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Sentinels of the Multiverse» Forums » Variants

Subject: Helping Expatriette Hit the Mark rss

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Christopher Webb
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Utah
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So I'm spending a bunch of my free time at work (warehouses are so mentally stimulating, let me tell you.)thinking about Sentinels. Specifically I've been going over heroes that under perform on a regular basis and helping them really shine. You could think of this as me making a second pass over older heroes and hoping to get community input on how to have more fun with these heroes. I've already made a post on Bunker (not the weakest hero, but pretty weak overall) and (considering how well he was recieved) Expat is next on my list.

Expat has a strange deck and some weird mechanics overall. While at first glance it seems pretty normal (destroy ongoing/environment, Search trash for ammos, deck search for equipment) it doesn't usually end up doing as well as other decks. Her ammos function basically like very weak one shots and her gun powers are wildly varying in strength. Also, once she gets out the gun she needs for the situation she's done making decisions pretty much making for pretty blah gameplay. We'll address problematic cards one by one in this case:

1.) Sub-machine gun.
Dealing one damage to all non-hero targets is a good power. There's a reason why Tempest has it as a base power. As a power that requires play, however, it's lackluster. Tempest ALSO has a card that lets him hit all targets and it deals 2 damage to each target. Why does Expat have the same power, but weaker then? Her ammo's could make SMG better for one shot (Hollow Points) but we're doing card by card. Not including any ammos here.

2.) Shock Rounds
There's something that I'd like to address about ammo cards and I'll address it here first. Ammo cards have the end functionality of one-shots. You play it, it does it's effect, then goes to the trash. This makes it easy to suss out where the problems lie here.
Shock round is nice in theory. Again, 1 damage to each non-hero target is nice but again, Tempest does it better. Heck, if we're comparing this to a one shot, Visionary does it better and she isn't even primarily a damage dealer. Terribly disappointing really.

3.) Incendiary Rounds
This card is. . . .really lame. +1 damage and change to fire type. The damage type change is useful in only VERY select situations. The +1 damage is nice, but unless it's played on SMG or Assault Rifle, it really isn't much for a whole card play.

4.) Arsenal Access
As nice as the card is for getting out equipment, this is the only real function Expat has for getting her specialty out in play quickly (guns. Lots of guns) and can occasionally flop pretty hard (can't tell you the times I played an AA looking for a gun, and all I got was 2 ammo cards. )

Aside from the above cards which are comparatively weak (though important) she also suffers from being incomplete in concept. From what I understand from her Bio, she's a mercenary. One who specifically takes out contracts against bad guys with superpowers. I have more than a few friends who love guns (and work with them on a regular basis) and I can tell you that they mod out their guns like nobody's business. It surprises me that the only modified guns that Expat has are Pride and Prejudice, given the regular use she puts her guns to. I would expect her to nerd out more over those guns, seeing as it's also obviously something she enjoys. Specialized ammo is also something that even a novice would know about and employ (I mean, I know the difference between various rounds etc.) and while access to obviously super illegal rounds isn't something I have, Expat would probably have a way to make her own or do more with them (which is expressed in her deck currently)

Ok, rant over. On to remediation. I know that some of these changes may not be super popular but I think they'd really help Expat feel more like the uber-specialized mercenary she's supposed to be and help her be more fun to play.

Removed cards:
Submachine Gun (3)
Assault Rifle (1 of 3 removed)
Tactical Shotgun (1 of 3 removed)

Total: 5 cards

New Cards:
Mod Kit (2)
Arsenal Access (6 copies now, 3 more than before)

Mod Kit reads:
Increase damage dealt by the powers on "Pride" and "Prejudice" by 1.

You may use an additional Ammo text each turn. (this will be explained a bit further down)
Power: Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal an Equipment card. Put it in your hand.
Shuffle the rest of the revealed cards into your deck.


Card Changes:
Changes to all Ammo cards:
Each Ammo card is no longer 'loaded' into individual guns rather, Expatriette comes across one of her stashes of ammo scattered everywhere. They now instead have Loaded: text. The following is on all ammo cards:

"When you activate a power on a gun card, you may activate Loaded texts before resolving the power.

You may only activate 1 Loaded text per turn."

Some things will allow her to use more than 1 Loaded text per turn (such as the Mod Kit above) allowing her to take advantage of more than 1 ammo type. Some don't play well together, but it should be fun to see how they work together.

Incendiary Ammo now reads (after the above text added to all ammo cards):
Loaded: The power that activated this text now deals fire damage. All targets who take damage from this power also deal themselves and another target 1 fire damage.

