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Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Increase options rss

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Nathaniel Chambers
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Austin
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So one issue I have with this game is it often feels like a slot machine for me. It's hard to build engines because often the cards you need don't come out. This wouldn't be an issue except: this game is brutal and unrelenting. I've played three times in the last two days (one 2p, two 4p), and each game, we lost, and especially in the 4p game, I'm not sure we could have done anything about it. On at least one of those games, we lost before we really even got started.

Now, I will re-read the instruction booklet. Maybe the first round we aren't supposed to progress the event deck. But in the meantime, I've thought of a way to deal with my biggest issue: lack of choice. In many co-ops, I often feel like the game plays me rather than I play the game. This game is no different, but a variant to fix that instantly came to mind.


New Rules:

Trade in 3 buy power to get 1 attack

Trade in 3 attack to get 1 buy power or to kill a character in your hand (before you use it)

And, you should be able to buy a card for someone else, but you have to pay more, half the cost, rounded down, in attack. So if a card costs 7, you'd pay 7 and pay an additional 3 attack to give it to someone else.

And lastly, you should always be able to play two buy or two attack to draw a card.


I have not tested this. It probably does break the balance of the game, so I may need to adjust difficulty be reducing drone cards, etc. But I'm very curious what you guys think, for those of you who are like me and prefer lots of manipulation in their game. I'm sure some of you will want to set this thread on fire. But I'm not too keen on games that feel like they play themselves or are super chance based, so this is my (first) attempt at trying to find a way to make it more a game I would like. If you hate the idea of it, that's fine. It is not a judgement on your or the developers/designers sensibilities. This is just to help me like this game more as it pertains to my own tastes and I am hoping for feedback to see what you think of it and how it might be balanced.
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Jonas Vanschooren
Belgium
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I don't really see me ever trying out 1 of these rules. They all make this into a very different game.
For me now with the rules from aliens and predator this game works great. The tweaks from predator fix the few minor issues I had.

Just my thoughts, feel free to house rule it to your preference.
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Nathaniel Chambers
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Spukky wrote:
I don't really see me ever trying out 1 of these rules. They all make this into a very different game.
For me now with the rules from aliens and predator this game works great. The tweaks from predator fix the few minor issues I had.

Just my thoughts, feel free to house rule it to your preference.


What are the tweaks from Predator? Do they work with Alien?
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Joe K
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As I do not own Predator, I´d like to learn that, too !
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Jonas Vanschooren
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First of the drone cards that get added. They have a new table for those,


And they added a simple rule to eliminate player elimination. If someone dies the rest of the players get 1 more turn to win the game, if they don't game over.
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Joe K
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Wow, these updates make the game even harder, and it is already quite difficult. surprise Ok, as it´s recommended to use for the LE: ALIEN DBG too, I will, for the first time, concede right at the beginning of the game if I think the availability of HQ characters is not sound.

Thanks for sharing!
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Sebastian Roehrig
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I think house rules are a bad idea most of the time. They always break the balance, because it was just not intended that way. I`ll always advice to just play something else instead, there is plenty to choose from.
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Nathaniel Chambers
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Yes. But I own this now, trying to make the most of it. If I didn't own it, I'd agree.

That said, some games just need house rules and are still a mainstay in my collection.

Also I'm not sure I think this game is anywhere near 'balanced' lol
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Michael Weber
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Sebiroe wrote:
They always break the balance, because it was just not intended that way.


That is assuming that ALL games ARE balanced out of the box... (which they are not)

Also, with Legendary being a Coop game (mostly) - what is a "balanced" Coop game?? There is no fixed value as for example "50 % of all games should be won by the game system" which player's can agree on. Many players LIKE Ghost Stories because it is so hard, others dislike it for being too hard - so the question is: Is Ghost Stories unbalanced???
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Nathaniel Chambers
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Yeah, the concept of balance in a Coop game is more questionable. I think it needs a different word, but I have no idea what that word would be.

As for this game, I probably want something out of it that it wasn't mean to give, which is 'decisions'. The decision tree in this game is incredibly low. Thats okay, many people like that. But for me I wanted more decisions. I think my biggest issue is that, if I die, I'm not sure I did anything 'wrong', it's just how the game played out. Like if you know the strategies to go for and you win some and lose some.... I think I'm veering too off topic here, but it reminds me of a book I read on game characteristics. There was a section that said if two people bet on which raindrop on a window will make it to the bottom of the window first, is that a game? I'm not saying this isn't a game, but I'm saying a lot of it does play itself out more than you play it and I think it wouldn't be too hard to change that. If it effects the 'balance' in this case, it is pretty easy to make the game 'harder' (does it need to be?). In a 4 player game, the balance certainly couldn't be 'worse', since I've lost games before they ever even really started.
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Zsolt Nagy
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Strongly thematic co-op games (like Arkham/Eldtrich Horror or Legendary Aliens) are more about the experience than the actual game. One thing you can do is to change your mindset a bit and play more with an "enjoying the ride" attitude than getting focused on the win. All full co-op games are necessarily heavily luck-dependent, so you might always feel that "the game plays you", as you put it. That's an inherent thing in such games, just accept it.

