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Subject: [PROJECT] A new starting 8 deck set, out of all sets. rss

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Ryan Brown

Wisconsin
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Premise: To create a set of 8 from all the expansions that are more balanced and entertaining to play with than the actual starting set.


As many of us are aware, at a glance, the first 8 factions for Smash Up are pretty unbalanced. It's not that you can't win games with any/all combinations, it's just many combo's do it way better and some combo's flat out suck.

When I introduce this game to new players or less frequent players with just the starting 8, often the person playing wizards gets overwhelmed with decisions and if anyone winds up with a combination of pirates/aliens/ninjas/tricksters they often have a pretty miserable time if RNG isn't in their favor. This gap of deck speed/efficiency is widened further by how effortlessly a new player with either zombies or robots seems to just glide through the game. It results in a situation where I'm always compelled to take a combo of the slow/under powered 4 (which is fine because I understand how holding out works in this game) and me trying to dissuade players subtly from picking OP or UP combos (subtly because who wants to be the rude ass telling people what they can and can't pick).

When I introduce this game to new players or less frequent players with EVERYTHING no one knows what to pick and I'm far less subtle with trying to keep people away from under-powered pairings. Often we just roll random for 4 and then pick 2 from our 4, but even then people wind up with something either confusing or outright awful.

These issues lead me to separate factions into an easy/medium/hard category in the box to lessen these issues, but I was daydreaming today about taking this a step further and creating an ideal set of 8. Out of all the expansions and the base set, there has got to be 8 factions that not only play well with all 8, but also have their OP combo's hard and soft countered by them. That said, I have very limited play experience and I'm sure there are plenty of people who math harder than I do that'd have more to add to this than I do.

The Criteria:


-The more OP or independent a faction selected is, the more hard and soft counters must compliment it.

-Try to have most of the decks have their own niche (there can be overlap, but while having all 4 swarm decks in a game is it's own kind of balance, it's kind of boring in its own way).

-All sets are allowed except for Geeks, since they have cards that require significant foresight and game knowledge (despite how great of an addition they are to any game).

-Try to limit the amount of Cthulu and Munchkin sets, but they are welcome.

-If need be, the 8 can be expanded to 10 but no more than 10.


Potential Candidates

-Spies: Spies add an interesting control element, give you draw, and some nice "as a base scores" actions. With the right combos they can feel a bit OP, but often people see them as an underrated faction. They're a lot like Ninjas but don't leave you hating your hand for most of the game.

-Dragons: Dragons are similar to Spies, but different. Spies would be more "anti-big play" while Dragons are more "anti-swarm." While I'd consider both Spies and Dragons "support" they also have great synergy with each other.

-Plants: Out of the 4 swarm decks, I feel Plants are manageable. Up against Spies and Dragons, you won't be able to grow your gardens too easily.

-
 
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Mrs. Moser

Pennsylvania
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Dragons, no way. I'd include Wizards, their a fun all-around deck, and if you don't also have any annoying comboes (Robots, Greeks), you'll be fine. I'd also put tornadoes or bear cavalry in over pirates, for the movement faction.
 
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Andre Oliveira
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I'd avoid most swarm decks for newcomers - they feel "cheap".

Steampunks is a reasonable power faction with the simple draw 2 play 2 - the movement is a cool plus but is still about base actions.
Werewolves is a good faction similar to dinosaurs but more focused on the burst play style.
Princesses are a good way to teach about deck recursion.
Halfings provide a strong swarm faction bu not as overpowered as zombie, robots or horses. Its good to teach about it's negative synergy with princess.
Pirates is a interesting mixed mechanic faction. Their destruction is very good against halflings.
I'd take Ninjas over spies. They also counter steampunk with infiltrate.
The Bears is a good faction with some movement mechanics and destruction. They also counter pirates.
Fairies are a "wizard light" with a bit more of decision than normal with a handful extra things to deal with anything in a subtle way.
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Andrew J.
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I would throw in my vote for steampunk to replace pirates, at least.
 
