Author Topic: Reprint ideas  (Read 708 times)

Bohan

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Reprint ideas
« on: May 07, 2019, 11:55:08 AM »
Hey guys,

I haven't played BGFW in years (X-Wing is my minis game of choice now), but I saw a BGFW thread on reddit and looked at the Kickstarter. It looks great! I'm loving the new art direction, and hopefully the ammo rules will fix combined arms :). I really have no one to play BGFW with, and my gaming time is mostly X-Wing these days, but I might put some money down on the Kickstarter anyway for old time's sake.

If there's still room to change things, I've got some ideas you can consider. Think of this as me noticing some things and brainstorming, but I haven't played in forever. I've got no skin in the game now; this is your baby, and I'd like to see you guys succeed but I'm not sure if/when I'll even check back in on this forum ;).

1. Consider removing points from the unit cards and putting it on a separate card and possibly pdf. X-Wing recently released a second edition and that was one of its biggest and best changes. First Edition X-Wing was plagued with ugly errata-fixes like we went through here to deal with overpowered cards. Second Edition has had its fair share of overpowered cards on release, but ships are rebalanced with the point change every six months and emergency cost increases have also been used to fix big mistakes. Updating point costs also gives you another way to keep the game fresh without releasing new content, and lets you explore ideas where factions can have some slightly undercosted and overcosted units compared to the formula cost. This may require a slight change to army-building habits, but the benefits here are very large and it's worth a test to see how hard having the points on a different card really is.

2. Consider adding keywords to the front of the card. I'm not sure there's any room for it or if this is worth sacrificing more art, but it might keep things more visible. Alternatively, you can add an icon after the name instead (e.g. spears for spear, horse for cavalry, scary face for fear, etc.) and put that icon next to the keywords on the back.

3. Consider improving or removing highly-situational faction abilities. X-Wing has 7 factions, and while each faction has different options, it's really hard to say what the identify of each faction is. The types of ships and mechanics available to each faction is different, but 1) multiple factions often have similar ships and mechanics, and 2) which viable ships and mechanics each faction has can change every 6 months with a points adjustment. The factions have unique upgrades, but these are optional. Some of them are too weak to be taken. These upgrades can't differentiate the factions if they're not being used.

Faction abilities can be a great way to differentiate factions, but only if they're strong enough to be used. Last I played, it often felt like most faction checkbox abilities were traps except in very specific situations. Faction abilities are good because they're always available. However, they're weaker because you have to predict where your actions would be needed ahead of time, telegraph where you were spending your command actions, reduce your hand size for mind games, and prevent you from digging for the best command cards. Since faction abilities are a great way to differentiate the factions and since newer players especially like to check faction abilities, I think there's an opportunity to improve them so spending more actions on faction abilities can be a viable strategy rather than poor play. If faction abilities were the strength of an average or even strong generic command card, I think they'd see more use without warping the game.

I can't comment on other factions, but for Hawkshold, newer players may see Strategic Insight and buy Command Cards even when the benefit is small and Command Cards are usually overpriced during army building. It looks like a situational bonus for experienced players and a trap for newbies. I also think the Bravery bonus is good, but having to pre-mark it is a large weakness for a Courage ability. I think a higher bonus and/or some area of effect (e.g. it can help a nearby unit) can make it feel less frustrating.


Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with the reprints. I probably won't be hanging around here too much, so these suggestions are yours to take or leave :).
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 11:57:16 AM by Zelc »

Bohan

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 12:06:24 PM »
One last thing: in the rulebook and/or the quickstart rules, it may be worth emphasizing the choices players have without spending a command action:

1. They can choose which order their units move/Final Rush, including simultaneously.
2. They can choose whether units take the direct or indirect path through friendly units (and why this is helpful).
3. Units that reached their hold location objective can freely reform.

Bohan

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2019, 12:50:17 AM »
By the way, IIRC the formula didn't take overkills into account, which may explain why high and infinite morale units were overcosted.

For example, a unit with 4/3/3 hit boxes that takes an average of 1 damage per round makes more than 4 attacks while in the green on average. That's because sometimes it takes more than 1 damage while at 1 green box; e.g. if it goes from 3 damage to 5 damage, it's no different from a unit that had 5/2/3 hit boxes.

