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SPOILERS!!! Voice of Isengard Player Cards


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#21 Noccus

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:39 AM

Man spirit got some power cards here. More auto includes in this box for spirit!
Honestly, if you guy use spirit, are not over 75% of the cards you use always the same?
Knowledge is power: silver lamp is a game changer. This thing is auto include.
If not, something is wrong with you. Seriously. Wrong.

I really like the horse breeder. Great utility card.

And power of Orthanc is just as it should be, IMO. Great against certain quests, and scales nicely for multiplayer with it's doomed keyword. Well designed card right there. Powerful, but not too much so.

Edited by Noccus, 14 February 2014 - 02:40 AM.

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#22 Downer

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:35 AM

 

Yeah, Tactics need some love. I'm trying to think of high-powered cards for Tactics, and really Warhorse is probably it. They are a good Sphere, particularly in multiplayer, but they have the most needs of any Sphere. They feel like they were designed by balancing Spirit, Lore, and Leadership against the Encounter deck, cutting their attack values to the point where it's problematic (Spirit) to slightly problematic, but then gave those factions some power cards and/or synergies to compensate for that, and then lastly took the difference in attack value added whatever mechanics that were left over and called it "Tactics."

 

Tactics has been weak form day one, it doesn't just need love.. it needs a complete rethinking in how they design it. There is a strong showing for them in multiplayer and this is the rub, they simply do not have tools to allow solo players to use them. All they need to make tactics viable and open a ton of those player cards to solo players is some songs or attachments or something that can add other icons.

 

One of the great problems in this game is the factions are not really divided across theme or tribes or w.e.. they are divided by utility. Now this is all well and good when you have a way to splash effectively, but tactics just do not have it. Maybe when they get a tactic Aragorn it will open all those aragorn attachments to make splashing less of a chore.

 

The idea of split utility is cool, but not when you consider the solo game. Having an entire set of allies and only 2 of them with over 1 will and 6 at 1 and a whopping 12 at 0 and the heroes not much better is just not viable.

 

Still this split on utility is causing many of the problems in this game. A deck needs to be able to quest and reduce threat... almost beyond all else and I do not think anyone is going to sit there and say spirit is not nearly a must include at some level for solo decks. Lore has some great cards but most importantly it has the Minstrels allowing efficient splashing of songs and all that card draw that makes those clunky decks function very well.

 

As the game progresses this divide in utility is just going to get bigger and bigger separating the spheres until there are very very very few options for solo. Tactics is the worst so far, leadership not far behind.. in fact the only really immune one is Lore with the card draw and the song search..

 

This needs to be addressed at some point.

 

 

Well, Leadership is quite good (better than Lore as a primary Sphere, in my opinion, Lore is the better support sphere though). In fact, I think all the non-Tactics races are reasonably close. Spirit is ahead, but it's not ahead in such a way that invalidates other Spheres, i.e. there are plenty of meaningful things that Lore and Leadership can do better than Spirit, they are also better solo than Spirit.

 

While at this point it can only be addressed through card balance, I actually think Tactics problems has more to do with the mechanical set-up of the game and where combat is positioned in it. 

 

Willpower is needed for questing. Questing successfully keeps your threat low. Threat determines when enemies engage you and keeping your threat low reduces enemy engagement. Enemies engaging you less means you can spend more resources questing.

 

On the other hand, lower willpower means failed quests. Failed quests means you increase your threat. Increasing threat means more enemies engage you. More enemies engaging you means fewer resources spent on questing.

 

Both are positive feedback loops, but one is for your deck and the other is for the encounter deck.

 

Now, I think this was a thematic decision. You can't just bully your way to victory, you have to go on some quest. However, mechanically this puts combat at a disadvantage and as more of a support role since it's not progress it's simply damage control.

 

But to be honest, balance-wise I don't think it's a problem (solo mono-Tactics is just one out of many iterations). My issue is more that Tactics always feels like generic.dec rather than a unique creation. You just block and attack, which every deck does, but you do slightly better.

 

There Sphere mechanics are so-so, combat tricks are okayish, but many lack punch do to their design. For example, the abilities that allow a single character to attack the staging area are irrelevant because you typically can't solo an enemy and doing multiple attacks is inefficient considering they usually have at least 1 defense. Weapons are generally less useful than similarly costed allies. Also, their traits are either secondary (despite Theoden and Boromir, Rohan and Gondor are more Spirit and Leadership) or bad (Eagles). 

