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Dragatus
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« Reply #135 on: April 26, 2013, 05:55:33 am »


@Dragatus :

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Edit: The sample size is still small, but my first impression is that it's a good change. The AI got to win 1 out of 3 games which is decent enough considering how much smarter I am.

Definitely true. Given your greater intelligence, tightly tuned deck and better ability to plan ahead, I'd probably be ok with a 1 in 3 win rate. But Kimari's win rate worries me a bit.

I've been thinking and considering my deck has no anti-hacking cards 1 in 3 is actaully too low. And from Kimari's results Hacking seems to be the one deck that is best at fighting discard (7/17 win rate) preciesly because Electronet and Smoke Grenade buy time for the hackers to do their work.

I'll focus on testing agains balanced from now on. I'll try out a few things:
- reduce Transfered Funds to +2C
- Nerual Backlash discards 1 for 1C
- System Crash discard 2 for 2C

While this keeps the per credit efficiency of discard cards, it will reduce the total number of cards I can force discard if I use all my discard cards from 20 to 12.

Edit: Palyed vs balanced 5 times, got 5 victories. Tried playing against hacking again and won 2 out of 5 games, but two of those defeats were mainly because I got really screwed with drawing credits (had 1 credit 5 turns into the game for example).
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 06:46:56 am by Dragatus » Logged

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« Reply #136 on: April 26, 2013, 06:08:04 am »

Great. Thanks man. Smile
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« Reply #137 on: April 26, 2013, 03:08:34 pm »

I've become convinced that Wei Lee is underpriced. Compare her to Nem0, her closest equivalent. Both cost 4C and have Haste. The difference is that Nem0 is 4A/9H and Wei Lee is 3A/7H and lethal. From my experience lethal is much more valuable than the +1 attack or +2 health that Nem0 gets.

I've changed her to cost 5C and I'm quite happy with it so far. I still feel like it's worth it to play her, but it's a bit trickier to do which is a good thing. In fact, I've come to suspect that Wei Lee played a bigger role in the Destroyer deck's power than I had originally thought.

As for discards card, it turns out that a card that forces 1 discard and costs 1C is bad. It may be worth playing, but it's no fun to do so. You  spend 1 card and the enemy oses 1 card, it doesn't feel like you've acomplished much. So the minimum number for discarded cards needs to be 2. However, I'm still wary that having a card that forces 3 discards and costs 3C is too strong when you already have discard 2 card.

I tried making it so that Neural Backlash costs 2 and discards 2 while System Crash costs 4 and discards 3 (essentially doubling the cost of both cards from the vanilla values). I then managed to get ymself beaten by the balanced deck about 50% of the time. But that was also due to horrible luck with drawing cards. There was one game where I got no credits and then another where I wasn't drawing any agents.
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« Reply #138 on: April 27, 2013, 02:59:15 am »

Hmm, interesting.

What happens if you completely replace Wei Lee in that deck with another card?

It may be that what the problem is, is that the discard cards make it more vital that the AI doesn't waste the cards it has left to play, and its lack of understanding of the threat posed by Wei Lee is causing it to waste those few cards by throwing them into the grinder?

I'll look at the AI on my side. Otherwise, dropping her attack so that even a single point of armor blocks her or making her very fragile so that grenades are guaranteed to take her out might also be a solution. I'll think about it. I still want her to be a very cool card to play, just not the BEST card to play.

Quote
As for discards card, it turns out that a card that forces 1 discard and costs 1C is bad. It may be worth playing, but it's no fun to do so. You  spend 1 card and the enemy oses 1 card, it doesn't feel like you've acomplished much.

I thought it might. Trading a card for a card doesn't feel that fun.

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I tried making it so that Neural Backlash costs 2 and discards 2 while System Crash costs 4 and discards 3 (essentially doubling the cost of both cards from the vanilla values).

Yeah. That's where I'm leaning toward, myself.
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« Reply #139 on: April 27, 2013, 10:30:48 am »

I don't think making armor block Lethal would work well. Most agents don't have armor so it's still a specific solution that the AI may have trouble using. Making her fragile might work, but persoanlly I think it undermines her coolness. I prefer having her cost 1 extra credit as she can still outfight all the other 5C agents.

