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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: If Boromir were to be errata'd, what should it be? rss

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Josh Walton
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I want to say right up front, this is not a call for the errata'ing of Boromir. But a discussion on the most recent episode of Cardboard of the Rings about whether or not it might happen soon got me thinking. And for anyone who isn't familiar with why this is a topic of conversation, there is a deck right now that utilizes Blood of Gondor, Gondorian Fire, and Boromir's ability to ready for 1 threat to basically block and kill every enemy every round.

So whether or not we think he needs errata'd, or if cards in general need errata'd since it's a cooperative game, it very well might happen. So I was wondering how much could they scale him back and you would still use him?

The simplest and most likely form of errata would probably be a phase or round limit. So what should it be? Once per phase? Three times per round? I'm going to propose something that I think will seem extreme to some, but I'll explain why and I'll be curious to hear what you think.

I think he should be able to ready himself once per round.

Reasons:

1. If you're going to give him a round or phase limit I think it's the only one that makes sense. Once per phase, for example, might seem more reasonable but I wouldn't see the point. You really only want him for attacking and defending. His uses in any other phase would be really limited. He can only quest for one, and there are very few reasons to exhaust in other phases. Outside of Palantir, Captain's Wisdom, and Peace and Thought I can't really see why you'd even want to.

I also don't like the idea of limiting it to a few times a round. There isn't a way baked into the game to easily track this. Sure you could put progress tokens on him or something but that's pretty fiddly. They did successfully errata Protector of Lorien to 3 times per phase but I think that one works because you're always going to do the full activation at once. With Boromir his readies might be spread out over the round and would be a pain to track.

2. It would bring him in line with other heroes with similar abilities. Almost every other hero in the game that has a built-in readying effect is limited to once per round. Prince Imrahil and Aragorn can only trigger once per round. Idraen isn't limited but her trigger is such that you're likely only going to get it once per round. Lanwyn also is only going to ready once. To be fair, Elladan and Elrohir aren't limited but it's really costly in resources to do it too many times.

All of those heroes require a more significant trigger to ready than Boromir, whether it's the loss of an ally, spending resources, or depending on a certain game condition to occur. It seems like the developers of the game like the idea of a hero being able to ready, but it's also evident that they don't want it happening much more than once per turn.

3. The cost to ready him has become all but meaningless. When Boromir was first released back in the first cycle threat was still pretty difficult to manage. We only had The Galadhrim's Greeting, and there were hardly any low threat heroes to pair with him. Making the choice to raise your threat by 1 to ready him actually had some weight, as threating out was an ever present danger.

But now the means by which we have to lower our threat are numerous and very effective. You can pair him with Galadriel and Merry and lower your threat every turn! You can start with Glorfindel who only contributes 5 threat to your starting total, and also gives you access to Elrond's Council, another effective way to drop your threat. Honestly at this point he might as well say "Action: Ready Boromir whenever you want, no big deal."

4. It's just not necessary anymore. When Boromir was released the game was incredibly difficult to win playing solo. He made it far more feasible to succeed as the biggest problem in solo is having enough characters to do everything that needs done. Even though it was scarier to raise your threat back then, having him on the table still made life a lot easier, and was great for the game. But now we have so many options for deckbuilding that it's easy to make a solo deck that wins consistently without relying on such a powerful ability.

(Here's where I see the best reason not to errata him at all. There are still plenty of people just getting into the game that still need him to be at this power level. If he was released to be a strong figure in a time when he was needed most then that need is still there for many players. But whether or not he should be errata'ed is not the purpose of this post.)

I'll be the first to admit this isn't a particularly strong argument. The last thing I want to see is every old card receiving errata just because the state of the game has moved past it's intended use. But I do think in extreme cases it's warranted.

5. It would open up design space. Every time a card for Gondor comes out I always hear someone say, "oh great, like Boromir needed more toys." Now this one's iffy as the developers don't seem to be afraid to continue to release good effects for Gondor that happen to work very well with Boromir. We just received Captain's Wisdom which he can use very effectively, and the recently spoiled Livery of the Tower also fits very nicely on him. So it seems they don't mind giving effects that work on him and leaving it up to the players. Of course, it could also just be potential evidence that an errata is indeed on its way.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

So those are my arguments for why I think if they're going to errata him at all, I think it should be down to once per round. What say you?


