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Vergilius

A few thoughts on Balance

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Since we've got quite the flourish of activity in the forums now that FFG has announced discountance of organized play, and at least some of them reflect our own private efforts, I thought a post outlining some of the background concepts on balance was in order.  None of this really fits into any of the threads in the current discussion, so here goes.

 

Balance is Choice

 

In a strategy game, the players should feel comfortable making any of a number of choices.   Most strategy games have multiple paths to victory, and in order for that game to be balanced, and to feel fun, stimulating and exciting, it has to be the case that in the right circumstances, when played correctly and rigorously, those choices could win.  None of this has to be an infinite number of choices.  After all, one has twenty legal first moves in a chess game, but only four of them are any good at the highest levels.  You can win off of all of them at the lowest levels.

Making balance much more difficult is that any time you have diverse set of options, those options will automatically arrange themselves into a hierarchy, with some choices being better than others, if only minutely.  That is to say that balance is not perfect, and in any given game, the player regularly get together and discuss options like "It feels like this upgrade/unit is just a touch too expensive, but I'm not sure anything can be done about it."  This is less of an issue in games with higher points totals, which allow more granularity in the costing of units and upgrades than it is in lower point games.  At 1000 points, the difference between 83 and 87 on two cards is minimal, but at 100 points, the former ends up at 8 points and feels overpowered, while the later ends up at 9 and feels a touch too expensive for what it does.

Games like Runewars that look to the players learning how to combo the cards have another intricate problem in that the slow accumulation of releases can leave some units in the dust, while also allowing certain combination effects that had not previously been seen.

 

Evaluations take time

One thing that makes me skeptical about some balance comments is that it takes time for good ideas to emerge.  If I look at my own game time, I cannot possibly put every idea that I have on the table just to try it out.  I simply run out of time, or end up pushing the pieces around the table by myself.  The community itself is small, and in many cases, the gaming communities are much smaller than my own, so that causes no small amount of skepticism toward reports.  I've seen it happen enough times in Star Wars Armada where a powerful build emerged, sat at the top for about 4 months, and then faded into oblivion as people got better at the game and learned to counter it, all before the next wave came out.  The same thing has happened in plenty of other games.  So my first thoughts on evaluations are skepticism.  That being said, we can still collect our evaluations of specific units and upgrades and see if any consensus emerges.

Evaluations need to take player skill into account, but that is extremely difficult to do

One really curious thing I've seen in almost all games that have "builds" is that players inevitably talk about the games as if the builds determine who wins, and not the players themselves.  It is altogether too easy of an excuse to blame the build and to think that if a couple of things were different, the outcomes would be entirely different.  This represents a fairly superficial evaluation of outcomes.  Sometimes one player really is better.  And naturally, the best players are usually the best because they can see the holes in the game and exploit those to maximum effect.  As a consequent, I tend to be less concerned about games where a specific unit completely ran over someone else and got called OP, and more concerned about how players who are close in skill evaluate each other.  Unfortunately, it is hard to tell these kinds of things about other players online when they post, but in general, if someone can present both sides of an argument, listen well to others, write and argue with skill, then I'm inclined to think they're thinking the game state through well and at least attempting to look through all sides of the equation.

What does Balance look like in Runewars

1.  Heroes are a central part of Runewars.  The hero you take determines greatly how the rest of your list plays.  In general, I want it to feel like a player could choose to take any of the three heroes.  This isn't to say that players won't develop styles or have favorites, but they should be reasonably close together.

2.  All units should be playable. They may not fit every build.  Ideally, every tray formation should have a situation in which it feels useful, but I think the end result is that trying to make every tray formation viable is asking too much.  Generally, players should feel comfortable taking one unit or another, provided they've built a list well for that unit and the situations they expect to find on the table.

