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Robofish

Winnu balance and cruiser II

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[obligatory I took second place with The Winnu last game they're not that bad post]

That being said, I think the proposition to give them access to anyone one tech opens the flood gate for absolute abuse. While I agree Cruiser II would absolute fix what is seen as the "Sardak Start" in my playgroup. I think that this is a balancing mechanic against them. [Incoming Anecdotal Evidence] I held Rex the entire game, and only through keep away and over expansion on my part did I manage to only take 2nd place. Hegemonic Trade Policies is absolutely absurd. I understand that without Cruiser II they don't really have a chance to get there at any decent speed. But the threat of you taking Rex so early without influence is a potent one. One that will make players either break their bank trying to remove the token for themselves crippling them for a turn, or forcing them to park expeditionary forces just to slow you down.

While this post will most likely surprise no one but I think they're fine as is.

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It is way too early to claim races need help. 

 

I get that they are slow but getting rex should be job one. 6 influence is not that much (TG's count) and getting free dock and PDS there saves you a lot of time. 

 

From then on its who is keeping winnu from taking Imperial and running away with things. 

 

Certainly not the strongest but not worth trying to fix this early. 

 

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Like I've said, my issue with the Winnu is not necessarily that they're too weak*, but that they're too narrowly focused. They're the only race that has exactly one path to victory which makes use of their racial strengths. Any other path they take is automatically more difficult than it is for any other race, because they have zero inherent aptitude for it. When you play the Winnu, you must try to take Mecatol Rex first and then hold it. And that makes them not weak, but flawed, and I can say that with confidence without having played dozens of games.

* Actually, at the moment I do feel that they're genuinely underpowered, but I want to play more before making any definitive statements there.

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Iteration 3!

Disclaimer: once again, this is meant to be a fun thread. Please do not argue about the design perfection that is the Winnu in TI4. ;) 

Starting Technology:

  • Choose any 1 technology that has no prerequisites

Racial Abilities:

  • Blood Ties: You do not have to spend influence to remove the custodians token form Mecatol Rex.
  • Focused Research: After another player discards the custodian token from Mecatol Rex: gain one technology ignoring all prerequisites.
  • Lazax Legacy: Invasion: you do not need to commit ground forces to take control of an empty non hazardous planet. 
  • Political Pedigree: Before voting on an Agenda, ready all planets you control.

Racial Techs :

  • Lazax Quadratic Projector YY - Action: exhaust and place this card face down over a planet you control. That planet cannot be invaded or bombarded until this card is readied.
  • Lazax Sentient Exosphere RRR - Enemy ships in systems with planets you control lose Bombardment. Each planet you control has SPACE CANNON 8.

Other Racial Techs Considered:

  • Despotic Mercantilism YY - Action: Exhaust this card to ready every planet in one system.
  • Lazax Flux Dilator YBG - Action: Exhaust two planets you control.
  • Lazax Temporal Entanglement YR - Exhaust this card after an opponent resolves any ability that targets one of your components or planets: resolve the same ability targeting a component of that player.
  • Lazax Transwarp Catapult BB - Exhaust this card after an opponent has activated a system containing one of your ships; move one of your ships from any unactivated system to that system.

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I think these are all fun and still play to the theme. Lazax Legacy seems a bit overpowered, and I would only suggest scaling it back to "gain one technology that the invading player already owns."

So in essence, if someone beats you to the punch, you get to scale up a bit to match them in tech. I think getting to have your pick of the litter of any tech is a bit extreme and puts a strange level of hesitation on the Winnu player to actually take Mecatol. I don't think they should be incentivized to NOT take Mecatol, but merely compensated for failing to do so.