For my X-Wing unit valuation model, I found the average "overkill hp" and added it to the unit's printed HP. I don't know how that works with multiple hit box types though.

This might mean that example unit really had 4.5/3/2.5 hit boxes, or it got a discount for that extra .5 green box. Since infinite moral units had the least difference between green and red boxes, that might have been why they were overcosted.

Hannibal

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2019, 11:18:37 AM »
Hi Bohan!  Welcome back!

I haven't played BGFW in years (X-Wing is my minis game of choice now),

Yeah, and I hear you've quickly become the guy to beat!  Not surprised at all...


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but I saw a BGFW thread on reddit and looked at the Kickstarter. It looks great! I'm loving the new art direction, and hopefully the ammo rules will fix combined arms :). I really have no one to play BGFW with, and my gaming time is mostly X-Wing these days, but I might put some money down on the Kickstarter anyway for old time's sake.

Totally understand.  But if you ever want to come back, you have an open invitation to the Rules Team.  Scott was just commenting the other day that your solution to the Warriors in the Mist was absolutely the best thing we could have done with them.  Your solutions tend to be a little crunchy for my design philosophy, but your analysis is always spot on.  We still use your combat simulator!



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1. Consider removing points from the unit cards and putting it on a separate card and possibly pdf. X-Wing recently released a second edition and that was one of its biggest and best changes.

This is actually something I paid a lot of attention to when it happened.  And let me tell you why I ultimately think it works for them but isn't right for us.

On its own, removing points costs from the card is a terrible idea.  Points cost is a stat, like anything else, and in general you want all the stats in one place.  You do not want your players to have to dig through multiple places to build a list.  You want to make that part as easy as possible.

Furthermore, floating cost is a barrier to casual play.  It requires players to keep up with the game or be left behind.  If I only get to play every so often, I could show up to game night and find myself playing with an illegal list.  Not an insurmountable problem, but definitely there's the potential for player frustration.

When you have a floating cost system like that, what you're saying is that your game is designed with competitive play in mind.  You're saying that casual play is definitely secondary.  To make this work from a business perspective, you need a large group of serious players.

Which X-Wing has.  Now.  But they didn't when they first released the game.  They built that audience so that they can make this change and have it be a positive.  From their perspective, they have as much market share as they're going to get and are now primarily trying to keep those players.  This is the right call for them.

However, for us, that's not the right call.  We're tiny.  We can't afford to add barriers to play.  If, down the line, we have lots of series organized play then that answer changes.


The other reason I'm not sure this works for us is because we have a fairly robust formula.  Of course there are places where it breaks down, but that's true of any system IMO.  However I have never felt that the major issues with BGFW is in the points cost.  It's in the things that get added after the formula is done (e.g. handing out free Pow with charging) that most affect balance.

Part of the reason the formula works is also the nature of the points we use vs the one X-Wing uses:

Battleground:
Army size:  quadruple digit (i.e. 2000pts)
Unit cost:  double or triple digit (i.e. 70-900pts)

X-Wing:
Army size:  triple digit (i.e. 100-200pts)
Unit cost:  single-double digits (e.g 1-25pts)

That sort of thing really ends up mattering in a lot of cases.  For example, if X-Wing has two upgrades:  X and Y.  Both cost 5pts.  But X is 10% better than Y.  So it really should cost 5.5pts, but that's not how their system works.  So it either cost 5 or 6 points, making it over or under costed.

This is something I've seen in a lot of historical games, which use a points cost like X-wing and they have those problems constantly.  When you get down into single digits for costs, you simply get clear winners and losers.  BGFW captures much better when something is 5-10% better than something else.


Again, all of this applies to Things as They Are Right Now.  If we became as big as X-Wing (or even somewhere remotely close), then the context changes and so the answer might change.



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3. Consider improving or removing highly-situational faction abilities.

Agreed, that is something we're trying to do.