3.  Upgrade cards are a tough one.  In games like Runewars, upgrade cards have some of the most problematic effects.  The largest of these is that many early upgrade cards tend to dud out, or never seem to gain traction in the first place.  Companies like FFG accept that they'll have a handful of competitive options and a few duds in every mix.  It also isn't uncommon to see some upgrade cards chosen a disproportionate number of times, and thus breaking our expectations of balance.  Furthermore, upgrade cards often get fused together with specific units, and thus it becomes difficult to separate out a unit from its typical load-out.  In this respect, I think the balance that counts is the overall package, not the specific upgrade cards.  Hero upgrades are especially like this, in that these upgrades often flesh out the hero for a specific role, and so theoretically speaking, it is almost like having 6-9 hero builds possible.  In practice, the number might not be that high.

4. Objectives and Deployments are another wrench.  I think the real reason for seasonal changes was that some army builds would simply fit some of the deployments better and some of the objectives better.  Not every set of units, heroes, or upgrade cards would work as well with every set, but over the long haul, they'd find situations where they'd be more useful or less useful.

5.  Builds that allow one to do incredibly game-altering effects for little or no risk to self are imbalanced.  This will often show up in a difference in choices.

 

Quality Assurance

Baby steps are the order of the day.  A game is an extremely complicated thing, with a lot of interlocking parts.  So an imbalance in one area might find itself located in another.  For example, I tend to run Faolan than the other Latari heroes, partly out of a thought to Ravos, but diminish Ravos' presence, and it opens more building with the other Latari heroes.  So as a matter of principle, efforts should be made with the fewest changes possible.  Give it a go and see how it plays, and then try something else if needed.

 

Put it in the Player's Hands

Some of the posts that I've seen in recent days have a significant emotional reaction of sorts.  In the end, almost all of us are going to end up playing locally with our friends.  Whatever we decide upon there is fine.  Fun is the first word of game design.  If you aren't having fun, this is your personal time and life is too short to waste on not having fun.  On the other hand, we live in a broader and connected community where most of us have the hopes of meeting up with others and playing a game, a game that has to be played on equal terms and where one's home environment rules both do not apply and may throw off your thinking in the game.  And I think this later point is what causes some of the emotions, the fear that some proposals that do not look good to us might actually succeed and gain traction.

One other dimension to this is that this is still FFG's game, and they still can put out their own FAQs and ERRATA.  In fact, they probably should.  Just because competitive play is done does not mean the game itself is done and the players are going away.  In terms of keeping those players as those who might buy other games in the future, a FAQ/ERRATA would be a step in the right direction.  And I think as players, whatever they do should trump whatever errata/faq gets put into place from us.  That's part of what has me not wanting to jump the gun, and in wanting to make the least restrictive changes possible.

 

 

What is glaring to me is:

 

1.  Spined Threshers were disproportionately chosen among the units at Worlds, and as a corollary to this, Scuttling Horror came with them.  I suspect one change is enough, and we've had four including some "all of the above" approaches.  I suspect the design process went something like "they are crabs, and it would be thematic to have them crab-walk, but we really don't expect that to do much, so let's have them pay 3 points for an exhaust to stun."  I'm more loose on this one, as I think a tiny bit would help them out.  People really started playing the 2x1s much more seriously when Scuttling Horror made.  I'm not sure the 2x2s are more or less powerful than other 2x2 Siege units, and the 3x2 is such an expensive unit that.  These guys really don't like stuns/immobolize combined with ranged (you crab-walked from inside my range to inside my range, wow).

2.  The Uthuk heroes at worlds were a bit more open, but having played Church's list myself to a regional victory and having schemed against my Latari at home with it on countless occasions, I kept 8-3/9-2 my Latari using them.  Ravos played a real critical factor here, and it is clear that he does an awful lot with the possibility of really minimizing threat to himself.  So moving the "feed" to before the movement, which I support, Church has proposed, and countless others, seems like a no-brainer, and is in keeping with how FFG has handled other game ERRATA.  I don't merely want this because of playing against them with Latari, but because I like both of the other Uthuk heroes and want to feel they are on equal footing.

3.  I haven't seen it mentioned in recent days, but immediately after worlds, someone noted that the Aggressive Shriker/Warsprinter combo on the Zerker Star allowed for quite a lot.  In my opinion, FFG had already seen this power and moved to restrict it in how they wrote some of the upgrade cards released in the final wave.  Faolan's figure for example only applies to the first move you make a turn.  As I thought through this, it really struck me that Warsprinter has a kind of counter in rolling away from reds and that the main objectives were the speed-7 charges.  In this respect, what I think would work here is ERRATING all of the Aggressives so that it applies to only the first march they make.  That allows the long double march, but no luck charge (which incidently, in one of the games against self that I played, allowed the ZerkerStar to charge from one deployment to the other and land a charge straight from turn-1).  It also allows a reform-3, red march, but asks the players to address that through upgrades.  A very small change, minimally invasive, but takes away a small option that people did complain about.

4.  Glaring in a different way is the Rune Golem, which everyone on the forums seems to agree on as well.  A 1x1 or a couple of 1x1s in the right list are very nice and amazing.  The problem is that as you scale up, they are just less so.  But at this point, I'm not sure what we can do and might not get much agreement.  This is really what you write off as a design flub and then try to introduce something new later on.  But without something new coming...   They really need a pretty thorough redesign, but as that is far more contentious than what I'm comfortable, that pretty much leaves recosting downwards.  But despite being glaring, I'm much more comfortable with movement from the OP items downward than I am with increasing the power level of something.   If there's no FAQ/ERRATA in six months, then that's about the time to look seriously at more comprehensive changes to the game.

 

Edited by Vergilius
terminology clarification

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I’ve thought about the first move,ent only nerf t9 Aggresive Musicians and I have two thoughts:

1) Make it just the first march, not movement. This gives berserkers a single late initiative option. If you make it only apply to first movement, Berserkers lose any offensive late initiative response to opposing armies. Just feels too much at the moment.

2) I wouldn’t make the musician nerf yet. Honestly, looking back in the forums, the only player I could find who for months consistently said this was a good combo was me. Then I use it at worlds and it suddenly came to the forefront. This feels like a perception problem more than data problem. 

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47 minutes ago, Church14 said:

looking back in the forums, the only player I could find who for months consistently said this was a good combo was me. Then I use it at worlds and it suddenly came to the forefront. This feels like a perception problem more than data problem. 

Maybe.  I know I had the combo pointed out to me before the Uthuk unit releases last summer, when playing around with Zerkers and the Uthuk Command was the primary variety one got out of Uthuk.  I've gotten quite a bit of experience with it.  So I feel like I knew it all along.  I wonder how much of this is that the game is small enough that some local metas simply went toward Flesh Rippers.  I seem to remember someone saying this post-worlds, while being a bit shocked at the Zerkerstar.

I'm not sure what is meant by late.  On 4 red, they've got the shift and then a 4 red march, which is now the first march, and so effectively a speed 5 charge.  Perhaps my language wasn't clear enough and I edited the above to reflect that.  The idea is that you can reform/shift + Skill and still have the charge.

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That was a really solid post, and I can't disagree with it as such.

However, the reason that I threw my self at the handle with my thread (which I would guess is what is referred to as the emotional one, and that is fine :) is that I'm afraid that time is this community's enemy, now that FFG put out that announcement. If the community does not SHOW signs of effort, why would anyone care? Granted, it has only been a couple of days, but when I posted my thread to try to jumpstart something, it seemed to me that the mood was pretty fatalistic.

We must acknowledge that this forum has a limited number of active participants, my guess is that most people are reading but don't even have accounts. If we want them to get accounts and participate, we need to show some sprawl. So the ONLY thing I am worried about in your @Vergilius post is: Will the larger circle of interested people be happy waiting 6-12 months while we collect data, and then doing a tiny baby step? What is to be discussed during those months? I, as an emotional person, think that would lead to this community shrinking quickly out of boredom and inactivity. Once again, as an emotional person: If I saw that and was only "interested", I would go elsewhere. But if I saw sprawling activity, I would be engaged.

My two irrational cents ;)

I made a link to this thread in the "Community Errata" post that I set up.

Edited by Maktorius

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While I do agree with a lot of the proposed changes thus far I do think that the "baby steps" approach is correct.  Even Ardus is a little bit better if Ravos can't move into him and THEN wound him at the end of the round.  That said, I do share some of @Maktorius urgency for keeping the community engaged.

