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#1 napoleonWilson

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:03 PM

Intentionally making unfair and imbalanced characters for their games.

 

It's not just BSG.  Whether it is .Arkham Horror, Talisman, or Descent there are always a stack of dudes and dudettes that utterly blow dog and are near unusable. I have seen time and time again that basically, there is a stack of cards and game pieces that NOBODY wants to play and for good reason. 

However, this is a BSG forum and BSG is no exception to this, "crime" :) .  The question becomes, Why do the game designers feel it necessary to make characters like Apollo and Cain in the same game as Anders and Tigh?

 

I don't want this thread to become a type of defense of so-and-so with "well..in this crazy once in a million game situation he is actually good" arguments.  I think it is undeniable that there are some characters that are so blatantly underpowered when compared to other characters of the same type that the only reason to use them would be a forced "bottom feeder" style game if the humans start doing too well and the cylons need the humans to use weak characters to win. 

 

The most egregious example of this would be Pilot Apollo.  He has to be one of the most powerful characters in the game.  He is near unstoppable.  It is unreal what he can do.  Now compare him to any other pilot.  We don't even need to go all the way and look at Anders.  Boomer does not even come close to Apollo's overwhelming power.  Her every turn is pretty good but, getting locked up with TWO new loyalty cards can potentially end the game.  The other example I used of Tigh and Cain is another clear picture of unfair overpowering a character.  Cain is arguably a broken character, (even more so now that her OPG can  potentially be used multiple times with New Baltar).  Compare this to Tigh's highly situational power grab ability which when he uses it usually lands him a one way trip to the brig the next turn.  Even his every turn is less than the game changing potential as Cain's. 

 

Again,...I didn't start this thread to hear about, "this one time,..in one of the hundreds of games we played, I had Tigh,...and I actually used his ability and it was kinda cool so he is as good as Cain" debates.    We all have characters we like, dislike, hate and love.  Sometimes it's reasonable and sometimes its just emotional.  But, it is clear that there are serious power imbalances between characters that are irrational and inexcusable.

 

I think that Fantasy Flight should write errata for certain  characters either to power  them up or down.  An example of this would be something I have mentioned on these boards before.  Anders' every turn should be made a move action so he can actually DO something on his turn with the cards he pulls.  Secondly his OPG should count for ANY die roll ANY time he gets to choose the result.  Even with that change it would not come close to a balance with a character that JUMPS THE FLEET as an OPG, but at least it brings him up in power that would be more in line to what many OPG's can do.  It would be easy to type up a series of errata for older characters who do not measure up to the power of later characters.  Seriously, card-***** Tori is aligned in any way to someone like Zarek, Baltar, or even Roslin.  Tori passes votes all by herself and still has a full hand of cards for next turn.  That ability is supposed to be equivalent to a character ability that amounts to a free launch scout on her turn but either never has skill  cards or never plays quorum cards?

 

So...that's what I am hoping this thread will be for...let's do some brainstorming on characters to make them more fair, playable and more fun to play.  Should Cain draw from the center of the deck to make her ability more dangerous and less predictable?  Maybe Roslin should at least be able to use the Presidents office without having to pay the draconian price of 2 cards?

How about if Apollo were to lose the extra action he gets when he uses his alert pilot?

 

What do you think...Tick off what you think is underpowered or overpowered and what idea's do you have to fix it.  Who knows....maybe in a year or so when Fantasy Flight comes out with the missing characters mini pack, there will be an errata chart with YOUR change listed for that character you fixed.  :)  (meh not likely,...but....I didn't think there was going to be another expansion either)

 

Napoleon.



#2 JasX

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:23 AM

But I do enjoy playing tigh for games late-ish on a Friday evening with a bottle of whisky nearby hurling mild abuse at everyone around the table ;)

#3 napoleonWilson

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:38 AM

Yeah...ok...there is the meta-game.  I hate the show but, there is that part of me that loves to play Cavil and quote him.  But, for the most part I leave the role-playing to D&D. 

