Crystallans v2

EarthDragon thought these were fine, while most others thought them a bit weak. I take ED’s point, and I agree that a thinky and skilled player will be able to do well with them as they stand. However, I think that most players will only adapt to them slowly, if at all, so I’ve made some small changes to make them easier to use.

Crystallans v2

The CD has become a card. That allows Coaches to try the familiar Jack approach. This, incidentally, now adds up properly too 🙂

I’ve changed Harmonics to give Speed bonuses before Strength. This was swapped to mitigate the problem of Speed 5 Guards being knocked over.

I’ve also changed Harmonics to work at range 3, not just 2. This means they don’t have to bunch up so much, and also helps with the fallen Guards.

Is this too much? Does harmonics need to go back to range 2? Give them a try and see what you think.

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22 Responses to Crystallans v2

  1. Pingback: Sulentic Shards |

  2. theearthdragon says:

    First of all thank you for the shout out Jake.

    I can appreciate you helping folks out and trying to make this easier, but the switch of speed and strength is pretty detrimental for me. Part of what makes the cage work is fear. If you flank the cage and bust up a guy, those 6-dice slams are murder. Now if you flank and drop a body, the Crystallans won’t be able to make you pay for it quite as well.

    I only mention this as in the play-testing I did, part of what made things work was even when people wedge in, attrition would take hold as to the shear bodies you’d fling off the field. That one extra die doesn’t send the body count spiraling through the roof, but the amount of people spending a spell in the Sin Bin went up.

    You also have to think, with a card, that in and of itself helps mitigate fallen rocks as you can draw cards to see if you pull “stand-up” cards. I’d really like to see them keep the same “buff” sequence as v1 otherwise removal is gonna be pretty rough and the cage has a much higher chance of becoming a dogpile.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Yes, the switch is slightly detrimental to their smashing power, but only slightly. I’m looking at them overall though, and I think this helps the team as a whole.

      If we keep the range 3 Harmonics, it should be easier to get that level (and therefore the str buff as well as the speed). My thinking was that mitigating the fallen speed 5 guard was worth doing sooner – they’re already decent Guards. I’m also a little concerned that this many str 3+ guards with bonus dice may cause real issues for some opponents, making those games go from hard to just no fun. If getting that power requires a little more work on the part of the Coach then fair enough. I’m sure it’s still perfectly possible to crunch a lot of opponents with these guys. With the bonuses as they were before it felt a bit too easy.

      Yes, with cards you can pull a Stand up, but they are pretty rare. I don’t have a deck to hand, but I think there’s only 2 or 3 in it. Not counting Any Action cards.

      You will need to adapt your tactics a bit to this version, but I still think they’ll be interesting to play. Let me know how you get on.

    • Don Squires says:

      Hello Earth Dragon. I’m very interested to hear about your theory of the “cage” and how you envision it to work. If you, (as the Crystallans) are holding the ball while slow marching down the pitch for a few rushes, how do you recover after you score? I’m imagining, this pod of 4 or 5 Crystallans now down the other end of the pitch and once the ball launches, they are hard pressed to get back to it. Further, how do you answer when the opposing team scores. It seems to me the cage would be hard to hold together after their “alpha strike”. All the while leaving your 3 point zone exposed. God forbid your cage delivers the jack to the strike zone, and then you miss the score. So I was just wanting to hear more of your theory and tactics with these guys. Thanks!

  3. wifstrand says:

    I’m VERY excited about these changes. Though I have to say, I’m not sure why the strength and speed buffs were changed around. Part of why I so heavily advocated the jncreased range of Harmonics was so it was easier to send just a few models down the pitch and still kick butt.

    I think the increased range on Harmonocs and the card are very beneficial to their unique playstyle, but the speed and strength reshuffling is detrimental to those changes.

    I’m not sure, but I’ll try and playtest them ASAP. But I probably can’t do that before Monday, which is after the end date… Bummer!

    At any rate, I’m very happy with these changes in general, though. I’m beyond excited to get these guys!

    • wifstrand says:

      I sounded a little negative there. I feel like the Crystallans are now a hard team to master, but one I wouldn’t take away from a new player if he wanted to borrow mine. That’s good.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        The swap between str and spd buffs is explained in my comment above.

        IN terms of testing, it’s still worth testing at the weekend. I’ve got to hand in the manuscript to layout at the end of tomorrow, but we may still be able to sneak in the odd stat change if needed 😉

        • wifstrand says:

          What I wrote there was my initoal reaction based off having played with Strength 3+ guards carrying my games (which were still bad losses). Having thought about it some more, I think the ol’ switcheroo you pulled may be what’s best. It’s not the change we want, but the one we deserve. Eh, eh?

