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Subject: Vengeance variant under development rss

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Michael Hunter
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Alright, this is a fairly bit one. I have some ideas for a rules card with some simple but fairly influential changes, but before I got too deep I thought I'd see what people think of Vengeance mode - I find it SO unfun I've only played seven or so games, so maybe my view is a little skewed. So feel free to chip in and correct me, but this is what I've identified as being a concern...

1-Generally quite difficult: This seems to be more of an issue with the Vengeance 5 in particular, the villains... villains seem more balanced, but still they tend to put out a fair amount of firepower, and also quite a lot of disruption. Not the end of the world, but worth considering.

2-AoE is all that matters:
As you are always going to have at least H targets out, all of whom are important stuff you need to kill, plus often a bunch more targets, AoE becomes way more powerful. The deal damage to X targets (Assault Rifle, Danny-Boy, Scouring Mists) becomes good, the deal damage to all (Hail Storm, Rampage, Oblivion) becomes great. Combined with the fact the fights are generally very hard overall, if you DON'T exploit tons of AoE, you're screwed. This can lead to pretty one dimensional games, and also rather limited character selection (Chrono Ranger really sucks, for example).

3-Their incaps suck: I get incapacitating them should mean something, but the majority of them are just trivial when incapped. Hammer and Anvil have decent Incaps, as do Ambuscade and Greazer. Blade's, La Caps and Frictions can be vaguely annoying, but the rest do practically nothing.

4-Start strong, get weak: Related to 3, this issue of tempo may just be an problem for me, but I've generally observed that heroes tend to get strong as the game goes on. Most villains tend to either get stronger as the games goes long (Baron Blade, Spite, Voss, Deadline, Miss Inf) or at least stay about constant (Chokepoint, Omnitron, Akash'Bhuta).

Some villains are front loaders, they start like a bat out of hell, but after a couple of turns become very weak and boring to beat. These I don't like, and this is how Vengeance fights tend to go. Early on, you have H villains all beating the hell out of you, but when they start going down their output goes down too. After 3-4 turns it can often be quite easy, you still have your four heroes, and poor Friction is sitting there trying to take on the whole gang - not very tense. In my opinion they could use some less gas at the start, and some more competitiveness at the end.

5-Too many ongoings: I've heard this one a lot, but I'm not entirely sure I agree. Ongoings are annoying in quantity, if you don't have ongoing destruction then they can be pretty frustrating to try and play through, and that is extra true when there are four different decks each swamping you with their own. I reckon this is more of a problem in Vengeance, most of the ones in Villains have some way out. I went through the decks and found all the ongoings that could be a problem without ongoing destruction, which I took be ones that were A: Strong enough playing with them around was very hard and B: Didn't have some other way of destroying themselves. I came up with

Baron Blade: Genetically Fused Physique (extra annoying as he always has it).
Fright Train: Engine of Destruction & Rebuilt to survive (both borderline, they're not SO bad playing with them out is impractical).
Ermine: Subtle Diversion (Ugh. Just ugh.)
Proletariat: Everyman's strength (Definitely) and Defensive formation (Maybe? It's a bit tricky, but you can work past it if you're clever).
BugBear: Feral Brawn (very strong, although it does sort of get rid of itself via Unpredictable Powers, sometimes?)
La Capitan: Chronological Hotspot (maybe? free cards is nice, but 3 damage every turn is not...)
Ambuscade: Too many guns (Ouch!)
Miss Inf: Altered Fates & Internal Collapse (both have a way to get rid of themselves, but both will do a LOT of damage in the meantime)

I reckon it's not TOO bad overall (especially with VotM in the mix), so I may not feel the need to do anything about this.



