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Slaughterball» Forums » Rules

Subject: Interrupting Move and loss momentum combo. Is this allowed? rss

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Mike Beiter
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We just came across a situation that my players felt was very unfair, and we wanted to bring this up in the forums for confirmation.

The situation was this.

The Swords of Damocles began their turn, and before they even activated an athlete, the Katanas coach used their interrupting move ability to run their butcher to the ball, pick it up and play Lost Momentum and immediately end Damocles's turn without them doing anything.

Are we missing something?

If we played correctly, this makes the interrupting move ability absolutely brutal, and it gives both the Katanas and Swords of Damocles a huge combo out of the gate as there are several Lost Momentum cards in the deck.
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Cotton Donkey
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Milton
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In order to use the interrupting move, the interrupting card needs to be played.

And as long as the interrupting cards prerequisites had been met to play it, then yes.

Here's a link asking how interrupting move works... if that's helpful.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1634420/how-exactly-does-in...
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Reed Dawley
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Could be worse, last time I played I ran at an opponent to smack him down and we both tied in knives and we both fell down. Boom, he played a Lost Momentum card. It was killer. Such a good play.
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Mike Beiter
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Sorry, I was assuming that it was implied the interrupt card was played to allow it.
Forgive the vagueness.

So if a player with interupting move activates the power on an opponents turn by playing an interrupt card, they could grab the ball, play lost momentum and deprive an enemy coach of their turn right out from under them?

That seems very over powered.
I was reading in the rules how it says that you can't pick up a ball outside of a move action unless the ability specifically says, like Becon, for example...

Interrupting move technically doesnt say an atlete can pick up the ball, it just says they can take a move action.

Now granted, under move action it says an athlete can pick up the ball...

So I guess I am looking for 100% confirmation that the move action you take from interrupting move is not restricted in any way.

My table allready feels interrupting move is an amazing ability. And I hope that we played wrong and that athletes can't pick up the ball with it.
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Mike Beiter
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IMCarnochan wrote:
Could be worse, last time I played I ran at an opponent to smack him down and we both tied in knives and we both fell down. Boom, he played a Lost Momentum card. It was killer. Such a good play.


But in your example. You at least got to activate an athlete, and you had the option to choose to go attack someone.
In my example, the player had their entire turn stolen from them before any activation at all. No choices at all.

This brings up a good strategy tip.

When you have options of attacking or doing other things on your turn. Save the combat for later activations just incase your situation occurs.

I once had a turn where it was my first activation and I could have shot for a goal or attacked someone. And I chose to do the attack first, got knocked down, and loss momentum screwed me.

Use all the safe actions first. And save agressive ones for later whenever possible.
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ogmund prime
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Very interesting situation. I can't find anything that proves the Katanas coach incorrect. That does suck but it's not unprecedented. There is a condition in Blood Bowl, during the kickoff when rolled that allows the kicking team to move first. I remember that my sneaky Skaven Gutter Runner was able to pierce the Dwarven line and recover the ball before the Dwarves even flinched. That led to a lightning fast touchdown my following turn.

I guess it comes down to the luck of the cards...or perhaps a rewording is in order. There have been a couple of card wordsmith corrections that Erik has incorporated.
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Mike Beiter
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I would love to hear Erik weigh in to be 100% sure.

The simplest solution is to not allow a pick up as part of interrupting move.

Otherwise that ability is very dangerous.

My one player brought up that in a perfect storm, in theory. A player could have several turns all be stolen by this combo as there are several Loss Momentums in the deck.

It is bad enough that my table fears the dreaded Epic Fail, Loss Momentum combo.
And we have learned to prepare for it.

But now that this new combo has been discovered. Any team with interrupting move will have a deadly combo with Lost Momentum. And anyone can play Lost Momentum, making it more likely to occur.
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ogmund prime
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Shots on goal before chop attempts doesn't always play to my favor. I've gotten nailed with the Fumble/Lucky bounce/Lost Momentum on more than one occasion. My opponent held on the Lost Momentum during my failed chop action in order to set up his athlete receiving the slaughterball. Sneaky gambling git!
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Mike Beiter
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Yeah, so much comes down to the luck of the cards.
Sometimes you have a hand that is just filled with a chain of combos.

No one is ever safe from the coach deck, no matter how well they prepare.
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ogmund prime
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Very true. I've had amazing dice rolls and "no knife" disasters. Perfect 5 card combos and a handful of uselessness. Honestly it has become part of the charm of Slaughterball. My group already has a handful of war stories that we still laugh about.

I'm sure that the Interrupting Move ability has come across this dilemma during the four years of development. Either way I am interested in hearing the justification why it can or can't be utilized.
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Peter Dorsett
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In all the games I've played, the lost momentum/ interrupting move combo has proven to be fairly devasting.

My 2c worth however:

SOD
From the games I've played, the combo isn't so bad when used with the SOD team, as punishment usually follows. Usually the SOD player grins as he ends an opponent turn, however... the next player or two begin licking their lips as it is no longer a penalty to grind the razor into the ground as he is now holding the ball. Further, if the SOD team is expecting someone else to play the card for them, they may also find themselves out of luck, as everyone happily watches the SOD razor get eaten instead.

Katanas
Interrupting move on a Katana butcher grants 5 move, which makes getting to the ball just a little tougher. While this still may not be too hard, when you DO get to the ball, you're only rolling two agility dice - which is not a complete sure thing.

