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Legendary: X-Men» Forums » General

Subject: Piercing Energy - What's the Verdict? rss

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Adam Burnam
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I know this was initially a concern with many when the new resource was announced - that it may be overpowered, especially when it comes to defeating masterminds. I've only had the chance the play one game so far, so I still can't say for certain, but in my game we used the new scheme with the upgraded killbots. Needless to say, even with the growing threat of Doombots getting more attack power, it ended up meaning nothing since all it took was one point of piercing energy to take one out. Someone made another thread addressing this so I won't go into detail, but it did make a pretty cool scheme seem very underwhelming.

Now, I want to get the opinions of those who have had more/different experiences with the new feature so far. What do you guys think? Were the concerns justified, or does it seem fairly balanced?
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Tomer Mlynarsky
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I don't have the game yet so can't comment from experience. But honestly I think that Piercing Energy is less of an issue with masterminds than it is with villains.

Villains are the ones who usually get the attack buff you can ignore with it. Also buying even just a little bit of it, can essentially make any scheme that makes you clean the city regularly to be much simpler.
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Steve Crow
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We've found Piercing a mixed blessing. Dazzler's Piercing attack, for instance, is pretty puny. Psylocke, a lot better.

We found it mostly useful for bypassing Human shields on the Mojo and Arcade masterminds/villain cards.

So far, we'd say it's balanced.
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Itai Rosenbaum
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I think there are two factors to consider here:

First, like Tomer said, for Masterminds PE is a lot harder to pull off. It will take a lot of work to get to a point where you can consistently hit 5-7 PE in a turn, sometimes getting the 8-10 required attack would be a lot easier.

Secondly, the games people are running right now heavily feature heroes that grant you PE. In randomized games, or games that don't exclusively feature X-Men content, PE will be less abundant and will become much less of an issue.
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Eric Sanner
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I like piercing energy. But as with anything, it has it's uses. Sometimes it will be crazy good, and others it will be useless. Any of the henchmen/villains that become heros don't have a victory point value. So you can't use PE to fight them. I just played a game against the shadow-x and wasted PE multiple turns because there wasn't anything I could use it on. But in another game, it worked great to take out the villains that capture hidden witnesses.
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Viet Tran
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I think the thing with PE is when it's overpowered it's blatantly overpowered. It makes certain schemes and badguys a non factor. I think that's why it feels overpowered. I would put it as a kyrptonite towards some schemes and really strong. But not as overpowered as some other combos that exist
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Darth Ed
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I've only played it once so far, but we found it very difficult to get more than 4 PE in a single turn. Granted, we were playing with Psylocke and Dazzler intead of Banshee, and none of the players in my group really employed a particularly focused strategy on getting nothing but heroes with PE.
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William
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I like piercing energy.

I was playing the Sentinels scheme the other day. At first it seemed way too easy to knock out the sentinels. Then I had to really decide weather or not to attack them, because once I burned through all of my starter cards, I had to start KO'ing cards I had purchased.

Ya, in some instances it seems too easy. But, that is a good counter to some of the most ridiculously hard scenarios that have popped up randomly over the years.

This new set has really rekindled my love for the game. I'm back!
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Aaron Sirois
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It seems like a nice risk/reward strategy. If you can get enough PE to hit the enemies, it's great, but otherwise it clogs up your hand almost as bad as wounds at times. You need a critical mass of them in your deck to get rolling, and it's better so far to have one player at the table collecting them all. Mostly it's super good against henchmen, which really isn't all that impressive.
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Justin H

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Piercing Energy is a fickle mistress. Sometimes powerful, sometimes useless. Taking a single hero with PE and mixing it in with other heroes leads to you probably never fighting the Mastermind with it. Very useful to take out most Villains, especially those with restrictions to attack it or attack modifiers. It seems unless you specifically make your deck very PE focused, you aren't going to end the game, but you will make getting there easier.

Especially when you mix in a hero like Polaris who only has one PE card, you're not going to find too much use of it unless you fighting Villains with low VP and high attack (pumped up Brood anyone?)

