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Subject: Problems with Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy & River Rage rss

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Nick Floyd
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I have been promising to write a comprehensive article detailing all the reasons that a good portion of the BattleLore playing community think that DoW should issue an “official” fix to the Cleric Lore cards Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy and River Rage. Listed below are the problems that these cards cause in an otherwise very well rounded game.

1. The cards' two separate scaling mechanisms can cause them to be too powerful. Out of all the Lore cards, only these three have two mechanisms that change their power level so significantly. They scale with both the level of the player's Cleric Lore Master and with the particular battlefield's terrain density. This causes a problem in that when both scales are on the high end, these cards just become ridiculously powerful. Why do these cards have two scaling mechanisms when almost no other cards do? Did they need to be this overly powerful in these situations? DoW may have been acknowledging this issue with their suggested “house rule” by limiting the dice rolled to two for each unit regardless of Cleric level. With the official Lore decks as written the Cleric has 6 cards that scale with level, while the Wizard has 4 and the Rogue and Warrior have two each. The house rule suggested by DoW lowers this to 3/4/2/2 which brings it closer to balance between the Lore Masters, but most players feel that there should be more Lore cards for all characters that scale with level and not fewer. The proposed fix, although somewhat better, is still unofficial and still has very strong damage potential on maps with a high terrain density. It has been noted several times in various on line forums that these spells can still be quite powerful even without a Cleric (2 dice rolled per unit).

2. The low-probability, high impact card effects increase the luck factor drastically. This particular problem is the fundamental idea behind the card and why they are as powerful as they are. The game designers made these cards to be very situational, but when a good situation arises, these spells can often cause the game to swing dramatically. DoW has stated that this is the intent and indeed most of us agree that it can be a decent mechanic. But with these cards, especially Forest Frenzy and Hills Rumble, the situation comes up a too often and the damage they can deal to a player’s army can be game breaking. This causes several issues with the game but the one that is the most important to keep in mind is the luck factor. More than any other Lore cards these three are either not very good or too good. They can demolish an opponent that is using the terrain to his advantage or on a terrain heavy battlefield. On the other side, if a player draws a Hills Rumble on a battlefield with no elevated terrain or a River Rage on a field with no water, then it is a wasted draw. The cards are highly situational and therefore increase luck in the game. It is feast or minor hunger pangs with these cards.

3. The cards are out of balance with themselves. We’ve established that these cards increase the luck factor because they are situational. They are either good or bad, but when they are good they can be really good, and when they are bad, they are merely inconvenient. Drawing one of these cards when they are useless is not nearly as game breaking as a getting a Forest Frenzy off and rolling 20 to 40 attack dice against your opponent’s army. A wasted Lore card draw is unlikely to cost anyone a game of BattleLore. But losing 8 or more figures to one lucky card pull often is. Therefore these cards are not well balanced even within themselves.

4. The cards are out of balance with the other Lore cards. These cards cost 7 Lore to play “in character.” The other Lore cards that deal damage directly to units cost 8-10 Lore to play and have generally less upward damage potential. Granted that Fireball, and Creeping Doom are not situation dependant, but they can roll a maximum number of dice far below that of Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy and River Rage. Only Chain Lightning has similar damage potential, but it is dependant on two circumstances that are less likely than having units near terrain. It needs all targeted units to be in a line or cluster and to continue to roll a hit with every sequential target. It seldom finds more than 5 or 6 units in such an unbroken line and will often fail to roll a hit, ending the spell. This damage potential is little compared to the 10 or more units that the terrain Lore cards can hit in a given situation. It will be noted that these other direct damage Lore cards are more precise than the terrain Lore cards that deal their damage over a wide area and some may say that this helps balance these cards with each other. It must be taken into consideration that players will often cluster their troops around terrain in order to utilize its defensive properties and this common strategy.