While both are undeniably very powerful - Personally, I feel the interrupting chop/ lost momentum is perhaps the most powerful. This doesn't require the ball to scatter nearby... all you need to do is, at the end of your turn, simply position a butcher near an opponent that is much weaker. Then on their turn initiate an interrupting chop!

Other Combos
Of course, there is also the epic fail/ lost momentum combo, and to a lesser extent the lucky bounce/ lost momentum combo... overall this is not a very friendly game now that I think about it haha.
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Cotton Donkey
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You could prevent it with a cancel card token if you have one.
Or Axed. But there is only one Axed card in the deck, I think.

If playing Nemesis, Thwart would work to cancel it too.

Is Epic Fail a viable option? Immediately after the opponent does an Interrupting Move, but before they use Lost Momentum?
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Reed Dawley
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In my case he had the ball with one of his brutes, the chances of my razors taking it back were low, it was going to be a hit heavy round anyway. This is the joy of Ameritrash! Don't take it too seriously, watch your plans fall apart because of dice rolls and bask when a good play happens no matter which side it happens on.
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Erik Kjerland
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Mike,

Yes, that’s how Interrupting Move and Lost Momentum work. It is a strong combo and athletes with Interrupting Move are very powerful.

During playtesting, coaches devised strategies to counter this power:

1. Eliminate athletes with Interrupting Move as your first priority (as Peter suggests). As soon as coaches learned the power of the Swords of Damocles razors, 3 teams usually ruthlessly attacked them until they were in the Slaughter Box.
2. Take Cancel Edge tokens to cancel Interrupt or Lost Momentum cards.
3. Take team Nemesis (as cottondonkey suggests) and use your own Interrupt cards to use Thwart on Interrupts or Lost Momentum, or use your enlarged hand to hoard Interrupt cards so no one else can get them.
4. Anyone else come up with other strategies?

Slaughterball has a variety of Gotcha strategies to simulate the agonizing reversals in sports. There are times in any sport when a play is so devastating that a team is just flabbergasted and takes several plays to recover, if ever. I wanted to simulate this in Slaughterball, and Lost Momentum is one of the ways to do this. Slaughterball is a game full of luck, and dealing with that luck is one of the puzzles to be solved. I hope that I’ve provided enough options and mechanisms in the game to give you the tools to do that. Slaughterball has so many strategies, that you'll need to continually adjust/react as new combos/tactics are discovered. Sometimes you won't be able to do this in the same game, but instead prepare for it in the next game.

Just like Reed, I enjoy impressive plays/combos in Slaughterball, even if I’m on the receiving end of the pain. To me, agonizing defeats are just as enjoyable as thrilling victories. Rolling 13 knives on 10 dice is cause for cheering. But rolling 0 knives on 7 dice is just as impressive. I relish the exciting game, probably more than who wins. I guess I’m weird that way.

For those coaches who want fewer swings of fortune in the game, you can always create a house rule for any situation that is not to your liking. I would refrain from altering basic rules, such as disallowing ball pickup during a move action (and Interrupting move counts as a move action).

Instead, as a first option, I’d look for ways to use existing rules to ameliorate the situation. First, figure out how you would use the existing rules to upgrade a league team to counteract the situation. Then, consider granting each coach that power for free. This is an elegant way to use existing rules to customize your game more to your liking. Plus, you aren’t changing the basic rules of the game.

In this specific situation, since the combo you mention requires the Lost Momentum card, why not give each coach a free mascot? That will give each coach the ability to cancel one card per game, which they can save to use on Lost Momentum.

Of course, a team may get the IM/LM combo more than once. For a more complete solution, you can remove some or all of the Lost Momentum cards from the deck. I don’t mind this at all, as I understand that people have differing tastes on Gotcha powers.

(But be prepared for house rules to have some other impact on game balance or style.)
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Mike Beiter
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Thanks for all your suggestions. It does make sense and it does simulate the loss of momentum in real life quite well.

I feel in league games, support staff, like mascots will help mitigate this.

And this will paint a bulls eye on teams with this ability.

I am still considering limiting the number of Lost Momentum cards in my deck to help make this as rare as possible.

As realistic as it is, my players HATE having their turns stolen from them.
And as league commissioner I want to make them happy while not radically changing anything.
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ogmund prime
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Thanks for the insight and opinions everyone. I still think that the most powerful abilities are the ones that count differing dice icons as knives. Interrupting abilities are definitely now my number two. They do make the SOD Razors and the Katanas butchers powerful, but those athletes are the strengths of the two teams. Handicapping them without compensation may make them too weak.

When facing the SOD you will ALWAYS have edge tokens against them thanks to their high team cost. If the coach chooses not to take at least one "cancel card" token then they really can't complain when they get nailed with a well timed "lost momentum". The Swords Interrupting move is often self preservation to create distance from potential threats.

The Katanas butchers are ability heavy but their BRW stat 7 is unassisted and have been knocked on their backside more times than I care to admit by awesome brute and star brawler athletes. I honestly consider the Carnage slasher with star brawler at BRW 5 an even fight with a Katanas butcher. Their saving grace is that interrupting chop that can knock down potential interfering athletes before the opponents primary attack. The Katana butcher needs to be the bully and pick a fight with the weaker athletes in the pit, using their interrupting move to track down their quicker prey.

It's going to be very interesting to see how the coaches in my league choose to spend their earnings. They seem to be even split looking between support staff and improving abilities. I'll be taking notes on which abilities and staff pay off the most.
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