Personally I think this goes without saying, but 'the Forge Fathers are unbalanced to their detriment'. I know some of you crazy monkeys will want some proof, so I'll offer you what I can:
1. According to the Dreadball Results Tracker endorsed by Jake, Forge Fathers win on average a mere 39.6% of their games.
2. At the Mantic Open Day tournament the other day, the bottom of the tournament standings was flooded by Forge Fathers players.
3. Anecdotally, of all the many many games I've played, and witnessed. Forge Fathers nearly always get pasted unless they have amazing luck Vs their opponents terrible luck. It's not just me, there's examples here, here, and even Jake himself in the comments here!
(As a side note, I know the Dreadball Results Tracker isn't perfect, there's many issues with the fairness of the sample, and the conditions of each match played, but similarly there are well over 600 games logged with the little guys, so we can use this a guide.)
Good, so I hope we've got that out of the way and can move on? Excellent.
|Too true Mr. Canyon. Too True.|
What exactly is the problem?
It seems to me that the main issue with Forge Fathers is their strikers. Where their guards are tough and hardy with Strength 3 and Steady, the Strikers get the advantage of neither of these. It seems that if you can maneuver one into position to score (a difficult thing to do with their speed and movements!!) they're going to get absolutely murdered by any guard in the game as the only thing they can do in defense is roll 4 dice 5+ ...
One common tactic spouted around t'interwebz is to use the Strikers as Quarter Backs to stay back under the protection of the guards, to then throw the ball to the jacks who're stood in position. Four problems with that here:
1. Jacks are not reliable catchers at the kind of distances we're talking about here.
2. Once caught, the Jack then has to turnaround/move into position to throw suffering -1 dice (also only 1 hex movemnt)
3. A Jack is significantly less reliable than a striker at scoring
4. if you're jacks are standing over the strike zones, and the Strikers are playing back field, who is supporting the Guards?
What can be done?
There are a number of ideas kicking around here and here amongst other places. I've summarised and debunked some of the solutions that are currently doing the rounds...
* Give them 4+ Speed - This would just turn the Forge Fathers into mini Corporation. Their low speed is characteristic.
* Give Strikers the ability to Slam Back - This would make Strikers silly powerful, and also make Jacks and Guards somewhat redundant.
* Take away Steady from the guards and give them all "Can't Feel a Thing" - This just turns them into bearded Z'zor...
* Give the Strikers Grizzled - Fairly decent. My only concern is that it might not have that big an effect
* Give Strikers Fend - This is a new skill idea whereby the Striker does a 3 Dice Strength X test to survive a slam with the following outcomes; result drawn - turn players to face each other, Fend Off wins - turn to face any direction you choose, or Fend Off doubles - push opposing player back one hex. My issue with this is that it gives all strikers an aggressive move - pushing player with strikers should only be for Judwan.
Which leads us nicely on to "Resolute" (the Daily Punter endorsed option)
A new skill initially for all forge father strikers and available through normal experience means to all others. (We need to look at the impact on other player types) (For warning, it is very similar to Fend I didn't know this had been discussed so all credit to the author of that as we are on very similar wave lengths)
Resolute - Any Player
This player may not be the fastest out there but they are a rock and if they put their mind to it can become an immovable object. As well as the normal options available to this player they may instead choose to "Brace" when slammed by a player in their own threat hexes.
Brace: a 3 dice Strength test (X)
*-1 per opposing player threatening the hex you are in (ignoring the slamming player, maximum -2).
Draw or Brace Wins: the players both turn to face directly at each other.
There you go. This has caused a lot of discussion and we are going to start by play testing in our group as many of these options as the community has come up with.
One thing to quickly point out here, the beauty of this ability is that there's no real need for it outside of the Forge Fathers, so it won't end up breaking some other team accidentally. That said, any thoughts or/and results please share and stay tuned here for an update on how the play testing is going.
With any luck, we may have just come up with something golden here...