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SLDWeb MoT Playtest

Webmasters Note: This is purely before the fact information. Many, if not ALL of the Moon Over Thelgrim disks discussed below have been changed completely since our initial playtest. It is place here solely for the interest of those who are interested...


DATE: Friday, October 8th, 1999

PAGES: Seven (7)

TO: Darrell Hardy
Production Manager
Fantasy Flight Games
651-639-1764

FROM: Cooper Cazedessus
SaltLakeDiskWarriors

RE: SLDW's Playtest (MoT)

NOTE: This fax has also been sent to the ffg@rpg.net e-mail address

 

INTRODUCTION

Thank you for choosing SaltLakeDiskWarriors to help playtest Moon Over Thelgrim. We have tried to cover each individual army and those particular disk that looked to be problematic. We have also included a general set of Concerns and Clarifications. The following people helped in compiling this feedback/playtest:

-Cooper Cazedessus
-Dan Morath
-James Hunt
-Mike Bialecki

 

DWARVES OF THE RED ANVIL

General Note about the Army:
No doubt you have seen the endless discussion on how cheap (in terms of army point cost) the Dwarven units are compared to their often inferior counterparts. It was thought that this was an oversight or a mistake on your part. However, after having a chance to analyze Moon Over Thelgrim, it is obvious that there are intentional pricing strategy differences among the different armies. The Dwarves seem to have the "bargain-basement" pricing strategy while, for example, the Acolytes have the "Top-of-the-line" pricing strategy. In keeping with this you've priced most heroes between 10 and 12 points and most non-uniques 7 and under.

Miners (3,2,4,4,9) A to move one friendly unit within 6" to on top of another miner
We think it would be more in keeping with the army to price the Miners at 7 points to give the Dwarves that "We're all equal" feel. We really like this ability, however what happens when the Miner that is being moved ON is being attacked? Does the moving Miner go on top of the attacker and other Miner thereby 'sandwiching' the attacker or does it slide beneath the attacker to officially be 'on top of' the other Miner? My suggestion would be to change the text of the special ability to read, "A to move one friendly unit within 6" to *below* another miner." This would solve the aforementioned problem. It also feels a little more intuitive, let me explain. The two miners have presumably dug an underground tunnel that connects the two of them. The first miner gathers friendly units to send down the tunnel. The second Miner, helps them out. Therefore, friendly units wouldn't appear *above* the second Miner, they would appear *below* the second miner (just like if they had the burrowing skill). (See General Concerns/Clarifications below.)

Drummers (2,2,2,4,6) A to give all Dwarves within 6" +1 movement this round.
Are the movement bonuses from multiple Drummers cumulative? This is a general question that needs to be clarified. In the same respect, do attack bonuses from many of the same specialty disks work cumulatively on their targets?

Battlemaidens (4,3,3,4,7) +2 to ADT versus Orcs.
A great disk against Orcs. But seven points for a 3,3,4? Forget it. If you don't know what army your opponent is going to play, there is no reason to put on of these in your army. (See General Concerns/Clarifications below.)

 

LATHARI ELVES

General Note about the Army:
Its nice to see that old spells will become better with age. By using Control, you can get the full advantage of your Spearmen. The Elven Ranger (4,3,4,5,11) looks cool, but we need more information as to how, where, when the new land disks will be played? (See General Concerns/Clarifications below.)

Huntsmen (6,6,3,3,8) SA: A to reduce by 1 the M of all enemy Disks in 6"
There is a good idea in here, but the combination of offensive (6 Attack & Move) does not settle well with the defensive SA. This disk needs some work and actual, on the table, playtesting.

Elven Sniper (4,2,2,2,10) SA: A to fire 3 arrows during activation segment. If UA, may automatically hit 1 target with 1 arrow during Missile segment.
Nice disk, but a little expensive. So drop the cost to 8 or 9. The SA raises a FAQ question: Those disks hit by the 3 arrows during the activation segment are removed from the table then, or after the battle segment?

