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Borgopolis
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May 2007
Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Tue, 15 May 2007 19:37
There are several threads about this subject with people saying the cards are overpowered and others saying there's nothing wrong about them.

There's also official word from Eric who says the cards work as they were "intended" to work.
This brings back some bad memories though as that was the exact same line that Wizkids gave us when the first complaints about (the overpowered) Magic Levitation ability first popped up ..... (but let's not get into that)

Let's try to answer these two questions :
How powerful are those cards exactly ?
Can we measure them somehow ?


I think we can - not in an absolute way, but definitely in a reasonable way.

Let's take a look at the Command Cards first.
They'll give you 1 to +/-6 actions, depending on which Command or Tactical Card you play.

I'd say that 3 to 4 actions is about the average you get per turn. Agreed ?

This means you can attack, on average, 3 to 4 enemy units per turn.

Now look at the averge amount of Hills/Forests which are present on most battlefields.
There are about 6 Hills/Forests on average on each map, meaning that each Hills Rumble or Forest Frenzy, on average, can target about 42 hexes.

Meaning .... 1 Hills Rumble or 1 Forest Frenzy can roughly target about 10 times (40 to 4)the amount of hexes that you can target with your average Command or tactical Card.

Even if only 50% of those hexes are occupied by enemy units you still attack 5 times more hexes than you would on an average turn using a Command or Tactical Card.

I'm sure everybody would agree that a card which would let you take two or more turns in succession (without your opponent doing anyhting) would be considered "very powerful".

In our above example , Forest Frenzy and Hills Rumble basically lets you take not one but 5 consecutive turns based on the amount of units you target with it in 1 turn ... (and there's not even a single "Battle Back" to fear for either ... )


My point is : Hills Rumble and Forest Frenzy can easily target 5 to 10 times the amount of hexes one can target in another (normal) turn.
Thàt, IMO, is a number which is way out of whack and is a clear indication that these card are very much overpowered.

In no way, a player should be able to attack so many hexes in just one turn, in this game which revolves around each player taking a very limited (+/-3 or 4)amount of actions every turn.

The cards may have been "designed to do what they do", but designers are human as well, and can make mistakes as well, and these cards are very clearly - game unbalancing - mistakes.

IMO, both cards would even be "good" if you could target just one hill/Forest and surrounding hexes with them, ... so that's how I'm going to play them from now on.

Feel free to comment.

[Updated on: Tue, 15 May 2007 19:46]

      
Bullroarer Took
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Tue, 15 May 2007 19:45
We could probably be more precise about the average strength of a command card, but I'm not sure it would serve any purpose. HR/FF are Lore cards and should be compared to other Lore cards. If we use you method of targeting a single Hill or Forest then we need to ask why does it cost more than Fireball which can hit ANY hex and surrounding on the board, not just specific terrain types AND costs less.

So my suggestion is to allow HR/FF to attack any contiguous group of Hill or Forest hexes and surrounding.
      
Borgopolis
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Tue, 15 May 2007 19:50
Bullroarer Took wrote on Tue, 15 May 2007 13:45

HR/FF are Lore cards and should be compared to other Lore cards.

I agree.
But Lore Cards and Command Cards are both are elements of the same game, and those elements should be balanced out towards each other as well.

A Black Lotus or Dark Ritual aren't Lands either but they do provide mana (in an unbalancing way)... if you get my meaning ... Smile

[Updated on: Tue, 15 May 2007 19:51]

      
barcafer
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August 2005
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Tue, 15 May 2007 20:12
There are other, cheaper, though slightly less deadly combos in the decks. Darken the Sky, combined with Magic Missiles and enough archer units could easily end a scenario in a big hurry.

I played one game in which my Hill Giant died on the first card by a lucky archer's shot.
      
Zeal
Senior Member
Second Lieutenant

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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Tue, 15 May 2007 20:43
B0RG wrote on Tue, 15 May 2007 11:50

Bullroarer Took wrote on Tue, 15 May 2007 13:45

HR/FF are Lore cards and should be compared to other Lore cards.

I agree.
But Lore Cards and Command Cards are both are elements of the same game, and those elements should be balanced out towards each other as well.

A Black Lotus or Dark Ritual aren't Lands either but they do provide mana (in an unbalancing way)... if you get my meaning ... Smile



Wait I know I can get a Howling Mine analogy in to help out...no...it's just not coming... Razz

[Updated on: Tue, 15 May 2007 20:46]

      
cebalrai
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August 2005
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Tue, 15 May 2007 22:31
I agree with most of what the original poster said. I'm not sure why he's asserting that command cards should be balanced with lore cards though. Apples and oranges.

What should be measured is lore cards to lore cards. It's clear to most people that HR/FF are in a whole other league compared to the rest of the deck, since their destructive potential is so massively different than any other card.

Barcafer mentions that there are other combos that are only a little less deadly. Again, this is apples and oranges. The Darken/Magic Missile combo he mentions is a combination of cards. HR/FF isn't even a combo. It's just as easy as playing a single card for moderate lore cost. If we're going to compare Darken/MM to the cleric cards at hand, we need to consider the value of:

Darken/MM
vs.
Hills Rumble against maybe nine targets for a whopping 36 dice (10.6 hits on average)... And THEN toss in a mounted charge to hack up whatever is left afterwards.

