Three new ARC decks ready for review.

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ngoeminne
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 15:34

Three new ARC decks ready for review.

Post by ngoeminne » Wed May 02, 2018 20:10

Hi folks,

The following decks are ready for review/playtest
- The Empire deck : Borther in Arms
- The House of Nobles deck : Toll of Time
- The Dark Legion deck : Annoyed

They should be complete rule wise, Santi's on the artwork for the Empires deck.

Enjoy playtesting,
Nico
Desttinghim
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 08:36
Location: Utah

Re: Three new ARC decks ready for review.

Post by Desttinghim » Wed May 09, 2018 23:00

I have a few things to say for initial review, and I'll come back later with playtested criticism. I'm going to start with the Brothers in Arms deck and move on to the other ones as time permits.

Right off the bat, I don't like the X for city defense points. Cities should have a set amount, adjusted to the power level. For example. if a city had a bunch of really useful tactics abilities, I would give it lower defense points so it is also an easier target for opponents. Using X, where X is decided at the beginning of the game, puts a burden on players to decide what is fair and removes a useful balancing tool.

Brothers in Arms
Bearer - The rules text for Bearer reads:
Whenever I deal damage to a player, you may put a soldier from your hand into a city you control. First Strike.
Since we removed VP, this text seems out of place. Should we change it to:
Whenever I deal damage to a city, you may put a soldier from your hand into a city you control. First Strike.
Conscript - based on past experience, the card is too vague/powerful. The number of soldiers that can be searched for needs to be specified. I would suggest 1 or 2, possibly 3 if we want to be generous. If there is no limit, then the player using Conscript will spend a ridiculous amount of time looking through their deck. This needs to be kept at a minimum.

Revenge - This card has 2 (!) undefined keywords and more than enough room to define them. This is what we have now:
Creatures you play this turn have blood vengeance. Salvage 5.
This is what I propose:
Creatures you play this turn have blood vengeance (they come into play with x +1/+0 counters, where x is equal to the damage dealt the previous turn by target opposing creature). Salvage 5 - You may pay 5 resources to return this card to your hand from the graveyard.
I have already changed the card, but you (nico) can change it back if you would like.

Seat of the Throne - I like the change to the mechanics of this card, but I don't like the phrasing. Perhaps something more like:
Target city gains 3 defense points. If that city is dealt more than 1 damage during a turn, reduce that damage to 1. Destroy all other cities you control.
Spearman - Changed the rules text to include definition of Battle Scream. Please tell me if I'm being overzealous.

EDIT: Played a round of Arcmage with myself, using Band of Brothers against Gaian Love for Life. Band of Brothers won, though Gaian Love for Life did pretty well. Ultimately what saved Band of Brothers was the cards Catapult and Trebuchet. Without those direct damage cards, Gaian Love for Life would have been able to completely wipe out Band of Brothers. Catapult was used to destroy two griffons (in consecutive turns, which was not planned), and Trebuchet got rid of Nightingale and the Elvish Ambush.

The game could have gone either way, depending on the experience and skill of the two players and how the cards were drawn. That's good.

A few things to note:
  • I was using my version of Farmland that produces 0/1 crop tokens that can be sacrificed for resources.
  • Gaian Love for Life's defense is good, offense is bad
  • Nourished Flower should probably have a cost e.g. "Whenever a Gaian card is played, you may pay 1 resource to place a +1/+1 on me."
ngoeminne
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 15:34

Re: Three new ARC decks ready for review.

Post by ngoeminne » Thu May 10, 2018 10:26

Hi Louis,

Thanks for the upfront review.
Desttinghim wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 23:00
Right off the bat, I don't like the X for city defense points. Cities should have a set amount, adjusted to the power level. For example. if a city had a bunch of really useful tactics abilities, I would give it lower defense points so it is also an easier target for opponents. Using X, where X is decided at the beginning of the game, puts a burden on players to decide what is fair and removes a useful balancing tool.
You might be right about the cities defense points. However we don't have to much experience in balancing them out just jet. As you suggested earlier, 6 def points is to little.... hm, maybe would indeed just start with 10 and do little variation on it. (let say in the range from 8 - 12)
Desttinghim wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 23:00
Bearer

Since we removed VP, this text seems out of place. Should we change it to:

