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Poll: Should the Veteran Crusader be banned?

Veteran Crusader

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Poll: Should the Veteran Crusader be classified as a banned card in the Living FAQ? (30 member(s) have cast votes)

Should the Veteran Crusader be classified as a banned card in the Living FAQ?

  1. Yes (20 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  2. No (10 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

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#1
Kaloo

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EDIT: Steinerp has created a more detailed poll that I recommend you check out, since it also includes the option of applying errata to the card, which is something that I've overlooked but seems somewhat popular. Please cast your votes here: https://docs.google....orm?usp=sf_link

 

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Of the 4 Champion cards, this is the most controversial. It is of my opinion, which I know is shared with many members of the community, that the card is beyond fixing due to the nature of its ability. As such, I recommend that it's outright banned from competitive play.

 

The principle reason is as follows; the nature of the ability does not belong in Conquest. Conquest has always steered away from adding in additional randomness beyond that which comes naturally due to it being a card game, and this effect in essence brings in a coin flip. If the game already had several randomised mechanics (such as dice rolls) then the effect would be more fitting, however given how the game was designed the Crusader simply doesn't fit.

 

I appreciate that some of the other Champion cards have also received criticism, however the issues present in those cards are mostly with respect to balance and only require (if at all) minor stat changes. The issue with the Crusader is not a question of balance, but a question of suitability.

 

So I pose the question to the community: Would you like to declare the Crusader as an illegal card in the Living FAQ? This would affect all online tournaments that use the FAQ (BCL, Alignment Wheel and possibly Apoka (I say possibly given their current policy is to ban all Champion cards but that could change subject to this ruling**)), but leave the possibility for the card to be used in casual or Unlimited formats should people desire it.

 

Voting closes at 12:00 (GMT +1) Sunday 14th May

 

 

 

 

**Disclaimer: That's pure speculation on my part. I haven't confirmed that with TeamApoka in any way.



#2
GKZhukov

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My take on the Champion Cards is that we're basically balancing two factors.
 
1) These cards are technically the final piece of 'official' content. They also represent the "greatest prize in gaming" (FFG's own spin), and in a way are part of what makes Worlds what it is. It's also a particularly bum deal for Jeremy, Nathan and myself that this is how things panned out in the end. It would therefore be nice to have them included in the pool in some way.
 
2) However, clearly there are balance issues with at least some of the cards. And whilst they may have been produced by Brad/FFG they were clearly done so without the usual balancing procedures, or perhaps even the intent to balance them appropriately. (The sidebar of reasons why aren't relevant at this juncture, but I do think it's worth noting that there also likely was not an awareness they would end up widely dispersed due to BCL/Apoka and online play so the consequences were probably not intentional). There is still a decent sized community playing this game, a lot of online activity and fan-based continuation, and even new players who bought a set on the cheap joining up. Ultimately neither the 3 of us who made the cards (or even Brad himself), nor the intrinsic value of honouring the idea of championship cards, is more important than the healthy continuation of the game and the enjoyment of those still wanting to play in competitive online events.
 
I think if it came to it, the second point has to take precedence. Part of what sets Conquest apart from the field is the balance, and the (general) prevalence of skill over lucky draws. With a reasonable amount of interest in online casual and competitive play protecting the integrity of the game has to be the goal. So does not alienating the handful of new players migrating to online play or who just decided to try out a 'dead/complete' game. However, there is no reason we can't try and incorporate the first point in some way.
 
I would suggest the following approach (for Legacy/BCL/Apoka online play)
 
A) Treat all 4 cards as if they were in the final stages of development. Give them to the BCL and Apoka playtesters to test as rigorously as they would test new content. However this testing should not be done with a view to the Apoka/BCL pools, but just Legacy. As the final piece of semi-official content BCL/Apoka cards should be balanced around them, not the other way around.
B ) Recommend tweaks based on that testing. These should be stat-line tweaks or minor tweaks to how an ability plays out. However much a tester might dislike an ability or have issues with theme that's not the purpose of this testing, balance is. The designer's vision should be maintained where possible
C) In that respect, Nathan, Jeremy and myself have final say on our respective cards.
D) Include the amended cards in digital content and FAQS
 
This avoids banning cards that are already a seriously dumbed down version of the promised prizes for Worlds/GenCon, whilst preserving the integrity of the card pool and the game by fixing the serious balance problems posed. 
 
My personal take on the individual card

 

(since we're on this topic, but I stand by testing them, as I'm as fallible as anyone and these views might be erroneous)

 

1) Herald - feedback here has been positive and that it isn't unbalanced. I'd still want to put it to the testers, there may well be unforeseen interactions and better to catch them now than have more problems in the future. However, beside the potential loyalty issue, it's probably okay.