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I can't comment on other factions, but for Hawkshold, newer players may see Strategic Insight and buy Command Cards even when the benefit is small and Command Cards are usually overpriced during army building. It looks like a situational bonus for experienced players and a trap for newbies.

Strategic Insight was always meant to be a ribbon ability.  Not something you build around, but a nice bonus when it came up.  So if you finished your build and had 25 spare points that you were going to spend a card on anyway, this gave you a little perk.



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I also think the Bravery bonus is good, but having to pre-mark it is a large weakness for a Courage ability. I think a higher bonus and/or some area of effect (e.g. it can help a nearby unit) can make it feel less frustrating.

I agree pre-marking is a weakness and but I think the better solution is to recognize that reactive reroll cards are too good.



One last thing: in the rulebook and/or the quickstart rules, it may be worth emphasizing the choices players have without spending a command action:

1. They can choose which order their units move/Final Rush, including simultaneously.
2. They can choose whether units take the direct or indirect path through friendly units (and why this is helpful).

We'll take a look and see if we can point this out.  We don't want to take away the joy of people learning the system, but we also don't people to get surprised by things.



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3. Units that reached their hold location objective can freely reform.

Well, we won't be emphasizing that because it's gone.   8)



By the way, IIRC the formula didn't take overkills into account, which may explain why high and infinite morale units were overcosted.

Actually, high Courage is not overcosted IMO. The issue isn't that the formula over or undercosts Courage.  It's that it has a design assumption that stats move in "bands."  For example, it assumes that if you have a O:(5)6/6 unit, it will come with D:2/3 and Cge 13 (or something like that).

Where it breaks is when you start having outlier stats.  The classic example is Carthage Elephants.  That Cge 11 goes with what is otherwise a powerful unit.  Or even better is Zombies.  A cheap unit (even D:1/3 is only marginally better than D:2/2) but with Fearless.  In the former case, the formula gives too much of a discount for the low Courage and in the latter it charges too little for the high Courage.

Now of course, this could again be a case of what breaks the unit is the context of what happens outside the formula.  For example, Carthage Elephants might be cost right if Carthage didn't have a few of the Cge boosting Command Cards. 

I'm not saying you're wrong about things like Overkill.  The formula doesn't take them in account.  But I think there's a bigger issue at play here.

Which is fine, IMO.  Like I said, the formula isn't perfect and I don't think there is a perfect system out there.  Which is why the formula should always be considered as the starting point, not the end point.


Thanks for poking in, Bohan!  It's really awesome to hear from you!


RushAss

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 03:58:55 PM »
Good to hear from you Bohan!
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Bohan

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 04:55:04 PM »
Hah, it's good to hear from you guys :). I poked back in to look for old pictures, maybe I can encourage some of my X-Wing buddies to hop in ;).

Anyway, I'm not going to talk too much about balance stuff because I'm not sure I'll get to play this game again. But first, here's another idea. X-Wing suffers a lot from granularity issues. BGFW is at least 8 times better :P, but if you're looking for more granularity (e.g. Dwarves), you can consider a halfway stat. For instance, 2.5 toughness (or 2+ toughness) might work like 2 toughness, except at the very end after all command cards and abilities, 1 die goes up by 1 (like 3 toughness). You can also have a negative halfway stat, or halfway stats for attack stats.

I think you should at least discuss the indirect path rule in the quick start rulebook so players know to put their cavalry behind their line instead of making the same mistake as those Winterfell defenders XD.

And we all know a Scry 1 on command cards is a ribbon ability, but new players won't. What about making the first Command Card fairly-priced or a small deal instead? Then it will not be a newbie trap ("when in doubt, take advantage of your special abilities").



Let's talk about the math, more what I'm interested in :). I'm pretty sure the formula gets durability wrong.

Suppose a unit has 4 health, and it receives attacks that deal an average of 2 damage and between 0-4 damage (binomial distribution p=.5). How many attacks is it expected to soak up?

If you answered 2, that's wrong. It's 2.386. That's over 10% off!!

Intuitively, sometimes the unit will take 2, 0, and 4 damage in that order. That averages out to 2 damage, but it soaked up 3 attacks and 6 damage. The possibility of overkills (taking more damage than hp, not attack stat - defense stat > 5) means you can't just divide health by average damage to get the unit's durability.

