Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
EpicChris

We need to talk about...the Herald's of Winter's Moon

Recommended Posts

In what is an ongoing 'what grinds my gears' sort of post I wanted to highlight to the designers that whilst the current nerf/buff arguments are focussed on Farmers, the poor old Hunters released in wave 2 still need some serious love as they are sub-standard.

Skatha - lovely model, great abilities but Blessing of the Moon Goddess is too short ranged and having to target other models (when Sun Father now self-targets) is awful. I have never used this play seriously as Skatha just cannot be close enough to another player to use it and really would benefit from self-casting. I don't think Skatha is bad but this ability is junk and needs fixing.

Snow - Oooh..BALL!  needs to be made towards rather than DIRECTLY towards as currently it's too easy to block it making the play pointless and her Jog should be 6". Also it should work on kick-offs - seems the one time you might want it and it makes no sense it doesn't work.

Ulfr - yeah, he's a bit of a car crash with conflicting abilities that don't work but the 2 issues I have is 1. His Speed (why is a striker with a 6" kick reduced to 5/7"?) which needs to go to 6/8 minimum and maybe 7/9 like Jaecar 2. He needs to lose Lone Hunter (which penalises players for playing GB properly) and instead get Crazy - which would be more thematic for a 'werewolf' and match the model. Crazy's controllable +3 TAC fixes his wrapping abilities (which mathematically are currently so unlikely as to be useless) so that he can try to unlock his conflicting abilities.

Hearne 2 - Hearne1's upgrade is making me wonder why I take this guy. Hearne1 has a KD on 3 and access to SO on 1, so can KD if he wants to, or T. Hearne 2 has TAC 5 and T/KD on 2...which is okayish but Last Light is now junk compared to Blessing of Sun Father and Lunar Eclipse is pointless. I suggest to improve Hearne2 he go to 2/4 INF characteristic and Lunar Eclipse be re-written to be any successful attack OR placed within 2", so at least it has some benefit for mobility or allow him to T/score like designed.

Anyway, I don't know if the design team will see this but these 4 models really need help because Theron's changes are starting to make Hunters a legit threat (and yes blah blah someone got to Worlds - that's 1 person, not the average) but Skatha's crew are just poor in comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I quite like Ulfr, Skatha and Snow for multiple reasons. I think vHearne needs a little love but that said Peter Williamson insists on him in every Skatha game he plays.

In regards to your specific points -

Skatha - Almost totally disagree, thinks she's a really good captain. BotMG is excellent for a first turn goal on Ulfr, Snowball is a fantastic play, first ground is super useful. I really don't think she needs to be that close (snowball is 6" that's pretty standard character play range). I think changing BotMG to age herself would be icing on the cake, but solid as he is. 

Ulfr - Listened to the internet, played him in like 20 games and he's scored a goal easily above 85% of that number and 2 in some. Really solid, where'd they go is probably the best CP in the game for 1 alongside goad. I don't a striker with 16 boxes and can flex into doing a little damage needs to be as fast mist or vitriol if I'm honest. 

Snow - Really legit into some match ups, Butchers, Morts don't like seeing her. I'd take her in my 10 if I had more space, but the only thing stopping me right now is roster size. 

Hearne2 - Needs a little love. 

Hunters also took second at world championships and constantly place well using the models you spoke about above. I honestly think Hunters have no redundant players right now and if vHearne was given that little nudge the guild would be in a good place as the stronger guilds in the game. I'm playing a lot with the Hunters right now and having strong success with them, using Ulfr in EVERY Skatha game. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say anything else on Skatha was bad. I actually said she was good. I said Blessing of the Moon Goddess is bobbins. And it is. Ulfr is awful - sure WTG is great, but his card fights with itself and I wonder how often you get Blood Scent off...he simply does not work as advertised. And he should not be designed to only work with Skatha.

Top players winning things means little. Design is based on curve not end points. And I wonder what the balance between Theron and Skatha players was...

