file Balancing Ashur Tablets

31 Jul 2014 08:18 #64497 by Juggernaut1981

What I want to say is that we're not having an objective discussion here. Whether to know if the archetype is as unbalanced as you claim, we should do the following excercise, in my opinion:

-Choose one Ashur Tablets archetype that has won more than 1 tournament (for example Girls will find AIDS)
-Choose 4 different powerful deck archetypes, ideally trying to balance the types of decks: Lasombra nocturn S&B + Ventrue 4-5 Lawfirm + Ahrimane block/fight + Warghoulator
-Pick 4 players with similar skill
-Do all the possible seating combinations (I think there are 120)
-Repeat with other deck archetypes containing Ashur Tablets

This would be a cumbersomely large task to perform. While it is far easier, and potentially more comprehensive to see the performance of these deck types across large numbers of metagames and the response over time. To a certain extent the metagame can be treated like an evolutionary system where a species may gain dominance, but unless it has the kind of edge that causes it to exterminate all other options, then other species will evolve and displace it from its position of dominance. So, the question then becomes, have we enough evidence in large-scale samples (i.e. EC, NAC, etc) of the dominance of [insert archetype here] decks? Has the metagame ecosystem evolved a competitor or does the [insert archetype here] Deck got such a significant metagame dominance that only an external change** will topple it?

**external change in this scenario would be any or all of errata, new cards, card banning, rule modifications.

Apparently there are 2 main POSSIBLE problems that have to be handled with Ashur Tablets, arriving at this point of the discussion, are:

-Power: are they really overpowered?
-Time: are they more a time loss factor than other cards?
(I'll drop the "fun" factor because it's too subjective. I have a lot of fun with Ashur Tablets, for example.)

That's basically Darby and ICL right there...
Darby = recurring that volume of cards is too powerful
ICL = increasing "solitaire-like" phases of the game makes it less enjoyable for others, so does causing interactive phases to be more solitaire.

The power has to be tested, because tournament representativity is not, in my opinion, a factor to determine the power of a deck/card. Now, if ATs decks were winning most of big tournaments, that could be a more accurate indicator, but I guess it's not the case.

TWDs depend extremely on local metagame, local taste for archetypes and several other factors (like the type of archetypes attending to a precise tournament). You cannot confirm that Ashur Tablets are broken (or even the Ashur Tablets and Liquidation combo) till you do a serious test.

A single TWD is local metagame dependent. A large number of players aggregated from a broad number of playgroups removes that local-metagame variability and approaches a more global-metagame state. So you can either:

- segregate results smaller tournaments to isolate out local metagames and see if they are not evolving then use that to exclude their data from the main group

OR

- use large aggregate data to remove the local metagame variations (similar to losing outliers through large sample averaging)

Talking about time loss, well in that case you would have to take a look at all cards that allow tutoring:
-Alastor
-MotS
-Mistress Fanchon
...

Most of those cards are not considered to be a problem because they occur during the more interactive parts of the game and provide 1 to 2 cards (with Reinforcements being the oddity at 4 cards). That's most of why people aren't looking at them.

:bruj::CEL::POT::PRE::tha: Baron of Sydney, Australia, 418

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31 Jul 2014 09:59 - 31 Jul 2014 10:01 #64506 by cordovader

Apparently there are 2 main POSSIBLE problems that have to be handled with Ashur Tablets, arriving at this point of the discussion, are:

-Power: are they really overpowered?
-Time: are they more a time loss factor than other cards?
(I'll drop the "fun" factor because it's too subjective. I have a lot of fun with Ashur Tablets, for example.)

That's basically Darby and ICL right there...
Darby = recurring that volume of cards is too powerful
ICL = increasing "solitaire-like" phases of the game makes it less enjoyable for others, so does causing interactive phases to be more solitaire.


Stating that "recurring that volume of cards is too powerful" it's not just an opinion. It's Darby's interpretation of "what the game should be" and not "what the game is".