I think a small change to Spined Threshers and the order change on Ravos are the only changes that should be made for now.  Then we should agree on a time frame of testing (3 months or 100 game reports, whichever comes first?) during which everyone should commit to posting as much feedback on those changes as they can.  I'm going to pitch testing these changes to my group tonight (our first normal game night since the bad news...) and see if everyone agrees.  If they do I will post our feedback on the forum every time we run a game involving one of the changes.

That said, have we agreed on a small, reasonable, change to Spined Threshers?  I like the scuttle exhausts whenever you use the shift idea (I think it was @Church14's).  It keeps the rest of the card in tact while limiting the amount of value you can get out of those 3 points. 

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2 hours ago, QuickWhit said:

While I do agree with a lot of the proposed changes thus far I do think that the "baby steps" approach is correct.  Even Ardus is a little bit better if Ravos can't move into him and THEN wound him at the end of the round.  That said, I do share some of @Maktorius urgency for keeping the community engaged.

I think a small change to Spined Threshers and the order change on Ravos are the only changes that should be made for now.  Then we should agree on a time frame of testing (3 months or 100 game reports, whichever comes first?) during which everyone should commit to posting as much feedback on those changes as they can.  I'm going to pitch testing these changes to my group tonight (our first normal game night since the bad news...) and see if everyone agrees.  If they do I will post our feedback on the forum every time we run a game involving one of the changes.

That said, have we agreed on a small, reasonable, change to Spined Threshers?  I like the scuttle exhausts whenever you use the shift idea (I think it was @Church14's).  It keeps the rest of the card in tact while limiting the amount of value you can get out of those 3 points. 

I like the idea of a time frame and testing standard.  100 games is a ton, I'd be happy with half that.

-Matt

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28 minutes ago, Darth Matthew said:

I like the idea of a time frame and testing standard.  100 games is a ton, I'd be happy with half that.

-Matt

I agree.  I think much of the problem is that we’re at such a small sample size that we really at the mercy of whoever plays and their level of judgment.   On the other hand, we don’t have to forestall every combo that we cannot yet see that might win worlds.  Just curbing the most egregious excesses would make the game accessible to most.

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23 minutes ago, Vergilius said:

I agree.  I think much of the problem is that we’re at such a small sample size that we really at the mercy of whoever plays and their level of judgment.   On the other hand, we don’t have to forestall every combo that we cannot yet see that might win worlds.  Just curbing the most egregious excesses would make the game accessible to most.

I’m testing a community fed tracker out by putting in the games from worlds. If it works, I’ll add a column or two for Community errata for people to fill out if they use. Probably the Insatiable Hunger resequence and the exhaust the shift for Scuttle at first 

Edited by Church14

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11 hours ago, Church14 said:

I’ve thought about the first move,ent only nerf t9 Aggresive Musicians and I have two thoughts:

1) Make it just the first march, not movement. This gives berserkers a single late initiative option. If you make it only apply to first movement, Berserkers lose any offensive late initiative response to opposing armies. Just feels too much at the moment.

2) I wouldn’t make the musician nerf yet. Honestly, looking back in the forums, the only player I could find who for months consistently said this was a good combo was me. Then I use it at worlds and it suddenly came to the forefront. This feels like a perception problem more than data problem. 

It's a tough call. I've also been thinking about one of the easiest expansions to make, the cavalry command, and how sweet (though potentially unhealthy) it would feel to charge Oathsworn 6. My issues with the Aggressive + Warsprinter are:

  • The unit has a lot of hitting power, so being able to charge 7 can swing games HARD. I like how lethal this game is, but that much impact relying on a toss of the runes feels bad. I suspect we might start seeing the same thing if Golems become good - currently, Golems have a fairly limited impact, so that surprise clutch charge isn't devastating, but the Berserker star is another matter. Just too swingy.
  • Three turns out of four, the unit can reform and charge 2 at initiative 3. Charging 2 at 3 is pretty much the gold standard in this game, and doing it in any direction (maybe even picking up a flank!) means they virtually cannot be outmaneuvered. One design principle that shows in Uthuk is "fast in a straight line, clumsy in turns" and this violates that badly. It's one thing if a powerful unit can plow ahead full speed, but outmaneuvering should always be rewarding. Similar to my issue with the scuttle disengaging from a flank charge.

