Frode Hanøy
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PART 1, stats and thought process:
I prefer to play games that are balanced. After many plays of AGOT live and online, I have decided to alter my version. In terms of how you can balance the houses, I've found the best and most efficient way of doing so, is with house card replacements from the DwD expansion pack. If you look at the game stats on thronemaster.net, which accounts for over ~11 000 games (2nd Edition stats only, 1st Ed/CoK etc. are excluded), this is the win stats for each house:

1. Greyjoy. 25.1% (+8.5%)
2. Stark. 24%. (+7.4%)
3. Baratheon. 18.1%. (+1.5%)
------------------------------
4. Martell. 13.6%. (-3.0%)
5. Tyrell. 10%. (-6.6%)
6. Lannister. 9.2%. (-7.4%)
*If we expect all 6 houses to win the same amount of games, the statistical average is 16.6%. The difference from this amount for each house is shown in (+/-) above.

1. Greyjoy. The weakness of Lannister, the close proximity to so many Strongholds, and most importantly: Their incredibly strong house card deck (Balon......).

2. Stark. Amazing power token farm, lots of lands which are easily defendable, Roose-Ned combo. If Stark doesn't make big mistakes early on, then he's usually very strong and hard to stop late game.

3. Baratheon. Close to a lot of castles, good defensive position, though weak supply. I love playing Bara. In our group this has proven to be the best house to play if you are new to the game.

4. Martell. Can take 4 castles very quickly. Still, the biggest problem is that he has 0 other Strongholds nearby. And terrible power token farm unless Tyrell is at peace with him and allow him to farm in Prices Pass. Stark is in the same position as Martell in terms of Strongholds, but Stark has other major advantages that makes up for it. Martell is fun to play, but is definitely more challenging than the other 3 houses above.

5. Tyrell. Tyrell CAN be super strong late game, with good supply, castles nearby and Loras/QoT is amazing combo when finishing. That said, Tyrell is extremely vulnerable early on. If Martell wants to cripple you during the first 2-3 rounds (No muster/bid during R2-R3, which sadly isn't uncommon) there is nothing you can do about it.

6. Lannister. Weak card deck and weakest position on the map in terms of defending your home areas. Being able to raid/support/move into Riverrun from Ironman's Bay was the worst map balance decision in the game. The biggest annoyance I have with the map in AGOT. Also of course Greyjoy with the best house card deck, right next to you.

PART 2, balance propositions:

So now what? There are several changes that people on this forum have suggested to improve the 6p AGOT balance. The most common is obviously to:

+ Buff Lannister.
- Nerf Greyjoy.

Is that all though? What about the rest? If we look at the statistics again, as posted above: Baratheon is actually the house that is closest to the statistical average, at 16.6%. Martell is also fairly close at 13.6%, though weaker. Then Lannister and Tyrell are the weakest, and Stark and Greyjoy are the strongest. Which brings the second point, which is much less debated on this forum:

- Should we nerf Stark? I think so.
- Should we buff Tyrell? Definitely.
- Should we give a minor buff to Martell as well? Not sure... I need input on this one. See further down.
- Baratheon is 100% unchanged. I think Baratheon is the most balanced house in the game, and the stats appear to be in accordance with this.

I prefer to keep the "house rules" to a minimum. I have done no changes to the map, and no changes to units that each house start with. The balancing has been purely on the house card level. The changes that I have currently implemented, is:

Greyjoy:
- Replace Balon with DwD Dodrik. The single-most important reason for Greyjoys strength is the ridiculous power of Balon. Just swapping this card goes a long way in making Greyjoy more manageable. That said, Rodrik is actually a good card for GJ. This just seems like a massive nerf because Balon is just so good, when in fact, it isn't. Greyjoy house card deck is still very strong.

Lannister:
- Replace Kevan Lannister with DwD Addam Marbrand. You have more knights during late game than footmen, so this is definitely a better version to have in the Lannister deck.

