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The problem of Unexpected Courage


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#41 leptokurt

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 08:29 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)?

The Beravor/UC combo was broken. Both card are fine on their own, I hope we agree about that.

 

The main difference between Beravor and UC is that you can use Beravor's ability right from the statt, while you cannot rely on using UC. I think we also agree that UC is no way broken if you use only one copy of it. I think we disgaree about the rest. And for that we don't need an errata, but only a place to store the copies of UC that you won't use anymore. Nobody forbids you to that. You don't need the designers to tell you to do that.

 

The need of errata is something that has been discussed hee long ago, and a arge majority of players opted for keeping the errata to an absolute minimum, to do an errata only if a card was breaking the game mechanics. UC is probably not the best card design, but it doesn't break the game. All it does is to give one of your heroes one additional action. Compare UC to Erebor Hammersmith - this guy costs 2 resources and gives you an additional action, fuels the power of many dwarf characters, adds 3 HP in case you have to deal some damage, brings an attachment back to your hand and he receives a bonus from Dain. And there are even two copies of him in the core set!



#42 Rapier

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:30 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.

This isn't really a good example because you're talking about the resource fixing element that's needed for the smaller sphere as the main advantage. You're getting resource advantage in lore at the cost of resource loss in spirit. Yes it's something that Miruvor can do that UC can't but it's because Miruvor is a very flexible card that's it's better in some circumstances.

To fully stat out your example;

You have 2 spirit and 1 lore resource you trade 1 spirit for 1 lore so that you can play a 2 cost lore card turn 1 and get to use Beravor to quest and draw.

You do the same thing again on turn two (swapping a spirit resource for a lore and getting to ready). This combination for mana fixing as you describe is only better if you're talking about a game that's going to take you 2 rounds to win, or if you desperately need the 2 cost lore card on turn 1.


If you did it the other way around you could have done UC on Beravor turn 1; this would have got you 3 ready effects instead of two in your three round game - you could then have played one miruvor on Beravor turn 2 and gotten +1 resource, put it back on your deck - and then draw Miruvor + one other card for ever for the rest of the game using the UC at the cost of swapping one resource from spirit to lore. This is a much better combo to set up than you can ever do with just miruvor and allows you any turn you want to swap spirit resource for 1 lore resource + 1 card, in a game that's 4 rounds or more this would 'always' be better than just Miruvors. The Unexpected Courageous obviously pay off more the longer the game goes.

Miruvor's also a very good card, I'm not going to dispute that and because it can also be +willpower + resources it is situationally better than UC; but not as a ready effect unless your game lasts 2 rounds or less. (In a 2 round game, Miruvor is pretty much just better because it potentially can be 2 ready effects for cost 0 - although even then you need to draw two of them).

Do you mind if I ask how you're getting quests that are so short? It's pretty rare for me to play a game that's only 3 rounds or less. In such a short game the discard cards (Cram, Miruvor - various eagle and noldor cards) would gain a lot of relative power, but I almost never get to play such short games.

Edit: 3 rounds or less is the minimum possible for most quests.


Edited by Rapier, 24 April 2014 - 09:38 AM.


#43 leptokurt

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 10:24 AM

Sounds like Massing at Osgiliath to me:

 

"Let's storm this walls Gondor style!"

 

"Yeah!"

 

"Yeaaaahhhhh!"

 

...

 

...

 

"Hey, wehere is everyone?"

 

"Helloooo?"

 

*shakes fist at empty wall*


Edited by leptokurt, 24 April 2014 - 10:25 AM.


#44 lleimmoen

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:45 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)?

The Beravor/UC combo was broken. Both card are fine on their own, I hope we agree about that.

 

The main difference between Beravor and UC is that you can use Beravor's ability right from the statt, while you cannot rely on using UC. I think we also agree that UC is no way broken if you use only one copy of it. I think we disgaree about the rest. And for that we don't need an errata, but only a place to store the copies of UC that you won't use anymore. Nobody forbids you to that. You don't need the designers to tell you to do that.

