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Tigan

Banning Pick mode for Tannhäuser?

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Hi guys!
I played a round of Tannhäuser last week with my friends and the outcome of the game was not what I would call a success.
The setup was domination on the backside of the Daedalus map (not the labyrinth) and we put the Reich vs. the Shogunate. The Shogunate conceded the game after the 2nd round because they couldn’t think of any possible way to win the game.
The Reich team consisted of: Hoss (combat), Heizinger (command), Zermann (command) and two Schocktruppen (1 command, 1 combat). Hoss got the “Helm of Diomedes”, Heizinger the “Eye of Horus” and Zermann the “Obscura Corps Band” as bonus tokens and I can’t remember the bonus tokes of the Shogunate.
The Shogunate had absolutely no chance to even come close enough to one of the Reichs team members to try an attack because of the mental tests and duels they had to take. And even if they would have gotten close enough there was always a Schocktruppen in overwatch to protect them. But the Reich was still able to wear the Shogunate down with their ridiculous out of path attacks.


So I came up for an idea (or rather stole it :D) to kind of balance the game before it even starts and I want to share it with you and get your opinions on it.
The way we play it now is what I’d call “banning pick”. This is a gamestyle that is used in MOBA games like Dota 1 / 2, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth etc. So people who know these kinds of games are familiar with the pick and ban system. Basically each team (consisting of 5 players ergo 5 heroes) has a captain who chooses which heroes are available for the game.


To translate the rules to Tannhäuser I thought it should work like this:
Choose map, choose game mode.
Roll D10 for first pick = first ban.
Each team bans 1 hero/trooper alternating to a maximum of 4(?) bans. (1-1-1-1)
Then you pick your team alternating where the winner of the roll picks 1, the other team 2, the winning team 2, the other 2 … etc. (1-2-2-2-2-1)
Picking the first Hero/Trooper also determines which side you play (Reich, Shogunate, Union, Matriarchy)
Choosing the special objects should work the same way except for just banning 2(?) in total and the team who lost the first pick should start this time.
As long as the Shogunate team consists of the basic 5 they shouldn’t be able to get banned.

We tried this way of picking this week and I want to give you an example on how it turned out.
We choose the Labyrinth as our map and wanted to play Deathmatch on it.
Team A won the first ban = first pick.
Team A banned Asteros, team B banned Hoss, A banned Heizinger, B banned McNeal.
A picked Iroh, B picked Zorkah and Voivodes, A picked both Shogunate troopers, B picked Irishka and Natalya, A picked Mizu and Itami, B couldn’t last pick anything because of Natalya.
Special objects went something like this.
B banned the kill one heal full item (can’t remember the name), A banned the X-5 Stabilizer, B picked the free reinforcement token (can’t remember the name either :D), B picked the Mask and Helmet, A picked 3-damage bull rush item (can’t remember), B picked something I can’t remember either (sorry!)
Game turned out pretty balanced. Matriarchy won but that’s because the Shogunate tried to force the Zorkah (stamina pack) down and couldn’t do it (should have gone for the others first).


So that’s a lot of text and I’m looking forward on your thoughts.
 

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The Reich team you described it quite brutal and hard to beat indeed. I think the Shogunate has only 3 possible ways of dealing with it: They could throw grenades from out-of-path if they con wound a Reich character with it. They could increase their Mental value to win the duels. They could avoid the Reich characters completely if the scenario or game mode allowed it. Isn't domination mode about board control? So if the Reich characters were turtling on one path, the Shogunate could maybe just have left them standing there and could have moved around the rest of the map as they desired. This Reich team is much less dangerous if the characters are forced to split up.

However, the "Ban and Pick" system sounds interesting. But aren't you limiting the choices for your team too much? If you ban the Shocktruppen, who will be the second trooper in my Reich team - the Shocktruppen from the troop pack, a second Stosstruppen or a Shogunate trooper? If you ban two of the Shogunate Heroes, you practically ban the Shogunate, don't you? Or if you ban Heizinger and Harbinger, aren't you in fact banning the Reich? Since each faction only has up to five Heroes, you practically forcing your opponent to play with certain characters. That's quite a cool idea, now I think of it! Nonetheless, I doubt that I would use your system on a regular basis because certain great characters that I'd definitely want to play will always be banned.

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You're right about the way the Shogunate could have still won but the Reich got a very good position in the first turn where they could not have been hit with grenades without moving by a Shocktruppen in overwatch or have to take a mental duel against Heizinger.
Bypassing the Reichs fortress to get to the capture points could have been a possible choice but if you don’t attack them in your turn you will just get out of path attacked in the Reichs turn.
And the “other” patch was still guarded from the other Schocktruppen while Zermann was securing the points for the Reich. It was kind of a not-possible to beat scenario for the Shogunate. They would have needed a lucky roll on a mental duel but if you would have tried and failed you would have lost that hero because of the bad position you got yourself into.


