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Mei Feng loop...is it op?


dreads
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Monsternoggin and I have started a podcast. One of our segments is where we play forum list, or lists/models that other people think are good and give our perspective on it. So I'm looking for the best 50ss Mei Feng/Emissary loop list. Let me know what models/upgrades you use why you think it's good or bad, or if you think it's op. We will test it out, and talk about it on the podcast. Thanks, dreads

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Far from "OP", I consider it utterly terrible sportsmanship. I have no issue using Mei Feng and her emissary, but if you're referring to cycling your deck using rail walk for whatever reason, I simply don't consider it a legitimate tactic; it's an exploit, and it has no place in my games of Malifaux. Using it to begin an actual rail walk chain is fine, IMO, but doesn't really change Mei's tactics other than making long rail walks far easier to achieve.

/2cents

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Yeah, the infinite loop does one of two super douchey things that, were I a tournament organizer I would call out for being intention slow play.

So long as you have the black joker in your hand. You can continue to cast rail walk against the scrap he dropped. Which means either you can conceivably do the action over and over (and over and over) until you've set up your deck to have just the cards you want in it. The odds are so stupid, you'd never be able to get there, so it's stupid dumb.

The second thing you can technically do is do it over and over and over, and just keep flipping forever when would mean, so long as you have a one point lead you could run out the clock. That's such a crappy thing to do to a person, and such a departure from the nature of not just malifaux, but game play in general. I wouldn't do this to my friends. I wouldn't do this to a person in a tournament. I don't care about stakes- it's just silly to say, "Whelp. I got turf war in turn two, you didn't that'll put me at 1-0. I guess I'll just rail walk for an hour and a half." 

So... is it broken? Perhaps. Is it an exploit? Sure. Is it something that I believe anyone in our community would do? I really hope not....

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I've merged the identical Arcanist and 10-T threads. Mei Feng might be dual faction, but one thread for one topic is sufficient. :) [/MODHAT]

 

Personally I'd be surprised if anyone seriously tried the infinite rail loop trick in my local meta. Regardless of what you can/can't do with it, it's clearly an unintended exploit and I'd be very surprised if it wasn't errata'd in the next FAQ. 

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Thank you for your responses. It seems that the consensus is that it's a douchy move and shouldn't be allowed. Let's say for arguments sake it is allowed and not considered slow play. What if it's not errated(?) How hard do you think it would it be to stop it from going off? Is it any different than, say you were playing MTG and your deck doing an infinite combo for the win? I would like to hear from both sides of the argument. Those who agree with the ability, and those that dont. I would also like to hear about any list someone may have to try to optimize the the chances of the loop to happen. Thanks again, dreads

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The main difference between the Mei combo and a magic combo, is magic will have an end result that the player needs to complete.  If forced to play it out, the magic player needs to be able to do so without messing it up.  With the Mei combo, there is no way of knowing their end goal.  If it is to get certain cards left in the deck I would say it needs to be played out until it gets there, the big issue is it could take hours to get there, since the deck will reshuffle.  As an opponent, I would simply let them put the cards where they want them to save time.  

As an event organizer, I would ask the player their intention of the action.  If it is to simply waste time, I would tell them it is slow play and ask them to stop.  If they want to set something up, I would have them go through the deck once to prove there is not a black joker to hit, then allow them to set the cards they desire in the interest of keeping the game pace going.

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The obvious point of this is to allow you to not fail railwalks.  If someone is being ridiculous and trying to stack their deck, it's stalling the game.  I don't care if there is an 'end goal' in place.  You aren't playing the game at a reasonable pace and should be hit with a DQ for wasting your opponents' time, the TO's time, and for this discussion even being a thing.  

I get how someone could say this was 'clever use of a mechanic' but it isn't.  It's bad sportsmanship rolled up into abusing rules intentions on top of running out the clock.  You have no leg to stand on at all trying to pull this stupidity off. 

None.

Don't do it.  

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As an opponent, I would simply let them put the cards where they want them to save time. 

The problem with this is that it isn't really possible to do any meaningful deck organizing this way in a time it normally takes to play a Malifaux game. Trying to do anything more complicated than getting a deck with only one suit card left or getting a high enough tome for Toshiro's summon is going to take way too long. It's also quite difficult to benefit from that kind of organizing unless your opponent has finished activating his models, because he will likely be able to force a flip if he has models left.

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As an opponent, I would simply let them put the cards where they want them to save time. 

The problem with this is that it isn't really possible to do any meaningful deck organizing this way in a time it normally takes to play a Malifaux game. Trying to do anything more complicated than getting a deck with only one suit card left or getting a high enough tome for Toshiro's summon is going to take way too long. It's also quite difficult to benefit from that kind of organizing unless your opponent has finished activating his models, because he will likely be able to force a flip if he has models left.

Even getting a high tome (or similar) could take a long time, and remember that you are not actually allowed to look in your discard pile (page 24) so the Mei player would need to keep track of the flipped cards. I think the only somewhat reasonable use for this is to flip to BJ or force a reshuffle. I also think it will gone in the November FAQ, not because it's "OP" since it's not practical to do anything with it besides waste time, but because it's stupid and obviously not what was intended with the Talent.

