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GrumpyGrandpa

Concerns regarding Step E in the Encounter-section

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Hello all – I hope this isn’t a repeat of an already on-going thread. If so, I’ll move my post there. 


My local gaming area and I have, for a while now, had some issues with Step E in the Encounters-part of the new M3E setup. This step is where you pick your faction and leader and announce it before you hire a crew.


We’ve found that the “Once both players have selected their Leader, they reveal the name of their Leader, though not its title, simultaneously.”-part of the step will literally cut certain masters from competitive play, simply due to the hard-counters that are available in certain factions.


Now, the counter argument that future “titles / versions” of different masters will help solve this issue is fine and good, but very far into the future. I also believe they are fixing an issue that did not need to exist. From where we stand, M3E needs as perfect a start as possible to keep up with other competitors.


We’ve tried to circumvent this issue by skipping the “leader”-part, but personally don’t enjoy forgoing a part of the core rules.


Are we alone in this experience, or do others feel the same? What are the benefits of this, and do they outweigh the cost?

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I feel that the very spirit of m3e is to counter the announced opposing leader as much as possible. Otherwise some masters would just be too strong. And as everyone can do this, it seems fair to me.

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I haven't yet seen a master that is "hard countered" to the point of uselessness by a faction. (at least in my opinion)

I do think that masters should have been largely balanced assuming you will face crews that have been optimised to face that master so if your play group decided to bypass skipping the leader part, you may find that some masters might seem too powerful (Ones that have relatively easy obvious counters, such as anti armour, or condition removal).

 

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I agree with the OP that announcing a master ahead of time means certain masters just flat out won’t be viable for competitive play because their counterplay is too easy.

However, let’s not paint over the facts with the nostalgia brush that the same exact problem existed in previous editions of the game as well. It might not have been as pronounced but,  it even in 1 and 2e certain masters were never picked because there was always an element of gambling in selecting them because of an exploitable weakness in their game plan.

Competitive masters were often competitive, specifically because they didn’t have matchup dependent weaknesses that could be exploited. After he came out chances were at the higher tables at a competitive event if your opponent declared Arcanists you were 90+% likely to face Sandeep. A rule to reveal the leader in advance was almost as good as in force for Arcanists and it made no difference. And in this case will make little to no difference here. And it won’t be solved by alternative titles on masters. 

How do I know that? Because alternative masters is essentially just like introducing any model or upgrade. One of those options is GOING to be superior, and that option is the only one that will signify.

In my opinion revealing masters in advance doesn’t change who is competitive, it only solidly reenforces those who are.

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While this may be an issue at launch, as soon as we get alt-master cards this should theoretically go away.  If we have normal control blaster Raspy and she later gets a heavily armored ice spear Raspy card and you don't have to say which one you're bringing when you announce Raspy then it is suddenly harder to counter her.

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2 minutes ago, retnab said:

While this may be an issue at launch, as soon as we get alt-master cards this should theoretically go away.  If we have normal control blaster Raspy and she later gets a heavily armored ice spear Raspy card and you don't have to say which one you're bringing when you announce Raspy then it is suddenly harder to counter her.

I would dispute that. In a few isolated instances that may be the case, but that was part of the exact same thinking behind limited upgrades, and really, upgrades in general, and in actual practice only the best ever saw play. And it’s going to be the same here. One version of the master is going to be superior and so the fact you might technically be able to choose the weaker master is irrelevant. 

Another example is the fact that even though 2e was supposed to be balanced master to master people kept looking at it as a faction to faction game. You could look at it as if each faction was a master under the new proposed system and that each master in the faction was a different version. How many in each faction were chosen?

 I would argue it doesn’t matter what system you employ, only the best masters are going to see competitive play, period. And no amount of manipulating who declares what and when, or alternate titled masters is going to change that. If your master is competitive it doesn’t matter if your opponent knows what you are playing in advance. If it matters your master probably won’t be competitive, period.

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2 hours ago, Fetid Strumpet said:

I agree with the OP that announcing a master ahead of time means certain masters just flat out won’t be viable for competitive play because their counterplay is too easy.

Who are some specific masters who will never be taken competitively because of list tailoring?

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I'm pretty neutral to the "declare master" step. The issue comes mostly from the idea of hard counters, which IMHO shouldn't exist.

I think masters that can be hard countered will be low tier regardless of which way we go because why risk getting counterpicked when you can pick another master and not be counterpicked.

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Again who does everyone think are easy hard counters? And to be clear I think a possible hard counter in one or two factions is fine. Maybe don't play a burying crew into outcasts for example. But I have yet to hear anyone cite a master who is globally hard countered. If there is one, the solution is fix that master not change the whole encounter setup.

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33 minutes ago, Kolath said:

Again who does everyone think are easy hard counters? And to be clear I think a possible hard counter in one or two factions is fine. Maybe don't play a burying crew into outcasts for example. But I have yet to hear anyone cite a master who is globally hard countered. If there is one, the solution is fix that master not change the whole encounter setup.

Hoff into Levi is one I can come up with.

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6 hours ago, Kolath said:

Who are some specific masters who will never be taken competitively because of list tailoring?

On top of my head? Ulix vs Guild, due to the Brutal Emissary. I think BE is a good model with Crowd Control, which counters a lot of what Ulix (and his crew) does. He has Armor 1, Terrifying 11 (vs Pigs and their terrible WP).

I'm not saying I was 100% hard-countered, but I felt it was enough to make me avoid the crew in future, more competitive scenarios. Note that I do not think BE should be changed.

3 hours ago, Kolath said:

Again who does everyone think are easy hard counters? And to be clear I think a possible hard counter in one or two factions is fine. Maybe don't play a burying crew into outcasts for example. But I have yet to hear anyone cite a master who is globally hard countered. If there is one, the solution is fix that master not change the whole encounter setup.