To be clear I don't think Hunters are bad - I think they are actually quite good into the new Farmer/Blacksmith meta. I am saying that the Heralds are a product of Season 2 thinking on Hunters which has seen already a re-write to make Theron work (and now he's a champ) and that these 4 models need the same update.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I actually agree with most of the points, I don't think they make the second box sub-standard. The reason I'd like to see some changes to the second box isn't because the models aren't viable but because they are either clunky/non-intuitive or just not very interesting.

Skatha - easily one of my favorite models in the game. I agree that Blessing of the Moon Goddess is very situational (I've almost never used it), but it's good for dealing with Unpredictable Movement (giving Jaecar a triple dodge on 2 results can get him into anybody) and the aforementioned turn 1 goal. My main wish would be that Skatha is faster. I understand that she can be a 7/9 model for free, but that's dependent on placing terrain that benefits the other team and still lags her behind Thresher. The idea that a Farmers captain out-threats a Hunters captain who has speed as one of her defining attributes is pretty silly. I know Snowball extends this threat, but the fact that it even as the possibility of missing means that Skatha should at least have 6/8 MOV in my mind.

Ulfr - rather than getting a buff, he just needs to be smoothed out. My main issue with him is just that it's extremely rare when I feel like I can give him much influence unless he starts the turn with the ball. Where'd They Go is amazing, but the rest of his stuff is kind of underwhelming. The fact that he has to work so hard to get his tech to work right in my mind just makes him a very situational pick. I like the idea of Crazy instead of Lone Hunter. Another idea is that he starts out with TAC 4 and Kick 4/8 and Blood Scent gives him an additional 2 TAC when he does damage but drops his Kick to 3/6 or maybe even 2/6 to show that he's berserking. This would need a slight tweak to his playbook, but I think would make him a smoother and more flexible model.

vHearne - this guy's one of the most frustrating models in the game. On the one hand, literally the only reason to take him rather than oHearne is because of the additional point of influence he generates. On the other hand, I feel almost obligated to bring him in the tournament 10 because if I go oHearne, it becomes very difficult to run a team with two models that have reach. So even though oHearne feels so much smoother and more rewarding as a model, I haven't been able to fit him into my roster yet. This is a problem with one of the Hunters' main weaknesses (lack of reach) and the model definitely needs to be updated so that I'm taking to fill a role, not just to provide another 2" melee.  Giving vHearne some defensive tech would go a long way to making me feel better about him. Forcing someone to go through a 3/1 model with Tough Hide and/or Sturdy (rather than his almost useless teleport ability) and a pretty dangerous counterattack would make him a lot stronger as a control/disruption piece. Then it becomes a choice of a speedy (with Theron or natural forest) offensive model with set up abilities in oHearne and a slower, less directly impactful model in vHearne, who brings additional influence, disruption, and toughness.

Snow - I actually really like Snow, but she's just too situational compared to Fahad, so the roster keeps her out. Not everyone has enough armor to make Feral Instincts worth it, I rarely want the ball on a 4/0 model with 2/4 kick, which makes Ooh, Ball! only ok, and while Pack Instincts is amazing, it's also situational considering that it's pretty worthless against a lot of teams (scoring teams or teams with lots of KD) and requires bunching to cover multiple members, which is something I almost never want to do, especially with Skatha. Her low MOV also makes it difficult to consider Pack Instincts a mobile support ability, since Snow really doesn't have any good way of getting around quickly. I would be way more interested if Snow gave some kind of combat buff like Assist, but the fact that she has amazing match ups into certain line ups isn't nothing. Again, I think Snow is good, just too situational for a roster that struggles to fit her.

So ultimately, I agree that the second box of Hunters could use some love, though not because I think they're behind the power curve so much as because they just need to be smoothed out a bit or given a bigger benefit to either compete for a roster spot (Snow) or further justify that roster spot (vHearne).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the misunderstanding here comes from that no-one wants the winter posse to be stronger. I think the OP doesnt call for an increased power level either. But those cards are pretty full of situational things that most players dont even consider while planning their turns. When was the last time anyone purposefully allocated influence for Feral Instincts? How often do you trigger and use Lunar Eclipse? How many goal runs did you manage with a pre-planned Blood Scent trigger? I only can speak for myself, but I think many players would be happy with situationally less potent but more reliable abilities on these models. Yeah Ulfr can score goals, but he would score exactly the same goals if his card had a blank backside.