 

Napoleon



#4 subochre

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:52 PM

Unsurprisingly, I disagree with you about a lot of the specific examples*, but in the end, I don't think anyone can reasonably deny that the characters vary substantially in power levels, and that this was an intentional design choice.  But I'm finding I'm less interested in brainstorming character tweaks--of which hundreds have been proposed over the years--then in your rhetorical question "why did they think that was necessary?"

 

And, actually, a number of possibilities present themselves.  As you say, there has been a definite overall trend towards more powerful characters with each expansion, so that seems like a good place to start looking for explanations (and also because, unlike you, I think overpowered characters are a much bigger concern than underpowered ones). 

 

The most cynical and least defensible explanation is that they keep making more powerful characters just for marketing reasons.  In order to keep players coming back, they have to make the characters more and more exciting, so that people will go "OMG did you see what Gaeta can do, I have to buy this."  The less cynical version of this (inspired by the Arkham Horror investigator power creep) is just that the expansions keep getting harder and introduce more and more powerful effects like Mutiny and 6-point skill cards and Rebel Basestars, so they need more powerful characters to keep up.  On either of these explanations, the solution might just be to encourage players to match characters up by their league, and not play, for example, a Tigh/Anders/Tory/Cain game.

 

But then I got to thinking, well, why not?  Why does everyone need to be perfectly equal?  As gamers, we tend to import weird ideas about balance and fairness, but in a game as susceptible to group dynamics as this, there's an extent to which perceived differences in player strength will be self-correcting.  --I had an extended discussion here about the differences between Tory and Cain in how they can swing the game for each team as opposed to for their respective players, but it wasn't adding much, and this post is getting way too long already.--  Anyways, I don't want to suggest that I think that Tory's crazy yellow draw can be offset by the mere recognition that she's powerful, but still.  In the end, I think that it would be nice if every character had the exact same chance of victory, but that this is the wrong game to be worried about everyone being on an equal footing.

 

 

 

 

*and, honestly, I tried really hard not to get into it, but instead I'm just gonna confine it to a footnote :D

Someone did an analysis of the first 79 play-by-forum games on BGG, and the results are pretty interesting.  (Unfortunately, it looks like the numbers haven't been updated since December 2010, and there aren't even enough Pegasus games to be terribly informative, so I'll just stick with Table 7.)

So, for example, Tigh lost more games than he won, with a win rate of 47%.  You know what Apollo's, that powerhouse, was (seriously, Apollo is your pick for "near unstoppable," you delightful madman? <3)?  41%  And actually, Boomer, though low on a lot of people's lists, narrowly beat Roslin as Best Overall.  All of which goes to demonstrate both the point you made above, and my closing comment: our perceptions of a character's strength might not accurately reflect their actual strength--and even if they do, this doesn't seem to meaningfully affect their likelihood of winning.

(That's why I agree with your admonition to not let the discussion turn to subjective analyses of why Tigh's great or whatever, but, on a somewhat snarkier note, I find this funny coming from you, since when people have tried to invoke statistics to rebut your claims about the yellow's dominance in skill checks, or about the uselessness of Strategic Planning, your response has basically been "numbers schmumbers, my anecdotal experience says otherwise."  ;))


Edited by subochre, 11 September 2013 - 05:55 PM.


#5 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:18 PM

One thing I will say in defense of BSG, FFG tried to tie abilities to the characters from a point in the show. Tigh declared martial law, Anders wasn't a pilot to begin with, Ellen was conniving, etc. The characters didn't stay the same throughout and card-wise some abilities just don't make sense (the joke that Adama can't brig you, but he'll airlock you without batting an eye comes to mind), but I think they did the best with what they had.



#6 Vonpenguin

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:25 PM

Nothing should be changed. I think all characters are equally viable and shouldn't be changed because they don't universally fit every play style in existence.