 

Also, I think Quadratic Projector may be a bit overpowered as well. If you get that tech, which you could do very quickly, it cancels out the ability for most people to do anything about you. I think it needs some sort of limitations set on it. Something like "You may not use PRODUCTION on the planet" is what I'm thinking. Although that may be over-correcting a bit. But the ability to 100% cancel the ability for anyone to ever take one of your planets (since all you have to do is activate your chosen planet [MR] as your first action every round) seems overboard. Sure, someone could make sure they go before you, but it's still incredibly powerful. The closest comparison to this ability is Diplomacy, but Diplomacy is SIGNIFICANTLY easier to block, since it is a card anyone can select.

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Thanks for the suggestions! Very helpful. 

I love your idea about restricting Focused Research to a tech of the landing player. You are correct in that it was meant only to offset the Winnu not making it to Mecatol first -- not encourage them not to take Mecatol.  This is a sound change.

Quadratic Projector originally had Mecatol excluded. It was meant more for them to snipe a planet far from their border and keep it cloaked rather than protect Mecatol. It was only when I was wording the tech that it seemed soooo awkward that I reconsidered playtesting it first. The Winnu would not be able to benefit much without taking Imperial and giving everyone a chance to take attack it. And if they cannot gain a VP from Mecatol is it really such a prize for them? The skies over Mecatol can still be taken. But then again, a minor limitation such as you cannot produce on the planet while it is cloaked actually is better design. It will force the Winnu player into making the tough decision of when to cloak. And better design is better :) Other limitations should be considered but for now I think it should read:

  • Lazax Quadratic Projector YY - Action: exhaust and place this card face down over a planet you control.  Until this card is readied, that planet cannot be invaded or bombarded, and units on it lose PRODUCTION.

 

 

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Another, completely different, idea for racial tech I think would be something that resolves around the Speaker Token.

The Winnu are still the Mecatol race, we just need to give them more power to utilize it. Is there any validity in a racial tech that allows them to acquire the Speaker token in a way that makes sense? This would allow them a more certain way to get the Imperial strategy card that they need to score MR points. "Exhaust this card when a player plays Politics to force them to choose you as the Speaker. This card is not readied during the next Status Phase" seems close to what I'm thinking, but it's still a bit wonky.

None of this is to say that your idea isn't good. Just throwing more ideas out there.

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When I was brainstorming their racial abilities I did consider something involving the Speaker. One was they always select Strategy card after the Speaker or they start the game as the Speaker. But I quickly moved away from both of them because the selection of strategy cards is often so critical in setting up a victory. I didn't want to mess with it in any way that could weaken that part of the game for other factions. So I like it theme wise but I'm wary of its impact.

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Iteration 4! 

StartingTechnology:

  • Choose any 1 technology that has no prerequisites

Racial Abilities:

  • Blood Ties: You do not have to spend influence to remove the custodians token form Mecatol Rex.
  • Focused Research: After another player discards the custodian token from Mecatol Rex: gain one technology they possess ignoring all prerequisites.
  • Lazax Legacy: Invasion: you do not need to commit ground forces to take control of an empty non hazardous planet. 
  • Bureaucratic Liaisons: Before voting on an Agenda, ready your home system.

Racial Techs :

  • Lazax Quadratic Projector YY - Action: exhaust and place this card face down over a planet you control. Until this card is readied, that planet cannot be invaded or bombarded, and units on it lose PRODUCTION.
  • Lazax Sentient Exosphere RRR - Enemy ships in systems with planets you control lose BOMBARDMENT. Each planet you control has SPACE CANNON 8
Edited by Dweomer

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I think it's too early to completely redesign a race. THough I do agree that their benefit is too limited in scope they should have other benefits outside of Mecatol ... having a Winnu player on the table basically means you know what they goal is right away... 

I like the idea that "Immediately after removing the Custodial token place 1 PDS 1 Space Dock here" meaning they can build the turn they take it to re-inforce it. I mean them taking the warcraft SC can also assist with this... 

So far nobody really has managed to hold onto MR more than 1 turn, or if they do then everyone else starts taking the Imperial card to prevent points. (As expected)

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I have always preached the following  in TI3 and while I'm yet to play TI4 (1 more week!), I can say that most likely my philosophy will not change.