+1 Blessing of the Moon Goddess is bobbins :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do not think we "Need to talk about The Heralds of he Winters Moon" as if their is an overwhelming issue with the box set.  Some of your issues are legit, but overall I think that they are in a pretty good spot.

 

Skatha: Love her.  Blessing of the Moon Goddess would be much better if it was in line with Theron's Blessing of the Sun Father, but that doesn't mean it needs to be changed.  It's niche, and that's fine.  While I would like this ability to be better, it doesn't need to, as her kit is pretty solid and this blemish doesn't really limit her game plan.  Theron on the other hand really needed his changes.  He was bad, and had he not changed, Skatha would have dominated the Captain selection.

 

Ulfr:  Yeah...he is odd.  I love him.  He scores me a ton of goals.  Why can't his five column be momentous?  A lot of his issues would be fixed with this one change.  I'll still use him, and he'll continue to be one of my top scoring Hunter's but it's pretty tough to have a goal run that depends on "Blood Scent."  If I plan on scoring with "Blood Scent" it's because I will have set him up as a snap shot target.

 

Snow:  Don't use him, but his aura could be useful.  Agree that "Ohh Ball" could be better/useful.

 

Vet Hearne:  I really like him.  I must be the only one who prefers him over oHearne.  His playbook is better IMO and I like his 2/3 influence.  Maybe it's because I have a major boner for quad Boom-Boxing people with Chaska.  Singled out is fine on oHearne, but planning to Singled Out and assuming that you will not be dis-engaged with a counter attack is my issue.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The few games I've played with Skatha, I think she's brilliant. I like what she brings to the pitch. I think her supporting cast leaves a bit to be desired. She has a very nice playbook, including a low Tackle, and even a KD. Good, accurate kick, and awesome tricks. When I come back to hunters in February, I plan on using her for all my games.  

I love Ulfr, but he is so damn hard for me to play. I think he needs to be tweaked a bit. His playbook is one column too long, even with Lone Hunter. I run him in tandem with Jaecar, but seems like they both always want more than two. Which makes it so very hard to bring the Bear. 

Snow, only used him twice, "Ooh ball" is a fun trick, but I prefer Fahad over him, again for bringing INF but not needing it.

vHearne, love the way this model looks, love the BG story on it as well. He has reach, he brings 2INF, his kick is decent. I think he's a great toolbox player.  Just looking at him again, I think I haven't used him enough, nor used him correctly. 

After moving back to my Fish the last couple weeks in preparation for a tournament, I realize what a challenge it is to crack the Hunter puzzle, especially Skatha. This is a tough team to learn, and play well.  I have a lot of fun playing them, but I realize now, I am truly rubbish with them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't weigh in anything that hasn't been said with regards to the Heralds balance/design wise.

But my biggest problem is that the Heralds just feel..... blegh to play.

They all counterbalance themselves in so many ways before your opponent even bothers trying to counterplay them with their own tools. E.G. Why bother Tooling Up when Ulfr is 4-0 with 16 Boxes and no counter-attack to speak of.

I picked up the Hunters because of the visual fantasy of a group of barely civilized killers trying to fit into the world of Guild Ball, It'd be nice to not have to be a top-tier player to have this fantasy delivered on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ulfur's card is a little silly. For a game based around a team of players, to incentive one being alone is strange. 

Similarly, some of vHearne's abilities are corner case useful, never really garunteed to be effective. With oHearne's rise to prominence as well, one less leg Larry needs some loving.

