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Subject: Burning monasteries overpowered? rss

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Guilherme Casarotto
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Is is just me, or is the option to burn down monasteries a bit overpowered?

Killing an unfortified purple enemy for a relic just seems too good. The -3 reputation doesn´t seem to matter much...

What do you think?
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Tom Tjarks
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I dunno. I must just like playing 'good guys' too much. I haven't been able to bring myself to destroy a monastery yet. I know I can get a relic for it, and I've had the right kind of hands to attack early on, but I don't like the reputation hit.
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David desJardins
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gcasarotto wrote:
Is is just me, or is the option to burn down monasteries a bit overpowered?


How can it be "overpowered"? It's supposed to be valuable. This is like saying that entering a dungeon is "overpowered" because you get fame and an artifact or spell reward, and that's a lot better than just ignoring the dungeon. It seems like you want the game to disfavor attacking the monasteries. But, thematically, the Mage Knights are seeking anything that will increase their power.
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Manary Corte
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gcasarotto wrote:
Is is just me, or is the option to burn down monasteries a bit overpowered?

Killing an unfortified purple enemy for a relic just seems too good. The -3 reputation doesn´t seem to matter much...

What do you think?


It's actually very good, but not overpowered. Keeping burning monasteries down without having a way of balancing it (Draconum and rampaging enemies) will bring your reputation down to the X pretty fast, and then you won't be able to interact.

I'm not even mentioning the Influence penalty you receive for being in the negative side of the reputation track.
 
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Richard Hunt
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Burning down a monastary for an artifact is great, but I keep finding that the hit to my reputation is really hurts my ability to recruit units.

With the -3 reputation, if you want to regain that reputation for any reason you're generally going to have to spend several turns defeating rampaging orcs. This means you're only going to be gaining a tiny bit of fame each turn, when instead you could be doing much more profitable actions.
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Yaakov Simon
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You cannot use followers, so that makes it a bit more difficult to take out a monastery.

Also towards the later rounds, I definitely buy Advanced action cards from monasteries . If you have 3 or more monasteries, that's a nice assortment of cards to choose from.

Nevertheless, I will burn down a monastery in round 1 because I am going to get a lot of use from that artifact.
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Byron Campbell
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In addition to everything mentioned above (can't use units, hit to reputation, smaller advanced action training pool) I think burning down the monastery is way more powerful in multiplayer than in single player, because it can be used to block others from interacting. I have been pretty shy about burning down monasteries in solitaire games, since I always feel I am only hurting myself and I can usually find a dungeon (with more predictable enemies) if I want an artifact.
 
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David desJardins
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Yes, obviously there's a big difference in cooperative games in that burning down the monastery and preventing other players from interacting at that monastery and giving them fewer AAs available at other monasteries is a disadvantage rather than an advantage. While the association of the number of available AAs with the number of monasteries on the board is somewhat athematic, overall it still seems intuitively reasonable that if some of the MKs are burning down monasteries then it interferes with the ability of other MKs to interact with them, which would have opposite consequences in a cooperative than a competitive game.
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Yaakov Simon
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Good point. I have only played solo or co-op games & I didn't think about the advantages in a competitive game.
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Paul Glickman
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DaviddesJ wrote:
gcasarotto wrote:
Is is just me, or is the option to burn down monasteries a bit overpowered?


How can it be "overpowered"? It's supposed to be valuable. This is like saying that entering a dungeon is "overpowered" because you get fame and an artifact or spell reward, and that's a lot better than just ignoring the dungeon. It seems like you want the game to disfavor attacking the monasteries. But, thematically, the Mage Knights are seeking anything that will increase their power.


I believe his point is that he believes it's too good a payoff for too little cost/risk. Which definitely seems accurate the first time you see someone tear down two monasteries before the second day and get two cheap artifacts - but once you've played quite a bit, it's just another (strong) option. Reputation is worth quite a bit, gaining a new unit is better than gaining an Advanced Action, much of the time. You can also buy AAs and healing.

Basically, no, it's not overpowered. It's just a very strong option.
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Pat G
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There have been several games I have played where I regretted burning a monastery. Either because a unit showed up that I wanted to recruit, or more often that I needed healing and no longer had the cheap site to heal at.
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David desJardins
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Paul G wrote:
I believe his point is that he believes it's too good a payoff for too little cost/risk.


But that doesn't make sense. That's like saying that attacking cities is overpowered because you get a lot of Fame and a big bonus at the end of the game. The things that are part of the game and that you do to advance your mission in the game can't, by definition, be overpowered. They are supposed to be ways to advance your mission.

It seems like some people are saying, they want it to be equally attractive to burn monasteries as to not burn them. That the cost, in some average sense, should be equal to the benefit. But that's completely illogical. We don't ask that of any other element of the game. The cost of plundering villages, on average, isn't equal to the benefit. The cost of collecting mana tokens and healing from glades is zero, yet no one argues that therefore magical glades are overpowered. Etc.
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Boris Dvorkin
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I think David's comparison to dungeons is a salient one. In both cases you have to defeat a single enemy without the help of units, and purple enemies are comparable in difficulty to browns.

The difference is that in a dungeon you might not get an artifact, but don't suffer a massive reputation hit. Since a 1/3 chance of getting a spell is almost always less bad than a 100% chance of losing 3 reputation, I'd say plundering a dungeon is better than burning a monastery, so anyone who holds monastery-burnin' to be overpowered would have to consider dungeons overpowered as well.

