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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle» Forums » Variants

Subject: Advancing through locations in Game 7 (spoilers) rss

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Adrian B
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This great game tends to be quite swingy with either early losses or easy wins. This variant tries to reduce the easy wins in Game 7 that can happen if the players are able to hold the first location throughout the game, introduces some interesting strategic decisions for the players and maintains the strong theme of the game.

In the books the heroes have to travel to find and destroy horcruxes, wheras in the game they can just hang out in Godric's Hollow and all the horcruxes come to them. In this variant players have to advance through locations to destroy horcruxes 4-6. To advance a location the active player announces this at the start of their turn, removes the control tokens and discards the current location. Players cannot return to a dicarded location. There is no penalty or reward for advancing location. Locations are still played in the usual order and horcruxes have to be destroyed in the usual order.

Players cannot make any progress destroying the following horcruxes until after the they have visited their specific locations. As in the books they do not have to be destroyed at that location, as long as the location has been visited first.
Cup (horcrux 4): Gringotts (location 2)
Diadem (horcrux 5): Room of Requirement (location 3)
Nagini (horcrux 6): Hogwarts Castle (location 4)

We have found this variant leads to a much more tense, thematic and exciting game and that the players feel more in control. They have to decide when they feel their decks are strong enough to progress through the increasingly difficult locations and when to detroy horcruxes. The battle feels much more thematic forcing the confronation with Voldemort and Nagini to occur at Hogwarts with multiple Dark Events cards every turn.

To avoid the problem of a killer starting villain combo causing an early loss of the first location we also play with this variant and find they work well together:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1743887/preventing-killer-s...

Edited for clarifications and to correct an error about where horcruxes can destroyed.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Not knowing the books, and not having the game handy in front of me, can you translate the thematic horcrux and location names into their sequence numbers? I suspect I would stack the horcruxes into the location deck, so that each would only become visible at the right time.

But are you allowed to make progress against a horcrux before visiting the location? With the current wording, it sounds like you can, but you would have to advance to the location before getting the final symbol. It seems like it would be more thematic if you couldn't even start to work on it. Plus it would make it easier to track (see above).
 
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Adrian B
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Good point. We play that you can't start destroying the horcrux until visiting the specific location. I'll edit to clarify that. The horcruxes are numbered 4-6 in order so it works neatly without any need to change the layout of the game or the order of horcruxes or locations. You can get started on horcruxes 1-3 whenever you like. In the last book they already had these three (Diary, Ring and Locket) The restrictions start for horcrux 4 the Cup which they found in the vault at Gringotts.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Adrian2 wrote:
Good point. We play that you can't start destroying the horcrux until visiting the specific location. I'll edit to clarify that.

Cool. Makes sense.

Quote:
The horcruxes are numbered 4-6 in order so it works neatly without any need to change the layout of the game or the order of horcruxes or locations.

But I would want an obvious visual reminder that I can or cannot work on a horcrux. So I think I would put horcruxes #1-3 in a stack, as usual. Then I would insert #4, #5, and #6 at different points in the location deck, such that as soon as I was at a location, it would "release" that horcrux (at which point I would put it at the bottom of the horcrux pile).
 
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Adrian B
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Sure, it's not a bad idea. There can be a lot to keep track of and that is thematic in the sense of finding the horcruxes at those locations.
 
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Adrian B
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Actually after thinking about this putting the horcruxes in the location deck is problematic because a horcrux is active as soon as it is revealed. This variant doesn't change that so it could cause confusion if the horcrux that is meant to be active is still in the location deck. this would occur frequently for example if you destroyed the first three while in Godric's Hollow, or after you've destroyed the cup at Gringotts but haven't yet moved on to the Room of Requirement.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Adrian2 wrote:
Actually after thinking about this putting the horcruxes in the location deck is problematic because a horcrux is active as soon as it is revealed.

Ah, yes. That makes sense. I guess I would just need to create a reference card, and keep it next to the horcrux deck. It would remind us which horcruxes are immune until which locations.

Which is probably too much work for me, but I could see how it would be fun for someone immersed in the HP theme.

EDIT: Or you could say that the horcrux effects also don't kick in until you get to that location. Obviously that would make the game easier, so there might need to be some other balancing mechanism to prevent the players from intentionally stalling.
 
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Adrian B
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To be honest I think you're overthinking it. In practice it's really simple. First three horcruxes at location one then one at each location after that. Although I can see that if someone isn't familiar with the books or movies then that it might take a little getting used to. Maybe that's why the game designers didn't do something like this. Good on you for playing the game when you aren't that familiar with the theme! I guess that's a sign of a really good game mechanic.
 
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David Lee
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Ooh, I really like this suggestion! Love how thematic it is.
 
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Adrian B
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Thanks if you give it a go please post what you think. I've played it a few times and it's been a close and tense finish each time. The key decision is realy when to go to Gringotts because after that the battle really heats up.
 
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J.D. Yonkovich
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I've played 3 two-player games using this variant (along with the villain setup you linked to in the original post) and it worked well. The first game I lost pretty badly, but that was due to having Bellatrix as one of the first 3 villains. (Her power seems incredibally difficult to overcome if you haven't yet had a chance to build your deck). The other two games, however, were much closer. One game we got down to just Voldemort left, but ulitmately lost. The third game we won, but there were only two spots left on the final location (and I think a couple of times the last location was full, but we were able to remove control tokens before the end of the turn).

All in all, I am very pleased with this variant. It doesn't change much about how the game is played, but has produced much closer games. Thanks for posting about it!
 
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Adrian B
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My pleasure and thanks for the feedback!
We also found Bellatrix pretty tough. I actually prefer to get her out early. One game with this variant she was the last villain and came out at the second location. We were drawing 3 dark arts cards per turn with both Voldemort and Nagini out. Quickly lost the second and moved onto the last location before we could defeat her. In the end a narrow loss with the third location filling up frequently until we finally had a turn where we couldn't take off a marker. When she came out early we just managed to hold the first location and eventually had a close win.
 
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