Hey all. I want to talk some Echo Caverns today. Have you all had a chance to use it much? I finally got a chance to play it the other day and it was AWESOME! LIke, awesome to the point that a comment was made about it being a little too powerful and might be errata'd later. So, what are people's thoughts on this? Is it really too powerful? Or is it just new? I've been browsing the regular sites (cardgamedb, top tier, bgg, team covenant) but it seems that aside from initial reactions, there hasn't been much talk about the power of this card. My thoughts are:
1) It's unique, so you'll only ever have one of it on the board at a time. That's a good factor limiting its usefulness. Can you imagine facing two of these?!
2) If you're running mostly characters or mostly vehicles, and you face a deck stacked the other way, you are limited in how you can use Echo Caverns. It's still great for surprising your opponent by shuffling your own combat icons.
3) Maybe this card is just plain new. I'm thinking that after we all play against it enough, we'll get used to how to work around it and what to expect from it.
After the match, my opponent and I talked theoretical ways to curb Echo Cavern's awesome power. One idea was to make it so it only works on your own units. This is an appealing idea because it's what a lot of people thought it did when they first read it. Havning an objective set full of the Renegade Squadron keyword and then saying you can exchange icons between units that share that trait really makes you think about that set first.
Another idea was to focus it for two when you use the ability. Okay, this is my sad attempt to neuter this card and quite honestly, I think this would be going too far. In some games, you may only get to use this once or twice if you had to put two focus tokens on it.
This addendum consists of two ways Echo Caverns really helped me out:
Opponent decides he needs some blast damage on my objectives and needs to lock my board down, so he attacks offensively with Emperor Palpatine and Heavy Stormtrooper. I decide to block with a lone Guardian who shields herself. I don't really care too much about unopposed. All I really want is to keep him from getting the unopposed bonus. To eliminate me, he'd have to spend a tactics on my Guardian instead of piling it on my benched Yoda. He lays a card, I pass. It was a Twist of Fate. He decides not to pursue the edge and plays no more cards. I win by default. He sacrifices an Ice Tromper to pull Palpatine out so he can attack a different objective. I take one of his tactics, add a unit damage to the Guardian with my Munitions Expert, deadeye the Stormtrooper and focus Palpatine with the stolen tactics.
I purchase a Renegade Squadron Operative and give Luke a lightsaber. I send the Renegade Squadron Operative and Guardian of the Peace to attack an objective I don't care about. My opponent chose not to fall for it, knowing I had Luke and Yoda left to attack with and didn't have any tactics. So I smuggled one of Emperor's tactics with Echo Caverns and pinned him down.
Acutally, now that I think about it, these were the only two times I used Echo Caverns. So it didn't have as big an effect as I thought. It just felt like a lot because I was using all sorts of tricks. Munitions Expert, Crossfire, and Echo Caverns make a formidable team that forces your opponent to really think about how many combat icons you really have when you declare your attackers. So after writing a monograph, my assessment is that Echo Caverns is banefully frustrating to play against, but it doesn't really break the game.
What are your thoughts?