Collated Opinions

I read all the comments on the Updates thread, and they’re pretty consistent, which is always good. In fact, much more so than I’d expected – all of which makes updating things easier.

The summary is:

Crystallans: slightly too weak.

Tsudochan: fine as they are.

Ada Lorana: a bit too powerful, but not by a lot.

Koris: a bit too powerful, but not by a lot.

Mechanites: overpowered (mainly due to flexibility).

Plague: overpowered (mainly due to flexibility).

So, the Monks can stay as they are, three teams need tweaks, and the last two need their flexibility mitigating. That’s the tricky one, not because there are no clear ways to do this, but because that’s their signature thing and I don’t want to take it away from them entirely.

One comment that a couple of people had was about Jacks in general: the new teams that rely heavily on Jacks will benefit disproportionately if/when Jacks get revised/improved. That’s true, however, as we don’t yet know what or when that change will be we have to ignore it for now. When we make any changes to the core game (like basic rules for Jacks) it’s bound to change the balance between all the teams, and that creates a lot of ancillary work. There’s a lot more to making that change than simply saying all Jacks get Slide (or whatever).

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37 Responses to Collated Opinions

  1. Hakon says:

    maybe reduce plague guards to speed 5 and also maybe more diversity for the mechanises as there are some abilities which merely have a different name and don’t actually do anything different, Here is how i would fix mechanites:

    all mechanites start with the stats move 4, speed 5, skill 5, strength 5.
    Mechanises may start with both a 2+ and a 6+.
    Jack cost 3 points to start, striker and guard cost 5 points base.

    Locomotion:
    Quad wheels: +1 move and steady +1 point
    Mono wheel: +2 move +1 point
    Quad legs: steady free
    Sprint Legs: +2 move and Duck & Weave +2 points
    Armoured Legs: +1 Move free
    Bird Legs: +2 move and Jump +2 points

    Chassis:
    Body A: +1 strength +1 point
    Body B: +1 Speed +1 points
    Body C: no change free
    Body D: +1 strength and Can’t feel a thing +2 points

    Head:
    Cranehead: +1 skill +2 points
    Quad eye: +1 skill and +1 speed +4 points
    Radar: 360 Vision +3 points
    Slim: +1 speed and fragile free
    Tank: +1 strength and -1 speed free
    Humanoid: no change free

    Limbs: Choose any 2. Note- taking the same limb twice does not bestow the ability twice, however for modelling reasons you may take the same limb twice and not pay for the second limb as if you bought a hand.
    Drill: Driller +2 points
    Wrecking ball: Pummel +3 points
    Air cannon: Shove +2 points
    Hammer: Pile Driver +2 points
    Ram: +1 Strength +2 points
    Hand: no change free
    Launcher: Long arms +3 points
    Claw: Gotcha! +1 point
    Glove: A Safe Pair of Hands +2 points

    Optional Programming:
    Damage Control: Grizzled +2 points
    Tactical Upgrade: Run interference +1 points
    Advanced Sensors: Alert +1 point
    Advance Stabilisers: Stretch +2 points
    Quantum Prediction: Lucky +3 points
    Hacking Override: Dirty Tricks +3 points

    That should balance out, technically you could have a move 5, 5+ str 5+ sk 5+ sp jack for 3 points, but they would be terrible and do nothing.
    if you got a jack with armoured legs, body A and Quad eye with 2 hands your looking at 8 points for the equivilant of a human jack which has the exact same stats.
    with this selection system it is possible to have a guard with quad legs, body A, Tank head, Ram and hand, to make a move 4, Strength 2+, Speed 6+, Skill 5+ with steady for 8 points as well, but you will find that the 6+ speed will be their doom as soon as they get attacked in their rear arc they are going to be sent off or die.

    Hopefully this gives you ideas or helps balance them!

  2. Hakon says:

    oh just realised, All stats above which say +1 should be -1 as they improve the stat, and all the stats which say -1 should be +1 as they reduce the stat.

  3. 4rmless says:

    all you’ve really achieved there is to add Dirty Tricks to the list of abusive options and make Speed 3+ accessible instead of Skill 3+.

    Here’s a sample team from your list:

    Jack 3
    Quad Legs 0
    Body C 0
    Slim Head 0
    2x Hand 0
    Hacking Override 3

    4/5/4/5/4
    Steady, Dirty Tricks
    6 Points

    Striker 5
    Sprint Legs 2
    Body B 1
    Quad Eye 4
    2x Hand 0
    Hacking Override 3

    6/5/3/4/5
    Duck & Weave, Dirty Tricks
    15 points

    Guard 5
    Quad Wheels 1
    Body D 2
    Tank Head 0
    Ram 1
    Claw 1
    Damage Control 2
    Advanced Sensors 1
    Hacking Override 3

    5/2/6/5/4
    Steady, CFaT, Gotcha!, Grizzled, Alert, Dirty Tricks
    16 points

    I’d take 1 Guard, 1 Striker and maybe 7 or so Jacks. Spend the rest on 4 dice. On the rare occasions you don’t just dirty Tricks the entire opposing team off the pitch, that guard is close to unkillable and hits very hard. The Striker can just freely score.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Tricky, isn’t it 😉

    • Hakon says:

      actually if you read the top in my version all mechanises are 4/5/5/5 base (I’m not putting armour stat in, since everyone team has the same)
      so your 6 point jack is 5/5/5/5 fragile, steady, dirty tricks for 6 points.
      your striker is 6/5/4/3 duck and weave, dirty tricks for 15 points (quite an expensive striker, double what some teams pay)

      what could be incorporated is a limitation of 1 to 2 hacking overrides per team.
      i just feel they should have the option because it fits the team.

  4. What if there was an increasing cost on components give each component a rarity, some components are common, but for most items, the price increases (if fractions used round down) for the item every time it is used (if a player is killed/recycled such components would be reclaimed) so an example might be bird legs (rare 1.5) so the first pair would be the current 2 point, a second would be 3points (round down3.5), third 5 points, fourth 6points (round down 6.5)
    Just a random thought to keep the variety, while limiting some of the more dangerous combos

    • Josh says:

      I like the idea of this.. but I feel like it is going to lead to issues.. did my Striker get Skill 3+ from an XP roll or did I buy it at the start? What if I lose a model.. do I factor in the multiplier for what I have now or what I’ve bought all Season long?

      As challenging as it is, I feel like setting a good base price with more “abuse-able or dangerous combos” priced higher is the way to go.. also, any time that we are adjusting costs solely based on potential League situation it affects 1 off games which are how we get new players into the game and test out new teams. There are also too many variables in a League IMHO to reasonably price stuff for all the possible outcomes.

      The other issue that I feel like has not been addressed is “what comes on the sprue”.. if you only get 1 Asterian Head per box, then building a team of 6 Strikers with Dirty Tricks is going to be neigh impossible (from the basic box).. yes.. people can cut the heads off extra models, MVPs, etc… or even find a comparably bald space elf head from another company and make it work.. but I honestly am okay rewarding those people for their efforts if that’s really the team they want to play!!!

      • If you are doing a campaign game, the skill increases would show up different to the “construction details” anyway.
        As for if you gain/lose players (body parts) your team value goes up/down according to what you currently have, if you want rather than thinking of it as a player list think of it as a body parts list

      • Quirkworthy says:

        I like the idea of escalating costs, I just don’t think it’s really practical and appropriate for DB.

  5. John D. says:

    What if the Plague and the Mechanites got no Strikers and 1 or 2 Guards at most, while keeping a max of flexiblity? Giving Jacks various special abilities would hardly unbalance the game and compensate the high flexibility…

  6. berger15 says:

    HI Jake – was there any particular reason for allowing just 1 striker on some teams (Koris being the most recent)? Just idle wonderings. I would prefer to have two so I can try a passing game, then switch to running if I lose one. With one, passing to too high risk and running sees your striker as a prime target.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      It’s a way to introduce a different dynamic and to make you think about their tactics more. As you say, they aren’t as good at the dynamic used by earlier teams, but that’s not the only way to play. With 20-something teams they shouldn’t all be trying to do the same two things 🙂

      • berger15 says:

        Cool. With four arms I thought the Koris may be more of the “extremes” of play – brutal violence with the ability to catch pretty much anything. Hell, if you can’t catch a ball with four arms, get off the neodurium, right?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Maybe. You’re equating more with better though, and I’d argue that the key here is hand-eye coordination rather than number of limbs. Can’t see that on a model 🙂

  7. Gareth says:

    How about having branching options, like a tech-tree or flowchart?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Too complex for DB. Some people already think that rolling a single D6 on a table to see what stat to test on (confusion tests) is too complex.

      • 4rmless says:

        I think the issue with that is the introduction of an extra random element for no value that I can discern. With the new version, the only way Koris would test on anything other than 4+ is to have the Striker roll Armour. Seems just as easy to either nail it at 4+ or pin it to one stat and means you make less total rolls and don’t need to consult a table.

        Just to check, are all the arms interchangeable left/right or are there both left and right arm versions of them? If not, one way to restrict overpowered stuff might be to choose left and right arm from different lists.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          It is more about other teams testing, rather than the Koris themselves.

          It also seems to me that rolling a single D6 is hardly onerous, and adds variability and character to something that is, after all, a confusion test. A fixed value just doesn’t feel as good a fit, doesn’t tell a story, removes some tension, and is just generally rather boring. YMMV.

          I have no idea about the arms.

      • Hakon says:

        I always hate it when game designers dumb down games, no offence, it’s why i have given up playing games like 40k, they just keep trying to simplify the rules and in the process loose the flavour, the more options a game has the more interesting an intellectual player finds it.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I agree. I don’t like games being dumbed down either, which is why I avoid doing it whenever I can. However, streamlining and dumbing down is not the same thing and people remove rules for all sorts of reasons.

          40K and I parted company a long time ago, so I can’t comment on recent editions. The last time I played it had lost most of the character and story I enjoyed in early versions, and was also so obvious to play that I barely needed to be present other than to roll dice. Not interesting for me at all. Their main reason for making it simpler was to allow people to play with (and therefore buy) bigger armies. This is a common driver for companies which, after all, need to make a profit at the end of the day.

