$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 130.94

7,700 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
48.5% of Goal | left

Support:

Recommend
28 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

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

Subject: Enjoyable Mode rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Gene Moore
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd like to share with everyone a variant that I have been using for a while, which I'm calling Enjoyable Mode. I named it that because, for me, that's exactly what this variant has done: it has made the game a much more enjoyable affair. I have struggled with LOTR as of late, and after trying Easy Mode (and not feeling satisfied by the changes in gameplay), I wanted something that could pack a punch in a relatively minor change.

The variant is one new setup rule, which I've made into a custom card that you can use:



Quote:
Setup: Before drawing your starting hand, for each hero you control, you may choose a card from your deck to add to your hand. The chosen card must match the sphere of that hero. If the hero belongs to no sphere of influence, then the chosen card must also belong to no sphere.

After adding all chosen cards, shuffle your deck and draw the remaining cards for your starting hand. (The chosen cards count toward the starting hand size.) You cannot take a mulligan.


This is not an original concept, of course. There has been plenty of discussion before, on both BGG and the FFG forums, about the idea of choosing the cards in your starting hand. Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is known for having players choose their entire opening hand at the start of the game. Critics of the idea say that it won't work in LOTR, because the luck of the draw is an important component in the design of this game. A fixed starting hand threatens to turn the game into a solvable puzzle. The text for Enjoyable Mode was written with this criticism in mind.

By having the player choose one card per hero, with a required sphere match for each, this variant becomes less about eliminating randomness from the game, and more about setting up a few key moves in the first round or two. For obvious thematic reasons, I love running my Hobbit deck against the Black Riders quests... but if I can't get a Hobbit Cloak on Sam, or a Dagger of Westernesse on Merry, then I'm at risk of getting smashed in by the encounter deck. Enjoyable Mode makes these opening moves possible. It doesn't rig the deck; it simply mitigates a bit of luck at the beginning, and that's what makes it so enjoyable.

The best part is, it's not a significant departure from the gameplay found in Normal Mode. After all, even though the odds aren't great, it's entirely possible that you could draw all of the cards you're looking for at random, and the rest of the gameplay would be exactly the same as you know it currently. Yes, Enjoyable Mode does make it possible for you to safely include just one copy of a card like Steward of Gondor or Light of Valinor in your deck. You can decide for yourself whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I am a solo player only; I don't even play 2-handed. I can't tell you if this variant would be game-breaking in a multiplayer setting. All I can offer are my experiences from using it in solitaire games. I've played around 25 games so far, including several from a saga campaign that I started. Overall, the game is still challenging, especially with the Journey in the Dark quest... it took 6 tries to beat that one. I have yet to feel like I was getting too much of an advantage.

If you decide to try Enjoyable Mode, please let me know how it goes for you!
44 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Schwarz
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
lwdgames wrote:
There has been plenty of discussion before, on both BGG and the FFG forums, about the idea of choosing the cards in your starting hand. Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is known for having players choose their entire opening hand at the start of the game.


At least three of the Precedence CCGs did this as well. (Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game, The Wheel of Time Collectible Card Game, and Tomb Raider Collectible Card Game.)

The reason I bring them up is because they also had an additional rule, which might be worth considering. Starting hands could not include multiple cards of the same type. So, in effect, you'd be choosing an ally, attachment, and event at the start of the game.

This might be something you'd want to kick around and think about as an option.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Russell
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It seems like a good idea - i play solo one deck too and i have been known to take a mulligan get a new hand and after drawing again think, no that just wont work so i take another one. This largely mitigates the fact that you know you need one or two cards to have chance against some scenarios.

I would try this but i think i like the limitation to one ally, attachment, event myself.

I see this just as the heroes preparing themselves just a little before they go out on their adventure, need the cloak - well it may be likely he took one with him or Gandalf just happened to hand one out.

