Monster Balancing


I’m tweaking the monsters, to make them a bit more balanced in terms of Valour and Gold cost and usefulness. Here’s what it’s looking like (changes in italics):

Giants: STR 500, Valour 8, 1 defending unit, Gold 225, Speed 6hrs, Pool size 20, Ability +STR
Ent: STR 500, Valour 8, 1 defending unit, Gold 100, Speed 8 hrs, Pool size 15, Ability +STR
Gryhpon: STR 350, Valour 12, 2 defending units, Gold 650, Speed 2.5hrs (Flying), Pool size 20
Dragon: STR 1000, Valour 16, 1 defending unit, Gold 1250, Speed 3hrs (Flying), Pool size 12, Ability Ranged
Spider: STR 250, Valour 12, 2 defending units, Gold 250, Speed 3hrs, Pool size 40, Ability Pin
Hydra: STR 2000, Valour 12, 1 defending unit, Gold 1000, Speed 3hrs (Swimming), Pool size 5

And the riders:
Gryhpon Riders: STR 5*500, Gold 2500, Speed 2.5hrs (Flying)
Dragon Rider: STR 1500, Gold 1750, Speed 2.5hrs (Flying), Ability Ranged
Hydra: STR 3000, Gold 1500, Speed 3hrs (Swimming), Ability Charge

Let me know if you have any thoughts.


Nice that Gryphons are being made a little better, because I’ve still not found a good use for them. Not strong enough to be used for anything but razing graves, too expensive to field in large numbers. Having two on a nest at least means that if I have valor to spend, I can get a fast 700 strength army.
I like Ents and Giants, they’re very defensive in nature and despite being strong you can pump out a ton of them if need be to protect a town. And the spider ability is great in a pinch, especially because it lasts so long.

But gryphons, even with the 350 strength, are just sort of inferior to dragons in every way aren’t they? No ability, 2 gryphons cost 1300 and that gives them 700 strength. For 1250 you get a dragon with 1000 strength, and an incredibly good ranged attack. The only bonus is .5 faster movement speed.

Perhaps the advantage to having a gryphon nest is not the ability to use gryphons, but the ability to create gryphon riders. They are very strong, and contain multiple units so you do not risk losing an entire unit when going into combat. But at 2500 gold I can’t say I’ve ever trained one except for novelty. Then again, the same can be said for the Dragon and Hydra riders.

I could maybe envision a dwarven deck that heavily uses gold and crystal miners, as well as investors, to have an incredibly high gold amount and then who cares about unit costs, the bottleneck then becomes training time and in that case Gryphon Riders are the bomb. I’ll try experimenting with that. Trouble is I have so few crystal miners.

Of course, not all creatures have to be “equal”, and there’s something to be said for the fact that you can get a gryphon a little sooner than you could otherwise get a dragon.


Gryphons (and Riders) also have a base unit that synergises really well with them. Just a stack or two of Wing Warriors can make the gold cost on Gryphons very worthwhile even if the fliers never actually see combat.

I like the changes overall! Looking forward to seeing how they work out!


I agree about the Gryphons and we were discussing them for a while today. I’m still debating whether to bump them up to 500 STR each. I’m a bit worried about the Plagued Gryphons being too strong because they are so fast and there are a lot of them in a nest. I find that I’m not keen on paying 650 Gold to recruit a Gryphon at the moment. I could reduce the pool size, or make the Plagued Gryphons slower or weaker than the living version. I wouldn’t mind making them 500 Gold for 350 STR, but Jay was not keen on dropping the price.


Yep, the Wing Warriors can get crazy strong when used with Gryphons, particularly when there are a lot of Plagued Gryphons flying around!


That’s true, Wing Warriors can become really strong with gryphons on the field. But that makes the wing warriors good, not the gryphons.
Would an ability make sense? Something like “fly”, where a gryphon unit could grant the stack it is in the ability to fly at a reduced speed for a limited time (6 speed, 6 hour duration)?


