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Arzang

thoughts on Foul play expansion

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Concerning the PPG syndicate (my favourite one !), i would have more seen the chaos dwarves in the CWC (Chaos...) syndicate and conversely, the orcs team in the PGG (Putrid...) syndicate. It would have been more logical.

 

Another singularity of the syndicates is the presence of downed skills (and among them, regeneration ), not only in the DSS one. It would have been more regular to find them only in the DSS (Sorcery) and not also in the PGG, because this is a specificity of it's own.

 

In the same way, the FOUL skill is specific to the PGG (and mainly to the tricky goblin team). If we'll find again the FOUL skill in the next expansion, i think that this would be a kind of "spiritual betrayal" of this syndicate and it's a pity.

 

So we won't be amazed to find another originality in an eventual next syndicate (a "jungle" one) including the lizard-men, the amazons, and the....norses ! Although a slanns team would be more suitable.

 

Well, wait and see.

Edited by kinor

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Given that GW really waved away the slaann "frog" team, i doubt it'll see the light of day officially, even in team manager. Amazons, Lizardmens and Norse or High Elves would be quite fitting for an expansion.

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I like the Foul mechanic. It makes you have to plan your moves in a manner more sophisticated than "lets see where my last huge superstar should go!" Also, the new staff upgrades and Spike! magazine cards give the old teams who sprint a lot more chances to foul and stand on a more equal ground with the new teams.

 

The stadium feature generally gets left out of ours, we'll try it a few more times to see if it's out for good though. 

 

We generally also love the corrupt ref. 

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I've been playing a few games with all the options thrown in. Seems like a lot at first, but I think it becomes second-nature quickly and doesn't really add too much more time to the game. The other thing I'm noticing is that the scores seem much closer. With the base, it always seemed like one guy ran away with the whole thing with not much chance to catch up. With this one, even the much maligned Dwarves were holding their own against newer teams. I did however leave out the Underhanded Dealings and Rowdy cards to the No Salary-cap pile because I found them to be OP fan factories.

Edited by Scottgun

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I like the Foul mechanic. It makes you have to plan your moves in a manner more sophisticated than "lets see where my last huge superstar should go!" 

 

Hang on.... Whaaaat?  The "sophistication" in your moves is that you CAN plan for commiting players to matchups depending on player, matchup settings and whatever other factors are in the balance. The sophistication is that I have Griff Oberwald in my hand in the last round and that I want to make sure that he will have a major impact in the matchup I'm going to commit him in, which usually takes a chunk of calculation from my side along with prediction of my opposition's next move. And hope that my opponents' respective star players are either commited elsewhere or do not blank out what I just did. The fouling mechanisms just takes this capability, throw it into the fire, and ditch the aches into Mount Doom, by effectively stripping you of a card at random. You cannot plan anything any longer since you don't know what's going to be in your hand when you start your turn again. Fouling is a cheaty way (in the context of gaming in general, I'm not talking about the theme in Foul Play here) to force your opponents to discard their best cards and in some cases leave them with nothing in hand but linemen or stuff that won't do anything.

 

I am curious to see people's opinions about the expansion and I can definitely understand some people enjoy some of the mechanisms in it more than we do. However I find completely mindblowing to see people claim that Fouling would add another level of strategy to this game. It's not, it NEGATES strategy, that's all it does. Even if you mean the psychological game of being forced to play your stars by fear of discarding them next round, I mean I fail to see how players can think of this as a satisfying way to play a game. If you're in for a randomness extravaganza sure, by any means, but if you're gathered with friends that are expecting a bit of strategy in a game then I really don't know what you can find that appealing with it.

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I want to point out that I was making this post with the hopes that FFG wouldn't think the only opinion is that these things break the game.

The sophistication is that you can't hold your best cards to the end with no fear of losing them. You have to play them a little earlier and I think it makes the game more exciting. That's just my humble opinion. In our games it has forced people to play some of the big guys a turn or two earlier, and if you do that the foul skill becomes worthless. So a player must try to calculate the risk of holding a player and losing him, or playing him and the risk that he will be tackled or his skill negated.

 

Using Griff as an example is great. I will do the same. If you commit him a round or two from the end it ensures he's in the game. It puts him at risk of a tackle, though, and I appreciate that. (I want to put in my math disclaimer here- I've not mathed out the game or players other than when I'm thinking about making a move in-game) The best chance anyone will have is if there is a star power 6 or above player with tackle ability, or a that player has tackle coach. This is very unlikely, so it will allow the other players to make an unfavorable tackle attempt. I like using the A-team tactics and do the high risk/high reward action. It results in nothing happening to Griff, or the tackler going down, or a very unlikely and exciting tackle happens. None of that would've happened if he was the last guy on the pitch. 

