I am fresh back from the zoo - no, not playtesting this time, the real zoo. We are season ticket holders, so even for a short afternoon it’s totally worth it. We were headed to the lion’s den, but got stuck when my daughter found the playground much more interesting. In the end we watched other parents, which was just as fun as observing wild life animals.
Of course this prelude is just thought to smooth over the bomb I am about to lay.
In the recent poll I asked whether you wanted to get rid of the Forced March rule and go back to the old rules (which did not penalize stunned characters falling) or to keep the Forced March rule.
No fancy graphics this time - but the weighted result is that 62% of those answering the question are for keeping the Forced March rule.
I decided not to keep the Forced March rule.
I can almost hear the outcry now: “What the heck is he thinking - going against what is clearly the will of the Warlord community?”. I am going to tell you.
The Forced March rule solves a single problem: Allowing the Design Team to develop more interesting and more powerful level 4+ characters for a game. In Epic Edition the team felt it was necessary, because in essence there is no extra cost for bringing higher level characters to the front - once they are stunned, it doesn’t matter whether they are level 4, 5 or 6 (or even higher) - they habitually get stunned all the way to the front, where they can be readied easily.
To poll clearly indicates that players do not want that and I fully agree. Am I out of my mind then to decide otherwise?
Not entirely (I did license a “dead” fringe CCG - how sane can I be?). Besides the poll I asked quite a few experienced Warlord players for their qualified opinion on the topic. Some (not all) of them pointed out, that the rule also poses the potential problem of eliminating certain deck styles - Dragon ranching for example.
To me this translates into a negative play experience especially for casual players. If you don’t care too much about winning tournaments, you are proud to be able to play your dragon and you don’t want it being killed automatically by the time it hits the front rank.
That is one important reason, but another was even more important to me: It just didn’t feel right! What kind of lameass reasoning is that?
For me quite a strong one. I pledged to bring the fun back into Warlord, to give it an old school feel again. The Forced March rule significantly changes the game and allows another type of abuse by itself, which the Design Team would have to watch (for example moving opponent characters back to do automatic wounds on them, etc.).
That is not the game I feel comfortable with. I’d rather have powerful meta against such a situation where this occurs than having a standing, abusable rule. Compared to the suspense of whether my opponent thought of packing the correct meta cards in his deck and drew them when he needed them in my book a fixed rule is very, very boring.
Forced March was very limited in its application and even Cerebrul did not find that much use. The Design Team is working out a solution for the problem - meta cards that are playable and help a player to surprise and beat opponents stunning huge characters to the front. At the same time for example you will not see the same 3 hp level 4 characters that were very common in Epic Edition.
We have the luxury to start without any double-bugged sets and we are going to take advantage of that. I want an old school feel that allows old (i.e. pre-EE) players to come back. So I made a decision I am convinced is the right one. I am aware of how you voted and I think I know why you voted the way you did. We are going to offer you solutions for the problem, but it is not going to be the Forced March rule. You’ll see in the base set how it works out.
In the end I hope that you will enjoy the new brand of Warlord just as much as I do.