HR with a moderate to high amount of hills plus a mounted charge with a couple units (maybe with pursuit attacks) can easily come to 50 dice in a turn. Nothing else in the game will touch that. Regardless, we need to stop tossing command cards into the analysis. Compare Magic Missile to HR.

One final note. DoW didn't make a mistake. They say that this was their intent and I believe them. There is a difference in making an error and creating something that is simply poor game design. This is the latter.

So here's hoping to an official variant! Smile

[Updated on: Tue, 15 May 2007 22:39]

      
cebalrai
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Tue, 15 May 2007 22:55
One other point is that trying to measure power with an "average" number of forest/hill tiles is a flawed method. Six of each may be the average (seems low), but the game needs to be balanced to play on maps with high density of terrain as well! The box is packed with tiles for a reason, so please stop responding with "these lore cards are fine as long as you play on flat, mostly-featureless maps". We need to be able to use terrain in our games without having to worry about game quality going in the toilet.

Scenario #9 in Battlelore has 15 Hills. No matter where combat is taking place on the map, HR has a good chance to strike 100% of a player's units. This is of course extremely powerful even with a level 0 cleric. A level 3 Cleric could drop 50 dice of damage without too much trouble on this map, killing an average of 17 units.

For 7 lore.

HUH?!?! 50 dice of damage for 7 lore???

Did I mention there are also 12 forest tiles on this map?

There is no argument that says this is good game design. Sad

[Updated on: Tue, 15 May 2007 22:57]

      
Senhouse
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March 2007
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 03:25
In addition to questions of balance, does it pass the fun
factor? Is it fun to set up a game for 10 minutes, play
for 10-15 more, then have a Lore card basically end the
game? I haven't played enough with Lore to have HR/FF
come up in a powerful way, but we've already been a little
annoyed by Fireball and Assault. I understand the desire
for spells to be cool, powerful, and exciting, but perhaps
these take that intent too far in a way that reduces the
fun factor....

Chris
      
akaRoads
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January 2007
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 05:22
I feel that all the Lore cards fit well in the game. Ask yourself this, Am I focusing on one or two types of magic users or three or four for most games?

Heres how I see the machanics of Lore play.

First to use Lore you have to plan ahead.

1. Must have proper board setup (predetermined)
2. Must have proper magic user (I rarely play without a Claric)
3. Must have enough Lore (not to hard to save 7 or 8 lore)
4. Must have desired Lore card (basic luck)
5. Must wait for proper battle conditions(skill & experience)
6. Opponet must not play a dispel Lore card (refer to step 2-5)

One thing that effects lore cards most is the amount of cards in the play stack. If everyone has a L3 Claric than that most likely leaves very few resources to have other magic users on the War Counsel thereby limiting the total number of Lore cards in the play stack, thus increasing the odds of getting certian cards. I would bet the designers did not envision that players would want to put most of there resources into one or two magic users. Refer to Pg 58 last Paragraph.

If both players have at least one of each magic user than the total number of Lore cards in the play stack is 56. with the least number of cards being 23. Worst case is were both players have the same one magic user (30 Lore cards, half being the same type) thereby giving the best chance of getting that type of Lore card.

Bottom line, this is about Odds and the chances of getting any one particular card at just the right time and rolling the best dice, etc. etc. etc. The chances are varied depending on how the game is setup and played. I also feel that most games may go through the entire Lore deck at least one time although it may be shuffled more than once.

Here is a segestion for a house rule. During setup, first all the magic users must be level one before any can advance to the next level.
      
Matzo
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November 2006
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 09:54
Reduce the number of forest, hill and river in your games.

I play most of the time with customize map, and forest/hill are not all over the map.

      
tech7
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 12:18
Matzo schrieb am Wed, 16 May 2007 09:54

Reduce the number of forest, hill and river in your games.

I play most of the time with customize map, and forest/hill are not all over the map.




Sorry, but this isn't an option. I don't have time and motivation to make my own scenarios, or to playtest other fan scenarios. I wouldn't have bought Battlelore in the first place, if there were no official scenarios. And after all, the game works, with the exception of those cleric cards. Heck even, if there are only 2 forests on the map, you can often easily hit 4+ Units, since most people will try to use the terrain for their advantage.

I would really like to see a mayor power decrease on those cards, or at least an official variant.
      
cebalrai
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 12:49
Matzo wrote on Wed, 16 May 2007 03:54

Reduce the number of forest, hill and river in your games.

I play most of the time with customize map, and forest/hill are not all over the map.