 

They didn't make out too bad in Heirs. Much better than the Dwarf dominated Khaz and their embarrassing Eagle nonsense in Mirkwood. Dunland Trap doesn't seem especially good, but Voices gives them good things. They are mostly on the right track though.



#23 Distractionbeast

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:26 AM

I'm not sure how everyone else plays, but generally, I try to engage every enemy as early as possible, because leaving them in the staging area just leads to tears later on.  No matter what spheres I play, unless I'm doing a final questing blitz, I can't afford to let enemies sit in the staging area (with rare exception).

 

While tactics has a hard time questing, the inability to deal with enemies is usually worse for me.  IMHO



#24 KennedyHawk

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:39 AM

I usually do this as well, unless I'm playing a deck designed on keeping enemies in the staging area (for extra attack, or if traps help keep them there and reduce their threat).



#25 Scroll Lock

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:06 PM

There is not a single unique ally. Does this mean that that awesome art in the top right corner of the description page is just some objective? :(

Edited by Scroll Lock, 14 February 2014 - 12:08 PM.


#26 KennedyHawk

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:22 PM

There is not a single unique ally. Does this mean that that awesome art in the top right corner of the description page is just some objective? :(

 

Saruman is a unique ally.



#27 Distractionbeast

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:32 PM

BTW, Silver Lamp sounds SUPER-OP.  As stated, I think it's an auto-include.  The only limiter is that usually spirit heroes are expected to quest, especially early in the game.  But that's not a problem a few turns in, and there are other ways to ready or prevent exhausting (especially in spirit sphere!).  Besides, you can save your spirit heroes for combat and still get full use of this card.  Just WOW.  

 

Was spirit weak enough to warrant this card?  I didn't think so.  

 

Shadow cards represented the unpredictable nature of combat - the die rolls in other games.  This is what keeps the tension up and forces hard decisions before they get flipped.  Even without preventing effects, the lamp destroys all that tension and literally changes the nature of the game, shifting it towards a more deterministic model.  I'm very nervous about this.  Am I wrong to be?



#28 Style75

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:46 PM

I don't think Silver Lamp is OP. First of all it costs 2 so you'll have to choose between this or an ally in the first round. It requires that the hero not do anything which is a serious penalty in the early rounds, especially if you're not putting out an ally. Also it only affects enemies engaged with you. In a multiplayer game, this does nothing to help the tactics player who is probably getting most of the enemies anyways. Basically I see Silver Lamp as a tool that helps control the late game. The early game will still be as dangerous as ever. It's a fantastic card, but not all OP.  Dain still wears the crown of OP cards.



#29 Scroll Lock

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:26 PM

There is not a single unique ally. Does this mean that that awesome art in the top right corner of the description page is just some objective?  :(

 

Saruman is a unique ally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is true. But I wanted to say one thing. 

http://www.fantasyfl...0&esem=1&epmi=s

Who is that awesome art elf in the top right corner? And how about that blue-eyed elf in hood who disappeared? Are they in VoI box? Are they only objectives? That would be quite disappointing.



#30 Thanatopsis

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:39 PM

 

Was spirit weak enough to warrant this card?  I didn't think so.  

 

Some say that Spirit really got the short end of the Against the Shadow cycle.



#31 Style75

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:40 PM

These cards look really good and it's obvious they were carefully designed to work well with the existing Rohan cards. It's nice to see the designers trying to make some of the older seldom played cards more useful (ex. "A Light in the Dark"). I do wish, however, that they included something for Theoden to make him more useful. I think this was a missed opportunity to make the King of Rohan a little more kingly. I think it's very telling that the latest second breakfast deck doesn't even use Theoden and it's supposed to be the premier Rohan deck.

 

Note that the Westfold Horse Breeder will fetch Asfaloth, a powerful effect in a Glorfindel deck making it a definite auto-include for that deck.



#32 Bullroarer Took

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:26 PM

I mitigate shadow cards the old fashioned way - with Burning Brand.  But for Spirit I think it's a great card.

