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Phloid
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April 2006
Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 02:02
I have been promising to write a comprehensive article detailing all the reasons that a good portion of the BattleLore playing community think that DoW should issue an "official" fix to the Cleric Lore cards Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy and River Rage. Listed below are the problems that these cards cause in an otherwise very well rounded game.

1. The cards' two separate scaling mechanisms can cause them to be too powerful. Out of all the Lore cards, only these three have two mechanisms that change their power level so significantly. They scale with both the level of the player's Cleric Lore Master and with the particular battlefield's terrain density. This causes a problem in that when both scales are on the high end, these cards just become ridiculously powerful. Why do these cards have two scaling mechanisms when almost no other cards do? Did they need to be this overly powerful in these situations? DoW may have been acknowledging this issue with their suggested "house rule" by limiting the dice rolled to two for each unit regardless of Cleric level. With the official Lore decks as written the Cleric has 6 cards that scale with level, while the Wizard has 4 and the Rogue and Warrior have two each. The house rule suggested by DoW lowers this to 3/4/2/2 which brings it closer to balance between the Lore Masters, but most players feel that there should be more Lore cards for all characters that scale with level and not fewer. The proposed fix, although somewhat better, is still unofficial and still has very strong damage potential on maps with a high terrain density. It has been noted several times in various on line forums that these spells can still be quite powerful even without a Cleric (2 dice rolled per unit).

2. The low-probability, high impact card effects increase the luck factor drastically. This particular problem is the fundamental idea behind the card and why they are as powerful as they are. The game designers made these cards to be very situational, but when a good situation arises, these spells can often cause the game to swing dramatically. DoW has stated that this is the intent and indeed most of us agree that it can be a decent mechanic. But with these cards, especially Forest Frenzy and Hills Rumble, the situation comes up a too often and the damage they can deal to a player's army can be game breaking. This causes several issues with the game but the one that is the most important to keep in mind is the luck factor. More than any other Lore cards these three are either not very good or too good. They can demolish an opponent that is using the terrain to his advantage or on a terrain heavy battlefield. On the other side, if a player draws a Hills Rumble on a battlefield with no elevated terrain or a River Rage on a field with no water, then it is a wasted draw. The cards are highly situational and therefore increase luck in the game. It is feast or minor hunger pangs with these cards.

3. The cards are out of balance with themselves. We've established that these cards increase the luck factor because they are situational. They are either good or bad, but when they are good they can be really good, and when they are bad, they are merely inconvenient. Drawing one of these cards when they are useless is not nearly as game breaking as a getting a Forest Frenzy off and rolling 20 to 40 attack dice against your opponent's army. A wasted Lore card draw is unlikely to cost anyone a game of BattleLore. But losing 8 or more figures to one lucky card pull often is. Therefore these cards are not well balanced even within themselves.

4. The cards are out of balance with the other Lore cards. These cards cost 7 Lore to play "in character." The other Lore cards that deal damage directly to units cost 8-10 Lore to play and have generally less upward damage potential. Granted that Fireball, and Creeping Doom are not situation dependant, but they can roll a maximum number of dice far below that of Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy and River Rage. Only Chain Lightning has similar damage potential, but it is dependant on two circumstances that are less likely than having units near terrain. It needs all targeted units to be in a line or cluster and to continue to roll a hit with every sequential target. It seldom finds more than 5 or 6 units in such an unbroken line and will often fail to roll a hit, ending the spell. This damage potential is little compared to the 10 or more units that the terrain Lore cards can hit in a given situation. It will be noted that these other direct damage Lore cards are more precise than the terrain Lore cards that deal their damage over a wide area and some may say that this helps balance these cards with each other. It must be taken into consideration that players will often cluster their troops around terrain in order to utilize its defensive properties and this common strategy.

5. The cards break thematically from the role of the Cleric character. The Cleric is a fantasy priest that gets it's origins from role playing games; most notably the Dungeons & Dragons game. Their magic comes from a divine source and is centered on healing, protection and destruction of opposed theologies (good vs. evil). Although there are spells that can cause damage to others, most of them are weak when compared to the spells of the wizard and sorcerer classes. The class in D&D that has spells revolving around the land and the natural world is the druid. The druid is also a divine spellcaster so thematically the Cleric in BattleLore is the closest fit for the spells Forest Frenzy, River Rage and Hills Rumble. In this the Cleric fits, but how it doesn't fit is that these spells, and in this case Chain Lighting joins them, are more powerful or on par with the spells of the Wizard Lore Master. The healer and holy man should not outshine the Wizard in his damage dealing potential. Not only do these individual cards show themselves to be more powerful than the Wizard's two direct damage Lore cards, but the Cleric also has two more direct damage spells than the wizard does (Cleric's 4 to a Wizard's 2). Also, to better illustrate that the Cleric is misthemed in BattlLore, I should point out that in D&D the Chain Lighting Spell is a high level wizard spell that the cleric does not have access to.

