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Subject: Making All Guard Attacks optional rss

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Christopher McArthur
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I've seen others discuss this and wanted to create a dedicated thread for it.

Right now rules as written are that payback strikes are optional to take, but guard attacks are mandatory. We have been playing with the house rule that guard attacks are optional as well.

This has two major benefits:

1) Reduces the power of Spike / Amulet of Retaliation. Problems with Spike where he can just walk around provoking guard attacks doing mass passive damage late game are less problematic when the guard attacks are optional.

2) Reduces amount of suicide to prevent PvP. A common strategy has been for players to suicide into monsters when they are at low health to prevent quest completion and free item transfer to their enemies. This means that the player to the right now can prevent this suicide if they want to.


It has one other major effect which Im not sure is a positive or a negative:

3) Increases collusion among players. Rules as written allow players to make deals with the player to their right to avoid payback strikes. Now this is a lot more powerful, since they can now collude with the player to their right to not use guard attacks either, potentially allowing them a large amount of mobility through the dungeon.


Any thoughts? Anyone else playing with this rule right now and want to comment on how it has affected their campaign?
 
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Jonathan Moriarity
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If I recall correctly, the reaction is mandatory, but it doesn't have to involve an attack. If it does, the attack has to target the active hero, but if the controlling player wishes, they can just take the reacting monster and move it away.
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Christopher McArthur
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Bright Side wrote:
If I recall correctly, the reaction is mandatory, but it doesn't have to involve an attack. If it does, the attack has to target the active hero, but if the controlling player wishes, they can just take the reacting monster and move it away.


You are describing how payback reaction work, not guard attacks. This variant does not change payback reactions. RAW guard reaction attacks are mandatory, unlike payback reactions.
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Osku Odi
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I dont like the idea of guard reaction being optional, that would leave too much options for players to make deals on who can for example get a quest item. I much rather see other players ganging up on Spike. Not everty turn, but when there's a on option, Spike is usually gone. In the first part of the game, he doesnt really have that much armor or health, so he's a target like everyone else. In later part of the game, he'll have plenty of armor but there are the weapons of dazing him by attacking a monster next to him. A dazed Spike will become a huge target. Also there's the level 5 weapon, if it rolls crits, target doesnt roll defence. And then there's Seth ofcourse.

I do agree that Spike is perhaps one of the strongest heroes and people should take this into account even between scenarios. Did you get an armor upgrade card? Keep it, just in case the player controlling Spike doesnt get one. In our previous game (2 player), I did have Spike, but the other guy had Seth and A hero (I forgot it's name), that can exhaust his hero card to daze an enemy in the line of sight, needless to say, my guild didnt really stack up on armor
 
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Jason Rupp
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What kind of players do you guys play with? Deals to not be attacked? First off, deals aren't allowed in this game... it's not a negotiation game. If someone is going to be an asshole because he doesn't want to attack his best friend, girlfriend, etc. with the monster because it's optional then I wouldn't be playing with that person.

I think it's a fine variant. In fact, I was quite surprised that guard reactions were not optional in the first place but payback reactions were.
 
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In our group it's not really deals, it's Player A convincing Player B that he's better off attacking Player C because player C seems to be so much better off. Only for Player A then to stab Player B in the back the next turn

The not attacking with a monster on payback, sometimes you just have to do it, to try to bring all those precious gold pieces your way
For example, let's say you're playing a scenario that has kill the minotaur quest. Player A attacked the Minotaur from 2 squares away and the Minotaur is left with 1HP, and standing on top of a portal. Now, Player D has the option to attack with the minotaur, possibly do some damage to Player A's hero. Leving the 1HP minotaur wide open to Attacks by Players B and C, since Player D was the previous player before Payer A. Or, if he possibly can use the Minotaurs 2 movement, to use the portal to get the minotaus into a position Only Player D has access to on the next turn... Easy quest and easy money...

Christoffer, i dont know how many games you guys have played. But yes, Spike did seem quite OP in our first few games. But after a while people figured out how to handle Spike. Usually the characters that have the biggest target markers on their backs are Spike, Seth and Wisp.
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Aaron Bevan
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Having monsters choosing not to attack a hero does not make any sense as its their purpose to try and kill them or at least wound them.

If a monster dies due to spikes ability but managed to put a wound then I would count that as the monster accomplishing its purpose. If you don't attack because spike might roll a crit on defence is pretty lame.
 
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It doesnt even have to be Spike that 1HP Minotaur might not attack on the right circumstances, it could even be a 1HP 2Armor hero, quest+gold pieces matter too much. We always play to win. Positioning is the key in this game... And the dice

With non-quest monsters, yeah, those always attack in our games, no one even thinks twice about not attacking, even vs Spike.
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Jason Rupp
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apbevan wrote:
Having monsters choosing not to attack a hero does not make any sense as its their purpose to try and kill them or at least wound them.

If a monster dies due to spikes ability but managed to put a wound then I would count that as the monster accomplishing its purpose. If you don't attack because spike might roll a crit on defence is pretty lame.


