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Middle-Earth Quest» Forums » Variants

Subject: Combined Sauron and Heroes turn + 5/6 player variant rss

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Liu Apertotes
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The way I see from the rules, during his turn, Sauron takes as many actions as there are heroes: 2 in a 3 player game, 3 in a 4 player game. This means that it could be easy to scale upwards.

So, what if there were no Hero and Sauron turns as such, and instead there was a single very long turn like this:

1. Hero Rally

2. Story step

3. Plot step

4. Event step

5. Sauron action (only 1)

6. Hero round (what the rulebook states as a complete Hero turn)

...

Repeat 5 and 6 until all heroes have played.

...

7. Hero draw

I've only played one game of MEQ, so I would love for those more experienced to give feedback about possible balance problems with this variant.

BTW, if you think that it is important that Sauron is able to take 2/3 actions in a row, then the steps could be modified so that:

5. Sauron takes 2 actions (or 3 if there are 3/5 heroes)

6. Hero turn

7. Hero turn

8a. Sauron takes 2 actions

8b. Hero turn

9+ Rest of heroes turn

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Falenthal Greenleaf
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I don't have a clue wether this could be for the worst, or for the better!

I've always wondered if there could be a way of playing with more than three heroes as, like you said, it "looks" as simply adding actions to Sauron.

But I think the main problem lies with Sauron's plots, not the actions: against 1 to 3 heroes, the Sauron can have an idea of what plot(s) are more vulnerable and use his actions to protect them.
But against 5 heroes, for example, the heroes have too many options and people for those protections to work effectively.

I think that, with more than 3 heroes, Sauron's plots would be too easy to discard. Haven't tried it, so I can't say that's true, but I'm under that impression.

Maybe (just "maybe"), with more than 3 heroes, Sauron should:
1) Have as many actions as heroes
2) Have two Plot actions in his turn (discard two plots, play two plots, discard one plot and play another one)

---

Regarding the distribution of Sauron's actions between the Hero's turns, I think this could work. This would allow Sauron to adapt to the advances of the heroes. I like your second variant better (do 2 or 3 action, wait for 2 heroes to play, do 1 or 2 more actions), as it allows for the Sauron player to make combined actions easier.


I'd advise you to play the game as is a few more times, to take a grasp of how it should play, the dangers and strenghts of each side, etc. After that, you can try doing variations and compare the fun you get with how it was with the original rules.

But, definetly, I'd like to hear your impressions if you try them; I've been thinking about this ideas myself for some time, and haven't been able to come up with something that works. Your ideas seem to point in the right way.
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Stephen Sekela
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Interesting idea. In addition to the above comment about plots being maybe too easy to discard, I could see "down time" for the hero players being an issue as well.
 
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Liu Apertotes
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Zordren wrote:
Interesting idea. In addition to the above comment about plots being maybe too easy to discard, I could see "down time" for the hero players being an issue as well.


Yes, I think that is unavoidable. Even so, given that the heroes play as a team, I do not think downtime will be a problem, at least for us. We are all engaged while one of the heroes is playing, since our future depends on it.
 
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Liu Apertotes
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Falenthal wrote:

But I think the main problem lies with Sauron's plots, not the actions: against 1 to 3 heroes, the Sauron can have an idea of what plot(s) are more vulnerable and use his actions to protect them.
But against 5 heroes, for example, the heroes have too many options and people for those protections to work effectively.


That is what I fear. And it baffles me that the only change for playing with 2 or 3 heroes is one more action for Sauron.

Last night we played again, 2 heroes against Sauron, and the heroes had a lot of trouble to get anywhere near the plots. We all agreed that adding a 3rd hero would be much stronger for that side than a third action for Sauron.

Yet the official rules are that way. Maybe they tested it extensively and found out that the only thing needed are more actions, and the rests balances out nicely.

But what I thought that could work very well is to simply duplicate the 3 player sequence if 5 people are playing. Sauron turn, 2 heroes turn, Sauron turn, 2 heroes turn, etc. I think that would work perfectly, since I feel that the 3 player sequence is the one that is most balanced. If 6 players are in the game, then they would have to alternate the 3 and 4 player original turn sequences.

If I am lucky and manage to play the game regularly, I'll try to test all these variants and post my findings.
 
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Stephen Sekela
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Maybe allow Sauron to discard a plot AND play a new plot in the same round?
 
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GodRob
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I like the suggestion of allowing Sauron to play two plots per turn.

If the heroes are knocking the plots out quickly then Sauron probably needs the help of playing two plots.

If the heroes are not knocking them out quickly, then he'll probably only get to play one plot anyway since he can only have three active.
 
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Falenthal Greenleaf
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robertg611 wrote:

If the heroes are not knocking them out quickly, then he'll probably only get to play one plot anyway since he can only have three active.


Good point, so this is something that won't be abused, but that will give Sauron an edge if needed.
 
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Poland
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Very interesting conception!

Anyone tested already?
 
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Liu Apertotes
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Witold Janik wrote:
Very interesting conception!

Anyone tested already?


I haven't cry Hopefully, we'll have more time during christmas.
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Poland
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apertotes wrote:
Witold Janik wrote:
Very interesting conception!

Anyone tested already?
Hopefully, we'll have more time during christmas.
I wish you that, then!
 
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