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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle» Forums » Variants

Subject: OFFICIAL Variant Rule: Clearing Hogwarts rss

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Richard Ham
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The designer of the game posted an official variant in the rules subforum, and a lot of folks might not see it there (I only discovered it because someone mentioned it on Reddit), so I thought it would be worth it to list it here so more are aware of it:

nethershadow wrote:
Once per game, a player may forego acquiring any cards for his or her turn. If he or she does, take ALL SIX available HOGWARTS cards, and place them on the bottom of the deck, replacing them with six new cards.

He further added that this is not something that every player can opt to do, but rather it's a one time thing: once any one player has done this, it's no longer an option for anyone else for the rest of the session.
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Andrew Wolf
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Re: OFFICIAL Variant: Clearing Hogwarts
Thanks for sharing this here! Keep in mind that this is an optional rule. We talked about whether or not a 'market clearing' rule was necessary during playtesting, and decided that the need for it came up so infrequently to not include one, but we are happy to make it available as an option for players.

Andrew Wolf
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Re: OFFICIAL Variant: Clearing Hogwarts
We just came up with the unfortunate scenario where it's almost impossible to buy any cards.

I want to clarify - it doesn't say we can't attack. But I feel like not attacking would be a part of something like this. Can we still use our attack that turn?
 
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Jason Webster
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Re: OFFICIAL Variant: Clearing Hogwarts
You may still attack
 
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Dan
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Re: OFFICIAL Variant: Clearing Hogwarts
nethershadow wrote:
Thanks for sharing this here! Keep in mind that this is an optional rule. We talked about whether or not a 'market clearing' rule was necessary during playtesting, and decided that the need for it came up so infrequently to not include one, but we are happy to make it available as an option for players.

Andrew Wolf
Game Designer - USAopoly


Personal play testing between my wife and I has seen this occur 4 times between box 5 & 6 (six total plays).

We found a market clear to not be optional. We nearly ditched the game after the 3rd slow loss due to inability to purchase.

That said, with the optional rule we've been very pleased.
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Chris Castagnetto
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Re: OFFICIAL Variant: Clearing Hogwarts
My play group also has encountered situations where its next to impossible to continue because we can't buy anything.

this is a great once per game option.

Thanks for posting this!
 
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Jamie Specht
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Re: OFFICIAL Variant: Clearing Hogwarts
Is this putting all 6 cards on the bottom of the Hogwarts deck or player deck?
 
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Woo-Hoo Gamer
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Re: OFFICIAL Variant: Clearing Hogwarts
OutOfHabit wrote:
Is this putting all 6 cards on the bottom of the Hogwarts deck or player deck?


Hogwarts Deck.

Putting them all in a player Deck would be far too overpowered.
 
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Jamie Specht
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Re: OFFICIAL Variant: Clearing Hogwarts
WooHoo1 wrote:
OutOfHabit wrote:
Is this putting all 6 cards on the bottom of the Hogwarts deck or player deck?


Hogwarts Deck.

Putting them all in a player Deck would be far too overpowered.

Agree completely.
Just wanted to make sure.
 
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Dreadknot Knotdread
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Re: OFFICIAL Variant: Clearing Hogwarts
Thank you for posting this here. I would suggest though, that the thread be retitled to clarify that it's an optional rule, not really a full gameplay variant.
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Corey Hopkins
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Cone Defense wrote:
nethershadow wrote:
Thanks for sharing this here! Keep in mind that this is an optional rule. We talked about whether or not a 'market clearing' rule was necessary during playtesting, and decided that the need for it came up so infrequently to not include one, but we are happy to make it available as an option for players.

Andrew Wolf
Game Designer - USAopoly


Personal play testing between my wife and I has seen this occur 4 times between box 5 & 6 (six total plays).

We found a market clear to not be optional. We nearly ditched the game after the 3rd slow loss due to inability to purchase.

That said, with the optional rule we've been very pleased.


I have to say that after 19 plays, we've never used this rule. We've won more than we've lost, but I wouldn't say that any losses were due to inability to purchase. However, it's nice knowing that the rule is there in case we ever need it.
 
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Matt Watkins
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nethershadow wrote:
Thanks for sharing this here! Keep in mind that this is an optional rule. We talked about whether or not a 'market clearing' rule was necessary during playtesting, and decided that the need for it came up so infrequently to not include one, but we are happy to make it available as an option for players.

Andrew Wolf
Game Designer - USAopoly


We just played a game (Game 4) where the initial draw was all cost 6 or above cards and never really were able to get traction. (The Dementor and Barty Crouch were additional reasons; a killer combo--it took about 3 turns to blow through the first location card.) Maybe a mulligan could be an additional rule. We definitely would have used this rule (and in fact I came here looking for something like it.) So thanks!
 
