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Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation» Forums » General

Subject: Tweaking extra cards. rss

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United States
West Linn
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Here's what I've heard:

*The extra cards (Shadowfax, Gan. the White, Return to M, and Palantir) are only for handicapping. Should not be used with experienced players.

*The Shadowfax card is overpowered, and gives the Light side easy victory with the double move/Frodo combo.

*Dark is favored in a game without the extra cards (source of contention here, though)

I have been thinking. Maybe make the Shadowfax card only usable by Gandalf and Return to Mordor only usable by the Nazgul. Palantir and GtW stay the same. Seems better thematically and may make it more balanced and the special cards usable.
 
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Daniel Edwards
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Its a question of taste. The intended purpose of the extra cards (as stated in the rules) is for handicapping but I wouldnt say they shouldnt be used with experienced players.

Most people I play with would rather lose while learning a game than be favoured by a handicap anyway. I generally don't use them at the start for that reason and also because they are an additional thing to think about in a game where new players are already trying to remember each players pieces and cards. The extra cards on top of that is often just too much.

I often suggest adding the extra cards once both players are familiar with the game to mix things up a bit. While I agree that the game is moderately in favour of dark in the standard game (I think 55/45 - 65/35 depending on the style of play the dark player adopts) and that reverses in a game with all extra cards added to maybe 40/60 that imbalance is fairly easily dealt with simply by playing "matches" where each player plays each side once and compares the number of surviving characters in the games they each won if they tie (this is the method suggested in the deluxe rules).

Im not sure if your suggestion evens things out. Shadowfax is quite good on gandalf. I probably use it that way about the same amount of times as I use it on frodo. In particular it is very good at leaping gandalf forward to attack the orcs as they sit in the 2nd tier. Also while shadowfax is certainly very good its not that much better than gandalf the white. The main benefit of shadowfax is that it allows frodo to move through the mountains without needing to go through the pass and without being particularly vulnerable to the flying nazgul (which is one of the key reasons for the darks advantage in the standard game). It doesn't win the game by itself however and frodo still needs to have a path cleared to mordor by others. Gandalf the white forces the dark to cover fanghorn once gandalf is killed. Thats difficult in the late game if the game is close. If Gandalf does come back its pretty much game over for the dark unless one gandalf kill came via the orcs.

The darks extra cards in contrast just aren't as good. Palantir is nice but with experienced players you generally have a pretty good idea where everything is fairly early on anyway and any gain you get from the palantir is usually fairly small. Its best use is to find boromir for the black rider. Return to mordor is a very specialised (and accordingly often not very useful card). Im also finding it very difficult to think of a situation where you would want to use it on the flying nazgul (or even the black rider). The flying nazgul can already fly back to attack single pieces that get past the black lines. Return is most often used to re-position a dark piece like saruman or a 5 piece that has gone "too far" forward and is no longer in a position to do anything useful where it is (including threatening a shire victory).

So in summary I think your suggestion weakens the light only very slightly while making one of the darks two cards (which is already difficult to use effectively) almost useless.

If your really concerned about a potential imbalance I think the key to the problem is that both of the lights extra cards are better than the darks extra cards. Id let each player choose 1 card from the two and see how that goes. Alternatively you could mix and match extra cards from the deluxe version. I haven't had a chance to play with those however.




 
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