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arwaker

Balancing the Teams

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Hi,

even if the teams are quite balanced, and luck is a larger factor than the team youre playing, there are some small tendencies. Dwarfs, Orcs and Vampires are known to be weaker than the other teams and Undead are a bit stronger. After a lot of matches, those differences came up in our gaming group.

 

What is your opinion about that, and how do you think one could balance the teams?

 

We had some discussions about this topic, and several different options came up. We tried some of them, and it felt better this way. But i still want to discuss with other people about that.

 

 

Dwarfs

We considered to give them one of two possible buffs. (maybe even both?).

The first is giving the Trollslayer an ability to create fans when he attacks (not necessary successful) a stronger enemy (STR4 or more).

The other option enables the Blocker to let himself fall down as reaction to an enemy pass action being announced, and negating all enemy passing actions this turn.

 

 

Vampires

Each created Blood-Token increases fans by one.

 

 

Orcs

A lot of different suggestions here, not really happy with any of them.

- Sprint for Thrower or for Blitzer

- +1 starpower for Linemen

- Second tackle for Troll or for Black'O'Blockers

 

 

Undead

- Remove one Tackle from Mummy

and/or

- Decrease starpower of Guhls by 1

Edited by arwaker
dianaversace1 likes this

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The thing is you don't need to fix anything, but to adapt your gameplay depending on the team you're playing.

 

Very true.

This said, Dwarves and Vampires are totally unplayable regardless of how "adaptive" you are (not considering massive luck in the equation) and I think the idea of a house rule for these is not completely off the charts. Dwarves need sprint ability and Vampires need a way to generate more blood tokens.

I see no issues with Orcs, and although Undead are definitely in my top 3 best teams in this game, I don't see them as OP as some others here claim they are.

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So far here's what we're doing:

 

Undeads: we've found them head and shoulders above the competition. As my wife stated, she doesn't even have to think to win, even on her "first player" turn.

 

1 - Undead mummy gets 1 Tackle, not two.

2 - Ghouls get Sprint/Pass instead of both

 

Vampires:  The bloodlust counters mechanism fail to provide the team sufficient power to make it useful.

 

1 - They start with the Force of Will team upgrade.  A variant of this has them starting with Subliminal advertisement, in order to emulate their tabletop ability to break through cages with ease.

 

Dwarves:  Many threads say they are some of the hardest team to win with. We believe it's not the weakest team, but rather its lack of the sprint skill prevent it from recovering from a bad hand.

1 - They start with the Rigorous Training team upgrade. This makes their unique access to Guard far more desireable, and an actual reason to use it with the Blockers.

 

Dark Elves: We're at a loss here. Despite this team having the most time played in our group, it's performing poorly almost every time except on sheer stupid luck. The team suffers from having very low power value overall (only 4 players at *** ), almost forcing it to gamble the game on 1d blocks, which is further tempting luck to fail horribly.

 

Their downed skills should provide a relief, since they are going down often, but the loss in star power value is too great, they end up loosing the match ups. Facing any of the high tier teams make this flaw very obvious.

 

The witches and blitzers are fine, as are the linemen, so obviously the trouble is with Assassins or Runners. We've not been able to pin down a team upgrade or other modification that would make this team less of a pita to coach.

Edited by Oakwolf
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Well just putting back some imput at our "mod".

 

Undead: balance with the mods as posted above seems to be good, the team still packs a nasty punch but is no more such a stinker to play against.

 

Vampires: we've changed our modification, the team upgrades were not enough.

-  Vampires now gain a blood token when they succeed a tackle.  It makes the team pretty solid, but not top tier, which is enough for us (it's vampires, after all)

 

Dwarves: solved with the Rigorous Training upgrade, they won a 3 player match yesterday. The upgrade didn't get used all that often, but the threat of a "sprinting" dwarven team is good enough to stop people from tackling the combo of a blocker/lineman.

 

Dark Elves: Ok this is going to be fun, we finally found something we like, but it's very dirty. We've pinpointed the issue with the team, which is assassins not being able to wedge an edge enough. We've given them a Tackle as a downed skill (after the Ball skill). Combined with dauntless, they really gain in value with this, because even stronger players don't want to down them, for fear of getting downed as well as a result, and giving them the ball too.  This also gives them more confidence in using dauntless and tackling big guys on their own turn, because if they fail and get downed themselves, they use their downed skills.  We're still testing this, but so far we've had fun with it, and the sneaky/dirty style makes it feel "Dark Elf' in every way.