First thing is that, TI is not won or lost on racial abilities/techs/starting conditions .. really race anything.  The premise that it does, is one that can be argued on paper  with great legitimacy "aka, lets look at the abilities and compare/contrast, create scenarios and theory craft", but in practice, TI is a very different beast because games are won and lost through diplomacy, treachery , and politics, aka, by the players hand.   In a sense, the balance of the game is vastly different in every group, that group dynamic will define what is and isn't an effective ability.

For example, I can tell that the Winnu in our games are always going to be very strong because the logic of my player group will be that any player that is the Winnu, will go for Mecatol and will get it.  Anyone foolish enough to try to stop them or interfere, will spend the next six hours in an all out war against the Winnu in which the Winnu player will stop at nothing to ensure the player who interfered, firmly, definitely and conclusively has ZERO chance of winning the game.  The Winnu player will effectively suicide it.   This will happen every single game the Winnu is player and regardless of who is playing them.  Another words, the Winnu WILL control Mecatol Rex, anyone who tries to prevent this WILL lose the game, its effectively suicide to try to stop them or prevent them from getting it.

That right there is a balancing by group dynamic.  Is it logical?  Fair?  Right?  What difference does it make, if you can count on it like money in the bank.

This is exactly the same reason Yassiril Tribes didn't win or lose any more often than any other race in TI3 . Why?  Again, group dynamic, the Yassril is strong, so in my group, everyone always gangs up and keeps them in check.  It took every bit as much skill, planing, negotiation and strategy to pull out a win with the Tribes.  Again, group dynamic in play here.

I guess my point is that, while I do believe there is definitely a time to alter races, one of the reasons why we can never agree as a community on what those changes should be is because every group is different.  I think its important for each TI group to figure out their groups dynamics, their reactions to different mechanics, abilities and balances and see if a self-correcting dynamic emerges.  If not, then you go for it and make changes, but do it pre-maturely, or worse yet, after every game and you stifle the potential of a group dynamic self-balancing system from emerging and that can really ruin TI for you as you will endlessly manipulate rules without success.

Group dynamics take several games with the same group to emerge so it requires a group that plays repeatedly, one of the main drawbacks of this sort of natural balancing system, but it really works, you really just have to kind of let it happen.

 

 

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1 hour ago, BigKahuna said:

I have always preached the following  in TI3 and while I'm yet to play TI4 (1 more week!), I can say that most likely my philosophy will not change.

First thing is that, TI is not won or lost on racial abilities/techs/starting conditions .. really race anything.  The premise that it does, is one that can be argued on paper  with great legitimacy "aka, lets look at the abilities and compare/contrast, create scenarios and theory craft", but in practice, TI is a very different beast because games are won and lost through diplomacy, treachery , and politics, aka, by the players hand.   In a sense, the balance of the game is vastly different in every group, that group dynamic will define what is and isn't an effective ability.

For example, I can tell that the Winnu in our games are always going to be very strong because the logic of my player group will be that any player that is the Winnu, will go for Mecatol and will get it.  Anyone foolish enough to try to stop them or interfere, will spend the next six hours in an all out war against the Winnu in which the Winnu player will stop at nothing to ensure the player who interfered, firmly, definitely and conclusively has ZERO chance of winning the game.  The Winnu player will effectively suicide it.   This will happen every single game the Winnu is player and regardless of who is playing them.  Another words, the Winnu WILL control Mecatol Rex, anyone who tries to prevent this WILL lose the game, its effectively suicide to try to stop them or prevent them from getting it.

That right there is a balancing by group dynamic.  Is it logical?  Fair?  Right?  What difference does it make, if you can count on it like money in the bank.