6. The cards cause terrain that should be used advantageously to become a major liability. Nearly all war games have some system to designate how the terrain affects a battle. It is an important part of strategy in both real life combat and games made to simulate combat. BattleLore is no exception. The game is designed so that units can take cover in a wooded terrain hex or on top of a hill to gain a defensive advantage. These locations are often used as a strategic defensive position and are very important to the intricacies of the game. The power of the terrain attack Lore cards ruins this important strategic element. Many players and DoW themselves have suggested avoiding placing units in or next to terrain as a counter strategy to these contested Cleric Lore cards. The presence or mere possibility of these cards being in the Lore deck causes many players to toss aside traditional war game tactics just out of fear of these overpowering cards. Avoiding terrain, may at times limit the destructive capabilities of these cards, but a player also takes a strategic disadvantage by not being able to implement terrain tactics to his benefit. No other Lore cards in BattleLore cause such a disruption to the standard play of the game. Not only does avoiding terrain break traditional tactics, but often you can not avoid terrain when you would want to. Certain scenarios are packed so tightly with terrain that a player would not be able to circumvent every forest and hill hex on the map and still expect to fight a battle. There is also nothing stopping a Cleric playing opponent to hold his own troops in or behind a series of terrain hexes and force the fight on his turf just to use these cards to full effect.

7. The game can become a cat and mouse between the Cleric and anti-Cleric war council strategies. These cards are often so powerful as to make many players favor the use of a 3rd level Cleric on their war councils in every game with a decent amount of terrain. A tactic often suggested to combat the Cleric and these powerful cards is to choose a war council that has a good chance to counter these cards and does not have a Cleric. By not taking a Cleric you decrease the chances of these cards finding their way into the Lore deck by diluting it with other cards. This tactic has been suggested by the designers and play-testers as well as many players on the forums. Most players suggest taking levels of Wizard and Rogue for the chance of getting Dispel Lore and Foiled as well as Spy. Some suggest taking all three of the non-Cleric members to further dilute the Lore deck. These are solid strategies to be sure, but the problem is that it causes a dichotomy where one player always takes the Cleric and the other plays anti-Cleric. Since players choose their war councils in secret the players might both end up with anti-Cleric councils or both have 3rd level Clerics. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as some players claim that taking a 3rd level Cleric and hoping that you get the killer card first is the best way to combat a Cleric council and the anti-Cleric councils are not necessarily weak against other non-Cleric councils. Most of the time strategies and counter strategies are healthy for a game, but in this instance that is not the case. The problem here lies in the fact that anti-Cleric councils exist and are frequently discussed when no one ever suggests an anti-Warrior council or and anti-Wizard council. Why? Because these other Lore masters do not have ridiculously powerful cards that need to be strongly combated with counter tactics as the Cleric does. This is a clear sign that these cards are a problem and often unbalance not only an individual game of BattleLore, but the entire metagame surrounding it.

8. All suggested countermeasures are either inane, reliant on luck, or force avoidance of otherwise desirable tactics. There is plenty of talk about how to avoid or lessen the effect of these cards on one's army both during set up and play. All of these countermeasures contain some sort of flaw or are far from guaranteed to work. The suggested tactic of avoiding units in or next to a terrain hex breaks the basic strategy of the game and puts the player at a defensive disadvantage when unable to use terrain strategically. Many times avoidance is impossible or severely limits movement on the board. Creating an anti-Cleric war council in order to thin out the Lore deck and hope to draw counters not only creates a poor metagame, but it is also unreliable. Sure, you have decreased the odds of the cards coming up, but dumb luck may allow your opponent to draw the card he needs and essentially end the game with a single Hills Rumble or Forest Frenzy regardless to your countermeasures. If you don't have one of those key counter cards your council may provide, your opponent's good luck could still wreck your army. There is no way to avoid these cards completely and they can be so powerful that when chance still doesn't go your way, you may as well give up when the land turns against you. Another tactic that has been suggested several times is to use your Replenish Lore action to take two cards and discard one. This tactic is meant to dig quickly through the Lore deck trying to get these terrain attack cards into your hand before your opponent acquires them. You could potentially do this, but there is nothing stopping your power hungry opponent from doing the same thing, which puts you back into the battle of luck you were in to begin with. You might get lucky and you might not. None of these tactics work reliably and lose you something in return. Although these kinds of tactics are not necessarily ineffective against a non-Cleric war council, there is little desire or suggestion for players to do so. It is only these three Cleric cards that demand this sort of attention to countermeasures and that is a clear issue.

9. The cards often suck the fun out of a game of BattleLore for both players. This is probably the worst part about these cards and their effect on the game. Most games of BattleLore are exciting and engaging throughout. Even if the dice are just not going your way there always seems to be something holding your attention to the game. This all changes when a devastating Forest Frenzy or Hills Rumble is played. A close game can go to a landslide victory in a single lucky draw. A player feels so helpless and pathetic to lose 14 figures to a single card when there was little he could do to stop it. Even if all suggested counter measures were taken, this could happen to anyone with the luck of the draw. It is not fun to lose a game to a single card like this. It is an unsatisfying game experience and it will leave most players with a hollow feeling in their stomach. Many players have felt this from the other side as well. Unassumingly a player plays a Hills Rumble for the first time knowing it is going to be a powerful play and it ends up being stronger than they expect. Both players are dumbfounded as the game suddenly swings so wide that it is nearly over. Maybe the players are more experienced and one of them draws a Forest Frenzy and looks to see that 11 of his opponent's units will be affected. Many players have reported feelings of guilt as they play the card, knowing that it will decide the game. It feels cheap and unfair, leaving cold feelings not toward either player, but toward the game of BattleLore for allowing such a thing to happen. "That sucks, man. Want to try it again?" "Not really."

