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Broderick Worr Deck Thread


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#441
sparrowhawk

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When online, you can always play a less interactive game suited to that interface. Like hearthstone. It's got a far better mulligan rule too.

As an analogue player (it's a physical card game), I love precise timing interactive cards - though then we come to the issue of how long a pause is sufficient IRL to give them a response window, something you brought up in the Etiquette thread.

I think the game impact of Backlash is so huge that your OCTGN opponent will gleefully scream it out the moment you target their Elite - so your worries may be unfounded. Mind you I often bluff with the old "wait, (short pause thinking) ok continue" interruption to represent I've got something but saving it for a better situation (sometimes it's a double bluff). So I guess you do have a point about irritating delays!

This thread's topic train has long since been derailed, taken a ferry and fled the country...
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#442
TonyH122

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Yep, I can understand all these concerns about Backlash. It is more worrying than Worr's (hopefully transient) dominance.

 

I don't see why this is the case. Let's say elites become dominant: First, almost every faction has access to pretty good elites (as far as elites go). Second, if they don't, then this can be easily fixed by printing elites for that faction. Third, the resource course of these units is a natural way to ensure that they will always be that much more difficult to play. And fifth, let's just say the 'elite meta to come' forces everyone to play some elites .... so what? No one is complaining right now about having to play 1 or 2 cost units now. Is it so terrible that decks, already averaging 3ish units, that 6 of these are elites? That everyone got elites in the core set suggests that this was how the game was meant to be played. And I for one think a more diverse cost curve will make the game only better.


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#443
Eu8L1ch

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Quite a huge discussion going on..

On the experts vs data issue, I think the problem in Kingsley's reasoning is that if you use data to determine who are the experts then you're most likely committed to taking data into account to determine which are the strongest strategies.

I could elaborate on this, but I don't want to derail the topic further.

In addition to this, saying that the judgment of a few unnamed experts is what really matters and stopping there is not an admissible argument in a debate - this could be somewhat justifiable if those 'experts' were discussing it with 'non-experts', but, as it stands, it's reasonable to say the vast majority of the people writing in this forum are experts.

In fact, I'd argue that what makes someone an expert are not excellent performances or some unknown criteria, but a sufficiently deep knowledge of the matter at hand.

Knowing the whole card pool and having played (and/or watched) at least 100 games is a - very strict - parameter that would still leave many people here to qualify as experts.

Finally, I think that just quoting the experts' opinions is poisonous for the debate as it removes the possibility to challenge one's own point of view and/or learn something from the others, so I think I can say that under this respect I fully agree with SyntaxLost.

 

Those things aside, from my experience playing with and against Worr he's very hard to stop when he gets a strong hand and a non-horrible flop.

Worr may be considered to have an average variance (more than SM, less than Aun'shi), as he has some cards with a power level significantly higher than the rest and having a favourable array gives him a huge boost. However he has so many strong cards in his deck that it would take some serious bad luck (or play, of course) for him to perform poorly, and, as far as the planets go, three Greens in the first five is quite average and usually enough to ensure Worr has a good start.

On the other hand, there are those arrays on which playing Worr and getting a T1 Troop Transport and Ammo Depot is close to a guaranteed win, most likely even trumping skill differences - the same could happen with Kith when she gets a god-like hand (lots of Pirates, Traders, Mercs and/or Den and/or Palace..) but it looks like it's less likely to happen as you need many more pieces to fall into place.

 

Re: Backlash, while I do not agree with GKZhukov on a few of his considerations (Klaivex is broken IMO), I totally agree that this cards makes for very luck-driven outcomes.

I think it's hard to overstate the difference between 1) a Klaivex resolving and killing your Elite and 2) having the Klaivex destroyed and the Elite safe. This having entirely to do with luck ("pick your bet") significantly reduces the skill factor in this game.

Of course Backlash could turn out to be insufficient to make Elites worth playing so we wouldn't have to concern about it spoiling the competitive scene, but the design principle is all wrong, in my opinion.

 

Further on this matter, I completely agree with Sparrowhawk's statement that the core mechanics for this game are great but that it is currently being let down by (some) card design choices.