#7 napoleonWilson

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:52 PM

Ohhh Subokra...Somehow I knew it would be you.

 

Firstly, I would probably agree with your first explaination of why FF does this imbalance.  It may be cynical but, it probably has the virtue of the truth.  It is a kind of Magic the Gathering effect, every expansion the cards get more ridiculous.  That's why I say there should be an errata for the older characters to help them out.  Although, I don't think it is necessarily always the case.  Anders came out in the second expansion and he is garbage.  Which is why I added two examples of characters needing to be decreased in their power, both Cain and Apollo.  So it seems, just like you, I am as concerned about over powered characters as much as yourself. 

As to your epiphany about everybody not having to be equal; that explaination "but that this is the wrong game to be worried about everyone being on an equal footing" reminds me of the type of guy that plays games with people who never have played them before  and gets a feeling of satisfaction out of trouncing them.  "Here take this character...he is really good....pfft...(giggle)"  Then he sits around with one finger in his mouth and one up his butt and waits for someone to tell him to switch.  Meanwhile you take one of the all-stars and actually get to play.  Every game is a game that should be worried about equal footing.  The game itself, and the way it plays out is what should change the footing.  When you have a character that can clean up the whole board of civy ships and decimate a cylon fleet with an xo(yeah...that is the Greek god Apollo you entertaining Lunatic)   meanwhile another that can change three green cards for three red and then....wait, there is a serious unfair balance.

 

Lastly,...you probably should not do the snark thing, you aren't good at it.  (thats a compliment by the way.  Snarky people are generally tedious and boring).  :rolleyes:  Your statement that because I say yellow is better than purple should preclude me from being able to judge whether a character is better than another one is simply weird.  However, I do not use anecdotal evidence.  I have played HUNDREDS of games and we  don't use your precious purple and the humans win most of the games.  Thats not anecdotal, that is a data set gained from lots of experience.  Which looks vaguely familiar as that link you attached.  Which by the way proves nothing.  There are WAY too many variables to say that those numbers mean anything.  When humans lost would they have won if they had somebody else? was somebody drunk or tired and made a bad move? Was the CFB or crisis deck particularly cruel?  How much luck was involved one way or the other?  So yes....those numbers are indeed Schmumbers.  Stat freeks...they make me laugh,  "I can prove what a coin flip will be based on the percentages". 

 

Now....as for you Brandon.....Yes...I will agree totally that they do a VERY good job making the characters ablilites match thematically the show and I do appreciate that effort.  I don't like the show but, that type of attention to detail is definatly to be commended and I think it should go a long way in mitigating their sentancing phase :)

 

Thanks for posting though both of ya....its fun

 

Napoleon



#8 Vonpenguin

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:16 PM


 

Lastly,...you probably should not do the snark thing, you aren't good at it.  (thats a compliment by the way.  Snarky people are generally tedious and boring).  :rolleyes:  Your statement that because I say yellow is better than purple should preclude me from being able to judge whether a character is better than another one is simply weird.  However, I do not use anecdotal evidence.  I have played HUNDREDS of games and we  don't use your precious purple and the humans win most of the games.  Thats not anecdotal, that is a data set gained from lots of experience.  Which looks vaguely familiar as that link you attached.  Which by the way proves nothing.  There are WAY too many variables to say that those numbers mean anything.  When humans lost would they have won if they had somebody else? was somebody drunk or tired and made a bad move? Was the CFB or crisis deck particularly cruel?  How much luck was involved one way or the other?  So yes....those numbers are indeed Schmumbers.  Stat freeks...they make me laugh,  "I can prove what a coin flip will be based on the percentages". 

 

 

 

Why is you're evidence inherently more valuable than what someone else observed?  In your "hundreds of games" how many different players have you played with? If your group has found something that works for  you that's fine. But you seem to be trying to push your experience as fact, when other than "Apollo is high end, Anders is low end, Cain is OP" I haven't seen anything you've said be something that a large percentage of the community voices.



