Jump to content



Photo

Game balance as card pool expands (casual play!)


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 tako

tako

    Member

  • Members
  • 124 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:34 PM

I would like to ask you guys for some advice how to best approach this game from a casual player perspective as the card pool is growing. I usually play with my wife, she takes one race (usually order), I take another (usually destruction) and we deal the neutral cards randomly at the beginning of each game. Then, before the next game we tune our decks, swapping cards in and out, and go into the next round. As cards, we have 1 base set, all deluxe expansions, the enemy cycle and the capital cycle.

 

Now, what I would like to do is to slowly expand the pool of available cards as our experience grows. We are currently playing with all of the above, but I want to go back and basically limit the initial card pool to, let’s say, the base set and Assault of Ulthuan, and then gradually add the expansions and (current and new) battle packs whenever we feel we have somewhat exhausted the strategies of the cards in our pool.

What I am concerned about is imbalances in the game depending on which cards are available. I would be interested in what kind of card pools are generally considered to be somewhat balanced across all races. E.g., can I assume that going chronologically, after adding one deluxe expansion or a complete battle cycle (or part thereof), the factions should in general be in balance (for casual play)?
 



#2 Mallumo

Mallumo

    Member

  • Members
  • 509 posts

Posted 26 June 2012 - 02:12 PM

Not really, in my view. Opinions might differ of course, but I think some cycles favor certain factions more than others.

 

Your questions are a bit difficult to answer since your approach is somewhat uncommon. I'd simply look at how balanced things are for the two of you though. Maybe some factions usually do well (or not) for you, either based on your card pool or because they suit your playing styles (or not). Then I'd pick battle packs that have good cards for the factions that don't perform well to give them a boost. Either ask for advice which packs are good for faction X, or check them out yourself on deckbox.

 

I believe there's only so far you can go with simply using all the cards of a faction to form a deck and adding random neutrals, if you want to keep increasing the card pool. Not only will you miss out on a lot of neutrals, if you both have huge decks, randomness will increase, and it might actually become more difficult to execute strategies. The larger the card pool, the more themes each faction gets, but if you use all the cards, you end up with a deck with a high number of diluted themes and strategies. So my advice would be to try deckbuilding - but you'll know best what works for you.



#3 karat

karat

    Member

  • Members
  • 44 posts

Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:46 AM

 Actually, I'm doing something similar to the original poster, so perhaps my experiences and observations will help.

 

I started with my SO will all my available cards, but that was too much to absorb, so we went back to the core set only -- trying the 4 main factions for a few games until my SO was comfortable with the faction strengths and weaknesses and develop favorites (She prefers chaos, while I prefer dwarves, though in replaying some things, I think I've been overlooking empire too much.)  Next, we added in the first cycle of cards (corruption), actually starting to build decks -- me with a dwarf deck and her with an empire deck.  Our next step is to add in the Assault on Ulthuan and play with the elves a bit, especially since she likes dark elves.  (I only like light elves as secondary support and healing for a different primary faction.)  We plan on adding things chronologically since I only own a couple of cycles currently.  I don't plan on buying any more cards until we've added in all the cards I own and we're both still interested in playing.

 

Advantages: You don't need to deal with every card that currently exists -- you only deal with the game as it was at a given frozen moment in time.  As long as you don't play against more modern decks, that's fine.  Yes, there are shinier, newer cards, but you don't need to sink more money into the game if you're not competing against them.  As for balance, the balance was fairly close -- elves were a bit weak as main factions initially, but the other factions are relatively balanced (we're also doing this with Cthulhu, which feels less balanced, relatively speaking, and taking a random selection of packs is less balanced).  As for the elves, introducing the elves as support factions works pretty well if you're trying to introduce things slowly.  In short, the advantage is not being overwhelmed by the possibilities and getting to know the cards slowly.

 

Disadvantages: You won't be competitive against outside, modern decks.  You won't be aware of new mechanics, like legends.  You won't have access to the shiniest or most powerful cards.  However, if you're just playing from a closed set collection, this really doesn't matter.  You're just experiencing the meta at previous points in time.

 

In short, while it is possible to keep costs down by building decks from a database and just buying the packs that contain the cards you used, that can be overwhelming for new and casual players.  While that is better for getting into tournaments quickly and cheaply, I feel that my method is better for casual play and introducing the game to a new player you hope to get hooked, if you want to minimize the feeling of being overwhelmed.

 



#4 karat

karat

    Member

  • Members
  • 44 posts

Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:06 AM

 Incidentally, I failed to notice that you have cycles 2 and 4, not 1 and 2.  While this will be less balanced than a chronological progression, it should be reasonably okay as long as you add a complete cycle at a time.  That said, some cards were introduced to counter (or support) previous cards that you don't have.  Still, the primary focus was that a given cycle supported other cards in the cycle.  Balance won't be perfect -- it never is -- but it should be reasonable.  (Once again, I feel that Warhammer was more balanced than Cthulhu if you go back in time.)



#5 tako

tako

    Member

  • Members
  • 124 posts

Posted 27 June 2012 - 02:18 PM

All, thanks for the very good feedback and advice. I understand this is difficult question, so I think we will do as proposed here, to add back the deluxe expansions first and the chronologically add the BPs/cycles. I guess this is how most players will have done who followed the game from the start, picking up and enhancing their decks gradually as new cards are being released. One think I wanted to clarify, we do actually build our decks (except for the pure neutrals, we don't pick any cards at random), but what I found overwhelming for me as a late comer in the game wasthe size of the pool from which to select the cards that go into our decks, so that is what we wanted to reduce.

@karat: very similar situation, but my wife is one sticking with the dwarfs! I also had hoped that this gradual approach would be more manageable and in a sense also more exciting, as we gradually discover new strategies. The way it works at the moment is that we tend to play the same races and when a startegy of one player starts to be dominant, the other checks for cards to counter this or re-gain the upper hand, which then triggers the rebuilding of the deck on this other side. We found this works well, of course for casual play only, which is what we do.






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS