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theaficionado

The Scorpion Tanker and Backhanded Compliment

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So the current buzz is that one of the Scorpion players at worlds was actually trying to "make it so" the clan and prevent them from gaining access to Backhanded Compliment, because it's NPE (Negative Play Experience) and horrendously broken.

I consider myself a reasonably solid player, and I'm confused as to why. It's definitely a good card, but I don't see it to be anywhere near broken.

Enlighten me?

Edit: Changed the word "sabotage" to "make it so" given my increased understanding of the situation.

Edited by theaficionado

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Because you can just force honor loss on someone without them having a reasonable way to prevent it.....and you can feesibly do it more than once a turn, during any action window.

All the other forms of honor loss have some decision from the opponent.  Take Levy for example.  The opponent chooses or the opponent makes the mistake of not saving enough fate to make a choice when Levy is played against them.  Either way they have some control over losing the honor.

BC just straight up makes them lose honor and has no per turn limit nor is it confined to a specific action window. At the very worst for Scorpion they can just use it as free card draw and make their opponent lose the honor by using their stronghold to recoup the honor lost from BC.......which would be good on its own if that's all it did.

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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7 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Because you can just force honor loss on someone without them having a reasonable way to prevent it.....and you can feesibly do it more than once a turn, during any action window.

All the other forms of honor loss have some decision from the opponent.  Take Levy for example.  The opponent chooses or the opponent makes the mistake of not saving enough fate to make a choice when Levy is played against them.  Either way they have some control over losing the honor.

BC just straight up makes them lose honor and has no per turn limit nor is it confined to a specific action window. At the very worst for Scorpion they can just use it as free card draw and make their opponent lose the honor by using their stronghold to recoup the honor lost from BC.......which would be good on its own if that's all it did.

 

It may be free draw, but it doesn't generate card advantage as you're trading 1 card for 1 card. It's deck-thinning at the cost of 1 honour, which I accept is more often than not going to be beneficial for Scorpion.

While I agree that Levy has some counter-play, if Backhanded Compliment becomes such a problem, I suspect people will just be more careful with their honour throughout the game, or value the Air ring slightly higher. Is introducing a scary dishonour card really that problematic?

I accept it will be a strong card, but it seems like if it ends up being quite powerful, it will just shape the way people approach the game, just as any very powerful card in any game might. 

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10 minutes ago, theaficionado said:

 

It may be free draw, but it doesn't generate card advantage as you're trading 1 card for 1 card. It's deck-thinning at the cost of 1 honour, which I accept is more often than not going to be beneficial for Scorpion.

While I agree that Levy has some counter-play, if Backhanded Compliment becomes such a problem, I suspect people will just be more careful with their honour throughout the game, or value the Air ring slightly higher. Is introducing a scary dishonour card really that problematic?

I accept it will be a strong card, but it seems like if it ends up being quite powerful, it will just shape the way people approach the game, just as any very powerful card in any game might. 

Free cycle instead of draw.  I stand corrected.

The reason why you can't simply bid lower to prevent honor loss is because that plays into Scorpion's strength.  They bid higher, steal your honor, and overwhelm you with card advantage.  So the alternative is try to bid high and break their stronghold fast......well that won't work either if Scorpion has a Keeper role because they splash Crane for Disdainful Remark and laugh while you bounce against their 10+ strength provinces.

You end up in a catch 22 situation and that is not where you want to be.  Eventually the game will probably self correct but seeing what we have of the first expansion cycle, I'm glad for Crane and Scorpion both not being keepers of anything right now.  If course this can all change in a few months.....heck maybe the last few cards we get from the first cycle we haven't yet seen blow this whole thing up and make BC and DR weak.  But right now, today.....I'm in the debt of those who chose seeker roles for Crane and Scorpion as they more than likely improved my L5R experience for at least the next few months.  Now we all just have to watch out for Phoenix and Crab dishonor.....which will likely be a thing but not on the same level as Scorpion. 

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1 minute ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Free cycle instead of draw.  I stand corrected.

The reason why you can't simply bid lower to prevent honor loss is because that plays into Scorpion's strength.  They bid higher, steal your honor, and overwhelm you with card advantage.  So the alternative is try to bid high and break their stronghold fast......well that won't work either if Scorpion has a Keeper role because they splash Crane for Disdainful Remark and laugh while you bounce against their 10+ strength provinces.