But here is a strategy advice for you, too: if you play with 4 or more players than you can designate one the clean-up man, who buys up the garbage cards from the HQ and hopefully bringing more useful cards in their place for the others to buy and use. To kill the final enemies at least one player's deck should be able to generate lots of attacks plus whatever other tricks needed to deliver the kill. If two from the four players can build up a good and strong deck they can usually clean up enough so the other two can survive their rounds, too, even with a weaker deck.
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Nathaniel Chambers
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Nagypapi wrote:
All full co-op games are necessarily heavily luck-dependent, so you might always feel that "the game plays you", as you put it. That's an inherent thing in such games, just accept it.


Mage Knight tells me otherwise. To some degree, so does Space Alert, which yea, has some luck obviously (as does MK), not arguing that, but is primarily skill dependent.
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Jonas Vanschooren
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The new rules to add Young blood card (or drones) the game make it easier at high player count and harder at low player count.
They are imho pretty good.

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Davy Ashleydale
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I think those new rules would make the game too easy. I know you're trying to make it easier, but I think it will turn it into a cakewalk.

And I agree that there aren't very many types of things you can do on your turn, especially in the beginning. But I do feel like the number of choices increases as the game gets going. Do you scan cards that are closer to entering the combat zone or spend more fight to scan the ones that are further away, hoping to give yourself more time to deal with them? Do you Coordinate a card with a friend or save it for your own turn? Do you focus on recruiting a certain character or a certain class? Do you switch when you stop seeing that character appear? Do you save certain cards for other people to recruit even though you could recruit them yourself?

But it's true that the number of different actions you can take on your turn aren't as high as a game like Eldritch Horror.
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Mark Blasco

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For me, the beauty of Legendary Encounters is that it feels like you're always going to lose, even when you end up winning. This is the same feel that the movies have, the heroes are always at a disadvantage, but somehow they pull through at the end.

Your house rules would severely change the game, and make it very easy.

One thing I have learned, is that with LE, coordinate cards are SUPER IMPORTANT!!! I can't emphasize that enough. Since you get to draw another card when you play one for someone else, you are in essence giving someone else a 7 (or more) card hand every time you play one, and pulling through your deck faster. If each player is not buying at least 1 coordinate card in the first 2 turns, than you are going to have problems.

That being said, this is not a game that is intended to be won every time. There are some combinations of cards that will come out that will make it unbeatable This is not a flaw, it is the design. If it was always possible to beat the game, than skilled players would never lose, and wouldn't have any more interest in playing. Some games you will win easily, some you will lose badly. The others, however, force you to really work hard to keep the train from derailing, and that is where the magic happens. Sometimes you still lose in the end, but the ride was so amazing, you just set it up and go again right away.

I feel like Legendary Encounters is very winnable, especially at lower player counts. It won't happen every time, but if you're good and know how to approach each scenario, it will happen more often than not.
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Robert Evans
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Sometimes you have to take a step back from your expectations and look at what the game is trying to do, and mold your experience around that.

LE: Alien has two very important components to experience that adding in more options to the players would remove. A Sense of Dread and Player Interaction. Alien introduced the Scan mechanic, and with it, the second of these these components became heavy as the first one draws power.

Scanning a room is necessary, but 95% of the deck is not something you want to flip, with a handful of those cards being even more dreadful than creatures. Players should be open about their plans and actions, recruiting the like. Every action needs to be a table discussion. "I'm going to scan a room" should involve everyone giving input. Can you take what flips, what about you, who has next turn. No? What if its a facehugger? What if its not? If it is an event or hazard then things will get bad for this player! Maybe you should scan here instead of here. Even with recruiting. Do you need that character? Tim over there is building a deck that focuses on the Green symbol, is that card vital to you and your deck? Etc, etc. THAT is where the heart of the game lies. Each play is a trek through the gauntlet, and while there aren't many options, every decision has weight.
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Gerard Dranger
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bubblepipemedia wrote:
It's hard to build engines because often the cards you need don't come out.


The easiest solution for this is to allow a player to change all 5 barracks cards for a cost.
Many card games allow this.
What should be the cost? Don't know... 6 recruit points?

It should be costly enough to be used only when the game is stuck because of barracks.

edit: 2 recruit points for each barrack card you change?
 
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Zsolt Nagy
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bubblepipemedia wrote:
Nagypapi wrote:
All full co-op games are necessarily heavily luck-dependent, so you might always feel that "the game plays you", as you put it. That's an inherent thing in such games, just accept it.


Mage Knight tells me otherwise. To some degree, so does Space Alert, which yea, has some luck obviously (as does MK), not arguing that, but is primarily skill dependent.


What I meant is that the game can't make decisions. The only way it can make the players' life difficult is to throw different hardships on a random base at the players. Because if it is not random, there is no replay value to the game.
 
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