I suppose I have an over-active imagination and enjoy the thematic elements of the game a little too much. Hopefully you can see why I like it, even if you don't agree with me. 

I also want to point out that I like the civility of the discussion here, and that no one has taken to cursing my ancestors for disagreeing with you.

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I want to point out that I was making this post with the hopes that FFG wouldn't think the only opinion is that these things break the game.

The sophistication is that you can't hold your best cards to the end with no fear of losing them. You have to play them a little earlier and I think it makes the game more exciting. That's just my humble opinion. In our games it has forced people to play some of the big guys a turn or two earlier, and if you do that the foul skill becomes worthless. So a player must try to calculate the risk of holding a player and losing him, or playing him and the risk that he will be tackled or his skill negated.

 

Good points. The fouling, corrupt ref, and stadiums mean the old, tired way of everyone claiming their initial zone spots with linemen and holding the passing skills until the end in a mad dash for ball control are not necessarily over, but now someone might want to try something else. Also, the fouling is a subtle catch-up mechanism because I usually use this skill early and pick the manager with the fan lead and try to take some starch out of his shirt. Of course it can backfire. :)

Edited by Scottgun
Marginal Hulk likes this

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I think that new referee is silly. Played half a game with him. Just way too complicated and didn't add anything but randomness. He stays in the box from now on.

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I think that new referee is silly. Played half a game with him. Just way too complicated and didn't add anything but randomness. He stays in the box from now on.

 

 

Actually, there is nothing random about him at all because managers have lots of control of him. I waited until having plenty of familiarity with the expansion before adding the optional elements and the ref was the last thing I added, so it didn't present anything that complicated. I imagine if someone just added all the options on their early games, it might be overwhelming, but it becomes second nature quickly. Like I mentioned earlier, all the options from the expansions seem to have a good balancing effect, which is for me a good thing because I always thought the base was a little too see saw and favored some teams over others. 

Edited by Scottgun

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I think that new referee is silly. Played half a game with him. Just way too complicated and didn't add anything but randomness. He stays in the box from now on.

 

 

Actually, there is nothing random about him at all because managers have lots of control of him. I waited until having plenty of familiarity with the expansion before adding the optional elements and the ref was the last thing I added, so it didn't present anything that complicated. I imagine if someone just added all the options on their early games, it might be overwhelming, but it becomes second nature quickly. Like I mentioned earlier, all the options from the expansions seem to have a good balancing effect, which is for me a good thing because I always thought the base was a little too see saw and favored some teams over others. 

 

Personally, my group likes the FU factor the ref brings into the game. I love it when someone gets ejected because they forgot to move him... It's happened to me a couple of times, and it's painful for sure-- but you never forget to manage him after that.

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I want to point out that I was making this post with the hopes that FFG wouldn't think the only opinion is that these things break the game.

The sophistication is that you can't hold your best cards to the end with no fear of losing them. You have to play them a little earlier and I think it makes the game more exciting. That's just my humble opinion. In our games it has forced people to play some of the big guys a turn or two earlier, and if you do that the foul skill becomes worthless. So a player must try to calculate the risk of holding a player and losing him, or playing him and the risk that he will be tackled or his skill negated.

 

Using Griff as an example is great. I will do the same. If you commit him a round or two from the end it ensures he's in the game. It puts him at risk of a tackle, though, and I appreciate that. (I want to put in my math disclaimer here- I've not mathed out the game or players other than when I'm thinking about making a move in-game) The best chance anyone will have is if there is a star power 6 or above player with tackle ability, or a that player has tackle coach. This is very unlikely, so it will allow the other players to make an unfavorable tackle attempt. I like using the A-team tactics and do the high risk/high reward action. It results in nothing happening to Griff, or the tackler going down, or a very unlikely and exciting tackle happens. None of that would've happened if he was the last guy on the pitch. 

I suppose I have an over-active imagination and enjoy the thematic elements of the game a little too much. Hopefully you can see why I like it, even if you don't agree with me. 

I also want to point out that I like the civility of the discussion here, and that no one has taken to cursing my ancestors for disagreeing with you.

 

I also hope FFG watch these discussions closely, although I seriously doubt they do especially since the prime FFG discussion forum is probably not FFG's own but BBG :( ,and listen to the criticism so they can enhance the quality of their designs. I play BBTM a lot and we all love this game. This said, we didn't like Foul Play at all. We're just one playgroup though. That doesn't invalidate our views, though :) You can go ahead and praise FP here but FFG may snap the 100% positive feedback and keep the same direction for their next coming expansions. Which is fine if you like FP. I personally would hate this.