Anyway, your thoughts and feedback appreciated before I start getting too deep into the design!
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Take Walker
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In my experience, and I've played a lot of Vengeance games over the past year, it mostly comes down to prioritization: you kill Bugbear first, because he'll do gradually more damage if you don't; you kill Hammer & Anvil first because they'll bring out Bastion if you don't; you kill Fright Train first because he's easy to take down; you kill Miss Information first because she's easy to take down and her incap is fantastic. You focus on the targets and ongoings that disrupt the game the most ("Oh no, Carbon Adept is going to nuke our stuff next round!") and leave the rest alone. You can destroy more ongoings by defeating a villain than with a one-shot. It's the kind of thing you learn gradually over the course of playing dozens of games, which not everyone has the time or patience for.

I agree that AoE is really, really important. I mean, Fueled Freeze is probably the single strongest card play in Vengeance style. You can definitely succeed without it, but I always find myself getting excited when I draw a Psychic Maelstrom or Powered Shockwave. Of course, there are at least a few cards that disrupt area damagers, and I am looking at you, Glamour. (Seriously, have you seen the latest Sentinels Live stream? She's completely broken. D:)

The incaps I'm not of any particular mind about, though rather a lot of them lead to dead villain turns: Biomancer, Ambuscade after you've beaten up the Nemeses, and Sergeant Steel, who gets progressively less powerful the closer the heroes are to winning.

As to number 4, I would counter that this is why there's so much ongoing destruction coming from the villains. I mean, would you want a card like Choke showing up in regular play? I always say you shouldn't bring heroes who need lots of setup (looking at you, Argent Adept) to Vengeance games, because they're going to suffer. You usually want your support at the front of the team, and if they're playing their first few ongoings only to have them destroyed again and again, they're not going to contribute much. This can be mitigated if everyone is trying to set up, but I tend to favor one-shots. Plus, if Guise doesn't want to sac his fungible ongoings, or Naturalist is tired of fishing his forms out of the trash, you may not be able to keep what you need in play for long, depending on how the fight goes.

Not saying you shouldn't try this, of course. One thing I'd like to see you take into consideration is H: how does Vengeance scale with it? I have yet to figure it out, myself. Given the number of villains increases with the number of heroes, it doesn't seem to be much of a factor (and that's probably part of the reason H isn't used much for damage or destruction). A higher H decreases the effectiveness of the environment, for sure -- at H=3, the environment acts every 6 turns, the same as H=5 in normal play -- but I'm not sure if it has any effect on the heroes, beyond maybe ensuring that you have too many decisions to make on your turn. Then again, I almost always play with five heroes. :B

All I know is, games tend to take around an hour when playing by myself, but rarely do they last more than 5 rounds.
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bryden
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To your points:

1. Most of the "complaints" about the game is that it can be too easy. You know well in advance that you've got it. It is just a matter of time. Later expansions were addressing that.

2. You can have some bad setups if you choose randomly and a cake walk if you hand pick the heroes. Each villain has a "specialty" and if you have the perfect counter, what is the point. I prefer to play the support characters and try to buff the other players.

3. This goes for the heroes as well. Some don't do anything while others are like they are still in the game. "monkey man" as I call him, might as well die as he is the most boring hero to play.

4. We have played upwards of 100 times and as long as you can survive the initial barrage and get some defenses up/ healing going the team should be able to stabilize and figure out what to do. As you mention some villains also "grow" with you and I like those villains more. It feels like they are adapting to you as you adapt to them. Some villains can be "gamed" and I think that is just part of the design that you need to figure out even if it is not very thematic. "Don't attack him, that will take him down to ___ and this bad thing will happen. Wait and we can knock him out in one turn." Sometimes that seems odd.

5. The ongoings is actually what I like most as long as there are not too many on the table. I prefer those that require an action (unless a support mechanic) instead of firing automatically (Omnitron V). It has a tendency to slow the game down and become even more mathematical.

I actually like the villain ongoing cards as this fits to what I said with point #4. It feels like they are buffing up. It is no fun if they don't have hit points or you don't have a way of getting them out of play. I think you were more focusing on the villains but I have more of an issue with ongoing damage dealers with the heroes than the villains, most of the time.

