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Are we actually underpowered?

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1 minute ago, daniello_s said:

Agreed with FFM although you can hit the target with Burning and once it gets final wound from Burning it won't give enemy any VPs.

Scheme which requires killing model near scheme marker - really that hard to pull for Sonia? You can use Deliver Orders to setup scheme marker which must be at least 4'' away from enemy (as far as I remember) and then blast this model into the sky.

As for others - you can always choose Claim Jump and kill anything which would try to stop you scoring it (Sonia can do it easily from safe distance as you know it well). So this is one scheme. Second scheme you can choose from 2 non-suited - I'm sure you will found something nice there which you can achieve.

Can see her suffering much in GG2017.

From practice I can tell you getting the final damage from Burning is really hard. Especially that the enemy model might just tap it out. I played her a lot vs FFM. She`s bad at it. Usually you give up 3 points but make it really hard to score the other 7.

Dig their Graves is hard because someone has to put that marker, they have to not take it down and then you have to kill them with Sonnia. 

 

I`m not saying she`s unplayable but show of force and Hunting Party were way easier and she didn`t give up points from FFM. Its not tragic but most of the time Nellie will do a better job in GG17.

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48 minutes ago, trikk said:

No matter what you do some things will always be better and nothers subpar. This applies to board games, miniature games and even video games where rebalancing is easiest.

 

Its the hard truth but its the truth.

This is a limitation put there by yourself.

There are several dimensions you can go into without A being better as B, Malifaux is the best example of this which after battles and schemes could even use the currently largely unused option to re-arange top X cards of your Fate deck. I hope this level will also be eventually seen by designers.  

Malifaux has several unused mediums to their exposal. The Fate deck addaption is just one of them. 

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Sure, Nellie will be an excellent master, and overall I think she IS a better master than Sonnia.

However Sonnia doesn't care. In the paraphrased words of Duncan Bilz ages ago - "Fine, enjoy your 3 VP from Frame for Murder. When you have two models left on the table on turn 3 I'll start earning my way towards 10 VP and you can't stop me."

Claim jump is always available, meaning at MINIMUM I'd say a Sonnia crew is guarenteed 5 VP - at least 3 from Strat and 2 from Claim jump.

Anyway my point is that Sonnia is still "fine." Like I said before, alongside a now better McCabe, a super strong Nellie, and still good Perdita and Hoffman (just avoid Viks!) Guild is in a very good place for Wave 4 & GG2017.

_________

As far as JDAntoine, you will never ever achieve a fully balanced game with all viable options. Never. Look even at League of Legends, which has been around for nearly 8 years with constant bi-weekly updates. In League there is CLEARLY more powerful champions and more powerful combinations than others, and a significant portion of the roster never gets used (or gets used like, ONCE in each tournament as a tech choice). There's always some underpowered champion, theres always a subset of champions which are considered the currently most powerful.

Granted, the balance has been better in recent time, but yet again, this is in a game with constant biweekly updates forced on all players involuntarily for over 7 years. This sort of update is impossible in a tabletop game.

Not to mention that the more you explore  and expand design space, the more chance you have to break something. It isn't as easy as "let's add more deck manipulation!" There's a lot of consequences that can arise from such a change.

Not to mention, updates are quite costly for a tabletop game, where a unit or model will run a player 30-50 dollars. In a game like League if your favorite champion gets Cuddled you're a little upset but life goes on and you pick up a new one. If my collection becomes too weak, I've basically just threw 150 dollars or more and hours upon hours of painting down the drain.

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17 minutes ago, Whut said:

However Sonnia doesn't care. In the paraphrased words of Duncan Bilz ages ago - "Fine, enjoy your 3 VP from Frame for Murder. When you have two models left on the table on turn 3 I'll start earning my way towards 10 VP and you can't stop me."

I like this quote. Brings the essence of the Burning Lady.

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1 hour ago, Whut said:

As far as JDAntoine, you will never ever achieve a fully balanced game with all viable options. Never. 

