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Subject: Difficulty of easier variants suggested in manual? rss

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Glenn Russell
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The manual suggests that for a slightly easier game, to have an additional growth phase at the start of the game, for a moderately easier game, to skip the initial explore, and for a much easier game, to do both.

What do you think these options translate to, in terms of difficulty? Do you think they are roughly -1, -2, and -3 difficulty, respectively? (Edit: After trying this, I think it is closer to -1, -3, and -4).

Edit: Keeping track of the difficulty as a number is a useful tool for comparing difficulty levels or combining difficulty levels. I am curious about thoughts on what difficulty this would be if combined with scenarios or adversaries. What difficulty do you think it would be, using the games difficulty scale? Please don't post just to say that you think it is pointless or un-fun.
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Izzy S

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bmtc wrote:
The manual suggests that for a slightly easier game, to have an additional growth phase at the start of the game, for a moderately easier game, to skip the initial explore, and for a much easier game, to do both.

What do you think these options translate to, in terms of difficulty? Do you think they are roughly -1, -2, and -3 difficulty, respectively?


In my opinion:

-1 skipping the initial explore
-2 additional growth phase
-3 both

By adding an additional growth phase and/or doing both, you will have a huge advantage. You will be a step or two ahead. The game will probably end quickly.

I don't think you will have a satisfaction experience in playing the game with very little challenge.
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Brendan Slade
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Skipping the initial explore will make the game way easier
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P.D. Magnus
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bmtc wrote:
What do you think these options translate to, in terms of difficulty? Do you think they are roughly -1, -2, and -3 difficulty, respectively?


Sure, why not?

You shouldn't start adding things that increase the difficulty (adversaries, scenarios, extra maps) until you are ready to go without these easy game options. So you don't need to measure the negative magnitude of the easy game options against levels of positive difficulty.
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Dylan Thurston
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Phantomdragon wrote:
I don't think you will have a satisfaction experience in playing the game with very little challenge.
It depends very much on the players. Some groups have a lot of trouble with the base difficulty, and making it easier makes sense. Whatever makes it fun for you!
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Alain Renaud
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Our two learning game were with those two changes and it ended too quickly.
 
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Anon Y. Mous
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Small advantages early in the game snowball massively. An adversary that starts under control is going to stay under control and be wiped out pretty quickly. If you know how to take advantage of that starting position, it's not really minus anything, it's a "times zero" modifier.
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Glenn Russell
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Actually, that's exactly why I was asking, was to compare the effect of combining an easier mode with a harder adversary. I know it's not purely additive, but it seems that it can be treated as such for the most part. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to combine two adversaries or a thematic board with an adversary and still get roughly the additive effect.

Our group already treats "Guards the Isle's Heart" as a -1 difficulty, and that seems to provide a pretty good estimate when combined with adversaries.
 
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Glenn Russell
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We tried this with 2 players yesterday. We normally play at difficulty 5, but this time we played with Lvl 4 England, Thematic boards (with tokens), and the "much easier" variant (skipping initial explore and having extra initial growth phase. We played with BoNaD and Thunderspeaker, and it did seem too easy, but not extremely so.

It felt like a difficulty 4 game, but part of that may have been the exact combination we were using. We had a really easy start because we could easily clear the inland boards, but once England's double-builds started kicking in, they started picking up. It also helped that one time England's double-build were both in the same type of land, so it was really easy to prevent. Clearing inland areas is more useful on the thematic boards, and BoDaN in particular is much better at preventing city builds than removing cities once they are placed.

I would say that I think the correct difficulty modifiers are probably closer to -1, -3, and -4.
 
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