I feel that the villain team concept was implemented to add the team against team dynamic and as such was beefed up to provide a stronger horde to beat down.
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Seamus Butler
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Adelphophage wrote:
Alright, this is a fairly bit one. I have some ideas for a rules card with some simple but fairly influential changes, but before I got too deep I thought I'd see what people think of Vengeance mode - I find it SO unfun I've only played seven or so games, so maybe my view is a little skewed. So feel free to chip in and correct me, but this is what I've identified as being a concern…


Having played some Vengeance on table top we stopped fairly quickly, the main issue for us was the complexity of keeping track of everything the villains could do and the interactions of every card.
Then I saw the light, it was the release of Vengeance on the computer game.

Quote:
1-Generally quite difficult: This seems to be more of an issue with the Vengeance 5 in particular, the villains... villains seem more balanced, but still they tend to put out a fair amount of firepower, and also quite a lot of disruption. Not the end of the world, but worth considering.


This doesn’t bother me that much, I can fairly consistently win a game of sentinels so hard mode is fun.

Quote:
2-AoE is all that matters: As you are always going to have at least H targets out, all of whom are important stuff you need to kill, plus often a bunch more targets, AoE becomes way more powerful. The deal damage to X targets (Assault Rifle, Danny-Boy, Scouring Mists) becomes good, the deal damage to all (Hail Storm, Rampage, Oblivion) becomes great. Combined with the fact the fights are generally very hard overall, if you DON'T exploit tons of AoE, you're screwed. This can lead to pretty one dimensional games, and also rather limited character selection (Chrono Ranger really sucks, for example).


I severely disagree with this one, yes having AOE helps but as with playing against the Ennead being able to focus down the biggest problem also helps a lot as well. Chrono Ranger can help a lot with this with By Any Means, The Whole Gang and The Ultimate Target.

Quote:
3-Their incaps suck: I get incapacitating them should mean something, but the majority of them are just trivial when incapped. Hammer and Anvil have decent Incaps, as do Ambuscade and Greazer. Blade's, La Caps and Frictions can be vaguely annoying, but the rest do practically nothing.


This I haven’t thought about.

Quote:
4-Start strong, get weak: Related to 3, this issue of tempo may just be an problem for me, but I've generally observed that heroes tend to get strong as the game goes on. Most villains tend to either get stronger as the games goes long (Baron Blade, Spite, Voss, Deadline, Miss Inf) or at least stay about constant (Chokepoint, Omnitron, Akash'Bhuta).


This is related to 3 more than a little I think, if their incaps were buffed enough then them being weaker wouldn’t be as much of a problem.

Quote:
5-Too many ongoings: I've heard this one a lot, but I'm not entirely sure I agree. Ongoings are annoying in quantity, if you don't have ongoing destruction then they can be pretty frustrating to try and play through, and that is extra true when there are four different decks each swamping you with their own. I reckon this is more of a problem in Vengeance, most of the ones in Villains have some way out. I went through the decks and found all the ongoings that could be a problem without ongoing destruction, which I took be ones that were A: Strong enough playing with them around was very hard and B: Didn't have some other way of destroying themselves. I came up with


This is the problem we had playing it table top, too much stuff to keep track of from the villains meant we weren’t having as much fun playing our decks

Quote:
Anyway, your thoughts and feedback appreciated before I start getting too deep into the design!


I think the most comparable standard deck to Villains is The Ennead, took me a while to figure out which ones to hit first but once I did it got a lot easier. Especially as it’s counter-intuitive in that you kill the healers last.
Also in that while AEO is pretty good against The Ennead being able to focus fire down your current biggest problem can be a game saver.
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Steven Babel
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The main reason our group doesn't play more Vengeance game is that they can be very time consuming especially with 5 players. We can often get in 3 normal games in the time it takes to complete 1 vengeance game.

I disagree with AOE being all that matters. I find large one shots or damage to single targets matter more. Tying a bit into the "Too Many Ongoing" issue, because each villain doesn't have that much health, I find its often easier just to focus fire the villain than try to get rid of all their ongoings and targets they play.