I'll try replacing her with Nem0 and drop the cost of System Crash to 3 in order to make it comparable to my old results. Speaking of Nem0, he has no hacking effects anymore making him a pure combat card. So maybe it would be good to refluff him as some sort of biker gang member?

BTW, I noticed Simon West at 4C is a better hacker than Declan at 5C. Is that intentional?

« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 10:33:41 am by Dragatus » Logged

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« Reply #140 on: April 27, 2013, 10:58:51 am »

Nem0 discard vs hacker
42 vs 24
40 vs 18
34 vs 26
33 vs 27


Unbroken string of victories. I need to leave home now, but when I get abck I'm increasing the cost of System Crash to 4 again.

Even though the results are the same as last time, I still think Wei Lee is stronger than Nem0.

Edit: I sort of changed my mind about the best way to deal with Wei Lee. I no longer believe that reducing her health to 5 and keeping her cost the same would undermine her coolness. If you decide to do that it might be interesting to also increase Nem0's attack to 5 (at the cost of reducing his health) and turn him into a direct counter.

Edit 2: Increased cost of System Crash to 4. Continuing tests of Nem0 discard vs hacker.
31 vs 12
43 vs 22
31 vs 16

0 vs 38
17 vs 32
14 vs 31
4 vs 31
6 vs 33

32 vs 12
29 vs 36

So I won only 4 out of 10 games, but it's worth noting my deck has no anti-hacking cards and that the sample size is still very small. I'm going to bed now, but tomorrow I'll try the Nem0 discard deck vs balanced.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 03:42:25 pm by Dragatus » Logged

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« Reply #141 on: April 27, 2013, 04:49:58 pm »

I think the cost of Smoke Grenade should be increased, while the cost for Take Cover decreased.
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« Reply #142 on: April 27, 2013, 05:07:15 pm »

You guys are both right in that an event card that discards only one at random is nowhere near worth it. Actually, there's a direct equivalent in Magic that shows how a card like that can work: Instead of being random there's limitations as to which cards can be discarded and to counter this, the player that calls the event gets to see the opponent's hand and choose what to discard within said limitations. So, yes, a 1 to 1 discard card is viable but it needs to have one other advantage to be worth it.
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« Reply #143 on: April 27, 2013, 11:57:35 pm »

Finally free from my obligations, I managed to play the beta. It feels even better, Gareth!  Approve Good job.

It's early, but some quick thoughts:

- Discard cards, such as Neural Backlash or System Crash are indeed overpowered. As they stand, they're too strong.

- Wei Lee might be a little OP, but part of that is also the AI's fault for being dense and putting cards in front of her when there are other perfectly respectable places to put their agents. Reducing her health from 7 to 4 would be a nice balancing move, however. Wei Lee still keeps part of her assassin charm while being more fragile to Nem0 and grenades.

- Nem0 is strong as he is, Increasing his attack to 5 would be too much. Right now he feels balanced enough.

- Electronet and Smoke Screen are two weird cards. In any other deck they are alright, but in a hacking deck they are VERY strong.

- Other weird cards are Take Cover and Hacked Satellite.  When you have all four agent slots full, they're pretty good, when you have one or two agents, they're meh. Again, situational. Hacked Satellite could afford being a little cheaper. Maybe,. Not sure.

- Anti hacking cards are more situational, but more powerful. Having one reduces a hacking deck's power tremendously. Since they are very situational, however, I feel they could afford being a little stronger. Giving them an extra turn (4 instead of 3) might make them even more efficient. Likewise, Cybersec is a cool concept, but the card feels weak. Maybe he could be a bit more durable?

- Machine gun turret feels VERY strong. But not sure if OP or not.

- Loving the deck progression in the campaign. You feel your deck slowly becoming stronger, rather than progressing by jerks and jumps like in the old system. The campaign felt challenging enough for me, and I was defeated a fair number of times. Luck played a part in some of these, but that's par for the course.