This is exactly the same reason Yassiril Tribes didn't win or lose any more often than any other race in TI3 . Why?  Again, group dynamic, the Yassril is strong, so in my group, everyone always gangs up and keeps them in check.  It took every bit as much skill, planing, negotiation and strategy to pull out a win with the Tribes.  Again, group dynamic in play here.

I guess my point is that, while I do believe there is definitely a time to alter races, one of the reasons why we can never agree as a community on what those changes should be is because every group is different.  I think its important for each TI group to figure out their groups dynamics, their reactions to different mechanics, abilities and balances and see if a self-correcting dynamic emerges.  If not, then you go for it and make changes, but do it pre-maturely, or worse yet, after every game and you stifle the potential of a group dynamic self-balancing system from emerging and that can really ruin TI for you as you will endlessly manipulate rules without success.

Group dynamics take several games with the same group to emerge so it requires a group that plays repeatedly, one of the main drawbacks of this sort of natural balancing system, but it really works, you really just have to kind of let it happen.

 

 

I strongly disagree with this. While this maybe true of a neighbor, what the Winnu can do to the 3 players on the far side of the board (wormholes aside ) is fairly limited. And imagine sitting down with a player who says "I have a divine right to the center and it's vp(s)". My response is going to be " yep, you, me and 4 other players". And if they are going to insist, well, that's what I have a fleet for. This is where starting units come in. The Winnu have only 1 unit with capacity, and only 2 GFs  (Iirc) and only 3 resources, meaning that they have to be lucky with timing and SC to get a 2nd system in round 1. 

What do I meant by this? Imagine you are lucky enough to start as speaker with a random race. You look at your options and then take technology cos well, it's tech. Not the Winnu. If they want to take a second system, it's warfare, trade or diplomacy. This is a fairly major problem. A number of races can take 2 systems with what they have at the start (eg tribes and N'orr) and every other race can do so with a build using just HS planets. But not the Winnu. 

So with a weak fleet, and a poor start, the suggestion of well, everyone better let me have Rex or I'll spend the next 6 hours making sure we are both miserable is a poor one. Players like this must be stood up to or they can take what they want with brinksmanship. 

 

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4 hours ago, Robofish said:

I strongly disagree with this. While this maybe true of a neighbor, what the Winnu can do to the 3 players on the far side of the board (wormholes aside ) is fairly limited. And imagine sitting down with a player who says "I have a divine right to the center and it's vp(s)". My response is going to be " yep, you, me and 4 other players". And if they are going to insist, well, that's what I have a fleet for. This is where starting units come in. The Winnu have only 1 unit with capacity, and only 2 GFs  (Iirc) and only 3 resources, meaning that they have to be lucky with timing and SC to get a 2nd system in round 1. 

What do I meant by this? Imagine you are lucky enough to start as speaker with a random race. You look at your options and then take technology cos well, it's tech. Not the Winnu. If they want to take a second system, it's warfare, trade or diplomacy. This is a fairly major problem. A number of races can take 2 systems with what they have at the start (eg tribes and N'orr) and every other race can do so with a build using just HS planets. But not the Winnu. 

So with a weak fleet, and a poor start, the suggestion of well, everyone better let me have Rex or I'll spend the next 6 hours making sure we are both miserable is a poor one. Players like this must be stood up to or they can take what they want with brinksmanship. 

 

Your making the assumption of "player", I'm referring to "group dynamic".   Everyone at the table understands the metas, we are gamers and pretty **** good ones.  Everyone understands that there are inherent weaknesses and strength with certain elements of the game, as such, its not a demand from the Winnu player that he take Mecatol, but from the vast majority of the table.  At our table, doing something to "crush" a weaker player (be it because of mechanics or experiance), or by stalling him in a way one can with Winnu wouldn't just earn you the scorn of the Winnu player, but the whole table.  In a situation like this, even if I wasn't involved, I would donate trade goods to the Winnu player and assist him with Action cards, political moves whatever.  The best thing for me, is that two people are fighting a pointless war that leads to both of them being eliminated from contention.  