This approach does tend to emphasize them Starting Strong and Ending Weak. I find the struggle in the match is taking down that first villain that's causing the most problems, then you sorta domino through the rest. Like Take Walker said Priority matters so much here. Villains that destroy set up tend to be the biggest hurtle. Sometimes it villains that protect other villains, then set up disrupters. Once that's done dealing the 20-30damage in a round to knock out the remaining villains in what ever order you want tends to be easy.
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Geoff B.
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Vengeance scales with (H) because HP, card plays, end of turn damage, everything the villains do scales with (H). With 3 heroes you have 3 card plays and 3 end of turn effects, with 5 you have 5 card plays and 5 end of turn effects.

That's how it scales with (H).

Vengeance is not kind to 5 player games. There is so much going on (11 turns per round compared to 7 for standard) that the game drags and the bookkeeping gets kind of ridiculous.

Vengeance is best in 3 hero games, also really good with 2 heroes, 2 is really fun and really fast, and duos can be really fun to pick out.

(one of my favorite games was Setback and Expatriette vs. Plague Rat and Hammer/Anvil, we earned that win)

The too many ongoings problem was with the Vengeance 5, and not just ongoings, but cards in play with effects you needed to check.

We eliminated a lot of that from Villains, so there aren't nearly as many cards to keep track of. We also got rid of playing cards from other decks, because if you've ever run into the V5 unleashing a chain of cards on you it isn't fun, and it is really hard to keep track of where you are and what you still have left to resolve.

Really, if you mix up the decks Vengeance is fun, esp. with 3 heroes. 4 hero games takes a bit longer than a regular game, and 5 heroes is really slow and tends to get complicated.

AoE damage is strong, but it is really strong in most games, and Villains introduced a few ways to counter it.
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Take Walker
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Phantaskippy wrote:
Vengeance scales with (H) because HP, card plays, end of turn damage, everything the villains do scales with (H). With 3 heroes you have 3 card plays and 3 end of turn effects, with 5 you have 5 card plays and 5 end of turn effects.

That's how it scales with (H).

Well, I mean, alongside things like damage, destruction and occasionally HP, the standard format game gives you 2-4 more card plays per round than the villain, for most villains. With Vengeance, it's balanced, one hero turn per villain turn. So it often seems like the only thing that changes is the environment's strength.

Looking at Jeff Dougan's spreadsheet, the only applications of (H) on cards I see are Quetzalcoatl (targeting, but it's generally going to be analogous with "deal each hero" unless things are going quite poorly and you have Visionary/Unity/Captain Cosmic), Individual Tactics (which gets harder with a higher (H), though I generally don't let Sergeant Steel keep more than 2 Agents out at a time anyway) and Biomancer's advanced rules, which, y'know, are advanced. So it seems like you're always playing the same game, just with more to keep track of if you have more heroes and are playing tabletop.
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Michael Hunter
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Thanks for all the feedback! It's interesting to see where people's thoughts differ from mine...

I still reckon AoE is pretty amazing, but FaceonToast made a good point about Fireblast and stuff being able to alpha strike down the most worrying villain target (or *%*(@ing Atum) is very useful too, although that is mostly a good strategy because of their incaps being sucky.

Nodiceplease also made a good point about them sorta getting stronger as the game goes on precisely because they play ongoings that you generally can't destroy, I think I'm definitely fine with the villains having lots of ongoings between them. As Babel rightly said, taking them down to 0 HP is the best ongoing destruction in the game.




My idea is a single normal sized rule card called "Grudge Match" (better name pending). My fairly vague ideas at present (and testing might result in some of them being severely changed or entirely removed) are...

To get around the super AoE, Deadly Duel:
"When a card would cause a hero target to deal damage, it can only damage the villain targets in one play area."
So your assault rifle can only hit one play area - it's still useful against Biomancer, or Steel, or anyone whose played mini-nemesis, or the environment, but not quite as great. Note it is per card, so you can Inferno one group of villains, then Drawn to the flame another. Environment card still hit everyone.

