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Subject: The Rum & Bones Core Rules Need Modification rss

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Steve Smythe
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First things first

I really love the theme and overall mechanics and play of R&B. It's really amazing (save for the below flaws), and I'm grateful to the folks that made this game possible.

What's broken

I played three games of R&B over the past two days with a very experienced mini wargamer, and we have come to the conclusion there are two very broken aspects to the game that need to be fixed with an errata to the rules.

Problem #1 - Zerg rushing

I've read multiple posts on BGG saying both "zerg rushing is a powerful first move tactic" as well as "zerg rushing can be dealt with and isn't an issue".

I won two games playing the Wellsport Brotherhood in a row using a dual zerg rush to block his heroes from defending their deck gun and armory.

I basically used the tactic of using my Brute to run in between his deck gun and wheel on my first turn. I can soak the damage and then destroy his deck gun on turn 2 (I only need to roll slightly above average to destroy it in one turn). I did this two games in a row.

Then, I use my Swashbuckler to run over between his armory and rigging lines. This creates a problem given he must defend his deck gun at all costs. Meaning he only has two attacks to deal 10 damage to my Swashbuckler (keep in mind, there are no heroes in Bone Devils Core that can do 10 damage with two attacks, on their turn 1). Because he can’t kill me, I can generally do a significant amount of damage to his armory by the end of turn 2. You can actually destroy the armory with average roles by the end of turn 2.

Solution #1 - Zerg rushing

Amend the rules to prevent heroes from leaving their ship on turn 1.

Call it "Prepare to be boarded" stage or whatever.

Problem #2 - Wellsport Brotherhood Core - Swashbuckler “Mad” Ivan

Flurry of Blows and Riposte are horribly imbalanced in the core game.

As it stands, having a 66% chance to proc all 4 additional attacks is way too high of a return for 3 coins.

This ability could be forgiven if it weren’t for Riposte.

Let’s talk Riposte now. Who signed off on this ability? A zero cost retaliation against ANY form of attack that has a 83.3% chance of going off for each miss. Really? Bullets too? Is this guy a Jedi? How is he deflecting bullets back at the attacker with greater accuracy than the initial attack? This makes absolutely no sense.

Solution #2 - Wellsport Brotherhood Core - Swashbuckler “Mad” Ivan

Flurry of Blows needs to be adjusted such that the hit goes to 4+.

Riposte needs to be changed to either (1) hit on a 3+, cost one, and have a range of one OR (2) be free and only hit on 5+, and have a range of one. This character already dishes out enough damage. He doesn’t need an ability to automatically kill any would be attacker effectively.

In Closing

This is an awesome game. But these two major flaws completely ruin the game experience. Please consider making these changes official errata or please do more play-testing with these specific examples and explain how these game features are fair.
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Mark Bigney
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
Wait, what's stopping me (Bone Devils, in this scenario) from parking my heroes on my own objectives to protect them?
Above and beyond disagreeing with your analysis, I'm having difficulty understanding your narrative.
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Steve Smythe
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
In this case, when I move first, I'm blocking the ability for the enemy move onto his own objective given the enemy cannot move onto a square on which I have pieces. It only takes three moves (two zones each) for my two heroes to occupy the zone next to the objectives mentioned.

Movement rules are stated as:

Quote:
For each Move Action a Hero takes, the[y] may move up to 2 Zones. Models may never Move diagonally, into zones containing enemies, into zones containing enemy Deployment Points, or into Off-Deck Zones.


What do you disagree about my analysis? What difficulty are you having in understanding my narrative? I'm happy to help clarify.

Should we develop a board coordinate nomenclature? Something similar to chess where you have rows going across with numbers in order from first player deployment points zone to the second player deployment points zone? And then columns going across with letters in order from first player zone columns left to right?

That way I could describe exactly the coordinates of the heroes and their actions.
 