The primary downside I see to this is I wonder if it makes him seem boring. If they released a hero and the ability was simply "Action: Ready this hero (Limit once per round)" would we be excited? I guess it depends on the stats but it's not very flashy. It is very helpful though. After all many people buy a third copy of the core set just for one copy of Unexpected Courage so clearly we want to ready our heroes.

Thanks for reading this and I look forward to hearing what you all think. Again, I'm not necessarily saying he should be errata'd, but rather if they do this is what I think would be best.
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mathew rynich
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Increase the cost of his ability. Up your threat by two or three to use his ability instead of just one. There are lots of ways to mitigate threat gain, but I wonder if doubling or tripling the rate at which Boromir accrues threat would add the appropriate weight to that decision.

I feel like if you limit the number of times he can use his ability you lose that cool risk versus reward feeling Tactics Boromir had earlier in his card's life.
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Josh Walton
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phillosmaster wrote:
Increase the cost of his ability. Up your threat by two or three to use his ability instead of just one. There are lots of ways to mitigate threat gain, but I wonder if doubling or tripling the rate at which Boromir accrues threat would add the appropriate weight to that decision.

I feel like if you limit the number of times he can use his ability you lose that cool risk versus reward feeling Tactics Boromir had earlier in his card's life.


I agree this could be another effective way to bring him in line.

I think one of the biggest challenges for errata'ing him for the developers is keeping him useful for players still in the first cycle while reducing his power enough to make the errata worthwhile. I wonder if 2 or 3 threat per ready would price him out of the early player's consideration.
 
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Andrew Brown
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i do think limiting it to once per round is a good way to close the floodgate of piling him up with attachments and just murdering all the enemies engaged with you each round, but honestly, if they just turned the ability into 'Doomed 1: ready Boromir' it would balance it a bit for group play
(almost completely certain doomed wasn't a keyword when he was created, but i think if it had been, he probably would have had it that way from the beginning)

the ability is already a bit ridiculous with Loragorn anyway, so i'm not entirely sure how much it can be balanced in that regard
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Patrick
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dr00 wrote:

(almost completely certain doomed wasn't a keyword when he was created though.


It was but not on player cards (just encounter)
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Andrew Brown
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John85 wrote:
dr00 wrote:

(almost completely certain doomed wasn't a keyword when he was created though.


It was but not on player cards (just encounter)
ah, well nvm my edit then.
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Sean S
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As a person who constantly finds himself saying those words exactly under #5, I'd be completely amenable to errata. Now, I'm generally of the mind that the co-op nature of the game makes errata unnecessary in general, but I feel that Boromir is a reflection of a state of the game that no longer exists, as you mentioned well in #2 and #3. I really like the role threat is playing in the current meta game, dealing way more with enemy engagement and playing certain card effects, instead of being a constant sword waiting to fall and end the game. However, Boromir was designed with that Sword of Damocles fully in mind.

It's not a disservice to the card nor to the character to just bring his ability to be in line with the current metagame, or in other words, design him as if he had been designed today. As he sits, he's a card out of time. In the past, they've generally only errata'd a card when the card completely trivializes an aspect of the game (resources, draw, in this case, enemies), so it would be completely in line to somehow weaken the Boromir Blood and Fire combo.

As to what the errata should be, I think once per round is fine. Point and click readying for a threat is still better than most hero readying in the game even if it's once per round. However, I don't think he'd be broken at once per phase. Most peeps would probably just still use him for combat, but I think letting him ready after questing or whatever would still leave some good play space so that he's not so one-dimensional.

Now, alternately, we could put Blood/Fire on the errata-block, since they're a part of the "problem", too. But I suppose that's a topic for another time...
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Valerio Vitelli
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I was thinking of an errata (kind of fiddly) such as: raise your threat by 1+number of times you readied Boromir this round.

In that way super intensive usage of Boromir would be discouraged.
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Josh Walton
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AtaruSlash wrote:
As a person who constantly finds himself saying those words exactly under #5, I'd be completely amenable to errata.


Yeah haha I'm certain you're most often the "someone" I'm referring to Sean.