All that said, the worst move you can make is try to trip up the Winnu's primary advantage, do it in our group, you WILL get crushed, again.. its group dynamics, if you played in our group you would fall in line or get crushed repeatedly until you did.  Group dynamics are a force that "strategic play" can't beat, you have to find clever ways to win which again is why I always say the game has virtually nothing to do with race abilities and everything to do with players and their reactions/politics etc..  That's what makes TI such a wonderful and simultaneously frustrating game.

Edited by BigKahuna

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On 20/11/2017 at 5:26 PM, BigKahuna said:

Your making the assumption of "player", I'm referring to "group dynamic".   Everyone at the table understands the metas, we are gamers and pretty **** good ones.  Everyone understands that there are inherent weaknesses and strength with certain elements of the game, as such, its not a demand from the Winnu player that he take Mecatol, but from the vast majority of the table.  At our table, doing something to "crush" a weaker player (be it because of mechanics or experiance), or by stalling him in a way one can with Winnu wouldn't just earn you the scorn of the Winnu player, but the whole table.  In a situation like this, even if I wasn't involved, I would donate trade goods to the Winnu player and assist him with Action cards, political moves whatever.  The best thing for me, is that two people are fighting a pointless war that leads to both of them being eliminated from contention.  

All that said, the worst move you can make is try to trip up the Winnu's primary advantage, do it in our group, you WILL get crushed, again.. its group dynamics, if you played in our group you would fall in line or get crushed repeatedly until you did.  Group dynamics are a force that "strategic play" can't beat, you have to find clever ways to win which again is why I always say the game has virtually nothing to do with race abilities and everything to do with players and their reactions/politics etc..  That's what makes TI such a wonderful and simultaneously frustrating game.

I don't understand.

You say you are all "good" gamers, yet you would scorn a player preying on another player's weak position or lack of skills... But boardgaming is all about winners winning and losers losing.

You say you'd scorn a player for preying on another one, but you are fine with a Winnu player throwing away their own six hours and another player's own six hours as petty revenge for denying them a VP. Not to mention that fueling the flames to exploit the situation could be considered preying on your part.

I really can't reconcile all these assertions with each other... Perhaps your group developed a way of playing that you think "feels right" to try and ensure an involved and fun game for everyone... Which is fine, as it's really not fun to be crushed in 90 minutes and go through empty motions for another 270, nor is it fun for the other players to watch the resulting sulking and whining. But it's got nothing to do with the Winnu as they are being competitive or not in the cutthroat environment that TI can rapidly develop into.

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My general impression seems to be that it's too early yet to alter the game much. We should all get some games in, so there's something approaching meta-data. Maybe start collecting it, even. Like a database where players can put in the result of their games, so we can get percentages of the win-loss-ratio of races. Like it's done in X-Wing.

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2 hours ago, vidyaraja said:

I don't understand.

You say you are all "good" gamers, yet you would scorn a player preying on another player's weak position or lack of skills... But boardgaming is all about winners winning and losers losing.

You say you'd scorn a player for preying on another one, but you are fine with a Winnu player throwing away their own six hours and another player's own six hours as petty revenge for denying them a VP. Not to mention that fueling the flames to exploit the situation could be considered preying on your part.

I really can't reconcile all these assertions with each other... Perhaps your group developed a way of playing that you think "feels right" to try and ensure an involved and fun game for everyone... Which is fine, as it's really not fun to be crushed in 90 minutes and go through empty motions for another 270, nor is it fun for the other players to watch the resulting sulking and whining. But it's got nothing to do with the Winnu as they are being competitive or not in the cutthroat environment that TI can rapidly develop into.

I think you are misunderstanding the adjective good here, I don't mean good as in nice guys, I mean good as in, good players who know how to cease opportunities and leverage situations.

when a Winni player is denied Mecatol, he'll be looking to claim it from the current player, given he is motivated by mechanics, which is the opportunity for everyone involved to stir the **** and help support war.  In Ti3 if two people are fighting and your not involved, you are winning.

