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New FAQ out

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https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/4/23/the-black-book/  if you want to read it for yourself.

Some clarifications, minor adjustments to scenarios (including the fix to Scenario 2 of Circle Undone),  but 2 major things that struck me.

1.  Dunwich Investigators now have full access to "gold" cards.  I like this a lot, Zoey is no longer unfairly screwed out of taking the .45 thompson,  and this could have big implications for the Dunwich set and future "gold" cards.  I'm very glad they changed this,  so yay!

2a.  The limited list.   Well,  frankly I probably won't play with these.  I suppose they are trying to address things that some people have been asking for (though I dont really hear the complaints too loudly myself) about certain cards being too powerful.  But I think they went a bit overboard here, at least in some cases, while leaving other cases untouched.   I mean,  they're making higher education cost 8?   That's crazy town.   Once you go beyond the 5 XP mark, you're talking a card that you can't pay for after getting through a single scenario most of the time,   so you have to save up, and that makes a huge difference.  Don't get me wrong, Higher Ed is a good card,  but it's not an 8 xp card.   That's too much.   5 for scrapper?  also crazy town, survivors are already hurting,  do we really need to damage one of their few good cards?   Also,   NOW is the time you decided to break the "3xp max for survivor cards" rule?   For this?  .  And do we really need to hurt the level-2 switchblade by making it cost an extra experience?  really?  

2b.  Mutated list.   These I actually really like.    It's like night and day here.   The limited list seems just wrong on so many levels to me,  while the mutated list seems entirely reasonable in every case.   Love these optional changes.

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I agree on the limited list, seems very punitive. But then, there are people who need to play the game on expert for any kind of challenge, so they might enjoy these options. Fortunately(?) I am incompetent enough that I shall thoroughly ignore them :)

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So um, how does this work with machete?

Its still a level 0 card and can be included in your deck to start but if you wanted to add it to your deck afterwards, it now costs 3 (or is that 2)?

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Posted (edited)

In regards to machete:  It Can’t be included from start unless you have some starting xp.  If a person wants it in their deck, they pay 2 xp when upgrading cards.  The level remains the same so someone like Carolyn could still take it if they wanted to spend the xp.  

 

 

Edited by pixcalcis

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The Limited List

On a general level I am . . . intrigued. They are not full out changing the cards via errata (which would be "interesting" in terms of future reprints of sets and such. And the changes are clearly in response to players - of a generally non-competitive game. So on a theoretical level it is fascinating just for that.

For those specific cards:
Higher Education - Given the hype, what is wrong with a cost of 8? That puts it on a level with Gold Pocket Watch. In fact looking at it that way, if they change was to add 1 xp to the cost plus the Exceptional keyword to the text it would cost the same 8 xp. And for other cards costing more than 5 xp, we have Ace in the Hole, Borrowed Time, and Stick to the Plan, all with an effective cost of 6, in addition to Gold Pocket Watch at 8. Oh, and the newly mutated Key of Ys is now 6 xp. As such, the 5 xp "limit" has been broken for awhile and gets grown.

Scrapper - Well, people wanted a high cost Survivor card, and now they have one. 

Streetwise/Keen Eye - Streetwise also gets the Higher Education treatment, but Keen Eye doesn't. Uh huh. Not that I mind, I love Guardians. But is Streetwise really as "bad" as Higher Education?

Switchblade (2) - Is now Switchblade (3). That seems almost unnecessary for a +2 Fight, +1 Damage (limited) weapon. As printed it is equal to the revised Machete (2) and Blackjack (2). Between this, Streetwise, and revised Elusive (2), Rogue are getting rogued.

 

The Mutated List

So Milan Christopher gets taken down 2 notches, and Rex Murphy's cluevering follows right behind. Combined those make the new Fingerprint Kit and Connect the Dots a LOT more relevant.

You can't Delve that Deep anymore, which will cause issues with the Limited List for some, and for Mystics upgrading their spells, which boosts Arcane Research..

Also, no more Sleight of Handing those Chicago Typewriters. (Aka, Highlander Goes Rogue.) And no "50 Actions in a Single Round" Ace in the Hole theoretical mega-combos. Seriously, are Rogues truly that berserk? Maybe I need to build and play more.

And the Key of Ys only works for a player once, and costs more to use that one time. 

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I misread the Limited list to read as XP INSTEAD of the given XP, as opposed to "in addition to"... I actually thought 5XP is quite reasonable for Higher Education, but 8 is quite... high...

