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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle» Forums » General

Subject: Solo rss

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Henry Bernritter
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Can you play this Solo with just 1 character? I love dbg but I don't like playing 2 players hands.
 
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Phil Wickline
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I suppose this could work, but only for the earlier games (I'm thinking specifically Game 1 and maybe 2). Once you get into higher games, I think it would be difficult to win with only one character. It's at least worth a shot, though. I'd love to hear how it goes if you try it!
 
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David Jones
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Mechanically there is no reason you couldn't, but as Phil says, I think once you get up into the higher levels it might become harder to win the game. Certain cards grant all players a reward and without multiple players the benefits of those abilities would be lost. It can be difficult to buy six cost cards without being granted an influence or a card draw from an ally. You could possibly simulate this by saying that any time you trigger a "team" reward you can collect that reward on the start of your next turn, but I'm not certain that would fix all the problems. Another possible issue requires a spoiler....

Spoiler (click to reveal)
In year seven, there is a new mechanic that requires you to roll house dice in order meet the victory condition, so at some point you will have to buy cards that let you roll those dice. I haven't beat year seven, so I may be wrong about this. I would imagine it will easier to get to two or three "dice" cards into multiple decks than it would be to stack five or six of them into one single deck. Aside from issues of generating influence costs, your deck runs more efficiently when it is kept thin and specialized. It might be more difficult to control your deck and setup your combos when the deck is large.
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Jesse Carrasco
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I started playing this solo yesterday with just one character. So far I've made it to game 5 without losing a single game. I've only been stunned 3 times and have only lost 2 locations. I'm not sure why, but I feel like it's actually easier to just play with one character. I'm very curious to try it additional characters and see how that turns out. I'm loving this game though.
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Phil Wickline
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After moving through games 1-3 rather smoothly, we got our butts handed to us in game 4 today. We had both Malfoys as villains and, between a bad run of "he-who-shall-not-be-named" dark arts cards and multiple players getting stunned, we were adding control tokens left and right. We kept getting slammed with the Malfoys' "If a control token is added to a location..." effect. It felt very much like a chain reaction of outbreaks in a game of Pandemic.

As I was thinking about the similarities/differences between Pandemic and HP:HB, I started thinking about the phenomenon in Pandemic where, when you add more characters, you benefit from having a diversity of roles, but get gigged by having to wait longer to take subsequent actions. I started wondering if there were a corollary in HP:HB, and now I want to try it with fewer players. I guess we'll be doing it backwards from you, Jesse - even when we've played with just two actual players, we've always played with all four game characters.
 
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David Jones
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philwickline wrote:
As I was thinking about the similarities/differences between Pandemic and HP:HB, I started thinking about the phenomenon in Pandemic where, when you add more characters, you benefit from having a diversity of roles, but get gigged by having to wait longer to take subsequent actions. I started wondering if there were a corollary in HP:HB


There might be to some degree. A lot of my solo plays were originally with all four heroes, but I found things go easier going down the 3P. I think is mostly because when a player gets a good card it takes more turns for it to cycle through a deck. Where your similarity starts to break down though is that hero abilities can setoff chain reactions as well which isn't something I remember happening very often in Pandemic. If Hermione removes a control token, it triggers Harry's ability. Harry can use his ability to give Ron an attack token, which helps him trigger his ability. By the time you get to year seven these chains can get pretty elaborate as heroes are getting buffs from three different game mechanics.
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Kevin B. Smith
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hpbruin wrote:
I'm not sure why, but I feel like it's actually easier to just play with one character.

As I was reminded in another thread recently: With deckbuilders it's all about ramping up the power of your deck as quickly as possible. With a single deck, your deck is getting more powerful with every dark arts card. With 4 players, your deck only gets more powerful with every 4th dark arts card.

There are drawbacks to having only one character, but that build-up might be enough to overcome those drawbacks.
 
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Henry Bernritter
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I finally found a store that had it Saturday and yesterday I played through games 1-3 with only 1 character (neville). Games 1 and 2 were rather simple, and 3 while I beat it 1st try left me stunned a lot and down a location thanks to the Malfoys. I'm going to run game 4 tonight with just Neville again but is there any way to "destroy" cards. When I play ascension and DC and even Legendary my favorite style is sacraficial. Also, maybe it's because it's only one character I'm not building a lot of influence each turn. Was thinking of making a house rule of carrying over the all heroes get "this" for the next turn.
 
