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Horned Rat Expansion - Bloodletters Upgrade


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#1 phobiandarkmoon

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 03:55 AM

There are several ways to read this card. The way it seems to be worded seems more than slightly overpowered - does Khorne gain 2 VP:

- Any time he kills something in a region with a bloodletter

- Once per region if something died and there is a bloodletter

- Any number of times but only in one region of Khorne's choice

?

It seems to be the first option by the card, but that can easily have Khorne gain twenty-odd points in a turn, especially in a five-player game where there are just more models on the board.

 

Anyone got any thoughts? Or ways to stop Khorne once he has this upgrade?

 



#2 bioball

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 07:30 AM

Big Red has to kill enemy figures himself in a region with a bloodletter to gain the VPs.

It does not matter if he does this in the combat phase or via cards somehow, but a bloodletter has to be there.

 



#3 mi-go hunter

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 02:22 PM

I agree, that upgrade seems a little overpowered to me. Bloodletters upgrade + Vengeance = potential for MASSIVE point-scoring. Then again, that might be the only effective option for Khorne to becoming a real competitor for VP wins.



#4 tommh

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:07 AM

 SO here's a question. If all the bloodletters are themselves killed does the Khorne player get the points? All hits are resolved at the end of combat and thats when figures are actually killed but if the bloodletters are all killed then they are no longer present. 

 



#5 Darth Smeg

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 07:40 PM

Khorne allocates hits first, so his figures will not have been killed yet.


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#6 Casanunda13

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 06:52 PM

 We've played 2 games so far with the expansion, and Khorne has come out on top both times, by VPs AND dial (in the same turn).  Both times this upgrade was a large portion of the points.  I'll play the next game with only 2 VPs per battle, it seems far more balanced that way (and yet still quite good).

Incidentally, the issue with timing is a non-issue to me.  The rules do seem to imply that combat is simultaneous, with players taking turns allocating hits merely for practical purposes.  If a bloodletter is in a zone, and an enemy figure dies, Khorne gets VPs.  No need to complicate it.



#7 MR Suplex

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 05:16 AM

mi-go hunter said:

 

Then again, that might be the only effective option for Khorne to becoming a real competitor for VP wins.

 

 

Exactly. Its the only way he can get a VP win.  If he has a bad opening turn or two, this is his only chance for victory. 



#8 MR Suplex

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 05:23 AM

phobiandarkmoon said:

There are several ways to read this card. The way it seems to be worded seems more than slightly overpowered - does Khorne gain 2 VP:

- Any time he kills something in a region with a bloodletter

- Once per region if something died and there is a bloodletter

- Any number of times but only in one region of Khorne's choice

?

It seems to be the first option by the card, but that can easily have Khorne gain twenty-odd points in a turn, especially in a five-player game where there are just more models on the board.

 

Anyone got any thoughts? Or ways to stop Khorne once he has this upgrade?

 

 

Your first interpretation is the correct one, and I don't really see how its even debatable.  The text is very plain and simple: "You gain 2 VP each time you kill a figure in a region containing a Bloodletter".  That's it.  No restrictions at all.  Those who are suggesting its once per region are flat out wrong and just compensating for their inability to fight against this.  By their logic, every upgrade in the game should only be once per region, once per phase, etc.

This upgrade is really the only way Khorne can viably VP victory, and if he has one or two opening turns that do not net him a double dial tick, its really his only means of winning the game.  The best way to fight it is the same way you fight him generally: run from him, use defensive cards, bait him into regions you don't intend on contesting, etc.

The card is strong, but its hardly overpowered.



#9 tommh

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 10:01 AM

 By itself its not overpowered the problem with Horned Rat Khorne (and why he's winning around 80% of recorded games on BGG) is that  there's a massive synergy between his upgrades and cards that builds until he's extremely difficult to beat.   Bloodletters +1 die to all combats + free move for his Daemon + rampage + all his draw in opponent cards are extremely powerful in combination. None of the other powers see this sort of synergy and their ability to shut down Khorne is severely reduced with only 1 card that shuts combat down. 

Another issue with your "just run away" strategy are the rats. Their entire idea is flooding the board with pieces. They have to get on the board and stay there and they have no cards to stop combat. 

My group is a pool of 9 experienced players (we play at lunch at work). We've played the horned rat expansion 7 times and Khorne has won 5 times including the last two in a row. 

 

 



#10 Kushiel

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 09:45 AM

tommh said:

 By itself its not overpowered the problem with Horned Rat Khorne (and why he's winning around 80% of recorded games on BGG)

Where are you getting this number from? The current tally in the Horned Rat stats thread, across all the configurations played, is this:

Overall: Winning Side
Khorne: 13
Nurgle: 9
Tzeentch: 8
Slaanesh: 9
The Horned Rat: 6
The Old World: 1

Granted, that hasn't been updated in a week or so, but it's an awfully far cry from Khorne winning 80% of the time. It's actually less than 30% of the time that he's won. Or did I miss something crucial in that thread?