Personally i am not averse to changing things, i have rewritten an encounter rule here or there where it just doesnt work for solo play. Belegost for example is a lovely quest but you need to soften it to play solo.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robin Munn

Unspecified
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Another possible variant is to adjust the difficulty level of "Enjoyable Mode" by adjusting how many chosen cards you get at the start. Personally, I think that three chosen cards (one per hero) would be a bit too easy compared to the normal rules. I'd probably call the difficulty levels as follows:

1 chosen card = Normal level - similar in difficulty to the standard rules, but a bit less frustrating
2 chosen cards = Easy level - a good level to play at for a fun, but still challenging, game
3 chosen cards = Beginner level - this might be a good mode to teach newbies, but if you're experienced, you'll probably enjoy the challenge of Easy or Normal level a bit more

In the 2 or 3 chosen cards variant, each one must correspond to a different hero's sphere of influence, as in your version of the variant rules: no picking up 2 Spirit cards if Éowyn is your only Spirit hero.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gene Moore
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for your responses. I would encourage anyone who has suggestions for changes to try it out as-is first. I expected it to be too easy as well, and instead what I found was that the encounter deck can still make the game quite difficult when it wants to (see: Journey in the Dark). I still lost a good number of times when playing Enjoyable Mode, which is why I'm not suggesting it as a replacement for Easy Mode. I didn't want an easier game; I wanted a game that I would enjoy playing again, and this variant did that for me.

Caleb and Matt have done a great job of putting together challenging quests that are rich in theme, and I think that the game has moved in a positive direction because of them. However, I have found myself more and more frustrated with the game, as it seems like newer quests require a solo player to have a near-perfect first few rounds in order to survive. I don't want to have to run Seastan's Boromir just to get through a quest.

Enjoyable Mode has given me a game that still functions as it always has, but with the relief of knowing that certain cards that are important to my deck's success are going to be there from the start. That has made all the difference for me. Ultimately, you can tweak your game in whatever fashion makes you comfortable. This one is what I've chosen for myself.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sal Paradice
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
lwdgames wrote:
I have found myself more and more frustrated with the game, as it seems like newer quests require a solo player to have a near-perfect first few rounds in order to survive. I don't want to have to run Seastan's Boromir just to get through a quest.


You nailed my thoughts on the present state of the game. I was telling a friend last night not to buy past the first couple cycles if he wants to play a variety of decks. I am looking forward to giving this a try - the Hobbit quests still curb-stomp anything moderately thematic I've taken up against them solo.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Jackson
United States
Mather
California
flag msg tools
OK, one time Randy Beaman had to take baths with his brother. So one time his little brother took a potty in the bathtub .....and now Randy Beaman gets to take showers alone. 'K, bye.
badge
One time, OK, see, one time Randy Beaman's little brother ate Pop Rocks and drank a soda at the same time and his head exploded! 'K, bye.
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for sharing. My daughter and I have recently begun enjoying the LotR LCG. The first two cycles went pretty smoothly, but we had issues completing some of the quests in Heirs of Numenor and the Against the Shadows cycle (we're hoping the Hobbit series isn't as rough). Rather than continue to bang our heads on the wall, we adopted a similar 'enjoyable' mode:

Draw your hand as normal, even using a mulligan if desired. It's not uncommon for us to mulligan a second time if we know the early game snowball's quickly. Where our house-rule kicks in is that we CHOOSE our first draw card. This allows us to analyze our initial hand then add that one additional card to help.


3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
esteban hoogma
Chile
flag msg tools
salparadice1 wrote:
lwdgames wrote:
I have found myself more and more frustrated with the game, as it seems like newer quests require a solo player to have a near-perfect first few rounds in order to survive. I don't want to have to run Seastan's Boromir just to get through a quest.


You nailed my thoughts on the present state of the game. I was telling a friend last night not to buy past the first couple cycles if he wants to play a variety of decks. I am looking forward to giving this a try - the Hobbit quests still curb-stomp anything moderately thematic I've taken up against them solo.


Yup, exatly my case here. Contrary to Mirkwood or Dwarrowdelf, even some Heirs of Númenor quests, current quests have become increasingly difficult the first few rounds, making any deck I'm running more and more dependant on the opening hand. I think however just choosing 1 card is enough. But yeah I fully agree.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.