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A few things I've noticed about RA (a.k.a. humans - OP)


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#1 Onewithnothing

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:12 AM

After watching quite a few on-line reviews picked RA as the deckbuilding game of choice for my play group. This is what we, as a group, have discovered so far:

 

Humans are, hands down, the best race in the original AND the expansion. Because of a little something called "card advantage". FOUR out of six cards in their barracks draw cards in one way or another, they have the second hardest hitting 6 cost unit in the whole game PLUS archers, that are incredibly, amazingly, stupidly powerful in a siege. You just keep on playing and drawing footmen until your opponent has played all his cards, then BAM - you kill his most scary dude. He has now lost a whole turn's worth of his game and some life/a neutral city to boot. Once you get the hang of them, humans can start hitting for 9-12 on TURN 3-4! How nasty is that?

 

Undead are a close second - they can, and on a regular basis do, take down 4 or 5 cost cities on TURN ONE. Balancing the number of Animates you wnat in your deck can be problematic and one poor draw at the wrong time can screw with a perfectly good game plan, but the race's still awesome. Especially with vampires. Vamps rock.

 

He Uthuk are also capable of crazy combos - wound an opponent's fatty then devour for my obscene? You're down 3-4 might, and I'm up by 4? Welcome to the jungle. Problem is, that's the only combo that really works with these guys. And it's incredibly difficult to set up. Sure, you can get rid of any units you don't find useful any more by wounding them, thus drastically increasing your chance of getting the three cards you need in your hand more often. However, by the time you have all the pieces in your hand, an undead or human player would have eaten your guts. Or overrun you with footmen and knights, respectively.

 

Dwarfs are... Awkward. They depend on having gold in their deck, but drawing it just on time. If you draw too few or twoo many coins at the wrong time you're in for a rough time. The warmachine looks cool and useful, but in practice all it does consistently is destroy coins - usually there aren't really all that many units it can give bonuses to. I've also found that the much admired demmolitionist is extremely counterproductive - it thins out your opponent's deck and can't even destroy his more valuable resource - the 3 GP coins! Damage potential, I've found, is extremely limited with these guys.

 

The Orcs are even weirder. Most of their units appear cool on paper, but don't really work! Their first two units seem OK, but the only unit that gives them ANY card advantage has an incredibly crippling precondition. Lizard rider is just plain dumb. The troll is menacing, but ultimately doesn't have as much of an impact as could be expected. That "purchasing in combat" trick is really cool, but ultimately - difficult to set up. And if attacked while they don't have it, orcs'd probably take a serious beating. Their main advantage, I'd wager, is in their ability to attack 6, 7 and 8 cost cities on turn 2-3 and then use the influence to buy expensive units off the open market. However I don't think that's ever worked out for anyone I know.

 

The Elves look really cool. But turn out to be so incredibly, agonizingly SLOW. They have the best creature destroy in the game, and the pegasus can dredge up their deck for the creature you need to win any engagement, the forest guardian is a killer in and of itself - in short, they have a killer late game... But they never get there. The humans start hitting for 12 at turn 4, remember? The elves aren't aggressive enough to get major cities and use their archers to full advantage mid-game, and the game doesn't usually last long enough for them to really shine. Which is sad.

 

All in all? Great game, fun all around, now if only humans didn't bash our heads in every time we played competitive...

 

As a further note, I tried fixing the obvious imbalance by adding a 2 gp coin in place of the 5th 1 gp in the starter decks of of the elves, orcs, uthuk and dwarfs. I saw it somewhere on this forum and it seemed like a reasonable enough idea. This sped the "lesser" races' game considerably, but it quickly became obvious that it did not make them broken. The house rule managed to even their odds against the Undead, but not against the humans. Humans are still overpowered, and there doesn't seem to be a way around that.


Edited by Onewithnothing, 28 March 2014 - 03:53 PM.


#2 Budgernaut

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 01:36 PM

Thanks for your thoughts! It's always good to hear other perspectives. When I play with my cousins, the Daqan player does seem to win more than is palatable for my tastes, but when I play Daqan, I can never seem to get the hang of it. I really like the Uthuk Y'llan but need more PvP experience before I can comment on where I feel they stand. Most of the time I play cooperative or solo.


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#3 Vynomer

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:33 PM

If you think the Humans are OP, wait until you watch someone sweep the board with double Barrow Wyrm the first time...



#4 Onewithnothing

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:56 PM

I'v done some pretty nasty things with the undead - barrow wyrm into barrow wyrm into dark knigh + 4 double animates. It was a bloodbath.

 

But still not as impressive as bouncing your dragon twice with your Roc and then playing it for the third time so that you can kill 4 units, then footman, draw footman, footman, draw footman, footman, draw footman, knight, draw archer, kill the last guy you have with archer.

 

I've seen my friend, who usually plays the Daqans, bash heads on three different occasions with this particular combo. I'm not saying it's possible every time, but once it gets going, a properly built human deck is a murder machine that's almost impossible to mismanage and can run over almost any other deck without too much trouble. Because card advantage.

 

I don't think any other race can pull something like that off. Nasty humanses...

 

Thanks for reading that wall of text I produced, BTW. I really appreciate it.


Edited by Onewithnothing, 28 March 2014 - 02:57 PM.


