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The problem of Unexpected Courage


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#21 Rapier

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:01 PM

I get the impression a lot of people are misconstruing Rapier's insights and missing the point. He's not just talking about UC, but the bad precedent UC has set in later card design, which I agree with.

 

I like the two ideas of increasing its cost to 3 and making it unique with a twist; Unique per player.

You say in one sentence what I took 3 pages to write :)

This is exactly what I'm concerned about. If UC was just a good card, I would accept that some cards have to be better. UC is more than just a good card; it's a design breaking card. (The design being the hero readying attachment).



#22 chuckles

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:35 PM

 

Wow there is a lot thoughts about this card.

 

I don't have any problems with unexpected courage the way that it is. I don't mind that some cards are more 'powerful' or cheaper or easier to use than other cards - especially cards that are included in the core set... such as unexpected courage or Steward of Gondor etc...

 

This card is no longer an auto include for me, or others by the sounds of things. There are many different fun ways to build decks without it or Steward of Gondor or [enter name of 'overpowered' card here]. I would hope UC remains unchanged.

 

Can I ask why it isn't an auto include? Mndela implies that is isn't because it just isn't fun.

I also recognize that it isn't an autoinclude if you don't want ready effects on heroes (ally dwarf build for instance).

 

Being able to build without it does not mean it isn't overpowered.

And more importantly, doesn't mean it isn't making the design alot harder and narrower for the game designers.

 

 

For lots of reasons: 

1) Many different event, attachment and even ally cards that ready heroes - Miruvor, fast Hitch, Cram, Naith Scout, Rider of the mark, Rohan/Dwarven/Leadership events (new 'Aragorn' attachment) etc.. 

2) Heroes with reading actions; Prince Imrahil, Sam, Tactics Boromir, Aragon, Elledan, Elrohir, Merry, Brand...

3) Ally focus rather than heroes doing everything.

4) One dimensional heroes like Eowyn who doesn't warrant readying (in most cases)

5) Soloing with the ability to strike into the staging area, negating most defending and reducing readiness requirements. ie Dunhere + weapons or Rangers/Traps/scrying

6) Mono Tactics, Leadership, Lore deck... or Mono Spirit with using Tracker styled Caldara deck; ie Eowyn doesn't warrant it, Glori has LoV & Caldara keeps running away to get help dying)

7) Boring to use the same toys all the time.

8) Cost... there are times when 2 spirit resources are better spent else where

 

I agree that being able to exclude this card doesn't therefore make it not 'overpowered'. I simply don't think of it as overpowered. The variety of different options available is one of the main reason don't think of it like this. 


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#23 chuckles

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:24 PM

 

I get the impression a lot of people are misconstruing Rapier's insights and missing the point. He's not just talking about UC, but the bad precedent UC has set in later card design, which I agree with.

 

I like the two ideas of increasing its cost to 3 and making it unique with a twist; Unique per player.

You say in one sentence what I took 3 pages to write :)

This is exactly what I'm concerned about. If UC was just a good card, I would accept that some cards have to be better. UC is more than just a good card; it's a design breaking card. (The design being the hero readying attachment).

 

 

I agree that this could have become a problem and in isolation UC could appear overpowered or on face value make some of the newer cards seem a little lacking (and does in some instances). Probably does make subsequent cards challenging too However I think this can and (hopefully) will be revolved though card synergies. (I really like the direction of the current dev team)
Ie Naith Scout, Children of the woods & Celeborn... (tried this with proxies and it worked really well). Or Westfold horse-breeder; search for a mount/readying card, provides a chump/and or readying card for Prince Imrahil and or attack bonus for Eomer... etc. I’m sure that other people have better examples. 
 
UC styled cards are simple to use and powerful great for a core set. Going forward I reckon that we'll continue to have lots of great combos to play with that are as strong (actually stronger) and more fun.

Edited by chuckles, 22 April 2014 - 10:25 PM.

"Do not believe him! He has lost all power, save his voice that can still daunt you and deceive you, if you let it."

 


#24 MyNeighbourTrololo

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:32 PM

Increasing Unexpected Courage cost to 3 would kill it.


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#25 lleimmoen

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 01:10 AM

I get the impression a lot of people are misconstruing Rapier's insights and missing the point. He's not just talking about UC, but the bad precedent UC has set in later card design, which I agree with.

 

I like the two ideas of increasing its cost to 3 and making it unique with a twist; Unique per player.

