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Subject: Does this game require talent to play well? rss

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Anthony Wilborn
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So,I am a pretty avid Lord of the Rings LCG player and although I find the game great solo, it was way to heavy to get my significant other into.

I have been looking into SotM for some time now and there is really just one thing holding me back, and that is the level of strategy and/or talent required to do well at the game.

From my perspective (admittedly ignorant) SotM seems to be driven primarily on what card you draw and which heroes you choose to play with; that is the outcome of the games are based more on the luck of the draw or the predetermined strength of a particular hero against a certain villain.

Correct me if I am wrong, and I very well could be, but I would appreciate a critical opinion. I love the thought of knowing that I could have very well lost a game had I sequenced my decsions differently. Certainly card draw is a variable in all card games, but in LotR:LCG I build that deck so even then I am at least deciding how probably or improbable it will be that I draw a card.

I don't mean to compare the games to much as they are completely differenct from each other.

I want to like SotM, but I don't want to feel like the best card in my hand is always obvious and that the same hero will have different decisions to make in different situations.

Thanks!
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Dylan Thurston
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It is certainly not the case that the best card in your hand is always obvious. It really helps to know the decks. And sometimes traedeoffs are difficult: do you heal as AZ, or do you go out in a blaze of glory?
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Dennis
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The amount of and difficulty of decision-making varies heavily for different heroes.

There are some, where finding the ideal card play is pretty straight-forward (Ra).
There are others, where it's a lot less obvious what the best play would be (Omnitron-X).
And there are others, where even figuring out the optimal order of using the options you already have is quite difficult, so say nothing of the new cards (Argent Adept).

The same is true for the villains, so in the end, you can make the game as decision-heavy or light as you want.

There's an enormous difference in complexity between fighting Baron Blade with Legacy, Wraith and Ra vs. fighting the Chairman with Chrono-Ranger, Argent Adept and Skyscaper...
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Joseph Schmoll
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konicki wrote:
So,I am a pretty avid Lord of the Rings LCG player and although I find the game great solo, it was way to heavy to get my significant other into.

I have been looking into SotM for some time now and there is really just one thing holding me back, and that is the level of strategy and/or talent required to do well at the game.

From my perspective (admittedly ignorant) SotM seems to be driven primarily on what card you draw and which heroes you choose to play with; that is the outcome of the games are based more on the luck of the draw or the predetermined strength of a particular hero against a certain villain.

Correct me if I am wrong, and I very well could be, but I would appreciate a critical opinion. I love the thought of knowing that I could have very well lost a game had I sequenced my decsions differently. Certainly card draw is a variable in all card games, but in LotR:LCG I build that deck so even then I am at least deciding how probably or improbable it will be that I draw a card.

I don't mean to compare the games to much as they are completely differenct from each other.

I want to like SotM, but I don't want to feel like the best card in my hand is always obvious and that the same hero will have different decisions to make in different situations.

Thanks!


I really enjoy SotM and it's my wife's favorite game. I want to start with that.

"Luck of the draw" as you've brought up is a factor in it (it's a card game, of course!). But I wouldn't say that the decisions are always obvious, or "if you have ______ play it, if not, look for ____, then play _____". It depends a lot on what villain is doing what, which heroes you have together, etc. A lot of it is adapting to what is happening in the game and knowing when and how to react, as well as what to prioritize.

It's definitely not a hardcore game, but it has some depth and strategy to it. If it looks interesting to you, I think it's worth a look. You'll likely have a good time! But don't expect it to be the heaviest strategic game ever, of course!
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Bruno Pigeon
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konicki wrote:
So,I am a pretty avid Lord of the Rings LCG player and although I find the game great solo, it was way to heavy to get my significant other into.

I have been looking into SotM for some time now and there is really just one thing holding me back, and that is the level of strategy and/or talent required to do well at the game.

From my perspective (admittedly ignorant) SotM seems to be driven primarily on what card you draw and which heroes you choose to play with; that is the outcome of the games are based more on the luck of the draw or the predetermined strength of a particular hero against a certain villain.

Correct me if I am wrong, and I very well could be, but I would appreciate a critical opinion. I love the thought of knowing that I could have very well lost a game had I sequenced my decsions differently. Certainly card draw is a variable in all card games, but in LotR:LCG I build that deck so even then I am at least deciding how probably or improbable it will be that I draw a card.

I don't mean to compare the games to much as they are completely differenct from each other.

I want to like SotM, but I don't want to feel like the best card in my hand is always obvious and that the same hero will have different decisions to make in different situations.

Thanks!


It does help a lot to know the different decks. However, some games will be quite easy, while in other you will be totally crushed.

This game does depend on the luck of the draw, and there will be at least 5 decks from which you draw during the game. The Villain deck, the environment deck and the heroes deck (at least 3 in my opinion). So you have a lot of randomness just there.

Depending on how you determine which villain, environment and heroes will be in play, you might add a bit of randomness there too.

Knowing how each hero, villain and environment work will help you. And knowing how each interect with each other is good too. So there is a lot of things to be aware of. If one hero depends on ongoing cards, and you have a villain or environment that destroys ongoing cards, you are in for a rough game.

