Steed of the Swim
Large aquatic beasts favoured by the Mer for their brute force and their ability to push their way through harsh waves with ease. Their bulk also has its uses in non-combatitive situations, such as in transportation of heavy materials and troops across large bodies of water.
This steed in particular has a remarkable temper. Once he's set sights on a target he often becomes wound up and reckless, requiring a mount of the highest caliber to keep him under control and attempt to reign him back after each strike. His devastating ram combined with his swiftness makes him a greatly feared opponent out in the middle of the ocean.
- Steed's free attack is treated as regular combat, and both Steed and the Opponent may play Strategy cards.
- If Steed attacks a Hero and defeats them on the first attack, Steed may not declare a second attack against the same player who now has a new Hero.
Steed was originally designed as an answer to a problem we don't have any more. Some Heroes, such as old versions of Kingslayer, were so strong that they felt like boss monsters appearing, requiring the attention of the whole group to deal with them. Steed was designed as a Hero specifically talented to fly in and single-handedly punch down such Heroes without needing to rely on the rest of the board.
We gradually flattened out that feeling though, trying to ensure a bit more of a stable experience for everyone. As that went away, the Steed very quickly become incredibly overpowered, as it was capable of just punching down Heroes single-handedly, and was also able to attack two separate Heroes in a turn, meaning it was able to effectively clear boards on its own.
We toned down the ability (a bit too much at first) and tried to flatten it more in line with the evolving balance of power. We did quite like the idea of trying to keep a very aggressive Hero that could punch holes through defensive or well defended Heroes, but was always leaving itself open to flank attacks if the group felt that it was doing a bit too well!