#11 MR Suplex

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:51 AM

tommh said:

My group is a pool of 9 experienced players (we play at lunch at work). We've played the horned rat expansion 7 times and Khorne has won 5 times including the last two in a row.

 

And has Khorne won every time with VP?  Were these VP mostly a result of the Bloodletters upgrade?  Is it the same player playing Khorne each time?



#12 cyb3k

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 10:17 PM

Anyway, someone can say that if all Bloodletters died during battle, the region no longer contains any Bloodletters and no points can be granted...

This would make gaining any points from this upgrade much more difficult, Bloodletters are very easy to kill.

 

That's an interpretation of one of my opponents in our first expansion game and it's hard to be denied - the card doesn't say WHEN a Bloodletter has to be present. 



#13 MR Suplex

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:53 PM

cyb3k said:

Anyway, someone can say that if all Bloodletters died during battle, the region no longer contains any Bloodletters and no points can be granted...

This would make gaining any points from this upgrade much more difficult, Bloodletters are very easy to kill.

 

That's an interpretation of one of my opponents in our first expansion game and it's hard to be denied - the card doesn't say WHEN a Bloodletter has to be present. 

 

I don't see how you can argue this.  All hits are assigned and kills decided before models are removed...



#14 Whitmire

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 08:57 PM

MR Suplex said:

cyb3k said:

 

Anyway, someone can say that if all Bloodletters died during battle, the region no longer contains any Bloodletters and no points can be granted...

This would make gaining any points from this upgrade much more difficult, Bloodletters are very easy to kill.

 

That's an interpretation of one of my opponents in our first expansion game and it's hard to be denied - the card doesn't say WHEN a Bloodletter has to be present. 

 

 

 

I don't see how you can argue this.  All hits are assigned and kills decided before models are removed...

And this is exactly why the card isn't overpowered, because all hits are assigned and kills decided at the same time. The keyword here is "time".

Thus, it does not matter whether you kill 1,2, 3 or a gazillion models in one battle - all hits are assigned and decided at the same time and you get 2 VPs "each time you kill a figure in a region containing a bloodletter". Thus, you get 2 VPs during the time you kill from one to gazillion models in a battle. If it were 2 VPs per figure, the card would state that. However, it does not say "for each figure you kill in a region containing a bloodletter". No, it says "EACH TIME".

The key question when determining if something is overpowered is: "Would I choose any other Upgrade over this?" The answer to this question in Khorne's case is, in my opinion: "No, I would not, since I can win the game entirely based on one Upgrade." The only card worth contemplating at all is the Cultist upgrade, if you're going for a DA victory, because that way you can get hits in more regions per turn. This is often overkill, since Khorne doesn't need to get 4-5 DA markers per turn. 3-4 suffices.



#15 MR Suplex

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 02:32 AM

Whitmire said:

And this is exactly why the card isn't overpowered, because all hits are assigned and kills decided at the same time. The keyword here is "time".

Thus, it does not matter whether you kill 1,2, 3 or a gazillion models in one battle - all hits are assigned and decided at the same time and you get 2 VPs "each time you kill a figure in a region containing a bloodletter". Thus, you get 2 VPs during the time you kill from one to gazillion models in a battle. If it were 2 VPs per figure, the card would state that. However, it does not say "for each figure you kill in a region containing a bloodletter". No, it says "EACH TIME".

The key question when determining if something is overpowered is: "Would I choose any other Upgrade over this?" The answer to this question in Khorne's case is, in my opinion: "No, I would not, since I can win the game entirely based on one Upgrade." The only card worth contemplating at all is the Cultist upgrade, if you're going for a DA victory, because that way you can get hits in more regions per turn. This is often overkill, since Khorne doesn't need to get 4-5 DA markers per turn. 3-4 suffices.

 

 

You've given the best argument I've seen yet for the "2pts per region" interpretation, but I'm still not sure I agree with it.  I think it is very reasonable to intepret the upgrade's meaning to be that you get 2pts per kill, because if your interpretation had been the intent, why would they not have just said "at least one kill per region" like they do for the DAC condition and all other "one to gazillion" type conditions in the game?  Regardless, this obviously needs to be answered in the FAQ because there is a legitimate argument to each interpretation.

I will state that even with this upgrade netting Khorne 2pts per kill, as my group has played it, I have only seen Khorne win one game by VP after 10+ games with the new rules. With this upgrade Khorne actually has a chance to win by VP, but unless he rolls very well he still can't outpace the other players who are scoring big on ruinations (and being smart about avoiding him). When in doubt, Bloodletters are costly and fragile and knocking them out when you are forced to fight can further set Khorne back.

