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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Building the Villain Deck out of Smaller Decks rss

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Andrew Kayes
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Hi folks,
My apologies if this goes by some particular name and I just wasn't able to find it by searching.

It seems like most games which are driven by a pre-stacked deck put that deck together by first making several smaller decks. So the difficulty can ramp up over time or certain events are spaced out appropriately.

You can see where this is going... We've all had games where the distribution of the Master Strikes and/or Schemes Twists spoiled a setup. Too often this has led to premature defeats or ridiculously easy games, and in either case we simply reshuffle and start over. It really spoils the experience at times.

So I've been play testing building the deck like you might in most any other game like this. I make 5 stacks with 1 Master Strike and 1 Scheme Twist each. I build the Villain Deck as normal (without those 10 cards), shuffle it, then distribute it over the 5 stacks.

This gives semi-randomness to the Schemes as there's more than 5.

It's been working out really well. Some setups are probably easier, and others harder, but on the whole, whether we win or lose, it seems like we earned the result.

Does anyone out there play with a house rule like this, or a variation?

I'm considering testing three variations:
Building 4 stacks with 1 MS and 1-2 Scheme Twists (whether there's 4-7 or 8+). That'd put a Master Strike in an entirely random place.

or

Building 5 stacks with 1 MS and 1-2 STs (whether there's 10+ or not) and 2 of each Henchman group.

OR...

Some much more complicated arrangement that spaces out the Villain Groups as well. This would depend on the number of players of course.

(If you didn't guess, playing Legendary Encounters is what's really pushed this idea in my mind.)
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Titus M
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This is a great idea. I play a lot of Pandemic so I don't know why I didn't think of this myself, but this could really add safety net to playing a 60+ minute game with friends who are new to Legendary (and need some time to build a stable relationship ).

I think spacing out the scheme twists is the most important part of this (Saving Baby Hope!), I wouldn't go overboard spacing out your villain and henchmen groups.
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Andrew McGorman
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two camps of thinking here,

there's the competitive players who play solely to amass the greatest points, who this would entirely play in to the hands of because they could continue to milk the victory points until late in the deck because they know whats coming

then there's the looking to have a fun game with less experienced folk, which is probably the best for this approach.

I think, with players who have a bit of experience and enjoy the game in all its guises can handle the randomness and if something comes up and beats you up early, you either simply go for another scenario or give it another go with a decent shuffle

some people do seed and then shuffle it all back together (which probably just brings back the same amount of potential for easy or super hard games) but it is another approach.
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Kim Williams
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As long as I'm confident that a clump of Scheme Twists (or any other particular card) has come up randomly then I'm happy - having a string of bad luck makes it feel more 'real'. It's only when I fear that a clump has come from bad shuffling that I feel cheated.

I think knowing that I could only encounter a max of 2 of any partic card type in a row (where two min decks have ended up having a Scheme Twist at the end of one deck an the start of the next one) would feel odd to me. I want all combinations to be possible, so that I can 'watch it' like a film, unclear as to what will happen next.
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James Drury
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This is something that our group started doing 3 or 4 months ago. Taking the idea from Pandemic and Legendary Encounters, though our process is slightly different than what you do.

-Take the 5 Master Strikes and make 5 separate files from them.
(Let's label the piles A - E going left to right)

-Collect from the box as many Scheme Twists as is required by the current Scheme.

-Starting with pile A, add 1 Scheme Twist and continue down the row adding 1 Twist per pile. Once you've reached the end, if you have any left in hand, return to pile A and continue.

-Take out your Villains (let's say 3 Villain groups for this game) and add them to the piles in similar fashion to above, sequentially.
E.g. Villain group 1, 2, 3 in Piles A, B, C, D, E as follows.
A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, A1, B1, C1 (8 cards from Villain group 1)
D2, E2, A2, B2, C2, D2, E2, A2
B3, C3, D3, E3, A3, B3, C3, D3

-Add 2 Henchmen from each henchmen group to each pile.

-Add as many Bystanders as is required in reverse order (starting with pile E and moving left)

-Shuffle Pile A and place it in the Villain section of the board, then Pile B, C, D & E.


Doing it this way ensures that every villain/henchman group appears at least once in every pile/section. The game becomes progressively more difficult as there are more Scheme Twists on the bottom sections and more Bystanders on the top.
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Jerome Nowak

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blipadouzi wrote:
This is something that our group started doing 3 or 4 months ago. Taking the idea from Pandemic and Legendary Encounters, though our process is slightly different than what you do.

-Take the 5 Master Strikes and make 5 separate files from them.
(Let's label the piles A - E going left to right)

-Collect from the box as many Scheme Twists as is required by the current Scheme.

-Starting with pile A, add 1 Scheme Twist and continue down the row adding 1 Twist per pile. Once you've reached the end, if you have any left in hand, return to pile A and continue.

-Take out your Villains (let's say 3 Villain groups for this game) and add them to the piles in similar fashion to above, sequentially.
E.g. Villain group 1, 2, 3 in Piles A, B, C, D, E as follows.
A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, A1, B1, C1 (8 cards from Villain group 1)
D2, E2, A2, B2, C2, D2, E2, A2
B3, C3, D3, E3, A3, B3, C3, D3

-Add 2 Henchmen from each henchmen group to each pile.