Yes. I think that is the misunderstanding here. The main point of the thread, as I see it, is in future (or even current) design development. Action advantage is one of the main aspects of the game, and Unexpected Courage messes up other similar cards, like Steed of the Mark.



#26 lleimmoen

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 01:16 AM

Increasing Unexpected Courage cost to 3 would kill it.

I actually tend to agree in a way, I would think hard before playing it for 3 resources, the difference between two and three is substantial. I do not think it would be a bad card by any means, but I prefer the "uniqueness" of sorts, either 1 per deck or similar. It is strange that cards like Unexpected Courage have no requirement whilst inferior cards (in power) do. I think it comes from the early mistakes in the design. And it is exactly these mistakes that need to be corrected. I mean Beravor did, Protector of Lórien did, even Expert Treasure-hunter. I believe UC is much more obvious target because it has so many "peers".



#27 lleimmoen

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 01:18 AM

 

 

I get the impression a lot of people are misconstruing Rapier's insights and missing the point. He's not just talking about UC, but the bad precedent UC has set in later card design, which I agree with.

 

I like the two ideas of increasing its cost to 3 and making it unique with a twist; Unique per player.

You say in one sentence what I took 3 pages to write :)

This is exactly what I'm concerned about. If UC was just a good card, I would accept that some cards have to be better. UC is more than just a good card; it's a design breaking card. (The design being the hero readying attachment).

 

 

I agree that this could have become a problem and in isolation UC could appear overpowered or on face value make some of the newer cards seem a little lacking (and does in some instances). Probably does make subsequent cards challenging too However I think this can and (hopefully) will be revolved though card synergies. (I really like the direction of the current dev team)
Ie Naith Scout, Children of the woods & Celeborn... (tried this with proxies and it worked really well). Or Westfold horse-breeder; search for a mount/readying card, provides a chump/and or readying card for Prince Imrahil and or attack bonus for Eomer... etc. I’m sure that other people have better examples. 
 
UC styled cards are simple to use and powerful great for a core set. Going forward I reckon that we'll continue to have lots of great combos to play with that are as strong (actually stronger) and more fun.

 

I too prefer other options, just as you provided. I play Miruvor, Horse-breaker, even the Steed, and I am looking forward to new options like Naith Guide or The White Council. But all that does not take away the argument in the first place...



#28 leptokurt

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 02:02 AM

I think I totally understood the intention of the OP and I disagree. I agree that it could have been made unique, but then I think that it is somewhat ridiculous to buy three core sets to get three copies of UC and then call "let's make it unique".

 

This had been said a zillion times now, but this game is cooperative, so if you think a card is overpowered, just don't use it. UC isn't broken, so it doesn't need an errata. If you play with only one copy, this card is a nice extra that sometimes pops up out of your deck. But even then I found myself not playing it because I needed these two resources for other, more important stuff.

 

And if you think this game is too hard (and I believe there is a solid mass of players that struggle with the game), you can use all three copies to make sthings a bit easier for you.


Edited by leptokurt, 23 April 2014 - 02:03 AM.


#29 Rapier

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 05:53 AM

I think I totally understood the intention of the OP and I disagree. I agree that it could have been made unique, but then I think that it is somewhat ridiculous to buy three core sets to get three copies of UC and then call "let's make it unique".

 

This had been said a zillion times now, but this game is cooperative, so if you think a card is overpowered, just don't use it. UC isn't broken, so it doesn't need an errata. If you play with only one copy, this card is a nice extra that sometimes pops up out of your deck. But even then I found myself not playing it because I needed these two resources for other, more important stuff.

 

And if you think this game is too hard (and I believe there is a solid mass of players that struggle with the game), you can use all three copies to make sthings a bit easier for you.

 

I don't think you have (sorry to be directly confrontational about it). I intentionally said I didn't want to discuss the only 1 copy in core aspect because it's an entirely different complaint, that a lot of people feel strongly about. If they made the unique or limit one per deck erratas I was suggesting some people who bought multiple cores might be annoyed (if they did it just for UC). That might mean we never get the errata that I'm arguing would improve the game design for other reasons, but from a game design perspective they should change it and sooner rather than later.

Equally saying that it's a co-op game I can just ignore the card also misses the major point I'm making - which is that the problem is this card is hurting the design of the game. It's hurting the balance and design of new cards that we're getting in the future. The designers don't have the ability to ignore the card when they make new cards and new encounters.

