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Maktorius

Ardus Ix' Erebus (community errata discussion)

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10 hours ago, Maktorius said:

I can get behind @Darth Matthew s suggestion, since my own suggestions don't seem to get any traction *sob*. Though it would screw with Tabletop admiral (as is).

Giving him a Rune equipment in particular would:

a) Be thematic, heroes using rune-magic seems natural (in the setting).

b) Allow him to use his currently unusable skill action (without becoming passive as @Bhelliom wanted to avoid).

c) Shore up his weaknesses of not having mobility and/or range effects.

The Runes are not cheap though, and sinking another 4-7 points in him might not make him adequately "better per point"? Would it be crazy for him to get a Rune equipment for free (that would be less of an issue with Tabletop admiral)? I mean the Corruption Rune is pretty similar to @QuickWhits Death's gaze idea.

"Before deployment, you may equip either a Corruption Rune, Wind Rune or Fire Rune upgrade".

If he got an equipment for free, I don't think I'd use him more often.  I use him when I can get some mileage out of host of crows; and if he had wind/fire/corruption, I'd feel like he wasn't useless while on the table.

Keep in mind, I play at 300 points, and even at 300 points, it's hard to justify his cost for host of crows.

-Matt

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I'll just keep churning out ideas until we get something most people like. These two are just incorporations of the File leader upgrade and the Dispatch Runner upgrade. So no "new" mechanics, just stuff that hopefully would make people want to play Ardus. What do you think?

vofG1Ol.jpg

This "File leader" ability would be really good for Ardus. He has an early attack, but he has no way to fend of being charged from initative 4 or higher. This should make him less of a "victim", and give him more opportunities to trigger his surge borrowing ability. A nerf on this ability could be that he recieves a Stun token.

GIrZTXG.jpg

I think that most people would find Ardus interesting if he had this Dispatch runner ability. My first suggestion in this thread has a similar ability, though more versitile. He is slow and you don't want to expose him for charges or ranged attacks. With this ability, he can be a lot more useful by getting his buddies to fight for him. A nerf on this ability could be that also he himself recieves a Stun token.

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I've stayed out of this conversation mostly because I rarely play with or against Waiqar these days, so I don't have recent firsthand experience. But: we're trying to keep this guy's points and dial untouched, right? And he's theoretically more of an in-your-face frontline attacker, but doesn't have the greatest dial for it, if I understand the arguments correctly.

Could the balancing be solved by upping his defense? Assume he's going to take a few hits before he can do his own hitting, and run with that?

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Hm. I’ve been running Ardus again to fulfil the Madlands requests. He is not as abysmal as the community sees him. I bring two 2x1 archers with rank and tempered. That saves me 20 points in trying to get archers of that quality normally. 

 

I then put Dimodian Blades on him. His net cost to my army is 22 points. For actually running him, the most success I have is to keep him as a blocker and either defend or wait for late round charge opportunities.

 

The last 5 matches with him have been:

- Killed rune golem, 2 trays crossbows, almost got BaronZ. Lived.

-killed 4 tray darnati. Lived

-died distracting a massive block of Scions. 

-Died dueling Faolon.

-Killed 6 trays of oathsworn. Lived.

 

Seems good to me so far. The small archer blocks he enables also have dealt a lot of damage. He’s certainly not easy and feels like a garbage hero if you misplay him. I need more community data if I can ever get my **** tracker working how I want, but I feel like this one might be perception as much as actual data.

 

EDIT: To clarify, I mean he probably needs a small buff. Just not as serious of a buff as players have suggested.

Edited by Church14

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5 minutes ago, Church14 said:

The last 5 matches with him have been:

- Killed rune golem, 2 trays crossbows, almost got BaronZ. Lived.

-killed 4 tray darnati. Lived

-died distracting a massive block of Scions. 

-Died dueling Faolon.

-Killed 6 trays of oathsworn. Lived

I suspect that you did well (being the champ and all), but just in the name of fairness; would you mind sharing the score of those games? The list in itself says little of Ardus' value without the information regarding how the games ended.