The extra overkill durability doesn't change that much when base durability changes (except units with extremely low base durability get a bigger boost), which means the overkill durability is a larger percentage of a unit's overall durability when its durability is low. In other words, units with low hit boxes, low defenses, and low courage tend to get more "free" (not priced in formula) durability on a percentage basis, while units with high hit boxes, high defenses, and high courage get less "free" durability. Does that sound familiar? :)

In my X-Wing costing formula, I add a flat amount to each ship's durability to reflect overkills. I'm not sure how that works for BGFW's three types of health, but I think adding some fraction of a round (half?) spent at green health while keeping rounds at yellow and red the same could be a reasonable approximation. You could probably try simming this using the combat simulator with two units of only green health to see if half a round is a reasonable number.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 05:03:15 PM by Zelc »

Kevin

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 04:07:07 PM »
Hello, Bohan, it's been a while.  Still working on that Economics Ph.D.?  I'm mostly playing Pathfinder these days, plus a bit of Magic online (where literally everything is out of whack and that's the point).  I did get in a game with Blakely the other week, which was pretty epic.  (My Ogre-based army annihilated, Blakely left with 1 Dwarf Spearmen with 2 red boxes) but sadly forgot my camera.

I do think that a .5 granularity is worth considering, but let's do it right.  Any die which is right on the border gets re-rolled where 1 - 3  = success and 4 = 6 = fail.  For example, let's say your unit has a 5.5 power and the opponent unit has a 1 toughness.  You roll dice:  1, 2, 3, 4 = does a damage.  6 = nope.  5 = re-roll that die: 1, 2, 3 = it does damage; 4, 5, 6 = nope.

It's an interesting point you make about "overkill" (meaning doing more damage than a unit has boxes).  Just wanted to add, though, that IMHO the main reason fearless units feel overpriced is that in practice routs don't happen as often as they do in theory, due to the fact that (a) armies have courage-boosting cards/abilities which gets used and (b) experienced players, sensing that a rout in a certain place would be bad, will try to safeguard that unit with maneuver and blue cards as long as possible.  If I were to redo the formula from the ground up I'd price each unit as though its courage were 1 higher than it actually is to reflect this.  (Effectively making the already-fearless units less pricey relative to everyone else.)
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Hannibal

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 10:54:29 AM »
Hah, it's good to hear from you guys :). I poked back in to look for old pictures, maybe I can encourage some of my X-Wing buddies to hop in ;).

That would be really great!  You can show them Vlachold and say "See this unit?  I saved this unit."



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BGFW is at least 8 times better :P, but if you're looking for more granularity (e.g. Dwarves), you can consider a halfway stat. For instance, 2.5 toughness (or 2+ toughness) might work like 2 toughness, except at the very end after all command cards and abilities, 1 die goes up by 1 (like 3 toughness). You can also have a negative halfway stat, or halfway stats for attack stats.

That's a really good idea.  It's basically Wuxing's Reliable, which I remember Kevin saying was intended to be a ".5 stat" ability.  At the time I didn't like the idea, but he was right and I was wrong. 

In fact, we've moved in the direction of more cool rules.  Wuxing may suffer from too many special rules, but in general I think Kevin had the right idea.



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I think you should at least discuss the indirect path rule in the quick start rulebook so players know to put their cavalry behind their line instead of making the same mistake as those Winterfell defenders XD.

The Indirect Path rule alone would take up 2-3 pages in what is already a 40 page "Quick Start" booklet.  I think it's okay if we leave it for the Main Rules.  Part of enjoying a game is discovering its secrets.



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And we all know a Scry 1 on command cards is a ribbon ability, but new players won't. What about making the first Command Card fairly-priced or a small deal instead? Then it will not be a newbie trap ("when in doubt, take advantage of your special abilities").

Fair enough.  What do you think about making all purchased Hawkshold cards be 20pts?