She sets things on fire. A lot. Fire spreads. Mmmmmm fire.

Liquid Nitrogen Rounds now reads:
Loaded: Change the Damage type of the power that activated this text to Cold. Reduce Damage dealt by Targets who took damage by this power by 1 until the start of your next turn.

No changes. It's a strong text and I can't justify any changes other than modifying it for the new Ammo system.

Hollow Points now changed to Armor Piercing Rounds and reads:
Loaded: Increase damage dealt by the power that activated this text by 1. Damage dealt by that power is irreducible. After resolving the Power, either destroy this card or discard a card.

She gets irreducible damage, but it comes at a cost because she can much more easily increase it over other heroes who can get it.

Shock Rounds now reads:
Loaded: Change the Damage type of the power that activated this text to Lightning. When a hero deals damage to a target who took damage from this power they may use a power. After resolving the Power, either destroy this card or discard a card.

Shock Rounds is back, but it's completely different. Mini unload, but at a cost. Also lets expat provide some support.

Speed Loading now reads:
You may activate an additional Loaded text each turn.

At the start of your turn, you may take 1 Ammo card from your trash and put it in your hand.

Added some functionality with new Ammo system and since ammo cards aren't constantly getting recycled it was unnecessary to constantly play them AND bring them from the trash. Nuff' said.

Tactical Shotgun now reads:
Power: Expatriette deals 1 Target 4 Projectile Damage.

Assault Rifle now reads:
Power: Expatriette deals up to 3 targets 2 Projectile damage.
Power: You may not activate Loaded texts with this power. Expatriette deals all non-hero targets 2 Projectile damage.

The SMG was basically rolled into the Assault Rifle. Arsenal Access has doubled in copies as well as strengthened effect so it should be a lot easier to find a given gun for the situation even though there are fewer guns.

Pride now reads:
Power: You may use an additional Loaded text this turn. Expatriette deals 1 Target 2 Projectile Damage. If ""Prejudice"" is in play, you may use its Power now.

Prejudice now reads:
Power: You may use an additional Loaded text this turn. Expatriette deals 1 Target 2 Projectile Damage.

Again adjustments for new ammo system. No other real changes. Mod Kit amps their damage to help make them more appealing since they no longer just get double ammo.

Arsenal Access now reads:
Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal 2 Equipment cards. Put one of them either into play and the other into your hand.
Shuffle the rest of the revealed cards into your deck.

Playing Arsenal Access now gives you both equipment cards, one in hand the other in play. Much more equipment in hand letting her be pull out the right gun for the situation far more often.

To clarify on Loaded texts, a player can use the same Loaded text more than once per turn if they have the ability to access Loaded text more than once per turn (i.e. they use Pride/Prejudice or have Speed Loading in play). Loaded texts are NOT power texts and fall under the same ruling the Argent Adept does.

I'm all for input on this one. There are a lot of changes and she won't play very much like she used to (no constant recycling ammo cards for instance) but I think she will still come out to do well. Please go over these ideas and tell me what you guys think!
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Michael Hunter
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Interesting ideas here, regular Expatriette isn't the strongest character, and with the exception of Hollowpoints her ammo cards are mostly pretty lame.

I feel like having the guns all do X+4 or X+2 or what have you seems kind of like double dipping - the ammo cards all making the guns do individually cool things, giving them damage boosts as well seems redundant (and also kind of crazy good!) For example, say I have Hollowpoints, Mod Kit and Pride/Prejudice out. I can use 4 loadeds this turn (1 base + 1 for each of P&P, 1 for Mod Kit). Say I use two loadeds on each pistol, they deal 2(base) + 2(X=2) + 1(Mod kit, which I'm assuming is limited?) + 2(two hollowpoints) = 7 damage, and as I have both pistols that is a whopping 14 irreducible damage from JUST my power. That seems way too strong. Likewise a Speed loaded Incendiary Assault rifle could be doing about 6 damage to every target turn after turn, again just using your power.

I think I'm getting that right, although I'm a bit confused about when exactly you active Loaded. When I fire 1 gun, I get to activate 1 loaded, that's clear enough. Now I have speed loading out, I fire it and I can now activate 2 loaded cards (I'm assuming that like Adepts Perform/Accompany nothing stops me using the same one over and over, but I'm not 100% sure rules wise). My shotgun does 2 extra damage, plus whatever specific thing the two ammo cards do. Cool.

