Discussion on powers

GMd by asudevil. Draw between marsman57 (England), attitudes (Italy), Morg (Austria) and stalin813 (Russia)

Discussion on powers

Postby asudevil » 03 Jan 2012, 04:59

Side notes on powers.

In looking at the thread of powers, I am finding some powers stronger than others. Im curious as to your guys thoughts. Im not looking to change any of the powers, but curious as to peoples thoughts here before the game starts. And then curious how our pre-thoughts match our post-thoughts.

I feel the major power of amphibian units is underpowered. Since United Nations is awefully similar and only a minor power, I think I like that better.

I feel the major power of thief is overpowered. Unlike Negator which has to guess at the orders to make the moves change to hold, you get to just remove a unit every season. Yes, they get rebuilt, but still.


I feel the minor power of foreign build is underpowered. Its basically build anywhere for that person. I think neutral builder is cooler to get units behind enemy lines.

I feel the minor power of guild is overpowered. The ability to move coastal regions without a fleet and go anywhere (since you arent giving it away with the fleet) seems awfully strong, granted it takes some seasons, but still its really strong.

Those are my early thoughts, what do you guys think?
Last edited by asudevil on 03 Jan 2012, 05:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pre discussion on powers

Postby asudevil » 03 Jan 2012, 05:03

Ok, I copy and pasted my thoughts on powers from the other thread here. As was pointed out, this may affect the blind auction bids, so dont discuss it now. However, once I post the results for bids, feel free to post thoughts on powers here. DO NOT POST UNTIL THEN

Feel free to post thoughts before Winter 1900, or any time during the game about powers. You guys can use this as a discussion board on strength of powers in the game or powers not being used in the game.

You can also use this to discuss who has what powers, or how powers are being used in the game. You can discuss other's powers, your powers, anything you want about the powers.

I will comment on strength/weakness of powers but will not comment on your discussions of who has what power, because I will not influence the game in that way.

I would love this thread to be THE source of debates on powers so that they are condensed in one spot instead of throughout the various season's results.

You can post there too...this may just work better.
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Re: Discussion on powers

Postby Morg » 05 Jan 2012, 06:10

I don't know if you feel comfortable answering this but was any power more than one person's first pick? If so what kind of details could you provide. (# of powers as a first pick for more than one person, # of people choosing the same powers, also were there any powers that no one wanted)
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Re: Discussion on powers

Postby asudevil » 05 Jan 2012, 06:19

I will answer both questions.

No power minor/major was anyone's first pick (at least not that they bid full out on.). There were luckily no ties at all for this.

The major powers with no one bidding on them were Pirate and Key Rule. I think Key Rule perhaps because people didnt understand it that well. I think Pirate because people didnt think fleets were that great. The best part of Pirate in my mind is that you can force a unit to convoy, but even if you dont use it to convoy it overrides that unit to a convoy order (which is effectively a hold order)

The minor power with no one bidding on them was Foreign Build. Which I completely understand.

Radiation and Atreides were bid on by only 1 person and for 1 each...so basically, they werent bid on either.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Discussion on powers

Postby Morg » 05 Jan 2012, 06:44

asudevil wrote:I will answer both questions.

No power minor/major was anyone's first pick (at least not that they bid full out on.). There were luckily no ties at all for this.

The major powers with no one bidding on them were Pirate and Key Rule. I think Key Rule perhaps because people didnt understand it that well. I think Pirate because people didnt think fleets were that great. The best part of Pirate in my mind is that you can force a unit to convoy, but even if you dont use it to convoy it overrides that unit to a convoy order (which is effectively a hold order)

The minor power with no one bidding on them was Foreign Build. Which I completely understand.

Radiation and Atreides were bid on by only 1 person and for 1 each...so basically, they werent bid on either.

Hope this helps.


Thanks, Based on this I'd guess that the powers are all fairly balanced in terms of what people think are the best.

I didn't like the Key Rule as it has the potential to work against the user.

Though I'm surprised about the Pirate. For Austria it's a not exactly a top notch item, but for countries with greater convoying needs it seems pretty awesome. Not only do you get to use their fleet to get where you need to go, but you also take that Fleet out of action. For a country like England or France the possibilities are nearly endless as to what you could use it for.

Minor build is rather weak, Atreides is too specific to the largest power, and Radiation again can hurt the user (though it is useful at blocking access through various areas).
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Re: Discussion on powers

Postby asudevil » 05 Jan 2012, 14:35

My biggest surprise was that after the talk of how strong Thief was/may be...

No one took it.
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Re: Discussion on powers

Postby marsman57 » 05 Jan 2012, 19:04

I'll give some in-depth information on the powers not chosen and you can trust those as honest, but obviously I may have an agenda in my discussion of the chosen powers :) I'll split it into two sections as such.