Tyrell:
- Replace Alester Florent or Margaery Tyrell (the cards are identical) with DwD Paxter Redwyne. Why? During the first rounds, without muster/bidding (ergo Tyrell can't get new units while Martell can Star CP muster units), Martell can get ships and attack the sea of Tyrell while he can do nothing about it. Martell can attack with +1 Move and 2-3 ships, while Tyrell will just have 1 ship and 1 defense token. To counter this imbalance Tyrell get Paxter Redwyne from DwD deck. He can give Tyrell ships in combat +1 STR, which is vital during the early game for Tyrell. This will help Tyrell stay alive during the weak rounds before he can muster units.

Then, changes that I am CONSIDERING, but need input on:

Stark:
What house card changes would you suggest to weaken Stark slightly? Removing Roose is not an option, that would be way too much of an overkill. Instead, I was thinking either:
A) Replace Eddard Stark with DwD Roose Bolton. The result being one less sword on the 4 STR card in the Stark deck.
OR
B) Replace Rodrick Cassel with DwD Damon Dance-For-me. Stark has two very strong defensive cards in Cassel and Blackfish. I purpose to swap Cassel with a card that is fairly weak, a 1 STR card with a sword. It CAN be useful (I've killed units with Melisandre many times, which is the same card), but definitely a weaker card overall than Cassel.

I am leaning towards B, as I think A will be too much of a negative hit.

Lannister:
Are the above changes enough to make Lannister viable? (Getting rid of Balon, and giving Lannister Marbrand.) I am not sure. I see a popular suggestion is to replace Cersei with DwD Qyburn, though I am not a huge fan of that. I am instead considering the following additions:
A)
- Replace Tywin Lannister with DwD Jaime Lannister. Tywin is fairly lack-luster as a 4 STR card. With this the Lannister 4 STR card will have both 1 sword and 1 castle. Much more powerful in combats.
- Replace Jaime Lannister with DwD Daven Lannister. Same card. We just don't want two Jamie's in the deck
OR
B)
- Replace Jaime Lannister with DwD Ilyn Payne. Payne is a very strong card, I'm afraid it might be too much. Thoughts?

Doing both together would be a massive overkill. So I'm not doing that

And finally, we have Martell:
A) Replace Nymeria Sand with DwD Gerris Drinkwater. Gerris will ensure you one space increase on the tracks, though you have to win the combat. Martell already has Doran, so maybe it is too much with two of these cards in the deck. But it is definitely a decent change.

At the end Martell is the one where I find the least amount of good alternatives for giving a minor buff. I considered Quentyn, but I don't like the DwD cards where you can gain massive amounts of STR (which are balanced if you use the whole DwD deck, as there are many of those). So I'm leaning towards doing nothing as well.

That was all, thanks for reading. Hope that you guys will get into the discussion

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Scott Randolph
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This topic has been covered extensively, the solution is to play the S-T6 Rules, developed over time by players in the US, Northern Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/97270/t6-rules-6p-7p-agot

I've played in, GM'd or observed 102 games of AGoT, and I've kept win/loss details. My strong advice, do not waste your time trying to come up with your own solution to the gross imbalance problem, use the solution developed independently above, with collaboration occurring here, and save yourself a lot of unnecessary effort.
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Frode Hanøy
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SFRR wrote:
This topic has been covered extensively, the solution is to play the S-T6 Rules, developed over time by players in the US, Northern Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/97270/t6-rules-6p-7p-agot

I've played in, GM'd or observed 102 games of AGoT, and I've kept win/loss details. My strong advice, do not waste your time trying to come up with your own solution to the gross imbalance problem, use the solution developed independently above, with collaboration occurring here, and save yourself a lot of unnecessary effort.


Thanks. Yeah I don't agree with all those. AGOT is a complex game with many variables that affect the overall game balance. There is no 100% solution. Some of the suggestions are obviously good, for example the Tyrell change. That one I suggested before I saw this link. But not all of them I agree with. You have GM'd 100 games, great. I've played just as many I see no discussion thread for these changes you say you have gathered from many people. Where did this balance discussion transpire? The stats from thronemaster is far more independent and much more statistically significant amount than the ~100 games you recorded stats from.

For example these suggestions buffed Stark, as if Stark needed any improvements. Giving them Frey, a much better card, and improving Catlyn. I can understand the Catlyn change, as it is a poor card overall, but the Frey card was not necessary. If anything that should be countered by giving them Roose from DwD, which only has 1 sword.