 

And while I do think Spirit didn't get much during the AtS cycle, it had a huge head start and is still ahead.


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#33 Distractionbeast

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:56 PM

 

 

Was spirit weak enough to warrant this card?  I didn't think so.  

 

Some say that Spirit really got the short end of the Against the Shadow cycle.

 

 

Perhaps, but I'm not convinced that this sort of drastic approach is warranted.  To reiterate my point, it fundamentally changes the mechanics of the game.  Burning Brand did this as well because it meant shadow cards were completely irrelevant on some enemies.  The uncertainty of shadow effects (and encounter deck staging) is what prevents players from planning out their victories many rounds in advance.  Burning Brand can actually "break" the game to this extent much of the time.  I'm afraid that Silver Lamp will similarly allow players to plan out their victory by eliminating the unknown which leads to anticlimactic games, in my experience.

 

I love the effect and I get excited about strong, general use cards, but I'd think it would warrant additional conditions or limits. For example, I'd pay 4 resources for this effect.  Or maybe it must be discarded if the attached character exhausts?  I'm worried that to counter this, we'll see some steep encounter deck power creep, which will exacerbate the balance between the current card pool and earlier scenarios.

 

Anyway, that's my $0.02.



#34 monkeyrama

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 06:09 AM

The lamp doesn't help much in any situation in which the enemy will get extra shadow cards - or, as someone noted above, sometimes it'll just let you know that you're going to get a pasting. It is pretty tasty though.

 

That said, maybe this cycle will also have more attachment hate. We haven't seen much of that since Heirs.



#35 MyNeighbourTrololo

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 06:22 AM

Lamp is good for allowing undefended attacks. No sudden "Shadow: +1 ATK, discard your entire friggin table from the roof if undefended" effects.


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#36 monkeyrama

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 06:27 AM

Lamp is good for allowing undefended attacks. No sudden "Shadow: +1 ATK, discard your entire friggin table from the roof if undefended" effects.

 

Indeed! Seems to me that Hobbit decks in particular will like the Lamp, since it could allow very low attack enemies to slip through for 1 HP undefended. Usually with Hobbits this is too risky.



#37 booored

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:02 AM

Lamp is good for allowing undefended attacks. No sudden "Shadow: +1 ATK, discard your entire friggin table from the roof if undefended" effects.

 

this is exactly what I thought as well, basically a much better version of Dark Knowledge which is a card that is really underrated imo. Still Lamp is just better in every single way. I would suggest that Lamp is in fact a redesign of Dark Knowledge.


Edited by booored, 17 February 2014 - 07:03 AM.

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#38 monkeyrama

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:16 AM

It's a fantastic card for characters like Eleanor, who in any case tend to be left uncommitted to the quest just in case, but otherwise serve a limited function unless a treachery comes up. What I want to know is whether the Lamp only attaches to Spirit heroes, or to any hero with the icon (so those with Songs of Travel/Narvi's Belt etc.).


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#39 jjeagle

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:53 AM

It's a fantastic card for characters like Eleanor, who in any case tend to be left uncommitted to the quest just in case, but otherwise serve a limited function unless a treachery comes up. What I want to know is whether the Lamp only attaches to Spirit heroes, or to any hero with the icon (so those with Songs of Travel/Narvi's Belt etc.).

It also looks particularly good on Glorfindel with Light of Valinor (as if he needed any more support) - typically you want to quest with him and then attack later, so Silver Lamp is perfect for him.


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#40 chuckles

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:07 PM

 

It's a fantastic card for characters like Eleanor, who in any case tend to be left uncommitted to the quest just in case, but otherwise serve a limited function unless a treachery comes up. What I want to know is whether the Lamp only attaches to Spirit heroes, or to any hero with the icon (so those with Songs of Travel/Narvi's Belt etc.).

It also looks particularly good on Glorfindel with Light of Valinor (as if he needed any more support) - typically you want to quest with him and then attack later, so Silver Lamp is perfect for him.

 

I agree... its hard to leave him out of decks when they keep creating new cards that work so well with him, such as Lay of Nimrodel & now Silver Lamp... I wonder how well he would go as the single hero in a solo deck... (probably be too reliant on getting the right combination of cards early on)


Edited by chuckles, 17 February 2014 - 02:11 PM.

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