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#444
GKZhukov

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I don't see why this is the case. Let's say elites become dominant: First, almost every faction has access to pretty good elites (as far as elites go). Second, if they don't, then this can be easily fixed by printing elites for that faction. Third, the resource course of these units is a natural way to ensure that they will always be that much more difficult to play. And fifth, let's just say the 'elite meta to come' forces everyone to play some elites .... so what? No one is complaining right now about having to play 1 or 2 cost units now. Is it so terrible that decks, already averaging 3ish units, that 6 of these are elites? That everyone got elites in the core set suggests that this was how the game was meant to be played. And I for one think a more diverse cost curve will make the game only better.


The thing about 1-2 cost units, is they don't generally do the kind of spike damage to kill Warlords or have the kind of super-effect that wins planets solo. For me, it's the first that is the bigger concern with Backlash. A lot of the time Backlash isn't just going to counter & destroy, it's then going to mean the big Elite gets in a lethal swing. Cards that exhaust or even rout elites are not dealing with the problem long-term in the first place, so they have always been reasonable responses to elites imho. I get the Klaivex hate (though I still play Elites in the face of it and don't see it as a bad investment if done carefully), but the lighter control methods, such as exhaust effects, always need backing up with skilful play and counter play if they are to determine the outcome of the game.

I like Elites, I play Elites (2 of the decks I'm considering for Regionals contain 5 elites each), I'm happy for Elites to
A) actually be decent - And most of the ones in this cycle are
B) get support ( I worry about corrupted teleportarium, but partly because of backlash - in general I like the elite interactions - just like an event that exhausts is stronger against an elite, so too an event that readies is stronger on an elite)
C) have unique or near-unique effects - this is the big one for me - space wolves predator is the obvious example, it doesn't even matter if it gets controlled later. Gleeful Plague Beast, Mighty Wraithknight etc. Do things *tactically* that normal units simply can't, so it's not merely a power-level for cost question.

Backlash is swingy and in a Warlords-will-die way, even if it ends up not getting played that much (and in the more full-on elite decks I don't see why it wouldn't) - there becomes a point where enough swingy things are played between them that it creates a general increase in variance across the board.

I can see how this might be seen as a necessary evil if we weren't also getting all the buffs to elites, but given FFG are doing the right things anyway, this imho is likely to mess things up - having chaos cultists drop an early heldrake or two, move it around snowballing and for it to be invincible *even if you drew a solution* is much more swingy than anything a bunch of 1-2 cost over-efficiently units are likely to do. The fact that I've got elites somewhere in my deck too doesn't make it balanced.
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#445
MrWizard

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Backlash vs Klaivex - It is obviously a massive swing, but I am surprised that so many esteemed posters have described it as just a matter of luck.  As far as I can see, it's no more lucky or unlucky than getting an event Nullified or trying to shield and getting No Mercy'd or any number of other common action-reaction situations.  It is subject to the inherent randomness of card draws, but it's not like the players have no say over it (unlike the initial planet flop, for example).

 

The Elite-playing opponent is choosing to commit card slots to Elites and to Backlash, diminishing his strength in other areas. The DE player can prevent the risk of Backlash being used against him by choking all of his opponent's hand or his resources or using something like Visions of Agony to discard Backlash beforehand. The DE player can just not target Elites with his Klaivexes (as though their ability had a non-Elite unit restriction) and even play fewer copies of Klaivex if his opponents are consistently pulling off Backlash.

 

I do agree that it is a frustrating card because it's a reactive effect whose high-variance is dependent on the actions of the opponent. Its variance is not inherent (like Landa, for example), but meta-dependant in the same way as other silver bullet cards are (e.g. anti-support cards). Its mere existence creates a meta-warping threat (and btw if it did not kill the targeting unit, it would not be powerful enough to frighten off a Klaivex). Building decks with meta-dependant cards is I think less satisfying than building inherently good decks, and I do not like the idea of the game drifting into Scissor Paper Stone territory. Nonetheless, reading and predicting the meta can be an ability, not just pure luck.       


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#446
GKZhukov

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Honestly Klaivex vs Backlash is the one thing that doesn't bother me. It seems pretty clear that the card is in part an attempt at not having to errata Klaivex. In that sense it does the job. Klaivex would still be a good card if it had non-Elite as a targeting restriction. It hurts DE for sure, there are some Elites that really mess them up, but in terms of Klaivex vs Backlash I'm okay with that.

The problem is it makes every other attempt to delay Elite damage a gamble. When Eldorath turns up, fails to exhaust and then gets bloodied, when a lack of Suppressive Fire meant AoE 3 wiped your board. Note, neither of those things kill the elite, or even remove it from the battle, in this game everything stands up *during* the battle, unlike other games where tapped is for the whole game round. I happily run Elites against those effects in the current meta.