- The AI has a reasonable disadvantage against any decent human opponent, even if they have the same deck. Giving the AI stronger cards than the player is the best way to make it challenging, as far as I see. In the last few missions of the campaign, since the player should have access to a wide variety of cards, the AI WILL need some other kind of advantage to remain competitive. Maybe starting the battle with extra funds or requiring the player to reach a higher OP count to beat it. Campaign-only, of course.
 
- The mulligan strategy benefits the player a little more than the AI. The player is more capable of recognizing bad games, and will use the mulligan tactic to a better advantage. Making the mulligan harsher might be better, at least against the AI. For example: making every mulligan reduce deck size by 1, without any safe mulligans.

- I made my own deck, a rushing deck. Feels pretty strong, although not as OP as the discard deck. Smoke grenade in particular ruins its day. Being able to create your own deck makes the game even more fun.

Good luck with the final adjustments. I might write more after I've played it a lot. Summer break, here I come!  Panic

EDIT: Forgot to say, but transferred funds indeed feels too strong. Reducing the awarded credits from 3 to 2 sounds like a good choice,
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 11:59:17 pm by MaximillionMiles » Logged
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« Reply #144 on: April 28, 2013, 01:37:42 am »

Transferred Funds should be nerfed by making it bigger, not the other way around: Spending 2 credits to get 4 slows the card down but doesn't make it as useless as a card that gives you one extra credit and that's it.
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« Reply #145 on: April 28, 2013, 12:56:42 pm »

I've been playing with the +2C version for a while now and I don't have the feeling it's a bad card at all. It allows me to send in an agent 1 turn sooner than normal, which does make a difference. For example I can use Blackjack (6A 9H permanently reduces enemy credits by 1) instead of a Yakuza Soldier (4A 8H reduces enemy credits by 1 only while in play) or a Nem0 instead of CorpSec (which means 4 instant OP if played against an empty field).

Of course there could also be a card that grants 4 or 5 temporary credits and costs 2 or 3 credits to play, but I'd rather put the weaker card in the original release of the game. It's better business practice to give the players the "boring" fundamental cards first and then offer the cooler stuff in expansions. Wink

For Wei Lee I am now in favor at keeping her at 4C, but nerfing her attack and health to 2 and 4 respectively. Right now she has 3 true counters (Assassiante, Electronet, another Wei Lee) and 4 situationall ones (HE Grenade, Smoke Greande, Nem0, Metrosec SRT). With the change the partial counters become full counters, along with Body Armor and Take Cover (and ignoring her and playing agents elsewhere is also more viable). So we end up with 10 cards that counter her, which means most decks should have at least one of these and the starter deck for example already has two. But at the same time she can still seriously fuck your shit up.


Edit: Playing Nem0 discard vs Showcase Balanced
44 vs 17
34 vs 17

12 vs 34
0 vs 30

38 vs 6
31 vs 12
31 vs 9
43 vs 18
35 s 16
36 vs 0
(I got lucky and discarded AI's credits; it never got the opportunity to play a single card)

80% win rate. I'll need to check what kind of results I get with balanced vs balanced. That should show how much my victories are the result of the discard deck's power and how much it's jsut me playing better than the AI.

Another thing I wanted to talk about is that I believe hacking is still problematic. Not because it's hard to beat, but because it's playing a different game than the other decks and requires a set of specific cards to beat. What I mean by "hacking is playing a different game" is that everybody else scores OP by having agents attack empty fields and so you can block every other deck by putting your agents in the way. And all decks have agents so that's fine. But hacking ignores this and you need specific anti-hacking cards to fight against it. This isn't terribly important in the campaign or sensesim, but it will become relevant when you introduce multiplayer. It will mean that all multiplayer decks will have to use anti-hacking because if you don't and you run into a hacker you're screwed.

In addition I think the hacker agents are too good. Let's start with Maddox. He costs 3C just like a CorpSec and he has 8 health just like a CorpSec. But he trades 1 attack for 2 hacking, which i think is very favorable. Essentially we can view him as a CorpSec who does 75% damage to agents, but the other 25% bypasses enemy meathsields and directly scores double OP.

Simon West vs Nem0 will die, but score 6 OP (20% of victory) and leave Nem0 with 1 health.