So the game is broken unless we pull terrain off our scenarios? What if a person wants to use the 40 or so terrain tiles they paid for?
      
constant-whiner
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February 2007
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 15:18
I would say that HR, FF, RR are all definitely broken. No fun to play a game where ownership of a card by sheer luck can have so dramatically an impact on the field. These cards aside, I must also complain for the Wizard's Fireball. Lose an entire heavy cavalry unit just because the other guy rolled a Lore symbol? Hello? Where's the fun in that? All in all these cards increase luck in the game by an inordinate amount and render strategic thinking and sound moves on the board almost irrelevant. In an earlier post I had said that by introducing these cards the game becomes more tactic. I think that "more tactic" is too kind for the effects of these cards. The game in fact becomes more random and less fun, just that.

There is a distinction I want to propose which I hope people will find useful. I see Lore cards as falling in two groups: "force multipliers" and "nukes". Force multipliers are Lore cards that are powerful when used in combos with command cards and which require a certain preparation on the field to increase their potential. Nukes are cards that can be deployed with a dramatic effect with no connection whatsoever with the realities or the movements on the board. Clearly FF, HR, RR and, also, Wizzard's Fireball fall in the Nuke category. Nukes are not fun. I don't mind force multipliers since the player employing them has at least got to do something to use them for good (to "pull them off"). For instance, to really take advantage of "mists of fear" cards you need to be able to press with an advance. But Nukes, they're just too random. So, based on that distinction I see two possibilities for a variant:
(a) define Nuke-free Lore decks or at least significantly reduce "yield" of powerful Nukes
OR
(b) change Nuke cards definitions to force the player to use them in some creative way that would require some groundwork on the battlefield or at least have some connection with it.
      
mvettemagred
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August 2005
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 16:30
While I personally don't house rule these cards, here is a suggested house rule that I posted on a different thread:

If you want to house rule these cards, I recommend limiting the number of units affected based on the caster's number of Command cards. That way, only 3-6 units can be targeted. The caster chooses which units are targeted from those on or adjacent to the apropriate terrain. Also, if you're rolling more dice because you went with a high-level Cleric, you typically have either a lower level Commander, or no other Lore Masters. Either way, it's a balancing effect.

This seems to put the potential impact of these cards in line with their Lore cost, without fundamentally changing the game.


Now, a couple of comments on items previously mentioned in this thread:
1. I think comparing Command cards to Lore cards is appropriate, when you consider the objective of the game is to eliminate units. Both Command and Lore cards give you actions with which to accomplish this objective. Many Lore cards don't increase the number of units you can target on a turn, they just improve your ability to affect the units your Command card allows you to target. So, looking at the average number of units you could affect with a Command card gives a good indication of the number of targetable units on a typical turn. Cards like HR/FF/RR, have the potential to dramatically increase the number of units you can target on a given turn, making that turn significanly more impactful. If you're trying to maximize the number of units you can impact per turn, you need to look at both Command and Lore cards.

2. Fireball is a totally different animal from HR/FF/RR. First, it only targets one unit. Second, it's more expensive (10 vs. 7). Third, you only get one roll with a maximum of 5 dice. A L3 Cleric on a typical map would roll 24 dice (6 targets on avg) with HR/FF/RR. Fireball is NOT overpowered. I played back-to-back games where my opponent's 5-dice and 4-dice Fireballs both fizzled. 20 Lore spent with NO impact.

3. Assault is very powerful. However, it's (I think) the most expensive Lore card in the deck. To save up 13 Lore, you are forgoing several turns of playing other Lore cards. Would you rather cancel your opponent's Fireball, or save up for Assault? Would you rather protect your heavy calvary, or save up for Assault? It's a high risk/high reward card that is balanced, IMHO.

Anyway, good debate.

[Updated on: Wed, 16 May 2007 16:32]

      
cebalrai
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 16:48
Yeah good debate. Cool

One thing to keep in mind though. 6 targets (thus 24 dice) might be somewhat common, but the game needs to work on a full range of maps. Many official scenarios are going to provide for many more targets than just 6. I think scenario #8 (or was it 9?) has 15 hills, so a HR card is going to nail a dozen targets (a ridiculous 48 dice) if played early/mid game. 16 hits on average.

In my experience, HR/FF usually target 7-8 units on average.

So I would encourage people to keep that in mind when comparing HR/FF with spells like fireball.

[Updated on: Wed, 16 May 2007 16:54]

      
Zeal
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 17:11
player142544 wrote on Wed, 16 May 2007 08:48

Yeah good debate. Cool

One thing to keep in mind though. 6 targets (thus 24 dice) might be somewhat common, but the game needs to work on a full range of maps. Many official scenarios are going to provide for many more targets than just 6. I think scenario #8 (or was it 9?) has 15 hills, so a HR card is going to nail a dozen targets (a ridiculous 48 dice) if played early/mid game. 16 hits on average.

In my experience, HR/FF usually target 7-8 units on average.

So I would encourage people to keep that in mind when comparing HR/FF with spells like fireball.


Yeah I forgot that fireball was more expensive
      
toddrew
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Wed, 16 May 2007 18:02
Aside from the family games of Ticket to Ride, I've been playing this game almost exclusively when I can make the time for some gaming. Not that I sit around and think about these things too much, but the reason I've found myself playing it so much (aside from wanting to recoup on my initial $70 investment Wink ) is that I've never had so much fun playing a game. I've never had so much fun getting crushed in a game, that's for sure Laughing There are numerous opportunities to get a foothold once you are down and stage a monumental comeback, and the continued threat of being able to do so it what keeps potentially and verily lopsided games interesting, for me anyway. This applies to both lore and medieval adventures - though more so to the lore adventures.