As we're comparing Ashur Tablets vs. Reinforcements, this is the actual state of things:

-Reinforcements takes back 3 cards
-Ashur Tablets takes back 4 cards (I'm eliminating from the equation the "to your hand" clause on ATs)
-Reinforcements gives no pool
-Ashur Tablets gives 1 pool per card played
-Reinforcements is a political action (possibility of blocking, DI, DT, voted against)
-Ashur Tablets is a master (possibility of Sudden and similar stuff)
-Reinforcement has no downside, except losing the action
-Ashur Tablets have 2 downsides, the MPA (usually more valuable than an action, except playing with high-cap vamps), and the "autoregulation clause"
-Reinforcements effect triggers when referendum passes
-Ashur Tablets effect triggers when 3 cards are sucessfully played (that's why the "autoregulation clause" is so important)
-Ashur Tablets have the obvious benefit of taking back a card to your hand

If banning or errating Ashur Tablets, why not ban or errata Reinforcements? For me they seem pretty balanced. Again Reinforcements is limitative for the "titled vampire" clause. If not I guess it would be more played by weenie vote decks. Not by high-caps of course (usually the titled vamps), because losing an action is a too high oportunity cost for them.


By the way, I agree with ICL's impression about "solitaire-like" play. I think anyway that, for that matter, there are way worse cards (i.e. Heart of Nizchetus).

The problem about time loss is that some players deliberatly choose to "lose time" searching to do the GW (mainly on finals, to win the tournament by first seed). In my opinion that's not a problem of a single card, there are many cards that "allow" "time loss" and it's a problem due to tournament rules and basic game mechanics ("wait, let me think, should I play my DI or not?").

Talking about time loss, well in that case you would have to take a look at all cards that allow tutoring:
-Alastor
-MotS
-Mistress Fanchon
...

Most of those cards are not considered to be a problem because they occur during the more interactive parts of the game and provide 1 to 2 cards (with Reinforcements being the oddity at 4 cards). That's most of why people aren't looking at them.[/quote]

Card power is an issue (if confirmed), time loss another different one.

If we're discussing time loss it would be nice to stick to it, not going back to talk about number of cards. Number of cards is independent of how much time does a given card take to resolve, independently of which game phase are we talking about.
Last edit: 31 Jul 2014 10:01 by cordovader.

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31 Jul 2014 10:15 #64507 by Juggernaut1981

Stating that "recurring that volume of cards is too powerful" it's not just an opinion. It's Darby's interpretation of "what the game should be" and not "what the game is".

As we're comparing Ashur Tablets vs. Reinforcements, this is the actual state of things:

-Reinforcements takes back 3 cards
-Ashur Tablets takes back 4 cards (I'm eliminating from the equation the "to your hand" clause on ATs)
-Reinforcements gives no pool
-Ashur Tablets gives 1 pool per card played
-Reinforcements is a political action (possibility of blocking, DI, DT, voted against)
-Ashur Tablets is a master (possibility of Sudden and similar stuff)
-Reinforcement has no downside, except losing the action
-Ashur Tablets have 2 downsides, the MPA (usually more valuable than an action, except playing with high-cap vamps), and the "autoregulation clause"
-Reinforcements effect triggers when referendum passes
-Ashur Tablets effect triggers when 3 cards are sucessfully played (that's why the "autoregulation clause" is so important)
-Ashur Tablets have the obvious benefit of taking back a card to your hand

3 Ashur Tablets requires:
3 MPAs
4 cards from the hand (one discarded at/after resolution)

3 Ashur Tablets gives:
12 cards to library
1 card from ashheap to hand
3 pool

3 Ashur Tablets provides as a net benefit:
+3 pool
+9 cards to the library
for the cost of 3 MPAs

Reinforcements requires:
1 Action
1 Card
A majority of votes

Reinforcements provides:
4 cards to then chosen Methuselahs (assuming a 'me' focused view, cards to others may be a price for 'A majority of votes and aren't accounted for)

Reinforcements net benefits:
+3 cards to the library if a majority of votes can be gained.

If banning or errating Ashur Tablets, why not ban or errata Reinforcements? For me they seem pretty balanced. Again Reinforcements is limitative for the "titled vampire" clause. If not I guess it would be more played by weenie vote decks. Not by high-caps of course (usually the titled vamps), because losing an action is a too high oportunity cost for them.

Your 'for me' opinion is subjective. The reasons for why I think Reinforcements should be left alone are simply: 4 cards is not a large change in card resources AND it is a highly interactive way to gain those resources.

The problem about time loss is that some players deliberatly choose to "lose time" searching to do the GW (mainly on finals, to win the tournament by first seed). In my opinion that's not a problem of a single card, there are many cards that "allow" "time loss" and it's a problem due to tournament rules and basic game mechanics ("wait, let me think, should I play my DI or not?").

Call a judge each and every time. If they seem to be taking an unreasonable amount of time, call a judge.