 

2) Nathaniel - again, early indications seem to be that the balance is okay. As much as I might have been opposed to the idea of Ranged or R-choke for SM, those aren't balance issues and I respect Nathan's vision for the card. Tbh the Ranged and choke has grown on me a bit anyway, it is a 5 Cost Unique after all, so giving it something the faction doesn't usually have access to is more justified. Regardless, balance appears fine. Like the Herald, I would still test it, but my feeling is it's okay, besides the possible Loyalty issue.

 

3) Crusader - the big problem card and the subject of the above poll. I can appreciate Kaloo's pitch of banning it outright, but would want to find a way to balance it that respects Jeremy's vision for the card. I think the randomness is problematic so would perhaps actually take out the cancellation part whilst giving it a big cost hike. Part of the problem is the sheer efficiency of the card (both the Ambush stats and the ability individually are worth a lot more than 2R, and the other problem is the ease of use - it's hugely swingy for something you basically always pull off (2R is dirt cheap in this context). I would perhaps try it at 4R. It can't be DPA'd in for derp swings, it's still very strong, but much more situational, a bit easier to play around at that cost level, and isn't necessarily an auto-include in all SM decks, whilst still being capable of fixing a problem for decks that can't deal with Elites. 4R also means primarily playing it for Ambush comes more in line with when you do that with a Klaivex, rather than just absurdly efficient (Reaction vs Forced Reaction can then be tested at that cost).

 

4) Shadows - I can appreciate Nathan's approach with Shadows of intentionally creating an overly-efficient card to pull SM up (and that he didn't know Crusader was a thing at that point). However, I'm really not a fan of balancing a faction like that. When you don't see the card you're still under-powered, when you do you win by draw, rather than by skill. I agree with folk who argue you can play around it (though a skilled user of Shadows also has some say in this!), but that doesn't change the fact that it is far too efficient for a 3 cost unit. On rare occasions the cost of 3 will be prohibitive, but more likely, if used half-decently, the 1R choke will shut down the opponent's combat trick. That arguably makes it better than a 2 cost 4/2 Ambush unit, and, heck a 4/2 non-ambush at 2 cost would already make Warlock Destructor look weak. Ambush is incredibly strong when used well. It's very powerful, especially in a faction that already does that stuff, as well as stuff like Crushing Blow. I do like giving SM an Ambush champ card in general, but 4 Attack Ambush at that price is simply too easy for taking planets, killing WLs, swinging battles. Throw in the fact it's now the most efficient DPA target - and that's a horribly swingy play if you don't even plan for it, but luck into one off a DPA, switch off the opponent's Terror/Sneakaz/whatever their response would be and win a combat where the odds were well against you). I'd look at dropping it to a 3/2, even a 3/3 since damage is the bigger issue on Ambush. I'm not a huge fan of it triggering off DPA, but I don't know if that was a key part of Nathan's vision for the card, so if it was then I'd leave that part and just adjust the stats.

 

Apart from my own selfish interest in how this pans out, Nathan and Jeremy are both great players and good folk, so I would really like to see their cards reach a level where they were just part of the Legacy set without any controversy - and with changes they were happy with only. But, at the same time, preserving the skill focus of Conquest has to be the priority, and that requires finding a solution to the big swings being caused by Crusader primarily, but to a lesser extent Shadows as well. And to prevent unexpected surprises in future Herald and Nathaniel should probably be checked just in case. It's fine if they all end up at the top of the efficiency curve (I'm looking at you Klaivex), but given the controversy of Klaivex, going above that becomes a major problem (it also should be noted that atleast at 4 cost, you can't always drop the Klaivex, I actually think Shadows could be a bit crazy if it was more expensive as then you have more opportunity cost quandaries and counter play opportunities. Also a big criticism of Klaivex was the combination of a unique powerful effect *and* an overly efficient card, something that Crusaders and Shadows arguably repeat).


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#3
Ultramarine

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I'd only consider banning Crusader if we are allowed to play with the other 3 cards as part of Vanilla/Legacy pool of cards.  



#4
bolomolo

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I don't like any of the Space Marines.

Why a random element is the most disciplined faction? (sure there is always randomness, but a DPA represents the uncertainty of Drop Pods)

Why rescource choke, the most NPE game mechanic, in Space Marines?


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#5
Kaloo

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I'd only consider banning Crusader if we are allowed to play with the other 3 cards as part of Vanilla/Legacy pool of cards.  

 

That's my intention.


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#6
WarfStyxfury

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Not only this one.



#7
Caldera

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Would be a real shame to ban Veteran Crusader. When I first saw the new Champion cards it was this one that really caught my eye. I think it's the most exciting new card ability in the 'official' pool since Warp Rift.

There's already a precedent for this ability in Conquest: Using your Command Dial to commit your Warlord to a planet. That requires you to determine not only the most optimal commit for your Warlord but also that of your opponent, and then of course your opponent is doing exactly the same so you both THINK you know where the other is going - but what if they call your bluff or do something completely unexpected?