#5 Vynomer

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 03:02 PM

Well, the difference in base deck damage is insane. Dark Knights and Barrow Wyrms are nuts. One thing to note, also, is that Barrow Wyrms are excellent to play first, if you have another in your hand or the discard pile, since they can't be permanently destroyed. Additonally, Dragons in the Rune Wars event are simply nuts, and any person who can get a decent amount of them pretty much has a massive advantage in any case. Still, I haven't seen a person Roc some Dragons. Usually, the game doesn't last long enough for Mythics in a game of Rune Wars...



#6 Onewithnothing

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 03:37 PM

Time is certainly a factor in RW, but I've seen such combos happen on more than one occasion even there - especially if the rest of the group doesn't gang on the Daquan player from the very beginning and keep him in check (i.e. kill his knights and wizards) throughout the whole game.

 

In my experience, humans are the first to get their hands on ALL the lower cost neutral cities and can then use the influence to stack their deck full of the meanest things the central area has to offer, while simultaneously denying everyone else that opportunity until it's far too late. The weak point of this particular strategy is the fact that an unlucky knight can throw a dragon from the top of the deck right into the discard pile, but hey - that's what foot men are for - making sure you don't hit a fatty with the knight. And then you draw said fatty via wizard, and... You get the picture.

 

I've been smashed to pieces by this so badly it's not even funny. Am I butt-hurt? You bet your arse.

Admittedly, the player who usually pilots this particular deck has entered into some sort of unholy alliance with all sorts of cards and dice and so forth, but that can't be all there is to it.

 

I know, because I've also committed similar crimes against non-humanity with surprising ease :D


Edited by Onewithnothing, 28 March 2014 - 03:38 PM.


#7 Vynomer

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 04:26 PM

Haha, that is true. Then you get Siege towers. What a worthless card. It's so unfortunate the Human 5 cost is just so bad.  Pretty much better to have any other card in your hand, unfortunately. Although, Skeleton Archers are frequently better than human archers, since they cost no cards. Even more annoying that both: Darnatis! That card is fantastic. It used to be our opinion that the elves were just terrible. Then, we managed to find a couple of good ways to win with them, and Darnatis are the key nearly every time. Trying to swing into Darnatis is awful!



#8 Onewithnothing

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:02 AM

Don't know about the tower - it must have made sense without the expansion, but I've never really played with only the core game. It turns coins that you can't currently use into 2 power... Possibly?

 

Skeleton archers seem pretty cool, but they aren't as reliable - if you draw just one you probably won't get much value out of it. After all - what can you kill with just one? A Beastmaster? An Enchantress? That gives you a 2 point edge, but still... If you draw two then it becomes a whole different story. Human archers do require a discard, but you're always sure they're going to net some serious value. 

 

Darnatis are strictly better than either. Their only weakness seems to be the elf player's tendency to run out of cards before his opponent, and thus have fewer targets available when they hit the board. If they're played on the defensive they can rain all kinds of hell on the attacker's head.


Edited by Onewithnothing, 31 March 2014 - 02:12 AM.


#9 Vynomer

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:25 AM

While it's true that a single archer is better than a single skeleton archer, Vampires and Necromancers making getting multiple skeleton archers a decent choice. I know, I know, Humans may have a better chance of reliably getting something good off of a draw like that - though vampires really changed things dramatically - but 2 archers in hand means 2 cards in your hand aren't in combat, unless you discard a card. The human's penchant for discard to do something with the archers and wizards really hurts them in the expansion, since the majority of the other decks don't have that particular penalty. Still, Humans have one of the most reliable early game strength. Unfortunately, flooding your deck with footmen means it's very hard to get anything else valuable out of it.

 

What really gets me, though, is how the dwarves get a guaranteed 5 cost on turn one with every starting hand except one: a single forgemaster. And, that's only if both of the remaining forgemasters are on top! If the remaining gold is on top, then it's back to getting that drilling machine. That, plus the ability to look at enemy hands, and the awesome power to mitigate destruction into wounding leaves them a very powerful, though relatively low damage, force to be reckoned with.



#10 Onewithnothing

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 03:13 AM

Dwarfs need to have lots of gold in their decks in order to function properly. If they don't, they can't afford OR use most of their cards. If they do, they suffer from a terminal case of inconsistencly - a hand with 2-3 coins at the wrong time can hurt them a whole lot - and that happens often. True, they do have the best first turn buy, which can be used to take a 2 influence city as soon as turn 2, but after that explosion of activity, dwarfs lose momentum considerably. The machine is still viable later on in the game as it helps you with the "too much coin, too little power in hand" problem, but just barely. i don't think it makes them OP.



#11 Vynomer

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:35 AM

I find that not having gold in their deck is much more useful, most of the time. Sure, a couple of 3 golds is great, but having those 1 golds normally isn't that valuable. Then, there is that ridiculous sentinel card. The one that turns destroy effects into wounds. That card by itself beats enemy cards. All enemy cards. It's also extremely valuable in PvP, simply because they don't need to worry about losing the strength of their strong cards right away. Finally, they have a card that may be the strongest card ever: look at any opponent's hand. Holy moly! No more ambiguity on whether you should attack. Just check out his hand, wait for no gold, and slam him!

 

That said, I still think that vampires were an extremely powerful addition to the undead deck. Vampire is such a good deck filter, it's unbelievable. Combine that with Necromancer, and you've pretty much always got a reanimate or two in the discard, or skeleton archer on top. I'd say only the demons have the potential to go through their deck so effectively, what with those ridiculous fleshrippers!






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