Welcome to yet another dev blog where we go over the latest attempts to spoil improve your favorite WWII card game made by an Icelandic company. We have another batch of balance changes and new cards coming your way. We’re nearing the end of our major balance overhaul, only a few more weeks and we should be there, hope you bear with us.
As before, we start with the changes to existing cards. Most are only small balance tweaks, but we are making a pass at cards that buff many units. So let us start with them:
After nerfing removal a bit, the mass buff cards needed a bit of tweak. These are the ones we’ve identified as the main culprits, but there are others we are looking at also and may take action against in the near future if we deem them too powerful.
The 26 Engineer Regiment gives control oriented decks a significant boost for very little cost, especially because it is a universal buff regardless of unit type or location. It is still quite strong at 3 kredit cost, particularly as it is a unit, so it is never a “dead” card like order-based buff cards can be.
Naval Supply Run is one of the best buff cards in the game, due to its universal boost. There is of course a downside with the discard, but we still wanted to weaken it slightly while still maintaining its usefulness in aggressive decks.
The Alliance is another very strong buff card. Gameplay wise it is as strong as Naval Supply Run, but it does put significant restraints on deck building. It is used more in mid-range-y value decks rather than the hyper-aggressive ones Naval Supply Run usually runs in, so adjusting its cost seemed a better tweak than anything else.
The same applies to Ancient Empire as for The Alliance, so cost increase was deemed the best adjustment. Five seems like a pretty hefty cost for the stats, but the HQ boost counts a lot against very aggressive decks, it puts no constraints on your deck building and at standard rarity it was more common to see them strung back to back.
We are also continuing our effort to balance the deck archetypes at the highest level. For aggro decks, there is still a bit of imbalance between burn decks (decks that have lot of direct HQ damage effects) and pure weenie aggro decks (decks with lot of small, cheap units that flood the battlefield). So we are making a few tweaks to address that.
First, a couple of changes to cards that do direct HQ damage:
The damage clause on U-375 is intended to be incidental effect on a discard card, but in a dedicated burn deck it is the discard that is the incidental effect. This is not what we want, so we’re tuning the damage down, to have the discard be the main pull of this card.
Bismarck gives burn decks a lot of inevitability, as by the time you get to 10 kredits you very often have reduced the enemy HQ to 8 defense or less. Dealing 7 damage still gives it a lot of inevitability, but not as consistently.
We’re also boosting a few small units to strengthen the weenie strategy (more may follow):
The 6th Naval Brigade is intended to be a strong candidate in aggressive weenie decks, but has never really got there - a combination of being slow and vulnerable. With 0 operation cost it is a much more attractive turn 1 play, allowing you to continue developing your board on turn 2.
The 321st Rifle Regiment was added recently specifically to strengthen the “go wide” strategy of the Soviets, but didn’t quite get there. Having to wait until turn 3 to get to the frontline is just too slow in the current metagame for a unit like this. Let’s see how it fares as a 1 cost.
This unit should be a prime candidate for aggressive weenie strategies, but is often overlooked due to its fragile nature and Guard being a liability more than anything else. A bit of a bump should make it a more attractive proposition for the right deck.
Finally, we’re giving several cards a little bit of a stat boost:
The Zero is one of the iconic units of the war, but is not seen much at the top level. Lowering the cost to 5 is not going to drastically change that, but makes it a much better candidate in several air-matter decks.
The OT-34 is intended as a threat in buff decks, but its old stats are just too poor to really be at home there. Beefing it a bit makes it stronger on its own and with the right boost can end games quickly.
Both these cards are intended to be role-players for wacky strategies. Their cost has kept people from trying them much, so we’re lowering the cost a bit. They still should only go in very specific decks that care about these effects, the reduced cost makes these decks slightly more viable.
We’re altering this ability a little bit because there is another Japanese unit coming with this same ability. The fact that previously Pete could be pushed into the frontline and basically shut down a lot of decks was not ideal, but very edge case as there was just one such unit. With two, this would become much more problematic, so we’re nipping this in the bud right away. The ability is now a bit wordy, so at some point we may look into making this an ability keyword (same as Ambush or Blitz) to safe space, but are content to keep it like this for now.