10. The cards have the potential to scare new players away from the game through a bad experience with them. Several players have told stories where they were teaching the game to new players and the game was killed by an untimely Forest Frenzy or Hills Rumble. In these instances, when the new player saw himself lose to an overpowered and destructive card and by no fault of his own, it created a sour opinion of the game. Not only do these gamers not become avid fans of BattleLore and buy their own copy, but their friends often have a hard time convincing them to play again. Some players are pensive about teaching the game to new players while using the Cleric Lore Master, because they don't want them to be turned away from the game. If this sort of game ending potential existed in many of the most popular multiplayer boardgames of today, many of them would not be played. Even with a low likelihood of occurrence (even much lower than the potential of HR and FF) they would be considered too luck based and random. Most players would choose not to play it after witnessing a near complete luck based win.

11. These cards are the only elements of BattleLore that are seeing a fervor of debate regarding a problem in the design. There is obviously some sort of problem with these cards. This is evident for many reasons, but the one that stands out the strongest is the debate about them and the number of players who have complained or shared a story about how these cards have ruined their enjoyment of an otherwise great game. Although it is true that many players do not consider these cards much of a problem, some of these players tell how they combat these cards by taking an anti-Cleric council, avoiding getting near the terrain and by digging through the Lore deck to grab these cards before your opponent gets them. There are several threads on the Days of Wonder forums, the Boardgamegeek.com forums and Battleloremaster.com forums about this issue and it is been hotly debated for months. Players have been calling for change and official rulings while others have stated that the cards are not a problem. Days of Wonder representatives, including Richard Borg, have made appearances to give advice and statements as to their take on the subject and finally loosely suggesting a house rule for those of us who think that these cards are too powerful. All this talk and discussion; all these arguments and house rules, have been caused by these three thematic and mechanically similar cards. No other part of BattleLore has been subjected to this type of scrutiny and debate. Problems with the rest of the game are minor or non-existent. It is these three cards that are a broken part of an otherwise near perfect game. They are broken and un-fun and the public has acknowledged the problem repeatedly. Even those forum posters who disagree have only justified a fix by increasing the visibility of the issue through continued debate.

12. Proposed house rule and countermeasures don't actually fix the problem. Taking an anti-Cleric war council only succeeds in making a "too powerful" but situational card, more dependent on luck. The cards are stronger than they should be and no matter what steps you take to avoid them, when they do appear, even if they appear less often, they can seriously ruin a game. Avoiding terrain does not fix the problem either. The problem is inherent in the necessity to take these steps to avoid or lessen the effects of the cards. Short of changing how the card works in the game, nothing in the game can fix the problem. In order to curb some of the heat they were taking on these cards DoW wisely decided to issue a "suggested house rule" although denying the need for one. They propose that people who are unhappy with the way the cards work should limit the cards to two dice against each target regardless of Cleric level. They may have chosen this house rule for several reasons. They may have chosen it to reduce the level dependent Lore cards to a more balanced level between the Lore Masters. They may have chosen it based on the argument that the spells have too much damage potential in the hands of a 3rd level Cleric. Or they may have chosen this house rule, because they could claim it as original because no one on the forums had posted that particular idea as a house rule proposal up to that time. Who knows? But does it fulfill the need we as a community were asking for? Many would say that the spells are still powerful in this "fixed" incarnation. It still targets the same number of units and only reduces the total amount of dice rolled against them. It has been noted (and eluded to by R.Borg) that even without a Cleric on your council; these cards can be quite strong. This fix only reduces these spells to this level of power. That might be good enough for some players, but what may not be good enough is its unofficial status. Most players highly dislike house rules. They want to play only by the official rules and some gamers are resistant to official errata from sources they have not read themselves. If someone where to run a BattleLore tournament and wish to institute this house rule, he would probably come up against resistance from the players because it is "not official" or "the that's not what the card says." When teaching the game to new players, no one wants to say, "I'm playing these three cards with this house rule because they were too powerful." It doesn't shine a very good light on the game. For these reasons many players want a more official fix to the problems with these cards. Whether DoW issues official errata or, more desirably, reprints the cards and makes them available in a future expansion or through the mail, either would do a lot to cool the fervor created by dissatisfaction with these cards.




And that is all I have to say.


      
sdafilli
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April 2007
Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 03:27
Excellent write up Phloid, (despite admitting that I'm part of the crowd that doesn't feel that these cards are necessarily 'broken' and as such, don't really mind playing the cards as they are). Smile

I'll just focuse on points 5 and 6, and not as a counter argument but as possible suggestions for DoW

5. I agree and not only do I feel that the cleric seems out of theme in its spell casting, but thats how I feel towards other lore masters - rogue casting fireball?!?

How about Each lore master cant cast an other master's spell that costs equalto greater than say 7lore? and all other out-of character spells still cost +3lore? This way, esp with cleric, sure he has his powerful cards that he plays but others cant play them but neither can he play other spells either. If you want to play any of these others, well, you gotta chose that lore master in your council. You want to play assault?- make sure you have warrior? fireball?- wizard.

This might even get around your 7th point so that it doesn't become a cat and mouse against cleric/anti- cleric council, but a cat-and mouse game about who's going to be able to play what big spells, depending on war council setup. I must say I haven't put this to the test but i'd be interested to see what others think too.

Also while on topic of themes and somehow related to your 6th point, one thing that I must say that stands out a little with these cards is that they have just as equal effects on adj hexes to the targeted terrains. Option8 house-rule in the thread established for these house rules, I feel is a good one for just this reason.
Also, given that we already have a reply from DoW regarding these cards, I don't think that we should expect any major changes to these cards being made in the future by DoW either, without disrupting the game too much. Should DoW 'bow down to pressure', it would only be a simple errata, or a rule change that could easily be added to the game (as a general rule and not a specific rule change). As such those who would like to see change should focus on suggesting to DoW THESE sort of changes/suggestions.
      