I actually like it this way too. I don't think it should be a game ending Mastermind smashing steam rolling power, but it should be taking out Villains left and right. Kind of like a trade off.

I think that specifically in this set, it pays off really well, but mixed previous ones it's usefulness will be a bit diluted.

My wife has decided she hates it, and will not recruit any piercing energy cards.
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Stephen Puderbaugh
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jhochges wrote:
Especially when you mix in a hero like Polaris who only has one PE card, you're not going to find too much use of it unless you fighting Villains with low VP and high attack (pumped up Brood anyone?)


My nephew was doing that on Saturday and it was awesome!

EDIT: Well it was with Psylocke, but still
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ike jones
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Someone needs to focus his strategy around them to get success mid and end game. I think they're more useful in a 5 player game all around with 2 sets of henchmen taking only 1 piercing energy to fight.
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Adelin Dumitru
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Given how difficult the set is, I think it was necessary. We played a game where Epic Mojo had 10 human shields and a horror card made him a 10-attack. Without PE we would not have had a chance. We eventually lost, but at least we managed to fight for a while with PE
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Brian Stephens
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I assume that the Scheme that Adam is referring to is "Mutant Hunting Super Sentinels"

There is a simple fix to make the Scheme a challenge even with plenty of piercing energy. About 90% of the Villains and Henchmen have Victory Point Ratings 2 less than their attack. Indeed the Sentinels start off this way.

All you need do is stipulate that a "Sentinel Upgrade" raises both the Attack Rating and the Victory Point rating of each Sentinel by 1.
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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I cannot imagine how one could beat Epic Arcade without Piercing Energy. We used what would otherwise be a truly powerful deck, with Mr Fantastic, Wiccan, Hulkling, X-men Beast and X-23. We mustered up to 15-16 attack points per turn by the end of the game, but it was in vain. We played the horror that gave Arcade +2 attack...good luck clearing the Human Shields and keeping the city clean. We never got to hit Arcade, when we lost he still had 3 Human Shields left.
 
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Dale Stephenson
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
I cannot imagine how one could beat Epic Arcade without Piercing Energy. We used what would otherwise be a truly powerful deck, with Mr Fantastic, Wiccan, Hulkling, X-men Beast and X-23. We mustered up to 15-16 attack points per turn by the end of the game, but it was in vain. We played the horror that gave Arcade +2 attack...good luck clearing the Human Shields and keeping the city clean. We never got to hit Arcade, when we lost he still had 3 Human Shields left.


I think a Horror increasing the Mastermind's attack is particularly tough with Arcade -- perhaps a different horror would've let you win?
 
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Jason Walker
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Was PE a solution in search of a problem, or were Epic Masterminds, Horrors, and Human Shields a problem in search of a solution? Which came first? Without the massive difficulty bump of this expansion, would we have even seen PE?

Discuss. devil
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nathan folsom
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Vietbtran wrote:
I think the thing with PE is when it's overpowered it's blatantly overpowered. It makes certain schemes and badguys a non factor. I think that's why it feels overpowered. I would put it as a kyrptonite towards some schemes and really strong. But not as overpowered as some other combos that exist.


I think the thing with ________ is when it's overpowered it's blatantly overpowered. Not disagreeing - in fact, I think these statements match up pretty well.

I originally felt the same way about Ice Man mixed with any other predominately-range heroes. Honestly, just with the core set and Dark City you could hit some awesome Ice Man combos fairly regularly.

If you structure everything randomly (which I've largely, but not exclusively, done since the first set), the odds of an overwhelmingly good combo popping up is pretty small. Nowadays, if Ice Man (for example) comes up in a favorable Hero Deck, I'm like, "Sweet! This might be one of those high-score matches!"

More often than not, however, random selection is a pretty tough cookie to consistently crack, regardless of which heroes are included.

Good Gaming!
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Michael Green
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I recently played a game with Banshee, Psylocke and Dazzler against Shadow King, with the Dark Phoenix Saga Scheme (using the Phoenix Hero). There was plenty of Piercing Energy to go around, I was building my deck around it (I just picked up a couple of High Attack cards to grab Phoenix cards from the city).