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robert baynosa
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
personally, i actually like moving second.
i dont have the game with me now, but here is a sample of what i would do. id deploy pete(?), the green brute to face of against your green brute. use lash of torment on him take him out of the deck gun tile, most likely right in front of my own brute.

i would fire my deck gun at mad ivan. get a hero to damage him (possibly twice). by that point he could be a little low on health. id then use the other hero with that killing blow (based on how much damage the enemy has), him off after popping a few shots/hits on your deckhands.

round 2, id pop that deck gun on your other hero and do the same thing i did to mad ivan. our brutes would be whaling on each other and be buffed and hurt at the end of round 2.

round 3, id pop that deck gun to your spawned hero or brute (depending on situation). swing over my 3rd hero to your deckgun. id move my hero with that killing blow move to finish off your brute and swing over my buffed brute to your armory, which he will probably destroy in this round. by this point i think i already have the upper hand.

but i do agree that second has the disadvantage of you possibly losing an objective, but imo its far from broken, especially since you have read your opponents moves and can buff your abilities by killing a few deckhands.

well just my 2 pieces of eight
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Mark Bigney
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
Please explain how, in your scenario, you are preventing the Bone Devil player from moving on to their own objectives--if your heroes are between objectives, the path forward is clear; if your heroes are on objectives, they will be subject to ridiculous quantities of attacks.
I would draw an ASCII map if I knew how.
 
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
Player 2 should be able to rig over to his objective if you are blocking him from moving their normally.

I think there is a totally disadvantage in going second, and I am so confused why player 2 isn't giving something to offset it.

Player 1 gets three heroes out on turn one, with no worries from player 2. They have no heroes to worry about, nor tide cards.

When player 2 goes for the first time, he has 3 heroes on the board that are backed up by a hand of tide cards. Plus, player 2 still has no tide cards.

It's really confusing how this doesn't come off as broken.

We have quickly adopted Mr. Skeletor's variant. Player 1 deploys 1 hero on his turn. Player 2 deploys 2 heroes on his turn. Player 1 deploys 2 heroes on his 2nd turn. Player 2 deploys 1 hero on his 2nd turn.

Jorune
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Steve Smythe
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
Heya Robert, thanks for your reply.

To clarify more on Problem #1... I can, significantly more often than not, destroy your deck gun on my turn two, and thus eliminate your ability to use it for the rest of the game. So your round 2, round 3 use of your deck gun in your example is eliminated.

Were I not able to destroy the deck gun on my, I completely agree, my brute would be finished in your turn two, and my swashbuckler done on turn 3.

Losing the deck gun permanently is a significant amount of damage lost throughout the whole game, and puts the second player on the defensive until the Kraken comes.

Yeah. I'll see if I can put together some kind of diagram, and it should help the conversation.
 
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Steve Smythe
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
Heya Jorune, great response.

Jorune wrote:
Player 2 should be able to rig over to his objective if you are blocking him from moving their normally.


The rules for rigging are stated as:

Quote:
When a Hero rigs, they may swiftly move to
any legal Zone on another ship (meaning no
Zones containing enemy models or enemy
Deployment Points) - be warned, however,
that while rigging is a quick way to get where
you need to be, each time a Hero rigs they
run the risk of falling Overboard!


So the problem is you cannot rig on your own ship. I totally agree that were a player able to rig onto his own objective, this problem goes away.

Quote:
I think there is a totally disadvantage in going second, and I am so confused why player 2 isn't giving something to offset it.

Player 1 gets three heroes out on turn one, with no worries from player 2. They have no heroes to worry about, nor tide cards.

When player 2 goes for the first time, he has 3 heroes on the board that are backed up by a hand of tide cards. Plus, player 2 still has no tide cards.

It's really confusing how this doesn't come off as broken.


I completely agree with your observations.

Quote:
We have quickly adopted Mr. Skeletor's variant. Player 1 deploys 1 hero on his turn. Player 2 deploys 2 heroes on his turn. Player 1 deploys 2 heroes on his 2nd turn. Player 2 deploys 1 hero on his 2nd turn.