I don't think a lot of decks will run it, only "full" elite decks, which should still be few (I hope, I like my Elites elite, not common). I'd expect Tyranids and Chaos. But the elite heavy versions of those decks really may as well run it, and they also have the kind of big dudes who are really swingy and have the ATK to take out Warlords.

To me it feels a little like there's been an insistence on avoiding errata and this appealed as an elegant solution (until you consider wider context). I really would prefer a great game with errata as opposed to a good game without it. And I say that as someone who Is very aware of the accessibility issue that pages of "extra" reading material in terms of FAQs and erratas etc. can cause.
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#447
Koz

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Re: Backlash, I have a few thoughts on this.

 

@GKZhukov and the variance issue.  While I see your point, I don't think it's quite as bad as you currently fear.  The thing is that right now, the variance already exists...except it's completely one sided.  Right now, the player who decides to play an Elite has to stare at the DE player and wonder "did they draw the Klaviex?  Or the Terror?  Guess I'll find out..."  The "luck driven variance" is already in play, but only for one side.  Backlash gives the other player a possible answer to the luck driven variance of their opponent.  I don't see that as a bad thing.  Make the DE player actually have to think about what they're doing instead of just doing things because they know they will work (unless playing against Eldar and Nullify). 

 

Also, as mentioned already, it's not like the player can't try to play around the Backlash by using their sliver bullet cards to deal with non-elites.  The Klaviex can still be a devastating play by dropping it in to kill the Snakebite Thug and then just attack the Battlewagon normally.  You don't have to target the Elite, which will make the Backlash a dead card.  There are options.

 

Also, regarding the "OHK on the Warlord" issue, there are already answers in the game for this. I completely disagree with the idea that if you can't silver bullet the Elite your Warlord is toast.  If Backlash really becomes a meta staple, maybe we'll see a resurgence of older cards that can directly deal with "spike" damage.  Would it be the end of the world to see an uptick in usage of such cards as Iron Halo, Fire Warrior Elite, Indomitable, Kustom Field Generator, Seer's Exodus, Dire Avenger Exarch, Front Line 'ard Boyz, etc?  Plus whatever other cards come out.  There are answers out there, and I don't think the sky will fall if Elites have the potential to dodge the silver bullet.  If people's response is "but I don't wanna play with those cards!!!", well...can't help you there, lol. 

 

All in all, I think it will be quite interesting to see how all of this plays out.  I don't think it will nearly be the scary situation that some people are foretelling, but I definitely think it will shake things up.  Which is good IMO since the 1-2 cost meta has grown quite stale for me. 



#448
GKZhukov

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@Koz - You know I basically already agreed with all your Klaivex points, right :P? It's the other stuff I'm less convinced on.

 

The thing about me sitting there with an Elite (in the early game) and wondering about Terror, is that most of the time it means I lose a planet, but my Elite comes back swinging next round. Sometimes the cost of 2R, 1C, and me knowing a Terror is gone is even actually to my benefit. With exhaust effects it's an even more temporary solution.

 

I have wondered if all the FWE clones are there in part to go with Backlash and Elite buffs, but they are very expensive ways to basically exhaust an Elite one time (and some Elites like Bloodletter or Harpy basically don't even care about them). Not only do you have to draw them, but outside of decks which want to use them anyway (I love Ard Boyz - which sounds pretty dirty, now I think about), you end up creating a deck that is bad against other decks and we're back to Rock-Paper-Scissors.

 

I don't think it makes Elite decks OP (though combined with other stuff that can't be ruled out yet), I do think it creates more luck-based wins in general. Time will tell whether it creates a small or large increase, and then it's a case of how much that matters to people, but I find it hard to believe it won't create some degree of increased *impactful* variance. I say impactful because imo an Elite snowballing uncontrollably has a bigger impact on who is going to win a game than an Elite getting routed/exhausted on Turn 2.


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#449
Kaloo

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I didn't realise there were 3 other neutral Elite referencing cards (are you sure they are all aiding Elites?). In which case they are releasing a module of cards that both pose questions and answers. So to look at one card in isolation may be alarmist (especially as they gave it centre position in the fan to provoke outrage) as we are taking it out of context.

 

Here's the article for reference: https://www.fantasyf...gions-of-death/

​To quote:

 

 


Legions of Death also introduces four brand-new neutral cards that boost the power of Elites and other high-cost units

 

​After re-reading that, I'm inclined to think that they might provide some support to 4+ costed units as well



#450
Ultramarine

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I think Backlash is exciting, and will shake up the meta in interesting ways. However, I share the concerns of you guys that its a bad card for the game overall.

