Re Open to the summons

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marcos
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Re Open to the summons

Post by marcos » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:35 pm

Frodo wrote:Hey Vastor, I'm open to suggestions on how to make Open to the Summons actually create an interesting and new resource strategy for Balrog. Brian also pointed out that they only thing which really changes is that you're getting Men factions; but so what? This is a card that needs work. Perhaps the Men factions could have some kind of special significance that the Faction-Set helper cards would reference... or the Men factions make Baduila himself very strong... or you can no longer reveal the Balrog but must play a "ringwraithless" Balrog deck that is compensated for by a Baduila character that gets rapidly stronger with each Man faction... or something like that!!
Do we really think that this card needs work?
Any ideas to make it better?

I like the "ringwraithless" option, but many of the balrog only cards will be useless: demon fana cards, lord and usurper combo, descent through fire, great troll... well you know, all that cards that can only be played by The Balrog himself

thoughts?

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Thorsten the Traveller
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:01 pm

I also like the avatarless enhancement idea, because of Balrog popularity.
But to be honest, I thought OttS V was already thematically on the edge -men(factions) working for the Balrog? - but promoting Baduila to a warlord seems too much to me. Baduila is an ICE invention first of all, but also an agent, and therefore a solitary guy in essence. And with Vastor I find that the men faction doesn't add that much in strategy, so personally I would like to see another road for OttS, something enhancing avatarless Balrog sure, but then strengthening a Umi/Bumi or other balrog leader.

If opponent scores Balrog first, what is your main problem?
-1 less big character, obviously
-massive influence loss (12 DI/GI with Great Shadow), thus little chance for Orcs Moria, and less characters (mp's) in play.
-slow/no sideboarding

So OttS can perhaps be a perm to allow a balrog specific leader to play man characters from sideboard if opponent has balrog in play? If opponent scores big Red (or you decide not to play him), you can in response drop Baduila/Gimburgoth. Only issue is influence of course, so that would have to be fixed as well.
I'm wondering, is it possible to declare yourself Balrog, without having Balrog in deck?

Or, since OttS already has the -1 mind symbol, reduce the mind of orc characters in balrog leader comp?
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Post by marcos » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:40 pm

what about leaving open to the summons as it is and add a clause like:

"If you haven't reavealed The Balrog yet and your opponent plays his avatar, tap this card (this card never untaps) and you can bring a Balrog Specific Leader from your Sb into play at Moria or The Under-Gates. Place a token on that character, that character is considered to be The Balrog for all purposes and requires no influence to be controlled."

I like the idea of OttS for Grimbu too... That would be innovative, balrog sorcery using company, but could OttS be duplicated? you know, make a company with Grimbu and Baduila togheter sounds nice...

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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:05 pm

The thing is, if you play Balrog, you need to feel Balrog. That's why I'd focus on promoting a balrog leader should you not manage to play him or decide not to. If you want to play Grimbu and Baduila (and Elerina), then you'd better play ringwraith/Sauron I suppose. Making one of them a Balrog thrall is nice, but all of them?

Having two rivalling Flames of Udun seems bit strange. You really want Azog to wield a Whip of Flames, Descend through Fire at under-courts, and then become a Lord and Usurper? hmm...
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Post by Bandobras Took » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:17 pm

Even a character who is considered to be the Balrog would not get the abilities on the Balrog card itself, so Under-Deeps movement is more problematic, and the penalty for trying to remain untapped is significantly higher.

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Post by marcos » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:27 pm

i'm not catching your point here, first you suggested:
So OttS can perhaps be a perm to allow a balrog specific leader to play man characters from sideboard if opponent has balrog in play? If opponent scores big Red (or you decide not to play him), you can in response drop Baduila/Gimburgoth. Only issue is influence of course, so that would have to be fixed as well.
but then you don't want Grimbu/Baduila to be played by balrog?
That's why I'd focus on promoting a balrog leader should you not manage to play him or decide not to. If you want to play Grimbu and Baduila (and Elerina), then you'd better play ringwraith/Sauron I suppose. Making one of them a Balrog thrall is nice, but all of them?
i guess that Joe's idea is to make any "new" strats for a Balrog-less deck, so you don't want to feel Balrog. Making a leader more powerful doesn't bring new alternatives, that just pump the old ones. Making a Leader your avatar while you have a covert company (baduila/grimbu/half-orcs) using some sorcery and playing some balrog specific resources (tempest of fire, people diminished, maker's map, a few recruits, etc) is something that no one has ever seen, and sounds pretty interesting to me
Having two rivalling Flames of Udun seems bit strange. You really want Azog to wield a Whip of Flames, Descend through Fire at under-courts, and then become a Lord and Usurper? hmm...
that part might need a bit more of work. But as b_took pointed out, we don't want to make an avatar that is exactly the same as balrog, we want a new way to play and create new strategies

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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:47 pm

But creating a new Warlord is like introducing a new avatar, that's something else than promoting a guy that is already balrog specific, that way you maintain certain Balrog feel, you're still an underdeeps Orc/troll with Balrog history, so to speak. Hence my question also, can you declare yourself balrog player without adding Balrog to the deck? You can for FW, but there is usually no point to do so, but Balrog gets full mp's and has strong characters without Hogg being in play anyway...