Playing Devil's Advocate here though:  people like moving parts.  They like seeing the special rule in action.  For example, we're currently debating a "vomit attack" that lets Trolls bypass being sandbagged by Battle Squads.  For one turn, we're increasing their damage so that the D:3/2 unit is functionally a D:2/2 unit for 1 turn.  Now we could easily and elegantly give the Trolls 3 impact hits, and the Expected Value comes out right. 

But that's dull.  So we're looking at an "exploding dice" attack where when they wound, they keep rolling but at a lower Pow (the acid doing more damage a la Melf's Acid Arrow).  We plugged that into a binomial calculator and we think we have about the right number of dice for that attack.  And it's more fun.  People love to roll dice, and get the thrill of gambling.

So while "draw an extra card" may not be as good as a 5 or 10 point discount for Command Cards, but it may be more fun.  Which of course is a harder thing to gauge.



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Let's talk about the math, more what I'm interested in :). I'm pretty sure the formula gets durability wrong.

Suppose a unit has 4 health, and it receives attacks that deal an average of 2 damage and between 0-4 damage (binomial distribution p=.5). How many attacks is it expected to soak up?

If you answered 2, that's wrong. It's 2.386. That's over 10% off!!


I think you're certainly right that they went with average damage.  That said, I do know that the "Cavalry Vulnerability" discount was put in there to reflect the low number of hit boxes making them susceptible to overkill (i.e. rolling up).  That vulnerability is not for their weakness to spears like most people think (the spear bonuses are reflected in the cost of spear units).  So while I'm sure Chad & Co went off average damage, I get the feeling they recognize what you're saying at an intuitive level and tried to adapt for it.



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The extra overkill durability doesn't change that much when base durability changes (except units with extremely low base durability get a bigger boost), which means the overkill durability is a larger percentage of a unit's overall durability when its durability is low. In other words, units with low hit boxes, low defenses, and low courage tend to get more "free" (not priced in formula) durability on a percentage basis, while units with high hit boxes, high defenses, and high courage get less "free" durability. Does that sound familiar? :)

Huh.  It would seem to me that units with low hit boxes would have lower durability.  Of course I'm sleep deprived from the Kickstarter right now, so maybe you could explain it to me.

I do know in the formula there are diminishing returns for things.  For example, that 4th Green box is 15pts but that 5th Green box is only 13pts.



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In my X-Wing costing formula, I add a flat amount to each ship's durability to reflect overkills. I'm not sure how that works for BGFW's three types of health, but I think adding some fraction of a round (half?) spent at green health while keeping rounds at yellow and red the same could be a reasonable approximation. You could probably try simming this using the combat simulator with two units of only green health to see if half a round is a reasonable number.

I think before we starting doing that, I'd just sit down with you and rewrite the formula as part of a major upgrade. 

Seriously, any time you want to return to the Rules Team, even as just an observer . . . the door is open.



I do think that a .5 granularity is worth considering, but let's do it right.  Any die which is right on the border gets re-rolled where 1 - 3  = success and 4 = 6 = fail.  For example, let's say your unit has a 5.5 power and the opponent unit has a 1 toughness.  You roll dice:  1, 2, 3, 4 = does a damage.  6 = nope.  5 = re-roll that die: 1, 2, 3 = it does damage; 4, 5, 6 = nope.

I'd make it even easier.  Rather than have it be the 'border number,' I'd have it be the same number all the time.  Whether I'm rerolling 1s or rerolling the Target Number, it's still rerolling 1/4 of your successes (using T1).  Makes it easier for game play to always be on the lookout for 1s rather than having to looks for 4s against this unit and 3s against that unit and then 5s against that unit.

That's what we're doing for Skeletons:  opponents reroll 1s on the To-Hit roll.



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Just wanted to add, though, that IMHO the main reason fearless units feel overpriced is that in practice routs don't happen as often as they do in theory, due to the fact that (a) armies have courage-boosting cards/abilities which gets used and (b) experienced players, sensing that a rout in a certain place would be bad, will try to safeguard that unit with maneuver and blue cards as long as possible.  If I were to redo the formula from the ground up I'd price each unit as though its courage were 1 higher than it actually is to reflect this.  (Effectively making the already-fearless units less pricey relative to everyone else.)