          Closer to home, I don’t think DB is dumbed down. Certainly not what I’d been trying to do. DB is designed, from the outset, to be a fast game, and this is the central pillar of the game. Every design decision is tested against that, and that is where its simplicity stems from. Every rule adds time, and so many things that could have been included were deliberately left out.

          I agree that more options can be a good thing, but I don’t think there is a fixed linkage between number of rules/options and interest. That depends on what type of game it is. For example, DB is designed as a fast and fun game that plays in under an hour. Its main puzzles are to do with precise positioning and combination plays. It doesn’t need five forms of combat to choose from because that’s not the real decision you should be making – you’re the Coach, not the player. You could make another game about the same sport that included a whole sub-game of resolving Slams, using vectored momentum, player stance, weight, fatigue levels, training, role, equipment, physical fitness, surface condition, and so on. You could, but then you’d be playing a 3+ hour game, and I’d argue that it wouldn’t be as much fun for the majority of people, intellectual or not.

        • Hakon says:

          very true, but maybe the solution to your problem of options vs complexity is to have both, seeing as most of the time required to pick out a multitude of options for a team such as mechanites is done before ever playing a game, you could make the options complex, but have a default list included in their profile for 1 off games where people only have that 1 hour to play.
          you could say in the “fluff” that this is the last known configuration of the mechanites as of year xyz.

  8. 4rmless says:

    If you feel it adds significantly to the flavour, certainly include the dice roll. I don’t, but nobody pays me to design games… yet!

    Really looking forward to Mechanites V2.

  9. Bryan Hopkins says:

    Here is how I would fix the Koris.

    Dumb as it sounds bring back skill 3. Since the team is full of jacks it’s not as bad as it sounds especially since tgeir movement was reduced to 4.

    Portals: 2 things. 1. Eliminate the confusion roll and instead have a target number (4). Still give the Koris the +2 dice. 2. Make using the portal cost an action but follow the same movement rules for throwing. The striker can run. Jacks (and guards) can only move 1 hex. Make the roll and only a double grants a free action.

    From a visual standpoint a team with 4 arms ought to be more adept at throwing or catching then your average team. Also being that the team is mostly jacks actually makes them significant to the game which you don’t get from most teams.

    • Bryan Hopkins says:

      If you insist on leaving the skill at 4 then bring the movement back to 5 and leave the striker at skill 3. If you take my suggestion for portal costing an action a jack could not even make a 2/4 point throw without having another action available to them.

      • 4rmless says:

        The problem with Skill 3+ and Move 5 is that they both reduce the reliance on portals that will make this team thematic and interesting. I don’t know if you’ve playtested, but even Jacks with Skill 3+ can make a very strong passing game.

        • Bryan Hopkins says:

          Ok so leave the jacks at skill 4 and keep the striker at skill 3.

        • Bryan Hopkins says:

          Ok so leave the jacks at skill 4 and keep the striker at skill 3. Also if they take my suggestion for moving through a portal costing am action and doubling getting a free one a jack would need 4 successes on a portal test to be able to attempt a 2 or a 4pt goal without having amother action available. If you defend the scoring zones it can mitigate some of their scoring capability. I do see your point about it lesson in the need for portal usage.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I don’t like the idea of paying to move through a portal as that just slows the pace of the game down.

        • Bryan Hopkins says:

          I don’t see how it slows the pace of the game down anymore than rolling a d6 to decide the value for the roll. Also you can potentially move further than you can if you paid an action to sprint. In that case I feel like it justifies an action. But that’s my opinion.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          It slows the game down because it eats into your resource of actions: you can do less because you are paying more (actions) to do stuff. Rolling a dice doesn’t do that.

      • Bryan Hopkins says:

        True but being able to move the entire length of the board denending on portal placement with the striker or jacks declaring a throw is exactly what I see was a problem with this team. Any other team trying to do the same would have to spend 2 actions.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          They would. However, any other team would not be limited to appearing in one or two predefined spots. I take your point, but there are limitations to portals quite apart form the possibility of not ending up where you aimed for.

        • Bryan Hopkins says:

          The inherent portal advantages is that they can be placed wherever you like. Once they are placed they stay in play until the Koris player decides he’d rather have one elsewhere. Opponent can do almost nothing to stop that. Placing the portals is what will take people time to learn. So having “predefined” spots where you will end up often times will be where you wanted to end up anyway. Just something to think about.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Yes it is. Portals have a lot of upsides. My point was simply that it isn’t all gravy: you can still fail to go through them, and still be blocked or ambushed as you emerge because where you are going is more obvious. Like everything else, it’s judging where the balance lies.

        • Bryan Hopkins says:

          Just wanted to let you know I have made arrangements to play test these guys versus the Nameless friday. I plan on playing two games one with the rules as they are now and a 2nd game with skill 3 on the striker and portals following the same rules as throws where they cost an action. I will give you thorough feedback on both games.

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