Jump to content
riffbw

A&G Changes

Recommended Posts

Putting this here because he's a Union model.

I've been hearing rumors of potential changes to A&G. They see too much play and it's counter to the design of GB. The activation advantage also is way too powerful.

So the fix I've discussed with friends and believe is what may be coming down is that the two models will activate simultaneously during the turn. This obviously kills the activation advantage, but allows players to keep Greede within the defensive bubble all the time if desired. Now activating two at once opens up lots of new avenues of attack that otherwise wouldn't be available.

PS. Simultaneous activation could also be the rookie solution to an awkward 7th player. Rookie and mentor activate together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is pretty much what I assume will be happening in the future anyway.

I know I've suggested this, and I probably got the idea from someone else. I think a lot of us want this change.

We'll see though! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another I've seen suggested is Greede just not producing an Influence. To have them be everything they are and *also* a two inf player makes them not a choice if you crave activation advantage, as long as Avarisse works well. This would make it a decision, and even one turn to turn as you decide if the activation is worth it on its own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LeadDiceandBeers said:

I'm not convinced. The activation advantage is a huge part of who they are. Feel it's more likely they'll get another change/down side rather than just being one activation.

 

Not sure they really need changing much though.

I think that it's a huge part of who they are, because the rule itself is very powerful. 

Greede would still be an extra body that blocks the goal, and randomly can do sweet things: from as simple as Ganging up/crowding out, to getting the final hit to take down an opponent. Or in a world where all dreams come true, score a goal!

Avarisse is basically a tank who can KD, put Singled out on, and both of them generate a net of 2 INF for the rest of the team. Linked activations would still let them do all this.

But adding an extra activation, while not a Negative Player Experience, is widely regarded as being essential. So much so, that it is expected in competitive play that you have A+G, even if you have no intention of using them, just to make sure no one has that advantage over you. And making them available to work for ALL guild's makes it so no one has an unfair advantage, but what it contributes to, is everyone possibly running them.

The TLDR: This rule does take away from the game. It's not cheap. It doesn't feel dirty to use them. And extra activations is not OP in itself.

But what it DOES do, is that it waters down the game. It makes it a 5v5 + Avaraisse and Greed for both teams, game. It takes the unique, character-filled game, and essentially puts in a big splash of monotone. And it adds an un-necessary game-within-a-game scenario that doesn't really add to the fun in any meaningful way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, the_aY said:

So much so, that it is expected in competitive play that you have A+G, even if you have no intention of using them, just to make sure no one has that advantage over you.

This is true for teams that have an important alpha strategy or for whose compositions Avarisse actually fits well. For some teams they don't fit, and the expectation/"if you don't have A&G I know I will beat you" (paraphrased) mentality seems to be a mostly American phenomenon, at least for now. No doubt they are excellent with Obulus and Fillet among quite a few others. They never quite fit in with Ballista for me. Mad fun with Honour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DrillbossD said:

This is true for teams that have an important alpha strategy or for whose compositions Avarisse actually fits well. For some teams they don't fit, and the expectation/"if you don't have A&G I know I will beat you" (paraphrased) mentality seems to be a mostly American phenomenon, at least for now. No doubt they are excellent with Obulus and Fillet among quite a few others. They never quite fit in with Ballista for me. Mad fun with Honour.

I'm not even convinced that it's a matter of "if you don't take A+G, I'll beat you." It's not drastic. But there is an advantage to having the extra activation. But it's an easy thing that can snowball. Because there are still a lot more A+G's around than I am comfortable with right now. And I don't imagine it will get better as this game grows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, the_aY said:

I'm not even convinced that it's a matter of "if you don't take A+G, I'll beat you." It's not drastic. But there is an advantage to having the extra activation. But it's an easy thing that can snowball. Because there are still a lot more A+G's around than I am comfortable with right now. And I don't imagine it will get better as this game grows.