To me, a very entertaining part of the game is all the "turning point" rolls that occur throughout. I enjoy the suspense that those rolls create, and how they alter the course of what is to follow. The challenge of adapting to unfortunate rolls is fun to me. Sure it's a little disheartening when a red banner cav gets hit by a volley of double red arrows - but instead of unleashing the mounted charge one had in mind for that unit, one shields him with foot soldiers, waging the skirmish until a weakened force is presented - then springs the mc. And when rolling the resulting 5d on a 2 strength bold red banner enemy foot unit and those 5d present an inordinate amount of green, well, that's the way that cookie that your sister baked and accidently (it was accidently, right?) transposed the salt and sugar in the recipe crumbles. But, but, when those ragged few remaining blue footies in that section band together and manage to take down a couple units while avoiding capture as the opposite flank valiantly pushes for victory - well, that's a game, my friend Laughing

So, I've got a lot of hot air this morning, but, just saying if one can't enjoy the swings of good and ill fortune in this game, well, not much I can say, nor would want to, everybody has their tastes for games, and while I think BattleLore is quite ambitious in trying to appeal to a wide variety of gamers, it does a pretty fair job at hitting that mark.

I've been ravaged by rumbling hills and come back to conquer. I've been crippled by chain lightning and not been able to recover. I've dispelled many a l3 fireball, dodged one (in a rather ripping game, I might add), and been hit by an out of character cast flame that stank of desperation. Overpowering desperation as it turned out. The cards, when they are drawn, what's in the deck, when they are played, the result of the rolls they generate, for me, are all part of this game's flavor, and, again, to me, it's mighty tasty. Sure I'd like to add a little salt now and again, but not too much, and certainly can go without.

Also, I've not been steeped in fantasy stereotyping, but, I'm a little familiar with the old testament, and would not take an angry God, nor one of his emissaries, lightly Wink

      
akaRoads
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 02:20
What is the percentage of games that have been lost due to Lore cards?

Most of my games have been close (if they are played correctly) and last a reasonable amount of time (1-2 Hours). Due to the relatively short duration of the game there is usually enough time to play another one.

Is there a right or wrong way to play this game? Could the two sides of this issue really be a strategy fundamentals question and not lore at all?

Could this be way Eric says "the cards work as they were "intended" to work." Because DoW play tested using different game stragities?



      
cebalrai
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 02:36
akaRoads wrote on Wed, 16 May 2007 20:20

What is the percentage of games that have been lost due to Lore cards?

Is there a right or wrong way to play this game? Could the two sides of this issue really be a strategy fundamentals question and not lore at all?

Could this be way Eric says "the cards work as they were "intended" to work." Because DoW play tested using different game stragities?



I agree. The game is great, except when it plays out really crappy due to HR or FF.

I also agree that this is the way it was intended to work. It's not a mistake, it's just poor game design.
      
sdafilli
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 02:48
akaRoads wrote on Wed, 16 May 2007 20:20

What is the percentage of games that have been lost due to Lore cards?



When playing lore games, lore cards play a key role in winning or losing ANY game Wink so I'd say close to 100% (it still is possible tow win by playing without lore cards but much harder)..........but I presume you're referring to the lore cards in question
      
akaRoads
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 06:20
What I'm asking is, Could there be an effective way to counter Hills Rumble or Forest Frenzy and others?

Some Lore card facts:
There are 2 Dispel Lore cards, 2 Lore Drain, 1 Spy, 1 Heal and 1 Deja Vu. All of these can help lessen some of the deadly Lore cards.

The Claric does not have any Dispel Lore, but he does have the one and only Heal. Kinda weak for a Claric. All have Ignore 1 Banner color. There are 6 cards that move 1 or more extra hexes and still battle. There are 8 cards that Add 1 or more Dice to melee, and 2 collect lore, etc. etc.

Here are the total Lore per Magic User. (Dispel = 5)
Wizard = 75
Claric = 73
Warrier = 72
Rogue = 63

Total Cards using Magic levels to figure spell effect.
Claric = 6/15
Wizard = 4/15
Warrier = 2/15
Rogue = 2/15

From this last fact, I figure that the Warrier and Rogue should never need to be any higher than Level 1 and thats just to save on lore. The rest of the levels should go into the Claric & Wizard, not to mention the Commander.

A new card to consider would be a Backfire card. When a magic card is played the counter card "Backfire" can be used to have the spell backfire causing the spell to go off on the attacking side. The defender would then roll the dice.
      
blindspot
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 09:10
akaRoads wrote on Wed, 16 May 2007 21:20

What I'm asking is, Could there be an effective way to counter Hills Rumble or Forest Frenzy and others?

I'm fairly certain that this is how the game designers expect one to deal with it (i.e. war council). I don't think they are going to come on here and suggest or even agree that the cards should be nerfed as many are suggesting.
      
