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Subject: Mandy -- Base Game Overbalance? rss

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Brian Mc Cabe
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When I play solo, I'll use an investigative team until it's devoured; although, if one or two go away, I'll replace them.

I've found with her re-roll capability, any group including Mandy can continue for fifteen or twenty games, again with the caveat that individual characters might fall by the wayside during that span.

About the only one that can knock off the whole group she's in is Hastur, and then only if there are tons of monster surges and the minus to fight is so great there is no point in fighting a final battle.

Is this another anomaly that is solved with the expansions?

I don't mind winning, but any group without her can only last between one and three games, bad die rolls eventually taking their toll.

Anybody else found this to be true?

Brian
 
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Clay
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Well, for one thing to game isn't necessarily made with the idea of a single team sticking together for several games, that's just something you imposed upon yourself. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just a preference on your part, not that of the designers.

Mandy is a bit odd in that she is more powerful the fewer investigators there are. If it's just her or a few other people, there won't be as many rolls between them each turn, so her ability becomes very powerful. However, in a large group it becomes rather insignificant due to the large number of checks that will be made.
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Tibs
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The Message wrote:
Mandy is a bit odd in that she is more powerful the fewer investigators there are. If it's just her or a few other people, there won't be as many rolls between them each turn, so her ability becomes very powerful. However, in a large group it becomes rather insignificant due to the large number of checks that will be made.

Well, even in a game with 8 investigators, there may be more checks but you can still tell the important checks from the insignificant ones, so more investigators doesn't make that huge of a difference.
 
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Clay
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kungfro wrote:
The Message wrote:
Mandy is a bit odd in that she is more powerful the fewer investigators there are. If it's just her or a few other people, there won't be as many rolls between them each turn, so her ability becomes very powerful. However, in a large group it becomes rather insignificant due to the large number of checks that will be made.

Well, even in a game with 8 investigators, there may be more checks but you can still tell the important checks from the insignificant ones, so more investigators doesn't make that huge of a difference.


It depends on the game in question, really. Sometimes, big hurdles just come one after another and sometimes they come about so rarely that you almost forget what difficulty even is. It also has a lot to with how much you plan before the turn starts, to minimize the number of challenging tasks going on at once.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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The Message wrote:
Well, for one thing to game isn't necessarily made with the idea of a single team sticking together for several games, that's just something you imposed upon yourself. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just a preference on your part, not that of the designers.


Agreed. Random teams each game (redrawing any investigators that were in the previous game) is the "only" way of AH for me.
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Green Dan
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Slight derail...Brian, when you play with teams across multiple games, do they get to keep their stuff from game to game? Or do you reset to their starting kit each game?
 
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I agree-we use random investigators. Well, not in league play, but regular games. It's more fun that way, I think. Otherwise, it would be Mandy, Kate, & I forget who else is super good from Dunwich & Kingsport.
 
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John Anderson
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I think you would take Leo every game if you could.
 
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Brian Mc Cabe
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Greendan: I always start from scratch.

Hippie: You're right that I've imposed that restriction myself. Since I'm playing solo, I figure they should keep investigating until they're devoured. Solo houserule, so to speak.

Without the re-roll, the other groups struggle mightily.
Using Kate, Dexter, Pete and Bob right now. They've won three, but their die rolling, skill checks and card draws have been horrendous all across the board in all three games.

Dexter has been particularly brutal, invariably drawing an encounter card that is diametrically opposed to his settings. It's uncanny, really.

I've got a couple session reports I've put together and will try to get them posted.


Brian
 
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Jim Kiefer
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apatheticexecutioner wrote:
I've found with her re-roll capability, any group including Mandy can continue for fifteen or twenty games, again with the caveat that individual characters might fall by the wayside during that span.

Theoretically $2= 1 Clue=1Sanity = 1 Stamina.

Leo can give (prevent the loss of) two of those four per turn to anyone, and usually does, He's considered pretty good,

Jenny will receive 1/2 of those every turn for herself, though she can trade (give) it away and she's still pretty good.

Dr. Carolyn restores a sanity only for herself (theoretically for others but that hardly every happens), but she does gain nearly every turn because sanity loss and use somewhat voluntarily when she gets some spells and she's considered pretty good.

Dr. Vincent can restore a stamina to himself every turn, but usually he doesn't because most Stamina is lost mostly only in combat. Most think he stinks because he just can't use his power effectively.

So the formula isn't entirely true but even if it's close, Mandy gives 2 or 3 or more clue tokens every turn and to anybody who can use them. So she's GREAT!

