View Full Version : Fundamental Problem in AoT Deck-Building Game: Wounds

12-01-2016, 04:34 PM
Ok, let me start this off by saying I really enjoyed the game and I don't by any means hate it, I just think it has a few major problems.

The most notable, however, is the concept of the "Wound".


I understand the thematic; receive too many injuries and you will inevitably die. I don't have a problem with that at all. My issue lies with the way the Wound cards function. The Wounds read that while a Wound is in play in front of you (as an Ongoing card), you will die if you play or gain another Wound. Wounds automatically force you to play them before each other card, even if you draw one later in the turn. If you play two Wounds, you die. Each turn, each Wound allows itself to be discarded from play (if I understand correctly).

Now here's where I start to get a little negative. I completely agree that having a Wound in front of you is grounds for doing everything to avoid receiving another Wound. However, I do not in the slightest bit agree that drawing a Wound or drawing a hand with two Wounds is grounds for having your character killed outright. Basically everything in this game tends to come down to luck, and I'm fine with that because a good player can work with the cards that are dealt to them... unless those cards can make you lose immediately.

The deck-building games are fundamentally about shuffling your deck and drawing cards from it. The way the Wound currently functions, it makes the player suffer for doing these fundamental actions. And, in a game where you shuffle possibly hundreds of times, no matter how big your deck is or how well you shuffle, lady luck will eventually catch up to you. If you have two Wounds when you draw your next hand, you die on your next turn. You can't avoid it or do anything about it. You just have to sit there while the turns pass, waiting for your next turn (which you don't actually get to take) so you can die. And forget about drawing a bunch of cards to kill the Archenemies, because doing so will result in you dying as well, because you WILL eventually draw a second Wound.


I counted 11 cards in a main deck consisting of 84 cards (with Archenemies), plus the Armin Arlert and Hange Zoe Hero cards, that could do anything about Wounds. Most of them require it to not be your turn, and others can technically make you avoid death but it's in very rare situations (such as Kitts Woerman drawing and discarding a Wound, Hange's Archenemy effect destroying one, and using Cloak as a Defense to destroy one in hand). Only Hange's effect (which triggers four times max per game), another player subsequent to you in turn order having Petra and being able to reach your District, or another subsequent player having Reel In and also in your District, would allow a player with two Wounds to survive. Players can only die 2-3 times per game.

Ok, so you need to avoid receiving a lot of Wounds, right? Well, that's impossible. No, not difficult. That is literally impossible. Archenemy Titans require multiple turns to defeat, in almost all cases. From what I've seen in my playthroughs (from 1-4 players, about six games), decks can't be fine-tuned enough in this game to kill these Titans quickly and efficiently. It's almost as difficult to destroy Starters as it is Wounds, and although 3D Gear is a great alternative to Thrusts and Courages, it remains that your deck is inefficient when filled with them. A majority of the main deck cards are low-power, with a few notable, extremely powerful exceptions. Kill Shot, Swords, and Surprise Attack are great if they pop out before an Archenemy, but most of the cards don't go above two Power, two Move, or one draw.


Through our six games, I have won one time. The only time I have won was using altered Wound text in a single-player game. And even when improving the way Wounds function, I still won with one wall left, one token on that wall, no extra Power to spare, a Wound in play, and one more turn before the Wall fell.

The altered Wound text is as follows:

During your turn, play Wound cards before playing other cards.
Ongoing: If you gain (not play) another Wound card, you die.
At the start of your turn, discard a Wound you control. This effect does not stack with other Wounds you control. (i.e. you discard only one Wound you control per turn.)
Return destroyed Wound cards to the stack.

I highly encourage you to test this variation for yourself and provide feedback. As the Wounds currently are, the game seems un-winnable and isn't very fun to play after a few rounds. I agree that this installment should be the most difficult in the Deck-Building franchise, considering the subject matter, but I think there needs to be a clear line between difficult and fun. In my game with this variation, it was still difficult, but I had a blast.

If I'm not understanding a rule correctly or I have simply completely missed a strategy for playing this game without receiving numerous Wounds, I'd appreciate a comment helping me out. :o


12-02-2016, 01:00 AM
You are understanding the rules correctly. Attack on Titan is a dangerous world.
Might be better to let a Wall or two fall while you build up your deck.

In games with 4-5 players death is rather rare. There are a lot more players to save your bacon before your turn when you draw a 2-Wound hand. Hence the 2-death loss condition at 4-5.

Some people collect a lot of Wounds early hoping to die, allowing them to destroy 2-3 Starter cards (or more!) in their hand in the process. Death isn't always a negative.

I like that you are experimenting with a new mod instead of just following the suggestions in the rulebook that make things a little easier.

12-21-2016, 03:35 PM
Hey, I know it's been a bit but I just wanted to give some insight into how you might want to try going about this game. Players need to pick up tasks/roles. Just like in crisis, if a single player is too greedy, they will weigh down their teammates. Not everyone needs to be capable of defeating titans, if you look at the source material, there are a few badass heavy hitters and the rest generally act as support. The game is no different.

If you are your team's heavy hitter, avoid wounds at all costs. You should only be looking to get in on the finishing blow, not stay on the outside with the titans picking up wounds. Also, try to evenly spread out wounds when you can, if someone has taken a wound, make sure they don't immediately get another in their deck.

Also, like Matt said, the wall is a resource you need to manage. Keep in mind that as the wall falls, you require less movement to get around the field. The only piece of the wall that matters is the last one.

Focused decks, wall management and wound management are entirely what this game is about. It is in no way impossible to beat.
Good luck. :)

12-29-2016, 09:53 PM
We've been playing this a LOT more and yeah, the altered text isn't needed. Roles are definitely important. Honestly, biggest complaint at this point is probably the OS Character effects more than anything, specifically Sasha, Mikasa, and Armin being so boring to play.

12-31-2016, 10:14 AM
We've been playing this a LOT more and yeah, the altered text isn't needed. Roles are definitely important. Honestly, biggest complaint at this point is probably the OS Character effects more than anything, specifically Sasha, Mikasa, and Armin being so boring to play.

Mikasa was my favorite character in play testing. Sasha and Armin are also very strong supporting characters. Very important in larger player count games.

01-02-2017, 10:03 AM
I just got this game for christmas and just boxed and sleeved it this weekend so hopefully this coming up weekend my playgroup will get to try it.

01-02-2017, 03:51 PM
I just got this game for christmas and just boxed and sleeved it this weekend so hopefully this coming up weekend my playgroup will get to try it.

I have consulted with the mystics and they suggest your playgroup will be stuck at work and taking care of family this weekend. :( All is lost.

01-03-2017, 11:05 AM
Well, the light mages got to me, they hit me with light magic and made me sick