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I also agree that Winnu is one of weak,if not the weakest, race in the game.

The problem for me is that...aside from there's ability to take Rex without any cost...they are totaly bland...sad but true.

 

One of my innitial suggeston is to give them some additional passive ability that is also somehow connected to Mecatol Rex. 

Here is my suggest: (Name of ability) Whenever some other player gain control of Mecatol Rex,you gain (let's say) 3 TG OR one thechnology controled by that player for which you have prereq.

 

What do you think guys?

Edited by marecagiva@gmail.com

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Ability name suggestion: Custodial Fees.

However I can see this ability as being viewed as a bit op if it triggers EVERY time another player takes MR. I think it would work better if restricted to "If another race gains the Custodians Token (by landing on Mecatol Rex and paying 6 influence) you may learn a tech of your choice known by the race taking MR (that you have prerequisites for). If you already know all eligible techs, gain 6 (8?) Trade Goods instead."

Edited by Fnoffen
for rephrasing

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The Winnu are quite weak, its unfortunate that the problem is compiled, in addition to a weak racial ability they also come with mediocre starting conditions.

That said, controlling Mecatol Rex is a really big deal in TI4 and dropping 6 influence to claim it early on is very risky for all races while for the Winnu its really not risky at all, its free and it becomes a 6 production planet under their control with Hegemonic Trade Policy so your highly motivated to leverage it.  That is a very powerful combination that is not particularly difficult or circumstantial to pull of with the Winnu, though I would agree with most that its a very narrow (obvious) starting strategy making it susceptible to being stopped. 

On the bright side you get to pick your starting tech, so your effectively only 1 tech away from Hegemonic Trade Policy (assuming you take yellow).  Once you take Mecatol, you have a 6 production planet with 8 capacity every round to build up a stupidly powerful force on Mecatol and the entire field is going to spend the rest of the game either trying to take it from you or playing keep away with the Political and Imperial cards.  Either way, that is not a terrible position to be and not really a terribly difficult to pull off.  Barring someone else pushing stupidly hard to take it before you, you should be able to get it by round 3 with relative ease.

The issues arise in the counter attack so the timing of the claim needs to be pitch perfect.  Your looking to make sure you are holding the speaker token going into round 4 so you can get early initiative to shore defenses or you have to make sure you take Mecatol with Warfare in your hand so you can build at your space dock in the same round to shore up defenses.  

All and all though, few races are particularly motivated or in a good position to take Mecatol Rex by default so the concern is that someone has a lot of influence planets without plans for them to spare.  

 

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On 12/2/2017 at 8:28 PM, Stefan said:

My general impression seems to be that it's too early yet to alter the game much. We should all get some games in, so there's something approaching meta-data. Maybe start collecting it, even. Like a database where players can put in the result of their games, so we can get percentages of the win-loss-ratio of races. Like it's done in X-Wing.

I agree to a point but with a Winnu, its a real stretch.

Based on my personal experience with Twilight Imperium, looking at the structure of the Winnu, I know before even playing with them that they are severely outmatched by all races and by a pretty significant margin too.   House ruling them is inevitable.  The trouble for me is that every time you adapt racial abilities and improve them for one race , some other races get bumped down by default and finds its self at the bottom of the pile.  It's why I don't personally I don't like altering racial powers.  I actually think the ability is really sound, its really the starting conditions for Winnu that are out of wack making their play for Mecatol Rex really tough, they really act as a deterrent from even making an attempt at Mecatol and its here where I think the issue lays.  Most races have starting conditions that favor their abilities I don't understand why this wasn't done for the Winnu in the same way.

Consider Federation of Sol for example.  They have 1 strategic token per round and can build ground forces for 1 strategic command token.  To support this with starting conditions they have improved carriers and improved infantry units.  It makes perfect sense, starting conditions supporting their ability.

