You would win that bet. So far, I have played a bunch of Bashing vs Finesse starter games. Never really played for optimum; a lot of times not putting in a worker each turn, for example. I got some bad habits, and bad game understanding/assumptions. The whole "there are only 2 T1's", and while Finesse is happy to get all 4, Bashing only needs two against Finesse. There's only one hero on each side, so there's no mismatch of spell choices -- so spells are a good thing to plan on / make use of. Etc. Heck, floating was common as finesse. Then, came PbF and 3v3 games. Things played a little differently. Quite a bit differently. Not workering every turn quickly showed up as a major problem. So, the whole "cannot afford a card" concept went out the window. Rarely, unable to afford the gold was serious enough, but only if it was "dead if you don't play this". Floating too much was a problem, but not floating at all was a different problem. And, I was asking for advice and help. Constantly. In my first tourney, I took 6 mono colors, a finesse-based deck, and a bashing-based deck. I asked for advice on all of them from the Skype group -- because, as you pointed out, I don't know what I'm doing. I'm too new at this -- when I first had a chance to see the cards outside of the summary posts on Kickstarter, Zane's ability had already been changed from "Bomb a patrol slot", but Midori's midband had not yet been changed. But I'm asking. I'm trying things. I'm learning what doesn't work -- I'm a long way from learning what does work. I'm asking people who know more than me. I'm getting advice from different people. And when I get consistent advice from multiple people, I learn to take that as "Probably true" -- especially when some of the people I'm talking to have been using playtest cards for a while, and at least one (maybe two, not sure) are now tired of the game because they've played it so much. Bashing v Finesse does not give any real concept of how the game goes. The whole idea that your codex gives you 6 T1 choices, and 3 sets of T2's to choose from, that plays so very differently from how the one hero vs one hero game plays it isn't even close. But when ... I think it was three different people on the skype group, when I was asking for advice on how to play mono green, telling me that growth and the blooming's were the way to go, and I still did not see it -- they had to explain that all of the +1/+1 tokens got used TWICE in a given turn, because you could attack, transfer, attack again -- the whole multiple sets of attacks is so different from the mindset I developed while playing M:tG. Not to mention that if I could get two blooming's out, the available tokens doubled, and they could all shift and be used twice. And yes, I asked about the combat numbers on Feral, which actually looked like the better choice. Two people were very clear that going that route was "playing to not lose", while the growth option was the only "playing to win" option. I've tried the Circle of Life strategy with green. It left me with lots of unusable cards and a bloated deck that took too long to cycle my cards back. That it wasn't increasing my board count (just making things on-board bigger) was also a drawback. I've tried the Promise of Payment strategy with Purple. It killed my card count, and made my future turns and their lack of sufficient gold harrowing. As I play, I'm learning that keeping the deck tight, and the card cycle fast, is critical. Zane's Detonate looks better and better as I learn more and more about this. Upgrade cards, because they are so hard to send to the discard, are very nice for keeping the deck thin; that they don't give units on the board is like a balancing mechanic. Getting a unit into play every turn seems to be a really good rule of thumb, and not putting a unit into play consistently seems to be a bad, bad play -- exceptions being either the turn after you put lots of units in, and had survivors (drop down to 0 or 1 card, then rebuild your hand next turn), or max-banding a hero (or both the same turn . Getting big units down? Even when you think a unit is "big", there's something else, at least until the ridiculously big. A "big" unit like a 6/6 might look good, until you realize that it dies to a maxband hero on the other side. Units with high offense typically have low defense, and visa verse -- units wind up trading. Most anti-air units with three attack will kill most fliers. Etc. If no one is "ahead", then T3 generally pushes the win. And getting "ahead" usually winds up taking a combo, a way to push multiple units, a way to combine multiple bonuses. Feral has good sized units at a price -- decent ones at 4, great ones at 6-9. Good luck being able to play more than 1 a turn. Other people can spam 4 tokens per turn and buff all of them -- which seemed weak to me until the Skype people pointed out that you can play that spell every turn. Other people can maxband and buff two, sometimes three heroes (Hello Vandy). Late game wins by simple units attacking and doing some damage to your base each turn? Or late game wins by sheer overwhelm? The overwhelm / lots of damage (more than 10 in a turn) method has been the clincher in all of my forum games. Actual base health turns out to be meaningless. I'm learning what doesn't work, more than I am learning what does work. Bloating the deck doesn't work, and I'm constantly getting the advice to keep it thin, even workering more than you need to. Going down on cards doesn't work unless you get enough board that you don't need to play a card next turn. Units surviving more than one turn turns out to be a good indication that you're well ahead of your opponent -- conversely, if you can't keep up the attack and trades, you're probably in serious trouble. Based on that, what do I see in Green? Weak units that generate gold, but can't win trades and are a loss of board control, and being wiped. Heroes that require you to go way down on cards for their ability (Cala), or give you deck bloat, and don't bring the card out fast enough to be significant (Cala's tigers). Spells that give you a short term