You end up in a catch 22 situation and that is not where you want to be.  Eventually the game will probably self correct but seeing what we have of the first expansion cycle, I'm glad for Crane and Scorpion both not being keepers of anything right now.  If course this can all change in a few months.....heck maybe the last few cards we get from the first cycle we haven't yet seen blow this whole thing up and make BC and DR weak.  But right now, today.....I'm in the debt of those who chose seeker roles for Crane and Scorpion as they more than likely improved my L5R experience for at least the next few months.  Now we all just have to watch out for Phoenix and Crab dishonor.....which will likely be a thing but not on the same level as Scorpion. 

You just need to bid slightly lower, right? I'm not saying bid 1 to their 5, but sticking at 3 should keep you mostly safe. This is all theorycrafting, of course.

Still, I imagine that after the Toshi Ranbo Kotei season, Scorpion (and Crane) will end up with a Keeper role anyway.

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5 minutes ago, Oshio said:

Regardless of the reason it was a silly move that only served to handicap his clan. It’s not like the card is going anywhere, so the move only served to make Phoenix and Crab arguably better at dishonor than Scorpion. 

Well the player that was actively trying to tank the Scorpion was a Dragon hatamoto that gave up his hatamoto status to play Scorpion.  The actual Scorpion player that was inspired by the other player's efforts and made the pick was wearing a Spider jersey......

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2 minutes ago, theaficionado said:

You just need to bid slightly lower, right? I'm not saying bid 1 to their 5, but sticking at 3 should keep you mostly safe. This is all theorycrafting, of course.

Still, I imagine that after the Toshi Ranbo Kotei season, Scorpion (and Crane) will end up with a Keeper role anyway.

I won't get into all the ins and out of theory crafting all the ways the Scorpion can stick it to you with the keeper role.  There is nothing stopping anyone from testing it outside of tournament play.  

Eventually it will come around to that but hopefully by then we have more answers and/or a different meta game that makes it less impactful

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21 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Well the player that was actively trying to tank the Scorpion was a Dragon hatamoto that gave up his hatamoto status to play Scorpion.  The actual Scorpion player that was inspired by the other player's efforts and made the pick was wearing a Spider jersey......

Sadly nothing in the rules preventing players from playing a different clan in an active attempt to sabotage them. Ah well!

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51 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

So the alternative is try to bid high and break their stronghold fast......well that won't work either if Scorpion has a Keeper role because they splash Crane for Disdainful Remark and laugh while you bounce against their 10+ strength provinces.

Splashing Crane for Disdainful Remark means you can't splash Crab for Levy (mentioned above) or Watch Commander, and vice versa.

This is kinda why my post in the other thread called it "Chicken Little-y."
It's a solid card, but arguing it would be NPE is seriously jumping the gun.

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1 hour ago, Bayushi Tsubaki said:

Splashing Crane for Disdainful Remark means you can't splash Crab for Levy (mentioned above) or Watch Commander, and vice versa.

This is kinda why my post in the other thread called it "Chicken Little-y."
It's a solid card, but arguing it would be NPE is seriously jumping the gun.

With Backhanded Compliment and Disdainful Remark there is no need for a Crab splash.  It would be inferior in every way.

I get that you're not ready to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to the card being broken or not.  This guy was...so much so that he gave up his Dragon hatamoto status to attempt it.  That dedication moved the top Scorpion to go along with the choice.

While I generally take a "wait and see" approach I think I'm this case there is some truth to the claims and I appreciate that there are players dedicated enough to seeing the game be a success that they are willing to go to such lengths.

There were plenty of instances in the old game were players were actively looking to solidify their clans own strength at the detriment to the greater good.....in addition to many periods in the game where there was gross imbalance were we waited for fixes that came too late or not at all.

You don't have to agree with it but I think it's a nice sign that there are players that, to my understanding some of whom are not old school L5R players, that are dedicated to the overall health of the game first instead of pushing to break the game when they see any imbalance, perceived or real.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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3 hours ago, theaficionado said:

So the current buzz is that one of the Scorpion players at worlds was actually trying to sabotage the clan and prevent them from gaining access to Backhanded Compliment, because it's NPE (Negative Play Experience) and horrendously broken.

I consider myself a reasonably solid player, and I'm confused as to why. It's definitely a good card, but I don't see it to be anywhere near broken.

Enlighten me?

Sabotage is a very loaded and ill-fitting word.

"I dedicated the pick to Brad Emon. His reasoning behind not wanting Keeper was a genuine desire to keep the game fun and thriving, and Backhand had the potential to really destroy people's will to play.

Brad was totally willing to embrace being a villain to make this happen, and I have nothing but respect for that.

If there are Scorpion players who aren't willing to be villains, then this may not be the clan for you. 

