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Kaosball: The Fantasy Sport of Total Domination» Forums » Rules

Subject: Tackling, Tie Breaker, and Cards rss

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Krome Angel
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Hey guys so I just had my first gaming session with Kaosball and it went alright. For one I come from a very "DnD style rules" gaming group meaning things like not being able to stand up after being knocked down, not being able to move through your team, and having dead cards in their hands irked them as well as the "the active person only" gets to roll the tie breaker dice

so a lot of rules needed to be House-Ruled to fit with this particular group such as:

- Both players may roll the tie breaker dice [this is seen instead as a brawl between the two players since the game is about brutality, it's a sort of straight up duking it out kinda brawl where one may take damage (attacking) or get knocked down (Tackling) knocked out game-lore wise)]

-at the end of each period the player may discard up to his/her whole hand and refresh it that way

as for not moving through players and not getting back up after being tackled i was wondering is anyone else's feelings on this mutual and if so how were/were there any house-rules on it? also did anyone else's game group complain about the same issues as well?

Personally I felt that the game rules were new and different but in a good way and I tried to keep an open mind but it's hard when everyone screams UNFAIR or the like, and you're trying to keep a group happy and wanting to play the game you invested in again and again

I realize this may not be the right place for this forum post and I apologize I wasn't really sure where this would have fit so I apologize again if I posted in the wrong forum, I'm still new to forums
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James Turner
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For the tie-breaker die, I don't think that change would hurt much, though the way it is in the rules, there's a pretty strong advantage for the active player (three +1s and a +2, but only one -1 and one -2). I think it adds a little more sweat when deciding which cards to use on defense, since you really don't want to spark a tie-breaker.

Discarding your hand every period seems a bit much. I've considered doing it at the half, but not every period. I will say this: I've never ended a period without one of every energy card burned in front of me. The psychology of knowing which card to play, when to sandbag a contest and when to actually try to win, is important, and the game flow of having a bad hand and still winning is important, too. My wife had bad cards for two entire periods, but she still beat me by ten points. In another game, I didn't even win a single contest for the whole first period, but I still won by 3 points. There are so many ways to score in this game that having dead cards in your hand isn't the end of the world... and trying to goad your opponent into spending cards so you can end a period more quickly and clear out your dead cards is part of playing the game.

Not moving through other players never bothered me, though I can see why D&D players might be irked by it. Not being able to stand up bothered me at first, but the periods are short enough that it's not that big a deal, and honestly, if you could stand up that would seriously underbalance Tackling, which is a one-shot way to disable an enemy, but it doesn't contribute to your kill count, which can make for a massive score swing at the end of the game.

As in most situations, I suggest you try to get your group to play it a fwe more times with rules-as-written, and see if they come around. In my experience, though, the rules are anything but unfair.
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Krome Angel
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I actually agree with you on the fact that the rules weren't unfair and i do agree with the tie breaker rule too it does make you want to avoid those situations, however again if EVERYBODY doesnt get to do something then they have an unfair advantage -_-

However, for the cards, most of the comments were that the other group members "feel useless" when they have a hand full of cards they cant use that was probably the biggest complaint and I tried explaining that to them that it's not about being severely OP or always having a solution, however coming from other board games where everyone has the same chances to do things and such to this a lot of them felt really put off or that the game was stupid or that it wasn't for them which is saddening to hear when you bought the game to play WITH them hence the rule changes.

Actually i forgot to mention one more that we had to change was the ball picking up...they felt that it's stupid if you still have movement left but cannot move after you pick up the ball. they kept pulling the "that wouldnt happen in real life" argument ~rolls eyes~

Just imagine what our DnD sessions are like ~cries~ and I'm the dedicated DM >_<

I'm not meaning to argue against you however, I actually agree with you on your points because I actually enjoy when games are new and different because then you have to actually ya know...think.

It's unique not just a cookie cutter of something else, however when it puts the game itself in jeopardy of sitting on the shelf whenever we have game night it's a little saddening when you really enjoy it and want to play it but your group doesn't because they don't agree with some rules :\ it's a damned if you do damned if you don't kinda scenario tbh
 
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John E
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What I had thought about for discarding cards was that each team would get one Timeout that they could use for the whole game. When they call a timeout they lose their whole turn but they can discard up to their whole hand and redraw to 7. That would help people when they get that one terrible period with cards that just don't help them right now.