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Johny D
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For a complete, balance and fun experience I would go with:

Plants: they open a vast array of gameplay options and pairings
Bear cavalry: good power faction that can lead to interesting scenarios

Sharks: complete and all around board control mechanics
Dragons: they are simply awesome and provide a lot of interaction

Ants: Interesting power faction that is very flexible


Fairies: Nice support faction that can complement other factions well
Princesses due to deck recursion and the need for another power faction

Ninjas as a second destroy faction. Strongly needed for counterplay
Mages as a secondary support faction (or fairies if you prefer more sublimity)

I will also go with aliens because they are an unique and fun faction that is balanced if you remove some pairings with other sets
 
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Mrs. Moser

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As I said before, no dragons, no way. They are really good, and them or sharks would dominate virtually every possible combintiaions above. Not only that, they really suck to play agianst. Getting denied VP is about the least fun thing to happen to you .
 
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Johny D
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Contrary to the popular belief, Dragons are not a tier 1 faction. They are not even the best faction from their set (Greeks are)

In a 3 player setting Plants-Ants is superior to any remaining dragon - X pairing.

Aliens - mages are extremely hard to stop in a 3 or 4 player scenario using dragons

And princesses will always dominate shark pairing (maybe if you pair shark with ninjas you will have a chance to fight back)
 
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Mrs. Moser

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rulezfin wrote:
Contrary to the popular belief, Dragons are not a tier 1 faction. They are not even the best faction from their set (Greeks are)

I'd agree that they are worse then greeks, but they are a very borderline tier 1 faction.
rulezfin wrote:

In a 3 player setting Plants-Ants is superior to any remaining dragon - X pairing.

I haven't played with ants, but I agree taht this sounds reasonable.
rulezfin wrote:

Aliens - mages are extremely hard to stop in a 3 or 4 player scenario using dragons

Mages weren't included in the factions he isted, and I haven't played with them. If you meant wizards, then Wizard-Aliens are good but not better than many other Wizard parings, and I don't see it working out in 4 p.
rulezfin wrote:

And princesses will always dominate shark pairing (maybe if you pair shark with ninjas you will have a chance to fight back)

[/q]
Princes-Sharks does not seem that OP, but out of lack of personal experience I do not have a significant opinion. Both princesses and ninjas are weak, and while they synergize with sharks dragons still seem to be better in my playing.
 
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Ryan Brown

Wisconsin
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desocupado wrote:
I'd avoid most swarm decks for newcomers - they feel "cheap".

Steampunks is a reasonable power faction with the simple draw 2 play 2 - the movement is a cool plus but is still about base actions.
Werewolves is a good faction similar to dinosaurs but more focused on the burst play style.
Princesses are a good way to teach about deck recursion.
Halfings provide a strong swarm faction bu not as overpowered as zombie, robots or horses. Its good to teach about it's negative synergy with princess.
Pirates is a interesting mixed mechanic faction. Their destruction is very good against halflings.
I'd take Ninjas over spies. They also counter steampunk with infiltrate.
The Bears is a good faction with some movement mechanics and destruction. They also counter pirates.
Fairies are a "wizard light" with a bit more of decision than normal with a handful extra things to deal with anything in a subtle way.


So I just slapped this together before leaving for a convention. I had half a mind to switch out a couple because it looked like there was too much destruction and well..there was too much destruction.

Between Bears, Pirates, and Ninjas hardly anything got to stay on the board for more than 2 turns. And it wasn't just them, Werewolves and Princesses are also riddled with destruction. If anything was big enough to stay off the grid, Glymer swagged in and well..yeah. Done.

In the more memorable game, bases broke through the will of Princess power burst and Steam Punks being equipped to not die. In that one I was Pirates/Bears, so I had HUGE control over bases breaking with Sea Dogs, Full Sail, You're Pretty Much Screwed, and You're Pretty Much B. BUT IT WAS SO SLOW. Ungodly slow. Like, this game shouldn't be so slow.