I'm absolutely certain that they would never make a card like UC now if it hadn't already been made - just look at how much better it is than every ready effect in the game besides it.

UC is the only card that has all of the following features:

 

Usable every turn
Requires nothing to maintain it after the initial cost
Will grant any two actions you want
Has only a hero restriction for targeting

It's just supremely better than the alternatives, not just "a bit better" not even better but on the same scale - we're talking about a card that is designed an order of magnitude better.



#30 Rapier

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 06:06 AM

 

 

I get the impression a lot of people are misconstruing Rapier's insights and missing the point. He's not just talking about UC, but the bad precedent UC has set in later card design, which I agree with.

 

I like the two ideas of increasing its cost to 3 and making it unique with a twist; Unique per player.

You say in one sentence what I took 3 pages to write :)

This is exactly what I'm concerned about. If UC was just a good card, I would accept that some cards have to be better. UC is more than just a good card; it's a design breaking card. (The design being the hero readying attachment).

 

 

I agree that this could have become a problem and in isolation UC could appear overpowered or on face value make some of the newer cards seem a little lacking (and does in some instances). Probably does make subsequent cards challenging too However I think this can and (hopefully) will be revolved though card synergies. (I really like the direction of the current dev team)
Ie Naith Scout, Children of the woods & Celeborn... (tried this with proxies and it worked really well). Or Westfold horse-breeder; search for a mount/readying card, provides a chump/and or readying card for Prince Imrahil and or attack bonus for Eomer... etc. I’m sure that other people have better examples. 
 
UC styled cards are simple to use and powerful great for a core set. Going forward I reckon that we'll continue to have lots of great combos to play with that are as strong (actually stronger) and more fun.

 

 

The problem with this idea is that for the most part UC will always fit into any deck because it's so much less restricted than other cards - Other readying effects exist that are more specific in their targeting (only Noldor, only rohan, only tactics heroes) or have restrictions that mean you need to build around them to use them more (discard after use, pay resources).

I'm sure plenty of people will want to play with the specific ready effect that matches what they want (mounts in a rohan deck for instance), and will choose to leave out unexpected courage because it's thematically less appealing. 

And when I say that UC is overpowered I don't mean to the extent that others seem to think (to the extent that you have to play it to win). I'm talking about the fact that actually it's just better than alternatives that people might prefer to play. You can make do (and plan around) the other ready effects instead and still win.

You can't objectively argue that UC isn't the 'best' though - you can argue that it isn't 100% the best (others may be better in some circumstances, cram, fast hitch, light of valinor all have stronger situations), but in terms of cost to power, flexibility for readying, UC also lacking any restrictions will fit into any deck that runs spirit and can combo with any other hero readying effects in the game - every turn.



#31 leptokurt

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:09 AM

Well, we can play the ball back and forth forever. Seems like some players don't have a problem with the design of UC, while some want to have an errata and some think the design could have done better, but that it doesn't need an errata.

 

IMO errata should only be done if the card is broken (like Beravor) and a vast majority of players want to have that errata. I don't see any of these two points fullfilled ATM.

 

Btw, just because I don't agree with the OPs reasoning doesn't mean that I don't understand the point he's trying to make. If the main point is to make UC unique, than there is no need for an errata, as each player can do that by himself.

 

And just because the OP says that the numer of core sets doesn't play a role in this discussion doesn't make it any more true. Because that's what the problem is mainly about. If you have only one copy, guess what: you have no problem! Steed of the Mark is totally playable for me and in no way influenced by UC. That's mainly because I can rely on getting that card in my hand. So if you have three copies and UC is a problem for you, take two copies and put them somewhere out of reach. Problem solved.

 

Don't get me wrong, I totally agree that UC should have been designed as a unique card from the start. However, that's not enough to errata the card now. We already have enough errataed cards and should only call for them if that's really neccessary. Especially as this special problem can be easily solved without an errata.


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#32 Rapier

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:39 AM

Well, we can play the ball back and forth forever. Seems like some players don't have a problem with the design of UC, while some want to have an errata and some think the design could have done better, but that it doesn't need an errata.

 

IMO errata should only be done if the card is broken (like Beravor) and a vast majority of players want to have that errata. I don't see any of these two points fullfilled ATM.

 

Btw, just because I don't agree with the OPs reasoning doesn't mean that I don't understand the point he's trying to make. If the main point is to make UC unique, than there is no need for an errata, as each player can do that by himself.