Fair, and I was paraphrasing specific midwestern American players so didn't mean to imply you were stating something that drastic. Still, I like the idea of keeping the strengths of the characters while nerfing other things they incidentally bring. Many players get some consideration at the table by simple virtue of bringing 2 inf. I think that if AG didn't, this would be a concrete drawback that could force their reconsideration. In an Honour composition, or in team with Rage, you'd be looking at something like 10-11 Inf to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DrillbossD said:

In an Honour composition, or in team with Rage, you'd be looking at something like 10-11 Inf to start.

And that's with Honour's signature play costing an effective 3 Inf basically to add another activation: Superior Strategy doesn't even generate anything that contributes to VP directly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DrillbossD said:

Fair, and I was paraphrasing specific midwestern American players so didn't mean to imply you were stating something that drastic. Still, I like the idea of keeping the strengths of the characters while nerfing other things they incidentally bring. Many players get some consideration at the table by simple virtue of bringing 2 inf. I think that if AG didn't, this would be a concrete drawback that could force their reconsideration. In an Honour composition, or in team with Rage, you'd be looking at something like 10-11 Inf to start.

That could be fair. In my original post, I had mentioned a bunch of good things they still do. If people feel that an extra activation is a core part of who they are supposed to be (which I'm not 100% convinced), then I think some real drawbacks need to be had. Because effectively, right now, it's like taking two decent guys (not bad, but not overly good either), for the price of one, which incidentally also gives a huge game-changing ability (the extra activation).

If INF was the main motivator to keep this ability, I'd think they have to generate 0 influence, and still have to give something up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm loving all this feedback. This is the first time I've personally heard much about them bringing two Inf. That's one reason why I assumed the activation advantage was their reason for being played all the time.

A key reason, as a newer player, that activation seems like the primary reason to take them is the emphasis placed on not allowing opponents to react. Going first is huge, but sending in a glass cannon last is just as important. Sure an extra Inf is always nice, but preserving high priority targets seems more important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, the_aY said:

The TLDR: This rule does take away from the game. It's not cheap. It doesn't feel dirty to use them. And extra activations is not OP in itself.

But what it DOES do, is that it waters down the game. It makes it a 5v5 + Avaraisse and Greed for both teams, game. It takes the unique, character-filled game, and essentially puts in a big splash of monotone. And it adds an un-necessary game-within-a-game scenario that doesn't really add to the fun in any meaningful way.

the_aY pretty much summarizes my thoughts here.  Seeing A&G everywhere when I was at GenCon watching some games really bothered me, because GB is so flavorful and there's so much fun playing each team for their flavor/style, and right now to be competitive (even if it's just in the US, since I don't see myself flying to UK to play tournaments :P ) , one must bring A&G, really dampens the fun of the game.  I would love to see the "necessity" aspect of bringing A&G reduced, whether it's a choice of 1) losing INF, 2) linked activation, or 3) physically require the 2 models to be within X" of each other (to increase the risk of Greede dying for you to get that extra activation).

4 hours ago, Pangur Ban said:

And that's with Honour's signature play costing an effective 3 Inf basically to add another activation: Superior Strategy doesn't even generate anything that contributes to VP directly.

Exactly, that's why I really want A&G modified to be a little less efficient than it is right now.

26 minutes ago, riffbw said:

I'm loving all this feedback. This is the first time I've personally heard much about them bringing two Inf. That's one reason why I assumed the activation advantage was their reason for being played all the time.

A key reason, as a newer player, that activation seems like the primary reason to take them is the emphasis placed on not allowing opponents to react. Going first is huge, but sending in a glass cannon last is just as important. Sure an extra Inf is always nice, but preserving high priority targets seems more important.

Having played Seenah on the Hunters team and trying to get by with 10 INF, I think trading 2 INF (A&G generating 0) for an extra activation seems to be the most fair in my mind.  Even if Seenah had 1 INF, he would be a pretty easy selection on the Hunter's starter team.  the 0 INF is what makes it a tough decision, because now you have the activation advantage, but you pretty much lose 2 attacks/actions from someone else to get it.  (think Superior strategy spending net 3 INF to do the same thing, which is much less effective/efficient).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I'm aware, no single player generates 0 Inf.  Rookies may generate 0, but that's likely to be because they aren't full players.  So taking A&G down to 0 doesn't appear to fit the mold of the game.  Turning Greede into a 0 Inf would fit and making the pair essentially a 1/7.  Nerfing the pair to 0 Inf generation seems overly drastic and a way to preserve the activation advantage which I still claim is over powered.

