Webmasters Note: This is purely before the fact information. Many, if not ALL of the Wastelands 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: Tuesday, February 29th, 2000
TO: Darrell Hardy < firstname.lastname@example.org
Production Manager at Fantasy Flight Games
FROM: James Hunt and the Salt Lake Disk Warriors
RE: SLDW's Feedback & Playtest (Wastelands)
I hope that you are still the right person to send this playtesting information to given the recent changes with your position and responsibilities. Let me know if I need to send it to Carl instead. I just wanted to begin with the premise that, overall, we here at SLDW like a lot of the concepts, direction, and disks behind Wastelands. Of course, we have some gripes too. Hope you guys get some useful information out of our report and thanks again for letting us playtest. Finally, I wanted to plug or local Sci/Fi and Fantasy convention, CONduit 10, again by saying that SLDW and a lot of the CONduit staff are excited by the prospect of official FFG representation at the con. I really hope you guys will be able to make it out for the convention. And now, with out further ado, on to the feedback!
Disciple of Wind: Change the points to 12 instead of 13. Like the special ability and disk in general.
Desert Witch: This disk is particularly useless. I can only think of very narrow instances in which it might be useful. There is very little surprise involved. I would dump this disk in favor of a level 2 familiar champion for the acolytes. We all talked about it and came up with this idea:
Desert Witch: 3M 2AT 5D 3T 2 wounds 14 pts. If within 6" of friendly level 3 spellcaster, A to give one FREE level 2 spell(from the Master Spell Book) to be used this segment. Champion
Disciple of Water: Make him 4 pts. This way, the disk is still useful even if you don't fight dwarves.
Otu Klataan: Increase his toughness to 5. That way he can at least deal with other heroes. The acolytes need some tough disks! Also, for 11 pts. a toughness of 5 balances out that horrible defense of 2.
Sister Taryn: Completely useless. If your spell caster is getting pinned, you have already made some critical errors and she can pretty much only use her ability once in a game. Instead, we suggested this disk:
Sister Taryn 3M 3AT 1D 4T 2 wounds 14 pts. Level 3 spellcaster. If Taryn A to cast a spell from spellbook, cast spell as normal, then replace it with a new spell which is one half the cost and one less level then the original spell cast. Champion
Initiates: These are very limited as well! I can think of very few instances in which these disks would be useful. Instead, I would suggest their special text to be this: If within 6" of a friendly spell caster, Initiate is a spellcaster of that disk's level -1. Possibly increase their points to 9 or 10 with this new text.
Disciples of Stone: get rid of all special text. increase toughness to 6 and defense to 5. At least that way the acolyte army has 1 disk which can actually pin things. Heck, you might even increase the toughness to 7 to equal the Stone Dragons. Change pts. to 7
Disciple of Fire: decrease to 7 pts.
Elder Jhamin: do those two additional activations count towards your total activations for the turn? Our suggestion was to remove the "friendly" word from his text, so that he would read: To cast a spell, Jhamin must place A markers on two UA disks within 6". In the beginning, this will be bad, but in end game it could be good. Probably 90% of the time, it will still be activating your own disks, but it does give a little incentive to take this otherwise extremely flawed disk.
Child of the Sand: decrease cost to 5 pts.
Desert Scarab of Welqu: Increase defense to 5 Also, why would one ever take this disk when Galzurg riders are around. Strike the "with the ability to burrow" from its text so that it would read: "A to Burrow one disk within 12"
General Comments regarding the Acolyte army:
Brother Dalmu is the way acolytes should work! Give them far superior casters to any other army. Also, just because an army is magically inclined doesn't mean that every disk has to be a spellcaster, as in disciples of stone (currently a 13 pts. Extremely pinable disk) In most games, an army may have only a couple spell casters. If the acolytes are supposed to be mostly casters, make them cheap enough to use! Presently, the acolytes are so expensive as an army that you can only afford to include a couple of their combos. Just giving the acolytes more spellcasters to choose from isn't going to make them a superior army. Our new suggestions give them drastically improved disks. This would make them a much more effective army and bring them up to par with most of the other armies of the realm. So I guess the main point is this: If the acolytes are to be a spell using army, they need cheaper spells/more effective casters than any other army, not simply more spellcasters. :-)
Yggraal the Ancient: As he stands, I would never use him. I think I understand the disk in that a pure evil dragon army shouldn't have too much level 3 spell casting capability, but right now the 18 pts. would be better spent on other disks. Changes: If Yggraal is activated to cast a level 3 spell, place 2 A on Yggraal. Only 1 A marker is removed during the remove counters segment.
Helspanth's Brood: The logistics could get confusing with multiple battles taking place in close proximity. Which battles do you resolve first? All of them, and then the brood's battle so that the instant blow will kill or wound most everyone? Or do you do the brood's battle first so that only those with a T of 4 or less will be effected? It's a case of an immovable object and an irresistible force. Either way you go on this one, make sure that there is a precedent and that consistency is maintained. Perhaps an alternative is to make the broods ability similar to the Uthuk spearmen's so that the instant blow stays around till the end of the combat round. This would solve any logistical problems.
