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Subject: PSA: Game is harder for FAITH team with 3 heroes instead of 4 rss

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Hey everybody, been playing some different games and came to a realization I want to share.

In the rulebook it says that when you have 3 players or 5 players total you play with 4 heroes in play (when it's 1v2 each FAITH player controls 2 heroes) and if you have a 2 player or 4 player game you play with 3 heroes in play (1v1 controlling 2 heroes, or 1v3). The only other changes that occur are that missions require 1 less number of whatever you're doing to complete, the sins player gets 1 less reaction token, and the sins player can summon 1 less monster at the end of every round. This all sounds fine on paper, but in practice...

Having 1 less hero on the board is actually a big deal. First and foremost, an additional hero provides 2 extra turns before the end of a round. That means 2 more turns of killing monsters, clearing tokens, and moving around before the sins player summons more monsters, draws more cards, utilizes his acolyte ability, places more tokens, and increases the apocalypse track. All of those things that the sins player does at the end of the round are HUGELY helpful for the sins player!

The other big reason the 4-hero variant is better for the FAITH is that they get another body on the board. An extra body gives you more dice for both combat and clearing tokens (if the heroes are in the same space), it makes it more difficult for the sins player to move monsters around (because they can't move through a space with a hero in it... esp. helpful for ranged heroes!), it gives you an extra city action every round (more orbital laser attacks or extra turn tokens or healing or equipment!), it gives you an extra hero ability in play, and it allows for more versatility and team play due to the heroes' varying stats.

These two points combined affect the game greatly. With an extra body tying up monsters, shooters can safely attack without worrying about being counter-attacked. With monsters respawning less often, fixers can more easily clean up tokens, making future rounds easier (the sins player doesn't place less tokens for the 3-hero variant). With a board with less monsters and tokens, the bruisers can more easily cross the map to get to where they need to go. And with a lower apocalypse track and less sin cards, the game is easier in general for the FAITH team.

Now I'm NOT saying the FAITH team can't win with 3 heroes (in fact I played a corruption story that the 3 hero team won pretty easily), I just want you to know that it's quite a bit harder. So if the FAITH team is getting crushed in the 3-player variant, don't be afraid to add another hero on the board to balance things out. Conversely, if your sins player is getting crushed, consider trying the 3-hero variant.

TL;DR: 3-heroes-on-the-board games are harder for the FAITH team! Try 4 heroes instead if the balance doesn't feel right to you.
 
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Atul Deshpande
United States
Wisconsin
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While what you say above is true, the Sin player also has to kill an extra hero to win the game. With 4 hero figures, the sin player wins when 4 heroes are killed. With 3 hero figures, the sin players has to kill 5 heroes before the heroes can be replenished.

It is a good idea to try 4 hero figures even if a group doesn't have the requisite number of players to see if the balance improves, but in such small sample sets with so many variables, it would be hard to say either way.
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Atul Deshpande
United States
Wisconsin
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Also, game mechanics wise, it is easier to equip upgrades for three heroes than four, which benefit every subsequent incoming hero.
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Stevie P
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Our first play tonight Faith 3 char won, but only on a lucky roll against Envy. Was exciting.
 
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thisisenfield wrote:
While what you say above is true, the Sin player also has to kill an extra hero to win the game. With 4 hero figures, the sin player wins when 4 heroes are killed. With 3 hero figures, the sin players has to kill 5 heroes before the heroes can be replenished.

This is true! And a smart Sins player can use his extra turn tokens to focus fire on one or two heroes to kill them quicker. I don't believe that makes up for all the advantages 4-heroes get, though.

thisisenfield wrote:
Also, game mechanics wise, it is easier to equip upgrades for three heroes than four, which benefit every subsequent incoming hero.

This... could go either way depending on how you look at it. Per character, you still can only equip one city-action worth of equipment each round, and I don't believe subsequent heroes get an extra city action just because the hero before them died. Each subsequent hero in a 3-hero game will be more decked out to begin with (assuming you used your city actions to equip and not do something else), potentially making them harder to kill at the offset (which depends on the equipment they get as well). So if it is indeed an advantage for 3-hero games, I don't believe it's a very impactful one (or at least is highly dependent on getting good equipment).

thisisenfield wrote:
It is a good idea to try 4 hero figures even if a group doesn't have the requisite number of players to see if the balance improves, but in such small sample sets with so many variables, it would be hard to say either way.

Yep, I only have a very small sample size overall since each game takes around 2 hours. The difference was very blatant to me, though, and I think my logic of why is pretty sound. I'd love to hear other people's experience with the game, though!

3-hero games are definitely playable, enjoyable, and winnable for the FAITH team, and it's even possible that they are MORE balanced than the 4-hero games depending on the story, but either way I'm confident the 4-hero games favor the FAITH team more than the 3-hero games.
 
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