Now I fire Pride and Prejudice. I activate the first gun, which lets me use a loaded. The second gun lets me use a loaded (as Pride and Prejudice let me use an extra one - although if I have both is it now 3? I did use both powers, so I think so?). This gets hazier still when Unload is involved.



I never liked base Expat myself, I had enough turns of playing incendiary ammo for a lame +1 damage to get sad. Then I found Lock'n'load Expatriette and I've never looked back. It basically means playing an ammo card costs you neither a card nor a play, so the fact they are mostly individually kinda sucky is not such a big deal - incendiary ammo is a free 1 damage at no cost, hurrah! This leaves your actual play free to set up guns for a big Unload or to use some of her interesting side cards like Flak Jacket or Hairtrigger.
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Christopher Webb
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Utah
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Adelphophage wrote:
Interesting ideas here, regular Expatriette isn't the strongest character, and with the exception of Hollowpoints her ammo cards are mostly pretty lame.

I feel like having the guns all do X+4 or X+2 or what have you seems kind of like double dipping - the ammo cards all making the guns do individually cool things, giving them damage boosts as well seems redundant (and also kind of crazy good!) For example, say I have Hollowpoints, Mod Kit and Pride/Prejudice out. I can use 4 loadeds this turn (1 base + 1 for each of P&P, 1 for Mod Kit). Say I use two loadeds on each pistol, they deal 2(base) + 2(X=2) + 1(Mod kit, which I'm assuming is limited?) + 2(two hollowpoints) = 7 damage, and as I have both pistols that is a whopping 14 irreducible damage from JUST my power. That seems way too strong. Likewise a Speed loaded Incendiary Assault rifle could be doing about 6 damage to every target turn after turn, again just using your power.

I think I'm getting that right, although I'm a bit confused about when exactly you active Loaded. When I fire 1 gun, I get to activate 1 loaded, that's clear enough. Now I have speed loading out, I fire it and I can now activate 2 loaded cards (I'm assuming that like Adepts Perform/Accompany nothing stops me using the same one over and over, but I'm not 100% sure rules wise). My shotgun does 2 extra damage, plus whatever specific thing the two ammo cards do. Cool.

Now I fire Pride and Prejudice. I activate the first gun, which lets me use a loaded. The second gun lets me use a loaded (as Pride and Prejudice let me use an extra one - although if I have both is it now 3? I did use both powers, so I think so?). This gets hazier still when Unload is involved.



I never liked base Expat myself, I had enough turns of playing incendiary ammo for a lame +1 damage to get sad. Then I found Lock'n'load Expatriette and I've never looked back. It basically means playing an ammo card costs you neither a card nor a play, so the fact they are mostly individually kinda sucky is not such a big deal - incendiary ammo is a free 1 damage at no cost, hurrah! This leaves your actual play free to set up guns for a big Unload or to use some of her interesting side cards like Flak Jacket or Hairtrigger.


You have it mostly right. The way I intend it tip work is this:
The number of Loaded texts you have available PER TURN is how much specialty ammo expat has available to load into her guns ( powers) If I have one Loaded text available, but 2 power uses I can only load 1 of those power uses (guns). If I have 2 Loaded texts and only use 1 power, both loaded texts can be used on that 1 power. I can use the same a loaded text more than once in this case because it's not a power.

Also, the above situation off making pride and prejudice deal 7 irreducible damage each is possible, if you have 4 cards to discard for it. I'll go into more detail when I get out of work.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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I feel like Expatriette will best serve the team by helping to prevent the box from blowing away in a stiff wind.
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I think that the problem with Expatriette is that almost everything she does requires both a play and a power to work, and she doesn't have a lot of ways of getting more actions. Sure, you can load her up with guns and ammo, and then Unload is really strong, but by that time Ra or Tempest have long since gone to work, and they're much more resistant to bad draws.

At the very least, I say make her ammo cards persistent. That would bring her up to par offensively and save her a lot of card plays in the long run. It would also potentially make her a card destruction tank, with so many Equipment cards that stay on the board.

You could then replace Rapid Reload with some kind of utility one-shot other than damage; right now, all she has is RPG Launcher. Even Ra can give damage buffs, damage immunity, and manipulate the Environment deck.
 
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Take Walker
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That's not a bad idea; just make Ammo able to be switched out, maybe destroyed when you do like Fixer Styles, and you've got a reason to have lots of it on the board.

I want to point to a comment made by allstar64 in another thread, too. The gist is "make the guns really strong, but usable only with ammo in them". Thematically, that's pretty great, not to mention gives you a reason to use Load.
 
