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DC Comics Deck-Building Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: What to do with the not so great heroes? rss

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Bob Jones
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I should start off by mentioning my group (usually 5 of us) include all the superheroes from Crisis, Unite and the Original as possible candidates for every game regardless of which main deck we play with, be it unite or original, main decks. We usually play with only one or two of the Super Heroes, which we randomly draw at the beginning of the game.
You can say whatever you like but there have been a few less than stellar heroes that have come out in Heroes Unite and in Crisis 1. Bat Girl, Robin, Zatanna Zatara, Booster Gold, and don’t even get me started on Constantine’s joke of an ability. They may work well as sidekicks if you play with two or more heroes but in a traditional game they can’t even compete against heroes whose abilities can be virtually utilized every round. For example I’ve played with Constantine numerous of times and seen him played by other people. I don’t think there has been one time anyone has won or even come close to winning with him especially if the other players have traditional heroes such as superman, batman, greenlatern, etc. I’ve seen this true for the other heroes mentioned above.
So if you draw you’re Heroes randomly at the beginning of the game as me and my group always do, is it best to not include those less than stellar heroes as a possible selection or perhaps should their abilities be modified so that they too can be utilized more evenly every turn?
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Clive Cleland
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I struggled with this until only recently, when I recognised them as equalisers. With one of these superheroes, a more practiced player is forced to play harder against new players, and everyone walks away having played a fun game.

So I started playing solo games with some of these superheroes to better understand whether I was missing something. When I played to their (perhaps limited) strengths, they really could hold their own. At least, that's what I found in solo play. It may be that in multiplayer these superheroes never quite come up to speed, but I haven't been there yet.

If you're equally-practiced players looking for a level playing field, there's no certainly harm removing the less-powerful superheroes from the pool before you draw. If you want to improve your overall game, maybe try giving everyone in the group one of those cards for a game, and see what happens?

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Bob Jones
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So it is safe to say that those super heroes I mentioned are less powerful, compared to others?
And yes we are all equal in skill and experience, So yea you could say that we are just looking to make an even playing field, as far as hero selection goes.
 
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Ronald wenneker
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There are some hero's who have statistical advantages in particular builds.

Swamp thing can be EXCEEDINGLY powerful - but limit the deck's composition to less then 5 locations, and his power is relatively inert.

Modify the deck construction to offset a concern in particular power. Remove Locations that favor such and use "agnostic" locations.

Given the access to Kicks, Superman is too powerful, If he gets man of steel - he'll run away with the game.

(We don't play with Martian Manhunter at all - that persona is WAY off the power scale)


Use Constantine in Forever Evil. his power is valuable there.
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Peter Cooper
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modnarWylde wrote:
Given the access to Kicks, Superman is too powerful.

Remember Superman's power is for every different super-power played. That makes him theoretically less powerful that Hawkman or Black Canary, although access to Kicks from turn one can at least boost his power by 1 most turns after the first 2 early in enough in the game to give him an edge.
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Bob Jones
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From what iv seen and iv seen a lot playing at least once or twice a week for the past year n half, non of the major super-heroes are not over powering unless in the first few rounds they just get perfect cards for there deck. Like superman getting a couple super girls, or for swamp thing a lot of locations came out early. Outside of that instance its usually pretty nip-n-tuck threw out the whole game.

I think the worst iv ever seen it was super man getting Man of Steel early, combined with alot of super powers, and then to top that off he had lots of bat signals and robins enabling him to put man of steel into almost all of his hands.
 
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JP Sail
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modnarWylde wrote:
Given the access to Kicks, Superman is too powerful. If he gets man of steel - he'll run away with the game.


If anyone gets Man of Steel they'll run away with the game. That card is insane.

Also, I don't like it when people hate on Constantine. He's an alright guy and in the running for strongest third turn in the game (behind Black Manta). After you've bought your card on turn two, activate his ability to force a shuffle. This will cause your turn three deck to only have five starters and two non-starters. A strong start like this does wonders for the game. Later in the game, if you're just shy of enough power to buy a super-villain, flipping a less VP card off of the top and destroying it is going to be worthwhile. To imply Batgirl is better than him is sacrilege, we've tried extending her ability to include Vulnerabilities and she's still a waste of space.

Booster Gold is also very strong, it's just a problem when everyone else guys up all of the defense cards.

What my group likes to do is actually to remove the really linear heroes - Black Canary, Superman, Hawkman, etc - and play with the ones who have slightly more interesting abilities. It makes for a refreshing game.
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Bob Jones
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Unless someone gets Man of Steele very early I’d say you don’t run away with the game automatically. However as long as you have decent amount of super powers he does automatically put you with front players to take first place. If anything it would be best to purposely shuffle Man of Steele in the main deck after the top 30-40 cards.

I can see how Martian Manhunter can be OP in a smaller games with less people but as for my group of 5 players getting martian manhunter usually means one thing and that is the question of: Do I go for villains or heroes? With five people its difficult to build for both.

Yea, I'd say you're right about Constantine being better than bat girl, but even if you play him to the strategy you suggest Constantine still doesn't hold a candle in a traditional match against the “upper class heroes”

Booster Gold and Zatanna I consider to be the best of this their class. I'm
Not saying I don't appreciate these Heroes I enjoy playing with them and their unique play style. I’m just saying they belong in a different class.
 
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Ronald wenneker
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This is from a review I wrote and summary of the game's variant play modes.

COMPOSITION: Logic tells us ideal deck’s composition balances Super Villain/Hero powers. That the deck should be agnostic to the player’s starting super power and homogeneous -Equal in its parts:
25% Equipment;
25% Heros;
25% Super Powers;
25% Villains.

