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Just can't find a balance to this game


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#1 AltWren

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 09:45 PM

Welp, my group has tried a lot of different configurations, and in all our nights playing this, we have yet to experience a campaign that is closely matched.  We recently removed several characters as options and started again.  I took over as OL once again.  This time, in Cardinal's Plight, I failed all skill checks to raise zombies, even when I used a card to reroll.  Come second encounter, the party just slowly and methodically marched through, killing one monster at a time that I couldn't reinforce, while my one feeble zombie failed to do more than two damage to Koth.  I tried to hold out and finish the encounter, but they saw what a poor time I was having and we agreed to stop.  We're going to retire this game.  It just doesn't seem to be delivering what we want and a lot of the rules are just too strange in their interpretation.  

 

At one point, we had two shadow dragons pushing the heroes into the entrance so only two could attack, which the Knight used Oath of Honor to teleport around.  Line of sight has been drawn through walls on several occurrences.  It feels silly and breaks the immersion of a fantasy adventure.  Someone gets webbed, but they still get to finish their movement?  Skye's abilities don't work because a monster stands on his square?  One of the players said he felt like every time we played, it was just a matter of discovering a new exploit to the rules, and there are plenty.

 

I don't think this game is for us.



#2 centralx

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:55 AM

First people seem to say that map is tough for the OL. I think that is kind of true and that's fine because some maps favor the OL. I also played this once and failed to raise any dead and had to just go through this map and got stomped. It is extremely difficult when only zombie is raised.

 

I am a little surprised you didn't get one zombie raised though considering you just needed to check 4 or lower. Part of my failure was playing with the wrong Merrick. I didn't realize there was more than one and was playing off of having to check for 1. I have to ask are you sure you played that part right? I played it correctly with another group and the guy never missed a check.

 

At any rate don't let this one encounter discourage you. I have been winning most of my encounters as the OL so far in my group. 



#3 Kunzite

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:24 AM

Not this one, but another quest with other LT I have had rotten luck at passing things (and awesome at ones I shouldn't have!). It can be really disheartening when you KNOW you should be doing better. Dice are very capricious.

 

In reflection of our current campaign (Labyrinth of Ruin) it's been interesting. I have won 3 vs my heroes' 6 (we are playing with rumors in place. They won the first rumor which really hurt my cause) BUT I feel it is pretty balanced. The heroes scrape by in most of their quests and we have fun. Sadly, the ones I have won have normally been by a landslide, but as the OL, thematically the heroes need to be humbled or they wouldn't feel like they are up against an unmovable force. It will make the final victory for them so much sweeter (if they aren't all webbed and thrown into a pit x.x!).

 

I have heard stories like yours before. Rotten luck causing people not to play. Or the ability of a person being able to single out an easy target, and then the OL beating them into the ground. All I can say is, sorry and maybe switch up the rolls. Being the OL is not easy and one needs to expect to have allot of losses. The OL has the potential of getting powerful very quickly.

 

Also, I have to ask, do you have the Conversion kit? I feel the OL gets most mileage off of the CK then the heroes. If you are really questioning staying on board with this, then proxy a few of your favorites in an Epic by using the states on the Wiki. If you like it, buy the kit. You will have to proxy the figures anyhow. Some of the groups are pretty awesome.


"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo

 

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#4 daggonthing

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:29 AM

Are you sure you played that quest right? In my experience as the OL, I generally raise ALL of the zombies. The problem generally comes in the 2nd part of the quest, where the heroes slowly build up an army of militia. This quest definitely favors the heroes (at least the updated version that was introduced in the faq), but it can still be pretty close at times.

 

-Daggon


Edited by daggonthing, 09 September 2013 - 07:31 AM.


#5 CaelanCross

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:49 AM

Are you sure you played that quest right? In my experience as the OL, I generally raise ALL of the zombies. The problem generally comes in the 2nd part of the quest, where the heroes slowly build up an army of militia. This quest definitely favors the heroes (at least the updated version that was introduced in the faq), but it can still be pretty close at times.

 

-Daggon

The heroes do not get militia in cardinal's plight, you're thinking of the second part of the "Castle" quest.  