To get around the weak incaps/villains getting super weak once one or two goes down, Revenge!:
"Face-down villain cards are called Revenge cards.
At the start of each incapacitated villain turn, choose a non incapacitated villain with the least Revenge cards. Put the top card of its deck face down in its play area.
When a villain deck would play a villain card, it first flips all Revenge cards in its play area, treating them as though they just came into play."
This was a bit based off Greazer's incap, which is quite good. Basically, you get the same number of villain play no matter how many villains are incapacitated - the remaining villains just get more. I tried it a few times as play the card NOW, but that was a bit clunky, now they just get an extra play in their turn.

I tried a few thing about ongoings, but now convinced I don't need them.

I'm a little concerned that both my rules make the game harder (and it was already a little hard), so might need something to account for that. Currently trialing I Was Born Ready:Before the first villain turn, each hero draws a card and may play an ongoing/equipment card.
A little boost, and helps with the fact the game is often so fast you can't get any of the slower heroes set up.

Still very much under development!
 
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Take Walker
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The Revenge mechanic definitely seems like a balancer. Gets around Take Down and similar, as well.

The anti-AoE thing is neat, but I find myself looking at it and going, "Well, it's not exactly necessary." Also, helps the heroes when Glamour is out: "Let's just turn that Hail Storm on the Agents this round, shall we?"

I do agree that you're definitely making things harder, but not purposelessly. Interested to see how this playtests.

EDIT: Oh geez, I just realized an interaction. I've long said the king of Vengeance style is Setting Sun Ra, who deals irreducible damage to all non-hero targets and himself. But if the Deadly Duel rule means he can only deal damage to cards in one play area, that means he loses the self-damage. Something to think about with the wording.
 
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Seamus Butler
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TakeWalker wrote:
EDIT: Oh geez, I just realized an interaction. I've long said the king of Vengeance style is Setting Sun Ra, who deals irreducible damage to all non-hero targets and himself. But if the Deadly Duel rule means he can only deal damage to cards in one play area, that means he loses the self-damage. Something to think about with the wording.


nope the wording is

[q]"When a card would cause a hero target to deal damage, it can only damage the villain targets in one play area."[/]

That's only villain target so if it's also effecting any or all hero or environment targets it effects tham as normal.
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Will Pell
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I don't think that Vengeance/Villains is too hard from a gameplay perspective - as a multi-target damagefest, it's comparable to fighting Citizen Dawn, or going after Progeny in the Tomb of Anubis, or the like. The problem with Vengeance games is just that they're daunting; they break up the nice flow of "one villain turn, then all hero turns" and throw all the players into the effort of keeping up with some of the villain action, which pretty much restricts it to advanced players.

I do agree about the incap abilities being inconsistent, though. Proletariat nearly always dies first out of the V5, because he not only has the lowest HP, but does almost nothing once dead. While Fright Train has the highest HP, and also the most damaging (not necessarily worst overall) incap ability, so I often end up saving him for toward the end.

In Villains, we have a similar problem with Miss Information being a squishy target, and her incap ability is more likely to HELP the heroes than hurt them; combine that with her having five nemesis icons and being relatively unlikely to dish out damage that is thusly boosted, she's basically just a walking "Kick me!" sign. Conversely, while Bugbear is more dangerous as villains die, he's also just plain difficult to kill, so I usually end up saving him for last, to the point that I can't even remember what his incap does. I haven't lost to him yet, though, out of three or four attempts. Sergeant Steel seems to be far more dangerous, despite his lower HP.
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Alexa Elvrayen

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Faceontoast wrote:
[q="TakeWalker"]EDIT: Oh geez, I just realized an interaction. I've long said the king of Vengeance style is Setting Sun Ra, who deals irreducible damage to all non-hero targets and himself. But if the Deadly Duel rule means he can only deal damage to cards in one play area, that means he loses the self-damage. Something to think about with the wording.


nope the wording is

Quote:
"When a card would cause a hero target to deal damage, it can only damage the villain targets in one play area."[/]

That's only villain target so if it's also effecting any or all hero or environment targets it effects tham as normal.