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22 minutes ago, Bhelliom said:

It's a tough call. I've also been thinking about one of the easiest expansions to make, the cavalry command, and how sweet (though potentially unhealthy) it would feel to charge Oathsworn 6. My issues with the Aggressive + Warsprinter are:

  • The unit has a lot of hitting power, so being able to charge 7 can swing games HARD. I like how lethal this game is, but that much impact relying on a toss of the runes feels bad. I suspect we might start seeing the same thing if Golems become good - currently, Golems have a fairly limited impact, so that surprise clutch charge isn't devastating, but the Berserker star is another matter. Just too swingy.
  • Three turns out of four, the unit can reform and charge 2 at initiative 3. Charging 2 at 3 is pretty much the gold standard in this game, and doing it in any direction (maybe even picking up a flank!) means they virtually cannot be outmaneuvered. One design principle that shows in Uthuk is "fast in a straight line, clumsy in turns" and this violates that badly. It's one thing if a powerful unit can plow ahead full speed, but outmaneuvering should always be rewarding. Similar to my issue with the scuttle disengaging from a flank charge.

I get the frustration of trying to corner something that can reform/charge at I3. I’m getting mileage against Faolon and pinning him down is a pain. Something even more maneuverable has to be a headache.

 

But ive also seen just how badly that star falls apart if it ever loses a charge. This isn’t like a spearstar where you can armor up and reform to make an unpleasant kidney shot less bad. Where you have convenient shield wall and inspiration access. Berserkers that lose charges to anything near their own size just melt. Basically, every time I lose a charge battle with Berserkers, I have to write off at least 4 trays, usually 6 for little gain.

 

Game 2 worlds: I accidentally charged Greg’s Lancers. His LordV jumped the ZerkStar. LordV killed 4 or 5 trays and got away. 

Game 3 worlds: Dusty caught the ZerkStar with 2 archers and LordV. I don’t call this so bad as it was a sacrifice play on purpose. Entire unit died.

Game 4 worlds: I charged a 2 tray thresher and killed one. JJ’s Ravos flank charged the ZerkStar and the surviving thresher got to attack back. Entire star died. 

Game 5 worlds: Got screwed by no red runes. Lost 5 trays and both figures to a 3 tray Wraith unit that charged my FRONT before they killed it.

 

Seriously, if the ZerkStar doesn’t win charges, it just kinda dies. 

Edited by Church14

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17 minutes ago, Church14 said:

I get the frustration of trying to corner something that can reform/charge at I3. I’m getting mileage against Faolon and pinning him down is a pain. Something even more maneuverable has to be a headache.

 

But ive also seen just how badly that star falls apart if it ever loses a charge. This isn’t like a spearstar where you can armor up and reform to make an unpleasant kidney shot less bad. Where you have convenient shield wall and inspiration access. Berserkers that lose charges to anything near their own size just melt. Basically, every time I lose a charge battle with Berserkers, I have to write off at least 4 trays, usually 6 for little gain.

 

Game 2 worlds: I accidentally charged Greg’s Lancers. His LordV jumped the ZerkStar. LordV killed 4 or 5 trays and got away. 

Game 3 worlds: Dusty caught the ZerkStar with 2 archers and LordV. I don’t call this so bad as it was a sacrifice play on purpose. Entire unit died.

Game 4 worlds: I charged a 2 tray thresher and killed one. JJ’s Ravos flank charged the ZerkStar and the surviving thresher got to attack back. Entire star died. 

Game 5 worlds: Got screwed by no red runes. Lost 5 trays and both figures to a 3 tray Wraith unit that charged my FRONT before they killed it.

 

Seriously, if the ZerkStar doesn’t win charges, it just kinda dies. 

