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Subject: Constable- Unbalanced? rss

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Morn Arben
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Has anyone else felt that the Constable is simply too good a card? There are three main reasons I think Constable is overpowered-
1. It never makes sense not to play it. Even if everyone knows your other card, the moment you play constable, they can't kill you.
2. It encourages killing yourself. If I have the constable in my pile and I get Baron-Guard, you'd best believe I'm playing the Baron. It makes the game so surviving to the end is a risk- it is better to die.
(BONUS) Also, Constable and Jester when there are only two players left is just ludicrous. Why on earth would killing yourself be worth two points and winning be worth only 1? In this situation, both players end up trying to kill themselves. It's just stupid.
3. It's basically a guaranteed point. When the player with 3 hearts gets a constable, every single other player in the game has to work together to not kill them, and to keep the high cards to beat them. No card should make this big of a difference.

Does anyone have any thoughts? I would love to hear if you think Constable is in fact balanced, if you agree, or if you have made any changes to Constable. Regardless, I think my group will have to be changing its ability. For us, he simply cannot stay.
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Kristo
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This card is incredibly powerful, especially with slightly lower player counts of 5 and 6. It's rare for the game to go until the last round and you are almost certainly guaranteed a heart token by this card if it goes that far.
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Peter Cooper
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I agree. We have considered taking it out. Surprisingly, though, we play all of the cards with 4 players, where it is slightly less powerful simply because it doesn't always turn up (where's a policeman when you need him?)
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Kristo
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My usual response to this is that it is a 'group think', but I am trying to figure it out how the designer thought this is a good idea?

I mean, it is a card that protects the player from any and every kind of 'taking out' from the game. And you think that it is overpowered just because of this? Not really, look deeper. What Constable does:

- Constable makes sure other players do not target you with stuff that is risky. Namely Guards that can eliminate you, Prince that can force a discard that eliminates you, Baron and Queen that allows to card-compare and eliminate you.
- Constable player will just focus on having the highest card possible, just for the end-game (which can be made even stronger with Count.
- Constable player can play Sychophant that forces player to target them.
- Constable player can intentionally play Princess to still gain a heart.
- Constable player can play Queen or Baron to intentionally lose and gain a heart.
- Constable player can safely target any player (and intentionally target Assassin) to be knocked out and gain a heart.
- Constable player will only play Prince on themselves in order to gain higher cards.

There is no other card that is even remotely near as powerful as this. Once you get Constable, the game essentially plays itself, you really don't have to do anything other than make sure you hold a high card.

Did they playtest this at all!?

This is huge.
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C A
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Medford
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I suspect that similar to the Bishop and Jester its meant to speed up larger group games by making it so more than 1 player gets a heart each round. The game will end much faster than if only 1 heart were awarded each round.

Not sure why it would prevent other players from targeting you. You either win which would gain you a heart or you are knocked out which would gain you a heart. Still in everyone's best interest to knock you out because they can't gain the Constable heart from you but you can take the Winner heart from them if you aren't knocked out.
 
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Kristo
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lifepawn wrote:
I suspect that similar to the Bishop and Jester its meant to speed up larger group games by making it so more than 1 player gets a heart each round. The game will end much faster than if only 1 heart were awarded each round.

Not sure why it would prevent other players from targeting you. You either win which would gain you a heart or you are knocked out which would gain you a heart. Still in everyone's best interest to knock you out because they can't gain the Constable heart from you but you can take the Winner heart from them if you aren't knocked out.


Getting a Constable near-guarantees that you'll get a heart though since the only way you won't is if the game ends with end-game power comparison - which is also leaned towards Constable winning it due to all the features mentioned above.