Talespinner
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 03:59
In regards to the Cleric's theme - I think if they called the Cleric a "Druid" the cards are more appropriate to the D&D correlation that you are supporting.

I do like the idea of limiting the ability to play "Out of Character" cards to those costing 6 or less. That seems like an intriguing rule, although I have not tried it.
      
blindspot
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 06:40
Phloid wrote on Thu, 24 May 2007 17:02

And that is all I have to say.



Phloid, maybe I missed it, but in 3 sentences or less would you state exactly what DoW should do to resolve this to your liking?

[Updated on: Fri, 25 May 2007 07:16]

      
kilrah
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 10:36
sdafilli schrieb am Fri, 25 May 2007 03:27


Also while on topic of themes and somehow related to your 6th point, one thing that I must say that stands out a little with these cards is that they have just as equal effects on adj hexes to the targeted terrains. Option8 house-rule in the thread established for these house rules, I feel is a good one for just this reason.



I kinda like that solution as well for HR and FF. However, in case of the river card it is too much of a downgrade as usually a figure cannot be place on a river hex. So it could only target bridges and such.
      
Phloid
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 12:54
Quote:

Excellent write up Phloid,

Thanks, sdafilli. Although I know you haven't been swayed from your overall view on these cards, it seems like my article may have pointed out a couple of issues that may have gotten you thinking a little. That's good enough for me. Very Happy

blindspot wrote on Thu, 24 May 2007 23:40

maybe I missed it, but in 3 sentences or less would you state exactly what DoW should do to resolve this to your liking?



I was giving a overview of arguments I have seen from the side that wants an official ruling or errata or reprints of the cards. Not necessarily what would be to my liking. I think the last sentence (other than "that's all I have to say") gives some suggestions as to what DoW should consider doing.

Personally, I would like to see official errata and eventual reprints of the cards in a future expansion. I would be content with just the "official" errata.

Quote:

I do like the idea of limiting the ability to play "Out of Character" cards to those costing 6 or less. That seems like an intriguing rule, although I have not tried it.


I agree. That is an interesting idea, sdafilli. I might try that out sometime. I don't see it, however, as an issue nearly as disruptive or game breaking as the HR/FF debate. I'm not going to champion it and write a 6 page report or anything. Smile

Quote:

I kinda like that solution as well for HR and FF. However, in case of the river card it is too much of a downgrade as usually a figure cannot be place on a river hex. So it could only target bridges and such.


I agree that RR doesn't necessarily have the same potential as the other two, but I think that since they are the same now, that shouldn't change. At least not much.

Thanks,

Nick


      
sdafilli
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 13:36
[quote title=Phloid wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 20:24]
Quote:

it seems like my article may have pointed out a couple of issues that may have gotten you thinking a little. That's good enough for me. Very Happy



Smile. Just trying to follow your point of view with an open mind. As you hinted on Phloid, ur right, some of the issues you raise may not have been as important to me, and as a result have not been enough reason to be concerned about and to sway from my position on this topic, but I may have become 'a bit more understanding' of those who are more worried... Wink
      
ColtsFan76
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 14:16
Phloid wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 05:54

Personally, I would like to see official errata and eventual reprints of the cards in a future expansion. I would be content with just the "official" errata.

I guess this statement is what makes me keep digging in all the further on my stance.

I completely respect that some feels these cards are broken in certain situations. I completely respect the experieince and reasoning that you all have had to draw your conclusions. And as I have said all along, we all have the right to express and promote our opinions.

Everyone has aired their grievances. Everyone has asked for official statements. Some want an official variant. Well, you got the "official variant" with lots of heavy qualifications. And as I expected, that didn't calm anyone except the person that happened to play that specific house rule already.

But regardless, we got DOW's response - there is nothing wrong with the cards; they were printed exactly how they wanted them to be. This has moved beyond my opinion or yours or anyone else's for that matter; it is now official. So not being in error, there won't be any errate. Not being errata, there will never be new cards printed.

So continually opening up new threads and repeating the same things (or expounding upon them futher) is not going to change DOW's mind. Maybe it makes you feel better and then I guess its ok. But this topic is the proverbially beating of the dead horse. The horse had been buried, dug up, beaten, buried, and dug up again. Continue to post your houserules but the crusade to change these cards is over and has been for a long time.

And I say this not as a "winner" of the debate but as someone who has been here long enough and has been on the "losing" side of the battle against DOW plenty of times. When the debate has reached it's peak and DOW rules, I have accepted the decision. I may have to agree to disagree for my own sanity, but I play by the official rules for the sake of the community. And so even if I were in the other camp and felt change was needed on these cards, the above post would have been exactly the same: it's done, let's move on.

[Updated on: Fri, 25 May 2007 14:21]

      
Scragnoth
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 14:45
Days of Wonder is a commercial organisation and, with all the great feelings they might have towards the players world, they want to make money in the end. Sounds reasonable and I have nothing against that.

In order to do so they make great products, have a proper communication channel (these forums for example) and perfect customer services.

But they do make mistakes and its "our" role to point them towards those mistakes for two reasons:
1) We want the game to be as good as possible because we like to play it now and in the future and
2) DOW wants the game to be as good as possible because they want to sell it.

There is a direct relationship between point 2 and 1, so both parties benfit from it.

Making a mistake is human. Maybe not seeing your mistake is too. But not reparing it is in another category.

So just stating that these cards are not wrong, because they said so wont do it for me.
There are presidents of large counties saying things that a lot of people do not agree with. Again not coming back on mistakes is the biggest mistake.