What do we think of Key of Ys being Exceptional in the Mutated list? That would make it cost 10xp, right? I otherwise approve of decks only being able to run one copy.

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I'm surprised that Scrapper and Switchblade (2) appear on the limited list. The others, not so much. I thought maybe Higher Eduction and Streetwise would become Exceptional, making them 6xp instead of 3xp.

The mutated list all looks good. Maybe Key of Ys being Exceptional without a level reduction (costing 10xp!) is a touch extreme?

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Assussanni said:

I'm surprised that Scrapper and Switchblade (2) appear on the limited list. The others, not so much. I thought maybe Higher Eduction and Streetwise would become Exceptional, making them 6xp instead of 3xp.

The mutated list all looks good. Maybe Key of Ys being Exceptional without a level reduction (costing 10xp!) is a touch extreme?

Essentially, the problem with Scrapper is that it has the same cost/benefit to the effect of cards like Dig Deep and the Composure cards. Much like the change to Machete, I see it as more like making it a choice of which way to build rather than having a single superior option. 

The reason for Switchblade (2) I believe is because of the change to Machete. If Machete is worth 2 exp and Switchblade (2) is a more effective card than Machete (see Leo upgrading Machete into Switchblade), it stands to reason that Switchblade (2) should cost more than Machete. 

I'd rather they ban Key of Ys entirely since it's incredibly powerful and doesn't do anything to make the game more interesting, but failing that, Exceptional seems about right. 

Edited by Allonym

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Posted (edited)

So my thoughts:

Limited:

Machete - this is a good change, Machete was to good for what it did and made all other l0 and some xp weapons look poor in comparison.  Not including a Machete was rare when you had the option unless it 5 splash in a non-fighting deck.

Elusive - eh, while I agree its a very good card, I never really saw it be game warping.  I have seen it short circuit some scenarios really well but did not use it in all my decks that could.

Switchblade 2 - This was surprising but I think they are trying to address the disparity between melee weapons and charged weapons overall, which has been an issue for a long time.

Permanent Talents - I am glad they did this overall.  I will say that I am not 100% sure that Streetwise was as OPed as Higher Education, maybe 1 less xp.  That being said, I always see the Rogues take this card so it probably needed a hit.  I think there was a lot of disparity in these talents.

Mutated:

Doc Chris and Rex.  Yeah this stood out as an issue.

Delve too Deep - my group never heavily used this but I get some folks went hog wild on these.

Quick Thinking - Weird one.  I mean sure for the times you have both in your hand sure.  But why are you waiting until you have both in your hand, don't you need to do somethings now?  I think there may be an issue of having turns with ridiculous action counts with true Survivor and Resourceful.  Take an action play 2x Quick Thinking and 1x Resourceful, take True Survivor back to your hand and get 2 more actions, then play True Survivor and get those 3 cards backs, then take your next action and play those 3 cards again, repeat until you fail a test, run out of resources or need to take a non test action.  If you also have Will to Survive and/or On Your Own, it can get pretty insane.  Edit: also you can do it next turn as well.

Ace in the Hole - who exactly can play this exceptional card more than once a turn?  Is this a future thing?

Sleight of Hand - I think this was suppose to limit those Guardians that can take it (Zoey, Leo)from doing the combos with Shotguns and BARs more than the Typewriter or .45 Thompson.

Key of Ys - from what I have seen 10xp is about right for this card.

 

Edited by Jobu

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9 minutes ago, Allonym said:

I'd rather they ban Key of Ys entirely since it's incredibly powerful and doesn't do anything to make the game more interesting, but failing that, Exceptional seems about right. 

But they don't have a category for that, oh wait....

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2 minutes ago, Jobu said:

But they don't have a category for that, oh wait....

If Key of Ys isn't enough to land there I hate to think what level of design failure it would take... 

Also calling it now, Drawing Thin coming soon to a Taboo list near you. 

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1 hour ago, SamWeiss said:

Streetwise/Keen Eye - Streetwise also gets the Higher Education treatment, but Keen Eye doesn't. Uh huh. Not that I mind, I love Guardians. But is Streetwise really as "bad" as Higher Education?

Keen Eye has to overcome one of Guardians weaknesses, being tight on resources (Zoey non-withstanding) and needed to be for something you want to do 2 or ideally 3 times in a single turn.  That depends on game state.  Fight multiple times or investigate multiple times.

Streetwise synergies well with one of Rogues strengths (resource generation) and you only need to have one test to make use of it.

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FFG really needs to reprint the cards they change and just send them to stores to hand out for free. No one is going to go through an FAQ while deck building to check every card to make sure it hasn't be changed outside a tournament, which is not how noncompetitive games get played.