 

Chaos: We're also testing a fun little bit with that teams. Chaos ain't that weak, but they are very random and out of control a little. Sometimes the player doesn't feel he's doing more than flipping random tokens. So we gave them a little help with the cheating game: Whenever they get ejected by the ref, they get to tackle with their downed power (usually 1/2) one last time before they go. While this works rarely (1 in 4), it may sometimes make up for the fact that they have low control on their game and this can be a little frustrating, plus it makes them more violent, which is in line with the team. That mod doesn't make them better in the food chain, but it does give them confidence to cheat all they can, rather than fear their own strenght will ruin their game.

Edited by Oakwolf

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We've given them a Tackle as a downed skill (after the Ball skill). Combined with dauntless, they really gain in value with this, because even stronger players don't want to down them, for fear of getting downed as well as a result, and giving them the ball too.

 

Downed players lose their abilities, however, so Dauntless is useless in this case.

Oakwolf and LinkavichChumofsky like this

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Thanks for the catch! mmm...brings us back to the drawing table. If that doesn't work...tweaking the assasins won't be easy. In the meanwhile, there's probably an upgrade that can give enough omph to get them in line (without changing the meta).

 

Sneering Assistant ain't that great (in fact it's a bummer to get that by turn 3), but as a "race skill" it could be fun. It has a "dark elf" feel to it as well, punishing failure with disdain.

Edited by Oakwolf

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Hi, everyone!

 

I've played this game many times and come to the same conclusion of unbalanced teams. Instead of making the balancing complex how about a simple fix that would be easy, even for new players, and maybe cheap for FF to incorporate. I propose that the three low-tier teams start off with fans. I have done this and it made the gameplay more fun and strategic. Allow me to support my idea as how this will make the low-end teams a competitive force to deal with.     

 

 With a fan advantage dwarfs and vamps can now play a more defensive and elusive game where they don't have to smash heads (often) but can try to grind out fans just to keep the lead. They would be able to just over-run a highlight or tournament without worrying of the oppositions gains. They can try and win the small reward of fans and concentrate in beefing-up their team while the other strong teams will probably go for fans to close the gap. By the time the stronger team catches up the weak team would be able to hold their own in the clashes. If the magic number of starting fans can be found for the weak teams the game will end in a small margin (say 15 fans or less) and would really make the last rounds a nail-biting experience. This is needed because even with unknown fan bonuses my game group can already tell who is going to win by the 5th round a majority of the time. Again, this is ideal but with the swing of luck in the game it's going to sometimes end with the inevitable conclusion but it will definitely increase chances of winning and the overall fun experienced while using the weak teams.

Edited by Dredken

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Here are my changes.

 

orcs,dwarfs, vamps vs. undead = 15 fan advantage

other vs. undead = 5 fan advantage

orcs, dwarfs, vamps vs. other = 7-10 fan advantage

orcs, dwarfs, vamps vs. orcs dwarfs, vamps = none

 

 

I choose these numbers to give at least 2 rounds for the weak tier to beef-up or try to pull into a strong...er lead.

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I respectfully disagree with most of this. If you adjust your style of play every team is pretty good. I think the Vampires are almost too powerful. 

 

I'm not trying to pick a fight, but I get the feeling FFG reads these and pays attention to them when making games, and updating games. I just wanted to put in my 2 cents.

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Here are my changes.

 

orcs,dwarfs, vamps vs. undead = 15 fan advantage

other vs. undead = 5 fan advantage

orcs, dwarfs, vamps vs. other = 7-10 fan advantage

orcs, dwarfs, vamps vs. orcs dwarfs, vamps = none

 

 

I choose these numbers to give at least 2 rounds for the weak tier to beef-up or try to pull into a strong...er lead.

What's wrong with Orcs? 

 

They're not high tier, I get that. But putting them in line with Vampires and Dwarves?

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Here are my changes.

 

orcs,dwarfs, vamps vs. undead = 15 fan advantage

other vs. undead = 5 fan advantage

orcs, dwarfs, vamps vs. other = 7-10 fan advantage

orcs, dwarfs, vamps vs. orcs dwarfs, vamps = none

 

 

I choose these numbers to give at least 2 rounds for the weak tier to beef-up or try to pull into a strong...er lead.