No... what's lame is having 1 person in your campaign with 15+ defense that simply runs past all the monsters and watch the monsters kill themselves. That is what the OP is trying to negate.

Just wait until it happens to your group and then you'll find some way to change the game to avoid this situation because it's just not fun.
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15+ defence, so i suppose that's after 5th scenario. Maybe even after the 4th. So options on taking spike out would be (that come to my mind right away):
1)Seth
2)Those swords that dont allow for defence if a crit is rolled.
3)And the level 4 hammer that dazes spike if you hit a monster next to Spike. At that point, there really should be other people coming in for the kill.

Those are the ones that come to mind, just trying to be helpfull. We havent really seen Seth as a big problem anymore. After people learned to deal with it. I do admit that he seemed like a game breaker at first.

Just trying to be helpfull.
 
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Jason Rupp
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Jassokissa wrote:
15+ defence, so i suppose that's after 5th scenario. Maybe even after the 4th. So options on taking spike out would be (that come to my mind right away):
1)Seth
2)Those swords that dont allow for defence if a crit is rolled.
3)And the level 4 hammer that dazes spike if you hit a monster next to Spike. At that point, there really should be other people coming in for the kill.

Those are the ones that come to mind, just trying to be helpfull. We havent really seen Seth as a big problem anymore. After people learned to deal with it. I do admit that he seemed like a game breaker at first.

Just trying to be helpfull.


I play with a rule that the ammy of retribution only works on crits instead of all saves... that mostly solves the problem.

This thread is a different way to solve the problem. Regardless... there is a problem and this is something that commonly happens in a campaign. It doesn't even have to be spike to be ridiculous.

No one is saying there is not a counter for it. Most people don't enjoy it because it's a really lame thing to happen (someone not even attacking to kill ANY monster on the board... even villians. A lot of times they will get far enough away from everyone that you can't attack them with any of the counters either so then it's just a lost cause.
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Christopher McArthur
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apbevan wrote:
Having monsters choosing not to attack a hero does not make any sense as its their purpose to try and kill them or at least wound them.


Yet, the rules as written specifically allow this with payback strikes, and its often the best way move to make if you are trying to win. So I don't think it violates the spirit.


-- Monster might have a higher risk killing himself than doing damage by attacking.
-- You might want the monster to move towards you so you can kill it and complete the quest.
-- The Monster might kill that player, when, instead you could kill that player on your turn, winning the game.
-- The monster might kill that player, when that player is the only hope of taking out a third player who is about to win and end the game, giving you more time to try and win.
-- The monster attacking, might trigger the player's special ability making the player more powerful and more likely to succeed in their attack against you.

All but one of these is also true with Guard Reactions, so this is why the variant might make sense.


Quote:
Usually the characters that have the biggest target markers on their backs are Spike, Seth and Wisp. Spike, Seth and Wisp.


This is the exact team makeup of the winner (by a landslide) of the first campaign I played in. They are powerful, but the only one that seemed to actually break the spirit of the game was Spike. (eg: I move towards the boss, I move away from the boss, I move towards the boss provoking 2-3 guard reactions on all enemies in these 6 spaces, rolling 15 defense dice and 4 rerolls for each doing uncounterable damage, now I still have my attack left....)..

But, this is just one of the reasons you might want to avoid a reaction...
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Jason Rupp
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Disclaimer: Talking about 4 player games here... things change a lot if you're doing 2 player games and I think monster reactions are just weird in that case....

It's very rare in our case that we don't have a monster attack with it's payback reaction. Since the person to the right controls the monster... there are still 2 players until it's that players turn. It's usually best to try to kill that hero (and get him a death token and you a coin) because it's fairly rare that moving him will benefit a player greatly... often times you will make it easier for one of the 2 players ahead of you and you would end up helping them win the game instead.

Outside of rare situations, we typically attack unless the hero has some type of retribution effect.
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Jason Rupp
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lima_beans wrote:


This is the exact team makeup of the winner (by a landslide) of the first campaign I played in. They are powerful, but the only one that seemed to actually break the spirit of the game was Seth. (eg: I move towards the boss, I move away from the boss, I move towards the boss provoking 2-3 guard reactions on all enemies in these 6 spaces, rolling 15 defense dice and 4 rerolls for each doing uncounterable damage, now I still have my attack left....), but honestly Seth/Amulet is just one point out of the above reasons you may want to avoid an attack.



Kind of a side point.... but....

Why would you put the ammy on Seth? It works a heck of a lot better on Spike. It wouldn't make any sense to put on seth... if you pile on defense gear to seth you don't get to use his amazing ability as much.
 
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Christopher McArthur
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rrrrupp wrote:

Why would you put the ammy on Seth? It works a heck of a lot better on Spike.


Oops, I meant to be talking about Spike.
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Osku Odi
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The amulet isnt as powerfull as Spike's ability, since it only deals the amount of wounds as hits cancelled. And usually the monsters dont deal as many wounds as other heroes would in the end game.

