played a 4 player game with Dwarves, Skaven, Wood Elves on the weekend. The game ended in the closest game i've played. 5 points separated all 4 players.
I ended up in equal second 1 fan behind first(we play Salary Cap rules FYI, and also played Abbreviated Season). I feel like i could've won if i'd played a little more strategically instead of tehmatically (i did also get two Hired Wizards, and an option of a second Apothicary which i passed up for fairness' sake). Overall it didn't seem SUPER balanced, but i feel part of that was due to the other players not really knowing how to play against the Goblins, being INCREDIBLY lucky with the cheat tokens (i won a highlight with 3 goblins cause i got a +1, +2, and +3 boost), and my two starting star players were Grashnak Blackhoof, and Headsplitter… that gave my starting team 5 guys with 4SP or more.
Firstly the Team Upgrades:
I only saw Secret Weapon on the final turn, so never got to use it, however i dont' think it would hvae made HEAPS of difference, as the way the game turned out i oftenm didn't have a sectre wepoan in teh discard pile to put on top of my deck - so whether that's balanced or useless, i'm not sure. More testing required here.
Everyone Loves a Cheat - used this a few times, but didn't make a big difference - it plays fine.
Bribe: i didn't get to use, but it's similar to the Skaven team upgrade so i assume it's balanced.
Dirt Player - Was ok, although i feel like a restriction on the tackle - being that you can only tackle downed players(with the intent to injure them) would be better since it combines two staff upgrades in it's current form, i think it's a little good.
Between da Legs! : this felt really over powered, and maybe it should be restricted to ONLY Goblins not all stunty players - however, it didn't really make much of a difference to the highlights… but it just seemed like once you got this, there were too many times where you simply 'got the ball for doing nothing'. That being said, it's not as good as the staff upgrade that gives you 'Passing', so it still SEEMS ok in theory - more testing needed on this.
Now the players:
Fanatic: he's great, i played him twice, and he hit 2/3 times on both occasions. He also got knocked down and injured on both occasions… so he seemed ok. Never seemed too game breaking - i'm tempted to reduce tackles to 2 from 3.
Trolls: These guys were quite balanced i feel. Didn't get to use Throw team mate very often, but it seemed reasonable(especially since you lose Star Power and a Cheat token at that highlight when doing so - it made the ability quite strategic). Really Stupid went off once, didn't really affect the game much, but i like it there.
Bombadier: Wow. I played him once where he got a +0, +2, and +3. Love the randomness, but he seemed TOO good… But lots of luck there, and i believe it's around a 50% chance to hit an Ejection token, so it seems balanced even if a little luck reliant.
Pogoer seemed fine.
Looney: felt like he could swing the game a little too much. that 50% to not only down but INJURE a player, and it could be a big guy seemed REALLY good. Even if he didn't always do it. Maybe instead of injure, it should be down. That being said, he only contributes 1SP to the matchup.
Goblins: seemed ok if very unassuming. I won a number of matchups due to the cheat tokens on Goblins… and people often didn't tackle them due to dodge, or the assumption that they are crap. That may change in the future - but i feel the cheat tokens make them really good. Maybe removing them is more balanced.
So… that was my experience with them. In conclusion they were fun, but i feel that playing the Abbreviated Season and scoring some GREAT star players (as well as starting with a Hired Wizard) may have made them more powerful then they in-fact are… Card images linked
ps. images were made in MSPaint, as i don't have access to Photoshop at the moment…