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Sentinels of the Multiverse» Forums » Variants

Subject: Making Bunker a solid hero rss

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Christopher Webb
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So I've looked through bunker again and again and he just doesn't seem to have the same flow as other Hero decks. I'm not just talking about his variants (which are pretty decent. Tosx's Momentum variant is particularly good), but the deck itself. His Mode cards are entirely too dependent on coming out during specific phases of the game (start of the game for Recharge (generally), Upgrade for middle, then Turret to finish off) and due to this Bunker tends to not get what he really needs at the right time unless he's particularly lucky.
Unless he gets the cards he must have to fuel Omni-cannon and Gatling gun he can't consider himself a good blaster and, without hibernating in recharge mode to tank, he doesn't do much else.

I wanted to see if I could help alleviate some of these issues with adjustments to some of his cards (ideas really) and I wanted to post them here to see what people think. Most of his deck will remain unchanged and my changes shouldn't make him overall MORE powerful, but just allow him to actually shine more often than he currently does. So here are the changes I think would be great to his deck.

1.) Mode Cards: Mode cards are clunky and almost always result in a net loss, which doesn't make any sense considering they are a core mechanic of his play style. The following changes to how they work should help them feel more like modes focusing on a particular element of play, without shutting himself down too much.
New card text for the following:

Upgrade Mode: When this card enters play you may play a card.
At the start of your turn, you may play a card. If you do, you must skip your Power Phase or Draw Phase this turn.
When another Mode card enters play, return this card to your hand.

Recharge Mode: When this card enters play during your Play Phase you may draw a card.
At the start of your turn, you may draw a card. If you do, you must skip your Play Phase or Power Phase this turn.
When another Mode card enters play, return this card to your hand.

Turret Mode: When this card enters play you may use a power now.
At the start of your turn you may use a power. If you do you must skip your Play Phase or Draw Phase this turn.
When another Mode card enters play, return this card to your hand.

You'll notice that Turret mode has lost it's plus damage however, I've just moved it to Gatling Gun. The ability to use a power before your play phase can potentially be really useful and the fact that you lose one less phase for it so it needed to have something removed or adjusted.
Also, Recharge mode has lost it's Damage reduction. Again this has just been moved to another card (Auxiliary power supply). Being able to draw a card before your play phase can be particularly handy so I had to adjust it some way as well.
Upgrade mode gets a bonus play when it enters play to get the full effect of the mode immediately like other modes (instead of using one of my plays just to get the mode out there which is kinda like, why didn't I just play the card I wanted to in the first place?). Recharge and Turret get a bonuses immediately because the start of turn phase has passed. This will make the mode take effect immediately.

2.) Other card adjustments:

Gatling Gun: Increase damage dealt by Bunker by 1.
At the start of your turn you may deal 2 projectile damage to a target. If you do discard a card or destroy this one.

Auxiliary Power Supply: (Name could be adjusted to Auxiliary Shielding Unit, but power supply is fine) Reduce damage dealt to Bunker by 1. At the start of your turn, discard 2 cards or destroy this one.
Power: Draw 3 cards then destroy this card.

The bonus damage and damage reduction have been moved to these cards. Gatling Gun can now skip the damage to maintain the bonus damage in play if you have nothing to discard. The mandatory discard was moved over to the Auxiliary Power Supply which now provides damage reduction.
The logic behind the APS granting damage reduction is as follows: Rather than actually providing additional power it has been re-purposed to a shielding unit that Bunker can Cannibalize for a boost in energy. Or sacrifice for a bonus power if absolutely necessary.

Ok, that's all I had for Bunker. I feel that the additional freedom (and reduced loss of phases) will really help Bunker play out like he was originally intended. A modal hero who specializes for the situation.

Tell me what you think! If people like it I may use a card editor to do some Printer Studio editions so that people (or myself) can swap the cards out.
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Sean Conroy
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I see where you are going but, I disagree a little. Yes, Bunker can be "I need this card now". The counter to this is to spam his deck into your hand with the recharge and ammo drops. If Bunker has less than 7 cards in hand, the player is using him incorrectly.

