John Choong
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
Wilayah Persekutuan
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Hello fellow Kaosballers,

I have just received by Kaosball set last week (but have been playing with my friend's copy prior to my game arriving). With 18 teams, some players may have difficult to chose which one to play. I though putting down the team difficulty rating will be a helpful guide for new players in determining their choice.

The difficulty rating is based on my own opinion. I evaluated each team based on its (1)stat, (2) team ability, (3) sustainability of the figures which depending on their life points, (4) complexity in managing the team on the board such as when dealing with issue of positioning (such as Goblin, Hellcat, Troll) and timing(such as Paragon, Lycantrophe), and the (5) degree of mental thinking especially when playing mind games (which include Samurai, Ninja, and Klockwerk).

Teams with 1 difficulty rating will be the easiest to play. They are often quite straightforward in their approach. Difficulty rating of 6 means those particular is the most difficult to handle which is due to many factors.

However, do bear in mind that some teams may fare better in 1 vs 1 match, in a multiplayer game, they may not be that good.

Difficulty Rating 1
Amazon, Barbarian, Vampire
Amazon - it's Melee Mastery team ability is annoying to deal with. Plus the fact that Amazon can easily kill of opposing figures with its +2 in its attack. I often hate the situation where Amazon can steal, tackle, and attack without needing to be on my killzones thus denying me the opportunity to react However, as advised by some other players, if possible go for tackle especially when your stat on tackling is higher.

Barbarian - This team can be a beast if you are able to acquire Pain/Gain as an upgrade. With their relative high life points, Barbarian can afford to lose 1 life and gain +1 when contesting. And it synergise well with its team ability. In total, it is possible for a Barbarian to gain +3 to any contest (1 from its stat, 1 from Pain/Gain, and 1 from its team ability).

Vampire - Initially I am not sure whether to put Vampire as rating 1 or rating 2 but they seems easy to use. They can be quite sustainable on the board especially, when they can heal themselves by 1 life every time they win a contest. Get a ringer with high life point like T-Bone, it will make it challenging for opposing team to handle the Vampire. With +1 in attacking, this will make them less easy to kill. Nevertheless, Vampire should focus on tackling due to its +2 stat (like when dealing with Amazon) and kill occasionally if opportunity arises.

Difficulty Rating 2
Daemon, Valkyrie, Pirate
Daemon - I rate 2 for Daemon because player need to consider positioning and there is a challenge to move a Daemon figure to a space when they can cause optimal hurt to as many opposing figures as possible. In some ways, Deamon's team ability may look good initially, players have to bear in mind that the effect can be cancelled by burning an Energy card of 3 or higher (even though if they are dead cards - but correct me if I am wrong here). Nevertheless, if Daemon can successfully gain Hate, they could also earn point from their Smokin' Hot ability and not just by attacking.

Valkyrie - I like how both the Bruisers and Runners have relatively high life point and I like its +1 stat across all its action. However, their team ability may be more difficult to work with as some thinking will be required. The reason for me to say this is that you have to decide when it is a good time not to activate a figure and call down Vanir's judgement. Players may have to evaluate whether it is well-worth to take a damage on your figure and deal damage to your opponent's figure. I think a useful situation is when your opponent's figures have 1 life left especially when their life points are reduced by the fire token or Bzzt cheat card.

Nevertheless, I like the fact that Vanir's judgement can also work on the Valkyrie's Runners giving them greater offensive and make opponent to think twice whether they should get their figures near a Runner which in general cannot attack or tackle.

I like the tactic of some players where they have their Valkyrie commit suicide by activating Vanir's judgement in order to deny the opponent's getting a kill but at the same deal the opponent's figure some damage before dying.

Troll - the Troll figures also have a relatively high life point with Bruisers 4 making it difficult to kill. They have a very strong tackling stat (i.e. +2) but have to be careful about getting killed due to its +0 to attacking. Personally, their high life point can help deal with most attacks and enable the Troll to endure in the game.

The focus of the Troll should be on knocking down the opposing figures. Why I give them difficulty rating of 2 is because it takes some thinking on when and where to put the Trash tokens. It is fortunate for the Troll that in the new FAQ, it is stated, you can continue placing trash tokens after two of them are in place on the board by simply removing the existing one and placing it elsewhere. A Troll player will need to be able to anticipate where is the point of weakness in their positioning and where will the opposing player likely to move their figures in order to effectively place the trash.

One good tactic is to place a trash on the major scoring to prevent your opponent from air-dropping a Runner using Hail Mary at end of a period.

Pirate - I consider Pirate to be quite straightforward in play. Basically, they can cheat with impunity due to the cash they can earn from every win in the contest. In addition, it is helpful to them that both Bruisers and Runners have 3 life making them less easy to be killed off. And the team have quite a good stat.

However, Pirate should not be used if you are introducing the game without the use of upgrade and ringers.