However I feel skatha works well (although I've never used BothMG), and Snow can be a troublesome piece against both fighting and passing teams. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me be clear - I just want Blessing of the Moon Goddess fixed on Skatha. Not Skatha herself. I mean I don't like her speed crippling but hey-ho. But BotMG is awful. In an age where Blacksmith and Farmers hand out super buffs at 6", having a 4" buff that has to target other models is terrible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general, abilities that never get used are bad. Not because they are bad with capital B, but because they are painfully pointless. "Under the right circumstances" everything can be useful, but this game is not that deep after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ForestRambo said:

If your main point is BotMG could do with a little love, I'm with you on that @EpicChris. Just make it 6" and able to target herself, sorted. 

I'd be interested to see how this works. If she can cast it on herself, it gives her essentially an automatic momentous 2" dodge or an incredibly likely nonmomentous 3" dodge, which seems crazy strong. It would be really difficult to stop a goal run if she can do that. Of course, lots of teams have someone to outrange a 10" threat range, so it's not exactly free either.

My thought is that it would make her a bit too easy to set up. One of the things that balances Skatha out is that as a 5/0 model with a 1" melee, her goal runs tend to have a bit of risk to them and she has to be creative about how she gets to the ball. It would be interesting to test, I just think it would probably give her a bit too much power. That being said, yes to 6" regardless :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Penguin Warrior said:

One of the things that balances Skatha out is that as a 5/0 model with a 1" melee, her goal runs tend to have a bit of risk to them and she has to be creative about how she gets to the ball.

I'm just curious what she's being balanced out from. I don't deny that Skatha can be powerful and versatile, but in between her 1" melee, low Tac, low Movement, low Kick, low range on supportive abilities, lack of defensive tech, chance of failing a Snowball Pass, and the possibility to aid your opponents due to the placement restrictions on neutral Fast-Ground, she always feels like she pays a heavy price just to exist, and it's hard for me to see exactly what she's being rewarded with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I can see why playtesters thought auto dodge might be too good. But she only has 1” melee, and shouldn’t the scoring captain be good at scoring? There are plenty of better models at scoring in the game (hello 3” Thresher) so I think it was just cautious design work. I don’t think an auto dodge would bust her. And making it be 6” just makes it actually viable to cast on a team mate. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, JacctheInsomniac said:

I'm just curious what she's being balanced out from. I don't deny that Skatha can be powerful and versatile, but in between her 1" melee, low Tac, low Movement, low Kick, low range on supportive abilities, lack of defensive tech, chance of failing a Snowball Pass, and the possibility to aid your opponents due to the placement restrictions on neutral Fast-Ground, she always feels like she pays a heavy price just to exist, and it's hard for me to see exactly what she's being rewarded with.

I mean, Skatha brings a lot to the table. Sure, she's not as good at scoring as some captains, but she can shift her team around, provide fast ground, generate momentum without the ball, and has an AOE snare ability. All of that is in addition to being a super dangerous goal threat thanks to her mobility, accurate kick, and legendary. Is Skatha as good a striker as Shark? No. Is she as good a fighter as Fillet? No. Is she as good at support as Esters? No. But she brings some tools from each of those styles into the mix. She threatens goals, has momentous damage and a KD (on a team that doesn't exactly have an abundance of KD), and can enable her team in a variety of ways.

No, Skatha isn't on the same level as Thresher, but she's not designed for that. She's not the kind of captain who just gets a full allotment of influence every turn and does everything herself. The fact that she can shift her role depending on the team around her and the situation is really powerful, so the decision making associated with her flexibility should have risk built in. In my mind, Skatha could use a small tweak (6" range on Blessing, 6/8 MOV), but is in a really good spot overall as a model.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard for me to feel like a 1" Melee, Tac 5, momentous 2 damage on 3, 5-0 w/ 14HP is ever a viable option in combat.

The vagueness with which "enabling her team," is referred doesn't really excite me either when it's posited right beside all of the captains she does her job(s) worse than. I mean, she makes her team move fast. That's kindof it. Which don't get me wrong is fun and powerful in its own right. She definitely carves out her niche where she deserves to exist, and effective use of her movement tools are what wins her games. (Not mine but I'm told it happens)

Outside of supporting her team however, everything she does feels overcosted, and underwhelming. Even those 20+" goal runs feel extremely fragile. The goal-run plan can also change if you fail a snowball, but by that point you've already been forced to place your fast-ground.