#9 subochre

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:32 PM

Yeah, these debates really are fun, even if they rarely lead to any real consensus.

 

About that PBF data, I do agree that there's not a lot that can be drawn from them...the author went into more detail in some of his other posts about statistical significance and whatnot, and I think that's just silly.  So we know that the difference between Tyrol and Zarek has a less than 5% likelihood of being due to chance...so what?  That accounts for bad crisis draws and other possible variables that you mention, but what we should be asking for game balance is how much of the difference isn't a result of chance, and what is it a result of?  Maybe Boomer did so well because a certain type of player likes to play Boomer.  (After all, I know for a fact that a certain type of player likes to play Baltar.)

 

Anyways, I do think there's one useful thing we can say based on that data, and that is: whatever the intrinsic differences in quality might be between Apollo and Tigh, you can still play 40 games with each of them and have Tigh win more than Apollo.  That's pretty much all it takes to forestall the "giggling to myself while I trounce the guy who's helpless because he has Tigh" scenario.

I mean, I'm not saying that math has proven that Tigh is objectively 49% good and Apollo is objectively only 41% good, and I'm not drawing any conclusions about the reasons for the differences in win/loss ratios in that data set; all I'm saying is that if Apollo is sooo OP, he's not OP enough to keep from losing the majority of a randomly selected large number of games.  I'm willing to call that "balanced enough."



#10 napoleonWilson

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:34 PM

By saying that the evidence he presents is no different than mine....I am saying that the "data" that we both put forward is irrelevant.  That is a logical equivalency statement. Hell, I make fun of trying to prove anything with "data"  The thread isn't about empirical data, it is about what I and other perceive as clear unfair balances in character abilities. 

However, I am not pushing anything...this is a thread you can post on I didn't force you.  I say there are problems regarding balance in the game.  I have heard other people say the same thing, so I posted a thread for people to give ideas to fix what I and perhaps they felt.  You posted that you didn't think anything was wrong.  That's fine, II think that's valuable to put on there no matter how much I disagree with you and think that it is extremely short-sighted. 

is just by posting a differing opinion PUSHING something? Are you pushing your opinion that there is nothing wrong by just posting it? 

 

napoleon



#11 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:08 AM

Another reason for the usable difference in characters is sometimes the well runs dry.  :)

 

I guess the first place to start is to list everyone by usefulness. I would suggest Always Useful, Sometimes Useful, Very Situational. Next determine what makes the always useful characters so, then try and augment the other characters to be always useful while still maintaining themes, possibly using something else from the show (for example, we have Science Baltar and Religious Baltar, but not President Baltar).

 

Hell, depending on how difficult this is, maybe a new appreciation for the developers will emerge. :D 

 

 

Napoleon, one a side note, if the humans are that strong in your group, have you considered tackling weaker characters? Sort of like people playing Dan in Street Fighter...



#12 Vonpenguin

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:06 AM

By saying that the evidence he presents is no different than mine....I am saying that the "data" that we both put forward is irrelevant.  That is a logical equivalency statement. Hell, I make fun of trying to prove anything with "data"  The thread isn't about empirical data, it is about what I and other perceive as clear unfair balances in character abilities. 

However, I am not pushing anything...this is a thread you can post on I didn't force you.  I say there are problems regarding balance in the game.  I have heard other people say the same thing, so I posted a thread for people to give ideas to fix what I and perhaps they felt.  You posted that you didn't think anything was wrong.  That's fine, II think that's valuable to put on there no matter how much I disagree with you and think that it is extremely short-sighted. 

is just by posting a differing opinion PUSHING something? Are you pushing your opinion that there is nothing wrong by just posting it? 

 

napoleon

 

I'm just saying that your language strikes me as being somewhat... aggressive? Authoritative maybe? Sorry if I offended, tone is notoriously difficult to read in text.



