Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Spirit Island» Forums » General

Subject: Outpaced - House Rule/Too Swingy rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Robb S

California
msg tools
mb
One of the things I like best about Spirit Island is the amount of thought that has going into making the Events impactful, but not overly swingy. Of course, given a "perfect storm" set of circumstances any event has the potential to really swing the game one way or the other, but I really appreciate all of the work that Eric and the whole crew have done to prevent single cards from winning/ruining the game. It's really tough to balance Events to make them significant without being game-changers.

...but at least to me it seems that one card has slipped through the cracks: Outpaced. If you hit that early in the game, particularly against a higher-level adversary where every power card counts, it's pretty much a death knell. In the early/early-mid game (turns 2-4) very few spirits have 3-6 extra energy (assuming playing 1-2 Slow Powers) or 2-4 spare Presence to be destroyed, which means that the net effect on Spirits is probably going to be bad -- they're not going to get to play Slow powers fast, and instead they're going to lose their Slow powers AND the elements from the cards. To add insult to injury, the card also nullifies the effects of Disease for the turn, allowing extra builds where there wouldn't be any.

There are other events which are arguably just as "eventful." War Touches the Island's Shores comes to mind. But at least with that, the Blight you add is arguably balanced out by the mass destruction wreaked on the enemy -- most players (I think) tend to try to eliminate the Invaders from the center/push them to the edges. Plus, the other two events on the card are helpful: Beasts cause fear, and the players get to Push Dahan and cause damage.

Is there any sort of thought among the design/playtest crew that Outpaced is a little too severe, and possibly could be tweaked? Maybe reduce the penalty to 1-2 Energy and/or destruction of just 1 Presence per card, or tie the penalty to the stage of the game -- 1-2 Energy/1 Presence at Stage I, 2-3 Energy/2 Presence at Stages 2-3? Or make the other two Events on the card generally good ones for the Spirits?

For the non-designers/playtesters out there, does anyone have a house rule re: Outpaced? I'm contemplating proposing one for our group in which we just eliminate Outpaced from the Events deck. Thoughts?
3 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
RyuSora
Brazil
Sao Paulo
Brazil
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have the exact same feellings. I will also just remove it from the deck, and thr card is also pretty fiddly... having 2 options and the second option have 2 options...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Praetor Kamahl
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmb
Not trying to be condescending, but just checking: you know you can refund one card to pay for making another fast, with this event, right? It can certainly be annoying but I've never found it to be back-breaking even on harder difficulties, sans very unique situations.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ted Vessenes
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
In that case I recommend cutting Outpaced, Strange Madness Among the Beasts, and War Touches the Island's Shore. The first two cards went through a lot of design changes late in the process and never really got there. The last one I think just slipped through-- I think it never came up enough on turn 1 during testing to see what a problem it was. (It's much fairer on later turns though, unlike the first two cards.)
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Pureka

Massachusetts
msg tools
I think the Jagged Earth rule of not resolving an event on Turn 1 helps a lot with these. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Mandl
msg tools
I have no problem with this card, but I could imagine something like this:

Any Spirit can pay for every card. Like the "aided" mechianic.

One of the main problem is, some Spirits are able to pay but have no slow powers. This could work against it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Art Entre
msg tools
Just as a normal player, I don't really have a strong arguments to make about the balance of the card, but I've removed this event simply because I don't find it fun to play with.

I do feel as though it's too swingy/harmful compared to other events, but even without that, I don't enjoy that it usually takes away actions from the players, as opposed to other events which tend to increase difficulty by adding things the players need to deal with.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robb S

California
msg tools
mb
PKamahl wrote:
Not trying to be condescending, but just checking: you know you can refund one card to pay for making another fast, with this event, right? It can certainly be annoying but I've never found it to be back-breaking even on harder difficulties, sans very unique situations.


Except that refunding a minor gets you at most 2 Energy (1 card cost + 1 for the event), and you need to pay 3 for each card you keep. Another point in favor of tweaking the cost -- maybe make so that discarding one card will let you pay for another?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
RyuSora
Brazil
Sao Paulo
Brazil
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tedv wrote:
In that case I recommend cutting Outpaced, Strange Madness Among the Beasts, and War Touches the Island's Shore. The first two cards went through a lot of design changes late in the process and never really got there. The last one I think just slipped through-- I think it never came up enough on turn 1 during testing to see what a problem it was. (It's much fairer on later turns though, unlike the first two cards.)


