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Union - Season 2 Player Updates

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Playtesters have done further extensive playtesting and have highlighted some issues. It's possible we haven't seen all the damage Gutter can do etc. They are also taking advantage of the new card format to fix these issues. The new format alone makes me want the cards. Balancing is a bonus.

 

Of course everyone hates the nerf bat and cries foul. But when you've played with these models for a while you do start to see how some are 'above' the curve and pretty much anyone who can take Gutter takes Gutter - that tells you all you need to know. When you've seen Mist score in Turn 1, then top Turn 2 then end of Turn 2 on a Snap shot...you might start thinking he needs 'adjusting'. I play Union and don't want any changes, but I accept the game must appear balanced or people will be turned off. Hemlocke is too good. 6+ Def naturally is too powerful. She tanks too hard. I would still take her at 5+ but I would recognise she was now a liability rather than Wonder Woman.

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I don't hate the idea of the nerf bat and I know I only have so much experience to go on but take the Mist example you've given above. I've never seen anything like this happen with anyone I've played. Sure, I got a second activation goal once, but that was good luck on my part with Angel being in the right place and my opponent having the ball in the wrong place. He learned from this and I had to work for the rest of my goals. Getting a snaphot off with Mist is lucky, two successes on three dice. My mate's rolled five dice at the goal just needing one and missed, we now call it "pulling a Straw" (that's his name). I'm just saying that extremes like this happen but I don't know if it covers the whole experience.

 

Gutter is good but I don't take her all the time. The Butchers are good enough without her. Her "chain grab" is fine but it's only one die. I've spent turns with her just grabbing air, really letting the rest of my activations go to waste. Same with Salvo. We've all needed "that thing" to happen and if it does we say it's OP and if it doesn't than it's a waste of time. Obulous and Siren can make you pass the ball to their teams. That's an awesome thing to be able to do and sometimes it can seem insane but then you realise your team has strengths of their own and you try to compensate.

 

I know lots of players are coming up with the same things but could we just be having "new game issues". My first team was the Butchers and until recently they were unbeaten. Everyone said that they were simple and overpowered but over time they understood that their teams can do cool things too. I'm lucky because they're not simple, just focused. I know what I'm supposed to do with them and I do it in the best way I can. Using their auras and synergies, focusing on a player till it's taken out, keeping the ball away from the opponent so he can't score; these are the tools I use to make the Butchers shine. My next team was the Alchemists. If I win with them it's luck as much as judgement. I don't think they're worse, I just don't know what to do with them yet but when I do...boom.

 

I think we should wait for Season 2 to come along and if we still have the same problems with the same characters then fine, change them. I just worry we'll be changing things only to change them again when the next set of issues arise. I never seem to see Avarisse and Greede on the table but I think they're great. Will we see more as more people get to grips with them or am I just lucky? I'd hate to see them changed and then people figure them out. Or Gutter nerfed just as we collectively realise that she's not perfect anyway.

 

Sorry for the ramble. In no way having a go, just trying to make my point...in too many words. I do that...doing it now. :unsure:

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I'm curious, both because I have not seen it and I play Mist....

 

What makes Mist better than other strikers on other teams? Better than Flint or Friday or Angel? It seems to me that all 4 of those models have the same threat range, with Mist being the worse off due to not having Super Shot.

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@Nix Good point. Being an Alchemist player, I remember when I first read through the cards. Looked at Vitriol and thought "Wow, she's great...hang on a minute...Mist is better. Momentous tackle, where'd they go? Bah! Screw the Alchemists!", as I've played I can see that the little things make a big difference. V's kick of 4 make's her more reliable, Clone is just fantastic and knowing that Flask can drop smoke for free saves me an influence on occasion. I think it means some players need a little playing to help them make sense. All the strikers bring something different to their teams. We know that the Union have great single players with little synergy and Mist (Gutter, et al) is a perfect example of that.

 

(On the other hand, we all know that Flint is totally over-powered ;))

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I don't think anyone who has played with/against Hemlocke can claim she is balanced right now. I once had her carrying the ball tank a charge from Boar unscathed! That is not what she's supposed to be.

 

Gutter + Butchers = easy take outs. You can pull in a chump and murder them. Sure 1 dice...until you factor in the Momentum Mountain Butchers generate (take Shank, leap into someone, generate momentum) - then it's 2 dice. Of course this isn't instant win, but it's a powerful synergy. But the main issue is Chain Grab should not be multiple use. Every other movement ability like this is One Use. (Note on the same note, surely Gut & String needs the same errata - Heavy Burden and Blind are both One Use but G&S isn't?). But it's not even just that - she has so many special abilities she is bananas - healing all damage when she attacks (hits 3 times, heals 6, uses 1 momentum to heal 4 more) is good. Ignoring 1 armour is good. etc. I love Gutter.

 

I agree there is some early game analysis aspect, but some stuff you can see isn't quite right and the problem with Union is that since so many teams can take them, it destablises the game more.