Card power is an issue (if confirmed), time loss another different one.

If we're discussing time loss it would be nice to stick to it, not going back to talk about number of cards. Number of cards is independent of how much time does a given card take to resolve, independently of which game phase are we talking about.

The time loss for choosing a single card, by name or by search, during the turn is likely to be less than choosing 13 cards purely because the choice itself is simpler. MotS limits the possible choices by its text, so does Fanchon, Alastor, etc. They all instruct the player to "Search for a card that meets Criteria X" so they're options are reduced and the time delay would also be significantly reduced.

:bruj::CEL::POT::PRE::tha: Baron of Sydney, Australia, 418

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31 Jul 2014 11:25 #64510 by jamesatzephyr

Might as well make it "Only one Ashur tablet may be played per turn" but
thats a longer addition to the text.


If it's a choice between "Master: Out-of-turn" purely to make it once per go round the table and "You can only play one per turn", I'd go with the latter, no question.


I'm not commenting on the desirability of the overall change one way or the other. But if you want one Ashur per player per turn tops, it's much, much, much less annoying this way.

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31 Jul 2014 11:37 - 31 Jul 2014 11:38 #64511 by cordovader

Stating that "recurring that volume of cards is too powerful" it's not just an opinion. It's Darby's interpretation of "what the game should be" and not "what the game is".

As we're comparing Ashur Tablets vs. Reinforcements, this is the actual state of things:

-Reinforcements takes back 3 cards
-Ashur Tablets takes back 4 cards (I'm eliminating from the equation the "to your hand" clause on ATs)
-Reinforcements gives no pool
-Ashur Tablets gives 1 pool per card played
-Reinforcements is a political action (possibility of blocking, DI, DT, voted against)
-Ashur Tablets is a master (possibility of Sudden and similar stuff)
-Reinforcement has no downside, except losing the action
-Ashur Tablets have 2 downsides, the MPA (usually more valuable than an action, except playing with high-cap vamps), and the "autoregulation clause"
-Reinforcements effect triggers when referendum passes
-Ashur Tablets effect triggers when 3 cards are sucessfully played (that's why the "autoregulation clause" is so important)
-Ashur Tablets have the obvious benefit of taking back a card to your hand

3 Ashur Tablets requires:
3 MPAs
4 cards from the hand (one discarded at/after resolution)

3 Ashur Tablets gives:
12 cards to library
1 card from ashheap to hand
3 pool

3 Ashur Tablets provides as a net benefit:
+3 pool
+9 cards to the library
for the cost of 3 MPAs

Reinforcements requires:
1 Action
1 Card
A majority of votes

Reinforcements provides:
4 cards to then chosen Methuselahs (assuming a 'me' focused view, cards to others may be a price for 'A majority of votes and aren't accounted for)

Reinforcements net benefits:
+3 cards to the library if a majority of votes can be gained.

If banning or errating Ashur Tablets, why not ban or errata Reinforcements? For me they seem pretty balanced. Again Reinforcements is limitative for the "titled vampire" clause. If not I guess it would be more played by weenie vote decks. Not by high-caps of course (usually the titled vamps), because losing an action is a too high oportunity cost for them.

Your 'for me' opinion is subjective. The reasons for why I think Reinforcements should be left alone are simply: 4 cards is not a large change in card resources AND it is a highly interactive way to gain those resources.

The problem about time loss is that some players deliberatly choose to "lose time" searching to do the GW (mainly on finals, to win the tournament by first seed). In my opinion that's not a problem of a single card, there are many cards that "allow" "time loss" and it's a problem due to tournament rules and basic game mechanics ("wait, let me think, should I play my DI or not?").

Call a judge each and every time. If they seem to be taking an unreasonable amount of time, call a judge.

Card power is an issue (if confirmed), time loss another different one.

If we're discussing time loss it would be nice to stick to it, not going back to talk about number of cards. Number of cards is independent of how much time does a given card take to resolve, independently of which game phase are we talking about.

The time loss for choosing a single card, by name or by search, during the turn is likely to be less than choosing 13 cards purely because the choice itself is simpler. MotS limits the possible choices by its text, so does Fanchon, Alastor, etc. They all instruct the player to "Search for a card that meets Criteria X" so they're options are reduced and the time delay would also be significantly reduced.


You realize that 12/3 makes 4 right? Not counting the Ashur you lose due to it's use. In that case it's 9/3 make 3 per played Ashur Tablet.
Last edit: 31 Jul 2014 11:38 by cordovader.