Declan is actually the strongest individual fighter of all the 5C cards in addition to providing 2 OP per turn.

I've reduced the hacking of all three to 1, but gave Simon West 12 health to compensate. Of course this does make anti-hacking stronger. I'll check how it plays out.


For reference, her is the full list of changes I've made to my game. i put them in spoiler tags for convenience.

(click to show/hide)


Edit 2: I've changed my mind about the hackers. I still think they're too strong and need to be nerfed, but reducing their hacking is the wrong way to go about it. It just turns them into bland combat cards. I also noticed CorpSec are limitless so of course other 3C agents should be better.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 02:36:03 pm by Dragatus » Logged

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« Reply #146 on: April 29, 2013, 04:18:19 pm »

@Kimari :

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Transferred Funds should be nerfed by making it bigger, not the other way around: Spending 2 credits to get 4 slows the card down but doesn't make it as useless as a card that gives you one extra credit and that's it.

Yeah, as Dragatus pointed out, it's not actually useless. You've got to remember what that bonus credit(s) really represents : An 1 or 2 turn lead, at least temporarily.

It's most significant for a deck where speed is important. For example, for Resource Denial getting an early clamp on your opponent's resources is the key to victory. That one turn lead can cascade, if you play the right card, into a significant advantage.

It's less powerful later in the game, but early game can be meaningful. I'm worried though that the 3 credit version makes it so meaningful that all decks would treat it as optimal to have in them, instead of just specific deck builds.

@Max :

Quote
- Electronet and Smoke Screen are two weird cards. In any other deck they are alright, but in a hacking deck they are VERY strong.

They certainly represent a strong synergy. I may give them a slight nerf, or buff some of the counter-hacking cards.

Quote
- Other weird cards are Take Cover and Hacked Satellite.  When you have all four agent slots full, they're pretty good, when you have one or two agents, they're meh. Again, situational. Hacked Satellite could afford being a little cheaper. Maybe,. Not sure.

Yeah, they're fairly situational, but they can both be pretty strong if used at the right time.

Quote
- The AI has a reasonable disadvantage against any decent human opponent, even if they have the same deck. Giving the AI stronger cards than the player is the best way to make it challenging, as far as I see. In the last few missions of the campaign, since the player should have access to a wide variety of cards, the AI WILL need some other kind of advantage to remain competitive. Maybe starting the battle with extra funds or requiring the player to reach a higher OP count to beat it. Campaign-only, of course.

I'm looking at adding something like that.

Quote
It feels even better, Gareth!   Good job.

Thanks! Grin

@Dragatus :

Quote
For Wei Lee I am now in favor at keeping her at 4C, but nerfing her attack and health to 2 and 4 respectively. Right now she has 3 true counters (Assassiante, Electronet, another Wei Lee) and 4 situationall ones (HE Grenade, Smoke Greande, Nem0, Metrosec SRT). With the change the partial counters become full counters, along with Body Armor and Take Cover (and ignoring her and playing agents elsewhere is also more viable). So we end up with 10 cards that counter her, which means most decks should have at least one of these and the starter deck for example already has two. But at the same time she can still seriously fuck your shit up.

Yeah. I will look at nerfing her. I like the idea of fragile but deadly, and it fits the art.

Quote
80% win rate. I'll need to check what kind of results I get with balanced vs balanced. That should show how much my victories are the result of the discard deck's power and how much it's jsut me playing better than the AI.

Thanks. That may actually be fine now. The Balanced deck is the weakest of the Showcase decks, IMO. It's a generalist deck, ok but no real focus. So an 80% win rate could be acceptable, especially once you add in the your greater intelligence into the balance calc.

Quote
Another thing I wanted to talk about is that I believe hacking is still problematic. Not because it's hard to beat, but because it's playing a different game than the other decks and requires a set of specific cards to beat. What I mean by "hacking is playing a different game" is that everybody else scores OP by having agents attack empty fields and so you can block every other deck by putting your agents in the way. And all decks have agents so that's fine. But hacking ignores this and you need specific anti-hacking cards to fight against it. This isn't terribly important in the campaign or sensesim, but it will become relevant when you introduce multiplayer. It will mean that all multiplayer decks will have to use anti-hacking because if you don't and you run into a hacker you're screwed.