Having both people roll the tiebreaker die is essentially the same as a coinflip; might as well do that. It also could easily end in another tie (both roll +1). It's supposed to slightly favor the initiator and supposed to provide a one-step resolution.

Honestly the best approach for your friends is that this is first and foremost a board-game. It's not really trying to tactically simulate some fantasy sport match; that would be bloodbowl or dreadball. The rules they are getting hung up on were all put in place to ensure the game doesn't bog down. If you can just stand your guys up then the value of tackling and some other abilities just goes away.

That being said, if you all enjoy it that way you are free to play however you like. It's your game! Give it a couple of tries 'as written' though, and I bet some of those rules that you guys are not liking will start to make sense.
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James Turner
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An important part of the card aspect of the game is bluffing: Making the opponent waste big cards on unimportant contests ("Oh man, I really don't want you to attack me and waste a +5 when I move into your killzone... Oh no! You did! I guess I'll have to use my +5 next time, since I you you've burned yours!") and tricking him into using weak cards when you're about to play big ones. The Upset card still freaks me out when I'm trying to decide what card to use!

You could make it so that cards don't "die", but that makes having a really good hand nearly impossible to beat. The way it is, it makes that second +5 even less useful than a "live" +1.

Changing out your hand at the period won't likely break the game, but it will diminish the intended bluffing game and the challenge of deciding how to proceed with the resources you have. If your group doesn't like that aspect, then it's probably worth changing it. Like I say, I've considered allowing a discard-and-draw-up at the end of the 1st half.

You could make it so that they have to burn an active card to stand up. That would speed up periods quite a bit, but it does force a decision on their part. Or they have to spend an entire turn to stand up, maybe. Or both! It would still devalue Tackling quite a bit, and it also involves the rule that when a KDed player stands up with another player in his square, both figures are immediately benched.

The tiebreaker die house rule isn't likely a big deal. It sounds like your players equate "rolling the die" as "doing something", so let 'em roll it.
 
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Krome Angel
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Yeah I mean ultimately I know that it can be made into whatever we would like, it's just more so that its frustrating having to house rule things when you know it doesn't work that way and such

I'll give it a try with them again as written but having known these guys for 7+ years I can already see how it's going to go sadly but I'll still give it a shot and see what comes of it, they could surprise me lol

i just dont want this game to collect dust thats my biggest fear...sucks when YOU have to be the one to keep everyone else happy -_- lol i appreciae the suggestions though guys if you come across any more issues like this or anything i'd love to hear ideas that i can throw around without throwing off the balance of the game or bog it down

the tie breaker was a huge thing just cause i would roll and they would immediately pick it up to roll against me and i would say oh, oh no you cant only the active player does and they would get that sour look and be like "what? that's stupid how am i ever supposed to win then if theres only two negative things"

as for always getting plus ones it becomes a roll off at that point and game-lore wise thats the two players "fighting" so just throwing punches until someone gets a +2 -1 or -2 soblue
 
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Krome Angel
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Silopolis wrote:
An important part of the card aspect of the game is bluffing: Making the opponent waste big cards on unimportant contests ("Oh man, I really don't want you to attack me and waste a +5 when I move into your killzone... Oh no! You did! I guess I'll have to use my +5 next time, since I you you've burned yours!") and tricking him into using weak cards when you're about to play big ones. The Upset card still freaks me out when I'm trying to decide what card to use!

You could make it so that cards don't "die", but that makes having a really good hand nearly impossible to beat. The way it is, it makes that second +5 even less useful than a "live" +1.

Changing out your hand at the period won't likely break the game, but it will diminish the intended bluffing game and the challenge of deciding how to proceed with the resources you have. If your group doesn't like that aspect, then it's probably worth changing it. Like I say, I've considered allowing a discard-and-draw-up at the end of the 1st half.

You could make it so that they have to burn an active card to stand up. That would speed up periods quite a bit, but it does force a decision on their part. Or they have to spend an entire turn to stand up, maybe. Or both! It would still devalue Tackling quite a bit, and it also involves the rule that when a KDed player stands up with another player in his square, both figures are immediately benched.

The tiebreaker die house rule isn't likely a big deal. It sounds like your players equate "rolling the die" as "doing something", so let 'em roll it.


