Heavy Armor and How We Use It

Discussion in 'Deck Building' started by Adolf Tickler, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Adolf Tickler

    Adolf Tickler Mushroom Warrior

    I'm not convinced I'll see eye-to-eye with you either. However that won't make me stop trying ;)

    After reading your last post, I'm left with two questions for you:
    1. How much life does armor prevent in a game and for a single unit on average?
    2. Is this damage reduction average from the previous question negligible when compared to how much damage an enemy can deal? e.g. if your answer to question #1 was 3 damage, I'd say it was negligible.
     
  2. Adolf Tickler

    Adolf Tickler Mushroom Warrior

    Also, in answer to your your question:

    Yes, you can discard any other card? But movement and attacks and blocks are ALL more valued at the end of the turn. If you disagree than start a poll to see what cards people hold on to at the end of the turn.
     
  3. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    If I may, Adolf, I think I may understand your frustration "with keep" but if I do it might be more appropriate to rephrase your frustration. If I understand correctly, you don't like that for armor to have worthwhile value (in your view) the dynamic necessary is that it be kept over an extended period of a game. This requires one to discard other cards that might be of more value, just to get the full value out of armor. This undercuts the only value that you see in armor.

    This means that you don't have a problem with the rule allowing armor to be kept directly (the keep keyword) but the keeping dynamic of armor. When you state that you have a problem with the keep keyword, it comes across as seeing "keep" devaluing armor in itself (vs. armor that can't be kept). Is that right? If so you may want to change your phrasing to the "keeping dynamic" rather than the keep keyword.
     
  4. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    1) Wow I mean it depends so much—on the situation, your draw, your opponent. I value armor more against wizards than against warriors, so in a game against wizards I'll hold onto my armor and it'll prevent a lot of damage. Against warriors I might discard my armor sooner. I'm not sure how to get you a useful quantified answer to this question but I can say anecdotally that armor has been huge for me on tons of occasions in PvP.
    2) Damage adds up. And I think once you pass the "Rusty Armor test" and your armor card has prevented more than 3 damage, it has provided significant value. Keep in mind that even if you discard an armor card at end of turn, it could have prevented damage from multiple attacks in that same turn. It can negate an opponent's Blind Rage. It can make the weak attacks packaged on items like Lochaber Axe or Infused Greatclub that much less good. And preventing 4 damage might not seem much in the face of 17-damage attacks, but it's only the last point of life that matters; armor makes it that much harder for your opponents to take away that last point of life. In a game where everyone is constantly discarding their worst cards for a given situation, I'd say it really depends on the situation.

    I've enjoyed playing armor, playing with it, playing against it. It's been relevant more often than irrelevant, and it adds a dimension to the game. And a lot of the time, it's a good card to keep. Would I rather have the Penetrating Cut off my martial skill or Reliable Mail at end of turn? Seems obvious to me.
     
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  5. Adolf Tickler

    Adolf Tickler Mushroom Warrior

    Scarponi, I think that was excellently put. I wasn't phrasing my argument correctly and I really appreciate your help in bringing me back to my OG point. From here on out, I will use the phrase keeping dynamic instead of the keyword keep. Now that we are both in similar understanding, what are your views? Do you disagree with my belief that the keeping dynamic decreases the value of armor except in the most ideal circumstances of getting your armor early and on a unit with plenty of health and that is under attack?

    Flax, my point is that a premise like yours (that damage adds up) is more often false than accurate. Damage adds up if your unit is being attacked, which frequently isn't the case once it is discovered you have armor. Damage adds up if your armor successfully rolls (which means certain armors are better). Damage adds up if you get the armor earlier in the game. Damage adds up if you keep the armor amidst all other cards in-hand and their end-of-turn value. Damage adds up if you have the hit points to negate any damage at all. Damage adds up if you aren't forced to discard the armor.

    Damage only adds up if your unit is a threat, has armor and early in the game, doesn't need to perform any other operation the following turn like attack or move or support, and has the health for the armor to be effective in preventing.

    There are plenty of cards that can or do have value at any infinite times in a game like CH. Heck, even cards like Rusty Armor CAN have value if it saves your unit's life in order to make a come-back and win. Just because a card(s) has value doesn't mean the card is good or that it couldn't be replaced with something better.