#13 napoleonWilson

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:40 PM

yes,...I get that Von.  Tone is very difficult to discern in text only and I am not mad or offended.  Tone is one reason I try to scatter the emoticons a lot to sort of help people understand that I want to convey a lighthearted tone.  However,  I do think it is interesting that you chose to chastise me for what you perceive as a kind of "mean tone" and yet had nothing to say to about Sub's tone towards me which I would say was at least as equally difficult to determine.    

 

Well Brandon,...I didn't want to do the rate system really.  That HAS  been done very effectively on the other thread started by Holy Outlaw, How do you rate the characters post exodus. I don't think we have to rate them anyway in order to say that one guy may need to be powered down and another should be powered up in order to make them more balanced. 
 

As for the picking characters that are weaker.  We have tried bottom feeder games where we only are allowed to use donut characters. The beating the humans get is sad but what is worse is how dull the games are.  None of the characters could do anything we just sit around going..."well I can't do anything"  "Yup...me neither".  The cylons are either not our or jump ship fast and  so all those great cylon detection and removal abilities never get used and humans just trudge along at the whim of the game rather than being able to effect it with their characters.

 It isn't just about the winning or loosing the game, although I think that is important, but it has to do with fun too.  In a game where one takes a very weak character compared to someone taking a strong one that can, "get the job done" the strong character is going to get more xo's, more responsibilities and so forth which means the person with the weak character just sits and spins.  That is not as fun.  So, because everybody wants to actually get to play and be involved with actual game mechanics invariably the strong characters are taken and the weak are left to rot.  I think that is sad cause it gets really boring seeing the same faces.  I think (and it's not too outrageous) that "fixing" character imbalances would make those guys get picked more often and actually add some spice to the game.

 

I KNOW I am not the only one out there that feels this way.  I actually heard the idea to fix Anders, on these message boards so it's not as though I am proposing something outrageous.  I just want to hear some more ideas about other characters.  I have not seen other threads regarding this subject.  If you know of any do me a fav and link them. I would love to read them. 

 

But,,...I do like these debates myself.  I tell my game group about them all the time and from time to time your

arguments can change some minds.

 

best

napoleon.



#14 niarBaD

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:46 PM

 

By saying that the evidence he presents is no different than mine....I am saying that the "data" that we both put forward is irrelevant.  That is a logical equivalency statement. Hell, I make fun of trying to prove anything with "data"  The thread isn't about empirical data, it is about what I and other perceive as clear unfair balances in character abilities. 

However, I am not pushing anything...this is a thread you can post on I didn't force you.  I say there are problems regarding balance in the game.  I have heard other people say the same thing, so I posted a thread for people to give ideas to fix what I and perhaps they felt.  You posted that you didn't think anything was wrong.  That's fine, II think that's valuable to put on there no matter how much I disagree with you and think that it is extremely short-sighted. 

is just by posting a differing opinion PUSHING something? Are you pushing your opinion that there is nothing wrong by just posting it? 

 

napoleon

 

I'm just saying that your language strikes me as being somewhat... aggressive? Authoritative maybe? Sorry if I offended, tone is notoriously difficult to read in text.

 

 

Ok, let's start this fun party. First off, Vonpenguin I agree. His language and word choices do make him come off as a bit aggressive. While reading most of his replies I definitely got the same feel.

 

Now let's talk about OP and UP. In that, every game ever created will always have those who we consider OP and those we consider UP. The fact of the matter is that it's a nightmare to make 30+ Characters who are true to the characters of the TV show/lore and who are also entirely perfectly balanced. It's a nearly impossible task. Hell, trying to perfectly balance 12 characters is hard enough to pull off. Sure, it might be an excuse. Though all those little changes that are proposed will just shift the power. They won't balance everyone. 

 

I find this game is infinitely more fun when you are playing for the experience. Aim to win, but you're playing a crew of unique people. Me and a group of 4 other friends playing the same 5 characters as you and your group of friends won't have the same out come. If we were dealt the same hands, had the same crisis's. We'd made different choices, we'd believe (or not) different lies. Half of this game comes down to the players and how they like to play their characters. Are you picking characters because you ONLY want to win? Or are you picking characters for the fluff and lore? Because you really enjoyed that characters development on the show. 