This is a good point! I suspect that if Aggresive Warsprinter were nerfed, we'd basically stop seeing Berserkers. I would want to redistribute some of their power away from that specific combo and into the core unit itself. I still want the unit to be good, just randomly game-winning charges and 360 degree threat projection are very unhealthy for a competitive maneuvering game. 

Do you have any suggestions to improve the unit outside of those two upgrades?

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3 minutes ago, Bhelliom said:

This is a good point! I suspect that if Aggresive Warsprinter were nerfed, we'd basically stop seeing Berserkers. I would want to redistribute some of their power away from that specific combo and into the core unit itself. I still want the unit to be good, just randomly game-winning charges and 360 degree threat projection are very unhealthy for a competitive maneuvering game. 

Do you have any suggestions to improve the unit outside of those two upgrades?

Honestly, having Aggressive obly work on the first march still allows a lot of the shorter range nonsense, but cripples anything past range 5 for Warsprinter+Aggressive. 

 

Aggressive Shrieker and anything else is largely unaffected. It’s why I think that if you must nerf that combo then this is the best nerf suggestion I’ve heard so far. I only want to make sure it is first march only and no first movement only so Berserkers still have an I7 aggresive response available. 

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22 minutes ago, Church14 said:

Honestly, having Aggressive obly work on the first march still allows a lot of the shorter range nonsense, but cripples anything past range 5 for Warsprinter+Aggressive. 

 

Aggressive Shrieker and anything else is largely unaffected. It’s why I think that if you must nerf that combo then this is the best nerf suggestion I’ve heard so far. I only want to make sure it is first march only and no first movement only so Berserkers still have an I7 aggresive response available. 

I definitely agree on the I7, that introduces a bunch of cool gameplay.

Warsprinter introduces a bunch of very good action economy, and it's very difficult to add sensible restrictions without also stripping the stuff that makes it good. I wonder if it just needs to cost 7-8 points, make it a real risk to take. Then again one of the things I'm complaining about is how swingy it is in tournament play, so that doesn't really help that issue!

It's awkward, but how about this: "When you reveal your dial, you may perform a speed-[unstable] march. If you do, cancel your modifier dial." It eliminates the reform+charge, but is probably too limiting when combined with the proposed Aggressive change, and also opens the possibility of charge+attack, which might be even worse than the current combo! Also charge+disengage. Yeah, let's not do this.

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4 hours ago, Bhelliom said:

It's a tough call. I've also been thinking about one of the easiest expansions to make, the cavalry command, and how sweet (though potentially unhealthy) it would feel to charge Oathsworn 6. 

I wouldn't give cavalry the same command options.  Aggressive is too good on them, though marching (turning strait to bend) should work.

We also shouldn't consider issues of homebrew rules for balance of the actual units; future units need to fit with the rules, not make the rules fit future units.

 

-Matt

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20 hours ago, Maktorius said:

is that I'm afraid that time is this community's enemy, now that FFG put out that announcement. If the community does not SHOW signs of effort, why would anyone care? Granted, it has only been a couple of days, but when I posted my thread to try to jumpstart something, it seemed to me that the mood was pretty fatalistic.

We must acknowledge that this forum has a limited number of active participants, my guess is that most people are reading but don't even have accounts. If we want them to get accounts and participate, we need to show some sprawl. So the ONLY thing I am worried about in your @Vergilius post is: Will the larger circle of interested people be happy waiting 6-12 months while we collect data, and then doing a tiny baby step? What is to be discussed during those months? I, as an emotional person, think that would lead to this community shrinking quickly out of boredom and inactivity. Once again, as an emotional person: If I saw that and was only "interested", I would go elsewhere. But if I saw sprawling activity, I would be engaged.

Thanks for the kind post.

I think you're right that the mood was pretty fatalistic.  I do think a huge number of people in different segments have jumped on board and are attempting to see what they can do to keep the game active and going strong.  The community is already showing signs of effort.