In a sense, there was "balance" in that we could hardly get an edge over each other, but I think the MASSIVE overlap in niche made for some pretty boring games.

rulezfin wrote:
For a complete, balance and fun experience I would go with:

Plants: they open a vast array of gameplay options and pairings
Bear cavalry: good power faction that can lead to interesting scenarios

Sharks: complete and all around board control mechanics
Dragons: they are simply awesome and provide a lot of interaction

Ants: Interesting power faction that is very flexible


Fairies: Nice support faction that can complement other factions well
Princesses due to deck recursion and the need for another power faction

Ninjas as a second destroy faction. Strongly needed for counterplay
Mages as a secondary support faction (or fairies if you prefer more sublimity)

I will also go with aliens because they are an unique and fun faction that is balanced if you remove some pairings with other sets


Sharks, Bears, and Ninjas. Three destruction focused decks. That, and Dragons and Princesses also bring in their own flavors of destruction and game slowing. I think I may revamp the criteria on the OP because while in theory it all sounds balanced, in practice there's just too much destruction and the game doesn't get moving much at all.

Maybe replacing Ninja's with Spies and Bears with Tornadoes?
 
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Johny D
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RyanDanger wrote:



Maybe replacing Ninja's with Spies and Bears with Tornadoes?


Yeah.. the criteria was a balance scenario without swarming faction.. not a fast game

Tornadoes can't be simply played unless they are paired only with 2-3 specific factions.

Ninjas can be replaced (if it needed a little less focus on destruction) but I would choose Superheroes over spies (they have better synergy with the other factions) and are more at the ninjas level of power.

Bear cavalry can also be replaced with dinos without shifting too much the table...

But overall I would keep at least 2 heavy destruction faction in order to keep the combo potential in check.

 
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Ryan Post
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Covington
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I think you are better off figuring out a couple factions that are for sure in, and some that would be for sure out, and then working from there to see what rounds out the 8 well (either counters or compliments).

Haven't played Munchkin, but the rest here are ones I would stay far away from:

Too weak to be fun (Tricksters, Pirates, Vampires, Werewolves)

Too strong to be fun (Zombies, Robots, Apes)

Too combo situational (Bears, Time Travelers, Tornados)

A mechanic too similar to a better version (Ants and Princess)

Would feel out of place (Power counters, Cthulhu, or Munchkin)


 
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Mrs. Moser

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posterchild21 wrote:
I think you are better off figuring out a couple factions that are for sure in, and some that would be for sure out, and then working from there to see what rounds out the 8 well (either counters or compliments).

Haven't played Munchkin, but the rest here are ones I would stay far away from:

Too weak to be fun (Tricksters, Pirates, Vampires, Werewolves)

Too strong to be fun (Zombies, Robots, Apes)

Too combo situational (Bears, Time Travelers, Tornados)

A mechanic too similar to a better version (Ants and Princess)

Would feel out of place (Power counters, Cthulhu, or Munchkin)



I'd also do:

Too annoying to play against: Dragons, Aliens, Tricksters.

They might be balanced, but it is no fun to play against.
 
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Wim D
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thewifey wrote:
rulezfin wrote:
Contrary to the popular belief, Dragons are not a tier 1 faction. They are not even the best faction from their set (Greeks are)

I'd agree that they are worse then greeks, but they are a very borderline tier 1 faction.

Dragons' power varies greatly between 2-player games and 3/4-player games.
This was a big issue during play testing. Much of the issue was resolved, but some of it remained.

So if you're in disagreement about Dragons' power, you're probably basing your experience on games with a different number of players.
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Chet C.
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Los Angeles
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With 46 factions, we can easily find 8 that aren't too good, too bad, or too difficult. My suggestions, without time to justify:
Steampunk
Superheroes
Bear Cavalry
Fairies
Astroknights
Mad Scientists
Aliens
Super Spies
Ninjas
Halflings
Clerics

I think these are all unique, don't hard counter each other much (Fairies?), and are easy enough. Thoughts?
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Daniel F
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Cool idea OP!

I would totally stay away from Cthulu and Munchkin. The madness and monster/treasure mechanics are another layer that is fun for experienced players, but I think detracts from the "first time" experience.

Seems like most respondents have agreed on Steampunks, so let's keep them for sure. Bear cav also seem popular, and are probably one of the most balanced destruction factions.

I agree that fairies are a really solid first play faction.

I personally like werewolves over dinos, but I'd include one of those.

How do you feel about shifters? They're a little more complicated, but strike me as one of the most "fun to play with without being terrible to play against" factions.