 

 

Yeah...ok...there is the meta-game.  I hate the show but, there is that part of me that loves to play Cavil and quote him.  But, for the most part I leave the role-playing to D&D. 

 

Napoleon

 

 

So I have to ask you this question: If you don't enjoy the setting, why do you play the game?

 



#15 napoleonWilson

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 02:23 PM

LOL...ok...so I am aggressive, but statements like..."I find this funny coming from you, since when people have tried to invoke statistics to rebut your claims about the yellow's dominance in skill checks, or about the uselessness of Strategic Planning, your response has basically been "numbers schmumbers, my anecdotal experience says otherwise"  that doesn't have an aggressive tone,...no not at all.   

I think you are confusing "aggressive" with assertive.  If you are going to start a topic it has to be assertive.  I say I am right,...Subochre say I am wrong.  There is kind of a natural aggressiveness in debate wouldn't you say.  I didn't call him stupid, he didn't say I was a jerk,...we were having a debate.  It was respectful and lively.  So,...respectfully,...give me a break with the aggressive stuff.   :)

 

I agree with you though to play for the experience.  I guess maybe your post came up after I put mine up, but like I said earlier my game group and I find playing really weak characters VERY boring because we don't end up doing anything.  Characters that have natural abilities are called upon to actually do stuff.  I am glad you guys have fun with the way you play.  However, we would like to see the characters become closer in power so there is incentive to play other characters. 

 

Lastly, I play the game because the game is awesome.  The setting doesn't matter really.  Frequently, I use references to Star Trek DS9 or The Thing when playing.  The game could be translated into lots of settings really.  I actually started playing the game before I even saw the series.  However, just because I love the game, that doesn't mean I don't think it could use some tweaking.  the characters are one of those tweeks I think it needs. 

napoleon



#16 BrandonCarpenter

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 04:38 PM

What if instead of coming up with new abilities, the characters were assigned a number and these numbers helped determine the starting resources using some formula? 



#17 subochre

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 04:42 PM

If you are going to start a topic it has to be assertive.  I say I am right,...Subochre say I am wrong. 

 

Well...I can honestly go either way.  I'm not normally this sassy, but I figured it would be acceptable to turn it up a bit given your tone and demeanor in previous threads (maybe this is part of why they're not blaming me?  I agree that you haven't said anything here that I didn't bring on myself).  That said, if "lively" debates make other people uncomfortable, I think they're within their rights to ask us to be a little less rowdy or adversarial.

 

I'm actually in a similar boat regarding the "game/show" issue.  The game was what got me into the show, and although I do like the show I find it frustrating in a lot of ways, but I think the game captures all the very best things about the premise, plot, setting, and atmosphere, while avoiding things like the insultingly hamfisted politics, dopey theology, gratuitous sex, and complete disregard for continuity.



#18 napoleonWilson

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:49 PM

Meh...yeah I guess they can ask but, I think it is sad that we can't talk and debate in a  "lively" way because someone else is so delicate.  I try to be very careful not to be insulting or degrading to my fellow posters (unless of course it "goes there" ;) )  I can be hard on the game and game designers but, they are big boys and girls they can take it.  Be that as it may I still enjoy debating with you and others and look forward to doing so in future.

 

However, Brandon,...WOW...that is a great idea. 

I didn't want to remake their abilites just change them a bit because they are so well crafted to match their show counterpart.  I can see some problems with this solution coming up; if you take a weak human character that gives humans a bonus to a stat and then gets a cylon card it's not really fair to the cylon cause the humans get the bonus from a weak character but don't have to deal with the negative of the weak character.  I think similarly for powerful characters that takes a penalty to a stat and get delt a cylon card the humans don't get the bonus of a great character as well as suffering a penalty.  May need some work but I like it especially since that solution actually is somewhat written into the optional rules.  That is certainly a great starting point.....THANKS MAN :)

 

best.