When you transfer his deck to your hand (an exaggeration of course) he becomes a man for all seasons and pretty darn versatile.
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Jonathan Richardson
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That of course requires you to get Recharge mode and Ammo drop out and if your sitting in recharge mode, your not fighting, and if you want to do something else, you have to lose Recharge mode and by time you've built up that big hand the game's almost over and the other players are glowering at you for using Bunker and making them all have to carry a heavier load and you yourself feel frustrated because he's a cool hero, but he just didn't seem to play out the way he should and so you put your thinking cap on and thought hey, I'll just tweak some of his cards and that might help out a lot, but you want them to be balanced so you post them on BGG to see what others think, when some one tells you to just get Recharge mode out...

/end lighthearted, but kinda serious Bunker rant

I've seen many Bunker fixes (and even made several of my own) and this could work. My first thought would be why doesn't Turret Mode grant a free power use when it enters play? It's the only one that doesn't get its effect right away.
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Christopher Webb
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TracerBullet wrote:
I see where you are going but, I disagree a little. Yes, Bunker can be "I need this card now". The counter to this is to spam his deck into your hand with the recharge and ammo drops. If Bunker has less than 7 cards in hand, the player is using him incorrectly.

When you transfer his deck to your hand (an exaggeration of course) he becomes a man for all seasons and pretty darn versatile.


I agree that once Bunker gets a big enough hand he's great. The problem is, doing so takes him longer and he does so less reliably than other heroes. There are a lot of Villains that have very few additional targets for Bunker to use to fuel his Ammo Drop (since he has no Ongoing/environment destruction), if he gets it early, and while he's in Recharge Mode he is literally doing nothing other than draw 3 cards a round (maybe more if someone is feeding him cards like TL Tachyon) while other heroes like Wraith and Ra can contribute while continuing to build their hands and cards in play.

I didn't mean to insinuate that Bunker can never hold his own with other Heroes and if I did I apologize.
However, statistically he has one of the lowest win rates of all heroes (right down there with Expatriette and Mr. Fixer) and a major source of this is that his core mechanics don't mesh well. The changes I propose is to help him do what he does now but make it so that he can also bring something to the table WHILE he's building up his OMFGMEGALAZEROFDOOM, without trivializing any given mode card (like Momentum Bunker does with Upgrade and Recharge Modes).
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Christopher Webb
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EmperorEternal wrote:


I've seen many Bunker fixes (and even made several of my own) and this could work. My first thought would be why doesn't Turret Mode grant a free power use when it enters play? It's the only one that doesn't get its effect right away.


Oh hey, you're right. It should. I'll fix that.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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I've always thought it rather dumb that Bunker should destroy his Mode cards when playing a different Mode or else aborting that Mode at the start of his turn.

Destroying a card is what you do to have it leave play, sure. But there are other ways to do it.

Here's why it's strange. Sentinels was a really well-themed comic book kinda game where you can get the feel of what it would look like on the page or in the narrative when hero A plays card B and villain C uses D against them. And then there's Bunker, who defies all this.

The deck represents a guy in a vehicle (no way that's a suit--Absolute Zero is a man in a suit) that has a button marked 'Turret Mode' and when he activates that button, the vehicle alters a bit and braces for heavy firing, leaving the man inside unable to out-maneuver incoming fire and such. Thus, he can utilize more weaponry, but he limits his ability to do other things. So far, all makes sense.

Now he uses those two powers to ... regain HP, twice. Something he is bad at in Recharge Mode.

But he's firing off his auto-cannon for awhile and his hand is getting low, so he turns off Turret Mode ... and that button just vanishes. He can't get back into Turret Mode. Not until he draws another copy of it, at least. Okay, so maybe that function needs some time to cool off before the systems can come online again. Or, maybe he has a copy in his hand already and it has no cooling off period, so that explanation is only as good as a hand-wave.

It seems to me that, had Bunker been released a bit later, his Mode cards would instruct the player to return them to hand when voluntarily aborting that Mode. Mr. Fixer's Tools do this. Systems being damaged (villain cards destroying a Mode) can account for a Mode being offline for various lengths of time--surely they aren't always damaged the exact same way, so that part's fine.
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Michael Hunter
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With the tweaked power unit, I'd be a little concerned that Bunker could get out that and Heavy Armor for a whopping -2 to all damage dealt quite easily?