What's wrong with Orcs? 

 

They're not high tier, I get that. But putting them in line with Vampires and Dwarves?

 

 

Maybe he's thinking about chaos? That would make more sense. Giving Chaos or even Dwarves a +15 fan advantage seems a bit over the top, tho'. We just let the dwarves start with the "If guard = sprint"-team upgrade and that works fine for my group.

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Here are my changes.

 

orcs,dwarfs, vamps vs. undead = 15 fan advantage

other vs. undead = 5 fan advantage

orcs, dwarfs, vamps vs. other = 7-10 fan advantage

orcs, dwarfs, vamps vs. orcs dwarfs, vamps = none

 

 

I choose these numbers to give at least 2 rounds for the weak tier to beef-up or try to pull into a strong...er lead.

we're dwarves, we eat vampires and zombies for breakfast! 

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I would agree that the Undead are a strong team. I can also see that the Dwarves and Dark Elves are challenging to win with consistently, but to suggest that the Orcs are weak is quite shocking. I use the Orcs as my favourite team in our group and I have a massive win percentage..... I do have both expansions, but always love playing the Orcs....

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Most of your issues can be fixed by staff and team upgrades.

 

... and Star Players.

 

Yes, you are totally right, but you seem to forget that only a % of these decks give you what you need, and that you draw randomly from those. Bearing in mind that you don't get access to these decks unless you pick the correct matchups, and often win them on top of that especially if you want to draft the reward instead of topdecking one, on top of having to prioritize which of the three you want to go for. Because you do indeed end up with a team having all three sorts of upgrades, but the first two rounds are truly the ones where you need to get your team up to speed and put the stakes on a chance to get the most vital upgrades before you can level up the rest. 

 

I guess my point is that even if the teams even up themselves when considering all upgrades they have access to, the problem is getting to these rewards. Some teams have a hell of a job to do in order to do so while other teams get them just as easily. To me every team should have equal chance to get to these upgrades. Then of course we can talk whether the teams WITH their team upgrades and star players are balanced between each other but that's another discussion and I fear it wouldn't be as relevant as discussing the former. 

 

For what it's worth, Orcs and Chaos tend to perform okay in our playgroup. Dark Elves are very strong. Dwarves are... Dwarves... lol

Edited by Indalecio

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As far as i can say, Orcs are not as bad as Dwarf or Vamp, but are significantly weaker than for example Chaos. Compare their specific attributes and skills, and you will see.

 

Orcs need a small buff to face the other "normal" teams.

Edited by arwaker

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So far, here's the run down of teams in relative power for us (not counting house rules). This is not objective, but our own views...as fair as we can be.

 

First Tier

Undead

Wood Elves

Skaven

Humans

Chaos Dwarves (still evaluated)

 

2nd Tier

Goblins (still evaluated)

Nurgle

Orcs

Chaos

 

3rd Tier

Dwarves

Dark Elves

Vampires

 

 

Third tier teams really need help, or a stupendous amount of work/luck during game, to take on the first tier team. We've never seen Dark Elves take the lead over Undeads, or Vampires punch out orcs. Dwarves are on the top of that heap because they actually win sometimes, when the stars align and world collides. All of those teams get house rules here to get people to want to play them apart for an overdose of challenge or handicap.

 

The second tier get teams that aren't so great but aren't crap at all either, and they win from time to time, or have some tricks that completely shackle another team. Goblins are on top atm, mostly because of their fouling techniques...they are currently holding the 64pts records in our logs, but haven't that consistant depending on who they face. They may move over time. Then you got Nurgle and Orcs which we find quite good enough to be fun (these are the average teams for us). Chaos is a bit too random, that's why it's down there. It's the only team so far which has a very mild house rule just to help them out a little with their cheating game.

 

The first tier is composed of teams that win consistently, or that require play from all other players to be stopped. I don't think it's a surprise that Undead are at the top there...and they are also the only team that got a nerf by concensus in our group. The rest of the top tier are highly competitive but in no real particular order (some would put skaven lower than humans, etc). The Chaos Dwarves seems like they are on their way for a spot in that tier...but we need more games with them to be sure.