I still dont think Spike is a problem, in 4 player games, but in 2 player games he can be. Since there is a possibility that no one has a counter for Spike.

Usually it seems the player controlling Spike will know that all he has to do is keeps Seth dead, and the player playing with Seth knows that it's his responsibility to take care of Spike. And like I said earlier, the upgrade phase is very important, do not pass on the armor, or shield to Spike. If you dont, it's not that likely that he will get to that 15+ armor. There's a 1/4 chance that the owner of Spike is dealt those cards at upgrade phase, so 1/16 (I'm not a Math wizard, so someone will propably correct me) for him to get both the kings shield and the best armor. If players are passing that equipment towards Spike, they had it coming, even if they wouldnt have any use for it themselves.

It's not like I'd be passing Astral Strike II to seth either
 
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Jason Rupp
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Jassokissa wrote:
The amulet isnt as powerfull as Spike's ability, since it only deals the amount of wounds as hits cancelled. And usually the monsters dont deal as many wounds as other heroes would in the end game.

I still dont think Spike is a problem, in 4 player games, but in 2 player games he can be. Since there is a possibility that no one has a counter for Spike.

Usually it seems the player controlling Spike will know that all he has to do is keeps Seth dead, and the player playing with Seth knows that it's his responsibility to take care of Spike. And like I said earlier, the upgrade phase is very important, do not pass on the armor, or shield to Spike. If you dont, it's not that likely that he will get to that 15+ armor. There's a 1/4 chance that the owner of Spike is dealt those cards at upgrade phase, so 1/16 (I'm not a Math wizard, so someone will propably correct me) for him to get both the kings shield and the best armor. If players are passing that equipment towards Spike, they had it coming, even if they wouldnt have any use for it themselves.

It's not like I'd be passing Astral Strike II to seth either


The amulet works on all defense saves instead of just crits.... it's much more powerful than Spike's ability but the 2 combined is just stupid. Just moving through a monster (onto his space with move #1 and on to the next space with move #2) will give you 2 monster attacks. This is enough for a very good chance that monster will roll enough hits to kill itself.

Have you not played the campaign much? I've played about 11 games of AQ so far. We're almost done with our second campaign. It's widely accepted that the ammy of retribution is broken on any character and is 100 times worse if that character happens to be Spike. I'm not sure why you insist on arguing otherwise.
 
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We've played around 20 campaigns, so thats about 120 scenarios or so, and we havent seen spike as a problem in a long time, there's always a couple of palyers ready to take Spike out. The amulet works on saves, but it also requires the monsters to actually manage to hit you. The monsters usually make less hits than their HP, of course if the amulet is combined with Spikes ability, it adds up. But then Spike wont really have much else, for example:
Armor 4 armor
Weapon with 2 armor
Amulet
Shield, to double armor
Spikes own armor 2
You get to 16, but with 1 weapon, he's not really a threat to other heroes.

Of course, I admit, these are my opinions, and should be treated as such, I cant claim to be right

Last game (2 player game), my oppo had Spike ( I did have Seth and one of the kickstarted heroes that dazes if he manages to deal a wound), in scenarious 4&5 he didnt really even bother bringing Spike out to play, since it didnt end up well for Spike. Though, the reason for that was propably my fast win in scenario 3, which left him with 4 gold pieces to use for upgrades
 
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Jason Rupp
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Jassokissa wrote:
We've played around 20 campaigns, so thats about 120 scenarios or so, and we havent seen spike as a problem in a long time, there's always a couple of palyers ready to take Spike out. The amulet works on saves, but it also requires the monsters to actually manage to hit you. The monsters usually make less hits than their HP, of course if the amulet is combined with Spikes ability, it adds up. But then Spike wont really have much else, for example:
Armor 4 armor
Weapon with 2 armor
Amulet
Shield, to double armor
Spikes own armor 2
You get to 16, but with 1 weapon, he's not really a threat to other heroes.

Of course, I admit, these are my opinions, and should be treated as such, I cant claim to be right

Last game (2 player game), my oppo had Spike ( I did have Seth and one of the kickstarted heroes that dazes if he manages to deal a wound), in scenarious 4&5 he didnt really even bother bringing Spike out to play, since it didnt end up well for Spike. Though, the reason for that was propably my fast win in scenario 3, which left him with 4 gold pieces to use for upgrades


Have most of your plays been 2 player? That might explain the big difference of opinion. Games last a lot longer when it's 4 player.
 
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Osku Odi
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Yeah, about half the games have been 2 player games and the other half 3&4 player games. But yeah, 2 player game scenarious are "a bit faster", especially the first couple outer ring scenarios.
 
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After 2 campaigns I "lost" my ammy or retribution and have not seen it since. So weird. We have been playing with optional guard reaction for the reason that we do in fact like negotiating and using the monsters as resources against each other. But, we also allow each player to ban one hero from the draft so some combo of spike, sonja, wisp, seth, and heartless are almost always unavailable.

in the end, if your gaming group is having fun you are doing it right.
 
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