Jorune


That's an interesting solution to the problem. Does this help against the Zerg rush and destroying the deck gun? I think the same situation exists.

Great conversation going here. I appreciate all of your thoughts and comments.
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robert baynosa
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
hey steve,

yeah i forgot that using lash of torment needs gold to activate. but yeah i would most likely have to sacrifice my deck gun. however you will be losing a hero per turn, or if im extremely lucky, i could kill all 3 by turn 3. im also in a better spot to rig over to you and land an attack or two in a single round. imho, that really mitigates a lot of what is lost with the deck gun, which i have lost in quite a number of my games actually. although the deck gun is impt, i feel that having good tide cards and 'killing heroes' are significantly more so; and that losing the gun isnt an automatic losing scenario.

there are other things i could think of, but its hard visualizing them (for certainty) without the hero cards and board in front of me. but imho, i dont find going second too much of an issue- but i do get your point.


i dont think that turn order is the problem, moreso, its a problem of being able to step on those objectives in the farthest side of boats. i think a better house rule would be to not allow heroes to end their movement on an objective tile (or atl east the 2 farthest ones). it really draws out the game too much, and you essentially get no help from the deckhands when the heroes are camped in those farthest tiles.

hope that helps.
 
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Steve Smythe
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
Heya Mark, Here's an ASCII map with coordinates...


7|O|_|P|_|P|_|P|_|O| Bone Devils
6|D|_|W|_|M|_|R|_|A|
5|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
4|o|o|_|o|_|o|_|o|o|
3|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
2|a|_|r|_|m|_|w|_|d|
1|o|_|p|_|p|_|p|_|o| Wellsport
a b c d e f g h i

Legend:
o/O = Off-Deck Zone
p/P = Deployment Point
a/A = armory (obj)
r/R = rigging lines (obj)
m/M = mast (obj)
w/W = wheel (obj)
d/D = deck gun (obj)
--
c/C = captain
q/Q = quartermaster
s/S = swashbuckler
g/G = gunner
b/B = brute
--
lower case letters = Wellsport
upper case letters = Bone Devils
--
Note: Row 4 is shared between the two boards


So here's the strategy I'm describing:

Turn 1 - Wellsport:

Step 5. Deploy Heroes
c1=b
g1=s

Board after deploy heroes...

7|O|_|P|_|P|_|P|_|O| Bone Devils
6|D|_|W|_|M|_|R|_|A|
5|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
4|o|o|_|o|_|o|_|o|o|
3|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
2|a|_|r|_|m|_|w|_|d|
1|o|_|b|_|p|_|s|_|o| Wellsport
a b c d e f g h i


Step 6. Activate Heroes
bc1-c2-c3, bc3-c4-c5, bc5-b5-b6
sg1-g2-g3, sg3-g4-g5, sg5-h5-h6

Board after activate heroes...

7|O|_|P|_|P|_|P|_|O| Bone Devils
6|D|b|W|_|M|_|R|s|A|
5|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
4|o|o|_|o|_|o|_|o|o|
3|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
2|a|_|r|_|m|_|w|_|d|
1|o|_|p|_|p|_|p|_|o| Wellsport
a b c d e f g h i


The brute ends up on b6 between the deck gun and wheel objectives
The swashbuckler ends up on h6 between the rigging lines and armory objectives.

There is no way for the bone devils player to move onto their objective preventing me from doing damage to it. Models may never Move diagonally.

Does that help visualize what I'm describing?
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robert baynosa
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
ssmythe wrote:
Heya Mark, Here's an ASCII map with coordinates...


