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Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin» Forums » General

Subject: sternkin not so hot? rss

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Chris McDonald
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The Sternkin seem pretty bad compared to the other fighter class (the Criochan):

Sternkin 1: 5 strength, +2 physical attack, cost 6
Criochan 1: 7 strength, +2 physical attack, cost 7

Sternkin 2: 5 strength, +3 physical attack (+5 vs 6vp+ monsters), cost 9
Criochan 2: 7 strength, +5 physical attack, cost 10

Sternkin 3: 5 strength, +4 physical attack (+7 vs. 6vp+ monsters), cost 12, 2vp
Criochan 3: 8 strength, +8 physical attack, cost 13, 2vp

The Sternkin is weaker, his special power only triggers when fighting very powerful monsters, but even with it active his total attack never exceeds the Criochan's default attack. Granted he costs 1 gold less, but that usually doesn't matter.
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Andy Leber
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I think that the cost makes enough of a difference. But really, at the end of the day, even if not, you can probably find several examples of heroes that are better than others. That's all part of making the best of the current selection of cards, and trying to make them work for you.

If you only have the weaker hero available, than so be it. And if he's on the board next to a more powerful counterpart, then it makes for an interesting buying race. Then when the "good" one is sold out, at least you have an alternative.
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Will M. Baker
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cfmcdonald wrote:
The Sternkin seem pretty bad compared to the other fighter class (the Criochan):

Sternkin 1: 5 strength, +2 physical attack, cost 6
Criochan 1: 7 strength, +2 physical attack, cost 7

Sternkin 2: 5 strength, +3 physical attack (+5 vs 6vp+ monsters), cost 9
Criochan 2: 7 strength, +5 physical attack, cost 10

Sternkin 3: 5 strength, +4 physical attack (+7 vs. 6vp+ monsters), cost 12, 2vp
Criochan 3: 8 strength, +8 physical attack, cost 13, 2vp

The Sternkin is weaker, his special power only triggers when fighting very powerful monsters, but even with it active his total attack never exceeds the Criochan's default attack. Granted he costs 1 gold less, but that usually doesn't matter.


I agree. A few thoughts, though. I'm finding that gold is tighter in ToR than in previous versions, so that one difference in gold might be a deciding factor. Currently, there is one weapon, Dwarven Bear Hammer, that favors Dwarves. Criochan doesn't care, because he's strong enough to hold it anyway; but perhaps more race-specific cards are coming.

But otherwise, yes, I'd rather have a Criochan in my deck than a Sternkin .
 
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cfmcdonald wrote:
The Sternkin is weaker, his special power only triggers when fighting very powerful monsters, but even with it active his total attack never exceeds the Criochan's default attack. Granted he costs 1 gold less, but that usually doesn't matter.


Except at the beginning of the game where it absolutely does matter.

The probability to get a 6/4 split in the first two turns (by itself) is around 36.8% and the probability to get a 7/3 split or higher is 37.2%. That means you're twice as likely to be able to reach 6 than you are to reach 7.

It always feels like it's easier to reach 6 than 7 whenever I play on FB anyway...

Calculations (for those interested):
The starting deck contains 4 2-gold, 2 1-gold and 6 0-gold cards. It's a ball pulling problem at this point.
5/5 split = C(4,2) * C(2,1) * C(6,3) / C(12, 6) = 26.0%
6/4 split (which is equivalent to a 4/6) = (C(4, 2) * C(2, 2) * C(6, 2) + C(4, 3) * C(6, 3)) / C(12, 6) = 18.4%, so both combined is 36.8%
7/3 split or higher = 1 - P(5/5) - P(6/4) = 37.2%
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Andy Leber
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I agree 1 gold makes a big difference. I even think it makes an equal difference late in the game. If you don't have enough to go to the dungeon, and are one gold short of what you want/need late in the game, it's potentially more devastating to waste your turn at that point. And getting beyond 6 can be more difficult again, now that your hand is full of monsters/heros.
 
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It was definitely a turning point for me when I realized that deckbuilding games (I came to this realization during Dominion) weren't M:tG. The fact that another card that is better exists somewhere out there doesn't really matter, it's what's available to you now.

In Magic, you would almost never choose a 2C 2/2 vanilla over a 1C 2/2 vanilla of the same color (assuming creature type, etc., didn't matter). In Thunderstone, I'd always rather have a Criochan over, say, an Amazon. But if Amazon's the only fighter on the table, well, then I may need to buy some Amazons. Once I realized that, it was game-changing - half the strategy is building the best deck out of what's in front of you.