5. The cards break thematically from the role of the Cleric character. The Cleric is a fantasy priest that gets it's origins from role playing games; most notably the Dungeons & Dragons game. Their magic comes from a divine source and is centered on healing, protection and destruction of opposed theologies (good vs. evil). Although there are spells that can cause damage to others, most of them are weak when compared to the spells of the wizard and sorcerer classes. The class in D&D that has spells revolving around the land and the natural world is the druid. The druid is also a divine spellcaster so thematically the Cleric in BattleLore is the closest fit for the spells Forest Frenzy, River Rage and Hills Rumble. In this the Cleric fits, but how it doesn't fit is that these spells, and in this case Chain Lighting joins them, are more powerful or on par with the spells of the Wizard Lore Master. The healer and holy man should not outshine the Wizard in his damage dealing potential. Not only do these individual cards show themselves to be more powerful than the Wizard's two direct damage Lore cards, but the Cleric also has two more direct damage spells than the wizard does (Cleric’s 4 to a Wizard’s 2). Also, to better illustrate that the Cleric is misthemed in BattlLore, I should point out that in D&D the Chain Lighting Spell is a high level wizard spell that the cleric does not have access to.

6. The cards cause terrain that should be used advantageously to become a major liability. Nearly all war games have some system to designate how the terrain affects a battle. It is an important part of strategy in both real life combat and games made to simulate combat. BattleLore is no exception. The game is designed so that units can take cover in a wooded terrain hex or on top of a hill to gain a defensive advantage. These locations are often used as a strategic defensive position and are very important to the intricacies of the game. The power of the terrain attack Lore cards ruins this important strategic element. Many players and DoW themselves have suggested avoiding placing units in or next to terrain as a counter strategy to these contested Cleric Lore cards. The presence or mere possibility of these cards being in the Lore deck causes many players to toss aside traditional war game tactics just out of fear of these overpowering cards. Avoiding terrain, may at times limit the destructive capabilities of these cards, but a player also takes a strategic disadvantage by not being able to implement terrain tactics to his benefit. No other Lore cards in BattleLore cause such a disruption to the standard play of the game. Not only does avoiding terrain break traditional tactics, but often you can not avoid terrain when you would want to. Certain scenarios are packed so tightly with terrain that a player would not be able to circumvent every forest and hill hex on the map and still expect to fight a battle. There is also nothing stopping a Cleric playing opponent to hold his own troops in or behind a series of terrain hexes and force the fight on his turf just to use these cards to full effect.

7. The game can become a cat and mouse between the Cleric and anti-Cleric war council strategies. These cards are often so powerful as to make many players favor the use of a 3rd level Cleric on their war councils in every game with a decent amount of terrain. A tactic often suggested to combat the Cleric and these powerful cards is to choose a war council that has a good chance to counter these cards and does not have a Cleric. By not taking a Cleric you decrease the chances of these cards finding their way into the Lore deck by diluting it with other cards. This tactic has been suggested by the designers and play-testers as well as many players on the forums. Most players suggest taking levels of Wizard and Rogue for the chance of getting Dispel Lore and Foiled as well as Spy. Some suggest taking all three of the non-Cleric members to further dilute the Lore deck. These are solid strategies to be sure, but the problem is that it causes a dichotomy where one player always takes the Cleric and the other plays anti-Cleric. Since players choose their war councils in secret the players might both end up with anti-Cleric councils or both have 3rd level Clerics. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as some players claim that taking a 3rd level Cleric and hoping that you get the killer card first is the best way to combat a Cleric council and the anti-Cleric councils are not necessarily weak against other non-Cleric councils. Most of the time strategies and counter strategies are healthy for a game, but in this instance that is not the case. The problem here lies in the fact that anti-Cleric councils exist and are frequently discussed when no one ever suggests an anti-Warrior council or and anti-Wizard council. Why? Because these other Lore masters do not have ridiculously powerful cards that need to be strongly combated with counter tactics as the Cleric does. This is a clear sign that these cards are a problem and often unbalance not only an individual game of BattleLore, but the entire metagame surrounding it.