Hmmm i like that burning a live card to stand up kinda ruling...i'll actually have to run that by them, that would be fair and while it would devaluate tackling at the same time it's a tackle PLUS forcing them to burn a card as well...that could work and i'll have to try that out

as for the bluffing part i dont think they really even understand how it's supposed to even work, ive tried explaining no its because i dont know whats in your hand and i dont know what youre gonna use THEM: but you're just gonna win regardless so it's pointless for me to even play a card since i dont have anything I might as well just discard it instead and kill off my guy...Me: sigh -_-
 
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Dave Kudzma
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I think letting both players roll the tie breaker die takes away the purpose of the die; encouraging the players to be offensive and aggressive. Both players rolling might as well be not rolling at all. The die has three +1 faces, and if both roll there's a 50% chance it will result in another tie.

Not moving through other players? It's like chess. Other than castling you cannot do it. Those restrictions make the game more tactical, otherwise the board opens up so wide you're never really "safe", and cannot force someone into a vulnerable position.

Not being able to stand back up makes you have that bit of fear, and the risks are more real. In some of the best games I have played the ones with the ability to take the biggest risks return the biggest emotional reward.

Discarding your hand at the end of each period is extreme in my eyes. I could see discarding one as a house rule, but having useless cards during a period makes another aspect of the game, bluffing, possible. It's VERY satisfying to force your opponents best cards out of their hands while you play a dead card. I had a game where I drew 4 threes in the first period alone, and yet I succeeded at forcing my opponents best cards out of his hand. Late in the period I finally got a non-three (a 4 I believe, and they had already played Booster Bru, 5, 4 and Upset) and I knew I could win the next contest I started. It was for a kill, and got me the kills bonus between periods.

I know it is easy to want the game to be wide open, but the restrictions are there to provide tactical options, tension, and more. I also know it can be difficult when your friends aren't happy with the way certain aspects of a game work; I've done a fair bit of play testing, and sometimes that's when the grumbles are the loudest.

In the end, I would keep trying to make as few changes as you can, but overall make the changes that you have to if it means everyone is having fun. Fun is the only part of a game that really matters.
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Krome Angel
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locusshifter wrote:
I think letting both players roll the tie breaker die takes away the purpose of the die; encouraging the players to be offensive and aggressive. Both players rolling might as well be not rolling at all. The die has three +1 faces, and if both roll there's a 50% chance it will result in another tie.

Not moving through other players? It's like chess. Other than castling you cannot do it. Those restrictions make the game more tactical, otherwise the board opens up so wide you're never really "safe", and cannot force someone into a vulnerable position.

Not being able to stand back up makes you have that bit of fear, and the risks are more real. In some of the best games I have played the ones with the ability to take the biggest risks return the biggest emotional reward.

Discarding your hand at the end of each period is extreme in my eyes. I could see discarding one as a house rule, but having useless cards during a period makes another aspect of the game, bluffing, possible. It's VERY satisfying to force your opponents best cards out of their hands while you play a dead card. I had a game where I drew 4 threes in the first period alone, and yet I succeeded at forcing my opponents best cards out of his hand. Late in the period I finally got a non-three (a 4 I believe, and they had already played Booster Bru, 5, 4 and Upset) and I knew I could win the next contest I started. It was for a kill, and got me the kills bonus between periods.

I know it is easy to want the game to be wide open, but the restrictions are there to provide tactical options, tension, and more. I also know it can be difficult when your friends aren't happy with the way certain aspects of a game work; I've done a fair bit of play testing, and sometimes that's when the grumbles are the loudest.

In the end, I would keep trying to make as few changes as you can, but overall make the changes that you have to if it means everyone is having fun. Fun is the only part of a game that really matters.


I honestly completely agree with you which in the end is kinda what prompted me to post i know that part of me is sad that i cant enjoy the game to it's fullest with this current group because it just needs to be dumbed down essentially and turned into DnD 4.0 where the game cant be challenging and it needs to hold everyone's hand (sorry to any and all 4.0 players in here)

too bad you werent local i would be wayyyy more inclined to play with your group if it means less house rules and more of the tension and fear and the rewarding nature of the game when you make an epic play, instead of the way it is now...i mean dont get me wrong it's fun but just not AS fun to me, but in the end i just need to keep everybody happy and having fun which again i agree with you is the whole part of playing games for sure.
 
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James Turner
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Using locusshifter's example of bluffing, tell them to think of it as a "pump fake" or whatever, in sports terms. You go up and do a Tackle, knowing that if you lose, the worst thing that could happen is you get pushed back one space. So if you absolutely don't need to do anything big, or you simply can't because you have bad cards, go up and do a Tackle, acting like you're sure you're going to win, and try to get him to commit with a big card. Just like a dude in hockey or basketball might fake a shot to get the defender to overcommit so he can go around and make a better shot.

