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Subject: The shirt could use some ironing...? rss

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Andy Lindstrom
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I've had some thoughts of late about what I feel makes a good game and also been wondering a bit about where this game might go. I think it's a beautiful game, and I really like it, but it's like a nice shirt that could use a bit of ironing. The following are some of the minor problems and some of the potential solutions that might exist.

Wrinkle 1) Every card and strategy should have a reliable counter-strategy. I feel that there is one dominant strategy currently with very little in the way of reliable counter. A well supported casual and competitive play environment helps prolong the longevity of a game. The casual play is great, with lots of possible options to keep the game fresh. Competitive is pretty thin right now (will probably get better).

Solutions:
-- A new global that says "For remainder of turn, any KO'ed card moves to used." 1 mask
-- A card that says "When X is on the field, any KO'ed character moves to used."
-- Either a global or "when X is on the field" ability that states: "Any non-combat damage to a player is reduced by half to a minimum of 1."

Wrinkle 2) I think this game could benefit from some more hidden information. Someone said recently "Once I see what my opponent rolls, I know exactly what he is going to do." To which someone else says, "How boring." I don't entirely agree, but I somewhat agree. I think that the following could help:

Solutions:
-- Some character dice that have "?'s" instead of other energy.
-- Along with the prior solution, more globals and more diverse globals. This could increase the uncertainty in making decisions. You know what your opponent could do but not what they will do. Admittedly, this could lead to a bit more AP, but it could work.

Wrinkle 3) Action dice are too random and expensive to be used reliably. I almost never see anyone buy them. Almost anything an action die can do, a character can do better and/or more reliably.

Solutions:
-- New type of action called "Reserved" actions (could also be rule revision). This would look like an action die that doesn't go directly into your bag but instead was in some "holding area" until you wanted to roll it. It was then rolled as if it was in prep. After that, it resumes normal flow.
-- It's a rule revision, and I haven't playtested it, but a change such that any used action moved to prep (only used action, not spent energy). This might increase the power of actions too much (especially some of the newer OP ones), but I think it'd be worth a try.

Wrinkle 4) Most of the more expensive dice are riskier, as an un-rolled character face has higher drawback.

Solutions:
-- Cards that always represent higher cost characters could have 4 character faces and a 2 energy side and a 3 energy side.

I can't think of any others, but I'd welcome other people's thoughts on these and any others you might have. This is partially just speculation for where they might go or should go, but I'd like to hear what others think.
 
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lindstad wrote:


Wrinkle 1) Every card and strategy should have a reliable counter-strategy. I feel that there is one dominant strategy currently with very little in the way of reliable counter.



Completely disagree with that position.

Plenty of counters and inhibitors and things to force the player to do something. Don't like Johnny Storm in the field, force it to attack.
Don't like Tsarina, force her to attack, re-roll her, spin down a Beast.


lindstad wrote:


Solutions:
-- A new global that says "For remainder of turn, any KO'ed card moves to used." 1 mask
-- A card that says "When X is on the field, any KO'ed character moves to used."
-- Either a global or "when X is on the field" ability that states: "Any non-combat damage to a player is reduced by half to a minimum of 1."


That's fine with a new Global, thought I'd make it an Action Die instead.

Storm card takes care of moving a non-character die, after roll, to Used.

Fine on your 3rd global, but I'd go for an Action Die as well.

lindstad wrote:


Solutions:
-- Some character dice that have "?'s" instead of other energy.
-- Along with the prior solution, more globals and more diverse globals. This could increase the uncertainty in making decisions. You know what your opponent could do but not what they will do. Admittedly, this could lead to a bit more AP, but it could work.


Play differently to throw your opponent off.

I don't see, and I hope, the dice don't change....This is a non-issue for me. But more globals in the future could help with your concerns.

lindstad wrote:


Wrinkle 3) Action dice are too random and expensive to be used reliably. I almost never see anyone buy them. Almost anything an action die can do, a character can do better and/or more reliably.


Only cause people who think they have figured out the Meta believe this is not viable.

Then we had other posters stating the Action Dice, Power Bolt, was just too powerful and they wanted to house rule that you can't use Power Bolt when a player as his last 2 energy. LOL!!!! Cost of the card is only 3. And that will cause 2 Damage without a player being able to stop it. Tsarina/Punisher like, without having to field a character.

Sorry, but action dice have their advantages, if you choose not to buy them, then they won't help you and you can play as you like. If you decide to use them, you might find you get some use out of them from an unsuspecting opponent.

 
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Andy Lindstrom
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DrWhoWho wrote:
lindstad wrote:


Wrinkle 1) Every card and strategy should have a reliable counter-strategy. I feel that there is one dominant strategy currently with very little in the way of reliable counter.



