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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle» Forums » Variants

Subject: Modified starting decks as reward rss

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Henry Rodriguez
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The RPG'er in me wants to see the immediate benefits of completing games because, as I see it, these characters are undergoing missions, gaining experience and literally leveling up as they advance to the next class year.

So I though that it would be nice if, at the end of each succesful game, the characters could choose to replace one of their starting cards (almost certainly an Alohomora) with one of the cards acquired during that game. The choosen card must adhere to the following restriction:

The replacement card's cost cannot exceed the game level + 1.

So after the first game, one can only choose a cost 2 card. After the second game, one can elect to replace with a cost 2 or 3 card, etc...

Might this throw off the balance of the game too much? Perhaps, but I believe players will become more attached to their characters and make the in-game, card acquisition decisions more interesting.
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Wil
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I had similar thoughts but ended up not trying it. Your rule with basing the cost of the card that you can keep off the game year is a great call. If I had I thought of that approach, I almost certainly would have tried this.

I'm sure it will upset the balance a bit, but I think you can counter that by adding a marker to the first location so the villains can start off a bit advanced as well. It's sort of as both the characters and villains start the game off on round two (a nice card in the deck, and a location advancement).



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Matthew Cordeiro
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If you replace 1 card a game, your deck will be crazy good by the time you reach Game 7. The game would feel like easy mode. A compromise might be just keep 1 card rather than replace a card. But even then, you'd be too good.

If you haven't played all the way through, just wait.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Game 3 - you get a character ability.
Game 6 - you get a proficiency.
Game 7 - your get an upgraded character ability.
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Wil
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cordeiro wrote:
If you replace 1 card a game, your deck will be crazy good by the time you reach Game 7. The game would feel like easy mode. A compromise might be just keep 1 card rather than replace a card. But even then, you'd be too good.


Hah. Quite true.

I was reading it as only one card would be added to your deck total at any starting round. All starters plus one card from the previous game. In that case AND if you advance the location by one when you start, I think the balance would be ok. If in doubt, adding two advancements on the location would do the trick.

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Henry Rodriguez
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wgerken wrote:
cordeiro wrote:
If you replace 1 card a game, your deck will be crazy good by the time you reach Game 7. The game would feel like easy mode. A compromise might be just keep 1 card rather than replace a card. But even then, you'd be too good.


Hah. Quite true.

I was reading it as only one card would be added to your deck total at any starting round. All starters plus one card from the previous game. In that case AND if you advance the location by one when you start, I think the balance would be ok. If in doubt, adding two advancements on the location would do the trick.



Very true Matthew, making the deck too efficient will throw the balance off too much come Game 5 and above. So adding the card instead of replacing is certainly the way to go.

And I love your suggestion Wil of adding advancement tokens to the locations. I will try it out with the family (who are not dedicated gamers, so they are unlikely to seek combo-potent cards).
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If you would want to try this, I would HIGHLY recommend limiting yourself to only replacing starting cards with 2 cost cards. The 4-cost "History of Hogwarts" frequently ends up as one of the most important cards in the game, and I can't even imagine the destruction you could cause by exchanging an Alohomora for Felix Felicius or Sword of Gryffindor to start Game 7 (or just adding them to your starting deck in general). Even 3 cost is probably too much, as having unfettered starting access to Finite will greatly shift how the game kicks off.

Note that this is a powerful thing you'll still be doing. Trading Alohomora's for Chocolate Frogs and Wingardium Leviosas is a minor but interesting power boost to your deck, but it also means there are LESS of those cards cluttering up your purchase area (this could be viewed as a great thing by some but it certainly will affect balance to some degree).
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LudoH LudoH
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... reviving a slightly old thread ...

I liked the original idea and the ideas about limitation of cost; I just think that the level of the game should also be taken into account because I have the feeling that game 3 cards that cost 2 are slightly better than the game 1 cards that cost 2.

Anyway I was thinking about this thread and the difficulty it means to keep things balanced, and finally I had the following idea:
what if the market of cards was initialized with 1/2/3 cards you purchased previous game. It should bring interesting choices, a bit of campaign feelings, but should keep the game balanced as it is just a particular possible draw ... or at least it is much closer to the original balance, you could still limit the game or the cost of the cards you "keep"
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Henry Rodriguez
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LudoH wrote:
... reviving a slightly old thread ...

I liked the original idea and the ideas about limitation of cost; I just think that the level of the game should also be taken into account because I have the feeling that game 3 cards that cost 2 are slightly better than the game 1 cards that cost 2.


I see that now that I have played through all 7 books.

LudoH wrote:
Anyway I was thinking about this thread and the difficulty it means to keep things balanced, and finally I had the following idea:
what if the market of cards was initialized with 1/2/3 cards you purchased previous game. It should bring interesting choices, a bit of campaign feelings, but should keep the game balanced as it is just a particular possible draw ... or at least it is much closer to the original balance, you could still limit the game or the cost of the cards you "keep"


So, you are saying that instead of adding cards to one's deck, one simply seed the initial market with an appropriately valued card of one's choosing?