    If we were to remove all armor cards and make the damage negation, support/healing, and moving out of range the only forms of defense, I really don't think players would notice a lessening of fun in the game. Especially with all the potential cards that could replace armor cards/armor items. As I've stated before, the armor slot could become a utility slot introducing more utility cards that are very different from what is available of class/race items. I see this as a HUGE potential for fun that doesn't have to be as based on luck that armors are currently.
     
  6. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    Glad my clarification could help!

    As far as my opinion goes, I do not agree that armor's value is lessened due to this dynamic. Like I mentioned in the other thread, this game has two halves to it, SP and MP. In SP I find armor invaluable, and if only for SP alone, I would not want to see armor disappear. But even in MP, how I value armor is greatly based on my build and my goal. Wait, isn't everyone's goal to win? Yes, that is the ultimate end, but not necessarily the goal of how to achieve it. What if my goal is to win with a firestorm deck? What if I have a tank decoy deck. What if my playing style is one that prefers to grind out a victory over more rounds? What if I build my deck to be strong against anything but ranged attacks and I need something to absorb those low level hits over time? Armor provides more options and more dynamics to the game. It clearly does not fit your play style which is fine, but it can be used quite enjoyably (and well) by someone who likes to use armor in their style of play.

    You said above:

    Well I could say that blocks are only valuable when:
    1. Your unit is being attacked
    2. You get the block before being attacked and keep it against SPR and War Cry.
    3. Your unit has enough health points where after your block gets used up you still don't die (Dwarves!)
    I still wouldn't want to get rid of blocks.

    On a non-gameplay note, a game with medieval style hand-to-hand combat would just seem lacking if there was no type of armor, wouldn't it?
     
  7. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    Um, I think damage always adds up... Maybe you meant damage reduction adds up in only those situations, but generally speaking unless you have a lot of healing cards you never recover damage once it's dealt and so it adds up. Reducing it as it happens can be useful, depending on what's attacking you. As I explained above, it's more valuable against wizards than warriors, but even warriors have low-damage cards and sometimes the armor exactly negates a damage buff. I like Scarponi's example of dismissing blocks based on their situational usefulness.

    Anyway, I didn't make a speedy reply because I was busy making the game better :)
     
  8. Adolf Tickler

    Adolf Tickler Mushroom Warrior

    Scarponi,

    I guess that's where we disagree. In SP armor can be valuable because everything is preprogrammed. The enemies' attacks can be expected and you can understand how they'll swarm, etc. Or armor is really great with firestorm decks. I use it too and your right, it is helpful. So I totally get it. But could you do the SP campaign without any armor at all? I'd say yes. Would it be harder? It depends. If we got replacement cards instead of armor, I could see it not changing at all. But what if it got harder? Personally, I thought it wasn't too challenging and I wouldn't mind if it got a little harder.

    And yes, you could say the same rules apply to blocks. But blocks do their job and negate damage, frequently reducing damage more than armor in a given game. Yes, both blocks and armor are luck based, but because blocks can be bypassed if attacked from behind as well as their inability to "keep" after usage, their nature is impermanent. Unlike blocks, armors don't negate as much damage, you need multiples to negate as much as a single block, and etc. etc. This goes back to the keeping dynamic of armor. Because of the keeping dynamic armor just isn't as useful.

    And if we are talking about non-gameplay, what medieval armor didn't protect 90% of the time, reducing a massive swing of a mace to a few bruises. Or how often do you just throw off your armor mid battle? I will admit, medieval studies is not my forte, but I think you understand what I mean.

    Would there be a hole if armor was removed? Maybe, but utility cards could possibly fill that hole.

    Flax,

    First, I was using the term, "damage adds up" the same way you used it in your earlier post. However, I 100% agree with you analysis of when armor can be helpful against different classes. Do you need armor to defeat those teams? Just because we like something doesn't mean it can't be replaced with something better (which is my thesis if you will).
     
  9. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    Seeing as Reliable Mail x2 shuts down Firestorm (and just 1x already takes out 2/3 of FS damage), I'd say it's one of the best single cards to have against Firestorm. That's just one example.
     
  10. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    Let's see if I got this straight.

    So armor is useful in single player, but maybe too useful, so we might as well get rid of it. But blocks are useful in MP so they should be kept?
     
