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cfmcdonald

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  1. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Derrault in New Emergency Cache (III)   
    I'm still completely perplexed by your analysis, which requires you to consider the opportunity cost of a card *against itself*.  The *value* of Emergency Cache (III) is that it is so flexible, allowing you to trade off between resources and supplies as needed. Sometimes resources will be more valuable, other times supplies, other times a mix will provide the overall greatest value for the group. The fact that you can freely convert resources into supplies is an advantage, not a cost. But I expect we will continue to talk past each other, so I will leave it there. 
  2. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from sverigesson in Hulk livestream   
    The new mechanic here is "if you paid using only X resources." I think this will have a pretty significant effect on deckbuilding choices. 
  3. Like
    cfmcdonald reacted to Durins_Father in Full Dream-chaser cycle analyzed on Vision of the Palantir   
    Hi all,
    Some good news for those reading along with the scenario analyses. Today the full Dream-chaser cycle has been analyzed and are up on the blog: https://visionofthepalantir.com/dream-chaser/
    The completion was thanks to @Onidsen who was so kind to complete the Raid on the Grey Havens scenario. See that article here: https://visionofthepalantir.com/2019/09/23/raid-on-the-grey-havens/

    With the Dream-chaser cycle completed, our work now continues with the Haradrim cycle. The Deluxe has already been covered, and most of the cycle's scenarios have already been claimed. WE will be rolling out those articles over the next few months. 
    I will also be completing the third PDF for offline referencing of the scenario analyses. This one will cover the Angmar Awakened cycle and the newly completed Dream-chaser cycle. I hope to complete this volume within a week, so that I can bring it with me to Con of the Rings 2019, where those quests will be played as a part of the extraveganza. 
     
    Good luck with your games, and I hope that these guides help!
    Durins_Father
  4. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Xelto in Where should the next expansion cycle go?   
    I would like to see something more grounded that doesn't end in a confrontation with a great old one to decide the fate of the world in a realm beyond time and space.
  5. Like
    cfmcdonald reacted to dalestephenson in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    1) You are correct that *if* you need sentinel, because you're playing multiplayer (almost guaranteed, if you're mono-tactics) and need to defend cross-table, keeping your Winged Guardians around is preferable.  In a solo deck the value of sentinel is extremely limited, and while mono-tactics Eagles decks had to wait for later cards to be solo-viable, Eagles in a tactics-dominant deck were solo-capable before then.  Consider the Return to Mirkwood deck used for Beorn's Path, something I recommend *every* new player follow as far as possible.  It has Eagles (3x Vassal, 3x Guardian, 2x Misty, 3x Eagles are Coming).  I can tell you from experience, tactics resources were tight.  It also has 3x Gandalf and 3x Escort from Edoras and (of course) the lone copy of Horn of Gondor from the core set.  If it came up, it was very useful.  If Beorn were redoing it now, I doubt it would make the cut.
    Buffing Misty and getting a resource is obviously better than buffing Misty alone.  It's not remotely game-breaking, though, and wasn't even powerful enough to make Eagles a popular archtype -- Vassal/Guardians account for a maximum of six buffs during the entire game, and it's usually much less.  No effect in the game is "reward enough" to discourage looking for synergies with that effect.
    It's true that if you chump block with Vassal you get a reward from Horn of Gondor in its current form.  But in its original form you get a reward from Horn of Gondor whether he defends *or* attacks, so a hypothetical exhausting HoG with its original reward is worth including in an Eagles deck, and the current version is typically not.
    2) My usual procedure with Support of the Eagles is to try to get a Vassal and/or Guardian out first, not using them, and then get out Support of Eagles on the real target -- as you might expect, also trying to get the real target to ready.  Then I get Misty out, let the Vassal go (keeps attack at 3) then let the Guardian go (keeps defense at 4) -- any Eagles discarded after that just bump it higher.  Misty is a backup combat action, if I've got readying on a hero with a Support of the Eagles (or better, three of them) it may end up being an expensive quester.  It's an expensive setup, and without other cards leaving play doesn't provide a huge return on the original Horn -- but if that's all you have it's better than nothing.