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6 minutes ago, Maktorius said:

I suspect that you did well (being the champ and all), but just in the name of fairness; would you mind sharing the score of those games? The list in itself says little of Ardus' value without the information regarding how the games ended.

Some are in the madlands reports. 

Final scores I think were 6-5, 7-4, 7-4, 9-2 (I lost combat by 50 points but won huge through tokens), 8-3. 

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14 minutes ago, Church14 said:

Hm. I’ve been running Ardus again to fulfil the Madlands requests. He is not as abysmal as the community sees him. I bring two 2x1 archers with rank and tempered. That saves me 20 points in trying to get archers of that quality normally. 

I then put Dimodian Blades on him. His net cost to my army is 22 points. For actually running him, the most success I have is to keep him as a blocker and either defend or wait for late round charge opportunities.

22 points and 4 trays of archers, you mean. Getting access to the upgrades is nice, and being able to fit in smaller terrain can sometimes be a big deal, but the fact remains that you're spending points on Ardus instead of on boots. That 2x1 unit is 4 damage from dropping to threat 1 and virtual irrelevance, which most ranged units can manage quite handily, whereas the 2x2 can weather anything but a spike from a 3 threat unit with Tempered. This is more true of melee units than ranged since they'll be up fighting, but certainly the feeling locally has been that the points are better spent on trays than on Ardus (outside of niche builds like double deathcaller).

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14 minutes ago, Bhelliom said:

22 points and 4 trays of archers, you mean. Getting access to the upgrades is nice, and being able to fit in smaller terrain can sometimes be a big deal, but the fact remains that you're spending points on Ardus instead of on boots. That 2x1 unit is 4 damage from dropping to threat 1 and virtual irrelevance, which most ranged units can manage quite handily, whereas the 2x2 can weather anything but a spike from a 3 threat unit with Tempered. This is more true of melee units than ranged since they'll be up fighting, but certainly the feeling locally has been that the points are better spent on trays than on Ardus (outside of niche builds like double deathcaller).

I can understand the “boots are better” mentality for melee units. With Ardus I grab the size melee I want and then smile if the next layer of upgrades nets anything special. 

 

For support units this is a different story. For those archers, if a melee unit engages them, the only difference between a 4 or 2 tray unit is that the 4 tray probably takes one more attack to kill. Once engaged in melee, the 4 tray is worse to me as I just lost more points. So 4 trays is a minor advantage (last one more turn) and a minor disadvantage (more expensive unit dying easily).

 

It does make a difference in archer battles. I do have to be more careful, but the late shift and rally allows me some finesse in keeping at a desired range before engaging. 

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5 minutes ago, Glucose98 said:

Where did you put Ardus? As a blocker? out front? With Melee? I think he's mis-used often.

It varies depending on game. My most promising setup was:

Front line (blockers): Solo lancer, Ardus, solo lancer

Back Line: Reanimate archer, reanimate archer

Flanks or wherever: LordV and Wraiths 

Edited by Church14

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1 hour ago, Church14 said:

EDIT: To clarify, I mean he probably needs a small buff. Just not as serious of a buff as players have suggested.

Are we talking +1 Armour (like @Xelto) suggested or something else, and if so, what are you considering?

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16 minutes ago, Maktorius said:

Are we talking +1 Armour (like @Xelto) suggested or something else, and if so, what are you considering?

I was thinking more on the lines of an extra wound. I'm not sure that the game needs more toughness-4 units.

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13 minutes ago, Xelto said:

I was thinking more on the lines of an extra wound. I'm not sure that the game needs more toughness-4 units.


I'd argue an extra wound simply because mechanically the difference between toughness 3 and 4 is pretty well negligible.

Edited by Tvayumat

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My idea I toyed with and am not sure about was Skill: Gain protected X.

 

Not sure if X should be 1, 2, stable runes, natural rune, or something else. 

