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Subject: Challenge deck questions for solo play rss

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Mark Perry
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Newtown
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Hi,

I am interested in playing this game solo. Two questions:

1) Which is the best challenge deck to learn game?

2) Which challenge de k is the most fun for solo play?

Thanks!
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Valerio Vitelli
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Hello,

I tried to play solo using Saruman and Gandalf challenge decks, by using the solo variant explained here (https://meccg.wordpress.com/my-solo-rules/) which is very similar to the official one, the Wizard Companion variant (http://forum.councilofelrond.org/viewtopic.php?f=88&t=2906) and playing 2-handed (one decks versus another).

The problem with the first two variants is that you draw a lot of creatures, basically each turn all your companies are attacked by a minimum two creatures, often with several strikes. Everytime I ended up with severely crippled companies in the first movement from Rivendell to Lorien. I don't imagine what would be trying to enter a site where you could play items. I never play the game competitively but I imagine that normally your opponent cannot produce this "volume of fire" against you for all the game.

The Companion variant gave slightly better results: I manage at least to do something useful (recruiting factions, play items).

Playing 2-handed is technically doable but I really struggled managing two different hands at a time because of the high amount of card drawing happening during the movement/hazard phase.

The moral of the story is, I still have to find a satisfying way to play it solo.
 
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MarkP1981 wrote:
1) Which is the best challenge deck to learn game?

2) Which challenge de k is the most fun for solo play?


1) Each challenge deck requires a different strategy and highlights a different aspect of the game (some depend heavily on influencing factions, some on playing items, some on very specific resources). This file might illustrates this well (though I am not sure how much sense this will make to someone not familiar with the game).

2) I have never played solo with just a single challenge deck, so am not in the best position to answer this. But I like decks B, D, and E the most. To experience the potential of the game, however, I'd say you probably want at least 3 decks, which would give you a very sizeable pool of cards that work well together and that you can use to play a good variety of games.
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wolframius wrote:
The problem with the first two variants is that you draw a lot of creatures, basically each turn all your companies are attacked by a minimum two creatures, often with several strikes. Everytime I ended up with severely crippled companies in the first movement from Rivendell to Lorien. I don't imagine what would be trying to enter a site where you could play items. I never play the game competitively but I imagine that normally your opponent cannot produce this "volume of fire" against you for all the game.

The Companion variant gave slightly better results: I manage at least to do something useful (recruiting factions, play items).


For the record: I have recently been following something that resembles the Companion rules a bit more. During the Movement & Hazard phase, I draw hazard cards from the hazard deck, one by one. If I can play a hazard drawn against the company, I do so immediately, and then draw the next card until I have either reached the hazard limit or the number of cards I can draw that turn. This makes it a little easier, as I won't play the most powerful hazards against the company (as I used to do).

That said, this can still be very challenging, and requires you to plan ahead and manage your companies well. It also means that sometimes your company will have to stay at a particular site for some time, in order to still play an item or faction. I like a challenging game, but I also don't mind losing more often than I win.

I've never considered this to be "playing 2-handed", though. I have only one hand, and just draw some hazards from the hazard deck whenever required (just as I would chose a new site from the location deck whenever I need one).
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Valerio Vitelli
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darkyeoman wrote:

I've never considered this to be "playing 2-handed", though. I have only one hand, and just draw some hazards from the hazard deck whenever required (just as I would chose a new site from the location deck whenever I need one).


Maybe I was misunderstood, by playing 2-handed I meant trying to simulate a 1vs1 game by using the normal game rules playing each deck as well as you can against each other.

Of course, in this way on guard cards lose any significance.
 
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