Of course if you want new avatars for virtuals, there's plenty to pick from, just ask Vastor, he'll gladly provide you with ideas. But if you have Ummi or Bummi as your 'reserve' avatar, he can still go around with a man character like Grimbu using magic raiding free-holds, no problem for me. At least you maintain Balrog connection.

So I said "get a man-char from sideboard", but if you start with a normal balrog company, it will be very difficult indeed to get both Grimburgoth and Baduila in play, where do you find the GI? (unless the original comp. dies or gets discarded, or you just start with low mind chars). I hadn't actually thought about whether or not I agree with both in play...

Of course Azog will find it difficult to become Usurper :lol: , but I was merely suggesting it because the idea seems rather silly to me. Azog as a Great Shadow is bit rediculous as well.
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Post by Nerdmeetsyou » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:24 pm

why not intruduce an OTHER Balrog character????

like making a new balrog with some special ablities that support another strategy....

And I don't mean making another MANIFESTION...
I realy mean another avatar..

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Post by marcos » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:24 pm

Thorsten the Traveller wrote:But creating a new Warlord is like introducing a new avatar, that's something else than promoting a guy that is already balrog specific, that way you maintain certain Balrog feel, you're still an underdeeps Orc/troll with Balrog history, so to speak. Hence my question also, can you declare yourself balrog player without adding Balrog to the deck? You can for FW, but there is usually no point to do so, but Balrog gets full mp's and has strong characters without Hogg being in play anyway...
Of course, we want to maintain that feeling, but doing something different. The way i suggested, you keep being an under-deeps orc/troll. And about your question, a balrog deck without The balrog is still a legal deck
Thorsten the Traveller wrote:Of course if you want new avatars for virtuals, there's plenty to pick from, just ask Vastor, he'll gladly provide you with ideas.
Hehe, just look at Fate project :P
That sounds nice for future Virtual expansions...
Thorsten the Traveller wrote:But if you have Ummi or Bummi as your 'reserve' avatar, he can still go around with a man character like Grimbu using magic raiding free-holds, no problem for me. At least you maintain Balrog connection.
now we understand each other, that is the idea :D
Thorsten the Traveller wrote:So I said "get a man-char from sideboard", but if you start with a normal balrog company, it will be very difficult indeed to get both Grimburgoth and Baduila in play, where do you find the GI? (unless the original comp. dies or gets discarded, or you just start with low mind chars)...
This actually goes against the first idea about the card, of being able to start with that powerful man character influencing man factions on a balrog deck, but could work as an alternative to keep in mind
Thorsten the Traveller wrote:Of course Azog will find it difficult to become Usurper :lol: , but I was merely suggesting it because the idea seems rather silly to me. Azog as a Great Shadow is bit rediculous as well.

Well the idea of being lord and usurper doesn't look ridiculous to me it will just be a pretty much more difficult due to the lack of cancellers that hog has (darkness wielded), the roll for movement that hog also has and main of all, the prowess that the hog has, even untapped.
i agree with you on great shadow, flame of udun and strangling coils. What if we prevent the use of Demon Fana cards on target character?
Last edited by marcos on Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by marcos » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:31 pm

BoderHamster wrote:why not intruduce an OTHER Balrog character????

like making a new balrog with some special ablities that support another strategy....

And I don't mean making another MANIFESTION...
I realy mean another avatar..
just because ICE didn't make any other balrog card than The Balrog of moria, durin's bane. We can't virtualize a card that doesn't exist :P
though i like the idea

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Post by Nerdmeetsyou » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:49 pm

Just to mention....
in the cardgame STARWARS... they started intruducing cards which had a different name after some time.... during their Vcard development

they just used the picture of another card to represent it...

so it is something that is leagaly possible....

I think this is something we even could do....
just on a few occaisons....

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Post by marcos » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:58 pm

I came up with this idea:

Open to the Summons V:
+1 mind
Permanent Event
Balrog Specific. Playable only at the start of a game in lieu of a minor item. You may play Baduila or The Grimburgoth in your starting company. Place this card with that character. If this card is in your pool, you may include Men factions in your deck. Such factions can only be influenced by a character at Baduila or The Grimburgoth’s company. If you haven't revealed The Balrog yet and your opponent plays his avatar, tap this card (this card never untaps) and you can bring a Balrog Specific Leader from your Sb into play at The Under-Gates. Place a token on that character who is considered to be The Balrog for all purposes and requires no influence to be controlled. +3 to your general influece. Demon Fana cards cannot be played on target Leader.

Yes, the text is too long, but i couldn't make it shorter...

thoughts?

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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:08 pm

I've been thinking about it, and have several points I'd like to bring in.

First of all, as a general issue, we should be carefull not to make avatarless Balrog too strong, or all overt minions will want to play it. Balrog specific cards (and the character rule) are very good, the only drawback for playing Balrog is the fact that he's popular. So if we compensate the disadvantage of not having a powerfull avatar, the alignment gets too strong. Really, if you have a chance to play a company of Buthrakaur/Hill Troll/Hill Troll/Grimburgoth, a free ally and easy faction at Moria, and People Diminished/Smoke on Wind on same site, why play regular minion at all? Only because you have no avatar...