Edited by Oakwolf

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My own rankings would be quite similar with a few differences, but the only major one between yours and mine would be the Dark Elves. I rank them as top-tier. To your defense I know there has been a lot of reticence on these forums earlier from other players and I think I am one of the few to rank them high. But like you said this is all depending on your meta. I wouldn't say it's completely subjective because I base this on the result of many games with my playgroup and it includes as such the thoughts and opinions of a bunch of other players in my group. So yeah it is subjective in the context of one playgroup.

 

The reason for ranking them high is that I win every time I draft them. Ok, that's not a valid reason :) But seriously, my highest win-ratio is with this team. What what I find extremely valuable with the Dark Elves team is the fact that most cards have two inbuilt choices. I can go nuts with every player commitment because I can evaluate cheating tokens on the fly and choose whether I should get one or not. I find this team to be the most flexible of all, bar humans who just beat everybody out no matter how you look at it, lol. Other than that the cards are solid, you have access to the most powerful star players deck, and upgrades are good too (deathlace comes to mind). I´ll go as far as saying that I would be perfectly happy if the only team I could play with in all of future games of BBTM was the Dark Elves.

 

I´d be interested to hear your reasons about why you would rank them that low.

Edited by Indalecio

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Mmm i don't know how you get that much success, here they've been on the suffering end of the spectrum many times...we suspect that this is due to some players being too weak (assassins or runners), making dark elves struggle to actually win match ups via star power, and are prone to loose that star power quicker (SP 2 is easy to tackle out). Downed skills are fun, but imho they do not compensate for the lack of pure star power of the roster (i.e. there's no reason why this team has less overall star power than others, afaik). Witches and Blitzers are pretty good of course, but not better than the opposition's specialists, and that's only 4 players on the roster.

 

But as i stated earlier in this thread, it's the team we've had the most trouble finding a way to balance. So far we've been giving them a Sneering assistant right from the start. We need to play more to know if it makes a satisfying difference or not.

 

P.S. i wonder what would have happened if the team had access to 3 blitzers.

Edited by Oakwolf

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Once more cosidering the compasion between Orks and Chaos:

 

- Linemen are the same in both teams.

- Throwers are about the same with a very small advantage to Orks maybe.

- Comparing Chaos Warrios with Black Orks, i would say Chaos has a small advantage.

- Comparing Beastmen with Ork Blitzers, Chaos has a huge advantage, as they have simply one more free Cheat after a auccessfull tackle.

- And finally comparing the Troll with the Minotaur, again Chaos has a significant advantage.

 

Comparing the Team Upgrades with each other, Orks might have the better cards, but this is only a small advantage compared to the disadvantage they have from their player Cards.

 

So, I still cant understand how someone could rate Orks better than Chaos. Imho Chaos is a strong team, about even with Woodelfs, Skaven and Human.

 

 

 

My rating would be:

 

1) Undead (simply too stronk all around, even if their Team upgrades are not as good)

 

2) Human, Skaven, Woodelf, Chaos, Dark Elf

 

3) Ork, Vampire, Dwarf

 

The other 3 new teams i havent tested. I Should buy that new box :)

 

 

 

 

In Order to even up the teams we lately handeled out the following modifications:

 

Undead : Use only 1 die for Regeneration

The discussion is not whether Undead are too powerful, but more like how to bring them down to the main field of teams. After lots and lots of practices and discussions, we came to the point, that nerfing the regeneration is the best solution. It is rather simply to remark, and it affects mostly teams that are very tackle-heavy. Games have shown that especially Orks, Chaos and Dwarfs had remarkable problems facing the Undead, as they stood up too often, canceling a lot of their blocking potential.

Therefore, this change of the regeneration mechaism, weakens the Undead overall, and especially against some of the other teams that deserve a small improvement.

 

Ork : Give the Troll 2 additional Sprint (aka Throw Teammate)

Theoretical considerations and testing in games have shown that Orks do need an improvement to be at eye level with the other midfielders. As there are already a lot of other teams that lack Sprint, and being slow is not very senseful for Orks form the fluff point of view, we decided to give some Sprint to the Orks. Three Blitzers with additional Sprint might have been to powerful, and Throwers dont seem to have Sprint at all, the idea with the Troll came up.