For one thing, its the variance, as Kingsley says. The difference between a countered Klaivex and an uncountered Klaivex is absolutely huge, and that difference in boardstate will be determined almost entirely by luck. There'll be some skill in timing the Klaivex play and choosing when to use it to play the odds, but it's still too much in the direction of "pick your gamble" rather than true skill.

For another, counterspell cards are an absolute pain in the butt, especially on octgn. I'm sure we've all had moments of annoyance at how Superiority and Nullify slow down the game, as you have to prod for a window to close before you can proceed to collect your command or resolve your effect. At least those cards are just Eldar ones: Backlash can be in any deck, so any time any effect targets an Elite we'll now have to wait and ask "Backlash?".

Personally, I find counterspell cards to be a huge irritation, and a general NPE. Even though I use them (for I am a competitive player), I'd have been dead happy if Nullify and Superiority had never made it into the game.


Backlash will not hurt DE as much as you think since you can pack Vision of Agony to counter it. I plan to put a couple of it in my post Backlash Kith deck.

#451
Skyknight

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By the way, Worr sends his very best to all from his beach vacation in Vostroya and would like us to know that he's quite happy with not receiving all the attention these days.

For a change :P 


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#452
GKZhukov

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Backlash will not hurt DE as much as you think since you can pack Vision of Agony to counter it. I plan to put a couple of it in my post Backlash Kith deck.

 

It also hurts Kith less than others because if she gets her choke on Backlash never gets drawn - that's probably the most reliable (though far from perfect) counter to any form of increased variance. Imo increased variance makes Choke a better Tournament choice, not a weaker one.


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#453
Grimbo

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Hmm, I was never worried until I read GKZ's post a little above. As primarily a non-Worr AM player this just kind of sounds like an auto loss to chaos if I'm not able to exhaust(s. Fire) or rout(I. Fortress) the elite away.

I only do well at tourneys with Starbane anyway. Might have to dust him off as he sounds pretty safe in a post-backlash environment.

#454
Asklepios

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You want to beat Chaos, bring Cato. 

 

I thought I broke my "curse of Cato" in the last few weeks, as I'd taken him on multiple times and won, but it was because I hadn't been playing my Zaraswarm deck. Last night, playing a casual game, I found myself staring at a hand of 2 squig bombings, 2x promise to glory (with no daemon to play), and a couple of chaos fanatics. Against most warlords, I could have levered some advantage with that. Against Cato...



#455
Stefan2581

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First turn Worr => Troop Transport, Staging Ground, Forward Barracks

 

--> Thanks for playing


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#456
sparrowhawk

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Oh, we're back to Worr... Shame on whoever derailed this once noble thread! (It was an interesting digression.)

Seems to me the issue isn't that Worr has access to great signature cards like Forward Barracks or Anxious Platoon. After all, Khymera Den was never shabby. That's the 1x variance issue that perhaps gives everyone a chance (and I now realise this is important, we don't want to attract Chess Grandmasters only and nobody else has a chance - because it won't sell mainstream).

To me the problem is that you are MULTIPLYING the variance of what you draw by what you flop when you "bank it all on greens" like my very obvious first attempt. This product function of these random distributions is what can be frightening.

Say you have this starting hand:

Platoon
Shrine Guard
Troop Transport
Taurox
Fervour
Raiders
Deadeye

That hand will probably be a great start for Worr in most games. But it would be a far weaker start if the flop is...

1. Ferrin (red)
2. Elouith (blue)
3. Carnath (red blue)
4. Atrox Prime (red blue)
5. Y'varn (tricon)

In the above situation, you were better off with Straken and that hand is far more average.

So you can't really impose any nerfing on Worr because he is a roll of a dice. But on average 3 of the first 5 planets will be green, including possibly the 2 unsexy choke mono greens Barlus and Osus IV as well as 2 poor battle ability tricons.

Card games have variance. Says it's a 1d6 + 1d6 distribution. Worr's design that interacts with the flop and is so strongly supported by AM green cards is actually like 1d6 x 1d6. When I disliked Worr on preview as a random benefit warlord (in that link in my prior post), I never realised they would amplify his variance. This variance incentivises players to chance it. Which means if enough people play him, he will disproportionately dominate wins.