Funny, we're looking at something very similar to that right now on the Rules Team.  Although we're focusing more on the balance of post-roll Courage Bailouts and tweaking them.  I don't think we need anything so radical as increasing the cost of units because people have become good players, though.

And Kevin, the offer to come back to as playtester is always there as well.  I know we disagreed a lot when it came to solutions, but I usually found your analysis to be solid.

Bohan

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2019, 01:32:06 PM »
@Formula readjustment: I'd be happy to help. I've got too much on my plate to spearhead this, but I can give some thoughts. Overall, I remembered it was pretty good.


@Overkills: Let's say the overkill durability (rounds survived against the average unit) is 0.5 rounds, and suppose overkill durability isn't priced in. Then a wimpy unit that normally survives 1 round gets an extra 50% durability for free. A normal unit that normally survives 3 rounds gets 16.7% extra durability for free. A strong unit that normally survives 5 rounds gets 10% extra durability for free. Further, a unit with strong offense would use that extra durability more effectively.

That said, this predicts low-durability high-offense units should be too strong, and that's not right, so you're probably right that it's Courage buffers that made Skeletons worse than predicted.

I wonder if Cavalry Vulnerability was more because >3.5" movement may have been overpriced, but I know we disagreed there :).


@Movement: I definitely agree 2.5" movement was bad (can't reliably final rush another unit after killing the first one). I remember rarely being upset at having >3.5" movement but also rarely being able to really plan around using the fast movement. So, I have two thoughts to throw out.

First, what are your thoughts on making >3.5" movement deliberately undercosted? Purposefully making the creative/high-skill-cap stats cheap can encourage more interesting play. Taking an entire list of fast movers still gives up points, so there will still be room for combined arms.

Second, one thing holding fast movers back was it was too easy to have a solid full infantry line across the map to deny flanks. What are your thoughts on reducing the standard points to 1750 and perhaps readjusting the number of core/elites and command actions accordingly (e.g. rounds up so you still get 4 CAs and 4 core/2 elites in a 1750 list)? That would make it harder to have a solid infantry line across the board and gives fast movers a better chance to exploit weaknesses in the line.



@Hawkshold extra card: If you want oomph, then first 25 points spent gets two cards instead of one would definitely make it worthwhile (maybe too strong!). But you're right, impact is nice. I'm sure you'll think of something which isn't a newbie trap but also works well :).


@Variable points: I agree with the accessibility issue, but let me throw out an idea for you to consider. Put all the points on a separate card included in the base game (like how Cavalry and Spears are done) and take it off the units; you can put an extra line of flavor text or something on them with the saved line (consider putting the Cavalry and Spears abilities on the units in italic parenthesis?). You can also put faction ability pre-purchase costs on that separate card too. Name this a format: maybe something like "Standard", "Eternal", "Base", etc.

Then put up a reference online or in the very back of the rulebook with a wacky Variant format: e.g. for each faction, randomly choose 2 units for each Core, Standard, and Elite, and one costs 2% more and the other 2% less for a game day/tournament. And if you had to do buff/nerf stuff, you can release a "Tournament" ruleset with re-balanced costs. Most people will never see or play these (and hopefully you won't need a separate tournament ruleset), but this leaves you the option to make points adjustments as needed if it ever came up.

The biggest challenge would be if all of a faction's units and abilities can fit on one card. If it can't then this might not work so well :P.

By the way, you're going to have to do something for old point costs if you're even considering redoing the formula, so you should probably plan for that in the reprint ;).

Kevin

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2019, 11:23:31 AM »
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I do think that a .5 granularity is worth considering, but let's do it right.  Any die which is right on the border gets re-rolled where 1 - 3  = success and 4 = 6 = fail.  For example, let's say your unit has a 5.5 power and the opponent unit has a 1 toughness.  You roll dice:  1, 2, 3, 4 = does a damage.  6 = nope.  5 = re-roll that die: 1, 2, 3 = it does damage; 4, 5, 6 = nope.