According to the wording, it will only be able to damage the villain targets. There's no mention of any other targets being affected
 
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Michael Hunter
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For Deadly Duel, the intent was that you can damage environment and hero cards normally, just that of all the villains you can only damage those in one play area. I can see how it comes off as ambiguous, though. How about...

"When a card causes a hero target to deal damage, it cannot damage the villain targets in more than one play area"? Clearer it's just excluding that particular group (villain targets NOT in that play area) than being a comprehensive list (ONLY villain targets in that play area).

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Alexa Elvrayen

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I mean I get the idea behind it, but AoE isn't that strong - Most villains have some form of reduction/healing. Aside from clearing out minions, which it's always /been/ good for, you're better off picking on one villain specifically.
Plus, thematically, if all these villains are working together it makes no sense that you're only able to target some of them. Why are Desert Eagle and Ambuscade closer together than Ambuscade and Bugbear (who actively harms other villains)?
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Michael Hunter
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Mechanically, it may not stay (it's a bit clunky to write out, and may not be worth the complication). Tactically I do kind of like the idea that we do actually have to attack and prioritize specific minions rather than trusting that generic AoE will wear them all down. Oh no, Carbon Adept, we say! We'd better make sure someone shoots him, rather than "Oh, there's a handful of minions we don't really have to look at or care about, because between Hail Storm and that External Combusation they're all going down."

In my testing I've found that with the profusion of mini nemeses, devices and a fair few minion heavy villains like Biomancer, Hammer/Anvil, Proletariat, Plague Rat, Steel, Friction and Greazer there are generally around 2Hish targets out at any given time, which for my money makes deal all target damage excessively incentivized (Impale can deal 2, or Cold Snap can deal 8 - and that's before Focused Apertures). It's not the end of the world, but hurts diversity of team selection and play.

Thematically... it's not perfect, but a lot of the targets are gear (Frictions items, Blade's Devices, Greazer's tech....) and even the mini nemesis theoretically are fighting by the side of their villain, so an AoE could catch that tight little team but not everyone. And I think you made your own argument as for why no one wants to get any closer to Bugbear than they have to.

As I say, it's not perfect, but it makes some kinda sense.
 
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Alexa Elvrayen

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The same logic applies to Voss, Matriarch, Chairman/Operative, Akash'Bhuta... There are already a ton of situations where AoE is good, I don't see any reason to make an already difficult game mode even more difficult.
Plus there's usually incentive not to AoE. Damage reduction (Biomancer, Steele), retaliation (Greazer, Steele, Baron Blade), or redirection/misc (Glamour, Baron Blade, etc.)

Edit: Also my point on Bugbear is that if he's not near his allies, he can't hurt them, so only hitting Bugbear with AoE is a little weird.
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Alexa Elvrayen

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I think I might add a rule that heroes gain 1 DR until their first turn. It blows being last hero and ending up slammed under AoE for half your health before you even start.
 
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Michael Hunter
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Alexa_Elvrayen wrote:
I think I might add a rule that heroes gain 1 DR until their first turn. It blows being last hero and ending up slammed under AoE for half your health before you even start.


That's not a bad one. I do have the issue that it's already fairly hard, and both of my current rules (the Revenge cards and the possible-AoE-exclusion-that-may-or-may-not-stay) both make it harder. So I'd like something clean that gives the heroes a decent boost to make up for it. Being tougher on round 1, or getting an extra card to setup with both accomplish this, but other ideas for clean boosts would be welcome.
 
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Alexa Elvrayen

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Sorry for triple posting, but after looking back through Vengeance/Villains i'm inclined to agree the villains need a boost. Even a small tweak to each of them to help their specific play style or give them a better incap.
These are just some ideas, and i'm definitely open to suggestions.