Difficulty Rating 3
Paragon, Warlock, Lycanthrope
Paragon - Good timing is critical to playing Paragon effectively in terms of knowing when to activate its team ability since you will have to bench one of your figure. As discussed on some thread, that benching the figure is useful by denying your opponent's kill and fully heal them (this can be useful to save your Ringer).

In addition, I like the tactic where players use Greater Good bearing the end of a period to bench a figure, win a contest and then on subsequent turn, play Hail Mary on the Major Scoring mound.

Lycanthrope - Personally, for this team you need to know when to switch your figure (especially from Runner to Bruiser) and be able to anticipate your opponent's move to effectively establish board control. Yet due to the low life point of the Runner +2 and +0 to attack, Lycanthrope has to be careful not to allow its Runner get killed and has to be aware of the problem of switching back from Werewolf form to Human form when that figure already sustain 1 damage. Due to this, I find this team may not be so straightforward to be played with.

I think Hardy will benefit Lycanthrope significant. (Generally speaking, Hardy will benefit any teams with figures having 2 life points.)

Warlock - To effectively use its team ability, timing is important. When and which figure should you put your Curse on. Often you would like to target the opponent's ringer and you may want to move one of your Warlock there to lose a contest and change

However, I find there is a risk of killing the frog too fast and would probably reserve such action in the second or fourth period. My rationale is that by maintaining the frog token into the second and fourth period, my opponent would only have 4 effective figures to deal against me. In early part of the second and fourth period, I killed frog and later turn another figure to a frog so my opponent would only have 3 effective figures (unless Hail Mary is played). Due to such intricate play, I rate this team of having 3 difficulty.


Difficulty Rating 4
Hellcat, Zombie, Cowboy, Klockwerk
Hellcat - This team has an all-around good stat and relatively good life point for both Runners and Bruisers. My only contention is on how to effectively use their ability which make them less of a "straightforward" team. There is a danger that Hellcat player focusing too much on tackling in order to gain the benefit of its team ability later. Sometimes, it may be better for Hellcat to attack depending on the match-up and the game state.

The tactic card scatter will be very useful at the end of a period and once you have some opposing figures Knocked Down so you can easily move your Runner towards those knocked down figure and minor scoring mound (where the zone of latter is not protected by a Bruiser). Maybe Hellcat plays better in a multiplayer game as other opponent would probably cause another team's figures to get knocked down.

Zombie - For some reasons, I have yet to grasp on how I could effectively use Zombie's team ability. Overall, the team figures have a relatively enduring life points (i.e. 3) and is threatening due to +1 to both its tackling and attacking. Perhaps,they are useful in blocking the opposing team's passage for gain scores on some of the scoring mound and getting the ball as the Zombies can all move 1 space into the opponent's killzones without fear of reaction. Need to play more of this team to figure out how it can be used effectively.

Cowboy - On first glance, I somehow don't really like Cowboy because of their low life point for both Runner and Bruiser. Though some players vouch for Cowboy due to the team ability of being to declare attack at 2 clear line spaces without the need of having to enter into the opponent killzones. It seems to me that for this team, Hate will be useful to them as they would often go for attack. Perhaps, Hardy will make them more sustainable in case they may lose an attacking contest. In addition, Butcher as a Ringer will be very much helpful to this team.

Somehow, Cowboy should not run forward to the further end of the cross-field and should wait for the opponent to advance so it can shoot from a far.

Yet, Cowboy has to be careful of having the opposing player gain control of the ball and then play the Wall card in order to protect its Runner holding the ball so it can continue to score on the minor scoring run for a few turns.

Personally, I think whether Cowboy team will be effective will depend on your upgrade and Ringer which leads me to assign difficulty rating of 4 to this team.

Klockwerk - I gave Klockwerk a 4 due to the need of greater degree of thinking when using the Team ability, "Overload". Somehow, Overload can be used for blaughing purpose and not necessary it has to be declared when a player want to play a energy card with a Star. Furthermore, it would be to the Klockwerk's disbenefits when they are to eager in using Overload ability and play all their starred energy card early in the game which will prevent Klockwerk player to play mind games on the opponent.

A good combo for Klockwerk is when it has Hardy or Powerplay tactic in play. Whether Klockwerk win or lose an attacking contest after declaring Overload, they will not lose a life.

Difficulty Rating 5
Ninja, Samurai
I consider both Ninja and Samurai to be a trickster team. This is more so for the latter. I gave both a high difficulty rating because it demands a great deal of thinking to play them effectively and not just straightforward move them for offence. For Ninja, i have to be able to guess what cards that my opponent is playing and require me to pay careful attention on the energy cards that have been played so I can play the same value card in order to gain automatic win.

For Samurai, there is a need to decide what cards to show your opponent, and then knowing what cards to be played, whether it is the same or different.

I find both these teams are not recommended for beginning player unless they are already good at blaughing games

Difficulty Rating 6
Goblin, Ogre
Goblin - I think most people would agree, Goblin because of its low life and zero stats, they are difficult to be played. But if they can position themselves carefully and remain on the board, Goblin have the potential of winning by a blowout. I find getting Panther will help Goblin tremendously in order to bench your opponent figure. I believe it is best for Goblin to move first and if they opponent are not able to kill or knock-down a Goblin figure protecting the field, they fill face the risk of their figures being benched by Mosh Pit.