 

And just because the OP says that the numer of core sets doesn't play a role in this discussion doesn't make it any more true. Because that's what the problem is mainly about. If you have only one copy, guess what: you have no problem! Steed of the Mark is totally playable for me and in no way influenced by UC. That's mainly because I can rely on getting that card in my hand. So if you have three copies and UC is a problem for you, take two copies and put them somewhere out of reach. Problem solved.

 

Don't get me wrong, I totally agree that UC should have been designed as a unique card from the start. However, that's not enough to errata the card now. We already have enough errataed cards and should only call for them if that's really neccessary. Especially as this special problem can be easily solved without an errata.

 

The main point is not something that effects players now. Nor is it something that players can impact at all by just asserting self control. 

The main point is that UC is bad from the point of view of designing new cards - trying to fit all single target ready effects into only cost 0 and 1 or coming up with something even better than UC to be cost 3 (how about exhaust Super Unexpected Courage to ready 3 heroes in play).

UC is an archatypeal card in this game - it sets the predecent and power of similar effects. The problem is that it does it not just as the top end (I would argue Steward of Gondor is the top end of power for it's card type), but above what actually works for the game.

Fast Hitch is the closest too it - it shares almost every property except that it has to target hobbits. However - so far no hobbit has an exhaust to do something ability and all hobbits have the feature of having poor stats (so that extra actions from them are less valuable). So the card is significantly less good while still good. 

 

I'm not sure exactly what your position is though? I get the feeling you think UC is too good really - and that it should have been designed out of the gate to be different and weaker but that you don't want an errata even if it would be better for the game because you don't think UC is so bad as a play experience that it breaks the game? The way that Berevor card draw did. I mean her card draw being so good is mainly exacerbated by UC - if she could only ready after using Rohan Warhorses it probably wouldn't have needed an errata.

My position is the opposite, I think that UC was a design mistake (for which I don't fault the designers as complicated new games are bound to have mistakes like this), the fault with UC is not in itself but in the direction it forces the game to expand. Which is fine if the game has a limited life, but I want to be getting new content 5 years from now personally.

 

For the record I am the OP and I only have one core set - my problem with UC is not how it breaks my games (it doesn't - I either don't play it or play only one) the problem is how it breaks the design of new cards.



#33 lleimmoen

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 12:04 PM



Equally saying that it's a co-op game I can just ignore the card also misses the major point I'm making - which is that the problem is this card is hurting the design of the game. It's hurting the balance and design of new cards that we're getting in the future. The designers don't have the ability to ignore the card when they make new cards and new encounters.

I'm absolutely certain that they would never make a card like UC now if it hadn't already been made - just look at how much better it is than every ready effect in the game besides it.

UC is the only card that has all of the following features:

 

Usable every turn
Requires nothing to maintain it after the initial cost
Will grant any two actions you want
Has only a hero restriction for targeting

It's just supremely better than the alternatives, not just "a bit better" not even better but on the same scale - we're talking about a card that is designed an order of magnitude better.

 

These are, again, excellent points.

I would just add this, some of the other attachments might see a sort of advantage in terms of traits, like the Mount attachments. To give an example, in my Rohan deck I run three copies of Westfold Horse-breeder and three copies of Rohan Warhorse (together with a copy of Steed of the Mark). I usually keep the opening hand when I have the ally and more often than not he also brings the horse if did I not have him already (one could do the math to see the probabilities). So it is already definitelly easier to get Rohan Warhorse in play on Round 1 than to get Unexpected Courage, but this doesn't make the above points less valid.



#34 lleimmoen

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 12:12 PM

Well, we can play the ball back and forth forever. Seems like some players don't have a problem with the design of UC, while some want to have an errata and some think the design could have done better, but that it doesn't need an errata.

 

IMO errata should only be done if the card is broken (like Beravor) and a vast majority of players want to have that errata. I don't see any of these two points fullfilled ATM.

 

Btw, just because I don't agree with the OPs reasoning doesn't mean that I don't understand the point he's trying to make. If the main point is to make UC unique, than there is no need for an errata, as each player can do that by himself.

 

Well, this is really not a valid argument in my opinion, that every player can do it for himself. It is like if someone argues the speed limit should not be 70 miles but only 50 and you say it is no problem because everyone can only drive 50 anyways. To be less abstract, we are not arguing what one can do on his own table, we are arguing if the design is wrong or not. And finally, as the OP says, the problem is that the designers cannot ignore existing cards when making new ones.