Goblin Slayer (3,2,3,3,5) Receives +3 Attack against all Orc unites.
Again drop the cost by one. But still not very useful, unless you KNOW you'll be facing an Orc army. (See General Concerns/Clarifications below.)

 

FARRENGHAST'S UNDEAD

Ghost (4F,-,2,4,9) Cannot A to Attack, Pin, or be Pinned. A to place A counter on 1 disk within 6"
How does a disk activate to "be Pinned"?

Skeleton Warriors (3,3,3,3,4) Receive +1 A,D,T and 'Reanimate' if within 6" of Oorlian, King of Skeletons
Good disk, helps bring Undead Horde disk into greater use as body guards for King Oorlian. Just don't let it eclipse the Undead Horde disk, so raise its cost by one.

 

DRAGONKIN

Wyvern (5F,5,3,4,11) Missile Fireball (1)
At the moment, this disk is far too expensive for his stats and missile fire capability. Perhaps increase the number of Fireballs to two. Another option is to leave the missile ability as it is and increase stats of defense and toughness by one each.

Spikers (4,4,7,4,11)
Again, this disk is far, far too expensive for its stats. We felt that reducing the points value to 7 points was fair when compared to other defensive disks such as the stalwarts, etc. At 11 points however, there is no way that this disk is going to be used. Another option is to leave the disk at 11 points, or maybe even increase it to 12 points and give it the swashbuckler ability since the name, Spikers, suggests that these are prickly characters who could damage many disks in the same way as a porcupine.

Ssiryk Hatchlings (5,3,2,3,9) Beserker
The toughness definitely needs to be increased for this disk to be useful. The beserker ability can only become effective if the disk survives its initial combat. The toughness on this disk is so low that survival is unlikely. The toughness issue aside even when beserk, this disk hardly warrants 9 points. Even beserked out, a 5, 4, 5 just isn't that impressive, even with a 5 movement. For instance, spend 1 more point and get a 5,5,5 Servant of Yllan that moves 4, has a neat special ability, and even has two wounds! Suggestion, lower point cost to 8 points and increase toughness by at least +1.

 

UTHUK Y'LLAN

Gorath'gonn(U) (3,3,2,3(2W),14) Level 1 spellcaster. A to give an Instant blow(6) to one enemy level 1 spellcaster within 6"
Very expensive for a level 1 spellcaster. We don't think that the special ability makes up for it. How often do you get an enemy level one spellcaster that close to you (especially if you are not tough enough to be a front line disk). Nix the special power and make him cheaper or just up his stats. You could also extend the range of the instant blow (12") or make it effect all spell casters. This disk needs work.

Ta'nn Assassin (5,6,2,3,9) If Ta'nn Assassin kills an enemy spellcaster, may steal one level 1 spell of choice from the spellbook of the dead spellcaster.
This disk is near worthless. With a toughness of 3, this disk will never get near a spell caster. With a toughness of 3 he won't survive the attack in most instances either. With most good spellcasters having 2 wounds this guy just isn't worth the price.

Uthuk Spearmen (3,6,2,3,6) SA: A to give an instant blow (1) to any enemy disk within 12"
Instant blow of 1? Since this could only be cumulative with spell damage, this power is near worthless.

Asya of Yllan (U) (3,3,3,4(2W),15) Level 2 spellcaster. Recives +2 bonus against good disks. May not touch a good temple.
Add +2 to what, all stats?

 

KNIGHTS OF FALLADIR

General Note about the Army:
The Catapult is very nice. And a good "stage setter" for other expansions, both fantasy and sci-fi. Watch the capitalization of game text, "one knight, all Knights, etc., al." Assuming that "Knight" refers to any disk for the Knights of Falladir Army, then "knight" refers to .... ? More specifically, The Standard Bearer text reads "All Knights within 12" receive +3 A,D". Does that refer to any unit in the knight army or does it refer only to the Knights of Valor disks?