Locusshifter's right about the roll-offs (50% of the time it'll just be another roll-off), but if they really love rolling dice, so be it. I found that my wife and I tied a contest maybe four times in a game, so it's not that big a deal.

Discarding after the period will cycle the deck more quickly and devalue the bluffing game. If they don't care about the bluffing game (or simply don't understand it), that might not be that big a deal.

Standing up after KD seems the bigger deal. If you allow burning a card to stand, then your periods will be a lot faster, and you'll find people frustrated about having so many dead cards.

It may be that you need to ease them into it. I might suggest playing something like Cosmic Encounter, which has the bluffing game without the assumptions that minitures provide. Maybe that would get them to understand the fun of bluffing and how it works... and how awesome it feels when you pull off a good bluff.
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Brian
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Dave I just wanted to say your analysis of the game mechanics is just superb. I haven't played the game yet since I just got it, and I had this huge fear the game was too simplistic for my liking. But reading what you wrote changed my opinion immensely. I cannot wait to play Kaosball now.
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Duncan Idaho
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locusshifter wrote:


I know it is easy to want the game to be wide open, but the restrictions are there to provide tactical options, tension, and more.


This. To me, it sounds like your group just wants to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. That's Calvinball, not an actual game. You need to have limits in order to force creativity and strategy.

As to the specific suggestions:
1) Both rolling the die - strongly favors the attacker. You could go from a tie to +4 for the attacker (+2/-2 roll), which would kill pretty much everyone. The defender, on the other hand, could only do 1 damage.

2) Full hand discard - if you want to remove pretty much all strategy, go for it. As Dave said, the game is about hand management and making the other guy toss his good stuff. If you get a whole new hand each period, there's no strategy between them. And thematically? If you go hog wild one period, you're going to be tired the next.

3) If you start changing the knock-down rules, you're going to have other issues - see the problems with Boot to the Head.

4) Moving through other players - that's not how sports work.
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John Paul Messerly
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Silopolis wrote:


It may be that you need to ease them into it. I might suggest playing something like Cosmic Encounter, which has the bluffing game without the assumptions that minitures provide. Maybe that would get them to understand the fun of bluffing and how it works... and how awesome it feels when you pull off a good bluff.


My group reacted strongly against the concept that the game was all about playing cards rather than rolling dice till I told them it played out like combat in Cosmic Encounter... now they are excited to play. The idea of not being able to stand up was also frustrating at first but once they realized how short the quarters are and that they automatically stand up each quarter they were ok with It. The quarters are so short you really have to optimize your moves.
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Ben Nietzel
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just to piggy back on Dave's comment about the die roll. I think the die roll mechanic is really important as it is. As the active player, you are at a disadvantage in that when you enter a killzone, your enemy can select a reaction that best suits them. This occurs before you can instigate the action you were hoping to do (even if that action is just running by them). The tie breaker dice, with it's statistical advantage for the active player, helps to balance this a bit. In this way, if I can even just tie my opponent, I have a better chance of getting to do the action I wanted in the first place.

I feel like, with my limited experience, changing this would be to the real determent of the active player.
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Dave Kudzma
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I'd also like to chime back in and say I had two more games with a newer player; he had only played the introductory game without upgrades or ringers prior to the two plays.

After the first "full" game, he was still thinking that draw luck guided things too heavily; I had drawn more tactics and cheats, so it seemed like I had a big advantage. Well, in the second game he focused more on what his team was good at, only bought the ringer and upgrades that suited him best, saving more money to pay off officials after some heavier cheating. It was a VERY close game once he focused more on the tactics and bluffing. Oh, and as for drawing "all the good cards"? Well, in the second game I had plenty, but ran out of money so I was getting fouls and having to make up those points since I was being assessed the penalty. Further, I wasn't getting as many numbers, so I had to work some other angles and pick my spots with fewer contests that really counted for my overall strategy with that draw luck. I pushed the round forward, bluffed live cards out of his hand, and by the end of the third period I had come from a near 20 point auto-loss to almost 20 points ahead!

Such a great game. I'm still thinking that perhaps there could be a discard rule added some how, but it's not a requirement since everything evens out in the end. If it doesn't, it will likely be over fast enough that you'll just want to play again any way.
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