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  1. I see a lot of comparisons between Erkenbrand and Balin, but I see him more as a Burning Brand on a stick (or rather a mini-Beregond). Need to splash Lore to get healing (I generally like to anyways), and you have a real solid defender. Balin performs a different role; he's not a defender per se, just a support card for defenders. Erkenbrand is a defender that you can splash some support cards on.
  2. The fact that a bunch of people on the internet cry about it doesn't make it "morally wrong" either. If the community is poisoned and hurting over this, it is their own fault. If the customers want to hurt a company (i.e. as bunch of people who spend their lives and careers making this for their fans/customers), because they disagreed with what are their proper rights, then the customers are a bunch of jerks and are in the wrong. And it doesn't matter how many people on the internet agree with you, you are still in the wrong.
  3. I LOVED Vs. I don't know about power creep. I quit the game when they changed the graphic design on the card (which looked terrible in my opinion). At that time, I thought it was decently balanced and some of the better decks were still the older sets. The Kree Press mechanic was a bit crazy though as was the fact that Enemy of My Enemy was needed in many decks.
  4. Treebeard is soo good. Well, in my opinion at least. I mostly say this because it plays in any sphere set up and in any multi-sphere deck getting 4 of the right color can be a bother. Coming in a turn slow is well worth it for stats that are much better than average, not to mention the turn he does act he gets to act twice due to his ability. Ugh. That blue card looks good.
  5. Wait, so drawing a card and lowering your threat by 1 is nothing? Also, being able to get double use out of allies the round they come into play seems pretty good. Just think about that with Core Set Gandalf - ridiculous! Spirit has not had consistent card drawing until now, so I think Galadriel is amazingly powerful. As Ian said, once you get Nenya and some readying (UC, Miruvor, etc.) she becomes a real powerhouse. In multiplayer she is even better because she can target a Tactics player, who would ordinarily lack both card draw and threat reduction. I just don't see how targeted card draw *and* threat reduction in the same ability counts as nothing, but I am interested to hear your take. OK, here is my take: Allowing allies to quest without exhausting first turn they enter is good, but not so many allies can do anything besides questing, especially Spirit allies. One of the main roles of the heroes is being a front line, and she can't quest, attack or defend, so if you don't draw anything for her in your opening hand - you're out of luck and two other heroes better be able to handle the questing and fighting to be done. I think the proper response is "wow, she'd be great... in any other Sphere." She's a really good card, but boring old Eowyn is generally better in my opinion, and she can't compete with the ever-broken Glorfindel. In any other faction, I would love her, but here it's pretty meh. She splashes... okayish. Going off blue means that you'll likely lose a lot of the questing advantage as your allies will cost 2-3 and often have 1 or 0 willpower, which is nice but not amazing given her weaknesses. As a standalone deck, she would work best with Grima to power out worthwhile cards and manage threat. As a support deck, I could see her and 2x Tactics heroes, where they are dedicated combat and she just manages their threat and draws cards, while providing cheap Spirit cards. You'd lose out on most of the questing advantage, but it'd probably be worth it (so long as the other decks can pick up the slack).
  6. meh. don't get me wrong, i hate that the card exists (moreso because it's in Spirit than anything else though), but honestly, IIRC it's the only singleton in the Core Set that made me think about getting more than one. i haven't, but I think it's sensible that there are a few "chase rares" in the core set. Agreed.
  7. I think the option that makes the most sense is rather than do a single winner for both sides, each side should be a separate competition. My understanding is that the Runner side of things is horribly overpowered anyways. Might need to make assignments random to make sure the distribution is even, but it's "draft" so you could make that as a part of the draft as well. (Or more like a lottery I suppose).
  8. Really interested in the format. Love me card games, love me Game of Thrones, but I just don't want to invest in it at this point when I'm heavily invested in Netrunner (which I like more 2P, my preferred format) and Lord of the Rings (Co-op is another favorite format of mine). But I've always enjoyed Draft (though it creates an issue with what exactly am I going to do with these cards now), and Game of Thrones seems like a great game for the format to fit in. Normally drafting is almost a separate game from the card game since you play 1 on 1, but are drafting in a large multiplayer setting. With Game of Thrones working best with 3+ players, it will be much more interesting to draft against the table and then play against the table as well. Just want to make sure I am understanding correctly. Will there (functionally) be rarities in Draft Packs? I'm not sure whether the card selection is relating to the card pool only or the card pool and the draft packs. Because after the draft, cards from multiple sets will be mixed up and your not even supposed to know what is in each to begin with. Hence, it would be impossible to recreate or even approximate them. Unless 1) each draft pack contains a list of cards in that pack in their respective order or 2) rarities have some identification. Then at least you could draft rarities separately or at least create packs with the same distribution of rarities. Kind of an important thing to know because the situation will be either 1) I am buying packs for everybody and thus have a heavy investment into it. If that's the case, I'd like it to retain it's design after a single play (might as well go into the LCG) or 2) everyone is buying their own packs and starters. If this is the case, then it seems a bit... touchy, since people will be walking away with the cards that you bought and you the cards they bought. Yes, that's how draft format normally is, but I'm not familiar with draft being played in a non-tournament setting. Usually there is some ulterior motive to fun (and it is fun, but there is still an ulterior motive) of winning the tournament prize or scoring a power rare. I might still just house rule "living draft rules" where the final decks are the "draft packs" for the next game or something like that.