True, he can do that right now but only when in recharge mode and won't be doing a hell of a lot else (other than possible charging an Omni-cannon). The only other hero that can get that level of damage reduction is the Scholar, and that is a huge part what makes him good.

I do like the Gatling gun, the bonus damage makes sense (and makes the Turret less god-mode) plus having the deal damage at the same time as the discard makes me happy - it always annoyed me as is. Firstly, two triggers makes it easier to forget one, and secondly now you don't have to wait an entire turn for it to do something.
 
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Take Walker
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All I could think, seeing this thread, is that I tried out Freedom Five Bunker for the first time yesterday, and found I never cared what was in his hand, because his base power is just that good.
 
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Geoff B.
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Flatonhisface nailed it. that is the best Bunker fix.

I used to tout my version that let you also play a mode if you returned one at the start of your turn, but with better clarification of how the draw an extra card if you don't play a card or use a power mechanic works I don't suggest that one, as it only improves Upgrade Mode.

And believe it or not the FV Bunker power was originally a lot better, it got nerfed in play-testing.
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Bill Stull
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I agree with FlatOnHisFace as well. I feel overall that Termination Bunker is my favorite version to play and resolves issues I felt I had with him. At least it felt like I was doing more and that even less useful cards have a benefit because I can destroy them for a mini turn.
 
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Christopher Webb
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Phantaskippy wrote:
Flatonhisface nailed it. that is the best Bunker fix.

I used to tout my version that let you also play a mode if you returned one at the start of your turn, but with better clarification of how the draw an extra card if you don't play a card or use a power mechanic works I don't suggest that one, as it only improves Upgrade Mode.

And believe it or not the FV Bunker power was originally a lot better, it got nerfed in play-testing.


I wholeheartedly agree that returning modes to hand rather than destroying them makes more sense and will adjust my ideas accordingly.

I'm not certain that that is all that is necessary though. His mode cards would still for the most part only rearrange his input and add little to nothing and even in some cases remove resources ( allowing his allies to grant bonus plays/powers/draws primarily).

As far as the aps being too strong, I'll add an additional card discard to it. That makes it very expensive to maintain and should bring in too be more balanced.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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I'm for the changes to the Modes suggested in the first post. I'm just saying that I'd also return an old Mode to hand instead of trash. And I wanted to highlight that Bunker's problems weren't just mechanical, but thematic as well.

Part of the problem is that you never really know when to activate a Mode. You might need some draw now, but after the very next villain turn, you might need to shoot something. You might be ready for Turret Mode now, lose one of your power cards, and need to immediately leave Turret Mode to play another power card to the table, which is now unavailable.

Making the Modes work in the first turn played alleviates much of this hassle, as does not completely shutting down the other 2/3 of his turn. The proposed "skip one of two phases and double the benefit of the third" still emphasizes the character's theme, but keeps him playable. Keeping the Mode card means you don't need to worry about ending the Mode at the wrong time, since you can shift in and out of it reliably.
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Jonathan Richardson
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
I'm for the changes to the Modes suggested in the first post. I'm just saying that I'd also return an old Mode to hand instead of trash. And I wanted to highlight that Bunker's problems weren't just mechanical, but thematic as well.

Part of the problem is that you never really know when to activate a Mode. You might need some draw now, but after the very next villain turn, you might need to shoot something. You might be ready for Turret Mode now, lose one of your power cards, and need to immediately leave Turret Mode to play another power card to the table, which is now unavailable.

Making the Modes work in the first turn played alleviates much of this hassle, as does not completely shutting down the other 2/3 of his turn. The proposed "skip one of two phases and double the benefit of the third" still emphasizes the character's theme, but keeps him playable. Keeping the Mode card means you don't need to worry about ending the Mode at the wrong time, since you can shift in and out of it reliably.


This is sound counsel.
 
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Christopher Webb
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
I'm for the changes to the Modes suggested in the first post. I'm just saying that I'd also return an old Mode to hand instead of trash. And I wanted to highlight that Bunker's problems weren't just mechanical, but thematic as well.

Part of the problem is that you never really know when to activate a Mode. You might need some draw now, but after the very next villain turn, you might need to shoot something. You might be ready for Turret Mode now, lose one of your power cards, and need to immediately leave Turret Mode to play another power card to the table, which is now unavailable.