 

The need of errata is something that has been discussed hee long ago, and a arge majority of players opted for keeping the errata to an absolute minimum, to do an errata only if a card was breaking the game mechanics. UC is probably not the best card design, but it doesn't break the game. All it does is to give one of your heroes one additional action. Compare UC to Erebor Hammersmith - this guy costs 2 resources and gives you an additional action, fuels the power of many dwarf characters, adds 3 HP in case you have to deal some damage, brings an attachment back to your hand and he receives a bonus from Dain. And there are even two copies of him in the core set!

Well, now I am a bit confused, are you saying that Beravor is broken even with the errata? Because you say you can use her right away? I thought you meant she "was" broken before the errata because you could use her more than once per round. But the only way to achieve that repeatedly is pretty much by having UC on her. What else is there? I repeat, Miruvor, Cram? Yet, the card got fixed and you said there you understood the errata. But you do not understand it with UC. That makes no sense because the problem was UC in the first place, or really, enlighten me, how were you readying Beravor?

 

We certainly agree Beravor/UC is a wrong combo but we do not agree which of the two causes the problem.

 

Erebor Hammersmith is an ecellent ally. We agree about that for sure. The only problem I see in the list, however, is Dain, another totally lazy design in my opinion, but a topic for another thread.



#45 leptokurt

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 12:59 PM

No, I mean Beravor ante errata. She was a bad girl.



#46 lleimmoen

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:45 PM

Ok, thanks for the clarification. I take the lack of answer to the rest of the post as a capitulation. But of course, this is no game, or is it? Anyway, thanks for the exchange and "see" you later.



#47 leptokurt

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 12:50 AM

Ok, thanks for the clarification. I take the lack of answer to the rest of the post as a capitulation. But of course, this is no game, or is it? Anyway, thanks for the exchange and "see" you later.

lol, bastard! :lol:

 

Y'know, when I realize that i start to repeat myself for the third time I usually think it's time to stop the discussion. ;)



#48 Pericles

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 09:57 AM

As a player that pulls resources from a limited card pool, I appreciate the fact that I can play 3 copies of UC.  The power creep exhibited by encounter decks is obvious, and expected.  This is less of an issue for the players who are also collectors, with access to the latest and greatest wizz-bang cards.  However, for those who rarely buy adventure packs, and even less frequently buy expansions (like myself), the presence of OP cards are essential to fielding a deck that has any reasonable chance against any of the current encounters.

 

I understand that most of the folks reading this thread care enough about the game that they probably buy everything released, and I think that is great.  It is the financial support of those players that allows FFG to keep producing this great game, and I am happy making my strategic purchase here and there.

 

It is my opinion that any action towards the TC's argument would cripple the ability of players in my position to compete with current encounters.  I was disappointed when Beravor got her nerf precisly for this reason.  However, I also realize that I am probably in the minority.


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#49 Demoncow

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:10 AM

As a player that pulls resources from a limited card pool, I appreciate the fact that I can play 3 copies of UC.  The power creep exhibited by encounter decks is obvious, and expected.  This is less of an issue for the players who are also collectors, with access to the latest and greatest wizz-bang cards.  However, for those who rarely buy adventure packs, and even less frequently buy expansions (like myself), the presence of OP cards are essential to fielding a deck that has any reasonable chance against any of the current encounters.

 

I understand that most of the folks reading this thread care enough about the game that they probably buy everything released, and I think that is great.  It is the financial support of those players that allows FFG to keep producing this great game, and I am happy making my strategic purchase here and there.

 

It is my opinion that any action towards the TC's argument would cripple the ability of players in my position to compete with current encounters.  I was disappointed when Beravor got her nerf precisly for this reason.  However, I also realize that I am probably in the minority.

I hear you man, I also have a limited card pool, (no Dain, Spirfindel, or Elrond) so being able to include three copies of power cards like, SoG, celebrians stone, or UC can help me beat quests I otherwise would not be able to.


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#50 lleimmoen

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:31 AM

As a player that pulls resources from a limited card pool, I appreciate the fact that I can play 3 copies of UC.  The power creep exhibited by encounter decks is obvious, and expected.  This is less of an issue for the players who are also collectors, with access to the latest and greatest wizz-bang cards.  However, for those who rarely buy adventure packs, and even less frequently buy expansions (like myself), the presence of OP cards are essential to fielding a deck that has any reasonable chance against any of the current encounters.