I think if I were to house rule the Winnu I would do something very subtle with their starting conditions and leave the abilities alone to ensure that their ability gets supported by their starting conditions.

Starting Conditions

Choose any one technology with no pre-requisite + Carrier II

2 Carriers
1 Cruiser
2 Fighters
4 Infantry
1 Space Dock

The PDS is kind of worthless to them, 1 Carrier means that they are already struggling to spread and trying to get to Mecatol is going to be a stretch as it is.  

With this start they have a fighting chance.  Someone is going to have to go way out of their way to try to stop them from taking Mecatol and that's how it should be with an ability like this.  

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On 12/2/2017 at 0:42 PM, vidyaraja said:

I don't understand.

You say you are all "good" gamers, yet you would scorn a player preying on another player's weak position or lack of skills... But boardgaming is all about winners winning and losers losing.

You say you'd scorn a player for preying on another one, but you are fine with a Winnu player throwing away their own six hours and another player's own six hours as petty revenge for denying them a VP. Not to mention that fueling the flames to exploit the situation could be considered preying on your part.

I really can't reconcile all these assertions with each other... Perhaps your group developed a way of playing that you think "feels right" to try and ensure an involved and fun game for everyone... Which is fine, as it's really not fun to be crushed in 90 minutes and go through empty motions for another 270, nor is it fun for the other players to watch the resulting sulking and whining. But it's got nothing to do with the Winnu as they are being competitive or not in the cutthroat environment that TI can rapidly develop into.

I think he was saying that the group dynamic heavily influences game balance. 

An obvious example contrary to his group are players that all gang up on whomever starts weakest, eliminate them, then go to the next. Another group might consider holding Mercatol-Rex a bid for winning, so it leads to games where everyone is positioned around an empty planet and the agenda phase may never even happen in the game.

In the former military races may be stronger than in the later group which might benefit from military prowess, but might also benefit from movement | technology.

Edited by bloodycelt

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6 hours ago, bloodycelt said:

I think he was saying that the group dynamic heavily influences game balance. 

An obvious example contrary to his group are players that all gang up on whomever starts weakest, eliminate them, then go to the next. Another group might consider holding Mercatol-Rex a bid for winning, so it leads to games where everyone is positioned around an empty planet and the agenda phase may never even happen in the game.

In the former military races may be stronger than in the later group which might benefit from military prowess, but might also benefit from movement | technology.

Exactly and this is also why we often have disputes about what is and isn't balanced and what does or doesn't make a good house rule.  Its common that a TI player will believe that his group experience and the results of their game identify what is and isn't balanced, than discuss on the basis of that experience, create house rules etc... not realizing how vastly different the experience can be with a different set of players.   Which is why I always say house rules are for your house, posting them and than arguing with people who disagree with you about the quality of that rule is such a pointless en-devour as group dynamic above all else has the greatest impact on the balance of the game.  Its really rare that I read a house rule or variant and say "yeah, that is great, really well thought out".  Most of the time I'm like... if I put that in my game, it will outright break it.  But its because I know my players, I know our group dynamic and the only thing that works there, are things applicable to their styles of play and approach to the game.

The most common place I see this happening is in the adjustments of racial abilities.  You see so many house rules and variants with heated discussions about the balance of it, which is why I think its really important that when you present a variant you kind of explain what is going on in your house games.  For one, it will clarify why you are creating with the applicable logic the solution you have created, but more importantly it can lead to the discovery of new strategies and tactics you might not have thought of that make the variant unnecessary.

Common races I see altered are the Sardek N'orr (totally unnecessary, they are crazy good), the Xxcha (again, just way too good to get buffed) and The Mentak (again... sooo good).  Races I can get behind is the Winnu for which its less about wether they are good or not, but more about the fact that they are just boring to play and very narrow (but again, experiences may differ)

 

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