Also the Aeron Damphair from DwD is stronger than the one from the base game, especially late game when power tokens are plenty. Unnecessary buff.

I have seen in several threads that you enjoy to post this link as the holy cow to answer all balance, but that doesn't mean other changes can't be discussed and possibly be better. Thanks for your time.
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Scott Randolph
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Frode789 wrote:
SFRR wrote:
This topic has been covered extensively, the solution is to play the S-T6 Rules, developed over time by players in the US, Northern Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/97270/t6-rules-6p-7p-agot

I've played in, GM'd or observed 102 games of AGoT, and I've kept win/loss details. My strong advice, do not waste your time trying to come up with your own solution to the gross imbalance problem, use the solution developed independently above, with collaboration occurring here, and save yourself a lot of unnecessary effort.


Thanks. Yeah I don't agree with all those. AGOT is a complex game with many variables that affect the overall game balance. There is no 100% solution. Some of the suggestions are obviously good, for example the Tyrell change. That one I suggested before I saw this link. But not all of them I agree with. You have GM'd 100 games, great. I've played just as many I see no discussion thread for these changes you say you have gathered from many people. Where did this balance discussion transpire? The stats from thronemaster is far more independent and much more statistically significant amount than the ~100 games you recorded stats from.

For example these suggestions buffed Stark, as if Stark needed any improvements. Giving them Frey, a much better card, and improving Catlyn. I can understand the Catlyn change, as it is a poor card overall, but the Frey card was not necessary. If anything that should be countered by giving them Roose from DwD, which only has 1 sword.

Also the Aeron Damphair from DwD is stronger than the one from the base game, especially late game when power tokens are plenty. Unnecessary buff.

I have seen in several threads that you enjoy to post this link as the holy cow to answer all balance, but that doesn't mean other changes can't be discussed and possibly be better. Thanks for your time.


Fair enough, I guess I just felt like this issue was "flogging a dead horse"...but maybe not. Group play style can make some difference (never enough to make the RAW game viable for Lannister, that is definitely a "very dead horse"), Stark is seen as the "Top" House by some groups, whereas in my play experience they are competitive, but not O/P, even with the above revisions. If I remember correctly the Walder Frey card for Stark only comes in to play if there are 7 players.

Anyway, good discussion nonetheless, I hope you find the balance you are looking for.

We have had excellent experience with the S-T6 Rules and we are satisfied, we won't be changing from them.
 
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Philip Lodge
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Don't forget any mod to 1 house will seriously shift the stats of the other.

Balon is for sure the culprit. Potentially wiping out a 4/3 at a 2 himself makes him a 6/5. Then they have Theon at +1, especially as there's so many castles and strongholds crammed in that area. Wouldn't be a problem with a different house or base stat of 1. Too many high cards it doesn't matter which one they play, you can't bluff them, and the fiefdom. What good is Gregors 3 swords if he can never win. Shifting that 1 card now gives him a chance. Those swords would be devastating to an unable to muster Greyjoy. Removing Balon is a Buff to Lannister, the Greyjoys will have to think about it more, they'll have to take a loss here to survive else where.

I like Lannisters card to be footman. It gives a reason to build a large FM army, should you manager to obtain the supply. Giving it to knights would be devastating to other houses. Then they would need a buff.


I support your comments against Scott, lol!!!

Some of us don't want to make changes but a simple Swap of Balon might be enough, the changes this alone would make are huge. The next step i'd take is Starks or Tyrel, not Lannister. A weaker Greyjoy will see stronger Lannister, stronger Stark.
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Frode789 wrote:

Lannister:
A)
- Replace Tywin Lannister with DwD Jaime Lannister. Tywin is fairly lack-luster as a 4 STR card. With this the Lannister 4 STR card will have both 1 sword and 1 castle. Much more powerful in combats.
- Replace Jaime Lannister with DwD Daven Lannister. Same card. We just don't want two Jamie's in the deck
OR
B)
- Replace Jaime Lannister with DwD Ilyn Payne. Payne is a very strong card, I'm afraid it might be too much. Thoughts?


