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Shadowrift» Forums » Variants

Subject: Increase difficulty rss

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chang chang

Connecticut
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Hey,

So we loved the game, and is mostly quite nice balance. But we noticed that once in a while due to very lucky draw at the beginning of the game, match with nice tactics / hero decks. After a 3-4 turns the game becomes REALLY easy. Monster cant even pass "act 1"

So we are trying to come with an "extra rule" that prevent this.

Yesterday we try to continue adding shadorift power, even if they are removed. Though the playtest might not be accurate (we started maybe too late with that into the game) we though of 2 possible issues:
- the game might be too easy for too long before even the shadowrift appear (2p game)
- Even adding this it still felt no enough

Another option that we are toying with is to:

"power monster goes up by # player + 1 for each heroism earn if no monster are in play"
We think that this MIGHT penalized players for killing monster to fast.

but we couldn't playtested... the next game was not so lucky, and we had stuff coming our way since turn 2 lol waves and waves...

anyway.. wanted to share. See if anyone have run into this issue and what they have done (if any) for this..

The game got soo dull, that we end up just buying all the walls, because monster were dying at the starting spot and the bloody shadowrift was not coming out. It was so sad. LOL at some point there were only like 4-5 traveler left in the deck.

EDIT btw the stat report on our games is:
Played: 8
Lost: 3
Won: 5 (3 won fun; 2 won with the problem above)

so as you can see, I think the win:lost ratio is really nice. We just think that sometimes winning = being really ahead, which we want to change / tweak a bit
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Victor L
United States
Massachusetts
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I haven't tried it yet, but here's a simple and thematic solution: Start with an extra Shadowrift already in the Power Area. (You still need to seal all Shadowrifts, or build all Walls, to win, so that means #player+1 Shadowrifts.) Thematically, you found the first Shadowrift, and that's what you're concentrating on. That doesn't work for 6 players, since there isn't an extra Shadowrift available, but from what I've heard, you won't really need to increase the difficulty with 6 players. Also, you could still start with one Shadowrift on top.

The major factor I find that affects the difficulty of the game (having only played with 2 heroes) is the order in which monsters show up. And counterintuitively (from a thematic perspective), large monsters are easier to deal with than small ones, especially if they come out early. I just won a game in which Nevyrros (Storm Lords Boss Dragon) was first, and he's scary, but he didn't come out until Round 4, so there was lots of time to prepare for him. He was dead on space 2, with some spare killing capacity. The most difficult situation I found is when Powers come out. Hence my suggestion to start with a Shadowrift in the Power Area. You could also start with a Faction-specific power, but those vary in difficulty. I think it can also be hard if a large monster is followed by several small monsters (unless you have "area effect" cards, e.g., Fireball).

I've only played games with 2 heroes, so my observations may not apply to games with more. I've played 9 or 10 games now, at least once with each faction, and lost twice, once against the Drow (this was my second game, so I didn't understand what to do as well, and how to handle the Totems--you need to get Seal or Pilgrim or Shrine early in a Drow game), and once against Fire Dragons (but I continued playing it as if I had 15 Corpses, and managed to win it). In the latter loss, I had the two Rain of Fires come up consecutively! Some of the wins were pretty close, but some of them were easy after the beginning, and handling monsters as they came out until the Shadowrifts showed up.

One downside of my suggestion is that it'll mean you always want to get a Seal early, which I've generally not done: I usually concentrate on preventing any monsters from getting to the Power Area. :-) (The one exception is Stonemote, which seems easier to just let go by and deal with it later, unless you already have a lot of Totems.)

A simpler option is just to increase the Monster Power rate to #players+1 all the time. That seems simpler than doing it only when there are no monsters in play. I'm not sure if this would make the game too difficult.
 
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chang chang

Connecticut
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thanks for the suggestions..
and yes, I agree. the main problem is when a powerful monster comes out 1st and you have like 4 rounds to buy stuff and get prepare before he comes in play; by the time he comes he is dead and you had so much time to get powerful that no much can kill you now...

when smaller fries come out since round 1 and then keep on coming, some eating ur town folks... well then it gets intense... lol

we were also considering shuffling most of the small fries on the 1/2 half of the deck., but that was complicated. And some of the strong monster ares cool when they come earlish, just no as the 1st draw lol
 
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Jeremy Anderson
United States
Illinois
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chang_1910 wrote:
thanks for the suggestions..
and yes, I agree. the main problem is when a powerful monster comes out 1st and you have like 4 rounds to buy stuff and get prepare before he comes in play; by the time he comes he is dead and you had so much time to get powerful that no much can kill you now...

when smaller fries come out since round 1 and then keep on coming, some eating ur town folks... well then it gets intense... lol

we were also considering shuffling most of the small fries on the 1/2 half of the deck., but that was complicated. And some of the strong monster ares cool when they come earlish, just no as the 1st draw lol


The simplest thing I can think of in light of your concern is to put the first monster on the bottom of the monster deck at the start of the game if it costs 6 or more - 7 or more if you're playing with 3 players. At 4+ players I don't think it's a real issue because even giant stuff only takes 2 turns.
 
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chang chang

Connecticut
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hmmm..
@Jeremy never though of just a simple solution; it might work. depending what comes next, it might need to tweak a bit more but interesting idea.

I`m on my working week (meh) but would try some of this stuff again next week..

thanks; and would report back
 
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Victor L
United States
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intheory wrote:
I haven't tried it yet, but here's a simple and thematic solution: Start with an extra Shadowrift already in the Power Area. (You still need to seal all Shadowrifts, or build all Walls, to win, so that means #player+1 Shadowrifts.) Thematically, you found the first Shadowrift, and that's what you're concentrating on.

I've now tried this variant a couple of times (again, only in two-hero games), and I think it works pretty well. It does commit you to buying a Seal early, which I usually avoid, since Seal is mostly a dead card until a Power comes out, but I find it actually forces you to make tough choices, and in particular, the different heroes need to develop differently early in the game. But although it's been tighter, I still only lose when small monsters and especially powers come out early.

Quote:
A simpler option is just to increase the Monster Power rate to #players+1 all the time. That seems simpler than doing it only when there are no monsters in play. I'm not sure if this would make the game too difficult.

I haven't done this yet, although starting with a Shadowrift in the Power Area has the same effect until the Shadowrift is sealed. My experience is that if you can survive a few monsters and get it so that there are no monsters in play at the end of a round, then after that, it's easy to keep on top of things unless you are really unlucky with your draws. I might try combining the "start with a Shadowrift" with your "increase Monster Power faster when there are no monsters in play" suggestion.
 
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Sebastian Beck
Germany
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If you want a real challenge: Add 2 points to the Monster Power Meter per Player. devil
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