Trolls throwing team members are a very special and funny part of the BB boardgame, so why not count it as some Sprint icons in the card game? It improves Orks a lot (not too much afawk), solves one major problem teir gameplay (the total lack of Sprint) and makes the players think of funny thrown Orks as the Troll comes up.

 

Vampire : Give 1 Fan for each Blood Token

Most players share the common sense that Vampires are too weak, and we came to the same conclusion. Often, it as not as senseful to create Blood Tokens, only increasing your Starpower by 1, when you might also bring down the ball carrier. The real Vampire-Blood-Death-Feeling did never come up. Getting one Fan for each Blood Token should improve Vampire's chances to win the game (ot the matchup) AND make the game feel a little bloodier. It also meshes great with the Vampire's team upgrade cards. So, Vampires will even less try to win a matchup, but more to kill as much enemies as possible.

We are still not so sure if this change is enough (even 2 Fans for each Blood Token was under discussion), only extensive play testing can show that. What makes the calculation even more difficult, is that the influence of this change is the stronger the more people participate in the game (in a 4 Player game, there are more often downed targets for Vampires than in a 2 player game).

 

Dwarf : New Pass Block ability for the Blockers

The New Pass Block ability gives the Blockers the Following card text:

Reaction: When an opposing player wants to use a "Pass" ability, you can make the Dwarf Blocker go prone, and ignoring any Pass ability in this turn.

It is common opinion that dwarfs are too weak. Some say they are the weakes team. I would not go that far, but they are weak, defenitively. What are their greatest weaknesses? They lack Sprint and they have too much Guard (they do not even need half of it, this is not a real disadvantage, but the game designers seem to have rated the Guard ability in the dwarf team stronger than it really is, so the rest became too weak). Giving Sprint to some Dwarfs seems weird, as they really should be slow, they are Dwarfs man! The biggest problem of the Runners (that have a beautiful skill) was that a simple Pass icon stole their ball and they became vulnerable.

This ability makes the Blocker with its rather useless Guard a bit more useful and helps the Dwarf player a ot, especially against those annoying "Double Pass" teams Skaven and Woodelf, where Dwarfs had the greatest problems against.

 

 

 

Do you have any comments to those modifications? I know, anyone has his own opinion on the game and its balance. I think we are on the right way, but there might be even more elegant or promising solutions, that we have not seen yet.

Edited by arwaker

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I can understand why somebody would rate Orks as being better than Chaos. I would personally rate them as having a more or less equal ranking. Playing the Chaos team requires a very specific playstyle that not all the players are able to take on. They just don't work at all if the player is overly defensive and conservative about his plays. Also, a team relying on cheating tokens to win games means you are exposed to the luck factor in a less controlled way compared to most other teams. They´re either hit or miss.

 

Chaos is nowhere near Humans :) You had me lose my breath for a second, lol. Their team roster and upgrades are far, far behind Human's base capacities. I don't mean Chaos cannot defeat Humans ever, but to me the Humans team is just vastly superior in almost every aspect. Putting them in pair with Wood Elves is less shocking to me, especially since I tend to rank Wood Elves as a second tier team (maybe the top 1 second tier, though) but that's entirely based on results, I cannot fathom comparing the teams from a theoritical perspective as they are just day and night.

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"Playing the Chaos team requires a very specific playstyle that not all the players are able to take on."

This is true of all the teams you rate low.

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Not quite true in my opinion. In my circles most players play conservatively/defensively because they are overly careful and want to keep their choices open rather than shutting doors early in the game. The Chaos team requires the manager to do the exact opposite. Dwarves can be played conservatively, so to me it makes the team available to a broader public. They are much harder to pilot than say Humans, but playstyle wise they are not much different. About Vampires, I´m not sure what their playstyle is because I honestly don't know what makes them work. If I had seen one single success with them then I´d be able to say which playstyle or approach seems to be the most appropriate, but I haven't. Suicidal playstyle, agressive playstyle, build-up kind of playstyle, we´ve tried all that with no success.

 

Orks is also a very accessible team in my opinion.

 

To me the teams that are truly requiring the manager to run them using a non-conservative playstyle are Chaos, Dark Elves and Goblins. Nurgle maybe but I don' have many games with them to back my statement. Vampires on top of that with the above in mind. It's one man's opinion obviously.

Edited by Indalecio

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