AtaruSlash wrote:
As to what the errata should be, I think once per round is fine. Point and click readying for a threat is still better than most hero readying in the game even if it's once per round. However, I don't think he'd be broken at once per phase. Most peeps would probably just still use him for combat, but I think letting him ready after questing or whatever would still leave some good play space so that he's not so one-dimensional.


You make a good point here. My thought in saying there probably wouldn't be that many uses for readying him every phase shouldn't necessarily preclude the designers from still leaving that option open to the players. And who knows what cards in the future might make exhausting a hero during the travel phase or the encounter phase enticing? If it wouldn't leave him broken at once per phase (and I agree it probably wouldn't) then why not leave that option open? I think either way works in the end.

AtaruSlash wrote:
Now, alternately, we could put Blood/Fire on the errata-block, since they're a part of the "problem", too. But I suppose that's a topic for another time...


I considered including those in the OP but it was already getting long. My thoughts on those are: limiting those in some way could be a solution, but even without those Boromir can still be pretty strong. And without Boromir they probably aren't out of control either. If they were errata'd to exhaust like Love of Tales for example, then on most other heroes it would be a moot point. At the very least you would have to add other readying effects.

So limiting them reduces his power levels for sure, but I wonder if it would be enough. Maybe though. Was he such a powerhouse before Blood and Fire? I don't remember that being the case. After all there's nothing wrong him being really good, and better than many heroes. He's a key character and a fan favorite. It's interesting.

I'm no designer but I feel they have a few different ways they could go with this and the path is not so clear.
 
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Josh Walton
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dr00 wrote:
i do think limiting it to once per round is a good way to close the floodgate of piling him up with attachments and just murdering all the enemies engaged with you each round, but honestly, if they just turned the ability into 'Doomed 1: ready Boromir' it would balance it a bit for group play
(almost completely certain doomed wasn't a keyword when he was created, but i think if it had been, he probably would have had it that way from the beginning)

the ability is already a bit ridiculous with Loragorn anyway, so i'm not entirely sure how much it can be balanced in that regard


I love the idea of changing it to Doomed. One of the big problems of an overpowered combo is that it can leave the other players feeling useless in a multiplayer game. Doomed would certainly change the dynamic as the Boromir player can certainly manage his own threat well enough, but the other players not necessarily so easily. And though it doesn't change anything for solo play, well when you're playing solo the choice is yours so I don't think it's a problem in that case.

Not to mention that the theme of Doomed was what they basically had in mind as you astutely point out. It's the pull of the ring that's driving him on, and that's a problem for everyone. I think this might be the perfect solution, and far better than what I suggested.
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Josh Walton
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wolframius wrote:
I was thinking of an errata (kind of fiddly) such as: raise your threat by 1+number of times you readied Boromir this round.

In that way super intensive usage of Boromir would be discouraged.


That would be really cool, though as you say maybe a bit fiddly. I would like to see some kind of ever increasing cost like that on a card in the future though. If it had some simple way of keeping track that would be a cool way to offer a powerful effect at an appropriate cost.
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Dale Stephenson
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I'm opposed to errata-ing Boromir, but let's examine the arguments for making it once per round:

1) Per round instead of per phase -- it's certainly true that Boromir's ability is most useful (and most used) inside of the combat phase. However, that's a perfect reason to make it "per phase" instead of "per round". It still restricts him where you are most worried about his ability, but still allows him to be used for the rare instances (treachery or quest effects, Peace and Thought, Visionary Leadership) where using an action outside the combat phase is useful.

2) All other built-in readying hero effects are limited to once per round -- actually, they aren't. There's only three self-readying heroes that are limited on their card by game state, LeAragorn (when committing to quest), Imrahil (once per round), and TaEowyn (once per game). Boromir is limited only by threat. Elladan and Elrohir are limited by resources. The self-readying of Idraen, Lanwyn, and Sam are unlimited, though taking advantage of it more than once in a particularly round would be unusual. For heroes that ready others, only Faramir is limited (once per phase), but the effects of Brand and Merry are limited only by their own ability to participate in enemy-destroying attacks.