 

Now, for Beravor, I would not doubt it for one second that Unexpected Courage was a better card than Beravor before the errata. And I actually remember the polls and I would not be in a minority on that one. Actually, it was only Unexpected Courage that was making Beravor so good, there was no other way to give her action advantage so easily - and little altogether. So it would have been so much more easier to errata UC instead of Beravor in the first place (though I see both deserve it). Even now, with all the card pool, what cards would you be using to use Beravor's ability again and again in one round? Cram? Miruvor? Brand? Not so easy...


Edited by lleimmoen, 23 April 2014 - 12:16 PM.


#35 leptokurt

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 01:50 PM

 

Well, we can play the ball back and forth forever. Seems like some players don't have a problem with the design of UC, while some want to have an errata and some think the design could have done better, but that it doesn't need an errata.

 

IMO errata should only be done if the card is broken (like Beravor) and a vast majority of players want to have that errata. I don't see any of these two points fullfilled ATM.

 

Btw, just because I don't agree with the OPs reasoning doesn't mean that I don't understand the point he's trying to make. If the main point is to make UC unique, than there is no need for an errata, as each player can do that by himself.

 

Well, this is really not a valid argument in my opinion, that every player can do it for himself. It is like if someone argues the speed limit should not be 70 miles but only 50 and you say it is no problem because everyone can only drive 50 anyways. To be less abstract, we are not arguing what one can do on his own table, we are arguing if the design is wrong or not. And finally, as the OP says, the problem is that the designers cannot ignore existing cards when making new ones.

 

Now, for Beravor, I would not doubt it for one second that Unexpected Courage was a better card than Beravor before the errata. And I actually remember the polls and I would not be in a minority on that one. Actually, it was only Unexpected Courage that was making Beravor so good, there was no other way to give her action advantage so easily - and little altogether. So it would have been so much more easier to errata UC instead of Beravor in the first place (though I see both deserve it). Even now, with all the card pool, what cards would you be using to use Beravor's ability again and again in one round? Cram? Miruvor? Brand? Not so easy...

 

 

To compare a cooperative game with traffic is not really helping your point. I say this after almost being pushed from the street by some rowdy today.

 

And we are not argueing if the design is wrong or not, we argue if the card should get an errata. That's two different points and my opinion is that UC doesn't need an errata.

 

Wrong design: I tend to agree. Errata: no, sir!


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#36 Glaurung

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:00 AM

the problem of uc
is combo card. with some other cards it can be broken. like it was before with Beravur. so to avoid it just make it unique. it will be still very powerful card but there will be no problem with some crazy powerful combos

Wizard is never late.......

 

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http://www.youtube.com/user/olegyd   


#37 Mndela

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:27 AM

For me it is not broken. UC + Beravor only give to players +2wp (or +2 def or attack). So it becomes like Celebrian Stone (or Gondorian Shield, or Dagger, even they are cheaper than UC).

 

PD: yesterday, playing a nightmare hard quest, the first card i discarded by Eowyn was UC. ^_^


Edited by Mndela, 24 April 2014 - 04:28 AM.

A wizard is never late..., he arrives precisely when it is the last round


#38 leptokurt

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:28 AM

It's not about UC being broken, but about how the design affects the making of future cards with readying effects, as one would always prefer UC to any of the possible new cards.


Edited by leptokurt, 24 April 2014 - 06:29 AM.


#39 lleimmoen

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:41 AM

I think it is just stubborness to call Beravor broken and not Unexpected Courage, especially without providing single argument. I did not expect something like that from someone as intelligent. You can laugh about my traffic example but it is at least an argument, just stating things as facts is not discussion. How was Beravor broken if not for Unexpected Courage (being able to land on her from every player in multiple copies)?



#40 Mndela

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 08:05 AM

Yesterday i played Beravor and 2 spirit heroes more. I played on Beravor 2 Miruvors. In 3 rounds we won the game. Each round i used Miruvor on Beravor for ready her and get 1 resource. The 3rd round we didnt need ready her, the game was very good and we were going to win anyway. Thanks to Miruvor i could play good lore cards; if only i played Unexpected Courage, i couldn't play almost nothing with lore sphere in only 3 rounds.

So, in this example, Miruvor is better than Unexpected Courage.


A wizard is never late..., he arrives precisely when it is the last round





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