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Conan» Forums » General

Subject: Game Balance rss

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Donato
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Many people on this forum are terribly afraid to mess with the presumed game balance. They don't want to experiment with the published scenario's. That is why they complain that they can't use any of the new Heroes, Leaders, Minions or Monsters until they receive Wave 2.

But now it becomes clear that the English rules are not complete. And still players have fun with the published scenario's and feel these are balanced.

Does this prove that the feeling of game balance is subjective? Some players have experimented with the Kings's Pledge extra characters and still have fun playing the game (with the English rules).

It seems some people think this game is like chess, or should be like it. That Conan is a competitive sport with strict rules.

The game - like every game - should be fun and exciting. But it is up to every group what they feel like fun and balance. For example, if you have experienced players and an inexperienced Overlord why not give him an extra tile Minions or an fun Monster or more Energy. Or when the players are inexperienced and the Overlord experienced give the players some more Energy or a more powerful Item. We received so much fun stuff to use, so let's use it. Don't wait until May next year.

Monolith will never be able to give Conan a chess-like game balance. Experiment, see what works for your group, create some house rules and have fun. The game is about creating memorable experiences not earning medals.

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darkeden25 darkeden25
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I've played 10 or so game with the PnP file switching the heroes, the number of player, the starting point of the heroes.
I've got a game with the final rules (very similar to the PnP one) and all of the changes where actually meaningfull and affect the whole game.

So I'm not agree with your statement. Some abilities with some missions really affect the game.
Try to put only one more blocking pict warrior in the first scenario and remove shevatas for another hero... You'll see that the game suddently become harder beyond control for the heroes.

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Donato
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Conan reminds me of that other favorite game in my group, Defenders of the Realm.

Defenders has with all the expansions 20+ Heroes to choose from, alternative Minions, 8 Generals and Agents.

It is fun to choose between all the various options. Sometimes the game becomes too easy, sometimes too difficult. Sometimes we roll well, sometimes very badly. But we always have tremendous fun playing.

If Conan lasts around 90 minutes, my group can play two games per evening. If the first game is too easy or difficult we change some things and play again.

I expect that, just as with Defenders, after a couple of games we will know what will be a relatively balanced change and what not.
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agentdonald wrote:
...
The game - like every game - should be fun and exciting. But it is up to every group what they feel like fun and balance. For example, if you have experienced players and an inexperienced Overlord why not give him an extra tile Minions or an fun Monster or more Energy. Or when the players are inexperienced and the Overlord experienced give the players some more Energy or a more powerful Item. We received so much fun stuff to use, so let's use it. Don't wait until May next year.

..

agreed, the expected balance depends a bit on the group your are playing with and the interpretation of the roles. If your group approaches the game more as coop you might wanna make it harder for the heroes to succeed, higher challenge and re-playability as long as you don't make it so hard that you don't get a foot in the door.

agentdonald wrote:
...
Monolith will never be able to give Conan a chess-like game balance.
..

trying to define fair balance in a game n vs 1 is hard enough. I mean, how do you define a 50:50 chance in that case, assuming everyone makes their optimal game. Requiring that would put the OL in the lead, probability-wise.

darkeden25 wrote:
I've played 10 or so game with the PnP file switching the heroes, the number of player, the starting point of the heroes.
I've got a game with the final rules (very similar to the PnP one) and all of the changes where actually meaningfull and affect the whole game.
...

I seriously hope so, if the game flow and style wouldn't change if you replace heroes/mobs, equipment I would be disappointed, as then all the addons would really be useless and just window dressing...
that you have to account or at least expect influence on the outcome is another matter.
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Chris Shark
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My Group and me played a few scenarios by the book and then started to switch out heroes and equip freely. As you may imagine, that went down south quickly. My players are very experienced and they undoubtedly took the best Heroes and the best equip available. So we had a Spell-caster with the Lightning AOE in “Hunting the Tigress”. Way to overpowered, I thought. On the other hand, there is a Crossbow hidden in one of the chests by the rules, so ranged attacks are envisaged for this scenario.

Since we all agreed that switching out Heroes and Items/Spells would strongly enhance replayability, I started to develop a system which enables players to make choices but does still does restrict them. I ended up with a first draft of balancing rules for choosing Heroes and Items/Spells in accordance to the scenarios difficulty.
Albeit one should always consider if it makes sense to switch something out in a given scenario, it could also be a good basis to develop new homebrew ones as soon as it is somewhat balanced out.

If you’re eager to give it a try, here is the link to the threat:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1656826/free-hero-choic...
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François Mahieu
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agentdonald wrote:
Many people on this forum are terribly afraid to mess with the presumed game balance. They don't want to experiment with the published scenario's. That is why they complain that they can't use any of the new Heroes, Leaders, Minions or Monsters until they receive Wave 2.

But now it becomes clear that the English rules are not complete. And still players have fun with the published scenario's and feel these are balanced.