ColtsFan76
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 14:05
blindspot wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 02:10

akaRoads wrote on Wed, 16 May 2007 21:20

What I'm asking is, Could there be an effective way to counter Hills Rumble or Forest Frenzy and others?

I'm fairly certain that this is how the game designers expect one to deal with it (i.e. war council). I don't think they are going to come on here and suggest or even agree that the cards should be nerfed as many are suggesting.

I have to agree with Blindspot.

It appears I am in a very small minority but I feel that all f the cards are fine. Are they powerful? Yes1 Are they broken? No! This game has a certain element of luck; you can't escape that. But the key to victory is how you deal to that luck.

When this debate started months ago, I offered some suggestions on how to counter this. In forest/elevated heavy scenarios, reduce the chances of the cards coming in by not taking a cleric. Move your units away from these danger zones quickly. Hold on to Lore draining and Lore canceling cards just in case.

Does this limit your ability to do what you want in the game? It sure does! But war is hell. It is not meant to be fair. And sometimes your army is just outright screwed and there is nothing you can do about it. But sometimes it is at the disadvatage and you win outright and that is a great feeling.

Eric weighed in on this subject a long time ago. He said the cards were correct and not misprinted and not broken in his mind. He has been silent ever since. You know what that probably means? They ain't changing anything. If they truly felt they made a mistake, they would have corrected it by now. They feel the cards are fine and either know of some tactics to counter them as Blindspot suggested or they know of other things coming along in future expansions that will make this debate pointless.

So my suggestion is to accept the cards and spend your energy comng up with a solid counter if you should be so unlucky to face a Level 3 Cleric with HR/FF in a hevily elevated and forested scenario. Or houserule it away and let is go away!

Someone else can have the soapbox now.
      
Vasilis
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  Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 14:54
ColtsFan76 wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 15:05

They feel the cards are fine and either know of some tactics to counter them as Blindspot suggested or they know of other things coming along in future expansions that will make this debate pointless.

So my suggestion is to accept the cards and spend your energy comng up with a solid counter if you should be so unlucky to face a Level 3 Cleric with HR/FF in a hevily elevated and forested scenario. Or houserule it away and let is go away!


Finally someone said it!!! I agree with you 100%.
      
cebalrai
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 15:41
[quote title=ColtsFan76 wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 08:05]
blindspot wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 02:10


But war is hell. It is not meant to be fair.


Battlelore is a light board game, not war. If it was like real war, or hell, you would not want to be involved with it. Saying that it's fine for a game to be unfair for a reason like this seems really silly. Fun is the goal, not the grim real-life aspects of war.

Sure there is luck involved in the dice and that's fine. But the Hills Rumble card that killed 18 figures (on the third turn) in my group's game was not fair, nor was it fun. People spending a long time setting the game up with CtA rules just to get completely screwed over by unfair rules was not fair, nor was it fun. Games that tell you you're helpless and that your decisions don't matter are not fair, nor fun.
      
ColtsFan76
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 16:03
[quote title=player142544 wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 08:41]
ColtsFan76 wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 08:05

blindspot wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 02:10


But war is hell. It is not meant to be fair.


Battlelore is a light board game, not war. If it was like real war, or hell, you would not want to be involved with it. Saying that it's fine for a game to be unfair for a reason like this seems really silly. Fun is the goal, not the grim real-life aspects of war.

Sure there is luck involved in the dice and that's fine. But the Hills Rumble card that killed 18 figures (on the third turn) in my group's game was not fair, nor was it fun. People spending a long time setting the game up with CtA rules just to get completely screwed over by unfair rules was not fair, nor was it fun. Games that tell you you're helpless and that your decisions don't matter are not fair, nor fun.

Really, this game isn't actual war? Hmmm, I must have picked up the wrong game.

Of course it isn't real! But it still depicts War. If you want "fun," go play Candyland! You want "fairness" go play Checkers. Everything is perfectly balanced - unless of course you king a piece and then it is really powerful because it can move backwards! That doesn't depict real life.

The point is, there are going to be challenges. Probably the biggest mistake that DOW did with BattleLore is make each of the learning scenarios so perfectly balanced that everyone expects that from now on. Go play M44, Ancients, Battle Cry and see how one-sided some of those battles are. This system is not meant to give you perfectly balanced scenarios. It is meant to present you with a challenge. If someone loses 18 figures because of a HR, then guess what - move your troops away from the hills next time! if they don't like that concept, then BattleLore isn't the game for them.

If the cards give you so much grief, rip them up!!!! What the heck. Is it so hard to just remove them from the deck and move on? Why must we pollute the forums with endless debates about these cards? I didn't realize Richard spoke on this again within the last few hours. But it is obvious to me it ain't changing folks! I don't think DOW thinks they made a mistake. They have been testing this thing for years! And they like it as is.
      
tech7
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 16:07
Vasilis wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 14:54

ColtsFan76 wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 15:05

They feel the cards are fine and either know of some tactics to counter them as Blindspot suggested or they know of other things coming along in future expansions that will make this debate pointless.