  11. Inkfingers

    Inkfingers Thaumaturge

    My big question about your argument (armor should be removed or replaced with another mechanic) is this: Is the mechanic of Armor fundamentally broken (as in, flawed. Not as in overpowered.)?

    Every mechanic can't be the most optimal one, just as there has to be a mechanic that is the least useful to players. Even if armor was the least valuable mechanic in Card Hunter (which I'm not sure one could even demonstrate that it is), that mechanic has to exist somewhere. If your claim is that armor makes the game unfun, or unplayable, or some combination of those, I could understand. But the whole gist of your argument seems to be that armor isn't optimal.

    It's clear from examples, provided by all sides of the argument, that there are situations in which one might choose to use armor over other things. That choice - the ability to decide which mechanics you are going to use to win in any given scenario - is a big part of what keeps us interested in the game. The limitations on that choice - item slots preventing us from making decks out of nothing but Nimble Strikes, O. Bludgeons and Hard To Pin Down's - are what makes that choice meaningful. If we could just ignore armor, and not include it in our decks at all, the game would become less complex, and easier to solve, deck diversity would decrease, and the meta would become less interesting.

    Being forced to include cards that aren't always going to help us forces us to include the most helpful of those unhelpful cards. Optimizing armor slots is an important part of the deck-building process, and removing that makes the process less interesting. Sure, I could stuff a few more attack cards in my deck, but EVERYONE would stuff a few more too, making each match more predictable. Once I War Cry'd someone, I'd know exactly how many times I needed to hit them before they died.

    The effect you mentioned a few posts back - that armor can deter people from attacking a character - is actually a huge deal. If I can convince you not to attack my warrior and to attack my vamp priest loaded down with drains instead, that's a huge victory for me. Armor has a big hidden effect on matches that is present in more than just the number of points of damage reduced per attack.

    I think that armor adds great dimension to PvP, and would argue strongly that it is a functional (if not always optimal) mechanic, and that it's removal would hurt Cardhuntria as a whole.
     
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  12. AngryUSAMan

    AngryUSAMan Orc Soldier

    What if more armor cards were introduced that have some effect in addition to just preventing damage? I would like to see more cards like Inspiring Armor and Spiked Mail. If combined with more hybrid armor cards like Dynamic Armor, it might prevent the need that some feel to replace the more traditional armor cards with something like War Cry or more attacks. Maybe if warriors and priests had access to armor with 2 traits, like wizards do, then players wouldn't feel constrained as much by the current options. These are just some ideas I had so that the armor slot can be retained while adding more utility and freedom of choice for players.

    We can also increase the value of using armor in its current state by using more healing cards, using dwarves (not that anyone needs more reasons to do this), and building our decks to allow for playing every card in hand each turn, except for the armor that we don't want to discard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
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  13. Ector

    Ector Hydra

    I use the same armor cards as everyone. I cannot agree with the idea that armor should be attached to your char, as that place was designed for the temporary magical/divine/environmental effects affecting your character. Would you like that Purge would strip your warrior? :rolleyes:

    The problem is: most armor cards aren't effective enough. The designers obviously feared that if they would be effective enough, the game would degenerate to "find an armor-destroying card first".

    I have a suggestion. The armor cards shouldn't be kept - they should trigger, prevent some damage and go away, but they should be more effective of course. This is the core principle of Cardhunter: no items are working all the time. Your weapon is a six cards that you may have or don't have in any given round - why should the armor work differently? If you have, say, one card associated with your weapon in your hand, that represents a chance of strike your weapon provides. Similarly, you should have one-shot armor cards as the chances of reducing the damage. This may lead to six-card armor items and even to several armor items for each character, but this will completely resolve the problem.

    If you are interested, I could invent some one-shot armor cards just for the demonstration.

    I would add the rule of free cycling for all reactive cards: a character should be able to "play" any block or armor card to get another card instead. Why? Because I hate to have the cards I cannot play in my hand, and I guess most players feel the same. When the reactive card failed, the opponent knows about its existence, while he shouldn't "realistically" know that. "Aha, he tried to dodge, but failed - that means he MUST try to dodge next time"? Very stupid. Of course, playing the card should be a normal action, passing the initiative to your opponent.
     

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