 

Because I think the games we have had with Foul Play have drained our experience of many good things and turned the game into a completely different one, along with the fact the game takes too much time to run now (bearing in mind we have 4-5 players sessions).

 

I'm not going to write another wall of text explaining my views about this since they remain the same as previously exposed. I will however reiterate that the referee, while not random per say, is completely unmanageable unless you commit players to every matchup, hold good cards for the sole purpose of moving him instead of commiting same resources to a matchup where you really need said resources, and even then the final decision about its final position does not only depend on you unless plenty of conditions are met (it is not as given as you make it sound like). Yes, you can control some of his moves but that often comes at the price of not putting your resources where they should be put in, plus the fact that every referee move will often upset another manager as a result, who will then in return commit a player and move the ref one more time, so that's square 1 again, not necessarly for you but at least for somebody else. I like this circular logic, mind you, I like that you have to play along with this risk until the risk directly affects your own matchup and your players. then you get rid of said risk, it moves off, and then comes back to you etc. But if you have played your last card and somebody sent the ref to your matchup which you suddenly lose on the spot, I fail to see what you can do about that. Even the last player does not have control of the ref if he has not commited to the matchup he's currently at. I will disclaim that the referee is one of the best parts of Foul Play. I don't like it much in a sense, but I cannot deny that it brings another factor in the equation without ruining the game in exchange. I am fine keeping him in. He makes ejections more interesting. This said I am still concerned about how Chaos may take advantage of the extra cheating tokens, but we haven't seen them run yet with the expansion so I can't say more for now.

 

However about Fouling, there is no question about it, I got to bash on it as hard as I can because it's utterly terrible along with stadiums. Our experience of Foul Play in the games we've played so far with it over the past month is that it made the game less fun to play and had us a lot more stressed out. It added tension to the game, but not in a good way. It forced us to make assumptions as for who would be picking on you rather than just dealing with your opponents "in the game". Fouling is a in-game skill by definition since players themselves carry it out, but the effect is definitely at manager level and does nothing to the matchup per say. I just don't like a mechanism building on those values. Like I said earlier, there could have been a much finer way to achieve the same thing, like a player ability stating that none of the two managers at the matchup can commit star players to it as long as said player is still standing. It could have been that you have another ability stating that every time your opponent commits a player and execute a tackle, you may execute a sprint in response. That would have been a lot more interesting. You don't spoil any player of his options, but instead you make the opposition gain a slight advantage for doing so. On the other side, Fouling, discard a card. BAM! Your only sprint player. Coooool, dude! And it's not only terrible for the guy who's already winning the game, it's a disaster if you play this run-up team who already struggles and you get that slice through your own neck all of a sudden. What's your playgroup like? No way I would invite "anybody" to a session when we have a significant risk of having plays like that. With my game experience, I can take it even if that means it makes me hate the game, but bringing a friend to this and having him pulled apart by a **** card liike this? No ******* way, excuse my French.

 

If there are people out there who think this is a great skill then by any means enjoy that. Not going to shut up for saying it's wrong for us though. I don't think my playgroup is special or anything but we don't see what it brings to the BBTM experience aside from removing even more options from your hand, limiting your choices, forcing you to make bad plays etc. Like stadiums. I don't know what you guys talk about after your sessions, but we talk about these awesome plays we made at the last second, we talked about that guy who held a star player up to the right moment and then devastated a whole matchup. We talk about the upgrades we drafted, not the ones we lost due to a stupid penalty. We don't jiggle over this Morg N Thorg I stripped off this other guy or this player with Sprint ability who was the only way Dwarves could achieve something in the game. I'm just perplex about how can people think of this as a cool thing to implement.

Edited by Indalecio

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Got this to the table with my game group last week. 3 of the 4 of us had experience with the base game and one who never played it. It was Orcs, Nurggles, Elves, and Undead. We used the stadiums, but cycled them every round so people could see the various stadiums. I omitted the corrupt ref so as not to overwhelm the new guy.

 

Orcs beat the Undead by one fan with the other teams trailing close behind and the new guy put in a good showing. Perception of game length was mixed. One thought it went one round too long (a similar complaint with the base), but another said it would be cool to go extra rounds just to build the decks. Most importantly, it was fun. We pounded the table in "We Will Rock You" fashion and other sports tropes. Everyone liked the fouling.

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Re the new mechanics:

 

We've not tried the stadiums or referees yet, but reading the rules I'm expecting to like the stadiums and dislike the referee.