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10 minutes ago, Mep said:

FFG really needs to reprint the cards they change and just send them to stores to hand out for free. No one is going to go through an FAQ while deck building to check every card to make sure it hasn't be changed outside a tournament, which is not how noncompetitive games get played.

I mean I have most of them memorized all ready and intend to print the list out and keep if it, if we decide to use the list that is.

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12 minutes ago, Mep said:

FFG really needs to reprint the cards they change and just send them to stores to hand out for free. No one is going to go through an FAQ while deck building to check every card to make sure it hasn't be changed outside a tournament, which is not how noncompetitive games get played.

I would bet that anyone serious enough to play with the Taboos could tell you the resource AND XP cost of any card you name, off the top of their head.

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Posted (edited)

The entire FAQ is technically optional for the cooperative games.  You only go to it if you are having a problem that you feel needs to be fixed.  I doubt I'll ever use the limited or mutated list, but I already self limit myself.  I've only ever put Key of Ys in a deck once.  It felt powerful, but also uninteresting so I moved onto exercising other cards.  Same with Machete.  Unless I'm playing a Zoey "Blade" deck I don't slot it anymore because it's a bit uninteresting.

I like that Taboos exist to give a play group who feels like they need to handicap themselves somewhere to go.  Also people who need FFG to police their player pool because they love mini-maxing inside a system now have those ground rules.

Edited by phillos

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15 minutes ago, phillos said:

The entire FAQ is technically optional for the competitive games.  You only go to it if you are having a problem that you feel needs to be fixed.  I doubt I'll ever use the limited or mutated list, but I already self limit myself.  I've only ever put Key of Ys in a deck once.  It felt powerful, but also uninteresting so I moved onto exercising other cards.  Same with Machete.  Unless I'm playing a Zoey "Blade" deck I don't slot it anymore because it's a bit uninteresting.

I like that Taboos exist to give a play group who feels like they need to handicap themselves somewhere to go.  Also people who need FFG to police their player pool because they love mini-maxing inside a system now have those ground rules.

That being said, its not to much to ask that a company balances their cards.  I am paying for those cards and while I understand that a company makes mistakes, I do appreciate when they take steps to fix those mistakes in a methodical manner.  I prefer it to changing things on my own or ignoring cards that I feel are to powerful.  Not that I am incapable of doing that, its just that I prefer that the company does it.  Its kind of the same reason that I don't just make my own games to play.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Jobu said:

That being said, its not to much to ask that a company balances their cards.  I am paying for those cards and while I understand that a company makes mistakes, I do appreciate when they take steps to fix those mistakes in a methodical manner.  I prefer it to changing things on my own or ignoring cards that I feel are to powerful.  Not that I am incapable of doing that, its just that I prefer that the company does it.  Its kind of the same reason that I don't just make my own games to play.

Though to be fair every expandable card game has this problem.  In LCGs this problem is slightly magnified because the unbalanced cards either never rotate out or rotate very slowly in the case of the competitive games.  To FFG's credit they are reacting much quicker with these errata and restricted lists than they did in the past.  A perfectly balanced expandable game is incredibly rare.  I've never played one, and I've played alot.  I think they should strive to make a clean game, but I'm also realistic about it.  Also I'd prefer them to take risks rather than always play it safe.  They could give us a safely templated and symmetric card pool, but I think we'd all get pretty bored with that quick. 

Add:  Except for Key of Ys (and maybe Higher Education) I don't feel like any of these cards actually broke the game.  It made it easier when playing with the real power cards, but I never felt like Street-Wise Jenny was a cake walk or Roland with Machete and Milan out defeated the game.  Sometimes it was nice to have those options available when a scenario is really kicking you in the nuts.  To me it seems like the Taboo lists are mostly about promoting deck diversity to force people off crutch cards.

I'm pretty surprised to see Switchblade level 2 on there with an extra xp pip.  I always thought that was a pretty reasonable card. 

Edited by phillos

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1 hour ago, Jobu said:

I mean I have most of them memorized all ready and intend to print the list out and keep if it, if we decide to use the list that is.

The list is small for now. FFG has a problem with their games with changing text on cards but not bothering to replace those cards with undated cards. Eventually it gets out of hand.

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I'm all for making the game harder, as Co-ops need to be hard for it to be interesting, IMO.  But I do think these lists were created about by people that crushed the game on standard and started saying "These cards are way OP against the game." 

