+ inload: Playtesting the Eldar and Legio Nikator walk +

+ Legio Sumer-Nikator fight Alaitoc +

Not want you want to see marching towards your lines...

+ I brought the Sons of the Temple out to Walk. In my defence, they are on my list of priorities this year, as they've lurked in a state of just-complete-enough-to-be-put-to-one-side-but-not-quite-finished for more than a year now. +

+ Coropedion +

+ Initial playtesting +

+ With 2023 being Alaitoc's time to shine, I thought I'd run a very quick playtest of the Eldar Titan rules [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]that I've been working up. This test was simply 'does it work mechanically?', so I set up the Phantom 8in away from a Warlord – Coropedion doing the honours – and set them blazing away at each other. +

+ The first problem I found was identifying which weapons were which! After some consultation with the PCRC, we decided that the weapons were, from top down: Wraith Glaive (a simple one, this), Heat Lance (based on the similarity to Eldar fusion weaponry), Pulsar (as it shares design features of the Eldar laser weapons), and D-Bombard  (based on the vanes). +

+ That means the Titan I'm working on [+pictcapture below+], is armed with a D-Bombard and Wraith Glaive. +

+ I fought for three rounds with this set up, and while both were heavily mauled, they were still standing at the end. Mechanically, the Phantom works. The lessons I took away from this very limited test were: 
  • It was quite fun using the holofields – the mechanics worked quite smoothly, involved the location dice early one, and seemed to give roughly similar overall protection against attacks as I'd expect from void shields.
  • The Phantom doesn't have much to do with its plasmaweave (though note there was little movement here), and generally felt a bit 'Imperial'.
  • A 'Special' result disrupts the vanes, but it's not clear where the damage itself should be applied. 
  • The D-Bombard is awesome. The first shot scattered, but only enough that the hole on the template missed – and that caused a Devastating Hit to the Warlord's body. The second shot hit and caused a Critical to the legs – but then a lucky shot from the Macro-Gatling Blaster hit the vanes and disrupted the holofields. This let the Warlord target the D-Bombard and knock it out with its Laser Blasters.
+ I then repeated the process with Pulsars, and then decided to try out melee against Ipsus Granicus, the Manifest Law [+pictcapture below+]. Here, the Phantom strode in happily avoiding the Manifest Law's attacks for two rounds, but was unable to do very much at all before the Manifest Law finally laid it out with an uppercut! +

+ Overall then, a quiet success. In concert with some feedback I've had from comments here, on the Bolter and Chainsword and Facebook, I'll be making some tweaks. These will be functional and aesthetic changes at this stage (i.e. to make sure things work mechanically and don't break the game), rather than 'big picture' changes (i.e. a different design philosophy). That's largely to ensure that the rules get a proper test; I know from experience that it's very easy for things to get derailed by making too many changes too early on. +


+ Change log v003 +

  • When a Special result is rolled on the location dice, the damage should be applied to the Body. This is consistent with the mechanics for Imperial Titans, and so immediately familiar.
  • The 'Plasmaweave' – a term I've never been too happy with – will be replaced with a Spirit Stone/Infinity Circuit-themed panel. Rather than a literal Plasma Reactor heating up, pressure on the Titan and crew will be reflected by stress on the Infinity Circuit.
    • While it will operate in much the same way as a Plasma Reactor and use the same mechanics, it also opens up future options for things like the Titan's Conclave (that is the Maniple equivalent) potentially sharing 'stress'; and/or partially replacing/complementing the repair mechanic*.
    • Visually, It'll be nice to have gem-shaped icon on the Terminal, rather than a circular light.
  • Add backs to the weapon cards.
  • Move the Quake (Draining) special rule on the Sonic Lance to the front, for clarity.
+ On the 'sharing stress' across a Conclave, this was an idea that came from various sources – thank you all for the feedback. My gut instinct is to be slightly leery of the idea – in the original background, the Titan's infinity circuit is limited to the Titan itself, so it seems odd to extend it beyond the Titan. On the other hand, the lore is fairly vague, and the idea of a sort of Conclave-wide 'communion' is fitting with the psychic nature of the Eldar. Perhaps most importantly, it helps to differentiate the Eldar from the Imperials while keeping the fundamental core mechanics intact. +

+ *On the repair mechanic, a lot of comments have included suggestions for improved repair for Eldar, on the basis that the Bonesingers can sing the damage away. I've decided not to pursue this because I don't feel like this is a 'battlefield repair' sort of thing, lore-wise – and unlike Imperial Titans, where the techpriest and servitor clades are on board, there's no suggestion that a Bonesinger (or equivalent) is part of the crew. More importantly, it closes off the design space for other races. To me, Eldar war machines should feel tough but brittle – or well-armoured but squishy, to put it another way. I hope that explains the design approach. +

+ And a final note, I've also had comments that state a Phantom is better equated to a Reaver than a Warlord. I don't necessarily disagree with that, though I've deliberately using Codex Titanicus as the core inspiration, which explicitly states the Phantom is the Warlord equivalent. I certainly don't want to exclude anyone – I think there are at least as many very good arguments for a Reaver-equivalent as a Warlord-equivalent. Happily, I think this is a problem that has two good solutions – why not both? +

+ In much the same way as Warlords used to be divided into Eclipse, Nightgaunt, Nemesis etc. types – the distinction being forced on for commercial reasons (GW couldn't afford multiple plastic Titans, so the studio had to make do with tweaks on the one model they had), so the Phantom originally had two types: The slightly slower, heavier Spectre and the slightly faster, lighter Shade. +

+ While my preference is for the Warlord-equivalent (the Spectre), it seems good to be able to add a little variety to the force by giving the option for a Shade. As they're so closely related, my intention is to keep both called 'Phantom', simplifying the interactions of mechanics, weapon cards etc., using the same naming convention as the 'Warbringer Nemesis', for example. We'll thus see the Phantom Spectre and Phantom Shade in v003. +


+ Arty stuff +

+ Painting the model is ticking along, too. Last night I polished off the upper legs and knees, the shoulder pods and started work on the arms. While I'm very pleased with how it's coming along – a lesson, if ever I needed one, that sometimes there's no replacing simply spending more time and effort on a model  for the best results – I am annoyed with myself for not cleaning it up more carefully. +

+ Lesson learned, and so for the second Phantom (being sung into existence as I write), I've cleaned up the components much more carefully. The vanes [+pictcaptureref above+] were nerve-wracking to clean as they are so fragile. +

+ I'll likely build some more weapon options soon – I'm waiting for an additional set of mirrored arms so I have access to ranged weapons on the left arm. +


+ On the Catwalk +

+ A few glamour shots of the Titans as they stand. +

+ Gaugamela (with alternative head) +

+ Senex Codomannus – 'Old Spiteful' +

+ One of the Amber Kings – Legio Validus +


1 comment:

  1. I'm just drooling all over with all these beauties :)


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