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Variant units for balancing late game

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Hi people !


I know everyone plays differently, but if you are like me and my friends you should often reach the point where in the late game, every player has basically built his/her ideal deck (or at least is very close to it). If that's the case, you have probably noticed 2 things:

- not all factions are equal during the late game

- some units are never played by any player


This is even more visible if you play 1vs1.


So, with my friends we came up with slightly different effects for the units that we never played, with the idea of making them more playable while balancing the late game. Enjoy :)


Dwarves of Dunwar :


The problem:

- Dwarves have no way to draw a unit card. They kind of compensate for that fact with the War Machine's ability (which gives more strength) and the Guardian's ability (which increases the chances of your units reaching resolution step), but despite that they kind of hit low in terms of strength.

- While it is obvious to use Gold cards in the early game, it becomes a problem later. You need the Gold cards for the abilities of the Sentinels and the War Machines, but having Gold cards in your hand means less units and makes you vulnerable. Because of that, you should be careful and not have more than 2 or 3 Gold cards in your deck.

- Having few Gold cards, the abilities of the Digging Machine and Sentinel are conflicting. A Digging Machine discarding a 3-Gold card has 7 strength, while playing a Sentinel needs to destroy a 5-strength unit to be as interesting a move. Also, a Digging Machine is strong in itself, while a Sentinel is not. That's why nobody in my group plays Sentinels (which is bad, because then you let the opponent polish his/her deck composition)
- The Demolitionist is cool, but knowing your opponent's hand often doesn't really make a difference. Also, in the late game people only have 3-Gold cards, so the second effect is also unusable. That's why nobody in my group plays Demolitionists.


The variant:

- Sentinel effect: When played: Discard at least one Gold card rom your hand to destroy 1 opposing unit or draw 1 card. If the total value of the discarded cards is more than 1, you may do both.

- Demolitionist effect: When played: Look at any other player's hand. You may take 1 Gold card of value 2 or less from his hand and add it to your hand or discard pile. If there is none in his hand, you can take a 1-Gold card from the center area instead.



- The Sentinel effect removes the conflict between the Sentinel and the Digging Machine (since you can draw another Gold card). It also allows you to play more Gold cards in your deck, and thus to be able to fully use the War Machines. It also increases the chances of having 5 units in combat, which makes the Dwarves less vulnerable. The condition to use both effects is there to avoid Dwarves being too powerful during the early game.

- The Demolitionist effect makes the card usable during the late game, while giving a boost to the deck by giving the War Machines Gold cards to destroy, as well as decreasing the chances of having a Sentinel in your hand whose effect you cannot trigger.

- That may seem OP but it's not. Try it.


Orcs of the Broken Plains :


The problem:

- Orcs are rather balanced, but they have few means of destruction.

- Lizard Riders can only destroy units of 2 or less strength, and that is very limiting (I mean, Elves don't even play units of strength 2 or less in the late game). That's why nobody in my group plays Lizard Riders.

- Giant Trolls can destroy opposing units by destroying friendly units. I am guessing that this is supposed to be used in combination with the Warchief buying a unit to spend the Gold cards in your hand.

- Orcs are really dependant on the Warchief for defense, so the opponents always destroy it and you spend all of your money buying back Warchiefs while your deck is slowly being destroyed. Because Warchiefs are expensive.

- Because of that, you usually cannot afford to use the Giant Troll's ability, so you don't destroy the opponent's unit and he/she can polish his/her deck (in particular, you don't destroy destruction units, so you cannot turn the situation around)


The variant:

- Lizard Rider: Resolution: If you have 0 cards in your hand, destroy an opposing unit among those with the least strength.



- Originally, the Lizard Rider is a unit that plays on the condition of having 0 cards in your hand, which is the logic of the faction. To avoid its conflicting with Spirit Speakers and to allow you to play more than 1 of those, the ability can only be triggered during the resolution step. However, destroying a unit of your choice during the resolution would be way too OP. That's why there is a restriction on what unit you can destroy.

- The new restriction (the opposing unit with the least strength) keeps the original idea but guarantees that there is something that you will be able to destroy, starting with the opponent's destruction units.

- Destroying units at the resolution step also means that the opponent may want to destroy a Lizard Rider instead of a Warchief, which is good because Lizard Riders are way cheaper.


Daqan Lords :


The problem:

- They don't hit that high in terms of strength, so they are rather weak in the late game.

- The logic of the faction is to discard useless cards to do things, and to draw cards to compensate for that.

- The main way to draw a card is through the Knight. However, it cannot draw units with strength 3 or more.
- The Siege Machine has 4 strength. Having it in your deck reduces the chances of drawing a card with the Knight. And its ability (discarding a card for 2 additional strength) is not really interesting to use. That's why nobody in my group plays Siege Machines.

- The Novice Wizard's ability may seem useful, but it only is if you have useless cards. In the end game, those are few and are usually discarded by the Bowman's ability. The only interest left for this unit is that it's a 2-strength unit, that can be drawn by the Knight. That's why in my group we almost never play Novice Wizards's ability (and play few Novice Wizards at all).


The variant:

- Siege Machine: Strength 2. Resolution: Discard 1 card from your hand to add 4 strength to this unit.

- Novice Wizard: When played: Discard 1 card from your hand to draw 1 card for each participating "Novice Wizard".



- The Siege Machine now becomes a unit that can be drawn with the Knight, and thus becomes usable. Its strength remains 6 after discarding a card, but adding 4 strength by discarding a card is more interesting an ability than adding only 2 (for example, if the last card in your hand is a 2-Strength unit, you may consider keeping it in your hand to discard it with the Siege Machine)

- The Novice Wizard ability may seem OP, but in practice they get destroyed pretty fast and it barely compensates for the faction's lack of strength anyway.




That's all. Enjoy your game :)

Edited by EternalBeing

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Hey there.

Nice job on this.

I will give these a try in my next RA get together with my gf`s.


Can u pls consider post this on board game geek site ?



almost everyone in my gaming group are BGG members and I am sure they will follow your suggestions as there is a good bunch of RA followers on that site.

Only one other girl from my 14 girls gaming group is subscribed here at FFG.


Thx again for sharing. 



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