7|O|_|P|_|P|_|P|_|O| Bone Devils
6|D|_|W|_|M|_|R|_|A|
5|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
4|o|o|_|o|_|o|_|o|o|
3|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
2|a|_|r|_|m|_|w|_|d|
1|o|_|p|_|p|_|p|_|o| Wellsport
a b c d e f g h i

Legend:
o/O = Off-Deck Zone
p/P = Deployment Point
a/A = armory (obj)
r/R = rigging lines (obj)
m/M = mast (obj)
w/W = wheel (obj)
d/D = deck gun (obj)
--
c/C = captain
q/Q = quartermaster
s/S = swashbuckler
g/G = gunner
b/B = brute
--
lower case letters = Wellsport
upper case letters = Bone Devils
--
Note: Row 4 is shared between the two boards


So here's the strategy I'm describing:

Turn 1 - Wellsport:

Step 5. Deploy Heroes
c1=b
g1=s

Board after deploy heroes...

7|O|_|P|_|P|_|P|_|O| Bone Devils
6|D|_|W|_|M|_|R|_|A|
5|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
4|o|o|_|o|_|o|_|o|o|
3|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
2|a|_|r|_|m|_|w|_|d|
1|o|_|b|_|p|_|s|_|o| Wellsport
a b c d e f g h i


Step 6. Activate Heroes
bc1-c2-c3, bc3-c4-c5, bc5-b5-b6
sg1-g2-g3, sg3-g4-g5, sg5-h5-h6

Board after activate heroes...

7|O|_|P|_|P|_|P|_|O| Bone Devils
6|D|b|W|_|M|_|R|s|A|
5|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
4|o|o|_|o|_|o|_|o|o|
3|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
2|a|_|r|_|m|_|w|_|d|
1|o|_|p|_|p|_|p|_|o| Wellsport
a b c d e f g h i


The brute ends up on b6 between the deck gun and wheel objectives
The swashbuckler ends up on h6 between the rigging lines and armory objectives.

There is no way for the bone devils player to move onto their objective preventing me from doing damage to it. Models may never Move diagonally.

Does that help visualize what I'm describing?


oh is that what youre trying to do? imo, thats conceivably easier to deal with than what i was thinking of. on my turn i could have 4 deckhands, the deck gun, and 8 dice of attacks from my brute (or any other 4 dice basic attakc hero) on your brute. if that doesnt finish him off i can have the gunner do that adding 6 dice (2 basics) to his attack.

for your swashnuckler, id have 4 dice of deckhands, 6-8 dice of 2 basics attacks, and 1 or 2 attacks from my gunner. so i could actually wipe out your 2 heroes in round 1.

for me, the harder thing to deal with is if your brute and swashbuckler actually stepped on the objectives.
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Mark Bigney
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
Oh, I see now! Thanks very much--I was misremembering which objective goes where.
On the face of it, I'm not sure whether I'd rather be 1 objective or two heroes down at the start of the game. If there is an imbalance, I think a less obtrusive thing to try first might be to let the 2nd player start with a full hand of cards... though that would likely do little to change your scenario.
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Steve Smythe
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
Life is so much easier with pictures, eh? LOL

travelbug wrote:

oh is that what youre trying to do? imo, thats conceivably easier to deal with than what i was thinking of. on my turn i could have 4 deckhands, the deck gun, and 8 dice of attacks from my brute (or any other 4 dice basic attakc hero) on your brute. if that doesnt finish him off i can have the gunner do that adding 6 dice (2 basics) to his attack.


Yeah. I completely agree. I realize I can actually get onto the objectives and do damage to both of them on turn 1 (if my heroes don't fall into the water).

However, I wanted to show the case where I prevent the second player moving onto the objectives to defend them. So yeah, that's a lot of damage to soak up from the second player attacks.

Quote:
for your swashbuckler, id have 4 dice of deckhands, 6-8 dice of 2 basics attacks, and 1 or 2 attacks from my gunner. so i could actually wipe out your 2 heroes in round 1.

for me, the harder thing to deal with is if your brute and swashbuckler actually stepped on the objectives.


The goal of the swashbuckler attack is just to apply as much damage to the armory as possible on turn 2 and to cause a distraction from the deck gun attack.

The overall strategy is to force the second player to deal with two attacks at once. If the second player uses to heroes to defend the deck gun, then there's a risk of losing the armory, or vice versa.
 