    3) Who plans on having a hero killed?  Landroval's expensive insurance, but because he's an Eagle he shows up in Eagle decks for thematic reasons, while a Veteran Axehand does not.  Landroval's strictly superior to Axehand, having more willpower, attack and hit points plus a useful-if-things-go-badly ability.  He's also much more expensive.  I don't view "Tactics players should just play cheaper cards instead" as a valid reason for nerfing a Tactics resource generator.  Tactics has some expensive cards, why not give Tactics tools to help pay for them?
    4) However useful 2 willpower may be (and in tactics, providing willpower usually *isn't* a big concern), it doesn't pay for cards.  Radagast helps pay for Eagles, which are expensive, but he costs 5 up front and so takes 5 to break even.  That's why he drops out of Eagles decks and isn't found at all outside them.  Radagast's Staff coming in the next pack should make him much more attractive, as that is well worth the money to get in play.
    5) I believe 2.5 per card is one of the most expensive per-card values in all my Stereotypical Decks.  It has no cost reducers, but it does have a card (The Eagles are Coming) that can draw expensive Eagles into your hand.  With Mablung the 3-4 resources covers the card you draw at the beginning of the turn, but you start with 7 cards and no resources.  It will be one of the slowest decks in the series to empty its hand.
    6) Yes, the designers have introduced a competitive mode into this cooperative game, and soon it may actually be available for purchase at a store near me -- that doesn't change the fact that it is designed and 99.9% played as a cooperative/solo game -- in fact, at last year's Fellowship event I ended up playing the quest *cooperatively* instead of competitively.  Handling "balance" for the tiny share of play in competitive mode would be much better handled with a restricted list than errata that hampers the vastly larger pool of cooperative players.
    Yes, the solo league does introduce a competitive element into cooperative play.  But there aren't a lot of us playing in it, I think most who play do it for fun rather than trying to design the most efficient deck possible, we explicitly use an out-of-the-rules variant with the tokens to guarantee wins against each scenario (eventually) and use arbitrary tiebreakers in the common case where no tokens at all are needed.  I am *totally* uninterested in any league rules (let alone errata) to ensure that the decks used in the league are of equivalent strength, and incoming errata *complicates* the league rather than improving it.  It's possible someone in the league is using the new A Burning Brand already....
    "Too easy" and "too hard" is purely subjective, and easily controlled by player decisions of what to put in their decks *and* what mode of a quest to play.  With the exception of lone players ruining a pickup multiplayer game, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for the designers to worry about a particular combination being "too strong", as cooperative players who think it too strong can just not play it -- it follows that when *fixing* the possibility of a lone player doing an extreme combo, the least damage would be done by preserving the common case and trying to errata to only affect the extreme case.  Exhausting Horn of Gondor would've done that way back in the Hammersmith/Born Aloft combo, they didn't fix it and so it got exploited again.  I'm not complaining that they errata-ed Horn of Gondor, I'm complaining about *how* they errata-ed Horn of Gondor.
    7) I don't believe in a fixed "game economy", but if I did, the *usual* usage of Horn of Gondor did not break it even before errata.  Certainly an exhausting Horn of Gondor that reacted to leaving play would not.
    8 ) Yes, I am leaving Horn of Gondor out of decks.  I used to use it -- now I don't.  There are still circumstances where the card is useful to somebody, but they took a card that *was* useful to me and made it not useful to me.  My effective card pool got smaller because of the errata.
    9) I would love to see an actually thematic effect for Boromir's Horn, but it would have to be renamed to exist as a player card.  Mablung generates when engaged -- a Horn that generates a resource when *revealed* would be kind of cool, and should exhaust when it does so.
  6. Like
    cfmcdonald reacted to dalestephenson in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    That's the factor that makes the errata neutral -- everyone had an equal opportunity to use the card in question.  If the game was asymetrical (wargames, for example, are usually asymetrical and often get post-release errata) or cooperative the errata is not neutral -- the errata is saying that the previous situation was not properly balanced and was in fact in error.  And that does, subjectively, make me feel like my wins are tainted when errata is against me or that my losses were unfair when they are for me.  Anyone who lost Into Ithilien due to a Blocking Warg loop is *entirely* justified in considering those losses unfair.