Challenge accepted ;)

Balance is irrelevant, a good spread of imbalance quantity is. Creating tons of viable options is most certainly posssible.

The problems start once you stick every good rule you have on one model, named Fransisco or Austringer. Spread those great abilities in faction and you create viability.

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28 minutes ago, JDAntoine said:

Challenge accepted ;)

Balance is irrelevant, a good spread of imbalance quantity is. Creating tons of viable options is most certainly posssible.

The problems start once you stick every good rule you have on one model, named Fransisco or Austringer. Spread those great abilities in faction and you create viability.

Good luck with the challenge, even chess isn't fully balanced.

 

You already have tons of viable options, just some are much more situational than others. And then you have other, unviable options. This exists, again, in every game. Take Hearthstone or MTG - for every good card in the game that sees competitive play there are several which are total trash and several more which are only situationally good. You don't HAVE to take them in Standard play, and thus no one does.

You may say "well those bad cards exist for formats like Arena or Draft" to which I say bad models still exist for thematic story-based play which plenty of people enjoy, even if I'd never be caught dead playing an intentionally sub-optimal crew for fluff reasons.

But I digress.

As long as you have options, some options will be simply more useful than others for high% of scheme pools. But even so, you still have a variety. Francisco is NOT 100% auto-take, Executioner and Phiona Gage both give him a run for his money. Two watchers also gives him a run for his money if you want scheming. A Reporter + Brutal Effigy also gives him a run for his money if you want an alternate way of protecting your master while also gaining a little bit of control and utility and an extra activation rather than more combat power.

In a McCabe crew it could be argued that a Witchling Thrall is outright better than Francisco thanks to synergies.

What more do you want?

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I remember reading an article about mtg design where they created some cards for theme players,  some for combo builders,  some for power gamers,  some for special snowflakes.   (paraphrasing) Is it hard to imagine a similar dynamic in malifaux? 

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27 minutes ago, 4thstringer said:

I remember reading an article about mtg design where they created some cards for theme players,  some for combo builders,  some for power gamers,  some for special snowflakes.   (paraphrasing) Is it hard to imagine a similar dynamic in malifaux? 

Awnser: No, it isnt.

As above, imbalance is the key. Decide what is allowed to be the best at one thing, apply this pro with a con. 

Balance is impossible to archive and this is also not my aim. Adding the same quantity for different pros and cons is :)

 

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8 minutes ago, JDAntoine said:

Awnser: No, it isnt.

As above, imbalance is the key. Decide what is allowed to be the best at one thing, apply this pro with a con. 

Balance is impossible to archive and this is also not my aim. Adding the same quantity for different pros and cons is :)

 

At this point I'd prefer to put this to rest. You think this is a problem, I dont.

I'm much more concerned with balance at the highest level of play amongst the best choices between factions rather than achieving perfect internal balance. 

The topic of "Are we underpowered [compared with the other factions]" is what I would like to discuss 

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23 minutes ago, Whut said:

At this point I'd prefer to put this to rest. You think this is a problem, I dont.

I'm much more concerned with balance at the highest level of play amongst the best choices between factions rather than achieving perfect internal balance. 

The topic of "Are we underpowered [compared with the other factions]" is what I would like to discuss 

Problem?

Have you at all read what I said?

We are not underpowered, but work with limited choices.

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I suggest you create your own thread to explore the following, and I'd be happy to discuss there (is there a way to tag me?):

Would you want to list out every option and decide how many are "viable" and compare? How much fewer would I take for us to be considered to have "limited choices?" Does, for example, Hoffman having access to half of the Arcanist faction factor in? 

Why do you feel like we have limited options? Do you feel this way because of a lack of different play STYLES, or a lack of viable models? There's a big difference.

 

But please, this is a tangent on the topic of this thread.

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1 hour ago, Whut said:

I'm much more concerned with balance at the highest level of play amongst the best choices between factions rather than achieving perfect internal balance. 