I think a 6/8 MOV and 6" Botmg would go a long way to making her feel better to play, but I honestly think the most important change for her and Theron is to let them place their AOE's in the middle of their activation, after getting time to see how the turn pans out, and which plays fail you. It also lets them move and then place so they can support or protect allies who are more than 11" away, or positioned around some terrain which blocks their placement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arguing against self targeting with BotMG and mentioning other captains:

Although I don't think Skatha is bad, but this thread make me wonder what you think about her in contrast with Midas?

Anyway self reposition is great in this game, and the better captains usually has it. With a cost, but for sure. 

Snowball has a chance to miss and happens a "lot". That's fine too, an important and interesting interaction on her.

But why would to have a momentous 2 dodge in the first column extremely good? (With a cost of additional influence and again a chance to miss?)

Anyway I kinda like this second box as it is but I never play any of them. They are not fit my style so I leave them on the shelf.

Follow up questions:

If you use this models as intended, are they still frustrating? Or we want something they not offer?

I guess the first is true in this case, but nothing urgent here, a season four streamline will do.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a lot of people have a lot of strong opinions on these models, and I don't believe what I write will change any of that. But here is my 2 cents:

  • I think the HoWM are in a good place strictly competitively (personally I think vHearne needs a small something something, but others have differing opinions so I'll let that point be undecided)
  • However. I think they could use some quality of life changes to make them more satisfying and easy to use. Not that I think that quality of life changes will (nor should) be included in any errata - but a good time to incorporate them could be the season 4 update. 

On the models themselves and my suggestions. These are purely my own ideas put down for fun, and obviously aren't deeply analyzed balance wise. 

Skatha - Love her. She is strong and snowball is an very interesting and unique mechanic - I don't mind that it may miss. I don't really think "at the start of the activation"- abilities are very enjoyable for players as a general rule since they tend to be forgotten, or a missed attack/play may make the AOE in this case be rendered ineffective and yield frustration. Just let it be anytime. BotMG is in the same tier as a lot of situational plays that only might get used turn 1 - which is fine, but (as SFG seems to have picked up on with new teams and changes) these buff plays should be 6". Being able to target herself is also a nice QoL change just for the ease of use thing, but I don't really mind either way since she got a legendary with almost the same effect. 

Snow - I personally love Snow and think he/she is great. Could possibly be 6/8 move and/or let the "ooh ball" be simply "towards" for more interesting uses of the ability. More options are always fun.

vHearne - Would just like something small here. Like having a m1 on 1 to make his lunar eclipse more satisfying to use these fortune favored nights when he gets to use it by making them momentous. It would make for a great "cool vHearne moment" and make his momentum generation at least "guaranteed". I've had a lot of times when he misses his KD attack 1, then gets his kd, then gets 2 hits for 1/> which feels very disappointing activation for such a slow and fragile player. Such slow, fragile and combo-ish models should have a higher reward when getting them set up into their perfect situation (which is hard in itself). Last light could be just a 1inf cost reduction on the characters next play - would make it more generally useful and less a "quad boombox play" on top of solidifying his role as a support player.

Ulfr - I was very down on him at first but I have started to love him. If that depends on me learning him or something else I don't know. Personally what I would do is give him a kick of 2/8" and making blood scent +2/+0. That way he is a better kick off model, and he never gets in the situations where he can't choose the momentous result needed for the shot because then he would be outside his kick range. But you would still be rewarded for triggering it in kinda the same thematic feel as the designers wanted it to be. I feel the Lone Hunter trait is enough of a potential pit fall to avoid to have his kick range be variable too. 

