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Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie» Forums » General

Subject: Mindshackle Broken? rss

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Jeff Brown
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Am I the only one who thinks Mindshackle is Broken. It seems that when Ne-Gok-Sa or who ever he is is in the game and he rolls a 20 then all previous strategy is thrown out the window as you just had a 200 or more point shift in the game. I realize that there is already tons of luck in the game and players of heroscape probably aren't as worried about balance but I can tolerate most of the other luck but this just pushes it.

I'm worried about this for the upcoming Mrosbane as well and his negate powers. It seems like it would have the same effect if Krug lost all of his powers. One reason I might not be getting that hero set. The other reason is that I've already spent too much already on the game.
 
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Jeff Brown
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I've seen it happen more than a couple times in my High School game group and it always ends up being the game winner.

yes it is hard to get a 20, but not quite that hard. Another reason why I don't like Ne Gok Sa most of the time his ability is useless but when it does work it breaks the game.
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Jesse Smit
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I think its a terrible bit of game design. Not that the people who love this game care for good game design anyway.
Its an ability that will give you a 5% chance of having a huge advantage or a 95% chance of having a dissadvantage, regardless of what the players do. Brilliant!
 
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Frank Hussey
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Yup, I never want to use this character in a game. Maybe it could be modded though. Maybe if the power worked a little more reliably but then could only take control of an enemy for one turn then it might be ok. Anyway, I'm gonna test something like that.

But yeah, as is it's pretty much broken.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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jeff brown wrote:
his ability is useless but when it does work it breaks the game.


This is why it is absolutely brilliant, not broken.

He is a gamble and a wildcard for both players and adds a ton to every game he is in.
 
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mateybob wrote:
I think its a terrible bit of game design. Not that the people who love this game care for good game design anyway.
Its an ability that will give you a 5% chance of having a huge advantage or a 95% chance of having a dissadvantage, regardless of what the players do. Brilliant!


I disagree. When I see my opponent has Ne-Gok-Sa, I make him a priority target. He's just a figure that requires particular attention and perhaps a shift in strategy. In that respect he's no different than Krug or a host of other characters.
 
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Isabel D.
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I think that a lot of heroscape balance comes from the way it plays out. If a figure is very threatening (as you view Negoksa) he can be attacked repeatedly at the beginning and eliminated very quickly. For Negoksa this is not that difficult to do with ranged units. It reminds me of what often happens in our games with Charos.

Personally, I don't find Negoksa's ability broken. But if you do, modify it or increase the point value of Negoksa. No big deal. But try modifying your counter-strategy, too.
 
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Michael Jordal
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I have played a ton of Heroscape and only seen mind shackle work once, and it was against one samurai. I think Ne Gok Sa has got good stats for his point cost, but his ability is definitely not broken at all. It is very hard to get it to work and it only works agains uniques. If you are real worried about it, engage him with commons and keep your uniques away.
 
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Jeff Brown
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Geosphere wrote:
jeff brown wrote:
his ability is useless but when it does work it breaks the game.


This is why it is absolutely brilliant, not broken.

He is a gamble and a wildcard for both players and adds a ton to every game he is in.


I guess that's why I don't like it as I'm not into the game entirely being a gamble on the roll of a d-20 I'd like some planning and tactics to come into play. As a general rule I myself am not a fan of any of the characters that use the d20 on their special ability as it makes a whole other layer of chance to have to plan through. Ne-Gok- Sa I just see as being the worst offender.

I understand tactics against it, I guess I'll just have to use that. But it really isn't quite that hard to get it to work. If you use Ne Gok Sa just 5 times in a game you have a 25% chance of it working and like I said breaking the game.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Your probablity estimate is out. The odds of rolling a 20 on 5d20 are 1-(0.95^5). I'm pretty sure that isn't 25%.

I can't speak to the subject matter though.
 
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Bryan Jensen
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Well in five rolls of the d20 you have a 23% chance of it working--so he was pretty close. Still, there are far more game swinging options that can come up in Heroscape with much higher probabilities of success. The Mind Shackle is only game breaking if you don't mobilize your offense well to tie up Ne-Gok-Sa with the right figure(s). Now with the Lodin glyph in play Mind Shakle can get pretty deadly, but, again, there are also many other options in the game that can be so.