I don't see that as being wildly different to the Crusader's ability. Yeah, there may be niche circumstances where you have only one clear and obvious target at a planet on its own (a big expensive Elite presumably) while your opponent has no units of any real consequence in play, in which case there is a 50:50 chance your prize-winning unit gets zapped. But we've all had games that have gone right down to the wire with at least one Warlord bloodied & close to death, where committing to the same planet means guaranteed defeat: You close your eyes and pray he has guessed wrong...Tails you lose... Is the Vet Crusader's ability all that different really?

#8
Eu8L1ch

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I think GKZhukov's stance here is the most reasonable. The cards (at least the Crusader and the Shadows) need testing and balancing, but if at all possible we should strive to keep them make and them into a good addition to the pool - which means testing and the original designers working on them some more.

If that ends up being impossible, I think we should just treat them as non-official cards (no testing, loyalty issue).

 

 

 

 

 

Edit: grammar



#9
Kaloo

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Would be a real shame to ban Veteran Crusader. When I first saw the new Champion cards it was this one that really caught my eye. I think it's the most exciting new card ability in the 'official' pool since Warp Rift.

There's already a precedent for this ability in Conquest: Using your Command Dial to commit your Warlord to a planet. That requires you to determine not only the most optimal commit for your Warlord but also that of your opponent, and then of course your opponent is doing exactly the same so you both THINK you know where the other is going - but what if they call your bluff or do something completely unexpected?

I don't see that as being wildly different to the Crusader's ability. Yeah, there may be niche circumstances where you have only one clear and obvious target at a planet on its own (a big expensive Elite presumably) while your opponent has no units of any real consequence in play, in which case there is a 50:50 chance your prize-winning unit gets zapped. But we've all had games that have gone right down to the wire with at least one Warlord bloodied & close to death, where committing to the same planet means guaranteed defeat: You close your eyes and pray he has guessed wrong...Tails you lose... Is the Vet Crusader's ability all that different really?

 

It's not that simple. When you play the Crusader you have 2 outcomes: A good outcome or a really good outcome. To elaborate, the "good" outcome is already on the edge of being very strong for its cost, especially given the flexibility of Ambush, but just weak enough to be justifiable. It effectively gives you a Drop Pod that's guaranteed 3/3 unit, which is usually the aim of a Drop Pod anyway. On that premise, adding in a very high chance of an insanely good effect just isn't justifiable for its cost, since playing it at a time where you could also lose out big is just a non issue since you have the power to choose when to play it optimally, and the only time that's even really an issue is if you have isolated elites on multiple planets (which is a fringe case, and also a questionable move to play the Crusader).

 

The command dial, on the other hand, has in built risks that are equal for both players and are not immediately damning. The scenarios where one player has a harder commitment choice occurs due to the actions of the players throughout the game, similar to the Crusader, however the commitments have to occur whereas the Crusader only enters (realistically) when it's favourable to do so.



#10
Kaloo

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3) Crusader - the big problem card and the subject of the above poll. I can appreciate Kaloo's pitch of banning it outright, but would want to find a way to balance it that respects Jeremy's vision for the card. I think the randomness is problematic so would perhaps actually take out the cancellation part whilst giving it a big cost hike. Part of the problem is the sheer efficiency of the card (both the Ambush stats and the ability individually are worth a lot more than 2R, and the other problem is the ease of use - it's hugely swingy for something you basically always pull off (2R is dirt cheap in this context). I would perhaps try it at 4R. It can't be DPA'd in for derp swings, it's still very strong, but much more situational, a bit easier to play around at that cost level, and isn't necessarily an auto-include in all SM decks, whilst still being capable of fixing a problem for decks that can't deal with Elites. 4R also means primarily playing it for Ambush comes more in line with when you do that with a Klaivex, rather than just absurdly efficient (Reaction vs Forced Reaction can then be tested at that cost).

 

Thing is that I want to include the Champion cards into the game. Hell, I'd be super pissed if I won Worlds, designed a card, then got something that was either off my initial intentions and/or was universally panned. However, I also want to maintain the integrity of the game (or at least what's left of it), since a bad card is damaging.

 

Changing the cost to 4 is a step in the right direction, but the text is also so swingy that it may as well have said "flip a coin". I think the text would need such a shake up that it may as well be completely redesigned, and that feels off given it was technically officially released.



#11
Intolerance

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It's not that simple. When you play the Crusader you have 2 outcomes: A good outcome or a really good outcome.

 

There are more than two outcomes, there are also circumstances where it is a net loss to the player if they lose the Crusader and one of the players own cappers, in exchange for only an enemy capper. In the BCL final the riskiest choice was made and two elites were destroyed. A planet could have been picked where one wasn't present to ensure that at most one was destroyed.