I'm not a giant fan of hard counters, which is why I worry about the change. You're fine with hard counters in a faction vs faction scenarios - Not sure if I agree.

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8 hours ago, retnab said:

While this may be an issue at launch, as soon as we get alt-master cards this should theoretically go away.  If we have normal control blaster Raspy and she later gets a heavily armored ice spear Raspy card and you don't have to say which one you're bringing when you announce Raspy then it is suddenly harder to counter her.

Is alt-master cards Confirmed??

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12 minutes ago, Gesuma said:

Is alt-master cards Confirmed??

Not 100%, just one of the options that is being considered

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35 minutes ago, GrumpyGrandpa said:

I'm not a giant fan of hard counters, which is why I worry about the change. You're fine with hard counters in a faction vs faction scenarios - Not sure if I agree.

But in your Ulix example... You said yourself it wasn't even a hard counter, just that Guild had some tools to do crowd control.

To me, teching against a master's common crew (and the counter-tech of going a different direction) is part of the fun and the skill of list-building. To me to reach the level of a "hard" counter is a much higher bar than "there are some models that mitigate what my crew does." For example outcasts have a lot of access to mass removal of destructible terrain. Is Euripedes "hard countered" by Mad Dog and Drachen Trooper? No way! Sure it is harder to do ice pillars but you can still function and win.

I think knowing masters ahead of time is absolutely vital to balance and to avoiding gotcha matchups where one player get lucky by catching the other completely off guard.

All that said if there are truly masters who get tons of hate vs. many factions then let's list them and fix them.

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Why I understand what the OP is saying is it real or anecdotal? Outside of a playgroup where there is knowledge of who has what crews in each Faction can you really hard counter with another Master? 

I'm using Hoffman as the example as it was mentioned previously. In a game of Guild vs. Outcast, there's no reason for me to guess that Hoffman (unless I know my opponent and use outside knowledge) will be selected, prompting a counter pick of Leveticus. Outside of Leve's irreducible attack and Unmaking is he really hard counter? I don't think so, as there is no irreducible or armor ignoring attacks outside of what's previously mentioned; 1 attack and a defensive trigger.

The other possibility is to build a super crew regardless of which Master I selected to counter yours. Using the same example do i build a crew with 3x Ronin, Mad Dog, Arik, etc. How much tax am I paying to build a crew with all anti-armour and how much of a handicap have I given myself?

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12 hours ago, SuperFly TNT said:

Why I understand what the OP is saying is it real or anecdotal? Outside of a playgroup where there is knowledge of who has what crews in each Faction can you really hard counter with another Master?

It is based on the personal experience of several players, but not "hard fact". Thus the final remark: "Are we alone in this experience, or do others feel the same?"

13 hours ago, Kolath said:

But in your Ulix example... You said yourself it wasn't even a hard counter, just that Guild had some tools to do crowd control.

And that tool, even if it isn't a hard counter, will be enough for me to never pick Ulix vs Guild in a competitive situation. If he did not know my master before we build our crew, I would still have the possibility. Previously, we would make a judgement call regarding the strategy and schemes from eyes of the opponent, and build our crew with this in mind.

*EDIT* Prehaps "Hard Counter" isn't the correct expression to use. We worry about certain master (themes) becoming too cancelled out due to the reveal. I'll ask the others what examples they might have - Maybe that'll help.

12 hours ago, SuperFly TNT said:

The other possibility is to build a super crew regardless of which Master I selected to counter yours. Using the same example do i build a crew with 3x Ronin, Mad Dog, Arik, etc. How much tax am I paying to build a crew with all anti-armour and how much of a handicap have I given myself?

I'm not saying you should spend 100% of your SS on countering the enemy, to remove the threat.

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On 3/12/2019 at 11:07 AM, GrumpyGrandpa said:

enough for me to never pick Ulix vs Guild in a competitive situation.

Really I'm fine with some masters having 1-2 "forbidden" factions. I would have a problem if that master would be hard countered by an high number of factions.

Imo, if each faction have at least 5-6 masters viable against any other faction, and each master have no more than 1-2 factions against whom I would never use it, the things are fine.

It's because if a master isn't competitive against not more than 1-2 factions, but it remains competitive vs the othes 4-5, it will be granted enough playtime onto the tables.

 

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100% agree. So really it comes down to are there any masters who are not viable against more than 2 factions and let's look at them. So far I haven't heard of any? But I also have not personally played against any Rezzers or Guild in the beta (my regular opponents are all Neverborn and Arcanists).

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I think my issue with the entire process for this is that as much as it may say simultaneously, there is advantage to say your master second. Purely to either avoid counter picks. For example if it was applied to m2e match ups (not played enough games to know the poor ones) if you played all the out cast masters and your opponent announced neverborn dreamer, would you consider changing at the last second to outcasts Tara? 

 

This is my major issues with comparative play of the games and I hope a lot of henchmen and TOs if not doing fixed master encourage writing masters down prior to revealing. Otherwise we may see players not saying things in order to not get counter picked

 

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Are you saying that if people cheat they can get an unfair advantage?

Typically in a tour a tournament setting you would put the card out or otherwise signal in a way that you can't last second change.

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23 hours ago, dannydb said:

my issue with the entire process for this is that as much as it may say simultaneously, there is advantage to say your master second

Well, obviously it's a simultaneaus process here. You usually should put apart the card/miniature of the master you choosed (or write it on a paper) and then both the opponents reveal their choice.

In casual games you can play it differently: I often ask to my opponent if he wants to play against a particular crew/master. But in competitive games no one should choose after the opponent revealed his choice...

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