War touches the shores have 2 interesting options at least, i am ok with that
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robb S

California
msg tools
mb
tedv wrote:
In that case I recommend cutting Outpaced, Strange Madness Among the Beasts, and War Touches the Island's Shore. The first two cards went through a lot of design changes late in the process and never really got there. The last one I think just slipped through-- I think it never came up enough on turn 1 during testing to see what a problem it was. (It's much fairer on later turns though, unlike the first two cards.)


I don't have as much of a problem with War Touches or Strange Madness. Re; the former, the benefits of blowing away 3 built-up Invader lands can often offset the added Blight, and the other two effects (Beasts cause Fear + Push Dahan to do damage) are helpful. Late in a tight game the added Blight might just lose the game for you, but the same could be said of most Event cards in those circumstances.

Strange Madness really only hurts if (1) all of the Spirits are completely Energy-poor; (2) there are no Animal elements either in play or available to discard; and (3) there are multiple Beasts in lands with Dahan (because otherwise you can just let them rampage and they won't do too much harm). Otherwise the spirits can scrape together at least 3 Energy/Animal to save+move one of the Beasts, and the rest will go away without killing Dahan. I would LOVE to be able just to collectively pay 3 Energy or 3 of some element to get rid of Outpaced. Plus added Bonus -- whatever Beasts are saved get to be moved and 2 Damage before the Invader phase! If you're playing an Animal-heavy Spirit (Sharp Fangs, Thunderspeaker, BODAN) or any spirit that accumulates lots of Energy (Earth, Keeper, Ocean in some games), this card can be a huge benefit -- unlike Outpaced, one fortunately-situated Spirit can mitigate the bad effects of the card for everybody else.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey P
msg tools
mbmb
This is currently the one card I leave out of my event deck. Strange madness is swingy and sometimes wrecks Sharp Fangs, but also leads to interesting decisions and gamestates (any game where multiple powers end up forgotten to fuel a critical event cost push you way off of normal patterns for powers cards vs plays, which can be refreshing).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ted Vessenes
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
The original version of Outpaced was just a single choice per player of "fast" or "slow" where you either got energy for everything and discarded it, or you paid a higher cost (I think a bunch of presence destruction?) and got everything fast. It was pretty swingy though, especially when you could turning everything slow fast. I never really liked the individual choices for each slow power because it felt super fiddly and has a high branching space, but we never came up with anything better. Maybe a better design would have been just making the player accelerate or discard one slow power card (of their choice).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robb S

California
msg tools
mb
tedv wrote:
The original version of Outpaced was just a single choice per player of "fast" or "slow" where you either got energy for everything and discarded it, or you paid a higher cost (I think a bunch of presence destruction?) and got everything fast. It was pretty swingy though, especially when you could turning everything slow fast. I never really liked the individual choices for each slow power because it felt super fiddly and has a high branching space, but we never came up with anything better. Maybe a better design would have been just making the player accelerate or discard one slow power card (of their choice).

Thanks for the insights, and thanks for all of the work you guys put in!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Praetor Kamahl
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmb
robb8888 wrote:
Except that refunding a minor gets you at most 2 Energy (1 card cost + 1 for the event), and you need to pay 3 for each card you keep. Another point in favor of tweaking the cost -- maybe make so that discarding one card will let you pay for another?


I mean, you just need 1-2 energy to make a slow power fast in this scenario, it's not TOO different from an event coming down that you didn't have energy prepped for. I do think it's a less-clean design than other events at least. I'm just expressing that this event isn't really that back-breaking with the Jagged Earth update (basically discard the first event card instead of flipping it). Keeps games from being brutally swingy T1.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Pope
msg tools
The part of Outpaced that I always hated is that it completely hoses spirits that are dependent on slow innate powers. If you have a big slow major it's often worth sucking up the cost, and whatever slow minor powers you have are probably not going to make or break the game for you - unless you were counting on them to fuel a big innate, in which case whoops fork over 6+ energy/presence or you lose the elements you need. RIP River Surges in Sunlight. Adding insult to injury, even if you fork over the massive tax to keep them in play the benefit only applies to the piddly cards you were mainly playing for elements and not to the innate you were powering up.

If Outpaced left cards in play and just prevented you from using them it would fix 90% of the problems with the event.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tedv wrote:
...I recommend cutting Outpaced, Strange Madness Among the Beasts, and War Touches the Island's Shore...

Note, though, that removing any cards changes the expected cost of blighting the island. Every card that you remove makes it more likely that Healthy/Blighted events come up.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.