Whenever I deal damage to a city, you may put a soldier from your hand into a city you control. First Strike.
Agreed, this one I missed when removing the VP. Beeing fixed right now....:-)
Desttinghim wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 23:00
Conscript - based on past experience, the card is too vague/powerful. The number of soldiers that can be searched for needs to be specified. I would suggest 1 or 2, possibly 3 if we want to be generous. If there is no limit, then the player using Conscript will spend a ridiculous amount of time looking through their deck. This needs to be kept at a minimum.
I'm in doubt, I roughly based this one of my mtg decks and there you need to think about your following draws, putting to much soldiers on top will make fetching your direct damage cards take a long time... The player will not spend to long of a time searching, since after some games he'll probably know exactly what soldiers to fetch :-)
Desttinghim wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 23:00
Revenge - This card has 2 (!) undefined keywords and more than enough room to define them.
I have already changed the card, but you (nico) can change it back if you would like.
As I said in the card-rule-style post, I'm not against explaining keywords, if there's room. But for me it's not a must at all.

About editing other peoples cards, that shouldn't be a problem if the cards in draft mode, if it's in release-candidate mode, we should take more care. Maybe as a courtesy one could notify the cards creator. Again we need some kind of cooperation/workflow, but nothing to formal.

So in this case, glad you improved the card :-)
Desttinghim wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 23:00
Seat of the Throne - I like the change to the mechanics of this card, but I don't like the phrasing. Perhaps something more like:

Target city gains 3 defense points. If that city is dealt more than 1 damage during a turn, reduce that damage to 1. Destroy all other cities you control.
I don't quite see the difference in mechanics only in the phrasing.
Desttinghim wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 23:00
Spearman - Changed the rules text to include definition of Battle Scream. Please tell me if I'm being overzealous.
Nope you're not, good work :-)
ngoeminne
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 15:34

Re: Three new ARC decks ready for review.

Post by ngoeminne » Thu May 10, 2018 10:33

Hi Louis,
Desttinghim wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 23:00
EDIT: Played a round of Arcmage with myself, using Band of Brothers against Gaian Love for Life. Band of Brothers won, though Gaian Love for Life did pretty well. Ultimately what saved Band of Brothers was the cards Catapult and Trebuchet. Without those direct damage cards, Gaian Love for Life would have been able to completely wipe out Band of Brothers. Catapult was used to destroy two griffons (in consecutive turns, which was not planned), and Trebuchet got rid of Nightingale and the Elvish Ambush.

The game could have gone either way, depending on the experience and skill of the two players and how the cards were drawn. That's good.
Nice playtest run. The fact that it was a close call is good. The direct damage card are in there for just that :-)
Desttinghim wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 23:00
A few things to note:
  • I was using my version of Farmland that produces 0/1 crop tokens that can be sacrificed for resources.
  • Gaian Love for Life's defense is good, offense is bad
  • Nourished Flower should probably have a cost e.g. "Whenever a Gaian card is played, you may pay 1 resource to place a +1/+1 on me."
1. I definitely going to change the farmland to produce crop tokens. Not sure if the should be 0/1. Or just tokens to sacrifice. It's in theme and makes a lot of sense.
2. Gaian Love for Life's is meant to be a defensive deck, being all in harmony with nature... so that you experience it that way is a plus
3. Maybe an additional cost is needed, not sure.

Thanks for the feedback!
Nico
Desttinghim
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 08:36
Location: Utah

Re: Three new ARC decks ready for review.

Post by Desttinghim » Thu May 10, 2018 20:34

Now for a review of Toll of Time.

Overall I'm really impressed with the changes that have been made since I last looked at this deck. The art looks good and the mechanics look good. We'll see if that survives playtesting :P

Toll of Time

Binding Contract - Fixed a typo.

Carpe Diem - Should we spell out the math? I like it, but again, it's good to be on the same page.

Diplomatic Pact - This card is confusing, because it is not clear what is being enchanted. We should probably put "Enchant Creature" or something somwhere. If we replace Enchantment with this, then we'll have to put it in the rules that "Enchant X" cards count as enchantments. That, or we do "Enchantment - Enchant Creature" as the subtype. This is another point to put on the creating cards page.