I did think it would be cool if a Gryphon could pick up a single unit - maybe a banner - and carry it somewhere! Maybe for an upgraded Gryphon.


What do other people think of the monster cards in general? I like having the monster lairs on the maps and being able to recruit from there but I almost never play the monsters or the riders in my deck. Since you need the lair to deploy the monster anyway the only advantage of having the card in the deck is the ability to deploy instantly which in my opinion is not worth having a frequently dead card because you don’t have the lair or the gold. The riders are at least slightly more differentiated but again so expensive and limited that I would rather just get the normal monster from the lair than risk having the riders hanging out in my hand all game.

Could we keep the monsters in the lairs but substitute out the cards the players collect for each race to something else?


Some kind of hero transport would be a really neat idea, and it would certainly make the Gryphons more worthwhile. Especially with the slow movement for the dwarves.
Maybe add a temporary debuff to the unit, like it cant move or use abilities for 12 hours? To prevent people from cheesing it too much. We can write it off as sky-sickness from someone not used to flying several kilometres above ground level on top of a giant eagle-lion (unlike the professional riders).


I like the idea, and it adds more depth and variety to the undead hordes. I almost never use them myself though, since I tend to rely on a lot of buffs like general and fortifications, which rely more on numbers.


I don’t think I’ve ever brought a vanilla monster in my deck, for exactly the reason you describe. The six-hour gain just isn’t worth the dead-card risk. I do bring Gryphon Riders on occasion, though.


I think thsee are generally good updates. But why not make the Hydra a bit more thematic? Make it a unit of 5 individuals to represent each on of its heads. Ideally, there would be a mechanic to see the heads/individuals regenerate if killed, but I think that may be a pain to code.

Alternatively (or in addition to), make the hydra a 5 league / hour creature but give it HUGE bonuses in marshes and water.

Something like:

Hydra. 1000 gold. 5 individuals (unit). 5x50 base power. 5 leagues / hour (including swimming). Special: When on a tile with water or marsh the Hydra’s heads gain 300 Power each.

The Hydra Rider could then get a number of first strike attacks equal to the number of hydra heads in its army. Heads*100 or something similar.

Those are units I would want to play with and maybe include as a card in my games. It’s great in the Trolls’ marsh home, but still can move around he map slowly at a very decreased power.

That’s also a lot more thematic and interesting than just a big creature with fast but restricted movement.


The hydra is currently already restricted to marshes and water though. And since your proposal would make it kinda useless outside them, it probably wouldn’t change the unit all that much ^^


The difference is that it could leave the marsh though. That means they can move to other, unconnected swamp areas. And more to the point, it means that zombie Hydras are actually problematic, instead of being totally irrelevant once everything in their swamp has been blighted.


I do like those thematic ideas for the Hydra and the upgrades will be something along those lines. When we work out the upgraded versions, we’ll go back over the base Hydra and see if they need something more as well.

I have been puzzling over how we can get Monster cards into player’s decks. I am concerned that they are too difficult / expensive to play.


That’s true. Maybe we could also leave it’s power intact, but give it a severe movement penalty? And it would search for a new swamp area with unblighted towns before it starts acting like a “normal” unit?

I rarely play normal “grunt” cards anyway, and being unable to spawn them wherever needed (which is arguably the only reason you’d want them in card form) I wouldn’t see the point. Maybe if you could also deploy them from banners/normal towns? (but still requires a settlement to draw population from)


I know one of the difficulties with monster cards that I am seeing is that you also need to go to the lair where the monster is. So you need all that valor then the gold just to get a hire immediately bonus, where the alternative is have a different card in your hand and just wait 6 hours.

What if monster cards could be played at any race-specific town you owned, and it could draw from the nearest monster settlement?

This would give a possible bonus to someone having the gold, but not the location timing.
Thematically, I can picture a griffon swooping town from the skies to the dwarven town, offering up its service, or one of the orcs in town has good report with the dragon nearby, and so the dragon rider comes to be in the time of need.

EDIT: welp, i need to read the bottom of the post right above this one. Looks like we had a similar idea.