Bishop and Jester etc are still about deduction and pushing your luck. Constable isn't. You get it and you will essentially start playing a different game than everyone else - it's incredibly difficult not to get a heart with a Constable.
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Adrian Schmidt
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Slashdoctor wrote:
- Constable makes sure other players do not target you with stuff that is risky. Namely Guards that can eliminate you, Prince that can force a discard that eliminates you, Baron and Queen that allows to card-compare and eliminate you.
- Constable player will just focus on having the highest card possible, just for the end-game (which can be made even stronger with Count.
- Constable player can play Sychophant that forces player to target them.
- Constable player can intentionally play Princess to still gain a heart.
- Constable player can play Queen or Baron to intentionally lose and gain a heart.
- Constable player can safely target any player (and intentionally target Assassin) to be knocked out and gain a heart.
- Constable player will only play Prince on themselves in order to gain higher cards.


I agree that it seems to be a way too powerful card. I'd argue that if you play the Princess voluntarily, you aren't actually "knocked out", since no one else did any "knocking". But that makes a rather small difference in this case I think
 
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Adrian Schmidt
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Slashdoctor wrote:
[…] the only way you won't is if the game ends with end-game power comparison - which is also leaned towards Constable winning it due to all the features mentioned above.


The Constable won't help you win the end comparison though, since it's already discarded? (Assuming it is discarded of course, but if it's not, it doesn't have the controversial property discussed.) Well, ok, if you end up in the tie-breaker where you need to sum up all the cards in your discard pile, but that seems to me like it won't really happen often enough to matter…?
 
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Kristo
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SpecularRain wrote:
Slashdoctor wrote:
[…] the only way you won't is if the game ends with end-game power comparison - which is also leaned towards Constable winning it due to all the features mentioned above.


The Constable won't help you win the end comparison though, since it's already discarded? (Assuming it is discarded of course, but if it's not, it doesn't have the controversial property discussed.) Well, ok, if you end up in the tie-breaker where you need to sum up all the cards in your discard pile, but that seems to me like it won't really happen often enough to matter…?


Sure it will. If you get and play Constable early, the only thing you have to do is to play the lower numbered card and keep whatever high cards you draw. This means that purely by odds you have a bigger chance of winning in the end of the game as well, since other players play cards not purely based on the number for end game.

And that is actually besides the point, because Constable essentially makes you not care about anything except the end game.
 
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Kristo
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SpecularRain wrote:
Slashdoctor wrote:
- Constable makes sure other players do not target you with stuff that is risky. Namely Guards that can eliminate you, Prince that can force a discard that eliminates you, Baron and Queen that allows to card-compare and eliminate you.
- Constable player will just focus on having the highest card possible, just for the end-game (which can be made even stronger with Count.
- Constable player can play Sychophant that forces player to target them.
- Constable player can intentionally play Princess to still gain a heart.
- Constable player can play Queen or Baron to intentionally lose and gain a heart.
- Constable player can safely target any player (and intentionally target Assassin) to be knocked out and gain a heart.
- Constable player will only play Prince on themselves in order to gain higher cards.


I agree that it seems to be a way too powerful card. I'd argue that if you play the Princess voluntarily, you aren't actually "knocked out", since no one else did any "knocking". But that makes a rather small difference in this case I think


I thought so too. Until I read the rules. The rules say that you 'discard the card' and then apply its effect. And Princess says that if you discard this card ('no matter how or why'), you are knocked out of the round. Thus you are allowed to play Princess, but it knocks you out of the game.
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Adrian Schmidt
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Slashdoctor wrote:
If you get and play Constable early, the only thing you have to do is to play the lower numbered card and keep whatever high cards you draw. This means that purely by odds you have a bigger chance of winning in the end of the game as well, since other players play cards not purely based on the number for end game.


Ah, that's true.
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Adrian Schmidt
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Slashdoctor wrote:
SpecularRain wrote:
I agree that it seems to be a way too powerful card. I'd argue that if you play the Princess voluntarily, you aren't actually "knocked out", since no one else did any "knocking". But that makes a rather small difference in this case I think


I thought so too. Until I read the rules. The rules say that you 'discard the card' and then apply its effect. And Princess says that if you discard this card ('no matter how or why'), you are knocked out of the round. Thus you are allowed to play Princess, but it knocks you out of the game.