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robert baynosa
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
now im done showing how you can actually protect the deck gun, heres some food for thought:

what if i actually ignore your brute? i attack both your heroes near the armory with patch, the gunner and the brute. i will be bringing 8 dice (gun and dh) plus 4-8 dice attacks from patch (or the brute, would also work) which is more than enough to statistically kill him. i will bring 6 dice from the gunner and 4 dice from the brute on the other which would ko or get him really low on health.

by turn 2 patch is swinging over to your deck gun with no hero to oppose him and can get 1 or 2 attacks, depending on how far i wanna swing. the gunner will finish of your other hero and kill some deckhands to load up on gold. the brute makes his way to the objective nearest the (dead) gun to tank in that objective square.

by round 3, brute attacks brute for 12 dice (or moreif already damaged), plus dh/bossuns in tile. the gunner with gold does 2 basics plus his 6 dice attack for a 12 to your just spawned heroes. patch will finish off your gun and attack your heroes while healing himself.

round 4 my brute swings over to your armory, gunner and patch work on your objective or your single hero on the board if he still was alive. at this point the advantage is squarely on my corner.

well thats just another scenario i wanted to share. imo, the zerg rush. like in many games seems like a reeally strong strategy at first. but you really leave yourself vulnerable. if the defending player can get thru that initial attack its almost gg for you. thats what ive seen in videogames and i think it also applies here in a sense.
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Steve Smythe
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
I didn't talk about my third hero, gunner, who's in the center deployment point defending my ship. But your counter-attack response is good.

I'd have to go through the numbers to see exactly the probability of the Zerg rush success in destroying just the deck gun, as well as both the deck gun and armory. Thank you for your insights and suggestions.

Any thoughts on Problem #2 "Mad" Ivan (in my first post on this thread)?
 
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
ssmythe wrote:
Heya Jorune, great response.

Jorune wrote:
Player 2 should be able to rig over to his objective if you are blocking him from moving their normally.


The rules for rigging are stated as:

Quote:
When a Hero rigs, they may swiftly move to
any legal Zone on another ship (meaning no
Zones containing enemy models or enemy
Deployment Points) - be warned, however,
that while rigging is a quick way to get where
you need to be, each time a Hero rigs they
run the risk of falling Overboard!


So the problem is you cannot rig on your own ship. I totally agree that were a player able to rig onto his own objective, this problem goes away.

Quote:
I think there is a totally disadvantage in going second, and I am so confused why player 2 isn't giving something to offset it.

Player 1 gets three heroes out on turn one, with no worries from player 2. They have no heroes to worry about, nor tide cards.

When player 2 goes for the first time, he has 3 heroes on the board that are backed up by a hand of tide cards. Plus, player 2 still has no tide cards.

It's really confusing how this doesn't come off as broken.


I completely agree with your observations.

Quote:
We have quickly adopted Mr. Skeletor's variant. Player 1 deploys 1 hero on his turn. Player 2 deploys 2 heroes on his turn. Player 1 deploys 2 heroes on his 2nd turn. Player 2 deploys 1 hero on his 2nd turn.

Jorune


That's an interesting solution to the problem. Does this help against the Zerg rush and destroying the deck gun? I think the same situation exists.

Great conversation going here. I appreciate all of your thoughts and comments.


It definitely helps mitigate the Zerg Rush because player 1 only has 1 hero to rush with. Player 2 gets 2. Now he can decide to go after your hero or your objectives. He outnumbers you 2:1, but your 1 hero has tide cards as a back up. So 2 heroes vs. 1 hero with tide cards. When player 1 goes again, he now has all 3 heroes on board, but player 2 has had a chance to position his 2 heroes and also has tide cards.

Jorune
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robert baynosa
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
ssmythe wrote:
I didn't talk about my third hero, gunner, who's in the center deployment point defending my ship. But your counter-attack response is good.

