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Subject: Sins Monster Stacking - Important Homebrew! rss

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Cal John
Australia
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Hi Sins players!

My mates and I have played through the game now about six times, and we've decided to homebrew a rule:

"At the end of a reaction, the Sins player cannot have more than four monsters in any space. If this is occurs, the Sins player must sacrifice any monsters in excess of four until four remain."

The reason for this rule is that in many missions and circumstances, an obvious and successful Sins tactic is piling as many monsters as possible into an impenetrable deathball of 5-6+ monsters, including controller and avatar and any apocalypse gribblies, and then waiting for apocalypse to tick down.

Naturally, a good Sins player plays conservatively: time is on your side, you generally accrue benefits over time that moderately outweigh the advantages of the heroes' upgrades (and some Sins brutalize heroes who acquire upgrades). But dumping your monsters into a deathball, particularly where many objectives require assassination of key monster(s), seems an obvious and powerful strategy.

We don't have too many or too serious powergamers in our play group who would abuse the deathball, but to remove the temptation, we've decided to implement this rule. A sins player still can and should create stacks of powerful monsters - an avatar, a controller, and abominations as necessary - but the deathball seems an obvious and powerful solution to too many problems that the Sins player might face. In short, we seek to promote a dynamic and reactive playstyle from the Sins player, rather than a predictable and potentially overpowered defensive playstyle.

We may alter this rule to a limit of five monsters, depending on how it affects balance. Based on previous play, unless a player is intentionally turtling/deathballing, four seems like a good starting point promoting a balanced Sins playstyle.

Anyrate, I'm here for feedback on our idea. In particular, I'm interested to hear feedback regarding:
(a) Have other players experienced the deathball tactic;
(b) Is it as effective as we believe it to be;
(c) If the deathball tactic is pervasive or overpowered, is our proposed rule a good solution?

A final note: I am aware that Rosie, with her "teleport target monster one space" ability, is an obvious counter to the deathball. The reason we imposed this rule was to make it such that Rosie is not an essential hero pick, as we have all the hero stretch goal packs and generally try to play a variety of heroes.
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Kent
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This thread belongs in Variants, not Rules.
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Geoff ...
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So now Rosie can teleport a monster into the "deathball of 4", forcing the sin player to sacrifice, because 5 exceeds your house rule.

Butterfly effect and all that.
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Will Martin
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This has been discussed multiple times in multiple ways. I can find you the links to the threads if you'd like, as your questions have mostly been answered in previous places.

If that works for your play group, that's fine, but the turtling death ball is not so much a winning strategy but the side effects of players not understanding the game as well.

It nerfs the Sin player a wee bit and allows members of FAITH to be more cautious and patient (outside of the effects of cards, etc). Which, if that is what you want, that's 100% perfectly fine.

Are you looking for feedback on how to improve it or just opinions?
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CK Lai
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Yes. Just to make sure it's no fun for the Sins player, and so the FAITH guys can win. Absolutely go for it!
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People on this forum have been very aggressive toward anyone suggesting the balance isn't 100% perfect in every way. I'm guessing they haven't tried out the game much themselves and are feeling very defensive over their purchase.

I and many others have also noted how strong the dogpile tactic can be on specific stories. My big revelation happened when I played with 4 heroes on the board instead of 3 and realized how much stronger that is for the FAITH team. If you've been playing with 3 heroes at a time, OP, I'd suggest trying some games out with 4. It's changed the game a lot for me.

That said, I've still mulled similar home-rules over. My gut feeling is that your home rule wouldn't change much... With an Avatar, Controller, and 2 abominations in the same space with a few pentagrams, the sins player can already kill most heroes in a single attack, so stacking more than that might actually be a disadvantage for the sins player. But again, that's my gut feeling... perhaps limiting to 4 would require 1 hero to sacrifice themselves, but then the other heroes could attack in the same round safely. If you try the rule out and it works, please let us know!

As far as Rosie goes, she is a little helpful for countering the dogpile, but not as much as some suggest. She can't move the controller or avatar, which are the big problems, and even when she's moving abominations it's at the END of her turn, meaning the sins player can always react and move another monster into the pile.
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Dan Harrow
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Another suggestion is that when the "dogpile" becomes an issue, also use the orbital laser to defeat abomination in that space.
 
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Will Martin
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SoopaSte123 wrote:
People on this forum have been very aggressive toward anyone suggesting the balance isn't 100% perfect in every way. I'm guessing they haven't tried out the game much themselves and are feeling very defensive over their purchase.