 

I have no problem with penalty cards, other than that they increase the RNG factor somewhat. Still, if I hated RNG mechanics, there's a lot more to this game to hate. Luckily I don't, so no problem!

 

Re: the foul skill, I love it. I love the way it changes the dynamic of the hand, and encourages bold risk-taking early plays. Before fouls, playing the cards was starting to feel automated, with an obvious optimal choice present almost all the time, and some cards obviously being early plays and other ones being late ones.  Now, its much more a case of skilful risk assessment and taking the gamble.

 

All in all Foul Play has added a lot more random to the game, but also added more decision making. The "assess risks and take a gamble" aspect has increased significantly.

 

What this game isn't, and can never be fixed to being, is a game of deep strategy and clever outthinking of an opponent.

 

What it is, and is becoming more so, is a complex game of gambling and risk management, working the mathematics of probability to give the best chance of success and roaring in amazement when everything comes crashing down, which thanks to the nature of the risks, happens at least once a game. My friends and I have realised that your chances of winning the game basically come down to how many "critical failures" you generate! A good gambler takes the big losses as sad but an inevitable part of playing a gambling game, and pushes on regardless. When I roll "X X" on a block, I shout out "1 in 36 chance! Dammit!" but the rational gambler in me knows that when you are making that many RNG plays, you're going to get critical fails every now and then.

Edited by Prepare for War

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Fouling is a mechanic that I can definitely see causing negative thoughts from some players, and it obviously does for Indalecio.  However, I feel like its one that shakes up what is a fairly static play style of wait to play your big guy at the end, and for that reason, I am not ready to condemn it.  I just lost a Minotaur to the Foul skill and drew into a Lineman to ruin my plans for the Blood Bowl in the last game I played, so its certainly a skill I could loathe, but I don`t.  It definitely requires a rethinking of the standard strategy for BB:TM, but that is not a bad thing.    In other rounds of that same game, there were times I dropped the Minotaur as my second drop to make sure he got into play, knowing Fouling was out there.  That alteration of strategy helped me to be set to win before I drew four 2pt Contracts while my Goblin opponent that was behind me pulled 3,4,4 and 5 to win by 3.

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That's exactly the point I was trying to make. Glad to see I'm not alone against these guys, some of which clearly thing there is a *right* way to like things in this game. 

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Hi there, been a while :)

 

Just reacting to your post, Marginal Hulk. I´m sorry my comments made you feel this way. I´m just very passionate about the things I like, so I said what I thought loud and plain. Like the previous poster said before you, some game systems and concepts probably work better with certain people than others. For me personally, I didn't like the direction set in this expansion for the game at all. There are some good things to be found in Foul Play though, in fact since I last posted here we've had some pretty good games - especially with the referee being involved -  and had multiple shots at the new teams.

 

We can still enjoy the game, but you need to have a different mindset, because of everything going on. I try to chill out and have a more short-term strategy. Trying to win matchups before I land the last card, for instance. Or going nuts on the wave of randomness to accumulate cheat tokens and play the referee game. It makes for cheaty wins and unfair failures, but that's the spirit of Foul Play I suppose. As I said, not the same game.

 

To take an example, the game has become more like one of these games where you cannot figure out what to do until it is your turn. Because while the other coaches are playing you can lose cards, you may get the referee in the way etc, and even after you´ve played you may lose the rewards you put all your efforts into getting. I don't blame anybody for thinking these things are good or interesting if that suits their playstyle, but for me I´m just disappointed that these "extras" had to be introduced at the expense of other things I found fun in the original game.

Edited by Indalecio

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I can respect that, it certainly changes the game. We still play without stadiums and referees for newbies. Personally I like games that have the FU factor, but I know that not everyone does.

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For me, here is my take.

 

1. I like the fouling mechanic, it requires more forethought IMO, and disrupts players that use set strategies (and perhaps lessens the advantage the last players has).

 

2. Stadiums are fun but I am not sure I particularly like the extra rewards. Personally I think the reward should be an either/or. It does not promote hard choices IMO. The only thing I liked about the rewards were the fan points in the last round, and the ability to gain a few more team cards, for which opportunities are kinda low in the base game.

 

3. As for the REF. In general I think it adds some fun to the game (and at times a little strategy), but am not a fan of playing him every round. We play ref on rounds 3-4. It also completely unbalances the staff card regarding fan-points from cheating. I think it might have been better if this mechanic was restricted to a few teams, or team cards, staff cards, ie exhaust this to allow the ref to run this round. It would flavour well with a few teams.

 

I have not disliked any team in BBTM and the FP teams are no exception.

 

Happy bloodbowl'n all.

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