I do like the summary of Phloid and only wish that Eric and/or Richard comment to each of his points in depth.
The glove has been thrown ....
      
Phloid
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 14:54
Coltsfan,

I respect that the issue keeps droning on and is getting tedious for us all, but I was not going to be satisfied until I collected and codified all the reasons that I and others have to complain about these three cards. I wanted to write this article to get all of our arguments in one self-contained post instead of spread all over the message boards in bits and pieces and by many different authors. I've done that now.

If you want this issue to stop, try withholding your rebuttals. As I pointed out in my article, your response to our complaints only furthers the debate and makes it a more glaring issue. If you post, I post. I post, you post. And it keeps going on and on. If I had nothing to respond to, I would just get bored and leave it alone.

Frankly, it is not over until the BL playing community decides it is a dead issue. That means both sides need to walk away. If you are the "winnner," then your crusade is done and you need to walk away first.

Thanks,
Nick
      
JMcL63
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 15:27
Phloid wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 13:54

Coltsfan,

I respect that the issue keeps droning on and is getting tedious for us all, but I was not going to be satisfied until I collected and codified all the reasons that I and others have to complain about these three cards. I wanted to write this article to get all of our arguments in one self-contained post instead of spread all over the message boards in bits and pieces and by many different authors. I've done that now.

You are being disingenuous here Phloid. Clearly the issue isn't "getting tedious" for you, otherwise you wouldn't've to such great lengths to start this thread on top of the others. And "droning on" is such a commonplace tactic in these kinds of online campaigns that I'd be very surprised if you were unfamiliar with it.
Quote:

If you want this issue to stop, try withholding your rebuttals. As I pointed out in my article, your response to our complaints only furthers the debate and makes it a more glaring issue. If you post, I post. I post, you post. And it keeps going on and on. If I had nothing to respond to, I would just get bored and leave it alone.

What we want Phloid is to make sure that DoW doesn't make the mistake of bending over backwards to accomodate the personal playing preferences of a small and vocal group of players among their online community, who themselves represent a minute speck of their customer base. I for one think that DoW made a mistake in sanctioning an offical variant- an offical houserule is a contradiction in terms after all. Moreoever, what you want is the silence of those who don't share your opinion so that you can continue your campaign to get DoW to change BL to suit your exact personal specifications. And no, you won't leave it alone: you got your offical variant, and you didn't stop, you just keep on with your demands that DoW remake BL in your image, instead of according to the vision of Richard Borg and those at DoW.

Quote:

Frankly, it is not over until the BL playing community decides it is a dead issue. That means both sides need to walk away. If you are the "winnner," then your crusade is done and you need to walk away first.

Thanks,
Nick

No, it will be over when DoW realise that their confidence in the core of the game as presented so far is not misplaced, and that they have no need whatsoever to respond to the incessant demands of those who are so unwilling to play BL without the killer cleric combo that they demand DoW throw these cards out of the game because they're bored of using these combos, but are unwilling to try something different for fear that they'll lose a game.

I could go into more detail, but I will conclude by requesting that DoW should ignore this example of an all-too-familiar kind of internet bullying campaign; and ask them to withdraw their official variant- which as we can see has only encouraged these people to continue their campaign to have the game adapted to suit their tastes; and leave houserules as the private affair they should be. That's it. Wink
      
Phloid
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 15:55
JmcL63,

See? This is what I mean. Now I have to respond.

And this IS getting tedious. I really don't like having to take the time to respond to your posts, but I feel compelled to defend myself. I wrote this article for the reasons I stated in my last post. It is mine and other's collected thoughts on this issue. I felt they needed collecting in one place. If anything I would like to see some counter arguments listing specific issues by the numbers I used instead of simply stating "the issue is dead, not going to change, drop it!"

I think it was a good play for DoW to suggest a house rule. It cooled many players' strong stance and many of the supporters wishing to change these cards dropped the issue. Some of us don't feel they went far enough and the house rule was just suggested to placate us.

Frankly, DoW doesn't have to do anything more if they don't want to. I would like it if they did, but I can't make them. I can only give the reasons that I feel warrant a fix and what I would like to see done in hopes that they listen.

And I am offended by you suggesting this is some kind of "internet bullying." I have been very civil and collected in making my points and requests. I have not been threatening or overly contemptuous in anyway.

Nick
      
constant-whiner
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 16:07
I think Phloid's original post very eloquently presented the case of many of us who feel that these cards are unbalanced and have the potential to ruin an otherwise wonderful game. It is unfair to speak of internet bullying. Don't forget that we are having this discussion in the privacy of our own home and not in BGC. It is not in the best interest of any of us to scare potential new players away from the game. We are all on the same camp here. This being said, I fully share the position that DoW has not yet responded to the very specific issues raised and codified in Phloid's article.
      
Vasilis
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 16:17
JMcL63 wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 16:27

What we want Phloid is to make sure that DoW doesn't make the mistake of bending over backwards to accomodate the personal playing preferences of a small and vocal group of players among their online community, who themselves represent a minute speck of their customer base. I for one think that DoW made a mistake in sanctioning an offical variant- an offical houserule is a contradiction in terms after all. Moreoever, what you want is the silence of those who don't share your opinion so that you can continue your campaign to get DoW to change BL to suit your exact personal specifications. And no, you won't leave it alone: you got your offical variant, and you didn't stop, you just keep on with your demands that DoW remake BL in your image, instead of according to the vision of Richard Borg and those at DoW.


Well said, JMcL63. Exactly my point of view.
      
