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Subject: My (Very Negative) Review of BattleCON rss

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Jared Voshall
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Revelade wrote:
Magius wrote:
I payed $200 for two full sets of Yomi decks, played the game twice, and decided that it was not for me. I could see the idea behind the game, but it just got lost in all the noise (random draw, double blind reveal) - it didn't help that both games I played were against opponents playing randomly, while I was trying to be strategic - and lost horribly anyways.


If you play any game twice and don't understand it... maybe it's time to play it more? I mean the first 2 times I played... Street Fighter, Starcraft, Call of Duty, etc., I did not get it at all. Only by playing it more was I able to uncover how to play the game properly.

There's a way to beat random players. BLOCK.

That's right. There is an optimal way to play Yomi. You block/throw early on, then move to attacks, then you finish up with dodges. The reason why you block first is to build up a hand of cards. With that hand, you try to build those combos that are devastating. Then at the end game, you play dodges to squeeze in those last points of damage to win the game. And that's the structure.

I'm not saying BattleCON is a bad game, but I find many of the posters here to have a limited or inaccurate view of how Yomi plays. Yomi is criticized as being nothing as RPS, but guess what? BattleCON is doing the same thing! You reveal when he does, maybe he'll beat you, maybe he won't. You can keep track of the cards in Battle CON? Well in Yomi, he's either going to block/dodge, attack or throw!

I find there's a lot more content to absorb with BattleCON because of each characters 8 or so styles that you have to be familiar with. Keith made a good point where in order to play these types of games, you have to anticipate what the opponent is going to do, otherwise it does become luck. With Yomi, I know the most my opponent can do is 3 options and they know that for me too. With BattleCON I have to be aware of the 8 bases and 8 styles. In Yomi, I've got to understand the way 10 characters work, but in BC, there are 18.

Again, I think both games have their points, but some of these criticisms on Yomi don't make sense, when they apply to a degree to BattleCON.


I'm sorry, but you are reading far more into my words than I actually said. I did not say that Yomi was a random luck-fest, nor that random players ruined the game for me (just that it didn't help that both games I played I lost to players playing randomly). I could see all of that in the game - but for me, while playing the game, it felt like the trees were blocking my view of the forest, as it were.
As for putting more plays into Yomi to really get a feel for it - why should I? I have a game that I read up on, was really excited about, and fell flat. I could see the appeal of the game to some players, but I could also tell that the game is not for me (just like I can see the appeal of Agrigola to some players, but it is not a good game for me). Knowing that, why should I put in the dozens of plays that it would take to become proficient in the game, especially as I have found another game that fills a very similar niche that I find much more appealing? This is, after all, about fun, and if I find I enjoy one game more than another, and others I play with don't have a preference of one or the other, why should I put my time into the game that I enjoy less?
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Bruno Gaia
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Magius wrote:
Revelade wrote:
Magius wrote:
I payed $200 for two full sets of Yomi decks, played the game twice, and decided that it was not for me. I could see the idea behind the game, but it just got lost in all the noise (random draw, double blind reveal) - it didn't help that both games I played were against opponents playing randomly, while I was trying to be strategic - and lost horribly anyways.


If you play any game twice and don't understand it... maybe it's time to play it more? I mean the first 2 times I played... Street Fighter, Starcraft, Call of Duty, etc., I did not get it at all. Only by playing it more was I able to uncover how to play the game properly.

There's a way to beat random players. BLOCK.

That's right. There is an optimal way to play Yomi. You block/throw early on, then move to attacks, then you finish up with dodges. The reason why you block first is to build up a hand of cards. With that hand, you try to build those combos that are devastating. Then at the end game, you play dodges to squeeze in those last points of damage to win the game. And that's the structure.

I'm not saying BattleCON is a bad game, but I find many of the posters here to have a limited or inaccurate view of how Yomi plays. Yomi is criticized as being nothing as RPS, but guess what? BattleCON is doing the same thing! You reveal when he does, maybe he'll beat you, maybe he won't. You can keep track of the cards in Battle CON? Well in Yomi, he's either going to block/dodge, attack or throw!