 

I understand that most of the folks reading this thread care enough about the game that they probably buy everything released, and I think that is great.  It is the financial support of those players that allows FFG to keep producing this great game, and I am happy making my strategic purchase here and there.

 

It is my opinion that any action towards the TC's argument would cripple the ability of players in my position to compete with current encounters.  I was disappointed when Beravor got her nerf precisly for this reason.  However, I also realize that I am probably in the minority.

This is an interesting perspective, thanks for that. I would understand that just as there is the easy-mode, also the cards before errata could be used by players in the same way: to achieve an easier mode of sorts. It would be perfectly logical with the limited card pool.



#51 lleimmoen

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:33 AM

 

Ok, thanks for the clarification. I take the lack of answer to the rest of the post as a capitulation. But of course, this is no game, or is it? Anyway, thanks for the exchange and "see" you later.

lol, bastard! :lol:

 

Y'know, when I realize that i start to repeat myself for the third time I usually think it's time to stop the discussion. ;)

 

Not that I feel this is very productive any more, but you never ONCE explained what makes Beravor ante errata broken if Courage is not. Because Courage was the only reliable way to use Beravor repeatedly in one round (Common Cause and the likes are really not that great, I think we both know that).



#52 leptokurt

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:49 AM

 

 

Ok, thanks for the clarification. I take the lack of answer to the rest of the post as a capitulation. But of course, this is no game, or is it? Anyway, thanks for the exchange and "see" you later.

lol, bastard! :lol:

 

Y'know, when I realize that i start to repeat myself for the third time I usually think it's time to stop the discussion. ;)

 

Not that I feel this is very productive any more, but you never ONCE explained what makes Beravor ante errata broken if Courage is not. Because Courage was the only reliable way to use Beravor repeatedly in one round (Common Cause and the likes are really not that great, I think we both know that).

 

Uhm, I think I explained that? (but apparently not very well <_< )

 

1. Beravor was broken because one could exploit her ability with the help of Unexpected Courage. I think at that time we didn't have any other cards to play that fiddle.

 

2. Unexpected Courage is not broken because it exploits Beravor ability. Otherwise cards like Miruvor would also be broken.

 

3. In conclusion, both Beravor and UC have been fine all alone, as it didn't matter if you could use Beravor's ability multiple times if there was no way to ready her.

 

4. However, the combo of these two cards was definitely broken, One card had to be errataed. And that had to be Beravor herself, as every other readying attachment had to be designed in a way that it couldn't ready heroes starting with a B.

 

 

In conclusion, it was Beravor's ability that was broken. Yes , UC and others cards were involved in the exploit, but they were not the cause of it. Restricting Beravor's ability was by far the easiest way to correct that design error.


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#53 Mndela

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:37 PM

I agree....


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


#54 Rapier

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:08 PM

As a player that pulls resources from a limited card pool, I appreciate the fact that I can play 3 copies of UC.  The power creep exhibited by encounter decks is obvious, and expected.  This is less of an issue for the players who are also collectors, with access to the latest and greatest wizz-bang cards.  However, for those who rarely buy adventure packs, and even less frequently buy expansions (like myself), the presence of OP cards are essential to fielding a deck that has any reasonable chance against any of the current encounters.

 

I understand that most of the folks reading this thread care enough about the game that they probably buy everything released, and I think that is great.  It is the financial support of those players that allows FFG to keep producing this great game, and I am happy making my strategic purchase here and there.

 

It is my opinion that any action towards the TC's argument would cripple the ability of players in my position to compete with current encounters.  I was disappointed when Beravor got her nerf precisly for this reason.  However, I also realize that I am probably in the minority.

 

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I can see the issue with this - but at the same time I feel that the game (beyond the obviously entry designed products like the saga quests and core set) really needs to assume that players have access to all the cards.

At the same time maybe this further reinforces my argument for banning the card or rather - make it an "easy mode" card. If you're playing easy mode then play UC but if you're not then you should be playing at the "tournament" standard. 

The idea of an easy mode and tournmant standard is quite good for keeping all the cards playable but also opening up the ability for the game to be more accessible to all players and allowing tighter design (and design experimentation).