So my suggestion is to accept the cards and spend your energy comng up with a solid counter if you should be so unlucky to face a Level 3 Cleric with HR/FF in a hevily elevated and forested scenario. Or houserule it away and let is go away!


Finally someone said it!!! I agree with you 100%.


I don't. There is one tactic against it. Take no cleric at all, but the other three lore masters. So that chances, that those cards are drawn, are minimized. The other one, to stay away from terrain hexes is nonsense, at least in most scenrios. Part of the fun of such a game, is to use terrain not to abandon it, but even if you would like to do this, you need the right command cards, the time and finally you have a problem, if your opponent uses those terrain hexes.

So back to the first tactic, these leads to two viable war councils, fun eh ?

@Coltsfan76
One question, how often did you play Battlelore 20 times ? 30 times ? Or even more ?
If two of those 30 games are wrecked, it doesn't matter much. But what if you have only played 4 or 5 games ? then it completely ruins the game. As already said, in my playing group happende it 4 times in row. They played 12 games until now, if I remember correctly, so every third game was unfun.



Sorry if I sound somehow sarcastic but the only thing I want(and a lot of other players here, in the german forum, and at Boardgamegeek) is an official variant. Surely you can always make a houserule, but many people have problems with them, and house-rule changes from house to house, hence the name. With an official variant it is much easier, you either use it, or not.

If someone had a suggestion how to solve the problem, I would really like to hear it. But there is no one, it isn't a overpowered strategy, tactic, combo it is just a freaking overpowered card.

And if the reason for those cards are upcoming expansion, then they shouldn't include them in the basic game. So it is just a rip-off.


ColtsFan76 wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 16:03



The point is, there are going to be challenges. Probably the biggest mistake that DOW did with BattleLore is make each of the learning scenarios so perfectly balanced that everyone expects that from now on. Go play M44, Ancients, Battle Cry and see how one-sided some of those battles are. This system is not meant to give you perfectly balanced scenarios. It is meant to present you with a challenge. If someone loses 18 figures because of a HR, then guess what - move your troops away from the hills next time! if they don't like that concept, then BattleLore isn't the game for them.





So the challenge is to beat your opponent until he draws the "I win the game" card .

Sorry, but I have Memoir and don't have a problem with those scenarios, they are unfair, unbalanced but fun and interessting.
Because there is actually a challenge, not just luck.


ColtsFan76 wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 16:03


If the cards give you so much grief, rip them up!!!! What the heck. Is it so hard to just remove them from the deck and move on? Why must we pollute the forums with endless debates about these cards? I didn't realize Richard spoke on this again within the last few hours. But it is obvious to me it ain't changing folks! I don't think DOW thinks they made a mistake. They have been testing this thing for years! And they like it as is.


I can understand that this endless discussion annoys you, but it won't end until there is an "official" solution to it. I already said, why I have a problem with house rules. So I won't repeat it.

If DoW and Richard Borg thinks that those are fine,it's okay, I also don't think that they will change the cards, but why can't they simply do a variant like FFG did for Twilight Imperium 3 Edition. It would at least remove this discussion from these boards.

PS:
Sorry for my bad english, it isn't my native language

[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 16:18]

      
Borgopolis
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May 2007
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 16:36
Some posters seem to be in constant denial.

They would probably be the same people who claim there's nothing wrong with Magic cards like skullclamp, Entomb, Necropotence etc giving you the (pointless) advice to tune your deck against it.

They fail to see that everybody here is human and capable of making mistakes and seem to think that DoW is neither of both.
At least Wizards of the coast has the guts to stand up and admit they made a mistake.
I completely agree with Tech7's stance :
- If there's a solution to these cards coming up in later expansion, then they shouldn't have been included in the core game.
- in the other case, the cards are a mistake and need to be corrected like FFG did for TI3

And please, for the zillionth time : stop bringing up the point to try and "avoid" the effects of HR/FF by avoiding Hills/Forests or avoiding a Cleric in your war councel, the point is that these cards SPOIL the game whenever they come up, just like a skullclamp spoils the environment when it is allowed.
These elements are overpowered and thus need to be "redone".
Can we finally get that through ? Trying to get around them by using a cleric-less war council doesn't reduce the insane power of those cards at all. The problem remains the same.

Isn't it clear that if you have to "consider" these cards every time you set up a game that these cards are dominating the game, something they are NOT supposed to be doing IMO.

Lore Cards are there to HELP your strategy or tactics, they're not supposed to create an instant "I win" situation after having the dumb luck to draw them.

[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 16:53]

      
yangtze
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 16:53
Toddrew and Coltsfan speak much sense. I respect the conviction of the 'give us a variant' camp, but I also think there are many people out there who don't share the view that the game is broken. There are some apparantly unstoppable strategies that you might want to go after time after time, but against an experienced opponent you'll come unstuck.

If my opponent had a level 3 cleric I'd try to avoid the mountains and the trees - and not all boards are covered in them - and try to use the advantages my own war council gave me. Inexperienced players won't know the cards, but they should view being turned over by Lore card play as a learning experience. If one game puts them off maybe they're playing the wrong game.

