cheddercaveman
Just getting excited as things start to progress. I was looking at the heroes there are currently sculpts we've seen models for (Bastian, Thrommel, Istariel, Thorgar, and Rakkir) and I notice that 3 of the 5 are aggressors.  If you were to add any one additional hero to this you'd still have at least one composition (splitting it amongst the two players) where it would be double aggressor.

Do any of the folks who've been playtesting and/or playing the game more have any thoughts on how this will work. Is that problematic? Does it still work perfectly well? Is there a good sixth hero from the original 10 that works really well with these?

Really just interested in getting more conversation going to sort of go with my current hype!
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Guns
Hey Chedder,

Good question, and something most, if not all, the play testers thought about whilst learning the game. Before I get started, the next 3 sculpts to get done all happen to be Soulgazers (Kruul, Saiyin and Zaron). The first time Judgement entered play testing within a wider group there was a natural tendency to choose aggressors with a view to inflicting as much damage as possible, and whilst that can be a valid tactic, it can come unstuck as a battle enters late game. As heroes gain levels their maximum health increases, and they have a tendency to have more items, however the damage output of Aggressors (or any heroes for that matter) doesn't normally increase. So the effectiveness of Aggressors, in terms of killing heroes, diminishes somewhat the longer the battle goes. Conversely many of the Supporter and Defender heroes gain strong utility and defensive abilities that can really start to influence the battle field. Fielding a Soulgazer against an enemy with a lot of Aggressors normally means there are ample spawned Souls for you to harvest, since your opponent's Aggressors are so poor at doing that themselves. Getting an early Soul or two via a Soulgazer can mean you are able to win the Fate war very early.

That last point is pertinent actually, since a lot of Aggressors rely on Fate to reach maximum effectiveness. Rakkir and Zhonya are two whose value is greatly diminished without regular use of Fate, Zaffen is similar. Istariel and Allandir can dish out consistent damage without Fate however they can be quite easily hindered by getting them into the melee range of one of your heroes. Just losing one action to get out of that melee (and at times the subsequent Parting Blow they are going to cop) can really ruin their day. Learning the subtleties of counter play to certain Aggressors makes a massive difference to how scary they are. 

The final thing to consider is the game size. In the early days of Judgement, post KS shipping, I envisage a lot of players will cut their teeth on the 3v3 variety. A fast paced and hugely fun version of the game. The power of heroes from 3v3 to 5v5 maps can change a lot, and something that works on the smaller confines of the 2' diameter maps might not work so well on the 3' versions. Safe to say, I have played more games of Judgement than anyone, and I tend to field tanky/utility warbands these days. In saying that I almost always take at least 1 Aggressor however in a 3v3 game I would rarely field 2. I just remembered, that we are yet to consider the pick 'n' ban phase...man I love this game. LOL

Let's take a look at a typical Warband of 5 I would field in a 3v3 game with Pick 'n' Ban.
  • Thrommel
  • Kruul
  • Bastian
  • Thorgar
  • Rakkir

This is very versatile Warband that presents your opponent with an interesting choice in the ban phase. Essentially I would be happy with any 3, as long as I had at least Thorgar or Rakkir. If my opponent banned Rakkir, I would go with Kruul, Bastian and Thorgar, since Thorgar gives me some tankiness and Bastian's healing can really help keep him alive. If my opponent banned Thorgar, I would switch to Thrommel, Kruul/Bastian and Rakkir. This way Thrommel gives me the tanky option, Rakkir the damage and Kruul or Bastian the utility depending on the map and what my opponent had in their Warband. Finally if my opponent banned any of the other 3, I would be able to do any of the above combinations. Astute planning like this can almost render your opponent's ban obselete since I have put it together in a way that I am happy with my Warband regardless of the hero they ban.

Switching up to the 5v5 game, therefore starting with a Warband of 7, opens up a whole lot more cool options and tactics, however I will delve into that another time.

I realise I may have rambled a bit here, hopefully there are some good ideas for you to think about. Feel free to share your thoughts on any of this. [smile]

Guns

ps - I am with you on the hype train...it is like this calm before the storm. I just can't wait until all the models are done and we ship this bad boy.

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Tirrith
Agree with the above. In our play test tourneys, players chose what suited their playstyle. We had players using 3-5 aggressors and others using very tanky/defensive orientated Warbands. Both were viable and competitive. I have a Warband that is based on no aggressors, 3 Defenders and 2 Soulgazers sitting behind them, collecting Souls. This worked very well. 

Saying this, one of the main requirements of the game is to beat up on your opponents, IMO you would want at least 1 aggressor in your Warband (or a hero tooled up for damage dealing) regardless of game size. Having that model that can threaten opponents is important. Remember that some of the supporters and even defenders can deal out decent damage, you can also enhance this with magical items. 

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Sharper

This point of Guns is actually something really important: "That last point is pertinent actually, since a lot of Aggressors rely on Fate to reach maximum effectiveness. Rakkir and Zhonya are two whose value is greatly diminished without regular use of Fate, Zaffen is similar. Istariel and Allandir can dish out consistent damage without Fate however they can be quite easily hindered by getting them into the melee range of one of your heroes. Just losing one action to get out of that melee (and at times the subsequent Parting Blow they are going to cop) can really ruin their day. Learning the subtleties of counter play to certain Aggressors makes a massive difference to how scary they are."

I have played a number of games with Rakkir and Zhonyja as my 2 Aggressors, Styx, Bastian/Haksa, and Zaron. Everyone of these chracters will find themselves every turn wanting to use fate. The supporters and Zaron can often get away with only every 2nd turn but Rakkir and Zhonyja definitely want to be putting out the hurt as hard as possible every turn (otherwise they die quite easily if left engaged). If you are winning the fate war then this list will function like a well oiled machine and destroy your opponents, however if you start to fall behind in the fate war then you will need to take risks with your heroes needing 2 turns to get a kill but possibly dying in return, thereby falling further behind.

When I take 2 Aggressors I like to have Thorgar as 1 of them as while he has a fantastic fate ability it is not essential to him dishing out pain or surviving. When you are falling behind in the fate war he can help you swing the momentum back in your favour.

Part of winning at Judgement is list development. If you are playing blind pick games then you can simply pick a force which works well together but make sure you have a plan to deal with situations including what to do if you fall behind in the fate war, how are you going to collect souls etc. If you are playing pick and ban then you have to think on the fly as you will no idea which character will be banned

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Judgement - The 54mm scale, MOBA inspired, table-top miniatures game

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