Jump to content

Should pass tokens not be usable for initiative?


Recommended Posts

Just whimsical thinking, but would Malifaux be better off if pass tokens weren't usable for initiative?

Clearly there's a sound reason for pass tokens to exist and they play an important role in balancing out activations. It is absolutely devastating if the opponent gets to activate 4 times at the end of a turn and just beat on your models while you do nothing.

However, they have a second function - giving a significant advantage in initiative the next turn. Not only do they make it more likely that you win initiative, but they make it extremely difficult to cheat against you, especially in multiples (is someone really going to throw out a 13 knowing you might beat them with an 11?)

For many players, I notice a trend towards taking smaller crews specifically to capitalise on initiative advantages. There's nothing wrong with that (I myself have an elite focus with most crews I play). However, I notice that this is such a strong effect that even players that prefer larger crews have started taking smaller crews just to have a chance at contesting initiative. Certainly when it comes to summoning, I sometimes skip summoning entirely simply to avoid giving away a bonus to initiative.

On the one hand, this does generate interesting decisions (to summon or not to summon being one example). But on the other hand, elite crews already have quite a few benefits (stronger models, more cards/stones available per model, etc). It would be nice to see more crews fielding 10+ models. I also feel like some 5-6 stone models are 'okay' for their cost, but when you factor in the pass token consideration can fall into the worthless category.

What are people's thoughts?

  1. Do you agree with the premise (that Malifaux 3E on average favours smaller, elite crews, and this is partially due to the initiative bonus from pass tokens?)
  2. If it is a significant factor, do you think it's a problem/would it be different in an ideal world?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, m3e favours elite crews, but it's not the pass token's "fault".

First of all, m3e no longer has activation control, which was a strong counter to elite crews in m2e. When you can skip an activation with a pass-token, you don't need cheap trashy models and can fee comfortable with just 6 elite models on the table. 

The second reason is scoring system. If you want to win and score endgame VP - you have to keep your models alive till the end of turn 5. Elite model have higher survivability. Cheap suiciders that rush in can't score more than 1 VP per scheme, because they die too easy.

The next reason is that m3e schemes (both from the Rulebook and GG) don't need many actions/models to score. One of the most resourse hungry schemes - Spread Them Out - needs only 6 actions of 3 models during the whole game to score two points. Even the most elite crews can afford it (or just pick something less difficult to score).

Initiative bonus is just a bonus, not something to build a plan on.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

At the end of M2e the popular crews had activation control by having more models. The pass token is an answer to this. If your opponent is ending up with 2 or 3 pass tokens left at the end of the turn to win initiative then you probably have ended up with 2 or 3 activations in a row. One of the reasons I think they add to initiative is because it makes the double activation of a single figure without response (last activation 1 turn, first activation next turn) much less likely. Pass tokens let you decide which advantage you are going for, but they don't do both stopping you suffer multiple activations in a row and let you win initiative.

I know that I value winning initiative much lower than many people, so I don't mind that much if my opponent focuses on winning it by saving their pass tokens for that. I will then take advantage of the multiple activations in a row the opponent has allowed me that they are unable to respond to.

"Front loading" your turn to try and kill un activated enemy models is one way to play, and has certain advantages, but "back loading" the turn and saving your best activations so they can't be reacted to also has advantages. Lots of people start playing turn 1 "back loading" the turn, and then switch straight away to front loading for turn 2 onwards. That is a play style choice and not automatically the best thing to do.

Overall I think this issue is a meta one, and should your local group start learning to play where they hope to lose initiative and seek to control the back end of a turn, you would probably see it being much less of an issue. But it will change depending on strats and schemes. 

And finally, I think you know, but the cheating of the Initiative flip is done before the adding of the tokens, so they don't help you be able to cheat second, just to win. If you are  regularly using Pass tokens to win initiative, then you will be having to cheat first slightly more often than the other player, which is weakening your hand and giving them some control (or costing you good cards to not change the outcome).

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I always bring this up when these conversations start:  doing so destroys half of the reason for Qi and Gong.

Their edge comes from copious amounts of Pass Tokens in the later turns.  If you remove that, now the whole keyword is out of wack.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Jesy Blue said:

I always bring this up when these conversations start:  doing so destroys half of the reason for Qi and Gong.

Their edge comes from copious amounts of Pass Tokens in the later turns.  If you remove that, now the whole keyword is out of wack.

Well, that's pretty ironclad xD

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add on here, pass tokens arent even perfect at balancing out activations. I've played against summoners who use the tactic of activating the summoner last, summoning a bunch of cheap models, then getting 2-4 activations that you cant respond to. Sure, you also get 2-4 pass tokens, but they are worthless if you dont have any model's activations left to hold. Removing their ability to affect initiative (without replacing it with something else) would defeat the purpose of pass tokens as a check to summoners, and in turn strengthen some of the strongest masters in the game. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Mycellanious said:

Just to add on here, pass tokens arent even perfect at balancing out activations. I've played against summoners who use the tactic of activating the summoner last, summoning a bunch of cheap models, then getting 2-4 activations that you cant respond to. Sure, you also get 2-4 pass tokens, but they are worthless if you dont have any model's activations left to hold. Removing their ability to affect initiative (without replacing it with something else) would defeat the purpose of pass tokens as a check to summoners, and in turn strengthen some of the strongest masters in the game. 

Given that summoned models can't interact the turn they come down, and if you're summoning more than one model they're pretty weak, can you give an example of where this would be especially brutal?

It is definitely a good point, just wondering about details.

Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Given that summoned models can't interact the turn they come down, and if you're summoning more than one model they're pretty weak, can you give an example of where this would be especially brutal?

It is definitely a good point, just wondering about details.

Big hat!

Summon 3 Bayou Gremlins, now they all are near each other so they get +2 to their stats, 1 may not be slow, so you get 4 shots, stat 5, cheating off the top of the deck.

 

Oni!

Summon 2 Tengu, they then make other already existing models interact with their bonus action.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/5/2020 at 10:15 PM, Maniacal_cackle said:

Given that summoned models can't interact the turn they come down, and if you're summoning more than one model they're pretty weak, can you give an example of where this would be especially brutal?

It is definitely a good point, just wondering about details.

Dashel summoning hounds as well, but Big Hat is the worst offender

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I think if you did remove the additional initiative boost, pass tokens would need something else like cycling extra cards through your had or something.  IE I have 3 pass tokens, I draw my hand of 6, draw 3 more, then discard 3, then soulstone etc.....  And that I think is more powerful.

I think the initiative boost is the cleanest way of rewarding the lack of activation at the end of the turn, or allows you to activate later if you give up your early activations.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information