Does this prove that the feeling of game balance is subjective? Some players have experimented with the Kings's Pledge extra characters and still have fun playing the game (with the English rules).

It seems some people think this game is like chess, or should be like it. That Conan is a competitive sport with strict rules.

The game - like every game - should be fun and exciting. But it is up to every group what they feel like fun and balance. For example, if you have experienced players and an inexperienced Overlord why not give him an extra tile Minions or an fun Monster or more Energy. Or when the players are inexperienced and the Overlord experienced give the players some more Energy or a more powerful Item. We received so much fun stuff to use, so let's use it. Don't wait until May next year.

Monolith will never be able to give Conan a chess-like game balance. Experiment, see what works for your group, create some house rules and have fun. The game is about creating memorable experiences not earning medals.



+1

As the overlord, I might even change the rules during an ongoing scenario (adding new items for instance, like a health potion or powerful weapons) to balance the game if needed, as I would do in a real RPG, so everyone has fun around the table.
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Reverend Lovejay
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poifpoif wrote:
+1

As the overlord, I might even change the rules during an ongoing scenario (adding new items for instance, like a health potion or powerful weapons) to balance the game if needed, as I would do in a real RPG, so everyone has fun around the table.


This, so much.

I plan on using Conan as a lightweight Action RPG and a good way to introduce players to roleplaying. Being the GM/Overlord is not a contest with the players/heroes, it is a way to both have fun and I believe we can achieve that by tweaking the game on the fly.
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James Groesbeck
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emylovejay wrote:
Being the GM/Overlord is not a contest with the players/heroes


You are certainly free to play it more like an RPG where Overlord is not really concerned with winning. And I'm not saying that playing it that way is bad/wrong, as long as you are having fun.

But I do feel the need to point out that is not how the game has been marketed by Monolith. Monolith's vision of the game is a closely contested battle between players and Overlord with both sides playing to win. And for those of us who want to play the game that way, balance is indeed quite important.
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William Chew
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JamesG wrote:
emylovejay wrote:
Being the GM/Overlord is not a contest with the players/heroes


You are certainly free to play it more like an RPG where Overlord is not really concerned with winning. And I'm not saying that playing it that way is bad/wrong, as long as you are having fun.

But I do feel the need to point out that is not how the game has been marketed by Monolith. Monolith's vision of the game is a closely contested battle between players and Overlord with both sides playing to win. And for those of us who want to play the game that way, balance is indeed quite important.


That is how 90% of board game dungeon crawls are and are marketed. And why I play these instead of RPGS. There is a rigid ruleset, because the game is a competition, not an activity. I play to win unless I'm doing a demo.
 
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Andi Anonymous
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JamesG wrote:
emylovejay wrote:
Being the GM/Overlord is not a contest with the players/heroes


You are certainly free to play it more like an RPG where Overlord is not really concerned with winning. And I'm not saying that playing it that way is bad/wrong, as long as you are having fun.

But I do feel the need to point out that is not how the game has been marketed by Monolith. Monolith's vision of the game is a closely contested battle between players and Overlord with both sides playing to win. And for those of us who want to play the game that way, balance is indeed quite important.


I hope it makes fun to play it really competitive. But at the moment I learned there may be at least one exploit that makes it more likely to win for the OL but less enjoyable for all players.
 
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JamesG wrote:
emylovejay wrote:
Being the GM/Overlord is not a contest with the players/heroes


You are certainly free to play it more like an RPG where Overlord is not really concerned with winning. And I'm not saying that playing it that way is bad/wrong, as long as you are having fun.

But I do feel the need to point out that is not how the game has been marketed by Monolith. Monolith's vision of the game is a closely contested battle between players and Overlord with both sides playing to win. And for those of us who want to play the game that way, balance is indeed quite important.

while it is true, that your requirements on balance vary with the overall playing style, it should be noted, that with regard to intention Monolith has a far more open view on exchanging elements of scenarios than seems to be assumed here
Most comments on usability of new elements and the published scenarios, which make a clear distinction between suggested and required chars, imply as much.

Whether this actually works in every case or crumbles under min-maxing exchanges is another matter, but when speaking of "playing as intended", it seems to be nonetheless.
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Design my own house rules to make the game enjoyable? No thanks. I'd rather pay the designer to do that for me or buy a different game with better rules.

I waited so long for this game and yet after a few days of owning it it looks like it's on the chopping block.
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MonkeyKnifeFight wrote:
That is how 90% of board game dungeon crawls are and are marketed. And why I play these instead of RPGS. There is a rigid ruleset, because the game is a competition, not an activity. I play to win unless I'm doing a demo.


Actually, before Descent, the dungeon master was pretty much a "benevolent dictator" who didn't play to win. Of course, that often meant that nobody wanted to play him, with the owner stuck as the dungeon master. You *did* have boardgames and miniature skirmish games, where each side purchased a squad or army with a point value -- and, if you played Games Workshop, some of these point values were imbalanced as well.