I and many others have also noted how strong the dogpile tactic can be on specific stories. My big revelation happened when I played with 4 heroes on the board instead of 3 and realized how much stronger that is for the FAITH team. If you've been playing with 3 heroes at a time, OP, I'd suggest trying some games out with 4. It's changed the game a lot for me.

That said, I've still mulled similar home-rules over. My gut feeling is that your home rule wouldn't change much... With an Avatar, Controller, and 2 abominations in the same space with a few pentagrams, the sins player can already kill most heroes in a single attack, so stacking more than that might actually be a disadvantage for the sins player. But again, that's my gut feeling... perhaps limiting to 4 would require 1 hero to sacrifice themselves, but then the other heroes could attack in the same round safely. If you try the rule out and it works, please let us know!

As far as Rosie goes, she is a little helpful for countering the dogpile, but not as much as some suggest. She can't move the controller or avatar, which are the big problems, and even when she's moving abominations it's at the END of her turn, meaning the sins player can always react and move another monster into the pile.


No, people on the forum are very aggressive in stating that while it's a strong strategy, it's a preventable one that has definite counters and definite weaknesses that mostly revolve around a pro-active FAITH team seeing that it's happening and responding accordingly.

No one is saying the game is 100% balanced. People are just saying that screaming "THIS IS HORRIBLY BROKEN AND MAKES THE GAME IMPOSSIBLE TO WIN AND MAKES THE GAME BROKEN!" is wrong.

It's definitely a strong strategy, but it's not all or nothing. The game isn't perfect, but it sure as hell isn't 'broken' due to one particularly useful strategy.
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CK Lai
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Rimewisp wrote:
SoopaSte123 wrote:
People on this forum have been very aggressive toward anyone suggesting the balance isn't 100% perfect in every way. I'm guessing they haven't tried out the game much themselves and are feeling very defensive over their purchase.

I and many others have also noted how strong the dogpile tactic can be on specific stories. My big revelation happened when I played with 4 heroes on the board instead of 3 and realized how much stronger that is for the FAITH team. If you've been playing with 3 heroes at a time, OP, I'd suggest trying some games out with 4. It's changed the game a lot for me.

That said, I've still mulled similar home-rules over. My gut feeling is that your home rule wouldn't change much... With an Avatar, Controller, and 2 abominations in the same space with a few pentagrams, the sins player can already kill most heroes in a single attack, so stacking more than that might actually be a disadvantage for the sins player. But again, that's my gut feeling... perhaps limiting to 4 would require 1 hero to sacrifice themselves, but then the other heroes could attack in the same round safely. If you try the rule out and it works, please let us know!

As far as Rosie goes, she is a little helpful for countering the dogpile, but not as much as some suggest. She can't move the controller or avatar, which are the big problems, and even when she's moving abominations it's at the END of her turn, meaning the sins player can always react and move another monster into the pile.


No, people on the forum are very aggressive in stating that while it's a strong strategy, it's a preventable one that has definite counters and definite weaknesses that mostly revolve around a pro-active FAITH team seeing that it's happening and responding accordingly.

No one is saying the game is 100% balanced. People are just saying that screaming "THIS IS HORRIBLY BROKEN AND MAKES THE GAME IMPOSSIBLE TO WIN AND MAKES THE GAME BROKEN!" is wrong.

It's definitely a strong strategy, but it's not all or nothing. The game isn't perfect, but it sure as hell isn't 'broken' due to one particularly useful strategy.


This! There's a thread where a first-time player asked (very nicely) what are some good tactics to try as a first-time FAITH player. I think he got some good responses, both for the FAITH player, and as a Sins player. Contrast this to the thread that unequivocally state the game is broken/unbalanced. It's like the players just threw their hands up in the air and surrendered. (That said, my win/loss ratio is 50/50 so I'm not gonna say one side is inherently OP than another).

I've always said the dogpile really only works with newbie FAITH players because they get daunted when that whacking huge Avatar gets plonked on the board and they realise "holy $#@! he rolls SEVEN DICE!"

The only reason I've won from the Dogpile is because the FAITH players let me. The FAITH players have a total potential of at least 14 turns in the first 2 rounds vs a measly 6 for the Sins player. What the heck are the FAITH players doing with those 14 turns, if not accomplishing missions and whittling down the monsters and positioning the heroes strategically to cover spaces to minimise dog-piling?