    The Battle of Carn Dum didn't have the same opportunity I did to nerf my ABB as I had to nerf its plentiful and obnoxious shadows.  Thaurdir is *entirely* justified in considering those victories of mine tainted by my abuse of a card so unbalanced and powerful that the designers chose to nerf it in two different ways.
  7. Like
    cfmcdonald reacted to dalestephenson in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    Winged Guardian is expensive *because* you have to keep feeding it.  I saved a lot of resources (progression) when I was able to replace Winged Guardian with Defender of Rammas.  Vassal is cheap but temporary.  And yes, it's nice when they go away and buff Eagles of the Misty Mountains (cost 4), and when you get down your Support of the Eagles (cost 3).  And you can also play Descendant of Thorondor (cost 4) and Landroval (cost 5).  But don't worry about those high costs, because ally Radagast (cost 5) will help you pay for it.
    One of the reasons I was so excited about Radagast is his staff's cost reduction.  There's a reason that Mablung is in the stereotypical Eagles deck (Gwaihir edition).  They're about the least affordable tribe in existence.  But even without that, Tactics doesn't lack for expensive cards, like Citadel Plate and Beorn.  Yes, tactics needs resources.
    And since mono tactics isn't viable until Heirs of Numenor (and even then only in Siege/Battle quests), Horn of Gondor certainly will have leadership/lore/spirit cards on the table.  The biggest problem with the original Horn of Gondor isn't its utility, it is its rarity -- only one in the core set.  It wasn't a reliable source of resources, but it was nice when it was present.
    The big problem with the Horn of Gondor is that it didn't exhaust, that's the feature that let it be part of infinite card/resource combos.  And oddly, they decided to fix it by nerfing the *common* case but not requiring exhaustion.  Now even self-discarders don't generate a resource -- Boromir can sacrifice himself without the Horn giving a peep.
  8. Like
    cfmcdonald reacted to GILLIES291 in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    I disagree with your statement 1 as a statement 1 guy. I would counter that if a player has a card that is printed with an errata it's harder to play it a different earlier pre-errata way. It feels almost like you are cheating. And if you are playing in things like the solo league then you feel dishonest playing it that way. And it's similar and even worse if it's an unprinted change.
    In another game, X-Wing, which my wife and I used to play before this game, my wife's favorite build was Palpatine in a Shuttle with two wingman. She played it dozens of times against me. And we almost always played just the two of us. Beat me many times and I beat her a few back. But she was still getting into the heavier games at that time. 
    Then one year they nerfed Palpatine and changed his effect to be "more balanced", we could still play the old way and we tried to but it ruined it for her and she eventually lost interest in the game. It felt like we were cheating or playing it wrong or making up your own rules to make it easier. And destroyed her favourite squad while at it.
    This has the same effect on us. My favourite character is Boromir and when I read they changed his to once per phase I felt similar and he became less fun for me because I felt like I was again making up my own rules. We didn't and still don't have even half of the card pool so threat reduction isn't really possible so he wasn't abused. And even if I had everything and could make him raise his threat forever and the game gets too easy then I just change it up and play something else, it's a cooperative friendly game. But still when I play him now either I'm looking at his card and mentally attaching restrictions to him which is lame. Or I'm playing him with my "made-up" rules of no limit and feel bad. Kind of ruined the entire card for me. 
     
    So do we keep playing him the old way? Sure but it's definitley become less fun using him and I feel like I have to play him a different way if I want to be legit. So = less fun to do as you said and be statement 1.
     
    I don't want my wife and friends to lose interest in a game as their favorite combos are altered. That's not enjoyable to any of us and actually detracts from and ruins parts of the game because it's more to keep track of and you feel bad when you play it the old way.
     
    Also how many erratas do you really want? If they changed every single card in the game would that actually be ideal? How is one supposed to keep track of all of that and wouldn't you feel bad if you won with a certain card or cards and afterwards realized/remembered it doesn't play like it has been changed to? I know we would.
