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Free For All rules - What's a Kill?

Continuing the discussion from Multiplayer Forum Game Table Talk:

I think it makes sense to limit what gives a bounty to just direct kill effects, since the point is to encourage interaction / attacking rather than just sitting back. So, we don’t need to reward Sacrifice the Weak / Abomination / destroying an active Two-Step the way we do need to reward “trade my Ogre / Centaur HP for your Older Brother”

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The point is to encourage killing stuff. Sacrifice the weak and abomination serve this purpose.

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I concur with Wildhorn. I personally believe that the intent of the rule is to encourage “active conflict” where players are constantly affecting each others’ board, instead of spending 7 turns developing their own board (which, given that there are four opponents instead of one, seems highly economic to do) and have someone suddenly become aggressive and end the game in one turn. The exact methods by which you cause your opponent loss seem to have little import.

I do think that effects such as time rune removal, sacrifice, or -1/-1 debuffs matter in this case. The difference would be, say, for me to put down an Abomination in order to affect my opponents and be motivated to do so because of the bounty, instead of spending turns building an skeleton army on my own board, which seems consistent with the spirit of the rule.

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I agree also. Using a spell like Sickness or Abomination to deliberately de-buff a unit is killing.

If I choose to attack a strong unit with one of mine, get it down to 1 HP, and then use Abomination’s arrive ability to wipe it off the board it should still count as killing. In this instance, I could not have used Abomination first, because then my own unit (which would have also been affected by the debuff) would not have had the attack power to finish it off.

However, this unit is directly under my control.

However, Sacrfice the weak forces the OTHER players to destory a unit (Each player sacrifices their weakest unit.) So the only unit you destroy is your own, and they (other players) destroy the other. (In my head at least). As it’s not their turn, they don’t get rewarded, and you won’t get bounty for killing your own unit.

Two step I think is different as well. If you destroy a partner (A), and the other partner (B) dies due to de-buff, you should only get rewarded for the one you destroyed (Partner A). It was not your unit that killed the other partner, or your unit’s ability. It was the drawback of another players spell.

I’m still in favour of just making it “the first three times an opponent’s unit dies on your turn, get a gold.” Keeps it simple.

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It also makes black starter very, very strong, because sac the weak becomes a gold generator while weakening your opponents.
And deteriorate often gains you a gold.
As if black needed any help…

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That’s the way the first FFA game was played, a StW with net gold gain and an Abomination that effectively costs 3 on a good turn. When Black had just begun to run away with the advantage early game, the rest of the players teamed up against it and helped bring that advantage down, something that happened to quite a few other colors as well. Black did not end up winning that game, despite having access to all the strong effects and bounties of StW, HD, and Abom. Since the nature of FFA is such that any potentially unbalanced and/or strong effects are counterbalanced by the fact that there are four opponents that can act against it instead of one, I would put more emphasis on following a simple, intuitive, universal rule that encourages interaction than one that applies to certain major gameplay abilities and not others.


Just because there is a diplomatic balancing factor is no excuse for poor balance generally. The aim should be to balance the game as well as possible without diplomacy. If one color is so strong that other players are talking about teaming up against it before the game even starts, there’s a problem.


We are talking about FFA here. The highest base hp win when someone lose. So the diplomatic element must be de facto be taken in consideration. Also FFA is not meant to be super balanced but it should be kept as simple as possible to reduce down times, it is a mode to enjoy playing Codex with multiple people and betray each others.

I understand where Wildhorn is coming from, but there is middle ground. Simply removing sacrifice effects from awarding bounties, while essentially everything else that ends with an opposing unit moving from in play to the discard does award bounties seems like a simple enough exception.

That said, the more complicated rule, or more limited rule currently posted by sharpobject, still has very good results for Black, as Hooded Executioner and Death Rites would both still award bounties.

There is lots of middle ground. There are a lot of very simple rules which avoid the extremes of “Everyone wants to play passive” and “Black is advantaged because it’s removal is now costless”. I personally think that “Bounty for the first three things you kill in combat” is both very simple, and avoids a lot of the problems.

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But what if you play an heavy spell strategy? Like with Fire spec. Why should you be “punished” for doing so?

On the other hand, why should you be rewarded for doing so?


Because you spent money to kill something? That’s the purpose of that gold reward thing. To force players to spend gold and take actions to kill stuff instead to simply turtling up in their corner until they are ready to go all out.

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You aren’t punished for playing spells, there are just rewards for killing things in combat. And I far prefer a game where certain strategies are rewarded over certain colours. At least you have a choice about your strategy.

Combat only bounties rewards purple and green strategies the most. Red is probably even or also advantaged. Black suffers, and Blue gets a boost from illusions, indirectly. I’m not sure where white falls.

The point is, FFA should not force particular strategies, like going unit heavy to get bounties in combat, while punishing spell based strategies. The format already punishes spells in that almost all only effect a single opponent.

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