Also, while some game will have few modifiers to keep track of, other will have heaps of modifiers and it get quite unwieldy.

So, I don't think talent is quite the word. More like knowledge of the different decks.
 
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Hans Messersmith
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RindFisch wrote:
There's an enormous difference in complexity between fighting Baron Blade with Legacy, Wraith and Ra vs. fighting the Chairman with Chrono-Ranger, Argent Adept and Skyscaper...
This is really true.

I have found the more I play, the more the knowledge of what is coming in the Villain and Environment decks, and what is in my own Hero deck, makes a difference in how I play. The first few times you play you are just flying blind, and so the range of tactical play is limited. But once you have played against a particular villain a few times, the more interesting and important the decisions become. Playing against Citizen Dawn when you have no idea Devastating Aurora could hit the table, versus playing when you know she has two, is quite different.
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Adam Gordon
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I have to agree with some of the other posters in this thread. While each character probably has a card you would love to have each of them are going to have interesting choices based on what is on the table due to the environment, villain, your turn order, buffs from other players, combos with other players down the line.

I find the tactical nature of this game fun, you may not have an optimal hand but if your are communicating with your team you should be able to hash out a plan on what to do next. (That said you play your character and have the ultimate say, if that leads to an alpha getting angry they can go play solo on their ipad or android device).

Rarely is it one player that makes a team lose a game, sometimes the team is suboptimal and you would need optimal draws to even have a chance, other times it will be the team could have had a better order or even just better communication amongst the group to decide who will take damage and who will give card draws to another.

While it is easy to get caught up in who beat up the bad guy most so people stick to high damage dealers. Many player soon learn to enjoy the more complex support roles where they manipulate team members, environment or villain deck to beneficial effects. Brute force approaches can make the game feel like you are just waiting for a tachyon burst card or Ra's most powerful attack to sweep minions or something but if you can be the suport you can magnify other character actions.
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Vincent Lalyman
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ALL heroes have what seem to be obvious best cards or combos.
And ALL heroes also have lots and lots of more subtle tricks, cards and combos. Some of them take a lot of time to grasp. It took me years to finally understand Enduring Intercession, one of the least loved of Haka's cards. Nowadays, I would say it is one of the best cards in his deck and use it a lot...

At first, the game seems quite obvious to play. It's great for beginners : they don't feel let down. But the more you play, the more you will see the importance of other factors than the intuitive "big damage as soon as possible" first-impression tactic.

To the point : there is a lot of complex card play in SotM. But at first, you won't see why you should bother trying to find them or use them.
Keep playing. One of the more satisfying things in SotM is to suddenly understand that what seemed impossible is not - you were just blinded by what you thought was the "best" way to play...
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Rob Rob
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Some heroes are easy to work but there are many who will take you 2-3 plays (e.g. AZ) before you figure them out. SotM is similar to CCG such as Magic: the Gathering, you are always discovering new card interactions.
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Anthony Wilborn
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This I think is what I was hoping to hear (along with other great posts above), but I do find this particularly hard to believe. I am not saying you're wrong, by no means, but damn, it would be exactly what I am looking for if it felt like the more I played a character, the more interesting the game became.

 
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Bern Harkins
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I certainly have found that my play style changes over time, even with the same heroes.

Absolute Zero is famous for having a certain optimal "build", and has mechanisms to seek out the cards he needs for it. For the first two years or so, this was what I strived for, every game... until I had a game where I got NONE of the cards I thought I needed, and still had a very effective game.

It turned out AZ's toolbox was much deeper than I had realized, and I am still plumbing its depths.

Ra is often called the most direct character, and I used to find him boring. Then I got the digital game, and with only ten heroes, found myself playing Ra a lot. It turns out there are subtleties buried in fire-boy's inventory, and in some circumstances he can play a radically different game than his usual "Burn! Burn!" style.

I considered Expatriette to be weak AND boring for a very long time. Now, she is one of my top three favorites, and I look forward to exploring her less obvious options.

And so on. And so on. SotM is not a heavy game, but there is so much more to it than is obvious at first glance. Or second glance. Or a hundred and fifty third glance.
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Geoff B.
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All good points.

I will add that for me the real joy of the game is the team strategy. The amount of interaction you can get between decks, dividing up targets, which destruction to use, is where the game draws long-term replay value.

This can go badly if you have meta-gamers that get really into finding the perfect solution (which usually isn't perfect at all) but in my group it usually goes quickly and lightly with players letting others know "I got my shotgun, I can finish off (target) if you hit it for 1," or "I can take care of that environment card if you have something better."

The memorable moments are when cards work together in a unique moment to make something awesome happen.
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David Timmerman
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I think there are multiple ways to play most decks effectively. I find I have to play many of the more complex characters several times before I really know what their options even are. Remember: Even cards that seem weak have times when they shine making the decks fun to explore.

However, the true depth of the game is in how all the decks interact. Certain hero decks combo really well together. Others can get in each others way somewhat.

When you consider that there are more than 25 heroes to play with, that is a ton of different combinations to have fun with.
 
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Phantaskippy wrote:
... but in my group it usually goes quickly and lightly ...


Perhaps the best thing you can do to have a good time gaming is pick the right people with whom to game.
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