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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle» Forums » Variants

Subject: Thematic upgrade rules to balance gameplay rss

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Pete Simper
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Note : has item spoilers so only read the relevant game year after you have opened the game box

I love the thematic side of this game but I love to work out the mechanics of balancing out gameplay even more. This game unfortunately suffers from a slightly flawed mechanism which either makes it impossible to win or too easy. To balance this out a bit more try these house rules.
Hogwarts deck - At the start of the game divide the deck into cards costing 4 or less and over 4. Shuffle each deck and place into 2 piles on the board. Draw 4 cards from the low value deck and 2 from the high value deck into the market space. After purchasing a card the player may choose to replace this from the low value deck or the high value deck (Noting that the market may be get clogged up if you continue with the higher end). With this rule there is no replace all cards once rule as it will be your fault.
Character progression - sadly missing in the core product
Game 1 - No changes start with the base opening hand of 10 cards
Game 2 - No changed start with the base opening hand of 10 cards
Game 3 - upon successfully completing game 2 characters are levelled up as follows. Each player may replace ONE card of the opening hand with a cost 2 card of either essence of dittany, chocolate frog or wingardium leviosa spell. Put the replaced starting card in the box and remember to add you upgraded card to the starter deck for all game 3 and beyond games.
Game 4 - upon successfully completing game 3 the characters are levelled up as follows. In addition to your new cost 2 card, players can REPLACE any card in their opening deck with a cost 3 card of either Butterbeer, Quiddith gear or reparo, discard the replaced card in the box and add the new card to your starting deck. Remember to add this and your previous level card to your starting deck at the end for any game4+.
Game 5- well done you are mastering the spells, REPLACE any one starting card with a cost 4 card of either A history of hogwarts or incendio. Discard the replaced card into the box and as usual remember to add this to any new starting hand for game5+.
Game 6-7 - your into new territory open the box and see. No more new cards but you can use any squired to date
Good luck your going to need it
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LudoH LudoH
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Thanks for the thoughts, I did not see which part of the variant addresses the easy wins, can you elaborate on this?
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Adrian B
Australia
Adelaide
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Yes all good ideas but they will all make the game easier. I would think you would need to add in a variant to make the game more consistently harder to balance this.
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Pete Simper
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Yes the actual game revolves around the number of location adders cards in the pack and the number of cycles it takes to place them all. As the market deck gets bigger the chances of getting the remove location effects gets smaller so the entire game will pivot on these and the number that get into the market. Having the 2 decks gives you a more even chance of them coming up as you get to cycle quicker. This will make the game slightly easier I suspect but at least you have more chance of not getting a frustrating game.
The additional cards was just a thematic effect as to tell my family they got nothing for winning a game and they had to start again every time got a little disappointing. It feels better to progress and yes it probably does make it a tad easier but nothing you couldn't probably get in 1 turn.
Thanks for your comments much appreciated.
 
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Scott Schelter
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Bracebridge
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Easy wins? The group I play with has been gaming for years. Years 1, 2 & 3 had easy wins. Year 4+ has been loss after loss after loss. The only win we got against year four was after rigging the villain deck to ensure some "easier" villains came out first.

You are difinitely having a different experience with the game than me if you are having lots of easy wins in all the years.
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LudoH LudoH
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Well indeed, the initial villains might make the game too difficult from game 4, but also the initial market might make the game too easy if you get a lot of skull removal cards ...

Frome game 4 I have lost quite a few times, but also won quite many times, a bit of randomness but you also need to exploit well the capacitiies of your hero and your deck
 
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M. B. Downey
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Suitland
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Also depends on number of players. Two players is much easier than four.
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Robert Otts
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I would think that adding the cards to the starting deck would be better than replacing a card. It would make the starting deck a little larger at each level but the cards would come up a little less often. Reducing the benefit a bit to hopefully not overbalance the game but also give you some character progression.
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jeff bee
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Interesting thoughts. We did something awhile back with a similar idea. After each year, you were able to keep a card that you purchased that costed no more than (current year + 1). So year 1 allowed you to keep a 2 pt card, year 2 a 3 point, etc. It was ridiculous how overpowered our characters were by the end. We did counter this by adding a 4th villain for years 5/6 to help mitigate this somewhat.

But I'm confused by your topic statement, as this change doesn't seem to be aligned with it at all. Your characters do progress, specifically at Y3, Y6, and Y7. I suppose the case could be made to add a card at the end of Y1, Y3, and Y4 so each year you would have something to make you better than before.

I also don't see how this addresses either the easy win or devastating loss. There's a bit of assistance since you have additional attacks that might help when you get 3 bad villains to start with, but it doesn't address the core issue of moving onto Location 2 too quickly, often caused by DA/Villains and a lack of skull removals. All your changes seem to do is make the game easier to win, which is fine if that's your goal, but I think what you'll find is that the same characters keep taking the same upgrade cards each time you play through, so the decks will continue to be the same, just better.
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