That would make things less problematic for balance purposes.

Yet, I can say that after my experience with adding card(s) to one's deck through the course of the 7 books, I did not feel the balance was thrown off much. We still generally lost each book on the first attempt. However, I did end up implementing a different system than what we wrote of above. The following description of my system contains spoilers:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Because one's character receives experience-reflective benefits through the game mechanics after Books 2, 5 & 6 (in the form of character upgrades and a proficiency), I decided that one should not keep a card after finishing those books. Thus, only after Books 3 & 4 were completed did the players keep one cost 2 & 3, respectively, item or spell (no allies). Because the change was so minor, I did not try to balance this by adding an extra location token (I had tried that once in Book 4, but that ended in disaster for the heroes). I would not be averse to trying a modified version of this by permitting a card acquisition after Book 1 as well (costs being 2, 3 & 4, respectively)
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LudoH LudoH
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callidusx3 wrote:

So, you are saying that instead of adding cards to one's deck, one simply seed the initial market with an appropriately valued card of one's choosing?

That would make things less problematic for balance purposes.

yes, this is exactly what I meant.

Quote:

Yet, I can say that after my experience with adding card(s) to one's deck through the course of the 7 books, I did not feel the balance was thrown off much. We still generally lost each book on the first attempt. However, I did end up implementing a different system than what we wrote of above. The following description of my system contains spoilers:

thanks a lot for the report and the spoiler alert.

Perhaps I am too early in the progress, we only played (several times) first 3 books with different player counts ... and never failed (some 4 player games were desperately easy). This is also why I am afraid of anything that would help too much the heroes, but I understood that things get more interesting afterwards!
 
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JT
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First off, I want to thank the folks who started these wonderful threads, which have inspired me to propose my ideas below.
1714895
Campaign mode
(and of course, this very thread!)

Thank you Henry, rahdo, and others for your awesome ideas and the inspiration.

2 notes:
1) I must admit, I have not played all the way through the games yet. My daughter is still reading the books and is on book 3. I’ve played the game several times, including by myself, controlling all the characters, but have not played past book 3. I have read the manuals and looked at all the cards for all games, read way too many forum threads, and watched some videos. I don’t have firsthand experience of all of the game, but I have an idea for how it is supposed to work.
2) Which implies I haven’t tried out my idea yet. I look forward to trying this campaign/legacy game with the same friends we played Pandemic Legacy with.

I’d love feedback on if this seems too easy or hard. Do the cards added/removed get balanced out by keeping the control tokens?

Overview
The goal here was to play through the game, one book at a time, in a way that is somewhat thematically true to the books. Also, drawing from Pandemic Legacy, players get a benefit/bonus after each game, but it’s greater if they lose. This will help to balance out the fact that the starting state of the next game after a loss is likely worse than after a win.

After each game, the control tokens on the current location will be “kept.” In a loss, take all the tokens and put them onto the first card of the next game (as long as at least 1 space is left open on the card, it can’t be filled out to start). A win is a bit more complicated:
Quote:
-Get the current location number (for instance 2)
-Get the number of location cards for this game (for instance 3)
-Get the number of control tokens (for instance 3)
-The number of tokens that carry over to the next game is (Current_Location_Number / Number_of_Locations) * Number_of_Control_Tokens. For the example above, 2 tokens would carry over.


Game 1
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Set up the game according to the instructions, with 1 exception:
-Quirrell is the last villain on the deck. The other two are shuffled and made 1st and 2nd.

Win: Once the game is over, the Heroes can choose 1 Hogwarts card of cost 2 or lower to add to their deck. Carry over number of control tokens calculated in formula above.
Loss: Once the game is over, the Heroes can choose either a) 2 Hogwarts cards of cost 2 or lower, or b) 1 Hogwarts card of cost 3 or lower. Carry over all control tokens (as long as the next location isn’t completely filled by them.)


Game 2
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Set up the game according to the instructions, with 4 exceptions:
-Remove Quirrell from the deck
-Place the Basilisk last in the villain
-Bring over the control tokens from the previous game
-Players start with any extra cards they chose after finishing the previous game

All other villains are shuffled and placed on top of the Basilisk.

Win: No additional benefits since characters will get an upgraded ability next game. Carry over number of control tokens calculated in formula above.
Loss: Once the game is over, the Heroes can choose 1 Hogwarts card of cost 3 or lower to add to their deck. Carry over all control tokens (as long as the next location isn’t completely filled by them.)


Game 3
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Set up the game according to the instructions, with 4 exceptions:
-Remove Quirrell from the deck
-Remove the Basilisk from the deck
-Bring over the control tokens from the previous game
-Players start with any extra cards they chose after finishing the previous game

All other villains are shuffled together.

Win: Once the game is over, the Heroes can choose 1 Hogwarts card of cost 4 or lower to add to their deck. Carry over number of control tokens calculated in formula above.
Loss: Once the game is over, the Heroes can choose either a) 2 Hogwarts cards of cost 4 or lower, or b) 1 Hogwarts card of cost 5 or lower. Carry over all control tokens (as long as the next location isn’t completely filled by them.)


