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scott jacobsen

Utah
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So I am working on an Excalibur expansion (see this thread for full description of what I have planned: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1614599/nightcrawler-my-fir...). When it is complete I will compile all the cards into one thread but I wanted to keep them separate during the proof reading and revisions stage so that I don't have to search through a whole thread for comments on a particular card set. Today's contribution Arcade and his associated Villains the Crazy Gang:

ARCADE:










I took some liberties with the game board on this one. Arcade almost never fights his enemies out in the "real-world" he pretty much always lures some band of hero's into a game world (i.e. murder world) to do battle. So when he is the master mind you have to imagine that you are no longer in the city and HQ but you are in a murderworld type game. Which is why his master strikes have the power to destroy city and HQ spaces. Obviously he is not a thanos/galctus type that could destroy a city space or HQ space in one master strike, but if you think of it as murder world he is simply changing the game board to make life more difficult for the hero's. I imagine the HQ to be more like captured hero's in murder world that must be set free and the city as different rooms in Murderworld. Probably an unnecessary and overly lengthy explanation of an otherwise simple mechanic...but unnecessary and overly lengthy explanations are sort of my thing. Changed him up so that his master-strike is now based on getting more pushing crazy gang villains to the bottom of the deck, which compounds with a new requirement (you must have 2 crazy gang villains in your victory pile before you can fight him), to make him really tough even though he only has 6 HP.

Most of his tactics are luck based. You will either get a pretty good reward or a pretty awful punishment, with the punishment being the more likely scenario in most cases, and in general the punishment is more heavy duty than the potential reward. Which felt thematically in line with the character to me. His whole thing is putting his adversaries in a game that "technically" they could win but the probability of winning is minimal and the consequence for losing is brutal. The trouble I encountered with designing the cards this way is that I am not statistical or probability master so weighting the cards appropriately was a bit of a guessing game...as it should be i suppose. Please let me know if your thought on how they are set up and if adjustments would be helpful.


Arcade Tactic - 21: I think this is the most favorable tactic in the group. With the majority of cards in the hero deck being 2-4 cost cards it seems more probable that you will come up short of 21 than 21+ but if a couple rares make their way into the HQ you are pretty much toast. In which case the consequence is brutal as well. If you are the luckiest dude on the planet you can nail 21 and get a huge bonus. This tactic become even more favorable if a few master strikes have been played because that would mean there is a chance you have 1-2 less HQ spaces. I imagine that some players will keep track of the points in the HQ and just not attack him when it is 21+ but you can only do that for so long.


Arcade Tactic - Choose Wisely: Essentially a brutal game of "Go Fish"


Arcade Tactic - My Game My Rules: This is the only tactic that has no element of chance involved (aside from the chance of drawing this card and the chance of having Crazy Gang Villains in your VP...but you get the picture).


Arcade Tactic - Test Your Luck: Another game of chance that is heavily weighted against you. Best case scenario you gain a hero to the top of your draw pile. Worst case scenario you leave with 3 wounds.


Scheme: Welcome to Murderworld
I essentially took the original master strike that I designed for Arcade and turned it into a scheme. I think it makes more sense this way. This should be pretty tough.

CRAZY GANG

These guys were difficult for me at first becuase in all reality they are the most bumbling group of villains in the universe. It confounds me that a genius like Jaspers created such a group of buffoons. So it felt strange to give them enough strength to be reasonable villains. So originally I made them into henchmen (included as the last card below if you feel that is still the right way to go), but then I came up with the idea of making a keyword for them being idiots, so I did. The key word is "HALF-WIT" and the effect of this keyword is that a HALF-WIT villain is -2 attack for every instinct hero you have in play. So you essentially out-smart them. I think they should be a standard villain set (4 villains with 2 cards each), but I also included Feron as an option (if you recall he dressed up as the executioner and lead the Crazy Gang to attack Excalibur...on Capt. Britain's B-day). I think Feron's card and existence is a little hokey so I don't think I will play with him in the deck but if you like the idea go ahead.