However the first two releases of the game featured deck compositions which were not, providing Villains >Heroes >Equipment > Super Powers. [31%;30%;26%;15% respective of order stated] this could be rationalized given the 16 Kicks (Super Powers), but when you add the 7 Villains that are Super Villains, such a deck favors characters like Wonder woman and Black Canary whose powers are triggered by gaining or playing Villains.

 


FOR CONSIDERATION:
Locations: Unless you have a player using Swamp thing, the relative number of locations doesn’t present a game imbalance, only the composition of such abilities. If the locations overwhelmingly support Heroes (Happy Harbor; New Genesis; The Watchtower) – then the game will be slanted towards Players whose powers and/or strategy build off Heroes (Hawkman, Green Lantern). In general balance any Hero/Equipment/Super Power/Villain ongoing location with a location that does the same effect for each card type.
NON BIASED LOCATION CARDS: Gotham Docks, Titans Tower, The Rot, House of Mystery, Black Gate Prison, & Tower of Fate.

Super Power: There are 16 (default) Super Power Kicks which are ALWAYS out, this makes Super power based characters (Superman) more powerful as they are more likely to have access to Super Power in their draw and therefore increase their average Power per Turn.

Villains: As mentioned above, the additional Supervillains stack , (as with Super Powers) present a statistical benefit for Villain based powers.

Average Cost: Keeping the Average Cost per card around 3 will keep the game moving in the early rounds.

Average Power: Keeping the Average Power generated per card down will make the game more balanced – Balancing the average cost of a Type of card and the average Power gained from them is way to equalize the game’s relative statistical bias away from some Player’s powers.

Deck Size: Per the Crisis 2 game notes– if you want a faster game Limit the deck size to 100 cards and remove 3 Supervillains.
From that we can extrapolate 20-33 cards per Super Villain ratio. [Main Release Decks consisted of 107 cards to be played with 7 villains (14.28:1 card to Super Villain ratio), Crisis 2 suggests a 33:1 ratio. So let’s use a 20:1 ratio and then add an additional Super Villain as the Starter.

A smaller deck also works as a psychological goad for the players; as the deck dwindles, so do their chances (Psychology of Loss aversion), larger decks foster a strategy of accumulation of cards rather than motivation to defeat villains so the games will tend to be longer.

Take a look at this Card Utility for help designing game decks for your personal play.
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Ronald wenneker
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PopeJP wrote:

What my group likes to do is actually to remove the really linear heroes - Black Canary, Superman, Hawkman, etc - and play with the ones who have slightly more interesting abilities. It makes for a refreshing game.


I like that ideal immensely and we do that in our games as well.


When we have 4 or more players (we play with up to 8 max) we play a homebrew Team play variant that pits Villains against Heroes. (with hidden crisis cards)

Then the relative powers seem to balance.
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Scott
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I'd love to see an app for this that generates random decks with desired type/cost/defense ratios.
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Bob Jones
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well...I must say i'm generally impressed with the accurate information you've provided. It never occurred to that the deck can be so biased toward certain Heroes.
However, as for me and my group we do not enjoy smaller shorter games perhaps we're just simple like that.
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Ronald wenneker
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Midnight Rider wrote:
I'd love to see an app for this that generates random decks with desired type/cost/defense ratios.


Sadly, I never thought to make that a part of the spreadsheet/online app.

That sounds sort of fun. I'll work on it.
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7 of 8
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Soulthief6 wrote:
I should start off by mentioning my group (usually 5 of us) include all the superheroes from Crisis, Unite and the Original as possible candidates for every game regardless of which main deck we play with, be it unite or original, main decks. We usually play with only one or two of the Super Heroes, which we randomly draw at the beginning of the game.
You can say whatever you like but there have been a few less than stellar heroes that have come out in Heroes Unite and in Crisis 1. Bat Girl, Robin, Zatanna Zatara, Booster Gold, and don’t even get me started on Constantine’s joke of an ability. They may work well as sidekicks if you play with two or more heroes but in a traditional game they can’t even compete against heroes whose abilities can be virtually utilized every round. For example I’ve played with Constantine numerous of times and seen him played by other people. I don’t think there has been one time anyone has won or even come close to winning with him especially if the other players have traditional heroes such as superman, batman, greenlatern, etc. I’ve seen this true for the other heroes mentioned above.
So if you draw you’re Heroes randomly at the beginning of the game as me and my group always do, is it best to not include those less than stellar heroes as a possible selection or perhaps should their abilities be modified so that they too can be utilized more evenly every turn?


I consider these "weaker" characters made to their level (importance, respect and relevance) in the comics and continuity. Bat Girl, Robin, Booster Gold and others are second tier heroes that should have "weaker" more selective or situational abilities.

I feel this game thematically reflects the "tiers" of heroes in the DC Universe.

I think this conversation about customization shows how amazing this game is and how fantastic a job it does staying relevant by being so customizable.
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John Stout
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All my hero's are in a pile. At the beginning of the game we randomly get assigned a hero. Usually, shuffle and dealing.

If a new player gets a hero that they dont understand how it works then i'll swap it out.

If my wife gets power girl, i'll swap it out. (She thinks her breasts are her super power)

Other than that, you get what you got handed. Makes for more fun as you never know what you are gonna get.
 
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Martin DeOlden
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The weaker characters rarely see play in my group as we usually allow everyone to choose who they want to play.
I do not like random and most of the group does not either.
 
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