Completely disagree with that position.

Plenty of counters and inhibitors and things to force the player to do something. Don't like Johnny Storm in the field, force it to attack.
Don't like Tsarina, force her to attack, re-roll her, spin down a Beast.




Do you have Vassal, and if so, would you be open to some playtesting sessions sometime? If you have a good counter, I'd like to play against it sometime and see how it fares. If it works, I'd love to bring it to the next tournament that I go to (where it seems like the same thing always wins). I haven't been able to crack the nut, but maybe someone has...
 
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Andy Lindstrom
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I just remembered one other wrinkle...

Wrinkle 5) It seems like there is a pretty significant player 1 advantage

I'm not sure what the solution is there...
 
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lindstad wrote:
I just remembered one other wrinkle...

Wrinkle 5) It seems like there is a pretty significant player 1 advantage

I'm not sure what the solution is there...


Like most games.

But really, not that big of an issue.

It's DICE....you can't always roll good dice.
 
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lindstad wrote:

Do you have Vassal, and if so, would you be open to some playtesting sessions sometime? If you have a good counter, I'd like to play against it sometime and see how it fares. If it works, I'd love to bring it to the next tournament that I go to (where it seems like the same thing always wins). I haven't been able to crack the nut, but maybe someone has...


Tell me, what is our ultimate Meta Deck that is unbeatable and you can do nothing against not matter what, every single game.

Give me that list, I will give you my counter, and you can try it on Vassal yourself.

I only have 1 SR, Sarina in my collection. She will be included, but I only put 2 dice on her, as she's simply not all that.

Do I need a certain win ratio for you to accept the counter?

 
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Andy Lindstrom
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DrWhoWho wrote:
lindstad wrote:

Do you have Vassal, and if so, would you be open to some playtesting sessions sometime? If you have a good counter, I'd like to play against it sometime and see how it fares. If it works, I'd love to bring it to the next tournament that I go to (where it seems like the same thing always wins). I haven't been able to crack the nut, but maybe someone has...


Tell me, what is our ultimate Meta Deck that is unbeatable and you can do nothing against not matter what, every single game.

Give me that list, I will give you my counter, and you can try it on Vassal yourself.

I only have 1 SR, Sarina in my collection. She will be included, but I only put 2 dice on her, as she's simply not all that.

Do I need a certain win ratio for you to accept the counter?



Over any size sample set, I'd look for 50%+, but like you say, luck plays into any individual game. Over infinite games, I'd look for 50%+.

In general, the deck is:
4x Tsarina
4x Johnny Storm
4x Beast 666
Distraction

Whatever else. The rules that it plays by are:

1) Tsarina almost always attacks and is thus rarely left on the field. I have run into very few situations where that is not true. A hulk green goliath in the field is almost the only reason this would not be true. At that point, I'm probably hosed anyway, but the game rarely progresses that far. I have found strats that slow this down but not any that stop it long term.
2) Johnny Storm never attacks unless lethal damage. This is the place where I have seen some people use storm, longbow, or another johnny storm to good effect, but that rarely works long term as well (other than another JS). If your opponent has a saved mask w/ fantastic or bolt with phoenix, it's a good idea to save a mask for distraction.

That's most of the strategy... Which is why it's kind of boring and I'd welcome a good counter.
 
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Tsarina has to be a bit careful when attacking. Best to use the Mask global to bring her back. That's when I attack with her.


MEGA META DECK: first player
Beast - 666 - 4 dice
Black Widow - Tsarina - 4 dice
Human Torch - Johnny Storm - 4 dice
Storm - African Priestess - 3 dice
Hawkeye - Longbow - 3 dice
Green Goblin - Goblin Lord - 1 die
Punisher - McRook - 1 die

Counter Deck: second player
Beast - Genetic Expert - 4 dice
Nick Fury - Mr. Anger - 4 dice
Human Torch - Fire Storm - 2 dice
Punisher - McRook - 3 dice
Hawkeye - Longbow - 3 dice
Storm - African Priestess - 2 dice
Green Goblin - Goblin Lord - 1 die

This was a quick win for Counter Deck, due to 2 things.

1, while player one managed to buy all 4 Tsarina dice after the second roll, did not get one out till the 4th roll for player one.

2, player two bought 2 Punishers in the first 2 rolls, and was lucky to field both upon 3rd roll, before Tsarina came out.

When Tsarina came out, player 2 was able to roll down to avoid Tsarina damage.

Later in the game, Tsarina had 3 dice in the field, against an unprotected player 2, which caused 10 damage on player 2.

At this point thought, Punsiher kept attacking, I allowed player 1 to take the damage in order to keep Tsarina in the field.

Final score, 10-0 in favor of Player 2's counter deck.