Bugbear - Boost incap to regain 2 HP instead. His front side encourages you to break him down first, but if you make the incap a little stronger you have to debate the risk.
La Capitan - Also pretty good. I've only played against her a couple times, but she seems really annoying.
Ermine - Incap changed to 1 from top of deck, then 1 from hand.
Friction - 2 ongoing/equipment cards instead of 1 on incap
Fright Train - Change Incap to be irreducible
Miss Information - That end of turn effect is so bizarrely weak. She also deals all hero targets 1 psychic damage. And her incap doesn't let you draw, so it's just a discard.
The Operative - End of turn now also plays the top card of her deck. Her whole thing is doing a lot of small hits, so without the extra plays she's pretty weak. I don't think we've ever worried about her until last.
Plague Rat - Very strong already. Discourages AoE, and can pump out tons of damage every turn. The incap is actually beneficial to the heroes most of the time, so now it will just play the top card of the environment deck instead. Keep those targets around a little longer.
Sergeant Steele - Either increase his incap damage by 1, or make it irreducible. It's easy for a lot of heroes to either get 1 DR themselves, or reduce a villain's damage.

Hammer and Anvil, Biomancer, Baron Blade, Proletariat, and Ambuscade are all pretty solid in my mind already.
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Jonathan Richardson
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Phantaskippy wrote:
Vengeance is best in 3 hero games, also really good with 2 heroes, 2 is really fun and really fast, and duos can be really fun to pick out.


Did you play (H) as equals 2 or 3?
 
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Alexa Elvrayen

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EmperorEternal wrote:
Phantaskippy wrote:
Vengeance is best in 3 hero games, also really good with 2 heroes, 2 is really fun and really fast, and duos can be really fun to pick out.


Did you play (H) as equals 2 or 3?

There are exactly 2 cards that scale with (H) in a Vengeance game. Quetzelcoatl and Individual Tactics. 2 would be a fair number for either of them, but presumably in a 2 player game you're avoiding hard targets like Sergeant Steel and Bugbear anyway.
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Stefan
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For me the main problem with vengeance mode is to have to resolve a full villain turn after each hero turn. Playing your hero deck is where the fun comes from in Sentinels and in vengeance mode you just get less of that. So this is why I never play it and unfortunately your variant will probably not fix this for me. What I would like to see is a game mode where you play against H villains, each one at a time. You would start against The Operative and when she goes down you immediately jump into fighting Bugbear etc. Maybe their incap sides would stay in the game and add up, making the fight increasingly difficult. But I have tried playing this way before and it actually didn't work well because it was getting way too easy with the heroes getting more and more set up during the length of the game. If you could come up with an interesting way to play against the vengeance villains each at a time, I would be really excited. But I realize that this is not what the decks are designed to do, so this will most likely not work well and my vengeance decks will continue collecting dust..
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Take Walker
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Adelphophage wrote:
Alexa_Elvrayen wrote:
I think I might add a rule that heroes gain 1 DR until their first turn. It blows being last hero and ending up slammed under AoE for half your health before you even start.


That's not a bad one. I do have the issue that it's already fairly hard, and both of my current rules (the Revenge cards and the possible-AoE-exclusion-that-may-or-may-not-stay) both make it harder. So I'd like something clean that gives the heroes a decent boost to make up for it. Being tougher on round 1, or getting an extra card to setup with both accomplish this, but other ideas for clean boosts would be welcome.

This is a good idea, if you want to make sure the heroes can weather the storm easily. I'd go with something like "Until the start of the first environment turn, reduce damage dealt by villain targets by 1". Or even "villain targets to hero targets", c.f. Baron Blade. This way, Nightmist doesn't get card draws for less punishment, for instance.

johnny_guitar_watson wrote:
For me the main problem with vengeance mode is to have to resolve a full villain turn after each hero turn. Playing your hero deck is where the fun comes from in Sentinels and in vengeance mode you just get less of that. So this is why I never play it and unfortunately your variant will probably not fix this for me. What I would like to see is a game mode where you play against H villains, each one at a time. You would start against The Operative and when she goes down you immediately jump into fighting Bugbear etc. Maybe their incap sides would stay in the game and add up, making the fight increasingly difficult. But I have tried playing this way before and it actually didn't work well because it was getting way too easy with the heroes getting more and more set up during the length of the game. If you could come up with an interesting way to play against the vengeance villains each at a time, I would be really excited. But I realize that this is not what the decks are designed to do, so this will most likely not work well and my vengeance decks will continue collecting dust..