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Christopher Webb
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
I feel like Expatriette will best serve the team by helping to prevent the box from blowing away in a stiff wind.


Which just proves how bad the situation is for expat.

braincraft wrote:
I think that the problem with Expatriette is that almost everything she does requires both a play and a power to work, and she doesn't have a lot of ways of getting more actions. Sure, you can load her up with guns and ammo, and then Unload is really strong, but by that time Ra or Tempest have long since gone to work, and they're much more resistant to bad draws.

At the very least, I say make her ammo cards persistent. That would bring her up to par offensively and save her a lot of card plays in the long run. It would also potentially make her a card destruction tank, with so many Equipment cards that stay on the board.

You could then replace Rapid Reload with some kind of utility one-shot other than damage; right now, all she has is RPG Launcher. Even Ra can give damage buffs, damage immunity, and manipulate the Environment deck.


This solves her problem with being weak, but mechanical problems are secondary to muy actual goal.

My goal with reworking the hero decks that I have is to make them just as fun to play as other stronger heroes. Making them equal in power is an important aspect of that, but giving them meaningful decisions is just add important. A good example of this is legacy. Legacy is mechanically sound, but isn't much fun to play for anyone who has played more than 2 or 3 games because he has all important decisions, but very few interesting ones. If we just make her ammo cards persistent, we exchange a lot of interesting( if overall unimportant) decisions for a few interesting and important decisions. Not much net gain. This is why I'm revamping the ammo system. She may not have lots of fun plays, but she will always have lots of interesting power decisions.

I have a few more edits to make. Maybe next break. Phone is terrible for forum posting.

TakeWalker wrote:
That's not a bad idea; just make Ammo able to be switched out, maybe destroyed when you do like Fixer Styles, and you've got a reason to have lots of it on the board.

I want to point to a comment made by allstar64 in another thread, too. The gist is "make the guns really strong, but usable only with ammo in them". Thematically, that's pretty great, not to mention gives you a reason to use Load.


The problem this generates is it gives expat Bunker syndrome (can't do anything while building up.). Good idea, but not functional in this game.

Edit: added a few things. Removed scaling from guns due to loading because it was too strong. Re added shock rounds, but in a new iteration. Dropped copies of mod kit to make space for shock rounds.

Another edit: I split the SMG function from the assault rifle function to it's own power that can't trigger ammo effects. Much easier to Balance ammo cards now.
 
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Todd McCorkle
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I made some comment about expat on the steam forums some time ago. Here's a link to the post to help put things in context. I'm foolishly copy/pasting the entire post here in case it sparks any ideas...

http://steamcommunity.com/app/337150/discussions/0/490125737...


If I were to design Expatriot... she'd probably really suck.

Preface - Expat is my least favorite character. She either can't get any guns in play (and thus can't do anything) or she's really boring. Turn 1, I play a shotgun and use its power. Turn 2-30, I use the shotgun's power (I exagerate a little). I like the concept of ammo cards, but I kind of agree with those that say they are basically a oneshot. Maybe it's my play style, but I almost always 'use up' an ammo card the same turn I play it. I don't think I've ever had 2 ammo cards attached to pride or prejudice. I'm going to (foolishly) try and sidestep the whole "compare expat with *character*" debate. I'm not calling her weak/underpowered. She definitely has her place on the team. I just think she could have been more interesting.

I like the idea of "multiple use ammo cards". Something in between the "one and done" they are now and the OP's "never leave play". I would try something like "when this card enters play, attach it to a gun and add 3 tokens to it. When that gun's power is used, discard a token from this card. When there are 0 tokens on this card, destroy it." 3 sounds like a good number, but it could be adjusted up or down as needed. More powerful ammo could have less tokens/uses. Of course, I know a bunch of people who will say "Oh my god! Not tokens! Anything but that, the game is fiddly enough as it is!" Wouldn't surprise me to learn that Greater than Games tried a similar idea, but scrapped it during playtesting due to this. I don't think it's any more fiddly than tracking HP and can't think of an easier way to get the effect I want. *shrug*

After thinking about this, I would take things a step further and have the gun cards have "ammo tokens". "When this card enters play, add 6 tokens to it. Power: discard a token from this card. If you do *effect*." The idea being that the gun is played loaded, but uses up ammo. To continue this idea, I would change Reload to say "[play ammo from discard] or add tokens to a gun card till it's full." Hmm, the wording there needs work, but hopefully you see where I'm going. I like the idea that the guns actually use up bullets, and Expat has to occasionally take time to reload them. I would probably add an effect to the gun cards themselves so they can be used from hand to load the same gun in play. Using Assault Rifle - "When this card enters play, add 6 tokens to it and destroy all other 'assault rifle' cards in play. Power: Discard a token from this card or an attached ammo card. If you do, deal 3 target 2 damage each." Again, the number of tokens could easily be adjusted. Could really get silly and have really high number of tokens for the submachine gun and assault rifle, but they use more tokens (possibly a token per target), but the shotgun has a relatively low "clip".