That's just one game, lasted less than 10 minutes. Punisher McRook, extremely good counter to the mega meta deck, IMO. Punsiher can do a lot, and a lot really fast.

Will play another shortly.




 
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Andy Lindstrom
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Thanks for the mini-report. I'd like to hear more on your further playtests, as it seems like player 2 had abnormally good luck in that particular game. I'll probably be trying some things this evening with Beast 666 and hulk and maybe a couple other heavy hitters.

McRook is *very* good. He takes the same line as Tsarina most of the time, and it's possible that he's faster and/or more consistent. That hasn't been my experience, but I suppose it's possible.

 
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Andy Lindstrom
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Also, this sequence seems weird to me:

2, player two bought 2 Punishers in the first 2 rolls, and was lucky to field both upon 3rd roll, before Tsarina came out.

When Tsarina came out, player 2 was able to roll down to avoid Tsarina damage.

Why didn't the punisher player just attack? When the tsarina player attacked, did he just spin down and then take the rest of the damage? Or did he block? The 10 damage on that one turn (and that is all) is just surprising to me.
 
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Yup. second game player 1's mega meta deck won 18-0.

2 early bought Punishers from player 2 were eating up a lot of energy due to fielding cost of 2(for level 3, which were being rolled) but they had to be fielded in an attempt to hold off Tsarina(especially).

This left player 2 pretty inadequate in the long run with so few character dice, as player 1 was able to keep buying while paying the lower fielding costs of Tsarinas.

I think one thing is true about the Meta, you need cheap cards. It just takes too long to get the expensive cards going in a lot of cases.
 
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lindstad wrote:
Also, this sequence seems weird to me:

2, player two bought 2 Punishers in the first 2 rolls, and was lucky to field both upon 3rd roll, before Tsarina came out.

When Tsarina came out, player 2 was able to roll down to avoid Tsarina damage.

Why didn't the punisher player just attack? When the tsarina player attacked, did he just spin down and then take the rest of the damage? Or did he block? The 10 damage on that one turn (and that is all) is just surprising to me.


sorry, this is more notes than a session report

Punisher did attack early, and often.

Tarina doesn't do that much damage, in those cases, no 3 damage was coming from Tsarina.

More often than not, Punisher spun down, then if Tsarina could not be pulled back, Punisher would block and send her to KO.

3 Tsarinas fielded, all 3 that do 2 damage. 1 Tsarina was pulled back after the attack phase. So 6+4 gave the 10 damage. iirc
 
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Chris Byer
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lindstad wrote:
DrWhoWho wrote:
lindstad wrote:


Wrinkle 1) Every card and strategy should have a reliable counter-strategy. I feel that there is one dominant strategy currently with very little in the way of reliable counter.



Completely disagree with that position.

Plenty of counters and inhibitors and things to force the player to do something. Don't like Johnny Storm in the field, force it to attack.
Don't like Tsarina, force her to attack, re-roll her, spin down a Beast.




Do you have Vassal, and if so, would you be open to some playtesting sessions sometime? If you have a good counter, I'd like to play against it sometime and see how it fares. If it works, I'd love to bring it to the next tournament that I go to (where it seems like the same thing always wins). I haven't been able to crack the nut, but maybe someone has...


Johnny Storm got you down? Try Hulk - Jade Giant
Tsarina? Try Beast- 666 or Beast - Genetic Expert
Gobby making you sad? Captain America - Star Spangled Avenger is pretty solid. Venom/Dr. Doom are excellent too.

Rally too much of an issue? I got nothing for you, until we get clarification that you don't spin dice to SK faces this card is broken as f.
 
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John Galietta III
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lindstad wrote:
Solutions:
-- A new global that says "For remainder of turn, any KO'ed card moves to used." 1 mask
-- A card that says "When X is on the field, any KO'ed character moves to used."
-- Either a global or "when X is on the field" ability that states: "Any non-combat damage to a player is reduced by half to a minimum of 1."


I can't really get behind your first 2. You are basically changing a key rule that makes this game unique. You might as well just jump into MTG. KOs going into the prep area isn't something that was done wrong, it's a part of the how the game is played and a strategy that must be considered during play and during team building. If your first thought about "wrinkles" is to make a way around a key game rule, this may not be the game for you.
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A Tsarina player is going to have a Mr. Fantastic, to make Beast and whoever attack.
 
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Andy Lindstrom
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Stryyder wrote:
lindstad wrote:
Solutions:
-- A new global that says "For remainder of turn, any KO'ed card moves to used." 1 mask
-- A card that says "When X is on the field, any KO'ed character moves to used."
-- Either a global or "when X is on the field" ability that states: "Any non-combat damage to a player is reduced by half to a minimum of 1."