I find there's a lot more content to absorb with BattleCON because of each characters 8 or so styles that you have to be familiar with. Keith made a good point where in order to play these types of games, you have to anticipate what the opponent is going to do, otherwise it does become luck. With Yomi, I know the most my opponent can do is 3 options and they know that for me too. With BattleCON I have to be aware of the 8 bases and 8 styles. In Yomi, I've got to understand the way 10 characters work, but in BC, there are 18.

Again, I think both games have their points, but some of these criticisms on Yomi don't make sense, when they apply to a degree to BattleCON.


I'm sorry, but you are reading far more into my words than I actually said. I did not say that Yomi was a random luck-fest, nor that random players ruined the game for me (just that it didn't help that both games I played I lost to players playing randomly). I could see all of that in the game - but for me, while playing the game, it felt like the trees were blocking my view of the forest, as it were.
As for putting more plays into Yomi to really get a feel for it - why should I? I have a game that I read up on, was really excited about, and fell flat. I could see the appeal of the game to some players, but I could also tell that the game is not for me (just like I can see the appeal of Agrigola to some players, but it is not a good game for me). Knowing that, why should I put in the dozens of plays that it would take to become proficient in the game, especially as I have found another game that fills a very similar niche that I find much more appealing? This is, after all, about fun, and if I find I enjoy one game more than another, and others I play with don't have a preference of one or the other, why should I put my time into the game that I enjoy less?


Last bit of you post makes perfect sense and summarizes my whole position when it comes to gaming!
And that also explains why I'll never really like Yomi: in Yomi there has to be a card-counting aspect if you really want to play properly (say competitively if you want) and there's NO WAY card-counting can be fun.
NO **** WAY!
Yomi without card-counting is like Cluedo without a sheet of paper or extremely good memory to make sure you got all the clues right: you can do it but it wouldn't make sense with the mechanic and you'd never win against a player who does.

No such aspect in BattleCON, luckily!
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Kweku
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brunogaia wrote:
And that also explains why I'll never really like Yomi: in Yomi there has to be a card-counting aspect if you really want to play properly (say competitively if you want) and there's NO WAY card-counting can be fun.
NO **** WAY!


What do you mean exactly? Discard piles are public information for this reason in Yomi, so you do not have to try to count or memorize what was already played, since you can easily refer to it. Or did you mean something else?
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Bruno Gaia
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SirHandsome wrote:
brunogaia wrote:
And that also explains why I'll never really like Yomi: in Yomi there has to be a card-counting aspect if you really want to play properly (say competitively if you want) and there's NO WAY card-counting can be fun.
NO **** WAY!


What do you mean exactly? Discard piles are public information for his reason in Yomi, so you do not have to try to count or memorize what was already played, since you can easily refer to it. Or did you mean something else?


Er.. I only ever played Yomi as an online game and the discard piles were not common knowledge.
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Kweku
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discard piles in Yomi have always been open (even online) for as long as I've played it (over 2 years, and slightly before the physical release), so unless you played an incomplete beta version or something from a really long time ago, you probably just overlooked the feature. The designer is actively against memorization-as-skill elements in all games

It's certainly something I appreciate, since I like you also find card-counting tedious
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Bruno Gaia
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SirHandsome wrote:
discard piles in Yomi have always been open (even online) for as long as I've played it (over 2 years, and slightly before the physical release), so unless you played an incomplete beta version or something from a really long time ago, you probably just overlooked the feature. The designer is actively against memorization-as-skill elements in all games

It's certainly something I appreciate, since I like you also find card-counting tedious


Tried the new online app and yeah discards are common knowledge so that's my mistake.
I think The first version I played was face down discards. Or maybe I always thought it was and never actually tried to see the discards.

So that might very have been my mistake all long.

Anyway, a problem remains: since there are lots of cards in a deck of yomi (54) using the discards sure erases the memorization issue but if you want to play well you'll need to browse through a lot of cards and remember precisely the stats for all characters.

