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Designing a Championship card: Timeline


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#1
WarFather

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I can't write about everything do to NDA stuff, but here is a pretty good summary.

 

Designing a Championship card: Timeline

 

Design 101 - “Which of those two abilities do you feel more strongly about? Your card needs to have a more centralized idea.”

 

Aug 11th

  • Won North America Championship
  • Unsure if I’m getting a champ card

Sep 7th 2016 – Sep 13th

  • Learn I’m getting a champ card 
  • Permission granted to make a Warlord with no signature squad
  • Plan on making a Grey Knight Warlord
  • Brainstorming Grey Knight Themes
  • Would love to do something with the Tactic trait.
  • If the game was continuing, whatever idea I came up with would go into the playtesting groups. But since the game is over, it’s up to me and the people I played against to play test the card.
  • Play tested the following ideas everyday all day
  • True Grit - When this unit is declared as an attacker, deal 2 damage to target enemy non-warlord unit.
  • The Aegis - When this unit is assigned damage from an attack by a Daemon or Psyker army unit, prevent 1 of that damage. 
  • The Aegis – Opponent must pay 1 [R] to target a Grey Knight unit.  
  • Relics limit 2
  • Reaction: When an opponent plays a tactic event card, Draw 1 card
  • Reaction: After the HQ Phase begins, return a tactic event card from your discard pile to your hand
  • Duel – If the enemy warlord is at this planet, non-warlord units cannot be declared as attackers or defenders.

Sep 14th 2016

  • Lunch with Brad going over my builds
  • Learn a card can have more than one ability, but they need to be related to each other.
  • Came up with
  • Interrupt: When you play a Tactic event card, increase the value of a numeral in that card's text box by 1. 

Sep 15th – Sep 28th

  • Play tested the following 2 going back and forth:
  • Interrupt: When you play a Tactic event card, increase the value of a numeral in that card's text box by 1. 
  • My main idea was to have a reason to play 4 cost space marines, by allowing them to fit in Drop Pods.
  • The Tactic ability turns out to be way to strong. Rally the Charge became godly.

Sep 29th 2016

  • Brad, myself, and the people I’m play testing with can’t agree on if a Warlord should be stronger, because he doesn’t have signature cards, for if that kind of freedom means he should weaker. Overall, I’m getting pressure to make the warlord weak, so I decide to make the card a Grey Knight Elite Army unit instead.

Sep 30th – Oct 9th 2016

  • Play testing consisted of trying to figure out an ability that killed an elite if your opponent had a certain amount of planet or icons in his/her victory display. 
  • Slowing figuring out that to do a Grey Knight justice, it would cost a lot of resources and thus not be any good in the game.

October 10th 2016

  • Learn that we can no longer do Warlords, which works for me, since I already moved on from that.
  • FFG needs final Ideas ASAP + art descriptions.
  • :angry: Learned GW will not be letting us have our likeness on the card… I thought I hated that company before… :angry:
  • I switch to Raven Guard. The Navy Seals of Space Marines.

War Father’s Shadows

Main Idea: Raven Guard / Stealth / Hitting Supply Lines

Version A
Cardtype: Army Unit

Name: War Father's Shadows 

Cost: 3

Loyal: Yes

Command Icons: 1

ATK: 3

HP: 3

Traits: Solider. Raven Guard

Text: Ambush. Reaction: When this unit enters play, each opponent loses 1 resource.  

 

Version B
Cardtype: Army Unit

Name: War Father's Shadows

Cost: 3

Loyal: Yes

Command Icons: 1

ATK: 4

HP: 2

Traits: Solider. Raven Guard

Text: Ambush. Reaction: When this unit enters play, each opponent loses 1 resource.  

 

Art work: 
Raven Guard with jump pack, lighting claws and helmet similar to: (Link I had to other art work)

Gritty, coming out of the shadows.

 

Oct 11th – Nov 21st

  • Play testing took a back burner to getting ready for Worlds.
  • What little I did do, Version B felt like the better choice of the two. I wrote the below spoiler message to Brad defending why Version B was the right choice.
  • Was able to talk to Brad, confirming that my card (Version B ) was good to go.