     
    What would be far far better in our opinion is just coming out with OPTIONAL restricted card pool/hero lists or specific erratas for an event. It lets guys that for some reason need help balancing a cooperative game be able to have alternate worse cards. And keeps things simpler and more fun for the casual players like us that help grow the gamer base instead of getting overwhelmed with extra text to remember or have to feel bad because we aren't playing it right, or not come out to larger events because the way we play is different then the way it's supposed to be now. 
     
    Either way we reject erratas on player cards and hope they stop with them or change it to optional perhaps rotating lists and leave our physical cards and games alone. And we'll keep playing the old way while trying to not become disenfranchised with the game because of these changes.
  9. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Rajam in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    They should just put a "limit X per round/phase" on every effect they print. It would solve a lot of problems. 
  10. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Jobu in Where should the next expansion cycle go?   
    I would like to see something more grounded that doesn't end in a confrontation with a great old one to decide the fate of the world in a realm beyond time and space.
  11. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Authraw in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    I really like the Taboo List alternative they've come up with for Arkham Horror. It's optional for those who want to shake things up, it doesn't invalidate any printed cards, and it allows a lot more experimentation (e.g. if they find they've over-nerfed they aren't stuck with that decision, and if they've under-nerfed they don't have to issue yet another errata, as with Erebor Battle Master).
  12. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from TwiceBorn in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    I really like the Taboo List alternative they've come up with for Arkham Horror. It's optional for those who want to shake things up, it doesn't invalidate any printed cards, and it allows a lot more experimentation (e.g. if they find they've over-nerfed they aren't stuck with that decision, and if they've under-nerfed they don't have to issue yet another errata, as with Erebor Battle Master).
  13. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Yepesnopes in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    I really like the Taboo List alternative they've come up with for Arkham Horror. It's optional for those who want to shake things up, it doesn't invalidate any printed cards, and it allows a lot more experimentation (e.g. if they find they've over-nerfed they aren't stuck with that decision, and if they've under-nerfed they don't have to issue yet another errata, as with Erebor Battle Master).
  14. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Wandalf the Gizzard in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    They should just put a "limit X per round/phase" on every effect they print. It would solve a lot of problems. 
  15. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Kanawolf in First 2.0 nerf victim: composure   
    Yes, the procedure should be "declare target lock, pick target, measure. If target is not in range, action failed." This matches pretty much every other procedure in the game, and I have no idea why they made this strange procedure for target lock. It would be like being forced to boost in some other direction if your chosen direction is blocked, and you only fail if you try left, right, and forward and none is possible. 
  16. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from DarkArk in First 2.0 nerf victim: composure   
    Yes, the procedure should be "declare target lock, pick target, measure. If target is not in range, action failed." This matches pretty much every other procedure in the game, and I have no idea why they made this strange procedure for target lock. It would be like being forced to boost in some other direction if your chosen direction is blocked, and you only fail if you try left, right, and forward and none is possible. 
  17. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Giledhil in First 2.0 nerf victim: composure   
    Yes, the procedure should be "declare target lock, pick target, measure. If target is not in range, action failed." This matches pretty much every other procedure in the game, and I have no idea why they made this strange procedure for target lock. It would be like being forced to boost in some other direction if your chosen direction is blocked, and you only fail if you try left, right, and forward and none is possible. 
  18. Like
    cfmcdonald reacted to JYoder in Big news?   
    Wow, this "big news" means nothing to me -- my wallet stays happy. Would be very bummed if new cycle hadn't just been announced.
    Though I find it most odd that the app has the same title as the physical game, when they are obviously so different. That's unnecessarily confusing for newbies to either game.
     
  19. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Kjeld in The Wilds of Rhovanion!!! This is the new Big Announcement!?   
    One can only hope they'll also go full circle on difficulty levels for those who just want to build fun decks. <Currently beating my head against Lost Realm and Saga campaign and feeling pretty down on the game>
  20. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from Hawkstrike in The Wilds of Rhovanion!!! This is the new Big Announcement!?   