Random other cards... Speed Loading could probably reference adding tokens to stuff. Unload might say "remove all tokens" to balance out the higher chance of multiple guns having ammo attached to them (and thus a higher damage/effect output). That may be too harsh though. Not sure what to do about Pride and Prejudice. More copies? Add text to Quick Draw so they can be used to load one or both guns? *shrug* Not really sure.

All of these ideas would require massive playtesting (which isn't likely to happen now) to make things balanced I'm sure. Again, it wouldn't surprise me at all if GtG tried something similar, but scrapped it all for simplicity.

Thank you for letting me ramble/babble.
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Fede Miguez
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kusinohki wrote:
If I were to design Expatriot... she'd probably really suck.
That's.... actually quite awesome. And it could be done with a Setup card for a Character Promo. Variant.

IMO, Bunker, AZ, Expat and Fixer were balanced around having Finest Legacy in the team. With his buffs, they all do great and can carry the whole team's damage. Without him, they don't get enough multipliers off and end up below curve.
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Christopher Webb
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PePe QuiCoSE wrote:
kusinohki wrote:
If I were to design Expatriot... she'd probably really suck.
That's.... actually quite awesome. And it could be done with a Setup card for a Character Promo. Variant.

IMO, Bunker, AZ, Expat and Fixer were balanced around having Finest Legacy in the team. With his buffs, they all do great and can carry the whole team's damage. Without him, they don't get enough multipliers off and end up below curve.


Agreed. I've considered tokens for Expat before, but I never had the initiative or outlet to try and implement it before. I'm working on wording and cards. I'll playtest when I have time.
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Rosgath wrote:
PePe QuiCoSE wrote:
kusinohki wrote:
If I were to design Expatriot... she'd probably really suck.
That's.... actually quite awesome. And it could be done with a Setup card for a Character Promo. Variant.

IMO, Bunker, AZ, Expat and Fixer were balanced around having Finest Legacy in the team. With his buffs, they all do great and can carry the whole team's damage. Without him, they don't get enough multipliers off and end up below curve.


Agreed. I've considered tokens for Expat before, but I never had the initiative or outlet to try and implement it before. I'm working on wording and cards. I'll playtest when I have time.

I decided to make & try out a thing some time. Will post any results

Going with 2 shots per ammo for now. I want Speed Loading to still mean something!

The wording's not quite right, it's Expatriette who destroys the card, not the ammo card itself. I'll finalise it when I finalise how many counters there should be, 1 or 2. I do want to be careful that S.Ops Expatriette can't cheat ongoing destruction by just saccing a single ammo counter - the counter should only apply to the destruction of the ammo card via use of a gun power.

Considering:
Quote:
Ammo cards enter play with 1 ammo
counter. When using a gun power, you
may remove 1 counter from an ammo card
to prevent it from being destroyed.
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Fede Miguez
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I used a different (longer) wording in the other thread (here) but was basing myself on going on with a Setup card. Just by saying "when Expatriette/you would destroy..." clarifies the intention.

I haven't had a full game yet, but going with random draws I think this version is fine, can use lower HP, but just makes some of her weapons better. The real catch is that Pride&Prejudice now offer real power over her other Guns and look worth playing both.
 
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I just had an idea. How about with doing it with no special rules, just a variant power?

Quote:
Double-Tap
Power: Until the end of your turn, whenever an ammo card without depletion tokens would be destroyed, instead add 1 depletion token to that card. Use a power now.

Neat huh?

It even works with Pride & Prejudice and Unload. It does take away her base "play a card" power, making her even more dependent on having a draw with guns, but there again - what matters in that situation is drawing, not playing cards, and you draw by skipping play/power anyway.

Rules mavens: does it work with Unload? Or does Unload's "you may use as many powers as you have guns" look down its nose at the "use a power now" at the end of Double-Tap and decide that Double-Tap plus the extra power counts as 2 power uses? If so, could change that trailing wording to "You may use an additional power during your power phase."