Game 4
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Set up the game according to the instructions, with 4 exceptions:
-Remove Quirrell from the deck
-Remove the Basilisk from the deck
-Bring over the control tokens from the previous game
-Players start with any extra cards they chose after finishing the previous game

All other villains are shuffled together.

Win: Once the game is over, the Heroes can choose 1 Hogwarts card of cost 5 or lower to add to their deck. Carry over number of control tokens calculated in formula above.
Loss: Once the game is over, the Heroes can choose either a) 2 Hogwarts cards of cost 5 or lower, or b) 1 Hogwarts card of cost 6 or lower. Carry over all control tokens (as long as the next location isn’t completely filled by them.)


Game 5
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Set up the game according to the instructions, with 5 exceptions:
-Remove Quirrell from the deck
-Remove the Basilisk from the deck
-Remove Barty Crouch, Jr. from the deck
-Bring over the control tokens from the previous game
-Players start with any extra cards they chose after finishing the previous game

All other villains are shuffled together.

Win: No additional benefits since characters will get a proficiency next game. Carry over number of control tokens calculated in formula above.
Loss: Once the game is over, the Heroes can choose 1 Hogwarts card of cost 6 or lower. Carry over all control tokens (as long as the next location isn’t completely filled by them.)


Game 6
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Set up the game according to the instructions, with 5 exceptions:
-Remove Quirrell from the deck
-Remove the Basilisk from the deck
-Remove Barty Crouch, Jr. from the deck
-Bring over the control tokens from the previous game
-Players start with any extra cards they chose after finishing the previous game

All other villains are shuffled together.

Win: No additional benefits since characters will get an upgraded ability next game. Carry over number of control tokens calculated in formula above.
Loss: Once the game is over, the Heroes can choose 1 Hogwarts card of cost 7 or lower. Carry over all control tokens (as long as the next location isn’t completely filled by them.)


Game 7
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Set up the game according to the instructions, with 5 exceptions:
-Remove Quirrell from the deck
-Remove the Basilisk from the deck
-Remove Barty Crouch, Jr. from the deck
-Bring over the control tokens from the previous game
-Players start with any extra cards they chose after finishing the previous game

All other villains are shuffled together.
 
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I don't think you realize how significant it is to "bring control markers forward".

 
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JT
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byronczimmer wrote:
I don't think you realize how significant it is to "bring control markers forward".



You're probably right (though I got my first taste last night as I solo'd game 3). Is it not sufficiently balanced out by the additional cards, plus the reduced number of villains?
 
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studbucket wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
I don't think you realize how significant it is to "bring control markers forward".



You're probably right (though I got my first taste last night as I solo'd game 3). Is it not sufficiently balanced out by the additional cards, plus the reduced number of villains?


What has your extensive play testing revealed?
 
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JT
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byronczimmer wrote:
What has your extensive play testing revealed?


Are you being snarky? Or honestly asking?

I said in my post I haven't had a chance to playtest it, but I look forward to trying it out. The OP had a speculative question, so I thought this would be OK to ask for feedback from folks who had played the game more, as my post was also speculative.

If you have suggestions on how to implement this, I am completely open to them and will incorporate my ideas and report back as I try these things out.
 
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studbucket wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
What has your extensive play testing revealed?


Are you being snarky? Or honestly asking?

I said in my post I haven't had a chance to playtest it, but I look forward to trying it out. The OP had a speculative question, so I thought this would be OK to ask for feedback from folks who had played the game more, as my post was also speculative.

If you have suggestions on how to implement this, I am completely open to them and will incorporate my ideas and report back as I try these things out.


My suggestion is to know what the soup tastes like before salting it.
 
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JT
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It's been a few months, but I've played the game a lot more and tried out this variant a bit.

I've learned that while adding control tokens does make it harder, being able to keep cards makes a huge difference. Just having the extra healing from Essence of Dittany early in the game is quite impactful, as well as being able to remove control tokens in the first few turns.

I can't say that it perfectly balances out, but I'm not unhappy with the changes so far. I plan on playing through all 7 games with my wife and some friends in the future, and I look forward to their feedback on the experience.

Has anyone else tried out the original variant, or a variant on the variant?
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Jarad Bond
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studbucket wrote:
It's been a few months, but I've played the game a lot more and tried out this variant a bit.

I've learned that while adding control tokens does make it harder, being able to keep cards makes a huge difference. Just having the extra healing from Essence of Dittany early in the game is quite impactful, as well as being able to remove control tokens in the first few turns.

I can't say that it perfectly balances out, but I'm not unhappy with the changes so far. I plan on playing through all 7 games with my wife and some friends in the future, and I look forward to their feedback on the experience.

Has anyone else tried out the original variant, or a variant on the variant?

I have not tried this variant, but I can tell you that the game is really easy and boring if someone acquires a card to remove dark marks early. Anyone trying this might want to at least veto those cards.
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