Then fill out the rest of the slots with some of the ones on the edge: I'd choose Ghosts, Heroes, and Scientists, but plants, princesses, tricksters, ants, Star Roamers, or tornadoes could probably round it out as well.

So we have:
Steampunks (Power/Movement)
Bears (Destruction/movement)
Fairies (Utility)
Werewolves (Power/Destruction)
---------------
Shifters (Unique)
---------------
Ghosts (Hand control / Big Plays)
Heroes (Power/Utility)
Scientists (Power counters/Utility)
---------------
Plants (Flood) - Just not my favorite, but a good choice
Dinos (Power) - Overlaps with werewolves
Ants (Protection / power counters) - A little more complex to use well
Tornadoes (movement) - Too one note for my tastes
Tricksters (Utility/destruction?) - Annoying to other players
Princesses (Power) - Overlaps concepts with Heroes a bit
Star Roamers (Protection) - A little more complex, less useful if no one else plays destruction

What do you guys think? I agree that some of the munchkin factions would be nice (halfling, Orc, Cleric), but the monsters (read: BP calculation) and treasures just seem too tedious for first time players.





 
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Johny D
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quit and nuts wrote:

Dragons' power varies greatly between 2-player games and 3/4-player games.
This was a big issue during play testing. Much of the issue was resolved, but some of it remained.

So if you're in disagreement about Dragons' power, you're probably basing your experience on games with a different number of players.


I see where are you coming with this. There are reasons why beginners would see that dragons are extremely strong in 2 player games (point deduction). But in two player games there are even more broken combos. SOme of them may not even be that obvious until you are on an expert level.

Based on my experience I don't find nothing broken or wrong with dragons in a 3/4 player setting. In a 2p setting may be troubling but, in the initial set I've proposed you have lots of options to counter them.


I see why a starting setup based heavily on destruction may trouble some people (games tend to drag indeed if too many players play destruction focused factions)
 
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Johny D
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Thefreiguy720 wrote:
Cool idea OP!

I would totally stay away from Cthulu and Munchkin. The madness and monster/treasure mechanics are another layer that is fun for experienced players, but I think detracts from the "first time" experience.

Seems like most respondents have agreed on Steampunks, so let's keep them for sure. Bear cav also seem popular, and are probably one of the most balanced destruction factions.

I agree that fairies are a really solid first play faction.

I personally like werewolves over dinos, but I'd include one of those.

How do you feel about shifters? They're a little more complicated, but strike me as one of the most "fun to play with without being terrible to play against" factions.

Then fill out the rest of the slots with some of the ones on the edge: I'd choose Ghosts, Heroes, and Scientists, but plants, princesses, tricksters, ants, Star Roamers, or tornadoes could probably round it out as well.

So we have:
Steampunks (Power/Movement)
Bears (Destruction/movement)
Fairies (Utility)
Werewolves (Power/Destruction)
---------------
Shifters (Unique)
---------------
Ghosts (Hand control / Big Plays)
Heroes (Power/Utility)
Scientists (Power counters/Utility)
---------------
Plants (Flood) - Just not my favorite, but a good choice
Dinos (Power) - Overlaps with werewolves
Ants (Protection / power counters) - A little more complex to use well
Tornadoes (movement) - Too one note for my tastes
Tricksters (Utility/destruction?) - Annoying to other players
Princesses (Power) - Overlaps concepts with Heroes a bit
Star Roamers (Protection) - A little more complex, less useful if no one else plays destruction

What do you guys think? I agree that some of the munchkin factions would be nice (halfling, Orc, Cleric), but the monsters (read: BP calculation) and treasures just seem too tedious for first time players.



Steampunks , bears, fairies are definitely IN.

Plants is the least oppressive flood faction and I think they must also be an autoinclude


I agree with the fact that werewolves are to be preferred against dinos. Dinos tend to be a little bit on the OP side of the spectrum unless countered properly. Princesses combine power with destruction and some very interesting mechanics. You should choose one of this.

You also need a second support faction. Astro knights, wizzards and to a lesser exctent time travellers are solid options.