Quote:
Is this another anomaly that is solved with the expansions?
Only in that if you pick your investigators completely randomly, Mandy won't come up as much. She's still a joy to behold when she does. But Lo, there are even better (more powerful) investigators in Kingsport (though their powers aren't so obvious).

Quote:
Anybody else found this to be true?
Yes. So enjoy! You can make her less superhuman by just houseruling her power as a re-roll and even almost human by only allowing her to give her power to people in the same world and not the Other Worlds.

 
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mageith wrote:
apatheticexecutioner wrote:
I've found with her re-roll capability, any group including Mandy can continue for fifteen or twenty games, again with the caveat that individual characters might fall by the wayside during that span.

Theoretically $2= 1 Clue=1Sanity = 1 Stamina.

Leo can give (prevent the loss of) two of those four per turn to anyone, and usually does, He's considered pretty good,

Jenny will receive 1/2 of those every turn for herself, though she can trade (give) it away and she's still pretty good.

Dr. Carolyn restores a sanity only for herself (theoretically for others but that hardly every happens), but she does gain nearly every turn because sanity loss and use somewhat voluntarily when she gets some spells and she's considered pretty good.

Dr. Vincent can restore a stamina to himself every turn, but usually he doesn't because most Stamina is lost mostly only in combat. Most think he stinks because he just can't use his power effectively.

So the formula isn't entirely true but even if it's close, Mandy gives 2 or 3 or more clue tokens every turn and to anybody who can use them. So she's GREAT!

Quote:
Is this another anomaly that is solved with the expansions?
Only in that if you pick your investigators completely randomly, Mandy won't come up as much. She's still a joy to behold when she does. But Lo, there are even better (more powerful) investigators in Kingsport (though their powers aren't so obvious).

Quote:
Anybody else found this to be true?
Yes. So enjoy! You can make her less superhuman by just houseruling her power as a re-roll and even almost human by only allowing her to give her power to people in the same world and not the Other Worlds.



I'm not so sure your equivalences really pan out quite like this. $2 a clue is roughly reasonable, but even that is a tricky debate. When you include Sanity and Stamina it breaks down even more.

Based on in-game precedent, $2 = Maximum Stamina or Maximum Sanity, not just a single point. While this is obviously a highly variable value, simplifying it to the lowest possible outcome isn't the best way to go.

Assuming an investigator with 3 as their maximum just arrived in the appropriate location (St. Mary's or Asylum) they already have 1, then need to pay $2 to gain 2 and reach maximum, so at the very least you need to double the value of Sanity and Stamina above. Note that this totally ignores investigators with maximum values of 4,5,6 and 7, which means the actual value can reach up to 6 times what you have now.

Let's go with an 'average' investigator in terms of Sanity/Stamina balance, so they have a max of 5 in each. This is the medium of balance between the two stats, so it seems a reasonable assumption. This means that upon entering the hospital or asylum, $2 will buy them 4 in the appropriate statistic, quadruple that of your assumed value.

This means $2 = 1 Clue = 4 Sanity = 4 Stamina, except that most people would argue that a single clue is not worth 4 points of either Sanity or Stamina and would shun any item or encounter that allowed such a trade. Given the highly variable nature of clue tokens (When not used for sealing or other static processes, of course) it becomes difficult to pin down a correct worth independant of scenario, but a ratio of 1/2 seems closer to accuracy.

This means our final equivalence is $2 = 2 Clues = 4 Sanity = 4 Stamina (Obviously this is still a rough formula, as you said. For example, now $1 equals 1 Clue, which is too cheap. However, adjusting either value clashes with the demonstrated value of sanity and stamina. I'm going to leave it as is for now due to the high risk involved with clues compared to the static worth of stamina and sanity.)

Jenny now only recieves 1/8 of a Sanity/Stamina point per turn.

The good doctors look much more valuable when viewed in this light.

Assuming Mandy counts as roughly 2-3 clues per turn, that's great but not nearly as overwhelming as before (Only half as good as you projected), I still contend that this value will decrease with more investigators.
 
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mageith wrote:

Quote:
Anybody else found this to be true?
Yes. So enjoy! You can make her less superhuman by just houseruling her power as a re-roll and even almost human by only allowing her to give her power to people in the same world and not the Other Worlds.

I've got a couple ideas. You could only allow an entire re-roll, not just failed dice.

Or

At the start of a turn you could select the investigator who would receive her roll for that turn. If some other investigator needs it—tough luck.
 
