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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Adjusting difficulty based on number of players rss

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Pixxel Wizzard
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Perhaps this has already been discussed somewhere but here goes...

THE PROBLEM: I've found that the more people in the game the more difficult the game becomes and vice versa. After additional playing I recant this statement. This is due to the villain deck speed vs. player deck speed ratio. For example, with two players each player gets a turn to improve their deck on every other villain card played. With five players five cards will be played from the villain deck before a player gets a chance to improve their own deck again, a villainous ratio!! Though this is true, with more players the villain deck contains more henchman and bystanders making it less of a threat and giving players more time and opportunity to catch up, so it balances itself out.

SOLUTION: My proposed solution for this is to normalize the villain deck speed with the player deck speed regardless of the number of players. How? Assuming that three players is the most balanced number (which it is in my experience) that's a ratio of 2 villain cards between each players turn. To maintain this ratio with 4 players simply don't play the villain deck on every third turn. With 5 players we play the villain deck on every other turn odd numbered player's turn (1st, 3rd, 5th). With two players we play two cards from the villain deck on every third turn (so that the two villain cards don't come up on the same players turn every time).

Ok, this is actually a terrible idea. It was based on just a couple of plays with more than 3 players but the game is already well balanced for 4 & 5 players. I wouldn't suggest using this method unless you want a really EASY and SLOW game.

Thoughts? Criticism?
 
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Charles Washington
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That is actually an excellent idea. I enjoy the game on a very difficult setting, but my friends, not so much.

 
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Brook Gentlestream
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I like it. To track this, I think i'll make a card called "Great Responsibility"

Players with Great Responsibiltiy must draw an extra card from the villain deck on their turns. If its a 2 player game, you must immediately give the Great Responsibility card to your "opponent".

 
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Darth Ed
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It's an interesting solution. I do wonder if it might favor the player for which drawing from the Villain Deck is skipped. As long as it's not the same player every time, I guess that would work fairly well.

Here are some other solutions for the scaling problem I've seen proposed in the past:

* Assuming the game is optimized for three players, the number of city spaces should equal the number of players plus 2. Therefore, one possible solution is to add 1 or 2 spaces to the city for 4-5 players. I propose calling these spaces the Skyscraper (it should come before the Bridge) and and the Warehouse (which should come between the Sewers and the Bank). With two players, eliminate the Rooftops space instead, and villains then progress straight from the Bank to the Streets.
Relevant threads/articles:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/892523/improving-scaling-wit...
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/10722351#10722351

* Have each player do one or maybe even two turns at the beginning of the game in which you don't draw any cards from the Villain Deck. Basically, this just kick starts everyone's deck so that you have a chance to defeat a villain sooner. After that, play proceeds as normal.
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/12952586#12952586
 
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Adam
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Another possible solution, Difficulty Cards. The core rule book and rule sheet for Dark city have difficulty adjustments. I took the liberty of putting them, and a few of my own, onto cards so they could be selected randomly.

Red=Harder
Blue=Easier

Use a blue card to make the game a bit easier for more players.

The file is here: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/92246/marvel-legendary-cor...
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Pixxel Wizzard
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lordrahvin wrote:
If its a 2 player game, you must immediately give the Great Responsibility card to your "opponent".


This would result in doubling the speed of the villain deck in a two player game which would greatly increase the difficulty.
 
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Pixxel Wizzard
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DarthEd wrote:
It's an interesting solution. I do wonder if it might favor the player for which drawing from the Villain Deck is skipped. As long as it's not the same player every time, I guess that would work fairly well.


It would only be the same player every time in a 5 player game, but your point is valid. The solution is to skip playing the villain deck every other turn in a 5 player game.
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Bert McCloud
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I suppose this kind of thing could work, but some of my friends find it difficult enough to remember to draw a villain card as it is (they are far too eager to play their cards due to forward planning) so I don't think this would work for me; everyone would forget!
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Pixxel Wizzard
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BertMcCloud wrote:
I suppose this kind of thing could work, but some of my friends find it difficult enough to remember to draw a villain card as it is (they are far too eager to play their cards due to forward planning) so I don't think this would work for me; everyone would forget!