The topic of "Are we underpowered [compared with the other factions]" is what I would like to discuss 

This is also the question I'm most interested in, and given all the recent shakeups, the final answer has to be "wait and see". However, to approach a preliminary answer we could look at the available data since the first major shakeup (Wave 4 release), and then hypothesize the effect of the more recent shakeups (Errata, GG2017).

I took a quick a glance at the UK and USA Malifaux ranking websites, which compile tournament results from those countries (thanks so much to everyone involved in these efforts - they are excellent resources). I counted up the number of podium finishes for each faction in all large tournaments (arbitrarily defined as 20+ players) since August 2017, the official release date of Wave 4. In the UK, Guild had the least podium finishes but not by a very large margin (Guild=3, Ressers=8, Arcanist=9, Neverborn=15, Outcast=5, Gremlin=6, TT=7), and exactly the same story emerged from the USA data (Guild=2, Ressers=5, Arcanist=5, Neverborn=4, Outcast=3, Gremlin=5, TT=3). Taken at face value, this would suggest Guild have been the least competitive faction at the top level since the Wave 4 release, but only just.

Now to consider the effect of more recent shakeups. I cannot speak for the UK scene, but I know that the two USA Guild podium finishes were players (D.Bilz and N.Blackmer) using exclusively Sonnia with papabox and two austringers. So, while Guild did receive some nice bonuses in the Errata, cuddling the most competitive build (in USA at least) is obviously a blow to the faction in terms of top-level play. As for GG2017, I tend to agree with views above that losing our "easy" points from Hunting Party and Show of Force will be the biggest changes from the Guild perspective (but I could easily be wrong). So again at face value, one might expect the number of podium finishes to decline even further relative to other factions following these changes.

That might all sound doom and gloom, but there are of course some major caveats to the above arguments, which might shine a rosier light on the situation. First, it takes time for everyone to obtain and master the new models, so the data above likely don't reflect the full power bump that Nellie and Wave 4 represent. Second, in the very first post on this thread, I proposed the alternative hypothesis that Guild were always perfectly competitive, but the rather simplistic playstyle (focus on direct damage) did not appeal to the top players. In this case, the addition of Nellie and Newcius with their subtler playstyles might well attract more top players to the Guild, which will bump the perceived power of the faction without directly changing anything.

After all that, my conclusion is still the same: Who knows for now, let's keep on eye on the tournament results and see. 

 

 

 

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I would question the accuracy of the statistics, for some of the same reasons you've stated - the new models are new and unmastered, and many of the models have not been released. There's quite a learning grace period in Malifaux (most people I imagine only play a couple times per week or less) as opposed to an online game where top players adapt to new options within a few days of continuous play. And many options don't get released immediately or take time to paint.

Nellie is not an easy master, but I do claim she is an absurdly powerful one within the theoretical world of two perfect players facing off.

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Something else to consider: Guild is probably the faction most affected by terrain.  Given the lack of terrain composition guidelines, I can certainly see that causing issues for the faction.  I do think there are areas the faction is in need of work, but one of the things I notice is that Guild models often have ranged attacks that feel overvalued.  I wonder if one of the issues is that they are valued without a realistic number of :-fate/:-fate included or if there is just more cover on the table than intended.

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Errata are posted for the health of the game, which isn't just focused on the podiums at tournaments (though that is one of the things that might be part of the consideration).

 

I bring this up because of this post:

12 hours ago, Starrius said:

as a new player (less than 5 months) I originally started with guild as they  came in the starter set.  Having played them for 2 months and looking at other factions and models the reason why I as a newer player left was because I felt that the faction/models were very samey.

 

I know that all factions have models that are always taken in all builds, and it felt that guild seemed to have more of these models than other factions. 

"Comments like if you take less than 2 austringers you are not doing it right" was something I had actually said to me once.

Francisco is another model, I once comments that as a new player I didn't want to use him because he felt like a crutch with people saying that the whole faction was based off of him being a viable if not important model that all masters are based off of.