3) The cost to ready has become meaningless -- disagree here. Threat is still a cost. Is it easier to manage with a full card pool than it was back in the Mirkwood cycle? Certainly so. But that's also true of resources (for Elladan/Elrohir), or ways to exploit the readying effects of other heroes -- and there's also a lot more ways to ready heroes in general, making Boromir's ability less critical. Can a built-up Super-Boromir with all the trimmings clear the field of enemies? Of course he can. But so can super-Elladan, and so can Merry and Tactigorn with a Fast Hitch or two. Boromir can become overpowered, but not uniquely so, and the other iterations don't raise your threat in the process.

4) It's not necessary anymore -- you don't even agree with this one, and neither do I. If in the past Boromir was needed to topple tough quests, but now there are plenty of ways to topple those same quests without Boromir, that's evidence that the game's power level has caught up to Boromir -- why errata Boromir if his once-overpowered ability just isn't that special anymore. Isn't that evidence that he needs no errata?

5) Limiting the design space -- again you note that Gondor is getting new buffs, so he's not actually limiting the design space. And honestly, it would be a poor design approach to artificially limit the design space to ensure that cards are "correctly balanced" only when applying the greatest possible synergy with existing cards. That would ensure that cards are instant coasters except in specific niches. The only design space Boromir is *actually* intruding on is heroes that ready with a threat cost.
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Josh Walton
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All great points!

dalestephenson wrote:
I'm opposed to errata-ing Boromir, but let's examine the arguments for making it once per round:


To be honest so am I. I just thought it would be an interesting discussion to try and predict what it might be if it happens.

dalestephenson wrote:
1) Per round instead of per phase -- it's certainly true that Boromir's ability is most useful (and most used) inside of the combat phase. However, that's a perfect reason to make it "per phase" instead of "per round". It still restricts him where you are most worried about his ability, but still allows him to be used for the rare instances (treachery or quest effects, Peace and Thought, Visionary Leadership) where using an action outside the combat phase is useful.


Yeah I've really come around to this way of thinking. Sean suggested it too and if they decided to go this route it would still probably be enough.

dalestephenson wrote:
2) All other built-in readying hero effects are limited to once per round -- actually, they aren't. There's only three self-readying heroes that are limited on their card by game state, LeAragorn (when committing to quest), Imrahil (once per round), and TaEowyn (once per game). Boromir is limited only by threat. Elladan and Elrohir are limited by resources. The self-readying of Idraen, Lanwyn, and Sam are unlimited, though taking advantage of it more than once in a particularly round would be unusual. For heroes that ready others, only Faramir is limited (once per phase), but the effects of Brand and Merry are limited only by their own ability to participate in enemy-destroying attacks.


I did address the possible but unlikely nature of Lanwyn and Idraen readying more than once (and I think Sam falls into this category too though I forgot about him), as well as the cost of the brothers, but I did forget about Merry and Brand. Still, they are somewhat limited in that they are only attacking and not defending.

dalestephenson wrote:
3) The cost to ready has become meaningless -- disagree here. Threat is still a cost. Is it easier to manage with a full card pool than it was back in the Mirkwood cycle? Certainly so. But that's also true of resources (for Elladan/Elrohir), or ways to exploit the readying effects of other heroes -- and there's also a lot more ways to ready heroes in general, making Boromir's ability less critical. Can a built-up Super-Boromir with all the trimmings clear the field of enemies? Of course he can. But so can super-Elladan, and so can Merry and Tactigorn with a Fast Hitch or two. Boromir can become overpowered, but not uniquely so, and the other iterations don't raise your threat in the process.


I definitely see your point here, and largely agree. I will say I think it's a fair amount easier to manage threat than produce resources. Plus you're going to want to use the resources for something else sometimes so that could be a limited factor.

I also agree that you can really exploit many readying effects to ridiculous levels, but it just seems like only having to spend 1 threat to ready is such an easier way to do it. I think in the end on this point I just have a slightly different view of the threat consideration. It's unlimited up to 50 because you don't care about the engagement costs of enemies. So as long as you don't threat out you can use as much of it was you want and then keep dropping it.

dalestephenson wrote:
4) It's not necessary anymore -- you don't even agree with this one, and neither do I. If in the past Boromir was needed to topple tough quests, but now there are plenty of ways to topple those same quests without Boromir, that's evidence that the game's power level has caught up to Boromir -- why errata Boromir if his once-overpowered ability just isn't that special anymore. Isn't that evidence that he needs no errata?


