Heavy Armor and How We Use It

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

  1. Rantrah

    Rantrah Kobold

    What if you could ALWAYS keep one extra armor, just like Officers Harness always does? Then, your other 2 cards are at your discretion.
    Probably a pain to code. I suppose all armor could just say they don't count against the 2 card hand limit, but you MUST discard down to 3 cards in hand... still kind of complicated...
    I really like armor myself and it isn't as useful as it could be. Especially since the armor classes are different for the different character classes and you could really isolate the high powered armors to the Warriors.
  2. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    What if armor were an attachment?
    Kalin likes this.
  3. Rantrah

    Rantrah Kobold

    You could distinguish further by having some armors with cantrip and ones that would be 'harder to equip' without cantrip.
  4. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    Armor Sux Plz fix ;)
    Yeah, it would be really neat if the rules were tweaked a bit to make armor more useful. Right now the best thing you can have is 2X Reliable Mail, after that most every armor card you draw is useless.

    Armor as an attachment would be tricky with the 3-card limit, it would be way too easy to lose (if I understand Flax correctly).
    It would be neat if you could "Combine" armor cards together, or maybe have it so you can keep all of your armor cards but gain Encumber 1 if you have more than 2 in your hand (with some exceptions like Harnesses). It could get out of control but it could also be interesting.
  5. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    It would be neat if some attachments could have a "can't be pushed off" keyword.
    illkkill likes this.
  6. illkkill

    illkkill Mushroom Warrior

    I agree with what you guys are saying!!
    I always keep my armor instead of attacks when I know my warrior can't attack because its freezed or too far away.
    That being said.... usually I discard armor cards anyway.
    I feel like on boots though, sometimes armor is better than movements, especially on elves.
    I rather have more officer hardness than a ton of movements on my hand.
  7. Rantrah

    Rantrah Kobold

    It's looking like there isn't a current option for armor that will completely fix it. Armor could work as an attachment, but might need to have it's own stack of 3. Of course you could end up with 6 attachments then and that would be a lot for one unit. Armor could have it's own 'spot' in your hand, where you could keep multiple armor cards, but gain an encumber effect. I like a lot of these ideas better than the current setup, but I wouldn't want it to get too complicated for new people either.
    Part of what makes Card Hunter so fantastic is how simple it is to access from your first time trying it.
    Jarmo likes this.
  8. AngryUSAMan

    AngryUSAMan Orc Soldier

    Can you imagine how powerful being able to hold 2x Enchanted Harness and 1x Enchanted Mail along with multiple Officer's Harness would be? If this was possible, a player could reduce most attacks to zero damage. I think Blue Manchu's intent is to not have extremely powerful armor in the game. Most heals are a lot less powerful than attacks, too. Armor is balanced since the rules are the same and apply to both players. It makes for faster games. If armor and/or healing were more powerful, the duration of matches would increase and it would take longer to get our gold chests because doing enough damage to kill a character would be more difficult. It would be more frustrating to play against someone who could reduce the damage from all attacks to zero even if I did have 1 or 2 cards in my deck that could remove all of the armor along with a few penetrating attacks. People would regard items that don't have at least half penetrating attacks as garbage. Even if I have 5 copies of a card to counter armor in my deck, I am not guaranteed to draw them every game. How many cards would we be forced to dedicate to countering armor, only to face a team with little to no armor that makes most of those cards dead draws? Having to remove armor, being forced to use penetrating attacks only, or being unable to kill a character would decrease the number of viable cards for multiplayer, which would narrow the range of strategies. I think that Reliable Mail is fine, and I like Frenzy Aura, especially on a character with stabs. Officer's Harness already allows for a really tanky character if used with Enchanted Harness. The armors in the game now range from very defensive to extremely offensive and you can build a deck to suit your style with what is available. If you don't like armor, there are armor slot items with spells, traits, or other cards instead of actual damage prevention, too. Maybe I'm the only one, but I think that armor is functioning well the way it is now.
  9. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    Seriously, just reduce card damage slightly. Armor mechanics work perfectly right now; armor cards themselves only seem lame sometimes because warriors have 14+ damage attacks.
    Scarponi likes this.
  10. Adolf Tickler

    Adolf Tickler Mushroom Warrior

    I agree with AngryUSAMan on this topic of armor as an attachment. You can see more of my reasoning behind why armor will become even worse if it becomes an attachment at my post, Are you . . . too Attached?

