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  1. #1

    Default Brawling VS Blasting. The problem and the fix?

    I'm not sure how many of the MonPoc vets still check out these forums, but it seems like some still post so I thought I'd pose this question here.

    In any case, during the heyday of Monsterpocalypse, I remember one topic often mentioned but not very well explained was that of the unbalance of Brawling attacks VS Blasting attacks. According to many, there was a pretty strong imbalance in power for these two types of attacks, and this seemed to be a general consensus. Considering this imbalance myself, I can certainly see some evidence for it. In terms of units, there are very few that are valued for being brawlers, and blasting units will almost always make up a good chunk of any army (if possible for the faction anyway). The functionality to be able to hit enemy units or monsters from a safe distance behind covers almost always beats getting up close and personal in more ways than one. Not to mention it seems like there are a lot of good Blast triggers compared to Brawl triggers. For monsters, it could be said the previously mentioned points apply, on top of the fact that brawling can be extra disadvantageous due to its making it easier for the opposing monster to pull off a power attack. Blasting also makes being able to pick off units and buildings easier too. However, despite this imbalance, I don't think that means brawlers are entirely disadvantaged. Plenty of brawlers, such as Empire of Apes, Savage Swarm, Lords of Cthul, Terrasaurs, and a few other figures from the other factions could hold their own quite well against many a monster, even to the point of being high-tier. With the right triggers and abilities, monsters could do quite well as brawlers, amazingly in fact. The imbalance of brawling VS blasting certainly wasn't game-breaking to the point that brawling monsters or units always lost out to blasters, which is probably why no one made a big fuss about it, but the fact that everyone agreed the imbalance was a major flaw to this amazing game always bothered me. The point I am trying to come to here is that I'm wondering if there is something I'm missing in terms of the imbalance. While I do see how blasters have a general advantage, I'm not sure I understand the particulars of this imbalance. Also, and more importantly, how can this imbalance be fixed? If there's anything I'm missing from above, can anyone give me a good overview of how exactly blasting beats brawling, and also any ideas on how to fix it? I'm game for coming up with potential fixes as well, but I want to make sure I fully understand the problem first before coming up with ideas.

  2. #2
    Moderator Mod_Dvandom's Avatar
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    I think it's less an issue of game balance and more an issue of risk-averseness. As you point out, blasting is safe. You don't open yourself up to all the nasty attacks that require starting in base-to-base. For a Monster to brawl is to put a very short clock on the inevitable horrible retribution. If you can do enough damage to make the exchange worth it, or have abilities that reduce the risk (like ones that keep you from being thrown), it's okay. But a lot of monsters live by the "first to brawl is first to die" maxim. Similarly, units have to expect to all die after their one melee attack if they're even remotely a threat, since monsters can generally wipe out everything in B2B if they have any power dice available. The fact that it's often more than worth it is immaterial to some players.

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  3. #3

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    I think your missing some history though as well up until S4 there were no good brawl triggers for units. The Monster side was never really the issue. The biggest problem that always came up was Triggers, B-dice, and restrictions(Brawling can't attack flying unless they have a movement ability so they always end up being lesser units).

    It's also easier to get the Leadership bonus and combined attack with blasting. And the biggest issue I think is brawl almost always must Move then attack, where as blast in many cases will not need to move, saving A-dice. Most older brawling units just were unimpressive for their cost. This was likely a fluff reason, if you brawl you likely walk/crawl so again your slow and can't move though the city very well(the other side of the fluff, well if you fly you move fast right? The exception being Explodohawk which had draw backs).

    Once the right trigger(blitz) came out brawling finally had a niche and could generate massive b-die and clear multiple buildings in one turn.

    Brawl also has the advantage of "most defense lowering abilities" which became more powerful in later series as more Def 5 creatures came out.

    Series 4 and 5 buildings also helped since brawling then got it's own "Bank HQ" of sorts with the sports arena. And Intel allowed some of the Dice disadvantage to be absorbed.

    If you look at only the Rise block this is where you see most of the unit side of the brawl weakness. I never really saw it as a Monster weakness as most monsters would power attack or have a decent ability set to ever use brawl.

  4. #4
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    olesideburns pretty much covers it. The later series added units and triggers that made brawling a viable build alternative, but blasting always will hold an edge because of the improved safety.

    Ways that I've seen discussed to make brawling better:

    Add a Charge option for brawlers, which allows them to make a free Brawl attack when they pay to move.
    Add a bonus B dice when they attack on a turn that they've advanced.

    Other ways it might work would be to allow a player to activate two units with a single A dice when the move to attack...or attack with two units for a single A dice, allowing both to contribute their B dice to the attack.