But the memory issue was my invention, sure.
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Garcian Smith
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Magius wrote:
I'm sorry, but you are reading far more into my words than I actually said. I did not say that Yomi was a random luck-fest, nor that random players ruined the game for me (just that it didn't help that both games I played I lost to players playing randomly). I could see all of that in the game - but for me, while playing the game, it felt like the trees were blocking my view of the forest, as it were.
As for putting more plays into Yomi to really get a feel for it - why should I? I have a game that I read up on, was really excited about, and fell flat. I could see the appeal of the game to some players, but I could also tell that the game is not for me (just like I can see the appeal of Agrigola to some players, but it is not a good game for me). Knowing that, why should I put in the dozens of plays that it would take to become proficient in the game, especially as I have found another game that fills a very similar niche that I find much more appealing? This is, after all, about fun, and if I find I enjoy one game more than another, and others I play with don't have a preference of one or the other, why should I put my time into the game that I enjoy less?


Nor did I say you in particular said that Yomi was a random luckfest. That's why I said, "many of these posters", meaning more than one person, which may not apply to you (nor did it).

As for you playing it more, nobody is telling you to do so. I'm saying if you did, you would probably have a greater understanding of the game than you do with only 2 plays of the game. It's your call.

Quote:
Anyway, a problem remains: since there are lots of cards in a deck of yomi (54) using the discards sure erases the memorization issue but if you want to play well you'll need to browse through a lot of cards and remember precisely the stats for all characters.


I wouldn't call it mandatory. You'll still do fine even if you don't look through the discards. It might help to keep track of how many face cards he's played... especially Aces. But when I play, I play using valuation as in playing the best cards for the moment: blocks/throws early on, bigger attacks mid-game and dodges at the end. If my opponent plays randomly, I'll usually win. If he valuates as well... then the mind game sets in... if he's really stuck on the valuation, then I'll play the appropriate counter: throws early on, more blocks in the middle, maybe throws later on, etc.

When I play Yomi, my mindset is really that I have throw/dodge, attack and block and my opponent does as well. With BattleCON, I'm not sure exactly what styles my opponent's character has, if it's my first time.
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Mickaël Garcin
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I find it great to see some negatives reviews, they are far too rares on board game geek.

Even if I strongly disagree with your definition of randomness (I find it's nonsense), I can grasp what you wanted to say about that.
The problem that you want to point here is accessibility.
Not mechanics accessibility but the knowledge accessibility.
Strangely, you can see the exact same problems in "fighting games". One player have a good knowledge that the other doesn't have, so he will have a good advantage on the latter. Something that Yomi (which isn't really comparable to Battlecon) don't have because of the lighter rules on the characters part (they don't play the same, but it's not as different as it is in Battlecon). So for beginners, the game is more chaotic. (but not random)
So here, I agree with you, even if it doesn't turn me off the game by opposite to you.

I agree with all you've said about funny names, too much different artists mixed and the components problems. This was raised several times, and it's indeed a fact.

I disagree about you stating that the author works on an expansion without giving a heck about the first game. I know for a fact, because I follow the playtest forum for a long time, that there is indeed a lot of work behind.
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Nate K
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Froh wrote:

Strangely, you can see the exact same problems in "fighting games". One player have a good knowledge that the other doesn't have, so he will have a good advantage on the latter.


Yep! I played a fair amount of Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! 3 my freshman year of college. When I returned home for the summer and introduced the game to my brothers and friends, I SMEARED them pretty consistently. It got to the point where I would be forced to play the weakest characters, like Choji, in a three-on-one match, just to make the fight somewhat even. And I still won somewhat consistently!