I can't really get behind your first 2. You are basically changing a key rule that makes this game unique. You might as well just jump into MTG. KOs going into the prep area isn't something that was done wrong, it's a part of the how the game is played and a strategy that must be considered during play and during team building. If your first thought about "wrinkles" is to make a way around a key game rule, this may not be the game for you.


I like the game. I like the mechanic. I don't like certain inexpensively fielded cards that fall right in line with how this mechanic behaves. We've already had 2 examples of this, which are Tsarina and McRook. Those are both excellent aggro cards that are very difficult to counter over the long term. The main reason it is so difficult is because the damage from them cannot be blocked for the long term. I feel that the mechanic benefits cheap dice too much and expensive dice too little. So some of the cheap dice need to be scaled back and some of the expensive dice need to cost less or do more. It's less about not liking the game and not liking the mechanic and more about wanting good balance and giving some types of builds more tools.

Ultimately, all abilities and actions "break the rules" to some extent. What those cost is the big question.
 
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chbyer wrote:
Rally too much of an issue? I got nothing for you, until we get clarification that you don't spin dice to SK faces this card is broken as f.
Of course you spin the die to its sidekick face.

How is a communal card, which each player has equal chance of buying, broken?
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Peter Rabinowitz
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crambaza wrote:
How is a communal card, which each player has equal chance of buying, broken?

Because it further drives the meta to one or two cards, leaving the rest of the characters near worthless.
 
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kc2dpt wrote:
crambaza wrote:
How is a communal card, which each player has equal chance of buying, broken?

Because it further drives the meta to one or two cards, leaving the rest of the characters near worthless.
I don't think it does. We need more really good actions, so that everyone isn't just doing distraction and something else.

Soon there will be actual choice, and that's awesome.
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John Galietta III
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lindstad wrote:
I like the game. I like the mechanic. I don't like certain inexpensively fielded cards that fall right in line with how this mechanic behaves. We've already had 2 examples of this, which are Tsarina and McRook. Those are both excellent aggro cards that are very difficult to counter over the long term. The main reason it is so difficult is because the damage from them cannot be blocked for the long term. I feel that the mechanic benefits cheap dice too much and expensive dice too little. So some of the cheap dice need to be scaled back and some of the expensive dice need to cost less or do more. It's less about not liking the game and not liking the mechanic and more about wanting good balance and giving some types of builds more tools.

Ultimately, all abilities and actions "break the rules" to some extent. What those cost is the big question.


I see your point, but I don't see it as much of an issue. It could go either way though. My view on it is to use current gameplay to mitigate the problem. I've played against my share of Tsarinas and I've never run into the problem you're describing. That's where it comes down to a gameplay decision:
1) Do I block Tsarina and send her to the Prep area to come back and probably hit me again next turn?
2) Do I take the 1-3 damage and let her go through to the KO zone, possibly delaying her recursion for a couple turns?

In nearly every situation I did #2. As someone said in a previous thread, don't think of your life as something you have to guard ravenously. As in MTG, your life is another part of the game to manage. Taking a few points here and there to bolster your strategy or to hinder your opponent's is a strategy in itself.

Honestly, I could see a simple ability that hinders one KO from going to prep, or maybe two, but having something that says NO KOs go to prep that turn could too easily break the game.
 
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Andy Lindstrom
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John, good strategic advice. And I agree on your decisions (and that many people are too quick to block and/or kill to try and protect their life. And I think you might be right on the ability as a "when X is on the field, KO'ed to used" is too powerful or easily abused. I still like the paid cost ability for some flexibility. I bet we'll get one sometime, as it really looks like they are doing a lot of good things to balance or counter in uncanny. I thought they might, and it encourages me.
 
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Patrick
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I don't know how this will affect your wrinkles in the game, but these character spoilers were posted in another thread today (I don't think I saw you posting there, so maybe you haven't seen it yet):

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1207509/14-uncanny-x-men...

Don't worry about seeing a spoiler right after clicking the link, most of them (at least the first several posts, including 2 by me) are in the blank blue-gray "spoiler, click to reveal" box.
 
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C. E. Freeman
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myztery wrote:
A Tsarina player is going to have a Mr. Fantastic, to make Beast and whoever attack.


A beast player is going to have Distraction to return him to the field if someone tries to force him to attack.
 
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C. E. Freeman
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kc2dpt wrote:
crambaza wrote:
How is a communal card, which each player has equal chance of buying, broken?

Because it further drives the meta to one or two cards, leaving the rest of the characters near worthless.


Only if you let it. New games tend to trend toward the obvious teams/decks, which are frequently rush type builds. There are almost always alternatives and there are definitely options in MDM. Players need to be willing to look outside their comfort zones to find answers. They are out there if you are willing to look.
 
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