Not having 2 Jamies in the deck is important but I think you've over looked the lack of a crown on Lannisport. Yes it has a port but I'd prefer 2 power tokens over a sword and a castle.
 
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mitchiemasha wrote:
I like Lannisters card to be footman. It gives a reason to build a large FM army, should you manager to obtain the supply. Giving it to knights would be devastating to other houses. Then they would need a buff.


Supply is always a limitation that players must deal with, Knights are more efficient than Footmen due to Supply limitations. A large Footman-based army is difficult to achieve, and seldom done. Lanni is in the center of the board, more surrounded by enemies than any other House in 6p, Addam Marbrand helps Lanni have a fighting chance, that's all. Even with the S-T6 Rules Lanni still has a relatively more difficult time simply due to map position, having played the S-T6 Rules multiple times FtF, Lanni doesn't "devastate" anyone.
 
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Frode Hanøy
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If we don't use statistics (with an sufficient amount of it) for our balancing decisions, then what are we doing? I hold no "grudge" vs any houses or what to make anymore OP/UP. I simply what a balanced game with good changes to win for all 6 houses.

Which is why I thought it would be interesting to have this discussion.
So let's look at the S-T6 rules again.

What I disagree with 100%:
Baratheon:
First, yes the Baratheon house deck is not the best deck. But it is balanced by the fact that they have a strong position, unraidable defense of KL, close to many castles and good PT farm. Overall, as seen in the stats, a very balanced house.
- Replace Stannis with DwD Stannis. This is quite the massive change! Stannis in DwD is super strong, being able to REMOVE any support adjacent to the embattled area. As I find Baratheon to be the most balanced house (and very fun to play!) I'm hating this buff. The base game Stannis is not great, as you often have a high position on the IT, but this is just way overbuff, unless you are doing big changes to all nearby houses (which you shouldn't). Wildly OP Baratheon. I would have liked to see who purposed this change and their reasoning.

Partially agree:
GJ:
- Replace Balon with Rodrick. Good change. Seems to be widely accepted as the single-most important balancing change for GJ.
- Replace Aeron with DwD Aeron. I hate this change, so I'm not introducing this in my games.
This is why:
Base game Aeron is a great card, and a natural counter to Tyrion. What I like in the base game is that most neighbors in AGOT have natural counters to the other house's cards. Arianne vs Loras, Patchface vs Roose, Aeron vs Tyrion and so on. Why disrupt this mechanism? Removing Balon is what is important, not this change. Also, you will usually have a few phases in the game where power tokens are in excess, in which this card becomes ridiculously powerful. This is countered by the fact that most houses in DwD expansion has similar features on their own DwD cards, "weak" cards that can get substantially more powerful. So introducing just one of them is a bad design unless you want to introduce others as well. Overall this change makes absolutely no sense, regardless of whether you see this as an nerf or buff vs the base game card.


Partially agree:
Lannister:
- Replace Kevan with Addam. Other than in the early game this is a good buff. You'll be capped on supply late game and then Kevan is mostly useless due to all the knights. Addam is certainly a better card, without being OP. I like it.
- Replace Cersei with Qyburn. This is also something I'm not doing. Even though Cersei can be weak early on (as it is hard to win with a 0), she can be an ABSOLUTE BEAST in the second half of the game, setting up a win. Being able to remove a counter attack march order in Pyke (for example) is just massive. So this card is great. Qyburn is obviously also a interesting card, but I'm not digging paying two power tokens for 4 STR and potentially 2 swords on a 0 card. Kind of cheap. Again, it works in DwD because many cards there have big PT and DMG increase talents. (See Aeron above) But I'd rather keep Cersei and do the Lannister buffing elsewhere.

For my suggestions to balance Lannister further, see my original post in this thread.