8. All suggested countermeasures are either inane, reliant on luck, or force avoidance of otherwise desirable tactics. There is plenty of talk about how to avoid or lessen the effect of these cards on one's army both during set up and play. All of these countermeasures contain some sort of flaw or are far from guaranteed to work. The suggested tactic of avoiding units in or next to a terrain hex breaks the basic strategy of the game and puts the player at a defensive disadvantage when unable to use terrain strategically. Many times avoidance is impossible or severely limits movement on the board. Creating an anti-Cleric war council in order to thin out the Lore deck and hope to draw counters not only creates a poor metagame, but it is also unreliable. Sure, you have decreased the odds of the cards coming up, but dumb luck may allow your opponent to draw the card he needs and essentially end the game with a single Hills Rumble or Forest Frenzy regardless to your countermeasures. If you don't have one of those key counter cards your council may provide, your opponent's good luck could still wreck your army. There is no way to avoid these cards completely and they can be so powerful that when chance still doesn't go your way, you may as well give up when the land turns against you. Another tactic that has been suggested several times is to use your Replenish Lore action to take two cards and discard one. This tactic is meant to dig quickly through the Lore deck trying to get these terrain attack cards into your hand before your opponent acquires them. You could potentially do this, but there is nothing stopping your power hungry opponent from doing the same thing, which puts you back into the battle of luck you were in to begin with. You might get lucky and you might not. None of these tactics work reliably and lose you something in return. Although these kinds of tactics are not necessarily ineffective against a non-Cleric war council, there is little desire or suggestion for players to do so. It is only these three Cleric cards that demand this sort of attention to countermeasures and that is a clear issue.

9. The cards often suck the fun out of a game of BattleLore for both players. This is probably the worst part about these cards and their effect on the game. Most games of BattleLore are exciting and engaging throughout. Even if the dice are just not going your way there always seems to be something holding your attention to the game. This all changes when a devastating Forest Frenzy or Hills Rumble is played. A close game can go to a landslide victory in a single lucky draw. A player feels so helpless and pathetic to lose 14 figures to a single card when there was little he could do to stop it. Even if all suggested counter measures were taken, this could happen to anyone with the luck of the draw. It is not fun to lose a game to a single card like this. It is an unsatisfying game experience and it will leave most players with a hollow feeling in their stomach. Many players have felt this from the other side as well. Unassumingly a player plays a Hills Rumble for the first time knowing it is going to be a powerful play and it ends up being stronger than they expect. Both players are dumbfounded as the game suddenly swings so wide that it is nearly over. Maybe the players are more experienced and one of them draws a Forest Frenzy and looks to see that 11 of his opponent's units will be affected. Many players have reported feelings of guilt as they play the card, knowing that it will decide the game. It feels cheap and unfair, leaving cold feelings not toward either player, but toward the game of BattleLore for allowing such a thing to happen. “That sucks, man. Want to try it again?” “Not really.”

10. The cards have the potential to scare new players away from the game through a bad experience with them. Several players have told stories where they were teaching the game to new players and the game was killed by an untimely Forest Frenzy or Hills Rumble. In these instances, when the new player saw himself lose to an overpowered and destructive card and by no fault of his own, it created a sour opinion of the game. Not only do these gamers not become avid fans of BattleLore and buy their own copy, but their friends often have a hard time convincing them to play again. Some players are pensive about teaching the game to new players while using the Cleric Lore Master, because they don't want them to be turned away from the game. If this sort of game ending potential existed in many of the most popular multiplayer boardgames of today, many of them would not be played. Even with a low likelihood of occurrence (even much lower than the potential of HR and FF) they would be considered too luck based and random. Most players would choose not to play it after witnessing a near complete luck based win.