Well, they're kinda playing a different game. Sure, if you are lucky enough to get a bunch of smoke screens and the powerful hacking Tactics at the right time, you can ignore the combat and potentially sail to victory.

But in the usual case, you have to fend off enemy agents long enough for your hacking powers to work. And the hacking agents are generally slightly weaker, either in attack or health or both, than the standard for that cost. Which means they will do a little worse in combat, so probably survive for a shorter time.

Add to that the fact that a non-hacking deck will generally be doing something else interesting. Whether that is forcing discards, clamping resources, or just loading up on all the buff Attack cards. Which should make it hard for the hacking deck to be able to get that stretch of time they need, or the good synergies.

I don't know if I'd say that winning via hacking is any more "playing a different game" than winning by forcing your opponent to empty their hand via discard so they can't field any counters is.

Quote
In addition I think the hacker agents are too good. Let's start with Maddox. He costs 3C just like a CorpSec and he has 8 health just like a CorpSec. But he trades 1 attack for 2 hacking, which i think is very favorable. Essentially we can view him as a CorpSec who does 75% damage to agents, but the other 25% bypasses enemy meathsields and directly scores double OP.

Mmm, I think you're wrong about it being favourable. I used to think that, myself, but if as you play you begin to realize that Attack is a stat that is worth a lot more than it seems, at first glance. Because of things like how important getting the first strike in is, the limited number of lanes, and the fact that you're forced to fight in your lane automatically.

CorpSec kills Maddox in 2 turns, Maddox kills CorpSec in 3. That is a significant thing, more than it seems like at first.

It means, if CorpSec gets the first hit in because it's played before Maddox, that Maddox will only survive to land one blow on CorpSec, reducing him from 8 to 5 health. That's enough health to survive 2 hits from an Agent of a similar cost, usually.

Whereas, if Maddox was the one who got in the first hit, he'd still take 2 blows first, leaving Maddox dead and CorpSec at 2 health.

Maddox dies in both scenarios. And even if CorpSec is left with a small amount of health, it's enough to generally let him deal 4 damage to whoever is played to that lane next. Or, if the opponent doesn't play a blocking Agent quick enough, a chance to snatch 4 OP.

This might seem like a small thing, but it adds up, IMO. That 1 turn of extra lifespan for the slightly stronger, slightly tougher non-hacking cards adds up when you calculate it across the entire game, with multiple cards played in multiple slots.

That's why I count +1 Attack to be round about equivalent to +2 Hacking.

Quote
Declan is actually the strongest individual fighter of all the 5C cards in addition to providing 2 OP per turn.

Declan is only the strongest 5C agent because of my limited budget. There are no cards without special abilities at the 5 Credit price point, no "generics". They all have abilities, and all those abilities are stronger than Declan's Hacking 2. That's why he has the best stats. Every card "pays" for special abilities with reduced stats vs the "baseline" for that Credit tier.

A 5 credit Agent without any special abilities would be a 6/14, for reference. Declan trades 1 point of Attack for his 2 points in Hacking. Blackjack traders 5 points of Health for his permanent Credit reduction ability. Yakuza Lieutenant pays 1 point of Attack and 2 points of Health for his temporary Credit reduction ability.

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« Reply #147 on: April 29, 2013, 05:17:55 pm »

OK, fine. It's your game so we'll do it your way. Wink

What about Simon West having 3 hacking when both others have only 2? Is that intentional? And if yes, what was the reasoning behind it?

I've been looking at some other cards and noticed that Executive and especially Back Street Doctor are pretty good fighters for 3C cards that also grant a special ability. If the doc has initiative he can kill any 4C agent other that Wei Lee in single combat. What's the reasoning behind that?
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« Reply #148 on: April 29, 2013, 09:22:40 pm »

I noticed a couple of tiny bugs. In the first e-mail you get from H. Adolvsson, there's a line near the top that says "you probably do not of know me." I thought maybe he was supposed to be speaking in broken English, but I didn't see any other lines like that.