Partially agree:
Tyrell:
- Replace Florent with Paxter. This was the first thing that popped into my head when I bought the DwD cards. Loving Paxter, and it helps the problem Tyrell has early on if no muster/bid comes up, and Martell wants to invade his sea on R2-R3. Good buff.
- Replace Mace with DwD Mace? I can understand it somewhat, the ability of base game Mace is situational, though I've won combats with it. It seems like a bit of a split in the community here. Some people enjoy the Mace ability while some find it practically useless. Of course it doesn't work on sea, and the 1 Sword and 1 Fortification always works.. So I guess this would be a nice buff, but only if you are changing more cards in the neighbors Lanni and Martell, as this is a more dangerous card to play against.
Decision: Currently leading towards not doing this change.

Changes that are ok, but not a must:
Stark:
- Buff to Catlyn. She's a poor card, I can agree, and without Balon (which is what she is supposed to somewhat counter) then what use does she have? I can understand this change. I still think that (check the stats on Stark wins) Stark needs a small nerf, which is what I am suggesting on my post above. As so, then I think it is fine to allow this Catlyn buff.

Martell:
- Replace Nymeria with Gerris. Nice card, certainly a better card than Nymeria. That said Martell is also a house that doesn't need any major buffs, so I'm leaning towards NOT adding this unless you are also giving the improved Mace or the massively improved Stannis (which IMO is overkill buff to Bara).

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Scott Randolph
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Well Frode, you are certainly very thorough, I can respect that. In general, my philosophy is find what works for your group, and play that way. Just FYI, I didn't write the S-T6 Rules by myself, or in a vacuum, international players made the S-T6 Rules what they are, I simply compiled their recommendations based upon their experience and insights. For our group, they work, your experience might be different of course.

I wish you luck in finding the balance you seek.
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Frode Hanøy
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SFRR wrote:
Well Frode, you are certainly very thorough, I can respect that. In general, my philosophy is find what works for your group, and play that way. Just FYI, I didn't write the S-T6 Rules by myself, or in a vacuum, international players made the S-T6 Rules what they are, I simply compiled their recommendations based upon their experience and insights. For our group, they work, your experience might be different of course.

I wish you luck in finding the balance you seek.


Yes I know Though I'm always open to discussion and I would have liked to hear what arguments they had for these changes It might have shed more light on why they thought it was a better change.

By the way: Do you like the Mace and Stannis swap? Do you find it a good buff and more balanced in your games?

In any case I'm always happy if other people as well come in and give their opinions.
 
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Jamie Pollock
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I think Frode is pretty close to what I'd do.

I think the consensus for balance among the majority of GoT players is to swap out Balon. He really is the problem card.

The rest of the proposed changes I could give or take, and to me may represent more flavourful changes compared to critical balance ones. I could imagine wanting to try Qyburn for example.

There is another option over and above removing Balon, and that is to play with equal mustering removing one of Baratheon's and GJ's starting units. I've never really understood why they're both blessed with an extra strength point, though I think you'd probably want to downgrade a knight over removing a ship.
 
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Frode789 wrote:
By the way: Do you like the Mace and Stannis swap? Do you find it a good buff and more balanced in your games?


Yes, definitely. What we had found over the course of a few games was that the initial T6 Rules changes lead to a lot of "stale-mating"...and games going ten full GR's with ties being settled by Supply, Strongholds, etc., and we didn't find that very satisfying. The S-T6 Rules changes give each a player a bit more of a "break-out" battle victory card...Qyburn copying Red Viper or Eddard Stark, DwD Stannis, Mace with a sword, Tyrell with a naval buff card (which made them more capable of heading north and attacking GJ), DwD Aeron Damphair, etc.

Same was true in 7p and Stark, Walder Frey allowed some interesting situations as Arryn & GJ often team up on Stark.

Victories by House, 6p, 7p, S-T6 Rules:
Greyjoy 5
Tyrell 2
Lannister 2
Martell 1
Stark 1
Arryn 1
Baratheon 0

We agree with you that new DwD Stannis is uber powerful, and what makes the above a little unclear is that we often swap Houses so that newer players get what we think are easier Houses to play (Bara), so the odd effect of that is that Bara has never won in our FtF S-T6 Rules games!

We've only had one game where GJ won a decisive battle with new DwD Aeron...spent 5 PT's, won the battle and won the game. Our experience has generally been that GJ is always spending lots of cash to keep the Sword or get Star Orders, and thus with only 1-2 PT's in-hand new DwD Aeron was not effective. GJ, from the above, is still the best House in the game in our experience, even with all the nerfs (No Balon, 3 Footmen, No Knights, 2 ships to start) and Lanni with 2 Knights, 1 Footman and 1 ship to start (it's just hard being in the middle for Lanni!).