 

The problem that AltWren had was that he was unlucky enough to fail 3 times in a row on his skill check rolling a 7, 5 and 6 which meant that by the time he managed to raise a single zombie the party was already through the gate and killed it. Because of how the second encounter is built it seems to assume that the OL will have at least 2-3 zombies, but with only 1 zombie plus the cardinal having 2 grey defense dice, 16hp and an alter that can heal him it was pretty much impossible for the OL to fulfill his quest objective no matter what he did.  It is one thing to be an underdog or lose bc you made a mistake or your opponent got lucky or brilliant, but to have no chance at all right from the start bc of what happened in the previous map just made the second half of the quest an hour of slow torture for the OL.

 

The problem we have had with this game is that every map we have played has been a landslide victory for one side or the other, it can see-saw back and forth between which side dominates but it is never a close contest and in a campaign it can easily snowball out of control if 2 successive maps go in someone's favor.  We have tried it with different OLs and party configurations it it is always the same problem, and we just didn't have the heart to try and house rule the crap out of the game until it worked :(

 

I guess it's time to break out Arkham Horror until we can find a dungeon crawler that works for us. 



#6 griton

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:35 AM

I was playing as the OL in a recent Cardinal's Plight quest, and didn't manage to get any zombies for the second enounter either, and I still ended up winning almost entirely due to the master zombie's Grab ability which Immobilized Koth for the entire game (he only has a Might of 2 to resist, which is about a 20% chance). And with reinforcements coming at the START of a turn, you're pretty much guaranteed to have that master zombie up the entire time.

 

Also, don't forget that Koth can be Pit Trapped, Tripwired, etc.


Edited by griton, 09 September 2013 - 10:37 AM.


#7 centralx

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:44 AM

Well he should really go by a lotto ticket because the odds of rolling that high consecutively are pretty slim. Some times you will just get a bad roll of the dice. I have been playing with two groups and both have been entirely different outcomes. In one where I have been the hero we have steam rolled the OL largely because I don't think he understands quite what he needs to do. He takes his eye off the ball and starts attacking heroes without trying to gain much benefit. In the other group I am the OL and so far I have been keeping the heroes so focused they don't get treasure in some maps. In some cases I just give them one to keep it fun.

 

You could read numerous threads saying whether the game is balanced against the OL or against the heroes. Personally I think it is pretty balanced. I think people forget it really comes down to the last match that determines the winner in the game. I also think sometimes games have the appearance of a blowout because the real tension tends to be in the middle of the game. There is a point in the game where your decisions matter and that outcome will play a large part in determining the winner and the loser. The biggest slant I think is the OL and how that person has to make the least amount of mistakes to win a game. After 2 or 3 misplays the OL will start to get in real trouble against a decent set of heroes.  

 

Either way sorry you all are not having a lot of fun. I would advise to stick through it to Act 2 when the monsters get beefier. It really begins to change the dynamic of the game. At any rate just enjoy playing a game and watching the story unfold as a group. Don't let some bad dice rolling get in the way of that. 



#8 CaelanCross

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:48 AM

I was playing as the OL in a recent Cardinal's Plight quest, and didn't manage to get any zombies for the second enounter either, and I still ended up winning almost entirely due to the master zombie's Grab ability which Immobilized Koth for the entire game (he only has a Might of 2 to resist, which is about a 20% chance). And with reinforcements coming at the START of a turn, you're pretty much guaranteed to have that master zombie up the entire time.

 

Also, don't forget that Koth can be Pit Trapped, Tripwired, etc.

We never even got to a point where Koth started moving, we were more than happy to let the zombie inflict a total of 2 damage after 7 attacks while we methodically cleared the map of monsters and treasure before electing to open the sealed door triggering the lieutenant's arrival.  At that point we pretty much called it a night before finishing the map. 


Edited by CaelanCross, 09 September 2013 - 11:03 AM.


#9 centralx

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:55 AM

From what you have been saying Caelan I would just say, "Sometimes it is just not a good day for the OL." 



#10 CaelanCross

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 11:06 AM

The one time we actually did make it to Act II, it was a game where the heroes where the ones getting pounded all through the first act, picked up very little treasure and lost the interlude badly.  So when the OL got his power-up it became impossible for the heroes to compete.

 

 

I may not have been clear enough making this point in my other posts but... the problem we have been having as a group is not that the OL is consistently overpowered or the the Heroes are, the problem is that somebody always is and while luck always matters in a game involving dice, player skill doesn't seem to be much of a factor in that equation.  