  9. Tactics has been weak form day one, it doesn't just need love.. it needs a complete rethinking in how they design it. There is a strong showing for them in multiplayer and this is the rub, they simply do not have tools to allow solo players to use them. All they need to make tactics viable and open a ton of those player cards to solo players is some songs or attachments or something that can add other icons. One of the great problems in this game is the factions are not really divided across theme or tribes or w.e.. they are divided by utility. Now this is all well and good when you have a way to splash effectively, but tactics just do not have it. Maybe when they get a tactic Aragorn it will open all those aragorn attachments to make splashing less of a chore. The idea of split utility is cool, but not when you consider the solo game. Having an entire set of allies and only 2 of them with over 1 will and 6 at 1 and a whopping 12 at 0 and the heroes not much better is just not viable. Still this split on utility is causing many of the problems in this game. A deck needs to be able to quest and reduce threat... almost beyond all else and I do not think anyone is going to sit there and say spirit is not nearly a must include at some level for solo decks. Lore has some great cards but most importantly it has the Minstrels allowing efficient splashing of songs and all that card draw that makes those clunky decks function very well. As the game progresses this divide in utility is just going to get bigger and bigger separating the spheres until there are very very very few options for solo. Tactics is the worst so far, leadership not far behind.. in fact the only really immune one is Lore with the card draw and the song search.. This needs to be addressed at some point. Well, Leadership is quite good (better than Lore as a primary Sphere, in my opinion, Lore is the better support sphere though). In fact, I think all the non-Tactics races are reasonably close. Spirit is ahead, but it's not ahead in such a way that invalidates other Spheres, i.e. there are plenty of meaningful things that Lore and Leadership can do better than Spirit, they are also better solo than Spirit. While at this point it can only be addressed through card balance, I actually think Tactics problems has more to do with the mechanical set-up of the game and where combat is positioned in it. Willpower is needed for questing. Questing successfully keeps your threat low. Threat determines when enemies engage you and keeping your threat low reduces enemy engagement. Enemies engaging you less means you can spend more resources questing. On the other hand, lower willpower means failed quests. Failed quests means you increase your threat. Increasing threat means more enemies engage you. More enemies engaging you means fewer resources spent on questing. Both are positive feedback loops, but one is for your deck and the other is for the encounter deck. Now, I think this was a thematic decision. You can't just bully your way to victory, you have to go on some quest. However, mechanically this puts combat at a disadvantage and as more of a support role since it's not progress it's simply damage control. But to be honest, balance-wise I don't think it's a problem (solo mono-Tactics is just one out of many iterations). My issue is more that Tactics always feels like generic.dec rather than a unique creation. You just block and attack, which every deck does, but you do slightly better. There Sphere mechanics are so-so, combat tricks are okayish, but many lack punch do to their design. For example, the abilities that allow a single character to attack the staging area are irrelevant because you typically can't solo an enemy and doing multiple attacks is inefficient considering they usually have at least 1 defense. Weapons are generally less useful than similarly costed allies. Also, their traits are either secondary (despite Theoden and Boromir, Rohan and Gondor are more Spirit and Leadership) or bad (Eagles). They didn't make out too bad in Heirs. Much better than the Dwarf dominated Khaz and their embarrassing Eagle nonsense in Mirkwood. Dunland Trap doesn't seem especially good, but Voices gives them good things. They are mostly on the right track though.
