Monday, 29 December 2014

V Update: Testing inconclusive

I've got a large post in the works for this week looking back on 2014 so that's part of why I didn't post anything last week, the other reason is that Christmas is a chaotic time of the year so I had to postpone some of my other plans.

In additional news, despite my raving in support of a pure seeker build over a hybrid deck with Abyss, my testing has so far been slow and inconclusive. It's hard to sit through sessions of 8 games at a time, and I want a total of 100? I must be going mad, I don't have time for that. However I will be pushing on and I intend to have that testing done before my next trip out into Birmingham for a Sneak Peak of BT17e, even though I'm not investing in packs, I will still be doing the sneak peak as it's something to do and I've not been out for a goo fight for several weeks now due to transportation problems getting in and out of the city.

So yes, testing is still on-going as current evidence is inconclusive, although I'm sure tossing a Frozen Ogle in to either build would shake that up a bit. Not that I will as that's not part of my testing parameters.

In terms of blog updates, not necessarily related to the game, I will be uploading my deck lists over the new year, now that I know from an experiment how to link to specific pages, I know that link (above) is currently a dead end but I will be restoring the page once I have taken some time to put my lists to it. I should also have an actual finished banner for next year in place of my current temporary choice. Should include some fancy typography to create my own logo, even though I realized after I settled on my chosen graphic that it's not a new concept as Black Veil Brides, a metal band, and other groups beat me to the design layout ages ago. But hey, it's tried and true, and it works very well.

Anyway, I'm going to resume work on my 2014 look back now and all I can say is, thank Touya, as I know I wouldn't have remembered any of these events if Vanguardus didn't have an archive of news for the entire year.

As for going into next year, I'll resume COTW for the Week commencing Jan 5th 2015, and in the same week I will hopefully be sharing my thoughts on a certain Extra Booster, I mean I DO main Dimension Police after all so it's not like I'm going to stay quiet when I can let a Roar of the Cosmos!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Card of the Week (W/C: 15th December): Light Source Seeker, Alfred Exiv

[ACT](VC)Legion 20000 "Blaster Blade" or "Blaster Blade Seeker"(If your opponent's vanguard is grade 3 or greater, this unit may return four cards from your drop zone into your deck once, search your deck for the specified card, and Legion)
[CONT](VC):During your turn, if this card is Legion, this card gets [Power]+1000 for each of your other units with "Seeker" in its card name. Then, if the number of rear-guards you have is five or greater, this unit gets [Critical]+1.
[ACT](VC):[Counter Blast (2)-card with "Seeker" in its card name] Search your deck for up to one card with "Seeker" in its card name, call it to (RC), and shuffle your deck.

Ok, so you're building your Seeker, Thing Saver Dragon deck because of that "Does not re stand, do not want!" mentality you've picked up from the Japanese meta players, so of course you want to build the notorious deck that topped in Japan,  Saver Abyss. But here's the thing, do you REALLY want to build the deck or are you just doing it to copy someone else?

Here's my case in point, we have options for the Sing Saver deck that Japan didn't have during the decks reign. And the deck is still popular In Japan, even now with G Support now being available, it remains a favorable choice for the Japanese player base. Yes they're running Altomile and Soul Saver as their back-up grade 3's. A) We don't have the former, B) I STRONGLY Disagree with the latter.

Here's my suggestion, you want to build a Sing Saver Deck? then use Alfred as your Alternative Grade 3, and potential first ride.

Alfred uses the same mate as Sing Saver Skill allows which allows for more support options in the deck's Grade 2 line-up than if you had to fit 2 separate mates. Additionally Alfred's skill means that your legion can be hitting anything from 21000-33000 and with 5 rearguards in play he also gets an additional critical, creating additional pressure.

In the Saver Aybss build, while you can almost be certain of getting to ride "Abyss" you aren't guaranteed to get off it's skill and it's even a one-shot skill that either works, or fails, and after that? Vanilla! No additional Pressure until you hit Sing Saver. Congratulations, You just done goofed. Due to Seekers often being Sub-Clan specific you have no Synergy with Abyss (Although that's what the Blaster Support is for.)

Now this week I'm going to try and simulate 100 OR MORE games of Sing Saver Vs. Sing Saver, however, one build will be the Blaster build, (from the Japanese meta) the other will be an Alfred Build. Other than the Blaster Support in stead of pure Seekers in the Abyss build, I will build both decks the same. Trigger Line up I will use for testing will be 12 Critical and 4 heal for each side. However I shall also have strict rules in place to factor for chance and reduce the number of sack wins. There will be those that disagree with me using the V*Mundi Gauntlet Method, of testing, but on this occasion, I'm going for it.

So yes, my card of the week is Light Source Seeker, Alfred Exiv, and by the end of this week I intend to have proven that Alfred Saver is better than Abyss Saver.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Card Of The Week (W/C: 8th December 2014): Blue Storm Marine General, Demetrius

[AUTO] Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Counter Blast (1)] When an «Aqua Force» rides this unit, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose your vanguard, and until end of turn, that unit gets [Power]+10000, and "[AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, if it is the fourth battle of that turn or more, draw two cards, choose one of your opponent's rear-guards, and retire it.".
[AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, this unit gets [Power]+2000 until end of that battle.

From the recent Fighter's Collection I want to take a look at a card from a Clan I don't often mention. Blue Storm Marine General, Demetrius is the second Break Ride for Aqua Force, and unlike his predecessor, Blue Flight Dragon, Trans-core Dragon, Demetrius fully supports the Blue Strom sub-clan and is also a +3 in his skill alone, plus combined with Blue Storm Karma Dragon, Maelstrom "Reverse", the unit this card was designed to be paired with, you can kill two of your opponent's rearguard and pull a suddenly huge hand out of seemingly no where. But here's the thing to note, how much of a plus do you actually get?