I'd make it even easier.  Rather than have it be the 'border number,' I'd have it be the same number all the time.  Whether I'm rerolling 1s or rerolling the Target Number, it's still rerolling 1/4 of your successes (using T1).  Makes it easier for game play to always be on the lookout for 1s rather than having to looks for 4s against this unit and 3s against that unit and then 5s against that unit.

That's what we're doing for Skeletons:  opponents reroll 1s on the To-Hit roll.

Excellent point.

That said, you still need to make it where 1 - 3 = success, 4 - 6 = fail.  If you use the standard target numbers you just end up with nets, which function as extra dice in disguise.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Hannibal

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2019, 11:51:08 AM »
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I do think that a .5 granularity is worth considering, but let's do it right.  Any die which is right on the border gets re-rolled where 1 - 3  = success and 4 = 6 = fail.  For example, let's say your unit has a 5.5 power and the opponent unit has a 1 toughness.  You roll dice:  1, 2, 3, 4 = does a damage.  6 = nope.  5 = re-roll that die: 1, 2, 3 = it does damage; 4, 5, 6 = nope.

I'd make it even easier.  Rather than have it be the 'border number,' I'd have it be the same number all the time.  Whether I'm rerolling 1s or rerolling the Target Number, it's still rerolling 1/4 of your successes (using T1).  Makes it easier for game play to always be on the lookout for 1s rather than having to looks for 4s against this unit and 3s against that unit and then 5s against that unit.

That's what we're doing for Skeletons:  opponents reroll 1s on the To-Hit roll.

Excellent point.

That said, you still need to make it where 1 - 3 = success, 4 - 6 = fail.  If you use the standard target numbers you just end up with nets, which function as extra dice in disguise.

Ah yes, true.  A flat 4+ fails makes it a true "half stat."

In the case of Skeletons, we deliberately went with rerolling 1s because we were intentionally mirroring nets.  If for no other reason it allowed us to run simulations on Bohan's combat simulator to dial in the effectiveness of it.

Hannibal

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2019, 12:40:33 PM »
I haven't had the chance to go through this and reply fully, sorry.  But I have mentioned this to the Rules Team today:


@Hawkshold extra card: If you want oomph, then first 25 points spent gets two cards instead of one would definitely make it worthwhile (maybe too strong!). But you're right, impact is nice. I'm sure you'll think of something which isn't a newbie trap but also works well :).

Yeah I just posted that idea to the Rules Team.  When you buy cards you get an extra one (so buy 1 card, get 2.  Buy 4 get 5.).  We'll talk it over.

One thing though is that I do think you tend to think Command Cards are more overcosted than I do.  I tend to think of it less as "good value" and more as "some value." 

As in:  would I plan to spend 200pts on cards?  No. 

But if I have 75pts left over and can't do anything other than upgrade Swords to Spear?  (I'm assuming I have 2 Spear already).  I'd probably spend 50pts on cards.  Because they're wasted otherwise.

And when I do the alpha strike build, I often will spend 75-100pts on cards.  Mainly because I usually have that amount left over and starting with 4 cards early gives me an advantage, even if it's not the most optimal expenditure.  Because even if the math says it's a poor buy in a vacuum, the context of the game can make them better buys.

Mind giving me a rundown again on how much you think cards are overcosted by?

Bohan

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2019, 03:09:36 PM »
I think cards are probably worth closer to 20 points than 15 (18.37492 points!!), but that's a feel thing (or maybe I tested this a long time ago and forgot now).

Kevin

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2019, 07:51:02 PM »
Pretty sure I priced them at 14 when doing Wuxing back in the day.  The assumption was that the player would always Manipulate Qi to keep the unit in the yellow, but then they needed a discount for the card that wouldn't be drawing.  Of course, that's be definition a card that's not used in turn 1 of combat, when cards are arguably at their most effective.  So a pre-bought card may be slightly better.  17 or 18, maybe?
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Bohan

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Re: Reprint ideas
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2019, 07:37:26 AM »
Well, I finally got a game in with one of my X-Wing buddies after all these years' hiatus :). He enjoyed it! Quick question: why are ammo rules not based on range more finely (e.g. 1 shot per 3.5" range, +1 for indirect)?