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Dosiere

Adventurers unit, looking for ideas

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Hey everyone! Recently got this fun game and was looking to implement a big battle or two into a descent 2ed campaign! I was thinking about adding an adventurers unit to represent the party with some allies, but not really sure how best to do it. Not terribly familiar with battle lore yet, only played about half a dozen games.

I played a game called birthright ages ago where a group of adventurers could be added to an existing unit, increasing its stats and so forth. I thought that might make more sense than having them be their own unit, as there are only 3 of them despite being individually powerful.

How would you do it?

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Well, what I'm going for now i think is each character just adds themselves to a unit, giving it +1 attack dice and an extra wound (a hero acting as basically a fourth model for the unit).

My other idea was to make a unique unit card for them, with a wound count like a large creature.

Either way, I thought it would be a fun change from the dungeon delving.

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Well, what I'm going for now i think is each character just adds themselves to a unit, giving it +1 attack dice and an extra wound (a hero acting as basically a fourth model for the unit).

This would have been my first suggestion, as well. It would be fun to translate some of their heroic abilities into effects for BattleLore. Which characters will you be using for Descent? If I can look up their character cards, I might be able to brainstorm some neat unit abilities for them.

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Well, what I'm going for now i think is each character just adds themselves to a unit, giving it +1 attack dice and an extra wound (a hero acting as basically a fourth model for the unit).

This would have been my first suggestion, as well. It would be fun to translate some of their heroic abilities into effects for BattleLore. Which characters will you be using for Descent? If I can look up their character cards, I might be able to brainstorm some neat unit abilities for them.

 

Thanks!  Right now we are using Grisban the Thirsty (Berserker), Leoric of the Book (Runemaster), and Avric Albright (Disciple).  I thought about maybe trying to add a 1 time use ability for each of them?  I don't want to make them too crazy good, but also don't want them to feel like they're not having an impact either.  Any thoughts are most welcome!

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I'm using the term "assist" to mean a unit that has a hero as an additional figure in the unit. So the unit a hero is supporting means it is the unit the hero belongs to for the duration of the game.

 

Grisban the Thirsty -- When the unit this hero is assisting is ordered, you may immediately discard a condition token from that unit without paying 2 lore.

 

Leoric of the Book -- Once per round, the unit this hero is assisting may ignore one damage dealt by an adjacent enemy unit.

 

Avric Albright -- The unit this hero is assisting gains: [Heroic] Recover 1 health. You may only gain 1 health with this ability each round.

 

Grisban looks the weakest of the lot, and this version is the second one. Originally I required no movement, but that was way too restrictive.

 

I think having a more powerful 1-time use ability would be interesting, but I'm not sure yet what that should look like. Perhaps it would affect your whole army instead of just the assisted unit. The current abilities are indeed powerful, but they also only affect one unit, so if you just remove that unit from the board, you can stifle the effect. Also, if that unit isn't ordered, it won't get to use its hero's effect.

 

I would rule that you can only include one hero in your army.

 

Sounds like fun! I can't wait to hear any other thoughts you come up with.

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Those are great, thank you!

I particularly like Avrics ability, it's perfect.

Leoric might be too strong? What do you think about paying a lore point for the effect? My (limited) experience is that ignoring a damage is pretty huge, although it is only from adjacent so doesn't help you at all at range... Hmmm gotta think about that some more.

Edit - I definitely want at least two heroes on the table, despite the potential balance issues. The alternative would be to run two battles next to each other representing one larger battle, and putting one hero in each. What I'm thinking right now is assigning a point cost to the heroes, maybe 2. I think that may be on the cheap side considering +1 attack die, the wound, and their abilities but frankly I'm not sure.

Edited by Dosiere

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Hmm. Maybe Leoric's is too strong. My original thinking was that this allows you to focus down his unit with ranged attacks, as you observed, and also means the unit is susceptible to being teamed up against. If the opponent gets 3 units to attack the unit, it can push through the one ignored damage. If it is too powerful, here is an alternative:

 

When the unit this hero is supporting is declared the target of an attack by an adjacent enemy unit, roll one die. On a lore result, ignore one damage that combat.

 

This ability is not guaranteed to trigger like the other one, but it also has the potential to be negate up to 4 damage in a single turn (though that is an incredibly unlikely scenario).

 

I think giving the heroes a point cost is a good idea. It means you can have varying power levels for hero's abilities and still have them be somewhat balanced. For example, Grisban might only cost 1 gold, but Leoric might cost 3.

 

Here's another question. If the hero is in a unit and all three of the unit's figures are eliminated, does the hero continue to fight as that unit, or does the hero go away? I originally thought the hero would be like a fourth figure for the unit, but after thinking about it more, I realized it'll be cumbersome to find some way of denoting what unit the hero was originally part of when the hero is all that's left in the unit.

