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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » Rules

Subject: Does the official scoring system make sense? rss

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Vincenzo Beretta
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I just started a personal "Progression Series", and I'm wondering about the scoring system described in the rulebook to see how a certain quest went (the lower, the better).

I remember reading somewhere (I would like to remember where) that it was a crock and how it was better to ignore it. Do I recall correctly? What are your experiences with LOTR LCG scoring system?
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mathew rynich
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Do you mean the difficulty rating or the player score?

Tales From The Cards had a whole article ranting about the difficulty score. It also proposes alternate difficulty scores based on the author's experience.
https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/lotr-rant...

The new players guide on Tales has a challenge rating for all the products which might make a bit more sense as well.
https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-playe...

As for the player scoring option I have never played with anyone who bothered to keep score
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Jim Hansen
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The scoring system is a little wonky because the scores will vary wildly between quests and between player counts. This means that you almost never know what a "good" score is unless you play the same quest repeatedly and keep track. Since it's hard to know what defines a good or bad score, almost nobody I've played with ever calculates it.

If you play on OCTGN it will calculate for you. So, some people just calc it at the end and, if they record their plays, include the score in the record. But in almost all cases it's a complete afterthought. You win or lose, and that's what really matters.

The only people I've seen that care about score are people that play hundreds of games of pure solo, as it allows them to compare decks or performance. Also, there have been a couple of online "duplicate" tournaments where people record their score as a comparison of who made the best choices.
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Vincenzo Beretta
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Thanks! Yes, I was talking about the score you calculate at the end of a quest to see how well it went.

I don't plan to play hundreds of times, but I played the "Passage Through Mirkwood" tutorial trice using different decks, and my impression was that I was doing better and better every time.

It can thus happen, down the road, that I play a quest and say "Hmmm... Yes, I cleared it but I stumbled and made a lot of mistakes. Let's see if I learned something from this..." I was just curious to know if the official Scoring System was a good meter of your performance.
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Jim Hansen
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One other aspect is that your score is mostly based on the number of rounds. So, if you play a low threat deck that like to take a few turns to set up, your scores will inherently be worse than a high threat deck with bomb heroes that hits the ground running.

So not only does it vary by quest and player count, but also by deck type/style. But, if those variations don't bother you, it can provide you some sort of metric to measure your performance. I could definitely see some value if you are new to the game and you're trying to gauge your decision making more than your deck building.
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Dale Stephenson
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I never bother to use the official scoring system either. I think the merit of a particular deck against a particular quest is best expressed purely by W-L, though it's unlikely any particular deck will be played against a particular quest enough times to make fine distinctions between decks.

But do the components make sense as a measure of how well you did?

+ 1) Final threat level
+ 2) Threat penalty on all "dead heroes"
+ 3) Damage tokens on living heroes
+ 4) Number of rounds to defeat the scenario * 10
- 5) Number of victory points earned

While these scores would not be comparable between quests, for a given quest I think there's some sense to it -- lower threat is generally better than high threat, live heroes are generally better than dead heroes, healthy heroes are better than damaged heroes, beating a scenario quickly is generally better than beating it slowly (certainly gives the deck less chance to pop out something really nasty), and since VP encounter deck cards are generally associated with especially nasty critters, VP can identify something especially nasty you defeated or explored.

With that said, a lot of the components can have to do more with player style than anything else. Threat is a choice and a resource. Caldara may end up "dead" through her normal functioning. Gimli spends most of every quest at the point of death, and the more damage he has (via +health attachments) the more *effective* he actually is. Has a deck that's consistently chumped block really done "better" than a hero-defense deck that's left a hero slightly damaged?

Further, the dominant driver in the score calculation is just going to be the number of turns. A dead hero will be worth ~1 turn, damaged heroes are likely to add up to be less than 1 turn, the VP cards aren't likely to outweigh a turn, and even the difference between secrecy and valour is only two turns. I think the heavy weighting on turns is undesirable in two respects:

1) There are no components provided to track number of turns, nor is there any reason (outside this score calculation) to actually care about the number of turns. I dislike any sort of score calculation that can't be calculated from information in hand after the game has completed.

2) It highly values speed over all other deck considerations. Some quests punish you for going slowly, other quests reward it, but this amounts to style points for a particular kind of deck. If two decks have similar winning percentage against a particular quest, why is the fast one "better"?

There's two other problems I see with the scoring:

1) For a given quest, difficulty is *highly* variable depending on what cards come out when. The tiny influence from VP cards isn't nearly enough to compensate for this.

2) Since score is only awarded for a win, there's actually a negative correlation between a good score and a good story. I take my deck against a quest, stomp it quickly and win with undamaged heroes and low threat and get a terrific score -- and it's not very interesting or satisfying. I take my deck against a quest, struggle mightily and long, finally beating it with every hero at the point of death, some possibly even dead, but pull out the win by a hair -- and I feel like I've really accomplished something *difficult*. Probably have, because the difference between my easy wins and tough wins is IMO usually not in the quality of my play, just in the order of cards in the player and encounter decks.
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Brandon George
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I track my score. It's interesting to have an idea of how I did, and whether I improved from last time.

You just can't compare scores between different scenarios, it's apples to oranges.

I made myself a mobile-friendly google form so I can track my games and scores easily wherever I play. I've been thinking about fleshing it out a lot and making the data publicly available, so people could contribute their games to community stats similar to the popular Eldritch Horror community tracker. I think it would be fun to be able to see how your score compares to many players' average for that adventure, and maybe even collect stats on each hero's win rates, etc. Does that sound interesting to anyone else?
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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+1 to Dale's analysis. I used to keep score, but stopped because I decided that having the number of rounds be a more important component of the final score than all the other stuff put together is moronic. If I were to start keeping score again, I'd definitely reduce the number of turns multiplier to something like 2. Or, better yet, 0.
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Andrew Brown
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Teamjimby wrote:
One other aspect is that your score is mostly based on the number of rounds. So, if you play a low threat deck that like to take a few turns to set up, your scores will inherently be worse than a high threat deck with bomb heroes that hits the ground running.
this is also something that i really hate about the scoring system.
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P Santos
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LAS VEGAS
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I calculate the score just to track how my gameplay compares from one game to another, using exactly same deck for same scenario.
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