Design Diary on Kung Fu

I wrote another one :wink:


Another great article. Hope we see one on spirits and science too.

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A mirror match between two kung fu decks would revolve a lot around who won lowball. The first one to make a shootout play reduces the value of the opponent’s main kung fu dudes with Raking Dragons, and then the other player fails his techniques miserably :smile:

This and Shamans being able to cast each other’s totems would make for some fun mirror matches, something we don’t currently have in the game, apart from Law Dogs (Prescott Utter, outfit ability + B&B Attorneys and The Evidence).

I wonder if we get more techniques in the Tao of Zhu Bajie. How many different ones are balanced?

Particularly Science.

While I appreciate the design diary, I am somewhat disheartened that we saw one for Kung Fu and not Science. Why? Honestly, because Kung Fu’s design principles seem self-evident. After grasping the rules fully, it was easy to look at the cards and see what the Design team wanted to achieve.

Science on the other hand is rather all over the place. Sure there are some common themes like pay-to-use abilities and experimental mishaps, but this doesn’t really describe the intent of the play experience Science is meant to achieve.

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I would like to see design diary on Shamans. After testing shamans decks for about 6 hours, I cannot guess what kind of effects to expect in the future that will be typical for them. At the moment they are very one dimensional, 3 of the spirits just spawn tokens, I think that Kung Fu offer much more flexibility than them.

I really see Shamans as the “wide growth” option to the “vertical growth” offering on Blesseds.

Blesseds currently are going to tend to grow “up” by stacking lots of miracles on just 1 or 2 casters and using them to bully or for back-line support (i.e. you’re going to have SMG or Abram XP stacked with shootout hexes or you’re going to have Inbody stacked with LoH, Confession, Consecration, etc.) Stacking on dudes is also encouraged by boot-an-attached-spell abilities like Arsenal, SLO, and Felix.

Shamans grow “out” thru the use of totems. Additionally they (at least so far) have few spirits that you really want to stack and combo together in any particular way to make a super-caster. That encourages you to run lots of shamans and to share the wealth when it comes to spells, in order to mitigate risk.

That’s my take on their initial offering, at least. I see the combination of “wide growth” with Spirits/Totems, relatively cheap influence dudes, and the EW outfit ability lending them to primarily a more passive/defensive game plan. Especially with lots of token dudes which are generally good for “lose to win” strategies.

An important point you touch on there is the resilience Totems give vs kill effects like Kidnappin’, Coachwhip, etc. Sure you lose a dude but you can play another shaman and have him use the Totems you’ve already played.

Yup, that’s very true. I honestly think EW could play the Dudes & Deeds archetype fairly well.

  • Hand refinement/draw from their Outfit ability and Spirit Guide really help to ensure you get what you want to play.
  • Lots of influence from sources like Marcia, Faulkner, and Ancestral Spirits to control the town.
  • Spirit Trails for mobility. Along with some innate movement on dudes (Sarah and Mazatl).
  • General resiliency to aggro thanks to Harrowed and token dudes.
  • A great high-value dude caste to abuse Baine XP and Huntsmen’s Society.
  • Marcia stealin’ all the controller abilities!!!1one
  • The Idol of Tzatlarandomcharacters compliments a lot of the points above.

Again, I think they are going to be a “slow grow” type of winner. They’re quite willing to retreat for a day so that they can continue building their web. Quite the opposite of the fast-and-furious Bandits.

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I am actually more interested in effects Spirits will have. I do like Totems as a new game mechanics, I just said that in the games I played Shamans gameplay was really repetitive, although I have to say it could have been my fault ( and probably was) since I had problems with GR in almost every game. Especially against Kung Fu it was hard for me to leave home even for a moment to adjacent location to play a totem there ( I was losing first lowball all the time and Mplain was moving to TS as a first move, every single time).

Having said that I just played few games against Larik, and his approach to Shamans deck is a bit different. He chose cheap-ish starting posse and 3 income, and it worked really well for him, especially when I was starting with 3 influence. He was camping a bit just like I had, but the options were opening for him quicker than they were for me.

I still think Kung Fu have bit a more interesting gameplay ( with cards just from IOUF), but the most important fact about both factions is that they have very good set of dudes and it will be very easy to add to the small card pool they currently have to expand options quickly, this is why I would like to know general direction in which Shamans will be heading.

While you guys are still discussing Shamans in theory, me and @swider are already building decks and testing strategies! :wink:

I like the themes we are starting to see with EW and 108, but as with each of the deck types when they started out, they didn’t have all their tools yet. The obvious cards coming up for EW are atire for shamen, and EW focused side kicks. For 108, we have only 1 of the tao of the jade rabbit. While currently useful, it doesn’t have another jade rabbit to combo with. Interesting to see the closer for this one.

I really like the idea of running a Dudes and deeds EW, it just doesn’t feel done yet, and it may be a while until I build a EW deck.