boost (Circle of life -- trade T1 cards for T2 cards before the T2 building) at the cost of a big lategame bloat And growth, with the "5 attacks, and then your units are killer" / "get a movable +1/+1 every time a unit comes out" pair. You have made it clear that as far as you are concerned, there is no more design, balancing, or development on Codex, that what we have is what we have. That's fine. But as players, I'm noticing, and finding a lot of people on the skype group who agree, that by the 2nd or third turn, someone has already lost even if they don't know it. How to deal with hero wipe out? I asked, out of frustration with it happening -- and a good forum discussion came out of that. Basically, there are a few problem heroes that can make this sort of thing happen, and when they come out you have a "must respond this way" response. And the game can continue. How to tell if you are doing a really bad play? It turns out that you can count the "gold on board" of the two positions, and if your play would result in you having less gold on board than your opponent, it's probably a bad play -- a bad trade, a bad use of a spell, etc. So you avoid that, and the game can continue. Etc. But what doesn't get addressed is "Ok, how do you recover / get back in the game"? From any sort of problem setup, trying to recover tends to be a "get worse and worse behind" situation. Far too often an early bad move is unrecoverable. And you would have this as an acceptable state -- that Codex is for people who don't make mistakes. You've said that Codex is balanced on a knife's edge, that the +1g / +1card of the patrol zone is a huge effect. And it is. Compared to the choice of "Do I put something in SQL, so the opponent either can't attack, or has to use a bigger attacker", vs "Do I put it in elite so that, even though it will die, I take something with me", the choice of better combat vs better resources is real. But that also means that a slightly less than idea play is a big, big error. Consider, as a "comeback" mechanic, something that could be added as a "map" card. Anyone making a tech building, that isn't the first to make that, gets it for free. So if you are the second to make a T2/T3 building, there's no charge. Too powerful? Probably. What about a discount of the tech number -- T1 gets a 1 discount, T2 gets a 2 discount, etc? That's probably in the right ballpark -- it means that someone who is behind has a chance to catch up. It's not huge, but it's something -- it keeps the game a little closer. Someone who makes an early mistake is no longer dead without a chance to recover. I'm learning what doesn't work. And right now, falling behind doesn't work. The patrol zone for "gaining resources" to try to catch up doesn't work if your opponent goes the same "gain resources to keep the same lead" on you. If the players are balanced, the patrol zone bonuses keep things on the edge. These last few games (in the LLL tournament) showed me how harsh 1 gold can be, often more important than one card. Because I'm getting better, and actually reaching the point where I'm not automatically wiped out at the T2 stage against good opponents. But if I'm behind? Catch up doesn't work when the other person can maintain the same lead. So falling behind on board is bad. Single good units vs lots of buffed units seems to go for "lots of buffed units" unless your opponent has some way to hurt lots of small units (black, Discord, ... I think that's it). Heck, today I got the lesson of "Safe attacking negates the tower for all those 1/1's." -- one simple T0, cost 1, hard to remove upgrade that thins the deck is better than a 3 cost, easy to kill building that reduces the available choices. ==== This thread asked the question, is Codex balanced. It is, clearly. Two experts who are able to choose a good set of specs, and know what they are doing, will do just fine. But that's no different than a puzzle fighting game with two balanced drop patterns. Can you expand that from 2 balanced drops to 8 or 9? Sure. You did just that. Is (random(6)) mono-color codex balanced against (random(6)) mono-color? Debatable. Is (random(6)) mono-color balanced against expert's choice of specs? Debatable. Can that second one be adjusted/balanced? Sure -- play with the multi-color penalty. That's as simple as a map card, or if there's a huge consensus among the players, a rule change. Heck, we've seen "go" move the player 1 penalty from 3.5, to 5.5, now to 7.5 points. Can that first one -- imbalance between two different mono-colors -- be balanced with a simple rules adjustment if it is not balanced? Not that I can tell. The best solution I can see, and I don't know if it's a good solution, is to make it cheaper to be late building tech buildings. But now that the question is asked, and made clear, other people who do know the game well can debate it. Is there a problem with the mono-colors? That's a different question. It does not get answered by saying, "There's no problems with green, look at all these abilities". It gets answered by playing, and seeing what does not work. If it turns out that there is one mono-color that is weaker than the others? Well, Bashing is weaker than the other specs -- can that be solved by giving Troq a startband ability that has no effect in 1v1 games? If it turns out that there is one mono-color that is stronger than the others? How likely is it that there is an absolute "A is better than B ... than F"? Zero. More likely, there is a strange mesh of better than some, worse than others -- and that's the sort of thing that a general "boost to the weaker" rule would help. === We've had people comment in this thread that "So-and-so played rich earth T1, and won", etc. We've had others ask if you can really analyze things with math in this game. Well, rich earth is apparently one of those where you can, and people who know the game better than I do have done so. It's considered a weak opening play by people who know the game. That someone can win with it does not mean it's a good play if the opponent doesn't do a good job. Sometimes, you have to use math to analyze things.