Weird huh?
 
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Frode Hanøy
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SFRR wrote:
Frode789 wrote:
By the way: Do you like the Mace and Stannis swap? Do you find it a good buff and more balanced in your games?


Yes, definitely. What we had found over the course of a few games was that the initial T6 Rules changes lead to a lot of "stale-mating"...and games going ten full GR's with ties being settled by Supply, Strongholds, etc., and we didn't find that very satisfying. The S-T6 Rules changes give each a player a bit more of a "break-out" battle victory card...Qyburn copying Red Viper or Eddard Stark, DwD Stannis, Mace with a sword, Tyrell with a naval buff card (which made them more capable of heading north and attacking GJ), DwD Aeron Damphair, etc.

Same was true in 7p and Stark, Walder Frey allowed some interesting situations as Arryn & GJ often team up on Stark.

Victories by House, 6p, 7p, S-T6 Rules:
Greyjoy 5
Tyrell 2
Lannister 2
Martell 1
Stark 1
Arryn 1
Baratheon 0

We agree with you that new DwD Stannis is uber powerful, and what makes the above a little unclear is that we often swap Houses so that newer players get what we think are easier Houses to play (Bara), so the odd effect of that is that Bara has never won in our FtF S-T6 Rules games!

We've only had one game where GJ won a decisive battle with new DwD Aeron...spent 5 PT's, won the battle and won the game. Our experience has generally been that GJ is always spending lots of cash to keep the Sword or get Star Orders, and thus with only 1-2 PT's in-hand new DwD Aeron was not effective. GJ, from the above, is still the best House in the game in our experience, even with all the nerfs (No Balon, 3 Footmen, No Knights, 2 ships to start) and Lanni with 2 Knights, 1 Footman and 1 ship to start (it's just hard being in the middle for Lanni!).

Weird huh?


I can understand that. As for as DwD Aeron goes, I kinda like the base game one. Yes you might not be in many positions where you get boost the DwD Aeron substantially, but it can happen. I still think the base version is a more fun card to have.

Anyway, what makes me the most concerned with those changes to Stannis and Tyrell is it will make it even more powerful vs Martell. The card martell get in Gerris is not close to being the boost that Bara get, and don't forget the Tyrell improvements in Paxter and Mace. Martell kind of in a sticky spot.
 
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Frode789 wrote:
SFRR wrote:
Frode789 wrote:
By the way: Do you like the Mace and Stannis swap? Do you find it a good buff and more balanced in your games?


Yes, definitely. What we had found over the course of a few games was that the initial T6 Rules changes lead to a lot of "stale-mating"...and games going ten full GR's with ties being settled by Supply, Strongholds, etc., and we didn't find that very satisfying. The S-T6 Rules changes give each a player a bit more of a "break-out" battle victory card...Qyburn copying Red Viper or Eddard Stark, DwD Stannis, Mace with a sword, Tyrell with a naval buff card (which made them more capable of heading north and attacking GJ), DwD Aeron Damphair, etc.

Same was true in 7p and Stark, Walder Frey allowed some interesting situations as Arryn & GJ often team up on Stark.

Victories by House, 6p, 7p, S-T6 Rules:
Greyjoy 5
Tyrell 2
Lannister 2
Martell 1
Stark 1
Arryn 1
Baratheon 0

We agree with you that new DwD Stannis is uber powerful, and what makes the above a little unclear is that we often swap Houses so that newer players get what we think are easier Houses to play (Bara), so the odd effect of that is that Bara has never won in our FtF S-T6 Rules games!

We've only had one game where GJ won a decisive battle with new DwD Aeron...spent 5 PT's, won the battle and won the game. Our experience has generally been that GJ is always spending lots of cash to keep the Sword or get Star Orders, and thus with only 1-2 PT's in-hand new DwD Aeron was not effective. GJ, from the above, is still the best House in the game in our experience, even with all the nerfs (No Balon, 3 Footmen, No Knights, 2 ships to start) and Lanni with 2 Knights, 1 Footman and 1 ship to start (it's just hard being in the middle for Lanni!).