You could also make it say, "You may draw a card or use an additional power this turn."
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Christopher Webb
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greylag wrote:
I just had an idea. How about with doing it with no special rules, just a variant power?

Quote:
Double-Tap
Power: Until the end of your turn, whenever an ammo card without depletion tokens would be destroyed, instead add 1 depletion token to that card. Use a power now.

Neat huh?

It even works with Pride & Prejudice and Unload. It does take away her base "play a card" power, making her even more dependent on having a draw with guns, but there again - what matters in that situation is drawing, not playing cards, and you draw by skipping play/power anyway.

Rules mavens: does it work with Unload? Or does Unload's "you may use as many powers as you have guns" look down its nose at the "use a power now" at the end of Double-Tap and decide that Double-Tap plus the extra power counts as 2 power uses? If so, could change that trailing wording to "You may use an additional power during your power phase."

You could also make it say, "You may draw a card or use an additional power this turn."


I have actually had a couple rounds with 2 token expat and I did note that She hardly needs the extra draw with considering that she's not cheering through her ammo so fast. Speed loading is still great add it allows you to maintain a given ammo as long as you like. Bit useless asset all actually. The problem our expat had was he couldn't play out the guns he had in hand as he was either building or destroying environments with his plays ( he was using the tosx variant with the setup card).

Edit: A few more details now that I'm at an actual computer;

The best fight we had where Expat got to shine was against Hydra Tiamat. We had Legacy, Wraith, Expat, and Tango One. (some adjustments for my campaign, but not many of them other than the Expat Promo came into play on this one) She started with a Tactical Shotgun and shortly thereafter drew Shock Rounds. Around round 3 or 4 (plenty of time to draw something good really( she got Speed Loading which let her cycle in the Shock rounds again. Surprisingly, she typically did more damage than Wraith, but, not because her damage was crazy high, mostly because she was actually able to consistently fulfill her role as a damage dealer with limited support capability. Legacy obviously helped a lot with the Shock Rounds damage, but even so I felt that I Expat would Viably compete for a damage dealer role.
 
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And here's my properly formatted and, hopefully properly rule-functional suggestion for it all done as a power, no funny business with static rule changes.
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Christopher Webb
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greylag wrote:
And here's my properly formatted and, hopefully properly rule-functional suggestion for it all done as a power, no funny business with static rule changes.


While I love the art you found for her, I have a few questions for this variant that you made.

1.) Would you still use the Setup Card? if so, would it explain the use of reload tokens on the Setup Card?

2.) If there is no Setup Card, where do you explain how to use the reload tokens?

3.) If I'm reading her power right she will first use a power and THEN after using the power add reload tokens to cards that she would destroy (just cuz things happen in the order they're read, top to bottom). If it is that she discards a reload token instead of destroying an ammo card wouldn't this effectively make it so that as long as she continues to use her base power her ammo cards have infinite uses? (basically NOT using her base power would result in swapping ammo cards out)


Interestingly enough the methods and questions you have presented actually provides a new method of dealing with Ammo/Reload tokens. Rather than using a countdown, we could use a count up. By adding the text "When this card gains more than X Ammo/Reload Tokens, destroy it" and adding "add X Ammo/Reload Tokens to any cards beneath this one" to the powers of each gun you can make it so that each Gun gets more or less use out of the different Ammo cards.

For example, Hollow Points is obviously significantly stronger than Incendiary Rounds. By adding "when this card has more than 1 Ammo token on it destroy this card." to Hollow Points and having "when this card has more than 2 Ammo tokens on it destroy this card." to Incendiary Rounds it helps balance it out a lot more. Hollow Points is now just more front loaded and Incendiary Rounds grants more damage over more turns.

Then we say the SMG says at the end of the power "add 2 tokens to Ammo cards beneath this card." SMG instantly consumes Hollow points, but not Incendiary Rounds. Then we say that Pride and Predujuce gain the following text after their powers "Add 1 token to Ammo cards beneath this card" and Hollow points gets 2 uses and Incendiary gets 3 uses. Shock Rounds could get the same treatment as Hollow Points (as it is much stronger in generally than Incendiary Rounds) and LNR gets the same treatment as Incendiary Rounds (as it CAN be strong, but it's nowhere near as powerful as other similar short term use cards like Hypersonic Assault even when loaded into an SMG in it's current iteration).

The only issue with the above is that it requires a lot more adjustments to a lot more cards. The Setup Card, while unsavory to some, is more simple and elegant. IMO, the fewer changes we HAVE to make the better off we are overall in maintaining the original 'spirit' of the Hero.
 