 

As a new player I actually found this disheartening and I think this could be one of the reasons why I ended up changing faction.

 

While other factions do have models you will always take I feel like they aren't the only options and not taking them doesn't hamper you as much.

 

If this is how I feel as a newer player I can only imagine how the experienced players who have been playing guild a long time can feel.

 

I don't think guild is an underpowered faction but I feel it's design has stagnated and people have got so used to only using certain models that having to consider other feels like a reduction in power.


The health of the game (and the phrase Negative Play Experience) doesn't just refer to turn unstoppable two tabling, it also refers to general experience and new player experience. If new players aren't excited by the options, they will lose interest. For some people there is nothing exciting about piloting a list that someone else used as a fixed list in an open format tournament to get a podium spot; that's not their hobby and it doesn't let them feel invested in their experience.

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22 minutes ago, Whut said:

I would question the accuracy of the statistics, for some of the same reasons you've stated - the new models are new and unmastered, and many of the models have not been released. There's quite a learning grace period in Malifaux (most people I imagine only play a couple times per week or less) as opposed to an online game where top players adapt to new options within a few days of continuous play. And many options don't get released immediately or take time to paint.

Of course. But this is an ever-changing world of new models, rules changes, new schemes, top players switching factions etc etc, all of which affect the tournament results with differing degree of lag-time. There will never be a time when the results reach some steady-state that perfectly reflects the current state of the game, so all we will ever have to work with is imperfect data. Better to try to make some sense of imperfect data (while acknowledging the caveats) than to ignore it. In this case, the imperfect data suggest that pre-errata Guild were either (slightly) underpowered, or were not being played to their maximum potential at the top level. But it can't tell us which one is true, and that will be the interesting question moving forward.

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I would also like to point out that this is a business. The rules have to be written. The models have to be done on time. The book has to be printed. Cards also. Stuff has to be packed. Nobody will have time for eternal updates. Its also easy to complain about Wave 1 when we have wave 4. This game is written by humans and game designers get smarter and evolve.

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12 hours ago, JDAntoine said:

Papa Loco's effect is largely exclusive to the Guild, other than Jack Daw

And Zoraida, people always ignore poor Zoraida!

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Pre Ripples of Fate, I always thought we were the weakest faction. Now I think we have caught up.Yes, Austringers being Cuddled sucks but we have new minions that are actually useful. The death of the Papabox also sucks for Sonnia but with Ca9 and :+fate flips against lots of models she doesn't REALLY need it. If you truly need a :+fate to damage then focus like everyone else (except Dita). Overall, I think we are still waaay better off than we were.

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22 hours ago, JDAntoine said:

Death Marshal
First we have to start on how you somehow missed the Errata on the DM, he did get changed and is on the list allready. Something that might seem as insignificant as Void is per definition a larger change as Guild players currently give credit for.

Other than that (and I'll try to keep it short) this is what indirectly happend to the DM:
(NR) Tara became better and with her Death Marshals became better
(+) Lucius became better and with him Death Marshals became better
(-) Papa Loco's effect became worse and with it Death Marshals became worse (Papa Loco's effect is largely exclusive to the Guild, other than Jack Daw)
(-) Francisco's effect became worse and with it Death Marshals became worse (Frank's effect is exclusive to the Guild)
Netto result, NR, +, - and -, ergo the Death Marshal became worse for the Guild. 

Would you sell me a 100-dollar note if I pay you two (2) 5-dollar notes? You will double your amount of notes! You'll be rich!

:P 

But seriously, that's some dodgy analysis to say the least! You could just as well list all the Lucius changes that affected abilities that could target DMs or whatever. And I think that Franc being "unboxable" was actually a boost for the DMs since if you were boxing Franc you were doing it wrong! :D 

Also, may I just go on a record and note how extremely weird it looks to me that it is being presented as a "fact" that DMs are underpowered. In my eyes they are extremely solid Minions and I have one in almost every Guild list. Boxing up enemies is extremely powerful and the mere threat of it can be huge.