Making the Modes work in the first turn played alleviates much of this hassle, as does not completely shutting down the other 2/3 of his turn. The proposed "skip one of two phases and double the benefit of the third" still emphasizes the character's theme, but keeps him playable. Keeping the Mode card means you don't need to worry about ending the Mode at the wrong time, since you can shift in and out of it reliably.


Thanks for the support!

Anyways, I've been contemplating these mode version for much of the day and I found an abusable loophole in the current mechanics that I will edit out.

1.) If a player starts the turn with upgrade mode in play, sacrifices their power phase to play Recharge mode immediately, resulting in an opportunity to draw a card (1 card now) they will then have to sacrifice another phase but will draw a card for it (2 cards), because Power phase is already being skipped they must skip their play phase. Because the player skipped both play and power phases they may draw 2 cards on their Draw phase (3 and 4 cards in one turn). Edit can be reread as follows.

Also, my edit earlier required players to sacrifice a phase even if they didn't want to take advantage of the Mode. I did this as I felt having a Mode in play by default meant they should have to adjust their play style accordingly resulting in more strategy.

I realize that because I removed the option to deactivate modes at the start of your turn this is probably too restrictive. There would be no way to return to a normal turn voluntarily. I'll be editing it back to allow the option to use the mode in play. As far as RP goes, having a mode card in play would represent having a given mode primed to use if Bunker opts for it. If he swaps out mode cards, his vehicle/suit/mecha primes another mode for use and the other goes into standby.

Edit: There is another loophole but I'm not certain I should fix it. It is as follows: If a player has Turret Mode in play and a Turret Mode in hand they can do the following on their turn. Sacrifice draw phase to use a power. Play Turret mode, resulting in an extra power immediately (2 powers in the turn). Use normal power during Power Phase. (3 powers). This allows a player to get 3 powers in a turn repeatedly with returning Turret Mode to hand, but requires the sacrifice of both draw and play phases. Not sure if I should adjust it out as well. Until I decide I'll be removing the option to get a bonus power from the APS.

Anyway, thanks for all the input guys!
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Rosgath wrote:
Because the player skipped both play and power phases they may draw 2 cards on their Draw phase (3 and 4 cards in one turn).

The "draw 2" option doesn't care if you skipped any phases -- only that you didn't play a card nor use a power that turn.
 
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Jonathan Richardson
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1) The draw issue: What Dennison above said.

2) The multi Turret Mode issue: This does require you to have 3 different Powers out and multiple Turret Modes in hand before you can make use of it. If it works out to be too strong, you can always make all Mode cards Limited. You can't play a copy of a Limited card you have in play.

3) Is it your intention for APS to give you an extra power use when you destroy it via its own power?
 
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Christopher Webb
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EmperorEternal wrote:
1) The draw issue: What Dennison above said.

2) The multi Turret Mode issue: This does require you to have 3 different Powers out and multiple Turret Modes in hand before you can make use of it. If it works out to be too strong, you can always make all Mode cards Limited. You can't play a copy of a Limited card you have in play.

3) Is it your intention for APS to give you an extra power use when you destroy it via its own power?


No. The only time it would would be whenyou opt to destroy it instead of discarding however, in light of multi turreting being possible I'm ditching the bonus power from APS. If I it's not something that should stay in, I'll re add it.
 
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Christopher Webb
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Wow, so making these ideas into actual printable cards is proving to be a lot more work than I was anticipating. (smooth move Ros. :/)

So far I'm trying to use GIMP to take a scanned PDF version of the cards I'm looking to edit and make available for Printer Studio, but I'm having a rough time just figuring out where to go after that (or if I'm even starting in the right place).

Any suggestions/ideas/assistance?

Edit: Also am doing some play testing. Hoping things turn out well, but my playtesting time is limited due to many of teh homeworkses. If someone out there would like to playtest these changes it would greatly help me know if these changes need further tweaking. Thanks in advance!
 
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Jonathan Richardson
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Remember how I said I'd already tried out some Bunker fixes myself? Well that included scanning in the cards.

