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Legends of Andor» Forums » Variants

Subject: Runestones Variant : "Power Up Your Runestones!" rss

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J A
Canada
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I know I’m probably going to get a lot of hate for this , but I was considering adopting the Runestones rules from the French and English editions of Andor, erroneous though they may be, as a « house rule ».

The house rule would be:
When the Wizard carries 3RS, he uses a black die
When the Archer uses the Runestones, he also uses 1 black die (1 roll only)
When the Warrior or Dwarf use the Runestones, they remove 1 die from their regular dice pool and replace it with a black die


The correct rule is: any hero who carries the 3 runestones may use a black die instead of his own dice (see ruling by game designer Michael Menzel in the Rules thread: Effect of Runestones in Combat)


I prefer to consider the runestones as a « powering up » artefact (its power always applies if you possess the 3RS), rather than as an alternative weapon.
Allow me to explain why: I suggest that this house rule would give players more interesting choices to make.

Under the rules as they stand, using the stones is optional. Hypothetically, a player could use his regular dice even if in possession of the 3RS.
However, because the black die is more powerful (better odds of obtaining a higher value, even for a hero who has a large dice-pool, such as the Warrior), using the black die becomes the default choice for any hero who is in possession of the stones: not very interesting from a gaming perspective.

However, consider the effect of this house rule in the case of characters such as the Dwarf and the Warrior, notably when they are outfitted with the Helm (an artefact which is tailored for these two characters: only they can use its power) and/or involved in group combat with the Wizard

This would present the players with interesting tactical decisions, as to how to obtain their best result.

For example:

If a Dwarf rolling 1 yellow + 1 black die rolled:
1 6
and the Wizard changed the 1 into a 6 , then the Dwarf’s best result would be 12 (using the power the Helm), better than if the Wizard turned the black 6 to a 10

Similarly, if he rolled
6 6 , his best result would also be 12 , better than if the Wizard flipped the black 6



If a Warrior rolling 3 blue + 1 black dice rolled

3 4 4 6  
and the Wizard in group combat changed the 3 into 4,
then the Warrior would choose his best result, namely 12 rather than the black 6 (a 6 flipped to a 10 is still less than 12)


Obviously, these examples involve low die rolls with the black die. Higher rolls would present the player with different options.

My argument is that this house rule has the advantage of offering the player a richer palette of decision-making in combat when combined with the Runestones, as opposed to using the black die as a default.

At the present, I haven’t made up my mind to adopt this house rule yet, I am merely toying with the idea.
I would be interested if anyone disagrees or could offer any good reasons why this variant is a bad idea (would break the game) other than just saying: « it’s stupid, why change the rules , just play the way the designer created the game!»
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Harv Veerman
Netherlands
Zoetermeer
Zuid-Holland
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So either the warrior or the dwarf are in play, together with the wizard.

Warrior/dwarf already has the benefit from a helmet. I honestly think (and leave the calculations to a hobbyist) giving the black die to the warrior/dwarf in stead of to the wizard is less beneficial than giving it to the wizard.

In all your examples, the wizard is left with his one measly purple die.
Considering a lot of combat is a group effort in Andor, the black die would be most efficient in the wizards hands.

Even if the wizards would turn a "normal" die for a helmeted fighter, he/she would still be left with a nice "black" roll himself.

Giving a warrior a +2 and being stuck with a 1 myself, I would not be neither happy nor contributing.

But by all means, try it and report back, but keep in mind what would happen if the black die was with Sparky...
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Matthias Mahr
Austria
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Caylusboy, you did notice, that in all Legends, were rune stones are used, always one of the six will get removed?

Therefore, you can always collect only one full set and I agree with Mad Math, that if the wizard is in play, (s)he will always get the best benefit from the black die.
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J A
Canada
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Mad Math wrote:
So either the warrior or the dwarf are in play, together with the wizard.

Warrior/dwarf already has the benefit from a helmet. I honestly think (and leave the calculations to a hobbyist) giving the black die to the warrior/dwarf in stead of to the wizard is less beneficial than giving it to the wizard.

In all your examples, the wizard is left with his one measly purple die.
Considering a lot of combat is a group effort in Andor, the black die would be most efficient in the wizards hands.

Even if the wizards would turn a "normal" die for a helmeted fighter, he/she would still be left with a nice "black" roll himself.


Ah, agreed! But he Wizard doesn’t have to give his power to the Dwarf, he could keep it for himself, as in example #2

You are saying that when the Wizard is around and the heroes have the 3RS, the optimal combo so to speak is Wizard + 3RS. That is certainly true.

But doesn’t that also hold true under the correct rules? Yet situations may arise in a game when the 3RS are used by characters other than the Wizard. Consider, for example, a 2 or 3 player game in which the Wizard isn’t even in play. In such cases, wouldn’t the house rule add interesting decisions in combat when playing the Warrior and Dwarf?

As for the Archer, his status wouldn’t change one way or the other; he would be rolling a single black die when using the stones

Something else: under the correct rules, the Helm becomes useless to the Warrior and Dwarf when they are using the stones. I like the idea that under the variant, the power of the Helm would remain potent because it could possibly have an effect upon certain die rolls (as in example #2 above).

I also like the idea of breaking the routine of « Runestones = Wizard »

So basically, the house rule does not prevent the Wizard from using the stones, it just makes their use by other characters an interesting alternative.


Lol! Who is Sparky? Could you possibly be referring to the nameless fire-breathing Terror in Legend 5?

 
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J A
Canada
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Susumu wrote:
Caylusboy, you did notice, that in all Legends, were rune stones are used, always one of the six will get removed?

Therefore, you can always collect only one full set


Yes, 6-1, 1 set only, I noticed. So you are saying that it is vital to optimise and give them to the Wizard. That is true!
 
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Matthias Mahr
Austria
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Not necessarily. I only played in 4 player games without "New Heroes" yet. So we played always with a Wizard (me being the Dwarf) and yes, in games we got hold of the black die, it always went to the Wizard. Of course, if you play with less players (or New Heroes) and the Wizard is not included, this might be different.

However, you implied that the Wizard is included (to turn the black die for another hero), and in this case I would say, yes, give it to the Wizard instead.
 
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J A
Canada
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Susumu wrote:
However, you implied that the Wizard is included (to turn the black die for another hero), and in this case I would say, yes, give it to the Wizard instead.


Good point. Agreed!
 
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J A
Canada
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My conclusions:

- The Legends of Andor offers an abundance of tough decision points as is: no shortcomings in that department, and therefore no need to make any changes.

- I must come to terms with the idea that the Helm is an object tailored for the Warrior and the Dwarf, and the Runestones is tailored for the Wizard.

- If the Wizard is in play and the heroes have uncovered the 3RS, the default choice should be to give them to the Wizard (i.e., most powerful combo is Wizard + 3RS)

- If the Wizard is not in play, one of the heroes (Warrior or Dwarf) can consider using the stones to gain the advantage of the Black die, but he/she should not bother buying a Helm (or if he/she already has, consider hawking it at the pawnshop in Rietburg Castle!), whereas the other non-runestones-toting hero definitely should invest in one.


Verdict:

- I will not be adopting this variant, Amen! (at least this exercise has helped me to better understand this game shake)

- Andor is a great game!

- For the sake of Andor players who own the Thames Kosmos and Iello editions, spread the word that there is an error in the Runestones rules!

Thank you Mad Math and Susumu for your feedback!

Happy gaming!
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