Second, for this reason and thematic reasons, I think letting the leader count as Balrog is too good, even without Fana cards. Not just the MP cards, which will be harder to play without Flame of Udun, though I think Buthrakaur with Tongue/Whip and some Report You's still has a good shot. But also the support cards, like Angband Revisited, Vanguard of Might, Obey him or Die, Great Troll etc. And like I said, it's thematically unsound to let a leader carry the Balrog's whip and sword.

Then, I still have thematic reservations against the men factions. Personally I was already apalled when ICE introduced Beornings for minions, but to sway them over to the Balrog is even worse. Also, why should the Southrons work for the Balrog, or the Woses? Hillmen? fine. Dunlendings? okay then. Woodmen? debatable, but the rest of them?

I would like to propose another resource strategy, that's kind of linked to the Hobbit:

Crack in the Wall V- permanent event
Playable on a company containing a Balrog specific leader if The Balrog is not in play. If at Goblin Gate, the company may attack a hero company travelling through High Pass during opponents movement-hazard phase, or at a site in High Pass or its adjacent regions during opponents site phase. After the attack, replace the company's site card with the site the hero company is at or travelling to.
Additionally, once per site phase, a Balrog specific leader at Goblin Gate may play a non-unique wolf ally from discard pile, or he may attempt to influence a wolf faction, subtracting from the roll the number of contiguous regions between High Pass and the site where the faction is normally playable (excluding the regions containing both sites). Wolf factions count as orc factions for the purpose of Great Army of the North and may be played at a tapped Goblin Gate. Each wolf faction you have in play reduces the prowess of any attack your companies face while at sites in High Pass or its adjacent regions by 1.
It's like a combined Orc Mail, yet limited, and Hour of Need for wolves, with Grond effect. All you have to do is make Baduila a Balrog Specific leader with OttS. :wink:
Thought about adding Moria too, but it would get too much on the card. Perhaps stick to the attack part only then? I dislike the fact that this also promotes squatting, and I have thematic reservations about attacking companies at Rivendell and Lorien. But the attack would still get cancelled, and it's nice that you can travel without getting hurt by hazards to Rivendell though...
Of course Balrog already has a lot of wolf-decks, the theme link is obvious, but the factions don't get played, nor do the dogs usually do anything except bark, they don't bite. This card suggests you use them in the attack. Perhaps we can also virtualise Our Own Wolves...
The rolls for the wolves would be at minus 0 for Misty Mountain, -2 for Forochel, and -4 for White Mountain, if you don't count regions containing both sites. Great Army would give +1, you'd still need serious help and a stiff roll, but with Threats, a balrog leader would need a 3/6/8 respectively, that's not too bad, and it's not counting the fact that you might get some bonus if you play Goblins/Ice Orcs/Misty/Dunlendings first, though that's not always easy of course.

There are other ways to boost a Balrog warlord in good old fashioned evil ways, perhaps play Two Headed Trolls/Great Trolls at any underdeeps sites or Moria even with a card, and discard them if they don't move for 2 turns, so that you have to use them and not squat with them. That way you maintain some Troll feel, and you got a way to deal with having less influence...
I once raided the Blue Mountains with Bumi/Bolg/Ulkaur/2 Hill Trolls and 3 Two Headeds, while played 2 Descends and 3 Report You's, so that's 8 chars with at least 10 prowess. Opponent was too scared to throw anything at me with an * :wink:
I like a war preparations theme for a balrog warlord more than just faction gathering, to be honest. And covert balrog might sound funny, but it's just crap. Maybe certain men factions (hillmen/dunlendings) can be used to make war preparations, like tap faction to make weapon major item playable at tapped site where faction was played, or something.
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Post by marcos » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:34 pm

2 headed troll cannot be duplicated on a given company...
Thorsten wrote:Crack in the Wall V- permanent event
Playable on a company containing a Balrog specific leader if The Balrog is not in play. If at Goblin Gate, the company may attack a hero company travelling through High Pass during opponents movement-hazard phase, or at a site in High Pass or its adjacent regions during opponents site phase. After the attack, replace the company's site card with the site the hero company is at or travelling to.
Additionally, once per site phase, a Balrog specific leader at Goblin Gate may play a non-unique wolf ally from discard pile, or he may attempt to influence a wolf faction, subtracting from the roll the number of contiguous regions between High Pass and the site where the faction is normally playable (excluding the regions containing both sites). Wolf factions count as orc factions for the purpose of Great Army of the North and may be played at a tapped Goblin Gate. Each wolf faction you have in play reduces the prowess of any attack your companies face while at sites in High Pass or its adjacent regions by 1.
lol and i thought that my text was too long... Does that fit in any card? :lol:

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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:27 pm

Yeah that might be a problem, always want to cramp too much in there. Since you are the cardmaker Marcos, what's the max amount of spaces at the smallest agreable lettersize?
If everybody would just let their common sense work when reading the cards, then they could be phrased using less words.
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