Of course you are limiting the choices but from the experience I have in MOBA games i can tell you that every game plays out different. Of course if your opponent hates a certain faction he’ll always ban in a way to hurt them. But when he won the first pick he’ll maybe try them himself.
Lets say you go in the game with the Intention to play the Reich because you got the first pick, you’ll try to help yourself by limiting your opponents in his “counterpicks” (i. e. Zorkah and Oksana so he won’t pick the Matriarchy (who are very good against the Reich imho). But the other player could see because of your bans that you intent to play the Reich and ban Heizinger and Hoss which in return would leave for example Asteros for you to firstpick. Or you could choose the Union and your opponent is stuck with picking the Shogunate.
To understand this system you have to think about how you could maybe “fake” your opponent in banning heroes you don’t even want to play. Its kind of a mind game before the game.
This Ban/Pick system only works if you got like every Expansion for Tannhäuser. Banning the troopers should also not be a problem considering the troop packs.
If you would ban Heizinger and Harbringer you could still run a Zermann, Yula, Eva team which could turn out pretty interesting :). And that’s kind of the point behind this system because it could result in some interesting teams.
Shogunate should be excluded from the Ban phase due to their limitation.
 

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I have also thought about doing some kind of banning pick in Tannhäuser, but I think the banning of 2 figures is to much, Since, in my opinion, many of the "broken" team set-ups relies on a player using the whole set-up. For exampel, the Hoss, von Heizinger and Zermann build you mentioned, if one of them were missing, the whole dynamic of the set-up would change. Maybe I should try banning pick the next time I play...

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Banning 2 figures per player really limits your options a lot. Furthermore, I was wondering whether the player who wins the roll has too much of an advantage because he bans first AND picks first. He can ban away certain power characters from one or even two factions and then take the best of what's left. If he acts cleverly, he can really put the other player in a losing position.

On the other hand, if two players agree to play UMTOMA against Nippon, there'd be so many characters per side that each player could easily ban away two or even three of the opponent's figures. You could have quite interesting teams and games using this setup.

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I don’t think that banning 4 figures is too much. 4 bans would be 1 figure for each side or 1 figure for 3 sides and 1 mercenary. When playing the UMTOMA against Nippon you’re right. You could even consider banning 6 figures in that chase.


Having last ban and first pick would be even worse. You could ban a figure that would counter your game plan and just pick the team you want. Remember if you lost the first pan / pick at the figures you still are the first one to first ban / pick the special objects.
The last ban is kind of a pressure ban. If it’s your turn to last ban and there are 2 very good heroes on different teams still available you can leave them both open for pick and have a challenging match. If you use that last ban on one of the strong heroes, well, guess what your opponent’s going pick :D.
You force your opponent to pick something he maybe doesn’t even want to play with your last ban and if he doesn’t pick it – then you’re in good shape. But this way you’d have an advantage in the game because you out-mind-dueled your opponent in the pick and ban phase of the game and not because you just picked Hoss, Heizinger and Zermann and rofl-stomped your enemy.


It takes time to get used to such a system but I think it’s better than just playing with house rules that nerf certain figures or combos. Because this way it’s your or the opponents choice to play against certain figures / combos.
 

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Tigan said:

The last ban is kind of a pressure ban. If it’s your turn to last ban and there are 2 very good heroes on different teams still available you can leave them both open for pick and have a challenging match. If you use that last ban on one of the strong heroes, well, guess what your opponent’s going pick :D.

That's exactly what I dislike! The first player is free to ban 2 figures he dislikes or doesn't want to play against, but the second player isn't free in his choices (not in his last choice at least) because his opponent chooses his team from the remaining figures first. I agree with you, though, that one player having both the last ban and the first pick is not without problems.

Maybe I have another solution for the problem of overpowered teams, and quite a simple too: Play two or even three games against an opponent using the same board and the same game mode. For the first game, roll a die to decide who may pick his faction first. For all other games, whoever lost the game before gets to pick his faction first. That way, everyone has a chance to play the power team.

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But wouldn't the problem be solved if we banned some of the bonus items instead? Since characters tend to get overpowered when you put an bonus item on them. (Though some of the characters is kind of op as they are)

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There are teams that don't need bonus tokens to be very tough, Hoss / Heizinger / Zermann for example if the right packs are chosen. But there are other power teams you can use to beat them, for example a Matriarchy team including Zor'ka and / or Natalya to just move in and attack them. Or if you are beaten again and again by the same power team, just tell your opponent that you want to play this team in the next game and he has to play against it. I just don't like the solution of banning cool characters and only play the rest. But at least I admit that the main reason for my dislike is the fact that I want to play that cool Hoss / Heizinger / Zermann team and gun down everyone from out-of-path.

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