Yeah, I thought about that too. We sometimes forget between turns whether a villain has been played or not.

SOLUTION: I've found that making the person whose turn it is responsible for playing the top card of the villain deck cuts down on that. It's a lot easier to remember whether YOU played the villain deck before you take your turn then to recall if SOMEONE has already played the villain deck.
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Bert McCloud
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pinkled5 wrote:
BertMcCloud wrote:
I suppose this kind of thing could work, but some of my friends find it difficult enough to remember to draw a villain card as it is (they are far too eager to play their cards due to forward planning) so I don't think this would work for me; everyone would forget!


Yeah, I thought about that too. We sometimes forget between turns whether a villain has been played or not.

SOLUTION: I've found that making the person whose turn it is responsible for playing the top card of the villain deck cuts down on that. It's a lot easier to remember whether YOU played the villain deck before you take your turn then to recall if SOMEONE has already played the villain deck.


In my games the current player always is responsible for playing the villain card, it's part of each players turn so it makes sense that way. Still doesn't always work unfortunately. I've just found people far too eager to play the cards in their hand because they have spent the last few players turns figuring out the best order to play cards in!

I think the only way that I'd be able to get it to work (your system for villain cards) would be if I had some kind of counter; kind of like the clock in Elder sign. End of the turn move the clock, when the clock reaches midnight draw a card on the next players turn. That kind of thing.
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Brian M
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Some things to consider:

1) While the villains come out at a faster rate with more players, the number of scheme twists and master strikes do not usually change, while you add more villains, more henchman and more bystanders. This waters down the nastier effects. Henchman are generally easily KO'd and give a nice boost to the KOing player. So making the cards move at a constant speed will actually make the game easier with more players.

2) Different schemes work very differently. If the scheme is based around villains escaping (EX: Negative Zone Prison Breakout), lots of villains coming out can be very bad. If the scheme is based around a 'timer' effect (EX: Portals to the Dark Dimension), it really doesn't matter if villains are escaping or not.

3) As decks power up, a player who isn't drawing a villain card is less likely to have anything to KO on their turn, as earlier players may be clearing the board. This will likely increase the luck factor of the game.

Just things to think about. Play as you like.
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Pixxel Wizzard
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StormKnight wrote:
Some things to consider:

1) While the villains come out at a faster rate with more players, the number of scheme twists and master strikes do not usually change, while you add more villains, more henchman and more bystanders. This waters down the nastier effects. Henchman are generally easily KO'd and give a nice boost to the KOing player. So making the cards move at a constant speed will actually make the game easier with more players.

2) Different schemes work very differently. If the scheme is based around villains escaping (EX: Negative Zone Prison Breakout), lots of villains coming out can be very bad. If the scheme is based around a 'timer' effect (EX: Portals to the Dark Dimension), it really doesn't matter if villains are escaping or not.

3) As decks power up, a player who isn't drawing a villain card is less likely to have anything to KO on their turn, as earlier players may be clearing the board. This will likely increase the luck factor of the game.

Just things to think about. Play as you like.


You're absolutely correct. The game developers have worked hard to make this game balanced. But because there are so many variables in this game the mechanics cannot be strictly controlled for during each game session. That is one of its greatest strengths and accounts for its high level of replayability. I have experienced many a game where we won very easily. I have also played the game where we got absolutely crushed in very short order. Then there are those times where it was extremely close and could have gone either way.

I think this reflects comic stories closely. The good guy does not always win (think Bane vs. Batman) but sometimes has to regroup and fight again another day. But for casual players looking for a more consistent experience that gives them the best chance of winning every time my proposed scenario is just one of many possible solutions to achieve that.
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