I'd have to go through the numbers to see exactly the probability of the Zerg rush success in destroying just the deck gun, as well as both the deck gun and armory. Thank you for your insights and suggestions.

Any thoughts on Problem #2 "Mad" Ivan (in my first post on this thread)?


oh ok. if he was in your ship, then thats actually not the textbook description of a zerg rush. but even if he was there i think the strategy still stands and maybe even better for it. that releases my gunner to potentially farm for more gold and kill him and/or help my brute on round 2. your gunner wont be able to reply much since he wasnt able to get gold in round 1 (he was on your ship) and will have to move into position to fire.

anyways, im not trying to invalidate your zerg rush. i do believe there is a player 1 advantage, imo more because he gets tide cards, rather than being able to rush an objective/destroy your gun. but imho, its not so big as to make it an insurmountable advantage.

with regards to ivan, i think he has great stats and that makes him a primary target. but in a zerg rush you wont be able to use it because you didnt accumulate gold. also if you check the 2nd power of the undead swashbuckler, he can outright kill a hero, and it gets easier the damaged that hero already is. iirc, the undead gunner has some rediculous skills too and so does their captain. so i think taken individually, ivan may seem op, but if you look at the 2 teams as a whole they may actually match up more evenly than you think.

personally, im still using stock rules. but nothing is stopping you from using house rules (like skeletor) if you feel there is a huge player 1 advantage. for me, i may just implement a 'no stepping on gun/armory' rule.but ill play a few more to see.
 
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robert baynosa
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
steve,

one more thing. may i suggest you edit your title to be something less 'harsh'. potential players might come into this forum and see the title without actually reading thru the thread and it might very well scare them away- and that would be a pity indeed.

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Steve Smythe
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
I'm still not convinced that everything suggested prevents the effectiveness and devastating impact of the Zerg rush (full with three heroes or partial with two). I'll go over each of the suggestions, carefully over the board, and run some numbers.
 
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kalvin connor
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
I am still confused, you are saying that not only do you get lucky on rigging over, you get lucky with hitting objectives AND killing them when they spawn? It seems unlikely. With rigging, you must still travel only on "travelable" tiles and spend a movement point of your two. There is literally no way to get over there so fast and start damaging and be successful. People must be playing this wrong. It takes 3, count em, 3 movement points to get to the rigging location to begin with. So 2 full actions spent just to rig. Even a gunner is going to struggle to hit to objective turn 1. and if all your people are over there, I will spawn my gunner, swashbuckler, and probably captain or (the orange) guy. Just an fyi that I really don't understand zerg one. Plus you need to be INCREDIBLY lucky.
 
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L VonMeister
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
It's likely it may not be all that devastating once you've calculated, but there is a psychological effect of seeing a strong opposing unit on the other side and thinking twice about a full zerg.
I'm not a math genius but I'd be really interested in the result of your research!
 
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Steve Smythe
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
Here's an ASCII board representation that has all the information in it for the core game, to help demonstrate each move, and then have probabilities for each action afterwards. There's a lot of information in each zone, so hopefully this will make is easier to explain the board state at any given moment. Here's the board layout for the initial board setup:


Turn 1, Player 1, Step 1

a b c d e f g h i
7|~~~~|....|P...|....|P...|....|P...|....|~~~~|7
|~~~~|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|~~~~| Bone Devils
6|D...|....|W4..|....|M4..|....|R4..|....|A...|6
|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|
5|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|5
|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|
4|~~~~|~~~~|....|~~~~|....|~~~~|....|~~~~|~~~~|4
|~~~~|~~~~|....|~~~~|....|~~~~|....|~~~~|~~~~|
3|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|3
|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|
2|a...|....|r4..|....|m4..|....|w4..|....|d...|2
|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|
1|~~~~|....|p...|....|p...|....|p...|....|~~~~|1 Wellsport
|~~~~|....|....|....|....|....|....|....|~~~~|
a b c d e f g h i

Legend:

Zone
|1234|
|5678|

1 Deployment Point or Objective
p/P = Deployment Point
a/A = armory (obj)
r/R = rigging lines (obj)
m/M = mast (obj)
w/W = wheel (obj)
d/D = deck gun (obj)
2 Deck Hand Count
3 Bosons Count
4 b/B = brute
5 c/C = captain
6 g/G = gunner
7 q/Q = quartermaster
8 s/S = swashbuckler

. = empty
~ = Off-Deck Zone
--
lower case letters = Wellsport
upper case letters = Bone Devils
--
Note: Row 4 is shared between the two boards


 
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David Bigelow

Utah
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
I apologize in advance for bad grammar and stuff because english is my second language and i might mess up something and not know it because i rarely type english ( i can talk in english pretty fluently i guess maybe). please bare with me. if you cant bare with me skip to the short bottom paragraph after reading the next 2 paragraphs

If you ultimately find that the 3 man zerg rush is op just use the above said variation that the skeleton guy came up with. I use it all the time and have found the base game is very balanced that way.

One thing that I think there is more of a discussion in is the Mad Ivan thing which has not had much discussion. When I first played Rum and Bones I thought Mad Ivan was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over powered. Then over the course of playing this game a total of 13 times, which isnt a ton considering i have the expansions for mazu and french and the hero sets, (no mercs yet) I have played 6 games with Ivan on my side or the opponents in it however because of how over powered he seems to people the first times they play.

*skip till last paragraph from now on if you have problemss with my english or writing*

Admittadly he seems to be a jedi in the fact he can reflect bullets and so i would be cool if for thematic reasons he could not reflect back those bullets . However I do not think he is overpowered. First off lets look at his fury of blows. ( i will formatt my arguements by in general arguments, then wellsports vs bonedevils and then against expansions and or specific examples of counters. no kickstarter exclusivs)

Mad Ivans fury of blows is 4 dice 3+ to hit. each hit rolled causes you to roll 1 more dice but those dont generate more. best case senario you get 8 hits which would be brutal being as if you had enough gold you could use it again. but that is pretty lucky, worst case you get 0. On average you would hit for 5 or 4 which is good but is only 2 more than a regular basic attack on most charactors. for 3 gold that nice and useful and you can use your crew and cards to make it more likely for more hits. the thing is looking at other 3 cost abilites usually cause about 4 - 5 damage or conditions or give some type of utility. For example patchwork portor soul storm rolls 2 dice against each hero in play for 3 +, i do understand this cant be used against minions or an objective but usually specter 4 hits. it will also give your team 4 gold which can easily be used to buff up your team to hit objectives or others hard and he can be on the other side of the board when he uses this ability. also 4 gold is more gold then how much he spent and that 4 gold could go to labrecht or specter for there wicked abilites that just kill enemies out right

Ivans riposite is a very good ability as well but if you think about it vs specters which costs 2 gold and says when an enmy hero inflicts damage that hero suffers 3 damage. Thing is when specter 1v1s ivan ivan can just pummel specter, however if you use your best trait as the bone devils which is attrition, you can destroy ivan. specter likely only miss ivan once with your basic attack giving him 3 damage because of you damage transfer and 1 to specter, which practically means 3 damage to ivan because 1 - 1 = 0. when ivan attacks with his basic attack he will do 2 damage probably and maybe bleed, but you can throw 3 damage back at his face if you have the gold. This means if you put gold on specter and play a smart fight ivan cant face the specter unless he can fury of blows specter many times over again. if ivan chooses to do that he runs out of gold and you use all your gold to put 3-9 damage on him. meaning ivan is almost dead with hardly any heals on his team and no gold on himself because specter used his own, that means all you need to do is deck gun him or soul storm him with porter or just shoot once with a gunners good ability. *keep in mind ghost eye gunthers 1 dice 3 cost abilites counter ivans riposite cause they wont likely miss* And that is only if specter dies. You have to bear in mind that the bone devils have a lot of prevent 3 damage cards and remove half of the damage on a character on your turn, so if specter survives he can heal and continue to do damage. and if ivan has 6 damage on him i would just use deaths calling. Ivan seems very good. but a well played bone devil crew can sometimes counter ivans reposite. Also devils due completely counters riposite because it will hit no matter what.