 

 

At the end of the game the Meta only has 4 of the 9 factions winning competitively. Dark Eldar, Chaos, Eldar and AM (I didn't know about Orks yet).

Space Marines lose to DE and Eldar's command, they don't have an answer to Chaos Elites, and AM in a Worr deck are the same as Space Marines, but cost less. 

Brad’s main goal for the Champion cards was balance. He wanted to leave the game in a good state, keeping the legacy of the game alive. No broken cards.

 

Not Broken, sure. But we can’t do balanced either. Space Marines don't need a balanced card. They need something a little stronger to help them win games.

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

Nov 22nd

  • Won Worlds 2016
  • Learn my first card’s art hasn’t started yet. It and my new card will be done together.
  • 2nd card will need to be done fast. Deadline is the end of February.

Nov 23rd – Jan 22nd 2017

  • Play tested my first card. Space Marines will have a nice play against the top decks. Hard to tell it SM are tier one with the card; the other decks still kick butt.
  • Mostly theory crafting for my second card. Not many games.
  • Since my first card was going to be super good, I was not allowed to do it again. Had to really focus on Balance.
  • Came up with the following to test and think about:
  • Reaction: When this unit enters play, each opponent loses 1 resource.  
  • HQ Reaction: Your opponent takes 1 less resource during the HQ phase.
  • Reaction: When this unit enters play, take control of target Location.
  • New key word: Infiltrate – If this unit is played on your first turn of the game, reduce the cost by 1.

War Father Nathan

Cardtype: Army Unit

Name: War Father Nathan (Unique)

Cost: 5

Command Icons: 2

ATK: 3

HP: 6

Traits: Solider. Raven Guard. Elite.

Text: Range

 

Art work: 
Raven Guard with sniper rifle and melta bombs. Shoulder pads and design similar to the Mor Deythan Strike Squad

 

 

Jan 23rd 2017

  • Confirmed; War Father’s Shadows agreed on. Card all set to go.
  • Brad fine with stealing a location or resource denial, but not both for War Father Nathan. 

Feb 14th 2017

  • Finished War Father Nathan. Will hitting resources in the HQ.
  • War Father’s Shadows still good.

Feb 28th 2017

  • Picked up Art Work painting.
  • Got to preview all 4 champ cards.
  • My cards did not match the final agreed on ideas.
  • “Your prize was to design an initial card design with a designer, which I fully believe was fulfilled. How the card changes once that design is submitted is up to the discretion of the designers and the LCG department as a whole.”
  • Card 1: WF Shadows stats changed. I 100% believe Shadows isn’t a card people will play because of it.
  • Card 2: I asked for Nathan and they put Nathaniel. FFG said GW wouldn’t print Nathan. Nathaniel isn’t my name, but whatever.
  • Learn that today is it. Everyone’s cards to be sent to GW to get final approval.
  • Me begging for the sake of people actually wanting to play my cards and to bring the Space Marine faction up a level, please fix my cards.
  • Shadows Card fixed.
  • FFG probably not happy with my flurry of messages.
  • Because of those two items, I didn't notice if the cards were loyal or not.

Mar 3rd 2017

  • Checking in with FFG to see if final approve is done and when I and the community can get the cards.
  • “They’re printed but I’m waiting on final approvals to release them - it might be a week or so. Sorry for the trouble!”

Mar 28th

  • Champion Cards in hand.
  • Cards missing Loyal Icon.
  • Not sure how this effects the game. WF Shadows was meant to help SM. I never tested it in Straken, Shadowsun, or Necrons.

 

 

 

For the most part I love FFG as a company. And would like to thank Brad for the time he was able to give me for helping with the card design. I wish FFG would have allowed him more time for this (Ending the game on a high note), but they have him over on L5R and he was pretty busy most of the time.

 

Legally I don't think Brad or anyone is allowed to say if the Loyal icon was missed or if they in the internal council decided to leave it off. Varun and I (and many more) are currently discussing if we should fan errata the cards to be Loyal anyway.

 

17457428_10211277880415374_290323427899017554204_10211277880295371_4807853343809


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#2
steinerp

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Great writeup.  I totally missed that they kept your image off.  At least the guys pictured are bald.  :)


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#3
Asklepios

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The card designs I thought were badly balanced make a lot more sense in context of this post. Thanks, dude!