If you don't include princesses, you need another destruction faction. From those I like Ninjas the best because it provides answers and promotes counter picking (for more advanced type of play). Sharks are also a valid option or maybe pirates (but they usually tend to be UP). ALiens are also an interesting option right here (even if they are not straight destruction) but they need to break 2p games

Ghosts are a NO especially for beginners. Star roamers are also a solid NO.

Scientists and Apes are a little bit above the power level of the current selection (Especially apes with steampunks)

I would stay away from shapeshifters especially with beginners. They tend to make things hard to follow

Given the configuration of the deck tricksters may be also considered.
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I think Apes and Werewolves are two of the most interesting "beginner" factions. So let's see if we can include Apes - which forces us to skip Fairies, but Fairies don't do much anyway.

Werewolves fit great as a destruction/size faction, since they have a few options and die to tactical play less horribly than the Dinosaurs.

Apes are your brainless size faction - and we won't bring their counters so they're balanced.

Shapeshifters are your 4P specialist, "advanced" faction, and the faction that mortgages its endgame by pulling minions out of its deck.

Pirates are your movement faction, and good with the Apes, but both Apes and Pirates are two of the weaker factions here anyway, so this won't be a problem.

Time Travelers force the Apes to use Shielding intelligently without actually being able to blow up a huge Ape stack. They also do well in long games, balancing out the Shapeshifters' short-game focus. They also have soft Action removal, which lets us bring..

Steampunk. Now we have a couple mid-lategame factions, one early game faction, two destruction factions, one and a half movement factions (Time Travelers have their "replay a minion" trick), and a smattering of Action removal but no heavy focus on it.

We have everything important. Wizards is a nice support faction at 7. At 8 I like Mad Scientists, but almost any boring faction that doesn't counter Apes would work.

So, Apes, Mad Scientists, Pirates, Shapeshifters, Steampunk, Time Travelers, Werewolves, Wizards.

Some of the other suggestions I've seen...

Ants fail at balance because a strong opponent makes them almost useless in 1v1. Fairies lock you out of bringing Apes, and Apes tend to get worse the better you get at Smash Up, so it's nice to bring them in a "core set" so they have a chance to shine. Without Apes Fairies are fine, if boring to play. (They don't do much that matters.) Princesses are probably too strong relative to the rest of the set. I don't like Bears because they teach players that movement cards lose games instead of winning them, and including Bears is probably the biggest problem I have with the other suggestions in this thread. I don't think you want to hand new players a bunch of abilities that look helpful but just screw their owner up. Heroes could be interesting and would fill a lategame specialist slot, since they take a few turns to execute their kit each time.
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Daniel F
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Nelagend wrote:
I think Apes and Werewolves are two of the most interesting "beginner" factions. So let's see if we can include Apes - which forces us to skip Fairies, but Fairies don't do much anyway.

Werewolves fit great as a destruction/size faction, since they have a few options and die to tactical play less horribly than the Dinosaurs.

Apes are your brainless size faction - and we won't bring their counters so they're balanced.

Shapeshifters are your 4P specialist, "advanced" faction, and the faction that mortgages its endgame by pulling minions out of its deck.

Pirates are your movement faction, and good with the Apes, but both Apes and Pirates are two of the weaker factions here anyway, so this won't be a problem.

Time Travelers force the Apes to use Shielding intelligently without actually being able to blow up a huge Ape stack. They also do well in long games, balancing out the Shapeshifters' short-game focus. They also have soft Action removal, which lets us bring..

Steampunk. Now we have a couple mid-lategame factions, one early game faction, two destruction factions, one and a half movement factions (Time Travelers have their "replay a minion" trick), and a smattering of Action removal but no heavy focus on it.

We have everything important. Wizards is a nice support faction at 7. At 8 I like Mad Scientists, but almost any boring faction that doesn't counter Apes would work.

So, Apes, Mad Scientists, Pirates, Shapeshifters, Steampunk, Time Travelers, Werewolves, Wizards.

Some of the other suggestions I've seen...