#55 Sinamil

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:57 PM

I have to disagree that UC is breaking the design of the game.  Maybe it is limiting an influx of exhaust to use effects, but if you look at MtG design as an example, many of the best or most creative cards have nothing to do with tapping of cards.  I would argue that by forcing the designers to be more clever than just designing a glut of heroes with "exhaust to ___" effects, UC has only helped the direction of recent designs.  The Silvan cards are a good example.  I am more excited about these cards than I was about Outlands, Doomed, or even Gondor because the mechanic of bouncing into and out of play leaves more freedom in design than just stacking benefits (Outlands) or adding/moving resources (Gondor, for the most part), and Celeborn's effect is more interesting than "exhaust to add 2/2/2 to a Silvan ally" or something along those lines.  There are many cards that will need to be flat out retired at some point.  Vilya for example will only get more and more powerful as high cost cards are added to the pool.  Perhaps UC is one of those cards but it is certainly not the only one.  Here is one solution to the problem:  a 2nd edition core set.  Include new cards to replace ones that are too powerful and add a few new heroes.  They could also have 2 scenarios and fix the ridiculous situation of not having 3 of each player card in the base set, which always seemed foolish to me (at least have two of each player card).



#56 Sinamil

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:59 PM

I will say that they were wise to choose spirit as the sphere for UC during the initial game design as if it was in lore with all that card draw and no need to include spirit or songs, it would then be absolutely broken.



#57 Rapier

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:02 AM

I have to disagree that UC is breaking the design of the game.  Maybe it is limiting an influx of exhaust to use effects, but if you look at MtG design as an example, many of the best or most creative cards have nothing to do with tapping of cards.  I would argue that by forcing the designers to be more clever than just designing a glut of heroes with "exhaust to ___" effects, UC has only helped the direction of recent designs.  The Silvan cards are a good example.  I am more excited about these cards than I was about Outlands, Doomed, or even Gondor because the mechanic of bouncing into and out of play leaves more freedom in design than just stacking benefits (Outlands) or adding/moving resources (Gondor, for the most part), and Celeborn's effect is more interesting than "exhaust to add 2/2/2 to a Silvan ally" or something along those lines.  There are many cards that will need to be flat out retired at some point.  Vilya for example will only get more and more powerful as high cost cards are added to the pool.  Perhaps UC is one of those cards but it is certainly not the only one.  Here is one solution to the problem:  a 2nd edition core set.  Include new cards to replace ones that are too powerful and add a few new heroes.  They could also have 2 scenarios and fix the ridiculous situation of not having 3 of each player card in the base set, which always seemed foolish to me (at least have two of each player card).

 

I don't understand the relevance of a comparison to Magic the Gathering. Apart from the fact that tap and exhaust are mechanically the same. Relatively speaking they're totally different in weighting between the two games.

A creature card in MtG has some passive traits/abilities, maybe a special rule and an attack and defence. Most cards in that game can only ever attack or defend. You also only get one attack step so you cannot re-attack with the same character. (Although you can use untap effects to multiple block).

As a result an untap effect in MtG is worthless on the attack step for most cards. Most cards cannot do anything except attack or defend so untapping would be mostly pointless for them.

A character in Lotr has some passive traits/abilities can quest, attack and defend and maybe have a special rule that needs to be exhausted for. Even if you ignore the fact that every card in this game can multiple attack and defend if you can ready it you can still see that the cards in this game are needed to cover more ground so ready effects are obviously more powerful.

Additionally the penalty for failing to quest or failing to defend is much harsher than in MtG. In MtG you can continue to fight at full strength until you have 0 life. In Lotr failing to quest increases threat (which is like losing life as a countdown to losing) except that threat also goes up every turn - so unlike MtG you cannot stall for a better future game-state if you get to the position where you can prevent life loss. 

Additionally in Lotr failing to defend means having your best (and mainly irreplaceable cards) potentially destroyed - which not only cripple your chances of fighting back immediately, they also permanently reduce your resource generation - meaning you cannot fight back as well later. This is because as the player takes incremental damage in this game they become less able to fight back.


Your other point is completely unfair to the designers of this game. If they could design ready effects of more varied types they could create more variety, not less. You're looking at an entirely different layer of the design than what we're talking about and then arguing that if the designers could get away with using only one layer they would - which is clearly and completely untrue.