The bottom line to my meta is: I played badly and I easily won with Worr. That just felt unsatisfying to both of us hence why in our tiny casual meta, we have agreed not to play him.

#457
Kaloo

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Say you have this starting hand:

Platoon
Shrine Guard
Troop Transport
Taurox
Fervour
Raiders
Deadeye

That hand will probably be a great start for Worr in most games. But it would be a far weaker start if the flop is...

1. Ferrin (red)
2. Elouith (blue)
3. Carnath (red blue)
4. Atrox Prime (red blue)
5. Y'varn (tricon)

In the above situation, you were better off with Straken and that hand is far more average.

 

That's why I don't run the Taurox or Fevour :P. If you bank on greens and only greens then the variance is huge, as you've mentioned, and could well work in your favour for a small subset of games. However, for a much larger set of games the variance will catch up with you, hence there needs to be some diversity. Don't get me wrong, I'd generally prefer to see a bunch of greens (with the possible exception of the mirror) but I have plans in place if I don't


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#458
sparrowhawk

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The example I gave was illustrative of the multiplicative nature of the design. Not how to optimise the build! :)

In the example, I was saying your draw variance is 1d6 and that hand is about a 5.

Whilst Worr is unusual that you have to rate and multiply it by the flop and that flop is about a 1.

Your approach is to minimise the variance of getting the green cards and the green planets. So instead of 1d6 x 1d6, it is (1d4+1) x (1d4+1). This is of course the best approach when you have an inherent skill modifier (as explained in the blog link I gave earlier). No surprise both you and Kingsley don't play the weaker green referencing cards.

This doesn't invalidate the observation that people can build for 1d6 x 1d6. And when they do roll high on both dice (draw and flop), there's very little a normal (additive 1d6 + 1d6) variance distribution deck can do against it (skill modifiers just don't go that high, for us mortals anyway). So anyone not at the high percentile of their local meta/attendees would be wise to go to tournaments with the same high variance as that well-known blog writer I linked (who came in the money just by applying canny understanding of variance and honest appraisal of his own rusty skills).

The fact that high skill players like yourself can further optimise by minimising the downside is only further damning the design.

How do I describe Conquest to other gamers who I don't want to con into buying in?

"A highly skilful and intense game, mechanically superior to other FFG LCGs, that has been sadly let down by a few card designs, nothing fatal but needing repair."

I think that's a fair assessment and I've tried to explain in this thread my issues with the Worr concept and supporting cards.

Congrats on your great success with Worr, Kaloo. In the hands of a skilful player.. [shudder]

#459
Asklepios

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So, regarding your formulae, Sparrowhawk, I'd say that variance in performance is very much a factor that you put up against your skill, and then compared to an opposing player's performance.

 

So if your average performance is 0.8, and your average opponent's performance is 0.6, then its far better to have a deck that applies +/-0.1 than one that applies +/-0.3. On the other hand, if you're that 0.6 player, then you want the high variance deck.

 

I actually considered this when I was preparing for an AGOT1.0 tourney a couple of years back - I was new to the game, and competent, but far less skilled than the old hands. That in mind, I took a very high variance deck that could be unstoppable if lucky, but would collapse if unlucky. Had I been a skilled player, I'd have taken a low variance deck. However, in that tourney, I overestimated my skill and didn't pick the highest variance deck I had (a janky Viserys + attachments deck that either wins on turn 3 with almost nothing someone can do about it, or crashes and burns when people play Rule By Decree or three consecutive 2-claim intrigue challenges), and my lack of skill piloting a moderate variance deck saw me lose 3 matches out of 4.

 

Kaloo and Kingsley are great players, of course, so for them minimising variance makes sense: they're more likely to get game wins that way. Me, I'm not bad, but not as good as them. Moderate variance makes sense to me. A complete beginner? They probably want as high variance as possible, as that'll be the only way they can have a chance of beating our skilful buddies here.

 

BTW, set your stopwatch. I reckon it'll be a matter of a few hours at most before Syntaxlost shows me how my maths is wrong.  :)


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#460
Asklepios

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Also, I'd note, Worr isn't as high variance as you might be thinking. While he does do better on green arrays, I often find with Worr that there's barely ever such a thing as a bad draw. There's always something you can do with the cards in hand.

 

Contrast this with, say, Gorzod, who can have amazing starts or who can draw a bunch of cards that just don't work in the same hand. That barely ever happens with Worr - he just has good, consistently solid hands.