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Lord of the Rings» Forums » Variants

Subject: Integrating Expansions rss

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Tommaso Franco
Italy
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Some people – including myself – have complained about the low level of integration among the three expansions when played in any combination. Foes and Battlefield Enemies do not interact, nor a human Sauron has any control on either of those. To address this, I have come up with some simple ideas to “improve” this situation (IMHO). They have only been tested lightly, so any comment or suggestion will be appreciated.

Sauron + Friends&Foes

This is easy: let Sauron control the Foe deck. This can be done in several ways, for example:
- Give Sauron a hand of 6 Foes. Whenever a player is instructed to draw a Foe, Sauron plays one of his choice. When the hand is empty, refresh to 6 automatically.
- Give Sauron a small deck of the 8 “black” Foes (those with black symbols). Whenever a player is instructed to draw a Foe, Sauron draws a random one, choosing if from the standard deck or the black deck. (When recycled by the Black Gate, Sauron can choose the order of play)

Sauron + Battlefields

This is also straightforward: when collecting trigger tiles, give them to the Sauron player. He will choose the order in which to resolve them.

Friends&Foes + Battlefields

This is the tricky one, but the most needed too, as it seems redundant to have a Foe line and a Battlefield Board at the same time, even with duplicated enemies. This is my suggestion: treat Foe cards as extra triggers. When instructed to draw a Foe card, the Active Player collects it (face-down) as any trigger (i.e. there is no Foe line any more). At the end of the turn, resolve Foe cards as triggers, before resolving actual triggers. The meaning is as following:
Foes with black symbols: black swords
Foes with “discard life tokens”: red swords
Foes with “discard cards”(with the word “card” on them): grey swords
Foes with “discard shields”(with the word “shield” on them): purple swords
Foes with action symbols: green swords

The number of symbols on the Foe card translates into the number of swords (if no number on the card, then there is only one sword)
Entry number: if a new Enemy piece has to be placed on the board, use the Entry Number of the last Trigger tile that has been played - start from 1 if at the beginning of a scenario.
Special abilities for defeating Foes (Feature Cards, Hobbit Powers, etc.) now read “discard Foe card(s)” (before resolving)

At the beginning of a scenario, “reveal 4 Foes” becomes “give 4 Foe cards to the active player”.

Skipping Scenario Boards: you have to have an empty Battlefield Board at the end of the previous scenario to do it (there is no Foe line to clean up). When skipping Shelob’s Liar after skipping Helm’s Deep, display the Helm’s Deep Battlefield Board and resolve the 4 Foe cards you have just drawn as trigger tiles. The Active Player is the Ring Bearer, and you can use Special Power as usual to eliminate all Enemies on the Battlefield Board (the new requirement for skipping a Scenario Board).

Sauron + Friends&Foes + Battlefields

No special rules, but combining all the above means that Sauron can directly influence the Battlefield board by choosing with Foe card to play as trigger tile; in this case, Sauron chooses the Entry Number if a new Enemy piece has to be placed on the board.


All the tweaks increase the difficulty level of the game, especially those that give a Sauron player more options. Consider pushing Sauron back on the corruption track 1-2 spaces to even it out, or giving Whatchful Peace card to the party or, if already done, giving some free shields to the hobbits at the beginning of the game, e.g. 1 or 2 random shield cards each (face down)

I hope my wording is clear enough, feel free to ask anything!

(edit: some minor details addedd)
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Dan Cavaliere
United States
Littleton
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I really like these ideas Tommaso. I usually only get to play this game solo so the F&F and Battlefields variant appeals the most to me.

When I do get to play the Sauron expansion someday with someone, if it is more than once and we add the the other expansions, I hope to include your other ideas as well.

Thanks for sharing these
 
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Tommaso Franco
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My pleasure, Dan.

Sauron variants are quite straightforward, you just let Sauron decide some things that usually happen randomly.

However, if you happen to try the Battlefield + F&F variant, please let me know how it goes. I fear a rough result sauron
 
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Dan Cavaliere
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Tommaso 73 wrote:

However, if you happen to try the Battlefield + F&F variant, please let me know how it goes. I fear a rough result sauron


I can feel the pain already sauron
 
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