Red Queen and Executioner: They were inseparable in the comics so I made them into one character. In general I saw them as the most dangerous of the group and you can't have a card with an executioner on it and not have the fight effect be KO based. The effect is that you must KO a card (hand or discard) with cost equal to or greater than the amount of attack required to defeat them. So to clarify here is an example. If you played a hand that had 2 instinct hero's because of HALF-WIT they would now be just 4 to defeat. In this case you would have to KO a 4+ card. However, if you did not have a 4+ card you could then KO any card of your choosing from the hand or discard pile.


Jester IV: Reveal an instinct hero or discard all non-grey hero's (escape: all players, fight: all other players).


Knave: Simple fight effect. If he escapes he fortifies the mastermind, which if i understand that keyword correctly means that you cant attack the mastermind until you defeat him. Did I get that right?


Tweedledope: Basic fight and escape effects.


Crazy Gang - Henchmen Cards: Doesn't really make sense because there aren't enough of them to be henchmen...but they are super weak like henchmen so if you think this is a better fit I don't blame you.


Feron: As mentioned above Feron (originally a member of Excalibur) at one point throws a hissy fit and ends up taking the executioners cloak and ax and rally's the crazy gang to attack Excalibur. The end result is that everyone gets along in the end, and Feron joins Excalibur again. It is a blip on the Excalibur story line but it made some sense in when the Crazy Gang was in play. The idea of this card is that he becomes a hero if you defeat him and if not he KOs Excalibur. I don't think I will use him in my games, but I put I made him so I thought it was worth putting him on the thread. If you like him use him go ahead. I think i would structure the group with all 4 base CG villains and them him plus jester, tweedledope and knave for the rest of the group because he essentially replaced the executioner.

I always love input for anything from spelling and grammar to card balance and thematic elements.

Thanks,
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Max Laager
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Lausanne
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I love your set
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scott jacobsen

Utah
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Cool! Thanks!
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Carl Petit
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Very nice. I like the Tactics being harsh for Arcade but i think a 13 for his attack might be a tad high, really he is just normal man a kind of a wimp. Maybe a lower attack value and a condition to attack him reflecting that when the heroes are in Murderworld he is hard to reach..?

Your keyword Half-wit... Genius, really dig it!

By the way you might want to double check your text, a couple typos creeped in.

All n'all a good Mastermind/Villain group.
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scott jacobsen

Utah
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Doctor Nightmare wrote:
Very nice. I like the Tactics being harsh for Arcade but i think a 13 for his attack might be a tad high, really he is just normal man a kind of a wimp. Maybe a lower attack value and a condition to attack him reflecting that when the heroes are in Murderworld he is hard to reach..?

Your keyword Half-wit... Genius, really dig it!

By the way you might want to double check your text, a couple typos creeped in.

All n'all a good Mastermind/Villain group.


Great input. Super helpful. Particularly the stuff about arcades HP. I picked 13 for 2 reasons. 1) after a fair amount of time with the game I find I almost never play with a MM that is has low HP because I don't feel like there is a real threat of losing (which is the mechanic that makes the game really tick for me). So I creating a custom MM I auto-default to making them sting even if that goes against their narrative (as is the case here). 2) I liked the tie to 13 being an unlucky # and most of his stuff being chance/luck oriented. However, I REALLY like the idea just making him harder to get at rather than just stronger. Like maybe he sort of trap doors away after every conflict and you have to find him somehow or other before you can fight him again (not sure how that works mechanically but it sounds fun). Or maybe you have to have a certain number of villains (crazy gang specifically?) eliminated/in your VP pile before you can attack him. In that context it would be like him hiding behind his minions which fits the wimp concept well. It would also create a sense of urgency and competition whenever a crazy gang member popped up. Ok I will stop brainstorming the thread but I think you got me pointed in the right direction. I think he can still be really tough without having a bunch of HP.

Thanks for the heads up on the spelling. This has never been my strong suit, but I will give them another look over and try and get them cleaned up.

I'm glad you liked the half-wit key word. Being totally honest I am pretty proud of it as well. It felt like a cool solution to a problem I encountered so I am glad someone else feels the same way. I game tested that mechanic last night and it worked really well. In fact the whole crazy gang group was a lot of fun to play.