Also, (by accident) I realised if the FAITH players are aggressive in eliminating monsters, only monsters left on the board when that final mission begins can be marked. So potentially, that's a HUGE advantage if the Faith players get rid of Abominations and Hell Club "guest monsters" early so it's only the Avatar and very puny Acolytes that can be marked.

So yes. While the dog-pile is a viable strategy, it's also a short lived one, as the FAITH players do a post-mortem and realised they COULD have won had they been more aggressive.

So does that sound like I "haven't tried out the game much themselves and are feeling very defensive over their purchase"?
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W
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I think it's a pretty bad house rule, what specific scenario or mission caused you to think that this was an unfair strategy? If you just have to kill monsters I think it is a fairly easy counter, just get as many upgrades as you can during that round and then go in and take corruption. Depending on who you have you are gueranteed 3+ hits, any upgrades, and more than 50% to roll a hit every dice roll. This works even better if you're Rocco, and get an additional 2 hits, and that's not counting any upgrades.



Remember: you can pick and choose who receives the hits


I don't know any other scenario where deathballing would be a good strategy, if you need to cleanse that specific area, you can use a ranged attack and sacrifice that ranged hero.

If the faith players have a hard time winning, I heard playing with 4 heroes makes the game a bit easier for the faith
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Patrick
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MrDoubleHelix wrote:
SoopaSte123 wrote:
People on this forum have been very aggressive toward anyone suggesting the balance isn't 100% perfect in every way. I'm guessing they haven't tried out the game much themselves and are feeling very defensive over their purchase.


I've played ~10 games and in 4 games so far the dogpile strategy was implemented by the Sins player. The Sins player lost each of those games. Let me now try something different than offering counter strategies or explaining why it's a bad strategy. Why is it fun as the Sins player to spend reactions moving monsters into a square and sitting there? Why would I spend my 90 minutes just doing that for a few potential ridiculous rolls at the end of the game? If that's your strategy for winning then I don't even know why you're playing the game in the first place.


Nailed it.
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Daniel Mckay
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Rimewisp wrote:
SoopaSte123 wrote:
People on this forum have been very aggressive toward anyone suggesting the balance isn't 100% perfect in every way. I'm guessing they haven't tried out the game much themselves and are feeling very defensive over their purchase.

I and many others have also noted how strong the dogpile tactic can be on specific stories. My big revelation happened when I played with 4 heroes on the board instead of 3 and realized how much stronger that is for the FAITH team. If you've been playing with 3 heroes at a time, OP, I'd suggest trying some games out with 4. It's changed the game a lot for me.

That said, I've still mulled similar home-rules over. My gut feeling is that your home rule wouldn't change much... With an Avatar, Controller, and 2 abominations in the same space with a few pentagrams, the sins player can already kill most heroes in a single attack, so stacking more than that might actually be a disadvantage for the sins player. But again, that's my gut feeling... perhaps limiting to 4 would require 1 hero to sacrifice themselves, but then the other heroes could attack in the same round safely. If you try the rule out and it works, please let us know!

As far as Rosie goes, she is a little helpful for countering the dogpile, but not as much as some suggest. She can't move the controller or avatar, which are the big problems, and even when she's moving abominations it's at the END of her turn, meaning the sins player can always react and move another monster into the pile.


No, people on the forum are very aggressive in stating that while it's a strong strategy, it's a preventable one that has definite counters and definite weaknesses that mostly revolve around a pro-active FAITH team seeing that it's happening and responding accordingly.

No one is saying the game is 100% balanced. People are just saying that screaming "THIS IS HORRIBLY BROKEN AND MAKES THE GAME IMPOSSIBLE TO WIN AND MAKES THE GAME BROKEN!" is wrong.

It's definitely a strong strategy, but it's not all or nothing. The game isn't perfect, but it sure as hell isn't 'broken' due to one particularly useful strategy.


Thjs.

I haven't recieved the game yet, but my view of it from everything I read in the build up was this; thematically, the odds are meant to be stacked against the good guys. This game is supposed to have a more cinematic feel, where evil seems insurmountable. There are a wealth of strategies for the Faith players, but they aren't all obvious, and sacrifice plays a huge part... Not all yoir characters are meant to make it to the end. It's a movie wrapped in a board game.
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Oden Dee
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That darn Hate! sin card tempts you to waste all you reactions on stacking one space.
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