So let’s get to the new cards. There are 13 new cards coming with the update, 12 of them are going to be shown here. Let’s go through them one nation at a time.
This is a neat addition to cheap artillery decks. The attack/defense stats may not be that great, but the 0 operation cost more than makes up for it and the +1 against tanks is surprisingly relevant.
Blitz bombers are always very dangerous, representing unblockable damage to anything unless you happen to have a fighter. The famous Dambuster Lancaster variant is no exception and is specially nasty when going for the face.
The ME BF 110 is great in decks geared towards maintaining control over the frontline. In the right circumstances, this grows out of control very fast. This is the only type of decks you should consider for this unit, as without frontline control you’re getting a very subpar fighter otherwise.
Most bombers are kill on sight and this is even more true for Dornier Do 217. Just one free swing with this unit represents a massive card advantage swing. This continues the trend of moving discard effects to more expensive, less frequent (high rarity) cards.
One of the reason for the early success of the German Blitzkrieg was the radios the German tanks were equipped with, allowing the to coordinate their movements and attacks much better. This new card, along others, emphasizes this fact.
It is difficult to compete with the iconic T-34 1942 tank, but this variant is a strong contender in the right environment. First, it can win a fight against enemy T-34s, Panzer IV F2s, etc. And against control decks that rely on orders to slow down or deal with enemy units, the ability here will make opponents cringe when they are forced to throw their For the King or The Hammer on it. Note that you will only draw a card if the order resolves, so if you counter it with Interception, you do not draw a card. Also note that this picture may look familiar. It is in fact the picture we have been using on Final Push, which is getting a new picture in the update.
This continues the theme of giving the Soviets more strong infantry units, and the theme of temporary units. The unit may cost 5 but you rarely want to cast it until you have 6 or 7 kredits available, to be able to make use of the temporary T-34 you’re getting.
Here is yet another unit hammering home the thematic aspects of a nation, in this case that of attacking the operation cost of enemy units. Having to play your units into this one feels very bad, especially for aggressive decks or decks relying on blitz units. Sure, your T-34 1942 can deal with it, but on turn 11 rather than 7, that is pretty brutal.
Speaking of operation cost, here is a card that is on the other end of the spectrum. This card may look innocuous, but in the right circumstances it can be quite good. Playing it early on something like 3rd Marine Regiment or SBD 3 Dauntless allows you to get aggressive while still develop your board and later on it can allow your big bombers to get frisky more easily. Then there are interesting combos to consider, like with Fury units. It can even act as a counter to certain (not common) strategies, such as Scorched Earth decks.
Here we have another standard rarity infantry for Japan, something they were missing. This unit basically has the old stats of the Soviet Naval Brigade, so it is now a slightly worse version of that. May not be super exciting, but the cost and stats fit well with what Japanese units are about.
The stats on this unit are pretty unique (this is the first unit we have with base attack value of 0 and the first with operation cost of 4). It is also the first in a cycle of similar units that each nation will get, you will have to wait a bit longer for the other four. In each case, these units act basically like static enhancements that take up a slot in your support line. Sure, you can buff them and go on the offense, but that is not really what these units are about. The ability here rhymes well with both the destruction and the burn theme of Japanese decks.
This is the new unit with the immunity to ground attacks. In addition, it has a pretty nasty ability of shutting down all countermeasures once it is in play. This is something we want to introduce a bit for the Japanese and the Soviets - they don’t get countermeasures, but they get cards that affect enemy countermeasures, or are affected by countermeasures, in some fashion. Expect more on this theme in the future. Note that the effect of the C6N SAIUN only works once it is in play. So if the enemy for instance has a Careless Talk active, it will kill the C6N SAIUN as it is played. Also note that the effect is global, so it also stops your own countermeasures. Also also note that this does not prohibit players from activating countermeasures, it just stops them from working (they stay active in hand, just don’t trigger).
Ok, that’s it for now. The next update will go live tomorrow, Fate willing. There are more balance changes and new cards coming down the pipe, so stay tuned for them. And please continue to giving us your excellent feedback, it is invaluable for us. See you on the battlefield!