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The Scepter of Zavandor» Forums » Variants

Subject: balancing: kobold, faery and energy flow rss

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sonny sonny
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faery:
we play a middle variant of original and 2nd edition official rules: no cards but 15 magic dust at start. nothing much to argue here, just experience that this seems most balanced.
[edit 2018: it seems when i posted this i remembered something wrong. i can find no hint that there was change in the faery's rules and i now think she always started with 10 dust + 2 cards. but it seems there was an official variant, see 2nd reply, though the linked forum thread does not exist anymore]


kobold comparison with witch:
1. kobold (20+10) +opal, + sapphire____________witch (20) +gems_2, +opal
2. kobold (0+20) +accumulation_2______________witch (8+15) +sapphire
3. kobold (16+20) +sapphire___________________witch (7+20) -3 opals, +gems_3, +2 sapphires OR: +spellbook
4. kobold (16+25) -opal, +gems_1, +sapphire_____witch (2+22) +sapphire
5. kobold (6+27) +gems_2, +2 sapphires, -2 opals__witch (10+27) +accumulation_1
6. kobold (5+32) +gems_3, 29 dust left___________witch (15+27) +accumulation_2, +sapphire, 24 dust left

so for the same strategy they end up the same after 6 turns but the kobold has 5 dust more. he is also more flexible because he can play other strategies if he wants to. the witch has to use her only advantage (cheaper gems) in order to compete. her only alternative is the spellbook. so lets have a look at that:

1. kobold (20+10) +opal, + sapphire______________witch (20) +gems_2, +opal
2. kobold (0+20) +accumulation_2________________witch (8+15) +gems_3, +sapphire
3. kobold (16+20) +sapphire____________________witch (0+20)+spellbook
4. kobold (16+25) +gems_1_____________________witch (0+20) +emerald, -opal
5. kobold (19+25) +spellbook, +gems_2___________witch (2+22,5) +emerald, 1 opal inactive
6. kobold (20+25) -3 opals, +gems_3, +2 emeralds___witch (3,5+27) +2 emeralds, -2 opals, -sapphire
6. kobold (7+30) +2 emeralds, -sapphire___________witch (1,5+37) +accumulation_1, +emerald, -sapphire
7. kobold (2+42) +2 emeralds, -2 sapphires, 16 dust__witch (2,5+39,5) +accumulation_2, +emerald, 17 dust

so even if the witch plays her best strategie and the kobold just copies it (although it is likely not the best strategy for him!!) they end up the same. if the witch doesn't get the spellbook for 20 she already has a serious problem (getting outbidded or spellbook not available at all). and again, the kobold is much more flexible. comparisons of kobold with other chars are not that easy but in the end similar.

that's why we give the kobold only 15 magic dust at game start and it works fine.

[edit:]mage: as discussed in another thread here http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/196142 it's the weakest character, but i am also concerned it might be too powerful if it starts with 20 dust (this would enable to buy opal+sapphire in first round leading to additional 5 dust). so my suggestion is to have it start at stage 2 of artifacts track.[/edit]

the other characters seem balanced to us. the knowledge tracks are imbalanced but since everyone may decide on his own its not a real problme. we only changed the energy flow: instead of dust it gives you a sapphire/diamond card at steps 3/4. now sometimes someone other than the elf buys this.

[more edits: formatting and a correction]
 
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sonny sonny
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like you said you have to play your strength. of course the witch can go diamonds or rubies - i would recommend that after getting emeralds though (i never said she should stick with them until the end of the game!) and then you can already use my comparison. if she goes for them straight away she looses out because her income and card limit are too low. if she buys artefacts (other than spellbook) instead of gems she doesn't play her strength!

until the witch has saved enough money to get an elixier the kobold will easily also be able to buy one with his 40 income. you don't win ZVZ if you save up your money for certain artifacts. especially if you don't know when they will show.

i think druid is actually better than witch if she plays rubies. get sapphire/opal in first turn, then buy gems track - about the same as with the kobold you have soon the same research as the witch. not forgetting that the druid can already buy a ruby at stage 3 (very important for hand card limit).

if you want to convince me pls tell me what exactly (like i did) the witch should do to get ahead of kobold. the only possibility left would be not buying any knowledge track but artifacts instead? i can't imagine buying aretifacts instead of gems will benefit the witch.

Quote:
I do believe that the game is pretty well balanced.

it is (pretty, not completely), but even the developers suggested some balancing changes (druid gets one ruby at stage 3, faery gets no cards).
 
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sonny sonny
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if you speak german the faery with no cards variant is posted in the official forum here: http://forum.lookout-games.de/index.php?topic=16.0

if you buy the emeralds for 21 each to replace opals they return their costs within 4 turns (calculating costs, returns and selling costs), plus you have more choices for sentinels at the end.
 
