DB Team Test – Where We Got To

First up, a big thank you to everyone who took part in testing these DB teams. I’ve really enjoyed the comments and feedback from your games. While I’ve not replied to every comment individually, I have read them all. I hope you enjoyed the process too 🙂

I’ve sent in the following versions for layout.

Hacking v2 – no change with the Hacking rules. Seb’s firewall idea is interesting, but not without its own issues. I think it would quickly become a must have purchase, and as it’s a negative, would just drain cash from a league to no game effect, and some frustration. Whilst it does have its fans (me included), Reputation is something that most people don’t seem to like in its current form. It’s probably better looked at as something to consider for a second edition when we can integrate it much more. That’s years away, so it may resurface as an experimental rule in the meantime.

Tsudochan v2 – no change needed here.

Mechanites v2 – The drastic cuts seem to have worked quite well. All the comments since this version have been very positive. They remain powerful, but now have some serious limitations and a higher cost as a counterbalance. I daresay they’ll shake out with some nasty combos when people have a few months to tinker. Much improved though.

Plague v4 – a couple of people have questioned whether doubling the extras cost is too harsh. I think it’s hard to be certain in league teams as there are so many moving parts. Time will tell if this needs refining. For the moment, in one-off games I think it works fine, with the bonus that it’s very easy to remember/calculate and accommodates any future team bonuses that are added (and no, I’m not planning any – you just know how these things go). The change to v4 is just to clarify that these double costs add that whole cost to the team’s rank.

Ada-Lorana v4 – given the time constraints and the amount of work to do, I was wielding the editorial axe rather liberally with these team updates. Although I think I got most of this right, I went a bit too far for most people with the Ada Lorana. As v2 was considered too good and v3 too bland, this final version is somewhere between the two. I’ve added some additional clarification to Insubstantial, and restored the strength modifier for Solid.

Koris v3 – the discussion here has all be around the confusion check table. Was an extra dice roll going to slow the game, did armour need to be included, and so on? I’ve gone for a hybrid, with Koris (who are familiar with the whole portal weirdness and don’t care) rolling a fixed value. They’re the ones that will use it most and this means you can just roll quickly. To retain the character, tension, story, and uncertainty of someone else using the Koris portals, other races have to roll to see which stat they use. I think this gives us the best of both worlds 🙂

Crystallans v2 – this one generated a bit of discussion. Some thought that the change in Harmonics was bad, others good. Interestingly, it seems from the comments that all of the people who liked it had played games with the new rules, and most of those who didn’t had not: perhaps the difference between how things look on paper and how they play. I agree with the dissenters that bonus speed is less dramatic than bonus strength – however, I think that’s part of the reason why this change is good. If you give someone their best bonus first, then they won’t work to get the rest. In the end I’ve left the team as it was.

By all means carry on using these and commenting below with your thoughts. I can’t guarantee that we will be able to make any further changes, but you never know. The smaller and sooner the change, the more likely it will be possible.

Playtesting these latest teams been an interesting process, and I think it’s been largely successful. Certainly I think we’ll all benefit from better balanced teams.

If you’re interested in more of this sort of thing then you might want to click on subscribe (top right). I’ve got some more DB stuff I want to test out at some point. I’ll not be doing it immediately as I’ve got other games to look at as well, and need to share the love 🙂

I was considering trying to have a formal schedule, with something for DB, MA, DZ, etc every other month, or whatever. Not sure I can stick to that, and a rigid structure tends to force you into doing crap just to fill a slot. So I won’t do that. However, I am planning a bunch more of these interactive playtests for various games I work on. To keep everyone amused I’ll interleave the systems so it’s not all just one topic, and there’s other stuff I want to post too. Like I said, if you’re interested you might like to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out.

Anyway, on to the next thing now!

Thanks again.

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42 Responses to DB Team Test – Where We Got To

  1. Many thanks for including the players’ criticism into your edits. Long live DreadBall.

  2. Greg Hendry says:

    Can’t wait to get a hold of my teams now. One of my favourite things about a Mantic Kickstarter is the community involvement in the games evolution. So with seasons 5 and 6 off for layout are you getting started on the Deadzone revamp? I can’t wait to see the new force organisation and campaign rules!

  3. otakupuntocom says:

    I came later for a question but…
    In tsudochan, and the “push” rule i have a question, and you (Jake) should consider now (or ask in a faq later ^_^).

    Why is you want to push a player but the hex is blocked?

    Sometimes you will use “push” to change facing of an opponent player, but this player may be “blocked” for walls, refbot or another players.

    I see two options:
    NO, you can´t push a player if there are not any empty hex.
    YES, you can use push if there are not empty hexes, the player do not move at all, but you can choose the facing.

    What do you think, Jake?

    Thank you for your work.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Same as pushing an opponent back after a Slam.