Weird huh?


I can understand that. As for as DwD Aeron goes, I kinda like the base game one. Yes you might not be in many positions where you get boost the DwD Aeron substantially, but it can happen. I still think the base version is a more fun card to have.

Anyway, what makes me the most concerned with those changes to Stannis and Tyrell is it will make it even more powerful vs Martell. The card martell get in Gerris is not close to being the boost that Bara get, and don't forget the Tyrell improvements in Paxter and Mace. Martell kind of in a sticky spot.


I see your point Frode. Our experience is likely "colored" by the fact that we also play a lot of the 5p Variant (NO GJ), and Tyrell in our first 5 games was always last or close to last (they've since won 3 games, so go figure?), so we thought we'd boost Tyrell a little, Paxter being the main focus. Old Mace vs new Mace w/sword & fort icons, I think we could go either way, if you played with us and insisted on using old Mace, we'd probably say "well if you feel that strongly about it, ok."

In our games folks don't like to tangle with Martell too much because of Doran and Gerris, especially right after bidding.
 
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Frode Hanøy
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fahbs2000 wrote:
Thank you! I've for so long claimed that Lannister was awful, Greyjoy ridiculous, and that far too often a 6p game is just a contest between Greyjoy, Stark, and Baratheon. People in the group I played with refused to introduce any tweaks because they swore that all houses had equal chances of winning.

As far as Greyjoy, have you considered the simple tweak of swapping the number values of their 0 and 2 card? Balon being a zero seems a lot more balanced (still one of the best 0s in the game). In fact I believe he was a zero in the first edition. No clue why they made that change.


(Balon is so crazy that I actually think making him the 4 card would be a nerf! He's pretty much a guaranteed win either way but at least with that, Greyjoy wouldn't have a 4 card on top of their auto win card.)


Balon is a disgusting card, we removed it and none has ever looked back for it..
 
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Scott Randolph
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fahbs2000 wrote:
Thank you! I've for so long claimed that Lannister was awful, Greyjoy ridiculous, and that far too often a 6p game is just a contest between Greyjoy, Stark, and Baratheon.


There are several very worthwhile solutions to this imbalance problem which make the game brilliant, close to a "Classic" that is worth re-playing multiple times. Frode has some excellent suggestions, others have their own that work for them. My only comment here is that being closed-minded to a solution is the only real failure.

fahbs2000 wrote:
People in the group I played with refused to introduce any tweaks because they swore that all houses had equal chances of winning.


Your friends are objectively, indisputably, undeniably, and completely WRONG. The gross imbalance, to the point of making the game not even worth playing, is so clearly obvious, that my group WILL NOT even consider playing the RAW 6p game...will not ever even consider it. I'm not going to re-hash the statistics over and over, it's been done exhaustively, the conclusion is undeniable by all except for those few who have a near-religious fanatic obsession with playing games RAW, even when there are obvious and clear defects in a game.

This is really too bad, AGoT really is a brilliant game, it really is, but that doesn't mean it's "perfect out-of-the-box." With a few tweaks it is a truly great game!

I won a RAW 6p game as Lannister once playing on Vassal, so what? That proves nothing, I was far more experienced than the GJ player who made several major mistakes. A reasonably competent GJ player in the RAW 6p game will demolish Lanni every time, it's so predictable it's just not even fun.

I'm not going to respond to the inevitable cries of "oh no the game is balanced and fine RAW, you just don't know how to play"...not worth my time to argue a moot point.

One final time (posting):

Victories by House, 6p, RAW:
Greyjoy 25
Baratheon 14
Stark 10
Martell 9
Tyrell 8
Lannister 4

Player Eliminations (no units on the board) by House:
Lannister 16
Greyjoy 8
Tyrell 3
Martell 2
Stark 2
Baratheon 2

With the above, players in my group won't play 6p RAW anymore simply because no one is willing to play Lanni.