    One can only hope they'll also go full circle on difficulty levels for those who just want to build fun decks. <Currently beating my head against Lost Realm and Saga campaign and feeling pretty down on the game>
  21. Like
    cfmcdonald reacted to dalestephenson in FAQ 1.9 Released   
    It's fantastic that Seastan constructed a powerful deck with Caldara.  But it's really more of a Cirdan deck, Caldara's just the LeDenethor of spirit, giving an early boost once the real third hero, Imrahil, shows up.  The *possibility* of recurring Caldara is what defines (well, used to define) the archtype, I think.  There's 125 Caldara decks at ringsdb, and 109 of them have Fortune and Fate -- of the 16 that don't, 2 of them are the only serious Caldara decks published post-errata.  Calling the new one a Caldara deck is kind of like constructing a Gandalf/Elrond/Boffin deck where Boffin gets ditched as soon as Strider shows up, if not before, and calling it a Boffin deck.
    The problem of the way errata was done to Eomer and Caldara isn't just the effect it has on existing decks, it's also that it drives behavior towards the very things that apparently prompted the errata in the first place. The limit on Caldara's ability means that she won't be used without Imrahil and/or Sword-Thain.  The limit on Hama's ability means he will only be used for really powerful events -- like Thicket of Spears.  The flexible Hama is out of existence, but the Hama who enables Thicket of Spears to be played turn after turn will still live on, since he can guarantee *at least* four plays of it with one copy, and his mono-tactics deck will have three Book of Eldacar and 2-3 Thicket of Spears.
    So here we are post-errata -- Caldara used with Imrahil?  Still viable.  Caldara recurred without Imrahil/Sword-Thain?  Not viable.  Hama used with Thicket of Spears?  Still viable.  Hama used with a variety of cheap tactics events?  Not viable.
    The funny thing is that I've never played with the old Hama (though I was constructing a deck with Hama in it when the errata hit).  And although I've published a Caldara fellowship that I've taken through Black Riders + Old Forest/Fog on Barrowdowns, I never actually used Caldara's ability twice.  Because I only have two copies of Fortune and Fate, and because I didn't want to add Caldara to the fallen hero list, I never used her ability at all on two quests and stalled two others until a copy showed up to revive her.  I think I'll keep her ability pre-errata for the campaign, since it was that way when I started it.  Or maybe I'll ditch her at the Council of Elrond or feed her to the Balrog.
    It's sad that I can't have a spirit/tactics deck that repeatedly tosses Elven-Light to recur 0-cost tactics events.
  22. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from farealh in FAQ 1.9 Released   
    This is exactly right. The "fix" to Hama now makes a Hama + Thicket combo relatively *more* powerful as a way of using Hama. Shutting down the whole combat phase for 4 turns off one copy off Thicket is still great, and probably covers half the game. It barely solves the problem it was intended to solve. Meanwhile someone who wants to use him in a 'normal' way to recur Feint/Goblin-Cleaver, etc., gets screwed. 
  23. Like
    cfmcdonald reacted to Rajam in FAQ 1.9 Released   
    Honestly the best errata to apply at this point is that all attachments should exhaust when you trigger an action or a response with them. This will prevent several headaches for the game designers in the future
  24. Like
    cfmcdonald reacted to dalestephenson in FAQ 1.9 Released   
    While *certainly* errata is intended to make the game better, errata has a substantial practical cost:
    It makes the written text on all copies of the cards incorrect, and it potentially affects the play of every deck/quest using the affected cards.
    So I don't agree -- at all -- that "providing a fresh perspective, new challenges, and make the game better" is *sufficient* reason for an errata.  I think a fair argument could be made that nerfing Steward of Gondor would do all three of those things, from the perspective of a new player who walks down to the store and buys the entire fully-errataed card pool.  But it would be a disaster, because it would affect vast numbers of existing decks and dramatically weaken the Leadership sphere for new players buying the core set.  Prior to the Horn of Gondor nerf, there's really no examples at all of errata targeting a popular card based on general power level with the full card pool, errata was targeted to recently released cards that didn't work as intended (Thror's Map, Ravens of the Mountain, Blue Mountain Trader) or cards that were part of a "problematic combo".