But on a positive end note: I personally I very frequently play with Skatha, Ulfr and Snow, and enjoy them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Hunters are in a unusual place because they waited a long time to get the needed buffs to Theron and Hearne1 and I think I worry that we will wait even longer for the Heralds to be fixed to current design aims. Skatha is fine. She does a unique cool thing. I just hate that the Signature Move - the Blessing of the Moon Goddess - her WHOLE REASON TO EXIST IN THE BACKGROUND, is rubbish. And based off the changes to Blessing of the Sun Father, the fix is obvious, so it not being made is annoying. Even if self-targetting would be too good (don't believe this) at least increase the range to 6" so she can actually cast it.

Ulfr is...well I don't think Ulfr would be made today. His design indicates a sort of desire to do everything, with an equal design to prevent him from doing so. I think he could be good if either his columns went to 4 or he got crazy rather than Lone Hunter. He's still a 1" melee striker with 6" kick and 7" move. He can do work and I have won because he can WTG. But he's very dependent on what your opponent is doing (if he moves a ball handler near one of you players, suddenly Ulfr can't work properly). I look at Ulfr and then I look at Iron and....yeah. Iron is an all round Striker - got the speed, low Tackle, high TAC, close control and 2 DMG on 2. Ulfr...is slow, MOM T on 3 (non MOM on 2), 2 DMG on 3 and low TAC. They fit a similar design category but what Hunter player wouldn't swap Ulfr for Iron in a second. 

The main problem with Ulfr is - what makes him special? What is his unique Ulfry thing? And his thing seems to be a bit rubbish - Lone Hunter, Ambush and Blood Scent aren't very good on top of his base stats. And I don't think it matches either the background or the model. I mean look at that nutter!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, EpicChris said:

The main problem with Ulfr is - what makes him special? What is his unique Ulfry thing?

Just because his thing is not what you want or envision is supposed to be, does not mean it is nonexistent at the moment. 

For me charging with the ball for a 3<< and then WTG (before or after) -> score with blood scent is one Ulfr moment for me. 

Another is when the ball is punted away and he sinks 4 attacks into Tater instead for 4xm2 damage, from a striker that is impressive. 

The combination of damage and strikery stuff along with Ambush makes Ulfr uniquely Ulfr.

Sure, you might want less damage and more striker potential or vice versa, or any particular ability to be improved, but I would certainly say he has a "unique thing". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But Iron does all those things better. And arguably Vitriol. And Brisket.

What Ulfr does is not unique and he doesn't do it very well. I like his jack of all trades thing sure, I just wish he was good at one of the things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really becoming less and less a fan of the Jacc of All Trades thing over time.

I mean, if Ulfr/Skatha didn't have their M2 in the middle of their playbooks they'd (almost) be pure strikers. So how much space in their striking power budget is that M2 taking up? On paper it sounds good to be able to pivot into dealing damage, but by its lonesome a M2 is poised to accomplish largely nothing unless you have redundant layering effects that make it more reachable, and impactful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Bbzs said:

Although I don't think Skatha is bad, but this thread make me wonder what you think about her in contrast with Midas?

I find Midas exceptionally boring (flavor-wise) but quite strong. A push-dodge on 2, and unpredictable movement means he's harder to tie down, but if he gets caught in 2" melee zones like Corsair's, he can spend an MP, that he likely saved from Showboating, to dodge out and then advance with a full 6 Influence. He performs smoothly with only the first two columns of his playbook so he never needs to rely on spiking dice, but when they do his playbook is gold.

Midas touch is guaranteed hits, and Lure of Gold is the same range but guaranteed also has a playbook trigger so he has a chance to get it cheap, the entire team has jogs longer than 4", albeit with the towards restriction. His Legendary exists and is boring. Skatha's is cooler.

I've tried using Skatha to support a kill list and get them to their targets faster, but she does so little once the team's targets have been reached. I've tried her in a scoring list and while she has more success she's just blatantly not fun to play.

I initially put it on me disliking scoring in general, but I played Shark Fishermen on a few occasions and had a blast. It's definitely all on Skatha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JacctheInsomniac said:

I'm really becoming less and less a fan of the Jacc of All Trades thing over time.

Indeed. Many think that flexibility is like having a bunch of different tools, but in truth flexibility is more like having a single tool that can be used for different things :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×