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Jim Kiefer
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The Message wrote:
I'm not so sure your equivalences really pan out quite like this. $2 a clue is roughly reasonable, but even that is a tricky debate. When you include Sanity and Stamina it breaks down even more.

I did say theoretically. It's based on the Strange Eons backwards calculated formula for making investigators. I agree it doesn't really pan out.

Quote:

Based on in-game precedent, $2 = Maximum Stamina or Maximum Sanity, not just a single point. While this is obviously a highly variable value, simplifying it to the lowest possible outcome isn't the best way to go.

In order to get that bargain you have to go to the Hospital or asylum so $2 plus a turn = maximum sanity or stamina. And as you point out the bargain varies with the investigator.

And that's just based on ONE in-game precedent.

Quote:
Assuming an investigator with 3 as their maximum just arrived in the appropriate location (St. Mary's or Asylum) they already have 1, then need to pay $2 to gain 2 and reach maximum, so at the very least you need to double the value of Sanity and Stamina above. Note that this totally ignores investigators with maximum values of 4,5,6 and 7, which means the actual value can reach up to 6 times what you have now.

Let's go with an 'average' investigator in terms of Sanity/Stamina balance, so they have a max of 5 in each. This is the medium of balance between the two stats, so it seems a reasonable assumption. This means that upon entering the hospital or asylum, $2 will buy them 4 in the appropriate statistic, quadruple that of your assumed value.

This means $2 = 1 Clue = 4 Sanity = 4 Stamina, except that most people would argue that a single clue is not worth 4 points of either Sanity or Stamina and would shun any item or encounter that allowed such a trade. Given the highly variable nature of clue tokens (When not used for sealing or other static processes, of course) it becomes difficult to pin down a correct worth independant of scenario, but a ratio of 1/2 seems closer to accuracy.

What's interesting is that in the game there are many exchanges at different rates. The value changes with the situation in the game. For example, if I have four clues and am about to leave an Other world and I have an offer to gain 1 Clue for 4 Sanity and I have the Sanity, I would probably do it. But that's not exactly the exchange, because what I am getting for my 4 Sanity is a gate trophy and saving me or someone else two turn of Other world adventures.

If you use strange eons, you get to make those decisions and determine their values at the beginning of the game. To gain a sanity you sacrifice a Stamina. To gain a clue you sacrifice $2. and vice versa.

Then the program declares you are in balance except for your ability to create a special ability for your investigator. It's those special abilities that are all over the place.

My values are clue > sanity > stamina > $2. Their actual values vary widely.

Quote:
This means our final equivalence is $2 = 2 Clues = 4 Sanity = 4 Stamina (Obviously this is still a rough formula, as you said. For example, now $1 equals 1 Clue, which is too cheap. However, adjusting either value clashes with the demonstrated value of sanity and stamina. I'm going to leave it as is for now due to the high risk involved with clues compared to the static worth of stamina and sanity.)

Jenny now only recieves 1/8 of a Sanity/Stamina point per turn.

The good doctors look much more valuable when viewed in this light.

Which we know, from experience, is not true. Jenny's better than that and Doc is worse than that.

Quote:
Assuming Mandy counts as roughly 2-3 clues per turn, that's great but not nearly as overwhelming as before (Only half as good as you projected), I still contend that this value will decrease with more investigators.

Probably in that the average abilities of all the investigators would be lower (since she's one of the highest). On the other hand, most everyone's impact is dimished. Leo can still only prevent 1 loss and Carolyn can still only cure 1 Insanity, etc.

Not diminished are the ones like Daisy, Wendy (atuo evade). To a less extent Strong Mind and Body and any skills that can be used unlimited numbers of times.

Of course what we've not gotten into is the relative value of the skills for the sliders and is a sanity/stamina allocation of 3/7 = 4/6 = 5/5 = 6/5 = 7/3. They are in strange eons and they appear to be for the authors.

And what is a not standard special skill worth? How many gates and monsters does Kate have to stop to carry her weight? Is Marie's ability to remove one doom token make her average or above average? Does Dexters ability to look at 2 or 3 extra spells per game in anyway measure up to average?

AH is a very interesting game and it is designed so that the investigators in play be random, so in one sense these questions really don't make much difference. But since it is a game the emphasizes adding your own play style to it, someone who decides he likes to play with Mandy, Daisy, Wendy and Darrell (or Wilson or the Scientist) all the time may think s/he's the best AH player in the world. All investigators are not created equal. That's for sure.


 
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mageith wrote:
The Message wrote:
I'm not so sure your equivalences really pan out quite like this. $2 a clue is roughly reasonable, but even that is a tricky debate. When you include Sanity and Stamina it breaks down even more.

