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JGrand

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  1. My two cents would be to try some points changes before anything else. I tend to think if you make anything cheap enough it can become viable. Conversely, if "OP" units are costed appropriately then there becomes more of a choice to using them. I'd likely start with the key problem children--some of the original units and then a few key Uthuk changes. My hunches: Ardus--(drop from 37 to 32) Maro (drop from 40 to 34-36) Rune Golem (drop form 17 to 15-16 for one tray). Figuring out the solo tray could help cost the larger sizes, and those are rarely seen to begin with. Hawthorne (drop from 34 to 32-33) Heavycrossbowmen (possible increase for the three tray to 30ish?). This one is a hunch, but too much cost efficient threat three is game warping. Ravos (I'd leave him as is, but increase the cost of Insatiable Hunger from 3 to somewhere between 8-10 points). Spined Threshers (one tray 19-20, two tray 32-36, four tray 58-60, six tray 85-88). The above Spined Thresher trays are based on the forumula of a 10% discount for the two tray, roughly 25% for the four and six trays (the lancers and scions follow this paradigm). My hunch--and again, this is all anecdotal and based on my own experience with this and other games--is that this would start to make things closer. There are always unintended consequences to changing things in a game, but these units are to me clear outliers in terms of game balance. I also personally find points changes less distasteful than comp. Then again, this is all up to the community and not one person.
  2. As many have said, there are reasons to be both optimistic and pessimistic about the game's future. Optimism World's did grow in size from 12 to 20 players this past year. All four factions have a complete roster of units out now. Buying in is cheaper than ever due to lots of sell outs and discounts. Pessimism Lots of stores not stocking product due to lack of demand. Cancellations in certain countries. No new product announced/on the horizon for the first time in the game's life cycle. Lack of announced Q4 kit when every other game is getting one. Does that all mean the game is dead? I'd say it is far too early to tell. I have made the case before that FFG has bungled not only the release of the game, but the stretch in which Uthuk expansions were delayed half a year also took the wind out of the game's sails. Poor balance issues with Ravos and Threshers hurt our community for a while too. I think the best case scenario at this point is that RW ends up in the Armada territory--one or two releases a year and a dedicated community. The worst case is that FFG pulls support (and no tourney kit would be a bad sign). Certainly too early to panic, but I'd say no news by mid-to-late February wouldn't be too great, even with all the stuff coming out for X-Wing and Legion. Time will tell.
  3. I've tried the 3x2 Reanimate Archers as a Maro replacement and did not like them. I found that the 3x2 just has too much competition at every slot except the mandatory Raven Standard Bearer. The issues I have: Tempered Steel vs. Wind Rune One lets them actually survive the game, which is probably the way to go. At the same time, their damage output feels incredibly light without Tempered Steel. Combat Ingenuity vs. Rank Discipline vs. Close Quarters Targeting Re-rolls from having a back rank can be fleeting, so Rank feels necessary to ensure optimization. However, without CI they aren't making use of what sets the unit apart from other archers in terms of blight production. CCT is just nice generally and ensures there isn't an easy way to stop their damage production. I've tried them in all sorts of mix and max combos, and have come to the conclusion that the 2x1 Rank is the best value. Whether Maro is better is a tough call. Fortuna's Dice Maro is good for a reliable 8+ damage or two mortal wounds, which is a ton. That being said, Waiqar has no ability to easily ready exhaust upgrades, yet he isn't scary enough without Fortuna's. I'd still love him if he had Precise 1 built in for 46. @rebellightworks has been rocking Maro as a way to bring in some reinforcements, and that might be the key to making the most of the 52 point investment. Maro with Violent Forces and Fortuna's plus a 2x1 Threshers is 80 Maro with Violent Forces and Fortuna's plus a 3x1 Tempered Steel, Rank Crossbowmen is 86 Neither is a bad core for Waiqar.
  4. I still love Maro, though I do think he should have built in Precise 1 for his cost. You are correct that the i6 can be a boon (harsh against other ranged units though). He is an excellent character when played well, but he is also perhaps the hero with the lowest floor; Waqiar in general are far less forgiving than the other factions. I also like your idea of bringing in the 3x1 Heavycrossbowmen. It is either those or a 2x1 Thresher unit right now, and I am of the opinion that Maro is not worth taking if you aren't making use of his Forbidden Lore ability.
