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perfect balance fix


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#1 Kire Immortal

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:14 AM

This is probably the 2nd-most played game at our table and we love it.  However, we're too good at it.  Dracula can never get above 4 victory points, and even then only if he's lucky.  It doesn't help that we're all engineers well-versed in graph-theory and half our gaming groups works at Microsoft.  We're just too d*** good at planning ahead.

However, we'd happily like to report we found the most elegant fix: we removed Mina Harker.

We didn't replace her with anything.  It's now just a four-player game (Drac + 3 hunters).  With Dracula's turn coming up that much more often, and less people to cover the map, we found it works amazing well, and almost always ends in down-to-the-wire finishes that can easily go either way.

Why Mina?  She gets too many items too quickly, and her free is too powerful.  Without the free bite, hypnotism is useless.  And if you ever risk getting a bite (we usually put it on Van Hellsing) then you're at a severe disadvantage in combat against the Count - which means there's only two people that could go against him.

The only flaw in this otherwise perfect setup is the chaotic effect that comes with maybe drawing the Evasion card.  So we removed it.  It felt to go against the theme and purpose of the game anyway.  And too much randomness takes away from the fun of the game and the battle of the brains.

So there it is: remove Mina Harker and the Evasion card, and you get a perfectly balanced game.  And so much fun too I might add.



#2 Ruvion

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 11:34 AM

I'm glad it balanced your game. Congrats.

I actually increased the inherent chaos factor, without removing anything from the game (there are strategies/tactics you are missing out by removing Mina and Evasion), and it worked out for my group.



#3 Steve-O

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 06:31 AM

Ruvion said:

I'm glad it balanced your game. Congrats.

I actually increased the inherent chaos factor, without removing anything from the game (there are strategies/tactics you are missing out by removing Mina and Evasion), and it worked out for my group.

Could you perhaps elaborate?  I'm interested to hear any ideas that might rebalance this game.  I loved the old version, but the new one is too easy on the hunters, I find.  At least, assuming fear of drawing a Drac card doesn't paralyze them from drawing items.



#4 Ruvion

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:48 PM

I revamped the combat system by replacing it with a RISK like dice battle system: the end result is you roll more dice during combat and the law of averages takes care of the rest.

The item deck is a hunter thing so I do not believe there should be restriction imposed on item draw. There is a minor strategy/co-op element in drawing items for the hunters, therefore it is optimization not fear which restraints hunters from wantonly drawing items.



#5 azuredarkness

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 10:32 PM

Ruvion said:

I revamped the combat system by replacing it with a RISK like dice battle system: the end result is you roll more dice during combat and the law of averages takes care of the rest.

 

Umm... details?



#6 Steve-O

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 03:09 AM

Ruvion said:

The item deck is a hunter thing so I do not believe there should be restriction imposed on item draw. There is a minor strategy/co-op element in drawing items for the hunters, therefore it is optimization not fear which restraints hunters from wantonly drawing items.

I don't impose any restrictions on the deck.  I've just noticed that games where the hunters are willing to draw lots and pitch excess stuff end up being much easier for them than games where they only draw sparsely for fear of giving Dracula a card.  Since 2/3 of the deck is hunter gear, its a pretty big resource they're denying themselves if they don't draw.  That was true of the old version as well, but I think there were fewer hunter cards that helped them pin down Dracula's exact location than there are in the new version, so if they're willing to cycle the deck looking for good cards, it makes a big difference.



#7 Ruvion

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:45 AM

Steve-O said:

 

Could you perhaps elaborate?  I'm interested to hear any ideas that might rebalance this game.  I loved the old version, but the new one is too easy on the hunters, I find.  At least, assuming fear of drawing a Drac card doesn't paralyze them from drawing items.

 

 

Now here I was sitting down thinking you were talking about items...I guess you were talking about events. Failed to see it was a simple typo...my bad.

@Azuredarkness: At the end of a year long playtesting here...I'm putting in the finishing touches. Will post in a new thread once that's done.



#8 mattnaik

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 07:03 AM

I just house rules that the Hypnosis can not be used on Mina. The card says it must be used on a bitten hunter, which is kind of a silly statement since there is ALWAYS a bitten hunter in play. If you remove the ability for it to be used on Mina the card seems to make more sense, and kinda feels more right IMHO



#9 Lemmiwinks

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 06:46 AM

Wait, are you the people that play Battlestar Galatica with note pads counting cards? I think I can tell you why Dracula has a hard time winning...



#10 MrEntity

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:41 AM

Really? You think the hunters have the advantage? And you think removing MINA of all people gives Dracula a better chance of winning?

With my group(s) we've had to INCREASE the number of points Dracula needs to win. At 8 points the game seems ALMOST fair for the hunters. I seem to have luck of the draw on the random number pick for who gets Dracula and I get to be him more often than not but I still argue that he should need at least 9. You can get to 4 points, and wait in the freaking ocean and win if you're smart in the standard game.

And honestly, Mina is Dracula's best option for getting points. WIthout her, the game becomes much more difficult for whoever's the antagonist. Granted, the protagonists would have slightly more difficulty finding Drac, but if you're going to remove someone with the point of making the game easier for Dracula remove a character who is GOOD (but not great), like Goldaming, and not a LIABILITY, like Mina.



#11 chrisdk

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:44 AM

MrEntity said:

 

You can get to 4 points, and wait in the freaking ocean and win if you're smart in the standard game.

 

 

 

 

You do know that time doesn't advance while drac is at sea, right?

Also that he cannot stay in place there either.



#12 Nagypapi

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 09:45 AM

After close to 50 games we found the game balanced as it is.

There are elements that seems to be powerful for one side but everything can be countered some way with good strategy. But that starts right at the beginning of the game, knowing what you can expect. It is too late to whine as Dracula when you get a Stormy Seas on you in the last third of the game washing you openly ashore during the day than hunters teleporting on you en masse with stakes and kill you off. Of course they will be prepared, having good cards and resolve points at that time. If such thing happened you had lost the game already at half time you just didn't know it than.

This game is much more about resource management and effective attrition of resources of your opponents than it seems. There is a reason why Dark Call costs 2 blood for Dracula, making it the most costly of his tricks. If you start thinking on it that way you might get interesting points which can improve your chances of win both as hunter and Dracula.



#13 silky

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:35 AM

 I personally have always thought that the ability to bite a hunter and then have them hypnotize that hunter to find you in game was very cool.  Yet its frigging stupid as sin that the the hypnosis card will always have someone to be played on.  Dracula should be able to decide weather or not he wishes to bite someone and have it come back to haunt him thrue hypnosis.



#14 silky

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 04:41 AM

 just a tid bit of information for the fella who believes Drac should need 9 vamp points to win.

 

Time ceases to pass if Dracula goes to sea.  It says this plainly in the rulebook.   Dracula may never go to sea to pass the time and win the game.  It cannot happen under the rules. Unless he has vampires waiting to mature that will push him over the limit as he travels from zone to zone.






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