Godstone Drake: I understand the concept of speeding 1 particular disk so that all of the drakes move incredibly fast, but right now they are still too expensive. I would rather take a 6 pts. Drallus worm. Instead, make them 6 pts. and then I could see it.
Paxarus: Only really useful against evil armies. I would drop the points cost down to 8 or 9.
Tonyld the Tainted: We thought it should be a -1 D and T during combat. Otherwise, this is another disk that could sit and collect dust.
Djonn Torgun: This guy can't get a drummer to boost his speed, so he needs a higher defense or he is useless. Increase defense to 3. Oh ya, is this disk evil or neutral? It states both on the acrobat file.
Regiment of Ghunn: These guys are awesome! We suggest limiting them to 3 or they will completely eclipse the current regiments. Also, with Varik, they are immune to missiles so their one weakness is covered.
Loritaan Denarra: Text issues: Is it 4 arrows, 2 per target, or 2 arrows, 1 per targets? Also, what if there is only 1 target in range, does that mean that she can't do anything then? Clarification needed, otherwise a cool disk.
K'Toraz the Great: Right now I would sarcastically call him the "not so great" We all LOVE the concept of an evolving disk, but we feel that you should treat him like a champion in terms of pts. cost vs. abilities because of the huge loop holes needed to get him to be "great". We suggested making his stats 7AT 6D 6T For a direct comparison, see Vhas Frothan.
Hive Mother: Unclear text. I'm not sure what you mean by the slaves losing all SA, etc. If you mean all text based attributes, just say that. Right now it sounds almost like their AT, D, and T is lost as well. Also, comparisons between her and the new Uthuk slaver show some point discrepancy. Just wanted to make sure that was intentional.
Chaos Master: Omitted text. It makes it hard to judge this disk.
Doppleganger: If it A to mimic the ability of, say a mentalist, can it then flip a disk twice right then, or would it need to activate again? Also, does it retain the abilities beyond the remove counters phase, and if so, can abilities be cumulative? I would tend to say that it gets to do the ability right then, whether activation is needed or not. I would also tend to say that at the end of the turn, it loses the ability. Less score keeping.
Uhk'set Wasps: These guys are all powerful! We thought to reduce their toughness by 1 so that they can at least be destroyed by Firbolg and the Juggernauts. Increasing their points to 7 was also suggested. Otherwise, a swarm of these is going to put a cramp in almost any game. But, I like it that these guys make dust to dust is a much more useful spell.
Knight of the Dragon: A suggestion was made to call them knight of the wizard due to their special ability.
Executioner: We thought to raise his toughness to 4. That way, with the standard bearer in play he will have an opportunity to use his special ability before he gets killed.
Mahkim War party: We thought that the size of this disk being increased to Large from medium would make sense given that it is called a warparty. And it would justify the cost of 8 and make the swashbuckler ability more useful.
Doloch Wielder: The suggestion was made to increase his speed to 4 since he is a champion. We love the special ability though!
The Diseased Urtog: We thought to increase his toughness to 3 instead of 2. This way he will actually survive 1 round of combat and have a chance to use his special ability.
Barghest: My question is, at 9 points, why would I ever take this guy over a Vampire? I wouldn't. Make him 6 points and I would consider it.
Witherer/FestenWood Donari: The suggestion was made to make these limited to 3 to keep with the beer and pretzels spirit of the game (so limited disks are always limited to 3). Personally, I think they're fine the way they are, but it is a valid argument worthy of consideration.
Bats: Is the vampire activated, or unactivated?
Viper Legion: Does their special ability affect disks with immunity to missiles? I would vote in favor of yes. Remember, however, that this goes back to the immovable object and irresistible force issue. If immunity is all powerful, then keep it consistent. Immunity, however, is not al powerful since it is not retroactive and the awesome new longbowmen can affect even immune disks, so to retain consistency, I would vote for these guys to take down those ugly dwarves.
Y'targa Beast: We like the concept and disk, but fear the mechanic might bog down larger games. Still, not a bad disk.
Well, that's about it. Sorry if I'm a little terse in sections. Let me just stress one last time that we all think, in its current form, Wastelands overall does a grave injustice to the acolyte army, so lets get it fixed before that's all the message board can talk about! We really loved a bunch of the disks, like the longbowmen, new dragons, dwarven slaves for Uthuk, new knight disks, Cha'rgr Monkey(that monkey on my back!), Chaos spawn (make sure you aren't infringing upon Games Workshop licenses with that stuff as I know for a fact that's what they used to call several of their figures, same goes for the battlewagon), Harbinger (old mechanic, new package!) and finally all the unaffiliated disks.
Thanks again for letting us give you guys a hand in playtesting! I'll probably send a couple more reports as we get to play the disks more thoroughly.
We just wanted to make one last suggestion: distribution. Please don't put unique heroes on more than 1 flat, and please print disks that people will want a lot of (the lower point ones that can be used for filler mostly, or the high powered non-uniques like Great Ones) on more than one flat. As it stands right now, Mahkim as an army and other disks from MoT are very difficult to collect (only 1 of us in Salt Lake has a decent Mahkim army) etc.