At the same time, I disagree with the notion that the OP can be dismissed out of hand on the basis of the fact that "nothing can be overpowered." Things can certainly be overpowered. If there were a location in which you could kill a Digger for 3 artifacts, it'd be overpowered. However, I do not believe that monasteries are such a location.

Edit: My example about the triple-artifact-granting diggers is of course extreme, but the point is that the power of every game reward needs to be carefully considered. If Keeps raised your hand limit by 2 instead of 1, or you drew 3 cards in a village instead of 2, or an artifact at the Red city cost 10 influence instead of 12, etc, those effects would arguably be "overpowered" in the sense that they would skew the game too heavily to the player who managed to obtain them.

So I think asking "Are monasteries overpowered?" is perfectly fair, i.e., it is fair to consider whether they should grant a spell instead of an artifact, or lose 4 reputation instead of 3, etc, to be in line with other game rewards. And I think the response to that fair question is "Nah, they're good the way they are."
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Paul Glickman
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Boris understands.

Things are overpowered if they don't fit in. The OP believed (reasonably, but incorrectly) that Monasteries were such a location - far too much reward for far too little risk. Dungeons are a very apt comparison, Dungeons are my main priority in the early game.
 
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David desJardins
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If the question is not, "Is burning monasteries overpowered?" but, "Is finding monasteries overpowered?" that's different.

On the green tiles, I think it's fair to say that it's almost always nice to find monasteries and dungeons in locations that they are easy to reach. The luck of the draw in the tiles is probably the biggest chance element in the game. But it's also what keeps it interesting.
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David desJardins
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Boarass wrote:
The difference is that in a dungeon you might not get an artifact, but don't suffer a massive reputation hit. Since a 1/3 chance of getting a spell is almost always less bad than a 100% chance of losing 3 reputation, I'd say plundering a dungeon is better than burning a monastery, so anyone who holds monastery-burnin' to be overpowered would have to consider dungeons overpowered as well.


Of course, if you're comparing finding a monastery to finding a dungeon, then you also have to compare the other benefits, e.g., you can hire units or buy AAs or healing at the monastery, before (or instead of) burning it. That's pretty significant.
 
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Nicola Bocchetta
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I think you should compare the costs/benefits of burning down a monastery (get 1 artifact and some fame, and -3 reputation), and of not burning it (get healing, units, and AA, as many times as you want/can during the game).

Getting 1 artifact is very good, but you won't be able to get healed/recruit/learn at the monastery any more for the rest of the game.

There are games with many monasteries on the map (my last one had 4!), and games where there is only one...

I feel that burning down a monastery is a good way of scoring some points in the endgame (+fame, +1 artifact (2 fame) and possibly the title of Greatest Loot).
 
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Pete Goch
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Faso74it wrote:
I think you should compare the costs/benefits of burning down a monastery (get 1 artifact and some fame, and -3 reputation), and of not burning it (get healing, units, and AA, as many times as you want/can during the game).

Getting 1 artifact is very good, but you won't be able to get healed/recruit/learn at the monastery any more for the rest of the game.


The trick is to get those things just before you burn it down because, let's face it, you're not likely to backtrack to that monastery to get them later. So I don't think the "as many times as you want" means a whole lot in terms of a monastery's value to a player. What you're losing is rep and, starting the next round, 1 of the AA in the unit offer.

/edit/

Faso74it wrote:

There are games with many monasteries on the map (my last one had 4!), and games where there is only one...


I suppose if there's a monastery located close to a city it might be worth it to leave it around. Especially if it was not to far off the path to the next city.
 
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David desJardins
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Faso74it wrote:
I think you should compare the costs/benefits of burning down a monastery (get 1 artifact and some fame, and -3 reputation), and of not burning it (get healing, units, and AA, as many times as you want/can during the game).


In general, backtracking in this game is pretty useless. You want to keep pressing forward in order to explore new sites (which is where the biggest payoffs are).
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Susan Brindle
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The Wizard's Tower grants a spell (nearly as good as an artifact), and you can use units and only take a -1 and you gain the power to shop there.

So yeah. Burning monks seems about par for the course. Better reward, significantly higher cost.
 
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Paul Glickman
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But you also need to move in to a wizard's tower, and can't move in, hire a unit/advanced action, then burn it.

Monasteries and Dungeons are both better options than Mage Towers in most cases, because of the move thing.
 
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Manary Corte
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Paul G wrote:
But you also need to move in to a wizard's tower, and can't move in, hire a unit/advanced action, then burn it.

Monasteries and Dungeons are both better options than Mage Towers in most cases, because of the move thing.


But the rules state that you cannot interact with a monastery and then burn it on the same turn.
 
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Paul Glickman
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Yeah, but you can move in and buy something, and then burn it down next turn. Wizard's towers are reversed.
 
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N R
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I spent the majority of the last reconnaissance mission I played torching monasteries. I got some great artifacts and was absolutely hated for it.

I wouldn't call it overpowered. While you can get some good artifacts, you lose out on reputation, healing, units, and advanced actions.
 
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I always thought it was a really good option too, but it does have drawbacks that are not so obvious at first. Burning down more than 1 will set you in the negative rep and its hard to recover from there.

Buying AA is less important to me but it's hit me hard before when I couldn't get some cheap healing after burning it down. Being forced to choose between resting with 3-4 wounds (werewolf) or moving around with 1-2 cards sucks.
 
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