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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: playing solo rss

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Ken Thibodeau
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I only own the base set for now but I'd like to know if it's better to play only one player (3 heroes) or is it better to play as 2 separate players, each one with 3 heroes?

By "better" I mean essentially capturing to essence of the game and being able to beat harder scenarios.

Thanks
 
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Iain
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I play one handed. I feel its easy to manage and I've beaten many scenarios, I also find it a really fun way to play.

I haven't tried two handed but many people say its better, I think I'm just put off by the extra overhead.

There is little doubt that 2 handed is more akin to the intended gameplay though.
- Many scenarios are much more balanced for 2
- You can have access to all spheres if you build two dualsphere decks
- You can use sentinel and ranged abilities

I'm sure those that do play two handed will chime in
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Sam Cook
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All the quests are technically doable with only 1 player, but some of them seem to have been designed specifically for 2+ players. In general I think more players makes it easier.

Having said that, I play pretty much everything solo with one deck. Sometimes I'll build 2 decks to play together for a quest if it seems appropriate.
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Vladimir Lehotai
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Donkler wrote:
In general I think more players makes it easier.


Well, yes and no. While more players means you can have specialised decks for certain roles, it also means that you draw more encounter cards during staging (and there's also Surge, but that's not the point). And sometimes the encounter cards can pull off a nasty combo or two, which you usually don't see if you play only alone.
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Dale Stephenson
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Vladimir17 wrote:
Donkler wrote:
In general I think more players makes it easier.


Well, yes and no. While more players means you can have specialised decks for certain roles, it also means that you draw more encounter cards during staging (and there's also Surge, but that's not the point). And sometimes the encounter cards can pull off a nasty combo or two, which you usually don't see if you play only alone.


The other factor is location lock, the risk of which increases dramatically as player count rises. More players makes it easier in general for the first cycle, but I doubt it's the case for more recent quests and cycles.

However, two quests in particular (Dol Goldur and Return to Mirkwood) from the first cycle are *extremely* unbalanced against a solo player, and I'm not aware of any quest that scales so poorly in the opposite direction. Steward's Fear may be easier one-handed than two-handed, but I think it's much, much easier to beat Steward's Fear with two players than to defeat Dol Goldur with one.
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Bob Piepho
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It really depends on the particular quest, e.g. Passage through Mirkwood plays fine solo, but Escape from Dol Goldur is much more beatable two-handed. I usually try them solo a few times to get a sense of the challenges and then weigh whether I need to add the extra hand. As stated earlier, there's a whole lot more bookkeeping when you are solo two-handed.
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Rob Rob
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Single handed solo I would be concerned how many of the four spheres you could reasonably get into play. Many quests focus on certain spheres and can be hard if not impossible to beat with a monosphere (or even duo-sphere) solo deck.
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Florian Kalenda
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I play one-handed solo and two-handed with my wife. I like both, and I wouldn't want to miss out on one constellation. The feel of the game is different.

With noted exceptions, I think the scenarios are pretty well optimised for both. In my opinion, the game should be harder solo, it plays faster and you can just try once more. And it is!

I have tried with three and four, primarily to teach friends the game who were curious. It worked and was okay, but I didn't enjoy it as much as solo and with two players.
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Lee Broderick
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skystalker wrote:
It really depends on the particular quest, e.g. Passage through Mirkwood plays fine solo, but Escape from Dol Goldur is much more beatable two-handed.


I've played one game two-handed and that was Escape from Dol Goldur. In that case, it definitely makes the quest much, much easier. Otherwise, I'm quite happy playing one-handed and don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.
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Nigel Harris
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In my experience it's more fiddly (I.e. More housekeeping to do) managing two hands of cards, six heroes etc but it does give you more flexibility to deal with the abuse from the encounter deck. I think dol goldur is pretty much impossible (someone will prove me wrong!) with a single set of heroes, at least that is what I found

Hope that helps
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Jason Ross-Collins
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I'm a relatively new player to Lotr owning just the core deck, a couple of mirkwood expansions and Khazad Dum (Hobbit expansions arriving shortly!).

I found beating the initial scenarios using just a mono deck pretty hard. I've only played single handed so far but find beating the Mirkwood and JDtA tough but generally achievable with a tri sphere deck of Spirit, Lore and Leadership. That said I feel I understand the cards and combos a lot better now so that makes a difference. I've also found more recently that it makes a massive difference if you can keep your threat low which means you avoid treacheries and can be more selective about fighting enemies. Keeping your threat low and effectively buying yourself additional rounds gives you the time to build resource, draw the cards you need and get some allies out.

I'd really encourage you to purchase Khazad Dum as well, the scenarios seem more balanced (and enjoyable) and the additional player cards really give you some additional fire power and flexibility. Dwarf decks - for us new players - are pretty powerful.
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nick b
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I play two-handed and I wouldn't call it easier but I think it is a lot more fun. Obviously it's a bit more work to create two decks and you have to be careful to keep everything straight during the game (i.e. which hand is the "first player") but it opens up so many more options. You can also play around with giving each deck a different focus (combat, questing, etc) rather than creating an all-around effective deck. It's just more enjoyable to me but my win/loss ration will attest that it doesn't make things easy!
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Dr Johnson
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You could always try the 'Fellowship' rules which combine 2 hands into one. The advantage of this is that the bookkeeping is easier, but you still get the benefits of two hands.