11. These cards are the only elements of BattleLore that are seeing a fervor of debate regarding a problem in the design. There is obviously some sort of problem with these cards. This is evident for many reasons, but the one that stands out the strongest is the debate about them and the number of players who have complained or shared a story about how these cards have ruined their enjoyment of an otherwise great game. Although it is true that many players do not consider these cards much of a problem, some of these players tell how they combat these cards by taking an anti-Cleric council, avoiding getting near the terrain and by digging through the Lore deck to grab these cards before your opponent gets them. There are several threads on the Days of Wonder forums, the Boardgamegeek.com forums and Battleloremaster.com forums about this issue and it is been hotly debated for months. Players have been calling for change and official rulings while others have stated that the cards are not a problem. Days of Wonder representatives, including Richard Borg, have made appearances to give advice and statements as to their take on the subject and finally loosely suggesting a house rule for those of us who think that these cards are too powerful. All this talk and discussion; all these arguments and house rules, have been caused by these three thematic and mechanically similar cards. No other part of BattleLore has been subjected to this type of scrutiny and debate. Problems with the rest of the game are minor or non-existent. It is these three cards that are a broken part of an otherwise near perfect game. They are broken and un-fun and the public has acknowledged the problem repeatedly. Even those forum posters who disagree have only justified a fix by increasing the visibility of the issue through continued debate.

12. Proposed house rule and countermeasures don't actually fix the problem. Taking an anti-Cleric war council only succeeds in making a “too powerful” but situational card, more dependent on luck. The cards are stronger than they should be and no matter what steps you take to avoid them, when they do appear, even if they appear less often, they can seriously ruin a game. Avoiding terrain does not fix the problem either. The problem is inherent in the necessity to take these steps to avoid or lessen the effects of the cards. Short of changing how the card works in the game, nothing in the game can fix the problem. In order to curb some of the heat they were taking on these cards DoW wisely decided to issue a “suggested house rule” although denying the need for one. They propose that people who are unhappy with the way the cards work should limit the cards to two dice against each target regardless of Cleric level. They may have chosen this house rule for several reasons. They may have chosen it to reduce the level dependent Lore cards to a more balanced level between the Lore Masters. They may have chosen it based on the argument that the spells have too much damage potential in the hands of a 3rd level Cleric. Or they may have chosen this house rule, because they could claim it as original because no one on the forums had posted that particular idea as a house rule proposal up to that time. Who knows? But does it fulfill the need we as a community were asking for? Many would say that the spells are still powerful in this “fixed” incarnation. It still targets the same number of units and only reduces the total amount of dice rolled against them. It has been noted (and eluded to by R.Borg) that even without a Cleric on your council; these cards can be quite strong. This fix only reduces these spells to this level of power. That might be good enough for some players, but what may not be good enough is its unofficial status. Most players highly dislike house rules. They want to play only by the official rules and some gamers are resistant to official errata from sources they have not read themselves. If someone where to run a BattleLore tournament and wish to institute this house rule, he would probably come up against resistance from the players because it is “not official” or “the that's not what the card says.” When teaching the game to new players, no one wants to say, “I’m playing these three cards with this house rule because they were too powerful.” It doesn't shine a very good light on the game. For these reasons many players want a more official fix to the problems with these cards. Whether DoW issues official errata or, more desirably, reprints the cards and makes them available in a future expansion or through the mail, either would do a lot to cool the fervor created by dissatisfaction with these cards.




And that is all I have to say.


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David Knepper
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Define "a good portion of the BattleLore community"; surely you don't mean the 'score' of folks on the DoW website! I know you don't include me.
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Robert G.
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If you (and others) have such a problem with these cards, why not simply house rule them? I don't think that Days of Wonder should have to issue a fix if they do not feel the cards are broken, and have no problem with them. There is nothing to stop you from fixing them yourself.
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Sam DiRocco
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This topic has been beaten to death over the last couple of weeks. Let's let it go. It appears that it is just a SMALL LOUD portion of the BL community that have a problem with these cards. Yes, I have lost battles due to these cards. I have also won battles due to these cards. Out of the 8 regular members of my gaming group, not a one has a problem with them.
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Universal Head
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I agree with the last 3 posts. If you'd don't like them, house rule them. Now let's all move on shall we?
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Alexander
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The Game has no problems there many way to lose and many ways to win
if you dont like to lose you have probs with anything
 
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Nick Floyd
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Whoa! I'm getting some flack over here.

