain special Difficult Terrain Defense bonuses, such as Camouflage, Shadowmeld, and Stealth.
Target When using on huge character, normal huge movement rules apply. No bonus close combat attack when target character is moved away from enemies.

I would like to see some “magnetic force throw” the same as “Magnetic force” but if target ends on difficult terrain throw a dice and on a 9-10 one damage, if against a elevated or blocked terrain on 6-10 one damage, in this case, target would end on clear terrain square immediate before the ‘wall’ in line of sight.
To work on it if I get some time…
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I like the idea of making Huge characters immune. Easy to rule and simulates the situation well.


I'll tweak the verbiage of Magnetic Force to streamline it a little. Thanks for the suggested text.

I like the fluff behind magnetic throw, but I'm a little worried about giving the ion core another power. As it stands he's already arguably the best value on the Erthen faction, and has a ton of creative options. I would consider the idea if we remove cation blast.
 
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Quote:

I like the fluff behind magnetic throw, but I'm a little worried about giving the ion core another power. As it stands he's already arguably the best value on the Erthen faction, and has a ton of creative options. I would consider the idea if we remove cation blast.


Not "giving the ion core another power", its the same power, just you can make some damage with it if the character ends on unclear terrain (do you notice that way you can't move your units to Difficult Terrain without damage them? And you can't move your units to elevated terrain at all?).
Tottaly fluff... to be back on near future.
 
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I think magnetic throw is a good idea as it can help make up for the decreased range of ion core. Magnetic force is not that useful as it cannot move enemy characters very far. With this edition, it could be somewhat like a repelling force
 
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Well, the total range for a character moved by magnetic force is pretty significant (10+ squares). RT, what would happen if the Ion Core and target. Both started on Elevated Terrain?
 
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The same: on 6-10 one damage, in this case, target would end on square intended.
And it's not cumulative (if you throw a character against a wall or down the elevation and the character ends on difficult terrain, only one throw).
 
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Just one qns, when ion core magnetic forces a huge character, must the place where the huge character is magnetic forced to be entirely in ion core's rannge, or is just one square of the huge character sufficient?
 
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The entire huge character must be within wr when he is targeted and when he is moved. However, only one square of the huge character has to be in line of sight.
 
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Thanks, finally managed to clear this doubt
 
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No problem. I'll make sure this is clear on the latest version of the Erthen.
 
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I am sure that this will make it clearer for future players of STA.
By the way, can a tremor make a normal range combat because I do not see how it shoots people. Maybe tremor must use shockwaves when making a range attack.
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I was just wondering why there isn't a fan of STA microbadge, it would be nice if there was one
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When the rulebook states that it takes two move to enter water terrain, does it mean that for every water terrain that you enter it cost 2 or once you enter(cost 2), any adjacent water tile you enter will cost 1 only, not very sure...
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Quote:
By the way, can a tremor make a normal range combat because I do not see how it shoots people. Maybe tremor must use shockwaves when making a range attack.


There are a couple characters who have this same problem - it doesn't make a lot of sense for them to have a very short RC attack. In this instance, I'm ok with it, because - like you said - you could fluff it away as a focused shochwave attack. I'll have to review the others and make sure there aren't any really unusual cases.

We could always limit the shockwave attack so that the Tremor has to use it if he wants to make an RC attack. Thoughts?

Quote:
I was just wondering why there isn't a fan of STA microbadge, it would be nice if there was one


I love the idea. Any thoughts on what it would look like? I can make one in my free time this week.

Quote:
When the rulebook states that it takes two move to enter water terrain, does it mean that for every water terrain that you enter it cost 2 or once you enter(cost 2), any adjacent water tile you enter will cost 1 only, not very sure...


Which version of the rulebook do you have? I've updated it to version 2.1. In that version, the rule reads "Water Terrain: each square of Water Terrain costs 2 Move to enter. Water Terrain has blue borders and a “Wave” symbol." So what I'm trying to say is that for each water or difficult terrain square you move into, it costs 2 points of Move. Elevated is different. It only costs 2 Move when you move up or down Elevated. Once you're on it, it only costs 1 Move. Does that make sense?

 
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