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Runebound (Third Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Thoughts on shield and agility icons in combat rss

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Chris J Davis
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After our first game (yes, I know, I'm making observations after only one game - get over it), it seemed that shields and agility icons were the less desirable of the outcomes, and that damage and surges were pretty much always better.

What are other players' experiences? Does anyone find that shields are actually very useful? To me it seems that shields just prolong the battle; you may have blocked some damage, but you've also dealt less damage (as in, compared to the token you could have had that would have dealt more damage to the monster and killed it sooner).

Agility also seemed under-used, as you either had a token that would just be plain better if it were flipped, or you didn't (in which case the agility wouldn't be used).

I was wondering if a nifty variant might be the following for each icon:

Shields

Shields are never spent, but provide a constant -1 damage for as long as they are on the table. Obviously, flipping them (using agility) will cause you to lose their protection, so the choice comes down to whether you want to flip the token to gain whatever is on the other side, or keep it to continue to provide protection against subsequent attacks.

Agility

May be used to:

- Flip one of your own tokens
- Re-cast up to 2 of your opponent's tokens
- Negate 1 damage (and is discarded)

Thoughts?
 
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David desJardins
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It's good for some results to be better than others, right? That seems like it's very intentional. It means you get good or bad results. It also makes abilities that can manipulate the chits more useful.
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Chris J Davis
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DaviddesJ wrote:
It's good for some results to be better than others, right? That seems like it's very intentional. It means you get good or bad results. It also makes abilities that can manipulate the chits more useful.
You can still have individual icons that are roughly of the same "strength", but different combinations are more or less desirable. But your point is still a good one.
 
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David desJardins
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The maxim "You never won a fight by defending" also comes to mind. I can easily get used to the shield as a consolation prize: you didn't attack effectively, but at least you get some defense.
 
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Thomas King
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We also found shield and agility icons to be very underwhelming. Especially since there are many items that have a strong side, then an agility on the other, making it feel useless half the time. And the shields just kind of drive home how weak damage is; as long as you're not defeated, your health doesn't matter because healing is so easy. Being wounded doesn't even slow you down, there's no penalty. Kind of sucks away a lot of the sense of danger.
 
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Donny Schuijers
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I found the "-" symbol to very useless. Should we houserule this to "Instantly defeat your foe"?
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Christopher Melenberg
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Defense mat be underwhelming, but from my experience it had differing strength depending on whether your tokens are stronger or your opponents are. If i am weaker than my opponent but have more health then prolonging battle is a bad idea, but if my token pool is better it will mean I'm likely taking less overall damage...

Also your defense variant, while interesting would make shields overpowered and prolong battle to the point of insanity.

A house rule that could be more interesting is that you must attack someone's shields first and any leftover damage is wasted, thus possibly losing extra damage or being able to delay a final blow... Really I think combat works well. If they made defense too strong the battles would go on forever.

I agree that agility in the beginning is crap but gets better with more tokens.
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trevor wolf

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Chris, didn't you lose your first game? Just saying a little more agility or defense could have helped you......
 
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Drinky Drinky
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DaviddesJ wrote:
The maxim "You never won a fight by defending" also comes to mind. I can easily get used to the shield as a consolation prize: you didn't attack effectively, but at least you get some defense.
Concur. Most games unless there is a group tank, defense just lets you lose slower.

Waiting for a expansion Character that can shield bash, or an item "spiked shield".

 
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Chris J Davis
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krechevskoy wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
The maxim "You never won a fight by defending" also comes to mind. I can easily get used to the shield as a consolation prize: you didn't attack effectively, but at least you get some defense.
Concur. Most games unless there is a group tank, defense just lets you lose slower.

Waiting for a expansion Character that can shield bash, or an item "spiked shield".

This is kinda the thing I hoping won't happen. FFG does often tend to fix any balance problems that may have crept into their base games by "patching" the problem in expansions rather than actually fixing the problem. So using this example, FFG may try to "patch" the problem by releasing items and skills that make use of shield and agility symbols, rather than actually making the symbols more useful in and of themselves.

I really disagree with this type of "patching", as I tend to think it solves *some* of the symptoms but doesn't solve the underlying problem.
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Chris J Davis
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bigGameGeek wrote:
Chris, didn't you lose your first game? Just saying a little more agility or defense could have helped you......
It may have done. We may find out in my next game later today.

Or I may just try out my house rule in this game and see how it works.
 
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Steve Malczak
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I think it depends on the combatants involved. Agility can make or break when it comes to some of the bigger Surge abilities. It's not ALWAYS good, but it was appreciated enough in our games so far.

The same goes for Shields. Sometimes (often enough to be noticeable) even a single Shield is enough keep you alive to get your next action off (player or monster). We've seen a few encounters decided by a single point of damage plus or minus and a Shield at the right time can turn the tide.

So while they aren't symbols you want to see every toss, they certainly can be very powerful in the right situation. And to me, that's exactly what I like to see in a game mechanic.
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