  5. 100% agreed--mobility increases are one of the aspects that has set apart Latari and Uthuk from Daqan and Waiqar. In a game where movement is so rigid and unforgiving, the multitude of possibilities the newer factions offer in terms of movement, shifts, double moves, etc. is a big reason they feel a bit better that the core two. To this end, the crabwalk Threshers are particularly nasty in that they have movement flexibility and hit harder than they should for their price point. The two tray Rippers are useful, but I find the 2x2 with Rank and Dead Sprint to be absolutely insane in terms of their consistency. There is no easy answer for them in Waiqar. 2x1 Rank Archers do make a dent if you have 2-3 units, but 66 points of Archers is only averaging about 12 damage a turn. Plus, you have to also deal with Rippers and Ravos. The really tough part I've found is that the Wormstar at 78 points is completely outclassed by two 2x1 crabwalk Threshers (61 points total). It doesn't feel great when they attack first, pull a level two panic, and reform you...
  6. Spined Threshers on their own are demonstrably undercosted. As noted on both previous posts and the podcast, the 10% discount for going from one to two trays applied to the Carrion Lancer and Scion siege units means that two tray Threshers should cost roughly 32 points. The Rune Golems get a comparable price discount for their one-to-two jump, but they are not an apt comparison for multiple reasons. First, they are core game content. Second, they are worst unit in the game (sorry people who take them...they are not a competitive choice in a world where this game has big events). But I digress... Now, the fact that the Threshers get a roughly 22% cost discount would be problematic enough on its own before we look at the key advantages they possess relative to other siege: -Attack at initiative four--how big of a deal this is cannot be understated. It is a design mistake. -Two red dice combined with Brutal 1. Scions and Lancers are blue,blue, red. Scions can put out stun innately with their surges, but Lancers lack the ability to capitalize on surges without either attacking blighted enemies (who can often easily clear blight by the time of the attack) or by taking ten points of upgrades (that both invests too much into smaller unit sizes and forgoes the ability to take rank). Golems have red, red, and Brutal, but lack some of the many other elements that crank up output, including... -The built-in re-roll ability. One re-roll usually suffices with two red dice, and there are so many Uthuk mechanics that ensure the opponent has panic, including the Threshers themselves. Red-red with one re-roll is a reliable 2.06 hits, and that doesn't include the... -Absurd modifier. Another hit on a unit where a hit will never be worth less than two damage on top of two red dice is a little much to begin with. The added bonus of the panic modifier means that they are pulling level two panic tests consistently (they usually hit panicked opponents). Spending has no consequence, as a panic-less opponent gets another token back anyway. Level two+ panic tests are mean--especially at i4. -The dial itself is good. They can move/charge one distance on i3 (Carrion Lancers cannot charge at i3, Scions are rune dependent). Thresher two and three speed move/charge initiative is the same as both Lancers and Scions. They don't have the ability to charge distance four, but can move distance four with the absurdly good white march modifier. Speaking of which... -Pairing that march modifier strategically with rally, shift, reform, or even an attack is the pro-move potential the unit offers. Their dice are good enough that, at times, savvy players can attack and then march into units like archers at i4, denying the shots. What this modifier gives the unit is flexibility that the Lancers and Scions lack. -I see "just shoot them" as a counter, and it isn't necessarily wrong. D2 does take damage. This solution, however, is myopic for two reasons. First, the game isn't played in a vacuum. I can have my eight distance moving Rippers crash into archers. Blockers can help, but the speed and angles the Rippers can utilize can make protecting them impossible. Second, D2 and 5 wounds means that they are often MORE durable than Lancers and Scions. Scions are D2 with a mere three wounds half the time. Lancers take nine total damage to kill, and are less susceptible to plink damage. At the same time, it takes a two tray Latari archer unit around three shots to kill a single tray of either Threshers or Lancers. The nine burst of tempered steel 3x1 Crossbowmen kills a Lancer, while a Thresher will remain in play. Now, the Thresher dominance is not surprising. We "called it" on our initial faction review months ago; it is easy to see the Thresher is undercosted. What makes them absolutely out of line for the current game is the crabwalk. There is no other unit that does pre-move like this, and I don't think the mechanic (while cool) is balanced in Runewars. Setting dials knowing Threshers can crabwalk is not always a big deal on every turn. BUT--and this is important--crabwalk adds flexibility that when used well, makes it feel like one person is playing an entirely different game. The two tray Threshers can abuse all capacities of terrain to bounce in with the walk, then utilize a flexible dial for absurd mobility, charges, and angular attacks. Threshers that start a turn in terrain can bounce out at any angle, then use the dial for absurd mobility, charges, and angular attacks. Threshers that are flanked can use the crabwalk to disengage (or just use it as a mindtrick to the opponent). Flanking a unit should not be categorically negative, but it is against crabwalk Threshers. Threshers can also use the crabwalk to shift within combats, often messing with the more rigid moving opponent's angles and choices. Finally, Threshers can simply sidestep out of the way of charges with crabwalk on certain head to head occasions, but of course, the opponent doesn't know what they will choose until dials are set. I guess the tl;dr is that the unit itself is undercosted, but the crabwalk is also undercosted and bad design. The 31 point 2x1 crabwalk Threshers punch far above their weight class, and represent a current issue with game balance. Used by good players, they are playing 3D chess while you play checkers trying to keep up with these guys. Hopefully, further releases provide more direct answers (or errata the crabwalk to an exhaust card?).