I was playing solo so Shadow King only had my deck to draw on for an Attack boost, he only got above 8 once after I defeated him and his tactic dominated a bunch of Heroes from the HQ, then a Master Strike occurred and he was back down to 8. Should have been fairly easy. Still even with all the PE on offer it was hard to regularly get up to the 6 needed to defeat the Mastermind. It didn't feel like an over-powered combo to me.

Maybe it would be different if I saw it powering through 5 Human Shields but I think the thing with PE is that it is situational. There are some circumstances where it will be really useful, others not so much.
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Michael Green
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TravelSized wrote:
Was PE a solution in search of a problem, or were Epic Masterminds, Horrors, and Human Shields a problem in search of a solution? Which came first? Without the massive difficulty bump of this expansion, would we have even seen PE?

Discuss. devil


I wouldn't necessarily assume that one prompted the other. They're all good design ideas that would work fine in Legendary if the others weren't included.

What I think is really good design is that they included PE in an expansion with both things that will be vulnerable to it (Brood, Mutant-Hunting Super Sentinels, Enemies with Human Shields) and things that will be immune to it (Shadow-X recruitable Heroes, Shi'ar Battlecruisers, Televised Death-Traps of Mojo-World, the Jean Grey Villains in the Dark Phoenix Saga Scheme).

This allows for a variety of situations where PE is either awesome or falls on its sad little face.
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James A
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I don't see anything stating whether or not piercing energy can be used as regular attack. Since its a different symbol, I'm not sure if it can ONLY be used against victory point attacks or regular attack values as well.
 
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Jason Walker
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It's a different symbol, so it doesn't mix. It can only be used against VP.
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David A
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Who2342 wrote:
I don't see anything stating whether or not piercing energy can be used as regular attack. Since its a different symbol, I'm not sure if it can ONLY be used against victory point attacks or regular attack values as well.

From the rules sheet that came with the X-Men expansion, under the Piercing Energy section:
Quote:
You can fight a Villain or Mastermind by spending points equal to that enemy’s printed Victory Points value. You ignore that enemy’s \\\ and any \\\ modifiers.
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James A
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Thud105 wrote:
Who2342 wrote:
I don't see anything stating whether or not piercing energy can be used as regular attack. Since its a different symbol, I'm not sure if it can ONLY be used against victory point attacks or regular attack values as well.

From the rules sheet that came with the X-Men expansion, under the Piercing Energy section:
Quote:
You can fight a Villain or Mastermind by spending points equal to that enemy’s printed Victory Points value. You ignore that enemy’s \\\ and any \\\ modifiers.


Im aware of that haha. Has nothing to do with my question though. That didn't state whether or not it could also be used as regular attack. You would think something called Piercing Energy could do normal damage too. Otherwise, if it can't, then I want nothing to do with any card that ONLY has piercing energy attacks. May as well be a dead card as far as I'm concerned. I can't waste my turns on cards I may never use if I have to build enough of them up. It wastes my deck and it wastes my turns.
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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Who2342 wrote:
Thud105 wrote:
Who2342 wrote:
I don't see anything stating whether or not piercing energy can be used as regular attack. Since its a different symbol, I'm not sure if it can ONLY be used against victory point attacks or regular attack values as well.

From the rules sheet that came with the X-Men expansion, under the Piercing Energy section:
Quote:
You can fight a Villain or Mastermind by spending points equal to that enemy’s printed Victory Points value. You ignore that enemy’s \\\ and any \\\ modifiers.


Im aware of that haha. Has nothing to do with my question though. That didn't state whether or not it could also be used as regular attack. You would think something called Piercing Energy could do normal damage too. Otherwise, if it can't, then I want nothing to do with any card that ONLY has piercing energy attacks. May as well be a dead card as far as I'm concerned. I can't waste my turns on cards I may never use if I have to build enough of them up. It wastes my deck and it wastes my turns.



How could you say that it has nothing to do with your question??? You cannot use Piercing Energy as standard attack. It's a separate thing. Banshee's rare converts attack into PE, but that's it.
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