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Phil Wickline
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Up to game 4 (where we are), I don't think there's a way to destroy cards. I have to admit, though, that I don't quite understand the cards that say something to the effect of "Effect ABC. If you discard this card, Effect XYZ." Maybe I'm daft, but since, mechanically, discarding doesn't really do anything, I feel like these cards should either 1) read "destroy" rather than "discard", or 2) just say "Effect ABC or Effect XYZ." I guess I'm comparing HP:HB with other deck-builders like Star Realms, where the default action would be 2 attack, but you can trash/destroy the card and do like 4 attack.

With respect to the other part of your question (i.e., only one character so not building a lot of influence each turn), in my limited experience so far, the two ways to build influence are 1) cards that allow you to draw additional cards (2 of us ended up with almost 10 influence tokens this way yesterday), or 2) from the effect of the other players.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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philwickline wrote:
I have to admit, though, that I don't quite understand the cards that say something to the effect of "Effect ABC. If you discard this card, Effect XYZ."

My understanding is that they mean "If you are forced to discard a card, and you choose this one, then Effect XYZ."
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J Emmett
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philwickline wrote:
Up to game 4 (where we are), I don't think there's a way to destroy cards.

Also only on Game 4 so far, but I assume in Game 6 Snape will have the ability to trash Dumbledore.
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Antonio Tang
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philwickline wrote:
I guess I'm comparing HP:HB with other deck-builders like Star Realms, where the default action would be 2 attack, but you can trash/destroy the card and do like 4 attack.


You cannot voluntarily discard a card to acquire its discard effect. The last page of the manual states that you can only discard if forced to by the effect of another card (Villain, Dark Arts, Hogwarts).
 
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Corey Hopkins
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I played one-handed solo on game 7 today. Spoilers!

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I played as Ron, and it seemed to be a fairly easy win. I followed all rules to the letter, so if something says "all heroes get x" then I was the only one that got it. This was a benefit for a couple of dark arts cards. Dementor's Kiss hits the active hero twice and everyone else once, so I just took two hits. Imperio makes you choose another hero to lose two health. There are no other heroes, so I ruled that nothing happens (still drew an extra card though).

At one point I was riding on the edge of losing the first location (Bellatrix was out) but I clung to it for dear life, and that seemed to make the difference. I was never really under much threat after that. I picked Ron randomly, but he seems to be particularly well-suited for solo play. His big attack turns lead to healing, which is great! I also had Transfiguration, which meant I could almost always pull a big hitter card (usually Nimbus 2001) into my hand to help hit the three attack number.

The other nice thing is that, as you destroy horcruxes, you become incredibly powerful. You can just burn Alohomoras for dice rolls and control removal. I'm excited to try with other heroes!
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B C Z
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There is never any "trash" ability - only deck acceleration (card draw), and in the final years there are some reasons to want cards you're willing to discard.

As to the Book 6 spoiler: poor form.
 
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Swampy Crocker
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The books have been out for like 20 years. (Paraphrasing Martin Freemen there...)
 
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Corey Hopkins
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
I played solo again today with Arithmancy Neville. It sounds like kind of a weak combo, but I basically steamrolled the villains. I was lucky to get the Elder Wand pretty early. Bellatrix was out at the beginning, and I lost my first location shortly after she went down. But even with drawing two cards for most of the game, it was a cake walk. I'm really starting to think that one-handed solo is the easiest way to play.
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David Jones
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chopkins828 wrote:
I'm really starting to think that one-handed solo is the easiest way to play.


I don't doubt this. There has been ample discussion about the change in difficult as the player count goes up. Given this, it seems like a single deck would be optimal. My original thinking that it would be harder is likely wrong given the analyses the group has done since then.

I've had some ideas in the back of my head about creating a solo variant with a fifteen card deck using two heroes. I think it might up the difficulty a little bit, but I've not had time to play around with this.

 
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