Haha you're right in that I didn't entirely agree with the point but I still thought it was a potential consideration. Remember, I'm not making the argument that he should be errata'd. Just wanted to talk about what it might look like if it happens.

dalestephenson wrote:
5) Limiting the design space -- again you note that Gondor is getting new buffs, so he's not actually limiting the design space. And honestly, it would be a poor design approach to artificially limit the design space to ensure that cards are "correctly balanced" only when applying the greatest possible synergy with existing cards. That would ensure that cards are instant coasters except in specific niches. The only design space Boromir is *actually* intruding on is heroes that ready with a threat cost.


I think you make a great point here, especially in the part I bolded.
 
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Andrew Brown
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wolframius wrote:
I was thinking of an errata (kind of fiddly) such as: raise your threat by 1+number of times you readied Boromir this round.

In that way super intensive usage of Boromir would be discouraged.
i like this a lot. it's definitely fiddly but could be broken up to make it easier:

Quote:
Response: Place one progress token on Boromir to ready him

Forced: After you place any number of progress tokens on Boromir, raise your threat by the number of progress tokens on Boromir.

Forced: At the end of the round, remove all progress tokens from Boromir.



considered combining the first two, like:
Quote:
Response: Place one progress token on Boromir to ready him and raise your threat by the number of progress tokens on Boromir.
but it sounds a bit awkward


as a functional errata, i think it's likely way too complicated to be anything close to consideration though. i think a very likely nerf would be limit of once per round/phase
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James D
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I would go for:

Quote:
Action: Raise your threat by 1 to ready Boromir. Limit once per phase while your threat is less than 40.


I agree with the comments above about the difference between per phase and per round, although it still makes Captain's Wisdom way more powerful on him than anyone else. Removing the limit when you're in Valour is mostly there for thematic reasons.
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Dale Stephenson
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deepfriedblinky wrote:
I would go for:

Quote:
Action: Raise your threat by 1 to ready Boromir. Limit once per phase while your threat is less than 40.


I agree with the comments above about the difference between per phase and per round, although it still makes Captain's Wisdom way more powerful on him than anyone else. Removing the limit when you're in Valour is mostly there for thematic reasons.


Captain's Wisdom combos extremely well with Heir of Mardil on any noble. Heir of Mardil is one of my favorite leadership attachments, since there's a lot of things that can reliably trigger it (Steward of Gondor, Theodred, Arwen if Noldor/Dunedain, LeDenethor if Gondor, or errand-rider).

Legacy of Numenor is much more expensive in threat terms than using Boromir with Captain's Wisdom, but depending on your hero composition it may be much more useful to give each of your heroes one resource than to give Boromir two additional resources.
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Casey Lent
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The change to unlimited doomed 1 is elegant, but I propose the following solution to a non-extant problem: break it into two actions.

"Action: Raise your threat by 1 to ready Boromir. (Limit 1 per round/phase/whatever)

Action: Raise each players threat by 1 to ready Boromir."

So noisy Boromir retains broad utility and the "interesting decision" of inviting disaster, less-noisy Boromir can act for the clutch moments.

Again, though. I don't think these really address issues that exist. Super-Mir decks all require several cards of setup, and contain a built-in drawback.
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Thanee
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toliveischrist77 wrote:
... there is a deck right now that utilizes Blood of Gondor, Gondorian Fire, and Boromir's ability to ready for 1 threat to basically block and kill every enemy every round.


"Right now" as in "for several years now"?

Those cards are from 2013! And variations of the Boromir deck have been around since then.

Sure, with every cycle there will be smaller or bigger things added to the card pool, which make it even stronger. Just saying, that this isn't really something new. And you could very well handle your Threat back then, already, with Elrond's Counsel and Dwarven Tomb.

So, what has changed now for it to become a topic of concern?

Bye
Thanee
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Eddie
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I believe Boromir should be errata'd.

As a player, I do not like that he is not errata'd. He bothers me. I purposely stay away from him because I feel shenanigans lie there.