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Alex Klein
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My interpretation of the idea is that Reload tokens only interact with this power. The power can protect a given ammo once, then that ammo gains a token that means the power can't protect it again. The tokens have no meaning outside of what they do on the power.
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Matthew M
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Here's a completely different and also much simpler attempt to give Expatriette a needed boost:

Quote:
All Ammo cards now also include the following text:

If you played this card from your hand, Draw one card and then Play one card.


That's it! Expatriette can now cycle through her deck far more effectively. She will almost always want to load Ammo if given the opportunity. The limitation of Ammo on a gun actually becomes meaningful. Speed Loading becomes much more potent. And her base Power may even get used!

 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Rosgath wrote:
1.) Would you still use the Setup Card? if so, would it explain the use of reload tokens on the Setup Card?

2.) If there is no Setup Card, where do you explain how to use the reload tokens?

There is no need of a set-up card nor explanation for the reload tokens. Everything you need to know about the tokens is covered by the character card's power.

When you would destroy an Ammo card that has no reload tokens on it, instead of destroying it, add a reload token to it. That means that the next time you would destroy it, since it now has > 0 tokens on it, you don't do anything special and it is destroyed normally.

Rosgath wrote:
3.) If I'm reading her power right she will first use a power and THEN after using the power add reload tokens to cards that she would destroy (just cuz things happen in the order they're read, top to bottom).

Not necessarily. There is precedent for this.

Spiffworld's Accumulated Rulings wrote:

Tachyon
“Hypersonic Assault”
This card deals each non-hero target 1 sonic damage.

Any target dealt damage this way cannot deal damage until the start of your next turn.

Some cards deal damage in response to having been damaged (Ambuscade’s “Sonic Mines” for example), and because the two sentences on “Hypersonic Assault” are separated, it may seem like the order of operations would go like this – Tachyon deals damage, the target card deals its damage back, and then the second sentence kicks in saying that the targeted card can’t deal any damage (now that it’s too late). However, that second sentence is just meant to modify the damage being done by the first sentence and there isn’t any separation between the two operations. So the correct order would be - Tachyon deals damage, which causes any target damaged to not be able to deal their damage, then when the targeted card tries to deal its response damage, it can’t.


Similarly, the second sentence of Special Ops Expatriette's power would just modify the first sentence. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom.

Rosgath wrote:
If it is that she discards a reload token instead of destroying an ammo card wouldn't this effectively make it so that as long as she continues to use her base power her ammo cards have infinite uses? (basically NOT using her base power would result in swapping ammo cards out)

Since that isn't what the power says to do, the answer would most definitely be "No."

Rosgath wrote:
Interestingly enough the methods and questions you have presented actually provides a new method of dealing with Ammo/Reload tokens

...

The only issue with the above is that it requires a lot more adjustments to a lot more cards. The Setup Card, while unsavory to some, is more simple and elegant. IMO, the fewer changes we HAVE to make the better off we are overall in maintaining the original 'spirit' of the Hero.

There's nothing more elegant than just offering a new character card, no set-up card, and not modifying any existing cards. I'm giving my support to Greylag's Double-Tap because it does most of everything that is being attempted in this thread with minimal disruption or alteration.

I also like that, with the way it's written, even if you consider the adding of reload tokens to be cumulative (after using the power once, you'd add 1 token to what tokenless Ammo you'd destroy; after the second use, 2 tokens, etc.), the effect still functions the same, because regardless of how many tokens you have after the first use of that Ammo, it would be greater than none and the card would be destroyed on the subsequent use. No need to be any more precise.
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Fede Miguez
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Octavian wrote:
Here's a completely different and also much simpler attempt to give Expatriette a needed boost:


The issue really is not how to make her more powerful but how many rules you are willing to break to create a Variant, rule of thumb is the less rules you bend the better (easier for other people to accept it). In your case you are practically adding a Setup card. If you can achieve the same thing by just creating a new Hero power, much better.

Edit: Clarifying I was addressing Octavian's post.
 
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FlatOnHisFace has got it A count-up is what I'm using. If concerned about the order of text on the power, you could pull the tokens stuff earlier and put the power use 2nd. But I ordered it this way so when someone looks at the power their first reaction is "ok, this lets me use another power, fine" rather than "what the heck is all this token nonsense, I don't want to do that, I want to fire my gun".
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Matthew M
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PePe QuiCoSE wrote:
Octavian wrote:
Here's a completely different and also much simpler attempt to give Expatriette a needed boost:


The issue really is not how to make her more powerful but how many rules you are willing to break to create a Variant, rule of thumb is the less rules you bend the better (easier for other people to accept it). In your case you are practically adding a Setup card. If you can achieve the same thing by just creating a new Hero power, much better.