Also, you seem to be mixing upgrade cards from the base set and the expansion, since the Khorne cultist upgrade you are referring to is from the base game.



#16 Organous

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:58 AM

What you consider to be the more balanced option is not the question.  The question is what is the rule?  This upgrade is worded identically to his old Chaos card that draws for each kill, probably also the new one that makes them into corruption (I don't have it handy to check).  Therefore, I've been ruling that it's 2 per body, not region.

It really hasn't made much of a difference among us, anyway.  Bloodthirster upgrade is a "win-more" card, not a "win" card.  If you already are doing well, it just makes you do even better by the same means.  However, given that Khorne is entirely reliant on dice and the existence of killable models, it just increases the reward you gain for the same risk.  The cultist upgrade and drawing for dominating both give him the means to consistently dominate regions (in theory, nobody's dared to try it yet).  Less risk, more reward, definitely a good equation.  Vengeance makes it more likely for you to kill, because you'll have more dice.  It kinda makes up for being incapable to hit in all regions like he used to with the old cultist upgrade.  Equal reward, less risk.  Similar logic applies to the Bloodthirster.  You put it someplace after everyone's pretty well committed to their location, and you suddenly have an extra 4 dice in that region.  All of these options reduce your risk except for the Bloodthirster.  I personally prefer to guarantee my victories rather than attempt to rush them.  I've seen the opposite end of Bloodthirster work simply because the dice would not work for me.



#17 Whitmire

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:39 AM

Rather than focusing on the wording of the rule, I'd also interpret the rule teleologically, i.e. considering the intention of the rule, e.g. "can it really be true that they wanted the card to be this powerful/weak?" This is how I tend to play my games, and it's carried me pretty well so far.

So, whenever I come by a rule that might net one player some 20 VPs in one turn, that's when I become very suspicious. However, I have to admit that I have been surprised by FAQs before, so I can't say what FFG's final ruling will be on this matter.

Furthermore, I have to admit, the old set of upgrade cards was horribly imbalanced (for example, who'd take the old Bloodletter upgrade over anything else Khorne has to offer - or who would even consider taking the Slaanesh Warrior upgrade, ever?), so there is a chance that the expansion deck is like you said and "as intended" that way, and they actually did want Khorne to have this powerful an option. If that's the case, I'm sorely disappointed in FFG, because this was one of the games that struck me because it seemed so finely tuned when it comes to balance.

MR Suplex said:

Also, you seem to be mixing upgrade cards from the base set and the expansion, since the Khorne cultist upgrade you are referring to is from the base game.

True this. I had already written my response and then I started thinking whether there was another card  could also consider taking. That's where I mixed the two sets, in a moment's lapse (imbued upon me by Tzeentch, no doubt). This doesn't really affect what I said about the Bloodletter upgrade, however. On the contrary, it reinforces the idea that there are very few actual options to the new Bloodletter upgrade.



#18 MR Suplex

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:34 AM

Organous said:

Therefore, I've been ruling that it's 2 per body, not region.

It really hasn't made much of a difference among us, anyway.

Exactly.  It brings Khorne much closer to wins, but he still gets out-pointed by the guys doing the ruinations.  I actually think the upgrade gives Khorne a fighting chance (no pun intended) if he stalls on the dial early, whereas before this upgrade existed he was pretty much screwed.



#19 MR Suplex

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:36 AM

Whitmire said:

So, whenever I come by a rule that might net one player some 20 VPs in one turn, that's when I become very suspicious. However, I have to admit that I have been surprised by FAQs before, so I can't say what FFG's final ruling will be on this matter.

Every other faction has always had the ability to score this much in one turn through ruination.  Since Khorne pretty much will never be first or second place for ruination, this just gives him the means to also make big gains in points.  I don't see the problem.



#20 aikavaras

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:26 PM

Whitmire said:

Rather than focusing on the wording of the rule, I'd also interpret the rule teleologically, i.e. considering the intention of the rule, e.g. "can it really be true that they wanted the card to be this powerful/weak?" This is how I tend to play my games, and it's carried me pretty well so far.

So, whenever I come by a rule that might net one player some 20 VPs in one turn, that's when I become very suspicious. However, I have to admit that I have been surprised by FAQs before, so I can't say what FFG's final ruling will be on this matter.

 

I think the intention is to make Khorne VP victory viable: against other gods and especially against his own Dial victory. Lets assume that the game is decided in 5 turns and you kill enemies with bloodletters in 3 different regions every turn. By your interpretation this would net Khorne 30 VP during the game. He won't dominate or ruin much if he uses this strategy as he is focusing on spreading bloodletters thinly all over the map. But at the same time those bloodletter kills alone have given him 3 Dial advancement tokens every turn, which means by turn 5 Khorne has just won by dial. So the new update has to give points for every kill. Otherwise it doesn't make VP victory over dial victory more likely.

 

 






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