file Balancing Ashur Tablets

24 Jul 2014 16:44 #64004 by Orpheus
Replied by Orpheus on topic Re: Balancing Ashur Tablets

I'd say the reasons Ashur Tablets aren't played more is some combination of:

1. Owning them (lack of).

2. Not realizing how to optimally leverage them.

3. Having other things to do.

4. Not needing them to win.


Yes. And as someone previously said, many players will include 6+ in most of their decks.

I guess I fall in category 5 : not liking to play that way. I'm trying them out in a few decks to get the feel of it and have more arguments against them (couldn't put the combo in place last game, and I was doomed there anyway), but I still don't like it.

In Heroclix, games used to be with one team of figs against another.

Then they invented ressources, which are things you put on top of a fig (like the BatBelt, Rings of the Mandarin of whatever), which went overboard fast and totally broke the game.

And now they let out some Entities which can possess your figs and make them even more broken.

Result ? In the official tournament format, EVERYONE plays either a Ressource, 2+ entities (they're cheap) or BOTH. Is the game playable ? Sure. Is it enjoyable ? No. Do you HAVE to play that way to win ? YES.

So I (and many, many players who feel like me) play only in non-official tournaments which ban all those (Heroclix isn't like VTES in the sense that it can accept easily scenarios where you can't play this or must play that).

Do I want VTES to become like this ? FUCK NO !

So yeah, a game where most every deck plays 6+ Ashur Tablets would be boring as hell, and I sure want to avoid getting there (which would be the case if / when the Tablets became widely available without any errata).

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24 Jul 2014 17:21 #64009 by Jeff Kuta

Now, whether Ashur Tablets are optimal is a function of a particular design. I am inclined to use them when I'm either playing a deck full of one-ofs or a highly redundant deck that blows through lots of cards or a deck like stealth bleed where you want to play with your deck mix during the game.

But, I'm not inclined to play with them hardly at all ... because it's boring to suck up 6/7/9/10/12/13/15 slots on the same card. The idea of playing six in every deck is rather unappealing from an aesthetic viewpoint.


Highly redundant decks which blow through a lot of cards can be fun to play and not boring for certain values of "boring." Maybe card limits are the way to go! ;)

Playing with your deck mix is of course part of the power of Ashur Tablets. One of my favorite deck types with them is G2/3 Ahrimanes bleed & block. Based on the situation, you get back bleed, stealth, intercept or combat cards. Or... not, if someone else pops the Tablets first.

Deck diversity is an essential element to CCGs.


I find that using Ashur Tablets in almost all my decks actually gives me a lot of flexibility that I wouldn't otherwise have. In particular, the not negligible pool gain may provide a buffer to allow some weaker deck archetypes (e.g. rush combat without bleed bounce) to survive long enough to stabilize when faced with a highly aggressive predator.

When I first started packing decks with Tablets, I was one of the only local players do to so. Now more people are doing it and that's a good thing. There are more races to pop them than before. I can't rely on that pool gain buffer like I used to. When a playgroup gets to that critical mass, then you really start to see the whole dynamic as the metagame changes.

When you are anvil, be patient; when a hammer, strike.
:CEL::DOM::OBF::POT::QUI:
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24 Jul 2014 17:24 #64011 by Ankha
Replied by Ankha on topic Re: Balancing Ashur Tablets

So yeah, a game where most every deck plays 6+ Ashur Tablets would be boring as hell, and I sure want to avoid getting there (which would be the case if / when the Tablets became widely available without any errata).

I can't see anything supporting your prediction (and I don't believe in it a single second) so it's pure speculation. If one day everybody plays with 6 Ashur Tablets, then something will probably be done. Until then...

Prince of Paris, France
Ratings Coordinator, Rules Director

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24 Jul 2014 21:47 #64019 by Juggernaut1981

There is only so much design space if you limit yourself to effects that provide a bonus of 1 or 2 per card. People complain all the time about the disciplines and clans "losing their identity" as they are granted effects that replicate something another discipline does. Giving Thaumaturgy some damage prevention with Rego Motus wasn't the end of the world. There are many other examples where people fretted about this or that with every expansion.

I think you very successfully attempted to plumb the depths of mediocrity in your own designs, but don't forget, interesting and potentially powerful does not have to break the game or result in power-creep as long as we are adding in a diversity of ways of actually achieving the goal. Danse Macabre had some good examples of that.

The risk associated with Ashur Tablets is rather low. Opportunity costs are not huge, and as you said there are relatively few in print for the 'table clear' effect to be frequent and damaging to others Ashur Tablets. And of course the risk-reward equation is in favour of playing them... I'm suggesting the rewards are too good. So thank you for confirming it Jeff.

Your reply to ICL just confirms the other claim I made, that it allows in-game sideboarding or as Darby put it Card Probability Set restructuring in game.

Another way to put the same idea is that if you built a toolbox, you can now 'un-toolbox' it by redrawing the parts of the toolbox that are more effective in the environment and convert a toolbox into a S&B or Combat Wall or Vote-Push deck during the game.

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

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24 Jul 2014 21:50 #64020 by Juggernaut1981

So yeah, a game where most every deck plays 6+ Ashur Tablets would be boring as hell, and I sure want to avoid getting there (which would be the case if / when the Tablets became widely available without any errata).

I can't see anything supporting your prediction (and I don't believe in it a single second) so it's pure speculation. If one day everybody plays with 6 Ashur Tablets, then something will probably be done. Until then...

Please see ICL & Kuta's comments that Ashur Tablets are scarce due to limited supply. Also please check ebay. This is why everyone won't be playing with 6... owning six is a challenge of its own.

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

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24 Jul 2014 23:02 #64021 by Pascek
Replied by Pascek on topic Re: Balancing Ashur Tablets
Here in Brazil we use to play 9 , almost 20% of the players have it.

But yes, the value is due to supply, and not specifically power.

:bruj: :DOM::FOR::POT::PRE::PRO:
Roberto Mautone Jr.
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