Finally, apropos of nothing, why take McMourning when you can take McCabe? From a competitive point of view, that is. Because I really don't see it but McM was still listed among the cream of the faction.

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I agree about the analysis being dodgy.

I think the win McMourning has over McCabe is that he has an option to not give FFM points. 

I don't think anyone said he's better than McCabe. I do however think that he isn't a bad option in general.

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1 hour ago, Math Mathonwy said:

But seriously, that's some dodgy analysis to say the least! You could just as well list all the Lucius changes that affected abilities that could target DMs or whatever. And I think that Franc being "unboxable" was actually a boost for the DMs since if you were boxing Franc you were doing it wrong! :D 

Also, may I just go on a record and note how extremely weird it looks to me that it is being presented as a "fact" that DMs are underpowered. In my eyes they are extremely solid Minions and I have one in almost every Guild list. Boxing up enemies is extremely powerful and the mere threat of it can be huge.

Finally, apropos of nothing, why take McMourning when you can take McCabe? From a competitive point of view, that is. Because I really don't see it but McM was still listed among the cream of the faction.

Your opinion really. I've seen some very dodgy ranking from you in the past, which put Perdita on the top, I love her but she isn't there.
What we gained in Lucius we equally lost in Frank, Austringer and Loco combinations. Boxing models at the key moments is not doing it wrong ;) 

Speaking of facts, we're now 6+ months into USA Malifaux rankings. If Guild is so extremely solid, why isn't it showing up anywhere where rankings are applied?

example.jpg 

In addition if you would ask me if the competative choice pool of Arcanists, Neverborn, Ressurectionists and Outcasts are deeper my awnser most certainly would remain yes.
The Guild again can be competative, the choices to do this with are limited or not exclusive to the Guild.

There are many examples in the Guild that force you the question 'why play X if you could also always thake Y' this in itself is the limited competative choice I am refering to.
It's also not just McMourning versus McCabe, in many cases for a general high competative approach you pick Sonnia and supplement her likely with Perdita and something of your own preferance if it's possible. 

One of the reasons as to why we arn't trilled about a lot of our 'support' Masters comes from the fact that most of our Minions arn't worth their cost.
The latter cannot be said the same for Arcanists, Neverborn, Ressurectionists, Outcasts or Ten Thunders. 

2017 could become a better year but USA is currently not proving UK how to play Guild ;) (as was suggested on page 1)

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Why are you focusing on the errata without looking at Wave 4? 

Yes. I think the standard Sonnia build lost more or the errata than won.

But considering GG17 I think we're still up on Lucius. Wave 4 brought Thralls which are probably one of the best minions in game. We have witchlings, reporters, watchers, thralls, austringers, dms, wardens, effigy, guardians and Lucius has terracota and changelings.

Hoffman has Steam Arachnids also

 

I think thats a pretty neat list of useful minions.

 

Abd I think in the henchman department we are on par with a lot of factions

 

I think in most factions there is a limited pool of all around useful models.

 

Yes. Probably some of the models in each faction should use a buff. But unless they have NPE rules or seem massively bad I don't think the hassle with the errata is worth it

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@trikk, simple, Guild is not the only faction that recieved boosts in Wave 4. What we see the errata touch upon is Wave 1 and Wave 2 Guild models (a lot), by large because a lot of Wave 1 and Wave 2 Guild models have become less relevant in the competative years. I cannot act as if Wave 4 was amazing for Guild and not amazing for Arcanists, Neverborn, etc.

The fact that Lucius requires Neverborn Minions, Hoffman requires Arcanists Minions and Nellie (likely) requiring (a lot) of Outcasts models only reinforces the same statement I've made before, Guild is very limited in it's 'competatively good choices' so limited that the better Masters look for other faction Minions.

I cannot say that my competative builds do not always start with Francisco, I also can't say we have any Henchmen that will truly replace him (Wave 4 included). Phiona is great but what exactly about the others...

 

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