  7. I'll disagree with you on this one. Lots of excellent upgrades are exhausted on use (Tempered Steel, Fortuna's Dice, and Dispatch Runner come to mind as utilized by all four factions). Latari can bring a rally mechanic (kinda), Daqan doesn't care at all, but Uthuk and Waiqar often suffer a good deal by rallying turn one. Uthuk's speed can already put the opponent on their back foot. Having to rally and sacrifice positioning before their turn two charges OR position as per normal and deal with the morale means enabling some of Uthuk's stronger units. Threshers in particular love the choice Ravos forces the opponent to make. Low armor can be an issue, but he can also defense up at i2 if need be. Moreover, his defense is based on being fast and offensive. If your opponent is hanging him out to dry, then s/he is not utilizing terrain and Insatiable Hunger well (at least from my experience). Finally, the 14 total damage needed to push through to kill Ravos is a higher total than all the other heroes (in a vacuum, of course). I just don't know about this either. I think I've seen Ravos self harm under five times across many, many games. I've seen him take a bite from a Flesh Ripper at times, which is fairly inconsequential. I routinely see opponents bring him out wide and utilize Insatiable Hunger to bank into terrain late (and then bite units with a huge range). Not sure how exactly to quantify these against one another. Kari's is absurdly good, for certain (it also requires a few surges to actually matter). Maegan's ability is strong too, but the chance of massive amounts of surges does take a bit of luck (3/8 surge sides on blue, 4/12 surge sides on white, 1/8 surge sides on red). Basically, she is boom or bust--good for a gamble, but hard to rely on. Ravos has an extremely high chance of surge with re-rolls. Doing one wound (not mortal) for the cost of a surge is phenomenal against d3+. Even against d2, it is equal to a normal hit anyway. Even then, the "third strongest" surge ability is still in the upper 25% of heroes when accounting for the new ones. Neither does Ardus, Lord V, Hawthorne, Aliana, Prince F, Thuk'tar and Gorgemaw. So about half the other chars share this weakness. Ravos is not without weakness, but he is the alpha hero and clearly S-Tier along with Aliana.
  8. An app to adjust points costs is the best answer, though I am not sure what FFG will do for games like RW where point cost printed cards already exist. Since the thread has already been derailed a bit with Uthuk talk: -Ban or heavily restrict Insatiable Hunger. I wouldn't mind the upgrade as much if Ravos couldn't use it to bank (make it linear). It is probably three points undercosted as it stands. -Spined Threshers should probably be closer to 32 points base for the two tray. That would represent a roughly 10% discount, which is in line with the two tray Carrion Lancers and Scions (let's leave Rune Golems out of this for the time being). Scuttling Horror probably shouldn't exist, but it wouldn't be out of line to cost it around 5/6. Going from 31 for a two tray with Scuttling Horror to 37/38 ish seems about right. Those changes alone would probably bring Uthuk to around the power level of Latari, which is totally fine. They aren't unbeatable now or anything, but the efficiency of a few of the standouts like Ravos and Threshers makes them feel oppressive at times.