#11 AltWren

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 12:52 PM

The way a lot of the rules work bother me too.  Things that I've mentioned before, like Oath of Honor.  "I'm going to use Oath of Honor to move up to my teammate and help him, but there's no space near him so I teleport the length of a room to stand behind the monster."  "I got webbed and I'm covered in webs now but that's not going to affect me until I finish walking.  Then I won't be able to walk anymore."  "I'm going to move this enemy with my ability, but there are two more enemies behind him, so he gets flung 7 squares away from where he was."

 

Yes, I had a bad day, but it was only two rolls on the very first two turns of encounter one.  I missed those rolls and then I was punished for the next 20 turns.  The party could just take all the time they needed, because I couldn't reinforce the second map and my zombie couldn't hurt Koth for more than two damage, and the party had uncontested control of the altar.  That's not fun.  That's sitting around for hours doing nothing and knowing it's hopeless.  I'd have maybe one or two dragons around at times, but they don't matter.  They can't attack Koth.  They can't block a teleporting party.  If they do any damage, would, the party loses one action next turn.  The only thing that matters in that encounter is the zombies, and two misrolls ended that chance for me and I became a spectator.

 

And this isn't the first time we've had experiences like this either.  We had an OL defeated before he got a turn before.  We've had a party held to their starting weapons up until Act II.  We just can't seem to get a campaign that will flow and be fun for everyone, and we've played it a lot now.



#12 centralx

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 01:24 PM

Trust me I feel you Alt on the Cardinal's Plight. That is not a fun map to have a bad day as the OL. I had the bad day on that map and it was just no fun at all because going into encounter 2 the OL is pretty screwed unless his luck picks up. I admit the game can put you in crappy situations but that makes it even more fun if you can overcome them. Either way sorry you haven't seem to enjoy yourself playing this.  

 

I am not quite sure about your issue with the web though if you don't mind expanding on that? Also how did you defeat the OL in 1 turn and was there really nothing different in set up or anything that the OL could have done to stop it?



#13 CaelanCross

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 01:42 PM

I am not quite sure about your issue with the web though if you don't mind expanding on that? Also how did you defeat the OL in 1 turn and was there really nothing different in set up or anything that the OL could have done to stop it?

The web comment is a reference to the rule that if you get webbed during your movement (i.e. via the web trap card) even though you are technically immobilized you still get to finish your movement as normal; which does not make any sense and seriously reduces the effectiveness of the card.

 

The incident where the OL did not get to move was on the second part of "death on a wing."  The OL tried to block the bridge with his elementals, but party had the first turn and Steelhorns was able to use his heroic feat to push the monsters out of the way so that the rest of the group had a clear path to fatigue up and unload on the lieutenant leaving him stunned and at 1hp before the OL even had a turn.



#14 AltWren

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 01:43 PM

The web comment refers to using the Web Trap to immobilize.  Immoblize says the hero may not get movement points, but it does not end the current move action, so a character like Silhouette who is webbed in the first step of her 10 move heroic still gets to finish the other 9 moves and pick up all treasures she passes, as per her Heroic.  Then the immoblize takes affect.

 

The OL losing before he got a turn, the worst thing that ever happened to our group, was on the second half of Death on a Wing, where Belthir starts a few squares from the party.  A block was set up with the elementals, the only monsters you may place on that square, but Steelhorns used his heroic to shove one out of the way and the entire party swarmed Belthir before he got to move.



#15 centralx

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:20 PM

Web is more meant to web multiple guys more than to stop someone. I can understand your frustration that it seems like something is missing from that card. I have also read other people say that Death on a Wing can go bad for the OL real quick if his positioning is bad. As far as using Steelhorns I am not running the conversion pack and to be honest based on those characters and their abilities I have read I am not sure they are a good fit in 2e. I am just talking off the cuff but based on some questions and discussions that pop up here I sometimes wonder if they really design the game with those extra heroes and abilities in mind. Steelhorns on that small map is probably a very dangerous thing for the OL.  Sorry your enjoyment level seems to be low with the game. Hope it picks up. Maybe try running some epic quests to see if the balance gets any better for you. Thanks for the responses. 



#16 CaelanCross

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:33 PM

The web comment refers to using the Web Trap to immobilize.  Immoblize says the hero may not get movement points, but it does not end the current move action, so a character like Silhouette who is webbed in the first step of her 10 move heroic still gets to finish the other 9 moves and pick up all treasures she passes, as per her Heroic.  Then the immoblize takes affect.

