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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle» Forums » Variants

Subject: Some of our house rules for 2 players (spoilers) rss

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Kev O
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Hello!

I thought I'd share some of our house rules for this game. We've played through game 7 several times, and have had a blast with it. We've only really played with 2 players, and so while playing through them, we've come up with some house rules that I thought would be interesting to discuss. Some variations are mere card statement or value changes while others I think are more interesting.


1) Random assignment of characters and proficiencies
This is pretty clear, and meant to increase the variability in strategies. It also should help change the difficulty game to game. Since some proficiencies are clearly aligned to particular characters, we use random assignment to help change things up.


2) Felix-Felicis as consumable
Felix-Felicis is a pretty ridiculous card, and super powerful. Making it trashable would mean that you would use it once, and then it's gone (i.e. consumable). In concept it aligns to the theme of HP and how rare of a potion it really is, rather than coming up in your deck every couple turns. Felix-Felicis is far from game breaking, but the idea of a "use once" potion is so true to the theme, that we enjoy this variant. We have also toyed with the idea of using it as an "instant", similar to how we play the Nagini horcrux.


3) Winning the Elder Wand from a Villain
One of my core complaints in a 2 player game is that given any set of three villains, it's usually pretty clear who to take out first. I wanted to see if there was a way to change that up. The second "theme" issue was the idea of using "Influence" to acquire the Elder wand. It just seemed not right to be able to use "coins" to get the wand instead of having to earn it.
So instead, I liked the idea of winning it off a villain. The idea here is to shuffle the Elder Wand into the villain deck (necessarily after the first three). When the wand is revealed with a villain, that villain has 15hearts and their effect is doubled when triggered, as if they are using the Elder wand. There are some interesting combos of doubled effects (Bellatrix, Lucius, Draco, etc.) and some boring ones (Basilisk, Fenrir).
This needs more play testing, but has proven fun in the few games we've used it and not too game breaking if it shows up late enough.


4) Crabbe & Goyle: Lose 2 hearts on discard instead of 1
Straight forward change to the villain effect. The idea is to make these guys more of a threat, rather than a "we'll just stick around all game" villain. Once they show up, there's no incentive to get rid of them. If they're in your first three, they'll be sure to be in your final three. I'm hoping to make the decision on if/when to get rid of them a bit more difficult.


5) Cho Chang: Cost 5 instead of 4
Cho's draw power and ability to cycle through a powerful deck quickly I think is undervalued (not to mention the die roll bonus and any discard effects gained). When I look at similarly priced cards: e.g. Fleur, Oliver, Cho's value is much more in line with Viktor Krum and possibly even McGonnagal. I'm even tempted to make Cho a 6 instead of a 4.

6) Petrificus totalus: Cost 5 instead of 6
In a 2 player game, the effect of Petrificus Totalus lasts exactly one turn. We basically never buy this card and it just clogs up the market; sometimes we get two of them clogging the market. So in a 2-player game, we find it makes sense to reduce its cost to 5. At cost 5, the card comes in line with Expecto Patronum, which also costs 5 and is routinely purchased on sight. We still might not buy it, but there's at least a better chance of it. Mind you this card is introduced a little too early in the game variations when the villains have very minor effects and there are only two on board. Introducing it in game 5 onward might have demonstrated the value a bit more obviously, so perhaps we haven't given this card a fair chance.






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kaydot wrote:

6) Petrificus totalus: Cost 5 instead of 6
In a 2 player game, the effect of Petrificus Totalus lasts exactly one turn. We basically never buy this card and it just clogs up the market; sometimes we get two of them clogging the market. So in a 2-player game, we find it makes sense to reduce its cost to 5. At cost 5, the card comes in line with Expecto Patronum, which also costs 5 and is routinely purchased on sight. We still might not buy it, but there's at least a better chance of it. Mind you this card is introduced a little too early in the game variations when the villains have very minor effects and there are only two on board. Introducing it in game 5 onward might have demonstrated the value a bit more obviously, so perhaps we haven't given this card a fair chance.


Petrificus Totalus lasts the casting player's turn and the next player's turn... that's 2 turns.

Cast it first on the Basilisk to allow your 'card draw' abilities to work.
Cast it first on Barty to allow your 'remove dark mark' cards to work.
...

Not as worthless as you're making it out.
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Kev O
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Thanks for the clarification about Petrificus Totalus. Those are good examples where it might work well. I think when we tried it, it had so little impact on the game when it is introduced (year 3 I think), that I had written it off, especially for the cost.

I still think its extremely situational for the cost of 6. Whereas Expecto Patronum is almost always welcome, and at the very least gives a lightning bolt. And on villains like the Dementor, it only acts for one turn, since their effect will already have passed for that turn.
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Kevin B. Smith
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kaydot wrote:
I think when we tried [Petrificus Totalus], it had so little impact on the game when it is introduced (year 3 I think), that I had written it off, especially for the cost.