Be advised, that cards printed from other places will not be quite the same size as the official cards. I can easily tell where in the deck tweaked cards like these are. You can avoid this with slips (which I don't wish to use) or by choosing not to look at the deck when shuffling or stare at it for too long while playing.

I'll probably be giving these a try next time I play, but I'm not sure when that will be.



Edit: I noticed a text redundancy regarding "At the start of your turn" on the mode cards so I've edited it out.
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Christopher Webb
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EmperorEternal wrote:
Remember how I said I'd already tried out some Bunker fixes myself? Well that included scanning in the cards.


 
 
 
 
 


Be advised, that cards printed from other places will not be quite the same size as the official cards. I can easily tell where in the deck tweaked cards like these are. You can avoid this with slips (which I don't wish to use) or by choosing not to look at the deck when shuffling or stare at it for too long while playing.

I'll probably be giving these a try next time I play, but I'm not sure when that will be.


Wow! That's awesome! Thanks for going through the effort of modifying the cards that way. I'm definitely going to get these cards printed out and swap them out for the official ones.

I've done a couple of play tests just now (both against Tiamat). First was with a team built to feed someone lots of stuff (AA, Legacy, TL Tachyon and Bunker) and the second was with the campaign heroes and adjustments that my friends and I are doing (Legacy; but with Grandpa Legacy power once per round and base power, Tango One but with some adjustments to Ghost reactor [read my campaign thread if you want to know what I did] The Wraith and Bunker). The first round she just crushed us. Mostly because Tachyon didn't get ANY Hypersonic Assaults and only drew a Lightspeed Barrage the last turn and was incapped that turn before she could play it and finish.
Bunker ended up tanking a lot of damage as he started with Recharge Mode and quickly picked up both Armored Plating and the New Auxiliary Power Source letting him discard lots of cards that he never got a chance to play as he never got upgrade mode. Most Powers were spent either doing damage with Flak Cannon (also first draw) and/or using Maintenance unit to soak up tons of damage from the 3 Velociraptor packs that came out.

Second round the heroes won, but only just barely. Bunker got KO'd and Wraith finished at 1 HP and Tango One with 4. Bunker got built this time around, but never picked up a turret Mode to take advantage of the 3 powers he had in play. Upgrade Mode was put into good use in helping him get built up quickly enough, but I found myself frequently ignoring his modes as he was either shut down by Tiamat or simply needed to play, use a power and keep searching for cards he wanted to play (primarily Turret Mode).

I never drew Gatling Gun in both games (and both games Bunker had gone through most of his deck. The first he had gone through at least 25 cards), meaning I couldn't try it out. Very frustrating.

Things of note: If Bunker fails to get all 3 modes he kinda flops a bit still. He is decent and is always capable of doing something, but without getting all 3 modes in a given game he doesn't shine exceptionally. I'm willing to bet though that if he does get all 3 in a game he'll tear things apart very quickly.

Mode transitions are MUCH smoother. So much so that they feel like actual improvements over no mode at all quite frequently and only when I don't have all 3 mode cards in hand would I ever even consider not having one in play.

Overall it feels like Bunker has far more strategic decision making to do. Lots more fun to play. More complicated, but definitely more fun.

One thing one of my Group mentioned to me today; because his Mode Cards no longer force him to focus purely on a given phase of his turn perhaps the names should be changed to Module Cards instead. (Upgrade Module, Recharge Module, Turret Module) It's mostly an aesthetics thing but, I can understand where he's coming from.
 
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Drew Johnson
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I would love to print some of these cards out, but does anyone have a file for the back of these cards? I was thinking of tacking these onto a PS order.
 
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Jonathan Richardson
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Edit: Added Bunker's card back to above post. I forgot to post it earlier.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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MODE is just short for MODulE, as it is. No need to change it. But if you did, be sure to reprint all cards that refer to Modes, including the promos.
 
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Christopher Webb
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
MODE is just short for MODulE, as it is. No need to change it. But if you did, be sure to reprint all cards that refer to Modes, including the promos.


Heh. I like that logic. Lazy me says that's what MODE means.
 
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Rob Brown
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Word to the wise: If you use Printer Studio, they now offer European sized cards (63 x 88 mm), which lines up perfectly with Sentinels Cards.

http://www.printerstudio.com/personalized/custom_playing_car...
 
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