 

The OL losing before he got a turn, the worst thing that ever happened to our group, was on the second half of Death on a Wing, where Belthir starts a few squares from the party.  A block was set up with the elementals, the only monsters you may place on that square, but Steelhorns used his heroic to shove one out of the way and the entire party swarmed Belthir before he got to move.

lol, guess I shouldn't try to answer for you :o


Edited by CaelanCross, 09 September 2013 - 02:34 PM.


#17 AltWren

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:36 PM

lol, guess I shouldn't try to answer for you :o

 

Damn straight.  How else do you expect me to distract myself in class?



#18 Cursain

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:12 PM

AltWren,
Can you tell me where your campaign currently sits?

 

How many quests have been completed?

How much experience as OL have you earned?

What OL relics do you own?

Do you use Basic 1 or Basic 2 OL deck?

What OL cards have you chosen for your experience?

What heroes are you up against, and what level is each, and what archetypes are they using?

 

Thanks

-Cursain



#19 AltWren

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:57 PM

Well, it sits in limbo right now.  We didn't finish the quest.  That one we just played was a fresh one that night.  We had just given up on the previous Silhouette party I was playing in (as Tren and Ashrian), cause she was getting 500 gold an adventure.  So, our most recent campagin was Knight/Sindrel, Apoc/Avric, Wild/Vyrah and Rune/Lendrey, me OLing (sorry about spelling.  Cards aren't handy).  I was using Basic 1 and we all had 1 XP from the intro quest.  I used mine on Blood Rage, cause I through the Apoc could neutralize any conditions from Sabotor.

 

The furthest campaign for us had Laughin/Berserk, Brogan/Thief, Sahla/Disciple and Widow/Necro.  OL won First Blood, Cardinal's Plight, Castle Daerion and Interlude.  Party won Fat Goblin and Gold Rush.  The problem there was, even when the party won, I was really holding the party from getting any treasure.  Three of them were still on their starting weapons after the interlude, they had no money, and the monsters were getting a buff between acts.  I was purposely picking quests to deny them money that run, and that was kind of mean of me.  At the time we stopped, I had a Web Trap, Exploding Runes, Wicked Laughter and Blood Rage.  Staff of Shadows was my goto relic for almost every encounter.

 

The other major campaign is the Steelhorns one we mention a lot.  And we've had a few others that started and ended quickly because people didn't like their choices of heroes or such.



#20 griton

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:36 AM

"I'm going to move this enemy with my ability, but there are two more enemies behind him, so he gets flung 7 squares away from where he was."

 

As far as I am aware (take with a grain of salt unless someone can point to confirming / contradicting official rules), moving and placing are different mechanics with respect to what happens when there isn't an available place to go. When "placing" (such as reinforcing, special quest rules, or for some other self-movement abilities) then you follow the "place in nearest empty space" rule if you can't place them in the target one. Most abilities that change where an enemy figure is use the word "move". Moves DO NOT follow the "place in nearest empty space" rule, so if there is no valid place to be moved to, you just don't get to move them.

 

 

The web comment is a reference to the rule that if you get webbed during your movement (i.e. via the web trap card) even though you are technically immobilized you still get to finish your movement as normal; which does not make any sense and seriously reduces the effectiveness of the card.

The web comment refers to using the Web Trap to immobilize.  Immoblize says the hero may not get movement points, but it does not end the current move action, so a character like Silhouette who is webbed in the first step of her 10 move heroic still gets to finish the other 9 moves and pick up all treasures she passes, as per her Heroic.  Then the immoblize takes affect.

 

This is not QUITE correct. You have to understand that there is a difference between Move Actions and other movement. According to the FAQ, if you are immobilized during a normal Move Action, you immediately stop moving and lose all of your remaining movement points. If you are using some other method that allows you to move that is NOT a move action (such as Silhouette's Heroic Feat, as you mention, or basically any other form of movement that Immobilize doesn't restrict, which are relatively rare), then that rule applies and you can finish your movement because Immobilize wouldn't have prevented it in the first place.

 

Also, if you feel this is too overpowered, it's a pretty simple house rule to change Immobilized to also include ALL movement, and one that PROBABLY wouldn't be too game-breaking. Just make sure you discuss it with the rest of the group beforehand.


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