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Jeffery Hudson
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We had two games in a row were we got pounded by market lock. We didn't even double the size of our decks. Really soured my group on the game. We came up with a variant where we divided the Hogwarts cards into two stacks. 4 or less and 5 or more influence cost. We start the market with four 4 or less cards and two 5 or more and then decide which stack we want to draw from when we refresh cards. It's worked well for us and is our preferred method of play. It keeps the market from locking but still keeps the challenge of the game.

it is nice to know that this rule does exist though...
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Jamie Specht
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Barronmore wrote:
We had two games in a row were we got pounded by market lock. We didn't even double the size of our decks. Really soured my group on the game. We came up with a variant where we divided the Hogwarts cards into two stacks. 4 or less and 5 or more influence cost. We start the market with four 4 or less cards and two 5 or more and then decide which stack we want to draw from when we refresh cards. It's worked well for us and is our preferred method of play. It keeps the market from locking but still keeps the challenge of the game.

it is nice to know that this rule does exist though...

Interesting. Like.
 
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Jeffery Hudson
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I have to admit, i took the idea from Machi Koro Bright Lights, Big City and how they divide their deck.
 
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Mike Boucher
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I like this rule variant (and frankly feel like something like this is necessary and surprised it wasn't part of the rulebook). That said, I personally think it's still not generous enough. Wondering how to make it even more player friendly. Allow this up to 2 times per game? Or I was planning to make a house rule, something like: 'On a player's turn in addition to buying hogwart's card(s), you can also choose up to 1 card in the hogwart's pile to discard.' But that may be too generous.

Here's why I feel so strongly it's necessary. Just played 2 back to back games of year 5 this weekend and could not have had more opposite outcomes.

First game: 2 players (me and my oldest child). We had a lot of upfront cards that allowed you to remove a skull from the location cards. Stocked up on those early and blew through the game in 30 mins, with ZERO skulls left on location ONE. Felt way too easy.

2nd game: 4 players, (game group, who was excited to try this). Didn't get any cards at all in the Hogwarts stack that removed skulls from locations (which seems to me way too much to be the key to this game, do others agree??). Slow, much longer game, where we got our butt kicked. Didn't even come close to winning. Couldn't stop the locations, ended up losing bad with a good 5 or 6 villians still left in the deck. Felt impossibly hard given the Hogwarts cards we had. And there are SOOO many, the Hogwarts stack is so huge, it feels like there's such a wide range of how the game could go and it's so dependent on your Hogwarts draws. Bad cards? Game over, no hope. Which is why it feels like being able to reset them more than once is so necessary.
Fair criticism? Or anything I'm doing wrong, or other suggestions? I'll definitely take the reset all 6 rule, but feel like it still wont' be enough.
BTW - I still really love this game.
 
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Jeffery Hudson
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Hi Mike;

LIke i said in the comments above, try the to market deck variant. It's really kept the difficulty of the game but we don't have market lock kill us. The Villains still do a good job of it though...:)

I've noticed year 5 seems to be the 'watershed' year for difficulty. We've not played year 6 yet but we thought we'd never get past year 5.

 
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Mike Boucher
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I like the suggestion but my problem wasn't that I had Market lock - where I couldn't afford the cards. Never had that issue. My bigger issue is that I think certain Hogwarts cards just aren't good, whereas others are critical. For instance, early game not having any cards that remove skulls from locations - to me, if you don't have that at all (never came up at all in my 2nd game), then I think it's significantly harder to win, if not impossible. I also think that card that stuns villian abilities(petrificus?) is another hugely important card. Didn't have that one come up either. If you are just getting cards that only give you extra influence then you're in trouble. So to me, it's what cards you do/don't get more than getting stuck on not being able to afford them.
 
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Jeffery Hudson
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Well, i must agree it's much harder to win. We finally had ONE game where we got dark mark removal cards and the game was much better. :) Not sure what you can really do about that other then, like you said, just toss cards away.
 
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Mike Boucher
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If my theory is true that you need skull removal cards to win then the game just seems broken, given how many Hogwarts cards there are and the fairly high chance that you could have games where you don't get any of those cards, especially early on.
 
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Jeffery Hudson
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We've won with only having one or two of them, but it was a real grind.

I can't disagree that finding the good cards are hard. I'm also seriosuly wondering why this game is rated a 7.7. It's a good game, i'll give it that, but i've seen more inventive deck builders out there (granted, i'm only on year 6) and this one is on the simplistic side, unless you call not being able to weed your starter cards out or just playing against the same stack of villains inventive.

With that said, we'll still play it.
 
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LudoH LudoH
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Somehow this discussion starts to remind me of this thread:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1713192/removing-skulls-loc...
 
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Jeffery Hudson
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Lol.

we'll, i've not read that thread yet so i can't really comment on it.
 
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Mike Krajewski
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To me, it seems that the large Hogwarts deck adds to the replayability. Not all games will have the same cards. You have to work with what you have. Sometimes you will have cards that remove control markers, sometimes you will have cards to draw a whole bunch of extra cards, sometimes it's more allies, etc. It's part of the challenge and replayability of the game, IMO.
 
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Jamie Specht
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mabouche wrote:
If my theory is true that you need skull removal cards to win then the game just seems broken, given how many Hogwarts cards there are and the fairly high chance that you could have games where you don't get any of those cards, especially early on.

It is not a required thing in order to win.
Edit: sounds like you need to find other winning strategies.
 
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