If people wanted a different choice, they had the opportunity to beat out Brad and myself. We finished first and second placed Scorpions at Worlds. I reckon we earned the right to make this choice."

—The Sensei, Mark Armitage

 

A better reason you will not find. Whether you like it or not is another matter.

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2 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Well the player that was actively trying to tank the Scorpion was a Dragon hatamoto that gave up his hatamoto status to play Scorpion.  The actual Scorpion player that was inspired by the other player's efforts and made the pick was wearing a Spider jersey......

Aha! You saw it! I'm like the world's worst infiltrator.

I do also have a Scorpion Imperial Assembly membership card that's around 20 years old, though. I still have some Scorp credentials.

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1 hour ago, Oshio said:

Sadly nothing in the rules preventing players from playing a different clan in an active attempt to sabotage them. Ah well!

Nor should there be. What could be the mechanism? Vetting clan loyalty? The fact that player skill (by and large) determines who gets to decide what, is a reasonably level playing field. Clan loyalty is open to all players, as is "sabotage", via hard work and commitment. The ability to affect the game, both mechanically and in story, has always been one of l5r's signature components. It is up to FFG to decide what constitutes appropriate player interaction, so as not to break their game, but also incentivizes players. Truth be told, I don't envy them any.

Furthermore, I think it is exactly this kind of tension - between clans, between players - which encourages investment. Your preferred Role didn't get picked? Well, what are you gonna do about it?    

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17 minutes ago, Hinomura said:

Aha! You saw it! I'm like the world's worst infiltrator.

I do also have a Scorpion Imperial Assembly membership card that's around 20 years old, though. I still have some Scorp credentials.

Or maybe you are a crafty Scorpion trying to pre-emptively place the blame at the feet of those who follow the 9th Kami.........

Well done either way.  Game recognize game playa!

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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17 minutes ago, FunTimeTeddy said:

Nor should there be. What could be the mechanism? Vetting clan loyalty? The fact that player skill (by and large) determines who gets to decide what, is a reasonably level playing field. Clan loyalty is open to all players, as is "sabotage", via hard work and commitment. The ability to affect the game, both mechanically and in story, has always been one of l5r's signature components. It is up to FFG to decide what constitutes appropriate player interaction, so as not to break their game, but also incentivizes players. Truth be told, I don't envy them any.

Furthermore, I think it is exactly this kind of tension - between clans, between players - which encourages investment. Your preferred Role didn't get picked? Well, what are you gonna do about it?    

Nowhere did I disagree with that. I’ve played this game since 1997 and, good or bad, the players impacting the story and cards has always been the best part. 

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As was said before, they were the best player/s for the clan who had the dedication to show up and go through the tournament gauntlet. They definitely deserve to make the choice and whatever their reasons, doesn't really matter.

 

That said, to me it seems a bit of an overreaction and kind of grandstandy to make assumptions about the cardpool for the next year. No one knows how awful or not Scorpion having access to the card would be for the game.

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Everything said, if the card is so badly designed that it would hurt the game, hatamoto’s choices are irrelevant in the long term. If the designers are so bad that such kind of card is out there on the frigging first cycle, game is doomed to be broken anyway, sooner than later. Maybe this should be addressed with FFG more than discussing role choices...

Edited by franzvong

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8 minutes ago, franzvong said:

Everything said, if the card is so badly designed that it would hurt the game, hatamoto’s choices are irrelevant in the long term. If the designers are so bad that such kind of card is out there on the frigging first cycle, game is doomed to be broken anyway, sooner than later.

Not necessarily.  Timing is everything.  Maybe later cycles have cards to answer threats like this or force a shift in the style of play so as to make cards that are too strong now less of an issue later.

Eventually with a deep enough card pool the power creep always leads to and oversaturation of busted stuff.....that's generally when we see a reset or format change.  If players are willing to self police the game then it can prolong the time it takes for the game to reach this point but it will never prevent it.

Bickering to FFG I think carries led weight than players showing how much they are concerned with keeping the game enjoyable for all. The If he side would have been to take a Keeper role, shove it in everyone's faces and then complain for band and errata......I know which method I'd rather see.

Since I'm going to be playing the game in either scenario is rather spend more time playing an enjoyable game wondering if maybe a player went to far, knowing that a several opportunities for the game to change are coming and at the very worst 1 year between role selection............instead of playing in a busted environment complaining to FFG for not doing their job and raising the overall level of toxicity.  While it does only impact competitive play, it can and does tend to seep into the casual environment.

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