Completely honest (well I suppose if I mention a power that was taken in comparison, I might have a small agenda):
3.2. Evil Eye - I am a bit surprised this was not picked. You could use it to get an extra support from your enemy or just wreak random havoc on their stalemate line. Maybe, like I, everyone bid on it, but it was not their highest bid.
3.4. Extra Petrol - I bid on this power as my 4th highest. I am a little surprised it was not taken as a double move is awesome. The problematic part for me was that you would get messed up if the intermediate space was taken, so beyond the beginning of the game, you had issues. I am a bit glad it was not taken, as I wonder what a nightmare the adjudication would have been if you caused a retreat in the intermediate space (say you had 2-1 support to get into the first space and then succeeded at the second move as well). Also, who knows if that space would then be considered available for a retreat!
3.5. Germ Warfare - This power is weak because it is a major power but cannot be rebuilt. Also, the affects are devastating... to you and your enemies. If I had ended up with this power, I would have probably used it with my hyperspace joker or neutral build to drop way behind enemy lines and wreak havoc before predictably having the unit gunned down. Seriously, I can't see being able to release this more than once. Actually on further thought, I guess it depends on if the units attacking/surrounding were destroyed before the retreat. If that is the case, this unit would be very hard to destroy and maybe I should have bid higher on the power.
3.8. Insect - I think this had the potential to be the most powerful power in the game. I am glad no one ended up with it as a result. Despite what has been tossed around, I don't feel like it will be that hard to guess powers pretty quickly into the game by process of elimination, and even with the worst information imaginable, you could get it in 3 years (6 seasons). With a properly aggressive minor power, you could easily have a major power in 1902 I would guess, and the second one might not be far behind. I am also really glad no one has this because it does not make it as paramount to keep my major power secret.
3.9. Key Rule - I understood this power. I honestly thought it had the potential to be very powerful, but as someone else said, I did not bid on it because I worried it might become a burden as I could not do certain beleagured garrison defenses with my allies.
3.11. Pirate - I felt this power was incredibly weak. I understand some of the defenses, but you could do absolutely the same thing (and more) with Evil Eye. Hawkonnen could have some of the same effect too.
3.13 Thief - I am quite surprised this was not taken. To remove two units from the board per year is pretty powerful. I know they can be rebuilt, but it would be especially powerful in culling Zombies. I will admit this was my second highest bid power. Maybe it was the same for everyone. :)
4.1. Atreides - I liked this power, but I didn't want to have a useless power if I were in the lead. It is like holding the Blue Shell in first place in Mario Kart (if anyone is familiar).
4.3. Defensive Armies - I'm not surprised this wasn't picked. I would expect the illusionist to quickly teleport them to their deaths. I also worry that they could crowd your territory and prevent you from moving your units that can move out. I'd been more likely to pick it if it were possible to just have to keep any two armies in your home territory at all times (or have to take a destroy).
4.5. Foreign Build - A mediocre power that isn't that fun to play. There might be some uses if combined with a hyperspace gateway to start getting builds behind enemy lines, but that's what Neutral Builder is for.
4.7. Hopper Original units - I thought these were pretty cool for vaulting the stalemate line and could have been marvelous if combined with Amphibian. Seriously, if you have Amphibian, I would be feeling pretty bad about the fact that you can't hop everywhere.
4.8. Hyperspace - I'm sad this wasn't picked. I was hoping for some interesting ontology every turn rather than just 7 times per game.
4.12 Radiation - This power is pretty awesome, but the fact that it is hard to recreate the bomber if you are stalled or losing ground was enough to keep me from bidding it. If you could just "designate" a new bomber, I would have been more inclined.
4.13 Chameleon - I know this power is taken, but I don't need an agenda as it will be revealed at the beginning of 1901 and it won't be me. I think this power has the potential to be awesome though it hamstrings you from bluffing about any of your powers. You will have an interesting extra layer of diplomacy where you can try to bluff about unit location or type.
4.14 Woodrow Wilson - I actually thought he was pretty good. You effectively make it so the leader has to have 19 supply centers to win the game and you get a half-Negator as well. This is all for a minor power. I am surprised no one picked it.