I've been involved in 2-moves-to-victory games of CCA and M44. It happens, but it doesn't mean those games are broken, it's just a by-product of the fast and furious design ethic. More experienced players can make it happen easily against noobies. That's where the skill comes in. Even with a bunch of weakened units, it's possible for a skilled, experienced player to turn the game around and win.

By the way, I'd say if you're playing a noobie, try to resist the temptation to hit them with a killer card. In fact, I'd probably take a weakened war council to make it more of a challenge till they find their feet a bit.

[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 16:55]

      
Borgopolis
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 17:00
yangtze wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 10:53

By the way, I'd say if you're playing a noobie, try to resist the temptation to hit them with a killer card. In fact, I'd probably take a weakened war council to make it more of a challenge till they find their feet a bit.

Now what kind of advice is that ?
If you teach a new player, deliberately play "bad" and don't show them what the game does.
Jeez, I can't believe this.
If ever someone gave some bad advice, this is it.

yangtze wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 10:53

If my opponent had a level 3 cleric I'd try to avoid the mountains and the trees - and not all boards are covered in them - and try to use the advantages my own war council gave me.

What did I just say about "constant denial"
Keep dreaming , yangtze.

[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 17:02]

      
cebalrai
Senior Member

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August 2005
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 17:06
ColtsFan76 wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 10:03


Go play M44, Ancients, Battle Cry and see how one-sided some of those battles are. This system is not meant to give you perfectly balanced scenarios. It is meant to present you with a challenge. If someone loses 18 figures because of a HR, then guess what - move your troops away from the hills next time! if they don't like that concept, then BattleLore isn't the game for them.



M44, Ancients, and Battle Cry have nothing comparable to the devastation of HR/FF. So not seeing your point...

Your argument about scenarios has nothing to do with what we're talking about either. Nobody is saying BL scenarios are unbalanced. Regardless, games like Battle Cry are supposed to have unbalanced scenarios, with each player taking turns at each side, thus those scenarios are all balanced in that way. But regardless, nobody is suggesting that the scenarios are unbalanced in the first place. Only that a few lore cards are designed so poorly, that they frequently crash the game when they come out.

... Um.. okay so the only intelligent way to play is to keep all your units away from forests and hills? Is it fun to avoid elements that make the game interesting? No. Did the designers mean for the only smart way to play be to keep all your units 2 spaces away from any terrain or face utter destruction? Nope.

What you're suggesting is completely unreasonable. On most maps it's impossible to keep your units 2 spaces away from terrain for one.

Secondly, if we do what you suggest and not take a cleric level, then that means our opponents get to take full advantage of terrain since they don't have to fear devastating HR/FF from a level 0 cleric. They get to use hills and forest as a strategic advantage, and we get to run from it and play a ridiculous game. Unrealistic suggestion.

Thirdly, the game last night where HR took 18 units off the board was on the third turn. Was the player supposed to move his whole army away from the hills (into very poor position to attack or defend by the way) by the third turn?

[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 17:15]

      
cebalrai
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 17:11
yangtze wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 10:53


If my opponent had a level 3 cleric I'd try to avoid the mountains and the trees - and not all boards are covered in them - and try to use the advantages my own war council gave me.


Again, unreasonable, impractical, poor advice, for reasons clearly stated already. It's not like it takes a whole lot of hills to make running from them an impossible strategy either. A few hills scattered around with two hexes in between them create a HUGE area where HR will destroy you. And that's without counting forests which will do the same thing.

It's impossible to play the game while avoiding being adjacent to Hills and forests, even on a map with lighter terrain. And like I've said before, the game needs to not suck on maps with heavy terrain as well. After all, many of the official scenarios have plenty of hills and forests.

[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 17:20]

      
tom-le-termite
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 17:34
yangtze wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 10:53

Inexperienced players won't know the cards, but they should view being turned over by Lore card play as a learning experience.


Yes. And this is what happened:

"what??? you just wiped out my entire army with just one card? this sucks, don't count on me to play again."

Confused


[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 17:35]

      
mvettemagred
Senior Member

Posts: 266
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August 2005
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 18:14
I'm still having trouble with the argument that "if I get hit by HR/FF/RR, I'm going to lose." Sorry, but my games just haven't gone that way. I already gave an example in a previous post where I hit 11-12 units with FF, for a total figure kill of around 16, and I still lost the game 6-3. I cast FF in the middle of the game, when I was leading 3-2. I weakened almost every unit. Through superior Command cards (and, I'll admit, superior tactical play), my opponent executed a sound win. (And no, I'm not a terrible player. I've won at least half of my games.)

This is only one example, but I've played several other games where one of these spells was cast, and it was far from the turning point of the battle.