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#4
veezya

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Great write-up.


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#5
GasPoweredStick

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Interesting how the time pressure affected your decisions. I;d be interested to hear from Varun or Jeremy about their card design process, if they could.


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#6
LilBabyDragon

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What were the different stats on Shadows that you begged to have changed?



#7
WarFather

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What were the different stats on Shadows that you begged to have changed?

 

That's one of the NDA things. I can say that it was different, but can't say how.


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#8
Kaloo

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What were the different stats on Shadows that you begged to have changed?

 

1 cost, 17/17/17


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#9
LilBabyDragon

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1 cost, 17/17/17

Seems fair.



#10
WarFather

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Varun was able to get Confirmation that the cards were not misprinted, but are intended to be Common. Brad hopes to say something to the community soon, so for any further questions (on this matter) please wait until then.


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#11
Gabb

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"FFG probably not happy with my flurry of messages."

 

haha this made me laugh, a shame you didn't get everything you wanted, your passion for this game and setting it right is very commendable. If I was in your position I would have done the same.

 

PS - BTW the name Nathaniel is not a bad trade off since SMs always seem to have the old school biblical name instead of the modern shortening of it. Ezekiel, Mathius, etc



#12
veezya

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Varun was able to get Confirmation that the cards were not misprinted, but are intended to be Common. Brad hopes to say something to the community soon, so for any further questions (on this matter) please wait until then.

 

So ALL cards work as written including Veteran? Yuck.



#13
GKZhukov

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So ALL cards work as written including Veteran? Yuck.

 

This bit's a bit blurry. What Brad said to me was directly in response to me asking about the Loyalty thing, so I think he meant that (lack of) Loyalty was not misprinted.

 

Since Jeremy already told me that Veteran was designed (and originally worded) to target the "chosen" planets, but that wording was changed to fit it on the card, I would still interpret that as a wording issue, and play it as Jeremy intended, unless when Brad weighs in in the near future he says otherwise.



#14
WarFather

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"FFG probably not happy with my flurry of messages."

 

haha this made me laugh, a shame you didn't get everything you wanted, your passion for this game and setting it right is very commendable. If I was in your position I would have done the same.

 

PS - BTW the name Nathaniel is not a bad trade off since SMs always seem to have the old school biblical name instead of the modern shortening of it. Ezekiel, Mathius, etc

 

Thanks.

 

Yeah Nathaniel makes more since for SM naming and what not. Its just weird that they changed it and didn't bother telling me. It was by luck that I even saw the proofs they planned on sending out for the final approval. 



#15
Skyknight

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Excellent write-up Nathan! Thanks indeed. I love your cards and would definitely play them against top tier (if I could :) )


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#16
Eu8L1ch

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Thanks for the writeup, Nathan.

I really dig your meta analysis. In my opinion, aside from the Orks which you already mentioned, you're leaving out Eldorath/Tau with Bonesinger which definetly is a T1 deck - I agree on all the rest.


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#17
GKZhukov

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Thanks.

 

Yeah Nathaniel makes more since for SM naming and what not. Its just weird that they changed it and didn't bother telling me. It was by luck that I even saw the proofs they planned on sending out for the final approval. 

 

At least you actually saw/were told something at some point!

 

The only thing I got out of FFG OP or Brad after coming up with the design in November was variations on "It's being made," basically. I've only seen a pic because you sent me one :P

 

Then again, my design is almost exactly as it was during pitching (once we moved from an Event to a Unit). Only difference is the loss of Loyal (which has happened to everyone) and Unique (which was there more as a limiting factor, really, thematically it felt a bit off with the name being generic).


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#18
Domino

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Thanks guys for your work!


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#19
Asklepios

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1 cost, 17/17/17

 

That's just stupid.

 

16/17/17 is much better balance for that cost point.

 

Oh, unless you switch its faction to AM, then 17/34/34 would be better.


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#20
Ultramarine

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Great write up! My brother who loves Grey Knight will be bummed when he learned that we almost got a GK Warlord.
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