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Even getting a high tome (or similar) could take a long time, and remember that you are not actually allowed to look in your discard pile (page 24) so the Mei player would need to keep track of the flipped cards.

I think most people can count to six. And sure, it could take a really long time, but it likely won't. Although, it would probably be quite annoying to wait even five minutes when an opponent does that.

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Hmmm.  I forgot about the prohibition against looking at the discard pile.  That does pretty much make it infeasible to perform the deck burning in a timely manner.

Because each step of the way, you're required to show the other player the card, ensure that it's visible while being moved to the discard pile, and then ensure that there's no peeking at the discard pile.  So a person can't just start flipping cards, fanning them to the side until you hit the black joker or the end of the deck, because that's incorrectly letting both players see the contents of the discard pile.  And you're not supposed to flip directly onto the discard pile, either.

So how fast can someone do the sequence

  • flip top card of the deck
  • declare trigger
  • move card to discard pile

and then repeat that twenty to fifty times to burn through a deck?

I mean if someone walks into a tournament, gets into the situation where they can use the Infinite Railroad, and then sets themselves up to actually do it in a timely manner, that's probably going to be pretty impressive to watch.  Anything else is someone setting themselves up to have a game ending conversation about the term "slow play" means.

 

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It means to stall a game. In a timed tournament that means that if the player initiating the loop can setup the victory points in his favour he can waste time until the game's time runs out. So it's kind of like a game of soccer when a team gets ahead and they just pass the ball around. Difference is the other team in that case can still intercept the ball so it's not a fan favourite but a legitimate tactic. In this case it means your opponent can do nothing while you are performing the Railwalk action. So I wouldn't say it's broken, just silly and a hilariously unsportsmanlike. I can't think of anyone really actually trying it if they have any sense of shame but probably due a FAQ/Errata to maybe say something like, "friendly Leaders which are not in base contact with this Scrap Marker target the Scrap Marker and with an Action gain +6 Ca for the duration of the Action."

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I can see legitimate reasons to do it, and legitimate ways to do it without being overly slow. 

So long as the black joker is accounted for (hand, or already flipped), if some key cards have already come out, you could use it to force a reshuffle - no need to go through the deck 1 by 1 (it's like one of those "roll the dice, pick up all the dice and roll them again" situations in Warhammer). If you do it for much more than that, I'd consider it poor play.

Neat trick, and almost guaranteed to be gone come next FAQ.

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If there is no chance if a black joker the way to rule it to speed up the game is to let your opponent take any cards out of the deck he wants,  put them in the discard pile,  then shuffle the cards he kept. 

 

Yes it works that way. 

The problem with that is that it would take longer than a human lifetime to do manually. 

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If there is no chance if a black joker the way to rule it to speed up the game is to let your opponent take any cards out of the deck he wants,  put them in the discard pile,  then shuffle the cards he kept. 

 

Yes it works that way. 

The problem with that is that it would take longer than a human lifetime to do manually. 

I dont think a human lifetime. Maybe a few decades. Definately the length of a tourney round. If the opponent accuses that the person is wasting time tell them the shuffle will continue until there are 32 cards in the discard and all less then 8. Before doing this, ensure the score is in your favor in case it takes the rest of the game. Thank the opponent for being an upright chap who does not allow abstract mathematical nonsense. 

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That depends on how much you want to "fix " the deck. Going by the statistics, we have yet to see 2 randomised decks in exactly the same order in the course of  history, I can easily believe the claims from this thread on time

http://themostexcellentandawesomeforumever-wyrd.com/topic/111358-mei-feng-and-effigy-and-the-infinite-railroad/?sortby=date

http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/671/when-you-randomly-shuffle-a-deck-of-cards-what-is-the-probability-that-it-is-a

 

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Before doing this, ensure the score is in your favor in case it takes the rest of the game. Thank the opponent for being an upright chap who does not allow abstract mathematical nonsense. 

Why bother? The tournament organiser is going to disqualify you.

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If there is no chance if a black joker the way to rule it to speed up the game is to let your opponent take any cards out of the deck he wants,  put them in the discard pile,  then shuffle the cards he kept. 

 

Yes it works that way. 

No, it doesn't.  

I mean, sure, it's theoretically possible.  You'd just get kicked out of the event for wasting time.  Try it a second time and you'd be blacklisted from the meta.

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Before doing this, ensure the score is in your favor in case it takes the rest of the game. Thank the opponent for being an upright chap who does not allow abstract mathematical nonsense. 

Why bother? The tournament organiser is going to disqualify you.

This. 

As an event organiser my position is very clear. Infinite looping is timewasting and will get you disqualified. If you don't like it, don't come to the event. Frankly if you think that's an acceptable thing to do to people who've paid their money to have fun, I'd rather you weren't there anyway... 

The fact that the Malifaux scene is willing to police itself, particularly with respect to a rules abuse like this, is in my view one of its standout features. Over here in the UK we're welcomed back to venues because any rules queries are dealt with quietly and responsibly between players. I've been told about a major UK tournament in 1.5 when Hamelin was acknowledged as being horrifically powerful, so nobody took him. Not one person in one game.

Don't be the herbert that tries to break this. Don't infinite loop your Railwalk. :P

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