-Add as many Bystanders as is required in reverse order (starting with pile E and moving left)

-Shuffle Pile A and place it in the Villain section of the board, then Pile B, C, D & E.


Doing it this way ensures that every villain/henchman group appears at least once in every pile/section. The game becomes progressively more difficult as there are more Scheme Twists on the bottom sections and more Bystanders on the top.


Yup, I've been looking for something like this!! Thanks for doing the leg work for me!
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Darrell B
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blipadouzi wrote:
This is something that our group started doing 3 or 4 months ago. Taking the idea from Pandemic and Legendary Encounters, though our process is slightly different than what you do.

-Take the 5 Master Strikes and make 5 separate files from them.
(Let's label the piles A - E going left to right)

-Collect from the box as many Scheme Twists as is required by the current Scheme.

-Starting with pile A, add 1 Scheme Twist and continue down the row adding 1 Twist per pile. Once you've reached the end, if you have any left in hand, return to pile A and continue.

-Take out your Villains (let's say 3 Villain groups for this game) and add them to the piles in similar fashion to above, sequentially.
E.g. Villain group 1, 2, 3 in Piles A, B, C, D, E as follows.
A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, A1, B1, C1 (8 cards from Villain group 1)
D2, E2, A2, B2, C2, D2, E2, A2
B3, C3, D3, E3, A3, B3, C3, D3

-Add 2 Henchmen from each henchmen group to each pile.

-Add as many Bystanders as is required in reverse order (starting with pile E and moving left)

-Shuffle Pile A and place it in the Villain section of the board, then Pile B, C, D & E.


Doing it this way ensures that every villain/henchman group appears at least once in every pile/section. The game becomes progressively more difficult as there are more Scheme Twists on the bottom sections and more Bystanders on the top.


I do something similar, but with three piles instead of five. Shuffle each individual pile, then shuffle pile 3 with 1, take some cards to add to 2, and then one final shuffle with everything together
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Jerome Nowak

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Doesnt one final shuffle with everything together simply negate all the separation you had just done? LOL
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Michael Green
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jnowak415 wrote:
Doesnt one final shuffle with everything together simply negate all the separation you had just done? LOL


That would have to be a pretty impressive shuffle to complete negate all the separation. After seeding like this a quick shuffle is enough to give you some randomness and maintain uncertainty. A quick shuffle after just sticking all the relevant cards together in one stack will usually still leave you with a very clustered deck.
 
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Jerome Nowak

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So its basically just an organized way to do the Charlie Brown shuffle....Im with it. I do really like the idea of ramping the difficulty up as the game goes on, but keeping with the "rules" of the game and shuffling as the last step does seem like youre not breaking any "rules", which is satisfying in its own way.
 
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Andrew Kayes
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titusm wrote:
This is a great idea. I play a lot of Pandemic so I don't know why I didn't think of this myself, but this could really add safety net to playing a 60+ minute game with friends who are new to Legendary (and need some time to build a stable relationship ).


This is what actually got me thinking about it in the first place. Playing through Pandemic Legacy, we quickly were counting how many cards had been drawn since the last Epidemic, and taking a mental note of where in its own stack of cards it was drawn. A game with that much intentional strategy really benefits from such 'counting,' and I think doing the same with Scheme twists makes games more interesting.

I agree that the newer the players the more helpful this would be. It's very common in my experience that new players will blame the shuffler for everything that goes wrong. As someone who's played nearly a thousand games, I'm doing this so I don't just end up resetting everything when 10 minutes in I've lost... (or won in 15)

entwife wrote:
As long as I'm confident that a clump of Scheme Twists (or any other particular card) has come up randomly then I'm happy - having a string of bad luck makes it feel more 'real'. It's only when I fear that a clump has come from bad shuffling that I feel cheated.

That's the trouble with good and bad shuffles though, right? A really good shuffle CAN put all the Scheme Twists together on top. A deck w/o several series of the same card (type) is almost certainly a bad shuffle.
 
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Davy Ashleydale
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This thread just makes me want to play Pandemic with a completely shuffled deck.
 
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Mark Blasco

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Well, if you're having problems with shuffling leaving things clumped, than just shuffle with the cards face up until you feel like they are actually mixed up, than turn face down, shuffle twice, cut, and you know that anything clumped together is actually random.
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Brian M
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We've been doing the "Pandemic shuffle" for a while, since we started noticing that the older, more worn cards always drift into clumps when mixed with new cards.

I do 4 piles since 8 twists is the normal number; twists and master strikes evenly divided to each pile, with the stray master strike just shuffled in with the rest of the cards.

I've done one experiment with a more planned game ala Legendary Encounters, but haven't gone back to the idea yet. Worked fine though.
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Davy Ashleydale
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StormKnight wrote:
We've been doing the "Pandemic shuffle" for a while, since we started noticing that the older, more worn cards always drift into clumps when mixed with new cards.


Ugh, I hope this isn't true. Do sleeves need to be changed every so often to avoid this?
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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#nosleeves #noproblem
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Davy Ashleydale
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Well, with no sleeves it's even worse because the cards themselves get damaged. If it's just the sleeves wearing out, I can live with replacing them. I'm just hoping that I only need to replace them once every 5-10 years, though. I didn't think they would start "clumping" before that.

I'm hoping that Brian just thinks they're clumping and they're not really. I'll have to investigate my own collection.
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Titus M
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
#nosleeves #noproblem


Lol'd.
 
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