Zeal
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 16:19
constant-whiner wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 08:07

I think Phloid's original post very eloquently presented the case of many of us who feel that these cards are unbalanced and have the potential to ruin an otherwise wonderful game. It is unfair to speak of internet bullying. Don't forget that we are having this discussion in the privacy of our own home and not in BGC. It is not in the best interest of any of us to scare potential new players away from the game. We are all on the same camp here. This being said, I fully share the position that DoW has not yet responded to the very specific issues raised and codified in Phloid's article.


What JMcL63 was trying to point out (I think) was that there is just as many who feel differently. And frankly, I really don't feel that potential new players will flee from a heated rules discussion. That goes with the territory.

      
blindspot
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 16:38
Phloid wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 03:54

blindspot wrote on Thu, 24 May 2007 23:40

maybe I missed it, but in 3 sentences or less would you state exactly what DoW should do to resolve this to your liking?



I was giving a overview of arguments I have seen from the side that wants an official ruling or errata or reprints of the cards. Not necessarily what would be to my liking. I think the last sentence (other than "that's all I have to say") gives some suggestions as to what DoW should consider doing.

Personally, I would like to see official errata and eventual reprints of the cards in a future expansion. I would be content with just the "official" errata.

I'm beginning to understand the absolute obsession that people like you have with "officialness" in matters like these. And I think it revolves around your expectation that this game could/should be "tournament-ized." Though I've seen DoW mention "tournaments" in regards to this game, I believe they have to date thrown the term around very loosely. I also really believe that this game was designed to be played more in the open spirit of Dungeons & Dragons and less in the vein of a tournament-ready game like Magic the Gathering.

I had an exchange with a DoW rep over email in late April when I inquired about how best to run a tournament at my FLGS. I won't say exactly who I talked to but here is an exact transcript of the 2nd part of the exchange:

Quote:

Me: So is the idea for now that stores get people learning and playing BL through Epic, with less of a focus on 1 to 1 tournament style play?

DoW: Yes, we think it's a little too early to focus on competition and would rather get more people involved in learning the game. There are a lot of folks who shop at stores, who may be interested but a tournament is too daunting.


Phloid, you may be ready, but for DoW it may still be too early. Which is to say that what you are seeking may be a long way off in coming, if it even comes at all, which it may perhaps not.

But if you do want official errata to come, don't you think your bottomless supply of energy on this topic might next be spent, not on convincing DoW and everybody else that there is a problem, but rather on promoting what you deem to be a fair solution? I think doing so would be constructive, whereas all that you have engaged above (though no doubt necessary to your ultimate agenda) is basically de(con)struction. Take the next step Phloid. Weave this complaint into its larger purpose. Envision your ultimate ideal outcome, which I believe is that you want to see this game in black and white tournament-ready terms, and work to bring it about. If your vision is a good one, it will convince people.

[Updated on: Fri, 25 May 2007 17:59]

      
GAWD
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 17:25
This entire screed borders on absurd.

The only thing you've done w/this laborious litany is reduce the bloody corpse of the horse into its consituent DNA proteins.

All of these points have been beaten to death. DoW has ruled, and your exposition offers nothing new that will make them reconsider. Congrats you just wasted hours of your precious life on a mundane, pedantic, and ultimately fruitless piece of writing.

In fact, I wish I could retrieve the last 3 minutes I spent typing this response.
      
Zeal
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 17:28
GAWD wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 09:25

This entire screed borders on absurd.

The only thing you've done w/this laborious litany is reduce the bloody corpse of the horse into its consituent DNA proteins.

All of these points have been beaten to death. DoW has ruled, and your exposition offers nothing new that will make them reconsider. Congrats you just wasted hours of your precious life on a mundane, pedantic, and ultimately fruitless piece of writing.

In fact, I wish I could retrieve the last 3 minutes I spent typing this response.


See, this is where you cross the line into a personal attack.
      
GAWD
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 17:42
None of that was a personal attack. I didn't impugn Phloid at all, just his post. Sorry, I'm just not going celebrate a rhetorically poor post, nor am I going to avoid mentioning how poor it is.

Everything Phloid presented, he presented more effectively elsewhere (i.e.: w/in our other discussions)

Thus, everything in my response simply stated the obvious.

The post was overlong and redundant. The substantive ideas he presented have been presented elsewhere, and he presented them in the most longwinded format possible (an expository essay). The post will result in no further action by DoW. And, the only thing his post has accomplished is waste his own time.

Nothing personal ... Twisted Evil
      
ColtsFan76
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 17:57
Phloid wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 07:54

If you want this issue to stop, try withholding your rebuttals. As I pointed out in my article, your response to our complaints only furthers the debate and makes it a more glaring issue. If you post, I post. I post, you post. And it keeps going on and on. If I had nothing to respond to, I would just get bored and leave it alone.


This reminds of the adage that in an argument, you wife will always get the last word in. Any words you contribute after that are in fact the start of a new argument. Rolling Eyes

I actually refrained from commenting anymore on the cards themselves. I am quite certain we will never see eye to eye on those issues and do not feel I need to convince you (though that wass never my intent - it was to be the one of the first voices to rebut the argument and give a different persepctive). And right wrong or indifferent, I have no problem with you venting and collecting all of the arguments into a single post.