Hey, could I help it if I knew the combos and the timing on every single character?
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Mickaël Garcin
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Well. This is strange to say, but the options I can see to change that, is giving slighty more randomness to a game (Faidutti's game, chaotic state), Giving the first turns a lesser importance (7 wonders), Giving some advantages to the player who is losing the game (first GOSU, and it didn't really turn great).
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Jared Voshall
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kurthl33t wrote:
Froh wrote:

Strangely, you can see the exact same problems in "fighting games". One player have a good knowledge that the other doesn't have, so he will have a good advantage on the latter.


Yep! I played a fair amount of Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! 3 my freshman year of college. When I returned home for the summer and introduced the game to my brothers and friends, I SMEARED them pretty consistently. It got to the point where I would be forced to play the weakest characters, like Choji, in a three-on-one match, just to make the fight somewhat even. And I still won somewhat consistently!

Hey, could I help it if I knew the combos and the timing on every single character?


Heh. I was like that with Dead or Alive 2-4 (not as much with 5) - standard practice for me was to play the game on random to give everyone else a chance, then I was relegated to the character that least matched my playstyle (the mighty glacier Bass Armstrong) - and I still won more than my fair share of fights in those games (man, I love the Counter system they use in that series of games).
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David J
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Magius wrote:
kurthl33t wrote:
Froh wrote:

Strangely, you can see the exact same problems in "fighting games". One player have a good knowledge that the other doesn't have, so he will have a good advantage on the latter.


Yep! I played a fair amount of Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! 3 my freshman year of college. When I returned home for the summer and introduced the game to my brothers and friends, I SMEARED them pretty consistently. It got to the point where I would be forced to play the weakest characters, like Choji, in a three-on-one match, just to make the fight somewhat even. And I still won somewhat consistently!

Hey, could I help it if I knew the combos and the timing on every single character?


Heh. I was like that with Dead or Alive 2-4 (not as much with 5) - standard practice for me was to play the game on random to give everyone else a chance, then I was relegated to the character that least matched my playstyle (the mighty glacier Bass Armstrong) - and I still won more than my fair share of fights in those games (man, I love the Counter system they use in that series of games).


Yep, same here except with Battle Arena Toshinden 3 and Soul Calibur 3. Both really good games but required quite a bit of practice.
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Jared Voshall
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Ooh... Soul Calibur III was a brilliant game - full storylines for each of the characters AND a compelling (and massive) campaign for your custom characters that combined elements of Turn Based Strategy and the traditional fighting engine - it's really a shame that they've never really done anything like it since (it really gave you a reason to play a custom character in that game).
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Bruno Gaia
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Magius wrote:
Ooh... Soul Calibur III was a brilliant game - full storylines for each of the characters AND a compelling (and massive) campaign for your custom characters that combined elements of Turn Based Strategy and the traditional fighting engine - it's really a shame that they've never really done anything like it since (it really gave you a reason to play a custom character in that game).


Agreed!
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I am not much of a videogames player (other than RPGs and it's been a while) but I loved kicking my opponents asses with Nina Williams in Tekken and Ivy in Soul Calibur (I have a thing for strong self-assured women, so sue me )
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Revelade wrote:
Yomi is criticized as being nothing as RPS, but guess what? BattleCON is doing the same thing! You reveal when he does, maybe he'll beat you, maybe he won't.


Unlike Yomi, a specific combo X does NOT always beat specific combo Y.

If I drive, and you Burst... that could go either way DEPENDING on our position at the start of the beat.

If we're adjacent, Burst loses. Range 2? Still loses.

But at Range 3? The Burst WINS.

Meanwhile in Yomi, Strike always beats Throw, no matter what. Also, there are no "trades" where both players hit and do damage.

It is completely not the same thing at all. There's nothing RPS about it because in the majority of situations, there are more than 2 results, unlike Yomi.
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Jayson Stevens
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frogmanmike14 wrote:
I do sort of agree about the random letter generator to pick character names though. That part made me chuckle.


Not really...