      • The Enforcer says:

        I’m not sure that this answers what he’s asking. The rules of Push say: “When a player with this ability moves another player into a new hex they may choose it’s direction of facing”, but “they” are the players that make the Push or the players that suffer it? If it’s the first, then pushing a player, even if you don’t move him because it’s a non-empty hex, would be useful (because you select his new facing direction). If it’s the second, then trying to Push a player to a non-empty hex is giving him the opportunity to select facing for free, because he isn’t knocked down and doesn’t move at all.
        Apart from that, in a slam the players are adjacent, but in a Push they don’t have to be, so it’s not the same for the facing selection.

  4. The Enforcer says:

    I suppose that when Ada-Lorana players are Insubstantial, they can’t interact with fans too and they can pass through any player (normal or giant), ref and/or fan, but not through Koris portals, right? 🙂
    Thanks for your great work and for listening the community!

  5. Smud says:

    A suggestion for your next blog entry: You said, that you want to write some articles about the advanced rules of Dungeon Saga…
    Yes, it is long ago, but some of us are still waiting for them. Even though it’s way to late for feedback *loud grumbling*.

  6. theearthdragon says:

    I think your assessment of the Crystallans was unfair as the folks who liked the team now seem to have never played them BEFORE the change, while those who had saw the immediate problems now possed.

    Folks were less afraid to challange the herd as they knew if they eliminated a single guy, whether from dirty tricks, slamming, or RI fake foul nonsense, you’re driving force was gone. All these “tricks” came out of the woodworks to mitigate that strength.

    If you wanted to make them a bit weaker, (this is speaking from a ceiling stand point) that’s fine, as that is what happened. But it’s unfair to say because I was too busy to write lengthy battle reports I never tried them and ensured what I thought was indeed the case before I posted it.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I wasn’t having a go at anyone ED, especially not you – your comments have been most helpful. All I have to go on its what I read, so I can’t tell you’ve played if you don’t say (or maybe I missed it). Most people who don’t mention it haven’t.

      Yes, you may be right that people hadn’t played both versions had different opinions from those that had. Again, it’s hard to tell if they didn’t say.

      I still don’t see that a str 3+ team is as weak as you seem to be saying, and especially not inn the light of the reported games – still valid info whether they had played with earlier iterations or not. Yes, losing a model hurts Harmonics, and that’s always going to be true, whatever the effect. However, they have had an increase from 2-3 in range, which has to help. Plus, as I mentioned, I have had numerous comments about speed 5+ teams being knocked over and that being a problem. I’m still more concerned about that than I am about needing to guarantee a str 3+ Guard gets a sixth dice.

      • Skarfang says:

        Sorry to wade in but I had played both versions. One of the reasons why I disliked the 1st incarnation was because once prone I rarely got up and could only feasibly waste 1 action trying. It was worse than playing forge fathers and that’s saying something. Having to move in a herd (tried 1 big herd and the more common 2 group) was great until I scored. Then with the slow movement and lack of harmonic bonus to get up fallen players the opposition could feasibly do what they want. Yes, when I hit it was great but that was only in the initial rushes, after that with players prone all that smash meant nothing. At least now I can open up the board a bit with 3, 2 man squads attack/support/defence if I want and not feel to worried about being prone. The support group assisting where the ball is, aiding the harmonic bonus. Or against bash teams “herd” up and out bash (something I didn’t do which resulted in an orx team picking me apart).

        Strength 3+ makes them in no way, shape or form weak, with or without the strength bonus. If anything the bonus is to much as it guarantees a kill, not a removal for x turns but a kill. I killed a Corp striker with 10 successes to his 3, he made 2 saves. Granted I had threats on him but I wanted him gone and it worked and this could potentially be done twice a rush with ease. So maybe having to work for that bonus is a good thing in itself.

        Plus it works from a fluff point of view. Start of the war the ff struggled but as attrition kicked in the crystallans “strength” waned allowing the ff to gain the upper hand.

        The thing that hampers the team would be only having 3 jacks but I personally like the challenge and the changes do in some way aid the team.
        Anyways sorry I just wanted to make it understood that at least 1 person had tried both version.

      • theearthdragon says:

        I wasn’t taking it as “personally” as I might as made it sound and more thinking that you just easily latched on to those saying “good switch” and easily latching on.

        I could drown you with numbers as to how being prone and getting one dice isn’t statistically the difference it’s made out to be, lol, but I can respect the decision. As I said, I feel the opponents just have a few more tools to mitigate the cage which nullifies the “ground and pound” more easily then the first incarnation. They now are going to play more generic as a result, but that’s what those players wanted (screaming for a card, begging for speed) a team that played like other teams just with the models they wanted.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I’m aware that an extra 5+ isn’t that much statistical difference. However, it’s a great deal more difference than none 🙂

          Yes, people do have a tendency to want the familiar and predictable, in everything (not just games). This is true of the people who make decisions at Mantic as well as individual games – people like to play things safe. I tend to push in the other direction a lot of the time, but at the end of the day anything I do as a freelancer is limited by what the client will accept. Same as any freelance sculptor or artist.