Ants fail at balance because a strong opponent makes them almost useless in 1v1. Fairies lock you out of bringing Apes, and Apes tend to get worse the better you get at Smash Up, so it's nice to bring them in a "core set" so they have a chance to shine. Without Apes Fairies are fine, if boring to play. (They don't do much that matters.) Princesses are probably too strong relative to the rest of the set. I don't like Bears because they teach players that movement cards lose games instead of winning them, and including Bears is probably the biggest problem I have with the other suggestions in this thread. I don't think you want to hand new players a bunch of abilities that look helpful but just screw their owner up. Heroes could be interesting and would fill a lategame specialist slot, since they take a few turns to execute their kit each time.


Fair enough--I almost always play 2-player, and apes are usually pretty powerful there. I agree Apes and Fairies shouldn't both be there, but my vote still goes to fairies.

I also wholeheartedly disagree about Bears--I love bears and think they're just a more fun movement/destruction faction than pirates, and pirates usually seem a little under powered to me, but I suppose that's just preference!

As mentioned earlier--anyone playing wizards draws the game out, which is why in excluded them but I do like them and they're good for beginners.

As for the last slot (I have ghosts and you have Time travelers)--I've always found Time Travelers underpowered but I do acknowledge they're easier than ghosts, so they may be a better choice, I just have a soft spot for the ghosts maybe? Their concept is so interesting to me.

Overall, your suggestions make sense, though it opens the possibility of one player being time traveler/wizards. Do not let this happen--it is miserable for everyone. That player takes super long turns that basically just spin and accomplish nothing (Extra wizard actions to play TT actions that get your wizard actions back so you can get more extra actions).
 
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Galen Kaup
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Thefreiguy720 wrote:
the possibility of one player being time traveler/wizards.


I missed that one. I think Time Travelers are more interesting than Wizards in this context, since you have Pirates to become half-immune to and Mad Scientists to torture with return to hand effects. Ghosts, Changerbots, or Spies could fill the Wizards' spot.

Some players can reliably punk the Bears and others can't. They can end up short on options because of the "away from a base you have a minion at" restriction.
 
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Johny D
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Nelagend wrote:
I think Apes and Werewolves are two of the most interesting "beginner" factions. So let's see if we can include Apes - which forces us to skip Fairies, but Fairies don't do much anyway.

Werewolves fit great as a destruction/size faction, since they have a few options and die to tactical play less horribly than the Dinosaurs.

Apes are your brainless size faction - and we won't bring their counters so they're balanced.

Shapeshifters are your 4P specialist, "advanced" faction, and the faction that mortgages its endgame by pulling minions out of its deck.

Pirates are your movement faction, and good with the Apes, but both Apes and Pirates are two of the weaker factions here anyway, so this won't be a problem.

Time Travelers force the Apes to use Shielding intelligently without actually being able to blow up a huge Ape stack. They also do well in long games, balancing out the Shapeshifters' short-game focus. They also have soft Action removal, which lets us bring..

Steampunk. Now we have a couple mid-lategame factions, one early game faction, two destruction factions, one and a half movement factions (Time Travelers have their "replay a minion" trick), and a smattering of Action removal but no heavy focus on it.

We have everything important. Wizards is a nice support faction at 7. At 8 I like Mad Scientists, but almost any boring faction that doesn't counter Apes would work.

So, Apes, Mad Scientists, Pirates, Shapeshifters, Steampunk, Time Travelers, Werewolves, Wizards.

Some of the other suggestions I've seen...

Ants fail at balance because a strong opponent makes them almost useless in 1v1. Fairies lock you out of bringing Apes, and Apes tend to get worse the better you get at Smash Up, so it's nice to bring them in a "core set" so they have a chance to shine. Without Apes Fairies are fine, if boring to play. (They don't do much that matters.) Princesses are probably too strong relative to the rest of the set. I don't like Bears because they teach players that movement cards lose games instead of winning them, and including Bears is probably the biggest problem I have with the other suggestions in this thread. I don't think you want to hand new players a bunch of abilities that look helpful but just screw their owner up. Heroes could be interesting and would fill a lategame specialist slot, since they take a few turns to execute their kit each time.


ANd now you broke the balance of the set. Pirates are the weakest faction from your set and will lead to frustrating games in any of their possible combos from there. Of course that is if you don't pair them with mad scientists and get a little bit lucky(broken uber serum combo). Steampunks have nothing to play besides the obvious time traveler combo (agromotive abuse)

Also, You created a power machine (apes-wizzards with no actual counters) an insane cycling machine (wizzards time travelers) and two factions that are good only in a certain combo (pirates / steampunks). You have no heavy power faction (werewolves is the weakest power factions - why not bears at least) and no serious counter faction (any serious 8/12 faction starting set should include ninjas or sharks).
 