Did you guys even read the article? All of the above posts were answered in the article in some way. But, here you go.

David, if you don't think that there is a problem with these cards, then I wasn't including you. I'm not including the others posted above either, unless they think there is a issue, but just don't want to champion it.

Flapjack and Universal Head, as my article stated (I think more than once) house rules do not sit well with some players. I play with a lot of different people and some will not play with rules that are unofficial. And when I play in a tournament I want these rules included.

Salvatore, exactly my point. This continues to be an issue with many players. Less now than before the suggested "house rule" by Dow, but there are still players who want this resolved fully. I don't see any problem with continued debate on this issue as it is the only thing standing out as a major flaw in this game. If you don't want to counter argue and would rather just say "let's drop it," well you can save your key strokes for something else.

Alexander, I don't like losing to a single play of one card when all I am doing is using the terrain to my advantage. I also don't like winning this way. Boring.

Players that still feel this is an issue, could you guys please chime in and give me hand here?




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Vasilis
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So, because YOU (and a few, yes a few, others) think that a lot of people have problems with HR/FF, ALL of the Battlelore community MUST accept an official rule change which DOW doesn't want to make. Just because you DEMAND it...

You have a problem with the house rule because it's not official. What if I tell you that I am going to have a problem if this house rule becomes official? You'll say that you are right and I am wrong?? The official "ruling" is the best thing that DOW could do about this subject without creating another round of discussions.

...and in case you haven't noticed, many people who had problems with these cards stopped posting after the "ruling" was announced. Only a few stubborn individuals remain...

Use the official ruling or your house rule, enjoy the game and let it go already...snore
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Geoff Speare
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I have not seen these cards in use...but I agree with the original poster that they seem unbalanced. In general, the Lore cards seem to be the biggest weakness in this game: the differing numbers of level-based cards for different classes and the widely varying level of effects add a lot of high-impact randomness.

I will probably house-rule them in some way...but house-ruling is always a sub-optimal solution, if only because it involves negotiation when playing with different groups (even people who agree it's a problem might have different solutions).

The good news is that the problem is (in theory) easily fixable. What I hope will happen is that DoW will at some point include a set of "updated" Lore cards in one of the expansions, applying the experience gained from the game's release. (Much like how the Mare Nostrum expansion included updated cards for certain Heroes that were unbalanced.) That would create a common variant; people who like the spells as is can use the original cards, those who feel there is a problem can use the new cards. Those who don't like the new cards can post here.

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Chuck Meeks
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Geoff,

I personally don't have a problem with the cards, but your suggestion is the best I have heard so far.

Chuck
 
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J Mathews
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Phloid wrote:
5. The cards break thematically from the role of the Cleric character. The Cleric is a fantasy priest that gets it's origins from role playing games; most notably the Dungeons & Dragons game. Their magic comes from a divine source and is centered on healing, protection and destruction of opposed theologies (good vs. evil). Although there are spells that can cause damage to others, most of them are weak when compared to the spells of the wizard and sorcerer classes. The class in D&D that has spells revolving around the land and the natural world is the druid. The druid is also a divine spellcaster so thematically the Cleric in BattleLore is the closest fit for the spells Forest Frenzy, River Rage and Hills Rumble. In this the Cleric fits, but how it doesn't fit is that these spells, and in this case Chain Lighting joins them, are more powerful or on par with the spells of the Wizard Lore Master. The healer and holy man should not outshine the Wizard in his damage dealing potential. Not only do these individual cards show themselves to be more powerful than the Wizard's two direct damage Lore cards, but the Cleric also has two more direct damage spells than the wizard does (Cleric’s 4 to a Wizard’s 2). Also, to better illustrate that the Cleric is misthemed in BattlLore, I should point out that in D&D the Chain Lighting Spell is a high level wizard spell that the cleric does not have access to.

I agree with most of what you say, but this point is by far the weakest. Who cares what cliches D&D introduced to the fanatasy genre. One of my favorite things about World of Warcraft: TBG is that fact that the Cleric can be built into a combat-oriented character, rather than be relegated to its typical role of following behind cleaning up after barbarian messes.