 

Im finding Ardus doesn’t have the dial to be a super aggressive hero and the army itself generally doesn’t encourage really aggressive play, Giving him an option when he’s going to lose that charge (which he usually does) seems the most helpful. It means as long as he is standing still, he can go from 3/4 to 4/4 and Protected 2-ish

 

It also didn’t feel right thematically as he feels like a terminator like hero. A slow, relentless killing machine who isn’t concerned if his opponent dies today or next week so long as they die

Edited by Church14

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17 hours ago, Church14 said:

My idea I toyed with and am not sure about was Skill: Gain protected X.

Not sure if X should be 1, 2, stable runes, natural rune, or something else. 

Im finding Ardus doesn’t have the dial to be a super aggressive hero and the army itself generally doesn’t encourage really aggressive play, Giving him an option when he’s going to lose that charge (which he usually does) seems the most helpful. It means as long as he is standing still, he can go from 3/4 to 4/4 and Protected 2-ish

It also didn’t feel right thematically as he feels like a terminator like hero. A slow, relentless killing machine who isn’t concerned if his opponent dies today or next week so long as they die

This seems to be somewhat in line with @Xeltos suggestion, and I assume in the right "power" range of what @QuickWhit was favouring, and I saw that @Jukey was on board. Skill: Gain protected 1 must be impossible for us to notice any statistical variance from "as is", right? So let's settle on 2, as using Runes as a variable also increases randomness.

mJzENU6.jpg

Added to the collection thread.

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/289232-community-errata-restructured-jan-17th/

 

Edited by Maktorius

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4 hours ago, Maktorius said:

This seems to be somewhat in line with @Xeltos suggestion, and I assume in the right "power" range of what @QuickWhit was favouring, and I saw that @Jukey was on board. Skill: Gain protected 1 must be impossible for us to notice any statistical variance from "as is", right? So let's settle on 2, as using Runes as a variable also increases randomness.

7iD9H6f.jpg

Added to the collection thread.

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/289232-community-errata-restructured-jan-17th/

 

I’m a bit cautious about how much weight my suggestions are getting. This is not a playtested idea. It is just what has been in my head. The only playtested idea Jukey and I have is the Insatiable Hunger nerf

 

Though as I look at the Ardus card, it needs to have “until end of turn” or similar wording. Look in the RRG for how armoring up is worded

Edited by Church14

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12 hours ago, Church14 said:

I’m a bit cautious about how much weight my suggestions are getting. This is not a playtested idea. It is just what has been in my head. The only playtested idea Jukey and I have is the Insatiable Hunger nerf

 

Though as I look at the Ardus card, it needs to have “until end of turn” or similar wording. Look in the RRG for how armoring up is worded

Updated the card text on the image above.

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17 hours ago, Maktorius said:

mJzENU6.jpg

But what does this actually do for him? If he's using his skill, the only other thing he can do is armor up or rally. It won't get him into a fight, it won't let him do damage to the other side. It just make it harder for him to be hurt while doing nothing much.

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58 minutes ago, Xelto said:

But what does this actually do for him? If he's using his skill, the only other thing he can do is armor up or rally. It won't get him into a fight, it won't let him do damage to the other side. It just make it harder for him to be hurt while doing nothing much.

There are other players in this thread who are more successful running Ardus than I (I just can't get him to survive AND do something useful due to enemy archers or charges).

It has not been uncommon for me to have him stare down an enemy unit who WILL win the charge against him without him being able to do anything due to the initiatives on his action dial, except to use the Shield modifier early to limit the damage. Actually, pretty much ANY enemy charge will catch him with his pants down, and due to the increased number of 3 threat enemies (and Ravos) released after the core box, it's not unlikely that he will take a severe beating or die from that charge, without doing much at all.

(Note that "be better in the deployment" is not that helpful, as Ardus "MUST" be placed near synergy units, and therefore he is one of the most predictable placements.)

In these stare-down-an-incoming-charge situations, I could not do anything useful with the action modifier anyway, so this suggestion would be one action that does SOMETHING in those situations. Adding a wound instead of this fix will probably come out equal (for me at least), so either way is a baby step as far as I'm concerned.