    What is a "problematic combo" in the sense of this game?  Since the game is not competitive, IMO the *only* "problematic combo" worth considering is one that harms *other players* in uncoordinated multi-player games (by "harm" I mean makes the game less interesting for them -- a griefer running a doomed deck in uncoordinated multi-players isn't a problem the designers can or should solve).  Hama and the original Feint was such a combo against Shadow and Flame -- Feint received an errata, and the problem was solved.  Rouxorr's amazing first turn win deck would be a great example:
    https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/deck-solo-first-turn-win/
    As a solo or coordinated-multiplayer deck, the deck *isn't* a problem.  No one who doesn't want to play it will play it, and aside from its novelty value it would not be interesting to play.  But it *would* be a problem if someone brought the deck to a meetup so the other players had the joy of watching the deck blow the quest away while they did nothing at all, so that it would produce errata was inevitable.
    At the heart of every problematic LOTR engine is either events that can be recurred by drawing the whole deck, or attachments that don't exhaust.  There's a lot of cards that could be nerfed to prevent the combo -- I think the obvious one would be to hit Rod of the Steward so that it is "Action: exhaust Rod of the Steward and spend 2X resources to draw X cards".  But the nerf to We Are Not Idle certainly also does the job.  (Note that We Are Not Idle/Lure of Moria is still a net resource gain if you can get to 4+ dwarf heroes, but the infinite resource loop required *two* plays of We Are Not Idle with 14 dwarves.) . I prefer attachment exhaustion as a fix whenever possible for a simple reason: it always preserves the common case.
    For errata, the slogan to "optimize the common case" should be adhered to.  Nerfing We Are Not Idle prevents the infinite resource combo, but the *way* it did it affects the hundreds of decks using the card for the purpose it was originally designed for.  Having it self-remove preserves the common usage entirely, but eliminates it as a reliable engine component.  Limiting the resource gain (example -- errata to "Exhaust up to three dwarf characters to receive that many resources....") would limit the top-end power of the card while making it exactly as useful as before in the critical first turns.  Having Horn of Gondor *exhaust* when it gives a resource would have preserved its original utility while making it useless for problematic combos.
    This brings us to Hama, whose ability, though potentially powerful, is quite costly -- it requires an attack, it requires a discard, it gives you an event at the point where it's not immediately useful, and you have to pay the cost of the event. The potential for Hama/Thicket  was there from Hama's introduction, and Hama's inherent limitations meant that a Hama/Thicket deck circa Dwarrowdelf would use the single card it drew and the three resources it collects to do nothing but play Thicket.  Is this unfair to other players because it does nothing but deal with enemies?  Not really, any dedicated multiplayer combat deck does the same thing.  The only issue is that it doesn't allow those poor engaged enemies to ever get a chance to attack, so like Eleanor/Wingfoot it is "removing a part of the game" entirely.  And *that* issue is created *entirely* by Thicket of Spears, one of only three events that can do that, and the only one Hama can recur.
    So you can "fix" Hama, which confines the number of times the event can ordinarily be played to nine times, or you could fix Thicket of Spears and confine the number of times it can be played to three.  The vast majority of Hama decks at ringsdb do *not* have Thicket of Spears in it, so optimizing for the common case suggests nerfing the unpopular card.
    But what about other potential (hypothetical) cards that are just too powerful to be played every turn?  A fix that caused the event used to disappear or even bottom decked (like with the Records) would fix that while preserving the common case -- and further, I'm skeptical there is or will be a card that's "just too powerful" to recur every turn that *isn't* a problem if you play it four turns in a row, as the "fixed" Hama can.  Ironically, the broken Hama is probably now most useful exactly to a deck designed to recur expensive tactics events, and with the various recursion/search cards that exist can likely do that reliably.  With the three-use limit, who is going to use Hama to opportunistically pick up The Eagles Are Coming?
  25. Like
    cfmcdonald got a reaction from TheNameWasTaken in Desperate Circumstances late news article   
    What they are trying to do is provide a counter to Spark of Rebellion. Please understand what the card actually does before going on a rant. 
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