  10. TBH, I think that you are just taking a very simple approach to something being "tribal." Requiring a trait, in my opinion, is not tribal. Why? Well, I've built a Dwarf deck (a definitively tribal one) and also used Venya and Elrond in it. Venya being, the most restrictive card in the game. So I played a card that required one very specific card to be played with it, and played it in a deck that had a completely different set of demands. Yet on the other hand, under your analysis for Morgul Vale, a Dwarf (really on the virtue of being an ally, but they all generally have solid stats) would be a universally playable card. Outlands characters would be universally playable, yet they are the most tribal of tribes. Your reasoning breaks down because you do not consider the traits that are generated by Heroes to be resources. Instead, you treat your Heroes like they are just cards in your deck, which they are actually not. I mean, literally. In the rule book, your deck does not include your heroes. Every card requires something (unless you want to play a deck of 0 cost neutral cards). Requiring a trait doesn't make your deck tribal when you know that you can start off with a Hero with that trait, because you start off with a hero with that trait and Heroes are not in your deck. So why would it require your deck to be tribal, when the card requirement can be satisfied without involving your deck at all? A tribal deck is a deck of cards where the cards in the deck synergy/require each other to work optimally. Not simply because it shares a trait. Spear of the Mark is tribal? Why? Because playing something like Theoden (or some Rohan hero and some Tactic hero) is necessary? Does playing Theoden force you into a tribe? Does playing Spear of the Mark and Theoden force you into a tribe? It doesn't. I mean, Spear of the Mark is generally terrible, but if you are honestly looking at what deck this leads to, it's not a Rohan deck it's a quick strike type deck, running cards like Quick Strike, Theoden/Dunhere, Eorlingas. Or maybe they combine that with more direct damage cards. But the point is, you don't actually have to run any of those cards. You can run any other set of cards that you want (Spheres not with standing), because neither of the cards force you into a tribe. I mean, I could go on and on...
  11. Not sure i am interpreting the question completely, but shadow cards are dealt to enemies with the highest engagement cost and then to the next, and next etc. I guess you just go in order, and if 2 enemies have the same cost, decide which enemy the shadow card is going to and place it face up after you have decided, so you do not know what the shadow is before placing it down. No peeking.I was at work earlier and didn't have the rules. That point hasn't been particularly relevant since up until now the shadow cards are all random. Here is the point I was missing (because it didn't matter heretofore): you chose defenders AFTER the shadow cards are dealt. So yeah, the card can be huge. Regarding it being part of Spirit, I guess it fits because Spirit gets everything. Which is to say, give Tactivs some love FFG. There is also an action window between dealing shadow cards and declaring defenders. Yeah, Tactics need some love. I'm trying to think of high-powered cards for Tactics, and really Warhorse is probably it. They are a good Sphere, particularly in multiplayer, but they have the most needs of any Sphere. They feel like they were designed by balancing Spirit, Lore, and Leadership against the Encounter deck, cutting their attack values to the point where it's problematic (Spirit) to slightly problematic, but then gave those factions some power cards and/or synergies to compensate for that, and then lastly took the difference in attack value added whatever mechanics that were left over and called it "Tactics." Changing the subject, does Grima impact the evaluation for Resourceful in non-secrecy decks? 3 resources and 1 Doom for a recurring non-unique resource. Yes, it's worse than Steward of Gondor, but I think that's a given (just like every free-action attachment will be worse than Unexpected Courage), but: 1) It's neutral. 2) Works in multiples and with a Steward of Gondor, 3) 3 neutral resources is a lot sooner than 4 neutral resources and is situationally less taxing than 2 Leadership resources, and 4) Played with Grima, it's in a faction with card draw, so it innately has a better chance of being drawn early.
  12. I see what you're saying, and it's a good point, but since all you need is to have it on an untapped Spirit hero (like Glorfindel), I can see a nice Spirit/Tactics deck that makes use of it. Besides Silver Lamp though, I really love the Rohan Warhorse. That card has some great potential. True. Don't get me wrong, I think that it's a very good card. I'm more questioning if there is room for this plus Hasty Stroke, and if not which is better. There are cases for both, but I'm leaning toward Hasty Stroke, ever so slightly. That said Glorfindel, yes. Or any other consistent readying effect that occurs before shadow cards are dealt. Frodo also works well it, as he is usually the designated blocker. I don't own Conflict at Carrock unfortunately, though this does give me reasons to, especially with the Rohan stuff.