 

Re Mist - He is Flint, but with a 2" melee zone (meaning he can avoid counter attacks that try to tackle him/KD him) and 5+ defence. The 2" means he can bounce easier than Flint. I don't think he's that much of a problem, but a merc striker Flint is a pretty big deal (and also somewhat diminishes the Masons).

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I think it would be pretty sad if they already need to make this many balance changes to the game. Until I hear something from an official source I am taking all of those comments with a big grain of salt.

 

For people saying to drop Hemlocke's kick, that is part of letting the Union play a ball running game. The Union doesn't need to be the Butchers with less synergy.

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Re: Mist vs Flint - as a player who's currenty playing both masons and union, I have to say that while they are similar they are by no means the same. Flint has close control, which is a big deal. Flint has super kick, bringing his kick dice up to 4 dice, also a big deal. Mist has a 2 inch reach and a lot of movement, but less kicking.

 

As an example of where I see these two very different, I would much rather have 1 momentum in hand and flint within 10 inches of the goal with super shot up (to make the pass/snap shot) than Mist. I find that Flint is far more reliable in being able to score twice in a turn than Mist is (going back to an earlier example of where Mist seems OP).

 

Yes, they are similar, but they do what they do in fairly different ways. When Mist is holding the ball it's not that tough to get it away from him. When Flint is holding the ball you can damn near garuntee your not taking it away. I just do not see how Mist being a good union striker takes anything away from any other team.

 

And to take this to another level, there are strikers on each team except Morticians who are amazing at what they do. AND they are all similar but slightly different. Just something to look at:

 

Solo Goal threats when holding the ball

  • Flint - 22 inches, 4 influence (sprint, 2x CP, shot), 4 dice.
  • Mist - 22 inches, 4 influence (sprint, 2x CP, shot), 3 dice.
  • Angel - 18 inches, 3 influence (sprint, CP, shot), 5 dice.
  • Velocity - 16 inches, 2 influence (sprint, shot), 4 dice.
  • Brisket - 18 inches, 3 influence (sprint, CP, shot), 4 dice.
  • Friday - 20 inches, 2 influence + 1 momentum (sprint, heroic, shot), 4 dice.
  • Vitriol - 19 inches, 3 influence (sprint, CP, shot), 4 dice.

 

All players in that list except for Vitriol have a 1 success momentus tackle in thier playbook. Vitriol has a 1 success tackle that does not generate momentum. Realizing that there is far more that works into the game such as team synergy and other players, in a vacuum Flint is still the best striker with Mist coming in a close second, but with the lowest number of dice to roll. Is the fact Mist can play for 3 teams other than the Union the reason people have issues with him? I find that a little silly as one of those teams is effectively missing a rateable striker of thier own.

 

On Gutter and Hemlock, I am still forming up opinions, although I do not think the problem is truly with them. I also agree it seems awfully early in the life of Guild Ball to be looking for changes to characters (at least to me).

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Re: Mist vs Flint - as a player who's currenty playing both masons and union, I have to say that while they are similar they are by no means the same. Flint has close control, which is a big deal. Flint has super kick, bringing his kick dice up to 4 dice, also a big deal. Mist has a 2 inch reach and a lot of movement, but less kicking.

 

As an example of where I see these two very different, I would much rather have 1 momentum in hand and flint within 10 inches of the goal with super shot up (to make the pass/snap shot) than Mist. I find that Flint is far more reliable in being able to score twice in a turn than Mist is (going back to an earlier example of where Mist seems OP).

 

Yes, they are similar, but they do what they do in fairly different ways. When Mist is holding the ball it's not that tough to get it away from him. When Flint is holding the ball you can damn near garuntee your not taking it away. I just do not see how Mist being a good union striker takes anything away from any other team.

 

And to take this to another level, there are strikers on each team except Morticians who are amazing at what they do. AND they are all similar but slightly different. Just something to look at:

 

Solo Goal threats when holding the ball

  • Flint - 22 inches, 4 influence (sprint, 2x CP, shot), 4 dice.
  • Mist - 22 inches, 4 influence (sprint, 2x CP, shot), 3 dice.
  • Angel - 18 inches, 3 influence (sprint, CP, shot), 5 dice.
  • Velocity - 16 inches, 2 influence (sprint, shot), 4 dice.
  • Brisket - 18 inches, 3 influence (sprint, CP, shot), 4 dice.
  • Friday - 20 inches, 2 influence + 1 momentum (sprint, heroic, shot), 4 dice.
  • Vitriol - 19 inches, 3 influence (sprint, CP, shot), 4 dice.

 

All players in that list except for Vitriol have a 1 success momentus tackle in thier playbook. Vitriol has a 1 success tackle that does not generate momentum. Realizing that there is far more that works into the game such as team synergy and other players, in a vacuum Flint is still the best striker with Mist coming in a close second, but with the lowest number of dice to roll. Is the fact Mist can play for 3 teams other than the Union the reason people have issues with him? I find that a little silly as one of those teams is effectively missing a rateable striker of thier own.