My statement here is that this will never end because what you desire - where you stated simply that this goes away when DOW publishes new cards - will never happen. So the start of new arguments, no matter how eloquent, thought out, or long winded is going to change anything anymore. The verdict is in, the judge has confirmed the sentance. There is no chance for appeals or mistrials. Your day in court is done. Time to pick up a new argument - about how the Prayer card now gets you to use HR/FF that much sooner and catch your opponent off guard that much faster. Twisted Evil

Quote:

Frankly, it is not over until the BL playing community decides it is a dead issue. That means both sides need to walk away. If you are the "winnner," then your crusade is done and you need to walk away first.

Thanks,
Nick

Frankly, I think the "community" has stated it is done. There are only a few left giving the horse mouth to mouth. Time for DOW to institute polls and let us vote I guess to be certain.

As far as "victory:" that was never the point. The point should be to play the game as designed and intended. It has been proven that both were accomplished through this debate. So this was not my crusade nor will I walk away. Feel free to comment or better yet, feel free to goad me into saying something more! Very Happy
      
cebalrai
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 18:28
Amazing post, Phloid. Thanks for codifying the range of concerns.

JWC, Phloid and others may be a vocal minority, but there is a significant non-vocal/non-forum group that shares these serious concerns.
      
Phloid
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 18:30
I don't feel that I wasted my time typing this article. I know that it was long. I warned before I wrote it that it was going to be so. I was not going to be satisfied until I pulled all of our arguments together in one place. That I've done. Some people think it was a worthwhile article in that it clearly defines all the issues we see in these cards and in one post. Others think that it is done to death. I get that. I don't need to hear it again from everyone who disagrees with my reasons for writing this article.

If you didn't like it, GAWD, that's fine with me. I certainly didn't expect you to like it. I did find your responses mildly insulting and, you have continued to be one of the rudest posters to comment on this issue.

I don't want to get into any kind of flame war. In fact I don't want to have to defend myself from attacks and repeated requests to drop the issue. I have said my peace in this article. If anyone has something constructive to say for your side, like sdafilli and blindsopt, or calmly refute my points, then feel free. Otherwise, I am too busy to respond to useless and rude posts.

[Updated on: Fri, 25 May 2007 18:34]

      
Scragnoth
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 18:42
The whole point IS out of proportion but not because some players think the cards are wrong or others stating that everything should stay the way it is.

Would should have been done is that DOW should have used there media better.

One blog post with the ideas of why these cards were designed the way they are would have been sufficient. It could have been a general article about all the lore cards.

A true "The making of BattleLore" would be interesting, right?

Be proactive and use the tools you have... its so easy.
      
Phloid
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 19:03
Scragnoth wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 11:42

The whole point IS out of proportion but not because some players think the cards are wrong or others stating that everything should stay the way it is.

Would should have been done is that DOW should have used there media better.

One blog post with the ideas of why these cards were designed the way they are would have been sufficient. It could have been a general article about all the lore cards.

A true "The making of BattleLore" would be interesting, right?

Be proactive and use the tools you have... its so easy.

Now that is being constructive. I would also like to see a "The making of BattleLore" or an extensive article as to why these cards are balanced and good for the game. DoW as stated that these cards play as they were intended. So how are they intended? Were they meant to disrupt the game as they sometimes do? Were they meant to create the Cleric/anti-Cleric metagame? Did the designers want to severly punish the tactical use of terrain? I'd like to know.
      
gheintze
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 19:18
We have to keep in mind that this game (not to mention the system) as been in development for years by Mr. Borg. I'm convinced that it has been through several revisions and is exactly the way that DOW and Mr. Borg want it to be.

The way these cards work is NOT a mistake. It does not and should not be corrected by DOW. These cards make you consider the value of taking advantageous terrain with your units. That is the point of playing battle games -- you have to assess the likelihood of your opponent having one of these cards and decide if the advantage you gain is worth the risk.

These cards are in the game -- the player needs to decide how to circumvent their effects through shrewd decision making.

As an aside, I find the tone taken towards ColtsFan to be in poor taste. ColtsFan has been playing this system for years and has made numerous contributions not only to this community but in particular to the Memoir 44 community. He probably knows these games better than just about anybody besides Mr. Borg and DOW, and is always the first one to answer questions and help new players. A little bit more respect seems to be in order...

Just my 2 cents after trying to stay out of this ridiculous debate for as long as possible,

Geoff
      
Zeal
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 19:30
I think there are several here who are phrase their posts in such a way they think DOW is actively monitoring. I think it is a better possiblity that most of the staff is on holiday, as Eric mentioned in another thread.
      
blindspot
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 20:04
Phloid wrote on Fri, 25 May 2007 10:03

DoW as stated that these cards play as they were intended. So how are they intended?


Recall what
eric, CEO of DoW wrote on Thu, 17 May 2007 15:15

We do NOT have a definitive House rule that will make everyone that has an issue happy (partly because we don't think these cards are the game-breaker some think, based on our own extensive game experience). But we do know what the spirit of these cards is supposed to be, so if we had to pick a single house rule for these cards it would be to replace the first line of text, on each of these cards by:

Quote:

Roll 2d against each target

(bold format mine for emphasis)

in his defining post on the subject.

I don't believe DoW has gone into any detail here in the forums about whatever that spirit is, but I'll bet it can be found in the foreward section (the very first pages) of the rule book where they frame the context for a game like BattleLore with their purpose and intent for creating it and what they expect those who play it to get out of it. If you want to understand the spirit of the game, I'd say it would be worth going back and reading the foreward again.
      
Phloid
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 20:13
I have read the forward several times and I think I have a good idea of what the spirit of the game is supposed to be. What I am concerned about is the spirit of these three cards. He was referring to the cards, not the game in whole. To me HR, FF and RR are detrimental to the spirit of the game.