This could maybe be helped if you played a number of cards from the villain deck the instant it comes into play, equal to the number of villains that have been defeated so far. Either play that many, or reveal and play that many targets/ongoings (i.e., not one-shots). (Could keep the defeated villains around as well, both for their incap powers going off each villain turn, and for Bugbear's sake.)
 
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Michael Hunter
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johnny_guitar_watson wrote:
For me the main problem with vengeance mode is to have to resolve a full villain turn after each hero turn. Playing your hero deck is where the fun comes from in Sentinels and in vengeance mode you just get less of that. So this is why I never play it and unfortunately your variant will probably not fix this for me. What I would like to see is a game mode where you play against H villains, each one at a time. You would start against The Operative and when she goes down you immediately jump into fighting Bugbear etc. Maybe their incap sides would stay in the game and add up, making the fight increasingly difficult. But I have tried playing this way before and it actually didn't work well because it was getting way too easy with the heroes getting more and more set up during the length of the game. If you could come up with an interesting way to play against the vengeance villains each at a time, I would be really excited. But I realize that this is not what the decks are designed to do, so this will most likely not work well and my vengeance decks will continue collecting dust..


Hrm, this got a lot of my wheels turning. So I am theorizing as an alternate to the mode I suggested above (Grudge Match, with all the villains out at once) something more based on my version of the Ennead...


The Gauntlet

Setup: Select H Vengeance decks.
There are two villain play areas. Set up the first and second Vengeance decks in them. These decks act one after the other in place of the normal villain turn.

Incapacitation:When a villain character is incapacitated, remove all of its cards from the game. If there is another vengeance deck left, set up a the next vengeance deck in that play area (resolving any of its setup text).

Put the incapacitated villain character card to one side. It is counted as being in play, and activates at the start of the first villain play area's turn. Remove any other incapacitated villain character cards from the game.

Gameplay:
If H=4, the lowest HP villain character plays an extra card during their normal play phase.
If H=5, both villain characters play an extra card during their normal play phase.
If there is only one active villain character, it plays an extra card during its play phase (which can stack with the above).




This gets around the excess AoE issue very neatly (as there are never going to be THAT many targets), as well as the tempo issue (there are pretty much always the same number of villains out, so their output is broadly constant). It also keeps the turns from being too complicated, and gives each villain a chance to shine.

Also, as there are two villains out at a time, Old Tricks-New Allies and Synergy Surge mean something, but aren't quite as awesome (and less time consuming to carry out).

The H scaling seems like it'd be roughly okay, the amount of enemy HP you have to wear down increases linearly with number of players, you can't get exponential growth* because the number of targets to get hit by AoE doesn't scale with H, and the amount of hurt directed at you on each turn also scales roughly evenly (2/3/4 plays on H=3/4/5).

*-By which I mean imagine all your heroes do is deal 2 damage to all. On H=3 you deal 6 to each villain target thus will win in around 5 turns. On H=5 you deal 10 to each villain target thus will win in around 3 turns.



Have only tested twice, but I already think I prefer it to my original idea, it plays a lot more cleanly. Things I'm considering are...

-Should all incapacitated villains stay around, or just the last? For the sake of simplicity I'd say the latter, but it might help with scaling if it was the former.

-I kind of like TakeWalker's idea from his thread about having all the targets stay around when the villain dies, but could cause some odd interactions.
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Jonathan Richardson
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Alexa_Elvrayen wrote:
EmperorEternal wrote:
Phantaskippy wrote:
Vengeance is best in 3 hero games, also really good with 2 heroes, 2 is really fun and really fast, and duos can be really fun to pick out.


Did you play (H) as equals 2 or 3?

There are exactly 2 cards that scale with (H) in a Vengeance game. Quetzelcoatl and Individual Tactics. 2 would be a fair number for either of them, but presumably in a 2 player game you're avoiding hard targets like Sergeant Steel and Bugbear anyway.


I'm talking about the Environment's scaling.
 
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