Okay, Derek, these guys are freakin' amazing!!! Well Done!!!!
I ran a play-test last night and the Executioners won .. barely .. but it was a very fun game.
Executioners x3 … 270
Mika Connour … 380
Nakita Agents … 500
Fire Primordial … 100
Obsidian Guards x3 … 400
Fire Elemental x3 … 505
I played on a custom board that is a mix of Jungle Trees and Road. No shadow starting on the board but up to 8 shadow tiles available for Vydar (6 from Executioners, 2 from Mika).
The first few rounds were setting up and getting the Obsidians within the Fire Primordial’s aura for Lava Throw and the Executioners dropping shadow tiles and staying close to Nakitas (double protection from range with Smoke Powder and Only a Shadow).
Utgar’s team had more attacks per OM (4 with squad + hero) but at a short range. The advanced guard of the Executioners dropped several shadow tiles in the center of the board (5 of their 6 were within a few hexes of each other where most of the action was happening, and also to be potential Shadow Dance spots for Mika during clean-up).
I saw the elegance of the Executioners after an early Only a Shadow roll was successful and I could duck that assassin onto a shadow space for the escape. On the follow-up OM, that Executioner lunged between two Obsidians for a double attack (4 dice each) and took down both. This was a solid turning point. I was about 50% with the Only a Shadow ‘vanish’ rolls (which makes sense), but whenever I had to roll defense, the Executioners fell fairly easily (2 defense + 1 for the shadow space they might be on).
The Fire Elementals actually did help a bit. When the Executioners were pushing Utgar back, the Elementals were closer and I was able to bond with two -- and the 1st one made a critical Searing on an Executioner and then wounded Mika. The 2nd Elemental moved up for more wounds on Mika though the other Searing Intensities didn't trigger. Mika wasn't a factor on offense (she killed two Obsidians but then absorbed a ton of attacks).
"Deathstorm" (Fire Primordial) was at 1 Life for the last half of the game, hiding behind Guards to avoid melee. The Executioners did a double-pounce at one point, with two of them lunging from shadow for 4 attacks of 4 and doing some solid damage. On the initiative swap, the last Nakita darted up for a 3 skull attack on the Primordial (who had height and a tree but it didn't matter). After losing two OM's the Executioners cleaned up.
Attacking from shadow for the +1 attack and double-strike is definitely the key to success. It really fits the theme of shadow assassin and is plays perfectly.
Can an Assassin “vanish” with Only a Shadow and after moving 5 spaces, drop a shadow tile using Blend into Shadow?
Should the Assassins be limited to only drop 1 shadow tile per turn? I did not limit it, and I think it is fine to drop more than 1 per turn.
BLEND INTO SHADOW
The Nizari Assassins start the game with up to 2 shadow tiles on their Army Card. If a Nizari Assassin ends its movement on an empty land space, you may place a shadow tile from their Army Card on to a space they occupy if the shadow tile fits normally on that space.
ONLY A SHADOW
If a Nizari Assassin is attacked and at least one skull is rolled, roll the 20-sided die. If you roll a 1-11 roll defense die normally. If you roll a 12 or higher, you may, if possible, move that Nizari Assassin up to 5 spaces and ignore all wounds. A Nizari Assassin must end it's movement on a shadow space to use Only A Shadow.
At first I thought the 2 defense was too low, but with nearly a 50/50 chance for Only a Shadow, they do have a good survival rate (if there is a nearby shadow tile).
90-points is probably good because, while the can fall quickly, they do permanently affect the board with shadow tiles.
In my next build, I would drop the Nakita Agents and go with Agent Skahen, so she can “Cover Fire” the Executioners and/or Mika onto shadow tiles. I also think that Elaria the Pale would be a nice cheerleader for her +1 on d20 for Tricky figures.