That was our experience. With just 2 players, and 2 villains, they seemed practically worthless, and I was about to remove them from the game. But with 3 villains out, and with more villains in the deck having nasty ongoing effects, I see that they have some value.

In a perfect world, I think their cost would scale by player count, since their utility certainly does. With 4p, I can see them being an insta-buy.
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My wife, who played Hermione in our first two player campaign, was typically very happy to see Petrificus.

Being able to shut down one of the Villains, especially when there are three out at a time, even for just the other player's Dark-Arts phase, really does have strong value. Shutting down an effect that lasts through your own turn is just another of the examples of this being valuable.

In the end, other players may have other styles of play or decks they're trying to build. That's fine too... Certain cards have different 'value to cost' ratios at differing player counts, that's to be sure. But that's part of what adds variability and replayability.
 
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Doug Funk

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byronczimmer wrote:
kaydot wrote:

6) Petrificus totalus: Cost 5 instead of 6
In a 2 player game, the effect of Petrificus Totalus lasts exactly one turn. We basically never buy this card and it just clogs up the market; sometimes we get two of them clogging the market. So in a 2-player game, we find it makes sense to reduce its cost to 5. At cost 5, the card comes in line with Expecto Patronum, which also costs 5 and is routinely purchased on sight. We still might not buy it, but there's at least a better chance of it. Mind you this card is introduced a little too early in the game variations when the villains have very minor effects and there are only two on board. Introducing it in game 5 onward might have demonstrated the value a bit more obviously, so perhaps we haven't given this card a fair chance.


Petrificus Totalus lasts the casting player's turn and the next player's turn... that's 2 turns.

Cast it first on the Basilisk to allow your 'card draw' abilities to work.
Cast it first on Barty to allow your 'remove dark mark' cards to work.
...

Not as worthless as you're making it out.


Yes for those 2 examples. Others, like dementor says Active Hero loses 2 hearts. That resolves before being able to play the 'totalus card. So the poster is correct that it really only lasts 1 turn in a 2 player game. I wonder if the cost should be 2 + # of players. In a 4 player game, especially if playing Game 6+ villains this card can become the game winner in my experience.
 
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Yes, many villains are only active during the Dark Arts phases, often doing damage to the active player. Sometimes it's "always every time" damage like the Dementors or Quirrel, other times its situational like Draco Malfoy or Crab & Goyle.

In a game that doesn't tend to have too many decision points, choosing the best target for Petrificus is definitely one of the more interesting decisions to be made, and you can only make that decision if you've purchased the spell.

Like any other situational/decision based effect, it won't always be a shining star. However, it is definitely worth having the option of shutting down a villain effect, even if it's only for the other players.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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dougfunk wrote:
I wonder if the cost should be 2 + # of players. In a 4 player game, especially if playing Game 6+ villains this card can become the game winner in my experience.

Yeah, the problem is there are several other cards that vary in value by player count. And of course Dark Arts cards and villains that scale unevenly as well.

If I started tweaking card costs, I wouldn't want to stop at just one card.
 
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Stephan
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kaydot wrote:
3) Winning the Elder Wand from a Villain
The second "theme" issue was the idea of using "Influence" to acquire the Elder wand. It just seemed not right to be able to use "coins" to get the wand instead of having to earn it.
Well, it's influence, not coins, which is not quite as "bad" I think, but I see your point.
kaydot wrote:

So instead, I liked the idea of winning it off a villain. The idea here is to shuffle the Elder Wand into the villain deck (necessarily after the first three). When the wand is revealed with a villain, that villain has 15hearts and their effect is doubled when triggered, as if they are using the Elder wand. There are some interesting combos of doubled effects (Bellatrix, Lucius, Draco, etc.) and some boring ones (Basilisk, Fenrir).

Thematically, I really like the idea. The thing is that this way the players are guaranteed to gain the Elder Wand card, which is one of the most (if not the most) powerful cards in the deck, in every game. Also, getting 7 influence in a turn is not always that easy. I don't know whether making the villain twice as powerful makes up for this.
 
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Jason Pisani
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Petrificus totalus - lasts for two turns. It is not removed unit the villain would act, right? I don't have the card in front of me. It can negate the -2heart for both players.
villains do damage
I play the card. later, my turn ends.
Villains do their thing, but one can't.
My teammate plays and ends her turn.
Villains do stuff, but one can't.
My turn begins then the shield token is removed.

 
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iamthepisani wrote:
Petrificus totalus - lasts for two turns. It is not removed unit the villain would act, right? I don't have the card in front of me. It can negate the -2heart for both players.
villains do damage
I play the card. later, my turn ends.
Villains do their thing, but one can't.
My teammate plays and ends her turn.
Villains do stuff, but one can't.
My turn begins then the shield token is removed.



Petrificus Totalus lasts from the moment it is cast until the next time that player starts a turn.

A player's turn starts by putting their hand onto the top card of the Dark Arts Deck and starts to flip it.

So no, PT does not last through the Villain phase of the casting player's turn.
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Jason Pisani
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Thanks for clarifying that! I was wrong.
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