I did say theoretically. It's based on the Strange Eons backwards calculated formula for making investigators. I agree it doesn't really pan out.

Quote:

Based on in-game precedent, $2 = Maximum Stamina or Maximum Sanity, not just a single point. While this is obviously a highly variable value, simplifying it to the lowest possible outcome isn't the best way to go.

In order to get that bargain you have to go to the Hospital or asylum so $2 plus a turn = maximum sanity or stamina. And as you point out the bargain varies with the investigator.

And that's just based on ONE in-game precedent.

Quote:
Assuming an investigator with 3 as their maximum just arrived in the appropriate location (St. Mary's or Asylum) they already have 1, then need to pay $2 to gain 2 and reach maximum, so at the very least you need to double the value of Sanity and Stamina above. Note that this totally ignores investigators with maximum values of 4,5,6 and 7, which means the actual value can reach up to 6 times what you have now.

Let's go with an 'average' investigator in terms of Sanity/Stamina balance, so they have a max of 5 in each. This is the medium of balance between the two stats, so it seems a reasonable assumption. This means that upon entering the hospital or asylum, $2 will buy them 4 in the appropriate statistic, quadruple that of your assumed value.

This means $2 = 1 Clue = 4 Sanity = 4 Stamina, except that most people would argue that a single clue is not worth 4 points of either Sanity or Stamina and would shun any item or encounter that allowed such a trade. Given the highly variable nature of clue tokens (When not used for sealing or other static processes, of course) it becomes difficult to pin down a correct worth independant of scenario, but a ratio of 1/2 seems closer to accuracy.

What's interesting is that in the game there are many exchanges at different rates. The value changes with the situation in the game. For example, if I have four clues and am about to leave an Other world and I have an offer to gain 1 Clue for 4 Sanity and I have the Sanity, I would probably do it. But that's not exactly the exchange, because what I am getting for my 4 Sanity is a gate trophy and saving me or someone else two turn of Other world adventures.

If you use strange eons, you get to make those decisions and determine their values at the beginning of the game. To gain a sanity you sacrifice a Stamina. To gain a clue you sacrifice $2. and vice versa.

Then the program declares you are in balance except for your ability to create a special ability for your investigator. It's those special abilities that are all over the place.

My values are clue > sanity > stamina > $2. Their actual values vary widely.

Quote:
This means our final equivalence is $2 = 2 Clues = 4 Sanity = 4 Stamina (Obviously this is still a rough formula, as you said. For example, now $1 equals 1 Clue, which is too cheap. However, adjusting either value clashes with the demonstrated value of sanity and stamina. I'm going to leave it as is for now due to the high risk involved with clues compared to the static worth of stamina and sanity.)

Jenny now only recieves 1/8 of a Sanity/Stamina point per turn.

The good doctors look much more valuable when viewed in this light.

Which we know, from experience, is not true. Jenny's better than that and Doc is worse than that.

Quote:
Assuming Mandy counts as roughly 2-3 clues per turn, that's great but not nearly as overwhelming as before (Only half as good as you projected), I still contend that this value will decrease with more investigators.

Probably in that the average abilities of all the investigators would be lower (since she's one of the highest). On the other hand, most everyone's impact is dimished. Leo can still only prevent 1 loss and Carolyn can still only cure 1 Insanity, etc.

Not diminished are the ones like Daisy, Wendy (atuo evade). To a less extent Strong Mind and Body and any skills that can be used unlimited numbers of times.

Of course what we've not gotten into is the relative value of the skills for the sliders and is a sanity/stamina allocation of 3/7 = 4/6 = 5/5 = 6/5 = 7/3. They are in strange eons and they appear to be for the authors.

And what is a not standard special skill worth? How many gates and monsters does Kate have to stop to carry her weight? Is Marie's ability to remove one doom token make her average or above average? Does Dexters ability to look at 2 or 3 extra spells per game in anyway measure up to average?

AH is a very interesting game and it is designed so that the investigators in play be random, so in one sense these questions really don't make much difference. But since it is a game the emphasizes adding your own play style to it, someone who decides he likes to play with Mandy, Daisy, Wendy and Darrell (or Wilson or the Scientist) all the time may think s/he's the best AH player in the world. All investigators are not created equal. That's for sure.




You're right in that it all depends upon the situation. Sometimes I think that without the amazing depth of the theme this game would just fall apart. Balance seems to have been sacrificed in the name of a good time... maybe that's why I love it so much. That and Azathoth.
 
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