Now I have proposed a bunch of other, more powerful and "active" fixes. But nobody likes them :(

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1 hour ago, Xelto said:

But what does this actually do for him? If he's using his skill, the only other thing he can do is armor up or rally. It won't get him into a fight, it won't let him do damage to the other side. It just make it harder for him to be hurt while doing nothing much.

The goal for a nerf or buff is to make the smallest change possible that still gets the unit back into the same relative power as other units. There are some pretty cool ones in this thread, but I find them too heavy handed.

 

Ardus loses charges and lacks long range threat. Once in combat, he’s a blender and usually does considerable damage through Dimodian Blades, Surges, or both. Last game for me he did 22 damage in 2 attacks. He could have added a few mortal strikes (nearby lancer) if I’d had a blight on the cav as well.

 

You could revamp his dial to fix that he mostly loses charges, is slow, and has no late initiative options. Revamping a dial is not what we want here. It’s an extreme change that we can’t really support as a community. Not ideologically. I mean we aren’t in a place to print and distribute new dials.

 

We are in a place to suggest a card change. Giving Ardus protected 2 means that he can brace before most units can charge him. It will take 6 damage to cause a wound, 18 to kill. 6 damage is a challenge for small units to reliably do. So he goes from taking 1, maybe 2 wounds to taking none, maybe 1.

 

18 damage is also outside of what most units can do on a charge. It means he doesn’t just keel over when a SpearStar charges him from range 4. He can stuff them for a second turn.

 

Again, light fingers for nerfs and buffs. This may be enough, may not be. If it isn’t, we try something slightly stronger. I personally think he needs an option for all the moments when he can do jack except get charged. 

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I’ve actually found Ardus to be a decent unit as well.  The primary difference I see with him is that he compliments your army and let’s you build something around it rather than being a wrecking ball unto himself.  To be sure, the build I use leverages his surge abilities through nearby units, so there is a difficulty factor pulling it off.  

I think there is a perception gap with heroes like Ardus since his benefits are more subtle as @Church14 has pointed out.

I believe @Bhelliom is running the unit balance survey and on Discord there has been substantial discussion (in short sentences!) about putting together a small balance package rather than incremental, individual modifications.  I’m happy to support this effort- I suspect it will take a couple of months to get it sorted, but I think that time spent will make any potential modfiications more lasting in the end.  It will also help us as a group work toward a common point with a more widely accepted outcome.

Regardless, I do agree that Ardus (and other units) need something to do with their skill action.  I would like to see a set of new upgrade cards (or unit modifications) that could leverage this as opposed to card errata, but that’s just my personal feeling.

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I’m mostly focused on trying to find the right Uthuk nerfs and right Waiqar buffs as I play those factions. I’m also generally encouraging people to tone down the severity of the nerfs and buffs they offer.

 

Bhelliom will likely be the one to put the final package together for the community to try. 

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22 minutes ago, Church14 said:

The goal for a nerf or buff is to make the smallest change possible that still gets the unit back into the same relative power as other units. There are some pretty cool ones in this thread, but I find them too heavy handed.

 

Ardus loses charges and lacks long range threat. Once in combat, he’s a blender and usually does considerable damage through Dimodian Blades, Surges, or both. Last game for me he did 22 damage in 2 attacks. He could have added a few mortal strikes (nearby lancer) if I’d had a blight on the cav as well.

I understand and agree with the small changes thing. My problem with using the skill option is that I'm concerned that it's to passive. You end up not moving or positioning while you do it, which might keep him from joining the fray in a timely manner.

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52 minutes ago, sarumanthewhite said:

I think there is a perception gap with heroes like Ardus since his benefits are more subtle as @Church14 has pointed out.

I've played him a bunch of times and found him lacking. I'm not the best player, but my experience in combination with his non-existing track record in tournaments, even though being the first hero (together with Kari of course), which would mean a lot of games played, indicates to me that it is NOT just a perception problem. 

This does not mean I'm right, it just means that I don't have any "evidence" that I'm wrong.

Edited by Maktorius

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