The fact that the Cleric has some (lots) of powerful combat spells in BL is, to me, a positive because it breaks out of the stereotypes and shows some attempt at originality. Sure in D&D world, Druid might be a better name for the class, but this isn't D&D world and is all the better for it. Just because D&D limits the cleric to healing and holy spells doesn't mean that a different game that uses the class differently has misthemed the class or done something wrong.
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Paul DeStefano
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Conversely, have you given any thought to the players who will be outraged if a change is made?

Since I really like the cards as is (it adds a scary timer mechanism, and you begin to work around making sure it isn't devastatingif it somes up), I would not play BattleLore with any new ruling for those cadrs (the house rule thing applies the other way, too - I wouldn't want to "house rule" it back to the way it was, as stepping outside of my gaming group would be a different game).

I am definitely pro Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy & River Rage as is for one very important reason - they're freakin FUN!
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Graham Smallwood
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Not much help in your defence, but it looks like both sides are right here. Even with all of the excellent factual points in your article (and remember, everyone else, "I don't agree with you so you are wrong" is not a valid argument), if it were changed then just as many people would complain the other way.

It depends on what the goal of the argument is. If the goal is to make the game "more fun", then any big argument about balance is itself working against the goal. Splitting the player base is a bad idea for a title in a niche hobby that has potential to break out to the public, as is making house rules that you have negotiate unless you only ever play with exactly one person.

A factual argument could be said to be making a case for "more correct", but once the actual designers point out that it is not a mistake, you have to let it go. I agree that house rules are a bad idea (8 and 12) and again, I would add that having to add an extra step to the setup phase to negotiate house rules for the game sucks as much fun out of the game as getting hit wiwth a 20 die Hills Rumble. Therefore, the best you can do is to realize your perception of the quality of the game needs to be corrected.

Edited for spelling, because I keep forgeting to upgrade Firefox at home.
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Nick Avtges
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Geosphere wrote:
I am definitely pro Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy & River Rage as is for one very important reason - they're freakin FUN!


Best point made in this entire argument.
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Geoff H
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Quote:
The cards cause terrain that should be used advantageously to become a major liability.


This is actually a good thing!! It causes you to think twice about occupying the advantageous terrain and balances the game. When deciding how to move your units, you have to consider the likelihood of being hit by a powerful spell and if the terrain advantage is worth that chance.

As a player, I like to have to make difficult decisions like this -- which is one of the great things about BattleLore and the other games in the series. These decisions are the ones that test your abilities.

Geoff
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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That was ... a ... lot of text.

It is good you are passionate about the issue.
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Nick Floyd
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Wow, you hit the whole circuit w/your screed. Don't forget to hit battleloremaster.com. . That'll help cover all your bases.

Well yeah. I wouldn't want to be wasting my time writing this thing. Gotta make sure it gets around.

I don't have an account at battleloremaster.com. or it would be there too. As for the Summer cons, I'm buying a booth right next to DoW. Want to stop by and help me hand out some fliers and bumper stickers?

Oh and thanks for adding some humor to your scorn this time.
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Todd Rewoldt
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Geosphere wrote:

Since I really like the cards as is (it adds a scary timer mechanism, and you begin to work around making sure it isn't devastatingif it somes up), I would not play BattleLore with any new ruling for those cadrs (the house rule thing applies the other way, too - I wouldn't want to "house rule" it back to the way it was, as stepping outside of my gaming group would be a different game).

I am definitely pro Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy & River Rage as is for one very important reason - they're freakin FUN!


Loathe to repost this, as it's not intended as heaping on here, but this is the exact point I tried to make awhile ago about why I so enjoy the cards as is. Thanks for posting that Geosphere.

What gheintze said, too; shaking the enemy from those trees they're hiding in, or tumbling the dwarves from the hills. River Rage is just mean however, as those poor units are already at the 2d penalty :lol: I very much enjoy the tinderbox feel of the skirmishes in the game, and for me, it's just enhanced by the cleric cards.

