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Champions of Midgard» Forums » General

Subject: Leaders: Yay or Nay? rss

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Luke Muench
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Champions of Midgard is one of my favorite games, but I find it to be very difficult to get to the table, largely because of the amount of set-up and explanation involved. While I feel like both expansions add some strong things to the game, they also add a ton of flack that I feel take away from the overall experience.

To briefly summarize my thoughts on Dark Mountains (to provide context in regards to my questions below), I think adding more variety to all the already existing decks of cards is great, as variety is a great thing. I've slimmed down the repetitive enemies from the base game so each enemy type/color is equally represented, allowing for more diverse groups of enemies to show up.

The mountains themselves, however, take away a ton of the risk-taking that makes this game great. Fighting the giants is, by and large, a very safe move, costing you a couple of coins maybe (often optionally) and consistently earning you the archer dice that hit 80% times, making them the safest and most predictable die-type in the game. This also devalues food as a resource in a big way, making it less valuable and detracts from the mechanic. Because of this, I've decided to set aside the giants/archers and any content directly relying on them (goals, locations, etc.).

This leads me to Valhalla. I think the ability to mitigate your luck with the souls of the dead is huge, by and large to make bad luck be a utilizable currency that lets you gain other warriors and buffs in smart and interesting ways. I've heard some say the blessings are too powerful, but I haven't quite seen a case like this yet. I enjoy having more dice to use, even if they are a little safer, and the idea of the Epic Monsters are interesting if a bit swingy.

My biggest question, obviously, is whether or not I should include the use of Leaders moving forward, as they have 3 major impacts on the game:

1. Everyone starts the game with a 2nd warrior (other than the white swordmaiden die). They are fairly safe dice that make the early game feel a bit easier and allow players up to 9 dice in the late game, which I think isn't great.

2. Every character has a 2nd ability, many of which are slightly convoluted, that may or may not even come into play, but when they do can be jarring and confusing. Abilities like Rune Carver or Chooser of the Slain provide a ton of choice that can slow the game to a crawl, and things like Field Training can take a while and seems incredibly powerful. But that power swing is based on the luck of the roll, which normally isn't an issue b/c everyone is playing with the same tools when it comes to dice roling.

3. The extra rules make this game that much more of a chore to teach and new players are often confused by how they work until a part of the way through the game (in my experience).

I've debated in my head a couple of solutions:

1. Remove the leaders and leave everything else as is, including the cards that revive leaders, as that helps to depower those cards slightly (supposedly balancing them) and making the game generally a little lighter).

2. Keep the leader dice but have them add to your 8-warrior limit, as that doesn't screw with your balance of warrior resources.

Any thoughts?
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Patrick White
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I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to achieve. If you want to cut down on teaching time just take the expansions out play the base game. You're playing with people that I already know play with the expansion.

Personally I have metal coins I use blood rage Miniatures I have all the stuff upgraded and the big neoprene mat I always teach it with both expansions. One person that wasn't much of a gamer did have a bit of an overwhelming feeling that first never playing in a worker placement game and there is a lot going on. But when you break it down to pick a place roll some dice kill some monsters collect points repeat champions of midgard is not very complicated. Especially if you're playing with Gamers but it all depends who you're playing with.

I would agree that the Epic monsters are very Swingy. Those are easily taken out if you want. if you're playing with people that don't know the game you can get both epic monsters pretty easily. 2 to 3 epic monsters. Which can be anywhere from 10 to 20 some points usually per monster.


It sounds like to me, you want more for the game but dont like what they came out with so you want to homebrew your own game. Go for it.
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T Q
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Yeah I'd honestly just not use the expansions at all with new players.

Valhalla adds complexity to the game in that you'll actually want some warriors to die as opposed to the base game and wanting to keep your warriors alive. This can be confusing to new players if their basic understanding of the game is to collect dice and defeat monsters and gain points.

Dark Mountain in my mind was always something to add as a 4+ player count.

I own it, but I've never actually played with it yet as I've only played with 3 players. If used with less than 4 players, I can see it watering down the whole experience.

If the major complaint you have is setup time and difficulty to explain, then the best solution I can think of is to start players with the base game and gradually introduce the expansions to returning players that have a grasp of the base game. This will also give you an excuse to have the game see the table more often as returning players will be able to spice it up with an expansion or two and it's an easier sell with only a couple new rules to explain.

I'd be careful of only adding pieces of the expansions to the game as I don't think they were designed to be added as individual modules.

That being said, this is your game now, so do whatever makes you happy!
 
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Stephen Cartwright
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When I teach this game I leave out the Valhalla expansion. The dark mountain expansion is simple enough to add without adding another mechanic to take care of.
 
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Stephen Cartwright
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quigman wrote:

I own it, but I've never actually played with it yet as I've only played with 3 players. If used with less than 4 players, I can see it watering down the whole experience.


Agreed here. Adding the extra spot creates less competition for the other spaces in the village.
 
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David Christopher
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TFJ383 wrote:
The mountains themselves, however, take away a ton of the risk-taking that makes this game great. Fighting the giants is, by and large, a very safe move, costing you a couple of coins maybe (often optionally) and consistently earning you the archer dice that hit 80% times, making them the safest and most predictable die-type in the game. This also devalues food as a resource in a big way, making it less valuable and detracts from the mechanic. Because of this, I've decided to set aside the giants/archers and any content directly relying on them (goals, locations, etc.).


Any thoughts?


I agree with this 100% .... I think like others have said, add these in with 4+ players. I really enjoy the base game of this and the added cards are nice at least.
 
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