          I think companies want safe products because they have to be commercial, and predictable commercial products are generally seen as safe. Hollywood’s tendency to give us the same stuff we saw last time (just with better cgi) is a well-known testament to this process – and I think it’s a global one. Just human nature 🙂

  7. Don Squires says:

    With a fixed 4+ for the Koris on confusion tests, is their +2 dice really necessary? I know I’ve stated it before, but I feel +1 is more appropriate. Especially now that it’s a fixed value. The law of averages say that looking for a pair of 4+ rolls on 4 dice, one almost always succeeds. With 5 dice, the test is practically automatic.

    • Lamanzer says:

      “Almost always succeed?” just 50% … With only +1, it will a bet to use it.
      And I think this team is definitly a team design to travel with them.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You have noticed thsat it’s a (2) test, right?

      • Don Squires says:

        Yes I did. Like I said in my write up of the play test, when testing for confusion on 5 dice the only time I was ever worried was when I had to test against the strikers armor. Now that that is no longer a option, I wouldn’t worry about passing the test. 4 dice would make me sweat the test a little more. It’s just a minor thing, all in all I think the team is good!

  8. Lamanzer says:

    Thanks Jake for this Proccess, it’s clever and very positive for the game: )
    I have tested 4 of the 6 last versions (Koris, tushodan, Ada-L. and Tsudochan) and It seems to be well balanced compare to “standard” teams.

  9. Torkel says:

    I get that the Strength modifier to Slams vs Ada-Lorana is thematic. But I’m really worried that they will be too difficult to deal with.
    Hurting Speed 3+ Strikers, specifically, usually requires considerable effort. My main team has been Veermyn, and many opponents have been a little frustrated with how Slams against the Strikers often amount to nothing. This is compounded by the ease with which the Veermyn Strikers Stand Up if they get knocked over, even in threat zones.
    With the newest change to Ada-Lorana, we give their Speed 3+ Strikers effectively Grizzled, which makes it nigh impossible to hurt them. Getting a knock down versus them doesn’t help either, because being immune to Threat Zones on Stand Up will yield a free action almost 90%(?) of the time. Phasing and great overall stats seem to make for an extremely competent scoring machine with few predators.

    As a side note, being free to move without interference from enemy players is a great freedom indeed. Another concern of mine is that the choice of which players to activate will become a no-brainer. Ada-Lorena has 2 Strikers, and with the imbalance in effectiveness between Jacks and Strikers, the freedom of movement, and the durability of the Strikers, I fear that the rest of the team will largely become bystanders. Will not 4 actions be allocated to the 2 Strikers every turn? =/

    I haven’t put them on the board, but I’m concerned regardless. Are my concerns unwarranted?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I don’t know. As you can see from my previous version, I’d removed the str mod because I thought it was a little too much. However, there was pretty much universal disagreement in the comments…

      As with all of these teams, I suspect that we’ll only see the final state of their balance (or otherwise) after they’ve been out in the big wide world for 6 months or so, and people have had a chance to play, be surprised, and then adapt their tactics to deal with them.

  10. Don Squires says:

    I missed out on the kickstarter. So when should I reasonably expect to see these teams on sale for the general public? Especially itching to get my hands on the Tsudochan!

  11. mattadlard says:

    Was pondering the hacking rules and fell upon a thought, would the Mech races get bonuses to the hacking rules as they are effectively operating in that field by their nature.

  12. Sunder Z. says:

    Something really needs to be done for the Crystallan’s Speed 5+. What saves the Turtles from being a bad team is that they never get struck from behind. How about giving them 360 version to mitigate their powerlessness from Slams from the back side? They’re translucent after all…

    • Rob Taylor says:

      If you look at Harmonics they can gain +1 on speed tests which statistically almost as good as speed 4

      • Sunder Z. says:

        … which isn’t much, considering they lack a Striker… I still fail to see what Crystallans will be good at, except Slamming in hordes (and only then).

        • skarfang says:

          Try the old version and the updated version of the crystallans. Trust me the extra dice does make a difference, regardless of statistics.
          Before the team played like a small herd of bison, always sticking together incase 1 fell. This would cause the team to ultimately fall short against faster teams. Now they can play a more expansive game (not to expansive mind) as the harmonic range has increased and the speed bonus is easier to get. If you play orx, teratons or z’zor (z’zor strikers are worthless) you realise that strikers just make the job of scoring easier, but they are not the be all and end all.

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  16. Stu says:

    The Kovossian striker asterian head currently grants “dirty tricks” but that isn’t a dbx rule… So what should it give?

  17. Lamanzer says:

    Both are “taking a Dive” now 🙂

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