Take, for example, the Kravs who have a 71% chance of rolling a Stealth Dodge with every normal attack on them. That can be pretty game swinging if you don't play offense against them well enough!
 
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Matthew M
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Your probablity estimate is out. The odds of rolling a 20 on 5d20 are 1-(0.95^5). I'm pretty sure that isn't 25%.

I can't speak to the subject matter though.


Actually, that's still pretty close to 25%. Evenso, it hardly breaks the game. He still needs to get within range to use the ability and if he's made a target he's dead before you get a chance to use his power five times.

If his power worked EVERY game then yes, it would be broken. Thankfully, it doesn't. Not even close. I think the attack dice are broken because it's possible for my opponent to roll skulls every time while I roll blanks every time. When that happens he wins. BROKEN!

With as much chaos as there is in Heroscape it would be awfully difficult to say that any one thing breaks the game.

-MMM
 
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Jesse Smit
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I dont think anyone was ever claiming that Ne-gok-sa was broken in the respect that he gives you an advantage. The point is that he has a completely random ability that can either swing the game hugely in your favour or (more likely) do nothing at all. And that is a stupid bit of design.
 
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Jeff Brown
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Octavian wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
Your probablity estimate is out. The odds of rolling a 20 on 5d20 are 1-(0.95^5). I'm pretty sure that isn't 25%.

I can't speak to the subject matter though.


Actually, that's still pretty close to 25%. Evenso, it hardly breaks the game. He still needs to get within range to use the ability and if he's made a target he's dead before you get a chance to use his power five times.

If his power worked EVERY game then yes, it would be broken. Thankfully, it doesn't. Not even close. I think the attack dice are broken because it's possible for my opponent to roll skulls every time while I roll blanks every time. When that happens he wins. BROKEN!

With as much chaos as there is in Heroscape it would be awfully difficult to say that any one thing breaks the game.

-MMM


Yeah I agree with you that there is tons of chaos. part of the reason I play it so much is because my students love it and play it every week. I like to stay with the more reliable characters in the game which is also why I stay away from the Deathwalkers, marros, wolves. I like to be able to come up with some sort of strategy that has a moderate chance of not being nerfed by bad rolls, but that's just my preference. I have some students who actually like those kinds of characters because they enjoy the gambling aspect of it, not my style.
 
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Aaron Dusso
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mateybob wrote:
I dont think anyone was ever claiming that Ne-gok-sa was broken in the respect that he gives you an advantage. The point is that he has a completely random ability that can either swing the game hugely in your favour or (more likely) do nothing at all. And that is a stupid bit of design.



I love Heroscape, but this confuses me a little. What part of the game isn't completely random by your definition? I mean, everything in the game is determined by rolling dice, which, of course, are random. Strategy is introduced though the intelligent management of probability.

You know and I know that on any given roll of the dice, Ne-gok-sa has a 5 percent chance of taken control of my figure. Thus, as many people have already suggested in this thread, I (as a good general) will attempt to limit my unit's exposure to Ne-gok-sa. If I don't and I lose my unit, I have made a poor choice as general. For example, Gen. Lee should not have gone to Gettysburg, but he did. That was a bad choice and the South's chances of winning were forever damaged because of it.

I would be concerned about "broken" units if there were units that, when chosen, always led to victory.
 
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Jesse Smit
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Yes, most other abilities and attacks in the game are random in nature but the distribution of possible outcomes and their effects on your chance of victory are FAR less extreme.
With a normal attack for instance you have a fairly high chance of doing X amount of damage, give or take a little depending on your luck, both players know that and factor that into their strategy. Ne-gok-sa has a 5% chance per activation of his ability to massively shift the balance of the game or a 95% chance of doing nothing at all. You cant factor chances like that into any coherent strategy imo.
 
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Matthew M
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mateybob wrote:
You cant factor chances like that into any coherent strategy imo.


Completely not true. You can either chance that he will not convert someone and play normally or you can play with that risk in mind and keep valuable units out of NeGokSa's range while focusing ranged attacks on him until he's dead. NeGokSa may shift the strategy you choose to employ, but it doesn't prevent strategy from being enacted at all.