Drill Sergeant (3,4,3,4,7) All Men at Arms within 12" receive a +2 A, D, & T
Standard Bearer (4,1,2,4,6) All Knights within 12" receive a +3 A, D
Obviously the combination of these two disks make the Men at Arms a 3,8,8,4,4 disk. This is HUGE. Again a FAQ question about cumulative. (How does/will cumulative affect DiskWars in general?) Will two Drill Sergeants make those Men at Arms in range +4 A, D, & T?

 

ORCS OF THE BROKEN PLAIN

Goblin Crossbowmen (3,3,2,3,4) Missile: Bolt (1) Friendly fire from crossbowmen does double damage.
Why would you take one of these? They are cheaper that regular Orc bowmen but the lack of missiles (1) and the friendly fire rule make these guys to dangerous too your own troops to have them in your army.

 

ACOLYTES OF TIMORRAN

General Note about the Army:
The Acolytes are almost the complete opposite of the Dwarves. They are very magic oriented and are a relatively expensive army. The Acolytes were one of the more expensive armies in the original set, and it seems that you've continued the trend in Moon Over Thelgrim. For consistency, it's nice. However, with all the new spellcasters it is obvious that the Acolytes are intended to be played as a 'spell-heavy' army. Unfortunately, spells get expensive. Therefore, an Acolyte army is not going to have many points left to buy these over-priced specialty disks. Also, there is another example of the "useless Champion" problem. (See General Concerns/Clarifications below.)

Waiqar is an 18 point Champion level 3 spellcaster. For *exactly* the same price, We could get a Heretic and Farrenghast Necromancer; a far superior level 3 spellcaster. Again, reward the player who wants to make a pure army by giving him cheap or powerful Champions.

Gonn of the Winds
This is a terrible pun on a classic movie.

Ys'malri of the Void (U) (3,2,4,5(2W),13) SA: If a spell is cast at or within 6" of Ys'marli, he may A out of turn to direct the spell to another target, if one is within range of the spell.
The way this special ability currently stands, it is worthless (or replaceable). By that we mean the best defense to Ys'malri is to simply not cast a spell at him or within 6" of him. People would be better off with a Golem that is cheaper and has a better toughness in order to get it close enough to a spellcaster to be effective. We have a *great* suggestion for the rewording of Ys'malri's special ability: "SA: If a spell is cast at or within 6" of Ys'marli, he may A out of turn to direct the spell to another target, if one is within range of the spell *as if Ys'malri cast it*."
This way, Ys'malri becomes a 6" extender of spells cast by friendly (or unfriendly) spellcasters. Also, it allows spellcasters to 'see around corners'. For example, if a spellcaster wants to fireball a target but does not have the line of site, Ys'malri can be used to see around the blocking disks. If you think he would then be too powerful, make it so he can only redirect friendly spells. Either way, this would make a great and useful addition to the Acolytes.

Roc (4F,8,6,7(3W),16)
Great disk and the other reasonably priced Acolyte creature. Is it supposed to be Unique or not?

Damin Skystynger (5,4,6,4(2W),14) SA: A to give an instant Blow (3) to any flying disk within 6"
Since the SA is an instant blow, its only real use is against flying creatures with a toughness of 3 or less. Therefore, Damin represents yet another overpriced Acolyte disk with a useless special ability (which is presumably the reason he's priced so high). To justify the cost, We would suggest increasing the range to 12" and the strength of the instant blow to 4.

SandJaws (4,2,8,4,9) Burrow
A great disk. But, it is primarily a one-shot disk. A burrower puts itself under the attack of another disk. Most disks have an attack of at least 4. Therefore, although the sandjaws will take out the disk they are attacking with their high defense, they will more than likely be taken out in the process. We think the cost of this disk should be reduced to 7 points.

 

MAKRIM

Frogs of Muurkra (-,4,2,1,4) SA: A to be dropped (like missiles) from 12"
A great disk! One question, however, can the distance to the target be unlimited? Just needs a little clarification.