Edit: Clarifying I was addressing Octavian's post.


My personal rubric for judging a variant is how much it deviates from the intent of the original design vs enhancing it. Creating a new concept like ammo tokens is a bigger deviation IMO relative to adding text that already exists on many other cards in the game. And the ammo tokens change how ammo works more IMO than making them essentially free cards to play.

Again, IMO, the intent behind the character was for more of a free flow of ammo to cycle in and out of her weapons. There is evidence of this in the cards, but the overall deck design fails at facilitating it. IMO making ammo allow for better deck cycling is the simplest and cleanest way to achieve that, and without introducing any new game concepts or requiring a new base Power rendering the original and alt character cards useless.
 
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Christopher Webb
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Octavian wrote:
PePe QuiCoSE wrote:
Octavian wrote:
Here's a completely different and also much simpler attempt to give Expatriette a needed boost:


The issue really is not how to make her more powerful but how many rules you are willing to break to create a Variant, rule of thumb is the less rules you bend the better (easier for other people to accept it). In your case you are practically adding a Setup card. If you can achieve the same thing by just creating a new Hero power, much better.

Edit: Clarifying I was addressing Octavian's post.


My personal rubric for judging a variant is how much it deviates from the intent of the original design vs enhancing it. Creating a new concept like ammo tokens is a bigger deviation IMO relative to adding text that already exists on many other cards in the game. And the ammo tokens change how ammo works more IMO than making them essentially free cards to play.

Again, IMO, the intent behind the character was for more of a free flow of ammo to cycle in and out of her weapons. There is evidence of this in the cards, but the overall deck design fails at facilitating it. IMO making ammo allow for better deck cycling is the simplest and cleanest way to achieve that, and without introducing any new game concepts or requiring a new base Power rendering the original and alt character cards useless.


That end part is why I try and avoid using variants to address core deck issues. It's not that the variant above isn't a good option, but it does trivialize all other current variants and makes it much harder for players to make new ones to try and change up a given hero.

A good example of this is the nitro boost AZ. I would never even consider base AZ nor freedom 6 AZ. Pilot Light AZ does provide competition, but those 2 are far stronger than all of his other variants.

As for adding a draw and play into ammo cards... That actually makes an interesting amount of sense. Even without gun cards in play ammo cards become relevant and it allows expat to get to the right gun for the situation faster. Building up to a big unload is also no longer a stupid long process.
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In my experience, it's much easier to share with other people your variants the more natural they feel to the game. Using an alt Character it's much easier to process than "Hey, you know this type of cards? Add the text "Play/Draw" to it each time. Yes, it's not there but let's play like it is. Yeah, the designers messed up the power level. You'll have to take my word for it...".

About power level of alt Characters, difficulty of Villains vary a lot depending on the team and Environment (plus with whom you are playing). I find there's always a place on when to play each one. Plus, not everyone agrees on just how much their power differs, so there's that too.

Octavian wrote:
Again, IMO, the intent behind the character was for more of a free flow of ammo to cycle in and out of her weapons. There is evidence of this in the cards, but the overall deck design fails at facilitating it.
What evidence are you referring to?
 
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Matthew M
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PePe QuiCoSE wrote:


Octavian wrote:
Again, IMO, the intent behind the character was for more of a free flow of ammo to cycle in and out of her weapons. There is evidence of this in the cards, but the overall deck design fails at facilitating it.
What evidence are you referring to?


The ammo limits on guns, which are almost always inconsequential. There may have been one time I have ever played an Ammo card and not immediately fired it - if it happened it was because of being forced to skip the Power phase. I have never utilized the 2 Ammo capacity of Pride or Prejudice.

Quote:
In my experience, it's much easier to share with other people your variants the more natural they feel to the game.


I agree. We obviously play with different people who have different views of what would feel natural to the game, however. Ammo tokens do not feel natural to the game, for example. And telling players to use an entirely homebrewed character would feel more invasive than tweaking one aspect of one card type.

Adding "Draw a card and Play a card" does feel natural because the concept already exists in plenty of other decks - and, as you said above, could be elegantly added to the game as an Expatriette setup card. "EXPERT TRAINING: This card is indestructible and does not count as a card in play. Whenever Expatriette plays an Ammo card from her hand she may Draw one card and then may Play one card."
 
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