  9. Sure--there is certainly room for that difference of opinion. I'm with you on the element of decision-making--that aspect of the game is not quantifiable (though I will contend there is a relational agency that is at least somewhat quantifiable when it comes to dial potential). I digress... To show that I am not a total Ardus hater, here is an Ardus idea that I like (but haven't had time to try yet): http://tabletopadmiral.com/runewars/undead/p031uEMu10p011u0eu27p011u0eu27p011u0eu27p111uEMu0euEMp111uEMu0euEMp172u01u8cu2f
  10. My apologies if I came off as hostile--that wasn't my intention. I just got a little emphatic in making my (correct ) points. And I'm not entirely anti-Ardus; I just think he should be closer to 32 points including Precise 1 based on the costing of similar units. I'd love him at 32 or at 39 with a ranged attack. Right...averages aren't literal expectations. However, probabilistic thinking is, while imperfect, a methodology that drives major decision making in the contemporary world landscape for a reason. And sure, the units you and Tvayumat are defending do have higher ceilings than the more simplistic Rank Discipline versions. At the same time, choosing the risk-reward option with a low probability over the more consistent option has never been a winning strategy in any competitive activity I've ever engaged in. For example, if given $20,000 you would not choose to purchase $20,000 of lottery tickets over a sound investment strategy. You could end up a multi-millionaire on the lottery tickets, but that doesn't mean it is a good choice. RW is a weird game because there are no defense dice and units can engage in multiple rounds of re-rolls. There is a level of consistency achievable in this game that makes some choices easier than others. To that end, I don't see an army of eight trays of loaded Waiqar units plus Ardus doing much against good lists.Not really a way to "prove" it until the game gets more popular and we have some larger events (and with all the new stuff, I think we will see that happen).
  11. I'd agree that, much like Hawthorne, if you are not making the most of Ardus, then you shouldn't be taking him. At the same time, just because you can do something, it doesn't mean you should do something. Sinking that many points into those units is absurd. The Deathknights (which are quite frail in two tray form) also only proc the Duskblade 75% of the time. They also average about two hits. For comparison, Rank 2x1 Deathknights average a little over three. They are better against D1 (six to four wound average) only slightly worse against D2 (three to four wound average) and slightly worse against D3 (two to three wound average). All for a "measly" savings of 10 points. As to the Lancers, the 2x1 with MC and CI will average 1.75 hits and 1.13 surges. The 2x1 with Rank will average a little over three hits. Again, this time a "measly" six point savings. There aren't always objectively correct answers in life, but this is one of them Sorry, man. Ardus is a counterpuncher, and he isn't terrible in that role. However, his dial is where he really falters. While it isn't horrid, he is slow to charge, and lacks any movement ability before i4. Round these parts, we routinely see people charging one to two distance at i2. He also has a high initiative attack, which means that it is simplistic for even new players to discern an initiative where they can outcharge him with no fear of reprisal. I can tell you that if you are taking a core of: Ardus with Ancient Technique 2x1 Deathknights with CI and Dawnblade 2x1 Carrion Lancers with MC and CI For a total of 114, you are most certainly the one doing it wrong. Math alone shows how misguided those choices are.
  12. 38 point two tray Deathknights and 37 point two tray lancers in a list already paying the Ardus tax!??! Ok...
  13. I would like to be able to tell you that you are wrong and that you are being too sensitive. I would like to be able to tell you that you are just missing the point of the message Disney is trying to tell in the new films. I would like to tell you that the films finally strike a balance in regard to diversity. Unfortunately ... I can't say any of that because you hit the nail on the head. I still enjoy the new Star Wars movies well enough, but there are parts that make me squirm because they are so blatant in the social or political agendas they are trying to push. I'm not boycotting Star Wars, but I'm not going to defend it from these sorts of criticisms, either. I know right? Female characters (and non-white ones at that) getting to do things!?!? What has become of the world?!??! You poor oppressed white guys have it rough! I guess you'll just have to stick to watching 99.9% of all media created ever so that you will never be challenged by any ideas or representations you don't like. Back to Runewars...I hope they keep cranking out cool characters for each faction (specifically female ones too!)
  14. I like these ideas! For Maro--I'd honestly love him at 40-42 if he had Violent Forces and Precise 1 built in. It seems like a lot to ask until you look at Kethra by comparison
  15. L...O...L to the political propaganda. Take off the tinfoil hat. As to the "does FFG still care" question, the fact that we have gotten news on future product is key to me. There is/was a legitimate question as to how FFG perceived the game and its sales. Apparently, they believe enough in RW to invest in creating new product. I'll still argue that they botched the rollout of this game, but I'm more optimistic about RW than I've been in months.
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