To answer OP:

I would make it limit three times per round. Enough to make him retain his flavor "threat = action" but by the time you've done FOUR things with him I think you are in shenanigan land.

edit: reading, I also admit that N per round is annoying to track, and I could be convinced to just Limit 1 per phase. which makes it nice and simple. I also agree that changing the threat cost to 2 would also help. (the Threat-per-use-count is clever but tricky to track and not as elegant)
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P Santos
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Possible errata suggestions:

1. Limit once per phase.
2. Doom 1: Ready Boromir.
3. Raise your threat by X, where X is number of times you've triggered this ability.
4. Doom X, where X is number of times you've triggered this ability.
5. Raise your threat by 1 and spend a resource token to ready Boromir. This makes the combo Gondorian Fire+Blood of Numenor on Boromir less effective every time you use it, thus discouraging its abuse.
6. Raise your threat by 1 and discard a card from your hand to ready Boromir.
7. Put a restriction on Boromir: Can only have maximum of 1 non-Tactics attachment (so no BoN+GF+SoG on Boromir, which is really what fuels this ridiculous combo).

The cause of the concern is really the combo trio of tactics Boromir+GF+BoN. Thus, any possible solution, would have to directly address the situation where these 3 cards are simultaneously in play. Errata for BoN or GF would penalize those who don't use the combo.
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Josh Walton
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Thanee wrote:
toliveischrist77 wrote:
... there is a deck right now that utilizes Blood of Gondor, Gondorian Fire, and Boromir's ability to ready for 1 threat to basically block and kill every enemy every round.


"Right now" as in "for several years now"?

Those cards are from 2013! And variations of the Boromir deck have been around since then.

Sure, with every cycle there will be smaller or bigger things added to the card pool, which make it even stronger. Just saying, that this isn't really something new. And you could very well handle your Threat back then, already, with Elrond's Counsel and Dwarven Tomb.

So, what has changed now for it to become a topic of concern?

Bye
Thanee


You're right, nothing in particular has changed. Perhaps the use of "right now" wasn't exactly right. I just brought it up because it was a discussion on the most recent episode of Cardboard of the Rings. One of the hosts pointed out that with a few recent cards that work particularly well with Boromir he might be headed to errata land. I can't remember the exact conversation now but either way it got me thinking and I thought it would be fun to talk about!
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Josh Walton
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MountainMaverick wrote:
I also think they should make an entire cycle of quests where the quest cards all read: "characters cannot ready outside of the refresh phase". This would end several broken combos (like gloin as well) and change up deck building for a while.


Ouch, that would be brutal! We have seen them challenge the meta before though, especially in some of the Ring maker quests where drawing cards was bad. Wasn't there a condition in Heirs of Numenor that punished you for readying? Local Trouble I think? I wouldn't be surprised if they come up with more stuff like that.
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Casey Lent
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MountainMaverick wrote:
I also think they should make an entire cycle of quests where the quest cards all read: "characters cannot ready outside of the refresh phase". This would end several broken combos (like gloin as well) and change up deck building for a while.


They would need to seriously curb the scaling of enemies as well, if this were the case. Unless they wanted people to remain engaged forever. But only getting one action per character per round severely nerfs many player-favorite, not to mention obviously intentional, combos and play styles. Dwarf swarm? Stalled out after We Are Not Idle. Dunedain? Dunedead. Narya? Not-ya. I think we all get the idea.
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Play doomed if you're tired of seeing him.
 
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Andrew Brown
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MountainMaverick wrote:
I would limit it to 5 times per round. Once per round is too depowered imo.
someone suggested 3 times per round, and i had considered replying that it would functionally be nothing.

i definitely think limit 5 times per round would not limit him at all.

MountainMaverick wrote:
I also think they should make an entire cycle of quests where the quest cards all read: "characters cannot ready outside of the refresh phase". This would end several broken combos (like gloin as well) and change up deck building for a while.
i would be perfectly fine with a quest like this, but an entire cycle would just not be fun to play imo.


i can see the problem of tactics Boromir (and others) being able to sort of play the game solo while others watch, but i would suggest talking to your play group. also, there's an ally and leadership hero Boromir. suggest an interest in playing one of those (and therefore tactics Boromir would need to be subbed out)


also, as for a Boromir erratum
this:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

makes me think we won't see one lol
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