Swamp Behemoth (4,8,5,4(3W),14) Beserker
Just one concern, is this going to be better than Da'Roul Bonesplicer? Since it is non-unique, this could be really unbalancing. Possible solution, make a large (firbolg) size disk so missile fire can hit more easily.

 

NON-ALIGNED

General Note:
Both the Heretic and the Familiar are a very NICE addition to almost any army.

Iron Golem (3,4,4,8,10) No unit within 6" of Iron Golem may be targeted for a spell
What is the difference between this disk's protection from spells and the Dwarf disk Varik Longbeard? If there isn't much difference/effect on game play, as a dwarven player We would be more inclined to take the Iron Golem because We are not limited by a champion and can have spell casters. We like both disks, but it seems like the Golem might eclipse Longbeard given his limitations.

 

GENERAL CONCERNS / CLARAFICATIONS

Define "on top of". This is a phrase you use with the Miners and General Cordwain. We assume it is different than "touching". Does it mean that the top disks must be placed so that they entirely cover the bottom disk?

Disks with special abilities vs. other armies
We are not a fan of this concept as it is currently in the game. We think that these disk should be good disk normally and great disks when used against the proper army. As many of them stand, if you play them against the wrong army they are a waste of points. . We like the +2 or +3 vs. Evil or Good better that vs. just one faction. See Knights of Valor above.

Ambush: Is the Ambush skill really that useful? Most ambushes have a range of 6". Most disks can simply move that far anyway. So, is Ambush really necessary. We realize it circumvents having to go around other disks, but is it a valuable enough skill to warrant extra army points? : This seems to be a direct attack vs. King Falladirs game text. Is there a range limitation? The Miasmamen can Ambush within 6" but will probable flip more than that with a movement of 4, depending on its size.

Terrain: When is a creature considered to be completely covered by a land/water disk? For the forest, it states that you simply have to touch the forest disk to receive the "missile immunity" bonus. Presumably this means that as long as you are touching the forest, you are completely in the forest. Is that the same case with the Miasmamen who can move on water? If they are only touching the water disk, does that mean they are totally immersed in water? For example can someone attack a Miasmaman that is partially touching a water disk? How will the new land disks function/be laid down? It makes a difference when considering the pt. costs/usefulness of certain disks.

Champions: We also have a general problem with how many of the Champions are priced. Being a 'Champion' disk is NOT a 'benefit' that should add more points to the disk's cost, it's a 'disadvantage' that should make the disk cheaper. We love the idea of Champion disks, it's a great way to reward 'Pure Armies'. However, make sure that it is a *reward*. Either make the disk cheaper than that army's normal heroes or give it some truly awesome unique power (i.e. Kylia Liytani). Otherwise, people will simply opt for the non-pure army and take the better 'other-army' disk. For example, why would anyone choose Brynhyld over Prince Leronoth in their Dwarven army? The Prince is a *far* better disk for the same price and it does not limit the player to only Dwarven disks. There must be extra incentive to use Champion disks.

A champion that is way overpriced? Bryhyld (3,3,4,4(2W),12) Level one spellcaster.
A good level one spellcaster for 12 points? Give me Brane of Urth and the option to take T-Rex or Helspanth any day. Disks with special abilities vs. other armies We are not a fan of this concept as it is currently in the game.

In general, we think the champions are a great idea. They should be used to promote players using pure armies of one sort or another. But in order to get a player to give up the idea of taking as many of the good disks from other armies as he can, he needs to get something good in return. We believe the champions should be cheaper than they are in general to make choosing them very worthwhile. You give up some of the great disks in other armies but you get some awesome disks for the price in return.

 

CONCLUSION

We like Moon Over Thelgrim! After some minor changes, revisions, and some more real-time/table-top playtesting, it will be a good expansion for DiskWars. We just want to know if there is any chance you could send us a few boxes of these new armies to pre-release demo, or at least to get a better idea of individual disk sizes.

SaltLakeDiskWarriors
http://members.tripod.com/diskwars