    Reducing damage to smaller amounts might be a good idea Flax. That way armor becomes more effective, and some units could become tanks. I could really like this new style of gameplay.

    However, one of my favorite aspects to the game is how 'short' a game takes to play. Which in my experience is just under 10 minutes. Reducing damage could have the adverse effect of making the mean time of a game rise to something more like 15 or possibly even 20 minutes. I would suggest BM gives an option to games to have a timer for each move (more along the lines of 30 seconds) that is much shorter than it's current timer, especially if they balance gameplay damage by reduction.
  11. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    As Angry already noted, anything that increases armors' effectiveness will extend game time - you can't have your cake and eat it to.

    I don't see this working for people who have slower connections or computers that stall out momentarily on occasion.
  12. Adolf Tickler

    Adolf Tickler Mushroom Warrior

    Good Points Scarponi. I think I'm leaning towards removing armor in general. Blocks seem to be enough damage reduction for the meta.

    That's why I said having a timer as an option :p
  13. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    Ahh, missed that part.
  14. Adolf Tickler

    Adolf Tickler Mushroom Warrior

    Posted this in a response to Scarponi from a different thread about attachments. It seems to have genereated a lot of heat from a certain few people.

    So I wanted to bring it to this thread where I think it is more appropriate and see if anyone different has thoughts on it.

    P.S. Scarponi makes a good point in the other thread that I want to clarify: I'm not asking for all armor to be a one-time shot like Rusty Armor or Cloth Armor. Nor am I asking for armor to never stay in hand at the end of the turn. I'm raising more questions than I'm answering about how to fix (what I think is a design flaw with) armor. That's why I'm bringing this to the community.
  15. Inkfingers

    Inkfingers Thaumaturge

    Moved here from here

    It seems to me like the conflict for you, Tickler, is that you don't like that you have to discard armor with the keep keyword at the end of the round. However, if it didn't have the keep keyword, you would have discarded it because it had already been used. Look at these scenarios:

    You have armor, and are hit for damage, the armor blocks it, and is discarded because it didn't have keep. Regardless of how many cards you have at the end of the turn, you no longer have armor.

    You have armor, and are hit for damage, the armor blocks it, and isn't discarded because it has keep. At the end of the turn, you discard down to 2 cards, and don't keep the armor. Same as above, in terms of end result.

    Those were the two it seemed like you were considering most of the time - you're point seemed to me that it was silly to keep armor and frustrating to discard it. However, consider the following:

    You have armor, and are hit for damage, the armor blocks it, and is discarded because it didn't have keep. At the end of the turn, the armor would have been preferable to the other cards you have (say, because you're on fire, and need to prevent a point or two of damage to stay alive). You would have kept the armor, if you still had it, but it didn't have keep, so you discarded it. Value lost!

    You have armor, and are hit for damage, the armor blocks it, and isn't discarded because it has keep. At the end of the turn, you either have 2 or less cards, or the armor is preferable to the other cards you have (say, because you're on fire, and need to prevent a point or two of damage to stay alive). You keep the armor, potentially discarding other cards. Value gained!

    Armor sometimes has value, especially against certain builds. It's a niche card, but I like that a lot of times we are forced to include it in our Priest/Warrior decks. It adds variety to a game in which it is generally more preferable to do damage than to prevent it.

    EDIT: It also seems like you addressed this issue in your previous post. Ah, the trials and tribulations of forum debate.
  16. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    You didn't offend me and I haven't meant to hound you. I do think that ripping out the system just because it's hard to balance the numbers doesn't make sense. We agree that the current armor system would be fine if high-damage attacks were scaled down or made more sparse, rendering both armor and the Penetrating keyword more relevant. Where we differ is that you seem to want to remove Armor cards. Very little about Card Hunter is impeccably balanced—look at attacks, for instance—and if we removed, say, attack cards, then there wouldn't be a game at all. Armor is less crucial than attacks but I think they're a fun system, fully differentiated from blocks, with a lot of cool applications. You have normal armor cards, you have hybrid move-armor cards, you have specialty armors like Grounding Plates and Toughness, you have hybrid move-boost cards like the aura cycle... lots and lots and lots of design space that I think makes the game much richer. There are a hundred fun decisions to make when evaluating armor cards, both when building a deck and when playing an individual game.