The majority of names (13 out of 18) are real names, or just variant spellings of names (often better than many you see these days, like Mykynzi instead of Mackenzie)

The only ones that stand out are
Kallistar - sounds like a made up rock star name TBH. It's cutesy, definitely not random
Heketch - sounds like someone swearing in german or somesuch to me
Rukyuk and Lixis - sound like names people would come up with in D&D.
Sagas - I got nothin

You want real "random names", read the Culture series by Iain Banks.
Names like "Bora Horza Gobuchul", "Jernau Morat Gurgeh", "Mawhrin-Skel", "Flere-Imsaho" and "Yay Meristinoux" are the norm.
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Matt
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Apparently the OP considers himself a guru of game design, with a few games already made and a book written on the subject linked from his profile.

I think I'll try out his game 100 Rogues, and modify the game to be about 20 door-to-door insurance salesmen instead. Then I'll get his book on game design theory and replace every page with cake recipes.

Then I'll write scathing reviews on both.
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vyran wrote:
Then I'll get his book on game design theory and replace every page with cake recipes. Then I'll write scathing reviews on both.


If you look at the reviews of his existing book they are already pretty scathing.

http://www.amazon.com/Game-Design-Theory-Philosophy-Understa...

The style of the book sounds a lot like the style of this review.

What I think is most interesting is how upset he gets (in the comments) when someone writes a negative review of his book that is much like his own negative review of BattleCON.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1YOA3EQUCQ32R/ref=cm_cr_rev_de...

I think people just get so wrapped up in their own preferences that they lose sight of the idea that their perspective is not "better", it's just different. I lost interest in 100 Rogues pretty quickly, because it incorporates many of the principles of game design that Burgun avows, and is missing some of the things he dislikes in BattleCON. I think the original review could be pretty good if he would say the same things but in a "Here's why I didn't like this game" way, rather than a "Here's why this game is bad" way. But reviewers, especially negative reviewers, often seem to have trouble doing that.
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palmerkun wrote:
Meanwhile in Yomi, Strike always beats Throw, no matter what. Also, there are no "trades" where both players hit and do damage.


I may be mistaken, but I think that in Yomi, two attacks of equal speed both hit and do damage (but neither starts a combo). Which would mean it's impossible with some matchups and rare even when it's possible, but it could happen.

I find it kind of fascinating that there's no blocking in BattleCON and yet it still feels so much like a 2D fighter. Getting to counter-attack because you had Stun Guard feels like blocking and then hitting back in a fighting game... except you're taking full damage. So maybe Soak is the equivalent of blocking? But that's an ability not all characters even have.
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grasa_total wrote:
palmerkun wrote:
Meanwhile in Yomi, Strike always beats Throw, no matter what. Also, there are no "trades" where both players hit and do damage.


I may be mistaken, but I think that in Yomi, two attacks of equal speed both hit and do damage (but neither starts a combo). Which would mean it's impossible with some matchups and rare even when it's possible, but it could happen.

I find it kind of fascinating that there's no blocking in BattleCON and yet it still feels so much like a 2D fighter. Getting to counter-attack because you had Stun Guard feels like blocking and then hitting back in a fighting game... except you're taking full damage. So maybe Soak is the equivalent of blocking? But that's an ability not all characters even have.


I think Dash is the closet analog to Block in BC. You block on this "beat" and return with a faster/stronger attack the following beat from a better position. Otherwise, Soak like you said.

If BC was a Fighting game I would be particularly thrilled if it didn't use Blocking, much like BC - but that's a thread for a different place.
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I do have one single advice for you brother.
If you think this is random , DONT EVER play poker or if you do it at least do it already naked.
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Thiago Colas
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People, stop feeding the troll.
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We may be feeding the troll, but the troll doesn't seem hungry. He hasn't commented since his initial post, (unfortunately) not even to defend his supposed game design abilities.

I'll admit, I was hoping for a bit more drama.
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yeah? well… y’know, that’s just like, uh… your opinion, man…
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this wasn't trolling, this was dynamite fishing. and quite successful, I might add. I love what this thread turned out to be.

I think there is a Geekmod option for refusing pics when they are all blurry and not showing the real game. does a similar thing exist for reviews?
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