  4. berger15 says:

    I think the only possible change I would consider is to the starting composition. Only 3 Jacks – therefore only three players capable of handling the ball – makes this team even more about the violence and less about scoring than the Marauders. But I have not had time to play this team so these are just idle musings 😦

    • 4rmless says:

      I think Jake mentioned elsewhere that he can’t change the team compositions as the models are all ready some way into production.

      Jake, out of interest, did you initially dictate what the team composition should be? FWIW I have no problem with any team compositions, just like to understand the design process.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Correct. The team composition is fixed now.

        For most of the teams I defined the team composition very early on. As the model making process is so long, this happened when I had little more than a name and a single concept for most of them. I worked out a rough idea of how I thought they should play and what that would mean in terms of models. This shortened the overall development time (as I worked in parallel to the model makers), though they are now moving away from this production model.

  5. wifstrand says:

    Come to think of it, other teams have proven themselved capable with Strength 3+ guards, so Crystallans should be fine like that. I like that Harmonics only truly rewards you in the coolest way if you manage to be farsighted enough to position your players in a close enough configuration. And I think the easier access to an extra Speed die will be key to their success.

    One thing’s for sure. Where I was hesitant and doubtful before, I now see a challenging but rewarding team. I’m now more than ever excited to receive them and paint them up!

    • theearthdragon says:

      You’ll have to explain how speed is anywhere near the value of strength.

      If You man-mark someone, busting them off them a gets Crystallans the extra die to get up via removal, which is much easier to push/drop them with +1 str.

      Getting a 5+ die isn’t as valuable as a 3+ die as far as even making much difference in the roll.

      If Crystallans are getting hit from the back often, thats partially on the player. But now if the opponent gets a lucky slam and Crystallans lose a body, they can’t create the push they need.

      The speed is not better then strength and I’m now getting frustrated that this format is worse with the exception of the card, but you’re all celebrating it as better. Overall, this team has a slightly higher bottom, and a much lower ceiling.

      • I agree with earthdragon that the switch seemed odd… I liked the idea of the Crystallans getting their bonus to their best stat early, and then having to work for the Speed bonus.. but I also agree that the 3 hex change is HUGE.. that opens up a lot more space and goes from an 18 hex area to a 36 hex area around that model in questions.. so I actually think that other than the single Jack you try to use to move forward (at a Move of 5, with +1 dice to Str and Speed tests, with a 4+ Skill) your whole team is going to be much more easily getting the bonuses… and I believe that is what Jake was trying to say.. I don’t think he means that +1 dice to Speed 5+ is the same as +1 dice to Str 3+… but rather, you can more easily get the Str dice & benefit from the Speed dice too… and I believe he was worried that effortlessly getting 6 dice Str 3+ slams from your Guards was probably too good.. find a way to get Threating or Grizzled on those Guards and they are amazing…

      • wifstrand says:

        I’ve actually gone back and forth on how I feel about this all day. But what I meant was that there’s more utility in getting the speed bonus at tier 2. In my games with the Crystallans, my opponnent knew my action counters were VERY precious to me, so he didn’t bother threatening a downed player, as he knew it often wasn’t a good deal for me to spend an action on potentially standing up one downed player. In this respect I would feel much more safe in trying to stand them up, and it would maybe even tie down my opponnent as he knows if my downed Crystallans get up, they’ll band together and hand out tier 3 to each other.

        But I see your point with the strength bonus. The tier 2 strength bonus would do much more to threaten the opponnent, forcing him to make choices around the terrible beatings he might
        Actually, while writing the above I realized just how correct you were when you said part of what makes the cage work is fear.

        And I agree with Joshua’s comment (that rolled in while I’m typing this) that the Crystallans really should focus on their primary strength (their, well, Strength) first as to not dilute their playstyle and thematic approach to playing Dreadball. Strength first, then let yhethe player work towards tier 3 and reward him with the most extraordinary bonus – the Speed bonus.

        • Josh says:

          Also.. there is nothing about a knocked prone Crystallan player that removes their Harmonics from the group, right? It doesn’t say “Standing Crystallans within 3 hexes”… so unless someone is able to push you outside of the 3 hex zone before knocking you down you could, in theory, have a single Crystallan Jack standing in the middle of knocked prone other Crystallan who still benefits from the +1 move, Str, and Speed… which I think is fabulous… but.. as for balance.. I think the speed 2nd is more balanced, I think the strength 2nd is more flavorful and characterful… but I think either is okay at the end of the day. (ie I’m waiting for my team to arrive and already painted up Crypt the MVP) =p

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Fallen Crystallans still help harmonics.

  6. skarfang says:

    I managed to try the new version out and it is an improvement. Played humans and orx with them and whilst I beat the humans I lost to Orx lol. Having the harmonics changed did help when my players were prone, more so in the orx match as he really did punish me. I also felt that this time round I didn’t have to play as bunched up as I did before. I was able to traverse the pitch and still be able to use harmonics effectively. I really like this team and they are definitely on my to get list now.

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