I'm also a fan of the possibilities of simultaneous activations.  Avarisse can KD and Greede can take advantage of it without the opponent reacting.  That makes the model synergy that much more apparent.  Greede also never has to be outside the +1 Def bubble outside of pushes/pulls. And for those crazy enough to kick with both.  You could pass one to the other and back for 2 MP on that turn.  Not sure if you can pass G > A > Mist and snapshot off the 2 MP gained from the two passes, but if so that's the possibility of a first activation snapshot off an 11"+ pass (4 + A'varisse's base + 6 > 11").

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, riffbw said:

As far as I'm aware, no single player generates 0 Inf. 

As mentioned above, Seenah on the Hunters is 0/2, but she (he?) does have Furious to somewhat make up for it. Either could work and if this solution is on their radar I'm sure they've tested both as options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Initiative/activation systems are incredibly sensitive, and if there's any way to manipulate them it has a high risk of becoming game-breaking.  One of the things I think GB does really well is keeping that system stable.  The core momentum mechanic is a great way of turning the always-important first activation issue into something that the players can compete for with other mechanics.  For last activation, they keep it very stable by having exactly equal team sizes and allowing models to come back on right after they're taken out.

They have a few other mechanics that play with activation order.  Offhand I can think of Linked, Superior Strategy, and A&G.  Linked seems to not be problematic, and I'm guessing it's because it never helps you get either the first or the last activation.  SS is quite powerful, but it was balanced into the Masons from the start and is one of the things that makes them unique.

A&G's activation benefit is also quite powerful, and SteamForged were careful about it -- they made A&G available to everyone so that it couldn't become unbalancing.  And it's not unbalancing, but I do think it makes the game less interesting.  It doesn't force the game into every team being 5 + A&G, but it gives it an uncomfortably strong push in that direction.

Personally, I think that the activation advantage is exactly what needs to be fixed about A&G.  IMO, leaving it in place while weakening them in other ways makes the game more fragile and gimmicky.  I'd also argue that when they're working well, activation tricks are inherently somewhat of a NPE.  The whole point is to make your opponent powerless to respond to your actions, which is never fun on the receiving end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have been many tournaments won without A&G. I think people saying "you must bring A&G to be competitive" are really blowing it out of proportion. I do believe A&G need tweeking and if they remove the extra activation they bring then that's fine by me, however I really don't think people who say this have a solid grip on reality. It just isn't true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Dracilic said:

There have been many tournaments won without A&G. I think people saying "you must bring A&G to be competitive" are really blowing it out of proportion. I do believe A&G need tweeking and if they remove the extra activation they bring then that's fine by me, however I really don't think people who say this have a solid grip on reality. It just isn't true.

Agreed, that the whole you NEED A&G is blown out of proportion. Absolutely.

But, they are also shown a disproportionate amount of the time in events too. Anytime a model is seen as almost ubiquitous, that is generally not a good sign. It's even worse when it's a model that any player can take.

It wouldn't be a bad thing if they were altered a bit to reduce their obvious presence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, the_aY said:

Agreed, that the whole you NEED A&G is blown out of proportion. Absolutely.

But, they are also shown a disproportionate amount of the time in events too. Anytime a model is seen as almost ubiquitous, that is generally not a good sign. It's even worse when it's a model that any player can take.

This is gonna happen lots. Didn't realize it was just an American thing (it seems anyways and I'm American) but anytime something is seen as the "best option" competitevly, people will jump on that wagon. And often times it isn't necessarily true. I expect that any time a team does well or has multiple showings at a tournament, it will drastically increase in popularity. A&G is pretty ubiquitous right now and I'm fine with him getting changed. It just irks me how people act like he is needed at all to be competive and it isn't at all true and their are several team comps that don't need him or want him at all.