I have an agenda:
3.1. Amphibian - I'll go as far to say that I disagreed with asudevil's analysis that this was weak. I am interested to see how long the country taking it keeps it secret.
3.3. Negator - I am not a fan of any of the guessing powers. I was surprised this got picked. I suppose it could be a good power in the late game though. If I had it, I probably wouldn't reveal for quite some time.
3.6. Hawkonnnen - I felt like this was a weaker version of Evil Eye, but maybe it has utility in that you can order the same unit twice consecutively. I am glad that Evil Eye/Pirate are not in play as I just realized that there was no specification as to where this fit into that stack.
3.7. Illusionist - I thought this power would be super fun to play, but strategically it seemed a bit weak to me as you could not easily use it to your advantage against your immediately adjacent enemies.
3.10. King - I think this power is solidly mediocre normally, but if revealed at the right time, it could be devastating.
3.12. Terrorist - I think this power will probably be a little overpowered in the early game if used judiciously as it could effectively knock someone out of the game by slowing their progress. As the game progresses though, it may get weak with the 2 year cool down on mining the same territory, and the inability to mine a territory with a unit. Also, you could hamstring your own progress.
3.14 Zombie - Yeah, this power is totally awesome... if you're losing territory. I guess I just will have to not do that then! ;) If you were not eliminated when you had 0 SCs I would have taken this with 90 points.
4.2. Crooks Tourist - This is a pretty awesome power. I like how it helps you spread yourself over the map. Even if it doesn't confer ownership, it could be a great way to jump behind enemy lines for the crucial support you need to break a stalemate. I would feel a little bad if I got this (or Neutral Builder) with Zombie as it will be a little harder to get builds (since you take less destroys).
4.4. United Nations - I hope the Amphibian didn't end up with this. Otherwise, it is a pretty awesome power. I would have loved it if I were Austria as it would give you a much better chance of taking control of the Med. early.
4.6. Guild - This is an decent power for pretty much everyone. Austria could make up for some of his lack of fleets in gaining control of the Med. (though UN might be better for this), England can obviously use it to get to the mainland faster. France, Germany, or Russia could use it to attack England. Turkey... I don't see as many uses for Turkey, but I suppose he could use it to hop the Black Sea or accumulate convoy spaces to make an Austrian/Turkish alliance not fall apart once Russia falls.
4.9 Leonides - Very solid power, but it would be better if it were in affect when supporting or convoying.
4.10 Macron - Very solid power. There isn't a lot to say about it, but I would love to combine it with King to exercise some muscle in the early game.
4.11 Neutral Builder - Awesome power for getting behind enemy lines. This has the potential to be overpowered in the late game. I would feel a little bad if I were the Zombie as it is harder to get rebuilds if you have lost ground.
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Re: Discussion on powers

Postby asudevil » 05 Jan 2012, 19:17

marsman57 wrote:
3.2. Evil Eye - I am a bit surprised this was not picked. You could use it to get an extra support from your enemy or just wreak random havoc on their stalemate line. Maybe, like I, everyone bid on it, but it was not their highest bid.

4.7. Hopper Original units - I thought these were pretty cool for vaulting the stalemate line and could have been marvelous if combined with Amphibian. Seriously, if you have Amphibian, I would be feeling pretty bad about the fact that you can't hop everywhere.

4.14 Woodrow Wilson - I actually thought he was pretty good. You effectively make it so the leader has to have 19 supply centers to win the game and you get a half-Negator as well. This is all for a minor power. I am surprised no one picked it.

3.6. Hawkonnnen - I felt like this was a weaker version of Evil Eye, but maybe it has utility in that you can order the same unit twice consecutively. I am glad that Evil Eye/Pirate are not in play as I just realized that there was no specification as to where this fit into that stack.
.


I will have to look at the powers that are linked up to see about what you said would be good/bad combos.

As for the 4 above...I loved Evil eye, with the ability to wreck havoc, and over-ride pretty much everything

I thought hopper would be so sick to break stalemate lines and go wherever they needed.

I dont know why you say that Woodrow Wilson forces the leader to have 19. He doesnt get the build of all of his SC's, but still only needs 18 for the win.

Hawk would have been below Evil Eye or Pirate because that is the original order for the traitor unit, which is then corrupted by the Evil Eye/Pirate. And being able to use the same unit 2 seasons in a row is nice.
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Re: Discussion on powers

Postby marsman57 » 05 Jan 2012, 20:01

Woodrow Wilson May order an embargo on any one country each year, in which case that country counts one supply less for that year. Each turn may also specify one order that one other player may not order (if tried, the unit holds).

It was my opinion that the bolded part meant that the country counted as one less supply center in the Winter for all purposes not just for builds. If not, it is a bit weaker. I might have asked a question about it, but I thought my interpretation was too good to spoil the blind auction if true. :)
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Re: Discussion on powers

Postby marsman57 » 05 Jan 2012, 20:41

The other problem with Atreides is that the major power of several players would not really be cancellable as they affect the units of the player rather than you. This includes two that were taken (Amphibian and Zombie). Also, in the case of some other powers (such as Illusionist and King), you might not want to not be affected by the power. I am pretty sure that it is only good to have this power against Negator, Terrorist, or Hawkonnen though. It is especially good against Terrorist as you could run through the minefields!
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