My experience with Thunderstone is relatively casual right now (though it's probably my favorite board game in years, if not ever), but I play Dominion competitively. There are a lot of cards in Dominion that are situational at best, possibly worse. Nine Kingdoms out of ten, I won't buy a single one. What makes a truly good player is recognizing that one Kingdom in ten where that previously 'weaker' card suddenly shines.

My gut is that Thunderstone works the same way.
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Chris McDonald
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zeroth hour wrote:
cfmcdonald wrote:
The Sternkin is weaker, his special power only triggers when fighting very powerful monsters, but even with it active his total attack never exceeds the Criochan's default attack. Granted he costs 1 gold less, but that usually doesn't matter.


Except at the beginning of the game where it absolutely does matter.

The probability to get a 6/4 split in the first two turns (by itself) is around 36.8% and the probability to get a 7/3 split or higher is 37.2%. That means you're twice as likely to be able to reach 6 than you are to reach 7.

It always feels like it's easier to reach 6 than 7 whenever I play on FB anyway...

Calculations (for those interested):
The starting deck contains 4 2-gold, 2 1-gold and 6 0-gold cards. It's a ball pulling problem at this point.
5/5 split = C(4,2) * C(2,1) * C(6,3) / C(12, 6) = 26.0%
6/4 split (which is equivalent to a 4/6) = (C(4, 2) * C(2, 2) * C(6, 2) + C(4, 3) * C(6, 3)) / C(12, 6) = 18.4%, so both combined is 36.8%
7/3 split or higher = 1 - P(5/5) - P(6/4) = 37.2%


Thanks for the statistical analysis. I didn't realize there was such a big gap between 6 and 7, that's pretty significant.
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cfmcdonald wrote:

The Sternkin is weaker, his special power only triggers when fighting very powerful monsters, but even with it active his total attack never exceeds the Criochan's default attack. Granted he costs 1 gold less, but that usually doesn't matter.


I always read the Sternkin to get an ADDITIONAL attack value, when the monster has 6+ vp. So a level 3 Sternkin would get attack +4 normally, but a total of attack +11 when fighting a 6vp monster or greater.

Have I been doing it wrong? I now realize how it could simply mean to replace his +4, with a +7, but assumed I was doing it right, because otherwise he is much weaker than the Criochan.

Can someone clarify this for me?


Ignore this. I read the post quickly without recollecting what the Sternkin cards say. I assumed it was +4-+7, when the OP was including the +3 already. So I was playing the card correctly.

I would add, however, that while the Sternkin is definitely weaker than the Criochan, he is cheaper, AND if the Criochan isn't in the deck, than it doesn't matter who is "better". Also Mr. Sternkin can use the Dwarven hammer, so can use every weapon, just like the Criochan.
 
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Will M. Baker
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Misterboy wrote:
I would add, however, that while the Sternkin is definitely weaker than the Criochan, he is cheaper, AND if the Criochan isn't in the deck, than it doesn't matter who is "better". Also Mr. Sternkin can use the Dwarven hammer, so can use every weapon, just like the Criochan.


Re: cost, Chris pointed out above that I'm twice as likely to be able to afford a Sternnkin as a Criochan in one of my opening hands. However, that's only by including the 7/3+ splits as qualifying to buy a Sternnkin. If both are on the table, and I'd prefer Criochan, then I will devote my 7/3+ splits to him (37.2%) and only my 6/4 split to Sternnkin (36.8%). So by that math, the two are roughly the same, in terms of being able to afford in the first two turns.

Assuming Criochan's not in the mix, it's relative. But there are other cheap Fighters, and even four cheaper Fighters: Redblade, Tempest, Phalanx, and Woodfolk (though he is more Cleric than Fighter). Any there are many heroes who can deal out the same damage at Level 2, for the same cost (or less).

Re: holding any weapons, that's true for ToR weapons, but once we throw all the cards in the mix, there are five weapons Sternnkin can't hold without aid: Claymore, Greed Blade, Frost Giant Axe, Insight Blade, Chalice Mace. There are plenty of Fighters with Strength 5, but considering only Level 3 Fighters, Sternnkin Dragonbane is on a much shorter list of weak Fighters, and is the only pure Fighter on the list, along with Blind, Verdan, and Terakian.

Sternnkin seems designed to shine in a dungeon with really tough monsters, in terms of VP. However, most monster groups have a diverse VP range, and few monsters that are worth 6+ VP (a few monster groups have no monsters worth 6+ VP). (Maybe someone has done the stats on this?) So that's a tough condition to meet, whereas someone like Caliginite has a condition that seems easier to meet, to have Darkness.
 
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