It looks like the problem with Conan is that the heroes, enemies, and equipment have their strengths and weaknesses, but it's not obvious what they are. We've had strategy articles for other games -- such as Descent -- discussing strengths and weaknesses. We already have a point value of enemies, and hopefully such an article will be written by a regular Conan player sometime or sooner.
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Artur Biesiadowski
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Sam and Max wrote:
We already have a point value of enemies.


No, we don't. This is sad excuse of point value system. It has 2 hyenas equivalent to Dark Demon !!!

We might eventually come up with reasonable point system, but what I have seen (I assume that you are talking about https://boardgamegeek.com/image/3212864/itai) is horrible.
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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abies wrote:
No, we don't. This is sad excuse of point value system. It has 2 hyenas equivalent to Dark Demon !!!

We might eventually come up with reasonable point system, but what I have seen (I assume that you are talking about https://boardgamegeek.com/image/3212864/itai) is horrible.

On behalf of the fan who took time to create this -unoffical and certainly not perfect- point table, I thank you. This is truly heart-warming.
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Oak Wolf
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Oh come on, don't bash on the fans that try to help their games. What is horrible is that this rather obviously desired feature didn't come with the game, or at least a mean to switch heroes around. Not saying it solves everything, but it's at least a start from where we can work to get the effect. Imho if I was in Monolith, this is a feature i'd really be looking at to ensure longevity to the game.

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William Chew
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Sam and Max wrote:
MonkeyKnifeFight wrote:
That is how 90% of board game dungeon crawls are and are marketed. And why I play these instead of RPGS. There is a rigid ruleset, because the game is a competition, not an activity. I play to win unless I'm doing a demo.


Actually, before Descent, the dungeon master was pretty much a "benevolent dictator" who didn't play to win. Of course, that often meant that nobody wanted to play him, with the owner stuck as the dungeon master. You *did* have boardgames and miniature skirmish games, where each side purchased a squad or army with a point value -- and, if you played Games Workshop, some of these point values were imbalanced as well.

It looks like the problem with Conan is that the heroes, enemies, and equipment have their strengths and weaknesses, but it's not obvious what they are. We've had strategy articles for other games -- such as Descent -- discussing strengths and weaknesses. We already have a point value of enemies, and hopefully such an article will be written by a regular Conan player sometime or sooner.


I agree, but before Descent was 11 years ago. There weren't a lot of dungeon crawlers back then. Hero Quest, the old D&D adventure game and probably a few others. There were other entirely co-op ones like warhammer quest, but as a whole that genre was extremely small. The board game market was too. RPGs were what most people were doing if they wanted to experience that type of game and the DM's goal wasn't to win. Its been since Descent that most dungeon crawl board games have sprouted up.
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Donato
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Perfect balance is impossible.

In Warhammer Quest some Heroes were more powerful (lke the Chaos Warrior and Trollslayer). In Defenders of the Realm some Heroes are also more powerful (like the Sorceresss). The history of Warhammer (both FB and 40K) is the history of point fixes.

In Descent 2 the Heroes with slow movement are far weaker than Heroes with fast movement. And some scenario's were almost unwinnable by either the Heroes or the Gamesmaster.

Maybe point values are not necessary. Jist like with Warhammer Quest, Defenders of the Realm or Descent 2 it will be a matter of experience and trial-by-error.
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Stephan Beal
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agentdonald wrote:
Perfect balance is impossible.


For those seeking a point system for Conan, consider this: the effective value of a skill depends on who has that skill and the scenario in question. e.g...

- Wall Wrecker favors (=is more valuable for) a character with more free movement points.

- Leadership favors a character with more gems.

- Lockpick favors those who have higher max Manipulation and better Manipulation dice.

- Spellcasting is useless in a scenario where the character gets no spells.

- Fascination favors characters who don't attack (presumably because they're not good at it).

etc., etc., etc.

Additionally, each character "loses" different skills at different encumbrance levels, making the effective value of each depend on even more variables.

i.e. it is impossible to assign a single point value to most skills, simply because their effective value depends very much on several other dynamic factors.

In this game, balancing a scenario is not a math problem, but is a function of trial and error to find an acceptable balance between heroes and the OL.
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Clanggedin Silverbeard
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Balance shmalance....

Just pick a character and play the scenario. If you lose quickly, then play again with a different character. If you beat the OL quickly have him add in other baddies.

Waiting around for a point system to have fun is no fun at all.
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Donato
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As I see it, Just like with Heroquest or Warhammer Quest with a game like Conan fanmade stuff was a given. Monolith did us a service by creating the most important characters already.
 
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Frank La Terra
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Sam and Max wrote:
[q="MonkeyKnifeFight"]

Actually, before Descent, the dungeon master was pretty much a "benevolent dictator" who didn't play to win.


Doom, Space Crusade, Seige of the citadel and advanced heroquest all beg to differ!
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