And, as long as I'm pouring it on: I also appreciate that this is one bad mf of an emissary of the most Holy - not your d&d'ers cleric
 
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David desJardins
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Phloid wrote:
I have been promising to write a comprehensive article detailing all the reasons that a good portion of the BattleLore playing community think that DoW should issue an “official” fix to the Cleric Lore cards Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy and River Rage.


Also a bunch of people who aren't playing BattleLore, and this is one of the primary reasons.

But there are lots of other good games out there, so it doesn't bother me to just choose a different one.
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Robert G.
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Phloid wrote:
Flapjack and Universal Head, as my article stated (I think more than once) house rules do not sit well with some players. I play with a lot of different people and some will not play with rules that are unofficial. And when I play in a tournament I want these rules included.


If a house rule does not fix the "problem", simply remove the card. Yes, this too could be considered a house rule. But if the people you play with will not accept such a fix, doesn't that simply prove that not everyone shares your opinion about these cards? Also, if you want to play without these cards in a tournament, simply discuss the issue with the tournament organizer.
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If a significant minority of active, online contributing players believe there is a problem with a product, then there is a controversy. House rules do nothing to solve original design oversights for the great majority of players who do not delve into the scope of house rules.

The faint air of controversy about design balance is a serious problem in serial game publishing because it can have a demonstrative deterrent on sales, and especially to new player recruitment. If a game is viewed as having out-of-the-box "balance" issues, then it will have market issues.

It's not that house rules are bad per se. Just that they imply the consumer should do the work of the designer, publisher or editor. A great many people cannot and will not "live with" that. House rules are a hack. It is probably impossible to achieve consensus on issues like this, but these are legitimate concerns in the list and if publishers do not address them head on and mitigate the problem, then the issue never dies and drags a game down in ratings and marketability.

CCGs showed just how corrosive this problem can be to a market, and how ruthless publishers have to be on quality control and consumer response. There is little margin for error.
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Peter Folke
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Excellent article. Even though there are weak points in your argumentation, I completely agree with nearl everything.

Your most important point (for me anyway) is this:

Before the battle:
Instead of encouraging players to try something new, players are forced to think about taking cleric 3 or what to do if opponent takes cleric 3.

During the battle:
Measures can be taken, but as you point out, these are in no way compatible with normal strategy.

End of the battle:
It totally sucks when an otherwise close game ends 3-4 turns early because of a card play.

After the game:
As you point out players might get scared away after a frustrating loss. (I have fought all the game to take that hills position from you, and when I finally got there you just play one freakin' card to wipe out my entire army..)

I know you have all this covered, but this thread is getting swamped by people who say "I don't agree so shut up" (as a previous poster mentioned).
 
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Miguel de la Casa
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Let's see.. we have two camps here. One makes a exhaustive and detailed explanation about their point. The other side just yells: "YOU'RE WRONG!". Ummm... These discussion reminds me about the arguments on Doom's unbalance with varying number of players. It seems nobody has a right to dislike anything about certain games, no matter whether you have solid arguments or not.

Very nice explanation, Phloid. Thanks a lot.

(BTW, I think I like the semi-official variant for these cards)
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Mark Crane
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Phloid wrote:
I have been promising to write a comprehensive article detailing all the reasons that a good portion of the BattleLore playing community think that DoW should issue an “official” fix to the Cleric Lore cards Hills Rumble, Forest Frenzy and River Rage.


Also a bunch of people who aren't playing BattleLore, and this is one of the primary reasons.

But there are lots of other good games out there, so it doesn't bother me to just choose a different one.


Are people really not playing Battlelore because of this concern? I find that almost impossible to believe. Please list their names below.
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Dan Dolan
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These cards create a problem for a player.

The whole purpose of the game is to present a player with a problem to solve.

The question is how can you beat someone who uses the cleric HR/FF/RR and what strategy would you employ?

It all about magic and combat so bad things can happen fast. You have to adapt or you'll lose. I'd say learn to deal with it or take up washing clothes for a hobby.

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