Note: -1 to an opponent is a tactical +1 to you, not a literal +1.

BR Skill: +3
Tiwn Drive: +1
Hit-Y/N?: +5(2*)/+2(Retire+Draw)

So you'll ether make a total theoretical advantage of +6 OR +9, now bearing in mind what I previously said, (in different post,) about when an Advantage gap that reaches 8 or more. For the one on the back foot, it's Taggen Toppa or Game Over.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

V Rants: Mechanics - Twin Drive is unfair!

Thank to a guy on pojo called TehNACHO for helping me realize something that I never really thought about before, despite the fact I know I've seen this bought up several times, I myself never stopped to think about it personally- that is until now.

If you were looking at balance in Vanguard you'd have to first work out what creates imbalance, then you have to realize, what is the thing which most people despise about the game?

Grade Stuck!

But why is this? Well the source of the problem comes from an ability All Grade 3's have. Twin Drive.

Let's just look at how many cards you'll have gone through after each turn in a vanilla 2 player game, that means skill are not taken into account here. Also for this I'm Excluding damage from the card count.
Player 1 - Player 2 (16 turns, 8 each)
6-5 (EDIT: Forgot to factor first attack bonus so everything after this needs to be reworked)
24-24 (Typically by this point the game is over, each player usually only gets 8-10 turns each, although games can last up until deck-out.)

Now what if either player gets grade stuck? Double comparison required.
12-11 (Beginning of Forth Rotation and already the affects are felt, Difference = 1)
15-13 (Draw difference = 2)
18-15 (Difference = 3)
21-17 (Difference = 4)
21-19 (Difference = 5, that's a full a hand ahead)

The longer you remain Grade stuck, or rather the longer the game goes on with only one player having Twin Drive, the more necessary it becomes for the player falling behind to throw reason to the curb and doing the impossible! TAGGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGGAN!!!!! style. If you get Grade have fallen behind and hit a permanent deficit.  Unless you can turn the tide using skill and exerting massive pressure, of course, if the opponent is also using a pro-active deck, or even using a reactive deck, this won't work. In a grade stuck game you'd be fortunate to make a comeback past the sixth or seventh rotation if you were unable to ride up.

Now, what if Grade 3's DIDN'T HAVE TWIN DRIVE?

Notice that at the start of the first rotation the first player will always have drawn one more card than the second player but this is balanced by player 2 having the first attack which counts as an additional draw, so theoretically

Sub-Conclusion: Grade Stuck isn't what screws you over, it's NOT HAVING TWIN DRIVE when the opponent does that screws you over, and the longer that lasts the harder the come-back becomes.


Point 2: Triggers

"Twin Crit 4 DAYZ!"

Triggers are unbalanced, and another factor that makes balancing Vanguard difficult. A Draw Trigger is +1 additional card.
Stand's are difficult to calculate, are they a -1, -2, or a -3 to the opponent? There's multiple factors to consider there, depending on the power of the unit they stand, and if that unit hits it's a theoretical +2.5 (Seen Heal and Critical next) to you, but potentially can also be a plus to them to if they need counterblast.
And what about Critical and Heal Trigger? Both these triggers generate relatively the same advantage difference to each other, and to work this out we have to calculate the value of damage. The value of damage is typically calculated, going by various sources as 2.5 cards, per damage. although quite how this works out I'm not too sure. 

In any case, going by that we can then assume that a 2 critical attack counts as a theoretical 5 card advantage difference. Meanwhile scoring 3 damage in once attack would count as 7.5 theoretical cards difference, which would have to rounded to 8 Cards of advantage difference. But this doesn't factor in Counterblast potential which to be honest skills aren't something raw maths can calculate for. 

Importantly to note when advantage difference reaches 8 cards or more, it's Taggen Toppa time.
You either concede accepting that you are logically highly improbable to make a come back, or push on knowing the only way you can win is by "throwing reason to the curb and doing the impossible!" if the latter, you have some serious guts.

Of course the same numbers used for damage also apply for heals, but in the favor of the one healing as opposed to the one dealing damage, and because of this a heal can cancel out advantage gain if it goes off, although it doesn't take maths to explain that, due to how obvious it is.

Sub-Conclusion: Twin Crit, when it occurs, more often than not will decide the outcome of a game, regardless of when it happens, unless heals negate the damage.

Final Conclusion: NOT having Twin Drive and/or being Twin Critical'd will ruin your game.

Does this count as a rant? Sure why not, I'm only complaining as ALL my games this past weekend were decided by Grade Stuck or Twin Crit. I'm still feeling bitter about it and I'm not playing as well as I should be as a result. And yes, I know I'm re-stating things that are said all the time, but how many of you have actually stopped to think of the numbers involved.

Oh and if you're Grade Stuck AND get twin crit'd. That a +9 the the opponent in that turn alone by which point they can be anything from 9-17 cards ahead depending on progression of the game, at a different of 10+, not even going all in, balls to the wall, Taggen Toppa style is enough, you are beyond screwed, beyond defeated, the fight is futile without anything short of a miracle to be able to push back. By this point you have been nothing short of annihilated. Good Day and sod the lot.

All of this highlights the need for G-Assist and also re-enforces that Vangaurd was NOT designed as a competitive game, but rather it was intended simply to be wacky and fun, which so long as you don't try to be overly competitive, it is.