Esteemed Duelist - This is an excellent candidate for defining keywords.

Fair Trading Port - I really like this one. I would give it 10 defense points.

Merchant Ship - I really like this art. I would change the rules text so that it says "Travel" instead of "I'm not marked for moving." The other wording seems clunky, but I don't have a recommendation on what to change at the moment.

Recession - This seems like a good card. However, the first effect would seem to be more powerful than the second, since card drawing is a common mechanic, while resources can only be played at the beginning of the turn. We can keep this behavior, or we could change the cards to a positive, forcing the player to either draw 2 cards or play 2 resources. Both ways have their merits.

Maybe remove the drop cap here, because there is a line break immediately following the first line.

Residence of Administration - 10 defense points.

Royal Guard - This card needs to define its keyword.

Tomb of Nobles - 10 defense points? I'll have to playtest the deck a few times before I can really recommend city DP well. The wording seems a little clunky, but not sure how to change it.
ngoeminne
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 15:34

Re: Three new ARC decks ready for review.

Post by ngoeminne » Fri May 11, 2018 14:54

Desttinghim wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 20:34
Overall I'm really impressed with the changes that have been made since I last looked at this deck. The art looks good and the mechanics look good. We'll see if that survives playtesting
The deck is a combination of ideas by Clemens and me. It's the house of nobles, so a very hard thing to balance.
The artwork is mostly from BFW. That reminds me, we should put the artist info on The Uprising deck asap.

You'd be surprised how well it works :-)
Desttinghim wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 20:34
Binding Contract - Fixed a typo.
Good, there are bound to be a zillion of those, and the phrasing is also bad. I was hoping to get Pistos back to do some editorial work. He really knows how to phrase things. I'll leave it for the native English speakers :-)
Desttinghim wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 20:34
Carpe Diem - Should we spell out the math? I like it, but again, it's good to be on the same page.
Probably we should rephrase it to do additions. Having it cost 2 and have it spell out: "Mark any number of target creatures and pay 1 additional resource for each target beyond the first"
Desttinghim wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 20:34
Diplomatic Pact - This card is confusing, because it is not clear what is being enchanted. We should probably put "Enchant Creature" or something somwhere. If we replace Enchantment with this, then we'll have to put it in the rules that "Enchant X" cards count as enchantments. That, or we do "Enchantment - Enchant Creature" as the subtype. This is another point to put on the creating cards page.
It is confusing indeed as it has two targets (both sides of the pact). I'm not sure how to make it more clear.
I'd rather avoid enchantment subtypes or enchant x cards. I'd just spell it out in the card's text. "Enchant target creature/city..."
Desttinghim wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 20:34
Esteemed Duelist - This is an excellent candidate for defining keywords.
agreed
Desttinghim wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 20:34
Merchant Ship - I really like this art. I would change the rules text so that it says "Travel" instead of "I'm not marked for moving." The other wording seems clunky, but I don't have a recommendation on what to change at the moment.
Yep, Santi did a fine one there. "Travel" it is (card was made before we had that keyword, oh yes, we should add that to the abilities list as wel, together with the infiltrate keyword).
Desttinghim wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 20:34
Recession - This seems like a good card. However, the first effect would seem to be more powerful than the second, since card drawing is a common mechanic, while resources can only be played at the beginning of the turn. We can keep this behavior, or we could change the cards to a positive, forcing the player to either draw 2 cards or play 2 resources. Both ways have their merits.

Maybe remove the drop cap here, because there is a line break immediately following the first line.


Good points, it needs a complete rewrite.
Desttinghim wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 20:34
Royal Guard - This card needs to define its keyword.
Agreed.
Desttinghim wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 20:34
Tomb of Nobles - 10 defense points? I'll have to playtest the deck a few times before I can really recommend city DP well. The wording seems a little clunky, but not sure how to change it.
This card was a trial to have a different way for raising the city's level. The mechanics work well, my brother and I have done several playtests.

You haven't mentioned the "Endless Debate" card. The mechanics don't quite work. I'd rather have something else like.
I want the enchantment to cancel out an opponent creature, and one of your own. They should lose all their abilities, and can not defend nor attack. If the enchantment is destroyed or one of them dies the other one is freed up again. Any suggestions on how to phrase this?

Kind regards,
Nico
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