Also, Streetwise is better than Higher Education in that because it only costs resources which Rogues have more access to where as Higher Education requires you to keep your hand size up which has its own inherit risks where you can draw into a card that hurts you, such as Amnesia. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, C2K said:

Also, Streetwise is better than Higher Education in that because it only costs resources which Rogues have more access to where as Higher Education requires you to keep your hand size up which has its own inherit risks where you can draw into a card that hurts you, such as Amnesia. 

Yeah, I'm not the greatest player, but I often find HE just sitting there because my builds either don't draw enough or aren't rich enough.

Edited by CSerpent

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Milan needed to change because he defined Seekers as a money faction, and did it all by himself.  Resources were never an issue if you had him, but a serious limitation if you didn't.  Every Seeker I ever played was night and day for a scenario depending on whether I had Milan in my opening hand.  Once you had him out he's almost a free Emergency Cache every turn.  It was just too much.

8 XP for the permanent boosters (or 5 for Scrapper) doesn't seem out of line for what you get.  Yes, it makes them expensive, but they're incredibly efficient boosters that cost nothing to play, don't take up deck space, and aren't dependent on a draw.  They completely invalidate every other pay-for stat boost in the game.  And that's even before you get to the three that got hit covering even better stats than the ones you have to draw (with the possible exception of Streetwise not giving a Fight boost).

Key of Ys...  meh.  I would rather have seen it get an errata that made it harder to keep around by requiring all horror to be placed on it first, but making it Exceptional will make it a lot less reliable to build an entire deck around.

Rex is an obvious change as well.

A lot of the other changes seem to target specific combos like the Rita infinite action loop, or are just sort of general.  I'm sad seeing Elusive get hit, but it's honestly an incredible card for 0XP - free disengage and a near-unlimited move is always incredible even before you consider the potential it has to trivialize any number of scenarios.  Sleight fixes bouncing Flamethrowers and can still do Lupara, so that makes me happy.  Machete is obvious, and the Switchblade seems (as mentioned above) to be more of a general tweak to make ammo-based weapons a little more worth it.  I'm a little nervous about that though, as Guardians no longer have a real damage-boosting melee weapon at L0.  It's going to change how they have to approach the early game pretty dramatically (which is probably a good argument that the change needed to happen).

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I doubt I'll ever use the Taboo List to be honest.  When I'm playing with other people it would just be a turn off to my more casual group.  We already get kicked in the nuts enough at the higher player counts, and they are not exactly looking to exploit the card pool for every broken combo when they spend their experience.  I can just imagine the reaction when I tell them we have the option to make the game harder and more restrictive. 

When I play by myself maybe, but I'm thinking I probably won't bother (or at least won't bother with most of these).  I usually make thematic and janky decks anyway.  I'm not blasting through these scenarios.  I guess it's nice to play things like Rex, Higher Ed and Key of Ys without feeling guilty.  I don't like that they took away Sleight of Hand + Tommy Gun or Typewriter with this though.  I love thematically and mechanically pulling a Tommy Gun out of my coat and blasting away.  It was also nice for Leo or Zoey if they wanted to try and run Shotgun to make that weapon more worth wild.  I don't think I'd ever play with that correction or pay 3 xp for a Switch Blade level 2.  Paying more XP to get Streetwise online is also gonna make any Preston deck way more frustrating.  Not sure I like the idea of that.

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28 minutes ago, phillos said:

I can just imagine the reaction when I tell them we have the option to make the game harder and more restrictive. 

...

I guess it's nice to play things like Rex, Higher Ed and Key of Ys without feeling guilty.

I see it less as assuaging guilt than opening up options.  Even if you're willing to try janky decks, it's hard to ignore the power level of a lot of these cards.  And even if you're not taking them because they're crazy powerful, they fill niches and you get the crazy power along with it.

Being able to use Milan without him covering every resource need makes deck building more interesting.  The higher cost on Higher Education means there's a real choice between it and, say, the L2 Hyperawareness.  And so on.

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Posted (edited)

I mean I ignore these cards all the time.  I can't remember the last time I slotted a machete in my deck unless it's thematically appropriate.  Not because I think it should cost 2 more experience, but because it was boring when it worked and frustrating when it didn't.  I don't just auto include Milan in every deck.  Just ones where he makes sense.  They didn't need to do this to get me to explore other cards and deck types.  The more I think about it the less I'm interested in the idea of this taboo list.  I get it.  Some people want this, but I think I'm not one of those people.  I think it was smart of them to explicitly make it an optional section of the FAQ.

 

Edited by phillos

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