The design of the different races and factions (to have a different play style and feel) is a different level of design from the design of the more basic features such as ready effects. I'm glad that you think their Sylvan mechanic is going to interest you more than the Gondor/Outlands ones did becuase htat's cool. (I also think it's cool what they're doing with the sylvan).

However it's got nothing to do with ready effects which exist as a more basic mechanic. We won't be seeing a race that is just different because it has access to ready effects or more +1s or something of that ilk because the differences in the races are a bit more subtle than that.

I'd be quite happy to discuss those subtleties in another thread and I agree that some of the races are simpler than others (The Gondor and Dwarf themes are a bit uninteiresting, the eagle theme needs some serous development despite a decent number of cards) but those simpler mechanics for some races are necessary, firstly because they still add value in variety of play, but also because some players really like playing them. Another point about the races is that (apart from the Eagles) the races all really have more than one theme to them.

But really that doesn't change the fact that UC is ruining the ability to design ready effects - more restricted and situation ready effects would be a lot more interesting, instead we got UC which is exactly what you're complaining about, boring and supreme.

Although I am curious about your belief that many cards would have to be retired - it seems to me that for the most part future cards will take awareness of the current card pool - so only cards that limit design would be a problem in the future. (However any card that does limit design should be addressed as quickly as possible to prevent them bleeding into the card pool).

Now in the case of UC I think we could just weaken UC and not have to worry about the other cards because UC as it exists is also the least interesting ready effect imaginable. We don't want them to have more cards like UC we want them to make more cards that are worse than UC but have the flexibility to spread the weaker ready effects across more costs.

Your comment about Vilya is a bit more difficult to evaluate.

In theory a deck which ran Vilya and 49 6 cost allies could be built (when 49 different 6 cost allies exist) and providing you drew Vilya as one of the 13 cards you get to see first you could play one six cost ally a turn. Which sounds pretty good - maybe you're right and Vilya will need to be errated. 

On the other hand when we reach a point like that we might have found that all the adventures are also more difficult - by that point the ability to run a full 50 card themed deck that is also strong will be the case. So while I think Vilya is a card that potentially will always need to be watched - I think from a design point of view it won't be terribly worse or better than it is now (unless mistakes are made).

Vilya already does have some built in limitations though - you have to use Elrond, and you have to exhaust Elrond to use Vilya (getting rid of UC would instantly nerf Elrond/Vilya for this reason). Even with only Light of Valinor, Elrond and Vilya become less flexible (you lose out on  3 defence).

In any case I would like to see Light of Valinor at the 2 cost it clearly should be, but that can only happen if UC is changed first (as it is clearly superior).



#58 Catastrophic09

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 12:13 PM

I also agree with many that the best fix would be to make it a limit 1 per deck. This not only makes the card more balanced but it makes sense thematically as it is unexpected so it should come up unexpectedly. Unexpected Courage is not only boring, but is unlimited making it way too powerful for its cost and definitely then harms any future cards that would be made with readying effects. I think readying effects should be cheap, at 2 or less cost but be limited to traits or readying with specific Responses as many readying cards are made now. Simply being able to ready at any time can easily be abused especially if people have 3 of these badies in their decks. Would this errata (limit 1 per deck) be enough to help the future health of readying effects for this game? Also why would they errata a card especially one from the core set after it has been out for so long? Do you think they would actually ever errata it??



#59 chrsjxn

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 02:08 AM

Only allowing one copy per deck is a terrible balancing mechanism, and is currently only printed on cards for thematic reasons.

 

Basically, making it so you could only have one copy in each deck vastly increases the variance. In some games, you'll have it in your opening hand, and get that useful ability right away.

 

In others, it will be the last card in your deck and you'll never see it.

 

In which case, your deck will have to be solid enough to perform without UC, so why would you bother to have the single copy?

 

I don't think they'll ever restrict Unexpected Courage in this way. It's a very good card, but it's not an auto-include. Rohan Warhorse is very niche, it's true, and Miruvor is just weird in general. But Light of Valinor, Fast Hitch, and Cram are all very good, and fit better in a lot of decks than Unexpected Courage. And they're cheaper. And they don't require you to be playing Spirit.



#60 Mndela

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 02:12 AM

I dont like include single copies in my deck. It becomes a question of lucky, not of technic.

 

Only i use once: Needpath, and including 3 copies of Word of Command to search for it.


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





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