Edit: I also disagree that a player/model seeing a lot of play time is bad or means it needs a nerf. If that were the case you would need errata constantly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Dracilic said:

Edit: I also disagree that a player/model seeing a lot of play time is bad or means it needs a nerf. If that were the case you would need errata constantly. 

There are lots of models that are pretty much universally regarded as very, very, very good and yet they aren't played all the time. Flint is arguably the best non-captain striker in the game and he doesn't show up in every Masons team, to name just one. Part of A&G's popularity may be due to being overly hyped, but if a model is that ubiquitous across that many Guilds and with that many Captains, I'd say that raises a warning flag at least. I'm far from the best player around but I like to think I know my way around a Shark team at least: when I see people taking A&G with him in teams that are all about scoring, it makes me think the extra activation advantage must be worth more than it should because there are definitely alternatives that promote scoring better than they do in every other way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Pangur Ban said:

There are lots of models that are pretty much universally regarded as very, very, very good and yet they aren't played all the time. Flint is arguably the best non-captain striker in the game and he doesn't show up in every Masons team, to name just one. Part of A&G's popularity may be due to being overly hyped, but if a model is that ubiquitous across that many Guilds and with that many Captains, I'd say that raises a warning flag at least. I'm far from the best player around but I like to think I know my way around a Shark team at least: when I see people taking A&G with him in teams that are all about scoring, it makes me think the extra activation advantage must be worth more than it should because there are definitely alternatives that promote scoring better than they do in every other way.

I don't get what your point is? Flint isn't in every Mason's list and A&G isn't in every list. Not saying he doesn't need tweaking. I just don't see what point, if any, you are trying to make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about we look at it in reverse. If A&G was Union only, would there be the outcry that the model is OP?

SS for Masons is really powerful but not game breaking. The few truly OP models are getting nerfed ( Obulous and Fillet).

Would Flint see play across all teams if he was able to play for anyone?

sometimes the powerful gimmicks need to be isolated to one team

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, riffbw said:

How about we look at it in reverse. If A&G was Union only, would there be the outcry that the model is OP?

SS for Masons is really powerful but not game breaking. The few truly OP models are getting nerfed ( Obulous and Fillet).

Would Flint see play across all teams if he was able to play for anyone?

sometimes the powerful gimmicks need to be isolated to one team

Flint used to play for most teams, so they nerfed him. (Mist)

So yea, if A&G were Union exclusive they would be strong, but an acceptable part of the game. 

If everyone can use them, they need to be hit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Dracilic said:

 

Edit: I also disagree that a player/model seeing a lot of play time is bad or means it needs a nerf. If that were the case you would need errata constantly. 

You wouldn't need an errata constantly. For analogue gaming, it's just a little much. But in the video game world, actually, that does happen for the most competitive and well-supported games through patching.

I'm not saying that just because something is good and widely used though, that is reason alone for a nerf. What I am saying is, that A+G is actually acting as a detriment to the game. Aside from my statements in a previous post:

"The TLDR: This rule does take away from the game. It's not cheap. It doesn't feel dirty to use them. And extra activations is not OP in itself.

But what it DOES do, is that it waters down the game. It makes it a 5v5 + Avaraisse and Greed for both teams, game. It takes the unique, character-filled game, and essentially puts in a big splash of monotone. And it adds an un-necessary game-within-a-game scenario that doesn't really add to the fun in any meaningful way."

He is actually disproportionately being used BECAUSE he can work for EVERY faction. Flint being in every Mason's list is not a problem if he was designed to be that team's primary striker. Seeing that this game has teams with only 10ish man rosters available, there just isn't choice yet. But that choice get's reduced even further if A+G is taking up a slot in a disproportionate number of lists. Let's be clear: I'm not saying the sky is falling. It's not even a huge issue, as A+G isn't actually THAT powerful to the point of calling it OP. But it does do the part I bolded above, and that is not a good thing for the game in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kind of like the idea of another Union model (well, 2 in this case :P ) that's Union exclusive.  That would make the Union a little more like Masons SS, but slightly different.  I mean, Union already has Blackheart, Vet Rage, Coin, and Strongbox that's exclusive.  Why not A&G?  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×