ultimately if you look at the bone devils abilites, they are just as good when used correctly (Soul Storm on patch work,hell fire round ghost eye gunther, blood frenzy on renfield, devils due on albrecht if you have a tank out with like 8 damage on him.) and some counter ivans riposite. (specter basic attack, devils due on albrecht, ghost eye gunthers 3 cost attacks,blood drinker on dracula, siphon life on patchwork porter cause he can heal a freind fighting ivan when across the board, meaning in the base game or with the hero packs for the bone devils i find ivan is not over powered and actually found that they are quite even. i personally prefer the bone devils if i pick one of the 2.
Thank you for enduring my english. hope you found this helpful, and i will explain anything you were confused on

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robert baynosa
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Re: The Rum & Bones Core is Broken
op

i really think 3 playthroughs is grossly insufficient to call a game broken. imho, your assumptions are based on two wrong premises (for player 2): that losing his deck gun is too big a disadvantage; and that he will actively defend his deck gun at all cost.

a competent 2nd player will most often than not move to destroy your deck gun by turn 2, or even turn 1. so at most, you will have a deck gun advantage of 2 turns (maybe 3 if he is massively unlucky). ive also seen player 2's weather the deck gun for much, much longer than this, and it wasnt really down to just plain rng.

the way you set up your heroes might actually be my preferred way to fight player 1 cause it does not allow his heroes to support one another. i could just decide to zerg rush you myself (with all 3) and statistically, id be in a better winning position than you. i could hold back the brute to fight ivan and then move to your own brute once he's killed (he will be tankier with the support of my healer) with the other 2 moving to take down your objectives. i could send a hero to kill your gunner if he was foolish enough to get some gold too. numbers-wise, i would also be in a better position than you if i did this. there, ive given you a number of strategies for player 2 (including the ones in prior posts above), and most of them ive seen used or used myself.


really, the only time the game seems broken is when player does nothing but actively defend his objectives- but that is not how you are supposed to play.

im no expert at this game, ive played only 9 times but 6 of those times were as player 2. again just sharing my thoughts and insights. cheers.
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Steve Smythe
United States
Reno
Nevada
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Handling the Zerg Rush

After simulating millions of die rolls of varying situations, and going through various strategies, I stand by my statements that the core rules need modifications.

You are correct that NOT attacking the brute on the zerg rush delays (and possibly prevents) the deck gun from being destroyed on turn 2, however, on average rolls, it is left with only 2 health (as well as the armory).

On only slightly above average rolls (only 2 dice rolls difference per player's turn), it is possible to destroy the deck gun and armory on turn 2. These are using the run over strategy. No rigging.

It is possible on average rolls, using rigging, to destroy the deck gun and armory on turn 2.

Even though the first player is two heroes down for turn 3, they come back in turn 4, and continue on with the pressure of the near dead deck gun and armory. Using this strategy always puts the second player at a statistical disadvantage.

Therefore, it is my recommendation of adopting the "Prepare to be boarded" stage that requires each player's heroes stay on their ship during turn 1 and ready their crew for battle.

During testing, this rule modification definitely eliminated the Zerg rush threat, and kept the flavor and play of the game closer to what I believe the designers were going for: heroes prepare, and then mayhem ensues on turn 2 (especially with tide cards available for play).

"Mad" Ivan

"Flurry of Blows" turns out to be okay, so long as "Riposte" has a minimum cost of 1.

Conclusion
Rum & Bones is a great game. It just needs these two very minor tweaks as far as I have tested. It's really an immersive game, especially when the Kraken comes out. Tentacles flying everywhere. Deck hands being pulled overboard. Chaos everywhere. Love it!
 
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