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Yeah I was thinking the hero would function as the fourth model in the unit in all respects, albeit in a weak state at that point. Narratively, there would still be a handful of soldiers sticking around them I think. Keeps it simple, and allows for some cool last stands. I really appreciate your feedback! Totally going to use your ideas. My original ideas were all attack based (Grisban can turn a heroic result into a damage, Leoric can turn a lore result into a damage, etc...) but I think yours are more interesting and allow the heroes to think more strategically rather than just being damage dealers.

So right now, using your original 3 unit assist ideas:

Grisban : 1 gold

Avric: 2 gold

Leoric: 3 gold

Considering they're adding an extra attack and a wound to each unit in addition to their abilities it's probably a little cheap, but that's ok. The more I thought about Leoric I don't think it's too strong, especially for 3 times the cost of Grisban. Condition cards are actually a really useful thing to be able to get rid of thinking back to the games I've played, and you're right about being either attacked at range or focused down in combat using Leoric. It's not so good that it breaks the game or anything, especially limited in the way you wrote it to adjacent and once a round.

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For awhile now I've been working on a similar idea.  Just a handful of notes and some discussions with my son about it, nothing serious at the moment.  Originally I was thinking something very basic and generic.  Like a Warrior hero who gives a unit +1 attack, a Ranger who lets a unit ignore terrain, etc.  Then we got into Runebound and started thinking about making them more special.  

 

I've been working with the Runebound heroes because Descent wasn't a hit with us (tempted to pick it up again and try out the app since overlord vs. heroes was the part we didn't like).  Also, I believe the Runebound miniatures, while often the same sculpt/pose, are slightly smaller than those in Descent and are a closer match to the Battlelore scale.

 

The basics so far...

 

- Heroes are laid out with neutral units and purchased along with them.  Gold costs around 3?

- Heroes are "attached" to a non-legendary unit and offers bonus abilities.  We've talked about making heroes either melee or ranged, have to attach to a matching unit type.

- Heroes do not increase the health of a unit and are never killed/destroyed.  If an attack from an adjacent enemy destroys the unit a hero was attached to, that hero is captured.

- A captured hero is, to borrow from Memoir 44, a "temporary" victory point.  If an attack destroys an enemy with a captured hero, that hero is freed and the opposing player loses that victory point.

- If an ordered unit with a captured hero starts its turn on their starting edge of the board, it may choose to "imprison" the captured hero.  This unit can't move or attack this turn, but the captured hero is removed from the board and his "temporary" victory point is now permanent.

- If a hero ever finds himself alone (suppose a ranged attack/lore card destroys his unit) he can be ordered like any other unit but can only move with a rate of 2.  If he ends his move on a valid friendly unit without an attached hero, he's now attached to that unit.

 

The tricky point has been converting the Runebound hero abilities into Battlelore ones.  Since Battlelore dice have a "heroic" result, I like the idea of these heroes giving their attached unit a new ability that's triggered by heroic results.  Runebound abilities also often involve "exerting"... discarding skill cards to activate them.  Skill cards are useful but tend to come and go in Runebound so we think they equate pretty well with Lore in Battlelore.  So using something like that as a framework we have things like...

 

Master Thorn - Teleport.  Whenever you gain a trophy, you may exert to move up to X hexes, X is equal to your Mind (a value that's usually 2-4ish).

Master Thorn - Mind Meld.  2 Surge (think Lore, kind of)  - For the rest of this combat round, after you take damage from an attack, deal an equal amount of magic damage.

 

In Battlelore terms...

 

Master Thorn (Ranged Hero)

 

Teleport.  After attacking, this unit may pay 0-2 Lore to move 1-3 hexes, moving through units and ignoring intervening terrain movement restrictions.

Heroic Result: Mind Meld.  Pay 2 Lore to place a Mind Meld token on this unit.  Remove this token to reflect back any damage done to this unit.  Think Bone Spurs.

 

At least that's some ideas we've had.  Not sure how useful Mind Meld would be on a ranged unit though, and Teleport could be really strong on a melee unit.

 

On the plus side, there's only 9(?) heroes in Runebound at the moment... not as much stuff to convert over as Descent :)

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That's awesome Daverman!  I like the capture mechanic.  Your post made me realize I hadn't even considered VPs either!  I think it's appropriate to award an additional VP for defeating a hero. 

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I like the capture mechanic, too! It's something I always wanted to try to implement into Runewars but could never figure out how to do it. (Though in the case of Runewars, I was thinking of capturing enemy units, not heroes.) It's cool to see a capture mechanic in Terrinoth.

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