A large number of people definitely do not post, though they might have accounts.  I think, on the whole, the local scene is going to determine their level of participation.  If the local scene stays strong, then great.  In that respect, I think some open-ended suggestions, much like Zetan has already done in the tournament document are the best way.  If FFG makes decisions, even if we as the players disagree with them, we can still accept them as binding on how we play each other.  With them stepping out of the way, players will not perceive you or I as authoritative.  The best we can do is propose some options and put it in the hands of the players.  At this point, this is entirely their game and I'm not about to tell them how to have fun.  We should be exploring many different kinds of ways to make this game more fun for people.  And I think that means looking beyond the competitive side of it, or expanding the competitive side of it to include quite a few more options.  The strict game balance between units we're dealing with applies most significantly to competitive play.

And if people are walking away from the game due to game balance, some of that can reflect on the quality of their local community.  For example, although I've discussed some Uthuk units/combos that are a bit OP, I've not brought the entire lot of them to a casual game in months, and have actively shied away from them in general.  I see that as good courtesy to my opponents.  It keeps the game closer and fun for both players.  If you want to hold your community together, then you've actively got to look out for your opponent's fun, and make sure that they are having fun, too.

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On 1/17/2019 at 11:13 AM, Vergilius said:

I agree.  I think much of the problem is that we’re at such a small sample size that we really at the mercy of whoever plays and their level of judgment.   On the other hand, we don’t have to forestall every combo that we cannot yet see that might win worlds.  Just curbing the most egregious excesses would make the game accessible to most.

The more changes made from the printed game the less accessible the game gets, by definition. 

 

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11 hours ago, Derrault said:

The more changes made from the printed game the less accessible the game gets, by definition. 

 

This is true, but presumably the ones interested in the fan-run organized play will have as easy access to the official balance changes as to the new tournament rules. Casual players can keep using the rules as written by FFG if they want. My point is, you're unlikely to get someone traveling to a tournament who knows about the tournament but doesn't know about card changes.

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3 hours ago, Budgernaut said:

This is true, but presumably the ones interested in the fan-run organized play will have as easy access to the official balance changes as to the new tournament rules. Casual players can keep using the rules as written by FFG if they want. My point is, you're unlikely to get someone traveling to a tournament who knows about the tournament but doesn't know about card changes.

I wouldn’t expect so; Not if they’re just searching for tournaments, or find one listed at a convention. 

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15 minutes ago, Derrault said:

I wouldn’t expect so; Not if they’re just searching for tournaments, or find one listed at a convention. 

Tournaments using unofficial balance system will have a link to that balance system in the tournament write-up, and hopefully draw extra attention to it in the posting.

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Just now, Zetan said:

Tournaments using unofficial balance system will have a link to that balance system in the tournament write-up, and hopefully draw extra attention to it in the posting.

Fingers crossed eh?

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1 minute ago, Derrault said:

Fingers crossed eh?

That, and putting language like this in any unofficial rules we publish:
"If an organizer does make use of any game-balancing extra rules at their event, they should announce these rules as part of the tournament announcement."

(That's from my unofficial tournament rules. :) )

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Generally, people don't read.

Best idea is to make all balances on either the upgrade cards or the unit card; create new art that shows that change, and put that art in the rule packet.  

Then, print up some spares of these changes, and glue them into a generic card (like a MtG card stock); and have them available for players; or even as part of the play packet.

 

Best not to mess with point values, as that would make a list invalid.

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I think if we do any community balance/nerf changes to the game, we need to be cautious.  Choose just a few very light tweaks and fixes for known issues, then play them with the adjustments in several focused play groups.  Keep playing them for at least a season, and then compile data, before making a final community errata.

Current issues that have enough data to at least start playtesting balancing nerfs would be Insatiable, Scuttle, and maybe a slight boost to Ardus.

I have very few issues with balance, and still haven't seen enough with the newer units to see how they effect the current game state.

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Was there an additional nerf to Threshers beyond Scuttle?

If we're ok holding off on the warsprinter/aggressive shrieker, then yeah, we're down to just two, three if we add Ardus, but I honestly think we can do just the two, and then work with Ardus from there, which could take a while.  I haven't posted in that thread because I don't have Waiqar units and I'd rather see what finally emerges from consensus and then propose slight tweaks to either raise or lower the power if necessary, or just thumbs up if it all looks good.

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