There is a thread in the files section, but rather than try to find that, it's easier if I copy my own variant on this system below:

DRJ VARIANT - LORD OF THE RINGS – MODIFIED FELLOWSHIP RULES
ADAPTED FROM "SIMBO SMITH"

These rules are for solo players who want to play with 6 heroes all at once in one group, rather than split across two hands. How to play this variant and the rules changes are shown below:

GAME SETUP
Have one player deck of 50 cards as per normal. Draw 8 cards as your starting hand. You may mulligan.

Choose more than 3 heroes (usually 6) and lay them side by side all in one hand.

When calculating your threat, use 2 threat trackers. When you add up your heroes' starting threat you divide it in half and you put each half on one threat tracker. So if your starting threat is 60, you'd put 30 on each tracker. If it’s 61, you'd put 31 on one and 30 on the other.

RESOURCE PHASE
Draw 2 cards from your deck into your hand. If you want to make the game slightly easier, draw 3 cards from your deck each round.

Each hero gains one resource as per normal.

PLANNING PHASE
There are no changes to this

QUEST PHASE
This is exactly the same as per normal, but play two cards from the encounter deck into the staging area.

TRAVEL PHASE
There are no changes to this

ENCOUNTER PHASE
There are no changes to this

COMBAT PHASE
There are no changes to this

REFRESH PHASE
You add 1 threat to each threat tracker at the end of the round.

CARD EFFECTS
When it comes to any card effect that talks about the number of players, you always use 2 but you play the game as if you were 1 person. There is no 'first' player.

When you have to add threat to your tracker due to a card effect or failed quest resolution, you always add it to the lowest one (if they are both the same then obviously it doesn't matter which one you choose). You are not allowed to split the cost up and put half on each tracker - you always have to add the whole lot to the lowest one.

When you have to work out what your threat is during the game, you always take the highest one. So if your threat trackers were showing 35 and 33, your threat is 35, enemies will engage the entire group at 35.

All the other rules stay the same.
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Ken Thibodeau
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JonMarsh30 wrote:
You could always try the 'Fellowship' rules which combine 2 hands into one. The advantage of this is that the bookkeeping is easier, but you still get the benefits of two hands.

There is a thread in the files section, but rather than try to find that, it's easier if I copy my own variant on this system below:

DRJ VARIANT - LORD OF THE RINGS – MODIFIED FELLOWSHIP RULES
ADAPTED FROM "SIMBO SMITH"

These rules are for solo players who want to play with 6 heroes all at once in one group, rather than split across two hands. How to play this variant and the rules changes are shown below:

GAME SETUP
Have one player deck of 50 cards as per normal. Draw 8 cards as your starting hand. You may mulligan.

Choose more than 3 heroes (usually 6) and lay them side by side all in one hand.

When calculating your threat, use 2 threat trackers. When you add up your heroes' starting threat you divide it in half and you put each half on one threat tracker. So if your starting threat is 60, you'd put 30 on each tracker. If it’s 61, you'd put 31 on one and 30 on the other.

RESOURCE PHASE
Draw 2 cards from your deck into your hand. If you want to make the game slightly easier, draw 3 cards from your deck each round.

Each hero gains one resource as per normal.

PLANNING PHASE
There are no changes to this

QUEST PHASE
This is exactly the same as per normal, but play two cards from the encounter deck into the staging area.

TRAVEL PHASE
There are no changes to this

ENCOUNTER PHASE
There are no changes to this

COMBAT PHASE
There are no changes to this

REFRESH PHASE
You add 1 threat to each threat tracker at the end of the round.

CARD EFFECTS
When it comes to any card effect that talks about the number of players, you always use 2 but you play the game as if you were 1 person. There is no 'first' player.

When you have to add threat to your tracker due to a card effect or failed quest resolution, you always add it to the lowest one (if they are both the same then obviously it doesn't matter which one you choose). You are not allowed to split the cost up and put half on each tracker - you always have to add the whole lot to the lowest one.

When you have to work out what your threat is during the game, you always take the highest one. So if your threat trackers were showing 35 and 33, your threat is 35, enemies will engage the entire group at 35.

All the other rules stay the same.


Awesome! Thanks a lot!
 
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notrub eneg
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Interesting possibilities for thematic play

When you get to 50 on any one tracker, its game over?
 
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Dr Johnson
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notrub wrote:
Interesting possibilities for thematic play

When you get to 50 on any one tracker, its game over?


Yes.

"When you have to work out what your threat is during the game, you always take the highest one."
 
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notrub eneg
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Thanks, you are right, it is quite clear. Gonna have to improve my reading comprehension, lol.
 
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