In addition, Hardy upgrade will help Goblin a lot. Opponent will need to consider whether to kill a Goblin or knock them down (most probably it will be killing). Knocking a Goblin down during the 1st and 2nd period can pose a risk to the opposing player as the knocked down figure will stand up and then the risk of having figures being benched will most likely to occur.

I would not recommend Goblin as the first few team to be played with by a beginner as some my feel frustrated if they don't know how to use them effectively. It takes great deal of thinking to position and move.

Ogre - Though Ogre has high life point, it stats is low with the exception of tackling. It team ability demands Ogre player to have good position in order to push the opposing's figure back. To make use of this effectively, Ogre's Stomp can be best combo with a Wall but I've seen some games when player are fixated in pulling of this combo, they place the Wall in such a way that it becomes a disadvantage to the Ogre itself.


And there you go of my opinion of the difficulty for each team. In terms of match-up here are some recommended which I believe can provide an balance and enjoyable play.


Amazon vs Barbarian
Amazon vs Troll
Amazon vs Vampire
Amazon vs Barbarian vs Vampire vs Troll

Daemon vs Valkyrie
Pirate vs Valkyrie vs Daemon
Pirate vs Klockwerk

Paragon vs Warlock
Warlock vs Lycanthrope
Paragon vs Lycanthrope vs Warlock
Cowboy vs Lycanthrope
Paragon vs Cowboy
Cowboy vs Lycanthrope vs Paragon

Hellcat vs Goblin
Hellcat vs Ogre
Zombie vs Goblin
Zombie vs Hellcat
Zombie vs Hellcat vs Goblin
Zombie vs Hellcat vs Goblin vs Ogre

Samurai vs Ninja (I often call this the mind game match-up)
Klockwerk vs Ninja vs Samurai


If you have other opinion of the above do share with us. Thank you for reading and enjoy the game.

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David Wann
Australia
Western Australia
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PARAGONS
A tactic I found immensely useful with them, especially against teams that are tackle strong (Vampires) is to use the team ability and bench a figure that is downed. We were not sure if this was allowed at first but after a bit of discussion we decided that it is within the wording of their team ability. This really increases their effectiveness.

SAMURAI
I have had a game where the manager played the exact card he said every time. Not much in the way of mind games, but it did give him an easy 20+ points for using the energy card he said he would use. If the manager of the Samurai does this every contest they are an easy team to use, and hard to prevent slowing points gain.

In a 2 player game we do not usually have less than 4 contests a period which amounts to a minimum of 16 points for the Samurai. A smart Samurai player pretty much refused to use cheats and tactic cards to slow the periods down to gain as many contests as possible, thus more opportunity for an easy 1 point.

In my opinion an easy team to play.

KLOCKWERK

Played them today and used Overload to prevent the opposing manager getting the chance to kill my figure. Sure it reduced my numbers of players but the amount of kills I got from it worked well for me, especially as killing off my own stopped the opposition getting close to me with the most kills bonus points.

WARLOCK
Doesn't their ability reset every period? Not every half? So you can frog a figure each period? I loved this team ability, my favourite by far.

OGRES
Work best against a team with no bonus to tackle. Get a bruiser into the centre of the field ASAP and keep him alive. If you can the last action in each period is to stomp with him, pushing all enemy figures off the minor scoring mounds. They are great at preventing the opponents scoring. Its usually a low scoring match vs Ogres.....or a blowout against them.
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John Choong
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
Wilayah Persekutuan
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Obi Wann wrote:

SAMURAI
I have had a game where the manager played the exact card he said every time. Not much in the way of mind games, but it did give him an easy 20+ points for using the energy card he said he would use. If the manager of the Samurai does this every contest they are an easy team to use, and hard to prevent slowing points gain.

In a 2 player game we do not usually have less than 4 contests a period which amounts to a minimum of 16 points for the Samurai. A smart Samurai player pretty much refused to use cheats and tactic cards to slow the periods down to gain as many contests as possible, thus more opportunity for an easy 1 point.


That may work. Because of this the reason, i have Samurai paired with Ninja in a match-up. If the Samurai player wants to play the exact card it declares, Ninja can play the same card for auto-win. so there is a great deal of mind game between these two teams. And in a multiplayer game, it may be best not to make Samurai as the first figure for reaction to avoid giving them free points. For teams which are specialise on killing (e.g. Amazon) and dealing damages (e.g. Daemon) should go after Hate as upgrade to go against Samurai's Team ability.

Hellcat
Just to add, don't bother to take advantage of Hellcat's team ability on the 1st and 3rd period, because if you stand on a knock-down figure, at the beginning of the even those knocked down figure will be benched (unless that is your intention and don't mind losing your figure on the board). As such, i would often opt for attacking at the 1st and 2nd period unless the opponent's team attack stat is higher.
 
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