-MMM
 
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Frank Hussey
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Kudos to Mateybob -- extremely well said. Of course, if one wants the game to be less strategic and just more a fun rumble, then Ne gok sa isn't a problem. But if you want it to be balanced and strategic then I think the forced "strategy" of just taking him out quickly is unsatisfying to both players.

Also, it's very easy to avoid using the figure (what I usually do) or to mod it.


Here is my alternative satire version of this post:

In reading his posts, you may have noticed that Mateybob doesn't enjoy using the Ne gok sa figure for specific reasons. Please, explain to him that his reasons are irrelevant and that he should start enjoying using that figure immediately!

Next, my doctoral thesis on Strategy in Heroscape!
 
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Jesse Smit
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Octavian wrote:
You can either chance that he will not convert someone and play normally or you can play with that risk in mind and keep valuable units out of NeGokSa's range while focusing ranged attacks on him until he's dead.


But isnt that more of a gamble than a strategy? You have no way of basing this choice on any known information and either way theres a good chance that your actions have been completely redundant!
 
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Brian McLeod
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Quote:
"But isnt that more of a gamble than a strategy? You have no way of basing this choice on any known information and either way theres a good chance that your actions have been completely redundant"


The known information is that there is a one in 20 chance of losing your unit. I can accept those odds and focus on a more certain threat elsewhere or avoid the worst case scenario by eliminating Ne-Gok-Sa.

 
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Adam Smiles
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As you start playing more expansions, NeGokSa becomes less useful because his power only works on unique units. When I had him in my army this weekend, he never ever tried a mind shackle roll because he was never engaged by anything but common squads.

Granted I could have gotten more use out of his power if I moved him more and went on the offensive. But in the scenario we were playing, I drafted him mostly for his high defense and life, not for his mind shackle ability.
 
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asmiles wrote:
When I had him in my army this weekend, he never ever tried a mind shackle roll because he was never engaged by anything but common squads.


Sounds to me like your opponent used a sound strategy to overcome Ne-Gok-Sa.
 
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Aaron Dusso
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I guess what doesn’t compute in my mind is the distinction being made between a probability of .50 and .05. For some reason strategy cannot be formed if the probability of event x occurring is .05 (or not occurring is .95), but strategy can be formed when event y occurs with probability .5.

It appears to me that it’s the all or nothing nature that bothers people, that is, .05 (all) vs. .95 (nothing). Obviously, with a power like mind shackle we can’t have it occur with regularity. Additionally, it would be a poor general who bases their entire strategy on drafting Ne-Gok-Sa and winning via mind shackle, which is why this unit has some pretty good stats without taking into consideration mind shackle. They may occasionally win with a mind shackle, but my guess is this general will not be a long term Heroscape player because they will lose more often than not with a mind shackle strategy (if they are able to get as many as 5 chances at a mind shackle during a game they still only have .2263 probability of success, which equates to a lot of losing).

As a result, I think that I can take mind shackle into consideration when forming an offensive strategy (don’t count on it) or defensive strategy (be wary of engaging Ne-Gok-Sa with a unique unit).
 
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Adam Smiles
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I've never seen it done, because I think there are better strategies for the same cost, but there is a draft strategy for mind shackle.

If you also draft Su-Bak-Na, you get +1 to all D20 rolls for Marro and Wulsino characters. If the glyph of Lodin is in play, then you get another +1.

Now the chance of Mind Shackle is 15%. Not a lock by any means, but certainly a threat to be carefully considered.

Now this means spending 160 points of your draft on Su-Bak-Na and having the glyph in play. I'm not sure if it's worth the price, but it might be a reasonable strategy if the character you plan to try and mindshackle is Charos or Krug and you already have some other Marro in your army.
 
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Brad Richards
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I've played 68 games and lost 2, let me tell you something, getting a 20 is not hard. I role 20's like crazy. almost so that I think they need to make abillities that make 20 a bad number.

Any way I think that Ne-Gok-Sa adds flaver to the game and makes it more challengeing wich is exactly what a game should be. However I think that his abillity is where it should be. Any more easy to get and then I think that it would be dumb...

But thats why we get Su-Bak-Na and the Hero's of bleak wood (Glyph of Lodin)isn't it?
 
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