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rulezfin wrote:

ANd now you broke the balance of the set. Pirates are the weakest faction from your set and will lead to frustrating games in any of their possible combos from there. Of course that is if you don't pair them with mad scientists and get a little bit lucky(broken uber serum combo). Steampunks have nothing to play besides the obvious time traveler combo (agromotive abuse)

Also, You created a power machine (apes-wizzards with no actual counters) an insane cycling machine (wizzards time travelers) and two factions that are good only in a certain combo (pirates / steampunks). You have no heavy power faction (werewolves is the weakest power factions - why not bears at least) and no serious counter faction (any serious 8/12 faction starting set should include ninjas or sharks).


Werewolves perform much, much better than Bears when people play more or less decently. Wizards were my mistake, although anything passive and average that isn't Fairies could replace them. Spies could replace them if TT Spies isn't too painful to play against in 1v1. The faction I'd really, really, like to throw Clerics in here, if I could somehow just separate them from the Munchkin bases and say that Turner does... this thing... that you don't need to know about yet for awhile... because none of those Munchkin bases ended up in this base set. They do Zombie lite in a very balanced way and the +1 to everything is an interesting and useful mechanic.
 
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Andre Oliveira
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RyanDanger wrote:
So I just slapped this together before leaving for a convention. I had half a mind to switch out a couple because it looked like there was too much destruction and well..there was too much destruction.
.......
BUT IT WAS SO SLOW. Ungodly slow. Like, this game shouldn't be so slow.

Good point - too much destruction - let's put bears and pirates out.

Play on a base guys - respectively one to benefit yourself and the other to make it worse for others
Steampunks are a reasonable power faction with the simple draw 2 play 2 - the movement is a cool plus but is still about base actions - i.e. getting power outside minion power.
Dragons are another good options as you thought. You must play strategically around not making bases bad for others too early. Ninja, Fairies and Tornados have cards that must be saved to counter them.

Power factions - respectively burst, extra minion plays and higher minion recursion
Werewolves are a good faction similar to dinosaurs but more focused on the burst play style. This means they have to use the right opportunity to make better plays.
Halfings provide a strong swarm faction but not as overpowered as zombie, robots or horses. Its good to teach hand management to play of those extra minions in the right opportunity.
Princesses are a good way to teach about deck recursion. Having a varied amount of effects means the person must be manage the right action for the right job. Also negative synergy with factions with extra minion plays is nice.

Disruption/Surprise - ninja for counter playing and tornadoes to move everyone at your leisure
Ninjas are quite interesting. Between special plays and destruction they are quite versatile. They also counter steampunk with infiltrate.
Tornadoes is a good faction to make a point about the importance of movement, just don't forget to include bad bases for the winner.

Support - Fairies are good for everyone
Fairies are a "wizard light" with a bit more of decision than normal with a handful extra things to deal with anything in a subtle way. Their advantages can be used by all factions (people need to realize how evil Glymmer is).
 
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Johny D
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We have tested a lot (more than 40 games) a 12 faction selection that works in versus and 3+players scenarios. We like a ban phase (4 factions) because it ads depth to the selection phase. We also tested a single draft type of faction distribution with nice results.

So far we have come to this distribution:

*werewolves, bears, princessess as power factions

*ninja , sharks, star roamers as control factions

* wizzards, plants, astroknights as support factions

* steampunks, scientists, superheroes as specialists factions


*All factions were present in at least 30 games each. The most picked factions (>75% of the games) were princesses, star roamers, plants.

*No fation was picked less than 25% of the games. The least picked faction was superheroes 26.7%.

*Most factions are picked in 30-50% of the games (2 and 4 player games have 4 factions banned while 3 player games have only 3 bans)

*No faction was banned in more than 50% of the games. The most banned faction was astronights (40%).

*Superheroes, werewolves and sharks felt the weakest in the set.

*Plants, roamers and scientists felt the strongest
 
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