    All of these focus on increasing the dice efficiency of brawling units, which really is the only currency available to the game. The other option would be to re-balance the spawning cost of brawling and blasting units.

    The problem of course is that there are viable brawling units in the game now (Razor Beetle paired with Explodomites, and Frontline Apes). Making them better runs the risk of making them too good.

  5. #5

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    Another option to put some balance back would be to limit blasting some, maybe blasting can't hit burrow or burrow always gets cover. Buffing Cover to 2 defense may help as well.

    Lifting the Brawl limitation for Unit to monsters could help a little too. In many ways I always hated the can't brawl flying because it's just another rule to remember but it's a fluff thing.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the clarification guys! I guess I thought the imbalance was bigger because it seemed to be often mentioned in the community, but perhaps it was just a common thing to point out the small advantage for Blasting. In terms of fixes, I do like the free Brawl attack idea after moving, as well as Burrow getting an immunity to unit Blast attacks (especially since that would make Burrow like the evil twin of Flight, so to speak). However, I can see how this could possibly boost certain units, or even monsters, to a power level they don't need to have, even though it could greatly help others. In the end, changing the game in any way to help overcome this problem would require more than a simple rule change, but unit and possibly monster changes as well.

    On another note, in terms of olesideburns idea for buffing Cover, while I don't like the idea of boosting it's base defense, I've always wondered why cover can't stack. The fact that many maps have trees placed ever so strategically in the nooks of buildings always made me wonder if there was an idea to make cover stack. It would make sense to me. Shouldn't a unit get cover for hiding behind a tree while also near a building? Granted this would make for some tough attacks, but trees near buildings aren't too common, and in order to make sure cover doesn't get too OP there can be a rule that it can't stack per the number of buildings. Instead, cover can only stack per type of cover (Ex: Tree on map, monster, building, then abilities like Dig In etc.) Just a thought I wanted to throw out there.

  7. #7
    Destroyer of Worlds LunarSol's Avatar
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    MonPoc talk!

    Sadly, I'm late to the party and someone drank all the punch. It's pretty well covered here. The real huge problem is Brawling units, though pedestrian brawl based monsters definitely suffer as well. (Luckily, these largely stopped existing after the first set).

    Basically, it comes down to movement being resource intensive and strict enough to easily defend against. Blast therefore becomes more efficient, but the game eventually developed some good tricks to mitigate this overall.

  8. #8
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    Oh, your comments raise so many old ideas! Late in the game development, I think as late as Big in Japan, the FAQ started altering abilities in really neat ways. It probably didn't help the game's complexity level at all, but abilities started to have different effects depending on whether they were on a unit or a monster. Take Radial Attack, which was changed so that if it was on a unit, the trigger effect could only damage other units, not monsters. This adjustment showed me a couple of things: The system could support a very nuanced system, which while complex, reduced the need to develop different abilities for units that you wanted to mimic the effects of abilities on monsters, but control the power level such that monster abilities were superior. If this approach had been taken during the Rise block, when Explosion was limited in what it could affect, we might still see monsters with the Explosion trigger able to level entire blocks in a single attack, while units could still use it for collateral damage, but on a smaller scale.

    I also like the idea of Cover stacking, and I think it was decided not to take that approach to keep the game more simple. But with things already getting complex, I don't really see that this would have added much to everything else that's already going on.


    Quote Originally Posted by colin9102 View Post
    Thanks for the clarification guys! I guess I thought the imbalance was bigger because it seemed to be often mentioned in the community, but perhaps it was just a common thing to point out the small advantage for Blasting. In terms of fixes, I do like the free Brawl attack idea after moving, as well as Burrow getting an immunity to unit Blast attacks (especially since that would make Burrow like the evil twin of Flight, so to speak). However, I can see how this could possibly boost certain units, or even monsters, to a power level they don't need to have, even though it could greatly help others. In the end, changing the game in any way to help overcome this problem would require more than a simple rule change, but unit and possibly monster changes as well.

    On another note, in terms of olesideburns idea for buffing Cover, while I don't like the idea of boosting it's base defense, I've always wondered why cover can't stack. The fact that many maps have trees placed ever so strategically in the nooks of buildings always made me wonder if there was an idea to make cover stack. It would make sense to me. Shouldn't a unit get cover for hiding behind a tree while also near a building? Granted this would make for some tough attacks, but trees near buildings aren't too common, and in order to make sure cover doesn't get too OP there can be a rule that it can't stack per the number of buildings. Instead, cover can only stack per type of cover (Ex: Tree on map, monster, building, then abilities like Dig In etc.) Just a thought I wanted to throw out there.

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