Please let me know if you see anything else that could use some tweaking. Getting feedback like this is really helpful and pretty fun as well.
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Carl Petit
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shjacobsen wrote:
Great input. Super helpful. Particularly the stuff about arcades HP. I picked 13 for 2 reasons. 1) after a fair amount of time with the game I find I almost never play with a MM that is has low HP because I don't feel like there is a real threat of losing (which is the mechanic that makes the game really tick for me). So I creating a custom MM I auto-default to making them sting even if that goes against their narrative (as is the case here). 2) I liked the tie to 13 being an unlucky # and most of his stuff being chance/luck oriented. However, I REALLY like the idea just making him harder to get at rather than just stronger. Like maybe he sort of trap doors away after every conflict and you have to find him somehow or other before you can fight him again (not sure how that works mechanically but it sounds fun). Or maybe you have to have a certain number of villains (crazy gang specifically?) eliminated/in your VP pile before you can attack him. In that context it would be like him hiding behind his minions which fits the wimp concept well. It would also create a sense of urgency and competition whenever a crazy gang member popped up. Ok I will stop brainstorming the thread but I think you got me pointed in the right direction. I think he can still be really tough without having a bunch of HP.

Thanks for the heads up on the spelling. This has never been my strong suit, but I will give them another look over and try and get them cleaned up.

I'm glad you liked the half-wit key word. Being totally honest I am pretty proud of it as well. It felt like a cool solution to a problem I encountered so I am glad someone else feels the same way. I game tested that mechanic last night and it worked really well. In fact the whole crazy gang group was a lot of fun to play.

Please let me know if you see anything else that could use some tweaking. Getting feedback like this is really helpful and pretty fun as well.

Just a quick idea i had that would make him a real pain, you could makes it so that to attack Arcade, you must KO a hero from your hand that costs more than 0. That would be really annoying and that way you can lower his attack power to a lower level. What do you think?
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Ranger Rob
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Keeper of the *** Marvel Master Database *** A custom card directory for Marvel Legendary.
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Find the Marvel Master Database in the Variants section of the Marvel Legendary Forums.
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Added both to the Marvel Master Database.

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scott jacobsen

Utah
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Quote:

Just a quick idea i had that would make him a real pain, you could makes it so that to attack Arcade, you must KO a hero from your hand that costs more than 0. That would be really annoying and that way you can lower his attack power to a lower level. What do you think?


I like that idea, but i have already headed in a different direction and I think I like it I am just not sure how to fit it in. In general I think I am going to bring his HP all the way down to 6. Then, I am going to require that in order to attack him you must have at least 2 Crazy Gang cards in your personal Victory pile. Technically speaking this should allow for everyone to be able to get enough Crazy gang members to eventually be able to attack him except in a 5 player game. However, it will create an interesting "gold rush" dynamic where you will have to make defeating the crazy gang a major priority and a big competitive advantage for someone who can get it done quickly. Which also makes the game quite a bit more competitive than cooperative when you are against Arcade which I think fits nicely with the murderworld concept because he would regularly pit the hero's against each other in some sort of game. My only concern is if I should up the number crazy gang cards required to attack, because as much as I like this element because he only has 6 HP once someone has 2 crazy gang cards the game is going to be over in a hurry. But I am thinking that it will be pretty tough for someone to get 2 cards quickly. Plus one of his tactics pulls those cards out of the Victory piles and puts them back in play. So I think 2 is the right number.

The next element I think I am going to introduce is either a master strike or tactic that reveals a bunch of villain cards and then pushes all crazy gang cards to the bottom of the deck. Which to me is like him running off to his safe room and putting a couple of his goons at the door. I like this because he is such a pansy in the comics so while pretty much every other mastermind in the game has an offensive master strike it think it is fitting that his is pretty much defensive. I can't decide if this should be a master strike card or a tactic. Obviously as a master strike it is a lot tougher to deal with, but again with him being so low on HP I might prefer that, But I like his original Master Strike well enough that I kind of want to keep it the way it was. So I made it both ways. Below is the original Mastermind card with the changes to the HP and fight condition, as well as the the new Mastermind card and new mastermind tactic. I changed the background art on the alt's to clearly separate them, let me know what you think.


Original Mastermind Card + tweaks


Alternate Mastermind Card

Alternate 21 Tactic


UPDATE: i deleted the alternates because I finalized the design on the cards. The cards in the first post represent my finalized design.
 
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