If you think you lost just because of one of these spells, you're not grasping the the full breadth and depth of the strategy in this game. There are many other strategies besides avoiding terrain or not taking a Cleric:
- Keep you units supported. That way, even weakened units get Battle Backs. This will make your opponent to think twice before swooping in to clean up your weakened units.
- Rotate weakened units to the rear. I've won several games where I've had 4 or more 1-figure units still on the board near my back row.
- Move your units to follow your Command card strengths. I.e., if you're getting a bunch of right flank cards, use your remaining cards to move more units to that flank. Then press the battle where you are strong in Command cards.

Finally, as others have mentioned, having a few "WOW" cards in the game is fun for both players, as long as they realize:
- The worst-case impact of these cards won't happen very often, even on dense terrain maps.
- Unless the card is used to obtain instant victory (due to unit destruction), there are many ways to stay in the game and eventually win.

Try different strategies -- you may find HR/FF/RR aren't the instant win/loss you think they are.
      
sdafilli
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April 2007
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 18:21
Guys, guys, guys (and girls of course Wink )...!!

Richard has essentially made it official that they're not going to change the cards (at least not yet).

For those who dont like the cards, nothing wrong with agreeable house rules. Remember also, that there are very few scenarios that avoiding such terrain becomes a problem (scenario 9 comes to mind), but there are also so many others to chose from.

For those organising tournaments or intend to do so, just spell out which scenarios are valid and then you won't have to change any rules or cards.

Otherwise play a campaign with all scenarios and switch sides too (sure to take a while;) ) and you may find that things even out.

From my responses, i guess u can put me in the unconvinced-for-change group still.... as small as that group may be

[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 18:23]

      
dbc-
Senior Member

Posts: 180
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December 2006
Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 18:44
sdafilli wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 18:21

Otherwise play a campaign with all scenarios and switch sides too (sure to take a while;) ) and you may find that things even out.


Again, it is not a question about winning or losing. It's about playing a game that is fun for everyone involved. In the games I have played with HR/FF showing up, the result has often (not always) been devastating for the other part, ruining the experience for both players.
I'm not saying these two cards are a sure way to win, but with clever timing they come very close.
So playing the same scenario twice will not help. If a game is ruined, it will not become better by trying again...
      
cebalrai
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 18:55
sdafilli wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 12:21


there are very few scenarios that avoiding such terrain becomes a problem (scenario 9 comes to mind), but there are also so many others to chose from.


Okay, so you're admitting that the game is broken if the map is terrain-heavy...

But really, you're completely wrong here. Terrain litters the official scenarios.

Besides, your opponent is going to be in terrain, so you're going to have to be in or adjacent to it if you're actually going to fight him.

YOU HAVE TO BE AROUND TERRAIN if you're going to play this game, on nearly every official map. Ever look at your opponent's side of the map? It probably has terrain on it, and it's your job to go kill his troops. How are you going to get there when terrain is in the way, and then avoid terrain while attacking even though your target is in terrain?

People need to stop saying that scattering your units to the bare spots on the map is some kind of a legitimate strategy. It's preposterous.

[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 18:56]

      
ColtsFan76
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 18:56
Borgopolis wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 10:00

yangtze wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 10:53

By the way, I'd say if you're playing a noobie, try to resist the temptation to hit them with a killer card. In fact, I'd probably take a weakened war council to make it more of a challenge till they find their feet a bit.

Now what kind of advice is that ?
If you teach a new player, deliberately play "bad" and don't show them what the game does.
Jeez, I can't believe this.
If ever someone gave some bad advice, this is it.

yangtze wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 10:53

If my opponent had a level 3 cleric I'd try to avoid the mountains and the trees - and not all boards are covered in them - and try to use the advantages my own war council gave me.

What did I just say about "constant denial"
Keep dreaming , yangtze.



Right, because destroying your opponent within the first few games is a great strategy. Show them they have no chance to win so they never want to play it again. Obviously, you don't try to get your girlfriend/significant other to play these games or you would have learned through the silent treatment this doesn't work either.

Anyway, there are obviously two camps here. It is a shame that those that have been on here for a long time have to be ridiculed for their advice by a bunch of johnny-come-lately's. Eric has answered, Richard has answered. It's not what you want to hear so do your own thing.
      
sdafilli
Senior Member

Posts: 206
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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 19:00
dbc, thank god that battlelore is a game with many scenarios. Just play the ones ur more happy with (if house rules dont cut it). Nothing wrong with going back to medievil scenarios and playing them with lore/war councils either... No one is yet bound to playing those scenarios that people are concerned will give too much power to these cleric cards...

Just a thought;)
      
tom-le-termite
Senior Member

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Re:Hills Rumble / Forest Frenzy Broken or not ? Thu, 17 May 2007 19:08
ColtsFan76 wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 12:56

It is a shame that those that have been on here for a long time have to be ridiculed for their advice by a bunch of johnny-come-lately's.


Ok that's it. now i am grumpy.

I am a dow fan from the very first day, for more than 4 years now, and beeing insulted like this is a bit too much. If it is your last argument it is a poor one.

I never had to complain with dow so far and for once I share my though with what it seems a lot of people, I am considered as "Mr.not.fun".

Being around since 2003 is not argument from me. Neither your "johnny-come-lately's." is one.


[Updated on: Thu, 17 May 2007 19:09]

      
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