    Your fixation with the Keep keyword doesn't make sense to me by the way. I don't see how Keep is inherently a design flaw because it makes a card more valuable to keep around. Whenever you discard cards, you have to decide—"is this going to give me more value in future turns than this other thing?" And if you end up discarding a Keep armor, is that really more value lost than if you'd discarded an attack or a move? I know other people have tried to engage with your objection to Keep but I'm either blanking bigtime or the reasoning just hasn't been put forward in a clear and easy-to-follow manner.

    Scarponi likes this.
  17. Adolf Tickler

    Adolf Tickler Mushroom Warrior


    Great points. I really value your thoughts.

    First off, I want to focus on armors that have the keyword keep. Armors that don't either have been deemed worse than many black traits or they have niche uses like Frenzy Aura or Arcane Aura. The niche armors are used rarely for their potential to block damage but rather their secondary ability of increasing damage or the likes.

    You're right that I do normally consider the first two scenarios. I think that discarded armor, especially ones that have the keyword keep, are a value lost. What's the point of putting armor in your deck if a block can negate more damage in a single turn than armor can in an entire game if you're just going to discard it.

    However, I feel I have also brought a lot of attention to why armor fails even in the later scenarios. But I will elaborate:

    Inkfingers mentions that value is gained from the armor because at the end of the turn you don't have any good cards in hand except for the armor, and your unit that has the armor needs the armor to stay alive and fight another day. Inkfingers tell me if I'm wrong, but that sounds like a niche scenario.

    If we want to be honest, we are both disregarding A LOT of scenarios with armor.

    Scenario #1 You could have a unit that has armor, are hit for damage, the armor blocks some of it, and it isn't discarded because it has keep. However, now your opponent sees that you have armor, changes targets and attacks a weaker unit. You keep armor at the end of the turn. Value lost or gained?

    Scenario #2 Same as the above scenario, except let's take a closer look at the end of the turn. After the attack let's say that your unit is halfway down in health. With a good setup, your opponent could possibly kill you in one swing if you don't have any blocks or armor. But you do have armor. In your damaged unit's hand, you have a Powerful Hack as well as two armors. Three cards to choose from keeping. You discard the Powerful Hack for the armors but your next turn doesn't bring any more defensive cards and your enemy is still able to do enough damage to dispatch your unit. Armor gained or lost?

    Scenario #3 Same as scenario #2 but this time your unit draws some defensive cards to last another turn, but no offensive cards. You have an active decoy, but for how long? In my experience in the upper echelons of ranking, its not very long. Additionally, active decoys rarely win you the battle. Moving around and preventing damage is great, but only if the opponent isn't able to attack the other units. This may be value gained, but how frequently does it happen?

    I can go on examining scenarios with armor in hand and with the keep keyword. However, I think it is clear that armor is only valueable when:
    1. Your unit is being attacked.
    2. You get armor early in game you're able to keep it even against wizards that have Short Perplexing Rays and Boiling Armor and hard end-of-turn hand decisions.
    3. Your unit has enough health points where armor can last a long time and reduce a lot of damage (Dwarves!)
    I'm not saying that armor can't get lucky. Armor is based around luck and it can save lives. And this might be my biggest gripe with armor: you have to be very lucky for it to be helpful. This is why 9 times out of 10 people choose Reliable Mail because of its consistency over armors like Thickened Mail.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  18. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    Reliable Mail also just has higher average damage reduction than Thickened Mail. I sometimes run Crafted Mail or Heavy Armor (the former has the same average damage reduction as Reliable Mail and the latter is actually better, but with a drawback).
  19. Adolf Tickler

    Adolf Tickler Mushroom Warrior

    Thanks for your response Flax. And seriously, no hard feelings.

    Read above and let me know if you still don't understand why my fixation with the keyword keep is a detriment. Overall, I think that keep forces armor to be entwined with luck. This has been pointed out that it may make the game richer because of this symbiotic relationship with luck. However my discussion about armor is to provide a convincing argument to why luck decreases the value of armor. The main ways it decreases it is simply the three listed at the end of the above post always having to do with the fact that armor gains value from reducing damage over a long term.

    Yes we agree that damage needs to be balanced. If this occurs, I might be more inclined to like armor. I've never said anything against that. I have fun envisioning a different version of CH with a different mechanic in place of armor.
  20. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member


    I've read all the posts, and I'm not convinced I'll ever see eye-to-eye with you on this. The fact that armor can increase in value the longer you hold onto it doesn't mean that Keep reduces the value of the card when you discard it. You could have discarded any other card, right? No matter what, you're throwing a card away. But an armor with Keep may have already increased your effective HP before you discarded it, unlike, say, an unused move or attack card.

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