  13. Of the non-previously spoiled: Westfold Horse Breeder - seems like an auto-include, in my opinion. It quests for one and can chump block if necessary, so it's includeable on that basis alone, grabbing a mount puts it over the top though. Silver Lamp - Good card, I don't know why they gave it to Spirit, which really limits it. Tactics really needs a card like this (and would be very thematic in them being, you know, tactical... more so than being spirited making you suddenly a master combatant). In most sphere's it'd be an include, but in a Sphere with Hasty Stroke and less of a means to act on that information, I'm not sure if it'll make the cut. Power of Orthanc - Conditionally the strongest Doomed card. *Sigh* so spirit has the best Shadow-cancellation, Treachery-cancellation, and Condition-cancellation? Great card that you won't always play, but I'd keep it in any deck with Spirit because it's basically always worth it if you need it. Voice of the Wizard - I'd say the second best Doomed card. While drawing cards or gaining resource is nice, gaining actions is really good. Also, I'd say that while there might be times where you need cards, or there might be times where you need resources, you almost always can do something with when you free up a blocker, and I think it's a much more universal position. You naturally gain resources and cards, but you naturally lose board position. This helps address that. Seeing Stone - Is your fourth of a Doomed card, or your second or third of a Doomed card for a toolbox if it can get either Voice of the Wizard or Power or Orthanc. If it can only get one of Legacy of Numenor or Deep Knowledge, I'd probably just stick with those cards. Overall: Eomer - meh. Grima - very interesting. Orthanc Guard - Very playable. Only major issue is that leadership decks tend to be highly trait oriented, so he's fighting against deck synergy. That said, he's strong enough to be played despite lack of synergy. Legacy of Numenor - Good. I wouldn't always play it, mind you. But like most Doomed cards, when it is the right decision to play them, they are worth it. Messenger of Isenguard - Meh. Not unplayable, but more of a gap-filler. Deep Knowledge - See Legacy of Numenor Westfield Outrider - Meh. See Messenger of Isenguard. Rohan Warhorse - Yes. Very Yes. Saruman - Probably the best Doomed card for solo play, probably not worth it for multiplayer as he scales poorly. Orthanc Key - Only Grima would probably play that many Doomed cards. General Thoughts: Grima seems really interesting, and thematically I enjoy the fallen things and broken things, so I'm personally looking forward to him. I love me Tactics, and in my opinion Rohan Warhorse finally gives it a power card that they never had. They were always a good supporting cast before, but now they have a wow factor that the other factions have. Doomed is a mechanic that I really like, at least in theory and at this point, because I feel like it adds a lot of decision making to cards.
  14. For runners, the most important resources are Clicks. Next are either Credits and Cards. It depends on the type of deck and match-up. For corporations, the most important resources are Credits. And the comparative value of Clicks and Cards similarly depend on the situation. Why? For Runners, Money does not float (exception being cards like Personal Workshop). You have to spend a Click to use Credits. This is less "you need Clicks to gain/lose Money," and more about threat projection and force multiplication. When you are looking at Credits, it's value is very mathematical to the Corp, i.e. it costs X amount of Credits to successfully run against Y server. But it's a very limited threat. You know they can run, or you know that they can't, and you know what it will cost them. It's projected value is it's actual value. On the other hand, if you still have remaining Clicks, that fact creates a higher value than it's actual value. The Corporation has to address what they will do with the remaining Clicks in addition to the primary Click. Is he going to run again? That's going to cost me more resources, if I have to rez Ice on that server as well as the first server. He can make it through, but he would bankrupt himself to do it. Will he be able to play econ cards and run again, or does he have to Click for a Credit? Now, obviously all those possibilities rely on Cards and Credits, but standing on their own, Cards and Credits are only worth what they are worth, when they are worth it. A Corroder in hand means nothing until you play it. Credits mean nothing until they are used or have an Ice Breaker that utilizes them. And when they are worth something, they are worth *exactly* that. Clicks, on the other hand can be any of those things and makes those things better. It's why there's the saying "Run early, and run often." It's not *just* because running is really good, it's because running while you still have Clicks makes something that's really good even better. Consider also how the cheapest end the run Ice are much more valuable than the more expensive end the run ice. Over the course of a game, in terms of credits, the more expensive Ice has a higher value, but cheap Ice is heavily favored. This is because the most important value to Ice is not the credit tax of breaking it, but rather the Click cost in finding and playing the Ice Breaker. If one ice does this cheaper than another ice, then it becomes much more favored regardless of the overall credit balance effect. For Cards and Credits, it depends on how you are set-up to use Clicks. If your deck is versatile, (like Criminals due to Special Order) you generally favor money. You'll have useful cards more frequently than you'll need useful cards. If your deck is less versatile, (like Anarchs) you'll need cards. Shapers can go either way. For the Corporation, Credits are most valuable because that's where they project threat and multiply their force. Simply put, a Corporation with a lot of money can do something, from rezzing Ice to playing Sea Source, Scorched Earth, Scorched Earth on the next turn. Sure, you might have garbage in your hand, but Credits makes any set-up look terrifying, whereas a poor corporation ripe for the taking. And again, Credits for the Runner are mathematical, and a Runner can just look at it, get enough money to do the run, and then do it with no worries, if the Corporation doesn't have money to do anything. For the Corporation, Cards and Clicks, it's really depends on the situation. While for the Runner drawing Cards or gaining Credits are generally objectively good, the Corporation is under stresses that complicate things. While playing Quality Time or Sure Game are objectively strong (though not always the best play in any given situation), I wouldn't define Biotic Labor or Anonymous Tip as objectively strong. They are only strong given certain situations, and without them are not strong plays.
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