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sonny sonny
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Quote:
It is a turn to turn game.

i agree with that, but it doesn't work well with the "save up your money" argument. it is also my experience (and we have played it often) that the player who pushes his income best wins the game.

the mask is also kinda of a bad example for playing turn to turn, unless you buy it just before the sentinels...

but if we go back to the spellbook argument: if the witch doesn't play for spellbook she will always be behind kobold (as shown in the initial post), so that would support my initial argument. even if you play round 5: crystal ball, round 6: save for elixier and it actually is buyable in turn 7 the kobold may as well save for it in round 6 and bid on the elixier in turn 7. in this case he has the same cash as the witch (29+32=61 where witch has 7+27+27=61), he can sell a sapphire to make up for the 5 bonus from elixier and he has a slot for a 6th gem already bought. most important though, if for whatever reason he does not get a good artifact in round 7 he is still in the game. the witch would be dead.

[edit: i read and comented your other post - though most has already been said by someone else]
 
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sonny sonny
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faery compared to the witch.
witch is a good compare IMO because she is a balanced char and she starts with a knowledge track that, very often, everyone will learn sooner or later.

faery (10 dust + 2 cards) comparison with witch:
1. faery (10+10+10) +opal, + sapphire______________witch (20) +gems_2, +opal
2. faery (0+20) +sages_2_________________________witch (8+15) +sapphire
3. faery (14+20+15) +sages_3, +2 sapphires, -2opals__witch (7+20) -3 opals, +gems_3, +2 sapphires OR: +spellbook
4. faery (7+24+20) +acc_1, +sapphire, -opal_________witch (2+22) +sapphire
5. faery (14+27) +acc_2, +sapphire_________________witch (10+27) +accumulation_1
6. faery (17+32) 49 dust left______________________witch (15+27) +accumulation_2, +sapphire, 24 dust left

it's not a direct compare, but 49 dust vs 24 is a huge difference. the faery can invest 27 of those for gems_1 in round 6, which leaves them at 22 vs 24, but there's no immediate reason for her to do so - as long as she does not invest in gems, her sapphires sell for 10 each. the faery also has moved one more often on knowledge tracks and she can put a free knowledge track advance (runestone) to good use for sages_4. besides this, she could buy an artifact (or even 2 if she keeps her opal one round longer) in round 4 instead of investing accumulation. the witch doesn't have this option until round 5, and she can only buy 1 artifact then.

just to clarify that being at sages_3 is no disadvantage in any regard: note that if the witch invests in sages_3, she just gets her costs refunded (25+3+6+12 = 46, vs 10+15+20 = 45).

now, the witch can take a different path buying a spellbook. IF it's available. let's have a look at this.
1. faery (10+10+10) +opal, + sapphire______________________witch (20) +gems_2, +opal
2. faery (0+20) +sages_2_________________________________witch (8+15) +gems_3, +sapphire
3. faery (14+20+15) +spellbook, sages_3____________________witch (0+20)+spellbook
4. faery (17+20+20) -opal, +gems_1, +emerald_______________witch (0+20) +emerald, -opal
5. faery (13+22,5) -opal, +gems_2, +emerald________________witch (2+22,5) +emerald, -opal
6. faery (11,5+27) -opal, -sapphire, +gems_3, +2 emeralds_____witch (6,5+27) +2 emeralds, -opal, -sapphire
7. faery (0,5+37)________________________________________witch (1,5+37)

this is an easier compare. both end up the same (each has one sapphire, 4 emeralds and gems_3). the witch has 1 more dust but the faery has sages_3. that means the faery has to pay more for her knowledge chips, but it's also 2 victory points + 6 dust (potentially more if she can use a free knowledge advance from artifacts) for whenever she decides to move to sages_4. this is also a great way to deal with hand card limit troubles for one round. the IMO huge difference is, that the witch has exactly 0 dust left in round 2 and 3, and little extra in round 4. if she gets unlucky with her draws, she's in serious troubles. if she has only 19 dust in round 3, she can't even keep it due to hand card limit. which pretty much means she has to buy an opal for reselling (lose 4 dust and be short again next round) or switch to the above strategy without spellbook. for the feary the risk is mostly the round 1 income. i'm less concerned about that because the faery always has enough dust left in the following rounds, so it does not prevent her from pursuing her strategy. also, the round 1 income is a general problem for many characters in this game (though not for the witch!) and many people play houserules. it's also worth to mention that the faery often has enough dust to slightly change her strategy (or if she is lucky with draws without changing strategy) and buy another artifact if she wants.

granted, the advantages of the faery in this compare are small. but they exist, and they are only small because we compared her to a character who used her perfect strategy. the faery will always do well, no matter what strategy she picks. the witch is pretty much set on doing one of these 2, or rubies.
 
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