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31 Jul 2014 13:32 #64513 by Asnek
Replied by Asnek on topic Re: Balancing Ashur Tablets

3 Ashur Tablets requires:
3 MPAs
4 cards from the hand (one discarded at/after resolution)

3 Ashur Tablets gives:
12 cards to library
1 card from ashheap to hand
3 pool

3 Ashur Tablets provides as a net benefit:
+3 pool
+9 cards to the library
for the cost of 3 MPAs

Reinforcements requires:
1 Action
1 Card
A majority of votes

Reinforcements provides:
4 cards to then chosen Methuselahs (assuming a 'me' focused view, cards to others may be a price for 'A majority of votes and aren't accounted for)

Reinforcements net benefits:
+3 cards to the library if a majority of votes can be gained.


how did you get to 4 cards provided for methuselah in reinforcment? using same math as you used for ashurs you would gain ONLY 2 cards not 4. returning 3 cards at cost of 1 card.
ashurs do have slightly better results when you count that they do return 13 card for cost of 3.5 cards.
yes in fact it's 3.5 card and not a whole card as you have suggested. many times you simply drop duplicity from your hand or card you know would not be needed around the table. in such cases you are in card benefit and not in card lose!!!

another fact you definitively need to take in acount is that Reinforcment is an action not master. any moron around the table might be able to simply throw away telepatic misdirection (that is played in like 1/3-1/4 of decks) and screw whole your gain. how many deck do intentonaly play suddens and/or washes? i believe it would be much lower number.

Call a judge each and every time. If they seem to be taking an unreasonable amount of time, call a judge.


hey judge it takes him 2 minutes to choose 13th card that should go to his hand and while judge walks to you table he is done or he will reply that he needs to calculate amount of cards in his asheap to decide what to dig in... so what should i do as a judge now? pick up 13th card at random? smash playeers on hands when they do chose cards for longer than 3 minutes? what is suitable time for choosing 13 cards out of 70 in my asheap?
next time recepie for hot water PLEASE (and yes this sentence was supposed to be ironical and offensive if you want to take it this way)

Card power is an issue (if confirmed), time loss another different one.
If we're discussing time loss it would be nice to stick to it, not going back to talk about number of cards. Number of cards is independent of how much time does a given card take to resolve, independently of which game phase are we talking about.


The time loss for choosing a single card, by name or by search, during the turn is likely to be less than choosing 13 cards purely because the choice itself is simpler. MotS limits the possible choices by its text, so does Fanchon, Alastor, etc. They all instruct the player to "Search for a card that meets Criteria X" so they're options are reduced and the time delay would also be significantly reduced.


you can't separate these two as you are trying to suggest. time loss is equal to quantity of cards you need to find and fact you are searching for more cards does not help. you still need to find those 3 majesty in your asheap. you still need to dig throu 40-50 cards. when you are searching for single card you play in multiple copies any 'open' search like alastor or MOS will be done by finding first card... searching for all majestys in my asheap can take even 2-3 minutes while searching for one can takes 10-20 seconds.
once you simply need to go through WHOLE your library/asheap time consumption will raise definitively.

playing 3 MOS in one turn will consume more time than playing only 1. as this one is usually used to dig in single copy card from your deck it's quite time consuming.
yes heart of cheating fall out of this equation as it does not search in library so this one might be only card in concern that in fact fills in your point of view.
while alastor are quite quick as you usually play only one/two type of equips it's simple find first helicopter or assault rifle.
Fanchon lady is more complicated but not a lot. usualy after 5-10 games you know your setup good enough that you have 'order' of cards you go for and in 80% of cases you stick to it. yes searching for final anarchist uprising to kill prey might be out of standard, but it won't take more than minute.
you completely missed Erycies fragment. searching you prey's asheap for cards you might be able to play can be more time consuming than any ashurs we have ever seen.

i heard this complain for playing ashurs a lot and as i'm only one here around who own enough of them and play them regularly i received it most of the time. trying to fix this i have started to prepare cards for ashurs in advance. surprise surprise... moment i touched my asheap outside of my turn all remaining players knew right away what is going to happen.

simple scenario description. who did not see it before?
player puts 3rd ashur on the table. next 15-30 seconds he is explaining to whole table what will happen. then he chose 7-9 cards right away in another 30 seconds, but choice for remaining 4-5 cards takes another 3-5 minutes as he is checking card counts and deck situation and his hand few more times.

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