 

I think this vote is premature, the impact the card has on the competitive meta has not been experienced (also just results in a different meta where I doubt SM wins 100%). This seems like a knee-jerk reaction based on the BCL final where the card wasn't played around and the riskiest choice was made, with devastating results. The only circumstance where that choice seems justifiable is if it was assessed that victory was impossible with a single elite, so risking both was required.

 

Decks can also play around the effect by protecting high cost units with low cost ones. The card is potentially dead sometimes, where it has a high chance of killing itself in exchange for a meaningless unit exchange (cappers). Obviously the decks that suffer from this card are all elites with no low cost units, but that is a deck building problem in a specific meta.

 

The premise of the argument being made though, is that thematically the card does not belong rather than being imbalanced. I don't see how that's defensible since the theme is something that was printed and is irrespective of the balancing time that the design team had before shipping.



#12
SlaaneshDevotee

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I feel like its the sort of card that would be needed to bring back a swarmier set of decks being played. Now, maybe its too much or too strong or whatever, but I feel like its kinda needed with so many elites running around?


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#13
killaszit

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2 cost unit with 3/3 and ambush is itself very strong

the ability makes it "ban-able"IMO


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#14
Kaloo

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There are more than two outcomes, there are also circumstances where it is a net loss to the player if they lose the Crusader and one of the players own cappers, in exchange for only an enemy capper. In the BCL final the riskiest choice was made and two elites were destroyed. A planet could have been picked where one wasn't present to ensure that at most one was destroyed.

 

The point is that if you're the SM player and are at risk of a significant loss you don't play the card, because that's just stupid, so the issue of a net loss to the SM player is a moot point. Even if they see the card in a Drop Pod and are worried for the outcome they can simply choose to whiff it.

 

Yes, I took the risky choice in the BCL final, but I'd still raise this poll even if it went my way instead. The problem with the mechanic is that if you know the actual player you can guess what they'd pick a lot easier, which makes using the card near trivial within your meta and a coin flip outside it.

 

I appreciate that people are concerned about the elite meta, but this is not the way to fix it. My sources with links to the internal development team have strongly hinted that little to no playtesting was done for the Champion cards, and given that Jeremy's card for Netrunner was apparently banned as well it's really not beyond reason that this can be banned too.



#15
GasPoweredStick

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His netrunner card was banned too? Man, he has no luck.



#16
steinerp

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I'm in the Intolerance camp.  It is a coin flip of sorts but not that much more than commitment in general and we can do that outside of our local meta's as well.  That said I made a google poll for this so we can reach outside of the cardgamedb community as well.  Please take a minute to vote there

https://docs.google....orm?usp=sf_link


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#17
Kaloo

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Edited the OP to include Steinerp's poll.



#18
FightingWalloon

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Jeremy's card was not banned in Netrunner. It is one of the most popular cards in the game. It did get a cost adjustment because it was deemed too efficient, but it is not banned.

 

As someone who gave up the game because of the elite meta, I hope something is done to adjust the game there, but I'm only commenting here to clarify the status of the champion card in Netrunner.


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#19
Kaloo

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Jeremy's card was not banned in Netrunner. It is one of the most popular cards in the game. It did get a cost adjustment because it was deemed too efficient, but it is not banned.

 

 

Thanks for the clarification. I don't play Netrunner personally, so my understanding of what happened was dependent on what a friend whom does play it told me :)



#20
fleepa0

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I will go againt the general opinion here, because i really like how the card influences the meta. You can no longer just play the big efficient elites with little to no possible counterplay by an opponent because of the seer efficiency of its stats. You can play around this card in a similar way as how you can play around power from pain, by deploying cheap units alongside your elites. But guess that requires changing most of the currently polished elite decks and tactics  :rolleyes: .

 

Outside of an elite focused meta the card is much much weaker, to the point that it is most times detrimental to the space marines player. People have to remember that it is a forced symetrical effect that can be as bad for you as your opponent, meaning it is a card you can normally use only when losing bad or when you have a good advantage, and these type of cards that let you come back are necessary and having the counter that they are risky to play when both players are close is nice.

 

The stats are what i find are a bit too high on this card, specially the 3 hp i think is too much.

 

Overall i think it wasnt designed with the elites meta in mind, focused probably on the planetfall meta, where this card would be perfectly fine IMO. As a side effect it ends up as a huge counter to main elites decks, which is also fine by me, as it seems they got all love and 0 much needed hate in the later part of conquest. The comunity needs to find new decks and new ways of playing to counter this possibility. Also, as a semi-random effect does not guarantee that you can pull the move you want 100% of the time.

 

Finally i find most of the reactions are very biased by what happened in BCL, but that was the best case scenario for this card, coupled by a 50% gamble that could have gone either way, also no playaround was made to counter it as both the targets were elites alone at their planets. 


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