{edit - typo}
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Salman Qaisar
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Fantastic discussion guys!
Im new to the game, we've played it twice only buylt already felt that lannister is in a very hard situation, and stark have got it easy.
But i would have been silly to suggest changes after 2 games only, especially in such a complex game.

This discussion, especially the stats, is amazing, and saves my group many months of pointless games + disappointment, as well as the possibility of players who have bad (unfair) experiences hating the game and no longer playing it.

It has even led me to think about keeping stats for all meaty games we play (eg Rex, especially with new ruleset ive written to add back many Dune rules).

Again thanks guys, now i will skip straight to making some of the changes you have all suggested, especially Frode and Scott. I already have both expansions
Regards, Sal
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Salman Qaisar
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fahbs2000 wrote:
Zalman wrote:
This discussion, especially the stats, is amazing, and saves my group many months of pointless games + disappointment, as well as the possibility of players who have bad (unfair) experiences hating the game and no longer playing it.

It has even led me to think about keeping stats for all meaty games we play (eg Rex, especially with new ruleset ive written to add back many Dune rules).

Again thanks guys, now i will skip straight to making some of the changes you have all suggested, especially Frode and Scott. I already have both expansions
Regards, Sal


REX was another game I really wanted to like. I would prefer to play Dune but it's impossible to get a physical copy. There were SO many balancing factors they removed from Dune to Rex without buffing anything to make up for them.


My DRAFT Rex variant ruleset, which brings back a LOT of dune rules; the file is here: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/150118/rex-ported-dune-ru...
And a thread to discuss it is here: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/26490550#26490550

If any of you have got time, even if you don't play Rex or dune anymore, I would definitely value intelligent feedback and discussion, especially on how to make it relatively balanced (I think it should be ok, but needs some tweaks).
Sorry to be off-topic Frode, but this discussion is the exact discussion i need for Rex!

Many thanks! Sal

 
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(I did not read all comments, thus I basically respond to the first comment. Find an exhausting analysis of my arguments in Top-down analysis of balance of power.)

1) Stark
Stark's superiority is hard coded in the map. Stark can capture incredible amount of resources without restistance. Also Baratheon is basically not able to attack Stark, except the very unlikely case that Narrow Sea is seizable (what should hardly ever be the case when Stark is competent). Said this, Stark requires his house cards for exactely two things: (1) Defending against Greyjoy and (2) Seizing castles from Greyjoy. Thus, replacing Stark's house cards would have only minor consequences for the overall course of game.

2) Greyjoy
A nerf of Greyjoy results in a buff of Stark. I heavily reject those claims as Stark is already superpowered. Also, Greyjoy has the worst hard coded uneqivocal sphere of influence. It is Greyjoy's cursed job to utilise its early power to get a competitive position in the end game.

I argue that the Northern positions are about balanced if Greyjoy attacks Stark instead of Lannister. I argue that Greyjoy should come to this conclusion already in the vanila game. Nevertheless, I appreciate that playing Lannister is a hard job and most (new) players are oberstrained. Thus, any nerfs in the Northern arena should result in a strengthening of the defense power of Lannister but not in a weakening of Greyjoy.

About the Southern arena: Except for the painted scenario, I can not see why Tyrell's house card should be buffed. Tyrell has arguably the strongest (end game) house cards in the game, if ever I would rather nerf them! Also, an early Martell attack should automatically result in an alliance between Tyrell and Baratheon, crushing Martell. Leader bashing is anyway the most important feature of this game, however often not applied...

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Neelesh Savalani
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Any updates on using these changes? Just played my 2nd game with 6p, all the other players were playing for the 1st time.

I picked Lannister, knowing about the Lannister/Greyjoy imbalance, and still ended up getting wiped out by Greyjoy.
 
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neelsav wrote:
Any updates on using these changes? Just played my 2nd game with 6p, all the other players were playing for the 1st time.

I picked Lannister, knowing about the Lannister/Greyjoy imbalance, and still ended up getting wiped out by Greyjoy.

I recommend to play just a second time with the same group because now they know! It just take some games to understand how leader bashing works. Seriously, once Greyjoy decided to assault Lannister any house should unconditionally support Lannister until Greyjoy is back on his islands. It is really that simple.
 
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