 

On Gutter and Hemlock, I am still forming up opinions, although I do not think the problem is truly with them. I also agree it seems awfully early in the life of Guild Ball to be looking for changes to characters (at least to me).

 

I have to agree with your last statement...there are a few options that are definitely 'strong' but it really is too early to tell if any of this is truly 'game breaking'. It is my suspicion, as I've expressed elsewhere, that people need to get more creative with the way that they handle threats. 

 

There are plenty of tools out there I just feel like many people aren't using them as effectively as they could be just yet.

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I've played two tournaments and numerous games and in every single one Hemlocke has often won the game just by being Def 6 and the oppoent being unable to roll a 6 to tackle the ball from her. Every single player I know who has played her has come to the same conclusion - she's better than most other players just because she can tank and your opponent needs to be lucky rather than skillful to take her out. She's not indestructible of course but she requires a disproportionate resource allocation to deal with and she can tackle the ball back quite easily even if you do hit her. And most of the time it's not an easy task to hit X to auto hit Hemlocke - that situation just doesn't happen as often as people think.

 

I've played with Union long enough to realise that in the main, many of our players are just slightly better than everyone else. I don't like nerfs, but the game will be better when they are adjusted. 

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I don't have a problem with Mist really, but I do feel like Hemlocke and Gutter are too good - Hemlocke because 6+ DEF is so hard to deal with and Gutter also feels like she makes it into a high number of lists, because she's flexible and reliable and has more healing available than any other player in the game by a huge margin...

I'd be happier to see some small balance changes with these players if it means they won't be in every list that can include them, and that there might be some incentive to run some of the other Union players...

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That's my point. Currently I would never not take Hemlocke - she is an auto-include. That's bad. I want her to be a choice not an auto-include. If Hemlocke, Gutter, Decimate, Mist are pulled back a bit, I might start choosing Minx, Snakeskin even Averisse & Greede (but not Fangtooth, never ever Fangtooth). It perversely makes the whole Union more fun by opening up more options than the obvious choices we have now.

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I think this is the main point. 

If every team that can take a union player, does, there is a balancing issue. 

The game is better for having players play their own guild rather than sub in 'better' union players every game. 

The changes are a positive, and hopefully it will mean that pure union players will use more of their available models, and guild teams will use more of their own. 

Variety is the spice of life, and some players were clearly stopping that.

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The changes are a positive, and hopefully it will mean that pure union players will use more of their available models, and guild teams will use more of their own. 

Variety is the spice of life, and some players were clearly stopping that.

Playing devil's advocate, do you think that the errata will help with this? Could you give me a some examples of where you see this coming into play?

 

I know that personally I have played all all the Guild Players, with the exception of Minx. Each player has specific strength's, and I only bring certain players to the field to fill certain roles. A&G and Snakeskin rarely find their way into my lists simply due to not being a great fit with my playstyle and having too specific a role to play. Fangtooth finds his way into my list before and after the errata when I need easy knockdown. I only rarely need an easy knockdown.

That leaves the core of the Union to make up my list:

  • Blackheart, Coin - always in the list
  • Rage - efficient damage dealer and one of my favorite models (asthetic wise)
  • Gutter - chain grab for reposition
  • Decimate - damage dealer in Blackhearts aura and momentum generator
  • Mist - Striker
  • Hemlocke - used when I need Blind. Primarily vs Butchers and Fish.

So, for me the list is not going to change at all for more variety until other players come in for me to use. I realize this is just me, and apparently I play very different from the UK scene. Then again, what additional variety is expected from the errata?

 

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I'm no expert, and certainly haven't played nearly enough for my knowledge to be extensive, but the amount of people I have seen say they can't see a place for fang tooth or A and G means that there is at least an imbalance away from them.

i can't say that I have ever seen anyone discuss union without having decimate gutter or hemlock, usually all three, and whilst that is not a problem at all, it's nice go into a game with at least a question in your mind as to who you might face.

as far as I'm aware (and I'm certainly not in the know enough for this to be a definite) the union has won the majority of the recent tournaments, and that in itself is an issue, it might be that all the very best players play union, or it might be that their players were a shade too good. Either way, this errata should bring other guilds into the winners mix. 

 

I'm no expert, and I'm certainly not looking to be taken as an authority, because I'm not, but if it does nothing but encourage players to look at other options then that's a good thing.

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I was thinking of Decimate and the loss of her 2" melee zone and wondered if she had an ability like Mallet if that would have been a better option. 2" melee when she is the active model and 1" at all other times. I can see her darting around with quick jabs giving her the extra reach on her activation. It still allows models to escape her 1" melee zone and gives you hard choices to make when engaging players with her. Do you get inside the 1" and risk a counter attack or do you stay outside it and stop engaging the player after your activation ends.

I have not tried Decimate with the new errata yet (she is not painted) and am sure she is fine as is. I noticed the lack of 2" melee zones in a recent game with my Alchemist was really hampering attempts to engage models with Unpredictable Movement and such. I had Snakeskin in my line up instead. It might not be an issue now with Compound giving us more reach but he is not a player you take against every team.

 

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