I would like to know the details of how they see these cards fitting into the game. What are their counter points to my topics in the article?
      
gheintze
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Fri, 25 May 2007 20:52
As has been repeatedly pointed out, DOW has already given their "official and final" response to this debate. I would not expect them to put anything about this in an FAQ, reprint the cards, or provide pdf files of new cards. They feel that the card is correct and do not need to reply or fix the cards any further.

Apparently, they do not feel that the cards are contrary to the spirit of the game. The feel that I get from the BattleLore manual is that your War Council is supposed to be able to turn the tide of the battle. These cards allow you to do that. DOW wants them in as is -- and Eric specifically stated that point.

You allegedly posted your last words on the topic above. You can use a house rule or play with the official ones. Let the argument go -- you could be playing BattleLore instead. Very Happy

Geoff
      
JMcL63
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Sat, 26 May 2007 00:13
@Phloid
I guess it is just possible that I might be wrong about some things. I have a busy weekend ahead of me. It will be next week before I will be able to return to this issue. I promise that my next post will be more constructive than my last (you still might not like it though). Wink
      
_twinkle_
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Sat, 26 May 2007 12:23
My take on HR/FF/RR... the cards are powerful and should be kept powerful. I really like that a cleric (I see him more like a druid) have the strength to manipulate our environment and put fear in troops hiding in terrain. But it should not affect anything outside that said terrain since that is quite ridiculous considering the scale of the game.

My suggestion was therefore (I think it ended up as a possible "house rule"), to change the target text from "All enemy units on, or next to, xxx terrain" to "All enemy units on xxx terrain " as well as to add that the RR card works on all water hexes, i.e. fords, bridges, and marches. It makes the RR card a bit weak, but I do not consider that a problem.

Cheers,
/twinkle
      
markwars
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Sat, 26 May 2007 16:52
Until my understanding of this game surpasses Richard, Eric, and their trusted group of testers I don't think I've got any real arguments to make. I'm impressed that some folks here are past those esteemed folks. You must be true game geniuses.

[Updated on: Sat, 26 May 2007 16:53]

      
Zeal
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Sat, 26 May 2007 18:01

markwars wrote on Sat, 26 May 2007 08:52


You must be true game geniuses.


If genius = too much time on your hands to lurk at game forums, then I sir, am your man. . . Cool
      
markwars
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Sat, 26 May 2007 18:31
I think that speaks more to geek than genius...but I'm guilty of that too. Embarassed

I'm not trying to further add fuel to the fire, but I just can't help but think that the people that have worked on this game for the better part of two or three years now know more about it than the non DoW participants of this discussion.
      
Phloid
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Thu, 31 May 2007 00:07
See. I told you that if you quit arguing back the posts would go away in not to much time. Maybe the issue is done.

Or maybe I just brought it back. Twisted Evil
      
smalecek
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Wed, 06 June 2007 03:02
in our group we have resolved to not allow lore to be collected in missle fire thereby making it harder to collect lore and longer to cast the larger spells. Try this and see if it helps at all.
      
Matzo
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Wed, 06 June 2007 13:05
in our group, we play a house rule, the one reducing the power of those cards by targetting only one forest or river or hill hex, adjacent hex of the targetting one are still touch by the spell.

It's work, and every one happy.
      
blindspot
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Wed, 06 June 2007 18:34
Matzo wrote on Wed, 06 June 2007 04:05

It's work, and every one happy.

Thumbs Up
      
enickson
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Mon, 02 July 2007 13:02
I've just started playing with Lore and the Cleric and ALREADY this has become a problem. After my play group's first game and the devastating impact it had, everyone agreed that the cards as written detract from the game. There is no reason not to invest heavily in the Cleric's levels on the war council and there is also no way to ignore these 3 spells. You have to plan to counter it somehow or risk losing solely to these 3 cards. If there is going to be any kind of tournament play around this game DoW need to issue errata on these cards to bring them back into line. No other Lore cards are this detrimental. I hope they reprint these cards in an expansion and issue official errata.

I absolutely LOVE this game DoW! Please just correct these 3 cards!

Dweomer
      
toddrew
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Re:Problems with Forest Frenzy, Hills Rumble & River Rage Mon, 02 July 2007 14:51
enickson wrote on Mon, 02 July 2007 04:02

You have to plan to counter it somehow


Yes, yes you do. Assuming the proper card for the terrain on the board makes it into the deck, and subsequently makes it into the proper players hand, those counter measures will pay off, but definitely wise to account for the fairly probable possibility.

Quote:

or risk losing solely to these 3 cards.

I guess it is possible with enough plays for this to actually happen, but to my knowledge it never has. That may sound facetious, but I'm serious. It has been well documented that the potential for damage is great with these cards (though the cry of River Rage needing to be modded died down), but full strength units being outright destroyed by these cards just does not happen that often - and I realize there was probably some element of hyperbole in the use of "solely", but having the odds of those three cards being the sole cause of damage doled out in a game, I mean, even I haven't played enough games to see that happen Laughing

I completely understand the point of view that these cards sap the fun out of the game, I just don't agree with it. My suggestion would be to give the as is game a few (many, many, many Very Happy ) more opportunities as the appreciation for the other lore cards is able to be gained (I won a game over the weekend "solely" with Stealth and a Red Banner Dwarven unit). The potential for the cleric spell cards is obvious to all: trees, hills, water, and guys next to them, l3 Cleric, boom; but the game changing potential is in every single lore card at the right moment. This is why I love the game.

[Updated on: Mon, 02 July 2007 20:00]

      
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