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Damon Asher
United States
Jefferson
MA
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There are tons of great variants posted here. Here are the tweaks I use to make Thunderstone the game I want to play!

RESTING: When any Hero is destroyed by Resting, you must PAY 1 XP (if you have no XP tokens, place the Militia in front of you at 90 degrees to remind you that you owe one).

DUNGEON DEFEATS:
When you lose a combat in the Dungeon, take the Monster card and place it in a face-down “penalty pile” in front of you. Each card in the penalty pile counts as -1 VP.

TRAPS: When a Trap is drawn, place it in Rank 3. When the Trap reaches Rank 1, execute it as if it had just been drawn by the active player (the one who just caused the Hall to refill) as per the original rules.

TREASURES:
When a Treasure is drawn, it is placed aside until the Hall is filled with Monsters. Any Treasures just drawn are then placed underneath the Monster in the Hall with the greatest health. If there is a tie, give the Treasures to the tied Monster deepest in the Hall. The Treasures will remain attached to this Monster as it moves through the Ranks. A Player who defeats this Monster gets the Treasures. The Treasures are discarded if the player loses the combat.
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Matt Epp
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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I like some of these ideas.

Resting
: I personally don't see the need to penalize resting. It's usually not the right action to take anyways.

Defeats: I like this one. Makes it a strategic decision that quantifies worth.

Traps
: Takes out some of the randomness, sure, why not. I'm curious what affect his may have.

Treasures
: Good, but complicated. I would think it's the simplest to put it under the monster with the highest health, PERIOD. Ties go deeper.

I like to keep things simple, but I may use some of this. Thanks.
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Damon Asher
United States
Jefferson
MA
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Thanks for your comments. The resting penalty is to counteract the common strategy of just spending the first few turns resting out Militia. I hear a lot of good players saying this is often the optimal play, but it is BORING!

The thing about Traps is that they often affect all players. If you can see one coming, then you can try to spring the trap by making it breach just when it will affect you the least.

You might be right about the Treasures. If you include light penalties, then the treasure will end up being easier to get anyway as it moves forward, and I'm trying to reward killing the toughest monster. Thanks for the suggestion! (edit made to OP above to implement this suggestion)

 
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Andy Leber
Canada
Orillia
ON
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I really like the penalty for losing in the dungeon. However sometimes your dungeon just stinks, and you need to clear it out to bring the game to an end (no doubt why you're allowed to fail in the first place).

So I could see that there would maybe be occasional games where this rule could really drag those games out and take some fun away (as people may be much less likely to go to the dungeon).

For those times where someone just wants to ditch a single monster (I can't defeat the Sphynx, so I'm not letting you have it!) it's a great penalty. But on those other occasions, it might annoy me. I wish there was a way to separate the two scenarios.
 
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Damon Asher
United States
Jefferson
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I see your point.

Usually, when the Dungeon gets stuck, I feel like it's because we haven't done the best job keeping our decks in shape, and I don't mind running through it once or twice to get it re-tuned for the Hall we are facing.

But if the Hall and the Village just aren't that compatible, and everyone is getting bored, that's no good either. I think usually the person who feels they will benefit most from unlocking the Dungeon will suck up the -1 VP, but if not, how about one of these?

1a) After a round or more of no one going to the Dungeon, the Rank 1 Monster can be discarded ("Banished") to the bottom of the deck by UNANIMOUS vote of the players. This is exceptionally house-ruley, but I think it would work. Imagine the whole village is so fed up they they unite to take up pitchforks and drive the monster off.

1b) Alternatively, after 3 rounds of no one going to the Dungeon, the Rank 1 Monster wanders off to the bottom of the Dungeon deck. This will keep the Dungeon flowing without anyone having to lose a turn or a VP.

1c) After 3 complete rounds of no one going to the Dungeon, place an XP token on the Dungeon deck. (To track this, place an XP token over Rank 1 and move it back each round no one goes to the Dungeon. Remove it if someone attacks before it reaches the deck.)
Place another XP token on the Dungeon deck each subsequent round no one goes to the Dungeon. When someone goes to the Dungeon, if they are defeated they get the accumulated XP tokens as a consolation prize (consider it a learning experience). They still place the monster card in their -1VP Penalty Pile. If they win, simply discard all the accumulated XP tokens and begin the process again. Slightly complicated, but interesting. Puerto Rico-esque!

2) At a cost of 1 XP, a player can spend their turn Preparing (like in the Advance rules). This means they can keep any number of cards, discard the rest, then draw their hand back up. I think that being able to do this without penalty as written in the Advance rules makes it too easy to get a killer hand every other turn.

I'm not sure which of these I like best, but I do see the value of having some provision to keep the game from dragging without allowing penalty-free poking of the monsters.

Thanks for the discussion! This is a good thread for those who like their Thunderstone MEAN and for there to be a strong emphasis on careful construction and culling of their deck.

I think the new Advance set lessens this aspect too much for my taste. It seems to be designed mainly to get players killing monsters right off the bat. Probably this will help the game draw in new players, but in my day, sometimes you had to spend turns and turns going to the Village and resting before you could even kill the first monster, AND THAT'S HOW WE LIKED IT!

Seriously, I think the game is more interesting when my starting hand is painfully useless. Figuring out how to make those dumb Militia and Food useful is my favorite part of the game.
 
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Blake Johnson
Canada
Burlington
Ontario
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drasher25 wrote:


Seriously, I think the game is more interesting when my starting hand is painfully useless. Figuring out how to make those dumb Militia and Food useful is my favorite part of the game.

I agree, I also enjoy this challenge.

I have found success in 1st few hands where I buy a weapon or two and use the food to equip these with milita. This let's me:
1) Kill monsters early for VP's and potential attack/card draw/money bonuses
2) More importantly gain XP.

In rounds 5-7 I buy a hero and use xp to level early. I find having a 2nd level hero early on can be powerful addition to a weak deck.
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Matthew Wallrath
United States
Washington
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Wounded Heros: I have been playing a house rule that a defeat in the dungeon gains you a disease. Not as harsh as -1 VP, and can play into a cleric based deck for some extra depth, but SOMETHING to account for a lose. And it's simple!
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