Napoleon



#19 quit

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:17 AM

Ok, I'll post my opinion on this.

 

First: Why I think they don't perfectly balance out characters:

1) This is actually hard to do, if you want the different characters be different enough.

2) In certain games, flavour is important, and sometimes is has priority over game mechanics.

3) To provide something for every type of player. Some people want to win above everything, so they always want to play the best card/character/race, whatever ... Other players prefer to have a great game experience, regardless of winning or loosing (although winning adds to the greatness of the experience), and other people prefer simplicity in decisions (with apollo, already at the receive skill cards step, you have to make decisions) because they play to have fun with the people they play with but are not hardcore gamers (great meta game experience). Some people will play this game only as a 3 player game, and others will play it as a 6 player game every time. Some people want a lot of variation, while others prefer to go through the same steps of what has been established as optimal play.

 

I don't think they wanted a power creep to sell more expansions, because some of the lesser characters (I'll go by common standards) were in the expansions: Kat and Anders?

 

Now about the evaluation of characters: I don't agree with most people on this:

- I love anders with the addition of the pegasus ship. Those extra guns allow for less pilots to be in the air. So you don't really need much piloting skill cards, and with anders you can choose to pick none. You can pick him when you don't want to pilot or support but are forced to take a pilot or support by character selection rules. In 3-4 player games, his once per game is better: with less players, the chances increase that the crucial roll will be on your turn. Also, his weakness is smaller in smaller games: you still go without skill cards on your first turn, but your second turn will come sooner.

- I dislike apollo more than most: His once per game is not all that usefull as a cylon. And drawing 2 red every turn is often too much, and leaves you with too little other cards. But I agree: his AVP is great and potentially drawing 4 skill sets is excellent. If his skill set were to be 2 leadership, 1 tactics and choice 2 politics/2 piloting he would be better for me ... and more thematic, as he was either a politician or a pilot, but he was a leader in both situations.

 

- Cain is very popular in my play group, so she has seen a lot of play. I understand why people consider her very powerful. Her once per game is excellent and helps the humans a great deal by shaving of a whole jump cycle. Yet, lately I've come to see a lot of games where her OPG never gets played. A few people had played it before the sleeper phase, to end up cylon afterwards and loosing because the blind jump had helped humans too much. So now Cain waits until after the sleeper phase. This makes the ability slightly worse because.

1) Somehow, people give less XO after the sleeper phase until all cylons are out. So it's harder for Cain to jump when the marker is at the start of the track.

2) It leaves less jumps after her action to plot a perfect course to the destination. I mean, if the sleeper occurs at a jump to 5 distance, and her blind jump gives you a distance 2, you still need 2 jump cycles (the first of them needs to be scouted for a 1 distance to not waste resources). If you would have taken your time to scout before the jump, you could have taken the same number of jump cycles to end the game.

3) If a cylon Cain wants to stay hidden after the sleeper phase, she will still be forced to use the ability ... if she doesn't, people will suspect she's a cylon anyway.

 

And as a conclusion:

If you want a solution that helps the player who takes a 'weaker' character and punishes a player who takes a strong character, I have one for if you play with the ionian nebula:

Divide your characters in 3 categories: strong, medium and weak. Strong characters start the game with 4 trauma tokens, medium with 3 and weak with 2. (if this isn't enoughm go to 5 categories, with 5 to 1 starting tokens)

That way, strong characters will be forced to play less optimal to get rid of the excess tokens that are bad for them, while weak characters can almost ignore them and focus on what has real importance.

 

 



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Posted 13 September 2013 - 06:20 AM

What if instead of coming up with new abilities, the characters were assigned a number and these numbers helped determine the starting resources using some formula? 

Did you get this idea from LotR LCG? It does look much like the initial threat of the chosen heroes.






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