The other is that the thumbnails for the app in the "Recent Items" menu and the icons view (list) window on the Mac is screwed up, with random green elements. The icon on the desktop or in the dock is fine.

Couple of suggestions for the expansion/sequel:

- Some more backgrounds for the card battle screen.

- A more mission debrief-y and less arcade-y screen after you finish a battle.
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« Reply #149 on: April 30, 2013, 12:06:53 am »

Another thing I wanted to talk about is that I believe hacking is still problematic. Not because it's hard to beat, but because it's playing a different game than the other decks and requires a set of specific cards to beat. What I mean by "hacking is playing a different game" is that everybody else scores OP by having agents attack empty fields and so you can block every other deck by putting your agents in the way. And all decks have agents so that's fine. But hacking ignores this and you need specific anti-hacking cards to fight against it. This isn't terribly important in the campaign or sensesim, but it will become relevant when you introduce multiplayer. It will mean that all multiplayer decks will have to use anti-hacking because if you don't and you run into a hacker you're screwed.

I feel what makes hacking decks so strong is mostly smoke grenade. If hacking deck draws it, they gain a big advantage against any deck that does not have counter-hacking. A cost increase or having it affect hacking as well might be in order.

Counter hacking cards, while more effective than before, still feel too weak as well. Artemis costs 4 and gives countermeasures 2 for 3 turns. While the countermeasures 2 part is nice, it feels too weak for such a situational card. Assassination costs 3 and completely removes a hacker, while also being effective against other kinds of decks. Same goes for nuke, which costs 4. And if you compare it to Hexag0n it's not even funny. both last 3 turns and cost the same, one gives 4 OP/turn (useful no matter what situation) while Artemis is much more situational (only used when there are hacking cards involved, and only worth its price when there many sources of low-level hacking). If I had to choose between putting Artemis or Hexag0n in my deck, hexag0n would win, every time.

Anti-hacking cards fall in the same weird category as, say... EMP grenade. They're very effective in certain situations and utterly useless most of the time. You keep them in your deck as a precaution. Unfortunately, this usually leads to either drawing EMP grenade when there's not a mech in sight or being brutalized by the enemy's spider tank while all you're drawing is Neonmongers. To compensate for this factor, EMP is really effective when it works, bringing down an expensive unit in a fairly cost-effective way. Currently, counter-hacking doesn't feel quite as powerful.

The best solution, I find, would be increasing the timer on counter-hacking cards. Make them REALLY effective against hacking, enough so that having to occasionally draw it when fighting against Resource Boost is still worthwhile, just for the "Oomph factor" when you draw it against an enemy hacker deck. Having them last 5 rounds instead of 3 should be plenty.

TL;DR- the more situational a card is, the better it should be in that situation. Otherwise it loses against the more generic solutions anytime. This goes for when you do not know what kind of deck your opponent will use, of course.

What about Simon West having 3 hacking when both others have only 2? Is that intentional? And if yes, what was the reasoning behind it?

I've been looking at some other cards and noticed that Executive and especially Back Street Doctor are pretty good fighters for 3C cards that also grant a special ability. If the doc has initiative he can kill any 4C agent other that Wei Lee in single combat. What's the reasoning behind that?

Agreed there. Back Street Doctor feels a little strong. Not sure about the Executive.

If Executive needs a nerf, it's a slight one, in my opinion. Reducing its attack from 3 to 2 should be plenty. I admit its extra credits ability is really useful, especially early game. One favorite tactic of mine is to combine him and transfer credits to get the drop on the enemy credit-wise AND agent-placement-wise.

Back street doc is VERY useful and resilient. Much more useful than he initially seems On his own, the doc lasts 3 attacks by a spider-Tankl! Either increasing the cost or decreasing the good doctor's health, attack and/or healing abilities might make him more balanced.

Nonetheless I feel both should still be stronger than Corpsec. Corpsec is a limitless card that you get very early game, while Executive and Back Street Doctor are all rarer, and more valuable cards. Makes sense to me.

I have no trouble with Simon West.
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