Hmm… ok then
 
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Morn Arben
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My group has made a change- we now play that if someone kills the player with the constable in their discard pile, the player who killed the constable loses a heart. This maintains the spirit of the card (we had experimented with other powers that are completely different, like mimicking the last card played), without rewarding the constable. If the Constable player is at 3 hearts, we can still kill them to stop them winning- someone just has to take a hit. This also adds a funny (our group values humor in games very highly) dynamic where all the other players know SOMEONE needs to kill the constable, but you don't wanna do it. Usually, the last player gets shafted. It also makes Sycophant more fun.
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Adrian Schmidt
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Mornarben wrote:
My group has made a change- we now play that if someone kills the player with the constable in their discard pile, the player who killed the constable loses a heart. This maintains the spirit of the card (we had experimented with other powers that are completely different, like mimicking the last card played), without rewarding the constable. If the Constable player is at 3 hearts, we can still kill them to stop them winning- someone just has to take a hit. This also adds a funny (our group values humor in games very highly) dynamic where all the other players know SOMEONE needs to kill the constable, but you don't wanna do it. Usually, the last player gets shafted. It also makes Sycophant more fun.


Sounds like a variation to try. Thanks for sharing!
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Xristos Lagogiannis
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Is there a way not to get token with constable card? Only if you get eliminated and it's in your hands, right? In my group , all the guards are searching for this card. What do you think if nothing happens if you lose the game with constable card on discard pile, but you win 2 tokens if you win the round too.please suggest some variants
 
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Steven Huang
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In my opinion, Constable is quite fun to play with. I would never consider to JUST nerve its power. In my group we have come out a new rule that may consider a good variant (although we haven't tested it a lot).

In most games with 5-6 players, we found that the game ends much sooner than the original 16 cards game. We rarely get to compare our hands at the end. So here is the deal to fix both problems:

1. Just compete who gets the most hearts in a limited of rounds/times instead of having 4 hearts to win.

2. For player who won because of comparing hands at the end of a round, the player gets 2 hearts instead of 1. For player who won by kicking out all others, it remains the same for 1 heart.

This helps a lot for minimizing the lucky player who just won the game because two other players are fighting each other and you won for no reason. For Jester, Bishop, or Constable, they are also relatively nerved for only getting one heart. It encourages player to use the larger hand and to stay until the end of the game and win 2 hearts.

Please forgive poor English. Any comment and thought are very welcome!
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Adrian Schmidt
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yhhsteven wrote:
In my opinion, Constable is quite fun to play with. I would never consider to JUST nerve its power. In my group we have come out a new rule that may consider a good variant (although we haven't tested it a lot).

In most games with 5-6 players, we found that the game ends much sooner than the original 16 cards game. We rarely get to compare our hands at the end. So here is the deal to fix both problems:

1. Just compete who gets the most hearts in a limited of rounds/times instead of having 4 hearts to win.

2. For player who won because of comparing hands at the end of a round, the player gets 2 hearts instead of 1. For player who won by kicking out all others, it remains the same for 1 heart.

This helps a lot for minimizing the lucky player who just won the game because two other players are fighting each other and you won for no reason. For Jester, Bishop, or Constable, they are also relatively nerved for only getting one heart. It encourages player to use the larger hand and to stay until the end of the game and win 2 hearts.

Please forgive poor English. Any comment and thought are very welcome!


Sounds very good!

Your English is fine, but I'm not sure what you mean by "nerved"?
 
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Kristo
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He means 'nerf' and 'to nerf', in other words to rebalance by reducing power or effectiveness of something that is considered overpowered.
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Steven Huang
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Slashdoctor wrote:
He means 'nerf' and 'to nerf', in other words to rebalance by reducing power or effectiveness of something that is considered overpowered.


Aha! Yes. Adrian, this is what I meant. Sorry for misspelling! Thank you Kristo!

Anyone can game test this variant and post your feedback!
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